Reasons why some mother’s quit breastfeeding early

It is recommended that babies are exclusively breastfed during the first 6 months of life. After  that breastfeeding can still continue along side complementary foods. Despite the known benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and child, some mothers don’t breastfeed at all or quit breastfeeding early.  This can be due to the challenges they face while breastfeeding.

quit breastfeeding

Reasons why some mothers quite breastfeeding early

Returning to work :  Most nursing moms find it difficult juggling between breast-feeding and working.  However it is still possible to breastfeed and go back to work. You can pump and store breastmilk for use when you are not  home and then breatsfeed when you get home. You can even pump milk at work when you feel your breasts are too full.This will keep your milk supply flowing and prevent breast engorgement and leakage.

read more

Bed rest for premature labor

Does bed rest help with preterm labor ?

Pregnant women with increased risk of complications  are monitored during pregnancy for premature labor. This monitoring may involve being on bed rest or even stay at the hospital. You may also be advised to stop working, reduce your activity or be on partial bed rest which is to spend most of your time resting.

premature labor

There is no evidence that indicate that bed rest reduces your risk of preterm labor. However bed rest may increase your risk of blood clots in the legs and lungs. Some form of bed rest (partial bed rest)  is required by patients who are being monitored for complications.

read more

Why keeping you baby in utero for at least 39 weeks is crucial

Neonatal death

Neonatal death is when the baby dies within the first 28 weeks of life. This can be very difficult to understand. Your health care provider can help you understand what went wrong.

neonatal death

What are the causes of neonatal death ?

Some of the common causes of neonatal death include the following:

Why are premature babies more likely to die after birth than other babies ?

Some premature babies develop complications that can result in death. This include the following :

  • respiratory distress syndrome RDS  : Babies with this condition don’t have a protein called surfactants  that keep small air sacs in the lungs from collapsing
  • Intraventricular hemorrhage  IVH :  This is bleeding in the brain. The most severe one can cause problems for the baby
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis NEC : This is problems with the baby’s intestines which can result in feeding problems, a swollen belly and diarrhea
  • Infections : Infections such as meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia can result in death of a premature baby

What birth defects most often cause neonatal death ?

The most common birth defects that cause neonatal deaths include the following :

  • heart defects
  • lung defects
  • genetic conditions
  • brain conditions like anencephaly

Your healthcare provider can use prenatal tests  to detect birth defects. These tests include

read more

Breastfeeding : Foremilk and hindmilk

Difference between foremilk and hindmilk

Foremilk : This is the milk that the baby gets at the beginning of a feeding session. It is watery and high volume but low in fat and bluish in color . The fat volume increases and volume decreases as breastfeeding continues. Foremilk is high in carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins.

foremilk

Hindmilk : This contains more fat than the rest of the milk. It is therefore rich in calories and nutrients. It looks thicker and darker in color.  It is important that babies feed long enough to get hind milk. To get this milk, breastfeeding or pumping should be done till one breast is emptied before going to the next breast. This requires at least breastfeeding for about 10 to 20 minutes on each breast.

read more

Breastfeeding with an inverted nipple

Inverted nipple retract or pull inward when it is   stimulated. Women with this condition  have a hard time getting started with breastfeeding.  In most cases,  changes in breast may cause your nipples  to protrude out than normal. However in the case of an inverted nipple, the nipple may pull in even more even if the breast is stimulated.

inverted nipple

How to find out if you have a flat or inverted nipple

You can find out if you have an inverted or flat nipple by doing the following :

  • place your fore finger and thumb on the edges of the areola . The areola is the dark area just behind the nipple
  • squeeze the tissue gently
  • if the nipple is flat or inverted ,it will flatten or retract into the breast instead of pointing  out.

How you can breastfeed with an inverted nipple.

An inverted nipple may naturally become alert after the birth of your baby.A lactation consultant or medical professional can help you with this situation. They may even recommend using  a nipple shield.

read more

What is milk oversupply ?

Milk oversupply is when  the mother makes more breastmilk than the baby needs. It is also called overabundant milk supply or hyper lactation. There are different factors that affect how much milk you make. However the 2 most important are

  • how often you breastfeed and pump your breast
  • how well your breasts are emptied

The more often you feed your baby and empty your breasts, the more milk your body produces.

milk oversupply

What are the symptoms of milk oversupply ?

In mothers

  • full breasts that keep leaking between feedings
  • breast pain
  • breast engorgement which can lead to blocked milk ducts and infection

In babies

  • crying during feeding
  • gaining too  much weight
  • resisting feeding
  • gulping a lot during feeding
  • gaining too  little weight because
    • milk supply is too fast for baby to take  in enough milk during feeding
    • the baby is not able to feed long enough to get the fattiest part of the milk
    having gas having large frothy, green stools

    How is milk oversupply  treated ?

    As frustrating as milk oversupply can be, there are ways to manage it. Seek the help of your doctor or lactation consultant . They may recommend the following

    read more

Opioids for labor pain

You will be given pain medication to help control the stress and pain of labor. The pain medication can be injected into the muscle or given through the vein. Opioids are the most common pain medications. Examples include fentanyl, morphine and nalbuphine.

opioids

How does opioids work for labor pain ?

These medications suppress how to perceive pain . They also calm your emotional response to pain. They reduce the number of pain signals sent by the nervous system to the brain. They also reduce the brain’s reaction to those pain signals.

read more

Use of antibiotics during preterm labor

Antibiotics may be used during preterm labor  to prevent an infection. You will need antibiotics if an infection is causing your preterm labor. They type of antibiotics used depends on the bacteria causing the infection. However the most commonly used antibiotics during labor include the following :

  • erythromycin
  • clindamycin
  • ampicillin
  • gentamycin
  • metronidazole

antibiotics

You have to know that antibiotics do not always clear up uterine infection and do not always prevent premature labor. If the uterus of the mother is infected and the child is not matured enough,  the health care professional might not try to delay the birth.

read more

Urinary and bowel problems after childbirth

Urinary and bowel problems for new moms

Childbirth can present a lot of problems.  It is not uncommon for new moms to experience urinary and bowel problems.  They may have problems urinating  a day or 2 after delivery. First bowel movement can also be painful  especially if you had an incision ( episiotomy) or tear in the vagina. It is possible to also have constipation as well as bowel movement discomfort a few days after delivery.

urinary and bowel problems

What you can do

Drink lots of water and juices.  You can also take stool softener and ease pain.

read more