Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week
Some of you may or may not know this week is World Breastfeeding Week. It goes from Tuesday, August 1st to Monday August 7th, and 2017 is its 25th year of being celebrated and recognized across the globe. The theme for this year is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together”.
World Breastfeeding Week started in 1992 and is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA. They are a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding worldwide. Over 120 countries across the world get involved in the celebration every year. The goal is to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, which is known to yield tremendous health benefits, provide critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases, and foster growth and development.
This week is to encourage and support breastfeeding mothers and improve the health of babies around the world. All of us at, Insurance Covered Breast Pumps, are supporters of breastfeeding. It is all about celebrating and promoting breastfeeding mothers all around the world.
What is engorgement?
Engorgement is the feeling that you have when your boobs are so full of milk that you feel like they may explode.
Usually, this feeling happens a few days after delivery, between two to four days. In those first couple days, you will be producing thick, yellow colostrum. When you hit to the two to four day mark, your body will start producing milk and this is when it can occur. It’s normal for your breasts to get hard, swollen, or painful and this is not just from milk. Increased blood and swollen tissues is a contributor as well. Thankfully, this pain should subside within 24 to 48 hours. There are a few medications you can take to help reduce it, but we recommended you talk with your doctor before trying any of them.
How to prevent and reduce
The best way to reduce the pain and pressure is to feed your hungry baby. Breastfeed up to very hour to two hours, and don’t be scared to wake the baby to eat. Massaging your breast as your baby nurses and putting a cold ice pack on them after can help as well. If your baby is having a hard time latching, then you may need to pump a little first before your baby will be able to latch on correctly. Pumping is a great way to relieve the pressure if it gets to be too much between feedings or you are away from your baby. So make sure you have a breast pump on hand if you need it. Especially if you are going back to work soon. Another helpful way to relieve the pain is using cabbage leaves. While cold cabbage leaves does help to lessen breast swelling, it can also lower your milk supply.
Some common questions
Here are a few common questions that most mothers have, especially if it is their first pregnancy.
What is your estimated due date?
Your due date is set to help you gauge your potential delivery date. The baby can be born any time around this day, which is usually within 10 days. Only one in twenty babies are born on their exact due date. A full-term baby is usually born 280 days from the last period to delivery. Your doctor will let you know this date at one of your first appointments and the date doesn’t change for the whole pregnancy.
When will you start to feel your baby move?
Usually between 16-25 weeks of pregnancy, mothers start to feel movement. In the beginning, movements will be infrequent and may feel very faint. As the baby grows, you will start to feel it more often. If you have a concern regarding movement at 28 weeks, you can eat something with sugar, lie on your side, and press your hand on your belly. You should feel 6-7 movements per hour. Contact your physician’s office if you have a concern or you aren’t feeling movements as much as you should.
What do you need to know regarding dental care?
- Your teeth and gums can become more sensitive during your pregnancy. It is best to continue to have regular dentist visits and maintain goo oral hygiene. If you need any kind of x-rays done, inform your dentist and shield your abdomen.
Will you be able to use a Jacuzzi while pregnant?
- It is NOT recommended to submerge yourself in hot water. This includes saunas, hot yoga, or steam rooms
Can you travel?
Traveling is safe if the pregnancy isn’t complicated. When you reach 36 weeks, we recommend staying close to home. While traveling, be sure to take breaks and walk around at least every two hours and drink plenty of fluids. If traveling in a car, make sure you wear a seatbelt and position it below your abdomen. If you are involved in an accident, call your doctor immediately.
Can I take care of my pets and still go to the salon for treatments?
- If you have cats, it is best to let your physician know. Try to avoid cleaning the litter box or use gloves when you do. Cat feces may contain the rare infection toxoplasmosis. As far as going to the salon, you should make sure you are in a large, well ventilated space for both hair coloring and nail care. Avoid hair treatments in the first trimester.
These simple tips can help any mother who wants to try breastfeeding. Every new mom knows breastfeeding can be tough at times and very time consuming. It is a hard skill to learn, but don’t get discouraged. Keep practicing and you will get the hang of it.
Study before birth
You will need to start research on breastfeeding before giving birth and caring for the baby. Some good places to get this information is through breastfeeding classes, talk to other breastfeeding mothers, La Leche League, clubs, and lactation consultants. You can get to the La Leche League site by clicking this link, here. They have great resources for mothers who are interested in breastfeeding.
It is best to start early
You will get off to a good start if you hold your baby right after birth. While cuddling, is the best time to try. Your baby’s senses are even stronger the hour after birth, and it is wired to want to breastfeed. If allowed to use its senses, your baby should latch on easier because it knows what to do.
