How to Breastfeed with Inverted or Flat Nipples

Flat nipples do not protrude out of the areola when they are stimulated, making it difficult for a baby to latch on while breastfeeding. Inverted nipples cause a similar problem, with the nipples retracting inwards on stimulation. In both cases, it is still possible for a mother to breastfeed her child. While in some cases, this may prove to be a problem with the baby being unable to latch on, causing engorgement, in most cases, breastfeeding is still possible.

Some of the common techniques that can help mothers’ breastfeed their child better despite having inverted of flat nipples include the following:

  • Stimulating the nipples: The technique involves grasping the nipple for about 30 seconds and then applying a cold and moist cloth immediately before breastfeeding. This makes the nipples stand a little and can help the baby latch on.
  • Pulling back the areola: The fingers can be used to pull back and stretch out the areola. This helps the nipple stand up to some degree.
  • Using nipple shields: Thin, flexible artificial nipples made out of silicone may be worn over the actual nipple to facilitate breastfeeding.

In case none of these techniques work, a breast pump can be used to help the nipples protrude. Ensure seeking the guidance of a lactation consultant if inverted or flat nipples cause too much of a problem.

Products to Assist with Inverted or Flat Nipples

Mothers with inverted or flat nipples can make use of some products in order to facilitate breastfeeding. While flat or inverted nipples may present some problems with the baby latching on during breastfeeding, the use of the following products can prove to help to some degree.

  • Nipple shields: Nipple shields are thin, flexible, artificial nipples that are made out of silicone. These shields are to be worn on top of the actual nipple, making it easy for the baby to latch on.
  • Breast pump: Breast pumps can be used to help the nipples protrude. There are a number of high quality breast pumps available in the market that can help stimulate the nipples in between feedings.
  • Breast shells: Breast shells are plastic shells that have a hole for the nipple to protrude out of. These are to be worn inside of a bra in-between feedings.

While these are some of the products that can help with inverted or flat nipples, lactation experts also sometimes recommend reverse pressure softening in order to help the nipples stand out. Some of the common home remedies that can help include stimulating the nipple using the fingers and applying cold moist compresses to the nipples immediately before breastfeeding to help the nipples protrude.

Products to Assist with C-Section Recovery – The C Panty

The C Panty is a specially designed panty that can help in the recovery of C-Section births. The panty is made out of nylon and spandex and can help reduce the scarring as well as the swelling around the incision. It also offers support to the abdominal region with a belly wrap which can help in slimming of the tummy post pregnancy. The waistband of the C panty rests just below the ribs, making it comfortable to wear. C panty proves to be a smart alternative to normal granny panties and can promote healing, while allowing mothers to wear pants and others clothes of their choice with ease.

A compression panel made out of silicone is placed inside the C panty over the incision, which helps the skin retain moisture and minimizes itching around the area. The compression helps support the weakened muscles and prevents chances of swelling. Designed by surgeons and C-Section mothers, the C panty is meant to be used for recovery up to one year after the delivery of the child. Engineered to perfection, the product flattens bulges of the tummy, shrinks the uterus and also greatly speeds up the recovery of the incision caused by the C-Section.

How to Deal with Edema after Birth

Edema, also known as postpartum swelling, is caused due to the release of excess fluid accumulated in the mother’s body during the last months of pregnancy before delivery. Edema is very rarely serious and most swelling goes away within a week.

While swelling can prove to be inevitable for most women, some of the remedies that can help deal with edema include the following:

  • A clean diet can help flush out the excess fluids from the body faster, reducing edema and it can also help the mother’s body adapt to the baby’s demands.
  • Moderate amounts of activity and daily exercise improve the circulation of fluids in the body and can help alleviate swelling. Exercising also leads to loss of excess body fluids by sweating.
  • In some instances, the legs and ankles of a mother are affected. In such cases elevating the feet above the level of the heart can restrict the swelling.
  • Tight clothing and jewelry should be avoided.
  • Ice packs and cold compresses can help reduce both swelling and pain. Sites should be cleaned carefully and the area should be kept free of lotions until healing begins.

While edema is not serious, if the swelling happens in only one leg, it may be a complication as a result of a blood clot. In such a case, professional medical attention should be provided at the earliest.

What to Use for Stretch Marks

While stretch marks cannot be gotten rid of completely, they gradually fade away with time. There are a number of massaging creams, lotions and oils which can be used on the marks to make the skin feel more supple and smooth. However, they rarely make the marks disappear completely.

A combination of muscle exercises around the affected areas along with healthy eating will tone down the stretched area. This will not result in a disappearance of stretch marks, but it helps with smoothening out the stretched out muscle tissues.

Medicated creams and lotions that are derived from Vitamin A, such as Retin A or tretinoin may also be used under a doctor’s prescription. These creams however, should not be used when a mother is breastfeeding her child.

Laser therapy is another option that can help remove stretch marks after pregnancy. There are different types of laser to treat different colors of stretch marks. Laser therapy may also be used to stimulate the skin cells to produce collagen that can help restore the elasticity of flabby skin areas.

