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2012 Breastfeeding Conference: The Latest Research

September 24, 2012

by: Renee Bowling, RN, CBFE

Breastfeeding ConferenceI was extremely lucky to be able to attend a breastfeeding conference recently in San Antonio, TX. The 3 presenters included Dr. Thomas Hale, Dr. Jack Newman and Barbara Wilson Clay. They are considered to be some of the leaders in breastfeeding research and clinical care.

Dr. Hale is a clinical pharmacologist with Texas Tech University and runs the Infant Risk Assessment Center in Amarillo, Texas. He is also the author of Medications in Mother’s Milk, along with many other lactation books. He is considered a world expert on medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding. He is currently doing research on many different drugs and breastfeeding including Domperidone, which is a drug used to increase milk supply. He has an excellent website with information on depression medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding, nausea during pregnancy and much more. Health care professionals and patients can both contact The Infant Risk Center to get answers on medication safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

His lectures at the conference included:
• Control and Production of Human Milk – Medications that Increase Milk Production
• Anesthetic and Epidural Medications in Breastfeeding Mothers
• Antidepressant Drugs in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers
• Managing various Diseases in Breastfeeding Mothers

These are just a few of the things he talked about that I would like to share with you.
• Mothers with gestational diabetes have a higher risk of postpartum depression
• Mothers who breastfeed get more sleep than mothers who formula feed. (My thought is that this does not happen in the very beginning.)
• Breastfed babies need 400 IU/day of vitamin D. There is no vitamin D in breast milk.
• Epidurals are systemically absorbed, so the level in mom’s plasma is the same level in the baby’s plasma. If you get an epidural, wait till you are at least 5 cm. There are less side effects and fetal sedation.
• The more Pitocin drug used (used to induce labor or increase contractions) the less oxytocin (hormone that causes the milk to let down) released the first 3 days.
• The breasts produce the same amount of milk around the clock.
• A graph on his website can be found to determine the length of time it takes to eliminate alcohol from breast milk, based on mother’s weight.
• Every ounce of formula used is one ounce of breast milk you will not make.

Breastfeeding Conference Dr. Jack Newman is a pediatrician in Canada that runs the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic and Institute, which is part of the International Breastfeeding Center. He has a wonderful website with client handouts on numerous breastfeeding issues, including latching. There are many videos, including one on which shows how to tell the baby is drinking milk from the breast. He also has a protocol to follow for mom’s who want to breastfeed their adopted infant.

His talks included:
• When the Baby Does Not Latch On – How Birthing Practices Affect Breastfeeding
• Hypoglycemia and Jaundice
• Late Onset Decreased Milk Supply
• Numbers on Demand – How Feeding Babies by the Numbers Is a Disastrous Approach

Here is some information he shared:
• Babies should never leave the hospital with a nipple shield, because almost all babies will latch when mom’s milk comes in, or by 2-3 weeks
• The Montgomery glands on the areola secrete a smell that encourages the baby to latch
• Babies can pick out their own mom’s breast pads even when there is no milk on them
• Heel sticks for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are not accurate. If the baby is showing symptoms of low blood sugar, a plasma level should be drawn. If a baby is truly hypoglycemic the best thing to give them is:
1st: colostrum
2nd: Pumped milk or donor milk
3rd: An I.V.
4th: Formula
Healthy full term infants born after a normal pregnancy and delivery, and who are not showing clinical signs of hypoglycemia do not require routine monitoring of glucose levels.
• Breastfed babies who have jaundice are babies who are not nursing well, and should be called “Not enough breast milk jaundice”
• Sleepiness associated with jaundice is more likely to be related to a decrease in calorie intake than to the jaundice itself
• “Most exclusive breastfed, well gaining babies are slightly jaundiced and this is normal. What is not normal is the absence of jaundice in formula feed infants. The breastfed baby is the norm.”
• When babies spit up breast milk, it coats their digestive track and protects it.
• Babies respond to milk flow, not the amount of milk in the breast.
• “Breastfeeding poorly 12 times a day is no better than feeding poorly 8 times a day”
• “Nursing Strikes” may actually be caused by a reduced milk supply

Barbara Wilson Clay is a lactation consultant in private practice in Austin, Texas. She helped found the Mother’s Milk Bank in Austin, and is a researcher, and author of many lactation books and educational material, as well as an active lobbyist with the Texas Legislature promoting breastfeeding as a health policy issue.

