We have organised some frequently asked questions about Mamatoto and breastfeeding.
- Do I have to be giving birth at the Centre to have my care there during the pregnancy?
All of the visits during your pregnancy can be done at the centre even if you plan to give birth elsewhere.
- Is it important for my baby to have colostrum?
Yes, it is very important for your baby to get your colostrum. Colostrum is called ‘liquid gold’ and it can’t be bought.
Colostrum is a laxative which helps to prevent your baby from becoming jaundiced and it is your baby’s first immunization
- What is colostrum?
Colostrum is your baby’s first food which is made in your breasts while you are pregnant and is present when your baby is born.
- Does my baby room-in with me or stay in a nursery?
There is no nursery at the Centre. The baby stays in the room with you at all times.
- What happens to my baby immediately after the birth?
Immediately after birth, the baby is placed on the mother’s abdomen/chest. Skin-to-skin contact is established and breastfeeding is initiated.
- What is included in the "Birth Package"?
The “Birth Package” – the cost for giving birth at the Centre – includes the birth team; birth supplies; the birthing room and 1 visit after you have given birth.
- Do I have to be a client of the Centre to take advantage of the classes and programs?
All of our Support Groups; Educational Sessions and Classes are open to everyone whether you are a client at the Centre or not.
- What is a doula?
A doula is someone who is trained to provide emotional and physical support to you and your partner during the labour and birth.
- Who is included in the Mamatoto team that will attend my birth?
The Mamatoto birth team which consists of a Midwife, a Midwife’s Assistant and a Doula.
- What types of pregnancies are candidates for birth at the Centre?
We accept low-risk pregnancies. There is a strict set of criteria – a “Risk Assessment” – which must be met prior to acceptance for birth.
- What happens if there is a complication during my labour or birth?
If a complication develops during labour, we have a fully equipped emergency cart and a 24 hour on-call ambulance service. The ambulance will transfer you to a pre-arranged institution of your choice.
- How long can I stay at the Centre after I give birth?
The length of stay after giving birth is generally 4 – 6 hours. Midwives make follow-up calls and are available by phone 24 hours a day. A visit within 1 week after birth is included in the Birth Costs.
- At what point in labour do I come in to the Centre?
At the first sign of labour you contact the On-Call Midwife. The decision about when to come in is made together. Usually it is when you are in active labour.
- Does one of your midwives have to be my caregiver throughout the pregnancy for me to use your facility?
No, our midwives do not have to be your care provider throughout. We accept clients who have had other care-providers, however you must register in advance.
- Who can be with me at the birth?
Anyone that you have chosen to be with you can accompany you. There are no restrictions. We are a family-centered facility. They can be in the birthing room with you or in the Family Room.
- What forms of pain relief are available?
We use ‘natural” methods of pain relief such as : massage; shower; water immersion; TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation).
- How long should I breast feed my baby?
This is an individual decision but WHO/UNICEF recommends that babies should be exclusively ( no water, juice, solids) breastfed for the first 6 months of life, then introduce solid foods and continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years of age and beyond.
- Should I give my baby water?
Your breastfed baby does not need anything but your milk. Breast milk has enough water for your baby’s needs even in hot climates. If your baby is thirsty or hungry he/she will feed more often.
- Breastfeeding is so tiring- when will my baby breastfeed less frequently?
Having a baby is tiring whether you breastfeed or not. It is important to get help after having a baby. As your baby grows he will sleep for longer periods.
- Do I have to drink milk when I am breastfeeding?
No, drinking milk does not help you to make milk.
Milk and anything with dairy e.g pizza, cheese, ice cream, chocolate may cause your baby to have colic.
- Will my breasts sag if I breastfeed?
No. Pregnancy changes the shape of your body and then there is gravity! But you should wear a good supporting bra without underwire.
- My baby feeds every 1-2 hours. Do I have enough milk?
Feeding frequently is normal for a breastfed baby as their stomachs are very small. At birth their stomachs are the size of a marble, then a walnut and ping pong ball and as breast milk is digested very easily babies take a little at a time, digest it quickly and come for more. The more a baby feeds the more milk you make.
- My baby’s stool is watery and mustard coloured-is this normal?
Yes. Your baby’s stool for about the first five days is called meconium. This is very dark and sticky but gradually becomes watery, mustard coloured and may be frequent.
- Can I breastfeed if I am sick?
Except in exceptional circumstances, you should continue to breastfeed. You will be making antibodies which pass through the milk and will help to build immunity and lessen your baby’s chance of being sick.
- How will I know if my baby is getting enough?
Your full term normal baby should breastfeed 10-12 times in a 24 hour period- pass urine, poop and put on weight.
Your baby should be seen at a Health Centre, Midwife, Lactation Consultant or Doctor to make sure that your baby is thriving.
- When does my milk come?
The first milk is called colostrum (liquid gold). It is a laxative and rich in antibodies. Your milk will come within a few days of birth- the more you breastfeed, the quicker your milk will come in.