THE OWWIES OF BREASTFEEDING Carpel tunnel (wrist pain), back pain, arms hurting. Why wasn’t I told about these things! Well not every mother experiences them. Most of the owwies we feel in our body come from poor habits. Carpel tunnel: This happens mostly when we are cross cradle holding our baby’s. This means holding your baby with the opposite hand and opposite breast. For example holding your baby with your left hand and feeding from your right breast. Click here for a picture of a cross cradle. Most mothers find it helpful to begin with cross cradle then transfer the baby to a cradle hold. See here for the cradle hold. The cradle hold places less pressure on our wrists as our forearms are supporting the baby instead of the wrist. If you find it more comfortable to cross cradle, then you can use your legs to support your baby. I don’t suggest a pillow for a couple of reasons. 1. It places your breasts in an unnatural position. Especially when your baby is a newborn, you need to learn to position properly. Eventually you will leave the house and will not take your pillow. You will need to know how to hold the baby free of any apparatuses. 2. You take your legs everywhere you go . This leads into the next problem of back pain. Often as mothers we gradually start to lean over our baby’s as they get heavier. Problem is it creates back pain along the way. Shoulders back and back straight is the best way to keep your back strong. Again, add your legs as support. You should always bring the baby to you rather than you to the baby. Another great solution is to do lay down while breastfeeding your baby. It’s not always the ideal situation, but when possible it’s suggested. This way there is no strain on your back, or your wrists. Being diligent in the beginning will really help you to set things off on the right track. If you really focus and try to maintain the best posture and wrist position, then you will be able to resort back to it…
My prenatal breastfeeding workshop is now being offered at a reduced price of 150NIS. If you can find 5 friends, you will be free.
It is a 2 hour workshop educatin you about labour, delivery and it’s effects on breastfeeding, as well as what to expect in the first 2 weeks. I have limited space for a maximum of 6 women to ensure you get the most attention and information. Workshop can be run from your home or mine. I will travel up to 1 hour from Pardes Hana. Courses will begin in September. Register by Sept 1 and I will take off 10% of the cost.
BREAST IS BEST: OR IS IT?
First off I have to say that in my opinion breast is best implies that there is something that is an equal alternative to breast milk. When a mother’s own milk is not available, then the next best is donor milk. If that is not available, then cows based formula (ready made for 0-3mth) is next best.
Recently there has been an article circulating the internet stating that formula fed babies of breastfeeding siblings show no difference in growth development (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273236.php). The author claims that when one sibling was breastfed and another not, that there was no major difference in outcome of health (11 major factors… http://ow.ly/gC8f302J2EE http://ow.ly/5Q67302J2HT
10 W.H.O BF FACTS
WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. At six months, solid foods, such as mashed fruits and vegetables, should be introduced to complement breastfeeding for up to two years or more. In addition:
• breastfeeding should begin within one hour of birth
• breastfeeding should be “on demand”, as often as the child wants day and night; and
• bottles or pacifier
Health benefits for infants
Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants. It gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child
Benefits for mothers
Breastfeeding also benefits mothers. Exclusive breastfeeding is associated with a natural (though not fail-safe) method of birth control (98% protection in the first six months after birth). It reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer later in life, helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, and lowers rates of obesity.
Long-term benefits for children
Beyond the immediate benefits for children, breastfeeding contributes to a lifetime of good health. Adolescents and adults who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese. They are less likely to have type-2 diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests.
Why not infant formula?
Infant formula does not contain the antibodies found in breast milk. When infant formula is not properly prepared, there are risks arising from the use of unsafe water and unsterilized equipment or the potential presence of bacteria in powdered formula. Malnutrition can result from over-diluting formula to “stretch” supplies. While frequent feeding maintains breast milk supply, if formula is used but becomes unavailable, a return to breastfeeding may not be an option due to diminished breast milk production.
HIV and breastfeeding
An HIV-infected mother can pass the infection to her infant during pregnancy, delivery and through breastfeeding. Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs given to either the mother or HIV-exposed infant reduces the risk of transmission. Together, breastfeeding and ARVs have the potential to significantly improve infants’ chances of surviving while remaining HIV uninfected. WHO recommends that when HIV-infected mothers breastfeed, they should receive ARVs and follow WHO guidance for infant feeding.
