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Answers to Your Breastfeeding Questions

Your Questions About Sacred Tea for Nursing Mothers Answered

Two of the most frequent questions I’m asked often are the following. For how long should you drink the tea and what is the difference between “Sacred Tea for Nursing Mothers” and other products on the market. I considered placing the responses on the FAQ page; instead, I decided to create an article so I can give you information that is more detailed.

 

 

What are the benefits of Breastfeeding?

BENEFITS FOR BABY: 

  • Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for infants. A mother's milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein that is needed for a baby's growth and development. Most babies find it easier to digest breast milk than they do formula.
  • As a result, breastfed infants grow exactly the way they should. They tend to gain less unnecessary weight and to be leaner. This may result in being less overweight later in life.
  •  Premature babies do better when breastfed compared to premature babies who are fed formula.
  • A mother's milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein that is needed for a baby's growth and development. Most babies find it easier to digest breast milk than they do formula. Breast milk has agents (called antibodies) in it to help protect infants from bacteria and viruses and to help them fight off infection and disease. Human milk straight from the breast is always sterile.

 

 BENEFITS FOR MOM:

    • Nursing uses up extra calories, making it easier to lose the pounds of pregnancy. It also helps the uterus to get back to its original size and lessens any bleeding a woman may have after giving birth.
    • Breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding (no supplementing with formula), delays the return of normal ovulation and menstrual cycles. (However, you should still talk with your doctor or nurse about birth control choices).
    • Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and possibly the risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis after menopause. 
    • Breastfeeding makes your life easier. It saves time and money. You do not have to purchase, measure, and mix formula. There are no bottles to warm in the middle of the night!  
    • A mother can give her baby immediate satisfaction by providing her breast milk when her baby is hungry. 
    • Breastfeeding requires a mother to take some quiet relaxed time for herself and her baby.  
    • Breastfeeding can help a mother to bond with her baby. Physical contact is important to newborns and can help them feel more secure, warm and comforted.
    • Breastfeeding mothers may have increased self-confidence and feelings of closeness and bonding with their infants.
    The U.S. Surgeon General Recommends Breastfeeding. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that babies be feed with breast milk only - no formula - for the first 6 months of life. It is better to breastfeed for 6 months and best to breastfeed for 12 months, or for as long as you and your baby wish. 

 BENEFITS FOR SOCIETY:

  • Breastfeeding saves on health care costs. Total medical care costs for the nation are lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants since breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.
  • Breastfeeding contributes to a more productive workforce. Breastfeeding mothers miss less work, as their infants are sick less often. Employer medical costs also are lower and employee productivity is higher.
  • Breastfeeding is better for our environment because there is less trash and plastic waste compared to that produced by formula cans and bottle supplies.

   

  • What is the best position to breastfeed my baby?

    1. Make sure you are comfortable. Your back should be straight and well-supported, and your knees a little higher than your hips. Placing a small stool or pillow under your feet can help.

    2. Choose a pillow that supports the baby at breast height.

    3. Position the baby facing the nipple, tummy to tummy with you. (Exception: if your breast points downward then the baby will be slightly on his/her back.) The baby can be horizontally across the breasts or placed diagonally with baby's bottom resting on mom's right thigh. If the baby is placed diagonally, use a pillow or folded blanket so that the baby's head and shoulders are supported.

    4. If the baby is horizontal, gently place the baby's lower arm along his or her side, not between the baby's chest and the breast. If the baby is more upright, place one arm each side of breast. A fussy baby may do better if firmly swaddled in a lightweight receiving blanket.

    5. Compress the breast, behind the areola, between thumb and fingers of your left hand. Have someone check that you are squeezing the breast evenly. Your thumb should be beside the baby's nose and your index finger beside the baby's chin, parallel to the baby's lips.

    6. Use your right hand to control the baby's head position. Place your fingers onto his/her lower cheek. Your thumb will be just short of the ear facing you. If your thumb is on your baby's upper cheek your fingers are not far enough onto the lower cheek.

    7. With your ring finger, put gentle pressure under the baby's chin to tip the head back, extending the neck. His or her chin will now jut forward toward and touch the breast as you proceed to next step.

