Breastfeeding your Baby

Breastfeeding is a critical aspect of the first few months of your baby’s life. In fact, it’s so important that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months and then continuing to breastfeed as long as mom and baby mutually agree. Even though breastfeeding might seem like a natural process, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure that your baby gets all the nutrients he or she needs from breast milk. Here’s what you need to know about breastfeeding your newborn:

Breastfeeding is not always easy, but it can be.

Breastfeeding your baby can be challenging and can be difficult, but it is worth it. If you are struggling to breastfeed your baby, there are several things you can do to get help.

  • Talk with other mothers about their experiences breastfeeding their babies and how they overcame the challenges of breastfeeding.
  • Ask for help from a lactation consultant or another expert who can teach you how to breastfeed successfully.
  • Contact local hospitals, maternity clinics and birthing centers in your area for assistance in finding a lactation consultant who will work with you one-on-one at a private location (such as your home) if needed.

What you eat and drink can affect your breastmilk.

You may be surprised to learn that breastfeeding is a process of digestion, just like eating and drinking. But it’s true! Just like the food and drink you consume, what you eat and drink can affect your breastmilk.

Breastmilk is made from the nutrients in your blood, so when you eat certain foods or drinks they will affect how many nutrients are available for your baby to use. For example:

  • If you eat a lot of meat, eggs or other high-protein foods then your body has more protein than it needs right now – so some of that protein will go into making breastmilk instead of staying in your body where it would help keep you healthy. That means less protein for you (and potentially weaker hair) but more than enough for your baby!
  • When we eat too much fat our bodies make less fat for our babies because there’s plenty already around – this means that if you eats lots of junk food or fast food you won’t be getting all the vitamins you need either!

“Breast is best” is a myth that can cause a lot of harm to moms who want to breastfeed but aren’t able to.

You may have heard that breast is always best for your baby, but this isn’t always the case. It’s important to remember that breastfeeding isn’t always possible for every mother and child, and not everyone chooses to breastfeed. If you want to try breast milk but aren’t able to get it from your own body, there are several options available like local milk banks.

If you do choose to breastfeed, here are some tips on how:

  • Find support from other breastfeeding mothers in your area or online (there are also apps for this).
  • Make sure that you’re well-nourished before trying anything new with your diet—you’ll need all the energy you can get!
  • Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about taking breaks when needed; sometimes moms need time away from their babies so they can recharge their batteries too!

If your baby isn’t gaining enough weight, you need support, not blame.

It’s natural to feel sad, frustrated, and angry when you’re not able to breastfeed your child. But remember that breastfeeding is not always easy. It doesn’t always go exactly as planned, and it can be tough work for both mum and baby.

If you find yourself in this situation, please don’t blame yourself or your partner or anyone else around you – instead seek support from others who know what they’re talking about. The most important thing is to look after yourself!

Breastfeeding moms often don’t know how much milk they’re producing, but doctors usually tell them that it’s “not enough” if their baby isn’t gaining weight. I’ve seen many women feel like failures in themselves when they hear these messages from health professionals. Support groups can help you learn how to express milk by hand and find ways of increasing production with things like breastfeeding positions that work better for you.

Your baby’s tongue might be tied.

While infants can’t tell you how they feel, there are some signs that your baby might be suffering from tongue tie. If your baby has trouble latching on to the breast or feeding for long periods of time, it could be a sign of tongue tie.

In addition to having difficulty breastfeeding, another sign that your infant may have a tongue-tie is fussiness during feedings. Babies with a severe case of tongue tie often cry at meals because their jaws hurt from trying to suckle on their mothers’ breasts. A more subtle symptom is noticing that your infant tends to arch their back when nursing; this is thought to occur due to pain in the jaw muscles and upper back region when they try using their tongues while breastfeeding. 

If you suspect that your baby has a tongue tie, see a doctor or pediatric dentist. Treatment is usually as simple as cutting a small piece of tissue under the tongue to release tension and make breastfeeding easier for both you and your infant. If your baby was born with a severe case of tongue tie, they may have trouble feeding for several weeks before it resolves itself. Babies who cannot breastfeed due to their condition are often given supplemental formula to help them gain weight and develop properly.

It’s normal for it to take time for breastfeeding to get going. It can take weeks or months depending on a variety of factors.

It’s normal for it to take time for breastfeeding to get going. It can take weeks or months depending on a variety of factors.

Your baby may be too sleepy at first, or they may not latch on properly. Some babies are fussy while they’re learning how to breastfeed correctly and might need lots of encouragement from you. If your baby seems uninterested in latching on, try rubbing their back gently, or holding them skin-to-skin (with your shirt pulled up) with their head nestled into your chest—this usually stimulates the let-down reflex (when milk flows into the breast), which can make them want to nurse more eagerly.