Her lectures included:
• Tricks of the Trade – Rousing the Sleepy Newborn
• Breastfeeding Management of the Late Preterm and Small for Gestational Age Infant
• Nipple Shields: What is the Evidence Basis?
• Lactation Case Studies: Breastfeeding Management of Infants with Special Feeding Issues

Here are some of the things she shared:
• “There is no sale by date on breastfeeding”
• Keep the baby skin to skin to increase breast focus
• When doing paced bottle feeds, give 3 swallows and then stop and allow for a breathing break. If milk is dripping out their mouth, then the flow is to fast.
• Medicaid covers donor milk and no one is turned away from the milk bank due to lack of ability to pay.
• A baby who has lost greater than 7-8 percent of birth weight will conserve energy by sleeping and is a red flag for failure of milk production. They need to be evaluated on the breast and improvements with nursing need to be made at this time.
• The most common reason for lactation consultants to use nipple shields was to help the less than 35 week baby latch and breastfeed
• Promotion of fast growth in small for gestational age infants by nutrient-enriched formula increases the risk of high blood pressure and obesity in later life. There are no advantages of using nutrient-enriched formula with regard to intellectual development.

I hope you enjoyed me sharing with you just some of the great information I received!

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To Thine Own Self Be True

September 18, 2012

by: Kimberly Bowman

The definition of selfish is: “concerned chiefly or only with oneself, without regard for the well-being of others.” Think about the last time you heard someone identified as selfish. Was the description accurate? Often times when we use this label we are actually talking about someone (usually a woman; the words we use to describe this same trait in men generally have a different flavor.) who is protective of their energy, time and sanity or they simply have a good handle on their capabilities.

Our limits are something that through the experiences of life we hopefully come to understand and learn to stay within. In doing this we protect ourselves from sure destruction. This phenomenon is called self-preservation. For many women this is difficult. There are many metaphors – if you only make withdrawals and not enough deposits, eventually the bank will be empty, learn to exercise your “no” muscle, a tree with enough chops at its trunk will someday fall, etc. etc.

When we try to please everyone one of two things will happen. You will either try to do it all, inevitably fail all the while punishing those you are trying to please for their lack of comprehension that you are there to make their lives more wonderful, or you will try to do it all, inevitably fail and end up in the fetal position in the back of your minivan amongst the groceries and the mulch. Both scenarios end with everyone neither helped nor pleased.

The metaphor about exercising your no muscle is a favorite. Like everyone else, we were probably quite adept at using this word when we were toddlers but along the way seemed to get the impression that we should instead be saying oh, of course, yes, absolutely, sure, I can be there, do that. Saying no is not about selfishness or being a charity miser. It is not about lack of manners or laziness. It is about guarding your soul. It is about knowing who you have time for. Since they are the one in the mirror and those most precious to you, that knowledge is golden.

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Preparing Big Brother or Sister for a New Sibling

September 10, 2012

by: Angie Graumenz

Sibling Harmony

Parents often take classes to prepare for the arrival of a new baby, but what about siblings? In TMC’s sibling class, children learn about how their family is about to change. We show big brother or big sister what to expect when the new baby comes home. Each child will get to practice feeding, changing, swaddling and holding a baby doll. We will show a short movie about a real baby who changes and grows. Children in the class will get to draw a picture of their new family and get their picture taken for our new bulletin board of Brothers & Sisters at TMC.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health website, “a review of the recent literature substantiates that sibling preparation classes help to ease the transition into being a sibling. Studies have shown that as a result of this preparation, children who become siblings exhibit fewer anxieties, are better able to express their feelings, and the mother feels better able to cope with the older child when the infant arrives.”

