Brisbane Obstetrician

Dr Ken Law
8:10 pm

Recovery After a Baby – Tips On Recovering Safely

  • Travel light during pregnnacy

Whilst looking after your new bundle of joy is crucial after giving birth – so is looking after yourself. Each pregnancy and birth will be very different, and your body will react differently as it gets back to normal. It is important to give yourself time to recover. In this post you will find some helpful information on how to recover after the birth of your baby. Physical changes to your body Giving birth is not like the Hollywood films show it, and once your baby is born your stomach does not immediately shrink back to what it was. It can take time. Your uterus will contract for a number of days after the birth, especially each time baby feeds.  This may cause some discomfort, and it can take up to 8 weeks for it to shrink to its pre-pregnancy size, so do not be concerned or feel pressured to get your weight down too quickly as it is not safe and not healthy to do so in the weeks after giving birth. In addition, depending on how you gave birth will depend on the recovery and period of time. If you had a natural birth, you will probably find that your recovery is much quicker than if you had a severe perineal tear or caesarean section, and your mobility and general ability to do day-to-day activities may be longer after a caesarean. You may also find that in the first few days after giving birth when your milk ‘comes in’ that you may experience tender breasts which can be treated using ice packs or a warm shower. Body discomforts Haemorrhoids can be experienced during and after pregnancy.  These haemorrhoids can cause significant discomfort. They can be treated with witch hazel or cream that you will be able to get from your local pharmacy. Alternatively chat to your Obstetrician who will be able to provide alternative recommendations if needed. Constipation is another common side effect of giving birth. Pear juice is a great option to help keep the bowels moving, as well as drinking plenty of water and a fairly […]

Preparing For Your Baby

So you have just found out you are pregnant! Congratulations! Now what? You have up to nine months to prepare for your arrival – which can seem like a long time – but there are some key things you could start doing to make sure you are all set when your new baby arrives. I’ve listed a few helpful suggestions below: Reading If this is your first pregnancy then you may be unsure what to expect. Whilst your friends and family may have lots of advice to give, it’s also good to read about pregnancy and hear from the experts. There are lots of books on the market to read which will offer advice day by day, week by week, where to get help and when you should be concerned and what is perfectly normal. Some great books/websites to start with are: Websites Books What to Expect When You’re Expecting, by Heidi Murkoff For a more light hearted approach: Up the Duff, by Kaz Cooke Cooking As you get closer to the arrival of your new baby it can be really helpful to stockpile some food as when your baby first arrives you and/or your partner may not have time to be preparing food. A really easy way to do this is to simple double recipes when you are cooking and to freeze half each time, and in no time you will have a freezer full of food ready for when your new baby arrives. Nesting It’s good to be prepared for your new arrival and to start thinking about what extra furniture and items you might need such as a change table, bassinet, pram. Start thinking early before it comes a bit harder to walk around. Have a chat to friends and family and see whether they have any items they are not using anymore and get some ideas and advice of what you might need. There are so many shops for you to choose from it’s good to get advice so you don’t buy things that ultimately you will end up not using. Keep moving […]

Non-Drug Pain Relief in Labour

  • Labour

Each and every woman is different when it comes to pregnancy and giving birth. When it comes to thinking about pain relief options some women have very firm views on what they want i.e. an epidural, pethidine etc. Whereas other women prefer not to have a labour that involves involves drugs. If you are considering non-drug pain relief in labour here are a few options to consider: TENS machines A TENS machine involves having pads put on the lower side on each side of the spine that give out electric pulses and sends signals to the brain to convince it that the pain is less than it actually is.  The pads connect to a battery unit and you can then control how powerful the electric pulses are. Tip: If considering a TENS machine you can hire them out before labour. Check to see if they have classes you can attend to see how the machine works or get someone to show you when you pick it up. Hot or Cold options   Some patients find that a warm shower or bath helps when in active labour – or even a heat pack or a cold pack. Massage Often this is where partners can help in a big way during labour – by giving their pregnant partner a massage. In giving a massage it can help to soothe and relax you to keep you going as well as to stimulate endorphins which will help with your overall mood. Tip: Be sure to tell your partner when and when not to massage you as you may find that you really don’t want to be touched at certain points in your labour. Also be mindful of using essential oils – check which ones are safe for pregnancy. Breathing techniques Prior to labour it’s a great idea to practice breathing techniques and in labour it can help you to both focus and also stay relaxed. There are often classes available that help with this and some baby yoga classes will focus on breathing too. Of course with all of these things always be mindful […]