How to tell when your baby is hungry
There are a few ways you can tell when your baby is hungry before it starts crying. You will notice your baby chewing on its fists, turning its head from side to side, and making mouthing motions. All of these are signs that your baby is hungry. Learning these signs is important to know, so you can know before they cry.
This is probably the best way to calm your fussy baby. Lay your unclothed baby on your bare chest, and this will calm him/her and help trigger the natural feeding instincts.
When to Switch Breasts
Knowing when to switch breasts while breastfeeding is important for both you and your baby. Letting your baby finish one breast before moving on to the other one is key. This gives the baby all the fat and calories it needs. It also helps to keep up your supply.
The best way to know when you will need to switch, is to watch your baby. Your baby will give you subtle cues to let you know when it is done, like any pauses or breaks. As these last longer, you can compress your breast to see if it causes your baby to eat some more. When your baby is finished, it will come off the breast on its own. It may also fall asleep or stop sucking even when you compress your breast.
A good sign that your baby is done, is when they do little sucking motions, but they are not swallowing or actively sucking. If you notice this, then it is okay to take your baby off one breast and offer the other one. When the baby is still asleep or isn’t interested, you can wait to offer the other side at the next feeding. Breastfeeding trackers are helpful in keeping track of which side you last fed your baby on. You can easily find printable sheets online for free and they are important for busy moms who want to stay on track.
Breast pumps are a great thing to have on hand if your baby doesn’t want to drink more, but you need to keep your supply up or relieve pressure. You can easily check if your insurance will cover your breast pump 100% by clicking this link, Am I Covered.
When You Should Start Breast Pumping
Breast pumping requires a lot of work and time. Knowing you are giving your baby the best nutrition and food for your baby makes it worth it. Best time to start pumping and building up your supply, is a few weeks before going back to work. Pump in the morning when your supply is at it highest. Start pumping at least an hour after you fed your baby and an hour before your baby will need to be fed again. In doing so, your body will have enough milk to pump and to feed your baby again. By pumping and nursing at home, you won’t get as much milk as you would pumping at work. You are just building up your supply before you go back to work, so it is okay to store a little at a time in your freezer until then.
Cleaning Your Breast Pump Parts
To keep all the parts of your pump bacteria free, you will need to clean it after every use. This is important when you have an open system pump where milk can get in the tube. If you don’t have access to water, you can use breast pump cleaning wipes. If you don’t have the time available, you may purchase an extra set of parts. By having the extra set, you can use each set once a day and clean them after work. It is best to remember to bring your breast pump home and clean all the parts once a week in hot water. Dishwasher works the best at getting everything clean at once in hot water. They will all be clean and ready for the next day.
Medications can help women stay healthy while they are pregnant and also breastfeeding when it is more likely that they could get themselves or their baby sick. We are going to provide a list of medications that you can use for a variety of symptoms and illnesses. All of these are safe for you and your baby, but still look at the labels for corrects dosages. If you have any questions it is best to contact your physician with more questions or concerns.
- Tropical Erythromycin
Back Pain and Other Pains
- Tylenol (Regular or Extra strength)
- Icy Hot
Constipation and Gas
- Colace, Miralax, Fleets, Fibercon, and Metamucil
- Bean O, Gas-X, Mylicon, and Phazyme
- Anusol/Anusol H.C. (RX: Analapram 2.5%)
- Hydrocortisone OTC
- Preparation H, Tucks Vaseline lotion applied to tissue
- 1% Hydrocortisone Cream
Cough Medicines and Nasal Sprays
- Saline Nasal Spray
- Cough drops
- Robitussin (Plain)
Colds and Allergies
- Benadryl, Claritin, and Zyrtec (Plain formulas)
- Mucinex (guaifenesin)
- Vicks Vapor Rub
- Sudafed, Sudafed-12 Hour, and Tylenol Cold & Sinus should be avoided if you have problems with blood pressure or there is an abnormal fetal heart rate. We recommend that you do not take for more than three consecutive days.
- Cold Compress
- Tylenol (Regular or Extra strength)
- Chamomile Tea
- Unisom, Tylenol PM
- Warm milk (Add vanilla/sugar for flavor)
There are several medications that you should avoid all together if you are pregnant, which could cause you or your baby harm and could potentially be fatal. Here is the list of medications that you will need to avoid taking.
