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.

Breastfeeding Wednesday – Working Mama

Cross-post from MoMWoW.org

I was contacted by Shoele of the Working Mama Project.  She has read my personal blog about breastfeeding and has shared with me her wonderful project.

I see that you write a lot about breastfeeding and think that this project might be an interesting topic for you. I have made photo project called Working Mama with focus on the beauty and nature of breastfeeding. I hope that you would like to support my project.http://igg.me/at/workingmama/
Best regards,
Shoele

She is putting together a coffee table book with photos of Mother’s breastfeeding.  I admire what she is doing as to me it seems so beautiful to see a mother breastfeeding her baby.  In other countries Breastfeeding isn’t shameful like it is made to feel here in the US.  I will admit I was a mom who was proud to breastfeed in public.  For the most part I used a cover but when the little guy grew so he didn’t like them I nursed without one.  I am excited to see Shoele’s dream of having a coffee table book come true.  Check out her video and her crowd-funding page.  Even if you don’t give, it is interesting to share in her dream.  I look forward to the release of her book.

On a personal note: I often look at breastfeeding mamas with such awe and I smile at them.  When my supply started to drop seeing a mama breastfeed with ease would make me sad because I wished breastfeeding was an easy venture for me.  Oh but was it ever hard yet so rewarding and special.  Words can’t describe the love I have for breastfeeding.  I know many moms who wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t for one reason or another.  I also know moms who never had the wish to breastfeed yet they all were supportive of my decision to breastfeed as long as possible.

In support of the Working Mama Project here is my favorite picture of breastfeeding my son.  Our youngest cat liked to lay behind our son as he breastfed until he got too big, then she would lay at my feet or on my legs.  To this day she sleeps next to his crib at night and for naps.  On occasion she will sleep in our room with us.

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

My Favorite Breastfeeding Moment

My Favorite Breastfeeding Moment

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!!

Another Lack of Lactation Hormone Adjustment Day

WOW  Today was a blast!!  And I mean that in the good and bad way.  LOL  My little guy really keeps a smile on my face when I start to feel sad.  I am sure these emotions are all post lactation hormones getting back on track.  So here is a peek into my day.

Woke up like normal.  OK super 5:30 am and the little guy is wide awake and ready to play.  I am thinking “awe, gee Robert, couldn’t you have slept just 30 more minutes?” we do our new normal morning routine which is get him from his crib, let him play for a few minutes BEFORE changing his diaper because if I don’t I get an unwanted “shower” of toddler pee.  So, I have learned my lesson after about 3 mornings of repeat.  In my defense it was also the first 3 mornings he was up at 5 o’clock in the morning.  I take the time to start the water to make Sean his morning coffee, get Robert his milk and make him some breakfast.  I let him eat while I finish making Sean’s french press coffee and his lunch for the day.  Once that is complete I go into Robert’s room, change his diaper, get him dressed for the day and play with him for a bit.  about 45 minutes later he is usually ready for his first nap.  Do you think I can nap at this point? NOT A CHANCE!!  So, I spend the time picking up the living room from the mess he made the night before because I was too tired before bed to do it.  Perfect, my turn to sit and relax.  ahhhh

As I am relaxing I was looking for a picture and came across an article about Venezuela and how they want to ban baby bottles.  I started to cry, but I will explain that in more detail in tomorrow’s post about my view on their ban proposal.  That was just the start.  Then I decided I would watch one of the movies I had put on hold, Bully the movie.  What a sad documentary, and I cry to think of what a world Robert will have to grow up in.  bullying isn’t just name calling or a fist punch it can go viral via social media and the internet.  My heart breaks for what kids have to go through these days.  I know that most kids aren’t bullied, but it now seems like a parent’s worst nightmare.  Thankfully he woke up and we took a nice long 3.5 hour long walk.  That got my blood pumping and cleared my head.

When we got home he looked up at me and gave me a huge hug and cuddled there.  I cried for a moment because my baby was not a baby anymore.  he is a little boy and cuddling because he wants to and not because he needs to.  And then I smile and my heart fills with so much joy to see how he is becoming this little person.  then in a split second as I go out the door to put something in the recycling it is baby meltdown like his world is ending.  I am talking to him the whole time I step out the door and as I come back in he toddles over to me in a semi-run (he is just learning to walk so it isn’t like a normal kid run) crashes into me and tells me “STOP!  STOP!”.  My heart broke for him.  He didn’t understand that I was still there and I was coming back in.  poor thing.  This of course made me feel horrible like he spends too much time with me but I keep reminding my self that if he didn’t act that way then maybe I should worry that I wasn’t paying him enough attention.

So today was a day filled with lots of tears for no real reason other than being a little over sensitive.  I sure hope he sleeps in a little longer tomorrow…  But I am not holding my breath.  HAHA….

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 – 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.