Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects one in 10 women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is also a common and treatable cause of infertility.

What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. The hormonal imbalance creates problems in the ovaries.The ovaries make the egg that is released each month as part of a healthy menstrual cycle. With PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or it may not be released during  ovulation as it should be.

PCOS can cause missed or irregular menstrual periods. Irregular periods can lead to:

  • Infertility (inability to get pregnant). In fact, PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility.
  • Development of cysts (small fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries

Who gets PCOS?

Between 5% and 10% of women of childbearing age (between 15 and 44) have PCOS.1 Most often, women find out they have PCOS in their 20s and 30s, when they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. But PCOS can happen at any age after puberty, Women of all races and ethnicities are at risk for PCOS, but your risk for PCOS may be higher if you are obese or if you have a mother, sister, or aunt with PCOS.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often. Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.
  • Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called “hirsutism.” Hirsutism affects up to 70% of women with PCOS.
  • Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
  • Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts
  • Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area

What causes PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Most experts think that several factors, including genetics, play a role:

  • High levels of androgens . Androgens are sometimes called “male hormones,” although all women make small amounts of androgens. Androgens control the development of male traits, such as male-pattern baldness. Women with PCOS have more androgens than estrogens. Estrogens are also called “female hormones.” Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle, and can cause extra hair growth and acne, two signs of PCOS.
  • High levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when the body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result, your insulin blood levels become higher than normal. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, especially those who are overweight or obese, have unhealthy eating habits, do not get enough physical activity, and have a family history of diabetes(usually type 2 diabetes). Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?

Yes. Having PCOS does not mean you can’t get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don’t ovulate, you can’t get pregnant. Your doctor can talk with you about ways to help you ovulate and to raise your chance of getting pregnant.

Does PCOS raise my risk for other health problems?

Yes, studies have found links between PCOS and other health problems, including:

  • Diabetes. More than half of women with PCOS will have diabetes or pre-diabetes (glucose intolerance) before the age of 40.
  • High blood pressure. Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure compared with women of the same age without PCOS. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.
  • Unhealthy cholesterol. Women with PCOS often have higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. High cholesterol raises your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Sleep apnea. This is when momentary and repeated stops in breathing interrupt sleep. Many women with PCOS are overweight or obese, which can cause sleep apnea. Sleep apnea raises your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
  • Depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety are common among women with PCOS.
  • Endometrial cancer. Problems with ovulation, obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes (all common in women with PCOS) increase the risk of developing cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).

Will my PCOS symptoms go away at menopause?

Yes and no. PCOS affects many systems in the body. Many women with PCOS find that their menstrual cycles become more regular as they get closer to menopause However, their PCOS hormonal imbalance does not change with age, so they may continue to have symptoms of PCOS. Also, the risks of PCOS-related health problems, such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack, increase with age. These risks may be higher in women with PCOS than those without.

How is PCOS diagnosed?

There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. To help diagnose PCOS and rule out other causes of your symptoms, your doctor may talk to you about your medical history and do a physical exam and different tests:

  • Physical exam. Your doctor will measure your blood pressure, body mass index,and waist size. He or she will also look at your skin for extra hair on your face, chest or back, acne, or skin discoloration. Your doctor may look for any hair loss or signs of other health conditions (such as an enlarged thyroid gland).
  • Pelvic exam. Your doctor may do a pelvic exam for signs of extra male hormones (for example, an enlarged clitoris) and check to see if your ovaries are enlarged or swollen.
  • Pelvic ultrasound (sonogram). This test uses soundwaves to examine your ovaries for cysts and check the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).
  • Blood tests. Blood tests check your androgen hormone levels, sometimes called “male hormones.” Your doctor will also check for other hormones related to other common health problems that can be mistaken for PCOS, such asthyroid disease.Your doctor may also test your cholesterol levels and test you for diabetes.

Once other conditions are ruled out, you may be diagnosed with PCOS if you have at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Irregular periods, including periods that come too often, not often enough, or not at all
  • Signs that you have high levels of androgens:
    • Extra hair growth on your face, chin, and body (hirsutism)
    • Acne
    • Thinning of scalp hair
  • Higher than normal blood levels of androgens
  • Multiple cysts on one or both ovaries.

How is PCOS treated?

There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms of PCOS. You and your doctor will work on a treatment plan based on your symptoms, your plans for children, and your risk for long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Many women will need a combination of treatments, including:

  • Steps you can take at home to help relieve your symptoms
  • Medicines

What steps can I take at home to improve my PCOS symptoms?

You can take steps at home to help your PCOS symptoms, including:

  • Losing weight. Healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can help relieve PCOS-related symptoms. Losing weight may help to lower your blood glucose levels, improve the way your body uses insulin, and help your hormones reach normal levels. Even a 10% loss in body weight (for example, a 150-pound woman losing 15 pounds) can help make your menstrual cycle more regular and improve your chances of getting pregnant.
  • Removing hair. You can try facial hair removal creams, laser hair removal, or electrolysis to remove excess hair. You can find hair removal creams and products at drugstores. Procedures like laser hair removal or electrolysis must be done by a doctor.
  • Slowing hair growth. A prescription skin treatment (eflornithine HCl cream) can help slow down the growth rate of new hair in unwanted places.

