Feeling tired and hotter than usual is quite common during pregnancy. Specially in summer! Many pregnant women also feel faint and this is due to hormonal changes

Dealing with fatigue during your pregnancy

Feeling tired and hotter than usual is quite common during pregnancy. Specially in summer! Many pregnant women also feel faint and this is due to hormonal changes.

What causes fatigue during pregnancy?

Hormonal changes most likely contribute to exhaustion, but other common pregnancy discomforts also play a role. For example, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep if your back aches or if you have to get up to use the bathroom frequently.

Nausea and vomiting can certainly cost you energy as well. You may also be feeling anxious about your pregnancy, which can be draining. Add up all these factors, and it’s no wonder you feel as though you’ve run a marathon by the end of the day.

Fatigue can be a symptom of iron-deficiency anemia, which is common in pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will test your blood for anemia at your first prenatal visit and again in your late second trimester or early third trimester. (You might not have any symptoms if you’re only mildly anemic.)

Faintness

Pregnant women often feel faint. This is because of hormonal changes occurring in your body during pregnancy.

Fainting happens if your brain is not getting enough blood and therefore not enough oxygen. If your oxygen levels get too low, it may cause you to faint. You are most likely to feel faint if you stand too quickly from a chair, off the toilet or out of a bath, but it can also happen when you are lying on your back.

Here are some tips to help you cope:

Try to get up slowly after sitting or lying down

If you feel faint when standing still, find a seat quickly and the faintness should pass – if it doesn’t, lie down on your side

If you feel faint while lying on your back,turn on your side (it’s better not to lie flat on your back in later pregnancy or during labour).

 

If the weather is hot be sure to drink plenty of water.

Hot

During pregnancy you’re likely to feel warmer than normal.This is due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin.

You’re also likely to sweat more. It helps if you: wear loose clothing made of natural fibres, as these are more absorbent and breathe more than synthetic fibres keep your room cool – you could use an electric fan to cool it down wash frequently to help you feel fresh. drink plenty of water.

Tiredness and sleep

It’s common to feel tired, or even exhausted, during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks or so.

Hormonal changes taking place in your body at this time can make you feel tired, nauseous and emotional. The only answer is to try to rest as much as possible.

Make time to sit with your feet up during the day, and accept any offers of help from colleagues and family. Being tired and run-down can make you feel low.

Try to look after your physical health by eating a healthy diet and get plenty of rest and sleep. Later on in pregnancy, you may feel tired because of the extra weight you are carrying.

Make sure you get plenty of rest. As your baby gets bigger, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. You might find it uncomfortable lying down or, just when you get comfortable, you have to get up to go to the toilet. Feeling tired won’t harm you or your baby, but it can make life feel more difficult, especially in the early days before you’ve told people about your pregnancy. Make sure you get as much rest as you can.

Sources: NSW Health (Having a Baby). Opens in a new window.Royal Women’s Hospital

breastfeeding

Reino Unido revisa su postura sobre la lactancia materna II United Kingdom rethinks its position about breastfeeding

El colegio oficial de matronas del Reino Unido (RCM) ha emitido esta semana un comunicado en el que defiende que “la decisión de amamantar es una elección de la mujer y debe ser respetada”, en lo que supone un relevante cambio de posición sobre la alimentación de los recién nacidos.

En su nuevo posicionamiento sobre la lactancia, las matronas recomiendan que “se proporcione la información relevante y equilibrada” a los padres para que aquellos que opten por la alimentación con biberones, ya sea parcialmente o de forma exclusiva, puedan hacerlo “de manera segura y con el apoyo necesario para asegurar un buen vínculo”.

La intención de las matronas al abrir esta ventana es desestigmatizar y liberar de la presión a las mujeres que deciden no dar el pecho a sus recién nacidos, después de que numerosos estudios confirmen que cuando comunican su decisión en el hospital, a la familia o en el entorno social lo hacen con sentimiento de “culpabilidad”.