  • 8. Push the tip of your nipple against the center of the baby's upper lip. Apply consistent pressure. The baby will reflexively open its mouth wide.

    9. When the baby opens wide as if yawning, bring the baby to breast by applying pressure between his or her shoulders. Do not push on the baby's head!

    10. Baby's nose should touch the breast lightly and the chin will be pushed into the breast.

    11. The latch is most likely correct if it is comfortable and the baby is swallowing.

    How to be sure your newborn is well fed?

    The first week of your baby's life is so exciting - and yet sometimes so confusing. Why is your baby crying? Is he or she hungry? Why is your baby sleeping so much - or sleeping so little? How can you tell whether your baby is receiving enough milk from the breast?

    First of all, trust your intuition. To make sure baby is doing well, first we need to make sure Mom is well taken care of. Drink plenty of fresh water. Make sure you eat a variety of fresh whole foods, as wild rice, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, salmon, avocado, fresh fruits and lots of greens and vegetables. Drink herbal teas appropriated while nursing, see our tea formula. Make sure you get plenty of rest and most important put your baby to breastfeed on demand.

    I have very small breasts. Will I still be able to breastfeed?

    There should be no problem with breastfeeding your baby. The size or shape of your breasts has nothing to do with the quality and quantity of milk you’ll produce. Small breasts do not produce less milk than large breasts do. Your level of milk production will increase in direct proportion to the amount of sucking baby does. 

    My breastfeeding baby always seems hungry. How do I know if he's getting enough?
    A: Weight gain is the best signal your baby is getting enough breast milk. However, during the first days at home, keeping a written record of your baby’s feedings, urine, and bowel movements also will help you gauge your baby’s progress. Generally, your baby should have a minimum of one wet diaper per day of life until the sixth day. (Example: by day three baby should have three to four wet diapers and a minimum of two bowel movements per 24 hours.) By day six your baby should have six to eight wet diapers and four to six bowel movements per 24 hours. Once baby has reached this amount, his intake is probably adequate.

    Remember, it’s very common for a newborn to eat frequently, sometimes every hour and a half. Such frequent feedings are necessary because breast milk is easily digested. Nursing as often as your baby wants will keep him content and you comfortable. What’s more, frequent nursing will build up your breast milk production and provide your baby the warmth and comfort of being in your arms.


    Will there be times that my baby will need more milk?

    Yes, your baby will probably want more milk during growth spurts. The best way to increase your milk supply for a growth spurt is to breastfeed or pump more often.

    What are Growth Spurts?

    You can almost set your watch by a baby's growth spurt.  The first one occurs anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks of age.  The following ones come at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months.  When babies go through growth spurts, their feeding times change from every two to three hours to every hour on the hour.  You just finish feeding them and they go rooting around again and act like they are starving.  During the 3 week growth spurt, you can definitely see that the baby is pooping 4+ times daily and having lots of wet diapers.  What goes in, must come out, so we know the baby is getting enough.  The 6 week growth spurt can really floor you because at that time their digestive system matures and they have fewer dirty diapers.  Some babies only have one every 3-5 days.  Don't dismay, you can still tell he/she has plenty of fluids by the fact that the baby is still having six to eight wet diapers daily.  The three month and six month growth spurts are pretty typical.  Growth spurts usually only last 5 days if you don't interfere with imposed schedules and supplements.  Make sure to keep drinking to thirst and taking your prenatal vitamins.  If you want a boost for your milk supply, try Sacred Tea for Nursing Mothers.

     

    Sleepy baby?

    This is a common concern for newborn infants.  First I would take a look at any painkillers you are taking.  Pain medication from the hospital can cause the baby to be sleepy.  Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve are all safe for breastfeeding and will not make the baby sleepy.  Next, be aggressive.  New moms tend to be very gentle, but newborns don't always know when they are hungry, so you have to wake them up every two to three hours with no more than one five hour stretch in any 24 hour period.  Techniques for waking a baby include, stripping him/her down to a diaper, using the clutch/football hold so the baby is more upright, washing their face before nursing, changing their diaper, rubbing their hands, face, feet, or back.  My personal favorite is alternate breast massage.  As soon as the baby stops sucking or swallowing and begins to fall asleep.  Massage the breast from underneath towards the nipple.  This wiggles the nipple and "milks" the breast into the baby's, reminding him or her to start nursing again.