Interested in learning more? The next session of Sibling Harmony is September 14. Register today!

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September is Baby Safety Month

September 5, 2012

By: Stephanie Duhon

While young babies are born with several reflexes that help them eat, breathe and react to their new surroundings, they are completely dependent on their parents to take good care of them. One of the most important jobs a new parent encounters is keeping their baby safe. Since 1991, The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JPMA) has designed September as Baby Safety Month, to remind and education parents and caregivers on the importance of baby safety.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls about 400 items a year. About 170 of those items (or 43%) are for children’s products. While that’s a fairly small number compared to how many baby items are sold annually, it’s still alarming because it means parents likely have at least one recalled item in their home at any given point in time. But don’t panic yet! Not all recalls are related to an infant death. Many times all you need is an extra piece to ensure safety or the manufacturer did not include adequate warning information. But all parents should keep an eye on recalls to ensure their child’s toys and furniture are as safe as possible. It’s especially important to stay on top of recalls for cribs, baby bath/bath seats and playpens because, according to JPMA, most infant deaths are associated with those items.

According to wemakeitsafer.com, between 2007 and May 2012 there were:

*24 recalls for strollers (6 million units)

*41 recalls for car seats (7 million units)

*13 recalls for high chairs (4 million units)

*9 recalls for playpens (2 million)

*3 recalls for baby monitors (2 million)

and *56 recalls for cribs (10 million units)

In fact, did you know it is illegal to sell a crib made before June 2011, even if that crib has not been recalled?

If you are concerned an item you own may be recalled, you can check by visiting wemakeitsafer.com and filling in the requested information.

It is especially important to check for recalls before buying or borrowing second hand baby gear. While it’s a great money saving move and also good for the environment, there is no such thing as a deal worth compromising your baby’s safety. Always inspect a second hand item before making the purchase and check to ensure it has not been recalled.

Here are some great tips from the JPMA when using any baby product:

*Always use a product under adult supervision

*Read the instructions and warnings that come with the product. If it says to only use on a flat surface, then don’t risk using it any other way.

*Be sure to periodically inspect the item after it’s been in use for a while. Make sure no parts are missing or broken and that everything is working as it should.

*Once your child outgrows the item, such as a baby swing or bouncer, either save it up for future use or get rid of it. Don’t leave it out once your child starts trying to climb on things. They could get hurt.

You can find more tips on JPMA’s website and please, share them with your family and friends.

Throughout the month of September, The Motherhood Center will bring you blogs covering a variety of topics related to baby safety, including:

*Babyproofing Your Home

*Tips on buying safe secondhand baby products

*Car Seat Safety

*Importance of taking an infant/child CPR Class

*Bath time and Water Safety

*Crib Safety

*All About Recalls

Sources:

CPSC.gov

JPMA.org

Wemakeitsafer.com

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Schedules and Your Baby

August 29, 2012

by: Kimberly Bowman

Along with everything else to fret about, scheduling is one of the top issues where the typical breastfeeding and formula feeding moms differ. This is largely due to the reasoning behind on-demand nursing which entails feeding the baby anytime she desires. On-demand feeding is particularly beneficial in the first several weeks post-partum when you and mini-me are working together to establish your milk supply and pack on those fantastic rolls of baby fat. This baby-led schedule almost never follows your pre-parent days and nights. While this is good for starting off breastfeeding but not so good at increasing your level of sanity, it is important to remember that it, like a million other things, is temporary. Let yourself get through the first six weeks of life as you knew it having changed drastically and forever before you start worrying about schedules.