La organización que representa a las matronas en Reino Unido aconseja en su comunicado que las madres que optan por la lactancia materna y sus parejas reciban “información y apoyo, así como la dedicación suficiente” para poder superar los “desafíos físicos, mentales, emocionales y sociales” de esta práctica. En su opinión, los beneficios que conlleva les llevan a reiterar su recomendación de prolongar la lactancia materna, siempre que sea posible, hasta los dos años. Sin embargo, las evidencias científicas de que no pocas madres “por diversas razones tienen dificultades para comenzar o mantener la lactancia materna” han llevado a las profesionales a recordar que son las mujeres “las que deben centrar la atención” médica y por tanto las matronas deben promover una elección libre e informada. “Si después de recibir la información, los consejos y el apoyo adecuados sobre la lactancia materna, la mujer decide no amamantar, su elección debe respetarse”, expresan desde su portavocía. “Sabemos que cada mujer quiere lo mejor para su bebé y queremos poder ayudar a nuestros miembros a apoyar a las mujeres para que sean lo mejor que puedan y les permitan tomar decisiones correctas para ellos y sus bebés”, añaden.

 

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The RCM has confirmed that ‘the decision of whether or not to breastfeed is a woman’s choice and must be respected’, in a new position statement on infant feeding.

The statement recommends that balanced and relevant information be given to parents choosing to formula feed their babies, whether exclusively or partially, to enable them to do so safely and with support to encourage good bonding.

The RCM advises that breastfeeding mothers and their partners should be given information and support to help manage the physical, mental, emotional and societal challenges of breastfeeding.

The need for maternity units to be appropriately staffed is also highlighted as well as sufficient investment to be made in postnatal care to enable each woman to get the support and advice she needs to make informed choices about feeding her baby. On exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life the RCM confirms this to be most appropriate method of infant feeding and that breastfeeding should continue alongside complementary foods for up to two years, in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UK departments of health recommendations to promote and support breastfeeding.

RCM chief executive Gill Walton said: ‘Evidence clearly shows that breastfeeding in line with WHO guidance brings optimum benefits for the health of both mother and baby. However the reality is that often some women for a variety of reasons struggle to start or sustain breastfeeding.’

igns that will let you know that your baby is coming

6 signs that will let you know that your baby is coming

Every woman’s experience of labour is different. You may only be able to work out when labour truly started after you’ve been through it! However, changes that take place in pre-labour and early labour may cause tell-tale signs and symptoms that labour is imminent

1. Nesting: If so, labor is on the way. First, have you heard of “nesting?” It’s when you get this surge of energy that makes you want to cook, clean, and reorganize your home. For some women, it’s a clue that baby day could be coming up soon.

2. Lightening: “Lightening” is the feeling that your baby has dropped lower into your pelvis. It means labor isn’t far off!

3. Persistent lower back pain or abdominal pain, with a pre-menstrual feeling and cramps.

4. Bloody or transparent Discharge: If you notice brownish or red-colored mucus called discharge coming out of your vagina, it could mean your cervix is opening up.

5. Water Breaks: Your water could break before or during labor. It could feel like a big gush or a steady trickle. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s the real deal or just pee, so let your doctor know ASAP if you’re not sure. She may want to know what color the water was and what it smelled like.

6. Contractions: When you have contractions that gradually get stronger and closer together, that means the countdown to a baby is on! They’ll be so powerful that you won’t be able to walk or talk while you’re having them. And they won’t go away if you move around or change positions, either.

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Postpartum Doula Barcelona

As a doulas my first priority is to insure that the new mother and the family feels comfortable and full of confidence, specially during postpartum. I support mums to give them rest and relax, to assist you with breastfeeding and nurturing you baby.

Having a newborn can be incredible and incredibly exhausting. And probably a postpartum doulas is the best kept secret for your recovery from birth and the early days of parenthood. I can help you learn to navigate life with a new baby, while at the same time, help you feel nurtured and supported each step along the way.

I try to lighten the load that new moms inevitably feel. AThe services I provide will vary from client to client, but typical postpartum services include:

  • Breastfeeding support and instruction
  • Day and Overnight Care
  • Baby soothing skills
  • Newborn care
  • Meal preparation
  • Baby equipment expertise
  • Referrals to local resources

Happy mama, healthy baby!

