Proper Weight Gain

Jan 17, 2013 2:23:05 PM

Boob Scoop

If your breastfed baby is not gaining as quickly as the early months, it is very likely that she is still growing beautifully. Between six and 12 months, breastfed babies tend to gain two to four ounces a week, which is a drop from the five to eight ounces gained in the first few months. Also, remember that a linear growth pattern is always more important than a baby's percentile on a growth chart. Therefore, a baby on the 10th percentile can be as healthy as one on the 90th.

Comments | Posted in Boob Scoop Breastfeeding By Sharen Medrano, IBCLC

Breastfeeding with a Cold

Dec 31, 2012 9:57:13 PM

Boob Scoop

'Tis the season for colds. However, you don't need to stop breastfeeding when sick. It's especially important to continue nursing since your body creates and passes antibodies into your milk in order to fight the infection you or your baby are experiencing. Oftentimes, a breastfed baby will be the only member of the family who doesn't get sick or the one to get a milder version of the bug. Breastfeeding also allows you to get the needed rest to recover since you can feed while in bed. A win-win scenario!

Comments | Posted in Boob Scoop Breastfeeding By Sharen Medrano, IBCLC

Preventing Overfeeding

Dec 20, 2012 3:27:43 PM

Boob Scoop

A good way to prevent overfeeding, when offering a bottle, is to use a slow flow nipple. Unless your baby is very fussy about taking a bottle, stay with the newborn flow nipples as long as you are breastfeeding. Oftentimes, using a faster flow nipple can cause a baby to overeat which, in turn, can make a mom question her supply when, in fact, it's perfectly fine.

Comments | Posted in Boob Scoop Breastfeeding By Sharen Medrano, IBCLC

Don't Judge Your Milk By Its Color

Dec 13, 2012 11:54:20 AM

Boob Scoop

Oftentimes mothers say they didn't breastfeed in the hospital because they felt they weren't making any milk or because of the non-milky look of colostrum, which tends to be clear or yellowish. The good news is that mothers begin making colostrum by the end of the first trimester, so it's already there after birth. Secondly, it's never good to judge milk by its color. Although not white in appearance, colostrum is still milk and is loaded with carbohydrates, protein, antibodies, and properties that prevent jaundice and low blood sugar levels, making it a perfect first food for a newborn. Finally, the more a mother breastfeeds in the early days, the sooner her breastmilk will transition into mature milk which is more white in appearance.

Comments | Posted in Boob Scoop Breastfeeding By Amanda Cole
Boob Scoop

In the early days of breastfeeding, mothers often think they are not making enough breastmilk due to colostrum being small in quantity and their baby's frequent feeding pattern. Interestingly, a woman's body knows to produce a small amount of colostrum to match the newborn belly, which is about the size of a marble. Colostrum is low in volume (measurable in teaspoons, rather than ounces) but packed with protein, carbohydrates and immune system factors. Frequent feeds help colostrum transition into mature milk in order to match the baby's growing belly. Therefore, if a baby is feeding well, wetting and popping, in the early days of life, frequent feeds should be viewed more as the normal course of breastfeeding rather than a milk supply issue

Comments | Posted in Boob Scoop Breastfeeding By Sharen Medrano, IBCLC

With weaning come feelings of getting your body back and possibly planning a bonfire to throw your nursing bras and breastpump right in the blaze :-)  But at the same time, you may feel sad closing that chapter in your parenting book. Read one mom's top ten list of things she will miss once her baby has weaned. We heart her number nine!

Comments | Posted in Breastfeeding By Sharen Medrano, IBCLC
Boob Scoop

Cranial bones are designed to move over one another as a baby descends through the birth canal. However, when forceps or a vacuum are used during labor, they can often cause shifts in the cranial bones that are not easily self-corrected by the baby after birth. Since the cranial nerves control what the baby does with his mouth, affected cranial bones can cause ineffective latching, which in turn can lead to breastfeeding pain. Many mothers find that in these situations, complementary therapies such as chiropractic care and or craniosacral therapy can make a big difference for correcting how well a baby latches. When deciding on such therapies, it is important to choose a provider who is trained and experienced to work with babies.

