Pregnancy and Childbirth

How to Get Ready for Postpartum Period? What are its Main Difficulties?

No matter whether you just delivered your first baby, or have one or more older children, the postpartum period is always going to be filled with adjustments.  Aside from recovering from the delivery, you will need to fit a new person into your home, as well as ensure that others adjust to all the new changes.  During this phase, you may also wind up making a number of changes that you had not planned on while you were pregnant.

There are some things you can do to ease the life after the parturition and make it more joyful and organized. Take a look at some tips in the article Postpartum Period: Learn How to Organize Your Life After Childbirth

Budgeting and Financial Revisions

Even though the first few weeks of the postpartum period will revolve around physical healing and taking care of a new baby, financial matters are still going to need management. First time parents are likely to find that some things that were purchased for the baby will be of little value, while others that should have been bought need to be obtained. No matter whether you need to make a conversion from disposable diapers to cloth ones, or purchase organic baby wash, each item will represent an expense you may not be able to afford.

Interestingly enough, financial considerations also play an enormous role in determining whether or not a woman will breast feed, as well as the duration.  A study published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics indicated that over half the women in the study stopped breastfeeding before three months if they had a job.  By contrast, 66% of  women who were not employed continued to breast feed.

Pets and the Postnatal Period

Regardless of what kind of pets you have in the home, the postpartum period is bound to be filled with adjustments in relation to taking care of them. Unfortunately, many people are afraid that the pets will harm a new baby, or transmit diseases.  This, in turn, creates a situation where people will turn the animals into a shelter or attempt to give them away for free.  Since many animals given away for free wind up in labs or at the mercy of animal abusers, you will be well served by looking for other alternatives.  At the very least, if you feel that you need to surrender an animal, you should look for advice from a veterinarian or an animal trainer that can help you address your concerns.

Once you enter the postpartum period, you are bound to find that all of your previous plans will need amending.  In fact, even parents that have more than one child find themselves making a number of unexpected adjustments during this period.  If you can focus on allowing some extra room for changes in your budget and taking care of pets, you may find that the postpartum period will be less stressful for everyone involved.

Should You be Worried if You Have Postpartum Bleeding?

Even though postpartum bleeding is normal after both vaginal and cesarian deliveries, excessive amounts can evolve into a life threatening condition. For example, if the bleeding is being caused by retained tissue, uterine damage, or an infection, the bleeding will become more severe.  In addition, if you have an infection, it can easily get into the bloodstream and then travel all over the body.  At the very least, you should know the difference between normal postnatal bleeding and situations that require medical attention.

Characteristics of Normal Postpartum Bleeding

If you have ever had dental extractions, or some other type of surgery, then you know that the worst bleeding will usually occur in the first 24 – 48 hours.  When it comes to normal bleeding after delivery, you will most likely need hospital grade pads for the first 2 – 3 days. After that, you should be able to use extra thick conventional pads, and then taper down to lighter ones as the days go by.   As with a menstrual period, you may also notice that the blood will become darker in color, as well as drier.  Even though some gushing may be normal when you first stand up, it should subside as soon as the vagina empties out.

Interestingly enough, breastfeeding will not affect the severity of bleeding, but may change the number of days involved.  A study published by Obstetrics and Gyencology indicates that non-breast feeding women will usually endure postnatal bleeding for about two weeks. By contrast, women who breast feed bled for an average of 27 days.  In this particular study, all of the women had given birth to previous children, and had also breast fed them.

Symptoms of Abnormal Bleeding

In general, any increase in bleeding after the first 24 – 48 hours should be considered suspicious. If you notice clots, nausea, dizziness, or fever, it may indicate that an infection is developing.   In a similar way, constant gushing, even when you are sitting down may indicate some type of internal damage that needs to be addressed. Even if these symptoms develop near the end of the postpartum period, you should seek immediate attention from your doctor, or go to an emergency room.

There is no question that postpartum bleeding can be fairly disturbing even if you have experienced it after delivering other babies.  That said, it is also important to realize that bleeding after delivering a baby insures that antibodies reach damaged areas of the uterus in order to kill off any infections that may try to take hold.  As may be expected, if you suspect that bleeding exceeds normal limits, or you feel sick from it, then you should see a doctor as quickly as possible.

