In Conversation With Dr. Rahat Sayyad

Hello Mommies!!!

To continue with the Interview with Mommies series, today we proudly present an interview with Dr. Rahat Sayyad, a physician practicing in Mumbai. Dr. Sayyad is an expert on Mompresso Parenting and a mother of two, Abdul Ahad 2.9 (years) and Maryam (1.4 years).

When she is not sifting through patient files or doing toddler meal preps, she is writing, all in an attempt to help other moms and pen down her own memoir of motherhood. You can follow her on Instagram handle doctormommyspeaks as well as diabolicalmom and subscribe to her blog doctormommyspeaks for more resources to help you in your journey of motherhood. And if you are into podcasts, listen to her, delivering expert parenting advice here. And to top it all, her podcasts are ranked 11 among the 25 parenting podcasts worldwide.

Excerpts from an email interview with Dr. Rahat Sayyad.

1. How do you manage to be a doctor and a mother at the same time?

It’s definitely difficult to do both things at the same time. Especially because there’s always a chance of bringing the infection home to your kids. But living in a joint family has its perks because without a little help at home, stepping out wouldn’t be possible.

2. Could you share your popular rules of weaning to the new moms?

Now weaning can’t be summed up because, there’s so much to be said but briefly here are the rules of weaning:

According to WHO -babies should be weaned not before 6 months of age. But some pediatricians advice starting solid foods from 5 months of age for giving the baby a head start.The aim for early weaning is to make the baby get used to the taste, consistency, texture of solid foods.

Lets come to the Rules of Weaning

  • 3 day rule – each item should be given for a minimum of 3 consecutive days and no 2 items should be introduced together as it will be easier to know the culprit in case of an allergy.
  • Start new items preferably in the morning
  • Breastmilk/ formula milk are still the main sources of nutrition for your babies and solid foods are just additional calories.
  • No salt no sugar till 1 year of age
  • Start boiled water at 6 months
  • Sterilization of bowls and spoons is of utmost importance
  • Storage of home made cereals should be preferably in glass bottles

3. You often talk about two babies under two. How did you manage your kids?

Raising two toddlers is like tackling two drunk adults who have huge egos? and a newly developed sense of independence. So yes it’s tough. We have rules for everything and that’s how we refer to them so they understand that its something serious. For example, playtime rule is to play with your own toys. Yes, sharing is a good thing but when you have two toddlers, it’s really difficult to impart because both are quite possessive about their toys and play is work so I never encourage one to give away his toys to his sibling till he is done playing.

4. How to avoid colic while breastfeeding?

The most common thing every mom will have to deal with is colic.
It starts with what a mother eats.

  • Dietary precautions like avoiding pulses, legumes, sprouts, eggs especially at night (not in all cases, only if your baby is having colic) cauliflower, cabbage are typical suspects.
  • Colic occurs when gas enters your baby’s tummy, so certain breastfeeding positions help to avoid this.
  • Always feed the baby in upright /sitting position. Avoid reclining or lying down if your baby has colic.
  • Make sure the latch is proper. An improper latch will cause sucking in, of a lot of air and the baby’s tummy will fill sooner and he would’ve taken only half the feed.
  • Bottle feeding is a big cause of colic. If you still have to do co- feeding (if you’re resuming work) then get bottles with anti gas Valves that prevent the entry of gas while the baby sucks on them. (Philips avent, como tomo are some options)
  • If the baby has colic then plain anti colic drops with fennel and dil work wonders.
  • Gentle massage on the tummy with circular motions for 5 to 8 mins, around the umbilicus, helps a lot.
  • A little exercise- Hold the baby’s legs by his calf and fold them so that they touch his tummy. Pause in this position for a few secs (make sure you’re gently putting pressure on the tummy) then release and straighten the legs.
  • This manoeuvre when done correctly releases most of the gas and can be done just before sleeping for a calm, colic free sleep for the baby.