If it’s hard for you both at first, don’t give up! The longer you keep trying and practicing different positions and techniques with your little one as well as talking with other moms who have made breastfeeding work for them will help build confidence in yourself and increase bonding between parent and child–and that’s something worth waiting for!

Breastfeeding is often portrayed as a magical or natural ability, but the truth is that most women need some help with it, especially in the early days.

Many women think that breastfeeding is a natural ability and that you either have it or you don’t. This can make it seem like a big deal when your baby doesn’t latch on right away. But the truth is that most women need some help with it, especially in the early days.

It can take weeks or months to get breastfeeding right, and even then there may be challenges: sore nipples, painful gas pains from improper positioning, and difficulty maintaining supply after returning to work or school… The list goes on! If you have questions about how to make breastfeeding easier for yourself and your baby—or if things aren’t going as well as they could be—you might want to seek out some outside assistance from experts like lactation consultants or peer counselors at local hospitals or community health centers.

Breastfeeding is hard work, but with good support, there is no reason why most women can’t do it successfully

Breastfeeding is a skill that takes time to learn. If you are struggling with breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to ask for help! A lactation consultant can help you figure out how to make breastfeeding work for you and your baby. You can also get support from a breastfeeding support group or from women who have been there before you. These groups are made up of volunteers who want to help other mothers learn how to breastfeed successfully, so please take advantage of their wisdom!

It’s important to remember that breastfeeding is hard work, but with good support, there is no reason why most women can’t do it successfully. If at any point you feel stuck or confused about how to get started or continue breastfeeding your baby, don’t be afraid to reach out for help! You can always call your local La Leche League chapter or contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) through the United States Lactation Consultants Association website.

An Achievable Sleep Survival Guide for Mama and Baby

Most new mothers find getting adequate sleep to be a challenge. Getting up constantly is disruptive to quality sleep and you’re not alone if you’re feeling exhausted and irritable. This survival guide will help you get more quality sleep and offer some coping strategies to make the temporary sleep loss easier to bear.

Getting More Quality Sleep:

  1. Understand your sleep cycles. The quality of sleep is more important than the number of hours you get. Most people need 90 minutes to 2 hours of uninterrupted slumber to enter into restorative deep sleep. New moms need methods to provide adequate rest when they’re frequently getting up to care for their babies.
  2. Use naps to supplement your nighttime sleep. Until your baby sleeps through the night, naps can help you survive. Take a nap when your child falls asleep during the day. Feeding your baby before a nap may help you both sleep longer.
  3. Enlist your partner’s help. Even if you’re breastfeeding, your partner can take a turn with night feeding if you pump and refrigerate your milk. You can also get more rest if your partner brings the baby to you at night for breastfeeding so you don’t have to walk around as much.
  • Seek out additional support. The first weeks are often the most demanding, so think ahead to arrange the support you’ll need. Your parents or other loved ones may be able to move in temporarily or you may be able to exchange mutual assistance with other parents in your neighborhood. Consider hiring a postpartum doula to help you and baby.
  • Ask someone else to cover the first nighttime feeding. Having someone else do the first nighttime feeding is a great way to get some hours of unbroken sleep. Even if you takeover later in the night, you’ll have gotten some much needed rest.
  • Work towards a consistent schedule. Rest assured that this is temporary and look forward to getting back on a regular sleep schedule. You and your family will rest better when you have regular bedtimes.

Coping Strategies for Temporary Sleep Loss:

  1. Meditate. Meditation provides some of the same benefits as sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or there’s no time for a nap, try some quiet deep breathing.
  2. Eat a healthy diet. You can improve your sleep by avoiding excessive caffeine or alcohol. Drink lots of water because dehydration can be tiring. A balanced diet will also help provide the energy you need.
  3. Do gentle exercises. If your doctor says it’s safe to exercise, a gentle workout may help you sleep better. You can find resources online or at your local library.
  4. Take a shower. A simple shower may help you feel refreshed fast. A few minutes under the shower and a change of clothes can help you feel more awake.
  5. Reduce other potential sources of stress. As a new mom, you have a lot going on in your life, so try to minimize any additional stress. Older children may be able to pitch in with more household chores. Postpone any big decisions until you can think more clearly.
  6. Talk with your doctor. Sleep deprivation can have serious effects on anybody, and new mothers are already dealing with many hormonal changes. Consult your doctor if you need help managing all the changes. Your doctor can give you recommendations to keep you and your family happy and healthy.

Being a new mother is a joyful and enriching experience. Work at getting the quality sleep you need and look forward to many happy years with your new baby.

5 Self-Care Tips for Busy Moms

Moms are constantly pulled a million different directions, finding themselves far too busy to get done what they need to get done, let alone worrying about self-care.

