The bundle of joy has arrived, everyone including the mother is happy and excited! The journey now on is very important both for the mother and the new born.
The mother has to look after not only her own needs but also the needs of her new born.
Establishing breast feeding is the first step towards developing the bond between the mother and the newborn. The feeding of “colostrum” which is produced just before and during childbirth in the mother’s breast is a must for the new born. It’s the nectar for the baby which will help shape up the immunity of the child.
The first week of breast feeding may be difficult and frustrating but remember not to give up till the pattern is set. The baby’s suckling reflex will stimulate the mother’s brain to produce more adequate milk.
Sit in a comfortable position with the back rest and cradle the back of your baby’s head in your elbow. Place a pillow under your elbow to help support your baby’s bottom. This position allows you to control the baby’s head and assures good positioning to latch on. Use your other hand to support your breast. Thus sitting in the comfortable position will help you in avoiding backaches, which generally occur due to faulty posture while feeding and help to continue trouble free feeding.
Appropriate administration of homoeopathic medicines [galactogogues] will help adequate production of milk which is safe for the baby. Even persistent backaches can be well treated with homoeopathic medicines like bryonia, rhustox, ruta etc.
Always remember to burp the baby after the feeds and keep the baby in left lateral position in order to avoid asphyxia [milk going into the wind pipe of the baby] from regurgitated milk which could be dangerous.
It is very important for the mother to maintain her overall hygiene with more emphasis on breast and vagina.
Washing of the nipple with plain water is sufficient and there is no need to use soaps or harsh washing as it will take off the lubricant produced by the little glands on areola which maintains the moisture of the skin around the nipple. Repeated washings lead to dry and cracked nipple which again may hamper the feeding due to pain and discomfort faced by the mother.
Also leaving little milk on the nipple after feeding and allowing it to dry protects the nipple.
Homoeopathic medicines for dry cracked nipples like calendula, graphites, petroleum, borax etc can be safely administered during lactation.
Engorgement of breast [swollen painful breast] is a condition which happens due to excess collection of milk in breast which can be avoided by nursing the baby more frequently and extracting the excess milk into a sterile container which can be fed later on.
Persistent engorgement may lead to inflammation [redness] and abscess formation which may require drainage and antibiotic administration in conventional system which will in turn affect the newborn’s system by inducing diarrhoea and also interrupt breast feeding and again aggravate the condition of breast engorgement. But timely administration of homoeopathic remedies like Ars alb, belladonna, apis mell,calc sulph, kali sulph, hepar sulph, silecea ,graphites etc will help resolving cellulitis/abscess as well as avoid surgery.
Vaginal bleeding post delivery will last approximately for 4-6weeks, it is due to the involution of the gravid uterus and shedding of the blood collected inside the uterus during child birth which happens due to separation of the placenta. And hence the mother needs to have complete rest avoiding vigorous activities atleast for 6 weeks.
Maintaining vaginal hygiene is a must to avoid any uterine infection as well as the infection of episiotomy wound given during the last stage of delivery. Application as well as internal intake of homoeopathic medicine calendula prophylactically helps forming healthy granulation tissue and thereby healing of the wound by primary mechanism.
The mother has to maintain good health by eating a very balanced food/diet comprising of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, yogurt with raisins and eating a lot of iron rich food like egg yolks, red meat, spinach etc. And she should eat whenever hungry. Also adequate intake of fluids is important as many mothers find themselves becoming thirsty after breastfeeding.
Also it is very difficult for the mother to get adequate rest of 8 hours at a stretch due to frequent awakenings by the infant hence she should sleep when the baby sleeps and also the mother should be relieved of all the responsibilities other than feeding the baby and taking care of self for initial few months.
REMEMBER HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE RULES THE WORLD……….! And the hand requires to be strong and healthy!