Archives for March 2014

How to Effectively Pump Breast Milk While on Vacation

How to Effectively Pump Breast Milk While on Vacation I’m going on a week-long vacation without my 10-month old.  I have plenty of stored breast milk for him and I plan to pump while I’m away.  But do I need to pump as often as I would normally feed him?  I fear that will not be possible during vacation.

Congratulations, first of all, that you have so much stored breast milk at home.  I understand your fear of keeping a tight pumping schedule on vacation—so often vacation time is unstructured! Depending on where you are going and how flexible your plans are, you may be surprised how easily it is to express your breast milk.  If you are going out of the country, make sure you find out if the electric outlets in your hotel will fit your breast pump or if you need to purchase an adapter.  Also, if you have a double set-up breast pump, use it for a quick, efficient way to express your milk. Cutting down pumping time makes it easier to take a break from your vacation plans without missing anything.

If you cannot plan your pumping times around the times your baby typically nurses, try to express the same amount of times in a 24-hour time period you would at home.  For example, if you normally nurse your baby 5 times a day, try to pump the same number of times in a 24 hour period. You might have an easier time expressing your breast milk if you try to stick to the same time schedule you would at home, but it’s not necessary to match the times exactly. You may find that you can sneak in a pumping at 2 am instead of the 2 pm time slot.  Remember that as long as you are regularly expressing breast milk, you should not experience any trouble breastfeeding again once you’re home.

You may also want to give some thought to storing your breast milk.  Many hotels provide their guests with refrigerators in the room and breast milk may be stored for up to eight days in a refrigerator.  If you don’t have the luxury of refrigeration, you may want to invest in a portable ice chest.  Just remember to check the breast milk and make sure it’s been properly cooled. You may also want to consider putting the milk on dry ice and shipping it home at the end of your trip.  Enjoy your vacation!

 

Photo attribution

Gender Predictors and Ultrasound Tests: Did You Find Out Your Baby’s Sex Before Delivery?

Gender Predictors and Ultrasound Tests: Did You Find Out Your Baby’s Sex Before Delivery?

What do you think, moms? Did you want to know your baby’s sex the first second you possibly could, or were you adamant about waiting until delivery to know if you were welcoming a daughter or son into the world? Choosing whether or not to know your baby’s sex is an important decision every expectant couple faces today. Recent advances in ultrasound technology make it even easier to accurately know your baby’s gender as early as four months pregnant. So, did you choose to wait or was your nursery painted blue or pink before your baby’s arrival?

Learning a baby’s sex before delivery might seem like a ruined surprise to some couples, while others are happy to have the extra months to plan, shop, and pick a name before the big day. But be careful if you reveal your baby’s sex before delivery—you might unknowingly open yourselves to unsolicited advice and opinions from well-meaning friends, family members, and strangers. Think about keeping the gender to yourselves and close friends if you’re set on knowing beforehand. After all, in less than a year everyone will know one way or the other!

If you keep your baby’s sex a surprise, don’t be alarmed when family members and strangers try out their baby gender predictions on you and your growing bump! There’s an ancient, folkloric element to guessing a baby’s gender before birth, and many cultures have unique traditions that predict whether or not you’ll have a son or a daughter.

Whether or not you choose to find out before delivery, it’s important to remember that your baby’s sex is only one part of your child’s identity. Hoping for a healthy, happy infant should be the #1 priority in every expectant parent’s book. We’re sure you will dote on your little one whether you have a boy or a girl! Foster your loving bond with your little one by caring for them with all the love you have to give.

Did you choose to wait to find out your baby’s sex? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!

Breastfeeding While Sick, Is It Safe For Baby?

Breastfeeding While Sick, Is It Safe For Baby?Ahh! Do you smell that fresh, spring breeze? Rejoice because we’re over the worst of winter, but remember—we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to catching a cold or virus. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you might have heard that you should not nurse your child while sick. Whether you’re battling the sniffles or downright sick with the flu, you might be nervous about passing on the infection to your little one via breast milk.

Don’t worry, illnesses like colds, flus, or even food poisoning cannot be transmitted to your baby through breast milk. Pregnancy and Newborn magazine reassures nursing moms that breast milk changes daily, so mom’s milk does not hold onto the infection and will not endanger her baby.

That’s not to say that your baby isn’t susceptible to illness while you’re feeling down, so take extra precautions to wash your hands and avoid coughing around your baby if possible. The magazine also suggests breastfeeding directly from the breast while you’re ill instead of pumping and bottle feeding. The less you handle your breast milk, the better for baby while you’re sick. If pumping can’t be avoided, make sure that you’re sanitizing your breast pump even more so than usual.

