Going through Nursing Cramps - what you should know

Being a mother is not easy, especially during a few days after delivering the baby. Mothers will have nursing cramps that gives them a very uneasy feeling; however, not every mother will undergo this kind of difficulty. Though, this is a normal thing, it’s uncomfortable and troublesome to deal with. Some find it a little distressing and upsetting that will make them focus more on the pain than on taking take of their newborns. That is why it’s better to understand what these cramps are and how to ease them. After delivery, most mothers will experience nursing cramps. However, understanding nursing cramps will assure you that it is normal occurrence, though not all mothers will undergo it.

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Why nursing cramps happen.

Going through Nursing Cramps - what you should know

During nursing or breastfeeding a baby, a mother may feel strong and menstrual-like discomforts in their abdomen. This may surprise a lot of new mothers, since they are maybe expecting physical relief after giving birth. The reason for this is when you are nursing a child; the letdown reflex releases a hormone that aids in the contraction of the uterus to bring it back to its original size. These nursing contractions lead to a bothering pain, but it will all just cease in time. Nursing cramps may be an inconvenience, but it does help your body restore to normal. Some people say that the after pains become more intense with each subsequent delivery, but it isn’t necessarily true.

Understanding nursing cramps gives assurance.

When you know about something, it makes you assured and confident as you face it. There’s no better way to ease the anxiety of having nursing spasms after delivery than to get information about it. There are a lot of data about these cramps on the internet, forums and even in books. If you are having this or you are anxious about this, take time to be informed and secured. This cramp happens in just a few days and not longer than two weeks, so you just have to endure it and trail good advises, especially from the doctors. Physicians may give you Paracetamol or Tylenol, which are safe for you, if the pain is intolerable. Many women have also went through this nursing problems, so it’s also worthy to listen to their experiences and how they got over those period.

Going through Nursing Cramps - what you should knowNursing cramps can be avoided.

There are ways on how to avoid these breastfeeding cramps. One of which is emptying your bladder before you breastfeed the baby. It is during a full bladder that makes the pain more intense and stronger because of the pressure that a full bladder puts on the still irregular, not normal uterus. Doctors also suggest not lying flat on your back, as this position will puts pressure on the uterus, too. You should breastfeed sitting up with folded legs in front of you; this position will direct the uterus forward, thus not touching your bladder or other internal organs. It’s always best to keep what you need at arm’s reach, to prevent too much stretching of the abdominal muscles. After giving birth, it’s better to expect these nursing discomforts and be prepared than to assume relief. Taking it easy, asking questions, and following advises always have good outcomes and consequences. Whether you’re a new mother or not, you can always learn from the information that you can get from others and pass it on to those who also need advises or a guide to overcome these nursing cramps in the future.

Home births have become popular nowadays but are no means a novel concept. For ages women had delivery at home and all the complications were also managed by the mid wives along with experienced women of the family and community. As the medical science developed and clinics, nursing homes and hospitals came up, instances of giving birth at home started reducing and more and more people opted for hospital births for their children.

Home Births

Home Birth Vs. Hospital Birth

There are several advantages of using a nursing home or a hospital for the birth of your child. Even when your pregnancy has been smooth and you are healthy, you never know when a complication may come up. A hospital is well equipped to handle it and all kind of medical aid is available. This includes emergency cesarean section, any kind of complications during labor, post delivery care for the mother or child- in case there is some complication during the delivery and immediate check up of the kid. However some people always have concerns that sometimes the medical staff at hospitals make the patient go through some unnecessary procedures like episiotomy and epidural. Sometimes the parents to be do not want to use these processes but may not have complete control in a hospital scenario.
This is where a home birth wins. You get complete control of the birth environment for your child. You also get the security of being between all your loved ones. In a home birth you get the advantage of being flexible- you do not need to lie down on a single bed for a long stretch of time. You have the flexibility to move around. Also, you can ensure that none of the medical processes that you do not want are given to you like cesarean section birth or epidural. If you opt for a natural birth– then a natural birth is what you get. In fact the statistics suggest that the percentage of times cesarean or epidural was administered during a home birth process is much lesser as compared to the hospital birth.

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Home Births

Do I go for Home birth?

Home birth is a good option to be exercised in case you have had a trouble free pregnancy, you are healthy without any health complications and your spouse as well as family is supportive of it. You may not have an option to go for a home birth in case you have some health complications like diabetes, high blood pressure or some of the pregnancy related issues like breech position of your baby at 37 weeks, twins or pre-eclampsia.

