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 […]
Congratulations on the new addition(s) to your family. You’ve been through (up to) 9 months of pregnancy, and you’ve just had your baby. Here’s what to expect next broken down into some simple points: Straight after the birth You might get the shakes Many women get uncontrollable shakes after the birth which are a result of your body’s hormones and/or the anaesthetic. They tend to go away within a few minutes, but this is all perfectly normal. Spend time with your baby It is at this time that you will be able to spend some intimate time with your baby. This is actually the time that they will be the most alert, so it’s a great time for skin to skin time and to start to try breastfeeding as this helps the uterus to start contracting and to help reduce any bleeding. Your obstetrician or midwife may also massage your belly to ensure that your uterus is contracting well, and check on any vaginal bleeding. You may experience contraction-like pains for the first couple of days after the birth, especially whilst breastfeeding and if you are a first-time mother. This is all perfectly normal. Stitches Vaginal and perineal tears can occur during the birth. Your Obstetrician will perform any stitches needed just after the birth before you go back to the maternity ward. The sutures are absorbable and will dissolve over a couple of weeks, and do not need to be removed. Checks Your baby’s Apgar score will be recorded after the birth to check their overall well-being. Your baby may be given vitamin K and Hepatitis B injections with your consent. Hospital stay The duration of your hospital stay may depend on how your birth was and whether it was a natural birth or Caesarean birth. The midwives will help and advise you on how to breastfeed, and give you some tips on looking after your baby. This is a good time to get help with getting your baby to sleep and in a routine whilst surrounded with help. You may notice a few things with you and your […]
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.
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.
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.
If you are planning to have a family, when the time comes if you already have a family pet such as a dog, it is important to prepare them for the new addition to the family. They’ve gotten used to the way things are and their whole world is about to change, and some pets can take it very well and others not so well. Here are some tips for preparing your dog for your new arrival : Make your dog part of the preparation As you bring new things home ready for the baby such as the bassinet, stroller, and clothes; let the dog have a good sniff and look at the items so that he/she gets used to the new objects in the home. Once your baby is born – whilst in the hospital bring home some of the clothes that they have worn, and again let the dog have a good sniff so that when you do bring the baby home he/she will already be familiar with the smell of your baby and hopefully won’t not be as wary. If your dog is not used to babies then a great suggestion is to play a recording of a baby crying to get them used to the noise, especially if your dog is sensitive to noise. By the time you bring the baby home the noise will not be so strange to them. Practice walking around with a doll in your arms (or a cushion if you don’t have a doll) and see how the dog reacts. If the dog jumps up you have time to train them not to before you bring your baby home, and also to be aware of any potential issues. Attention Consider whether it might be good to hire a dog walker for the first few weeks/months of bringing your baby home, as you may find that there isn’t as much time to walk the dog. Having a dog walker take the dog out will help to keep the dog exercised, but also give him/her much needed attention, and make time where you […]