A rule of life: ‘Educate yourself about it before you encounter it!’
By Hafsa Qureshey and Heba Al-Ali
The journey of motherhood begins from the moment you decide to have a child, from conception to pregnancy to childbirth to breastfeeding and beyond. A new baby means a new mom, whether it’s your first baby or your fourth, you need to educate yourself every time to ensure the best outcomes for your baby and yourself.
We would like to share some basic tips for new moms to get them started and help them along motherhood:
Staying fit during pregnancy is very important so moderate walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga are a few of many exercises one can do during pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga can be started at any stage of pregnancy. The sooner you begin the better since yoga exercises tone your muscles and keep them flexible in order to stretch at the time of childbirth. Prenatal yoga concentrates on the breathing techniques and strengthens the pelvic floor (birthing muscles).
The various positions will not only help you during pregnancy but if you adapt them during labor, they can leave you feeling comfortable and energized.
Prenatal yoga can also decrease common discomforts during pregnancy (decreased swelling and back aches, less bathroom trips, better digestion and peaceful sleep are a few of many.)
The BLOOMA prenatal yoga taught at BirthKuwait prepares you for childbirth as it consists of four phases, which imitate the stages of childbirth: Meditation, warming up, intensity and final rest.
A labor of love
When giving birth, it is important to keep hydrated and energized. For example, eat a date which is full of energy, easy to digest and very beneficial. Use deep abdominal breathing to help keep your focus during contractions and visualize the light at the end of the tunnel: you holding your baby in your arms!
Staying active during labor is also helpful in speeding things along. Try walking, squatting, yoga poses, sitting on a fitness ball or other movements. It’s also helpful to write out your birth plan beforehand and discuss with your doctor. It’s your birth and your body and you have the right to have it your way.
How to breastfeed
Begin by educating yourself about the whys and hows of breastfeeding by attending a lecture or class or doing research and talking to other moms who breastfeed. It is well known that immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth helps bonding between baby and mama so try to initiate breastfeeding as soon as you can after delivery.
Sleep in the same room with your baby. Don’t send the baby to the nursery as nurses may suggest bottle and pacifiers resulting in nipple confusion. Also consider a hospital that supports breastfeeding. It’s best to inform the hospital and your doctor about your decision to breastfeed clearly and write it in your birth plan.
Get your latch checked by a lactation consultant to prevent painful, cracked nipples and help milk supply. Remember demand equals supply, the more the baby sucks, the more milk you will make; to help supply you can also:
- Pump after each feeding
- Eat Fenugreek supplements
- Keep hydrated and avoid stress
Most importantly, believe in yourself, this was something your body was made to do! If it can carry the baby for nine months then breastfeeding is the next natural thing, believe you will make sufficient milk, and believe you can continue for two years, believe there isn’t a better alternative … and be patient as breastfeeding gets easier and more beautiful each day!
What is BirthKuwait?
BK is a non-profit organization that provides moms support, help and guidance using evidence-based information throughout their journey of motherhood. Birth Kuwait provides, through social media, workshops, classes, lectures and programs, help and support for moms with prenatal yoga classes, childbirth education classes, doulas, breastfeeding support and lactation consultants, post natal yoga (mom & baby yoga), Positive Parenting workshops, infant massage and more.
Instagram and twitter: @birthkuwait
Phone Numbers for:
-Prenatal and postnatal yoga classes: Zuzana 99022493 and Rebecca 99569612
-Postnatal Yoga(Mummy and baby yoga), prenatal yoga and Infant Massage classes: Dr Fatema 60045528
-Positive Parenting workshops: Amal 50560097 and Dina 97199106
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in Issue #5 of the KMG Newsletter in February. Sign up to receive the latest news, information, articles, how tos, tips, events and classifieds for moms in Kuwait in your inbox twice a month.