Motherhood is a transformative process. From the beginning of your pregnancy to the day your little one is weaned, your body is working to meet the needs of you and your growing baby.
Research shows that dads and other parenting partners heavily influence in feeding choices. Parents that attend breastfeeding classes together have higher confidence in feeding choices and are most likely to still be breastfeeding at 12 months. Mothers with partner support are more likely to start and reach their breastfeeding goals. A parenting partner’s attitude about breastfeeding is almost as predictive of breastfeeding success as the attitude of the new mother.
In 2016 I had the opportunity to travel to many places to represent Milkies and I was lucky enough to meet some amazing people. An event in Seattle during September put me in the same room as a wonderful group named Emerald City Doulas. Doulas are the unsung heroes of the delivery room, having a doula at your side during the labor process leads to lower rates of caesarian sections, reduced pain medicine use and higher satisfaction with the birth experience.
The benefits of probiotics are felt throughout the body– a stronger immune system and better nutrient absorption, among others. Probiotics show up in a range of health foods, yogurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut. None of which are appropriate for young infants (although introducing sauerkraut may result in some interesting photos on your social media feed.)
As an (Emergency Room) ER nurse and a mom of 3, I care for my own sick babies and many others. I also teach parents how to comfort and support their baby through short illnesses. My children are 10, 9 and 3 – I would consider them generally healthy. But there were many nights my usually happy babies and children would fuss through the night, and my efforts to comfort them were met with more crying (from both of us).
Worrying about your milk supply is common and many moms deal with low milk supply at some point in their breastfeeding journey. It is normal to feel short on milk when your baby is going through a growth spurt or adjusting to a new schedule (think going back to work or teething). Try not to get discouraged and be prepared to add a few new skills to your pumping and nursing routine. There are many things you can do to boost your milk production, adding a little extra effort can have a significant positive impact on your milk supply.
There is a long list of the ways breastfeeding benefits your baby’s health. It provides the perfect nutrition for a growing human body and brain with no cost or preparation. Breastfeeding protects moms, too - by lower their risk of breast cancer. Just like babies, the longer you breastfeed, the greater the benefit to your health.
The end of maternity leave doesn’t mean the end of breastfeeding. In fact, pumping milk for your baby can be a welcome break and help you feel connected to your little one during the work day. When I was a nursing mom working 12 hour shifts in a hectic ER, pumping was a quiet time to focus on my son and the reasons I was working. If your job allows you to bring your baby to work, or your husband stops by when baby needs lunch, consider yourself lucky. The majority of moms will be pumping, or expressing, milk at work.
It all started with a comment from my husband one night as he pulled a bag of frozen peas from the freezer. “You have got to get rid of some of this breast milk, we are running out of space for our food. Seriously, our food is relegated to this little corner,” he pointed to a crowded spot next to the ice cube trays, mixed veggies and frozen pork chops created a precarious pile. He was right, my breast milk was slowly taking over our freezer.
Historically, the use of any medication by a nursing mom caused doctors to put the brakes on breastfeeding.
A review of the information provided by the medication manufacturer shows that 80% of available medications are not recommended for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Researchers suggest this recommendation is not based on any data collected by the drug makers, but is easier than proving it is safe for the small population of patients that are lactating.