Useful advice for young mothers
Some mothers fall in love with their babies immediately, for others it takes a bit of time. Both types of maternal behaviour are normal. It is also natural that a young mother feels worried whether she can cope with the responsibilities of motherhood. Just as other important things in life must be learned, looking after a baby can also be learned from your own experiences. You will become a confident mother sooner than you think.
Warmth, nourishment, love and safety are the four prime necessities of a newborn. Just satisfy the baby’s needs with caresses and physical contact. According to research babies whose mothers reacted quickly to their crying are more balanced than the ones whose crying was ignored.
In problem-free cases mothers will be urged to put the baby to the breast soon after birth. Many babies are particularly alert at that time, and will immediately start to suckle. However, if it doesn’t happen there is still no need to worry. It could be the consequence of drowsiness, especially if the mother has been given painkillers.
Make sure to be in the most comfortable position before beginning to breast-feed. After a perineal section it might be more comfortable to sit on a cushion or a rubber ring. If you are sitting in a chair put your feet up and rest your back and arms on a cushion. After a caesarean it is more comfortable to be lying down. Then you can put the baby under your arm and hold his head in your hand. Mothers have to work out for themselves which position is best for them.
Most babies have to learn how to get to the breast, but with a bit of patience and perseverance they will soon master this activity. You might find it easier to support the baby with a cushion in the first period. There is no need to hold the breasts with your fingers during feeding. Babies can feed at the same time as breathing through their noses.
Young mothers are advised to breast-feed whenever the baby demands it. This means they should feed the baby when he appears hungry, or when the breast is swollen with milk. In the first two or three weeks babies might require breast-feeding every two hours. Later a breast-feeding schedule will develop with longer breaks between feeds. Smaller babies are sometimes inclined not to eat for many hours when they feel sleepy. You must not leave the newborn baby without feeding for more than five hours.
As this milk is translucent young mothers often believe that their milk is watery and therefore they might even stop breast-feeding. However, if they continue breast-feeding this milk will transform into high calorie, mature milk, which satisfies the baby’s hunger and ensures growth and development. This is why it is important that the baby should fully empty the breast. You can recognise this because the baby will start playing with it or will release the nipple. Then you can offer the other breast as well. If the baby does not seem to want more milk, you should start feeding him from the other breast at the next feeding. If you want to take the breast away from the baby, gently slide your little finger in his mouth, to release the vacuum.
There are excellent types of baby formula available nowadays, but the most up-to-date research has proved that there is no substitute for natural feeding i.e. breast milk for the baby. With mothers’ milk the baby receives a protein that is congener with women’s milk, however, there is still no more hygienic feeding opportunity than breast-feeding. Illness statistics prove the advantage of breast-feeding. Children fed with breast milk are less likely to fall ill, and allergic ailments are less frequent. We can still talk about natural feeding even if the baby is given another woman’s milk, or is not suckled but is fed with a small spoon or a feeding bottle. In the latter case you should make certain that the opening on the teat is not be too wide, as in this way the baby will get the food with less effort, and might soon give up suckling. Breast-feeding is a very important part of our lives because it lays the psychological foundations of the spiritual union between mother and child. Removing the milk from the mother’s breast is not only necessary for the baby.
If the breast is not emptied, or not emptied thoroughly it can lead to the drying up of the milk. This is why there have been attempts since time immemorial the express the breast milk, which essentially assisted feeding your own or the children of others, in many cases this was a lifesaver.
Much of the year is spend with colds and catarrhs. These are often the sources of further complications. Their seriousness is unpredictable. Babies and small children are particularly susceptible. However, old and middle-aged people are not immune to them either. It is a specific problem of small children that they cannot blow their noses. The catarrhal, unremoved nasal discharge may become infected and yellowish-greenish in colour. The infected discharge remaining in the nose will seep into the side cavities and can cause the inflammation of the accessory cavities, or can get into the middle ear through the pharyngo-tympanic tube causing the inflammation of the middle ear. The infected nasal discharge seeping back into the naso-pharynx can cause naso-pharyngitis, pharyngitis or tonsillitis, and the repeated inflammation may enlarge the tonsils as well. With breathing this nasal discharge may be vaporised into the child’s throat, windpipe or bronchial tubes, which may cause the inflammation of these organs. On the other hand swallowing the nasal discharge may lead to an upset stomach or enteritis. So an originally harmless looking cold, especially in children, could lead to a whole range of illnesses. It is apparent from the above that the correct removal of the nasal discharge is of primary importance for children. The different medications to be applied up the nose can only be used effectively after the correct removal of the nasal discharge.