moKee Birth School online:
questions & answers on what after birth
4 min read
by Madlena Szeliga
Here you both (or more!) are - getting to know each other. Days & nights run without a clock, they are intense but magical. You both need to recover and learn your new roles. Everything is new, even if this is your 5th baby! You are the first & only mummy for them.
Here we gathered all the baby care & breastfeeding related questions, our participants asked during the latest Q&A session at moKee Birth School Online. We also included some questions about after birth recovery. Sophie Martin, qualified midwife (aka The Infertile Midwife) answered them all for you.
Really common to get varicose veins during pregnancy. It depends how bad the veins are, but often if they are very large, then they won’t go away after pregnancy. If you still have them at your 6 weeks check-up, mention it to your GP.
My biggest advice is to take it slowly. An old mentor told me that when you have a baby you should try and spend a week in bed and a week on the sofa. Great advice as you need to rest. If you had an operation you wouldn’t be up and about straight away, but I think people forget that when they have a caesarean. Now don’t lay down for 24 hours a day, make sure sure you do get up and stretch your legs. But rest as much as possible. No cooking and cleaning, walking the dog. Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby- if you have a toddler have a conversation that mummy can only hold the baby. Pelvic floor exercises must be done too and are really helpful. Just listen to your body and importantly get air to the wound.
I am not able to recommend this, as there isn't enough evidence to support it.
Just vitamin D.
Meconium is super sticky, thick and black but you just need warm water and cotton wool. Nothing extra.
Washing eyes? Yes. But regular bath water is fine for giving the baby a bath. Check the temperature with elbow or wrist.
Babies should be kept out of direct sun exposure. It is safe for your baby to wear suncream.
Tummy Time is where you put your baby on their tummy for short periods whilst they are awake. I usually recommend doing this on a mat on the floor but making sure the baby will be safe. This will help them increase their muscle strength.
Yes, great idea. A great way to practise the skil l- great to have some saved up, as it is liquid gold. I wouldn’t start too early before 36 weeks. But from then onwards it’s fine.
If you are planning on exclusively breastfeeding, then try to do exactly this - exclusively breastfeed. But if you want to give extra expressed milk, you can cup feed your baby and there are great videos online- the baby laps the milk so doesn’t suck. Nipple confusion comes from teats. So if you are wanting to give them extra milk and trying to avoid using a bottle, I would recommend cup feeding.
If you are planning on breastfeeding exclusively, it isn’t recommended to use bottles. However, if you are planning on mixed feeding, my main advice would be to make sure you are super happy with the latch first. If the baby is still struggling with latch, introducing a bottle is confusing for their latch. If you are feeling confident with the latch, then it could be time to introduce a bottle.
A baby will always be checked for tongue-tie after birth. Sometimes it is really obvious and sometimes really difficult to diagnose tongue-tie. A lot of babies with tongue-tie will feed absolutely fine. So initially if we suspect tongue tie, we wait to see whether the breastfeeding can be established, and assess them over a few days. If they have tongue-tie and can’t feed they would get a referral to a specialist. A lot of people assume you can’t feed tongue-tied babies but it is about individually assessing your baby.
Limit your caffeine. Be mindful about alcohol too. Alcohol does pass through breastmilk, so be mindful of consumption. In terms of foods, there are no food restrictions whilst you breastfeed. Some foods like spicy food, garlic, for example, can change the taste of breast milk but that shouldn’t put baby off.
Paracetamol, codeine and ibuprofen are all considered safe. With other medication, please check with a pharmacist, doctor or midwife.
Take all of this with a pinch of salt, I don’t think having a small amount of peppermint tea will do too much harm.
I did the session which you can read back at moKee’s website (available HERE) and there are great videos on global health media website – the WHO breastfeeding website. It has videos on hand expressing, attaching babies to the breast. La leche league, the national breastfeeding helpline are all really useful too – the community midwife will be helping you too. And there is the ‘off to the best start’ leaflet.
Listen to moKee Birth School online on Spotify. Now available as a podcast too!
by Madlena Szeliga