Once you are through that initial period of adjustment, and the first two growth spurts at three and six weeks, you can start thinking ahead. As with adults, each baby has an individual personality. Though there are similarities among infants, each new person comes with their own ideas about how they wish their days (and nights) to go. You are the one who is supposed to be in charge but in a bit of foreshadowing, you will find that baby’s opinions are not always as easily swayed as you would like.

You will begin to see the initial pattern of your baby’s chosen schedule within a few weeks. Working with that as a basis you can begin to affect the changes that will make a difference for you. Guarding your baby’s intake and weight gain is the primary thing to remember when scheduling. Any schedule that risks a baby’s ability to thrive is not a reasonable one. By keeping a regimen loose enough to accommodate growth spurts and comfort at the breast you will keep yourself and baby happy. Once any blips on the radar pass, get back to the routine quickly and consistently.

As your baby grows, using the same reasoning behind scheduling can be used for discreet nursing of an older child and sleep routines. Recently, a study of babies through their first several years found a connection between routines at a very young age and decreased anxiety further on. We hear all the time that toddlers thrive on routine, but they are not the only ones. While spontaneity is nice, having some predictability in life is comforting and you will find yourself seeking that comfort more and more as you and baby grow together.

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Guest blog: Creating a Healthy, Green Nursery: Back to the Basics Part II

July 19, 2012

by: Sherry Azimi

First: Love your baby’s sleep

I’m not a mother yet, but I am an older sister and have lots of friends with babies. You don’t need to be an expert to know that every parent’s ultimate dream is that their baby sleep, Sleep, SLEEP!  Sleep is good for babies and their parents. Newborns spend most of their time asleep or lying on their cribs and bassinets. Toddlers also sleep a lot. In fact, we adults also spend much of our time on our beds (forty-percent of our lives are spent on our beds, as any mattress seller will tell you).

We’ll be honest with you, not everything in your baby’s bed has to be organic for it to be safe, but it should be natural. This is why we never push customers towards organic bedding. As long as your kid’s bedding is made of 100% cotton (or other natural materials), is lighter in color (less harsh dying process) with no finishers, we think you have met the safety requirements.

But mattresses are a whole other story. We always tell customers that a healthy crib mattress is the most important immediate action you can take for creating a less toxic world for your baby. Most mattresses in the market are toxic because they are made of petrochemical based materials.  PVC is used to create water-proof layers and toxic flame retardants end up doing more harm than good.  Our non-toxic mattresses are made of natural latex, organic cotton and wool. Wool is a natural flame retardant. Organic mattresses can also be made of horsehair, coconut husk and other natural ingredients.

Second: Color that breathes non-toxic air

Painting your nursery with non-toxic paint is one of the cheapest, easiest steps to bring health to your child’s environment. The Green Painter offers the most affordable line of non-toxic paints, beating other paint stores in price and number of toxins.  Our prices are competitive with Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore and we offer a special “color mixology” service, featuring experts in color selection and matching.  Don’t forget to remove any old paint containing lead. Lead is extremely toxic!

Click here to read the rest of the blog for the final 4 steps.

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Guest Blog: Creating a Healthy, Green Nursery: Back to the Basics

July 17, 2012

“There was a time when the safest place for a child was home.” The music begins and the video reads nostalgia for the past, when kids played in sun drenched yards, ate pure food, and played with hand-made toys. It was a time when our grandmothers cleaned with soap and water, and tucked their kids in under pure wool blankets. This video, by Healthy Child Healthy World is a must-see. The message is powerful and clear: our kids live and breathe in a chemical-filled world, and the only solution is to go back to the basics!

Going back to basics, there is no question that parents today are more conscious about their children’s health than ever before. But the message that has gained the most resonance seems to be focused on food. While this is a great achievement that we should all be happy about, it doesn’t provide all the answers we need. Healthy eating is just one part of a healthy life.

Click here to read the rest of this blog post on the New Living website.