5. What causes breast engorgement and how to treat it?

The most common cause of breast engorgement is lack of awareness about it. Proper instructions on the techniques of breastfeeding, positions, frequency can save mothers from this painful condition. Especially when you have so many other pains to deal with. (c section scar, episiotomy cut, uterine involution to name a few)

Causes of breast engorgement

  • Initially our body produces an excess of milk for the baby then after a month depending upon the baby’s need, it regulates the flow.
    Engorgements are most common during this time.
  • Skipping a feeding session, either because the baby slept or took less feed.
  • Supplementing with formula in between nursings- it will cause milk to pent up for that session. If you for some reason have to supplement then make sure you express milk for that nursing session either by hand expression (very painful n less effective) or use a breast pump.
  • Difficulty latching or sucking. This is the reason for engorgement when babies are unable to empty the breasts. Always remember, the baby’s mouth, has the most powerful suction in the world that can empty your breasts. thus giving you instant relief from the pain.
  • When your baby is ill the body is going to produce excess breastmilk. And if not emptied properly then it might lead to engorgement.
  • Sleeping in odd positions like pressure on the full breast, compresses it and prevents blood flow thus increasing the engorgement. Raising your arms n sleeping causes increased flow of lymph into the axilla and thus axillary swellings, pain in the arms which are really difficult to deal with (yes our sleeping woes don’t end even after delivery ?)

Here’s what you can do to treat breast engorgement

  • use a warm compress, or take a warm shower to encourage milk let down.
  • massaging your breasts while nursing to help remove more milk. Use a hakka to collect the leaked milk from the other side. (A cup like device to avoid milk wastage)
  • Make sure your baby empties the breast.
  • Feed your baby at regular intervals. If you have a sleepy baby, wake him up for feedings, by lightly tapping on his toes.
  • Use a hand expression technique or a breast pump to remove a little bit of breast milk before each feeding. It will help relieve some of the tightness, soften your breast, and make it easier for your baby to latch on. This is really helpful because let down causes so much of milk to be expressed that babies cough, choke because of the flow thus interrupting the feed.
  • Alternating breast at feedings. And if you are unable to remember which side u fed from, wear a hair tie on your wrist. (The side without the hair tie is due for next feed, thats what i did.)
  • taking a warm water bath & combing the lumps with a comb, the direction being above downwards. This will help empty the milk ducts that drain a lump from a particular side.
  • Breast engorgement is a really painful yet completely avoidable condition. Just a little bit of prior information and you can be painfree with these methods.

6. How to care for an episiotomy cut / perineal tear?

An episiotomy is an intentional cut taken at the birth canal for widening it to enable the delivery of the baby without causing tears that do not heal properly during normal delivery. Proper care of the sutures helps in quick healing and pain relief.

  • Keep the wound dry at all times
  • After every visit to the loo, pat the area dry with a clean dry tissue and then apply a mixture of an antibiotic + anesthetic gel to the torn area.
  • No squatting or spreading the legs
  • No sitting cross-legged (even for breastfeeding)practice the Dulhan pose which is…
    • Sit with you back supported to a wall or the bed.
    • Fold your legs keeping them approximated at the knees
    • Use a feeding pillow
    • Approximated legs help the tear to heal sooner
  • Use a laxative to keep stools soft hence reduced pain
  • Pain is in the head its just a simple psychological technique that works wonders. It’s a dull aching pain that is present the whole time. Try distracting yourself from the pain. Think about the baby. Because a perineal tear will take anything from 10 days to a month for healing (depending upon the level of care you adhere to and prevent gaping)

7. Do you want to give any message to new mommies?

Motherhood is beautiful but not just yet. Yes, pregnancy was a struggle in itself and you felt all your woes will disappear as the baby arrives and you finally get rid of that bump. But the wait is longer…

It’s better to prepare yourself mentally for it. Being a mom of two I felt the initial mental load of motherhood is huge even after having done it once, it didn’t get any easier the second time. There will still be sleepless nights, you will feel hungry the whole time, the constant worry about his latch, his poop, the umbilicus.

But the best part is, you forget it all. And they Do sleep throughout the night, they Do latch on perfectly, and yes motherhood is beautiful. So just stay strong and you can enjoy the best phase of your life because every mom is a SuperHero ♥️

Medical Disclaimer

Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article