4 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or are thinking about trying for a baby then my blog post today is just for you. It is all about how to have a healthy pregnancy. Keep Exercising! Whilst extreme exercise is not recommended if you are used to exercising, trying to get pregnant or whilst being pregnant does not mean that you have to stop everything – it is more about looking at continuing exercises that will help you and your baby. Extreme exercise such as Cross Fit and intense running and cycling is not recommended but exercise such as swimming, yoga and walking are great to get in the habit of doing whilst pregnant. You can check first with your Obstetrician if you are concerned about starting a new exercise during pregnancy. Consider toning down more intense daily jobs! Be mindful of the day to day work you do and also work around the house. When pregnant, especially as you get further into the pregnancy, be careful with tasks such as heavy lifting of objects and chores that may over exert you or put you at risk (e.g. handling raw meat or cat litter). Don’t take eating for two literally! Whilst you will eat more when pregnant often people can take that statement very literally, and then gain a lot of excess weight when pregnant – which can cause all sorts of complications when pregnant and make it hard after pregnancy to get the weight off again. Here is a great article with some recommended weight figures to consider. You can discuss your weight with your Obstetrician if you have any concerns. In addition, cutting back on caffeine, eating a healthy diet and avoiding certain foods in pregnancy are also strongly recommended. It’s still okay to enjoy a massage during pregnancy! If you are in need of a massage and are worried about things you have read about massages in pregnancy – for starters don’t worry, and secondly all you need to do is find a registered masseuse that is experienced in pregnancy massage. There are lots of websites with practitioners – here is one […]

5 Things to Have on Hand for After You Give Birth

When pregnant, people seem to come out of the woodwork to give you their advice on everything ‘baby’ in their experience, and whilst it’s great to have that advice – sometimes the simple stuff is the most helpful. In this blog post I wanted to share 5 simple things to have on hand ready for when you give birth. Breast pads Once your milk comes in, you may find that you aren’t able to control your milk supply and you get excess milk leaking from your nipples. Some women get very heavy leaking which means it can make leaving the house difficult.  Breast pads  are great to help with this, and you can buy reusable or disposable pads that fit inside the bra and absorb the excess milk. Maternity pads After you give birth you will find that you experience some bleeding from your uterus (lochia). This will last for a few weeks and can sometimes be heavy like a period, so make sure you pack some maternity pads in your hospital bag. Maternity pads are preferable to normal sanitary pads as they are softer, longer and thicker. Muslin cloths When babies are born they like to feel like they are still in the womb so a great way to comfort them and create the same experience for them is to swaddle them. Muslin cloths are great for this as they are light and fairly flexible. They are also great for when your baby is a bit older and you are out and about and want something to put over their pram when out and about. Big undies Bridget Jones eat your heart out! Big undies are highly recommended after you give birth as they are comfortable and if you have had a C-Section they come up higher than where your wound is likely to be. Comfort is the order of the day! Nipple cream Breast feeding can be tough especially when your baby is first born and learning to latch on, and often your nipples will become very sore. I definitely recommend buying some nipple cream such as Lansinoh which […]

Postnatal Depression: Symptoms and Solutions

Approximately 8 in 10 new mothers will have a case of the baby blues soon after giving birth. This is generally a fleeting sadness that passes within a couple of days. However, for some women, this feeling lingers and can develop into a more serious condition: postnatal depression. The Symptoms  Symptoms of postnatal depression (or PND) vary from individual to individual. However, general signs to look out for can include: Feeling like you can’t cope or that life has no meaning Feeling as though you are inadequate Negative thoughts or feelings of guilt Lowered self-esteem and confidence Insomnia or disturbed sleeping Lowered libido Less or no appetite Panic attacks or feelings of anxiety Frequent crying or getting irritated easily Forgetfulness or inability to concentrate. The Solutions Your partner, family members and/or friends are vital in helping you get through postnatal depression. Be honest about your feelings and thoughts so that your support network understands your state and can help as needed. If you withdraw from other people, your family needs to recognise that this is a side effect of PND and doesn’t mean they should stop supporting you. If your symptoms are severe, you should take action early by consulting your doctor. Counselling, anti-depressants or a combination of both may be recommended to help you overcome postnatal depression. Just remember: this condition is just that – a health problem – and does not suggest that you aren’t a good mother. If you’d like to discuss postnatal depression in more detail with an experienced obstetrician, please feel free to contact us for a consultation.

Keeping Baby Warm in Winter

For us adults, the change in seasons can be annoying and uncomfortable. But for your young baby, staying warm during the colder months really is vital for good health. While we may not have snow to contend with here in Queensland, it can still get quite chilly. Here are some tips for keeping your baby happy and healthy during his or her first winter. All Rugged Up Even in the middle of winter, it’s good to get baby (and yourself!) out of the house once or twice each day. Of course, this entails taking some time to get properly dressed for the weather. A good general approach is to consider how many layers you’re wearing to stay comfortable and adding one layer for your baby. Or consider it this way: light cardigan weather for you means cotton jacket weather for bub. When dressing for the outdoors, keep in mind that little ones can lose a lot of heat through their head – especially if all their hair isn’t there yet. Counteract this with a cute hat or cosy beanie. Another great idea is to either equip your pram with warm blankets or swap it for a sling; being in close proximity to your personal body heat can help your little boy or girl stay warm. Chilly Nights While it’s tempting to adorn the cot with blanket upon blanket, try not to go overboard – overheating can be just as dangerous for a baby as being too cold. A fitted sheet and a couple of blankets will usually do the trick, while a cotton one-piece sleepsuit is a good idea for the coldest nights. When monitoring your baby’s temperature, don’t trust the hand or feet; these extremities are naturally colder than the rest of the body. Instead, check your baby’s tummy, then add or remove layers as appropriate. Keeping your youngster warm in winter doesn’t have to be difficult. It just takes some preparation and some extra clothes in the wardrobe!

