Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
Read more »
It can take anywhere from about seven to 10 weeks for nonlactating women to resume menstruation and up to six months for fully breastfeeding women, says Sean S. Daneshmand, M.D., clinic director of maternal-fetal medicine at the San DiegoPerinatal Center, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women. Why the difference? The babys suckling promotes the release of prolactin, a hormone that keeps you from ovulating, Daneshmand explains. But a woman must be nursing a minimum of every three hours around the clock, with at least 15 minutes per feeding, for ovulation to be prevented.
There is no right answer to the questions surrounding bed-sharing. From your baby's point of view, there's no doubt shell be happy if you invite her into your bed. If you don't, however, she wont take it too personally, and she will get used to sleeping in her bassinet. So, the choice is yours.
Contrary to what many mothers and other experts fear, I don't think pacifiers interfere with breastfeeding; babies are smart enough to recognize that nothing comes out of them. Granted, a baby may choose a rubber nipple over a live one because its easier to get milk out of, but he wont choose a pacifier over a breast. Furthermore, when it comes to oral-comfort issues, introducing a pacifier is far more convenient than constantly offering your finger or breast; the latter also can lead to overfeeding.
Hospitals function best on routines. However, it seems your hospital wants to take your baby and tabulate his "numbers" far too often. If you have a premature or sick baby, these interventions are necessary. If not, your baby is much better off in your room, being held in your arms and nursing often. Healthy full-term babies almost never need to go to a nursery and can stay with their parents 24 hours a day.
Moms have a clearly defined role when their babies are born: Breastfeed, cuddle and take naps with the baby. But fathers often aren't quite sure where they fit in. Your husband probably is wondering if he should be proactive and offer to feed the baby with a bottle of pumped milk, change diapers, rub your neck or just stay out of the way and keep quiet.
It is always best to avoid taking any type of medication during pregnancy, if possible. That said, if allergies or nasal congestion due to upper-respiratory infection are keeping you from sleeping, eating or participating fully in your life, your doctor is likely to consider Claritin to help you cope with your symptoms.
Rest assured that after years of research on animals and humans, Claritin has been classified as safe to use during pregnancy. But even so, I think it is always best to use the minimum required dosage to achieve relief.
Most croup does occur in the winter, but there's no rule that says it can't strike during other seasons as well. This viral illness is best treated by having the child inhale cool, moist air all day long and especially at night. I also suggest dressing your baby warmly and going for a drive, preferably along a body of water, with the windows rolled down. It's important to note that a piece of food blocking part of the airway also can cause a "croupy" sound. If you have any doubt, call your doctor.
Yes. Meningitis is an infection and inflammation of the meninges, which is the lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The proximity of these membranes to the brain makes this infection potentially very dangerous: It can cause serious residual damage and, though rarely, death. The viral type is much less serious and, fortunately, much more common.
Research shows that routine clamping of the umbilical cord immediately after birth, rather than waiting for the cord to stop pulsating, deprives the baby of red blood cells and iron stores. A literature review in the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health looked at nine studies that had been done over the past 20 years. This research suggested that immediate clamping may reduce the amount of red blood cells a baby receives by 50 percent.
The most common cause of this flattening is positional, so it's a good idea to change the position of your baby's head while she sleeps. Having her sleep with you in a safe family-bed environment (no fluffy comforters or pillows, and no gaps between the bed and the wall) makes it easy to change her head position from time to time. If your baby sleeps in a crib, place her head at opposite ends of the crib on alternating nights to position her head differently.
No. "It takes at least three to six months for your genitals to get back to normal," says Laura Berman, Ph.D., director of the Berman Center in Chicago and co-author of For Women Only (Henry Holt & Co.). A perineal tear or episiotomy can cause a tight feeling in the vagina, which can persist even after the site has healed (usually four to six weeks after a vaginal birth). To help combat the tightness, you or your partner can gently stretch the area using fingers that have been well lubricated with K-Y Ultragel or Astroglide (available at drugstores).
Nipple confusion can be a problem for many breastfed babies if they are given a bottle too early, even if it's filled with breast milk. Here's why: Infants coordinate their jaw, cheek and swallowing muscles in a specific way when they are breastfeeding. With a bottle, their feeding patterns are completely different--a bottle, for instance, gushes milk into a baby's mouth, and the child needs to move his tongue to control the flow. Not so with the breast.
I'd say no. I've seen thousands of babies in my practice, including many who outweighed your daughter by 5 or 6 pounds. They looked pretty fat, actually, but all of them grew into normal-sized children. Well, there may have been a few exceptions in the families who believed potato chips and ice cream were suitable daily snacks, but that's another story.