In one or more of these conditions a mid wife or a doctor may not recommend a home birth. A home birth may also not be recommended if you have had a cesarean section delivery earlier. You may need medical aid during the delivery and it will be much safer for you to deliver in a hospital or a nursing home so that all the required medical aid is at hand and any kind of emergency can be taken care of.

Home Births

Requirements for a Home Birth

In case you have made up your mind to go in for a home birth, it is better to start the preparation quite early. The first thing you need to look out for is a well trained mid wife who can handle the delivery of a child at home. Please ensure that you take your own time in finalizing a midwife and do not hurry up the process. You should interview a few midwives and then see if you can get the recommendation from someone who has gone through this process with the same midwife. This way you can ensure that you are going to the right person.

A midwife will also generally work in collaboration with a gynecologist or obstetrician. While a midwife is trained to handle the deliveries at home, there may be certain situation when a medical intervention is required. Therefore it is important that a medical professional is available as a back up.

Generally a midwife will get all the essentials required for a home birth including oxygen mask, IVs for the mother, sterile gloves and other equipment for the delivery, ultrasonic stethoscope, medications for certain complications like blood hemorrhage, and some herbal medications to soothe the mother during the labor. You may check with her in case she would want you to take care of some things.

You will have to ready your house for the delivery. Pick up a spot where you would like to go through the process and make the arrangements in advance. You may do it along with your midwife and the family member who is going to support you during the labor. This way they will be familiar with the place and will be able to support you during the delivery process.

While you make up your mid for a home delivery, you also need to be prepared that you may have to be shifted to the hospital in case some complications come up. This may be due to the mother giving up during the labor and labor not progressing, fetal distress, blood hemorrhage for the mother or some other medical complication. Hence you need to ensure that enough arrangements are in place to shift you to the hospital in case of an emergency. This is vital both for the safety of you and your baby. Also you would need to ensure that a pediatrician checks your new born baby within 24 hours of the delivery.

Home birth has its own advantages –

you are in the safe and secure environment of your home and will be able to breast feed your baby as soon as he or she is born. This way you can ensure that a bond is formed between you and antibodies are transferred to the baby. However this needs to be exercised with caution, else it may prove to be dangerous or at times fatal as well.

Newborn Cord Blood

Cord blood is blood that is left in the umbilical cord and placenta after giving birth. Newborn cord blood is collected because it contains blood forming stem cells which are useful in treating diseases that require the transplant of the bone marrow. Diseases which can be treated using cord blood include leukemia, sickle cell disease and certain types of anemia. Parents might decide to have their newborn cord blood collected for use in the future once the child or a family member or relative suffer from problems relating to a cord blood curable diseases.


Newborn Cord Blood


Types of Banks That Collect And Store Newborn Cord Blood:


  1. Public Banks- These are cord blood banks that collect and store donated newborn cord blood for research or for giving to people who might need it for treatment of certain kinds of diseases.  Public banks do not charge any fee to provide this service. After a woman gives birth, the blood is collected, marked anonymously and sent to a public bank to be used and to be saved for future use. Parents donating their newborn cord blood in a public bank should be aware that in case the child or a family member develops a disease that is treatable using cord blood, the donated blood cannot be obtained from the bank. Thus, they should be careful and absolutely sure that they want to donate the blood to the bank as it is impossible to retrieve it later on.


  1. Private Banks – These are generally blood banks which store cord blood for personal use by the family members of the child. Private Banks charge a fee for this service. Family members who have a history of stem cell disease should think about this option. A family may decide to have the cord blood stored in a private bank in case one of their family members suffer a disease in the future which is highly treatable using newborn cord blood. The practice is however not recommended because of the high costs and the fact that the chances of the family member suffering from such types of diseases are low. Private Banks are highly recommended if the family has a history of stem cell disorders. If not, the blood could be donated to a public blood bank especially to patients who need it most.


Newborn Cord Blood


Obtaining Newborn Cord Blood


Newborn Cord Blood is obtained by pumping the placenta out through the umbilical cord at the delivery time after detaching the cord from the newborn. The cord blood is the one left behind in the placenta and the umbilical cord after delivery. This type of blood contains all of the essential elements in the body like white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Cord blood also contains hematopoietic cells which are types of stem cells that are very effective in treating heart diseases and associated with genetics or bone marrow problems. The cells are believed to be able to treat about seventy diseases.