What types of medicines treat PCOS?

The types of medicines that treat PCOS and its symptoms include:

  • Hormonal birth control, including the pill, patch, shot, vaginal ring, and hormone intrauterine device (IUD). For women who don’t want to get pregnant, hormonal birth control can:
    • Make your menstrual cycle more regular
    • Lower your risk of endometrial cancer
    • Help improve acne and reduce extra hair on the face and body (Ask your doctor about birth control with both estrogen and progesterone.)
  • Anti-androgen medicines. These medicines block the effect of androgens and can help reduce scalp hair loss, facial and body hair growth, and acne. They are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat PCOS symptoms. These medicines can also cause problems during pregnancy.
  • Metformin. Metformin is often used to treat type 2 diabetes and may help some women with PCOS symptoms. It is not approved by the FDA to treat PCOS symptoms. Metformin improves insulin’s ability to lower your blood sugar and can lower both insulin and androgen levels. After a few months of use, metformin may help restart ovulation, but it usually has little effect on acne and extra hair on the face or body. Recent research shows that metformin may have other positive effects, including lowering body mass and improving cholesterol levels.

What are my treatment options for PCOS if I want to get pregnant?

You have several options to help your chances of getting pregnant if you have PCOS:

    • Losing weight. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight through healthy eating, including eating right amount of calories and regular physical activity can help make your menstrual cycle more regular and improve your fertility.
  • Medicine. After ruling out other causes of infertility in you and your partner, your doctor might prescribe medicine to help you ovulate, such as clomiphene (Clomid).
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF may be an option if medicine does not work. In IVF, your egg is fertilized with your partner’s sperm in a laboratory and then placed in your uterus to implant and develop. Compared to medicine alone, IVF has higher pregnancy rates and better control over your risk for twins and triplets (by allowing your doctor to transfer a single fertilized egg into your uterus).
  • Surgery. Surgery is also an option, usually only if the other options do not work. The outer shell (called the cortex) of ovaries is thickened in women with PCOS and thought to play a role in preventing spontaneous ovulation. Ovarian drilling is a surgery in which the doctor makes a few holes in the surface of your ovary using lasers or a fine needle heated with electricity. Surgery usually restores ovulation, but only for six to eight months.

How does PCOS affect pregnancy?

PCOS can cause problems during pregnancy for you and for your baby. Women with PCOS have higher rates of:6

  • Miscarriage
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Cesarean section (C-section)

Your baby also has a higher risk of being heavy (macrosomia) and of spending more time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

How can I prevent problems from PCOS during pregnancy?

You can lower your risk of problems during pregnancy by:

  • Reaching a healthy weight before you get pregnant.
  • to see your healthy weight before pregnancy and what to gain during pregnancy.
  • Reaching healthy blood sugar levels before you get pregnant. You can do this through a combination of healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, weight loss, and medicines such as metformin.
  • Taking folic acid. Talk to your doctor about how much folic acid you need.

What is the latest research on PCOS?

Researchers continue to search for new ways to treat PCOS. Some current studies focus on:

  • Genetics and PCOS
  • Environmental exposure and PCOS risk
  • Ethnic and racial differences in PCOS symptoms
  • Medicines and supplements to restart ovulation
  • Obesity and its link to PCOS
  • Health risks for children of women

For more enquiries, give us a call on +234 817 420 9999 or visit us at our hospital.

How To Talk To Your Baby

You play “peek-a-boo” with your baby. You talk to her while you’re changing her diaper. You sing to her as you rock her to sleep. And when she happily coos, babbles, and gurgles, you make those sounds right along with her.

It’s fun, but it’s also crucial to her development.

Her young brain is soaking up the sounds, tones, and language she’ll use to say her first words. You play a big role. Children who have parents who talk to them often tends to form stronger language and conversational skills than kids who don’t.

The best way to speak to your little one may be what comes most naturally: that sing-songy way many of us speak to infants — “How are youuu?!” “You want the baaaall?” It’s baby talk, and it can fuel your child’s language development.

Why It’s Good for Your Baby’s Brain

Infants tend to pay more attention and respond more eagerly to baby talk than to normal adult conversation. The playfully exaggerated and high-pitched tone your voice takes lights up your little one’s mind.

Eighty percent of her brain’s physical development happens during her first 3 years. As her brain gets bigger, it also forms the connections it needs to think, learn, and process information. These connections, called synapses, form at a super-fast rate, about 700 per second in the first few years.

Speaking to your baby fires up those important synapses in the part of her brain that handles language. The more words she hears, the stronger those mental connections get. That process can strengthen your child’s future language skills and her overall ability to learn.

Infants who get more baby talk know more words by age 2 than their peers. So, we shouldn’t say I’m too tired to communicate to her or he won’t understand what I’m saying to her. Be inventive while your baby’s brain gets developed.

Baby Talk Basics

For your little one to get the most benefits:

  • Talk with her often. Talkative parents tend to have talkative children.
  • Get some alone time with your infant. Baby talk is most beneficial when it’s one-on-one between parent and child, with no other adults or children around.
  • When your baby tries to talk back to you, don’t interrupt or look away. She needs to know you care about listening to her.
  • Look your child in the eyes. She’ll respond better to speech when she’s looking right at you.
  • Limit how much TV she sees and hears. Too much can stunt language growth. Besides, you’re more fun than the voice on the screen, right?
  • Throw in some grown-up speak, too. Your baby needs to hear how words sound in everyday conversation.

As your child develops and matures, so should the way you talk to her.

At 1 to 3 months

Your infant is communicating with you by cooing, making gurgling sounds and, of course, crying. She’s also listening to you — she may smile, move her arms and legs, or coo when you speak to her a certain way.

  • Talk, sing, coo, babble, and play peek-a-boo with your child.
  • Narrate your activities. During baths, meals, or play, tell her what you’re doing and what she’s looking at.
  • Read to your baby and talk about the pictures you see.
  • Celebrate, smile, and act excited when she makes sounds and smiles.
  • At around 2 months, babies start making vowel sounds (“ah-ah” or “oh-oh”). Mimic these sounds, and mix in some real words, too.
  • When she makes a sound, you should make the sound as well, and then wait for her to respond. This will teach her how to have a conversation.

At 4 to 7 months

She’ll start trying to copy sounds she hears. You’ll notice her exploring her own sounds and inflections. She may even raise or drop her voice as she tries to express her feelings.

  • Use the noises she makes to encourage words. If she says “bah,” say “bottle” or “book.”
  • Expand your conversations. When talking, speak slowly and start stressing certain words. For example, hold a ball and say, “Do you want a ball? This is your ball.” Then be silent to encourage her to respond.
  • Introduce your baby to different objects. When she looks at something, point it out and tell her what it is.
  • Read to your child every day, especially colorful picture books and magazines. Name the pictures you see and praise your baby when she babbles along with you as you read.

At 8 to 12 months

She’ll start to understand certain words (like “no”) and say some, too (like “mama” or “dada”). By the time she’s a year old, she’ll also understand certain commands, like “Wave bye-bye.”

  • Keep talking about what you and your baby are doing, looking at, or pointing to. If she points to a car and says “car,” say “Yes, that’s a red car.”
  • Name just about every object your child comes in contact with — a toy, spoon, milk, etc. Also start pointing out body parts — point to her arm and say, “arm,” and point to yours and say, “Daddy’s (or Mommy’s) arm.”
  • Help your child express in words what she’s feeling.
  • Use positive statements to direct her behavior. Instead of saying “Don’t stand,” say “Time to sit.”
  • When you need to stop your child from doing something, say a firm “no.” Don’t yell or give long explanations.
  • Sing songs that have actions, like “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Have fun acting out the song with your child.
  • Babies at this age love to imitate words they hear, so you might want to watch what you say, or you may hear it repeated.

All children learn to communicate at their own pace. Don’t worry too much if your baby isn’t talking as quickly as you’d thought she would. If you have real concerns, though, talk with her doctor about it.

Re-edited by nisa media team.

