Category Archives: New Moms

Happy mother breast feeding her newborn in room, indoorHappy mother breast feeding her newborn in room, indoor

Lactation Consultant in Eugene

Pacific Women’s Center has a lactation consultant in Eugene who teaches classes right here. Since 2012, we’ve worked with Devorah Bianchi of Loving Arms Lactation to present our ongoing lactation classes.

Breastfeeding does not come automatically easy for every mother. Talking with a lactation consultant in Eugene helps explain some of the problems and solutions that moms might be facing. Or, take a lactation class. A lot of moms do have trouble breastfeeding and can feel like “they can’t do it,” which may make them want to give up breastfeeding. Getting help from a lactation consultant can help moms realize that it does get easier and can be enjoyable and healthy for baby and mom.

When to take a lactation class?

We suggest that expectant mothers take a lactation and breastfeeding class one to two months before their baby is due. We encourage the mothers-to-be to bring along their spouse or partner, or whoever will be involved in the baby’s care and support of the mother. Even though the men can’t breastfeed, they can learn about how important breastfeeding is and how to support the mom while she’s breastfeeding.

Taking the class before the baby is born helps the family to establish a relationship with the lactation consultant before the birth. So if you do need a consultant afterwards, you are already at ease with her. You can also hear first-hand from other moms-to-be what they are worried about or how their pregnancy is going. It’s a great way to connect with others in the community who are experiencing some of the same things you are.

The lactation classes are free, generally held once per month, for Pacific Women’s Center patients. Please contact our office at 541-342-8616 to schedule your attendance or ask your obstetrician at your next appointment. Breastfeeding is a skill that can take time to develop. But with support, like what you will find in a class taught by a lactation consultant, you and your baby will benefit. See you at the class!

Facts About Lactation for New Moms

Facts About Lactation for New Moms

Breastfeeding is a special bond between mother and baby. It’s well known that nursing delivers optimum health benefits to the newborn. The perfect blend of vitamins, proteins, and fat are available through breast milk. Among the many benefits of lactation, breast milk is more easily digested than infant formula, has antibodies that fight off viruses and bacteria, and lowers a baby’s risks of having asthma and allergies.

For mothers, the benefit of breastfeeding includes burning more calories, which helps in returning to a healthy pre-pregnancy weight. It also helps the uterus get back to pre-pregnancy size due to the release of the hormone oxytocin. Furthermore, it lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

For a new mother, lactation can be challenging in the beginning until she and her baby get adjusted to the feeding routine. Some challenges that mothers may experience have to do with sore nipples, cracked nipples, worry that not enough breast milk is being produced, pumping and storing milk, inverted nipples, breast engorgement, blocked ducts, stress, and breast infection (mastitis).

Facts about lactation for new moms

In the beginning stages, colostrum (a thin watery fluid) is present until mature milk (a thicker, whitish consistency) is produced. The gradual process should lead to producing as much food as an infant will need.

Some other factors to consider:

The more a mother breastfeeds, the more milk her body will make.
Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.
Newborns nurse often, every 2 to 4 hours.
Feeding cues from the baby include signs like mouthing, lip smacking, turning toward the breast, and sucking on fists. These cues or on-demand nursing (every 3 to 4 hours, helps ensure sufficient milk supply since the baby’s nursing engages this milk-making process.
It’s okay if a baby doesn’t nurse on both breasts at one feeding. Start with the other breast at the next feeding.
Breast care doesn’t need to be more complicated than one bath or shower a day to keep nipples clean. Wash hands before feeding a baby. There’s no need to use extra lotions or soap products for nipples.

Challenges of lactation:

Difficulty in baby latching (process of baby putting mouth around mother’s nipple and beginning to nurse)
Breast pain
Cracked or irritated nipples
Clogged or plugged milk ducts (when a duct gets blocked, milk can back up and produce a tender lump.)
Mastitis (inflammation of breast tissue that results in breast pain, swelling, and redness in one or both breasts.)
Stress or anxiety about breastfeeding

Breastfeeding should be an enjoyable experience between mother and baby, but it is something that may take some time to settle into. Mothers shouldn’t be discouraged if breastfeeding doesn’t feel comfortable or natural at first. It takes practice.

