Born to Breastfeed

Born to BreastfeedGrowing a tiny being and then sustaining it through breast milk is nothing short of a miracle. The biological and evolutionary factors that have led to these phenomena are extraordinary and mind-blowing. As a mother, your body transforms into a beautiful haven to embrace and support your baby. Then, when your baby is just moments old he instinctually knows how to breastfeed as his first act of love and survival in life. Is this truly amazing or what? Today we’re looking at the ways your baby was born to breastfeed.

Food and love top the list of your baby’s most basic needs and he probably has figured that out from the second he was born. Sometimes just minutes after entering the world babies prove they were born to breastfeed by crawling to their mother’s breast for their first feeding. If you’ve ever witnessed it, there is no denying, it’s a remarkable act.

Many physical aspects of your baby’s body were strategically designed to make breastfeeding easier. As if manufactured for precision and efficiency, your baby was born to breastfeed. Check out how…

  • Your baby’s nose is tiny and flat, exactly what is needed to be able to comfortably breathe while breastfeeding. As you can imagine, a large nose would make breastfeeding rather difficult.
  • Your baby’s disproportionally large tongue and fatty cheeks help position the mouth and tongue for proper latch and sucking.
  • Your baby’s short airway encourages milk to go down the esophagus rather than the windpipe when in a lying position and helps your baby extend his neck for feeding.
  • Your baby’s eyesight is just the distance between his eyes and your face while breastfeeding. Not a coincidence!
  • Your baby can smell the unique scent of your breast milk in order to find his food source. Babies can even differentiate their own mother’s milk from someone else’s.
  • Breastfeeding encourages closeness so your baby will remain warm and feel safe. This skin-to-skin contact warms your baby and offers a sense of security. Your baby’s heartbeat may sync with yours as well. All of this promotes less fussiness and more calmness.
  • Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between you and your baby. By being close and feeding often, you and your baby will learn each other for a deep connection.
  • Your baby has a natural instinct to suck and your nipple is most satisfying. Suckling from your breast not only yields nutrients, but it is also relaxing and may help your baby sleep better.
  • Breast milk contains hundreds of essential nutrients that support your baby’s best health including strengthening your baby’s immune system, helping organs develop properly, and stabilizing your baby blood sugar levels.
  • Breast milk is extremely pure and is the easiest first food for your baby to digest so he will reap the most benefits from the nutrients it offers and experience less digestive issues.
  • The health benefits of breastfeeding last for a lifetime. It’s the easiest and best way to give your baby the best start to a long and healthy life.

Breastfeeding is natural in every way because babies were born to breastfeed!

Sources: Women’s Health, Parents and YouTube

Breastfeeding and a Baby’s Oral Health and Development

Did you know breastfeeding can build a strong jaw, teeth, and prevent cavities? Breastfeeding can do a lot for a baby’s oral health and development. Compared to bottle fed babies, those who are breastfed exclusively for 6 months are less likely to develop malocclusion, an overbite, and they are less likely to take a pacifier, which can cause future dental issues. Today we are sharing a few ways breastfeeding is good for your baby’s oral health and development!

 

The precious moment’s spent breastfeeding  go hand in hand with the wonderful benefits breastmilk gives our babies. What many moms don’t know is breastfeeding provides ample attributes to their baby’s development, such as oral health. When a baby breastfeeds they are using various muscles in their face, such as their tongue and lips to squeeze and eat. When their muscles contract they are building a stronger jaw and tongue which will help later on when they are ready to eat solid foods.

Furthermore, while your baby breastfeeds they are also shaping their mouths for proper dental development. In compassion to bottle fed babies, breastfeeding promotes lip squeezing which creates a well-developed jaw whereas bottle feeders are more prone to sucking with their tongue. The roof of your mouth is connected to your upper jaw, and when your baby sucks too forcefully on a bottle it can potentially cause improper teeth alignment in the future because the tops of their mouths are not developing into a fitting arch for appropriate development. This is also associated with thumb sucking and pacifiers.