Remember: your breast milk contains important antibodies and nutrients that help your baby fight infection, so your own body will fight any internal infection as well as work to protect your baby from sickness. Try to stick to your breastfeeding schedule as much as your health will allow and give yourself the chance to rest. Let your partner and older children help you out with some of the household tasks you usually accomplish until you’re feeling better again.

Keep you and your baby strong this spring by breastfeeding and washing your hands frequently.

Any tips for avoiding a cold? Leave them for other moms in the comments!

 

Loving Moments SpokesMom Danah Bordner’s Exciting Family News!

Leading Lady SpokesMom Danah Bordner has exciting news to share with our nursing moms’ community!

danah-and-taylor-lpga-instagramAs the 2014 LPGA season gets underway, I have a lot of excitement about this upcoming year.  I will only be competing until May or so, but for good reason…Steve and I are expecting our second child in mid-August!  Taylor is very excited to be a big sister, and has learned to say the word “baby” while pointing at my belly.  We are happy that we will have an opportunity to spend more time together as a family at home this summer.  I feel so blessed to be a part of the Leading Lady team and can’t wait to try some of the new maternity pieces in their Loving Moments collection!

Congratulations to the growing Bordner family! We’re so happy to share in your family journey. You can watch Danah compete in the Kraft Nabisco Tournament in Rancho Mirage, California starting April 3rd.

Colostrum and Important Breastfeeding Health Benefits for Your Baby

Colostrum and Important Breastfeeding Health Benefits for Your BabyDid you know that your breasts start producing liquid gold in the final weeks of your pregnancy? No, not the real kind of gold you’d find in Fort Knox, but a substance more precious to your newborn’s health. Colostrum, nicknamed “liquid gold” by nursing moms and lactation consultants, is the nutrient-rich breast milk a woman produces just before birth.

Why the nickname? Colostrum is not only precious for your infant, but typically carries a yellowish hue when discharged. This special breast milk comes in before your normal breast milk supply and is very important for your newborn’s immune system. While is rich in proteins, vitamin a, and antibodies, colostrum is also low in fat. Its natural composition makes it the best first food for your newborn. Also, colostrum has been shown to stimulate a baby’s digestive system without fuss. Packed with white blood cells, colostrum keeps infections at bay while your baby happily nurses and gets stronger.

After the first few days nursing, the colostrum will be replaced with regular breast milk. This natural transition is nothing to worry about—your baby will still get essential nutrients and vitamins without colostrum. With a proper feeding schedule and enough breast milk, your baby will continue to gain weight at a healthy pace. Colostrum jump starts the entire process and creates lasting immunity that’s crucial to protecting your baby against disease. Experts agree that babies fed colostrum have better immune systems long-term and are less likely to struggle with diabetes or obesity. Breastfeeding sets the tone for your baby’s health and lifestyle, so take steps to try nursing your little one, especially in the days just after delivery.

Worried about breastfeeding? Make an appointment with a lactation consultant to get all of the information you need. You can also turn to a female family member or friend who has nursed before for practical advice and support. You’re not alone in this, so reach out to others for emotional support while you get the hang of nursing!

 

Preparing for Spring Cleaning

Preparing for Spring Cleaning Throw open your windows and take a deep breath—spring’s here! Now that the days are warm and sunny again, take a chance to plan ahead on some of the spring cleaning you’re bound to tackle. Wondering where to begin amid the organizing and cleaning? Follow some of our suggestions and you’ll be enjoying a clutter-free, fresh home in no time.

Before you start pulling boxes out of your closets, make a list of what projects you’d like to accomplish. Having a clear plan will help you manage your time and effort. If you keep tasks too general, like “clean the front hall closet,” you might find yourself trying to accomplish too many tasks simultaneously. Keep it simple! If you want to purge your closets, take steps to finish one task at a time.

Now that you have your list ready to go, make the most of your free time by using baby’s naptime as your cleaning time. Even if you find yourself stuck on other household chores, try to dedicate at least 15 minutes every other day to just spring cleaning while baby snoozes.

Another way to keep track of your progress is to clean one room at a time. This way, you won’t worry about missing anything you had hoped to finish and back-track. Plus, you’ll feel a small sense of accomplishment as you work your way through your house. Get the whole family in on the fun—assign rooms to your partner and kids old enough to help. If everyone contributes, you can go out to dinner or another fun activity that rewards everyone’s hard work!

What are some cleaning tips and tricks that you swear by? Let us know in the comments!

 

Celebrating Mom with Moms 4 Mom Day

moms-4-moms-day-the-bump

Picture courtesy of TheBump.com

Every mom’s had one of those moments when another person offers advice or criticism (or some blend of the two) that contradicts whatever parenting choice she had made. Whether it’s about baby names, baby delivery method, sleeping, eating—really, you name it—every mom finds her own path that works best for her and her family. That’s why The Bump and CT Working Moms Group came together and designated March 4th as Moms 4 Moms day.