Regulating breast-milk substitutes
An international code to regulate the marketing of breast-milk substitutes was adopted in 1981. It calls for:
• all formula labels and information to state the benefits of breastfeeding and the health risks of substitutes;
• no promotion of breast-milk substitutes;
• no free samples of substitutes to be given to pregnant women, mothers or their families; and
• no distribution of free or subsidized substitutes to health workers or facilities.
Support for mothers is essential
Breastfeeding has to be learned and many women encounter difficulties at the beginning. Nipple pain, and fear that there is not enough milk to sustain the baby are common. Health facilities that support breastfeeding—by making trained breastfeeding counsellors available to new mothers—encourage higher rates of the practice. To provide this support and improve care for mothers and newborns, there are “baby-friendly” facilities in about 152 countries thanks to the WHO-UNICEF Baby-friendly Hospital initiative.
Work and breastfeeding
Many mothers who return to work abandon breastfeeding partially or completely because they do not have sufficient time, or a place to breastfeed, express and store their milk. Mothers need a safe, clean and private place in or near their workplace to continue breastfeeding. Enabling conditions at work, such as paid maternity leave, part-time work arrangements, on-site crèches, facilities for expressing and storing breast milk, and breastfeeding breaks, can…
LABOUR AND DELIVERY
Labour and Delivery. All women with children have gone through it since Eve. We all experience it in different ways. Some of our labours are fast, some slow. Some of it is a beautiful experience that we dreamed of, and to others is scary and timely. At the end, we all receive the same gift. A beautiful little infant that wants nothing more than to be in their mothers arms. However in today’s generation, women don’t know the rights they have to an informed birth, nor the different ways they can birth and be with their baby when it is born.
When you get an epidural, you are often slowing your labour down. It is taking away your pain, however it is making the baby so sleepy and relaxed that it won’t have the energy to descend. This can spark many issues. When a labour doesn’t progress, after time the baby can go into distress. Distress can cause the baby to excrete meconium (baby’s first bowl movement) in utero which is dangerous if they ingest it. It also means that you will be receiving a boreal of fluids. Sometimes it’s liters upon liters.
Once your baby is born, if it was a medicated birth, it will be extra tired. A tired baby is one who may not want to latch right away. That is ok. It just means you need to be extra patient in the learning process. Babies were designed to not need to eat in the first 24hr’s after birth. It is a time to learn their surroundings and get comfortable on their mom’s skin and around her breast. It’s a beautiful thing to watch a baby explore it’s new surroundings.
I am by no means saying that a woman should have a medication free birth, however, I am saying that they should go in informed and understand the risks and outcomes associated with each intervention.
Stay tuned to part 3 on my next article Life After Birth…………
Immediately after your baby is born, If nothing else, spend the first week skin to skin and breastfeed your baby only. After your milk has been established, discuss with your partner about other forms of feeding. Many men feel left out when it comes to an exclusively breastfed newborn, as they associate feeding with bonding. There are so many other ways to bond with your baby. Bathing, changing, napping, walking and even dancing and singing to her or him. A newborn loves the comfort of the partner that they were listening to for 9 months.
I just worked with a Mom who tried for years to conceive a child. She finally did and had a wonderful pregnancy. Once her labour started, the Dr’s advised her that she needed an epidural, needed Pitocin and an assortment of other things. Unfortunately what they didn’t feel the need to say was, she had a choice to what interventions she wanted or didn’t want. As a result, her labour was increased; her daughter went into distress because she just wasn’t ready to come out. She ended up having an emergency C section from all the complications that were not necessarily the right choice from the beginning. Afterwards, she was told to supplement as her baby had lost to much weight. She was referred to the outpatient breastfeeding clinic where they told her she was doing everything right. Yet they never addressed her pain and low milk supply. I unfortunately here this far to often. When you receive interventions (a boreal of fluids as I mentioned in my last article), your baby will receive some of these fluids as well. This will make her seem as though she weighs more than she does. If you do receive fluids, make sure you ask them to delay the weighing by 12hr’s or even a day. Remember, your baby does not need to eat in the first 24 hours. Her body is designed to live off what it received in utero. The first 24 hours is about the bond. So take that precious baby in your arms and hold her or him like they were meant to. Skin to Skin. If your baby is moments old, let them find their way to your breast themselves. That is what they were designed to do. It is called baby led latch….
