Role of Fathers during paternity leave in supporting mothers to breastfeed. Day 7 #WorldBreastFeedingWeek. 2020

In this 21st century male involvement has been a discussion that has been brought to the foe, if the same concept can be applied during paternity leave then it can be one of the best foundations to improve exclusive breastfeeding and help reduce both financial and social challenges and by extension reduce infant mortality that are attributed to lack of proper breastfeeding.

Hey daddy!!! Did you know you have a bigger and better role, as you celebrate the bouncing baby (boy/girl), as you rush to post it on social media platforms, taking photos and tagging friends with captions of how God is faithful and the joy of being a father?.

Remember before you sign leave forms under the pretext of going for paternity leave you should know you have more than a million plus roles to play. The main one is to support her breastfeed the baby. Not to hang out with boys in social joints to celebrate and brag to the senior bachelors how ‘NDUME’ (bull) YOU ARE.

Hey daddy!!!! do you know that you can always increase breast milk flow by just telling mom that she’s doing a great job, organizing dinner and taking the opportunity for precious dad-and-baby time (e.g., take opportunities to carry the baby in a sling, or to just cuddle him; cuddling skin to skin can help settle the baby) so mom can grab a bit of sleep are all important.

She may want to express milk, and the pain of the aftermath of CS may be too much that’s where you come in handy to support holding the pump while pumping so that the baby may not go hungry.

  • Mom may need a pillow or help propping up to get baby lined up just right or changing wet diapers. At that moment she’s probably not in the best position to jump up and grab a pillow for support from across the room—you’re on it!  Remember-Positioning is key.
  • In addition to all the other things prolactin (a hormone that takes action in the breastfeeding cycle) does, it often causes mom to feel intensely thirsty just as her milk is really starting to flow. Does she have a glass of cold water? You know what to do! To quench her thirst.
  • Breastfeeding goes best when mom is relaxed and feeling happy about her baby. Can you adjust the lighting? Put on some music? Rub her back? These are all opportunities to be a hero- Be a hero.

Nuggets to think about during your paternity leave.

If you are an upcoming daddy or you are already enjoying your leave.

  • Not every mom can or wants to breastfeed exclusively for six months because it’s not a walk in the park. For those who do, however, it would be great if more dads striped up and helped.fathers can offer rest, food, water, and encouragement.
  • When mothers nurse the new babies, fathers can help by being enthusiastic, supportive, and knowledgeable, you can dance, sing to both the baby and mother, whisper some sweet words it’s very therapeutic.
  • When it comes to baby food, this is crystal clear—there’s nothing better than breast milk for the baby. Breastfed babies get fewer infections, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risk of osteoporosis and type-2 diabetes so you need to support her.
  • Fathers obviously can’t actually breastfeed the babies. But their attitude and support can be crucial as mothers learn how to breastfeed. By learning about how breastfeeding works fathers can also be more “part of the team” and support mothers through any early difficulties.

If you didn’t know then now you know.

By John Otieno Otieno.

Are Nutritionists and Dietitians Essential or not Essential in the fight against COVID19? The answer is right here!!!

The world is literally on a high level of lethargy, you wonder if this has been brought by some anaesthesia beyond the recommended milligrams. The moment WHO declared COVID 19 a pandemic, that’s the moment all settings were reset in a flash. Governments have taken drastic measures not limited to hand washing, wearing masks, hotline numbers, isolation centres among many others that have disrupted business as usual. Corporates, NGOs and even governments have considered allowing staff to work from home or take an unplanned furlough. 

Picture this. Have you ever had serious flu that fully blocks your sinuses and makes them very itchy? You then develop a hoarse voice, persistent coughing and a runny nose that makes your whole head spin. Worse yet, you have no appetite, despite your body needing extra energy and dietary nutrition to enhance the power of your immune system to fight towards recovery. Your taste buds are so knackered that you will be among the few who only want to grab some simple vegetable soup. 

Among the tray of recommended items to tackle COVID 19 to flatten the curve of infections, the public is encouraged to hand wash regularly and/or sanitize, maintain social distance, limited movement through night curfew as well as quarantine. One key element in tackling this highly infectious disease is the health workforce attending to affected and infected persons. They should be taken care of and well-maintained resource-wise and nutrition-wise.