- 1 day creams for yeast infections
- Ibuprofen & Excendrin
- Like mentioned above, avoid Sudafed, Sudafed-12 Hour, and Tylenol Cold & Sinus if you have problems with blood pressure or there is an abnormal fetal heart rate. Do NOT take for more than three consecutive days.
We really hope that this post helped you out if you were concerned with what medications you could take while pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have any other concerns or want to know for sure if taking any of these is safe for you, personally, we strongly recommend that you talk to your medical office and get their opinion as well.
Why try breast pumping?
Breast pumping is one of the most common ways to increase your milk supply when you are not with your baby and need to have a supply on hand for when someone else is with the baby. This is especially important if you are planning to go back to work. If you want more information on pumping at work, specifically, you should check out our post by clicking this link, Great Breastfeeding Options and Ideas for Working Mothers.
Pumping gives you the freedom to not be the only one who needs to be there for every feeding. Your partner or another helper can feed your baby from a bottle, which is still giving your baby the nutrition it needs from your breast milk. This gives you a chance to rest and take a break, while letting the father bond with the baby during feedings.
Other reasons to breast pump:
- Again, the most common reason that mothers will choose to breast pump is to stimulate the milk production and increase milk supply
- Another great reason is to collect milk to feed a premature baby or one who can’t latch on to your breast right away. By pumping, you will still be able to provide your baby with feeding him/her the best nutrition.
- Pumping can also help to relieve the pain and pressure of engorged breasts from not pumping or breastfeeding often enough. Although, too much pumping when you’re engorged can cause even more issues and discomfort.
- If your healthcare provider advises you to stop nursing temporarily because you’re taking medication that might be harmful to your baby, pumping would help you keep up a supply to prevent the need of supplementing with formula.
- This is also true if for any reason you need to be hospitalized for a short time and can’t breastfeed throughout the day. Making sure you keep your supply up will help provide for your baby when emergency situations happen unexpectedly.
We have all the top brands of breast pumps out there, so if you are interested to see if you are covered for one, you can click on this link.
Breastfeeding can be a challenge at times for a lot of mothers, between work, activities, and the daily hassles of life. But, when it comes to the benefits your baby will receive, it makes all the work worth it. Below you will find a list of health benefits your baby will have if you choose to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding Health Benefits
- Cholesterol and other types of fat in human milk helps to support the growth of nerve tissue in infants.
- Visual acuity is higher in babies fed with breast milk.
- There is less of a need to have orthodontic work done for a child who has been breastfed for over one year. The baby will also have improved muscle development in the face, because of the suckling at the breast. The subtle changes in the taste of breast milk prepares babies to start accepting a variety of solid foods when they get older.
- Breastfed babies will get fewer ear infections, because breast milk can fight infections and improve the baby’s immune system.
- A child who was breastfed, is less likely to require tonsillectomies.
- There is less allergic eczema in breastfed infants, which means less rashes and other skin irritation.
- They will have fewer and less severe respiratory infections, less wheezing, less pneumonia, and less influenza.
Heart and Circulatory
- Breastfed child have a lower cholesterol as adults. They will also have lower heart rates.
- There is less salt and protein in human milk, so it is much easier on the baby’s kidneys than formula.
- Breastfeeding exclusively for six months or longer, reduces the risk of the baby to develop food allergies. It will have less of a chance in getting Crohn’s disease and colitis when it reaches adulthood. They will also have less diarrhea and gastrointestinal infections from being breastfed.
Joints and Muscles
- The chance of having juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is far less common in children that had been breastfed as an infant.
- Infants who are breastfed, will have fewer urinary tract infections than babies who are not.
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, you can check out the following article by clicking here.
Breastfeeding is a Personal Choice
The choice of breastfeeding your baby or not is all up to you and it is your decision. Breast milk is very beneficial for your baby, because there is no other food that matches the health benefits that your own breast milk can’t give. This can be hard to continue doing for working mothers, but here are some good tips on how you can still give your baby the nutrition it needs while working during the day.
Full Time Nursing
This is where you have the ability to breastfeed your baby throughout the workday or you are able to produce enough milk for your baby to have when he/she is away from you. To produce this much, you will need to express milk at least 3-4 hours to have enough to meet your baby’s needs while separated from you. Formula can be used when needed if supply is low.
Around fourteen days before returning to work, we would recommend you start practicing pumping or expressing milk by hand. Pumping in the morning at least an hour after nursing your baby, is the time that most women find they have more success at that time of day. Your milk can be stored in the refrigerator in any clean container for up to five days. After the five days, then the milk must be store in the freezer. When you are at work, you will want to pump every 2-4 hours. Doesn’t have to be at the same time every day, but often enough to prevent engorgement.
