Breastfeeding blog offering breastfeeding tips and advice for the nursing mother written by Tanya Roberts, retired IBCLC lactation consultant and owner of Lactation Connection & Amamante Nursingwear. If you have breastfeeding questions, contact us through our websites or facebook pages:
Search This Blog
The Breastfeeding Baby and Smoking
I recently had a grandmother ask this question, "Unfortunately my daughter has smoked during her
entire pregnancy. She wants to breastfeed and continue smoking. She will not
quit spite the potential problems. How can you smoke and breastfeed safely?"
This is a difficult issue and I thought it
best to arm her with the facts. There are many studies on nicotine in breast milk, but I am referring below two helpful articles.The first shows that while nicotine is harmful, it may be less harmful
to breastfeed and smoke than to bottle-feed and smoke since the baby will most
likely be getting the passive second hand smoke.The second shows the effects of sleep patterns on infants due to nicotine
intake.These babies have difficult
sleep patterns and increase risk of respiratory infection.The Nicotine patches are a much reduced risk
to the baby, so I would encourage the mother in that direction. Also, when dealing with someone who is self-involved, make it more about her benefit than the babies. For example, tell the mother that she will get more sleep
when her baby sleeps better.Tell her that she will spend less money and time at the doctor when her baby does not
have a respiratory infection.Tell her that she will not have to buy or mix formula when her milk supply is not
decreased by nicotine.
If the mother continues to refuse to stop smoking, make her aware that the nicotine peaks at 60-90 minutes so avoiding nursing during that peak, will help somewhat. As I said, this is a difficult issue when you care so much, but it is ultimately the mother who will have to come to terms with her decisions.
Many moms are automatically freezing their breast milk each time they pump and retrieving frozen milk from their stockpile to feed the baby. While this is ok for the mom who gives an occasional bottle, working moms should be giving freshly expressed milk whenever possible.
Before we list these factors, let us be clear than breast milk, fresh or frozen is immeasurably better for your infant nutritionally than formula; but to use the best at it's very best, we are explaining the changes that happen to frozen breast milk.
1. Levels of pH are effected by freezing which in turn effects lipase which aids in digestion. Lipase levels vary from woman to woman, so if you notice a soapy smell or metallic taste to your frozen breast milk, it may be especially relevant to you to give freshly expressed breast milk.
2. Bactericidal capacity of stored refrigerated human milk is at it's greatest within the first 48 to 72 hours of refrigeration. (By the way, this is…
I would love to tell you that breastfeeding is always easy, but unfortunately that is not always the case. When you look up the word tenacious (te·na·cious) in the dictionary, I picture the nursing mother who has been tried by the challenges that sometimes come with breastfeeding.
Today, I am addressing a challenge that literally tries a mom by fire, yeast infections. Yeast on nipples often exhibits itself as a burning sensation and sharp shooting pains in the breast even in-between feedings. If you have pain only during the feeding, you need to address the latch. Yeast naturally occurs in our bodies, but the overgrowth of yeast often as a result of oral or IV antibiotics can be a real challenge. The good news is that it is fairly easy to diagnose and curing the overgrowth is manageable, especially if you know how to avoid a recurring incidence.
Lets start with the diagnosis. As I said, the mother with yeast will normally have burning sensation on her nipples and sharp shooting…
The truth is fenugreek is a great tool to boost milk supply in most moms. However, in the two decades that I have been helping nursing moms, I get this comment a lot, "Fenugreek didn't work for me." How can it be that an herb with such great success stories doesn't work for a large number of mothers. In most cases, the answer is in the quality, dosage or delivery method.
Many moms buy Fenugreek at a local health food or grocery store in brands that are not stored or bottled in the best way to keep them at full potency. Also, shelf life factors into this so buying from a store that doesn't cater to the largest market for Fenugreek, nursing mothers, will not have the best turn-around. It is always a good practice to check the expiration date on any herb before using. Fenugreek capsules work best when taken in a quality brand like Nature's Herbs or Nature's Way Fenugreek and in the appropriate dosage or combination. The correct dosage is es…