     I have strong menstrual-like cramps when I nurse my newborn. Is that normal?

    Yes. During the first few days to weeks after delivery, you may feel strong cramps in your uterus when your milk lets down. Breastfeeding helps shrink the uterus, so nursing moms may be able to return to their pre-pregnancy shape and weight quicker.

    My breasts are swollen and it's painful to nurse. What can I do? 


     Your doctor or lactation consultant will refer to this condition as engorgement. When breast milk first "comes in," many mothers experience mild to moderate engorgement. The swelling occurs because your breast milk production isn’t synchronized with your baby’s intake as yet. In time, your breasts will produce in response to your baby’s need. Another reason your breasts may be swollen is because you’re not nursing often enough or you’re nursing inconsistently. Here are some helpful tips to alleviate engorgement:

    Before nursing, apply very warm moist heat packs to your breasts for 10 minutes or take a hot shower allowing the water to splash onto your breasts. Some moms find taking a hot bath very helpful because it’s relaxing and eases tension.

    Massage your breasts for several minutes. Then hand express or pump breast milk for several minutes on each breast to soften the areola. This will help your baby "latch-on."

    After feeding, apply cold packs to help decrease engorgement and keep it under control.

    Breastfeed consistently every 2 to 3 hours to help synchronize your milk production to your baby’s intake.

    What is Plugged Milk Ducts?

    Plugged milk ducts feel like a pebble or a pea under the skin or areola.  They are best treated with hot compresses, breast massage during feeding , and pumping after the feeding.  Place the baby's chin toward the plug if possible, massage from behind the plug towards the nipple, and pump for ten minutes after each nursing until resolved.  Make sure you are not wearing a nursing bra that is too tight or that has an under wire pushing into your milk ducts.

    What about Sore Nipples?

    Early onset of nipple soreness can be due to a number of things.  Poor positioning, poor latch-on, not breaking the suction properly, bras and pads that aren't cotton or changed infrequently, or bad breast pumps.   Make sure that the baby's ear, shoulder, and hips are aligned.  Make sure the baby has 1 - 1 1/2" of the areola in his/her mouth.  Make sure you break the suction when you take the baby off the breast by releasing the seal with your finger.  Keep the baby from slipping down by supporting the breast during the entire feeding.  Use a firm pillow or nursing pillow to the baby's body from becoming too heavy to hold.  Air dry the nipples after each feeding.  Use expressed milk or Lanolin sparingly on sore spots.  comfort gel pads can also be used to speed healing.  Use only 100% cotton or paper, breathable nursing pads and change them frequently.  Nipples may still be uncomfortable for a few seconds after latch-on, but they should be getting better daily.

     What about Cracked Nipples?

    Breastfeeding may make your nipples sore. But cracked and bleeding nipples are not a normal side effect of breastfeeding. Nursing isn't meant to be painful — in fact, pain is a warning sign that you have a problem that needs correcting.

    On occasion, you may see blood though you feel no pain. A bloody discharge from the nipples during the first week of breastfeeding may be caused by increased blood flow to the breast, along with the growth of milk-producing tissue. This is a harmless condition, and should go away without treatment in a few days.
    The main cause of cracked or bleeding nipples is improper positioning of the baby at the breast. This also causes severe nipple pain. Correcting your nursing technique can substantially soothe or cure cracked nipples. Sometimes just the slightest correction of positioning will make a world of difference.

    What should I do?


    If your nipples bleed or crack, try the following:

    • Check your baby's positioning. A poor latch-on technique is the most common reason for this condition. Your baby should face your nipple, tummy to tummy with you. Your baby needs to open wide to take in a good mouthful of both the nipple and the areola. The best latch-on position is off-centered, with more of the areola below the nipple in your baby's mouth. Line up his nose with your nipple so that his bottom gum is far away from the base of your nipple when he opens. Your nipple should be far back in your baby's mouth.

    • Change positions at every feeding. This focuses the pressure of the baby's gums on a different area of the breast each time.

