05 August 2022

Breastfeeding boost for moms and babies in Ukraine

Every time six-month-old Yehor is breastfed, he uses his tiny fingers to clasp his mother Yevheniya's hand. Then he smiles up at his mother. "In my view, breast milk is not only about food for a baby, it's about outer-space communication between mom and baby," says 29-year-old Yevheniya. Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, breastfeeding has…, “We realised it was dangerous to stay”, Yevheniya gave birth to Yehor in february. She and her husband had spent the previous few  months furnishing a house in Mariupol, buying children's clothes, and choosing a stroller and a playpen. So, when the first explosions occurred in Mariupol on February 24, Yevheniya quickly packed two bags – one for the family and another for the baby. "We…, “I was following recommendations”, When her breast milk supply suddenly decreased due to illness, lack of sleep, high temperature and stress, Yevheniya began reading materials on this topi c from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). “I was following recommendations aimed to help in such cases, such as holding the baby next to my breast and keeping hydrated. I was also…, “My biggest joy today is my son”, The family now lives in an apartment in Kyiv that still bears the scars of a missile attack. Yevheniya often wakes up in the middle of the night – not only because of Yehor’s crying, but because of air raid sirens. However, she hopes for a better future for her son and is determined to provide him with safety, comfort, and healthy food. "My…
12 July 2022

5 common breastfeeding problems

It is a myth that breastfeeding is easy. Breastfeeding takes time and practice for both mothers and babies. Many mothers experience challenges with breastfeeding, but the right support can help overcome these issues. If you are facing issues with breastfeeding, reach out to your midwife, breastfeeding specialist or health care provider for support…, 1. How do I make sure my baby has a good breastfeeding latch?, Establishing a proper latch is the key to making sure that breastfeeding is a comfortable experience for both you and your baby. To make sure your baby is well attached: Bring their nose directly opposite your nipple. Let their head tilt back a bit so their top lip can brush against your nipple. This should make their mouth open. When their mouth…, 2. What can I do about low milk supply?, It can be frustrating if you feel that you are not producing enough milk for your baby. If you are worried about your milk supply, reach out to your health care provider. In most cases, there is something going on that they will be able to help you identify. Some common causes of low milk supply include: A delay in initiating breastfeeding No or…, 3. What treatments are available for engorged breasts?, Having engorged breasts can be extremely painful. While full breasts can feel uncomfortable, engorgement is a different problem. Full breasts Engorged breasts They will feel hot, heavy and hard They will feel painful, look abnormally swollen with fluid (oedematous) and tight. They may also look shiny and red Milk will be flowing Milk will not be…, 4. How can I prevent cracked nipples when breastfeeding?, Sore or cracked nipples are usually a sign that your baby is not properly attached at the breast when feeding. Make sure that your baby has a good latch. If one or both of your nipples begin to crack or bleed, reach out to your health care provider as soon as possible for support. At home, try dabbing a bit of expressed breastmilk onto them after…, 5. What causes mastitis and blocked milk ducts? How do I prevent them?, Breastmilk flows through a system of ducts in your breasts to reach your baby. Sometimes, an area of these ducts can become blocked which stops the milk from flowing easily. Blocked ducts can be painful. Mastitis, an inflammation of the breast, can occur when a blocked duct does not clear or when the build-up of milk in your breast causes swelling…
04 January 2022

