When a woman hears the news she has conceived and will be mother soon, many thoughts cross her mind about pregnancy, birthing and finally her journey to parenthood.
Most moms-to-be in nuclear families don't have any experience of handling a baby post birth. This makes them nervous about the whole process and apprehensive about whether or not she will be able to breastfeed the baby. As a lactation consultant, I often come across mothers who have many questions related to breastfeeding and milk production such as when will the milk production start, what does lactation delay look like, will I produce enough colostrum?
It is important to understand that hormones play a major role in pregnancy and milk production. During pregnancy, hormonal activities increase, and this in turn causes the mammary glands to produce milk. However, this is all just preparation for breastfeeding. Mature milk production can start within three to five days of the baby being born.
Milk production starts during the midpoint of pregnancy that is around 16-22 week of pregnancy. During the second trimester, your breasts begin to create colostrum. Colostrum is the first food your breasts produce for your baby. It is usually thick and yellowish and contains high amounts of proteins and antibodies to strengthen your baby's immune system. Many mothers are not aware about this because it does not flow like mature milk. It might start as few watery drops as this is first milk that's called "colostrum".
Colostrum does not leak and not all pregnant mothers produce it during pregnancy, for many colostrum starts after the birthing process. This is absolutely normal. During the pregnancy a mother-to-be should not express or pump colostrum as it might trigger the labor process. Mothers can use a breast pad just for comfort. If there is good quantity of colostrum or leaky colostrum, one can express it with hand after 37 weeks of pregnancy and store it.
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You may start producing breast milk months or weeks before your due date of delivery. One of the first signs that your breasts have started producing milk is that they will become fuller and heavier, and they may even hurt sometimes. Immediately after the birth, a mother will see a transparent or yellowish colour of drops at the nipple area i.e. colostrum or liquid gold.
It is the first stage of milk production. It is thick, sticky, concentrated and very nutritious. The baby should suckle at the breast with in one hour of birth, this period is called Golden hour. Colostrum is known as "liquid gold" because it's packed with protein, growth factors, white blood cells, and antibodies, especially Immunoglobulin A (IgA) to fight off infections. It's very important for the baby's health and immune system. In the first 24 hours after your baby is born, a mother will produceï¿½on an average - 1 ounce (30 milliliters) within 24 hours. On the second and third day, she will make approximately 2 ounces (60 milliliters) of colostrum. Some people's breasts may leak during this colostrum phase. This is normal. Within three to five days of delivery, your breasts go through a transition where mature milk gradually replaces colostrum. By the time your baby is around two weeks old, your breasts will only be producing mature breast milk.
Colostrum is replaced by transitional milk which will start from day 3-5 up to 2 weeks. Watery or yellowish milk will change in to whitish milk. The breast will feel warm and full. Transitional milk will be combination of colostrum and mature milk. Frequent breastfeeding or regular milk expression will help with milk production and also o avoid engorgement. Transitional milk will be replaced by mature milk usually between 10 to 15 days. It's a whitish milk packed with nutrients and its production depends upon the demand and supply principle. Frequent nursing will stimulus mothers brain to release milk hormone and accordingly milk supply will be there.
Once supply of breastmilk settles down it keeps on adjusting as per demand of the baby, for example if the baby gets growth spurts baby it will demand frequent feeding and this might cause confusion in the mother that her supply is not enough and the baby is hungry; but actually the baby is expressing its demand to the mother's body so that the milk supply increases and settles down mostly within a week.
As per my clinical experience many new mothers complain of low milk supply and after assessment most of the cases the demand or stimulus to mothers body is missing. This can be because of many reasons like preterm baby, medical condition of the mother and baby, supplementation of formula, stress or postpartum depression etc. For example if a mother is giving formula feed to the baby without trying to breastfeed, that demand or stimulus to the mother's body will be missing and accordingly her body will produce less breastmilk.