If pain persists, it is possible improper positioning or latching is the reason.

If a mother experiences extreme pain breastfeeding or has any of the challenges listed, she should seek expert assistance. Pacific Women’s Center has lactation resources who help mothers with breastfeeding concerns. The center also offers free breastfeeding classes to expectant mothers.

Call us today for help with any lactation or breastfeeding issues. We want to ensure mothers have the best experience possible with their new baby.

Recognizing Postpartum Depression and Seeking Help

Recognizing Postpartum Depression and When to Get Help

While a woman experiences a lot of joy along with being a new mom, postpartum depression may be a very real emotion she struggles with behind-the-scenes. It’s important that mothers understand that recognizing postpartum depression and seeking help isn’t a character flaw or weakness. With immediate help from a healthcare provider, new mothers will be able to better manage symptoms and enjoy motherhood.

“Postpartum depression” vs. “postpartum baby blues”

“Postpartum baby blues” lasts a few days to a few weeks after giving birth. It consists of crying, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, change in appetite, sadness, and problems concentrating. A more severe and prolonged form of feeling down is described as “postpartum depression.”

Postpartum depression has more severe symptoms that interfere with daily life. The symptoms are the same as those of the “baby blues” butare intensified.

Recognizing postpartum depression symptoms

A woman should get as much information on postpartum depression from her doctor as she can. Asking questions about what’s normal to feel and what isn’t will help in knowing if postpartum depression is actually present. A recent University of California, San Francisco, study reports that 10 to 20 percent of women suffer from new-onset depression during pregnancy or after giving birth.

Furthermore, the study says, women suffering postpartum depression frequently don’t receive treatment even when a diagnosis is made. The impact of untreated depression can be profound, says the study, ranging from substance abuse, poor prenatal care, miscarriages, impaired infant bonding and developmental delays.

Here are the symptoms of postpartum depression. If you are experiencing any of them please talk to your doctor about it.

Extreme mood swings and depression
Excessive crying
Excessive sleeping
Trouble bonding with your baby
Acute anxiety and panic attacks
Feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness or inadequacy as a mother
Suicidal thoughts
Thoughts of injuring your baby or yourself
Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Loss or increase of appetite
Inability to think clearly or concentrate
Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
Withdrawal from family and friends

Identifying “postpartum psychosis”

Postpartum psychosis is very serious, and is even more severe than postpartum depression. This condition develops within the first week or two after delivery and is unrelenting.

The symptoms for postpartum psychosis need to be addressed urgently. Symptoms of postpartum psychosis include:

Confusion and disorientation
Paranoia
Hallucinations
Obsessive and unhealthy thoughts about your baby
Attempts to harm your baby or yourself
Sleep disturbances

Getting help for postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis

If symptoms of postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis don’t stop after two weeks, get worse, affects how a mother cares for her baby, or if it becomes difficult to perform everyday tasks, help must be sought without delay. Changes in mood following pregnancy can be serious and mothers shouldn’t feel guilty or embarrassed about their feelings.

The Doctors at Pacific Women’s Center understand this can be a sensitive topic with new mothers and want to help. Call us to get treatment today because every mother deserves to enjoy life with her new baby!

 

A New Mom’s Four Step Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle

You’re beyond excited to bring a new life into this world, but pregnancy took quite a toll on your body. It’s very common for new moms to be anxious about their post-baby body.

The most important thing you can do to manage your weight and reach your fitness goals is to live a lifestyle that is healthy and happy. Occasional bursts of inspired sit-ups or smoothie diets aren’t healthy and will only frustrate you in the end. Here are four steps that will lead you to a healthier lifestyle.

Continue reading A New Mom’s Four Step Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle