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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

How to Reduce Breastfeeding Inequality

Posted on August 28, 2018 at 12:13 PM Comments comments (7)
I'd like to introduce our readers to Neve Spicer, writer and founder of We The Parents. She is sharing some very important information about breastfeeding disparity. I thought it especially important to share this information during Black Breastfeeding Week, in the hopes that a change-maker sees today's post and can help take action on the steps that Neve outlined in THIS post.  You can scroll to the end of today's post to see those steps, although I encourage you to click on the link and read the whole article.

I'm Neve, a proud mother of two, breastfeeding advocate, and part-time blogger over at WeTheParents. I'm really happy to be contributing to Sweet Pea Births during this year's Breastfeeding Awareness Month.

Now, when I say that I'm a breastfeeding advocate... I'm a pretty easy going one and not so much a die-hard lactivist. I breast fed both of my children and my experiences couldn't have been more different. My first experience was a nightmare; I don't think I did things right, and without a good support network I ended up with a very low milk supply. My daughter pretty much screamed constantly until I began to wean her early at 4-months. With my second, on the other hand, the experience was completely different. I was scared that I’d have the same problem, but actually things worked out beautifully and I breastfed until 18 months.

My breastfeeding experiences led me to want to support women and to let them know that, firstly, breastfeeding doesn’t always go according to plan, but also, secondly, it’s important to realize that our self-defeating beliefs, such as “I can’t produce enough milk” can also be wrong. I also realized that breastfeeding success depends so much on the knowledge and support we receive throughout our breastfeeding journey from pregnancy to weaning.

Now: I’m a bit of a research geek and while digging into some scientific journals on breastfeeding, I was shocked to learn just how drastically socio-economic forces affect breastfeeding rates.

Did you know that only 38% of mothers living below the poverty threshold (in the US) breastfeed at 6-months, while 68% of mothers in top-earning families do. That’s a huge difference, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I learned that that in academic and social policy circles people have known about these breastfeeding disparities for a long time. But why, then, was I not reading about it on the popular blogs I followed?

Too many heated words and firey tweets are being wasted on the breast vs bottle 'mommy war'. The big problem, however, is not whether a well-educated and well-off mother chooses to breastfeed. The real issue is breastfeeding inequality; too many mothers are NOT getting equal opportunity to breastfeed, even when they want to.

After discovering all of this, I wanted to shout about it. It’s time the blogosphere reframed the debate. I think we can all agree that if a mother, from any walk of life, wants to breastfeed, then she should be given the best chance possible. I passionately believe that mothers should unite behind this common goal.

Neve


FROM WeTheParents:

HOW TO REDUCE BREASTFEEDING INEQUALITY
Too few mothers follow the AAP’s optimal breastfeeding recommendations. Were this a result of well-educated, well-informed, and well-off women choosing alternative nutrition options, that would be one thing. Unfortunately, the truth is that many babies are formula fed because their mothers are not sufficiently aware of the health risks or they simply don’t have practical support (at work or home) to make it work.This is unfair and impacts on the health of thousands of US mothers and babies each year. It has been estimated that annual excess deaths attributable to suboptimal breastfeeding total 3,340, 78% (2605) maternal and 22% (735) infant. (Source)But how can we reduce the breastfeeding inequality?While there is no easy fix, there are several strategies that have been highlighted and could use public awareness and support. These are:

  • Maternity/lactation support – Improve hospital maternity care and lactation support practices. For example, increasing the number of Baby-Friendly Designated hospitals across the US, especially in states with more poverty;
  • Educate professionals – Continued education of healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, midwives, and lactation consultants, to improve their knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors toward breastfeeding support;
  • Improve new mother access to professional lactation support – This can be done in different ways, such as in-person, online, telephone, or group. It can involve home-visits or breastfeeding clinics within the community;
  • Peer support programs – Peer support is a powerful mechanism for helping mothers reach their breastfeeding goals. Effective peer support typically requires leaders to be trained as facilitators. Mothers then share emotional support as well as guidance and problem-solving advice;
  • Boost breastfeeding support in the workplace – There are numerous ways in which employers can support mothers to continue breastfeeding. These include developing corporate policies, and providing adequate lactation spaces and equipment and giving women the flexibility to use them. Onsite child-care and allowing babies at the workplace also helps;
  • Support for breastfeeding in childcare and pre-kindergarten settings – Many mothers have older siblings attending early care education centers (eg, Head Start or pre-K). This solution involves improving the support that these centers give to breastfeeding mothers, eg, welcoming breastfeeding mothers to come into the center, or training staff to handle the storage and use of pumped breastmilk;
  • Improved access to breastfeeding education and information – While many mothers have heard the message that “breast is best”, many new mothers do not have direct experience of breastfeeding. It is vital that education and information get into all communities, especially minority groups that can be harder to reach;
  • Address the marketing of infant formula the associated conflict of interest in hospitals – There exist well-established links between commercial formula companies and hospitals. In return for free infant formula for babies that need it, many hospitals agree to give away free formula within their discharge bags. There is also a high incidence of hospital routinely supplementing breastfed infants with formula within the first 48-hours. Both of these practices lead to an increased uptake in formula use and a corresponding drop in breastfeeding rates. It is important that marketing practices that directly reduce breastfeeding rates are dismantled and replaced with others that do not involve a conflict of interest.

Thank you, Neve, for taking the time to research this topic and outlining specific action steps we can take to support our breastfeeding sisters.


Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale

In Their Own Words: Erica ~ Part 2

Posted on August 31, 2017 at 9:53 PM Comments comments (0)
For Part I of Erica and Scarlett's breastfeeding journey, click HERE

PART II: Making Breastfeeding Work at Work, and Beyond

I went back to work when Scarlett was 4 months old. I was a teacher, and needed to pump twice a day, every day. That meant during my prep period, I pumped, and during lunch, I pumped. It was hard, but I wasn’t about to be gone from my baby AND take away her food. She started reverse cycling to where she would barely eat at daycare, and wanted to nurse as soon as I came home, and all night long, to make up for lost time. 

We had opted to co-sleep/bed-share from the beginning for a variety of reasons (I couldn’t stand the thought of her crying and needing me, I didn’t want to- and couldn’t at the beginning- get out of bed and walk down the hall to her room, I had spent her first 5 days without her there and I would never do that again…). Co-sleeping kept us close, and gave her the freedom to nurse when she needed to. However, the regular pumping and all-night nursing were causing me to produce a ton of milk, and she wasn’t using it all at daycare. I couldn’t miss a single pumping session at school because I was so engorged. But I was also paranoid of cutting back my pumping, losing my supply and not being able to do the one thing that I ‘got’ after my birth.
 
After a couple of months of that, I was losing my mind. Not from breastfeeding; it was a compilation of everything else. I could barely function from exhaustion, postpartum depression and anxiety, birth trauma resurfacing, not having enough prep time at work (because of pumping) and feeling like I couldn’t do my job well enough. The only times I felt calm and happy were when I would pick her up from daycare and go home and sit on the couch and nurse. Nursing my baby kept my sanity, and allowed us to check-in with each other. It helped bring me the clarity to realize I needed to make a career transition so I could be the mom I wanted to be. I found a job where I could work from home, got a long-term sub, and didn’t go back to work after spring break. It was the best decision I ever made.
 
While I was dealing with the career transition, Scarlett turned 6 months old, that “magic” starting-solids age, per many different “experts”. I dipped my toes in those waters, but I didn’t want to. I was scared it would affect our breastfeeding relationship and it seemed like we’d just gotten good at it. I didn’t want it to change. So, I didn’t really take “solids” seriously until she was a little over 7 months old. By then I had an end-date with my job and I knew I would be home soon. Also, she started giving me all the signs of being ready. She could sit, she reached for my food, she didn’t do that tongue-sticking-out thing, she could grab with her fingers (including other kids’ food at daycare). By the time I was home and she was 8 months, she was eating a little food whenever we did put some in front of her. It turned out I was worried for nothing. She loved food, but still loved to nurse as well. Also, she didn’t nurse 3 times a night anymore; it was only 2—yay for more sleep!
 
