Breastfeeding Wednesday – A Question from a Dad

Today’s letter comes from Ron.  It is nice to see a dad writing in.

Dear Dawn,
My wife is breastfeeding our first born and I feel left out.  Not just from the baby’s life but from my wife’s life as well.  Is there anything I can do to be more involved or feel more involved?
TVM,
Ron

Dear Ron,

Thank you for your question.  There are a few ways to feel more involved.  I would nurse everywhere in the house.  Sometimes my fiancee would be sitting next to me and we would hang out.  When my milk supply started to drop he helped by helping me relax.  He helped massage my breasts gently.  It wasn’t a sexual thing but it helped him still have contact and helped my milk let down.  I would also pump a lot of milk and he would give our son bottles from time to time.  There were times I would be nursing in bed and he would gently massage our sons head.  It was tender and sweet.  I am amazed at how much just those little things meant to me.  One of the nicest things he would do was get our son if he was crying and bring him to me.  It was something small but sometimes those little actions mean more than flowers or gifts.

As for the sexual aspect.  I always laughed and said I didn’t understand why parents have less sex.  Why should having a baby hinder sex.  WOW, was I in for a shock.  LOL  It is amazing how priorities shift and being intimate shifts to cuddle time and relaxing together.  We are both so tired at the end of the night during the week that we pass out  before our sex drives kick in.  I will give you some hope, intimate time gets much easier  once the baby sleeps through the night.

Breastfeeding Wednesday – Nursing while Sick

With flu season in full swing this question was asked via email

Dear Dawn,
I have recently started to feel sick and I exclusively breastfeed.  I have pumped milk but my 9 month old has never had anything other than my boob.  I have heard that I should stop breastfeeding but that doesn’t make sense to me.  What did you do and do you have any suggestions?
Thanks,
Mikella

Dear Mikella,

I nursed non-stop.  If you are feeling sick due to a common cold or sinus irritation I would continue to nurse.  I nursed even when I was sick.  When you breastfeed while you are sick you are passing your antibodies to your baby.  It is like giving your baby additional resistance to being sick.  If you are sick for a prolonged period and you need to see a doctor for your sickness I would make sure to ask them what they think you should do.  In some cases the Doctor will put you on medication that could pass to the baby through your milk.  In that event you want to make sure you pump as much as your baby would eat.

Check with your doctor to see what medications you can take while nursing but my one warning…  Don’t take Sudafed or anything that will “dry” up your sinuses.  If it will dry up your sinuses it could have a direct impact on the amount of milk you will produce.  Steam showers, vick’s vapor rub, Johnson & Johnson vapor baby bath wash, and hot tea were my go to items.  I hope you feel better soon and you and your little one stay healthy.

Sincerely,
Dawn

Breastfeeding Wednesday on Thursday – Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural capture it on film

You have to love a house of sick people.  A sick toddler on the other hand is like living with the spawn of something demonic.

Last week I posted my favorite breastfeeding photo in hopes to spark mothers who are breastfeeding to take a photo or have someone take a photo of you breastfeeding.  Not a posed one, but one that is completely natural.  I only have 2 photos of me breastfeeding because for the first 4 months of my son’s life I was hooked up to a small vacuum machine that had me wrapping tubes everywhere to keep them out of the way.  I happened to have my cell phone next to me one day when I was nursing him and the cat was up purring away so I snapped a quick couple of pictures.

Feel free to share your images below.  Coming up Next Week:  Sore Nipples …

Please note when filling out the contact form it is kept private and goes directly to my email.

Banning Baby Bottles… Is this a smart move for Venezuela? I think……….

A heated debate and a hot topic, the importance of breastfeeding.  I am very open-minded about breastfeeding and a mother’s choice.  Some moms think it is gross or just don’t want to breast feed their baby for what ever reason they have and some mom‘s don’t have a choice about breastfeeding their babies because their bodies wont produce milk.  I have heard some people say that it is not possible but I have friends that tried everything even controversial prescription medications to get breast milk and nothing.  Not to mention my struggle to supply my baby with breast milk.  I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have bottles to feed my son the milk I had pumped for him.  Pumping was one way I was able to keep my supply up.  And since I had low supply I sure as heck was NOT going to dump it.

