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 Question Wednesday – “Help My boobs are leaking!”

This is a cross post of my Blog Entry on MoMWoW.org

I was asked this in an email and would like to respond here so more people can benefit from my answer.

“I am a first time mom and I am exclusively breastfeeding.  I pump between feedings but my boobs are leaking milk.  Do you have any suggestions how to stop it or what to do? Thanks, Leah”

Dear Leah,

Thank you for asking this question.  I had a similar thing happen a couple of weeks after I had my son.  I did a couple of things to help with the leaking but it eventually cleared up in time.  I noticed my breasts would leak every time my son cried or if I was just a little over the time of a feeding.  I took a cloth diaper insert and cut it to make pads for my nipples.  This worked great.  They were super absorbent and wicked away the milk so my nipples didn’t get chapped or overly wet.  Not to mention it was much more cost-effective than using disposable nursing pads.  When I was out in public and the little guy wasn’t hungry I would excuse myself, run to the bathroom, make toilet paper pads and cross my arms like I was giving myself a hug with the heel of my hands on my nipples.  Like plugging a leak in a pool.  This helped a little but I think it was more for my peace of minds than anything.  I was lucky that this all occurred in the winter when I was able to throw on a sweater to hide my leaks.

If your issue with leaking is due to an over-supply then most likely it will continue until you are finished breastfeeding.  I didn’t have over-supply so I can’t give you a first hand review or experience but I know some mom’s who did and they bought a neat nipple shell that collected the milk they leaked.  They were able to put the collected milk in a bottle or bag and save it for a later feeding.

I hope this helps with your milk leakage and it stops for you soon.

Sincerely,
Dawn Leoni – a former EBF Mommy

 

** Please email me questions or fill out the form below and I will post a response to them.
MoMWoWNY@gmail.com

 

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::

Moringa – Week 3

I have reached a stand still with milk production this past week but I am not too bummed since we did have a family gathering almost every day since Christmas Eve.  We have been go go go so I didn’t get to pump as many times as I normally do during the day.  He did nurse a few times in addition to his normal feedings.  (thankfully no using my nipple as a teether)

Next week we are back to our normal pumping schedule and I hope to start increasing a little more.  I am happy that even with the lessened amount of times pumping that my supply has not dropped.  I contribute that to the Moringa.

Moringa – Week 2

My 2nd week of the Moringa has been good a small increase since last week but not too much.  I am pumping an additional 2-3 oz a day which is really good.  I am up to 8-9 oz a day pretty regular now.  It is a good feeling to know that I am producing a little more milk for the little guy.  Even though we are getting closer to the 1 year mark with each passing day I would like to continue to give him my breastmilk for as long as I can keep pumping.  I have worked this hard to get to where I am that it makes me want to keep going.

I am also feeling like I have more energy and I am not as sleepy.  The extra energy is a good thing because the little guy is getting closer and closer to standing.

Moringa – End of First Week

So far everything has been going well with the Moringa. I have noticed other benefits as well as the slight increase in milk supply. However even a slight increase in milk supply for me is a HUGE deal. I have been able to pump an additional 1-2 oz a day for the last couple of days. My milk doesn’t seem to be as thick and is coming out easier. This makes me a happy Mommy.
I should also note that I was very sick this past week with a sinus infection. Today is my last day on antibiotics. I am not sure if that has slowed the reaction time of the Moringa or not. I have felt that since starting the Moringa last week I have continued to have more energy through out the day. I just got the results back from my full blood panel workup from the doctor as well. My blood was drawn before I started taking the Moringa and I was told my vitamin D was low. Of course I am wondering why it is so low because I am drinking about 3 glasses of milk, eating about 3-4 oz of yogurt and eating about an oz of cheese a day. I am sure I eat other things fortified with vitamin D as well. It will be interesting to see how my blood work comes out in 6 months when I have repeat testing done.

Stay tuned about the Moringa as I will update at least once a week from this point on just to touch base and document how things are coming along.

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