    • Nurse more frequently, but for shorter periods. Remember, the longer you go between feedings, the hungrier your baby will be — and the harder he will nurse.

    • Rub a little breast milk on your nipples after each feeding and let it air dry. The milk actually helps heal them.

    • Don't use soap, alcohol, lotions, or perfumes on the nipples. Bathing with clear water is all it takes to keep your breasts and nipples clean.

    • Take painkillers. If the pain is severe, you can take a mild painkiller (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) about 30 minutes before nursing.

    • For deep, painful cracks, try medical-grade modified lanolin (such as Lansinoh ) made specifically for breastfeeding mothers. Rub a small amount of the ointment on your nipples. This treatment, called "moist wound healing," relieves pain and allows the wounds to heal much faster without forming a scab. It does not need to be washed off before feedings.

    If a crack or wound shows no sign of healing, check with your doctor or healthcare professional. Bacteria can get into the affected area and lead to infections like Mastitis.



    Will the condition affect my baby?

    Babies are generally unfazed by cracked or otherwise injured nipples. Blood in the milk doesn't hurt them, and breastfeeding can continue. The main concern here is to correct the problem and allow the nipple to heal, so that nursing is once again a pleasurable experience for both you and the baby.

    Can I still nurse?
    Yes. Nothing in the world is more wonderful than breastfeeding your baby — but convincing a mother with cracked, bleeding nipples of this is near impossible. Getting help from a lactation consultant right away can make all the difference.

     One Step Ahead Childproofing Solutions and Baby Safety

  •  Breast Infections what is Mastitis?

    Breast mastitis is an infection that commonly affects women who are breast-feeding (especially during the first two months after childbirth) but can occur in all women at any time.  Mastitis is a benign (non-cancerous) condition that can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics.   Signs of mastitis include red, hot, painful, or inflamed breasts and other flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea, high temperature (101 degrees Fahrenheit, 38.4 degrees Celsius or greater), or chills.  Women with symptoms of mastitis should see a physician.  Breast-feeding with mastitis is generally not harmful to the baby and may actually help speed up recovery.

     

    How Does Mastitis Occur?

    Mastitis during breast-feeding can be caused by:

    · Breast engorgement (swelling)

    · A blocked milk duct

    · Cracked or damaged skin or tissue around the nipple

    Mastitis most commonly occurs when the breasts are not fully emptied of milk.  The milk overflows from the breast glands and engorges the breasts.  Breast engorgement (swelling) can occur any time the breasts produce more milk than the amount being removed by breast-feeding, pumping, or manual (hand) expression.   Breast engorgement increases the risk of infection.  If bacteria enter the breast through an opening in the nipple or a break in the skin, the breast tissue becomes infected. 

    When bacteria enters the breast ducts, it grows and attracts inflammatory cells.  Inflammatory cells release substances to fight the infection (mastitis) but also cause the breast tissue to well and increases blood flow.  Nasopharyngeal organisms from the infant's mouth, sinuses and other air passages are usually the source of breast infections in breast-feeding women.  Though women may be inclined to stop breast-feeding if they have mastitis, continued breast-feeding actually helps to clear the infection.  Breast-feeding with mastitis is usually not harmful to the baby. 

    How is Mastitis Prevented?

    Mastitis may be prevented by breast-feeding, pumping, or manually (hand) expressing milk frequently to avoid engorgement.   Improper positioning during breast-feeding, such as leaning over the baby, can lead to mastitis.  Women are encouraged to use two to three different breast-feeding positions each day and to avoid tight or binding bras while breast-feeding.  When weaning the baby, do so gradually to avoid engorgement and mastitis. 

    How is Mastitis Diagnose?

    Mastitis is typically diagnosed by a physician based on signs such as swollen, red, and painful breasts and flu-like symptoms.  If a physician is unsure whether a patient has mastitis, he or she may order a laboratory culture of the breast milk.  Approximately 10% of women with mastitis develop abscesses in the infected breast area.   An abscess is a benign (non-cancerous) closed pocket containing pus (a creamy, thick, pale yellow or yellow-green fluid).  Abscesses are usually drained with needles.  A particularly large abscess may need to be cut open to drain.  Usually, the area I numbed with a local anesthesia and covered with gauze after the procedure. 