10 Tips for Losing Your Post-Baby Belly

  • Give Yourself a Break
    It takes time. Even though it seems movie stars shed their post pregnancy pounds in a week, in reality it doesn’t happen that fast or easily. Your body has been through massive changes over the past nine months; don’t expect it to be like your pre-baby self for a while.
  • Breastfeed
    If it’s possible for you and your baby, breastfeeding makes it easier to lose those pregnancy pounds (you can burn up to 500 extra calories a day). Aside the nutritional value its gives your baby, it’s also helps you to lose baby-belly fat, it’s like killing two birds with one stone!
  • Get Moving
    Make sure to talk to your health care provider about when it’s safe to start exercising again following your pregnancy. When it’s time to get moving, take small steps to get started—try a walk around the neighborhood or look for local classes like post-partum yoga or aerobics, or even mom and me stroller strides. Try to get 30 minutes in at least three times a week, this will benefit both mother and baby, as it will help you clear your head and get you active as well.
  • Eat Small, Frequent Meals
    If you wait until you’re starving to eat a meal, you’ll likely consume way too many calories. Avoid overeating and keep your metabolism (the result of all the processes in your body working together to create the energy that keeps you going.) on an even keel by having five to six small meals throughout the day .The less portion you eat at time, the better your belly gets trained to having small portions and then keeps its elasticity intact. The bigger the portion you eat ,the more your belly expands.
  • Snack Smart
    Replace sugary snacks with fruits to satisfy that sweet craving. Keep washed and cut fruit and veggies on hand for easy picking. Try frozen grapes or apples or garden egg with peanut butter for a satisfying alternative. Stock your cabinets with high-fiber and low fat snacks and dump the chips and ice cream. If it’s not there, you won’t eat it. So try not to tempt yourself by stocking them.
  • Think Ahead
    It can be hard to find the time to prepare meals with a new baby at home, especially if you are the working class mother. Instead of bringing in take-out food, spend a few hours on Saturday or Sunday preparing food for the week, then divide it into individual servings and freeze them. Ask family and friends to help you get started. This can be easier if you have a place for baby to watch you work in the kitchen—then cooking is a family affair from the start!
  • Load Up on Fiber
    Keep things moving and stay full longer with a high-fiber diet. Eat lots of soluble fiber-many natural foods have a high content of soluble fiber, foods such fresh fruits and vegetable most especially the dark green vegetables, (one example is the pumpkin leaf). Choose bread with at least three grams of dietary fiber per slice, whole grain, oatmeal, and brown rice.
  • Eat Lean Protein
    Replace fatty meats with leaner options like chicken and fish. Wild salmon, sardines is a great source of Omega-3s, (at least 2 to 4 servings per week) which has been shown to reduce inflammation and help with weight loss. Women with breastfeeding infants should limit tuna intake to 6 ounces per week and avoid swordfish, due to concerns about methyl mercury levels.
  • Drink Lots of Water
    Water is like the oil that keeps the wheels turning smoothly. Hydration is essential for weight loss, helping Digestion and suppressing your appetite. If you can press your skin and it doesn’t spring back quickly, you might be dehydrated. Aim for eight glasses or more a day, you can never go wrong with drinking loads of clean water, unless otherwise.
  • Get Support
    Ask for help, whether it be talking to your family about keeping the junk food out of the house or working with a nutritional expert to come up with a more specific diet plan. See if your partner can watch the baby while you take a walk or a nap (don’t underestimate the power of restful sleep). And make sure you’re getting the emotional support you need as well, because we all know that feeling sad often times equals a pint of ice cream.

Culled from office of the secretary-WHO

Re-edited by the Nisa media team

Breastfeeding and Special Situations

Will you make enough milk to breastfeed twins, triplets, or more? Want to know if you can breastfeed your adopted baby? Learn the answers to these questions and get tips to help you breastfeed successfully in any situation.

What do I need to know about breastfeeding twins or multiples?

The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers of multiples and their babies are the same as for all mothers and babies — possibly greater, since many multiples are born early. The idea of breastfeeding more than one baby may seem overwhelming at first! But many moms of multiples find breastfeeding easier than other feeding methods because there is nothing to prepare. Many mothers successfully breastfeed more than one baby even after going back to work.

Being prepared

It will help to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding during your pregnancy. Before the babies are born, you can:

  • Take a breastfeeding class
  • Find Internet and print resources for parents of multiples
  • Join a support group for parents of multiples through your doctor, hospital, local breastfeeding center.
  • Let your doctor and family members know that you plan to breastfeed
  • Find a lactation consultant who has experience with multiples before your babies are born so that you know where to get help. Ask the lactation consultant where you can rent a breast pump if the babies are born early.

Many twin and multiple babies are smaller or born premature. Read tips on caring for these (Premature) babies.

Making enough milk

Most mothers can make plenty of milk for twins. Many mothers exclusively breastfeed or express their milk for triplets or quadruplets. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Breastfeeding soon and often after birth is helpful for multiples the same way it is for one baby. The more milk that is removed from your breasts, the more milk your body will make.
  • If your babies are born early, double pumping can help you make more milk.
  • The doctor’s weight checks can tell you if your babies are getting enough breastmilk.
  • It helps to have each baby feed from both breasts. You can assign a breast to each baby for a feeding and switch at the next feeding. Or you can assign a breast to each baby for a day and switch the next day. Switching sides helps keep milk production up if one baby isn’t eating as well as the other baby. It also gives babies a different view to stimulate their eyes.

Can I still breastfeed if I’m pregnant?

Breastfeeding during your next pregnancy is not usually dangerous to you, your breastfeeding child, or your new developing baby. Your child may decide to wean on his or her own because of changes in the amount and flavor of your milk. Your doctor also may advise you or you may want to wean your baby if:

  • You have any problems in your pregnancy, such as uterine pain or bleeding
  • You have a history of preterm labor
  • Pregnancy hormones make breastfeeding uncomfortable
  • Your growing belly makes breastfeeding difficult

Your child may decide to wean on his or her own because of changes in the amount and flavor of your milk. If your baby is younger than 12 months, he or she also will need additional food and drink. You will likely make less milk during pregnancy, especially after your 20th week.