Part Time Nursing
If you are only planning to be breastfeeding part time, then you will not have enough supply to give your baby throughout the day. This means you will have to supplement with formula when you and your baby are separated, which will probably be what you use the most.
This option is best when babies are older and mothers don’t work long days. If your baby is still only 3-4 months old, then you risk losing even more of your supply if you can’t pump or breastfeed at all during the day. Another option that you could do would be pumping a little bit at work until your baby is 3-4 months and then discontinuing and only using formula while you are work.
Seven to fourteen days before you go back to work, cut back on one or two of your feedings that you will be missing when you are at work. Instead practice using a bottle of milk or formula at those times to help the baby get used to it. If your breasts start to hurt, place ice on your chest or pump just enough for comfort. You will receive less stimulation this way, so your milk supply should decrease.
Morning Sickness and Feeling Nauseous
Feeling nauseous in the first few months during your pregnancy is something that most women go through while pregnant as well. Fortunately there are ways to prevent the nausea from even happening or at least making it less severe and frequent.
Natural ways to prevent nauseous symptoms.
- Before getting out of bed, try eating crackers, some dry cereal, or a piece of toast. Make sure these are close to your bed, so they are easy to access in the morning.
- Getting up slowly and sitting on the side of the bed for a few minutes helps to prevent feeling sick in the morning.
- Avoiding any sudden movements is definitely one of the best things you should try. It is one of the simpler to help prevent the feeling of being nauseous.
- As far as how much to eat, you should eat six to eight small meals a day. Avoid going long periods without eating.
- Try eating foods that are high in long acting proteins such as milk, yogurt, cheese, peanut butter, and nuts.
- Drink fluids between meals instead of during. This includes soups.
- Avoid greasy, highly seasoned, and fried foods. These include bitter, margarine, bacon, gravies, pie crust, pastries, fried meats, and french fries.
- Stay away from unpleasant smells. When cooking, open windows and turn on the exhaust fan to get rid of the odors. Wait for a short time before eating, once you are finished cooking.
- Before bedtime, always eat a snack that is high in protein.
- Make sure that you always have fresh air and good ventilation in the bedroom.
- If the nausea is severe, avoid drinking any citrus juice, coffee, and tea.
- If you are having a hard time keeping liquids down, we would recommend trying to eat popsicles.
- Ginger is another natural treatment for nausea. Ginger snap cookies, ginger gum, tea, and candy may be beneficial. There are other mothers who found sea bands, mints, or mint gum to help relieve nausea.
Other Options if Nausea Continues
If the tips above are not helping, the nausea becomes more severe and you can’t hold down fluids for more than 24 hours, we recommend you contact the office for further treatment.
What foods should be avoided?
Determining what foods to avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding is at times difficult and confusing. We hope to help clear up some of the unknowns, by providing a list of some foods that you should stay away from all together or consume in moderation.
- Cut out any form of raw meat from your diet. This includes undercooked seafood, beef, and poultry. They can get contaminated by bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.
Fish with Mercury
- Fish that contain high levels of mercury can also be harmful. This includes fish like tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. For other types of fish, your portions should be limited to around two servings per week.
- All refrigerated, smoked seafood should be avoided by a pregnant women, because of the risk of listeria contamination.
- Bacterial infections can be caused by consuming raw shellfish, such as clams, oysters, and mussels. Fortunately, cooked shrimp is still a safe option.
- Stay away from anything that contains raw eggs, including homemade caesar dressings, homemade ice cream, and mayonnaise. These all have the potential to contain salmonella, so you will need to make sure the yolk is fully cooked every time.
- Listeria can be found in imported soft cheeses, which is the best reason to avoid them. Cheeses made from pasteurized milk are the best option.
- This milk may contain listeria, which may cause miscarriages and other issues for pregnant women.
- Limit caffeine to one cup of coffee a day or less. Too much caffeine intake could lead to miscarriages, premature births, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in infants.
Lunch Meats and Hotdogs
- Before consuming any lunch meats or hotdogs, you will need to heat until steamy warm to kill the bacteria.
Deli Prepared Salads
- Be sure to avoid any premade supermarkets salads, because they may have harmful contaminates on them. Salads made with fresh vegetables are a great alternative and healthier.
- Wash all vegetables before consuming to avoid exposure to toxoplasmosis, because it can contaminate the soil where the vegetables are grown.
If you are interested in knowing what other foods can be potentially harmful, then we would recommend you check out this article posted on Mom 365.