If baby is preterm and cheeks stability is not there, there might be ineffective or nonnutritive suckling by the baby on the breast which further reduces the milk supply. Because of some external stress factors or postpartum depression milk hormones can be affected and a mother might face low milk production.
Breastfeeding takes a lot of diligent commitment, effort, and energy. Consult a lactation specialist or who will help you answer your questions and continually educate you about the ways your body is changing as milk production increases. Early initiation at the breast is good start for good milk production. If you are not comfortable medically to feed your baby after birth, colostrum expression should be done within one hour of the birth followed by frequent feeding or removal of milk.
An expecting couple should prepare themselves during pregnancy for breastfeeding. Antenatal classes are great help which help in proper guidance and support that will help them sail through this journey of breastfeeding.
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San Francisco, Aug 13 (IANS) Facebook has delayed its return-to-office plans till early next year, as the US witnesses a surge in cases of the delta variant of Covid-19.Earlier this month, Facebook had said that it would require its US employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 when they return to the office."Data, not dates, is what drives our approach for returning to the office. Given the recent health data showing rising Covid cases based on the Delta variant, our teams in the US will not be required to go back to the office until January 2022," a company spokesperson told The Verge on Thursday. "We expect this to be the case for some countries outside of the US, as well. We continue to monitor the situation and work with experts to ensure our return to office plans prioritise everyone's safety," the spokesperson added.Microsoft has also pushed its full office reopening date from September to "no earlier than October 4, 2021", as the Covid cases rise in the US.Twitter has shut offices in US, and Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will require employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office in the later part of the year.Amazon has also announced to delay its return-to-office timeline by January 2022.The e-commerce giant told warehouse employees in the US to once again wear masks at work, as the Delta variant is spreading fast in the country. The company said masks are now mandatory regardless of vaccination status.The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 36,305,005 and 619,098, respectively.--IANSna/
New York, Aug 7 (IANS) In a bid to help doctors treat pancreatic cancer in a better way, a team of MIT researchers has developed an immunotherapy strategy.The study, published in the journalACancer Cell, indicates that the immunotherapy strategy has shown that it can eliminate pancreatic tumors in mice.The new therapy, which is a combination of three drugs that help boost the body's immune defences against tumors, is likely to enter clinical trials later this year."We don't have a lot of good options for treating pancreatic cancer. It's a devastating disease clinically," said researcher William Freed-Pastor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.According to the researchers, pancreatic cancer, which affects about 60,000 Americans every year, is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. After diagnosis, fewer than 10 percent of patients survive for five years.The researchers said that the body's immune system contains T cells that can recognise and destroy cells that express cancerous proteins, but most tumors create a highly immunosuppressive environment that disables these T cells, helping the tumour to survive.Immune checkpoint therapy -- the most common form of immunotherapy currently being used clinically -- works by removing the brakes on these T cells, rejuvenating them so they can destroy tumours.One class of immunotherapy drug that has shown success in treating many types of cancer targets the interactions between PD-L1, a cancer-linked protein that turns off T cells, and PD-1, the T cell protein that PD-L1 binds to.Drugs that block PD-L1 or PD-1, also called checkpoint inhibitors, have been approved to treat cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer, but they have very little effect on pancreatic tumours.Alongside the clinical trial, the MIT team plans to analyse which types of pancreatic tumours might respond best to this drug combination.--IANSvc/in
