Is It Normal For My Breasts To Hurt While Breastfeeding?

As we all know, breastfeeding is good for our babies. It has many advantages for the baby, since breast milk is full of nutrients that cannot otherwise be found in formula milk. However, what most people do not know is that breastfeeding can be a little uncomfortable. Some may experience pain while breastfeeding, wondering whether it is normal or already an alarming indication of something gone awry. Hence, here are some of the things that might make breastfeeding uncomfortable, but totally normal:

  • Sore nipples. It is normal for women to have sore nipples while breastfeeding. Remember that your babies suck your nipples while you feed them with breast milk. Naturally, this can feel uncomfortable during the first few times that you feed your baby since you are still getting used to it. However, after some days, it would not hurt as much. Some people say that breastfeeding only hurts if your baby did not latch on properly or you have poor positioning. However, most mothers say that this is a myth since breastfeeding hurts all the same, whether or not the technique is executed well. Nevertheless, you should take note that the pain should not be too extreme that it will make you dread breastfeeding your baby. If such pain is experienced, you should consult your doctor as this might be indicative of yeast infection.
  • Full breasts. Whenever your breasts are full of milk, it will undoubtedly feel heavy and a little painful. Hence, you have to prevent breast engorgement by feeding your baby even if you have to wake him up. Schedule a constant time that you will feed your baby, like every four to six hours. At first, your baby might cry a lot, but he will eventually get used to the routine. You can also tenderly massage your breasts or manually express them for later use.
  • Milk leakage. When your breasts are full and you cannot express it immediately, there may be instances when your nipples might leak milk. This can happen during the most inconvenient times and inopportune places. While you can breastfeed your baby in public, there are still some cultures who do not accept this public display, hence becoming a source of embarrassment. To solve this, do not forget to cover yourself during breastfeeding.

In spite of all the aforementioned things, the advantages of breastfeeding weigh more than its discomforts. One solution to all these discomforts is to make use of a breast pump like Medela in order to still feed breast milk to your baby without having to go through all the discomforts. Your baby will no longer have problems with latching on since he will just drink milk from the feeding bottle, hence sparing you from sore nipples and the risk of getting cracked nipples. Whenever your breasts are full and your baby is asleep, you can use a breast pump to empty your breasts of milk and prevent them from engorging. Milk leakage can also be prevented since you do not have to go out with full breasts anymore as you can express breast milk using a breast pump. Using a breast pump is also less time-consuming compared to breastfeeding.

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How Much Exercise Do I Need to Do When I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Most women are reluctant to exercise during their pregnancy. They are afraid that some exercises might cause harm to the baby they are carrying. When they are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the fear of exercising increases since their condition becomes more delicate than normal pregnancy.

baby loveDespite this fear, doctors would even recommend exercising especially for pregnant women with gestational diabetes. The purpose of exercising is not to lose weight, but to maintain it and to prevent you from gaining excess weight that might be detrimental to you and your baby’s health. In gestational diabetes, your cells cannot utilize the excess glucose in your bloodstream because the insulin receptors in the cells are less responsive to insulin. That is the reason why you have to take the initiative of using up your excess glucose through exercising.

But exercising for pregnant women with gestational diabetes is not that simple. There are some considerations that you need to keep in mind to prevent adverse effects and complications. Here are some tips and guidelines that you need to remember to exercise safely during your gestational diabetes state:

  • Ask your doctor. First and foremost, your doctor should know about any exercise program that you are contemplating on starting. Your doctor will be able to advise you well on the dos and don’ts of exercising with gestational diabetes. In general, exercise is safe as long as you are not in danger of pre-term labor and delivery or you have no cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases that might hinder your ability to exercise. Ask your doctor for any warning signs or limitations in exercising during pregnancy.
  • Start slowly. If you were physically active before you got pregnant, take note that you cannot be as active as you were now that you are pregnant. High-impact sports should be avoided in general, and you have to start slow. You can try walking, yoga, and aerobics. Around 20 minutes per day three times a week is good to start, and you may increase your frequency as your body gets used to the exercise.  However, you should always ask your doctor about the amount of exercise that you should be doing. Ideally, you should be able to carry on a conversation comfortably while exercising.
  • Drink lots of water. Hydration is very important when you are exercising. This helps you prevent dehydration, which could lead to pre-term labor because it raises your body’s temperature. Drinking water while exercising can also prevent excess sodium in your body, thus avoiding swelling or edema.
  • Do not forget warm-up and cool-down exercises. Warming up prepares your muscles for exercise, helping you avoid stiffness and soreness in your muscles during and after exercising. Cooling down, on the other hand, gets your heart rate back to normal in a gradual manner. Warm-up and cool-down exercises should be done for about five to ten minutes per exercise routine.

Your pregnancy or gestational diabetes should never be a hindrance to your physical activities.

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What Are The Blood Sugar Levels For Gestational Diabetes?

Recommended Blood Sugar Levels For Gestational Diabetes

It goes without saying that women who have gestational diabetes (GDM) should control their blood sugar levels. Just like other types of diabetes, the main problem in GDM is that the spiking blood glucose levels might cause problems for the pregnant mom. In order to keep the sugar under control, there are certain measures that every mom-to-be should know, especially the ones who are suffering from GDM. One of these measures is knowing how to take glucose levels in the blood, and this can be accomplished in a number of ways.  With gestational diabetes, you may have to do a blood sugar test up to 4 times per day.

blood sugar levels for gestational diabetes

Taking Blood Sugar Levels For Gestational Diabetes

There are several ways to determine the blood sugar levels of an individual. One of the most common is fasting blood sugar, more popularly known as FBS. This test is used to diagnose a person with in the diabetes or even pre-diabetes stage.  Eight hours of fasting is needed prior to this test to yield accurate results.

Another way of measuring glucose is through RBS or random blood sugar testing. As the name implies, this test is taken regardless of the last time you ate. This may be taken several times throughout the day, and is very useful for comparing values. Usually, healthy people do not have wide variations when it comes to blood sugar levels throughout the day, so those with noticeable fluctuations might be indicative of a problem. However, this is not a specific test for diagnosing diabetes.

The most common way of diagnosing GDM is through the oral glucose tolerance test or OGTT. In here, the woman is asked to drink a glass of a glucose-containing liquid. Afterwards, her blood sample will be taken to determine whether she has GDM or not. Once the woman is diagnosed with GDM, she might be asked to monitor her glucose levels throughout pregnancy through a glucometer and glucose strip, which should be taken at least two hours after meals.

Recommended Glucose Levels

In every glucose test, there is a corresponding glucose level that is deemed to be normal. Anything over that can strengthen the proof or even diagnose a pregnant woman with GDM. For example, in FBS, a glucose level of more than or equal to 95 mg/dl is already considered to be diabetic. This level can already be detrimental to the health of both the mother and the baby. If the glucose levels are tested one hour post-prandial or after eating, a value of more than or equal to 130 mg/dl is indicative of a glucose absorption problem. Two hours after eating, a pregnant woman should have less than 120 mg/dl in order to be considered healthy.

However, it is important to remember that a very low glucose level of less than 60 mg/dl is indicative of hypoglycemia, and can cause hunger, dizziness, confusion, and weakness.

Keeping a Food Log

If you are diagnosed with GDM, it is essential to keep a food log so that you know which foods increase your blood sugar levels, and which ones only do so minimally. Aside from that, you should also take note of your portion size, especially for foods high in sugar and carbohydrates.

Even getting a great book on meal planning will help.  Be sure to consult your nutritionist regarding a diet plan to keep your glucose levels in check.

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