It is important that mothers initiate breastfeeding shortly after birth. To ensure your needs are met and to create the optimal environment for natural feeding, include the following things in your birth plan (it is not necessary that you include them all):
- I would like the baby to be placed skin-to-skin immediately after birth (umbilical cord does not have to be cut yet). That is, before the baby is washed or has drops placed in his eyes. If the baby needs extra warmth, a blanket can be placed over him.
- I would like all newborn procedures delayed until after the first feeding, and done with the baby lying on me or being held by me.
- Allow my baby to explore my breast at his own pace. I would like to give the baby an opportunity to self-latch.
- I would not like my baby’s mouth to be suctioned unless medically necessary.
- Please do not give my baby artificial nipples such as teats, dummies, or pacifiers.
- Unless medically necessary, I do not want my baby to receive supplemental feeding such as glucose water or formula. If supplementation is needed, I would like to discuss my concerns with a pediatrician and lactation consultant.
- In the event of a c-section, I would like to hold the baby skin-to-skin as soon as possible after surgery. If I am unable to for some time, I would like my husband/relative to hold the baby skin-to-skin.
- I want my baby to stay in my room with me, so that I can hold my baby skin-to-skin as much as possible. To ensure your modesty is protected, have your nurse put a sign on the door indicating that you do not want male caregivers and/or that you everyone must knock, state who they are, and wait for a response.
- I would like help in establishing a comfortable and effective latch, and learn different positions for nursing my baby. I would also like assistance in learning hand expression, how to recognize swallowing, and what to expect in the days following discharge.
- If I encounter any breastfeeding problems, I would like help from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
- If I am separated from my baby for medical reasons, I want to use a breastpump to help establish my milk supply.
- Do not give me any formula promotional material including the free formula diaper bags, coupons and crib cards.
- Please provide me with resources for breastfeeding support in my community such as lactation consultants, clinics, groups and/or organizations.
Free Birth Plan Creator
Breastfeeding women who are not fasting often feel “left out” during Ramadan. However, Ramadan is not only about abstaining from food and drink. This time of self-purification and restraint is designed to help us attain taqwa so that we can be closer to our Creator. Therefore, we there are many things a woman can do to benefit from the barakah of this holy month.
- Set goals and make a plan to achieve them this Ramadan.
- Adthkar- Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah (swt).
- Cook and Serve Others- Prepare food for guests at your home or for the community iftar at your local masjid. If you know a family in need or who could use the help, cook in advance and deliver it to them before sundown. If you can’t cook, buy dates, drinks,sweets, bread or fruit to give to others.
- Dua- Make dua as much as you like. Remember, dua is the essence of worship!
- Quran- If you are not in state where you can’t touch the Quran, make it a priority to recite and memorize Quran each day. You can also benefit by listening to recitation more often during the day.
- Sadaqa- Give money towards charity.
- Tawbah & Istigfar- Repent and ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness of your sins.
- Community Service Participate in activities that involve helping others or the environment.
- Salat- Pray fard prayers on time. Focus on developing your khushu. If you wish, make extra prayers.
- Sunnah- Make more of an effort to practice the sunnah with everything you do.
- Salawat- Send blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (saws).
- Reflection- Ponder about death and the Day of Judgement.
- Jumuah- Listen to the khutbah attentively and think about its message.
- Protect your Spiritual State- Make more of an effort to guard your eyes, ears and tongue from harmful interference.
- Take care of your body by eating tayyib, halal foods. Keep yourself clean and groomed. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
- Protect your heart by avoiding things which are doubtful.
- Strive hard in the last 10 days of Ramadan. Take advantage of this time by waking in the night to worship Allah (swt).
This great resource is the first e-book release by Mum Loves Me, an online community dedicated to supporting Muslimahs throughout motherhood. Mash’ Allah, I wish I had this book a few months ago when I was pregnant. It has very useful information about common discomforts like varicose veins, backache, carpal tunnel and insomnia and suggests ways to alleviate them. If you are pregnant or know a sister who is, please follow the link to download a free copy. May Allah (swt) reward these sisters for their efforts to help women in the difficult stage of pregnancy.
Seven Discomforts of Pregnancy: Soothing Solutions