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Top 12 Topics for New Parents in the First 100 Days

May 21, 2012

by: Meredith Stedham RN, LPC, Educator

Sleep: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average newborn spends at least 16 hours a day sleeping, however there can be great variation from one baby to the next. It is essential for newborns to have successful, consistent, full feeding sessions in order to get their best sleep. New parents are advised to follow an eat, wake, sleep pattern for their newborns. The first 100 days of a new baby’s life will inevitably cause some sleep deprivation for new parents since newborns require around the clock feeding sessions. Parents can gain additional support and much needed sleep by considering a well-trained and highly qualified Baby Doula through The Motherhood Center

Feeding: On average, formula-fed babies will eat every 3 hours while breastfed babies will eat more frequently at every 2 1/2 hours. The difference in frequency is due to breastmilk being easier for babies to digest, and therefore their stomachs are ready for the next feeding sooner than formula-fed babies. Parents can anticipate an average of 8-12 feeding sessions per day for newborns. Infants will often also vary their feedings during times of growth spurts, and breastfed infants often will “cluster feed” in the evenings. It is generally recommended that breastfed babies be “fed on demand” while formula-fed babies may be placed on an every 3 hour feeding schedule.

Diapers: For the first few days after birth, the amount of wet diapers will vary depending on whether baby is formula-fed or breastfed, and also on the size and capacity of baby’s stomach. Then, once baby is able to fill their tummy to capacity and the milk supply has been well established for a breastfeeding mom, parents can expect babies will have an average of 8 to10 wet diapers per day. The amount and color of baby’s stool will change significantly from the first meconium stools to a more seedy yellowish stool for breastfed babies and greenish stools for formula-fed babies. Parents can prevent diaper rash by keeping baby’s skin clean and dry. Diaper creams and ointments only need to be used if baby’s skin becomes irritated.

Soothing Techniques: Infants, especially newborns, cry for many different reasons. Often they have a need such as being hungry, needing a diaper change, or just wanting to be held. There are many techniques that can help to soothe babies including singing, cuddling, or changing their environment if they are over-stimulated. The main recommendation I give parents when discussing soothing techniques is to follow the “5 S’s” developed by Dr. Harvey Karp by purchasing his DVD titled “The Happiest Baby on the Block” (available at The Motherhood Center).

Milestones: Newborns have several reflexes at birth such as the moro (startle) reflex, sucking reflex, and rooting reflex, which will fade over the course of several months. Parents will notice during the first 100 days that their baby is able to raise their head, follow moving objects with their eyes, focus on faces, begin to notice their own hands, and even learn to give their first social smiles. For more information on AAP guidelines for developmental milestones from birth to 3 months, visit this link: www.healthychildren.org

Tummy Time: It is recommended that healthy babies be provided with “tummy time” a few times a day lasting for a few minutes once they are discharged home. Tummy time can be time baby spends laying on their stomachs (with supervision) on a blanket or play mat, or it can be laying on mommy or daddy’s chest. Tummy time is important because it gives infants a chance to practice and master important physical skills that will prepare them for reaching future developmental milestones.

Favorite Gear: There are many practical and popular baby gear items available. In addition to the basic necessities of diapers, a few outfits, and a safe crib & car seat, many parents also select an additional bassinet or portable crib to temporarily use in the master bedroom. Other potentially helpful items are a baby sling or carrier, baby stroller, bouncy seat, a nursing pillow (such as the My Breast Friend pillow), and a white noise machine. The item I recommend most to new parents to add to their shopping lists is the Miracle Blanket for swaddling baby. Shop for these and other items at The Motherhood Center Shop

General Care Checklist: Newborns should only be given a sponge bath until the umbilical cord has fallen off and for baby boys until the circumcision has fully healed. After both areas have healed, then baby can be submerged in water for a tub bath. Pediatricians advise parents to keep the umbilical cord clean and dry; and they may also advise you to clean around the umbilical cord with rubbing alcohol using a cotton swab every diaper change or a few times a day. Parents will be also be given instructions for circumcision care which usually involves applying petroleum jelly until the area heals in around 7-10 days.

