Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...

Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...

Colic

Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...

Strap-in-the-Future

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Contraception - After Having a Baby

ContraceptionThe last thing on your mind after giving birth is contraception, but did you know you can fall pregnant within a month of having your baby?

Most women have vaginal bleeding for three weeks after giving birth. During this time it is not possible to fall pregnant. Most contraception is only started six weeks after birth when the uterus has returned to normal and all bleeding has settled. During this three week gap, use a condom.

On average a non-breastfeeding woman will ovulate again for the first time 45 days after giving birth and she will have her first period within 3 months after childbirth.

A breastfeeding woman's lactation hormones interfere with ovulation and menstruation. There is a 98% chance that a breastfeeding woman will not fall pregnant so long as:
  • The baby is less than six months old
  • The baby is exclusively breastfeeding, i.e. there are no supplemental feeds or solids being given
  • There are no long intervals between feeds, day and night
  • The mother is not having a period, known as Lactational Amenorrhoea

When deciding on what contraceptionwould be best, bear in mind the following:
  • Convenience and ease of use
  • Spacing between children
  • Health benefits

These are the methods of contraception that are available:
  • Oral Hormonal Pill
  • Injectable Hormone
  • Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (IUD)
  • Barrier
  • Permanent Contraception

Oral Contraception:
The Pill comes in two forms - progesterone only and combination progesterone and oestrogen. Oral contraception can be started immediately after birth, but it is recommended that one waits for the bleeding and uterus to settle after birth, therefore it is advised to start the pill at six weeks.

The progesterone only or mini-pill may be safely used by breastfeeding mothers as a pill with oestrogen may decrease breastmilk production. Fertility quickly returns when stopping oral contraception.

Injectable Progesterone:
The first injection can be given at 6 weeks, as giving it earlier can result in heavier bleeding. It gets repeated every three months and can be used whilst breastfeeding. There may be some spotting whilst using the injectable form. Fertility may take as long as 6-8 months to return after the last dose.

Intrauterine Device (IUD):
There are two types, the Copper T, or the Mirena. The Copper T makes the sperm inactive and prevents implantation. The Mirena releases progesterone which also prevents implantation of a fertilized ovum. Both can be inserted at six weeks after a vaginal birth or at twelve weeks after a Caesar. They last for five years, but can be removed when planning another pregnancy as fertility returns almost immediately.

Barrier Methods:
Condoms, Diaphragm's and Cervical Caps are barrier forms of contraception as they prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. A Diaphragm or Cervical Cap needs to be fitted individually at the six week check-up.

Permanent Contraception: this involves either tying the Fallopian Tubes in women or cutting the Spermatic Cord in men.

Tubal ligation can be done during a Caesarean Section; however there is a slightly increased risk of failure if done then, so it is usually done three months later. It involves a light general anaesthetic and the procedure can be done laparoscopically. There is a 2-3 per 1000 potential failure rate. It is also reversible.

Having a vasectomy is an option for men. This procedure also involves a light general anaesthetic. The spermatic cords are cut which prevents the sperm reaching the ejaculate. There is a 1-2 per 1000 potential for failure. It is also very important to note that it is not immediately effective and one must use another form of contraception for 3-4 months after the procedure.

Think about what form of contraception you would like to use before having your baby so that it is easy to implement once you reach six weeks post-partum.