Being home with her allowed me to go back to nursing on demand, which felt so much more natural! It also gave me the opportunity to donate the thousands of ounces of milk that I had stockpiled in my deep freezer. I had always wanted to donate since she had received donor milk in the NICU, but I was apprehensive about letting any go before then because of the anxiety about losing my supply and her needing it. Scarlett wasn’t using my frozen milk nearly as fast as I had been producing it, so we could help three other babies around that time, and we continue to regularly donate to her friend who is a few months younger than her.
 
Now that she’s eating more at each meal, we have started nursing a little less. We nurse when we wake up, after breakfast/before morning nap, after lunch/before afternoon nap, at bedtime, and whenever else she may need a pick-me-up. Occasionally she will still wake up once (or more) during the night if she needs me, and I’m there for her when she does. I don’t pump regularly anymore, which is a great relief! I still have quite a stockpile that we are donating and it feels nice to be able to help others.
 
A few people have asked me if I’m going to keep nursing Scarlett now that she’s 1 (that “magic” number again). I tell them that I’ll nurse her until she doesn’t need it. I also tell them that I won’t have any more kids, in large part because of how everything happened last year. So, since she is my only baby and nursing is our special thing that we got after we missed out on so much and endured so much trauma, we will ride it out until it doesn’t feel right. Maybe another year? Maybe another 2 years? I’m very okay with not knowing when the journey will end. This has been the greatest gift of our birth experience, and I’m happy seeing and feeling the continued joy it brings us. For others who want to breastfeed longer than is typical, I say to go for it! You will never regret being the one who can be your baby’s everything.

For Part I of Erica and Scarlett's breastfeeding journey, click HERE
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on our blog and videos do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale

In Their Own Words: Erica ~ Part 1

Posted on August 25, 2017 at 11:54 AM Comments comments (1)
PART 1: My Breastfeeding Journey: The Greatest Gift of My Birth Experience

I’ve been breastfeeding my daughter, Scarlett, for a little over a year now, and it continues to be a very important part of our lives. I know many women in the United States choose to discontinue breastfeeding at a year, or sooner, for a variety of reasons. I have no judgment towards them. I can say I know that I won’t be one of them. I’m not sure how long we will continue to nurse, but I don’t see us stopping any time soon. 

I didn’t go into motherhood thinking I would be an “extended breastfeeder.” For those of you who have seen the HBO show Game of Thrones and saw the scene of Robin Arryn nursing well into childhood… that’s kind of what I thought of as “extended breastfeeding.”  I initially figured I’d give it a year and see how and where it went. Now that we’ve made it to 13 months and it’s going so well, it seems silly to even consider stopping. It is still a large part of her nourishment, an effective way to soothe and comfort her, and our special bonding time, among many other benefits. Also, there is this huge emotional component for me: I think of our breastfeeding relationship as the greatest gift of my birth experience.
 
I had a traumatic birth in July 2016. I planned a homebirth and ended up transferring to a hospital for an excruciating 52-hour induction that ended in a Cesarean birth. My daughter was 10 days past her anticipated due date and didn’t move enough on an ultrasound, which is what caused us to need the induction. After 2 more days of every horrible step of the induction process, and trying to hold out for an un-medicated birth, I became a statistic in the chain of interventions and one of the 1 in 3 American women whose babies are surgically delivered.  To make matters worse, Scarlett aspirated meconium at some point in our labor, and was whisked away to the NICU as soon as she was out. I didn’t get to hold her for 18 hours. I didn’t get to attempt to breastfeed until her third day of life.
 
After having everything on my birth plan derail to the horrific experience I endured, I was determined to feed my child the way that I had planned to; determined not to have breastfeeding taken from me as well. I couldn’t see her during those first 18 hours, but I pumped every 2 hours like a fiend. I was told not to try to get her to latch initially because of her difficulties breathing, but I brought her all of my colostrum, requested donor milk instead of formula until my milk came in, and continued to pump and pump and pump. Finally, on the third day of her life, I made milk, and her breathing improved, and I got to learn how to nurse my baby.
           
