Mama Knows Breast




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Breastfeeding and Medicine

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Here’s an excerpt from my latest post for the giggle GAB blog… it’s about breastfeeding and taking medicine: (And click here for the full post).

Be thankful for modern medicine. It can get us through a common cold and is often critical when managing a chronic condition. But when you’re breastfeeding, every medication can get into your breast milk. While some medicines are compatible with breastfeeding, others are not. So what’s a mom to do?

For starters, do your homework. For over-the-counter medications, read the packaging.  There should be information for breastfeeding mothers. And if you’re taking a prescription, be sure to tell your doctor that you’re breastfeeding…

… the “bible” on breastfeeding and medications is Dr. Thomas Hale’s Medications and Mothers’ Milk. You can look up a medication and check its safety for breastfeeding. You can also call the InfantRisk Center associated with Dr. Hale at 806-352-2519. They can answer questions about drugs, over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, chemicals, vaccines, and other substances. Of course, there’s now even an iTunes and Android app that has the book’s information. (Here’s a YouTube video showing how it works.)

Another resource is the LactMed database. Type in a medication and you’ll get a comprehensive look at its safety information. Finally, don’t forget that herbs require some research as well. I also recommend reading this La Leche League article about Maternal Medications and Breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding and Babies at Disney World

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We did the inevitable recently. We took the kids to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. They’re at just the right age… old enough to go on all the roller coasters, young enough to think it’s the greatest place on the planet. By the end of the trip, and hitting a park a day (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios), we were wiped out.  We also had a mountain of dirty laundry, so it was time to come home.

 

As we went through the parks, I was amazed to see so many toddlers and babies.  When our kids were that age I think I was too tired to have enjoyed the trip.  But maybe I should just embraced the exhaustion.  In fact, the Disney parks seem designed with new parents in mind.  Well located bathrooms, plenty of benches and food at every turn.  But it’s not just that.  The parks also have designated Baby Care Centers.  I have a Flickr album with photos from each of the parks that you might want to look at.

You can of course breastfeed anywhere you’d like in the parks. But if you’re looking for a quiet, designated space, with soft lighting, the Baby Care Centers are a good choice. Some of the rooms even have signs welcoming breastfeeding moms.  The only thing I didn’t entirely like, was that the Disney website indicates that the Baby Care Centers are sponsored by Carnation formula.  This information isn’t anywhere in the parks.  Nevertheless, as with just about everything Disney, you’ll find what you need at the Baby Care Centers, and move on to the next adventure.

As for the kids, they only have one question of course… when can we go back?!

 

 

Disclosure:  Disney gave me some tickets for park entrance.

How Hospital Bags With Formula Can Undermine Breastfeeding

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USA Today has a great piece today about how those gift bags for new moms can influence breastfeeding rates.

“Hospitals need to greatly improve practices to support mothers who want to breast-feed,” Dr. Thomas Frieden said last month in releasing a CDC report card on breast-feeding. It showed that less than 5 percent of U.S. infants are born in “baby-friendly” hospitals that fully support breast-feeding, and that 1 in 4 infants receive formula within hours of birth.

Routinely offering new moms free formula is among practices the CDC would like to end. In some cases, hospitals agree to give out those freebies in exchange for getting free supplies for special-needs infants, Frieden said…

A nationwide study of more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals and maternity centers published last year in the Journal of Human Lactation found that 91 percent sent new moms home with free formula in 2006-07. A smaller 2010 study of 1,239 hospitals suggests that the practice has decreased, although most — 72 percent — still offered formula. That study is being released Monday in October’s Pediatrics.

“I don’t think hospitals are the right place to market anything and I don’t think hospitals should be marketing a product that is nutritionally inferior to breast milk,” said study author Anne Merewood, an associate pediatrics professor at Boston University medical school and editor of the Journal of Human Lactation.

“People do think if a doctor gives something it must be good for you,” Merewood said.

Written by: AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner can be reached at www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner

First Days of Breastfeeding

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Here’s the latest post I wrote for the giggle store’s blog, giggle Gab. It’s about what to do in those first few days after birth, and how to get breastfeeding off to a good start.  Here’s an excerpt:

Forget about your images of postpartum hospital bliss.  You won’t unpack that beautiful bathrobe.  You won’t put on makeup for your first family photos.  You won’t brush your hair.  And that blue and white hospital gown, oh why bother changing?  You are wiped out.

But here’s one thing you will be focused on — feeding your baby.  If you plan on breastfeeding, it’s important to get things off to an early start.  Right from the beginning, immediately after birth, a baby can learn how to latch on to breastfeed, and this is crucial for developing your milk supply.  For those early days of feedings, your body will produce colostrum, a nutrient and antibody rich milk that is thick and slightly colored. A few days later, breast milk that is thinner, and more white, “will come in.”

So what can you do to get things going? Click here for the rest of the story.

Sexy Nursing Bras

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Yes, that’s right! Nursing bras do not need to be white or beige or cream.  You can have hot pink. Or rhinestones.  Check out this awesome story by Catherine Saint Louis in the New York Times.

MATERNITY and nursing bras have long been the ugly stepsisters to gorgeously constructed lingerie. If you became pregnant or nursed your child, scratchy, unadorned, matronly bras — probably colored inconspicuously “nude” or white — were your lot. Elisabeth Dale, the founder of the Web site The Breast Life, which has bra reviews and health information, says she thinks this was because functionality and sex appeal can seem incompatible.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

A number of designers have lately added flair to undergarments for a group long ignored in fashion: nursing mothers.