Learn About 5 Important Benefits of Breastfeeding

Certainly, breastfeeding has many great benefits to offer both for you and your baby’s health and wellbeing. However, breastfeeding does not come naturally and easy to many young mothers. It takes lots of efforts and skills to make it flow naturally. So, let us take a look at 5 of these essential benefits of breastfeeding and discover your power to give an awesome start to your baby’s life!

The articles below will guide you through the subject of being mother:
Do You Know These 8 Facts About Childbirth And Breastfeeding?
Find Out What Are 8 Foods You Should Include In Breastfeeding Diet
Postpartum Exercise With Baby: Slim Down And Have Fun

Benefits of breastfeeding:

1. Your breast milk is the perfect food for your baby

That is true! Even the best bottle food can never ever come up in its quality and nutritional value to your breast milk. Your breast milk is the god-designed food for your baby. It has all the nutrients, vitamins and enough water to provide fast growth and high health level of your baby. Besides, your breast milk has such unique ingredients as antibodies to various infections. They protect your baby and keep it protected during the first six month of their lives.

2. Forming a tight bond

Breastfeeding helps you and your child to form a tight and lasting bond. The baby acutely senses the discomfort from being physically disattached to his or her mother. Breastfeeding restores this bodily connection between you two. That is one reason why babies fall asleep so peacefully at their mothers’ breasts. There is no safer place for them to be! So, breastfeeding maintains their sense of safety and comfort, too.

3. Breastfeeding stimulates your baby’s senses

This is another great advantage offered by breastfeeding to your baby. It provides the baby with a range of new experiences. It introduces the baby to a range of tastes, smells, and other sensory feelings. It also stimulates baby’s oral development. Plus, breastfeeding provides the baby with enough sucking and helps it to build up its lower jaw muscles. You may have noticed that the lower jaw looks a bit smaller than the upper one in babies. Through enough sucking it develops and reaches its normal shape and size.  This helps your baby to develop a fair line of teeth later on in life.

4. Breastfeeding keeps mothers healthy

Sometimes breastfeeding can even save a mother’s life. If a mother has severe bleeding after the parturition, timely and early start of breastfeeding stimulates her uterus contraction and stops the bleeding. In any case, it stimulates your uterus and helps it to contract fast and with no medications taken. It also helps you to regain your former shape faster.

5. Breastfeeding is easier than bottle feeding

It is so obvious. You do not have the trouble of washing all those bottles, drying them, making the bottle food, etc. You always have the ready and perfect food for your baby. You can wake up at night just for a moment to breastfeed your child and go back to sleep; while with the bottle feeding you have to get out of your bed, go to kitchen and make the food every few hours of the night.

Besides, breastfeeding is much cheaper than bottle feeding. It saves you lots of money and provides your baby with the best food in the world. As you may see, there are many vital benefits of breastfeeding for you to consider.

Find Out What Are 8 Foods You Should Include In Breastfeeding Diet

Even though breastfeeding has many valid benefits to offer, it also places more strain on your body. Your body has given away many essential nutrients during the pregnancy time. Now it demands a special diet to keep you healthy and restore you during the breastfeeding time. Let us take a look at the list of 8 main foods you should include in your breastfeeding diet.

Before we start talking about healthy diet ideas for young moms, you might find useful reading the following topics:

Find Out Here Postpartum Weight Loss Methods that Really Work
Do You Know These 8 Facts About Childbirth And Breastfeeding?
Postpartum Period: Learn How to Organize Your Life After Childbirth

A list of best foods for breastfeeding moms:

1. Dairy products

Breastfeeding diet

Cheese and other dairy products should be included in your breastfeeding diet

Calcium is one of the essential nutrients to supply your body with during the lactation time. Naturally, you have lost lots of it during the pregnancy time. Now, you keep on losing it during the lactation time, as your milk is rich in calcium. It helps your baby to form healthy teeth and bones. But, you also need it to maintain your bones strong and your teeth healthy.

