Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding in Public’ Category

Breastfeeding Myths Galore!

June 19, 2011

These are things that I see or read every day: From my clients, from professionals and websites focusing on newborn issues. I know that one post cannot squash these myths completely, but if this helps just a few moms obtain correct information, I’ll be very happy! Each one of these statements could be an entire post. As time goes on, I hope to link each myth with a thorough explanation as to why it’s a myth. But for now, read these and remember they are MYTHS!

Breastfeeding is painful for the first few weeks.

Engorgement is normal and is a sign that everything is going well.

There is not enough milk during the first few days after the birth, so most babies need some formula until the milk “comes in.”

Many women do not produce enough milk.

A baby should be on the breast for a certain amount of time.

A mother should wash her nipples with soap before feeding the baby.

Pumping is a good way of knowing how much milk you have.

If your breasts don’t feel full, that means your milk supply is inadequate.

If a mother is planning to breastfeed, she should buy a pump.

Infant formulas are almost the same as breast milk.

Doctors know a lot about breastfeeding.

Some babies are lactose intolerant.

Nipples need to “toughen up” in order to breastfeed.

If you give a baby a bottle, he will not like the breast any more.

If you breastfeed you will sleep less than if you bottle feed.

You can’t eat your favorite foods if you breastfeed.

You can’t have a glass of wine if you breastfeed.

Breastfeeding makes your breasts sag.

Breastfeeding takes a lot of time.

Dads can’t bond with the baby if baby is breastfed.

If you breastfeed, everyone can see your breasts.

After 6 months, breast milk provides no more benefit to the baby.

If you have twins or more, you will definitely need to use formula.

If your baby is gassy or cries a lot, it means he is allergic to your milk.

Your baby will sleep longer at night if you give her a bottle of formula.

If your baby doesn’t breastfeed in the first week, he probably never will.

If you have flat nipples, your baby won’t be able to breastfeed.

If your nipples are too big, your baby won’t be able to breastfeed.

If your breasts are too small, too big, too (fill in the blank), you won’t be able to breastfeed.

Have you encountered any myths about breastfeeding? Have you heard some things that just don’t sound right? Please, post them here in the comments box. I would love to hear from you!

Important notice:  This blog and all its content and subsequent content is now at www.second9months.com.  Please visit there often for updates and new posts!

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Breastfeeding and Work-Clothing Crisis?

March 30, 2011

My friend and teaching partner, Holli Harris,  generously shared the following article.  Thank you, Holli, for your contribution and insight!

If you plan to combine breastfeeding with a job, double the need for breastfeeding and pump-friendly clothes. It’s one thing to not want to bare your breasts to your family and friends, and/or want to retain your sense of pre-motherhood style, but it’s another situation completely when you require combining the need for looking professional with quick and discreet access to breasts for pump (or breastfeeding) breaks in often semi-private locations…and in a situation where every minute away from work counts.   It’s no wonder there is a steep decline in breastfeeding when women return to work.

I think it was while pumping in a hotel room naked because I was wearing an impenetrable wool sheath dress/suit, that the inkling of HadleyStilwell was born. No wait, maybe it was the time I was sitting in a parked car with an unbuttoned blouse and a shawl for a semblance of privacy. I can’t remember anymore. At any rate, if you plan to breastfeed for a year,  you will get more mileage out of investing in wardrobe staples that mix and match with your current wardrobe and with each other than you did with maternity clothes that you wore for about six months.  And my goal with HadleyStilwell designs is that you will want to wear them whether or not you are still breastfeeding. Lately I’ve been wearing the Signature Tunic with the matching skirt and either the Signature Jacket for more formal situations, or dress it down with a denim jacket, or switch out the skirt altogether for leggings or wide bottom pants. The other piece I’ve been living in this winter is the Fleece Cowl Neck Nursing Tunic.   It’s like wrapping a blanket around yourself except that it’s also tres chic…

HadleyStilwell designs help busy moms breastfeed or pump outside the home, not to mention provide quick pulled-together looks, but it’s not just about the clothes. Read Milk Notes for detailed guidance on combining breastfeeding with work, and watch for guest posts from various experts.–Holli Harris

Do you need help preparing to return to work?  Wondering how to combine breastfeeding with your work life? You don’t have to live in Seattle to receive expert guidance from a lactation consultant. I am available for phone consultations for moms anywhere. You may reach me at www.second9months.com.  Send me an email and I’ll call you the same day to set up a “meeting.”

Breastfeeding in Public-The First Time

October 31, 2010
This is a short story from client who learned something very important from her baby: Breastfeeding can happen anywhere and any time without any special gadgets or preparation.

The first few weeks of breastfeeding Bernie were very draining for me. I was constantly worried that he wasn’t getting enough, taking any unsatisfied looks from him personally and feeling isolated due to the long nursing sessions. I started taking Bernie for daily walks in my neighborhood within days of getting home from the hospital so at three weeks, I thought we could make it three miles around Green Lake without having to stop.   Although I was occasionally pumping, I had not prepared a bottle for this walk and instead fed him before we left and figured I’d feed him again as soon as we got home.  Bernie lasted one mile around the lake before he decided to make me and everyone around us know that he was hungry.  My mother-in-law was along for the walk. Had I been alone, I would have hid behind a tree, but she encouraged me to nurse him on a bench along the trail.
I had never breastfed in public and I wasn’t comfortable with the idea.  I wasn’t sure I could actually do it.  As I fussed nervously with my scarf to properly hide myself, Bernie just placed his legs around my leg, turned his head and latched on without me having to do anything. It was a big turning point for me. In that moment, I realized that we were doing alright and breastfeeding will continue to go well because I’m not in this alone. Bernie is as determined as I am to make it work.