Comments | Posted in Boob Scoop Breastfeeding By Sharen Medrano, IBCLC

This 2011 Finish Study found that mothers who breastfed for 33 months or longer (cumulative lifetime total) had stronger bones than women who nursed for a shorter time. Turns out that the low levels of estrogen during lactation, which keep milk supply steady, also allow for outer bone growth. And when it comes to bone strength, having greater bone diameter is more important than density. This explains why women who have breastfed are less prone to fractures later on in life. Yet another awesome reason to breastfeed. Your bones will thank you!

Comments | Posted in Breastfeeding By Amanda Cole

Bite problems, medically referred to as malocclusions, occur when either the top or bottom row of teeth overextend causing misalignment. In most cases, the treatment for malocclusions is braces. Babies who are breastfeed for more than a year are less likely to have malocclusions thanks to the work done by the jaw, while transferring milk from the breast. The feeding motion during breastfeeding also helps to form a U-shaped hard palate which contributes to proper teeth alignment.

Comments | Posted in Boob Scoop Breastfeeding By Sharen Medrano, IBCLC

Breastfeeding moms in the US have much to celebrate during this year’s World Breastfeeding week. Women pregnant when the US Department of Labor passed last year’s “Break Time for Nursing Mother’s” provision can now take full advantage of the law which requires employers to provide both a reasonable break time and place for employees to pump or otherwise express breast milk. In addition, a 2011 ruling by the IRS enables breastfeeding families to use pretax money from their flexible spending accounts to purchase pumps and other breastfeeding supplies.

Furthermore, good news has been released regarding the benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby. Results from a study by the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Medicine show that breastfeeding may lower a mother’s risk of Type 2 Diabetes. And in a review of 288 studies on breastfeeding and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) data, researchers conclude in July’s issue of Pediatrics that breastfeeding protects against SIDS.

For today’s moms, unlike past generations, breastfeeding is widely encouraged by both physicians and the media alike. Celebrities are frequently heard boasting about the many reasons they love nursing (weight loss! bonding! ease of use!) and some even pose for photos with baby at breast. Indeed breastfeeding is very much in vogue. And with Michelle Obama incorporating it into her campaign to reduce childhood obesity, it has seldom been as topical.

Breastfeeding is such a positive experience for most of the nursing moms at Yummy Mummy, the breastfeeding store I own and run, that many of my moms are unable to fight back tears when they think about their inevitable return to work and the prospect of pumping for their baby rather than breastfeeding. Pumping at works enables mothers to breastfeed for as long they wish even though they are separated from their baby. And many of my moms pump and breastfeed or exclusively pump very successfully. But pumping at work requires dedication. It also takes time and coordination that some working mothers feel is hard to find.

It is no secret that maternity leave durations in the US are much shorter than others around the world. In the US, the average mother is permitted just six weeks of time off and, because most often the time off is unpaid, many moms can’t afford to take any leave at all. Compare this to the subsidized 4 years both moms and dads can enjoy in the Czech Republic and the 16 months both parents are entitled to in Sweden.

In a new study by Pediatrics, researchers found that less than 65% of women who took shorter maternity leaves (one to six weeks) tried breastfeeding while close to 75% of women with longer maternity leaves (around 13 weeks) attempted to breastfeed. Countries with longer maternity leave practices, like Sweden, enjoy some of the highest breastfeeding rates in the world with initiation rates in Sweden close to 100%. Unfortunately, many mothers in the US are giving up before even trying.

The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) breastfeeding objectives published in its Healthy People 2020 include increasing the percentage of mothers who breastfeed at six months and mothers who breastfeed exclusively at six months as well as reducing formula supplementation at birth and enhancing lactation support within hospitals and the workplace.

As important as the CDC’s guidelines are, for improved breastfeeding participation, especially among working moms, it will be difficult for the US to meet these goals without a new and enlightened maternity leave policy. Quite simply, the US’ six-week maternity leave is no formula for increasing breastfeeding norms to 6 months.

Comments | Posted in In the News Breastfeeding By Amanda Cole