Curiously, from the onset of the curfew and all the necessary measures put in place, have you ever wondered what the patients eat? And are they eating as normal as you imagine or through nasogastric tubes? The first patient who succumbed had diabetes – a non-communicable disease – whose dietary requirements are very unique and specific. It has been mentioned that many cases that succumb usually have pre-existing conditions that probably require special nutrition needs. If we are to stop the curve from getting steeper, as is projected, we need to step up nutrition responses as immunity boosters.

You see, I write this with utmost abhorrent feeling because someone somewhere in their indecisive judgment thinks Nutritionists and Dietitians have a firewall against this virus. Interns are still required to tend to patients even in the nerve centre of Kenya’s quarantine emergency block. These teams have no risk allowances, in some cases, no Personal protective equipment and the miasma of outrage is beyond stretch marks. 

How would one feel so obliged to put other human beings on the “front line” with no ammunition and bulletproof with just a few battalions or platoon? 

To delve a bit, in my training we used to list amino acids in two groups, essential and non-essential (pardon me for the biochemistry terms). Amino acids, often referred to as the building blocks of proteins, are compounds that play many critical roles in your body. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body and as a result, must come from food. 

The real definition of essential is so clear, it could be deduced as “necessary, extremely important or vital”, you get the point. 

COVID 19 emergency response team listed the essential services that left me in shock and unbearable anger. How do you omit Nutritionists and Dietitians in your list of health workers? Who is going to help the Doctors, Nurses as they operate the vents, administer boluses of antihistamines or antibiotics? While they handle acute respiratory complications that require intensive care unit (ICU) management, this is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 patients. Patients with the worst outcomes and higher mortality are reported to include immuno-compromised and with malnutrition-NCDs.

Even in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), patients need a prescribed diet formulated with precision that will hasten recovery based on what builds, rapidly insulates and repairs already ravaged body organs.

Dear Ministry of Health and Public Service Commission, Council of governors you must now come out so crystal clear that Kenya URGENTLY needs to beef up its health system as they seek to have this contained and recovery rates increased. 

You need the Nutritionist and dietitians if you must seal off this menace of COVD 19.

I sign out by saying;  We Stand Divided, We Shall All Fall United. 

#EmployNutritionist #PayRiskAllowances #PayInterns #ProvidePPEs

John is a passionate equality and equity Nutrition enthusiast.

An open Clarion Letter to Nutritionist and Dietitians in Kenya.

One afternoon while going through my routine schedule, an email notification pops up as I prepare to step out for lunch. I quickly click on the sidebar to find out if it needed my urgent attention. Labeled  ” Sent with High importance!”, I read pensively the horrendous headlined dejection exhibited that made me pull back my chair to ponder about the contents.

The story of a young man who has been looking for a job for six consecutive years clips me and my heart is engulfed with grief as I read a line….’My parents keep telling me I should now enjoy my resistance to partake another course instead of Nutrition’.

In Kenya, the current graduates churned by Universities and medical training colleges are feeling the heat of a once-promising and vibrant career, now a mere shell of its glory. The desolation and hopelessness has crept in with many opting for business, changing courses and/or getting into online-based ventures.

This not only has serious ramifications on health systems but also the fact that most of the learning institutions that were previously flocked are experiencing a massive decline in admissions. I wouldn’t want to start my verbosity with clenched fist as I know some subjects are discussed in hush tones.

Let’s start with the pressing issues………. 

(The regulator) Whereas sanity is the rule of the thumb to regulate and monitor intrusion as well as reduce unscrupulous perceived quacks masquerading as “professionals”,  to date many feel disenfranchised with the fact that you have to endure a one-year internship without pay before you settle down to now graduate a second time after University graduation. Thoughts of a yearly subscription and the hustle to get a license leaves the sour taste of an already vinegar laced profession. 

Every month I get phone calls, WhatsApp messages of egregious notes symbolizing a pathetic state of affair. These are just but a fraction of those that are going through tough times, with expectant parents, families, and relatives. with expectant parents, families and relatives pressuring an already dejected graduate

The regulator (KNDI) must endear to have an open dialogue orchestrated with a lot of decorum devoid of innuendos and chest-thumping. Leadership is like a music Regisseur who must face his team and guide through a music competition so that no discords are heard. His back must face the crowd to avoid any distractions. You (KNDI) have been a punching bag for long and it’s time to rise up to the occasion and put your house in-order. Close your ears to distractors and listen to the tune of this song: “What we want, How we want it!”