If you keep nursing your child after your baby is born, feed your newborn first to ensure he or she gets the colostrum. Once your milk production increases, you can decide how you can best meet everyone’s needs, but stay aware of your new baby’s needs for you and your milk.

You may want to ask your partner to help you by taking care of one child while you are breastfeeding. Also, you will need more fluids, healthy foods, and rest because you are taking care of yourself and two small children.

Can I breastfeed after breast surgery?

Yes, but the amount of milk your breasts will make will depend on how your surgery was done, where your incisions were, and the reasons for your surgery. Women who had incisions in the fold under the breast are less likely to have problems making milk than women who had incisions around or across the areola, which can cut into milk ducts and nerves. Women who have had breast implants usually breastfeed successfully.

If you ever had surgery on your breasts for any reason, talk with a lactation consultant. If you are planning to have breast surgery, talk with your surgeon about ways he or she can preserve as much of the breast tissue and milk ducts as possible.

Can I breastfeed my adopted baby?

Maybe. Many mothers who adopt can breastfeed their babies successfully with some help. You may need to supplement your breast-milk with donated breast-milk from a milk bank or with infant formula. But some adoptive mothers can breastfeed exclusively, especially if they have been pregnant.

If you plan to adopt and want to breastfeed, talk with your doctor and a lactation consultant. They can help you decide the best way to try to establish a milk supply for your new baby. Options include:

  • Pumping every three hours around the clock for two to three weeks before your baby arrives
  • Waiting until the baby arrives and starting to breastfeed
  • Using devices such as a supplemental nursing system or a lactation aid. This can help ensure that your baby gets enough nutrition and that your breasts are stimulated to make milk at the same time.

Re-edited By Nisa Media Team.

4 Ways To Make Breastfeeding Easier After Maternity Leave Is Over

What’s one of the biggest hurdles mothers face when breastfeeding? Returning to work.

Having been a nursing mom in the workplace, I know how hard it can be — and I probably had it easier than most. Working in an office, I had a private place to pump. My employer was supportive and gave me the time I needed. Unfortunately, not all women, especially hourly workers, can say the same.

Having regular breaks to pump or breastfeed your baby is a basic need for nursing mothers who work away from their infant. You need to breastfeed your baby or pump every few hours to maintain your milk supply. Working at a restaurant, retail store, factory, or other hourly wage job, you may not have a private place or a schedule that allows you to take a break to pump. But there’s good news: this is changing!

If you’re pregnant or recently gave birth and you want to continue breastfeeding after you go back to work, here are five things that will make it easier. Plan ahead. If you think you will need to pump at work, talk to your s.upervisor sooner rather than later. If possible, make a plan together before you go on maternity leave, so that things will be set up when you return. But if you’re already back at work, talk with your employer.

  1. Think outside of the box! Some workplaces may face more challenges than others when carving out adequate time and space for moms to pump. We’ve gathered hundreds of creative, low-cost ideas to help nursing mothers continue breastfeeding after returning to work.And there’s good reason. Breastfeeding doesn’t just benefit you and your baby — your employer benefits, too! Breastfeeding helps keep babies healthy, which lowers health care costs and means you don’t have to miss work for a doctor’s appointment. Plus, research shows that working women whose breastfeeding goals are supported by their employers are more productive. Companies will also see lower turnover rates because women are more likely to go back to work if they know they’ll have time and space to pump.
  2. Practice before you go back to work. It’s a good idea to practice pumping at home before you return to work. (You may be able to get a breast pump at no extra cost through your health insurance plan.) Once you’re back at work, you’ll probably need to pump two to three times during a typical eight-hour workday, or the number of times your baby needs to feed while you’re away. Be sure to properly store your milk after each pumping session in clean glass or BPA-free plastic bottles or milk storage bags. Then keep it cool in a refrigerator or a cooler with ice packs — you can even freeze it! For a detailed guide to pumping and storing your milk, that will be a topic to tackle on our next blog!
  3. Support nursing moms. You may not need to pump at work, but someone else in your life or workplace might. Your support can make a big difference to a nursing mom. If you’ve had to pump at work in the past, talk to new moms about what worked and didn’t work for you.

I hope these tips will help ease your transition back to work so that you and your baby can enjoy the benefits of breastfeeding long after your maternity leave is over.

Original Article By Dr. Nancy .C. Lee, Deputy Assistance Secretary For Health.

Re-edited By Nisa Media Team.

Ten Things Moms Can Do While Breastfeeding

Ten things moms can do while breastfeeding

Moms are expert multitaskers. They have to be! Taking care of a baby is a 24-hour-a-day job. On the one hand, breastfeeding gives mom a chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy a bonding moment with her baby. But breastfeeding can also be a “time saver” for moms in other ways. By deciding

to breastfeed, you’ve already gained time by not having to sterilize or prepare bottles.