Removal of stretch marks is considered to be a cosmetic procedure and insurance plans typically do not cover such treatments. Stretch marks gradually fade away and they are quite difficult to get rid of otherwise.

How to Avoid an Episiotomy

An episiotomy is the procedure of making a small cut around the back passage of the entrance area of the vagina in order to facilitate delivery of a child. Episiotomy procedures are used only when it is absolutely necessary for the well-being of either the baby or the mother. This usually happens in cases when a baby needs to be delivered ahead of time due to complications.

There are a number of remedies that can help a mother avoid an episiotomy. During pregnancy, after about 33 weeks, the elasticity of the muscles around the perineum should be increased by massaging the area with vitamin E oils and vegetable oils on a daily basis. Floor exercises can help strengthen the pelvic area and exercising helps the muscles relax during the next stage of labor. A healthy diet and exercise throughout pregnancy will reduce chances of an episiotomy.

The primary reason for an episiotomy happens because a woman is completely exhausted. Mothers should always pace themselves up and should get plenty of rest so as to allow the body to adjust to the rapid changes induced by labor. There is also some evidence which points out that a home birth may reduce the chances of an episiotomy.

How to find the Right Birth Doula

A birth doula can offer a lot of services and support to a pregnant women and many parents make use of birth doulas to help get through the period of pregnancy smoother. However, there are a number of considerations that parents need to make before choosing a birth doula.

Before choosing a doula, parents must consider whether the birth is to happen at home, in a hospital or in a birth center. An experienced doula should be chosen on the basis of reputation, referrals and expertise. Before making a choice, it is recommended to interview a number of candidates. It is also important to consider the accessibility of the doula to the mother at all times.

Doulas have the required training to assist birth and some would even have undergone birth method educational classes. Such credentials allow doulas to understand and assist different types of pregnancy with ease and these doulas should be given preference.

The doula’s thoughts and philosophy regarding childbirth, life, parenting and pregnancy should also be considered before making a hire.

The DONA International website is a valuable resource which can help you find comprehensive information, including the listing registered doulas.

Birth doulas can really help parents get through the labor phase and use of services is recommended for all types of childbirth.

Baby Hunger Cues

Babies often give out an indication whenever they’re hungry. While the crying of an infant is definitely a sign of hunger, it proves to be a very late sign. Breastfeeding can be made much simpler if a mother watches out for the early signs that a baby gives out on being hungry.

Some of the earliest signs of hunger that a baby shows include the licking of or the smacking of lips. Other signs include the opening and closing of the mouth in succession and sucking of the lips, fingers, tongue, or even toys and clothing.

The active cues of hunger that a baby gives out include rooting towards the chest of every individual around and trying to get into a nursing position. Squirming and fidgeting around is also an active sign of hunger. A baby may also breathe quickly and make a lot of fuss in case of hunger.

Some of the late signs of hunger include crying and moving the head frantically from one end to another.

Newborns tend to spend a lot of time asleep. As such, if a mother does not take care of feeding it frequently, the child may get hungry very easily. It is advised that mothers should definitely nurse their children whenever they receive cues of hunger and also once every two hours during the day and once at night.

Pregnancy Tips: How to Soothe Your Heartburn

Heartburn is a common symptom during pregnancy, especially first and third trimesters. It can happen either because there is a rapid hormonal change or the combination between this hormonal change and baby growth, which in fact speeds up the burn. This symptom is painful and stressful. The worst thing is there is nothing you can do to calm your hormones. However, you can still do few things to forget about the pain.

  1. Eat few hours before you sleep or rest
  2. Correct sleeping position can help you relieve the pain. While you are sleeping, try to prop yourself up or remain upright.
  3. Keep away from citrus, grease, and other acidic fruits because their acidic content will make your heartburn worse than ever
  4. Divide your meals into few groups throughout the day.
  5. Take less drink with your meals and choose only liquid yoghurt, milk, or smoothies. These beverages will help you balance your stomach acid

For serious heartburn case, you should contact your doctor to get better treatment than the above tips, including getting antacids.

How to Take Care a Newborn’s Umbilical Cord

Umbilical cord is one crucial part of a mother’s health. Before this cord falls off within 10 and 28 days after birth, it is very crucial to take care of this umbilical cord, to ensure it is free from any infection that may harm both the mother and the infant.

When diapering your newborn, make sure to expose the cord to air by folding the diaper down below the cord. When you need to change the diaper, use one of your hand to hold the end of the umbilical cord upward, and then use another hand to take a sterile cotton ball. Make sure you have soaked the cotton ball in rubbing alcohol before taking it. Then, move forward to the base of the cord and use the cotton ball to clean it. This treatment is simple enough that you will not realize it also helps you in speeding up the falling off process.

Keeping the cord dry is the easiest way to keep it clean. So, until it falls off, use only sponge to bathe your baby, without touching the umbilical cord and its surrounding areas.