(A divided house) It’s said that a family that prays together, eats together and forever lives in harmony. The ramifications caused by a disunited Nutrition fraternity is far from over with factions pulling different sides. Which side are you? Are you a LoyalistActivistPessimist, ProtagonistAntagonist? All these characters must unite to form a formidable front. Picture a scenario where the Nurses, Teacher’s and Doctor’s Union did not come in for one decade. The days of ‘gun blazing” Adeya Adongo – a man who faced President Moi’s administration in his heydays as the Kenya Union of Teacher’s Sec. General and would not wink or flinch even for a day until his demands were met. I remember they had unresolved collective bargaining dialogue that went for days- on course. Over the years I have watched in awe drama unfolded pitting unbowed teachers and a tough hard-lined head government. Today we see a more United Teachers and Doctors Union with the same energy and strategy that birthed the Sossioni’s and Oluga’s of today. The famous “Lipa Kama Tender” and “Can’t teach -won’t teach” echo in my memory.

Hump! Dear NAK (Nutrition Association of Kenya) and KUNAD (Kenya Union of Nutritionist and Dietitians) we shall one day be judged by our actions. I ask you one question; will our epitaph be read with dismay or jubilation? Shall we command a generation of Nutritionist and Dietitians playing to win and not playing like they’re afraid to lose, in 2020? SHOW UP like you know we are on a non-negotiable path to creating GREATNESS To our Reign of a great cadre without any tincture of bigotry. We must be the Game changers, dream chasers & hope Raisers, Revolters, creators and reimagination activists and Misfits. We must clamor for better opportunities in Counties, paid KNDI 1 year internships, diversified menu of job adverts, recruitment from Govt, Donors and implementing partners.

As I conclude, remember one thing, that you can’t fight the challenges of today using tactics of yesterday. What I have learned is that the Kenyan Nutrition challenges are like malignant tumours. They virulently proliferate, mutate then adapt to be stubbornly malevolent. Only adjuvant approaches like a persistent call to action will defeat them. We must now collect and flock together and avoid being renegades to this course or better build a bright and vibrant cadre for a our future generation.

The views expressed here are personal with a panoramic view on current deplorable state. Let’s engage and have a discourse.

John is a passionate equality and equity Nutrition enthusiast. ‘Our tomorrow must be better than today’.

Barriers to successful breastfeeding Number 10 is interesting. Day 5: #WorldBreastFeedingWeek.

When a mother holds her baby immediately after delivery, celebrations begin, congratulatory messages trickle down thick and fast. However many people around her will never understand the issues crisscrossing her mind. The feeling is mixed with emotions, her mind is at cross roads especially if she is a first time mother. The journey to breastfeed begins 1 hour after birth and she has to keep going no matter what; just for the sake of her angel.

Breastfeeding challenges affect mothers based either on their social economic status or health status. Mothers who turn positive have to grapple with sticking to feeding based on HIV care and treatment guidelines recommended by WHO and by extension Kenya has adopted the same in the Ministry of Health guidelines.

I have experienced an increase in number of young mothers as young as 16 finding it hard to breastfeed and have the incessant desire and feeling to remain young and beautiful or keep saying they have got small breast or nipples.

It comes even harder when they have to leave their babies with their grandmothers or drop them off at the nearest day care. some have to hire some elderly mother to take care of their babies as they go to hustle during the day

instructional-guide-for-giving-your-baby-the-best-2-728

Let’s look at some of barriers that cause women to discontinue breastfeeding too soon:

 

  1. Little or no support from our fathers-Ever busy fathers and have no time to support their wives.

 

  1. In consistent support from family and friends-Think of mothers who give birth to low birth weight of as little less than 2kgs,

 

  1. Maternity care practices that interfere with breastfeeding-Separation of mother with baby after delivery.

 

  1. Misconceptions about milk supply. Perceptions like -“My breast is small, My nipples are small, I have

 

  1. No timely follow-up to questions or problems that arise during breastfeeding after hospital discharge

 

  1. Lack of workplace support for breastfeeding after 3 Months of maternity leave-no provision of lactation lounge or ‘rooming in’

 

  1. Lack of acceptance by the community and society in general

 

  1. Widespread advertising and promotion of infant formula (free formula or coupons in hospital discharge packs, supermarket mailing coupons for free or discounted formula directly to new parents, television and magazine advertising)

 

  1. The common portrayal of bottle-feeding in the mass media through adverts and other sources of communication.

 

  1. Change of perfume, jelly, bathing soap with strong scents or body lotion- the moment you backpedal from using one type of soap, perfume or lotion your baby may find it difficult to identify you, an may be a deterrent to effective breastfeeding.