A postpartum doula can help the mother process the birth experience. This allows Mom to express feelings of both frustration and wonder, to mourn the loss of life pre-baby, to embrace her new identity, to navigate shifts in the romantic relationship and to deal with the overwhelming worry and guilt that often plague new parents.The emotional and mental support that the doula guarantees goes beyond advocacy and providing a shoulder to cry on—she meets the mother where she is. Anticipating the mother’s needs — food, water, rest, sunshine — makes the difference in the overall mental health of the entire family. Meal preparation and providing mom the opportunity to rest are a part of almost every daytime shift — two basic needs that keep a mom grounded, calm, strong and happy.

If you are looking for help after your birth don’t hesitate to contact me in: info@doulabarcelona.com

problems breastfeeding

Common problems with breastfeeding and how to solve them

It’s a natural process so it should be easy, right? But just like learning how to ride a bike, you need to learn how to breastfeed (and so does baby, by the way). Because many breastfeeding mothers face a few challenges along the way, I’ve uncovered 5 problems you might encounter, plus solutions to help you fix your breastfeeding relationship with your babe. If these ideas don’t work for you, you can contact me, I’m a lactation consultant! Also you can go to a breastfeeding group in your city!

Problem #1 Latching on hurts.

New mothers may experience some sensitivity or tenderness, but you shouldn’t feel outright pain. Pain as the baby latches on usually means the baby is not getting a big enough mouthful of breast at the start. You want the baby’s mouth to be open wide as she latches on, with her chin pressed into your breast and her head tipped back so that her nose is away from the breast. Make sure your hand is not behind her head, as that can prevent a good latch. If making these adjustments doesn’t help, consult a lactation expert.

Problem #2 Clogged / Plugged duct

Ducts clog because your milk isn’t draining completely. You may notice a hard lump on your breast or soreness to the touch and even some redness. If you start feeling feverish and achy, that’s a sign of infection and you should see your doctor. Most importantly try not to have long stretches in between feedings — milk needs to be expressed often. A nursing bra that is too tight can also cause clogged ducts. Stress (something all new mommies have an over abundance of) can also affect your milk flow.

Do your best to get adequate rest (you should recruit your partner to pick up some slack when possible). Also, try applying warm compresses to your breasts and massage them to stimulate milk movement.Clogged ducts are not harmful to your baby because breastmilk has natural antibiotics. That said, there’s no reason why you have to suffer. Breastfeeding should be enjoyable for mom and baby.

Problem #3 Engorgement

Engorgement makes it difficult for baby to latch on to the breast because it’s hard and un-conforming to his mouth.

Try hand-expressing a little before feeding to get the milk flowing and soften the breast, making it easier for baby to latch and access milk. Of course, the more you nurse, the less likely your breasts are to get engorged.

Problem #4 Baby sleeping while nursing

Baby is sleepy in the first couple of months after birth (hey, he’s been through a lot) so falling asleep while nursing is common. All that bonding makes baby relaxed!

Milk flow is fastest after your first let-down, so if you want to increase efficiency, start off at the fuller breast, then switch to the other breast sooner, rather than later. When you notice baby’s sucking slowing down and his eyes closing, remove him from your breast and try to stimulate him by burping, tickling his feet, or gently talking to him while rubbing his back, and then switch breasts. As baby gets older he’ll be able to stay awake longer, so don’t fret.

Problem #5 Going back to work

“I’m back at work and there are days when I simply don’t have time to pump.”Returning to work is one of the most common reasons women stop breastfeeding exclusively or wean altogether. In fact, women whose maternity leave was less than six weeks are four times as likely to stop nursing than women who don’t return to work.

See a lactation consultant before you return to work. For example I can help you to find a perfect double-electric, hands- free pump for you that will allow you to express milk while you’re busy doing something else. Buy at least two sets of pump attachments—as well as bottles, caps and nipples—so you always have a clean set.Practice pumping a few weeks before returning to work and build up a reserve in your home freezer.

And if you have other kind of issues or doubts contact me at info@doulabarcelona.com

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Birth Ball: What is it and how to use it

What is a birth ball?

A birth ball is simply an exercise ball. The name “birth ball” is used affectionately when used to prepare for, or during labor. I like birthing balls, too. And though I think standing and doing the abdominal lift and tuck is the best for helping a posterior baby rotate in labor, a birth ball is second to the birth stool for helping rotation while the mother is sitting.

How to use a Birth Ball?