When your breasts “are in work mode, they don’t get to wear nice fabrics,” she said wryly, adding that you’re “sterilizing” your breasts “by putting them in a boring white milk curtain.”

But perhaps not anymore. Some of today’s maternity and nursing bras boast lace in conspicuous hues like coral or purple, with added features like rhinestones, and coy nicknames like Awakened by Her Desire and She Craved a Little Decadence. This, of course, along with convenient hooks that allow each cup to drop for easy access to hungry newborns, extra fastenings to accommodate diaphragm growth and comfortable linings…

Heidi Rauch, a 42-year-old founder of Belabumbum, a sleek but understated lingerie brand that started selling nursing-bras in 2003, said of the new crop: “They speak to the stereotypical end of what is sexy. It’s pushing the edge with rhinestones.” By contrast, she said, “Our stuff will make you feel better in your skin at a time when everything is feeling different, but it’s not like it’s overtly too sexy”…

Click here for the rest of the piece.

Breastfeeding and Working

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Here’s my latest post on the giggle GAB blog.  It’s about how to continue breastfeeding when you have to go back to work.  Here’s an excerpt:

First of all, being pregnant is work. Giving birth is work.  And raising kids is work. You may not get paid for it, but it does require physical and mental exertion and long hours.

Now that we got that out there, let’s put it aside and focus on what happens when you’ve got to get back to the office. How are you going to handle those meetings, conference calls and work trips while continuing to breastfeed?  With multi-tasking of course. Spend your maternity leave establishing a good breastfeeding routine. Feed your baby on demand, whenever she shows signs of hunger. Make sure she’s latching on well for each feeding and gaining weight. And if you are having any discomfort or problems, get help as soon as possible from a lactation consultant. It will be harder to take the time to get advice once you’ve gone back to the office…

For the rest of the blog post, continue reading here at the giggle GAB site.


Breastfeeding in Public

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Here’s an excerpt from my latest “Nursing Know How” post on the giggle Gab blog

Welcome to newborn land. Your days and nights blend together. You can’t remember the last time you washed your hair. And you’re going a little stir crazy. We know. We’ve been there.

So, guess what. It’s time to put on some clean sweatpants and go for a walk.  Take that baby and get out of the house.  Sure, you may have to feed her while you’re out and about.  But breastfeeding in public… in other words, anywhere other than your own sofa… isn’t as hard as you may think.  Here are some tips for taking the show on the road.

Click here to keep reading.

Breastfeeding and Saving Money

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Here’s an interview that Amy of the blog Frugal Mama did with me to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Here’s the link and an excerpt:

Frugal Mama: Hi Andi! I’m not sure why I haven’t covered breastfeeding on Frugal Mama, because if you are raising a family and trying to save money, breastfeeding is a perfect start. Let’s talk about the economic benefits.

Andi Silverman: I think it’s funny that a lot of people don’t even think about the economic benefits. It’s more of an afterthought. Most people are thinking, “How am I going to feed my baby? What is the best, most nutritious way, and what would work for my lifestyle?”

And then, if they’re using formula, they might realize, “Oh, this is costing me a lot of money!” Or if they’re breastfeeding, they might say, “Wow. I’m saving a lot by not having to buy formula, and bottles.” So saving money can be a motivating factor for breastfeeding, but I don’t think it’s the thing that gets people to breastfeed.

Frugal Mama: I agree. But it is a nice side benefit.

Andi Silverman: Yes, it is a nice side benefit. When you have a baby, all of sudden things can get very overwhelming. You’re buying so much stuff. Stroller. Crib. Mattress, sheets. Maybe you redecorate the baby’s room. And then the clothes. And then the diapers and toys! It’s unbelievable how those costs pile up.

So one way to cut down on those expenses is to breastfeed. You don’t have to buy bottles. You don’t have to buy formula. And formula can get very, very expensive. Breast milk is like nature’s gift to a new mom and baby..

Flash Mob Dance for World Breastfeeding Week

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Just when I thought the summer was getting rolling… bam! Only a month left. Anyway, I do love August for the annual World Breastfeeding Week celebration.  Around the world, there are events to mark this.  And things actually go on all month.

For a run down of events, check out WorldBreastfeedingWeek.org. Plus, there are directions for doing a breastfeeding flash mob dance! Here’s the step by step tutorial. And here’s the full dance:

Moms Donate Breast Milk to Breast Cancer Survivor’s Newborn

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This is an amazing story from Brooklyn, New York.  A group of moms is donating breast milk to a new mom who can’t breastfeed her newborn because she had a double mastectomy.  Here’s an excerpt from the New York Daily News:

A 40-year-old cancer survivor is collecting breast milk from dozens of her Brooklyn neighbors to help feed her 3-week-old son.

Eva van Dok Pinkley can’t nurse Oliver herself because of a double mastectomy. Twenty-five women have already stepped up, pumping milk and donating it to the Carroll Gardens mom.

“What they are doing, it’s not easy to do,” Pinkley said. “I’m just stunned at the amount of trouble that they are going through for me. I think of them and what they have done and give thanks.”

The actress and researcher for “House Beautiful” magazine has endured multiple miscarriages and two rounds of failed fertility treatments. By the time she was diagnosed in April 2010 with noninvasive breast cancer, she had given up on having children of her own.

But a mere two months after her double-mastectomy, she got pregnant. Pinkley knew right away that if she carried the baby to full term, she wanted to use breast milk. She just hadn’t figured out how…