Such foods, as milk, curd, cheese or yogurts are rich with calcium and their daily intake helps you to restore your supply of it.

2. Meats

Most mothers have pretty low iron levels in blood after the parturition. It may conditions by significant blood loss. Red meats are the best sources of iron in your body. The rule of a thumb here is to avoid poultry and fatty meats. Pick lean red meats. Beef is the best option here to include in your breastfeeding diet.

3. Fish

Your body also needs to restore amino acids and phosphorus. Fish is the best source of these nutrients. However, fish may be highly allergic food. So, avoid eating river fish and prefer lean sea fish instead.

4. Veggies

Veggies supply your body with vitamins and fiber. The rule of a thumb to go by is to pick season and locally grown veggies. Avoid eating red, orange or yellow ones, as they may cause allergies in your baby. You should pick instead green veggies, such as green apples, greens, salads, cucumbers, etc.

5. Water

Water is essential for lactating women. Keep in mind that your milk consists of lots of water. So, you need to supply your body with enough of it to prevent dehydration and drop in lactation. However, you should avoid consuming soda drinks, alcohol, tea or coffee. All these drinks may have negative effects for your baby’s health. Instead, you should drink lots of clean water, juices and compote.

6. Fruits

They are a great source of vitamins. The rule is the same as with veggies. Eat locally grown and seasonal fruit and avoid eating red or yellow ones.

7. Bread

Pick whole grain bread, but avoid eating sour bread, as it may cause colic in your baby.

8. Grains

Whole grains are the best suppliers of fiber and many minerals and nutrients to your body. Most grains do not produce any negative or colic effect for your baby, so you can freely include them into your diet.

As you may see, breastfeeding diet should be rich with nutrients to keep you and your baby healthy and wellness supplies with the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

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What Is Natural Childbirth? Is It Safe?

Natural childbirth was a term introduced in the 30s of the last century by Grantly Dick-Read. There are many attributes that can be ascribed to giving natural birth to children. Let us take a look at the history of this movement development and at what this type of childbirth differs it from others.

Before we start, make sure you know these 8 Facts About Childbirth And Breastfeeding and have read the article “Postpartum Period: Learn How to Organize Your Life After Childbirth

As you may know it, in the past our grand-grandmothers used to give birth at home.  Childbirth was not considered a situation, where intensive care was needed. Sometimes, women would have doctors on hand to help them during the parturition. However, in most cases, they would have only their family members to help them along.

Natural childbirth

Natural childbirth does have many significant benefits to offer

At the end of the 19th century this situation has dramatically changed. The industrial revolution has brought many innovations into our lives, including giving birth in hospitals. While women with higher levels of income went on giving childbirth at home, poor women sought help in social hospitals. Such difference in labour conditions was mainly caused by the difference in living conditions. Poorer women had smaller apartments and more ‘dirt’ there to deal with. While, richer women had better living conditions and could afford to call for the doctor in case of emergency during the parturition.

Now, presently most women in our society deliver babies in hospitals. This has allowed providing all women with adequate and timely medical assistance and clean childbirth conditions. This has also allowed cutting down the death rate during the parturition.

On the other hand, hospital childbirth vs. natural childbirth has many significant shortages to offer. Let us take a look at some of them and at the difference between the two above mentioned ways to deliver a child.

The core difference between the two is this: people, who support giving birth to a baby naturally, believe that women have all they need to do that on their own. They do not need the amount of medical support or medications administered during the birth pangs in hospitals. Besides, giving birth naturally and in well known and friendly environment creates a more intimate and special atmosphere both for mothers and their babies. Plus, it provides more timely and early contact between the mother and the child and other family members, too.

According to WHO, all these things help mothers and their children to develop a tighter bond and avoid many psychological and health problems later on. Moreover, scientific data show that the majority of mothers (up to 95 percent) has no problems delivering babies at home with no medical assistance needed. Plus, such natural childbirth cuts down on the amount of medications, administered during the parturition. So, as you may see, natural delivery does have many significant benefits to offer. However, such parturition takes more thought and preparation to go well.