    How is Mastitis Treated?

    Mastitis usually requires treatment.  Treatment for mastitis may require the following:

    · Antibiotics are usually prescribed by a physician to help clear up the infection.   Women with mastitis should schedule an appointment with a doctor.

    · Use warm water on the infected area of the breast before breast-feeding to help stimulate let-down (the milk ejection reflex).

    · Breast-feed or pump frequently, using both breasts. Lactation consultants recommend first breast-feeding from the unaffected breast until let-down (milk ejection reflex) occurs and then switch to the breast with mastitis.

    · Breast-feed only until the breast is soft.

    · Apply icy compresses to the breasts after breast-feeding to relieve pain and swelling.

    · Drink fluids and get enough rest.

    How do I storage my Breast Milk?

     

    The Basics

    --Use very clean containers. Glass is best, but plastic and baggie-type bottles can also be used

    --Express milk into 2- to 4-ounce "single-serve" portions, plus a few extra 1ounce portions for when your baby wants more

    --Chill milk as soon as possible and definitely within four hours.* When temperatures soar above 100 degrees, chill immediately

    --Label and date bottles

    --If the milk will be used within 4 to 5 days, refrigerate. If not, freeze

    Tips for Fresh Milk

    --If stored in a cooler with frozen gel packs, use within 24 hours

    --If stored under standard refrigeration use within 5 days

    --Warm by shaking gently under warm, running water

    --Avoid the microwave. Microwave warming can cause hot spots and damage protective substances

    --Teach others who feed your infant how to prepare bottles for feeding

    Tips for Frozen Milk

    --If stored at zero degrees in a self-defrosting freezer, use within 6 months

    --If stored at zero degrees in a standard freezer, use within 12 months

    --Defrost by shaking gently under warm, running water. Avoid microwave thawing, which can cause hot spots

    --Shake gently to redistribute the separated fat of thawed milk that appears lumpy. It is perfectly safe to use

    --Use as soon as possible once thawed. Freezing destroys some of the anti-bacterial components of milk, making it more perishable than fresh.

     

    Storage Guidelines

    Storing milk in 2-4 ounce amounts may reduce waste. Refrigerated milk has more anti-infective properties than frozen milk. Cool milk in refrigerator before adding to frozen milk.

    Human milk can be stored:

    · at room temperature (66-72°F, 19-22°C) for up to 10 hours

    · in a refrigerator (32-39°F, 0-4°C) for up to 8 days

    · in a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator (variable temperature due to the door opening frequently) for up to 2 weeks

    · in a freezer compartment with a separate door (variable temperature due to the door opening frequently) for up to 3 to 4 months.

    · in a separate deep freeze (0°F, -19°C) for up to 6 months or longer.

    Expressed milk can be kept in a common refrigerator at the workplace or in a day care center. The US Centers for Disease Control and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration agree that human milk is not among the body fluids that require special handling or storage in a separate container.

    How do I heat breast milk?
    Microwaving destroys some of the anti-infective properties of the breast milk and may create "hot spots" that could burn your baby. Place the container of milk in a bowl of warm water, or place under the hot water faucet, and heat to room temperature. Your baby may refuse milk straight from the refrigerator, but cold milk is not harmful.

    Can I reuse leftover milk?
    While there is no research on this topic, many mothers refrigerate milk the baby did not finish and use it at the very next feed. If you have any doubt, discard the milk.· at room temperature (66-72°F, 19-22°C) for up to 10 hours

    · in a refrigerator (32-39°F, 0-4°C) for up to 8 days

    · in a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator (variable temperature due to the door opening frequently) for up to 2 weeks

    · in a freezer compartment with a separate door (variable temperature due to the door opening frequently) for up to 3 to 4 months.

    · in a separate deep freeze (0°F, -19°C) for up to 6 months or longer.

     

    Breastmilk is nature’s most perfect food for your baby. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an organization of more than 53,000 physicians who specialize in caring for children, recommends breastmilk as the primary source of nutrition for baby’s first year of life. 

     

     

     

     

     

       

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