The inaugural Moms 4 Moms day focused on moms sharing parenting choices that come up as hotly-contested arguments between different groups. Some examples of mom confessions included: “I work full time,” “I had a c-section,” “I supplement and breastfeed,” and “I choose to home school.” Moms were meant to empower their choices by making simple assertions—and the outcome was a great show of support from other moms and participants.

Moms 4 Moms day served as an important reminder that parenting involves a lot of complicated, personal choices and there is no one formula which all moms should follow to raise the perfect child. Even though we at Loving Moments are huge advocates of breastfeeding, we understand that not every mom will nurse, nurse exclusively, or nurse for more time than she’s comfortable. We understand! Moms 4 Moms day is a great reminder that respect is the greatest gift one mom can give to another, regardless of what birth plan she chose to follow.

We’re in this together, moms!

Fighting Childhood Obesity with Breastfeeding, Healthier School Lunches

Fighting Childhood Obesity with Breastfeeding, Healthier School LunchesWhile the results are still small, new studies suggest that healthier school lunch initiatives are paying off: the American Medical Association recently announced a pronounced drop in obesity rates for children ages 2-5 and more school children have regular access to fruits, veggies, and whole grains in their school lunches.

Obesity rates for children ages 2-5 fell 43% in a span of 8 years (2003-2004 and 2011-2012). While obesity rates remained consistent among other age groups, these findings are encouraging to researchers who have been tracking healthy lunch initiatives. The rise of breastfeeding mothers has also been tapped as a contributing factor in the fight against childhood obesity.

Establishing healthy eating patterns early on will help a child maintain a healthy body weight through adulthood. School lunches, which are stereotypically comprised of fried and sugary offerings, have been slowly transformed into carefully prepared meals that feature fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in appropriate servings. Even though unhealthier options have not been completely banished from cafeterias across the nation, children altogether have direct access to nutritious food regardless of their school district.

Breastfeeding benefits your baby long after they stop nursing; help your child extend these health benefits by making fruits, veggies, and whole grains a part of their daily diet. Schools and parents are beginning to work together and we are hopeful for more improvements as these school lunch reforms continue to take hold.

Feel like you’re constantly fighting with a picky eater? You can enforce non-gadget playtime with your kids to help them stay healthy. According to health and exercise initiatives, kid’s playtime should clock in at about an hour every day, so make sure to visit the playground or sign your child up for a sport. With all of the options available, you’ll be sure to find an activity your child will love. Remember, you can join in on the fun and benefit, too!

Stay happy and healthy, moms and kids!

White Noise for Babies – Sound Machine Safety for Your Infant

White Noise for Babies – Sound Machine Safety for Your InfantIt’s no secret that your baby probably isn’t the best sleeper (and if your baby is, then lucky you!), so it comes as no surprise that many parents rely on sleep noise machines to help soothe their newborns into lasting slumber. River sounds, rainfall, and ever crickets chirping are much easier to fall asleep to than traffic or other disruptive noises!

But what happens when you’re trying to compete with outside sounds using a sleep noise machine? You don’t want to expose your newborn to potentially damaging sound levels, even if they drown out exterior noise.

Dr. Harvey Karp (noted pediatrician and author) advises keeping sound levels at around the same volume as a “soft shower.” Karp, whose guide The Happiest Baby Guide to Good Sleep is well-loved by many parents, also recommends that parents place the sound machine at least a foot away from their child’s head.

As for duration, Karp’s rule to follow is that parents should keep the sound continuous, so as not to disturb their baby during sleep. Otherwise, there is a greater chance that baby’s sleep would cease when the sleep machine’s timer runs out. Uninterrupted sound is “like the teddy bear of sounds,” Karp explains, because “the white noise is there as a continual presence, just like a teddy bear.”

Try and strike a balance between reliance on sound machines and other methods you can use to help sound-proof your baby’s room. Hang thicker drapes that muffle some of the noise you may hear through your windows (even while closed). Try to stick to a bedtime routine to help your baby ease into sleep. Try swaddling your baby or practice some skin-to-skin time before laying your baby in the crib.

Researchers who’ve studied the impact of sound on babies’ ear canals agree that the sleep noise machine should not be in the crib with your baby. It’s a matter of making sure the sound levels are not too loud so your baby’s hearing won’t be negatively affected. Remember that your baby’s ear drums are more sensitive than your own, so when tuning your sound machine stick to a low volume level to play it safe.

What kinds of noises lull your baby into sleep? Share with us in the comments!