Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Supporting First-time Mother for Breastfeeding Protection and Promotion
Supporting First-time Mother for Breastfeeding Protection and Promotion
By James Achanyi-Fontem, Coordinator, WABA MWG
The birth of baby sparks a board range of emotions in a woman. Her body and life are disrupted. This is a part of the process of adapting to her baby and learning what motherhood is all about. After the birth of the baby, as it is true during pregnancy and birth, the mother needs the advice or assistance of a professional.
The mother experiences a sudden change of mood after the baby is born. She is overwhelmed and exhausted. This is normal, if the mother is tired. All first-time mothers experience the blues for brief periods of time. Post-partum blues can last for several hours, several days and even up to two(2) weeks depending on the condition of the mother.
At this moment, it is important for the mother to discuss her feelings with her partner or another loved one. She should contact other mothers or experienced parents. The mother should encourage contact between her skin and that of the baby (skin-to-skin contact) and savour happy moments. This will overcome the difficult moments.
If after doing the above, you are not at ease for several days and even weeks, you are suffering from post-partum depression. Please, it is adviseable to consult a doctor or psychologist. They bring a smile back to the mother’s face and enable them to fully enjoy motherhood.
Importance of Rest
To recover physically and emotionally from childbirth, first-time mothers need plenty of rest. It takes several weeks for her to regain normal energy level. She has to be patient, take care of herself and should not hesitate to seek help when it is needed. The mother should adjust her rest period to the schedule of the baby’s feeling.
At this time, the man should help change the baby’s diaper and carry the baby to the mother to nurse on the baby’s demand. A baby can’t wait. If the man is absent, a family member or friend should help during the first days, so that the mother can rest.
The mother should plan no other activities during the first week after baby’s delivery. This is the period for the initiation of attachment. Mothers need help for up to three weeks for house work care, cooking and caring for other children. Nice babies often wake up their mothers at night and this is a good reason to rest when the baby is at sleep during the day.
For one or two days after giving birth, blood loss in the mother is abundant than during menstruation. The bleeding then diminishes later and change texture. The colour will change gradually from pinkish to increasingly pale brown. The mother occasionally discharges a blood clot in the morning after urinating or breastfeeding.
An unusual effort and a caesarian section may cause redder, more abundant blood loss. It should be noted that a resumption of bleeding, approximately 10 days after childbirth, stems from the healing of the placenta site. Blood loss usually lasts for 3 to 6 weeks. Mothers are advised not to use tampons, but sanitary napkins without plastic linings, since the linings can be irritating. If the discharges of blood clots are large, consult a doctor or midwife immediately.
When nursing the baby, the mother may feel uterine after-pains. To relieve the pain, it is advised that you consult a doctor or mid wife.
Mothers may experience a burning sensation when urinating. Mothers should not hesitate to splash warm water on the valves as they urinate. In case of bowel movements, the mothers should relax.
Hygiene is very important. To avoid health problems, mothers take a bath everyday. Mothers should change their sanitary napkins at least every four hours and they should wash their hands after using the toilet each time.
Wait for several weeks before undertaking an exercise program to restore the figure. Mothers should avoid overly long walks. If they leave the house, they should know that they will be tired more readily and sometimes suddenly.
The mothers should maintain health diets. Within several months at the most, their bodies will exhaust the reserves accumulated during pregnancy. She will be able to resume physical activity gradually two months after giving birth.
The mothers should be patient, because the weight gained in 9 months cannot be eliminated in just a few days. Mothers should resist the temptation to lose weight quickly if she is breastfeeding. It is reasonable to lose 1 to 2 kgs in weight every month after delivery. Mothers should take note that a calorie-reduced diet may curtail the milk production of the mother and lower her energy level.
Fatigue, adaptation to parental role, time devoted to baby care, physical or emotional complications and hormonal changes reduce sexual desire in the mother after delivery. Once she has adapted to the situation, she should once again enjoy intimacy and sexual relations with the man.
Couples resume sexual relations several weeks after childbirth. Mothers can wait even longer if their vagina continues to be sensitive. If they are still bleeding or if they are very tired.. It should be noted that during breastfeeding the mother’s baby releases hormones that can prevent her vagina from properly lubricating itself. If need be, she should use a water-based lubricant to facilitate caressing of the genital organ and penetration.
Giving birth to children demand a great deal of energy. Mothers are advised to avoid too close pregnancies. Mothers and partners should consult a doctor pr mid wife for family planning assistance. If a woman is not breastfeeding, she should seek advice promptly because ovulation usually resumes between the third and sixth seek after childbirth.
Mothers should not rely solely on breastfeeding to avoid getting pregnant, because it is not a reliable birth control method. Exclusive breastfeeding delays ovulation and can prevent pregnancy by 98 per cent of the time, when the mother has not menstruated or lost blood after the 56th day (8 weeks) following childbirth.
Exclusive breastfeeding is when the infant under 6 months of age is breastfed day and night on demand and the child is not consuming any other milk or foods and is not using a pacifier. At this time, the baby does not sleep more than 6 consecutive hours at night.
When a mother is controlling birth she is advised not to use the conventional contraceptive pill that combines estrogen and progesterone before she has weaned her baby. It reduces milk production. The birth-control pill Micronor (Norethindrone) is a better choice. The doctor or midwife may also suggest progesterone in injections, and when the production of milk decreases, the mother should consult an expert in breastfeeding issues. The natural Billing contraceptive methods and symptom-thermic methods are effective and very satisfactory, but demand attention.
Mother not Breastfeeding Contraception
The methods mentioned here work and are suitable, but the mother may want to take the birth control pill. If possible, she has to wait until the menstruation resumes and the menstrual cycle is re-established normally.
Breastfeeding and Diet
The mother’s diet does not need to be perfect in order to produce quality milk. But the mother must eat properly to re-establish her nutritional reserves after pregnancy and childbirth, in order to avoid exhaustion.
Apart from taking three meals a day, the breastfeeding mother is advised to take several snacks depending on her appetite. Mothers should eat healthy food, fruits, vegetables, muffins, bread, nuts, cheese and yogurt.
Mothers are not required to eat too much, but have to maintain adequate portion sizes as it was in the case during pregnancy. There are four food groups: grain products, vegetables and fruits, and meat and alternatives, and milk products. A mother who eats well or properly, does not need to take vitamins or mineral supplements, even while breastfeeding.
Milk products provide protein and calcium which two nutrients that are very important for breastfeeding.
Some fish species absorb pollutants, which enter breastmilk and can harm the baby. Mothers should avoid sword fish, shark and fresh or frozen tuna. Other fish like bass, northern pike, walleyed pike, muskellunge, lake trout, lobster tomalley liver, caviar and fish liver should also be avoid.
If a mother’s urine is dark or cloudy, it means that she is not drinking enough water. The mother should drink water, milk, eat fruits or vegetable juice, drink herbal tea and take broth. However, it has been observed that drinking large amounts of water does increase the amount of milk that the breast would produce.
It is important to note that some foods alter the taste of milk, but infants adopt with time. However, some babies will react badly to certain foods. When this happens, you should stop eating the foods for several days and then re-introduce later gradually, while monitoring the child’s reaction
It is normal not to have a bowel movement for 2 or 3 days after a vaginal birth. It will be between 3 – 5 days for caesarian section. Beyond these periods, expect to have constipation due to the pain stemming from the episiotomy, hormones, lack of activity, dehydration and administered medication.
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