The busier moms find themselves taking care of themselves less and less as they get busier taking care of their families. We’re here to help; we’ll provide you with simple tips to get in your much-needed self-care to get you back to feeling your best. It’s natural to put your kids first, but you can’t neglect yourself completely; you’re important too.

1) Get in Activity Daily
It’s good to keep yourself active. However, depending on the age of your child you may get more than your fair share of activity. Physical activity can help your body release endorphins which can improve your mood and increase your energy.

Do whatever activity you enjoy that gets you active. You could walk around the park with your stroller, do yoga in your local studio when you can, use a workout video; do whatever will get you active each day.

2) Stay in Touch with Those Close to You
Taking time to nurture important friendships and relationships is a crucial part of your self-care. It’s not always easy to pay them a visit, especially when they live far away, but there are other, simple ways you can still put the effort in to show them you care.

You could call them for a few moments when you’re doing dishes or taking a walk once or twice a week and keep in touch. You could write them a card or letter, send them a gift, or something along those lines to let them know you’re thinking of them.

3) Prioritize Sleep
It’s tempting to try to make the most out of the time your kids are asleep, but it’s important to get sleep yourself. The Director of UCLA Sleep Disorders warns mothers of the risk of limiting their sleep:

“We know from research studies that chronic lack of sleep has adverse health consequences: people who consistently sleep less than six hours experience increased appetite, which causes weight gain and increases the risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, and type two diabetes.”

Sleep is a crucial part of your mental and physical health. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night is one self-care treatment you can’t afford to miss out on.

4) Eat Right
Eating right is a great self-care routine to instill. You can experience both short term and long-term effects by eating healthier regularly. It’s tempting to go for the quicker, unhealthy option for yourself, but eating right is better for your body and sets a positive example for your kids. It’ll help to provide you with more energy and better overall health.

5) Prioritize Your Health
We always make sure to carefully note each checkup and appointment for our children, knowing the exact month to return for yearly checkups, but we rarely take as much are with our own. Your health is important; take special care to make appointments for your yearly checkups and don’t miss any regular exams.

As a mom, you probably struggle to find time for yourself. You put your kids before yourself, which is commendable, but it leaves a void in your self-care routine, resulting in your neglecting yourself. We hope these few, simple tips will help you find a way to squeeze in some self-care time during your hectic life.

You are important, and your needs deserve to be valued. You can easily improve your mental and physical health by integrating these simple self-care tips.

Question: What are you doing to take care of you? Share below!

Need help taking better care of you? Hire me as your postpartum doula here.

The Power of the Postpartum Plan

Expectant Mothers spend a great deal of time creating their birth plans. They take time to think through how they want to enter the birthing space, who they invite into that space and how the decisions they make affect them and the baby. They type these plans out and moms give them to their birthing partners so everyone is on the same page about their wishes. This plan is all about mom and how everyone on her team can support in having a happy and healthy delivery. But what about the postpartum period?

The same careful thought and consideration should go into the creation of a postpartum plan. What do you want to have happen when you arrive home with the baby? Who do you or don’t you want in that space to preserve your peace? What supplies will you need? What meals and herbs will you need? How can everyone come together to provide the best space for you to heal?

We live in a “snapback” society focused too much on how quickly moms can get back to their pre-pregnancy size and back to business as usual. The norm has been that this needs to happen within 6 weeks postpartum. When ideally mothers need well over a year to fully get back to anything!

In other cultures, mothers are given special care and honor whether this is their first birth or eighth birth. Each child is precious and unique and each delivery and postpartum period deserves the right amount of dedication and care. For most mothers family comes by a few times to check on the baby and they dryly ask mom how she doing and feeling but most of the attention is on the baby. The physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health of mom is neglected.

The postpartum plan is a space where you as mom can draft your wishes of what you will need help with as they adjust to life with their sweet little one.

Here are a few ideas and resources to include in your postpartum plan:

Who will take care of meals? Your body needs to heal and be replenished and renewed. Your openings need to be closed and bound.

Who will keep your home clean? You need to keep unwanted germs out of your healing space.

Who will you call on for support? You need the contact information for professional support like doctors, therapists, childcare, close family members.

How will you cope with your feelings? What self-care strategies will you put in place to

What will you do when you need a break from the baby? Don’t feel bad if you need too, it’s a validated feeling. Do you have on-call help from your spouse or will he be at work?

What is your plan to take care of your body? Yoga? Pilates? Gym? Chair Stretches?

How will you celebrate your successes? 

Postpartum Resources

Meal Train-To schedule postpartum meals

Care-Find assistance with nannies and babysitters for support

Talkspace– Online therapist

Amazon Fresh– Online grocery service

Amazon Home Service– Homecleaning Services local to you

The First Forty Days: Nourishing the New Mother

Postpartum Doula Services with Regina