There are lots of ways to pass the time during a breastfeeding session that can allow you to bond with your baby, tackle your “to-do” list, or just be good to yourself. Here are just a few examples:

Talk or sing to your baby

Your baby has been listening to your voice for the past few months inside the womb. So, to a baby, mommy’s voice is the most beautiful sound in the world, no matter what wrong notes you hit. Go ahead and sing any song or rap a few bars to your baby (you can even make it up as you go along). Or talk about your day, read out loud from a book, or share your hopes and dreams for the future. (Your partner can do this, too.) Even when your baby is just a newborn, you’re teaching him or her important language skills every time you speak or sing.

Eat

If your baby’s eating, why shouldn’t Mom grab a bite too? While some new moms get extra hungry, other moms actually forget to eat. Fortunately, there aren’t any strict food rules when you are breastfeeding — only to eat when you’re hungry. Making healthy choices will give you more energy to care for your baby, especially if you eat protein. Nuts, squeezable yogurt, peanut butter or turkey sandwiches, and hard-boiled eggs are easy snacks that you can eat with one hand, and they are all good sources of protein. Meals don’t have to be fancy. Just be sure to eat from the  five group food everyday.

Drink water

Keep a glass or bottle of water right next to your snack plate. The breastfeeding process creates a hormonal reaction that can make you feel thirsty when your milk lets down. While breastfed babies don’t need water to stay hydrated, some babies tend to nurse more if it is hot outside. And, interestingly, your breast milk becomes more watery in hot weather to accommodate a baby’s need for hydration.

Bond with the family 

Every mom deserves her alone time. But what better way to keep your family involved and supportive of your breastfeeding efforts than to bring them in? Those you are most comfortable with can be a great help to you. Beyond the social interaction, you can gain more confidence breastfeeding around other people, and your family members will better appreciate the mom-baby bond. Bonus: Your baby gets to hear everyone’s voices, which helps your baby bond with the family even more. Just be mindful that your visitors don’t interfere with your breastfeeding routine.

Catch up with your girlfriends

New moms can sometimes feel isolated. Don’t get upset if your phone isn’t ringing off the hook. Your friends might be trying to give you some space, that’s all. But trust us: Your girlfriends want to hear from you. Send an email, text message, or instant message, or make a good, old-fashioned phone call. Go down your contact list until you connect with someone to spark a conversation, get caught up, and have a few good laughs. You can even make a date for your friends to come see the baby. Sometimes it helps to give your friends a task: You could ask them to bring you food, pick up some magazines, or braid your hair (which you could also get done while breastfeeding!).

Go social online

You have probably already mastered typing or texting one-handed, so go ahead and post your latest status update on Facebook (even if it’s “Breastfeeding … again!”). Let your friends know how new motherhood is going. Also, Twitter is practically designed for the busy, breastfeeding mom looking for support and advice from other moms. (Check the hashtags #breastfeeding, #BFing, and #bfcafe.) La Leche League and most parenting websites have online forums and message boards for moms, where you can share what you’re going through.

Read

Whether you have an e-reader, read online, or read in print, breastfeeding time is perfect for catching up on what’s going on in the world or just checking out something fun.

Listen to an audiobook

Not the book reading type? Check out your local library or search online for a large selection of audiobooks. Your hands can remain free, and it’s a great way for your baby to be exposed to a larger vocabulary.

Play music … and dance!

Great news for music fans: It’s always good to expose your baby to all sorts of music, from Stevie Wonder to 9th Wonder. You may be surprised what songs your baby responds to. And although dancing while breastfeeding is admittedly an advanced move, you’ll soon find that you can get up and move without breaking a sweat — or your baby’s latch.

Cook, clean, whatever

Once you’ve gotten into a good breastfeeding rhythm, you’ll find that breastfeeding isn’t something that has to be done sitting down. Sometimes, with the aid of a sling or baby wrap, moms find ways to cook meals, do laundry, vacuum, or run errands while breastfeeding. Though, in those first few weeks, if you can have someone else help you, why not?

Culled from the office of the USA department and Human services

Re-edited by the nisa media team.

 

How do I know if my baby is getting enough breast milk?

There are many signs you can watch for to see if your baby is getting enough milk, including the following:

  • Your baby passes enough clear or pale yellow urine .The urine is not deep yellow or orange.
  • Your baby has enough bowel movements.
  • Your baby switches between short sleeping periods and wakeful, alert periods.
  • Your baby is satisfied and content after feedings.
  • Your breasts may feel softer after you feed your baby.

From birth to 3 months old, a baby usually will gain two-thirds to one ounce of weight each day. Keep in mind that many babies lose a small amount of weight in the first days after birth. Your baby’s doctor will check your baby’s weight at your first doctor visit after you leave the hospital. Make sure to visit your baby’s doctor for a checkup within three to five days after birth and then again when the baby is 2 to 3 weeks old.

How much do babies typically eat when breastfeeding?

