BREASTFEEDING: HOW TO AVOID A ‘PLUGGED DUCT’ by Gold Coast Private Maternity Manager, Judy Ross

While for many women breastfeeding is an enjoyable and even wondrous time, some mothers may experience bumps along the way.  One of the most common issues that can occur is a ‘plugged duct’.  A clogged duct can occur at any time during your breastfeeding journey, so it is important to recognise the factors that can lead to this issue and signs you should look out for.   What is a plugged duct? A plugged duct occurs when there is a blockage in the breast preventing milk flow.  It occurs gradually and usually in one breast.   Signs to look out for It is important that you recognise the symptoms of a plugged duct, as an unresolved lump may go on to cause mastitis.  Signs you could have a plugged duct include: You may notice a lump or wedge shaped area, which may be hot and painful to touch It may feel like the breast is bruised You may find the milk supply decreases from the affected breast   What causes a plugged duct? A number of factors can lead to a plugged duct, including: Engorgement Inadequate milk removal. This can be caused by an  incorrect latch, nipple pain, tongue tie, limiting time at the breast, skipped feeds or dummy use Pressure on the duct, particularly from wearing tight clothing, fingers pressing on the breast, or pressure from a nappy bag strap or straps of a baby carrier   What treatments are available? The treatment for a plugged duct generally involves fixing the underlying problem that is causing the issue, if possible.  This may include: Removing tight clothing Removing fingers...

HOW TO INTEGRATE YOUR BABY WITH YOUR PET by Gold Coast Private Physiotherapist Tina Parker

For many parents, our pet is our first baby, and bringing our new baby home is akin to bringing a sibling home.  Will your pet be jealous of all the attention?  Will you inadvertently neglect your pet with the arrival of the new baby?  Will they get along? The good news is that pets are great for children, and studies have shown that children with pets have less allergies and better immunity.  The integration of your new family member with your existing family is an important step in the future development of the bond between your pet and your baby. This integration should not be something that you attempt the day before the baby comes home.  It is a process that should start long before there is even a cot in the nursery.  You have to consider how your pet’s lifestyle is going to change.  Will your dog’s daily walk routine change?  Is the pet’s food bowl on the floor in a central area where a crawling toddler might later have access to it?  Are sleeping arrangements going to change?  Will your pet still be allowed to jump on the couch or your lap? Is the future nursery currently your pet’s favourite hiding spot?  Discuss with your partner how your pet’s life is going to change well in advance of these changes becoming necessary, so these can be implemented over a period of time.  It won’t serve your pet and your baby’s relationship well if your dog currently sleeps on your bed, is walked twice a day, eats in the dining room and has his own toy room, and...

NUTRIENTS OF IMPORTANCE DURING PREGNANCY by Gold Coast Private Dietitian, Fiona Brown

FOLATE Folate (or folic acid) is needed for the growth and development of your baby, even before you know you are pregnant.  It is especially important you take a vitamin supplement containing 500mg folic acid for at least one month before you fall pregnant and for the first trimester (three months) of pregnancy.  Studies show that a good intake of folate can help to significantly reduce the risks of neural tube defects (such as spina bifida) in babies, as well as help prevent preterm birth.  Dietary sources high in folate include green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, bokchoy and salad greens.  Also be on the lookout for breads and cereals with added folate and include these as part of a healthy diet. IRON Large amounts of iron are essential to form red blood cells for you and your baby.  It helps to carry oxygen in your blood and is needed for your baby to grow.  During pregnancy you need a lot more iron than when you are not pregnant, and it is best to get the iron you need from your diet.  Iron from animal food sources is absorbed more easily than iron from plant foods.  The best sources of iron are lean meats (especially red meat), some vegetables (especially leafy greens), legumes and cereals with added iron.  If you are vegetarian or vegan then talk to your dietitian to make sure you are getting enough iron from your diet.  Eating foods rich in vitamin C at the same time as iron rich foods will help to increase the absorption of the mineral by your body.  For many...

MANAGING MENTAL WELLBEING OF FATHERS AND PARTNERS DURING PREGNANCY by Gold Coast Private Social Worker Tracie Rozendaal

Most people know that depression and anxiety can affect new mothers but it is important to remember that fathers are also at risk. Beyond Blue reports that five per cent of fathers develop depression in the year after the baby’s birth, and anxiety is just as common. Unlike mothers, fathers or partners do not experience the physical changes of pregnancy and giving birth, so they may not begin to adjust to parenthood until the baby is actually born. The reality of becoming a new parent can be extremely overwhelming and may bring with it some unexpected challenges. It’s one thing to mentally prepare yourself for a restless baby but once the baby arrives, reality kicks in, likely in tandem with sleep deprivation and constant worry. Screaming tantrums and sleepless nights can wear out the whole family and can seriously test Mum and Dad’s patience. While learning to care for a new baby, a father has the added responsibility of dealing with the mother’s emotional wellbeing and supporting her during one of the most important, emotional and physically taxing milestones of her life. If the mother is experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression or other mental health issues, this will likely contribute to the father’s stress. It’s natural to feel some pressure but some fathers or partners can experience difficulty in adjusting to their new role and the new family dynamics generally which can lead to frustration and confusion surrounding his place in the family. Feeling the need to fill the role as the protector and provider, while also experiencing a range of unfamiliar paternal emotions, can be daunting and can...

HEALTHY EATING DURING PREGNANCY by Gold Coast Private Dietitian, Fiona Brown

Healthy eating during all stages of life is important, especially during pregnancy. The choices you make regarding what to eat and drink at this time can affect your health and the health of your baby. Whilst you are “eating for two”, there is only a small increase in the amount of food you need to eat while you are pregnant. It is more important to focus on making good food choices for a healthy nutritious diet that provides you and your baby with the essential nutrients required to promote healthy growth and a healthy pregnancy. Your daily food requirements during pregnancy are outlined in the table below: Food Group Number of serves per day 1 serve equals… Vegetables, legumes and beans 5 ½ cup cooked green or orange vegetables (e.g. broccoli, carrot, pumpkin or spinach)½ cup cooked, dried or canned beans, chickpeas or lentils (no added salt) 1 cup raw leafy green vegetables ½ medium potato, or other starchy vegetable (sweet potato, taro, or cassava) ½ cup sweet corn 75g other vegetables e.g. one small-medium tomato Fruit 2 1 piece medium sized fruit (e.g. apple, banana, orange, pear)2 pieces smaller fruit (e.g. apricot, kiwi fruit, plums) 1 cup diced, cooked or canned fruit ½ cup 100% juice 30g dried fruit (e.g. 1½ tbsp sultanas, 4 dried apricot halves) Grains (mostly wholegrain) 8½ 1 slice of bread½ medium bread roll or flat bread ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, quinoa, barley, porridge, buckwheat, semolina, cornmeal ⅔ cup breakfast cereal flakes ¼ cup muesli 3 crisp breads 1 crumpet or 1 small English muffin or scone Lean meat and poultry,...