Q&A with Miracle in Progress – Part 2

Welcome to our Questions & Answers Blog created by qualified midwives at Miracle in Progress. Thank you to everyone who has been sending in Questions. In this Q&A blog we look at producing milk for your baby, baby sleeping patterns and finally is intercourse safe during pregnancy.

If there is any pregnancy or baby questions you would like to see answered in the next Q&A then please send us a private message on Facebook or via our website and we will be happy to give our professional help and support.

  • My baby is 13 days old and my breasts are sore and engorged. My baby is always hungry, do I have enough milk ???

The truth is most women will have enough milk, babies need to feed regularly for the first few weeks to build supply. They also gain a lot of comfort from sucking at the breast and being in your arms.

If the baby is gaining weight, happy, settling for some periods and is passing urine regularly and has regular bowel movements that are yellowish in colour, then the baby is getting enough. If the baby is not gaining sufficient weight or losing weight, has a hoarse cry and doesn’t settle at all, these are signs the baby is not getting enough.

Ask yourself is baby feeding regularly? Are you drinking enough fluids? Breastmilk is made from your bloodstream, so unless you’re severely anaemic, you should be making enough milk. Previous breast surgery and not having the right breast tissue can be an issue, but the size of your breasts are not an issue. Poor positioning and attachment can mean the breasts aren’t being emptied properly, which in turn affects the supply, so it’s important to get this right and get support to check.

I recommend always contacting your midwife for further assessment of your feeding and for reassurance. Alternatively the La Leche League are a great free charity that offer essential advice. Although it’s unlikely you will have a low supply and the answer is usually to feed more often, there are things to help or at least make you feel better.

Some people take fenugreek supplements, there are lactation bars, teas, cakes, cookies and brownies- some people take oats, flax seed and flapjacks, or even beer!  I believe if you’re well nourished and hydrated that’s half the battle.  The other half is hormonal, it’s important to be relaxed (as much as possible) and connected to your baby. If you’re stressed about supply, it can be a vicious cycle. Again, support is vital, from your partner and friends and family first, then external groups.

  • How do I manage a routine for my babies sleeping ? He is now 3 months old and I am getting up as much as I did in the first few weeks !!!

Some babies sleep much more than others. Some sleep for long periods, others in short bursts. Some sleep through the night at a young age while some don’t for a long time. Your baby will have his own pattern of waking and sleeping, and it’s unlikely to be the same as other babies you know. It’s also unlikely to fit in with your need for sleep. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps.

If you’re breastfeeding, in the early weeks your baby is likely to doze off for short periods during a feed. Carry on feeding until you think your baby has finished or until they’re fully asleep. This is a good opportunity to try to get a bit of rest yourself. If you’re not sleeping at the same time as your baby, don’t worry about keeping the house silent while they sleep. It’s good to get your baby used to sleeping through a certain amount of noise. It’s a good idea to teach your baby that night-time is different from daytime from the start. During the day, open curtains, play games and don’t worry too much about everyday noises when they sleep.

At night, you might find it helpful to:
* Keep the lights down low
* Not talk much and keep your voice quiet
* Put your baby down as soon as they’ve been fed and changed
* Not change your baby unless they need it
* Not play with your baby

Soon, your baby will learn that night-time is for sleeping. For the first six months your baby should be in the same room as you when they’re asleep, both day and night. Particularly in the early weeks, you may find your baby only falls asleep in your arms, or when you’re standing by the moses basket. You can start getting your baby used to going to sleep without you comforting him by putting him down before he falls asleep or when he’s just finished a feed. It may be easier to do this once your baby starts to stay alert more frequently or for longer.

  • I’m worried about having intimacy with my partner now I’m pregnant. I’m worried I might do some harm?

Most women who are having a normal pregnancy may continue to have sex right up until their water breaks or they go into labour. There are some circumstances, though, in which you may need to modify your activity or abstain from sex altogether for part or all of your pregnancy.

Your midwife or doctor should let you know whether you have – or develop – any complications that make sex a no-go. If you’re uncertain, ask your practitioner. Having intercourse during pregnancy does not hurt the baby despite thinking this is the case. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus protect the baby, and the thick mucus plug that seals the cervix helps guard against infection.

During intercourse, the penis doesn’t go beyond the vagina, so it won’t reach the baby. The only time we recommend not having intercourse is when there is medical advice from your doctor not to and also during labour. Sexual stimulation or orgasm cannot start labour or cause a miscarriage. While orgasm may cause mild uterine contractions (as can nipple stimulation and the prostaglandins in semen), the contractions are generally temporary and harmless.

Many women report that sex feels different during pregnancy. Some find it more pleasurable, at least at times. Others may generally find it less so, for part or all of the pregnancy. Increased blood flow to the pelvic area can cause engorgement of the genitals. The heightened sensation that results may add to your pleasure during sex. You may have more vaginal discharge or moistness, which could also be a plus. On the other hand, you may not like how these changes feel and may find that genital engorgement gives you an uncomfortable feeling of fullness. And, as mentioned above, you may also feel some mild abdominal cramps or contractions during or immediately after intercourse or orgasm.
Your breasts may feel tingly, tender, and unusually sensitive to touch, particularly in the first trimester. The tenderness generally subsides, but your breasts may remain more sensitive. Some women will find this heightened sensitivity to be a turn-on, while others won’t (and may even prefer that their breasts not be touched at all). Let your partner know if anything feels uncomfortable, even if it’s something you’re used to doing together. If you find you’re feeling turned on but not enjoying intercourse, consider other erotic activities, such as mutual pleasuring, oral sex, or self-stimulation. Experiment and make adjustments as a couple to make sex relaxing and pleasurable for both of you.
Remember, too, that there’s more to physical intimacy than sex. If you don’t feel like having sex or your practitioner has advised you not to, you can still hug, kiss, and caress each other.

 

Thank you for reading our pregnancy and baby questions. We look forward to answering your next ones.

Best Wishes

All the Team at

Miracle in Progress

01509 508 222