Breastfeeding Challenges-Andrea’s Story

October 30, 2010

This story is generously shared by Andrea and her daughter, Ainsley.  Thank you both for your story and your determination to breastfeed!

When I was pregnant, I worried about everything. Everything, that is, except for whether I’d be able to breastfeed. Since many of my friends and my own sister had breastfed their children, it was a given that I would do the same. I pictured myself breastfeeding my daughter Ainsley, sitting on the beach in front of my house with her tucked inside a sling, contentedly drinking while we enjoyed a special bond.

To my relief, Ainsley latched on within minutes of being born, awake, alert and happily feeding. My heart soared, relieved that we were on the path to having the breastfeeding relationship I’d envisioned. The second time she latched, though, it hurt. The nurses said, “It’s supposed to hurt.” I knew this wasn’t true and it quickly became clear something was wrong. Very soon my nipples were bleeding and the pain was intense. My confidence faltered. I developed fear about feeding, dreading whenever the clock — or my baby — suggested it was time to feed. Sometimes I’d even let her sleep an extra hour or two beyond what was suggested, just so I could give my nipples a break.

By the time we were home, it seemed like all we did was feed. I would breastfeed, painfully, and she would cry—not satisfied. Knowing that the early days of breastfeeding were critical ones, I called a recommended lactation consultant, Renee Beebe, for a home visit. Seeing the damage already inflicted on my nipples, she urged me to exclusively pump until my nipples healed. I hoped for smooth sailing from that point forward.

Pumping was difficult—I barely got enough milk. Furthermore, when I began breastfeeding again, I noticed Ainsley’s fussy behavior at the breast was getting worse. Sometimes she’d scream and cry until I removed her; other times, she’d fall asleep the minute she latched on. I called Renee back for help. It soon became clear that the latch problem was exacerbated by another underlying issue — low milk supply.

I had to supplement with formula, as my pumping output couldn’t keep up with her demand. The first few times I made the formula, I cried. I felt like a complete failure as a new mother.

I ate and drank everything I could to help boost the supply. I ate oatmeal every day, and snacked on Milkmakers cookies. I took a variety of herbs in many forms. Everything helped a little, but still, I didn’t have enough milk. I knew I had to try everything in my power to make this work before calling it quits, and I so persevered.

In the following weeks, I saw other specialists, including an occupational therapist trained in newborn feeding issues. No one could find any sucking or anatomical problems. Clearly, supply was the main issue. To preserve the breastfeeding relationship as best as I could, I began supplementing at the breast using a supplemental nursing system. The SNS was awkward the first few times, But soon I became a pro at taping the tube to my breast and latching her on. Over the next few days, Ainsley became more content at the breast, getting the milk flow she needed to feel satisfied.

At the same time, I started a medication to help boost milk production. Within just a few days, I noticed an increase. One night I pumped 4 oz in one sitting, and I was so proud that I took a picture of the milk I pumped! Slowly but surely, Ainsley took less and less milk from the supplementer. The formula became a thing of the past, and pretty soon, the supplementer as well.

Today, Ainsley is nearly three months old, gaining weight at an excellent pace, and thriving. I am so proud that we made it this far with breastfeeding. Was my supply low because of our struggles in the early days? I may never know. I still worry that I won’t be able to keep up with her as she grows. But for now, I am going to enjoy every moment of our breastfeeding relationship. I am going to sit on a park bench facing the beach, nursing and nourishing my daughter, relishing the moment.

Breastfeeding in Public–A New Point of View

September 14, 2010

The following was written by sister lactation consultant, Norma Ritter. Thank you, Norma, for your thoughtful and humorous contribution to this forum!

There are few things less attractive than a person eating. People who do so in public should be charged with indecent exposure. At the very least, they should apologize to all the other folk in the vicinity. If they can’t cover their naked …mouths then they should stay at home!

I don’t see why people can’t either eat before leaving the house, or just take an IV with them. It is a simple matter to carry the necessary equipment and liquid nutrients in a small cooler. For goodness sakes, companies give away the coolers for free! And did you know that the growing trend is to wear a permanent hep-lock in your arm?

Who wants to see people put food in their facial orifice in public? Come on, we all know what mouths are for, and THAT is most appropriately done in private!

If people insist on eating in public, the least they can do is to use a head cover. There are so many attractive covers now available that you can even match one to your outfit as a fashion statement. It is easy to make your own from a yard of knit fabric, and you don’t even need to hem it.

As for this law I keep hearing about, prohibiting the harassment of those who feed in public, well, that is just ridiculous! We need to return the the good old days when public decency was more common.

Norma Ritter, IBCLC, RLC
Breastfeeding Matters in the Capital Region
www.NormaRitter.com


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