There are several methods which professionals use to obtain cord blood. The most commonly used technique is the closed technique method. This is similar to the standard methods used or the collection of blood. In this method, a professional carries out the procedure and cuts the umbilical vein by the use of a needle that is connected to a blood bag through which the cord blood will be collected.  This method normally allows the collection of about 75ml of cord blood. The blood is then preserved and then kept in a cord blood bank.


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Newborn Cord Blood


Uses of Infants Cord Blood


Infant cord blood contains cells that can be used to treat cancer and certain types of blood genetic disorders. Families with long histories of genetic disorders could benefit from newborn cord blood for treatment.

You can find studies which are being carried out to determine if newborn cord blood could be used to treat patients who have suffered injuries of the head, type 1 diabetes , stroke and hearing problems. The research is being carried out to children using their cord blood which cannot be rejected by their own body.

Birth Defects

Birth defects in infants are among the most worrying factors for expectant mothers. Most people should be aware of the fact that the risks depend on various factors including the age of the mother, medical history of the parents, and even the mental condition of the mother. The results of birth defects in infants can be visible in both the physical or mental condition of the one affected and it could either be simple or complicated.

All of these depend on the both the physical and mental condition of the mother right from the time of conception. There are a lot of things that should be considered with regards to the risks associated with birth defects. If the mother is at a normal age for giving birth, and has normal health conditions without past health problems or any health effects from family heredity then the risks of birth defects in the infant is incredibly less or even negligible.

However, the cases with visible birth defects which are primarily due to genetic problems are only about two to three percent out of more than 50 percent of the cases. A large number of cases are known to have positive outcomes with some special care during the pregnancy up to the time of delivery.   Birth Defects

The Birth Defects

The actual defects related to birth vary from case to case and it can involve the different body parts of the infant. Some defects may lead to affect the physical functioning of one or more body parts while some affect the mental functioning like having underdeveloped. The worst condition can be a combination of both the physical and mental problems. Some of the common birth defects are related to hearing, speech, movement of the limbs, normal functioning of the heart, brain, kidney, or lungs, premature aging, brain development and the affectation of other body parts.

These problems can be very minor and can be cured while a few of them can take a longer time to be cured because of their affectation and severity. Some of the defects may even require surgeries for correction. The worst defects can be non curable which means that the infant will have to live with the defect for a lifetime. The complexity of the defect can depend on physical and mental health of the mother before, during and after the delivery of the baby.

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Birth Defects

Diagnosing and Reducing Birth Defect Risks

Birth defects can be diagnosed at various stages including the pre-pregnancy stage where a woman is yet to conceive. The woman’s health is always important and most critical between the age bands of 25 and 30. This is the time period when most women get conceived.  Most women should be aware of the fact that this is also the time when they should take certain precautionary measures to reduce the birth defect risks.

  1. The first thing to keep in mind is that the age of the mother should not exceed 30 or 32 at most for her to achieve healthy pregnancy.
  2. A routine health checkup by a gynecologist and obstetrician is one of the main things that a pregnant woman should consider because he or she is the best person who can give you advice when it comes to your health condition as a mother.  If there are any complications with health that can be treated by the assistance of medicines, your gynecologist and obstetrician can give the best treatment for you.
  3. Follow a healthy diet plan and make sure that you exercise in fresh air which contributes to the normal functioning of your body parts. This is a very significant factor for the expectant mothers to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
  4. It is not advisable for women to continue working if they are into some job or business because the stress produced at work can affect the baby negatively. Stress can instantly lead to the fluctuation of blood pressure and blood sugar levels in some cases. Thus, it is easier to avoid going to work or taking any kind of stress.
  5.  Ensure that you keep your mind fresh, calm and peaceful at all times by not taking any physical or mental stress. This is something which the rest of the family members of the pregnant woman should be careful about. Therefore, the atmosphere and the environment inside the home of the pregnant woman should be pleasing from the time of conception until delivery.
  6. Timely health checkup as advised by the doctor during pregnancy should be strictly followed. Routine checkup starting from the third month until the delivery time is highly advisable. The delivery time is the most crucial stage where various tests and scans are conducted. Through the regular checkups, the possible complications in the baby or the woman’s health can be diagnosed and treated. Missing an appointment scheduled with the doctor is one thing that you definitely need to avoid.
  7. Any birth defect related complications may arise even after conception due to a number of reasons including heredity and physical or mental stress levels. Some cases are again curable and the doctors will readily inform you about the detected complication upon delivery. If they advise to remove the baby for any reason relating to the complication detected, you should not hesitate and prepare yourself mentally to accept what the doctor will advise to you.