I understand a government wanting to promote breastfeeding.  Like our hospitals in MA have lactation consultants(LC) to help new moms in  the first moments and days of life by being available for hands on help.  I don’t know what I would have done with out the support and help of my LCs when my supply dipped.  Our hospitals have also gotten rid of the formula care packages they send home with new moms, or maybe they just don’t give them to Exclusively Breastfed Babies(EBB).  Breast is best because the mother’s body has nourished the baby from the time it was first conceived, it is natural for it to keep nourishing the baby for as long as the baby needs.  When I thought about breastfeeding there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to have an exclusively breastfed baby.  I wanted to breast feed for many reasons.  Obviously it is the most complete nutrition my baby could receive and it was FREE.  But my mom breastfed me and I have always thought that breastfeeding is a natural part of being a mom.  From the moment I first put Robert to my breast he suckled it like he was a pro.  It was natural on both ends.

It is argued that the bond between a mother and a breastfed baby or a bottle fed baby is different.  I don’t think that the physically being attached to the breast makes the bond stronger between mother and child but it does make the emotional aspect of providing life for your baby a deeper emotional feeling for the mother.  I loved everything about breastfeeding, the cuddling him close, watching his little face relax as he started to enter the milk induced sleep, the peacefulness of our mommy-baby time and the feelings that go with breastfeeding that words can’t describe.  My friends who either chose to or had to bottle feed their babies are just as close with their babies as I am with Robert.  The cuddled their little ones close, watched their faces change as they got full and got to have the same mommy-baby bonding time.

So to the point of the banning the use of baby bottles…  That is just ridiculous.  All that will do is promote black market baby bottle dealing not breastfeeding.  Plus, some moms have over-supply and have to pump to help their body regulate milk production (how I wished I was a mom with over-supply).  If those mom’s don’t have bottles to put their milk where will it go?  Are they supposed to throw it away?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  If I ever for any reason had to discard any breast milk I felt like I was throwing away liquid gold.  Banning baby bottles will not solve their wish to promote breastfeeding.  I think the Venezuelan congress is taking this WAY TOO FAR!!

Breastfeeding Feelings – self weaning… baby weaning… Emotional times…

It has been a long breastfeeding journey.  I have gone through herbal treatment after herbal treatment.  I have a nice regimen of herbal teas and supplements.  I had gotten so I was able to pump about 8oz of milk a day (pumping 3-5 times a day) but the last few days I have only gotten about 5 oz a day in 3 pumping sessions.  I don’t know if it is hormones adjusting but it makes me sad to know that my herbal regimen might be starting to fail and my body is building a tolerance to them.

I am sad to think that my milk producing days are coming to an end.  Robert has been much more independent the last few days and not asking to nurse.  I know 16 months is a good run to breastfeed but my heart breaks thinking that this is the first time, and not the last, that I feel my little guy doesn’t need me as much.  I know he needs me in new ways but it is still an adjustment.

Then I wonder is this going to be the feeling I have for all major milestones?  I miss the days of cuddling him and watching his little face go from hungry to content to full and blissfully in a milk coma.  It is the most peaceful look I have ever seen.  Now I have to sneak into his room while he sleeps to catch a glimpse of that peaceful look.

My little boy and my body are in sync no matter how much I try to pump…  ::BIG SIGH::

Question of the Day: What is your favorite breastfeeding moment?

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04/01/12 – 2 months old

This is my favorite breastfeeding moment.  Our youngest cat, 5 years old, was my baby before Robert came into our family.  She was a little jealous of the amount of attention Robert got and still is.  She was also protective of the little guy.  Until he was too big for her to fit she liked to lay on the other side of him while he nursed.  It was so sweet.  When he got bigger she would lay on my legs if I had them propped up or on the little table I had next to us.  This is the only picture I have of nursing our little one.  At the time I didn’t want pictures taken because I had tubes around me and I didn’t really want to remember that part of recovery.  Truth is, I never forgot and now I consider it part of my right of passage to being a mother.

A Breastmilk Pumping Story (kinda funny)

A funny story for “pumpers” feeling tied down.