In Pregnancy

Use a birth ball to sit on instead of a chair. Trade the chair for a birth ball at the computer, at the table and even while watching TV. Why? The birth ball comforts and strengthens your lower back. Your pelvis is better supported and symmetrical. The pelvis opens a bit, maybe not as much as squatting, but certainly without the effort of squatting (Squatting is good preparation, too). You are able to sit upright comfortably after only a few tries with the ball. Sitting upright helps the abdomen be a hammock for the baby and encourages the baby to settle in an anterior position when the mother’s ligaments and fascia are balanced and she hasn’t waited too long. Start before pregnancy, if you can, but start when you can. How? Sit so that your feet are flat and apart, so that your feet and the center of the ball make a tripod when you sit down on it. The ball should be firm and big enough so that your hips are equal or higher than your knees. Use a birth ball to help you do a gentle back bend to open your upper chest and shoulders. You might get a gentle adjustment, or spinal alignment.

 

Pre-Labour

To Get into Labor Doing vigorous circles on the ball can help get the baby’s head on the cervix. If your baby is posterior (you feel little hands wiggling down in front) then don’t do these circles until after ten contractions doing the Abdominal Lift and Tuck. If your water releases (breaks, rupture of membranes, ROM) and there are no contractions, then these circles on the ball, done smoothly, but actively, perhaps to salsa music, can help bring the head on the cervix and bring on contractions. Do 20 minutes. Change directions periodically during the 20 minutes you do the circles. Alternate abdominal lifts with circles on the ball once contractions begin if the contractions are not yet 3-4 minutes apart and it’s not time to sleep.

 

Labour

The birth ball can be used to sit on in early labor or the pushing stage. The upward curve of the ball is a nice support during labor. The curve gives a slight counter pressure to the slightly engorged or swollen vulva during labor. It’s just more comfortable than a chair. Few women like the ball in very active labor. That’s when it’s hard to sit on anything that presses. The ball can be a mobile support for the mother’s upper body when she is kneeling and leaning forward in labor. This position on the ball makes it easy to rock forward and back during contractions, which soothes many women. Other women like to rock side to side or even make gentle circles to calm themselves and rock their bodies during contractions. It’s a way to be in a hands and knees position without straining the wrists. A peanut ball has an excellent shape for resting a leg when lying on one’s side. The curve of the peanut shape seems to lift and relax thigh muscles leading to the pelvis. Several studies report shorter labors. Use with an epidural or simply while resting in labor.

Cristina+Guerau+Tanit

Testimoni Cristina i els bessons

Quan em vaig assabentar que esperava bessons vaig decidir que necessitàvem buscar ajuda per l’etapa del postpart. No teníem experiència amb bebès (la nostra filla gran és adoptada i va arribar amb 13 mesos) i no comptàvem amb suport familiar. A mi em feia molta il.lusió donar el pit, tot i que sabia que amb dos nadons no seria fàcil. Vam contactar amb l’Associació de Mares Doules i ens van passar el contacte de 3 Doules, vam parlar amb les tres i sense cap mena de dubte vam escollir a la Vicky.

La Vicky és una persona amable, càlida i carinyosa. Té una gran experiència i ens ha aconsellat sempre respectant les nostres decisions, sense imposar-nos res. La seva ajuda ha estat crucial per la implementació de la lactància materna. Es va adonar de seguida que el nen tenia el frenet curt i vam parlar amb els pediatres al mateix hospital per a que li tallessin, em va ensenyar a donar el pit als dos a la vegada, ens va aconsellar per evitar la confussió tetina-mugró quan ens van recomanar donar suplements de llet de fòrmula als nens i a utilitzar el tirallet. A més també ens va ensenyar a portar els nens en un fular (fins i tot els dos a la vegada!) i ens va donar consells per tota la paperassa que s’ha de fer quan neix un nen.
Comptar amb la Vicky ha estat una bendició, la recomano de tot cor.