Birth Defects

Birth Defects and Avoiding Them

So it is always good to know more about the birth defects and how to avoid or reduce the birth defects even before you conceive. During pregnancy, it would always be best to take care of your health because you have to remember that there is a life inside you that you have to take care of.

Getting a baby comes with a mixture of emotions like excitement, anxiety and joy just to mention a few. After the delivery, your body has already gone through so many changes that it has to adjust and readjust itself , and this may not be so easy. You may end up feeling like a stranger to yourself. Moods may be up and down for many days and that is certainly what is known as the baby blues. Baby blues are as normal as mood swings but postpartum depression is the one considered as a disorder.


Baby Blues


Postpartum Depression (PPD) and Maternity Blues: What’s the Difference?

With being blue, you always feel that you are tired, you lose your appetite and you feel like crying most of the time. Nervousness and Anxiety are known as constant companions. Fortunately, with the blues, you are not really sick as such feelings will eventually disappear completely when you get the right amount of support and rest that you need.

You do not need to take any medication to counter the maternity blues that you may have. You just simply need to give yourself a time to recover. Your body has gone through a very dramatic period during your pregnancy and all throughout the delivery process. Time will  heal all of the abnormal experiences that you had so you just need to relax.

The blues are caused by the swift changes that your body is going through.  One of the major changes include the sudden drop of hormone levels which is accompanied by the production of milk that will cause your breasts to become painful and uncomfortable. These physical changes will definitely throw off the balance of your body but soon, the body will eventually be used to it.

On the other hand, however, post partum psychosis is considered to be severe. Aside from the physical and emotional changes initially stated , you can also experience insomnia or oversleeping , loss of interest in performing daily activities including those that were once pleasurable to you in your pre-pregnancy state.  You can abnormally lose or gain weight as associated with the feelings of low self worth which can be indicative of depression. The degree of post partum depression will be dependent upon the severity of the symptoms exhibited. Antidepressants can go a long way in helping you to overcome the said condition.

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Baby Blues


Predisposition to Postpartum Psychosis

There are certain number of factors that are considered to be contributing to the existence of depression. If you tend to experience severe pre-menstruation syndrome, it could be more likely that you will experience the depression after the delivery. Another factor that can affect your predisposition towards depression is the overall experience that you had during your pregnancy. The pregnant women who experience stressful pregnancies or who have been depressed throughout their pregnancy can also experience postnatal depression. Previous pregnancies can also affect your post delivery experience.


Baby Blues


How To Deal with Postpartum Depression or PPD

The condition could be greatly helped through the support of the husband and the family. Get to talk about your feelings and share your experiences regarding your situation. Surround yourself with people who actually care about your needs and are always ready to help you out to recover.

You must also accept the fact that you are entering a different stage in your life and there are a lot of challenges that you might face in the parenting stage and in the new role that you assume as a mother. Since you are not the first parent to exist, you can talk to other experienced mothers so that you can be familiar with how they were able to deal with their struggles when it comes to the changes that they experienced in pregnancy. You can even be surprised to find out that you are doing much better as compared to some of them. Ask for assistance when it comes to doing the chores and taking care of the baby and make sure that you give yourself a time to relax  and achieve peace of mind.

You may also consider altering your environment. Staying in your house for very long periods of time can even aggravate the problem . Go out for a walk, stroll around and appreciate the outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine can definitely do you good. Engage in your favorite activities or hobbies once in a while most especially when the baby is asleep or when someone is there to take care of your child. Read  a book, a magazine or simply the daily newspaper. Try to do some activities that challenge your mind like playing the scrabble or answering the crossword puzzle so that you can stop yourself from thinking depressive thoughts.


Baby Blues


Getting Over Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression

Be assured knowing that baby blues or PPD won’t last forever. The time will comes when your baby will be big enough to sit, eat and even have a conversation with you. You can eventually be able to let them know that you have been through a lot of experiences just to give life to them. Always look at the bright side of life and never let depression take over you. The fact that you brought new life to the world is something that can really bring so much joy. Remember to reach out to your support network – you don’t have to battle it all out on your own!