Relationship between Breast Feeding and Sleep

Relationship between breastfeeding and sleep

It is very important for you to understand the relationship between breastfeeding and sleep. Having a deep understanding of breastfeeding and sleep relationship will help you to know the right time to breastfeed your baby. If you feed your baby at the right time, it is more likely that the baby will be stimulated during the day and sleep soundly at night. Your breast milk contains substances that serve your baby’s need at each time of the day. Ingredients that stimulate your baby during the day and those that help your baby to have a sound sleep at night are contained in your breast milk. Given this, you can turn breastfeeding to your advantage as a nursing mother. All you need is proper timing.

There are three major ingredients contained in your breast milk which induce and relax your baby’s central nervous system. They also and enhance sound sleep in your baby. The concentration of these ingredients in your breast milk varies throughout the day. Researchers of the University of Extremadura discovered that the concentration of these ingredients especially the nucleotides was higher during the nighttime than during the day. This explains why your baby sleeps more at night.

healthy pregnancy


Your breast milk contains wide range of hormones such as prolactin, cholecystokinin, oxytocin and melatonin. These hormones play a vital role in relaxing you and your baby. Melatonin was undetected during the day in a sample of breast milk examined by the researchers. But they detected it during the night. The researchers were surprise to discover this but they were not able to explain the reason for that. It could be nature’s own way of putting your baby to sleep during the nighttime.

Another research conducted in the University of Western Australia also shows that breast milk contains ingredients that cause babies to sleep soundly at night. As discovered by the researchers, the concentration of fat in your breast milk is high during breastfeeding and it continues to increase 90 minutes after breastfeeding.

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How to Sleep Better During Pregnancy

Based on the above discoveries, experts recommend that you feed your baby with fresh breast milk. If you express your breast milk, you should not store it in order to feed your baby later on. The concentration of the ingredients in your breast will change. This will affect your baby’s behavior. For example, feeding your baby with breast milk expressed and stored in the refrigerator for few hours can make the baby to keep awake during the nighttime owing to changes in the concentration of breast milk content.

Dr Cristina, the lead researcher in the University of Extremadura likens feeding a baby at night with breast milk expressed and stored for hours to giving a person coffee at night. This is so because your breast milk contains both substances that induce sleep at night and others that stimulate activity in your baby during the day. The concentration of substances that stimulate your baby during the day will be higher in breast milk expressed and stored for hours.

Breast feeding

Breastfeeding your baby directly from your breast rather than expressing it remains a veritable means of relaxing your baby. However, if breastfeeding from the source is not possible for you, you can express your milk and feed your baby with that. But as suggested by Kate, you have to store the expressed milk in a refrigerator and then feed your baby with it during the next day at the time it was expressed.

Benefit of Exercises During Pregnancy

The benefit of Exercises During Pregnancy

Did you know that safe exercises during pregnancy can be of great help? Are you also aware that it can give you a good amount of energy, good health in general as well as improve your self-image? The answer is yes. It also improves your body posture and reduces some very usual discomforts such as leg swelling, backaches, and abnormal fatigue. If you maintain a regular routine during pregnancy, then you are also very likely to prevent chronic disease like the gestation diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It also releases stress, gives you more energy needed during labor and delivery and acts as the best path for faster postnatal weight loss and recovery.
exercises during pregnancy

Kindly consult your doctor before you start any routine workout, just to be sure that the activity you are about to undertake is safe and sound for you. If you are given a go ahead, try to exercise for 30 minutes or more doing only moderate exercises and yoga, for four days each week. Here are some safe exercises for pregnant women.

1. Walking


Walking is one of the exercises that are considered to be very safe to initiate during pregnancy. It can be done by both those that have been doing exercise regularly before they got pregnant and those that have never done any exercise in their life. It just involves a quick stroll around your home area or neighborhood. It helps you to work out your cardiovascular without straining your knees and ankles. This is an exercise that can be done throughout the whole nine months without any effect.

Always try to walk on smooth surfaces, be very careful and avoid or watch out for potholes and manholes.

2. Swimming


This is another ideal exercise for pregnant mothers. The probability of anyone falling on the stomach and injuring the precious baby is almost zero. When exercising on water, one feels weightless while in the pool and gives you the best range of motion without putting too much pressure on your joints. You can do swimming even in your ninth month.

Choose a stroke which you feel most comfortable in, the one that doesn’t hurt your shoulders, back or neck muscles. Remember to always be very careful while getting into the pool.

3. Kegel Exercise

This exercise helps strengthen the muscles which support the bladder, bowels, and uterus hence one gains the ability to relax and control these muscles even during labor and delivery. Kegel exercise can also be done at the postpartum period to enhance the healing of perineal tissues and help these muscles to return to their normal and healthy state.

To do kegel exercise, one only imagines that you are trying to stop the flow on urine. When you practice this, you always contract the muscles of the pelvic floor hence strengthening the muscles I have mentioned above. Kegel Exercises can be done anywhere and no one who will ever notice what you are doing.

Precautions during kegel exercise

a). You should focus only on those muscles you are exercising, do not tighten other muscles for example stomach or leg muscles.
b). During exercises do no hold your breath.
c). While you are actually going to the bathroom, do not do kegel by stopping and starting the flow of urine as it may increase the risk of urinary tract infections.

4. Yoga


Yoga is very crucial during pregnancy. It helps to calm your mind, improves your posture, and encourages breathing and flexibility. Specific yoga poses are also beneficial for pregnant mothers with complaints of swollen legs and ankles.

It is advisable to do yoga poses with the help of a certified yoga instructor, because she is able to determine which yoga is best for you and for your growing baby.

Avoid following exercises during pregnancy

Bouncing, Leaping, Exercises with lots of up and down movements (jarring) and Sudden change of direction.

Foods which you should avoid during pregnancy

Foods which you should avoid during pregnancy

There are some types of foods which you should avoid during pregnancy because they can make you sick or even be harmful to your baby. You should make sure that you have the right facts about pregnancy food so as to be sure of what to take and what to avoid or even take with precautions when you are pregnant. Here bellow takes a look at the foods which you should avoid during pregnancy because they are not good pregnancy food.

Avoid food in pregnancy

Some type of cheeses

You should not eat Mold-ripened cheese which is soft such as Camembert or brie even if it is made using goats’ or cows’ milk. Also avoid blue-veined cheeses like Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Danish blue cheese. Why should you avoid these types of cheeses? You are advised to avoid them because soft cheeses as opposed to hard cheeses are less acidic and contain more moisture, thus making them an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria which are harmful to your baby such as listeria. It is important you take care from being infected by listeria bacteria because it can lead to illness thus resulting in a stillbirth, miscarriage or even to an illness which is very severe to your newborn baby. However, there are some soft cheeses which you can eat especially those made from pasteurized milk such as feta, mozzarella, and cottage cheese, cream cheese among others as well as all hard cheeses such as cheddar, Stilton and Parmesan.

Partially or Raw cooked eggs

Raw eggs are not pregnancy food hence you should avoid them totally because they bring with them the risk of food poisoning known as salmonella food poisoning. You should make sure you have cooked your egg well until the yolks and the whites have solidified so as to prevent this salmonella food poisoning. Although it is highly unlikely for salmonella to harm your baby, it can cause you severe diarrhea as well as vomiting. Therefore you should avoid foods such as homemade mayonnaise because they contain undercooked eggs. You can, however, eat pasteurized liquid egg even though it is raw eggs.

Undercooked or raw meat

Rare meat is also not a pregnancy food for you because it brings with it the risk of toxoplasmosis. You should cook all poultry and meat well until it becomes steaming hot and make sure there is no trace of blood or pink on it especially poultry, sausage, pork and minced meat like burgers. When you are pregnant, toxoplasmosis infection can damage your baby although it is very rare in pregnancy. Toxoplasmosis has no symptoms but it is treatable. You should wash all utensils and surfaces after preparing raw meat so as to avoid the spread of harmful bugs in addition to washing and drying your hands after handling raw meat. Cold cured meats such as Salami, Chorizo, Pepperoni, and Parma ham are safe to eat when you are pregnant as well as pre-packed meat such as corned beef and ham.

Other foods you should avoid during pregnancy include the liver because it may contain too much vitamin A which can harm your child, some type of vitamin and fish oil supplements such as fish liver oil or other supplements containing vitamin A. In addition you should also avoid some types of fishes such as marlin, swordfish, and shark because they contain very high levels of mercury which damages your baby nervous system development. 

Relieving Constipation during Pregnancy

Relieving Constipation during Pregnancy

Constipation refers to difficult or infrequent bowel evacuation. It is one of the signs of pregnancy. It is caused by hormonal changes that occur in pregnant women. The movement of food via the intestines of pregnant women is relaxed and slowed down by progesterone which is an important pregnancy hormone. Not every woman suffers from constipation during pregnancy.