We needed help at first. We met with a lactation consultant, we used a nipple shield, and we used the football hold… I drank my weight in water and ate everything in sight for a while. On day 3 when I finally got to start nursing, the hospital had rules for me: I could only nurse her for 15 minutes, then I had to go and pump and she was given a bottle of expressed milk to finish her feed so they could determine exactly how much she ate. They had their reasons I’m sure, but the effect to me was oversupply. I was nursing a hungry baby, and then pumping directly after. When we were finally released on day 5, I was sent home with about 7 bottles of extra milk I had made. I didn’t know then that wasn’t typical.
 
When we got home, my husband soon grew tired of hearing, “Babe, I need my water bottle!” However, he and Scarlett were troopers. He kept me fed and hydrated, propped up, etc. She had a good latch and was always hungry. Within a few days we stopped using the nipple shield. Within a few weeks I could move a little better after the surgery and stopped doing the football hold. Things were going more smoothly, until I began to put together the effects my oversupply was having on Scarlett. My milk came spraying out with such force that she would sometimes gag and sputter. She would occasionally throw up all over us during or directly after eating. It was frustrating to feed her when she seemed overwhelmed by my milk. It was not fun to get vomited on. Repeatedly. And feel like I was smothering my baby with my giant, milk-tastic boobs.
 
I asked the doctor about it. He said spit up is normal. I said it’s a lot more than spit up… he said all kids throw up and not to worry about it. He was useless. I asked my Bradley teacher and La Leche League ladies and they gave me actual things to try: laid-back nursing, let gravity work for you, put baby on top of you, side-lying nursing, block nursing, burp her more frequently, stop pumping so much… all of which helped immensely. 

After a few months we finally got the hang of it. I’m glad I was able to make some adaptations to help us, and had the willpower and resources not to give up when it was hard. I honestly think my awful birth was instrumental in my steadfastness when it came to breastfeeding.
 
Click HERE for PART II of Erica and Scarlett’s story: Making It Work
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on our blog and videos do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale

In Their Own Words: Katie

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 3:57 PM Comments comments (0)
If you haven't read my previous posts, you're missing stories of my struggles with breastfeeding, but that's okay. For purposes of this update, you only really need what I wrote last year about tandem breastfeeding. You can find that HERE (2016) and one of my newborn stories is HERE (2012).

Nothing much has changed in the last year. My nurslings are now 2 years old and 5.5 years old. The 2-year-old no longer trolls his big sister. Instead he beats on her if he's feeling feisty. It's fun.

But seriously, I still love it. Even though I tend to insist they only nurse one at a time in the evening because I'm so tired and touched out (and they fight), it's still nice to be able to easily comfort two children to sleep.

Son's arm resting on big sister's arm <3

My 5-year-old goes back and forth between being okay with waiting and very much *not* being okay with waiting. It's exhausting. The 2-year-old can be perfectly content doing anything but nursing until the 5-year-old gets anywhere near me. Then he has to nurse and tries to find out how to use both sides at the same time so he doesn't have to share the thing he was perfectly content not having a few minutes ago.

My 5-year-old has a weird sense of awareness in the middle of the night. She knows the moment I've gotten her brother to sleep and comes into our room asking to nurse. I used to direct her to my bed, but she's gotten insistent that she nurse first. Thankfully, she came up with the "just one minute" compromise, so I let her nurse for a few minutes and then tell her her minute is up, and she gets up willingly. Likewise, in bed, she wakes up in the moment he stops nursing and asks to nurse. I don't know what sorcery this is.

But there are times they nurse side-by-side and stroke each other's hair or hold each other's hands. There are times they both run up to me, excitedly divvying up right side and left. There are times they are both finished nursing and they just sleep on me or next to me, and I feel their warmth and their 
breathing.






Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale

Monday Mantra: Wonder Woman SuperPower

Posted on August 14, 2017 at 1:27 PM Comments comments (0)
Today's #MondayMantra is a fun affirmation that there is something quite wonderful and unique about making milk for your Sweet Pea.  

If you have chosen to breastfeed and you are making milk...own it!! You are a true Wonder Woman.

