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Showing posts from 2012

Are Nighttime Nursing Bras Needed?

While formula is $150 per month and breast milk is free, there are still budgetary concerns new moms have when purchasing their breastfeeding supplies.  One question I get quite often is do I need a sleep bra?  The answer is quite simply, yes!  The reason night-time nursing bras are a must is that newborns nurse every 2-3 hours and while you are nursing on one side, the other breast is letting down simultaneously so you are nursing on one side and leaking on the other.  Wearing a comfortable sleep bra will offer you protection from leakage as your nursing bra keeps your other pad in place while you are nursing on the first breast.  Support can also prevent unwanted leakage as you turn and move in the night.   You can start wearing your sleep bra during pregnancy if you are already leaking colostrum and continue to wear it at least for the first six to eight weeks when leaking is most prevalent.  If you are a mom with a heavy milk flow, you will want to wear it throughout…

Breastfeeding Protects Mothers and Babies Against Cancer

Women who breastfeed receive added protection from breast cancer.  One reason is delayed menstruation which reduces a woman’s lifetime exposure to hormones like estrogen, which is linked to breast cancer risk.  Studies show that the greatest benefit comes when a woman breastfeeds for a total of two years.  Another reason are the physical changes in breast tissue cells that accompany milk production provide some protection as well. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, breast tissue reaches the final stages
of physical maturity where the milk-making cells grow and proliferate. In addition, shedding
of breast tissue during lactation.  These shed cells are aimed at maximizing the immunity benefits infants receive through the transfer of antibodies in breast milk.
     In addition to reducing a mothers risk, breastfed infants benefit greatly as well.  Breastfed babies are less likely to become overweight children possibly because of an appetite-regulating hormone leptin, that is trans…

Timing Weaning

In the almost 20 years I have been helping nursing mothers, I have noticed a trend that moms tend to shy away from asking the needed questions about weaning.  Perhaps they are afraid of judgment, but the truth is a good Lactation Consultant is there to help you meet your goals, not hers.  There are many considerations for mothers when deciding to wean your baby such as mom's work schedule and baby's health issues such as allergies.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least one year.  If you choose to wean before one year, first make sure your baby tolerates other foods well.  Next absolutely, positively, do not wean cold turkey.       It is up to each mom when she chooses to wean, but we want moms to make informed decisions about weaning.  Most moms don't realize that partial weaning may be possible.  When moms return to work weaning may be a consideration.  Alternatives such as pumping at work or partial weaning are possible i…

Are you Mom Enough: Time to Speak Out!

Unfortunately, the Time Magazine article picture did not help to promote breastfeeding.  This photo was shot to sell magazines, not to help make breastfeeding the norm.  While I personally nursed my children for up to 18 months, there is no doubt that breastmilk is beneficial for much longer.  The controversy comes in with the child standing and the captioning challening moms to nurse their older child.  As a retired lactation consultant, I always tried to help moms meet their personal goals and encourage them to nurse at each stage of breastfeeding.  Whether it was the first month, three months or hopefully at least a year.  I gave advice on partial weaning when a mom did not want to pump when returning to work and advice on gradual and baby led weaning when asked about weaning.  The caption depicts all who promote breastfeeding as breastfeeding Nazis and not the supporters of mothers and babies who we are.  It makes nursing mothers look radical instead of impassioned.  While I suppo…

Breastfeeding Diet: How to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding

As a retired lactation consultant, mother of 3 and grandmother of one, I get asked this question quite often:  "How do I loose the baby weight?"  More recently I was asked about diet pills, which are unsafe for the nursing mother.  That caused me to take action so I am giving you a guideline below based on two decades of experience and the additional 500 calories per day needed by nursing mothers or 1000 extra calories if you are nursing twins.  As with any diet, consult your doctor before beginning this and do no begin until the baby is at least 3 months old. 
     Losing weight is not necessarily how much you eat, but what combination of foods you eat in order to jump start your metabolism.Start by measuring yourself and not just weighing yourself because you begin to lose inches faster than pounds so it is encouraging to see the smaller waistline, etc.An inexpensive food scale and measuring cups is helpful for this process.Do not “cheat” by exchanging servings and eat eve…

Federal Guidelines Help the Working Nursing Mother

According to the US Government Wage and Devision Fact Sheet, "[Employers are required to provide] reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child's birth ... [as well as] a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public."  So working mothers who are still pumping in the toilet, or who aren't given at least 20 minutes to pump, should stand up for your rights.  Your babies health is at stake and it is a benefit, that's right a benefit to the employer to give moms these breaks.  Moms who continue to breastfeed while working have healthier babies and therefore miss less work due to their child's illness.  Hooray for breastfeeding! 
Some companies even provide hospital grade pumps in a pumping room where moms can use the company pump on a break and all she has to do is carry her hygienic kit back and forth.  Hospital grade pumps run from $…