While breastfed babies are not prone to cavities, they do have a lesser chance than formula feed babies of developing them later in life. One of the biggest problems with bottle feeding your baby is they have the chance of not swallowing all of the liquid. The formula than pools in their mouth which can cause bacteria build up, cavities, tooth decay, and dry mouth. When a baby breastfeeds they are preventing pooling because they pull their mother’s nipple deep in their mouths and squeeze the milk to the back of their throats. This prevents bacteria build up and the risk of dental decay. The baby is also producing more saliva when they breastfeed which inhibits dry mouth.

Breastmilk also has the ability to fight off bacteria and other dental issues because it has high pH levels. IgA and IgG are just two good enzymes in human milk that fights off bad bacteria and promotes proper teeth development. Breastmilk also has the key nutrients, calcium and phosphorus, which helps teeth grow strong and healthy.

 

It may be true that breastfeeding your baby will help them build a strong oral health and development, but it’s also true that a healthy diet will help this process. A mother’s diet is just as important as what she feeds her baby because whatever she consumes, her baby consumes as well through her breastmilk. Ask your doctor or lactation consultant what they think about breastfeeding and oral health and development, and what you can do to help your baby grow up strong and healthy!

 

 

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

WIC counselor from Tawas City, MI sharing a precious, breastfeeding moment with her baby.

The annual World Breastfeeding Week started this past Saturday, August 1st! The world celebration of breastfeeding has occurred every year since 1991, when the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was formed. This week long event encourages women to embrace their motherly attributes and praise their abilities to give their children the essential nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong!

We’ve all heard about the benefits breastfeeding has for both mom and baby, but did you know breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of our children? Researchers and moms are continuously finding ways breastfeeding is better and better, and how it out wins formula every single time. Breast milk gives our children the best possible nutrients and protection. Moms who breastfeed are shown to have lower risks of cancers, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, etc., and babies who drink breast milk are given immediate and long term protection and have a lower risk of infections, obesity, and cancers. What’s even more amazing about the power of breast milk is it can alter its self to meet a baby’s needs. When a baby breastfeeds their saliva communicates with the mother’s body and their breast milk can give the baby anything they need at that time. If they are sick the milk will produce extra antibodies and antioxidants to help them recover and feel better. Same goes if the mother is sick!

During this week, August 1st to the 7th, organizations such as, La Leche League and WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) are hosting special events for breastfeeding moms and their babies. This year’s theme: Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work! will be all about women who want to continue breastfeeding while they pursue their careers. A few spotlighted events are Camden County, NJ, who will be hosting their “Big Latch On” affair where global counts of mothers simultaneously nurse their babies for one minute, and in Caldwell, ID where the Southwest District Health WIC has their “Latch On” event, which this year will be a full day of giving breastfeeding mom’s tips on how to tie both breastfeeding and work together!

 

Find your local chapter near you and checkout all the excitement going on this week and celebrate breastfeeding as it should be: loving, nurturing, and supportive!

 

 

Benefits of Cabbage for Sore Breasts

Benefits of Cabbage for Sore BreastsCabbage is an extraordinary thing. Not only can you make delicious recipes from its leaves, but they can give you amazing health benefits. Cabbage has been used for years to treat a number of things including constipation, stomach ulcers, eczema, arthritis, and scurvy, a Vitamin C deficiency disease that many professionals recommend cabbage for because it contains more Vitamin C than oranges. Including cabbage into your everyday diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. It has been known to increase recovery from wounds and damaged tissues, regulate your nervous and digestive systems, and can even help you sustain a healthy weight. Cabbage is also an excellent remedy for women during their maternity to help with discomfort.

While you breastfeed you may experience a time where you will feel uncomfortable, or in pain, from your swollen, engorged breasts. This is a common factor in women who are breastfeeding. It can happen any time during your maternity, but it’s most common during the first few days or weeks and during the following days or weeks after you stop breastfeeding. Engorged breasts can be very painful. Once you have given birth your body begins to produce breast milk to feed your baby. For the first few days trailing your delivery, you will more than likely have difficulty breastfeeding, especially if it’s your first baby. Your baby may have trouble latching and you could go a few days without being able to feed with your breasts. Until you begin a normal breastfeeding schedule you may feel discomfort in your breasts as they fill with unused milk. This discomfort will only last as short while, usually one to two days. Breast pumping can help too.

