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Bleeding After Birth

by Guest
Posted August 5 2010 05:50pm
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It’s normal for a new mom to have vaginal bleeding called lochia. It can last for several days immediately following the birth. It’s also common for new moms to experience pain in several areas of their bodies. Pain is common with an episiotomy, tears or an incision. Another familiar effect is mild muscle aches related to the birthing positions. If you had a vaginal birth, you may have bruising or tears in your perineum that required stitches. This area will be sore, especially at first. If you’re breastfeeding, you may also have sore nipples because it’s so new.

These and many other symptoms are normal following childbirth. What’s important is—any bleeding and pain should be decreasing each day, not getting worse.

You should have a heavy to moderate flow on days one to three after your baby is born. Flow should decrease some each day. You may notice a slight increase after breastfeeding or physical activity. This is normal.

The normal pattern of bleeding should show bright red to dark red blood on days 1 to 3 after your baby is born. After this, blood should change to pink and then a yellowish white. Some women still have some yellowish-white flow at six weeks postpartum; others have none by day 10.

If you do pass any blood clots, they should be smaller than a loonie in size.

Any odour you notice should be earthy-smelling, like during your period. There should be no foul odour.

Any noteworthy change from these normal patterns should be reported to your healthcare provider, as it may signal infection or some other problem that requires treatment.

If you pass any clot that is the size of a loonie or larger and/or you soak a sanitary pad in an hour or less, you need to go to the nearest hospital emergency department. This could be a postpartum hemorrhage that needs medical attention right away. This is also true for bleeding that returns to a heavy flow and/or to bright red after it has changed to a pink or white, lighter flow.

 

 

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Moods: How Do I Battle Postpartum Depression?

by Maxine
Posted August 25 2010 05:44pm
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There are different degrees and kinds of depression. Many mothers feel somewhat "blue" shortly after the birth. Most of this is due to biological changes in the body and lack of sleep. This type of depression, or "baby blues," is usually temporary and most women recover in seven to ten days.

Unlike the "baby blues," Postpartum Depression is more severe, and can affect you any time in the year after delivery. This type of depression may have some biological causes, but it can also be triggered by the huge changes a baby brings to your life. Or, because you are overwhelmed by all the demands. Dads can also experience it.

Some signs to look for are:

  • Changes in your appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping even when you have the opportunity to sleep
  • Persistent worrying about the baby
  • Feeling very sad for no apparent reason
  • Feeling exhausted all the time
  • Experiencing feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, guilt, failure or low self-esteem
  • Feeling isolated
  • Feelings of irritability and not wanting the baby
  • Feeling anxious, on edge or panicky
  • Mood swings all the time
  • Obsessive thoughts, ideas or feelings or odd or frightening thoughts or ideas
  • The inability to care for your child properly
  • A feeling that you can't see things getting any better

If you have two or more of these symptoms and they are getting worse talk to your health care provider.

Ways to battle postpartum depression:

  • Be sure to get enough rest during the day. Sleep or rest when your baby is sleeping. 
  • Organize your day to do more tiring activities when you are feeling more rested and rest again after them.
  • Talk to your partner about the way you feel.
  • Let family members or friends help with some tasks, such as buying groceries, laundry, preparing food etc.
  • Ask for help, particularly on the days when you have less energy.
  • Seek out and use community resources such as postpartum support groups or community mental health centres. Having a support group or counseling is a great way to fight “Postpartum Depression”.

 

If your feelings make it very hard to do anything, or if you feel you might hurt yourself or your baby, consult your physician immediately.

In addition, you may want to contact a service, like Postpartum Adjustment Support Services-Canada. If you are in Canada, call 1-800-897-6660 for information on services near you.

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Breastfeeding While Attending Work or School

by Maxine
Posted July 27 2011 02:48pm
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When you return to work or school you might wonder if you can continue to breastfeed. The good news is that you can – it just takes a little planning!

If you’re lucky enough to have childcare where you work or go to school, speak to your employer or instructors about the times throughout the day when you need to breastfeed. These can often be accommodated easily.

If your baby is not in a nearby childcare centre, speak to your employer or instructors about how you plan to manage breastfeeding, especially if you will need to pump or express while you’re there.

The benefits of breastfeeding are becoming increasingly understood. If you're having problems at your workplace or school, one good strategy is to point out that breastfed babies usually don't get sick as often as those who are not breastfed. This means you will most likely miss less time in the future, which will lead to greater productivity in the long run not to mention that you’ll be a happier employee or student.

Work out the details of when and where you'll need to pump: 

  • Try to pump at the times when your baby would normally feed. 
  • Find a private location with a door that locks. 
  • Wear clothing that makes pumping easy. 
  • Plan for storage; this may mean a cooler with ice.

 

In the first few weeks of your new routine, ease into it to avoid exhaustion. To make the transition period easier for everyone, try to keep commitments to a minimum and accept outside help when it's offered.

 

Did you breastfeed while going to work or school? How did you manage? Was your workplace or school accommodating? Share your story with other parents just like you in the comments section below!

 

More information on breastfeeding »

Ask Our Expert!
Do you still have questions about breastfeeding? Our expert, Attie Sandink, is a Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Ask Attie a Question!

 

 

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Pain After Birth

by Guest
Posted August 5 2010 05:51pm
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You may or may not have pain after a vaginal birth. Bruising in and around the vagina can be uncomfortable. A vaginal tear, with or without stitches, can be painful. An episiotomy is usually painful after birth. However, any pain in your vagina that is not improving, or is getting worse may be a sign of infection or another problem. You need to have this problem treated by your healthcare provider.

Abdominal cramping is experienced by women when the uterus continues to contract after the birth of the baby. These contractions help to seal the blood vessels from the area where the placenta came off. These contractions also help the uterus begin its process of healing and returning to its pre-pregnant state. Women who are breastfeeding may feel the after pains more after the baby breastfeeds.

Urinating after a vaginal birth may feel a little uncomfortable at first. However, pain or burning when you pee usually means that you have an infection. It is very important to tell your healthcare provider about this—so you can get the necessary prescription for treatment.

It is not unusual for new mothers to have some soreness in their lower legs, especially if they had some swelling in their legs and feet following the birth. It is important to watch for pain, tenderness,redness and/or a lump in your leg. This could be a blood clot; in which case, you would need to see your healthcare provider right away for advice and treatment.

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