 

Babies have a tendency of understanding and noting their mothers smell apart from the breast, change of Soaps with strong scent may be a barrier to breastfeeding.

The baby will in his/her small mind think “I am being breastfed by a stranger”

 

By John Otieno Otieno.

Role of fathers during paternity leave in supporting mothers to breastfeed. Day 4 #WorldBreastFeedingWeek.

In this 21st century male involvement has been a discussion that has been brought to the foe, if the same concept can be applied during paternity leave then it can be one of the best foundations to improve exclusive breastfeeding and help reduce both financial and social challenges and by extension reduce infant mortality that are attributed to lack of proper breastfeeding.

Hey daddy!!! Did you know you have a bigger and better role, as you celebrate the bouncing baby (boy/girl), as you rush to post it on social media platforms, taking photos and tagging friends with captions of how God is faithful and the joy of being a father?.

Remember before you sign leave forms under the pretext of going for paternity leave you should know you have more than a million plus roles to play. The main one is to support her breastfeed the baby. Not to hang out with boys in social joints to celebrate and brag to the senior bachelors how ‘NDUME’ (bull) YOU ARE.

Hey daddy!!!! do you know that you can always increase breast milk flow by just telling mom that she’s doing a great job, organizing dinner and taking the opportunity for precious dad-and-baby time (e.g., take opportunities to carry the baby in a sling, or to just cuddle him; cuddling skin to skin can help settle the baby) so mom can grab a bit of sleep are all important.

She may want to express milk, and the pain of the aftermath of CS may be too much that’s where you come in handy to support holding the pump while pumping so that the baby may not go hungry.

  • Mom may need a pillow or help propping up to get baby lined up just right or changing wet diapers. At that moment she’s probably not in the best position to jump up and grab a pillow for support from across the room—you’re on it!  Remember-Positioning is key.
  • In addition to all the other things prolactin (a hormone that takes action in the breastfeeding cycle) does, it often causes mom to feel intensely thirsty just as her milk is really starting to flow. Does she have a glass of cold water? You know what to do! To quench her thirst.
  • Breastfeeding goes best when mom is relaxed and feeling happy about her baby. Can you adjust the lighting? Put on some music? Rub her back? These are all opportunities to be a hero- Be a hero.

Nuggets to think about during your paternity leave.

If you are an upcoming daddy or you are already enjoying your leave.

  • Not every mom can or wants to breastfeed exclusively for six months because it’s not a walk in the park. For those who do, however, it would be great if more dads striped up and helped.fathers can offer rest, food, water, and encouragement.
  • When mothers nurse the new babies, fathers can help by being enthusiastic, supportive, and knowledgeable, you can dance, sing to both the baby and mother, whisper some sweet words it’s very therapeutic.
  • When it comes to baby food, this is crystal clear—there’s nothing better than breast milk for the baby. Breastfed babies get fewer infections, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risk of osteoporosis and type-2 diabetes so you need to support her.
  • Fathers obviously can’t actually breastfeed the babies. But their attitude and support can be crucial as mothers learn how to breastfeed. By learning about how breastfeeding works fathers can also be more “part of the team” and support mothers through any early difficulties.

 

If you didn’t know then now you know.

By John Otieno Otieno.

 

WHAT NEXT AFTER 3 MONTHS MATERNITY LEAVE. #Worldbreastfeedingweek.

image 1 bf

Yes, you can. If you live near work or have on-site or nearby daycare, you may be able to take nutrition breaks to feed your baby. If that’s not possible, you have two choices:

Option 1:

EXPRESS MILK BEFORE GOING TO WORK:

You can keep up your milk supply by expressing or use breast milk pump to express milk in the morning. Once Your child’s caregiver can give your baby your expressed milk while you are away.

In Kenya and around the world time to reporting time  is 8 am and departure time is 5pm. its important to plan to wake up early to pump so that you make it early to work

Remember breast milk is safe for 8 hours and can go up to 6 Months in a deep freezer.

 

OPTION 2.

CARRY YOUR BABY TO WORK.

