Posts Tagged ‘engorgement’

Alcohol and breastfeeding

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Alcohol and BreastfeedingYou have waited many months and finally you have given birth to your beautiful baby! Now you want to celebrate with a glass of champagne, right? Don’t fill up your glass just yet. When you drink alcohol and then breastfeed your baby, she is exposed to a small amount of the alcohol you drink. Your baby eliminates the alcohol from her body at only half the rate you do. Therefore, it stays in your baby’s system, which is not good for her.

Don’t believe the myths

• It was once believed that drinking beer was a way to increase a mother’s milk supply, but that is not true. Research has shown that drinking beer does not increase your milk supply. In fact, drinking alcohol of any kind may decrease the amount of breastmilk your baby drinks. Alcohol can change the taste of your milk, which your baby may not like, and can result in your baby taking in less breastmilk.  Chronic drinking of alcohol may also reduce your milk production.

• Some people believe “pumping and dumping” (expressing breastmilk and then throwing it away instead of giving it to your baby) will get rid of the alcohol from your body quicker, but this is not true either. Pumping and dumping does not have any effect on how quickly alcohol leaves your body. However, if you miss a feeding session due to having had an alcoholic drink, then pumping and dumping will help you maintain your milk supply and avoid engorgement (when your breasts are swollen with milk to the point of hurting).

Bottom line

Avoid alcohol when you’re breastfeeding. However, if you have a drink, allow at least 2 hours per drink before your next breastfeeding or pumping session. This allows your body to have as much time as possible to process the alcohol out of your system before your baby’s next feeding. If you do drink alcohol, don’t have more than two drinks a week (one alcoholic drink is equal to a 12-ounce beer, a 4-ounce glass of wine or 1 ounce of hard liquor.)

You may also want to pump after your feedings when you have not had a drink. This way, you will have extra milk stored to feed your baby if you have been drinking when you need to breastfeed.

You also can pass street drugs, like heroin and cocaine, to your baby through breast milk. Tell your health care provider if you need help to quit using street drugs or drinking alcohol.

Breastfeeding chat

Monday, August 5th, 2013

breastfeedingBreastfeeding can be a wonderful experience, but it’s not as easy as it looks. It may be hugely beneficial to your baby, which it is, but there’s plenty to learn before your little one arrives. Join the experts: Robin Weiss, a doula, lactation consultant and author of Pregnancy & Childbirth at About.com; Dr. Abieyuwa Iyare, a pediatrician and co-chair of the Breastfeeding Committee and Paula Ferrante, R.N., lactation consultant at Montefiore Medical Center; and our good friends at Text4baby.

Let’s talk. Did you breastfeed? If so, for how long? Did you continue to breastfeed after going back to work? What tips can you share with others? Where can we go for help?

According to new data released by the CDC, nearly 1 out of every 2 women in the U.S. is breastfeeding her baby up to the age of six months. That’s excellent news, but it doesn’t mean we can’t use some help in doing it right and getting more support.

Aug. 1 through 7 is World Breastfeeding Week. Join the conversation on Tuesday, August 6th at 1 PM ET. Be sure to use #pregnancychat to fully participate and get your questions answered.

Breastfeeding your newborn in the hospital

Friday, September 11th, 2009

15082589_thbDo yourself and your precious little one a favor and start off on the right foot with breastfeeding. If you’ve done any reading about it then you already know that it’s “a learned skill” and “if you’re doing it properly it shouldn’t hurt.” These statements (although vague and not helpful at correcting a problem) are VERY, VERY true. It takes time, practice and help. Yes, help! Its one thing to see a diagram in a book or online, but it’s much more effective to have someone with trained hands at your bedside. You have to be in the right position. The baby has to be in the right position. There are different holds to experiment with. If you don’t get things down right from the start you and the baby could develop poor posture and latching habits. Take it from me. I’m the queen of sore, cracked, bleeding nipples. I held that title for more than two months before we got it right and it didn’t happen on its own. I spent hours on the phone with a lactation consultant. It wasn’t until I actually went to see a consultant (twice) at a nearby hospital that I had any success.

I hope the following tips help. If anyone has any other suggestions, please share!

Find a lactation consultant in your area. LLLI has leaders that host monthly meetings. Attend some before and after your baby is born.

During your tour of the hospital ask about lactation support. What days and hours does she work? Is this person a nurse? If so, is she only available during her shift? (That happened to me. When I was settled in my room and asked if they had a lactation consultant I was told, yes, but she wasn’t working again until Saturday. It was Thursday when I was admitted.)

Even if the hospital doesn’t have a lactation consultant ask the nurses for help at EVERY feeding. They’ll know what to do. Once you leave the hospital you’ll be on your own so take advantage of their knowledge and support.

Ask the staff for lots of extra pillows. Hospital pillows stink. They’re flat and plastic-y. You and the baby need to be well supported on all sides when you nurse.

Nursing in bed can be difficult. If you’re hospital room has a chair, try that. Again, support yourself with lots of pillows and use a foot stool. You need to feel “locked in” and comfortable at all times to nurse properly.

For home, have some lanolin, ibuprofen, a soft nursing bra and the number of a professional to call if you run into any problems.

Breastfeeding is demanding when you’re caring for a newborn.  You’re exhausted. Don’t add pain to that equation. Ask for help in advance to avoid problems.

TGIF and have a great weekend. See you next Friday.

Sore and cracked nipples

Monday, April 27th, 2009

breastfeeding37468747_thmWhy doesn’t anyone ever tell you that breastfeeding isn’t as easy as falling off a log?  It’s not.  It takes work and lots of effort.  There is a technique you and your baby need to learn, and since neither of you has ever done it before, there’s a lot of trial and error.  You eventually catch on, but often not without a few casualties, liked sore or even cracked nipples.

Nipples can become sore and cracked if the baby isn’t latching on properly.  Even if you’re doing everything “right,” you can still have very sore nipples in the first week or so.  (Think of wearing a new pair of shoes.  They may fit, but they may give you a blister in the beginning.)  Sore nipples can become cracked and very painful.  Here are some things you can do to prevent or treat this:
• Be sure your baby is latching on correctly when he nurses (putting his lips and gums around the areola, not just the nipple).  Take a look at this picture guide to breastfeeding.
• Before you remove your breast from your baby’s mouth, use your finger to break the suction.
• Change positions with each feeding so the baby’s mouth doesn’t always put pressure on the same part of your nipple.
• Make sure your breasts are clean and dry between feedings.  Exposing them to air and sunlight is helpful, as is just letting them air dry.
• Don’t wash your nipples with strong soaps or use perfumed lotions
• Avoid nursing pads with plastic linings or clothes made out of synthetic materials.  Sometimes a drop of baby lotion on each nursing pad is soothing.
• Nurse often, because your baby sucks harder when he’s really hungry.
• If nipples are very painful, try using a nipple shield.  It covers the areola and nipple and the baby sucks the milk through it.
• If the nipple becomes cracked, you may need to keep your baby off that breast for a few days to let it heal.  Express milk to avoid engorgement.

Call your doc if you come down with any symptoms of a breast infection, mastitis.