See the wikipedia reference article to find more about psychological aspects of home parturition.
Photo by dgeert


Top 7 Pregnancy Insomnia Safe Home Remedies You Should Try

Pregnancy time offers great variety of causes for insomnia. Pregnancy insomnia can be caused by hormonal changes in the body, or it can be caused by many discomforts, experienced during this special time. And, of course, it can be caused by emotional overstrain and roller coaster most women experience, when they get pregnant.

Sometimes, insomnia in pregnant women, if followed by anxiety or nervousness, indicates predisposition to postpartum depresssion. It is a medical condition wich should be treated. You can Test Yourself With the Postpartum Depression Quiz and answer 5 questions to make sure you have no such condition to deal with, or to find a good reason to contact your doctor.

Now, let us take a look at the top 7 home remedies and tips to help you get better rest and get better prepared for the parturition.

Pregnancy insomnia

Honey and milk are great home remedies for pregnancy insomnia

1. Proper regimen

Coming up with the right regimen is essential during the pregnancy, especially, if you have insomnia. This means, you should try to organize your day so that you would get up and go to bed at the set time. Avoid the temptation to stay long in bed in the mornings. Of course, you may have your morning nausea assault, but one of the best things to deal with it is taking a walk.

Also, avoid taking naps during the day and especially in the second half of the day.

2. Proper diet

One of the pregnancy insomnia causes is nausea. Another one is sense of hunger. You should not go to bed hungry. This would help you to deal with both of the above listed problems. However, you should avoid eating fatty and sugary foods, drinking soda or tea and coffee. All these foods are high in energy. They stimulate you, instead of tuning up for sleep.

Read more about foods to include in your diet in the article “Postpartum Diet – What is the Best Diet Plan for Young Moms?

3. Proper liquid intake

Most women experience swelling during the pregnancy time. If you drink too much water, your hands, feet and face may get swollen. The swelling causes deep sense of discomfort, which makes it even harder to fall asleep.

4. Relaxation

Increased anxiety and ‘nestling’ instinct may hype up your emotions during the pregnancy time. You get overly excited and anxious to get everything ready for the new arrival. Still, you have to take time during the day to relax. Instead of taking naps, take time to master relaxation and breathing techniques, which would help you much during the upcoming parturition.

5. Vitamin B

This is one of the essential vitamins for pregnant women. It keeps your nerve system and brain healthy and steadily working. So, consult your doctor about the proper intake of this essential vitamin during your special time.

6. Herb Teas

There are many herbs you may use to brew teas to treat your insomnia. However, it has to be mentioned, that all of them have certain effects on your health. So, consult your doctor first and only then use any of these herbs. For instance, mint is well known for its calming properties. However, it also lowers your blood pressure. Many women have low blood pressure during the first half of pregnancy. That is why this herb should be used with great care. Lettuce seed tea is another option.

7. Honey and milk

Honey is great for treating insomnia. You may get yourself a cup of milk with some honey. This would exclude the hunger cause of insomnia and help to make your sleep sounder.

As you may see, there are many things you can do to deal with your pregnancy insomnia. Pick the ones that work better for you.

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Do You Know These 8 Facts About Childbirth And Breastfeeding?

Childbirth and breastfeeding are two tightly related areas of women’s life. These are very essential areas, too. Most women have tons of questions about them. So, here are 8 facts for you to consider and learn on the above mentioned subject.

Before you start reading, we would like to propose 2 topics that might be interesting for you, as a young mother:
Does Postpartum Girdle Work? Learn About Its Real Effects on Your Body
Postpartum Period: Learn How to Organize Your Life After Childbirth


Childbirth is a little miracle

1. Breastfeeding is not an instinct

While breastfeeding is an instinct for babies, it is not for mothers. Mothers have to learn breastfeeding and that is a fact. Here is where the most frustration comes in for new mothers. They believe, breastfeeding is an instinct and it has to flow naturally. In most cases it does not and new mothers get frustrated. The good news is that breastfeeding is a skill you can learn.

2. Breastfeeding your baby can help to avoid milk allergies

By breastfeeding your baby you significantly cut down the chances for her or him to develop milk allergy in the future.

