Lactation Techniques

Breastfeeding is a natural process for women and provides a precious experience. However, breastfeeding your baby properly needs patience and practice to make the process enjoyable. Breastfeeding helps in building a special and intimate relationship between mother and baby. If you are a new mom, it is very essential that you know the right lactation techniques so that your baby gets fed properly.


Proper positioning along with proper latching are the vital factors to make breastfeeding effective for both mother and baby. For the first few days, it might be a challenge for you to get the proper position for successful nursing. But as time passes, you will be able to achieve the right position which will help your baby to achieve the proper latch and feed properly. Good positioning will help you achieve the following things:

  • It will let your baby milk the breasts effectively.
  • Effective milking helps in stimulating the breasts, letting your body produce the exact amount of milk your baby needs.
  • Right positioning while breastfeeding helps in minimizing sore nipples and various other complications.

Normally, there are four positions that are used while breastfeeding a baby :

  • Traditional or cradle position: This is the most convenient position for most nursing mothers.
  • Cross-cradle position: This position is quite similar to the cradle position but the only difference is that it offers more control of the baby’s head.
  • Football or clutch hold: This position is very helpful for nursing mothers who have undergone C-section during childbirth.
  • Side-lying position: Though somewhat awkward, this position allows the mother and the baby to relax more, and even end up dozing off while breastfeeding.



Based on the above mentioned positions, below are some lactation techniques that are helpful for breastfeeding your baby the right way:


  • Sit comfortably on a chair with a back support and put your feet on a stool. It will help you to get a good posture, and prevent your neck and shoulders from getting strained. In this position, a proper latch could be attained allowing better breastfeeding.
  • While breastfeeding, relax your shoulders and bring your baby to your breast not your breast to your baby.
  • You should hold your baby close to you so that her nose touches your nipple, chin with your breast and bottom to your tummy.
  • While breastfeeding, provide support to your baby’s neck and shoulders with your hand so that your baby’s head does not push back.
  • You should support your breast underneath with the help of your fingers with touching the areolas and on top with your thumb.
  • While breastfeeding your baby, you should keep in mind to place the nipple at the centre of your baby’s mouth.
  • Make sure that your baby takes in not only the nipples but also areolas, as much as possible.
  • As your baby starts sucking the nipple, you can relax your shoulders but make sure to hold your baby close to you.
  • Once your baby starts learning the skills of milking, you can lie sidewise on bed with pillows around your head to support your shoulders. In this position, you can relax more while breastfeeding your baby.


Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Carrying a baby in the womb and giving birth is a beautiful feeling that women get to experience. During pregnancy, it is quite natural that the blood pressure of women may fluctuate.


Blood Pressure

The pressure at which blood is pumped throughout the body is known as blood pressure. Usually, blood pressure is measured in terms of the maximum pressure over the minimum pressure. In an adult, the normal resting blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg (millimetres of Mercury) approximately.


Pregnancy and Blood Pressure

When a woman conceives, there are changes in her body due to hormonal influence. Due to this, the blood pressure of the pregnant woman fluctuates. During the first and second trimester of pregnancy, blood pressure may be lower than normal.  And in some cases, blood pressure becomes higher than normal. And as time progresses, after delivery, blood pressure may return to normal.

So, it is very necessary that special attention should be given if you are suffering from high or low blood pressure during pregnancy.


Types of High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

  • Gestational Hypertension: When a pregnant woman develops hypertension after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and no other organs are affected, it is referred to as gestational hypertension.
  • Chronic Hypertension: When a woman has blood pressure before being pregnant or before the 20th week of pregnancy, then it is known as chronic hypertension (Pre-existing Hypertension).
  • Preeclampsia: Sometimes, gestational hypertension or chronic hypertension can lead to preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition during pregnancy which is also known as toxaemia. It occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy which is characterized by high blood pressure along with signs of other organ system damage. Preeclampsia when left untreated may cause severe complications including death of the foetus.