Navigating pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Pregnancy is a special time full of excitement and anticipation. But for many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has clouded this time with fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Here is the latest information on pregnancy, COVID-19 and vaccines, as well as expert tips on how to have a safe pregnancy during the pandemic. We will update this article as new…, Jump to:, Understanding my risk How to protect myself Getting the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant Getting the COVID-19 vaccine while breastfeeding COVID-19 vaccines and fertility If I have COVID-19 will I pass it to my baby? Is it safe to continue prenatal check-ups? Giving birth in hospital Can my partner or family member be nearby when I give birth?…, I'm pregnant. Am I at higher risk from COVID-19?, Pregnant women do not seem to be at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. However, you are at higher risk of serious illness if you get COVID-19 while pregnant. You are also at higher risk of delivering your baby prematurely if you get COVID-19. That’s why it’s important you – and people around you – take precautions to protect against COVID-19.…, What should I do to protect myself from COVID-19 while pregnant?, Pregnant women should take the same precautions to avoid COVID-19 infection as other people. To help protect yourself and people around you: Consider vaccination in consultation with your healthcare provider. Wear a mask where physical distancing from others is not possible. Keep a physical distance from others and avoid poorly ventilated or…, Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m pregnant?, Yes, you can get vaccinated if you are pregnant. Although the overall risk of severe illness from COVID-19 remains low, pregnancy puts you at higher risk of severe illness compared to people who are not pregnant. While there is less data available on vaccination of pregnant people, evidence on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy has…, Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?, Yes, if you are breastfeeding you should take the vaccine as soon as it is available to you. It is very safe and there is no risk to the mother or baby. None of the current COVID-19 vaccines have live virus in them, so there is no risk of you transmitting COVID-19 to your baby through your breastmilk from the vaccine. In fact, the antibodies that…, I plan to have a child. Can COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility?, No, you may have seen false claims on social media, but there is no evidence that any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can affect fertility in women or men. You should get vaccinated if you are currently trying to become pregnant.  , If I have COVID-19 will I pass it to my baby?, We still do not know if the virus can be transmitted from a mother to her unborn or newborn baby. To date, active COVID-19 (virus that causes infection) has not been found in fluid in the womb or breastmilk. The best thing you can do is to take all necessary precautions to prevent yourself from contracting COVID-19. If you’re pregnant or have just…, Is it safe to continue prenatal check-ups?, Many expectant mothers are fearful of going to appointments while they are taking precautions, such as staying home and practicing physical distancing when outside. Find out what options are available to you from your healthcare provider. After your child is born, it is also important to continue receiving professional support and guidance,…, I was planning on giving birth in a hospital or healthcare clinic. Is this still a good option?, The risk involved depends on where you live. For the safest option for you, it is important to speak to the healthcare professional who is supporting you through your pregnancy and birth. They will be able to advise you on the risks and the safest option depending on your personal situation and local health care system.  , Can my partner or family member be nearby when I give birth?, While policies vary by country, you should have someone nearby to support you, as long as the proper precautions are taken, such as wearing a mask while in the delivery room and washing hands. As Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, told us: “I can understand that you want to reduce the number of people with a…, I’m feeling incredibly anxious about giving birth. What should I do to cope?, The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful and uncertain time for everyone, and especially for those about to give birth. Having a plan in place for your birth can help ease feelings of anxiety by giving you more of a sense of control, but also recognize that some aspects may need to change depending on the situation where you live. Your plan…, What questions should I be asking my healthcare provider?, It is important to establish a trusting relationship with your healthcare provider. “All of those questions that have to do with you and your health, I would ask them freely,” says Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives. “If you have an open relationship with your healthcare provider – with your midwife, with your…, I have COVID-19. What should I expect during pregnancy or childbirth?, If you have or suspect you may have COVID-19, it is important to seek medical care early and follow instructions from your health care provider. Remember that you and your child have the right to high quality care throughout your pregnancy and after childbirth. You should be supported to: Breastfeed safely (see breastfeeding tips during COVID-19)…, I have COVID-19. Can I safely breastfeed my baby?, Yes. Transmission of active COVID-19 (virus that can cause infection) through breast milk and breastfeeding has not been detected to date, so there is no reason to stop or avoid breastfeeding. If you have or suspect you may have the COVID-19 virus, it is important to seek medical care early and follow instructions from your health care provider.…, Once I have given birth, what can I do to protect my newborn from the COVID-19 virus?, The level of risk involved depends on where you live. As a starting point, check for any relevance guidance from your local authorities. You should take more precautions in areas with higher rates of COVID-19 transmission and lower levels of vaccinations. If the risk is higher where you live, then consider sticking to just your family and not…