new mother

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 […]

Postnatal Depression

Being pregnant and giving birth can be both emotional and overwhelming. We are told the excitement of becoming a mum for the first time (or again) is meant to be one of the happiest days of our lives – but for some, due to all sorts of reasons such as a traumatic birth or a sleepless baby, it isn’t always the case. It is normal to get a dose of the baby blues a few days after giving birth – but for some women negative feelings and sadness do not go away and can lead to postnatal depression, which if left untreated can be very serious. Baby Blues Approximately 8 in 10 new mothers will have a case of the baby blues soon after giving birth which is a result of hormone levels fluctuating. Feeling sad for no reason and completely overwhelmed are common traits of the baby blues, but within a few days this normally settles down. If these feelings do not subside and they get worse then it could mean the development of postnatal depression. Some of the common postnatal depression symptoms include: inability to cope guilt low self esteem lack of appetite frequent crying feelings of anxiety suicidal thoughts Treatment If you are experiencing symptoms of postnatal depression speak to your family and share how you feel, and tell your Obstetrician as they will be able to get you help and get it properly diagnosed as quickly and effectively as possible. Remember regardless of what you may read, postnatal depression is real. It is a condition and it does not mean you are not 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.

Great Christmas Gift Ideas For Baby’s First Christmas

  • Merry Christmas

The first Christmas with a newborn is a special time but often more for the new parents than the baby especially if they are a newborn. You may find they sleep Christmas Day away! It’s often tricky to know what to buy for a new baby –  so here are some ideas that might help you come up with some ideas this Christmas. Personalise away There are so many websites and products now that enable you to not only buy some beautiful gifts, but to personalise them as well with the baby’s name on. So if you are wanting to buy something really special you could have the baby’s name put on it too. Websites such as Tiny Me and  Bright Star Kids have a great range of gift ideas that you could have baby’s name put on. Birth Prints Birth Prints are very popular now and consist of baby’s birth date, place, weight in a graphical poster. Websites such as Etsy and Hard to Find have some great ones available. Wooden toys There is a trend of going back to basics with baby/kids toys and lots of beautiful wooden toys around to buy rather than the plastic more modern toys. Buy an outfit for the occasion! Technically it is for Christmas day but there are lots of fun and cute Christmas outfits available for babies right up to toddlers in most of the high street shops. So if you are really stuck you could buy something for baby to wear on the day! A Christmas of ‘firsts’ You can buy so many ‘first’ Christmas gifts such as ‘first’ bib, ‘first Christmas’ stocking – Not On The High Street have lots of great ideas. Don’t forget mum! Why not buy mum a pampering gift to help her feel extra special? A nice massage, pedicure, hair cut would be appreciated by most if not all new mums – or if you want to spend less – why not hand-make your own vouchers offering to help with baby sitting or something your friend/new mum family member/partner might need.

Travelling With a Baby Over Christmas

Travelling over the holidays can be stressful, but it can prove even more difficult with a baby. Here are some tips to help you have a stress-free Christmas holiday:  Be prepared Whether you are flying or doing a road trip to see family interstate, make a list in advance of everything you generally use on a daily basis and pack everything ready. Make sure you leave a well packed nappy bag out for inside the car or on the flight with nappies, change of clothes, pre-filled water bottles (if using formula and flying – the airlines should allow you to take it on board – check with your airline), emergency dummy, snacks and food if bub is on solids, baby toys, wipes, and muslin cloths to name a few things.  Invest in a cheap pushchair If flying a lot of parents often put their main pram/stroller on with cases and then buy a cheap foldable pushchair (around $25 in shops such as Target) to push bub around whilst in the airport and getting to the airport lounge (depending on age of your baby). Some airlines even have them on hand for you to use theirs. One less thing to worry about.  Travel as light as possible With smart thinking you can reduce the amount of things you need for a trip. For example check with the hotel you are staying at whether they have bassinets or portacots available as that could be one less thing you need to worry about when travelling – don’t forget sheets though. If flying check with your airline whether you can book a bassinet/cot for your baby. Be mindful that with some airlines depending on the number of babies and their ages you may not always get an allocation.   Safety Checks If going on a road trip a first aid kit is handy as is taking some baby Panadol with you just in case of a fever on the way*. Check your baby’s car seat is fitted properly, and consider window shades to ensure your baby doesn’t get exposed to too much sun. *always […]

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 […]

Nappy Bags Demystified

  • nappy bag

One of the essentials on a new mum’s shopping list is a nappy bag. Nappy bags are literally a bag that you can put all your baby’s necessities in when you go out and about. Some mums and dads choose to simple use a rucksack, whereas many like to have a dedicated nappy bag that they buy ready for when their baby arrives. What kinds of things do mums and dads traditionally put in a nappy bag? Nappy bags can be used to put nappies (of course) in as well as a whole host of things you need for your baby such as: A change of clothes Bottles (if you need them with expressed milk or formula) – some nappy bags come with an insulated pocket Change mat – some nappy bags do come with a portable change mat Dummies if you are using one Toys and activities as your baby gets older and gets bored easily Wipes Muslin cloth Bibs Water free hand wipe for when you are in places where there are no taps Cutlery Snacks Emergency medical information How much should I spend on a nappy bag? There are lots of places to buy nappy bags, and you can pay hundreds of dollars for them if you really want to, but if your budget doesn’t stretch to that, many shops such as Target and Big W also sell them at very affordable prices. It comes down to whether you want a practical or a fashionable looking bag essentially. Things to look out for when choosing your nappy bag Plenty of pockets and useful compartments Insulated bottle pocket Washable clear plastic compartment/removable bag – can be good for those unforeseen ‘accidents’ As washable fabric as possible Change mat Miscellaneous extras such as a dummy holder, wipes pocket

5 great pregnancy apps

  • Pregnancy App

With 79% of Australians owning smartphones and thousands of apps being used, it comes as no surprise that there are lots of apps for pregnancy available. From contraction timers to tracking your baby’s growth week by week – generally there is an app for every aspect of pregnancy. Here are my top 5 recommended FREE apps for your phone/tablet My Pregnancy & Baby Today Daily Tracker The My Pregnancy & Baby Today tracker is a great all rounder app that supports you before, during and after your pregnancy. The app gives week by week tips for your pregnancy along with video links, checklists and access to a wider community of other mums to chat to. There is a bumpie photo journal for you to document your pregnancy as well as a link to baby names. Once your baby is born the app switches over to give daily advice on parenting for the entire first year. What to Expect  You’ve heard of the famous books in the What to Expect series – well there is also an app available that gives you some great information and guides you through your pregnancy step by step. The app provides some great information about the changes you may experience as part of your pregnancy, as well as what is happening to your baby and how they are developing as well as access to a whole community of mums to be. Baby Bump The Baby Bump app is another great app available and is an all rounder when it comes to the information it provides for expectant mums. The app enables you to track your weight, your feelings/moods, and even details about your baby’s size. In addition, it has a great countdown widget that enables you to enter your due date and watch as the weeks fly by as well as giving you information each week about what to expect. It even has a contraction tracker which records the time between contractions as well as a kick counter, baby name database and enables you to create a birth plan. Baby Names Genius  Struggling to think […]

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.

Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology