What is Prodromal Labor ?

Prodromal labor is often called false labor. It is somewhere in between Braxton Hicks contractions and active labor  contractions. It is the part of labor that occurs  before active labor but doesnt  progress toward delivery.

prodromal labor

This type of labor typically begins within hours, days or weeks before active labor begins.Prodromal labor  consists of contractions that can be fairly regular (between 5-10 minutes apart) and can be painful like active labor contractions. Each contraction  typically lasts just shy of one minute. These contractions are preparatory. They encourage the baby into a suitable birthing position and  prepare the muscles, ligaments, and pelvis for active labor. They may also  help prepare the mother for active labor. read more

Is it safe to donate blood if I’m breastfeeding ?

Donating blood while breastfeeding

Yes , you can donate blood six weeks after giving birth. Delivery can take a toll on the body whether its vaginal or c-section. You will need time to recover  and regain the circulating red blood cells lost during delivery.

donating blood

The American Red Cross  will allow nursing moms to donate blood  if its at least six weeks since they  delivered. This is assuming you  you’re not at risk for anemia or other medical problems.

Some  moms worry about getting an infection after blood donation. However a sterile technique is used for donating blood and the risk of an infection from blood donation is extremely low  and no greater than  when you have blood drawn at the doctor’s office. read more

Newborn Assessment

Newborn babies are checked for signs of problem or complications. A complete assessment will be performed that includes every body system. Your baby will be continually assessed by doctors, nurses, and other health care providers throughout his hospital system.

newborn assessment

Assessment of newborns

Assessment may include the following :

Apgar Scoring

The APGAR test is a quick test performed  on  babies  at 1 and 5 minutes in the delivery room right after birth. The 1 minute test tells the doctor how the baby tolerated the birthing process. The 5 minute scores tells  how the baby is doing outside the mother’s womb. This test can help the doctor determine if the baby needs any immediate or future treatment. read more

Does breast size affect milk production ?

No, when it comes to breastfeeding, breast size is irrelevant. The size of a woman’s breast is mostly determined by how much fatty tissue they contain.  This tissue doesnt have anything to do with milk production .

breast size

Hormones triggered by childbirth as well as nursing stimulates the mammy glands in the breast to secrete milk and push it into the milk duct under the nipple and areola. The areola is the dark area around the nipple. When  the baby sucks, the milk flows into the mouth.

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Cesarean Anesthesia

Anesthesia during a cesarean

Various factors may influence the choice of anesthesia during a c-section. However the most common ones used are an epidural or spinal anesthesia. In these types, you will be numb from your nipple line down but will be awake during the birth of your baby.

anesthesia

If your baby needs to be delivered quickly due to an emergency situation or if an epidural or anesthesia is not adequate, general anesthesia may be necessary .

If you already have an epidural  catheter in place and require  a c-section,  you will simply receive a stronger dose of local anesthesia through your catheter.  If you are scheduled for an elective cesarean delivery or a c-section becomes necessary before you have an epidural or spinal pain relief ,  four options are available.  These are : read more

Quality Rest for New Parents

Being a new parent can be overwhelming. The frequent feedings, diaper changes  and calming a fussy baby can all make it difficult to sleep soundly at night. It is important for new parents to take care of themselves. It can be difficult to take good care of your baby if you’re tired and sleep deprived.

new parents

Ways new parents can get a sound sleep.

Sleep while the baby sleep :  Newborns  can nap as long as 2 to 4 hours. It can be challenging to sleep while the baby sleeps  because of other kids and chores. However you need to try and get some rest. read more

Newborn Warning Signs

Warning signs for newborns

Childbirth can be stressful for the baby. Newborns must make many physiologic adaptations immediately after birth and anything can happen. There are certain warning signs you need to watch out for and  these include the following :

newborn

  • Breathing problems that can result in a rapid breathing rate over 60 breaths per minute or a blue coloring that does not go away. Newborns usually have irregular respirations so you need to count a full minute. There should be no pauses longer than about ten seconds between breaths. You should also take note of wheezing, grunting or whistling sound while breathing.
  • No bowel movement for the  first 48 hours.
  • Poor feeding or sucking.
  • No urine output in the first 24 hours.
  • A rectal temperature of over 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) or less than 97.5 degrees F (36.5 degrees C).
  • Retraction or pulling in of the ribs with respirations .
  • Yellowing of the white part of the  eyes, chest or extremities.
  • Drainage, odor or bleeding of the umbilical cord.
  • Vomiting especially when its yellow or green in color.
  • Any signs of sickness  such as cough , diarrhea and poor color.
  • Irritability , twitching or crying  that doesn’t improve with cuddling and comfort.
  • A sleepy baby who cannot be awakened enough to nurse or bottle feed.
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    Induced lactation : Breastfeeding my adopted baby

    What is induced lactation ?

    A number of adoptive  mothers are interested in breastfeeding their babies  through induced lactation.

    induced lactation

    How breastfeeding can be induced.

    Prescription medication :  No medication specifically designed to induce lactation  have been approved by the FDA. However a few medications  prescribed for other reasons such as the drug metoclopramide has been shown to stimulate or increase milk production. These medication may  have side effects so the  doctor will review your medical history before prescribing them.

    Herbal medications : Mothers in the United States and other countries  have used herbal medication either in teas or capsules  to stimulate or increase milk production. Ask your doctor or lactation specialist about herbal medication before considering their use.  Herbal medications are not regulated in the United States for content , purity or  possible contamination. read more

    Breastfeeding problems : Know the warning signs

    Breastfeeding problems can  arise quickly. When they do arise, they can  get worse quickly and   interfere with milk production or your baby’s ability  to get the nutrients she needs. For these reasons, it is essential  to get help immediately if you’re having any problems .

    breastfeeding problems

    Common breastfeeding problems

  •  Your baby’s nursing sessions is either extremely short or very long :  Short nursing sessions ( less than about 10 minutes)   could mean  that the baby is not getting enough milk and that not enough milk is being removed to stimulate the ongoing milk production. Very long sessions  ( longer than about 50 minutes) may indicate that the  baby isn’t receiving enough milk due to ineffective suckling or low milk production.
  • Your baby seem hungry after most feeding : You may want to visit your pediatrician and have the baby’s  weight checked to make sure she’s ingesting enough milk and gaining the right weight. However you also have to double-check her latch-on and position at the breast to try to increase the milk she is getting.
  • Your baby misses feeding sessions frequently and sleeps through the night : It is important for new babies to frequently feed around the clock. The baby needs this to gain enough weight to thrive. If a newborn sleeps longer than 4 hours , wake her up and feed her.
  • By two weeks of birth, the baby is still under the birth weight or hasn’t started gaining at least 5 to 7 ounces a week since the milk came in :  Baby not gaining the right amount of weight is a  strong indication that the baby is not getting enough milk.
  • After a week, your baby has fewer than 6 wet diapers and 4 bowel movements per day, her urine is dark or specked with  red or her stool is dark rather than yellow and loose : Keep an eye on your baby’s bowel movement and urine output if you’re worried about her food intake.
  • After 5 days , your milk  hasn’t come in or your breasts doesnt feel as though they are filling with milk :If you feel this way, have your baby’s weight  checked immediately to make sure she getting enough milk. You may also want to have your breasts examined.
  •  You experience severe breast engorgement :  Breast engorgement can make it difficult for the baby to latch on correctly and discourage both you and your baby from nursing. In this case, you may need to manually express the milk or use an electric pump until the breast softens a bit.
  • The fullness and hardness of your breasts does not decrease with breastfeeding  :  The baby may not be sucking effectively or drinking enough milk.
  • Severe pain interferes with breastfeeding : Your baby is probably not latching on correctly.  If you have severe nipple pain or cracked nipples, consult your doctor or lactation consultant.  You may be checked for infections such as mastitis  or latching problems. You may need to start breastfeeding on the less sore breast or even use an electric pump until the nipples have healed.
  • Ater a week or two, you don’t notice the sensations associated with your milk let down reflex :  This could be nothing but it could also mean that your milk production is low. Get the help of a lactation consultant.
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    Postpartum blood clots

    Postpartum blood clots are blood clots that develop after childbirth. The risk of developing blood clots increase about 6 to 8 weeks after childbirth. Blood clots typically occur in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis. This disorder is known as deep vein thrombosis.

    postpartum blood clots

    Some of the blood clots break loose and travel through the blood stream into the lungs and block blood flow. This blockage is known as pulmonary embolism.

    Blood clots can also occur in the veins just under the skin in the legs. This disorder is known as superficial venous thrombosis. read more