Pregnancy is the closest one can come to magic. The whole experience is often life changing for many of us. I remember as a new mother, how despite advises, there were a lot of terms from pregnancy that were new to me. It is magical and beautiful to have a life growing inside you.It is usually when the life is in your arms, you tend to feel a plethora of emotions and feelings. After the term of pregnancy and as a new mother, life can be overwhelming. I recall not understanding quite a few things and turning to Google to add to my anxiety. Of course, I had my family and my doctor available for help however I was apprehensive about being judged.
Gradually, through small trials and errors, I learnt. I strongly believe that motherhood is a huge learning process and one must be allowed to learn as per their pace. Yes, this learning shouldn’t hamper the new mother or the baby. This time, when I knew that someone extremely close to was expecting, I was all excited to share my learning. This someone I am referring too is new to this journey and all the terms related to pregnancy. She is someone, who has rarely read about pregnancy or any other terms related to it. Hence, this new mother is totally going to need all the help we can give her.
So, here is a list of terms that I eventually learnt about during the course of being a new mother.
It is the first milk that is produced after a female births the child. It is loaded with many benefits and helps boost the baby’s immune system. Mothers have been asked to feed the baby this milk instead of discarding it as it is rich in nutrients. Unfortunately, my baby was formula fed for the first feed because I hadn’t recovered from the anaesthesia after the C-section.
Just a day after being bought back home from the hospital, we had to rush back again. The little bub had to be placed in the NICU. He was suffering from newborn jaundice. Often, new-born jaundice is a common phenomenon is babies, however mine needed a two-day treatment. It is during this phase; I suffered engorgement of breasts and was asked to express milk. A nurse at the hospital helped me do this and damn, the first time was indeed painful. Normally, milk is expressed using a manual or an electric breast pump. However, with experience, I suggest using an electric breast pump, as using a manual one can be tiring. Check some good brands here
It is the dark circle of around the nipple. The darkness is due to high levels of progesterone and estrogen. This color fluctuates during pregnancy due to the change in hormones.
And this one was definitely was a bouncer for me when the doctor first told me the term. These are however nothing but certain foods or medicines that increase your milk supply. I was suggested intake of food like semolina (sooji), dry fruits, fenugreek and carom seeds etc. I was also prescribed a powder to be mixed in milk and consume it to improve lactation.
Often, babies begin to cluster week between 3 weeks to 6 weeks. Cluster feedings are when babies begin to feed in clusters for longer durations. It is normal baby behaviour however can get overwhelming for new mothers. A good breastfeeding session can last between 10 minutes to 30 minutes. New mothers are advised to feed their new born babies, an average of at least 8 to 12 times in day. Cluster feeding may indicate towards your baby’s developing needs or it could also mean they are in discomfort of low milk supply.
One of the most important aspects of a new mother’s breast-feeding journey. While baby’s have a natural instinct to breast crawl. The way a baby attaches to the nipple impacts the breast feeding. It is necessary for the mother to help the baby latch well to be able to breast feed. You can always seek help from a lactation consultant too.
I never experienced this thankfully and had a smooth sailing breastfeeding journey. Thrush is however a sort of yeast infection that can cause small white patched on the infant’s tongue. This can cause discomfort and pain to the baby and mother both while feeding.
Most of these terms were confusing for me however with adequate help and guidance, I made it through. Hope these terms help all new mothers out there looking for help. Your best guide should be your doctor and your own instinct.