For all the challenges of adding a second baby to your family, waiting for your milk to come in may not be one of them. Talk to second time moms and most will share the experience of milk coming in faster and less anxiety about low milk supply. For all of us that are currently, or can recall the experience of, chasing a toddler and now caring for a newborn, less anxiety about anything is a blessing.
The health benefits of breastfeeding your baby are widely known. The World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. The immunity boost provided by mother’s milk leads to lower health care costs, fewer parental absences and less antibiotic use.
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.)
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.
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.
The first hour after birth is known as the Magic Hour. This is an exciting occasion as the family meets the new addition, and babies get their first experience of the world outside the womb.
Marijuana is becoming a legal drug in more states each year (23 states the District of Columbia have legalized it in some form). My state, Oregon, became the most recent addition to that list on July 1st.