With Mother’s Day behind us, there are many women who celebrated this holiday for the very first time this year. Being a new mom is pretty exciting, but it also can be quite scary at times, too. For this reason, the FDA has set out some tips and guidelines for new moms to help them through that early phase of motherhood.
Dr. Donna Snyder, a pediatrician with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Pediatric and Maternal Health, suggests that parents who have questions or concerns regarding their newborn can openly speak to the pediatricians for support and clarification.
Be cautious about medications: New mothers should not give their newborns medications without the approval of their pediatricians. Even over-the-counter medications and vitamins may not always be safe, so checking with a pediatrician is your best bet.
Store medications properly: All medications should be kept out of sight and inaccessible to children. Snyder warned, “Even if babies are under the age when you’d expect them to be able to get to your medication, get into the habit of putting medication out of their reach.” Furthermore, always read the label for storage tips. “Some antibiotics need to be kept in the refrigerator,” added Snyder.
Don’t use a kitchen teaspoon: Measure out liquid medications accurately and do not use kitchen utensils to avoid over- or under-dosing.
Get breastfeeding advice: Dr. Leyla Sahin, an FDA obstetrician, advised, “If you are taking medications, it’s important to ask your healthcare provider whether it’s okay to breastfeed.” Many medications and even vitamins may be passed through breast milk to the child.
Don’t neglect yourself: “Sleep when the baby sleeps and take naps during the day. If you’re a new mom feeling constantly very sad, it could be a sign of postpartum depression,” explained Sahin. Speak to your doctor if you begin to experience depressive symptoms and get treatment right away.
The first year of being a new mom may be challenging, but taking the necessary precautions to protect the baby and yourself can make it a bit easier.
Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article on Flu vaccine effectiveness for pregnant women determined by trimester.