Archives for September 2016

Wonderful Support for Breastfeeding and Motherhood

“In my family breastfeeding was normal. My mother nursed, my sister and sister-in-law nursed. From an early age I expected to nurse my children. I took a breastfeeding class at the hospital while I was expecting my first and thought I was ready to go. I was NOT ready for nursing!

Wonderful Support for Breastfeeding and Motherhood Looking back the one thing I would have done differently is attended La Leche League meetings while pregnant. It would have given me more time to absorb the information than just one night of a class. And I would have sought help sooner if I knew the Leaders and had a better idea of what is normal and when something is wrong. I had a very difficult 6 weeks and it took some time after that to heal and get breastfeeding to a comfortable level. The La Leche League Leader I called was a big part of helping me learn to make breastfeeding work for me. She invited me the local meetings and I started attending when my daughter was 3 months old.

I went on to nurse my daughter until she was ready to wean and I continued to attend the local meetings. I found La Leche League mothers to be a wonderful support; not just for breastfeeding but also for motherhood. I learned from the meeting topics, from the other mothers’ experiences and their questions. I enjoy being able to share my experience with others. It was so much more than just making nursing work. I learned about nutrition and developmental stages and weaning, all of which helped me as I learned to be a parent.

With my second child I attended meetings through my whole pregnancy and had a good support network. Then I was surprised at the difficulty I had nursing my second. It was a mother sharing in the meeting about her child that got me on the right track to identify the nursing issue with my second. The LLL Leader and local IBCLC helped us get the diagnosis and treatment we needed to make breastfeeding work the second time.

Being around other nursing mothers, sharing ideas and resources, supporting each other through the difficulties and celebrating successes is what makes La Leche League great and why I still love attending meetings.”

Alina, La Leche League Montgomery, AL Area

Breast Milk is the Answer! A Breastfeeding Q&A with Semone

Creating change in the world starts with one mom vowing to make a difference. And you don’t have to be a world leader to do it. You can make decisions for your family that will affect your child’s entire life, like breastfeeding. From there, you are creating change in your community by normalizing and rejuvenating a passion for the natural loving nourishing act of breastfeeding. If enough moms take this step, the world will be a better place for the future of our children.

Semone, one of the gorgeous models from Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), reminds us how breast milk is the answer:

Breast Milk is the Answer!  A Breastfeeding Q&A with Semone

1) Why are you passionate about the breastfeeding cause?

I want every mother to know that she was created to nourish her baby.  All of us mothers have just what our children need.  It is important that we start our children off right and give them the best we have to offer.  Everyone is so concerned about a child being spoiled.  Well I say let us spoil them with breastfeeding love.  I also believe that breastfeeding can help diminish some of these diseases we come across.  Breast milk is the answer!

2) What is your most cherished breastfeeding moment?

I cherish looking into my child’s eyes and s/he looking into mine.  When my wonderfully, created baby boy and girl look up at me, we are in another world.  That bond is something so special.

3) What do you hope for the future of breastfeeding among African American communities?

I hope and pray that more moms everywhere will realize that it does not matter status, class, background, etc., but you as a mother can breastfeed.  It is better for your baby and you can do it.  Wear your baby if you have to, like you rock your attire.  Be just as confident in breastfeeding as you are in sporting that afro – no one thought that would make a comeback.  Breastfeeding is not a fad, but a way of living better.

Accepting Support as a New Mom

Accepting Support as a New MomYou know the old saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” When you have a baby, these words of wisdom should not be just a passing phrase. Child rearing is hard work and everyone Everyone EVERYONE needs help sometimes. No matter what your circumstances, there are times when accepting support as a new mom is a sound parenting decision. We’re going over some of those situations today.

First, we should get something straight: when you accept help, you are not weak or incapable.  Rather, seeking a helping hand is a sign of maturity, emotional intelligence and an understanding that your family’s world is better with the support of a village. All too often new moms feel they are “bad moms” or viewed as incompetent if they have to rely on others. But we’re here to say, when you do it right, getting help is brilliant. Here’s the thing: even if you were the one woman on earth who could do it all, you shouldn’t have to, especially when accepting support as a new mom is possible.

Here are ways of accepting support as a new mom:

Meals: Cooking is probably the farthest thing on your mind when you’ve just had a baby, yet you and your family need to eat. When friends offer to bring a meal, accept it graciously. Better yet, when close friends set up a meal train for you by organizing all of your friends into providing meals, you won’t have to worry about this aspect of your family for a few weeks until you’re back on your feet, so to speak.

Hand-Me-Downs: Clothes, toys and many baby items you can receive as hand-me-downs are incredible gifts. Of course hand-me-downs save you a ton of money, but also save time because you don’t have to figure out what you need and where to buy it. Plus it is better for the environment to reuse items. Children grow in and out of clothes, toys and gear so quickly, it’s hard to keep up with the changes. Insert yourself into a hand-me-down network and accept all the ways you are saving.

Lactation Support: New moms quickly learn that, despite attending classes, reading books and talking to friends about breastfeeding, in practice it is often much more complicated than you expected. If that’s the case for you, don’t let the frustration get the best of you. Hormones are still running wild, you may be sleep-deprived and you might feel like your world has turned upside-down. All of these can feel like grounds for giving up breastfeeding but that isn’t necessary. As soon as you notice a problem, seek help from a lactation consultant who can guide you through the challenge.

Donor Milk: Breastfeeding is a phenomenal way to nourish and create a strong bond with your baby. The journey is easier for some than others. For those who want to nurture their babies with breast milk but cannot produce enough, you can seek donor milk to help sustain your baby. Donor milk can be purchased from breast milk banks or you can solicit help from other new mom friends that have an over-supply. You are not less of a mom for not being able to breastfeed but you are more of a mom for asking help in providing the best nutrition for your baby.

Babysitting: New moms know that getting a little break every now and then can be as refreshing as what a vacation used to feel like pre-kids. Well, almost at least. If a friend or relative offers to babysit, accept the offer! Even if you simply use the time to take a shower or grocery shop without kids in tow, do it! Having a reprieve can help you return to your mommy duties with new perspective, more patience and a better attitude. Plus, as hard as it can be for you and your baby, separation is good for you both.

Advice: No new mom has all the answers. Lean on your veteran mom friends for advice when you need it. Even if they’ve not gone through exactly what you are experiencing, they’ve had their own challenges and will be able to relate to you. Plus, they care about you and want to help you. Don’t isolate yourself but rather let friends do what friends are supposed to do – support each other.

We hope you practice these ways of accepting support as a new mom early and often. Some of parenting will be a struggle but if a helping hand can eliminate some of the frustration every now and then, it’s totally worth it. Always be grateful and in the end, pay it forward to the next new mama. After all, you’ll know more than anyone how much she really needs the support.

Breastfeeding Superstar Mom, Melissa

The San Felipe WIC office has an incredible tradition to support moms for their amazing breastfeeding successes. They have a “Superstar Wall” where women who exclusively breastfeeding for one year or more are featured with a framed photo and story about their breastfeeding journey. The conference room is used by tribal groups in the area. Melissa discovered the wall at an event last year and said she wanted to be on it.  This year, she was honored by becoming a mom on the “Superstar Wall”!

Breastfeeding Superstar Mom, Melissa

Melissa

daughter Nizhoni 8/2015

Tell us who supported you the most to breastfeed and continue breastfeeding: 

My mom and sister supported me in breastfeeding my first born.

Tell us about your biggest challenge to breastfeed or continue breastfeeding:

My biggest was the places I could breastfeed and the pain. But I learned that it was OK to breastfeed.

What feelings surprised you the most:

The connection you get and the bonding feeling is the best feeling you can ever get.

Tell us your “secret” wish about breastfeeding:

It comes natural.

Tell us about your “perfect/dream” breastfeeding experience:

Was when my daughter latched on fast after she was born.

Tell us what you would like to share with a pregnant mom that has never breastfed:

Don’t be scared to breastfeed.  It all comes natural and the best drink your child could ever have at no cost!

Melissa, San Felipe WIC

A few Words about Breastfeeding from Jessica

National Breastfeeding Month, World Breastfeeding Week and Black Breastfeeding Week may be over but our celebration of breastfeeding is never-ending. After all, breastfeeding has been taking place since the dawn of mammals and occurs all over the world anywhere at any time. Therefore, we have to continuously honor that tradition, right and sacred time with respect and reverence. While we’re especially enthusiastic to celebrate in August, we promote breastfeeding 24/7, 365!

One of the beautiful models from Reaching our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), Jessica, shares her words of wisdom about breastfeeding:

A few Words about Breastfeeding from Jessica

1) Why are you passionate about the breastfeeding cause?

I am passionate about this cause because it directly affects the future of our world. What we pass to the next generation ensures of footprint in a better world.

2) What is your most cherished breastfeeding moment?

My most cherished moment is coming home after working 8 hours a day and then nurse my baby.

3) What do you hope for the future of breastfeeding among African American communities?

I hope that more women realize the power we have by choosing to do what we are made to do. Our breasts are made to satisfy our family. We are mother earth.

 

A New Mom’s Everyday Comfort: Loving Moments Seamless Padded Nursing Bra

To your baby, you are everything, including comfort. You deserve that same comfort during pregnancy and while breastfeeding which is why we are thrilled to introduce our new Loving Moments Seamless Padded Nursing Bra. This is your everyday comfort bra that will carry you from maternity to nursing with soft, seamless support.

A New Mom’s Everyday Comfort: Loving Moments Seamless Padded Nursing Bra

When you’re expecting and breastfeeding, stretch is the name of the game. No, we’re not talking about the stretch marks that are a mom’s badge of honor. We’re talking about clothes and intimates made from stretchy materials that will expand with your body and make you feel amazing throughout. Our Seamless Padded Nursing Bra contains just the right touch of spandex to grow with your body without skipping a beat when it comes to support.

During pregnancy your body changes in many ways. Beyond your growing bump, your breasts are getting bigger due to a slew of hormones that are preparing you for breastfeeding. Plus your internal organs are shifting and your body is storing more fat to nurture your developing baby. These changes make your chest larger which not only affects your bra cup size, but also your band size.

New moms know there is nothing worse than an ill-fitting bra, whether your breasts are spilling out of the cups or the band is digging into your ribs. With a bit of stretch and a fabulous design, you can avoid this discomfort by wearing our Seamless Padded Nursing Bra.

Also, throughout breastfeeding your breast size may change as often as hourly. Most moms tend to have more milk in the mornings and less in the evenings. This leads to breast size fluctuations. And in the early stage of breastfeeding after a new mother’s milk comes in, her breasts may be larger and then slowly decrease in size once her body adjusts to the demands of her baby. Flexibility is key in these situations, which is why our Seamless Padded Nursing Bra that ebbs and flows with your body is ideal.

Along with its silky smooth seamless stretchy fabric, this bra features removable modesty pads to avoid embarrassing leaks and to smooth out your look. The nursing clasps could not be easier to use. Simply unclip them and fold the cup down for access to your breasts. The adjustable straps ensure a comfortable fit but are thin enough to wear under tank tops or sleeveless dresses. It is available in a rich black color or nude to meet the needs of your wardrobe.

Your baby’s comfort is your priority but yours should be too. Make it so with our Loving Moments Seamless Padded Nursing Bra!

Fewer OBGYNs When We Need Them Most

Fewer OBGYNs When We Need Them MostAccording to the women’s website Mother Jones, there is a shortage of OBGYNs in the U.S. and the problem is getting worse. As fewer medical students select standard obstetrics and gynecology as their field, more and more OBGYNs retire and more and more women have babies, the gap between medical needs and available doctors will continue to grow.

This disturbing news is concerning for several reasons: First, the American College of Nurse-Midwives claims that almost half of U.S. counties lack OBGYNs. And when they say lack, they mean there is not one OBGYN to advise and care for women’s gynecological needs or support pregnant women. That’s astounding!

Additionally, the population is expected to grow significantly in the next 14 years. Estimates from Pew Charitable Trusts say that there will be an 18% growth in that timeframe. This means that there will be a lot of babies in our future, and not enough doctors to properly care for their mothers during pregnancy.

As it stands now, the U.S. has a pretty high maternal death rate from childbirth compared to other developed countries.  Ours is 18.5 deaths among moms in 100,000 live births. The rates are well under 10 per 100,000 births in Japan, the U.K. and Canada.

The shortage of OBGYNs may be due to several factors. First, the field is now dominated by female doctors. Statistically, female OBGYNs retire 10 years earlier than men and prefer to work reduced schedules, likely to care for their own families.

Furthermore, many medical students are choosing other areas of medicine that are either more lucrative, more interesting or less time-consuming. Even within obstetrics and gynecology, there are specialties such as fertility and oncology that are growing in popularity. Plus, being an OBGYN is less flexible and more interruptive of a doctor’s life than other fields because women have babies any time, day or night, on weekends and holidays. OBGYNs have to be prepared to cover all of these situations.

Just how short is this shortage? According to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The U.S. will have 6,000 to 8,800 fewer OBGYNs than necessary within the next 4 years.  Then by 2050, there will be a shortage of approximately 22,000 OBGYNs.

Some states are looking into alternative healthcare options for women such as nurse midwives. Most nurse midwives are required to work in practices alongside with medical doctors, however due to the shortage of OBGYNs, this requirement may change.

 

Source: Mother Jones

Breastfeeding Support for Twin Moms

Breastfeeding Support for Twin Moms“My husband and I have seen great benefit from being able to use the WIC Lactation Center with our twin boys. I can say with certainty that our boys would not be breastfeeding today had we not had access to this wonderful resource. Breastfeeding is difficult, especially with multiples. Twin mommas also often have their babies early and/or have complications, which makes the start of the breastfeeding journey more difficult. Although the NICU nurses were wonderful, they did not provide the lactation support and help that we needed to be successful. They were more focused on getting the boys healthy and big enough to be discharged from the NICU, and not so much on the long term goal of breastfeeding.

My twins were born at 33 weeks and although they did very well considering how early they were, they were small and slow to grow and therefore had difficulty breastfeeding. In addition, my delivery was very traumatic; I had some serious post-delivery complications that made our situation more difficult because we did not get started out the best way possible.

My husband and I were struggling with deciding what was best for our family, as our pediatrician was recommending that we follow each breastfeeding sessions with a bottle of pumped breast milk that was fortified with Similac Neosure to add extra calories.

The stress between my husband and I was lifted when we met Christine. She helped us feel more confident that although we were struggling, if we continued to be dedicated to breastfeeding that the boys would grow and get better at it, and that this difficult journey was worth it. She also helped me be more confident that my breast milk was exactly what my babies needed; when she tested the calories of my breast milk, it was 26 calories, so we felt confident that we no longer needed to add the Neosure to my breast milk in order to get the milk at or above 22 calories.

Christine helped the boys to learn to latch better, and by going each week, we were able to see them progress and eventually they could get out enough milk that we could try to not follow immediately with a bottle. By seeing Christine once a week we were able to continue our breastfeeding journey.

There is not a lot of support for twin moms. I had tried to attend a breastfeeding support group at the hospital I delivered at; however, no one else in the group had a premature baby, let alone multiples, so I really didn’t feel like they could understand or help me. I highly recommend the WIC Lactation Center to any moms of multiples that I know who are dedicated to trying to breastfeed their multiples.”

Sarah, WIC Lactation Care Center Dallas, TX

Pregnancy Hacks

When you get into the “thick” of your pregnancy, things get pretty real. At first you may feel blissfully bump-a-licious, but then one day you wake up and wonder what happened to that amazing feeling you had when you found out you were expecting. All you feel right now is tired, a backache and nauseous – oh, and don’t forget a hot mess. It’s not that pregnancy is all bad, but it may take creative solutions to avoid discomfort, embarrassment and wardrobe issues. That’s why we’re sharing pregnancy hacks to help you navigate this special time in your life.

Find your Fit

It is fun to dress your bump in adorable maternity clothes but they can be expensive and are useful for only such a short time. Here are some hacks to avoid the money suck of an entire new wardrobe:

  • Pregnancy HacksBuy maternity nursing tops that will stretch with your belly throughout pregnancy but then continue to be useful for breastfeeding once your baby arrives.
  • Use a rubber band or hair tie to wear your regular pants. Simply wrap it around the button and loop it through the buttonhole to add some stretch to the waist. With a long shirt, your pants can remain unbuttoned and unzipped and no one will know the difference.
  • If you’re having hot flashes or are just hot all the time, put your bra in the freezer for a few minutes before wearing it. This will cool you down nicely.
  • Buy a few pairs of sweatpants or other casual clothes towards the beginning of your pregnancy when you’re just starting to show. These will come in handy once you’ve given birth and need something comfy to wear when you’re in-between sizes.

Curb Nausea

Nausea can be debilitating at times. While most pregnancy nausea subsides by the end of the first trimester, some moms-to-be experience it throughout pregnancy. Try these hacks for curbing nausea:

  • Pregnancy HacksDo pregnancy yoga. Some poses actually help put the kibosh on nausea, plus they get your blood flowing and help you stretch.
  • Ginger, watermelon and lemon are all flavors that help curb nausea. Try them fresh or in candy form.
  • Have supplies available if you do vomit while outside your house. These should include some wipes or a towel to clean the mess, a plastic bag for soiled items, a change a clothes, a toothbrush and some perfume.

Get Comfortable

With the added weight of your belly putting pressure EVERYWHERE, on top of other potential issues such as edema, back pain and heartburn, pregnancy can be pretty uncomfortable at times. Try these hacks to find moments of comfort:

  • Lie in a recliner rather than a bed. The chair can prop you up to help avoid heartburn and reflux, and it can better conform to your body so you can get comfortable.
  • If you must be on your belly, use a large inner tube so your bump has a place to go and is supported on all sides.
  • The dietary supplement Cal-Mag is great during pregnancy to help with leg cramps and high blood pressure. It may even help you sleep better.
  • Ease some anxiety by delegating. If someone asks what they can buy you or how they can help, assign them something specific that will help you check that item or task off your to-do list.

Forty weeks may feel like forever when you’re trudging through pregnancy, but with these pregnancy hacks you’ll make it through as graceful as a swan.

 

Sources: BuzzFeed and The Stir

The Best Nursing Bras for Sore Nipples

Loving Moments is dedicated to helping new moms navigate breastfeeding. That includes celebrating the joys and problem-solving the challenges. When a new mom wrote to us with a problem that many breastfeeding moms face, we wanted to help! Angela suffers from sore nipples and needed advice on which nursing bras to wear to not only prevent further damage, but also to soothe her pain. After she wore them we asked her opinion on the bras we recommended.

Here’s a little more about Angela and her thoughts on the best nursing bras for sore nipples:

 

My name is Angela and I have been nursing my handsome little boy for six months. Link had trouble latching from day one resulting in cracked and bleeding nipples. Then two weeks later I ended up getting a severe case of Mastitis. I also have an oversupply in my milk production which has caused issues with extremely sensitive and sore nipples that stay hard all the time even when I am not nursing. Since my nipples are hard and sensitive all the time it makes finding a good nursing bra very hard. I have tried many different styles and brands to see if I could find some that would not cause more discomfort for my nipples.  Recently I tried nursing bras from Loving Moments by Leading Lady’s collection and here are my thoughts on each bra:

 

The Best Nursing Bras for Sore NipplesThe Sleep/Leisure Bra: I thought this bra was very soft against sore and sensitive nipples and skin. If you’re like me you may have to put in a breast pad, especially if you leak at all as I do, so you won’t soak through the bra. When I wore it without the nursing pads and my nipples touched the fabric, it didn’t make them hurt. The bra molded to my breast and nipple and it felt good. It was also supportive without being to constrictive. I really liked that you could pull down the cups easily.

 

The Best Nursing Bras for Sore NipplesThe Nursing Sports Bra: This one I really think is my favorite one. It has a drop down front clip for one-handed access, which was great and the fabric in the inner sling is very supportive and comfortable. The fabric is also very soft against skin and it allows you to move while working out. I think it would be even more comfortable if the elastic band at the bottom was covered, but I do like that it is adjustable so it grows with your shape.

 

The Best Nursing Bras for Sore NipplesThe Active Wirefree Nursing Bra:  Again this is a very GOOD BRA. The bra is very supportive and the cups feel good on the breast. I also LOVE the wide shoulder straps. The bra doesn’t feel like it is digging in. The fabric is cotton so it is very soft when it sits against the nipples and it doesn’t chaff or rub them. I still would encourage moms to use of a breast pad if you leak quite a bit as it would come right through the bra.

 

Thanks to Angela for her honest feedback! We’re glad we could help her find comfort in the best nursing bras for sore nipples.