3. Breastfeeding helps to control childbirth

Breastfeeding works as a natural control for conceptions. Women stop having period, while breastfeeding. However, you should know that it is not a perfect way to control conception. You still can conceive, while breastfeeding.

4. Breastfeeding boosts the immune system of your baby

During the first six months of life your baby gets your immune protection from various ARDs and other infections. That is why breastfed babies get them very rarely, compared to the bottle fed ones. Do you know these benefits of breastfeeding?

5. Lack of sleep can cut down your milk supply

One of the reasons for the drop in lactation can be the lack of sleep and rest. If you do not get enough sleep and get anxious about everything, you may start having problems with lactation. These problems can be easily fixed by getting some rest and sleep. In case you develop a hard depressive condition, you should consult your doctor about it. Find out what kind of correlation exists between postpartum depression and breastfeeding.

6. You should express milk to boost your lactation

Some new mothers think that milk expression is needed for those, who have too much milk. In reality, milk expression can help you to boost your lactation. The more you stimulate your breast and express milk, the more you signal your brain of the need to produce more milk. So, frequent milk expression helps you to increase the quantity of produced breast milk.

7. How long should breastfeeding last?

According to WHO the best term for breastfeeding is at least one year. Then you may want to stop it or go on with it, if you wish to. There is no set term for breastfeeding. Every situation is different. However, there are cases, when stopping breastfeeding is not desirable even after one year. Your baby may have certain health problems, for instance, etc.

8.  When should the breastfeeding be started?

The fact is that the best time to start breastfeeding is an hour after the parturition. Such early breastfeeding start can cause positive effects both for the mother and the baby. The baby gets its immune system boosted and the mother gets her uterus stimulated to contract.

As you may see, there are many great facts to learn about childbirth and breastfeeding. Some of them can help you to avoid certain mistakes and frustrations.

Read more on:

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How Postpartum Depression Influences the Newborn?

The sad side of postpartum depression is that it significantly affects both mothers and their children. It influences physical development, emotional stability and growth, and the strength of the bond between the mother and her baby. Besides, depression symptoms can greatly affect the interpersonal relationships between the mothers and babies. These negative effects may last for years. So, let us take a look at some of the possible influences of depressive condition on newborn.

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression decrease the ability of women to care for their children

As it was already mentioned, postpartum depressive disorder in mothers affects their perception of the babies. Depressed mothers tend to view their babies as “difficult”. This perception does not go away through postpartum depression treatment or even when the depression is over. This means that even years later a mother may view her child as a troublesome kid and this directly affects their behavior and relationships.

When a mother views her newborn as a ‘fussy’ baby, the child is sort of gets preprogrammed to behave this way. Then s/he grows up into a fussy toddler, child or teenager. So, as you may see, the complications of PPD may last for years and cause trouble for many families. Such consequences may ruin family relationships.

Another immediate effect of postpartum depression on a newborn is making them cry. Babies stay very much tuned to their mothers. They perceive the mood swings and downcast moods of their mothers and mirror their emotions. This, in certain measure, oppresses their emotional and cognitive development.

All babies look for life and security in their mothers. However, depressive condition may significantly decrease the ability of women to care for their children. Consequently, the level of tenderness, security and care, received by the newborn also decrease. This affects their ability to form a positive bond with their mothers and slows down their development.

Another problem evoked by the mother’s depression in a newborn is fear. Experiencing the mother’s negative emotions, the baby learns to react negatively and experience fear. This reaction may become prevalent and oppress child’s development and ability to learn.

Besides the emotional or cognitive side effects on a newborn, depressive moods in postpartum period can also have some health effects on the babies. Their emotional stress and sense of isolation from the mother may lead to a weaker immune system and more frequent diseases, such as ARD.

So, as you may see, untreated depression in women may have some serious physical and emotional consequences both for mothers and their newborn babies. Eventually, if not treated timely, it may develop into a postpartum psychosis and lead to some grave consequences up to suicide or infanticide. That is why all the family members of new mothers should stay alert and help them to get timely diagnosed and receive adequate help and treatment for their postpartum depression condition.

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Is There a Link Between Postpartum Depression and Breastfeeding?