Cabbage is a great solution for your sore breasts. The leaves have been used for hundreds of years to soothe and cool sore or sprained muscles. Many people use it for sprained ankles or as a substitute for prescribed drugs when they get their wisdom teeth taken out. Many specialists and herbalists believe cabbage is rich in antibiotics and has anti-irritant possessions. Cabbage, just like broccoli and brussel sprouts, contains sinigrin, a glucosinolate which is a natural component in many pungent plants such as mustard and horseradish. When a plant’s leaves or tissues are broken it releases the antioxidants including sinigrin and in return they can heal the problem area naturally and quicker.

For the best use to heal your sore breasts from engorgement purchase a head of green cabbage from your grocery store. Once you get home gently tear off the leaves, wash them, and place in your refrigerator so that they can cool. You don’t necessarily need to put them in the fridge, but cool objects do help with swelling. After they are cool enough you will want to take a rolling pin or some kind of device where you can crush the veins on the leaves. Once you’re done doing this to several leaves place them evenly around each breast so they are covered completely. For the best results leave your breasts covered for twenty to thirty minutes and repeat every four to six hours or until your breasts feel less engorged.

 

Although cabbage leaves have worked for most women to release their pain from their engorged breasts, it’s always important you speak to your lactation consultant or doctor before using anything you’re unsure about because it may be harmful to you if you are allergic. Cabbage, along with many other foods, always need to be washed and cleaned before they can be eaten or put on your body to prevent attaining Listeria.

 

 

 

Breastfeeding Adopted Baby

Breastfeeding is a beautiful way a mother can provide beneficial nutrients to her baby. A special bond is created through the precious moments of skin on skin contact. By supplying your baby with food from your body, some mother’s believe it’s the greatest experience they can have in their lives. But what about mothers who have chosen to adopt? Many women might not be aware, but breastfeeding your adopted baby can be done. Even if you’ve never given birth or breastfeed before, your body is still capable of producing breast milk. Today we are going to discuss how breastfeeding your adopted baby is beneficial to their health and the bonding experience, along with ways to prepare your body before they come home.

Breastfeeding Adopted BabyPreparing yourself for breastfeeding your new baby can be difficult. Although it’s not an easy task, and it takes a lot of time and real dedication, it can be done and the benefits you will gain are well worth it. Creating that mother/baby bond is the most important thing you need to focus on because most infants who are adopted are known to experience and feel loss and abandonment after delivery. Babies can recognize their mothers right after they are born once they are placed on their mother’s chest. They can identify them through smell and touch. If they are not placed directly in their adoptive mother’s arms they could develop a fear of separation and begin performing a distress call/cry. By supplying your baby with your natural milk you are not only giving them the best nutrients possible, but you are also enhancing the bond and creating an even stronger relationship with your child that they need to feel loved and secure.

Getting your body ready to breastfeed isn’t a tricky process, but it can take a while before you are able to produce enough breast milk to fully feed your baby. Adoption can be an unpredictable course. Some women have no time at all to prepare while others might be given several weeks or even months. If you don’t have time you will still be able to produce milk for your baby, and don’t get turned off if it’s a very small amount at first. What’s amazing about a woman’s body is we can produce breast milk once a baby begins breastfeeding. The suckling sensation triggers our bodies to think we have just given birth! Women who have more time before their child is brought home can have the chance to teach their body how to produce enough milk. You can practice by gently massaging your breasts a few times a day. It’s also recommended and encouraged to try breast pumping to stimulate your breasts even more. The more your breasts are stimulated, and the more milk you pump, the more breast milk your body will produce.

Many women who have trouble producing, or want to make more milk, can be prescribed hormones from their doctors to influence their bodies even more. This can work for several women. Other options include formula or you can try a donor’s breast milk. Whatever you chose just remember it’s all about the bonding experience you share with your little one. And always talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about what’s right for your body and baby if you have any questions or concerns when it comes to breastfeeding.

Benefits of Infant Massage

Benefits of Infant MassageDid you know that the sense of touch is your baby’s most developed sensation at birth? Touch gives babies and their loved ones the ability to connect. During the first year, or at least before they are able to speak, touch is their primary way of communication between you and your baby. When your baby begins to cry you usually pick them up and bring them to your shoulder, sometimes gently caressing their back as you soothe them. When they are hungry you bring them to your breast creating skin on skin contact as you breastfeed. Both of these are important communication situations where touch is used to make your baby feel both calm and secure. As they begin to grow they use their sense of touch to learn by feeling and observing objects, and their environment. This is where parents use phrases like “hot” or “cold” to describe certain things that could be harmful.

Touch is more than a comfort and a learning process; it can also help with your baby’s developmental progression by strengthening their body and their mind. Infant massages have amazing developmental benefits that can help your baby in many ways. Many professionals encourage mothers and care givers to practice infant massage with their baby almost every day to help boost and support their bodies. Here are just a few things infant massage can do for your little one:

 

Emotional Health Benefits

Infant massages are great for a baby’s overall health. Studies have proven that a daily massage has impacted an infant’s emotional health in such a positive way. Because touch is a baby’s first sense, massages can help them relax, and when a baby is comfortable and relaxed their body releases the “happy” hormone, oxytocin. Oxytocin in turn lowers stress levels, decreases the feeling of fear and fussiness, and it enhances the feelings of love and security. When a baby or toddler feels safe they are able to feel more comfortable in their surroundings, which helps their ability to fall asleep faster and for longer periods of time. Infant massages also give the baby and their caregiver the chance to spend precious moments together they can both look forward to at the end of the day.

 

Developmental Health Benefits

Touch is the only way a baby is able to learn about their body and help themselves become developmentally strong. When a baby begins to recognize their legs and feet they will start trying to use them more and more, and soon learn how to control their muscle coordination. As you massage your infant you will play with their legs and feet stimulating their brain’s knowledge of their lower bodies and promoting their want to crawl and walk quicker. Infant massages also have huge benefits for babies who were born premature or those who are mentally fragile. Massage can help them become more alert and active, and for premature babies it can help them gain weight by strengthening their digestive, circulatory, and gastrointestinal systems.

 

Immune System Benefits

As your baby grows one of the things you will worry about is whether or not they have a healthy immune system. As stated above, infant massage can increase your baby’s overall health by strengthening their digestive, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems. It can increase an infant’s resistance to infections and enhance their body’s ability to get nourishment to important areas. Massage improves relaxation and decreases stress levels while their bodies produce more of the oxytocin hormone. It can also ease pain and increase a baby’s pain tolerance once they begin teething, or if they become injured or ill. Facial massages, just like adults, can help with sinus and head tension as well.

 

Mother and Baby Bonding Benefits

Bonding with your baby is very important. It increases a parent’s self-esteem and makes them feel they are really doing their best to love and provide for their little one. Through infant massage parents will be able to give their baby more attention they need to feel secure and loved. Many parents have found infant massage has made them more aware of their baby’s wants and needs and are able to tell certain cues apart and be more attentive of how to comfort them and ease their fussiness. Infant massage isn’t just time for mommy and baby but also a great way for dads, partners, and other loved ones to spend precious moments with their baby and strengthen their bond as well.

 

Practicing infant massages with your baby is a very smart and fun thing to do. However, if you are thinking about trying it out and are unsure where to begin, or what’s safe for your baby, make sure you search for trained professionals in your area that teach infant massage. Babies are delicate and the best way to care for them is to be 100% sure you know what you are doing, especially when it comes to massage.

 

 

Loving Moments’ Breastfeeding Must-Haves

You’re going to be a new mom and you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby. We love your decision, and we’re here to help! Here are a few items from our Loving Moment’s Nursing Collection we think will be essential for your breastfeeding wardrobe:

 

Loving Moments' Breastfeeding Must-Haves

Maternity to Nursing Sleep Bra

Style L316

Every mom needs a sleep/leisure bra. While you breastfeed your breasts will become engorged with your baby’s milk supply and sometimes this can create soreness and make you feel uncomfortable. Our Loving Moments Sleep Bra is perfect when you need to relax, while the cool, cotton fabric is soft against your sore breasts making you feel comfortable again. It’s also great because the cups and can be simply pulled aside for easy breastfeeding access. There is no fuss, and no matter if its day or night your hungry baby will be feed without any trouble!

 

Nursing Pads

Style L12

Nursing pads are always something you should have while you breastfeed. Because your breasts are producing milk you will sometimes have the occasional leaking. While you are at work or on the go nursing pads will ensure you do not leak throw your clothing and keep you comfortable and dry. Our Loving Moments Washable Nursing Pads are great because you wash them and reuse them more than a couple times. They are also made from extra soft cotton and are designed to conform to every breast size while fitting perfecting in every bra. Nursing pads will help protect your clothing, but make sure to avoid wearing wet pads for an extended amount of time, and when you wash them never used a liquid fabric softener because they will absorb it and may irritate your skin!

 

Great Nursing Tank

Style L317

Nursing Cami’s are great for when you’re ready to get out of the house and you have nothing to wear because your pre-baby clothing doesn’t exactly fit you quiet the same yet. They are also helpful for breastfeeding because they have nursing clasps that can easily be unhooked and hooked for access. Our Loving Moments Nursing Cami is soft and sweet and essential for all breastfeeding moms. With both convenient breastfeeding necessities our cami is cute and stylish and has a delicate lace neckline to add a bit of flare. It can be worn just like any other tank under your favorite sweaters, tunics, and alone during the warmer months. The empire waistline gives you the appropriate feminine look that is flattering and modest, but it’s also loose fitting and can hide your after-baby belly.

 

Active Nursing Bra

L388

While you might wait awhile to be active again you should still have your basic active, t-shirt bra for your busy new mom schedule. Every mom needs their basic every day bra they can just slip on and off and that looks great under a simple t-shirt. Our Loving Moments Active Wirefree Nursing Bra is just what you’re looking for. It’s simple, soft, made out of a breathable, cotton blend, and it’s perfect for low impact activities when you’re trying to get back to your pre-baby shape.

 

Nursing Cover

L422

Loving Moments' Breastfeeding Must-Haves

For public breastfeeding it’s essential to have a nursing cover to help you feel modest and unexposed. Being a new mom, breastfeeding in public may be something you are a little uneasy about. Don’t be! Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural thing every women should experience with their baby. While you’re running around, going out to dinner with family, or lounging around at the park you will feel comfortable knowing you have a nursing cover that will hide your nerves. Our Loving Moments Nursing Cover provides discreet, on-the-go privacy during breastfeeding and pumping. It’s breathable and light weight, but it will also keep you and your little one warm during the colder months. Our Nursing Cover comes in a bunch of cute and stylish prints, and it can even be worn as a fashion scarf too!

 

 

Checkout and download our free Leading Lady Breastfeeding Handbook to learn more about breastfeeding, nursing bras, and more! http://www.leadinglady.com/pdf/Brstfdbook_web.pdf

 

 

 

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom

Breastfeeding Benefits for MomWe’ve all heard about the amazing nutritional benefits breastfeeding gives to our babies. Breastmilk supplies crucial vitamins and minerals, and is packed with disease-fighting substances that ward off things like the stomach virus, respiratory illnesses, meningitis and it is even linked to higher IQs. But what about the benefits breastfeeding gives to women?

Breastfeeding creates a special emotional connection between women and their infants. Not only are you giving them the best nutrition for life long benefits, you are also giving yourself those benefits as well. Here are just a few things to consider when debating on whether or not you want to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom:

  • It makes you happy! While you breastfeed the hormone Oxytocin is produced, which is often known as the “cuddle hormone” because it helps creates a bonding feeling and a better overall emotional health.
  • Your body will recover from childbirth faster! Oxytocin, along with creating happiness, helps shrink your uterus after delivery. The hormone helps the uterus contract lessening bleeding and returning the uterus to pre-pregnancy size quicker.
  • You’re at lower risk of developing certain types of diseases! These diseases include breast and ovarian cancer and cardiovascular disease. The longer and more you breastfeed the less likely it is for you to develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Breastfeeding also helps with bone strength and reduces your risk of obtaining osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding helps you lose weight! You can burn up to 200-500 calories a day. Studies show women who breastfeed often lose more weight and return to pre-pregnancy size faster than women who don’t.
  • Breastfeeding is a form of natural child spacing! Most woman are unaware of this fact, but while you breastfeed your body will delay its monthly cycle. As long as you stick with a regimented breastfeeding schedule you are more than likely to not see your period. However, this only lasts for about six to eight months due to your changing hormones.
  • Costs less than formula and is good for the environment! What’s great about breastfeeding is it doesn’t cost a thing. Formula can cost up to $10 a day, and while being expensive it’s also not the best for our environment. Breastfeeding is a renewable resource, it doesn’t require to be packaged or shipped, therefore reduces pollution, and it can reduce the cost of healthcare.

Before you decide to choose whether or not breastfeeding is for you speak with your doctor and learn about your options. Breastfeeding gives women an experience they can’t have with anything, or anyone, else. It provides a real and special bond between a mother and her baby. For more information about breastfeeding checkout “Breastfeeding A-Z” on our home page.

Is Your Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly?

 

Is Your Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly?It’s been a few months and you realize it’s time to get back to work. The last few weeks have been great; extremely emotional, but beautiful. How could you simply get back to work when your baby needs you? You’ve nursed them since day one, grown to understand each one of their cries, have developed some sort of routine where waking up every hour to breastfeed only happens once or twice a week, and hey, not to mention time off from work and your husband waiting on you hand and foot. But that time is over now and you need to head back to the office, and back to the money-making reality. Before this can happen you need to make sure your workplace is breastfeeding friendly.

You’ve done it this far and you know all about the amazing benefits breastfeeding can provide, not only for your child but for yourself as well. You can’t just give up because you have to pump in a pencil skirt rather than the comfy wirefree bra and relaxing shirt you’ve been living in for the past two months. Breast pumping at work isn’t all that intimidating, but before you begin to do it you need to know the facts and be able to ask the right questions!

It’s always important to know your laws, especially laws concerning women and breastfeeding within your state. Each state varies on their conditions about breast pumping at work. In the state of Ohio, a mother who is breastfeeding is entitled to breastfeed their baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted. This law also says employers must provide breastfeeding mothers reasonable break time, without compensating pay or time needed for pumping, and they must give you a space to do this in. This does NOT mean a bathroom.

For your benefit it would be essential to call your HR office ahead of time to find out your company policies and where you can pump while you’re at work. This way you’ll be well prepared and ready to go. It would also be beneficial to speak to your employer about your needs and accommodations. Unfortunately, you won’t get the lavish room filled with a masseuse or attractive men who feed you chocolates. But you need to make sure you are comfortable because you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this space. Make sure you tell your employer you need a reasonable chair for breast pumping, at least one outlet to charge your pump, and that it’s private, that way Bob, who has the cubicle next to yours, doesn’t accidently walk in and… SURPRISE! If the room doesn’t have a lock on the door ask for a Do Not Disturb sign and buy yourself a nursing cover.

It’s imperative for you to know if your workplace is breastfeeding friendly. Don’t be nervous, it’s OKAY to ask questions, and it’s even better to stand up for your rights!

Breastfeeding Positions

Breastfeeding Positions If you’ve begun nursing, you have probably undergone a few frustrating arm positions to try and hold your little one in the most comfortable spot. And while there are a number of ways to safely hold your baby while breastfeeding, mothers must be aware of the strain they could potentially be putting on their child’s neck.

We have collected a few safe breastfeeding holds that allow your little one to nurse comfortably without turning his or her neck.

 

 

The Cradle

Place your baby’s head in the crook of your arm and support their back with your forearm and bottom with your hand. This allows your little one to lie sideways while facing you, with your breast directly in front of them.

 

The Football

Position your baby under your arm like a football and support their head with your hand and their body with your forearm. Like the cradle position, this allows them direct breast access.

 

Breastfeeding Positions The Side

One of the more relaxing positions, this allows you to lie down on your side with your baby facing you. Use pillows to prop up your head and shoulder and nurse comfortably with your baby resting by your side.

 

 

No matter what position you choose, remember to always stabilize your child’s head and neck and speak with your lactation specialist to learn to best course for you. Every mother is unique and specific actions may be recommended for you and your child.

 

Happy Nursing!