Hands Off!

 Hands Off! How to deal with people touching your baby bump Just about every woman who has been through a pregnancy will have experienced at least one unwelcome belly touch. But not every individual is comfortable with this happening, especially if they don’t know the person well. Here are some tips for dealing with people touching your baby bump. Be Firm, Not Aggressive Society has made it common to affectionately touch a pregnant woman’s belly, so don’t make assumptions about the offender being intentionally rude. Explain politely and clearly that you don’t welcome their physical contact, but steer away from using an aggressive tone. Getting angry will only make the situation uncomfortable for you both. Wear a Shirt That Tells Them Do a quick search online and you’ll find a colourful range of maternity shirts with slogans like ‘Hands off!’ and ‘No touching the bump!’ This may not be appropriate for the train ride to work, but it could warn away a stranger while you’re doing the grocery shopping. Hold Their Hands Instead of pushing the person away, simply intercept their hands with your own… and hold them. This will give you a chance to explain that you don’t wish to be touched. And, if they claim that you touching their hands makes them uncomfortable, ask them how they think having their belly touched all the time would make them feel! The occasional rub from your partner or a friend is nice. But, when you’re pregnant, the belly touching can get irritating real quick! Hopefully these tips will help you deal with some unwanted invasions of your personal bubble. Dr Ken Law is a Brisbane Obstetrician specialising in the management of pregnancy and delivery.  For more information and to discuss your specific situation, please contact Dr Ken Law to arrange a consultation at Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Do’s And Don’ts in Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, many people will try to give you advice on what to do and what not to do.  Here’s a summary, to keep you on the right track. Things NOT to do in Pregnancy Don’t Touch Kitty Litter Toxoplasma is a parasite that can be transmitted via the cat’s litter It can cross the placenta, and cause lesions in the baby’s brain, and neurological impairment. You don’t have to give your cat away, but it is indeed a good reason to get your partner to handle the kitty litter (for a change!) Don’t Use Electric Blankets Electric blankets can emit a low level electro-magnetic field, that may potentially affect fetal development.  It is therefore best to avoid using electric blankets during pregnancy. Don’t do High impact exercise Avoid anything high impact, like horse-riding, fast running, or heavy weight-lifting. During pregnancy, your joints are loosened by pregnancy hormones, and these high impact activities could potentially over-strain your joints. Don’t Drink Alcohol Click here for further information on alcohol use during pregnancy Don’t Eat Sushi Click here for further information on foods to avoid during pregnancy Don’t Smoke Smoking can increase your risk of premature birth, or having a baby with low birth weight or respiratory problems.  After delivery, smoking also increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There is no safe level of smoking. For help to quit smoking, call the Quit-line on 13 18 48. Things you SHOULD Do in Pregnancy Enjoy the pregnancy! Healthy Exercise Regular healthy exercise during pregnancy is encouraged. There are many things you can do, including: Walking Swimming Low-impact aerobics Pilates Yoga Healthy Eating “Eating for two” is an urban myth.  You only require an additional 800 kilo joules (200 calories) when you are pregnant, whereas the recommended daily requirement for a non-pregnant female is around 10,000 kilo joules.  The body absorbs more nutrients from food when you are pregnant.  Click here for further information on healthy eating during pregnancy, or see Dr Law’s dietitian for specific advice. Sex Sex is fine at any time during pregnancy, except in special circumstances (e.g. […]

Preparing Your Child for Another Baby

Baby #2: Preparing Your Child for a Brother or Sister Going from being the only child to having a sibling is difficult. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to keep all your kids healthy and happy, without showing any signs of favouritism. But even if you divide your attention equally between your newborn and older child, 50% will still seem like a lot less than the 100% your eldest son or daughter is used to. It’s crucial to prepare them for this transition early: Make it Exciting Tell your child about the great things that come with having a brother or sister, like always having someone to play with and talk to. Involve them in activities like decorating the baby’s room or choosing tiny outfits to help them feel more excited than anxious. Be Honest While it’s great to focus on the positives, don’t avoid the negatives; a rude shock is much worse than an expected one. If your child is old enough to understand, explain factors like having to share toys and needing to be the mature one. Make Them Feel Important Tell your child they can help their new brother or sister grow up, from feeding them while they’re a baby to helping them with homework in the future. If your child feels they have a role to play in their younger sibling’s growth, they should be able to look forward to this transition instead of dreading it. If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we’d be more than happy to discuss your concerns with you. Dr Ken Law is a Brisbane Obstetrician specialising in the management of pregnancy and delivery.  For more information and to discuss your specific situation, please contact Dr Ken Law to arrange a consultation at Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology