Alcohol and Breastfeeding

photoIt is well known that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm the developing fetus. The placenta is not a barrier for toxic substances and even moderate drinking can cause devastating brain damage. But what about breastfeeding? Does that glass of wine you enjoyed with dinner pass into your breast milk? Do you need to be cautious about drinking alcohol?

The short answer is “yes.” The alcohol you consume enters your bloodstream almost immediately and, therefore, is in your milk rather quickly. Even though the alcohol does transfer to your milk, the amount of alcohol your baby experiences is much less than the amount you drink. Unlike the placenta, the breast provides some protection from most toxins in your bloodstream. According to Dr. Thomas Hale, the dose of alcohol in milk is less than 16% of the mother’s dose. Continue reading

Breastfeeding Hurts and Other Painful Myths!

10589976_622164521361_290742170_nThese 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.

You must pump after every feeding in order to have enough milk.

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

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Bras for Breastfeeding: Finding Your Perfect Fit

Buying a nursing bra should be fun; but often it’s frustrating.  I recently sat down with Bella Materna‘s Anne Dimond to learn more about finding the perfect fit. She gave me lots of great tips, but first she treated me to a personal bra fitting of my own.   Thank you, Anne, for enlightening me on the intricacies of bra-fitting!  Here is what I learned:

  • Find your band size. This is the measurement around your rib cage-along the underside of your breasts. The band should feel snug and firm, “like a new pair of shoes.” The band should not ride up.
  • Remember that bras lose elasticity over time, so don’t start with a bra that is a bit loose!
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Is Breastfeeding Good for Business?

Are you wondering if health care legislation that includes provisions for breastfeeding is a good idea?  How do you feel about requiring businesses to accommodate mothers who want to pump at work? Consider the following:

Every year, more than 3 million mothers in America breastfeed. These provisions are good public policy for not only the baby and the mother, but also for the business community and our overall economy. Breastfeeding can improve more than 10% of the Healthy People 2020 health goals for the nation. Continue reading

Pacifiers and Newborns

Nearly every new mother I see asks the question, “Is it ok for my baby to use a pacifier?”  Here is the simple answer: Yes and no!

What these mothers want to know is whether pacifier use will interfere with breastfeeding. I can say with confidence that I have never seen a baby prefer a pacifier over a breast filled with nummy milk! In addition, in over 20 years of helping resolve breastfeeding issues, I have never named the pacifier as the source of the problem. Continue reading