Pregnancy after childbirth and the difficulties of the puerperium

Another delicate issue, and often a source of tensions, is that relating to breastfeeding. A theme with respect to which, here, we will limit ourselves to reiterating what was previously mentioned. Many women arrive at the time of childbirth without having really understood the importance of "breastfeeding and the physiological mechanisms that underlie it. For example, the actual milk is formed only a few days after the birth itself has taken place. Hence further, premature and often unjustified reasons for panic and anguish.

If anything, colostrum will appear during the last weeks of pregnancy. A yellowish and viscous liquid, much less nutritious than real milk but still fundamental from the immunological point of view and the first development of the newborn.

However, the real milky rise occurs only a few days after giving birth. Usually coinciding with the discharge of the woman from the hospital and her return home. It will be important that the mother has been adequately prepared and informed on the management of breastfeeding (and of the milk supply itself) in order to be able to administer it correctly even independently .

The milky rising initially appears as a real breast edema characterized by turgor, redness, breast pain. The milk does not come out immediately and the inadequately informed woman risks accumulating further anxiety. Then follows a phase of hyper-production of milk that exceeds the requests of the newborn but which must still be managed (for example with massages and breast pumps) to avoid the onset of traffic jams and mastitis. Finally, we will have the regularization of this process with a balance between production and consumption The baby latches on, sucks and empties the breast, automatically stimulating the milk to reproduce.

The fear of many mothers that by often attacking the baby the milk runs out too quickly, therefore, is in fact unjustified. It is precisely the sucking and emptying of the breasts that guarantee the continuity of this fundamental process.

The prevailing rule today is therefore to breastfeed the infant "on demand". That is, respecting its natural rhythms and its needs. But on these aspects it will naturally be the pediatrician - from case to case - who will know how to advise you in the most opportune and adequate way.

Drinking a lot, not wrapping the breasts tightly, alternating the breasts by learning to correctly attach the baby to both nipples, resting in a dark and quiet room, are however some of the basic tips that every woman should remember and respect in this phase.

The mother, and the couple in general, will also have to quickly become familiar with their baby's crying. Relying on one's own intuition as a parent but also on the direct experience that a little at a time will be built through daily observation.

The child at birth does not possess the notion of "whim" and does not know any other means - if not precisely crying - to communicate all his needs and necessities. Hunger, thirst, heat and cold, a fright, the need for cuddles, a bad dream, stomach ache for some small digestive colic: each of these stimuli will result in tears. A cry that - as foreseen by nature - cannot be ignored. A cry that will demand an answer. Indeed various answers, each different from the other.

A baby who cries because he is hungry, for example, can be calmed by latching on to the breast. A baby who is crying from colic will rather need a change of position and perhaps some gentle pain relieving massage.

What is certain is that crying should not automatically throw us into panic. Also because we would only risk making things worse. So calm and cool. On the contrary, let us remember that crying (when it does not become incessant and angry) represents one of the most important signals, from the moment of birth, to evaluate the vigor, reactivity, well-being of our child.

From this point of view, therefore, we avoid falling into the slavery of the balance, reducing ourselves to weighing it every five minutes and being alarmed at every slightest variation. Let us rather remember that in the first days after birth, the newborn will experience a physiological weight loss that can reach 10 percent of what his birth weight was. And if anything, let's look at the big picture. For example, the rosy color and the soft texture of his skin, the balanced alternation of sleep and wakefulness, the regularity in discharging. These will be the most important tangible signals that will allow us to immediately verify and describe his state of form and health.

As you can guess from these few, summary, preliminary reflections, the context in which mum and dad find themselves operating after childbirth is articulated and complex. The balance changes, the references are changed, the needs of all the players involved are transformed.

The birth of a new life - with all its countless variables - is an extraordinary and rewarding event but at the same time it can represent an extremely demanding test bed. A unique event - in which physical and emotional, social and cultural aspects merge - capable of testing our own identity, capable of putting the solidity of the person and the couple to the test like no other, involving the most fundamental foundations without filters and mediations. deep in every relationship.

These, in summary, are therefore in our opinion the key requirements, the pillars, the categories necessary for the entire post-partum process to take place in a harmonious and balanced way: awareness, patience and mutual respect on the part of the couple. . The competence, the attention and the availability on the part of the operators. The sensitivity, support and containment of the family and friends group, and in general of the whole community, of which that couple is a part.

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