Mama Knows Breast




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Getting Breastfeeding Help

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Yes, you are the only one with the boobs, but your partner can help.  Here’s my latest post on the giggle Gab blog called “Ten Breastfeeding Tips for Spouses.” And an excerpt:

Everyone tells you that having a baby can change the dynamic in your relationship. How can it not? You have a mess, noisy and demanding new roommate. She’ll start to cry just as you’re about to get intimate for the first time in months. She’ll need to eat at 6 am, dashing your visions of a Sunday morning snuggled in bed.

So here’s the deal– you have to adapt.  And if you’re breastfeeding, there are ways, believe it or not, your partner can get in on the act.  You may be the one with the equipment, but you don’t have to go it alone. So here are some tips for spouses.  They apply whether you’re married or in a committed relationship, and whether your partner is a man or woman.

To read the rest click here.

What To Buy For Breastfeeding

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Here’s my latest post on the giggle Gab blog.  And a brief excerpt:

Babies can be expensive. At least their gear is. And it starts the moment you realize you’re pregnant. You’ll have visions of pink and blue nurseries dancing in your head. A crib, mattress and sheets? Check. Clothing? Check. Diapers and wipes. You bet. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the expenses, here’s something that may be re-assuring– breastfeeding is free! That’s right. Formula costs money. Boobs, well you have those already.Of course, there are some items you may want to buy even if you’re planning to breastfeed. As always, some are important and some optional. And this may be one area where you should consider hand-me-downs from friends and family (with the exception of a breast pump).

For my full list, keep reading here.

I’m Writing For The New Blog For the Store Giggle

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So I’ve got a new gig… I’m a blogger for the new site Giggle Gab, brought to you by the store Giggle.  I’m writing the Nursing Know How pieces.  If you haven’t been to one of Giggle’s 14 stores around the country, or visited its website, take a few minutes to check it out.  They have everything from breast pumps to high chairs.  As for the Giggle Gab blog, they’ve got writers covering pregnancy, parenting, city living, baby style and fashion and having healthy home.

So my first post is about deciding whether or not to breastfeed. Here’s an excerpt:

You’ve been fixated on food for months.  One minute you’re ravenous.  The next, you’re repulsed. Mostly, you can’t get enough of those bite-sized brownies, right? Pregnancy does that to you.  Well guess, what– now it’s time to think about what someone else is going to eat.From the very first hour your baby is born, you’re going to be focused on feeding her. You’ll get to know that “feed-me-right-this-instant” wail oh, so well. But there’s a key decision you need to make: breast milk or formula? So how do you decide? There’s a lot to consider.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that moms exclusively breastfeed for the first six months. That means no juice, water, milk or solid foods. After six months the AAP recommends continuing to breastfeed, in addition to solids, for at least 12 months, or longer. The World Health Organization even recommends breastfeeding for 2 years.

But, there is no “right” choice here. Some moms exclusively breastfeed. Some only use formula. Some do a combination of the two. And there are even those who pump breast milk so that another caretaker can give the baby a bottle. Ultimately, you’re the parent and it’s up to you what works best for you and your baby.

Here are some pros and cons of breastfeeding. A little “food” for thought:

Now… click here for those pros and cons.

A Home Birth Story

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This blog post was written by a friend.  She writes about the home birth of her third child.  Click here for the entire post.  And here’s an excerpt:

Just past dawn she woke up moaning, lower back on fire and iron bands clenching and releasing in her core. Like an action-adventure movie, the telephone lit up and a control center was established: husband would take both oldest and youngest daughter on the much-anticipated, end-of-the-year field trip where his mother would meet them, freeing up husband to return to his wife. In the meanwhile, supermodel-friend and her nursing toddler would come stay with the laboring woman until the midwife came. The children came to kiss her goodbye. The three-year-old threw herself on her mother and clenched her fiercely, burying her sweet round face in the woman’s aching breasts as if laying claim to them for the last time. The five-year-old hung back shyly, feeling her mother’s discomfort but not understanding her place in it. When she kissed her, the woman saw the worry in the child’s almond eyes and cried for the first time since the pain began. Then they were gone, husband promising a swift return, and the woman was alone with the dog in the bright, hot, morning light. The sunlight was the type that burns into your memory, clear and bright and perfect like truth. The woman lay on the sun-drenched bed and gave in to the pain, feeling sorry for herself on this path she had chosen. Lying across her feet, the dog held her and reproached her with silent eyes.