Yesterday afternoon I got the little guy to nap I hooked up my Medela Pump in Style(the backpack style), put the battery pack in(so I was wireless) and walked around the apartment cleaning, went up and down the stairs doing laundry.  We live on the 3rd floor and the washers and driers are in the basement.  Not thinking anything of it because most of the people who live in out building are at work or class that time of the day and the place is vacant other than the little guy and me.  When as I was coming up the stairs from taking a load down I saw one of the house mates leaving their apartment.  I talked to them like normal but they was giving me an odd look.  I had a baggie shirt on over top of my hands free pumping so I wouldn’t get chilled when I went in the basement.  I went up stairs and sat down to read a little.  It is then that I realized I still had my pump on and running.

I was at that moment a little embarrassed to have been seen looking like a “Milk Buster” (that is what I call it when I am hooked up pumping and do house chores).  Will I do this again?  Of course I will.  It was too funny how I didn’t even realize until after the fact.  It is one thing to be seen in my home, “daddy” sees it all the time but a neighbor…  uggg…  That’s different.

Moringa – Day 3

I have a little more milk.  well for me even 1/4 oz is a good increase.  now that is 1/4 oz over a whole day.  Tomorrow I can pump some more than I did today.  On Friday I was so caught up in a movie that I forgot to keep an eye on the time while my pump was on and my boobs got so sore.  So today I gave it a bit of a rest and pumped only once.

Moringa – Day 1

Here is more information I have found on Moringa.  This plant gets more and more interesting the more I learn about it.  For the last few years the World Health Organization has been helping to promote the plant for its nutritional value and health booting properties.  Both water and alcohol based tinctures made from the leaves of the Moringa Tree have been able to fight off various bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Aeromonas cavaie, and Enterococcus faecalis but didn’t work on others.  When the leaves are ingested either whole, ground or in powder form it has been clinically proven that the medicinal properties of the Moringa leaf balances the blood glucose levels and could also have a benefit to the insulin regulation in the body.  The leaves can also be made into a paste and used on the skin to aid in the beatification process.   There are so many health benefits to the leaves.  The amount of iron is 3 times more than what is found in a single serving of spinach.  This can help people with iron deficiency and anemia.

The Moringa roots bark from has been used to successfully treat post-menopausal epithelial ovarian cancer.  It has been clinically proven to be the only herbal plant that benefits the female reproductive system because of the anti-tumor and female hormone properties it contains.  The root bark however should not be taken by woman in the childbearing years or pre-menopausal because the chemicals in the root cause a fertilized egg not to be able to implant into the wall of the uterus.  Therefore, the Moringa root bark has been used in some cultures as a natural form of birth control.  It is a delicate balance because too much of the root bark can cause extreme uterine contractions and has caused fatalities when overdosed.

The Moringa Root Bark is not to be confused with the Moringa Leaf which is very healthy and packed with all kinds of good stuff.

NOTE TO SELF: Don’t take too close to bedtime…  I was wide awake with a lot of energy.  I didn’t fall asleep until about 2 am and not for a lack of trying.

Here is more information about Moringa.  It is packed full of info on blood pressure, anti-aging and so much more … http://moringamalunggay.com/health-benefits.htm

My Moringa Journey

I first heard about this from a friend who is a Herbologist.  She was interviewed for a new special and posted a link to the interview.  So I commented and asked her if it would help with lactation.  She looked into it and got back to me and said “absolutely” and suggested the capsule form since I live in an environment that is too cold to grow it myself.  Also, to see results in relation to milk supply a lactating mother should have been diagnosed with low milk supply.

So the main question I had was “is it safe while nursing” the answer she gave me was for most woman it will help them tremendously.  After doing a little research on my own I agree with her when she says this is a miracle plant.  (if you are considering this treatment check with your doctor before starting to use it)  Here are some of the benefits it has antioxidant properties (Alpha-carotene, Bata-carotene, Beta-cryptoxanthin, Chlorophill, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin), high levels of Vitamins A & C, iron calcium, and potassium.  It has also been said to help relax and calm the breastfeeding mother.  This is my final attempt at increasing my milk supply.  It has been a long road to make even 1 – 8oz milk a day to give him.

My journey begins with my first 400mg dose of Moringa tonight…  I will post additional information on the benefits to Moringa as I learn more.