Temperature: For babies from birth to age 3 months, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises obtaining a rectal temperature with a digital thermometer as the most accurate method for measuring temperature. While there are other options available such as the tympanic (ear) thermometers and temporal artery thermometers that scan across the forehead, these devices are not as accurate as a rectal reading for infants under 3 months. The general guideline for parents is to call the doctor for a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher. For more information, visit the blog posting Taking Your Baby’s Temperature, or you can visit the AAP websites www.aap.org or www.healthychildren.org

Doctor: The pediatrician will give you a schedule for well child visits during the first year. Most pediatricians will examine your baby either in the hospital or in their office around 2-4 days old, then again at 1-2 weeks old, 1 month old, and 2 months old. The doctor will monitor your baby’s length, weight, and head circumference on a growth chart, monitor baby for jaundice, and will discuss an immunization schedule. It is a good idea for parents to be prepared by writing a list of their questions prior to each appointment in order to maximize their time with the doctor. Parents can also request a list of guidelines for the procedure and reasons (baby’s symptoms) that warrant contacting their healthcare provider.

SIDS: In 1992 the American Academy of Pediatrics released its recommendation that infants be placed for sleep in a “non-prone position” and subsequently in 1994 the “Back to Sleep” Campaign was launched. Since that time, the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has decreased over 50 percent. Here are a few of the AAP guidelines to help reduce the risk of SIDS in infants up to 1 year of age: Always place baby on his back to sleep, use a firm sleep surface, keep loose bedding and other soft objects such as stuffed animals and toys out of the crib, and schedule & go to all well-child visits. Visit this link for a complete list of AAP guidelines: Reduce the Risk of SIDS

Support: The transition to parenthood is a joyful time, but also a time filled with a tremendous amount of change. For new moms, the early postpartum period includes the physical recovery from delivery, sleep deprivation, and the emotional rollercoaster know as the “baby blues” while maternal hormones try to stabilize after giving birth. While the “baby blues” usually resolve within 2 weeks, for some women the symptoms can become more severe or more chronic leading to postpartum depression. Support groups and further information to help new moms and couples are available through this link: Support Groups at The Motherhood Center

The information contained here is only a brief introduction and overview of the first 100 days of an infant’s life and development. For further information, there are several classes available at The Motherhood Center for expecting and new parents, grandparents, and caregivers through the following links: Pregnancy Classes & Parenting Classes

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The Importance of Breastfeeding Support

April 5, 2012

By: Stephanie Duhon

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that moms exclusively breastfeed their babies for at least the first six months, but preferably longer. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more moms are achieving that goal in the United States. In 2011, 14.8 percent of 6-month-old babies were exclusively breastfed in the U.S. That’s an increase of 4 percentage points since 2007.


But despite growing evidence of the benefits of breast milk for babies and increased efforts to offer support to moms, that’s still a small number and a recent study out of Scotland suggests increasing that percentage is not as easy as it sounds. According to the report, published in the journal BMJ Open, researchers interviewed 36 pregnant women and a significant other about what it would take to breastfeed exclusively and why the ones who stopped choose to do so. The report says some of the women said breastfeeding wasn’t the bonding experience they were expecting and was much harder than expected, while others said they lacked a support system.


I can definitely relate to women who planned to exclusively breastfeed and yet still struggled. While breastfeeding is indeed natural, it is far from easy for most women. Breastfeeding takes a lot of time, practice, commitment and support. I learned that I could be doing everything “right” and still encounter problems.