Inside Look: Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™

Posted on September 8, 2016 at 9:52 PM Comments comments (0)
 Puma and I got to see the Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ vendor table when we visited a Club MomMe event in California last year.  At the time, we didn’t get to connect with the rep since the table was unattended the couple of times we stopped by.  We get this, though!! I have been a solo rep at events before and I know how hard it is to be at your booth 100% of the time.
 
Imagine my delight when we got to meet the founder of Amorini at our local Arizona La Leche League conference in August!! D’Ana Marcin is an absolutely lovely person with an equally lovely product to help breastfeeding mothers…read all about her product and what inspires her in today’s “Inside Look”.
 
Tell me about Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™.
Amorini is a set of two "soothers" made of Silver 925 and designed to help prevent, protect and heal sore, cracked and bleeding nipples for breastfeeding mothers. 
 
Who would benefit from using Amorini? 
All expecting and new mothers that intend to breastfeed and/or pump breastmilk. 
 
Although Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ are most often used to protect and promote healing of sore nipples, they are also an effective preventative measure. 
 
When would mothers want to use Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers? About how long can they expect to use them?
 Ideally mothers would start using the Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ before the birth of their child as a preventative measure and they will continue using them for as long as the pain persists. 
 
Mothers whose child/children have difficulty latching or have a shallow latch are more prone to severe nipple pain and cracks. It is highly recommended the use of Amorini as the family is working with a Certified Lactation Consultant to correct the latch. 
 
Mothers whose child has been (or not!) diagnosed with tongue-tie are also susceptible to severe nipple pain. We recommend the use of Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ while working with a specialist to treat the tongue-tie. 
 
Amorini are typically used for the first 3 to 4 weeks of breastfeeding or until any underlying issues have been corrected. Some babies may try and gently bite the nipple when they start teething or when teeth start cutting through the gums. That can irritate the nipple and provoke another wave of painful breast-feeding session for the mother. Amorini can help in these cases as well. 
 
What makes Amorini unique?
Amorini harnesses the antibacterial and healing properties of Silver to help prevent, protect and promote healing for sore, cracked and bleeding nipples in a natural and safe way. 
 
Silver Nipple Soothers are the most popular product for nipple care in Italy and have been proven to be highly effective among new mothers. Amorini is the only American brand of Silver Nipple protectors, founded by an Italian mother who has recently relocated to California. They are designed and crafted in Italy and are made of medical grade Silver. 
 
What motivated you to start Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™?
In September 2013 I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. I had taken breastfeeding classes and I was gifted a tube of lanolin cream at my baby shower. I thought I had everything I needed to be able to breastfeed. Baby girl started breast-feeding like a champion less than an hour after birth but before I knew it my nipples became raw and the pain was almost unbearable. The latch seemed normal according to my lactation consultant and there was plenty of colostrum for my baby to suckle on, but the pain was only getting worse. 
I am very sensitive in the nipple area and that seemed to be the only explanation for my pain. 
 
Three days later, my longtime friend and NICU nurse from Italy sent me these "miraculous silver nipple cups" and they were everything she had told me they would be! Within 24 hours I started feeling significant relief and by the third day of using them I was almost pain free and all the cracks were healed. 
 
I wanted to gift them to all my pregnant friends but I wasn't able to find them in the United States. For months my family mailed me countless Silver Nipple protectors sets so I could share with all my friends. 
Until one day I decided I needed to bring these to the US and make them available to all mothers and expecting mothers! And so it all began! :) 
 
Is there anything else our readers should know about Amorini?
Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers™ are Nickel free therefore are considered hypoallergenic.  
 
Please refer to our Q&A page on our website or contact Amorini with any questions or concerns.  
 
http://www.amoriniusa.com/faq
 
What inspires you?
My beautiful, joyful, fearless daughter is my biggest inspiration! 
Helping mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals is my purpose and my motivation.
 
Do you want to see something amazing? Watch D’Ana share her hobby and her business in this fun YouTube video!!
video: 

https://youtu.be/AdDT5v94xzM

 
For more reading on how silver can help treat sore nipples check out these links:
From Fact Based Health:
http://factbasedhealth.com/how-silver-helps-breastfeeding-mothers/
 
From California Healthy Living Magazine:
http://calidiet.com/how-to-treat-sore-nipples-for-breastfeeding-mothers/
 
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

 

Miracle Product

Posted on August 31, 2016 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

I love this quote...articles pop up on a regular basis that another published study shows that breastmilk and breastfeed benefit the mother, the baby, the family, the environment, the employer, the health care system...