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Testimonio de Laura y Fran, padres de Gerard

Por dónde empezar… Bueno un buen comienzo seria (sin que quede muy vanagloriado), agradeciendo la magnífica decisión de contratar a una doula para que nos acompañase en esta loca aventura que es ser padres. Fue toda una suerte, el que Fran encontrase a Vicky, (que fue la primera y única Doula que vimos, aunque teníamos más entrevistas); este primer contacto fue muy tranquilizador para mí. Yo necesitaba normalizar la situación, y poder focalizar las cosas desde ya, que por motivos principalmente profesionales, no había habido manera de poder hacerlo con perspectiva. Veía que se me echaba el tiempo encima y aún estaba como un pollo sin cabeza, aunque no andaba desinformada, y habíamos hablado un sinfín de cosas Fran y yo, tenía la sensación de que estaba todo por atar (y lo que me queda, no?… jejeje). Vicky, en su primera visita, lo normalizo, pero lo que más me gusto es que no me sentí incomprendida, ni juzgada ni vulnerable ante mis inquietudes a la hora de gestionar el impacto de la maternidad en todos sus ámbitos. Y me dije: ¡¿Lo que me ha aportado esta mujer en tan solo una visita?!… Esto promete!!. Y así fue.

Vicky, nos inyectaste luz, seguridad, armonía, paz, sabiduría, respeto, compresión, profesionalidad, amistad, familiaridad, positividad… Ha sido toda bendición tu compañía.

Y para acabar, porque si no esto sería interminable, tres cositas: No te olvidaremos, no te libraras de nosotros tan fácilmente (Gerard ha de conocerte), y si viniese un segundo, repetiremos contigo sin dudarlo. Gracias.

Fran, Gerard y Laura.

Zaraya y Saül

Testimonio de Zaraya

Desde que me quedé embarazada tenía claro que quería que alguien, una profesional, me acompañara durante el postparto.

Me hacía mucha ilusión poder dar el pecho y después de los testimonios de muchas de mis amistades y conocidas, lo único que me quedaba claro es que no era tarea fácil, o por lo menos, en la mayoría de los casos no lo había sido.

Al no tener cerca a mi familia, la necesidad de tener una persona experta que me acompañara durante el puerperio me parecía importante y sin buscar mucho y casi por casualidad di con Vicky, y que gran suerte!!!

Aunque los comienzos de la lactancia no fueron fáciles, gracias a los conocimientos, a la cercanía y a la profesionalidad de Vicky, lo superamos y dar de mamar se convirtió en una experiencia única.

Además cualquier duda que nos surgía sobre la crianza, ahí estaba Vicky, siempre dispuesta a guiarnos y animarnos, siempre facilitándonos las cosas en los momentos duros y dándonos herramientas para ir superando cada etapa y sobre todo para poder disfrutar de nuestro hijo.

Muchas gracias Vicky por tu disponibilidad, por tu cercanía y sobre todo por tu profesionalidad y tu sensatez. Gracias a ti seguimos disfrutando de la lactancia materna, ya son casi 8 meses!!, gracias por habernos guiado en esa etapa tan extraña y de sentimientos tan encontrados como fue para nosotros el puerperio.

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Testimonial of Sarah and Adam (Tomas parents)

After a relaxed meeting with Vicky where she outlined the doula services she could provide we decided we would like her to be at our birth. We felt Vicky gave good advice and information with no bias as to which options were the best for us. Her knowledge and experience of different birth scenarios helped us to prepare the birth plan that we wanted and her vibrant and friendly personality kept us calm and made us feel supported and cared for throughout the process.
Vicky was quick and organised when we called to let her know that labour had begun. She arrived at our house with a taxi ready and ensured we had everything we needed. Her stamina throughout the labour was incredible, she guided us through the breathing techniques which we had completely forgotten and spent hours massaging my back through the contractions, at my request, both things eased the pain greatly. Vicky is calm and loving and does the job because she loves the experience and wants to make birth a positive experience for couples – we don’t believe our experience would have been as positive had she not been there.
With Spanish not being our native language Vicky was quick to translate and assist not only during the birth but with explanations before and after when needed. The aftercare she provided at the hospital and in the home with paperwork and breastfeeding was above and beyond our expectations and we would have struggled greatly without her support in these areas.
Words are not enough to express how thankful we are that we met Vicky. We would ask Vicky to be at the birth of any other children we have and can whole heartedly recommend her as a doula.

Sarah & Adam – parents to Thomas 3.5kg, born naturally in the water at Maternitat hospital with no interventions or pain relief.