A newborn’s tummy is very small, especially in the early days. Once breastfeeding is established, exclusively breastfed babies who are 1 to 6 months old take in between 19 and 30 ounces of breastmilk each day. If you breastfeed your baby eight times a day, your baby will get around 3 ounces per feeding. But every baby is different.

The Newborn Tummy

At birth, the baby’s stomach can comfortably digest what would fit in a hazelnut (about 1 to 2 teaspoons). By around 10 days, the baby’s stomach grows to hold about 2 ounces, or what would fit in a walnut.

Untitled-2

Typical number of wet diapers and bowel movements in a baby’s first week (it is fine if your baby has more) 1 day = 24 hours*

Baby’s age Number of wet diapers Number of
bowel movements
Texture and color of bowel movements
Day 1 (first 24 hours after birth) 1-2 The first bowel movement usually occurs within 8 hours after birth Thick, tarry, and black
Day 2 2 3 Thick, tarry, and black
Day 3 5-6 disposable,
6-8 cloth
3 Looser and greenish to yellow (color may vary)
Day 4 6 3 Soft, watery, and yellow
Day 5 6 3 Loose, seedy, and yellow
Day 6 6 3 Loose, seedy, and yellow
Day 7 6 3 Larger amounts of loose, seedy, and yellow

Keep in mind that, if using disposable diapers, the absorbency may make it harder to tell if the diaper is wet. Use this chart as a guide, but talk to your child’s doctor if you are concerned about your child not getting enough milk.

How long should I breastfeed my baby?

Breastfeeding is recommended by most pediatricians, as the only source of food for the first 6 months of your baby’s life. They also recommend continuing breastfeeding beyond your baby’s first birthday and for as long as both you and your baby would like. The easiest and most natural time to wean is when your child leads the process. But how you feel is also very important in deciding when to wean.

Your decision may depend on several factors, such as returning to work, your or your baby’s health, or a feeling that the time is right.

When should I not breastfeed?

While rare, your doctor may advise you or tell you not to breastfeed if you:

  • Take certain medicines, like anxiety medication or certain migraine medications that are dangerous for babies and can be passed to your baby in your breastmilk
  • Have a specific illness (like HIV or active tuberculosis) and not on medication.
  • Get radiation therapy, though some therapies may mean only a brief pause in breastfeeding

If you take medicine or have an illness, talk to your doctor before you begin breastfeeding. Medicines that are safe for you to take during pregnancy may also be safe while you are breastfeeding. But you should always check with your doctor before you start breastfeeding. Talk to your baby’s doctor if your baby shows any signs of a reaction to your breastmilk, such as diarrhea, excessive crying, or sleepiness.

Should I stop breastfeeding when I am sick?

In most cases, you can continue to breastfeed your baby when you are sick, and if your baby is sick. But, if you are sick with the flu, including the H1N1 flu (also called the swine flu), you should avoid being near your baby, so that you do not infect him or her. Have someone who is not sick feed your baby your expressed breastmilk.

Original article from the office of the Assistant secretary, USA.

Re-edited by nisa media team

How to Increase Breast Milk Production

Many mothers fear they are not producing enough breast milk to satisfy their baby. In most cases, the fear is based on false alarms, such as shorter nursing times or natural appetite growth. These are natural scenarios many mothers experience when breastfeeding. If your baby, however, is not gaining weight, or worse, if he’s losing weight, then increasing breast milk production can help.

 

  1. Consume a minimum of 1,800 calories a day and drink at least 6 glasses of fluids while you are lactating. If you’re currently dieting, it could be decreasing your milk production. Unsurprisingly, what you eat has a big impact on the quality and quantity of the milk produced. Here are some general guidelines for you to remember about diet and breast milk: •Find excellent sources of calcium. These will help your little baby’s little bones grow healthy and strong. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products (opt for organic dairy products, however), leafy green vegetables, and certain fish (sardines and salmon).
    • Eat fruits and vegetables. Make fruits and vegetables a big part of your diet, as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
    • Opt for complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs are healthier than processed carbs, which you may by and large avoid. Complex carbs include such things as brown rice, whole-grain pasta and bread, as well as beans.
    • Opt for lean meat. Lean meat is better than fatty cuts. Think skinless chicken breast, fish, low-fat dairy products, and soy products like tofu.

  1. Consult your doctor about using prescription or herbal supplements to increase breast milk. Herbs that work well include fenugreek, blessed thistle and red raspberry. The prescription drug metoclopramide is sometimes used as a last resort by doctors to treat low milk production in nursing mothers.
  1. Supplement feedings with pumping. Pumping is beneficial for two reasons. First, pumping allows you to store breast milk when your baby doesn’t need it, allowing you amass and store more expressed milk. Second, pumping stimulates the production of more breast milk.
    • Invest in a high-quality pump. Pumping isn’t exactly the spice of life, so it pays to invest in one that works well. You can rent a hospital-grade pump if you don’t own a high-quality, double pump.
    • Whether you are at work or at home, consider pumping for 15 minutes every couple of hours. Either that, or pump for 5 to 10 minutes after nursing. Pumping at least 8 times during a 24-hour period will help to quickly increase breast milk production. If you can’t pump immediately after nursing, try to pump halfway in between feedings.
  • Pump both breasts at the same time. Pumping both breasts will give you twice as much breast milk twice as fast in addition to helping stimulate more production.
  1. Limit the use of pacifiers and bottles while you’re trying to make more breast milk. This makes sure all your baby’s sucking needs are met at the breast. As the baby gets older, it will be easier for him to go back and forth from breast to pacifier without you losing important breast stimulation. If you are using bottles for supplementing, try to replace those with a syringe or spoon.