You may experience constipation if you have any of the following symptoms:

Not being able to eat normally

Pregnancy sickness

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

You may also have constipation if you are susceptible to the condition. Other factors that can cause constipation or worsen it during pregnancy include:

Lack of exercise

Anaemia and iron tablets utilized for the treatment of the condition

Though constipation is a symptom of pregnancy and does not cause any serious medical complication, it should be prevented or at least reduced. This is because chronic constipation is a major risk factor to haemorrhoids or piles. There are ways through which you can reduce or prevent constipation during pregnancy.

Ways to deal with constipation

Consume high fibre diet

High fibre diet aids digestion. It provides the body with roughage which improves your digestion. So, if you are having constipation during pregnancy, you should discuss with your doctor or a dietician so that a high fibre dietary plan will be given to you. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of dietary fibre. Whole meal bread is also a good source of fibre.

Drink enough water


Taking enough water at least 1.5 liters of water on daily basis will help to improve your condition. Constipation normally becomes worse when you are dehydrated. But you should avoid drinking coffee, alcohol, cola and tea. These drinks are diuretics which imply that they make you urinate more often. Losing much body fluid will worsen your situation. So, in order to avoid making the constipation worse, you should try to avoid these drinks or reduce their intake.

If you are taking bran as a means of preventing constipation, you should make sure that you take enough water otherwise you will end up worsening the situation. This is because bran alone will harden your feces. It will be difficult for it to pass through your intestine when it has not got enough water. So, you should make the bran more effective by taking enough water.

Stay active

You may be experiencing extreme fatigue but that should not stop you from engaging in regular exercise. You can enroll in antenatal exercise or yoga session. But if you do not have money, there are some exercises that you should do such as walking, cycling, sitting and bouncing lightly on a Swiss ball and swimming. Note that it is not every type of exercise that is good for you as a pregnant woman. You should meet with your doctor or fitness experts to plan a suitable exercise program for you.

Don’t hold your bowel

Visit the toilet as soon as you have the urge. Holding your bowel movement will worsen the problem by weakening the bowel muscles making it harder for you to defecate.

Do not use mineral oil and laxative because they lessen nutrients’ absorption into your body.

How to Sleep Better During Pregnancy

Sleep Problem During Pregnancy

Some of the symptoms of pregnancy caused by hormonal changes and other factors can lead to some sleep disturbance or reduction in quality of sleep. However, despite the fact that some of the causes of sleep disturbance during pregnancy are beyond your control, there are certain sleeping tips that you should apply to sleep better during pregnancy. Below are some of the pregnancy sound sleeping tips that you should apply.

Sleeping During Pregnancy

Supporting your back and tummy with an extra pillow

You can enhance the quality of your sleep by putting a pillow between your legs. This will not only make sleeping by the side easier, but it will also provide support to the lower back. If you are suffering from indigestion also known as acid reflux, you should try to raise your torso with a wedge pillow. By sleeping with a wedge pillow which raises your torso up, you will bring the gravitational force against the movement of the stomach acid up to the esophagus.

Going on the right diet

There are some foods which induce sound sleep. You should meet with a dietician to recommend such foods for you. Your diet plan should include foods rich in carbohydrates such as crackers and bread. You should also consume protein giving foods. They will do you a lot of good and help you to have sound sleep. This is because protein foods prevent hot flashes, bad dreams, headaches and also help you to keep your blood sugar levels in balance.

Drink a lot of water

You should drink enough fluid in order to avoid dehydration. However, it is recommended that you drink more water during the morning hour. Don’t drink much water during the evening. As you know, pregnancy is associated with frequent urination which leads to more bathroom breaks during the nighttime. This implies that you have frequent sleep interruption which is not good for a sound sleep. So, if you drink more water during the evening time, it will make you urinate more frequently during the night.

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Relationship between Breastfeeding and Sleep

Stop smoking and alcohol consumption

Nicotine contained in cigarette and alcoholic beverages are not good for your baby. But they can also cause impaired sleep. Though alcohol can quickly induce sleep but it is a diuretic and so it will disrupt your sleep. Nicotine will keep you awake because it is a stimulant. You should also avoid or reduce your consumption of any other diuretic drinks or drinks that contain caffeine.

Do not over eat

Avoid eating too much or consuming spicy or acidic foods for dinner. The ideal is to eat small portion frequently. You should also eat at least one hour before going to bed.

Do exercise

Regular exercise will do you some good and help you to have sound sleep.

Have a good sleeping environment

Your mattress and bed should be good and comfortable. Make sure that you dress your bed properly and that your bedroom temperature is normal so that you will have comfortable sleep.

Have a good sleeping schedule

Practice sleeping and waking up at a particular time.