Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ringing in the New Year: Breastfeeding and Alcohol

     As the New Year and New Year's Eve parties are approaching, this is a question that Lactation Consultants get asked repeatedly.  While the advice has changed from a pump and dump approach to a you can have as much as you want mentality, the truth is really somewhere in the middle. 
     It is safe to have a New Year's toast after your baby has gone to bed.  It is also safe to have an occasional glass of wine.  The key is moderation and timing.  Alcohol does enter the blood stream and your breast milk.  It is also metabolized quickly.  So one glass of wine or beer or an alcoholic drink that contains one shot of liquor is metabolized in one hour.  If you baby nurses every 2-3 hours and you have one drink, there is no need to pump and dump.  If you have multiple drinks, you should pump and dump.  This is not to get rid of the alcohol as time will do that, but to keep you from getting plugged milk ducts if you do not pump or nurse.  Use the same rule of thumb you would for drinking and driving.  Wait one hour to drive or nurse your baby for each 1 oz of hard alcohol, 6 oz of wine or 12 oz of beer you drink.
     There are other reasons to practice moderation with alcohol consumption while breastfeeding.  Alcohol decreases milk production, as well as reflexes and good decision making.  This can be a detriment to your milk supply and your parenting skills.
     To help you ring in the new year with gusto, we are posting a recipe for a delicious mock champagne!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Breastmilk: It's just not that important!

     Although I have advocated for breastfeeding for over 20 years, breastmilk is not that important. I personally was not a breastfed baby. My mother had difficulty nursing her first child and was told she did not make enough milk. She was too discouraged to try to nurse her subsequent children so I did not get a drop of this precious substance.

      What my mother did give me was my upbringing. She raised me to know the truth about who I was. I am not an entitled human being who can do no wrong. Nor am I perfect in the eyes of my parents. I am flawed. I have a broken relationship with my creator and a deep need for healing. This I learned from my parents.

      My mother taught me to trust with every time she picked me up while I was crying.  My mother taught me about Jesus from the first time she sang to me. When she rocked me to sleep, she taught me of His love for me.

      It amazes me that God could have created us, knowing full well that we were going to destroy our relationship with Him and that He would have to sacrifice His only Son for us. It amazes me that Jesus, who is God incarnate, would put His life in the hands of a 15 year old girl to care for Him and raise Him to be a man. It amazes me that Jesus was fully God and fully man while he walked on Earth. It amazes me that Jesus followed God’s will and paid the ultimate price to bear our sins and put them to death on the cross. Knowing at that moment, that His relationship with God would be severed. And it amazes me that God raised Jesus from the dead showing us that when we believe in Jesus and his sacrifice, we can live eternally with Him. 

     So even though I have spent the last 20 years helping mothers learn to breastfeed and telling them of the importance of breastmilk, it is not that important. It is not that important because even though the benefits of breastmilk are immense and far-reaching, they are - as is life - temporary. Knowing Jesus is in a word - eternal.

      If you have a relationship with Jesus, take this time to celebrate His birth with your family and teach them about Him. If you don’t, you can right now. You have a need to have the debt of your sin paid. Jesus as God’s son, was the only one who could pay the price for you and He did. He willingly gave up His life on the cross for you. God raised Him from the dead and He is at the right hand of God on His throne. You can live eternally with Him, too. All you have to do is ask for salvation. The words don’t matter. Ask Him now. What is important is eternity for both you and your children.

 Merry Christmas,
Tanya Roberts