Relax. Loads of stress can hurt your ability to produce milk. Try to relax before pumping or breastfeeding by playing soothing music, looking at pictures that produce happiness, or just having a moment with the love of your life. If you want to, try putting warm compresses on your breasts or massaging them for a short period right before you intend to pump or breastfeed.

 

This article is culled from wikihow

Re-edited by the Nisa media Team.

Ease Into Breastfeeding: The First 31 Days

Pregnant and expecting a baby, I asked myself the same question all moms ask: Do I want to breastfeed or formula feed my baby? I knew from the beginning that I wanted to breastfeed my son. I knew all of the benefits and prepared as much as possible — it’s not like it’s something you can practice ahead of time — and I was excited. I loved knowing I was going to provide my baby with all the nutrients he needed. It seemed like such a wonderfully natural thing to do. I quickly learned that while it may be natural, breastfeeding was definitely not easy for me at the beginning. Those first 31 days can be especially hard for new moms and babies learning to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is different for every woman — whether it’s her first, second, or third baby — but here are some of the common challenges breastfeeding moms face in the first day, first week, and beyond, plus tips to help you get through them.

Days one and two: Bond with your baby.

Your first couple of days as a new mom are likely to feel chaotic. You might be exhausted from giving birth. Nurses may be coming and going at all hours, making it hard to sleep. And the weight of being responsible for a new living being may be settling in. Try these tips to help you get off to a good start.

  • Feed your baby as soon as possible after delivery. This is a great way to “meet” your newborn, and it’s an important step in starting your new breastfeeding routine. Give it a try as soon as she is in your arms. A nurse will probably help you with this first feeding.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Hospital staff with breastfeeding expertise will be close at hand and can help you learn good nursing positions, including some that are more comfortable following a C-section.
  • Position and latch are key. When breastfeeding, your baby’s belly button should face you, not the ceiling. Make sure your baby’s lips are spread wide and turned out and that she has most of your areola in her mouth.
  • The first milk is called colostrum, or “liquid gold.” Your baby only needs small amounts of this, but it’s packed with nutrients. Giving it to her clears the way for your milk to come in.

Week one: Get used to breastfeeding before setting any long-term goals.

You’re home and still recovering from giving birth. Family or friends may be staying over to give you a hand. Your nipples are sore from your baby’s inexpert latch, and you’re not sure she’s getting enough to eat. It takes most new moms weeks to work out a breastfeeding routine. My advice is to let go of unrealistic expectations. Get through the first month before setting long-term goals. I used to tell myself, “It gets easier every day.” Honestly, it wasn’t always easier until suddenly it was and I’d gotten into a rhythm. Here are some ideas to help you develop the routine that works for you.

  • Create a calm and relaxing environment for breastfeeding.
  • Follow your baby’s lead on when it’s time to eat. When in doubt, always offer a breast. But every two hours is a good rule of thumb in the first week.
  • When family and friends offer helping hands, ask them to do routine chores. That’ll give you more time to relax and bond with your baby, which is the biggest help of all.
  • Tender or sore nipples are normal when you start breastfeeding. But if you’re in pain, ask your doctor or a lactation consultant for help. They may recommend soothing products or some new breastfeeding holds to help reduce irritation.
  • Be patient and just keep trying.
  • Don’t offer your baby a bottle during this time. It’s best for you both to stick with breastfeeding.

Weeks two and three: Count on your amazing body to keep up with your baby’s demand for milk.

You and your baby are easing into your breastfeeding routine. You’re gaining confidence, and your baby seems to be getting enough milk. But out of the blue your baby starts nursing longer and reaches for your breast more often. You start to worry about making enough milk. But not to fear — it’s normal for your new baby to hit a growth spurt around weeks two and three. She’ll ask for more milk to fuel the growth. You can help keep your milk supply up by making a few small changes:

  • Offer both breasts at each feeding.
  • Pump and freeze a supply of breast milk for times when your growing baby just can’t seem to get enough.
  • Trust your body. Your milk will keep up as you nurse more and more often.

The first 31 days can be tricky, but you and your baby will be a well-coordinated breastfeeding team before you know it.

Original Article By Dr. Nancy C. Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health — Women’s Health and Director, Office on Women’s Health

Edited By Nisa Media Team

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