San Francisco, Aug 6 (IANS) As the US sees a surge in Covid cases especially the spread of Delta variant, Amazon on Friday announced to delay its return-to-office timeline by January 2022.Earlier, the e-commerce giant had decided to reopen offices in September. "As we continue to closely watch local conditions related to Covid-19, we are adjusting our guidance for corporate employees in the US and other countries where we had previously anticipated that employees would begin coming in regularly the week of Sept 7. We are now extending this date to Jan 3, 2022," the company said in an update."Our return-to-office timeline will vary globally in accordance with local conditions," the company added.The number of people in the hospital in the US has more than tripled over the past month, from an average of roughly 12,000 to almost 43,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The variant has sent cases surging to 94,000 a day on average.Last month, Amazon said it was halting its on-site testing programme for its warehouses but would resume the tests if official health guidance changed.Microsoft has also pushed its full office reopening date from September to "no earlier than October 4th, 2021," as the Covid cases rise in the US.The company has also told employees and vendors that starting from next month, they will need to show a proof of vaccination before entering any office building in the US.Facebook said last week that it would require its US employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 when they return to the office.Twitter has shut offices in US, and Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will require employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office in the later part of the year.--IANSna/
London, July 31 (IANS) The symptoms for early Covid-19 infection may differ among age groups and between men and women, new research published in The Lancet Digital Health, suggests.These differences are most notable between younger age groups (16-59 years) compared to older age groups (60-80 years and over) and men have different symptoms compared to women in the early stages of Covid-19 infection.Men were more likely to report shortness of breath, fatigue, chills and shivers, whereas women were more likely to report loss of smell, chest pain and a persistent cough."It's important people know the earliest symptoms are wide-ranging and may look different for each member of a family or household," said lead author Claire Steves from King's College London.For the study, the team analysed data from a Covid symptom study app between April 20 to October 15. They modelled the early signs of Covid-19 infection and successfully detected 80 per cent of cases when using three days of self-reported symptoms.Then, they, compared the ability to predict early signs of Covid-19 infection using a type of machine learning (ML).This ML model was able to incorporate some characteristics about the person affected, such as age, sex, and health conditions, and showed that symptoms of early Covid-19 infection are different among various groups.In the study, 18 symptoms were examined, which had different relevance for early detection in different groups.The most important symptoms for the earliest detection of Covid-19 overall included loss of smell, chest pain, persistent cough, abdominal pain, blisters on the feet, eye soreness and unusual muscle pain.However, loss of smell in people over 60 years of age and was not relevant for subjects over 80. Other early symptoms such as diarrhoea were key in older age groups (60-79 and over 80). Fever, while a known symptom of disease, was not an early feature of the disease in any age group.--IANSvc/in
Geneva, July 15 (IANS) The world is now in the early stages of a third wave, amid rising cases of Covid's Delta variant, World Health Organisation Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said.The spread of the Delta variant, along with increased social mobility and the inconsistent use of proven public health measures, is driving an increase in both case numbers and deaths, he said at the 8th meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Wednesday."And after 10 weeks of declines, deaths are increasing again. The virus continues to evolve, resulting in more transmissible variants. Unfortunately, we are now in the early stages of a third wave," Ghebreyesus said."The Delta variant is now in more than 111 countries and we expect it to soon be the dominant Covid-19 strain circulating worldwide, if it isn't already," he added.At the same time, there is "shocking disparity" in the global distribution of vaccines, and unequal access to life-saving tools, he lamented. Many countries still have not received any vaccines, and most have not received enough.Covax, the international vaccine-sharing initiative -- led by the WHO) and other international organisations -- has shipped just over 100 million doses, so far.Ghebreyesus stated that inequity has created a two-track pandemic -- namely, one track for countries with the greatest access to vaccines, who are lifting restrictions and reopening their societies, and a second track for those without vaccine access who are left "at the mercy of the virus".He reiterated WHO's appeal for a massive push to vaccinate at least 10 per cent of the population of every country by September, at least 40 percent by the end of 2021, and at least 70 per cent by mid-2022.Emphasising that vaccines alone will not stop the pandemic, he also called upon countries to persist with a "tailored and consistent approach". This includes using the full array of public health and social measures, and a comprehensive risk management approach to mass gatherings."So many countries around the world have shown that this virus can be stopped and contained with these measures," he stressed.The global health agency is also reviewing options to digitalise the International Certificate for Vaccination and Prophylaxis, to support a harmonised approach for recording vaccination status.--IANSrvt/vd