If you are pregnant, then right now your body is ‘nesting’. It’s doing what it was meant to do: creating milk for your baby. Your newborn baby needs warmth, security, comfort and love. There are many people he/she can get these from, but only one that they want – You! You are the sight, sound, smell and touch that your little one has been sensing from the moment of creation. Once born, your baby will get all it needs from your breasts and skin to skin contact. And this is what your breasts were designed to provide.
From the beginning of time, people knew that babies were nourished (in every sense of the word) exclusively from their mothers. This can be seen from the fact that all mammals breastfeed their offspring. Recent generations have altered this view and have impaired the relationship between mothers and their newborns. With the introduction of man-made formula (around 1865 by Justus von Liebig (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684040/) and their corresponding marketing programs, women began to feel that their breasts provided inferior nutrition to what was being created in a lab. This alternative approach to newborn nutrition grew in popularity upon its inception and has thus remained stable during the last few generations. That is until recently, when adequate research began on the nutritional components of formula vs. breast milk.
While formula is an acceptable tool when used in the right context these are the key components of breastfeeding that every mother with a newborn should understand:
Latch: When a baby has its mouth properly aligned on your areola, and your nipple is towards the roof of their mouth, you have an optimal latch. A mouth full of breast tissue is what you are aiming for.
Transfer of Milk: When a baby is latched optimally, they will be able to transfer the milk efficiently by compressing your ducts, and in effect, will create more milk in your breasts. An empty breast makes milk, not a full one.
Positioning: When a baby is positioned properly in your arms, it will neither hurt your arms, nor your breast or nipple. There is no need for a breastfeeding pillow or any other accessory. Just you and your baby.
Breast milk contains every vital nutrient, vitamin and everything essential for a baby. Colostrum contains a powerful component that protects a baby’s gut from all the germs that a mother was exposed to. It is like a germ shield around your baby! Researchers are finding new components to breast milk regularly. Best part, it was tailor made by YOU for your baby! Talk about a 5 star restaurant!
For a comprehensive list of what is in formula and breast milk please go to: http://www.drmomma.org/2008/01/human-milk-vs-formula-ingredient-list.html
Stay tuned to part 2 Labour and Delivery on my next article………………..
You are tired. You are exhausted. All you want to do is sleep. But you can’t. Your baby is up a few times wanting to nurse. Should you sleep train or should you continue walking around with your shirt on backwards, your lipstick as eyeliner and your coffee as your total consumption of liquids for the day. You are not alone. You are feeling the same way every parent does around the world. Some feel this by week 4 and some by 1 year. I have some compelling information for you night feeding skeptics.
Most BF babies will wake to feed on a more frequent basis than a formula fed baby. This is because BM is more rapidly digested and absorbed into every part of your baby’s body, that they will need more milk. Formula is not broken down in the body so it takes longer to digest making a baby seem more satiated. Nursing a baby back to sleep helps with their hunger as well as their need for comfort and the knowledge that they are safe. IT’s like your initial communication that you are respecting your baby.
When you are feeding your baby at night, you are setting them up for an adequate amount of milk during the day. It’s like your factory works at night then goes on autopilot for the day. Some mom’s satisfy their sleep requirements by bed sharing. This way a baby can breastfeed on cue, but it is not as disruptive to the parents.
Prolactin, the hormone responsible for helping the alveolar cells in the breast to make breast milk, is released from the pituitary gland during letdown. Research has shown the level of prolactin in breast milk is higher during times of highest milk production and that the highest prolactin levels occur in the middle of the night. Conversely, prolactin levels in the breast are lowest when the breasts are the most engorged.1 This means that babies who are allowed to nurse on demand will nurse with the frequency in order to ensure the correct milk supply for its unique growing needs.
SIDS is a fear that every new parent has. When a baby is hungry, they will wake up. As we already discussed, a BF baby will wake more frequently as the milk is absorbed faster into their system. This may one of the reasons that a BF baby is at a considerably lower risk for SIDS. When a baby bedshares, the mother and baby are in a rhythm together. The mother is able to respond faster to the baby’s cues. This is the same for cosleeping3.
This post has been edited from its original form, which was posted at Breastfeeding Moms Unite!
1. The Breastfeeding Answer Book, La Leche League, 2003 ↩
2. Here are the co-sleeping guidelines from Attachment Parenting International.
3. Bedsharing refers to when mother and baby share the same surface. Cosleeping refers to when a baby is in a bassinet, crib or other surface that is adjacent or next to mothers bed