My daughter was born in September 2010 and I fully intended to exclusively breastfeed her for at least 6 months. I know the benefits of breastfeeding and was excited to be able to offer my daughter the very best. I took a class, I read up on nursing and what to expect and had access to an amazing lactation consultant. I knew going in that it may be a bit difficult at first, but I was terribly disappointed when breastfeeding turned out to be much harder than I expected. My daughter didn’t latch well and it took her a long time to nurse. Despite nursing for what seemed like forever sometimes, she was not gaining sufficient weight. Per doctor’s orders, I had to supplement her with formula because her weight was too low. I pumped, I took supplements such as fenugreek to increase my supply and I dealt with painful clogged ducts because my daughter wasn’t properly draining my milk supply. I was devastated and thought I was doing something wrong. Renee, the amazing lactation consultant at The Motherhood Center, was extremely supportive and showed me different nursing positions and helped me figure out how to effectively use the breast pump. Unfortunately, I was never able to get my supply up completely, so I had to supplement breastfeeding with formula, but with the amazing support of Renee, as well as my husband and friends, I am proud to say that I overcame some of the other early obstacles and was able to successfully feed my baby girl at least some breast milk for the first six months of her life.

The key aspect I learned from my experience is not to be afraid to ask for help. Women go through many emotions after having a baby and when you combine the hormonal changes, lack of sleep and commitment of breastfeeding, it can become overwhelming very quickly. The Motherhood Center has wonderful resources to help moms reach their breastfeeding goals. In addition to lactation consultants, TMC offers hospital grade breast pumps to rent and has a large variety of breastfeeding supplies, such as nursing tanks and bras, nipple cream, My Brest Friend nursing pillows, nursing covers and more. Experienced staff members can help you determine what you need and can also help you figure out the proper size of nursing tank or bra, which as many moms know can be difficult to figure out!

One thing that some people may not know is that The Motherhood Center also helps local businesses offer support to moms! You may have heard of some offices having a pumping room for moms. These rooms are invaluable for moms who need to pump at work. It gives them the opportunity to pump in private and not have to spend the 15-20 minutes pumping at their desk, in the bathroom or closet or in their car. Breastfeeding experts say to successfully pump, you have to be relaxed so your milk can let down. That’s hard to do if you are worried about someone entering the room mid-pump!

TMC founder Gabriela Gerhart says moms who have support from their employers not only have an easier time exclusively breastfeeding, which can cut down on medical costs because of the health benefits of breast milk, but they are also more productive because they don’t have to worry about finding time and space to pump during the day to feed their baby.

Are you an employer who wants to learn more about creating a pumping room? Call us at 713-963-8880 and ask us about our corporate membership and how we can help you help nursing moms at your office.

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No Need to Panic Part III: Plugged Ducts

April 2, 2012

by: Kimberly Bowman

If you notice a hard lump in your breast while breastfeeding do not burst into tears and call the oncologist. Instead, let your baby finish his calm nursing session and check for the lump’s perimeter. Have you noticed feeling run-down or any flu-like symptoms? If the answer is yes, take your temperature. If you have an elevated one, you may have mastitis and you will need to see your doctor for an antibiotic prescription. Do this without delay and read my previous post Anti-Antibiotics? Let it Go When Facing Mastitis.

Another possibility is that your answer to those questions is no and you are experiencing plugged ducts. By finding the edges of the lump you will be able to sufficiently massage it while nursing and apply warm compresses to help relieve any discomfort. It is safe for your baby to nurse while you cope with plugged ducts and will also help. Also gently massage the area while in the shower as the warmth and pressure can help clear the duct. Watch your symptoms for any increase in severity. Plugged ducts, and your susceptibility to them, are often pre-cursors to mastitis. They are a clear sign that you are overwrought.

When mom is overwrought, everyone in the family loses. Make sure your partner is aware of your situation. Extra rest and vigilance will keep you out of the doctor’s office but we ultimately have to take responsibility for trying to be in more than one place at a time. Knights in shining armor are super rare these days. If you want to be saved, you must rescue yourself. You only have two hands and one head. Use them in coordinated ways that enable you to get reasonable things accomplished while staying healthy. Putting yourself first ensures that everyone else gets a place in line for their dose of mommy.

Previous Posts:

No Need to Panic Part I: Breastfeeding Issues

No Need to Panic Part II: Blebs

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