Problems Caused Due to High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure during pregnancy, causes different types of health problems, including :

  • Fetal Growth Restriction: High blood pressure may result in slow growth of the baby, leading to low birth weight.
  • Premature Delivery: In order to prevent further complications due to high blood pressure, premature delivery may be necessitated.
  • Separation of Placenta: Due to preeclampsia, the placenta may get separated from the uterus before the baby is born. And when the placenta prematurely separates from the uterus heavy bleeding may occur which may be seen coming through the vagina. In some cases, separation of the placenta from the uterine wall may be life threatening for both the mother and the baby.
  • Eclampsia : Preeclampsia can lead to mother having seizures (fits / convulsions) that is called Eclampsia. This is life threatening for both the mother and the baby.
  • Multi-Organ Damage: Preeclampsia can affect all the organs of the mother – leading to multi-organ damage. Sometimes, any one organ like the kidney, liver or blood cell may be affected, and this may lead to premature delivery. The mother is also at risk of developing HELLP Syndrome (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes, Low platelets).

What are the Symptoms of Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, many times, may occur without any warning symptoms. It may be detected by your doctor during routine check-ups.

The symptoms of severe preeclampsia include:

  • Severe headache that doesn’t go away with simple painkillers
  • Problems with vision, such as blurring or flashing before the eyes
  • Severe pain just below the ribs
  • Heartburn that doesn’t go away with antacids
  • Rapidly increasing swelling of the face, hands or feet
  • Feeling very unwell.

Who is Likely to Get Preeclampsia? How to Prevent High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy:

Preeclampsia can occur in any pregnancy but you are at higher risk if:

  • Your blood pressure was high before you became pregnant
  • Your blood pressure was high in a previous pregnancy
  • You have a medical problem such as kidney problems or diabetes or a condition that affects the immune system, such as lupus.

If any of these apply to you, you should be advised to take low-dose aspirin (75 mg) once a day in pregnancy, to reduce your risk.

The importance of other factors is less clear-cut, but you are more likely to develop pre-eclampsia if more than one of the following applies:

  • This is your first pregnancy
  • You are aged 40 or over
  • Your last pregnancy was more than 10 years ago
  • You are very overweight – a BMI (body mass index) of 35 or more
  • Your mother or sister had preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • You are carrying more than one baby.

If you have more than one of these risk factors, you may also be advised to take low-dose aspirin once a day in pregnancy.

Treatment for High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and suffering from high blood pressure, it is very necessary to seek your doctor’s advice.  Normally, a doctor may suggest the following in order to make your blood pressure normal and keep you and your baby safe.

  • Advise admission
  • Medications to lower high blood pressure
  • Offer frequent tests of your blood and urine
  • Monitor the health of the baby

So, it becomes very necessary to have regular check-ups during the gestation period. It will help you to know your health status and that of your baby. And if you are suffering from high blood pressure, your doctor will recommend certain things that you need to do.

Check-Ups and Tests to Get During Pregnancy

It is very important for women who are pregnant to have regular check-ups either with a doctor or a midwife. There are certain types of tests and scans which are needed to be done during pregnancy. All these help in keeping track of your baby whether it is developing in a healthy way or not. Moreover, you also get to know about your health.



For some women, pregnancy turns out to be well with no complications. But that doesn’t mean that you can skip those check-ups and tests. These procedures are not to be missed during pregnancy.

These are some of the prenatal tests and check-ups :

  • Routine Check-ups: During pregnancy, you have to visit your doctor many times for routine check-ups where certain types of urine and blood tests will be done. Your blood pressure will be checked and it will be determined through the blood and urine tests if you are suffering from gestational diabetes. All these tests are done to see if there are any problems which may create complications during pregnancy or during labour and to check the health of the baby, as well.

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  • Ultrasound: Every pregnant woman needs to do an ultrasound between 18 weeks and 21 weeks of pregnancy. This scan is known as Anomaly Scan which lets the doctor know if there is any structural deformity in the foetus. Ultrasound also helps in detecting :
  • If you are carrying a single baby or twins or more
  • The size of the baby
  • The health status of the baby
  • Position of the baby
  • Neural tube defects
  • Amniocentesis: It is a specialised procedure in which a small amount of amniotic fluid is taken from the mother’s womb. Normally, it is done between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy and is performed on those women who have the risk of genetic disorders. It helps in assessing whether your baby has any chances of developing any birth defects or  has already developed some.


  • Down’s Syndrome Screening: This test helps in assessing whether your baby has the risk of suffering from Down’s Syndrome.
  • CVS or Chorionic Villus Sampling: This is done for those pregnancies where the risk of the baby suffering from serious inherited disorders is higher. It is an alternative test to Amniocentesis and is done by taking a sample of cells from the placenta.


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