Great CNN Story About Breastfeeding

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Here’s the link to a CNN column by Elizabeth Cohen, CNN’s Senior Medical Correspondent.  The story talks about some of the challenges moms face learning to breastfeed; it gives stats on the rates of breastfeeding; and mentions an Australian study that found that breastfed babies fared better academically when they got older.

Celine Dion and Breastfeeding Twins

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From US Magazine, here’s what Celine Dion had to say about breastfeeding her twins:

Five months after giving birth to twins Nelson and Eddy with hubby René Angelil, Celine Dion has reclaimed her svelte physique.

Her secret? Breastfeeding. “You get busy with twins and you feed them so they help you to recover very fast,” Dion, 42, told Canada’s Etalk. “So I helped them help me.” (Dion endured six rounds of IVF treatments before getting pregnant with the twins, born via C-section on Oct. 23. )

Breastfeeding Discussion on WNYC: Interview with Author Joan B. Wolf

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And something else from WNYC. An interview on the Brian Lehrer call in show with Joan B. Wolf, assistant professor of Women’s Studies at Texas A&M University. Her new book, Is Breast Best?: Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood.

WNYC audio player code:
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IRS Says Breastpumps are Tax Deductible

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Now here’s some good news from the IRS! Not something you’d expect every day… breast pump expenses are now tax deductible. From the Washington Post:

The ruling, long sought by advocates, means that women will be able to use money set aside in pretax spending accounts to buy the pumps and related equipment, which can cost several hundred dollars. For women without flexible spending accounts, the cost of pumps will be tax deductible if their total medical costs exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income.

Previously, the IRS considered breast pumps to be feeding equipment, not medical devices. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics argued that breastfeeding has many medical benefits for both mother and baby. Advocates hope that making breast pumps more affordable will enable more women to breastfeed longer.

Miranda Kerr Breastfeeding Photo

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From Victoria’s Secret model to breastfeeding advocate… Miranda Kerr has shared a photo of her nursing her newborn, and it’s making the internet rounds.   Her husband Orlando Bloom took the photo.  Salon has a story today about the pic. From the Salon story:

How lovely then not just that Kerr posted a blissful photo that sweetly evokes those magical early bonding days with a baby, but that the picture has been nonchalantly picked up by major entertainment news outlets with barely a hint of squeamishness. Both People and OK! posted the photo, along with Kerr’s message from her blog that “I gave birth to him naturally; without any pain medication and it was a long, arduous and difficult labour, but Orlando was with me the whole time supporting and guiding me through it.”

And here’s the link to her blog post.


Surgeon General Promotes Breastfeeding

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The U.S. Surgeon General has issued a call to action to get more mothers to breastfeed. Here’s a fact sheet from the Surgeon General, which includes information on the cost savings benefits of breastfeeding.  And here’s a clip from today’s press release:

Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin today issued a “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding,” outlining steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by women who want to breastfeed their babies.

“Many barriers exist for mothers who want to breastfeed,” Dr. Benjamin said. “They shouldn’t have to go it alone. Whether you’re a clinician, a family member, a friend, or an employer, you can play an important part in helping mothers who want to breastfeed.”

“Of course, the decision to breastfeed is a personal one,” she added, “no mother should be made to feel guilty if she cannot or chooses not to breastfeed.”

While 75 percent of U.S. babies start out breastfeeding, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, only 13 percent are exclusively breastfed at the end of six months.  The rates are particularly low among African-American infants.

Many mothers who attempt to breastfeed say several factors impede their efforts, such as a lack of support at home; absence of family members who have experience with breastfeeding; a lack of breastfeeding information from health care clinicians; a lack of time and privacy to breastfeed or express milk at the workplace; and an inability to connect with other breastfeeding mothers in their communities.

Dr. Benjamin’s “Call to Action” identifies ways that families, communities, employers and health care professionals can improve breastfeeding rates and increase support for breastfeeding:

  • Communities should expand and improve programs that provide mother-to-mother support and peer counseling.
  • Health care systems should ensure that maternity care practices provide education and counseling on breastfeeding.  Hospitals should become more “baby-friendly,” by taking steps like those recommended by the UNICEF/WHO’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
  • Clinicians should ensure that they are trained to properly care for breastfeeding mothers and babies.  They should promote breastfeeding to their pregnant patients and make sure that mothers receive the best advice on how to breastfeed.
  • Employers should work toward establishing paid maternity leave and high-quality lactation support programs.  Employers should expand the use of programs that allow nursing mothers to have their babies close by so they can feed them during the day.  They should also provide women with break time and private space to express breast milk.
  • Families should give mothers the support and encouragement they need to breastfeed.