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How to Care for your Breasts while Breastfeeding

You might think that there’s nothing much to do about breast hygiene; yet it matters a lot for you and for your baby since it’s the only source of food for him in the beginning. That’s where breast hygiene comes in to guarantee your breasts stay health and ensure good milk production; and for your baby as well.

Maintaining Clean Breasts

During your pregnancy you’ll notice changes in your breasts; they’ll get bigger, your nipples will get darker and larger. Also, there might be cracks, but don’t worry with proper carry you can lessen these effects. Wash your nipples daily starting from your fifth month as your breasts might start secreting viscous fluids that forms a crust around the nipples. So, wipe them with a clean cloth daily to avoid dampness, but avoid using soap as it causes dryness; a good option is applying petroleum jelly products to keep it soft.

During your shower try to pull your nipples a bit this will ease milk production after birth, also massage your breasts to improve blood circulation and also try wearing a bra to provide the support needed for your breasts and avoid ones with under wires.

Taking Care of Other Stuff

Hygiene isn’t the only thing you should worry about also take care of your emotional health by avoiding stress as much as possible or any other disturbance as it affects your milk production. And also following a healthy diet rich in iron and protein with vitamins and calcium.

After Delivery Care

Washing your breasts before feeding is important in case you use any ointments on that might be harmful for your baby. Also, wash them after breastfeeding with water to get rid of any saliva or milk left and allow it to air dry. Also, wear cotton bras to allow breasts to breathe and avoid any bacterial infection. If you use nursing pads make sure to frequently change them to avoid infection and mastitis. As it was mentioned above don’t use soaps, alcohol or lotions on your nipple area so they don’t dry and crack.

All these precautions can help you reduce any pain that can occur, yet expect to feel breast soreness or tenderness which is something to blame on the hormones. So, with the help of these tips you can stay away from other causes of breasts discomfort during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Pregnancy myths Series

1- This is so untrue.

Eating lots of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury during pregnancy produces smarter kids. This includes higher verbal IQ, better social and communication skills, and superior motor skills.

2- You can’t fly on a plan during pregnancy

It is basically safe to travel during  pregnancy unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Xrays, altitude pressure, all of this has no effect on the fetus and if the airlines don’t let you on the plane during the third trimester, it’s just that they’re afraid you’d go into laborin the middle of the flight. Enjoy your trip

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3- The shape of your belly determines if it’s a boy or a girl.

The position of your baby in the womb can no way predict it’s sex. The good news is, you have a 50% chance of getting it right wink emoticon To be more precise, you need a 3D ultrasound preferably inside your gynecologist’s clinic.

4- The bigger your baby the healthier he is.

They say that “the bigger your baby the healthier he is.” That’s not true; the average weight is around 3.5 kg. so, if babies are much bigger than that it’s not always a healthy.

5-Walking induces labor.

Although it’s a widely known myth but that does not make it true. In fact there’s no activity or food that can induce labor, some things can just help.

6-When pregnant you should eat for two.

No you don’t have to; you don’t need to overeat or you might end up with a bigger baby that’s not necessarily healthy, and put on extra weight.

7- Hot baths are not allowed.

You don’t need to keep the water cold, just a little bit warm. Saunas and Jacuzzi are not good for you either.

8- You can’t lay on your back only sleep on your left side.

Not true; sleep whichever way you can there’s no specific position.

9-All women are happy during pregnancy.

Not true pregnant women can have mood disorders or depression which can risk premature delivery. If you feel so you need to consult your doctor and seek help.

10-Pregnant women can’t drink coffee!

Not true , but if you’re a coffee nut you’re gonna have to cut down to one cup a day but no need to abstain completely from it

11- You can’t have a cat when you are pregnant.

Not true , you can keep your cat, but it’s safer if someone else changes its litter not you just don’t touch its feces to avoid the risk of Toxoplasmosis that’s all.

Fertility Solutions Know the Difference

Fertilization (IVF)

Fertility issues can become one of the things that couples struggle through, but there have been researches and studies that have provided those who want to conceive with solutions to help them out.

So, let’s discuss some procedures that help with fertility issues:

  • Fertility Treatments:

How Does It Work?

It’s a very simple method that can help couples conceive; it’s taken through pills or injections and these drugs release hormones to induce ovulation and elevate egg production. Also, it helps make the uterus more receptive to embryo implantation.

Who Can Benefit from It?

This can be useful for women who don’t regularly ovulate or their husbands have low sperm-quality, but you should consult with your doctor o know if this is the best way for you or not.

What Are the Pros & Cons?

It’s often the first choice to sort out fertility issues due to its low cost and convenience, but it has possible side effects like headaches, bloating, nausea, hot flashes or risk of multiple births.

IUI (Intrauterine Insemination):

How Does It Work?

Another commonly known and effective method is IUI; in this technique an especially prepared sperm is inserted in the uterus through a thin catheter. Usually doctors recommend fertility drugs for this method too, in order to increase fertilization rates.

Who can benefit from it?

It’s useful with cases where men have slow moving or low quality sperm or low sperm count. Also, for women who produce antibodies to their husband’s sperms or have cervical mucus that is too acidic or thick to deliver the sperm to the ovum.

What Are the Pros & Cons?

It’s a very simple procedure; it can even be done in the doctor’s office, but it can result in multiple births as a side effect of fertility treatments.

  • IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) or ICSI (Intracytoplasmin Sperm Injection):

How Does It Work?

This is one of the effective methods to help couples who have difficulty conceiving. It’s about collecting eggs from the ovaries after they’ve been stimulated by medications, and also collecting sperms. Then, fertilize them in the lab and culture embryos in the lab for few days. Finally, the best embryos are selected and transferred back into the uterus.

Who Can Benefit from It?

If a couple has been trying to conceive for more than a year without any success, then they need to consult with their doctor to do the investigations needed to see what they can do about it. This method is suitable for older women or women who have scarring or damaged fallopian tubes, as well as, men with low sperm quality and couples without explained infertility.

What Are the Pros & Cons?

On one hand, it helps couples who have infertility issues become parents, on the other hand, it’s a costly procedure and requires a lot of patience and fertility treatments in order to succeed.

These are some of the known techniques to help couples overcome issues regarding infertility, but you need to consult with your doctor so that he can recommend the suitable method for you.

Cope with menopause

1- Sleep matters.

Most women suffer from sleeping issues during menopause; overcome them by avoiding larger meals, coffee, smoking or working and stressing yourself before bed time. Also, try drinking warm beverages like chamomile tea or warm milk before you sleep and keep your room cool and quiet.

2- You’re not alone in this.

You’re not the only one who goes through menopause; talk to a friend who is going through changes like you and support one another or talk to your doctor or a close family member.

3- Add Omega 3 to your diet.

It’s very useful as it can boost your mood and it can be found in fish like tuna and salmon

4- Start exercising.

If you aren’t used to exercising start with something simple like walking or jogging; and if you are, keep it up as it’s a great way to reduce hot flushes, mood swings and strengthen your bones. Also, try relaxation techniques like yoga.

5- Focus on your calcium intake.

Calcium is very important in this stage because you lose a lot of your bone mass which can lead to osteoporosis later on. Calcium can be found in foods like broccoli, spinach, almonds and soy milk.

6- Regular checkups

Make sure you have regular checkups like pelvic and breast exams, Pap tests, and mammograms. So, consult your doctor if your feel any lump in your breast or if you have a mole that has changed.

7- Hydrate

If you feel you’re getting a hot flash try and drink something cold like water or juice.

8- Weight gain

Yes, it does happen but no need to give into it. It happens as your body begins to store fat due to the hormonal imbalance accompanied by menopause. So, to get through it balance out your diet and limit your carbs consumption and keep exercising.

9- Natural menopause Vs. surgical one.

Although they both mean the end of the menstruation cycle, yet they are different. When a woman undergoes a hysterectomy, she deals with immediate hormonal change unlike the slower transition if it happens naturally

10-Hormones menopause.

You still have hormones that are produced by your adrenal glands. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone do decrease, but they won’t stop. That’s why women experience hot flashes, weight gain or urinary incontinence.

11- Relation between getting your period and going through menopause.

There’s no exact relation between when you start menstruation and when you go through menopause. You can guess it by answering questions like do you smoke?, Have you been pregnant?, At what age did your mom go through menopause? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you guess, yet it’s still not perfectly accurate.

12-Menopause symptoms are only physical.

Don’t you sometimes feel anxious, down or very emotional? Yes, there are emotional changes just like physical ones. It’s all due to the drop in hormonal levels of estrogen and progesterone.

13-Bladder control.

Some women may find it hard to hold urine long enough until they reach a bathroom. This is known by incontinence; you may even have some urine leak during exercise or laughing.

To Breastfeed or Not To Breastfeed

Mothers-to-be come across a very important decision to make about the nutrition of their newborns: breast-milk vs. formula milk. However, no matter what you choose people are going to criticize it, so just choose what’s best for both of you.

Why Breastfeeding?

Breast-milk is the best nutrition for newborns according to The American Academy of Pediatrics. So, for the first six months babies should only be breastfed and even after introducing food to the baby continue on breastfeeding for at least a year.

What Is Good About Breastfeeding?

There are a lot of benefits to breastfeeding:
  • It has natural antibodies which are important to protect babies from illnesses.
  • It’s easily digested than formula milk which makes babies less constipated and gassy.
  • It’s good for the moms too, it reduces the risk of breast cancer and diabetes.

Also, newly moms choose breastfeeding as a chance to bond with their newborn, and you can use a pump as well if you want family members to help you or if you’re going to leave them with someone for a while.

Why Formula Feeding?

Formula milk is also a healthy choice for your baby, and you’ll make sure your baby gets the best substitute for breast-milk (but don’t mix your own formula or give them cow’s milk).

What Is Good About Formula Feeding?

A lot of moms go with formula milk for many reasons:
  • It’s more convenient because when a baby is formula-fed anyone can feed them anytime.
  • It’s practical you can just prepare bottles yourself or other as it’s easier to prepare.
  • Your Partner can easily help you out and also get to bond with the baby.
  • You can start schedule feeding as babies take time to digest formula milk, so they don’t need to eat as often.
  • You don’t need to worry much about what you eat, unlike breastfeeding you need to stay away from some foods that babies can’t handle.

No matter how you choose to feed your baby whether breast milk or formula or a combination of both. What matters the most is that your baby is well fed, cared for and loved. So, don’t feel guilty or let anyone make you feel guilty.