-Postpartum Depression and ‘the Blues’
In addition to the physical changes that occur after childbirth, many women experience emotional shifts during the postpartum period. It is quite common for up to 75% of new mothers to feel a sense of sadness or even depression after giving birth.
These emotions can vary from mild to intense, but it's important to know that support is available for those who need it. Whether you are feeling slightly blue or facing more significant challenges, seeking help and understanding is essential to navigate this phase and ensure your well-being as a new mother. This phase of new mothers is commonly known as postpartum depression or “the blues”.
Breastfeeding should be recommended as routine but some mothers are unable to breastfeed or choose to bottle feed for several different reasons and should not feel ostracised for their decision. Breastfeeding brings joy to both mother and baby but is not free from challenges that both mother and baby face. Mothers go through several different breastfeeding problems which shall be treated and cured as soon as possible.
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Recognizing and acknowledging your emotions during the postpartum period is crucial, and it's beneficial to open up about your feelings with your family, friends, and healthcare professionals. While some feelings may naturally subside over time, there are instances where additional support might be needed, such as counseling or medication. If you require someone to confide in and seek assistance, Dr. Shweta Wazir is available to lend a listening ear and provide the necessary support.
Galactosaemia in the baby
Severe cleft palate
Neurological problems in the baby e.g. severe prematurity
Anatomical problems e.g. pyloric stenosis
HIV positive mother
With certain medications taken by the mother
The journey of breastfeeding typically begins in the delivery room for most women. It is recommended to initiate breastfeeding within the first few hours after giving birth. During the initial days, the mother produces a small quantity of yellowish milk known as "colostrum," which contains all the essential nutrition required for the newborn. As the days progress, the majority of women experience an increase in milk production around the second or third day.
Some women have problems during breastfeeding that can include:
Swollen, hard, and painful breasts.
Painful or cracked nipples.
Breast or nipple infections.
Blocked milk ducts, which can cause red and painful breast lumps.
During the breastfeeding period, mothers need to ensure they consume extra calories and stay adequately hydrated by drinking sufficient fluids. To optimize their nutrition, consulting with a doctor about any necessary vitamin supplements, dietary recommendations, or medications to avoid is advisable. When it comes to weaning, mothers have varied preferences and reasons for their decision. Gradual weaning is generally recommended over abrupt cessation. Instead of stopping breastfeeding all at once, a smoother approach involves gradually reducing the frequency by dropping one feeding every 2 to 5 days or shortening the duration of each feeding.