Today breastfeeding is viewed as the only healthy way to raise a child. However, new mothers have many questions about it. And one of them is this: is there a direct link between postpartum depression and breastfeeding? Another one is: should I keep on breastfeeding, if I got a PPD? Let’s try to find some answers for these questions.

So, is there a correlation between postpartum depression and breastfeeding?

This is a pretty serious question. According to research, women who breastfeed run lower risks of developing postpartum depression. One good reason for that is the ‘breastfeeding’ hormone, called oxytocin. Your body starts to produce huge doses of this hormone during the parturition. Then, the hormone is used to initiate the milk let down and boost your lactation.
However, this is not the single use of oxytocin in your body. Oxytocin can be considered one of the ‘tenderness’ and ‘happiness’ hormones. It makes you feel good, when you breastfeed your baby. It stimulates the caresses and gentleness towards the baby and helps you to form a strong bond between you two.

Postpartum depression and breastfeeding

Postpartum depression and breastfeeding

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So, mainly, breastfeeding is good for you. It can help you cope with the depression. However, in some women breastfeeding evokes a sense of tenseness. This may lead to making your postpartum depression symptoms more intense and to worsening your condition.

On the other hand, postpartum depression can become one of the obstacles on your way to breastfeeding. Depression blocks the production of oxytocin, which in its turn may lead to low milk production.

So, should I keep on breastfeeding, if I got postpartum depression?

There is no easy answer to this question. If breastfeeding does not make you tense and does not worsen your depression, then why not? However, if it adds more strain and stress, then it may not be the best way to mother your child. One thing you have to realize is that your postpartum depression greatly affects your baby. It prevents you from forming a tight bond with it. It makes baby experiencing various emotional and even physical discomforts.

So, your main goal is to get over your PPD and get all the help, you can. If breastfeeding worsens your condition, then you should feel no guilt at quitting it. Breastfeeding is good, but a happy and healthy mother is what your baby really needs more than anything else.

If you do not experience an additional tension over breastfeeding, then it may even help you to get over your PPD. Breastfeeding boosts oxytocin production and it helps to build the right bond between you and your child and to uplift your spirits.

Hopefully, these answers to the questions about the link between postpartum depression and breastfeeding would help you to make the best choice in your situation.


Find Out How to Overcome Depression During Pregnancy

Most people believe that pregnancy is a happy time for women. However, it may also be a very challenging and even hard time, especially if you lack the support and protection of your social circle. According to statistics, up to 20 percent of all pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy. So, let us take a look at some simple steps to take to deal with it.

Now, every depression and especially depression while carrying the child has to be diagnosed and treated. So, there is the first step to be taken. If you feel the blues for over 2 weeks, you should seek professional consultation. As a rule, blues go away in a few days or a week, but depression stays for good and tends to worsen, if being untreated.

Depression during pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy has to be treated

Photo by Arwen Abendstern

If you doubt the need to go and get examined for depression, you may go online and take few free and easy depression tests. They would help you to make further decision. And, do not get locked up inside yourself. Isolation is the worst way to deal with depression. Try to talk to your spouse or your family and friends about your feelings and condition.

Of course, many people know that pregnant women tend to be overly emotional and even fall into crying fits at times. But, if your situation is more serious, try to explain it to your family and ask for help. In fact, depression during pregnancy time may have serious health consequences both for you and your baby. That is another good reason to treat it.

One of the best things you can do with depression while carrying the child is to give yourself much rest and relax. If you have other children to take care of, try to find some time, when you can lay down and rest. Try to explain your need in rest to your kids. According to statistic, the more children are in the family, the higher the risks are for the mother to get depressed during her next pregnancy. Make this fact known to your husband and other family members and ask for help.

If these simple things do not work, ask for medical help. According to the latest researches, many drugs used to treat depression are safe for pregnant women. Taking such drugs prescribed by your doctor can lower the risks of giving birth to a low weight child or of the early birth.

Keep in mind that untreated depression during pregnancy increases your risks of developing postpartum depression. It may also cause problems in creating a tight emotional bond with your baby during and after the pregnancy time. That means such depressive condition has to be timely diagnosed and treated.

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