A majority of firms, Govt offices, civil society organizations and parastatals have adopted the concept of rooming in also known as, special lactation lounge for mothers who are pumping milk or breastfeeding it’s a strategy of having rooms or office space set aside for breastfeeding mothers to breastfeed without interruptions.

Telecommunication firm Safaricom and Airtel are among many of those companies that have adopted the ‘rooming in’ concept that has made their employees more resilient and confident to breastfeed for 6 months

If such opportunities are not possible then NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR EMPLOYER on arrival time and departure time this will make it flexible for you and your baby.

Remember.

  1. Get things ready the night before

Pack the baby’s bag, have bottles of milk ready in the refrigerator, make your lunch, pick your clothing, be sure your breast pump is clean and ready to go.

  1. Make getting to bed at a reasonable hour a priority.

Take a shower early, and prepare you daily make ups early  cut down on time spent in front of the bathroom mirror.

 

leave your comments and share your experience.

BY: JOHN OTIENO OTIENO

NUTRITION TECHNICAL ADVISOR-@ PATH INTERNATIONAL.

 

 

Breastfeeding Positioning and attachment.

 

Positioning and attachment is key for successful Breastfeeding.

1.instructional-guide-for-giving-your-baby-the-best-6-728The cradle hold

This classic breastfeeding position requires you to cradle your baby’s head with the crook of your arm. Sit in a chair that has supportive armrests or on a bed with lots of pillows. Rest your feet on a stool, coffee table, or other raised surface to avoid leaning down toward your baby.

Hold her in your lap (or on a pillow on your lap) so that she’s lying on her side with her face, stomach, and knees directly facing you. Tuck her lower arm under your own.

If she’s nursing on the right breast, rest her head in the crook of your right arm.

Extend your forearm and hand down her back to support her neck, spine, and bottom. Secure her knees against your body, across or just below your left breast. She should lie horizontally, or at a slight angle.

Best for: The cradle hold often works well for full-term babies who were delivered vaginally. Some mothers say this hold makes it hard to guide their newborn’s mouth to the nipple, so you may prefer to use this position once your baby has stronger neck muscles at about 1 month old. Women who have had a cesarean section may find it puts too much pressure on their abdomen.

A supportive nursing pillow can help you and your baby relax during breastfeeding. Learn about your nursing pillow option

The cross-over hold

Also known as the cross-cradle hold, this position differs from the cradle hold in that you don’t support your baby’s head with the crook of your arm. Instead, your arms switch roles.

If you’re nursing from your right breast, use your left hand and arm to hold your baby. Rotate his body so his chest and tummy are directly facing you. With your thumb and fingers behind his head and below his ears, guide his mouth to your breast.

Best for: This hold may work well for small babies and for infants who have trouble latching on.

The clutch or football hold

As the name suggests, in this position you tuck your baby under your arm (on the same side that you’re nursing from) like a football or handbag.

First, position your baby at your side, under your arm. She should be facing you with her nose level with your nipple and her feet pointing toward your back.

Rest your arm on a pillow in your lap or right beside you, and support your baby’s shoulders, neck, and head with your hand. Using a C-hold (see below), guide her to your nipple, chin first.

But be careful — don’t push her toward your breast so much that she resists and arches her head against your hand. Use your forearm to support her upper back.

Best for: You may want to try this hold if you’ve had a Cesarean section (to avoid having the baby rest on your stomach). And if your baby is small or has trouble latching on, the hold allows you to guide her head to your nipple. It also works well for women who have large breasts or flat nipples, and for mothers of twins.

Reclining position.

To nurse while lying on your side in bed, ask your partner or helper to place several pillows behind your back for support. You can put a pillow under your head and shoulders, and one between your bent knees, too. The goal is to keep your back and hips in a straight line.

With your baby facing you, draw him close and cradle his head with the hand of your bottom arm. Or, cradle his head with your top arm, tucking your bottom arm under your head, out of the way.

If your baby needs to be higher and closer to your breast, place a small pillow or folded receiving blanket under his head. He shouldn’t strain to reach your nipple, and you shouldn’t bend down toward him. You may need to lift your breast, with your fingers underneath, so he can reach comfortably.

Best for: You may want to nurse lying down if you’re recovering from a cesarean or difficult delivery, sitting up is uncomfortable, or you’re nursing in bed at night or during the day.

 

leave your comments.

follow me on twitter: @johnotienootie