Here are links if you would like to read more

Breastmilk:
Feeding the Microbiome http://goo.gl/aPCiQj

Immunization value:
How breastmilk protects newborns http://goo.gl/M35Ay8

Family planning:
LAM - Lactational Amenorrhea Method http://goo.gl/t9BZSJ

Reduce cancer:
Good for mothers, too  http://goo.gl/zy2q3Z

Why Breastfeeding is Important from womanshealth.gov 

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of Birthing From Within or The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of Birthing From Within, The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Q&A with SPB: Is there anything I can do to make more milk?

Posted on August 30, 2016 at 10:01 AM Comments comments (0)

Today's question on Q&A with SPB: 

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
We are joined by Jennie Bever, PhD, IBCLC at the Arizona Breastfeeding Center to answer that question:




Recap:
You are not alone! This is a common question/worry that many moms have during pregnancy and postpartum.

There are many myths, tips and tricks that people share that may work for some moms, but really don't get to the core of the issue: how much milk is moving through the breast? The fact about milk production is that the more milk that is demanded, the more milk will be made.

So a lot of the time it's not really a supply issue, as much as it is a removal issue. In order to make milk, the body needs the signal that more milk is needed.

Some things to consider:
  1. Is the baby breastfeeding well, e.g., does the baby have a good latch?
  2. If the baby is working on latching, then get busy moving the milk! It's may be time to start pumping.
  3. Maybe it's time to call an IBCLC to find out what is needed for your situation.

Krystyna's little side note about pumps to consider:
  1. Do I have the right pump for the job I need it to do?
  2. Are all the parts working and do I have the right size flange?

An IBCLC can help you with both evaluating how you and baby are moving milk, and also answer any questions you have about pumping.

The bottom line:
While some of the galactagogues out there may help, you don't want to create more milk that still can't be moved...that may cause another hurdle (i.e., pugged ducts, mastitis). So before you spend lots of money on the "magic" herbs, teas, and foods that help some moms make more milk, check in with a lactation counselor to make sure that you and your baby are doing your best to remove the milk that is already being made.

Thank you again to Jenny for taking the time out of her busy day to answer today's Q&A with SPB!



Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of Birthing From Within or The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of Birthing From Within, The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.   

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson


In Their Own Words: Courtney

Posted on August 26, 2016 at 7:08 AM Comments comments (0)
"In Their Own Words" is a blog series we share to bring you "real life" experiences from other mothers and their families.  Would you like to share your story? Please email me at krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com to get started.

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Today we are featuring a Q&A we did with one of our pumping and working-out-of-the-home mothers. She shares her insight gained from pumping for both of her sweet peas, for a combined total of 34 months...and counting.

What was your vision of what pumping at work was going to entail?
I thought I knew what pumping at work was going to be like. I thought it would be a nice break in my day to sit and think about my baby. It was inconvenient and awkward to constantly explain myself. I had read all these books about breastfeeding, gone to support groups, talked to a Lactation consultant, talked to friends, and when it came down to it, I still had to find my own way. 

All the knowledge helped, but each relationship and situation is unique. I knew it was going to be work, and I knew that I could do it. I didn't realize how long I would be doing it. 2 years. I pumped at work for nearly 2 years.

I think that the most important step of the journey was making the commitment and educating myself. The most important part of making that successful was being surrounded by people that supported that commitment, and talking about it.

What was the reality?
At first, I was lucky. I worked with a group of women who were extremely supportive, including my best friend, who was still pumping for her son, 7 months older than my daughter. We brought in a couch, and ate lunch one handed, pumping side by side, while chatting with our colleagues, who breastfed their children. This gave me confidence that I didn't realize I would need later. Everything was normal.

What I didn't count on was leaving that job and starting over at a new school. I knew that I would pump when I went back to work, but I never really thought about how long I would do it. My daughter was 9 months old when I started at my new school. Though still supportive, there was no couch and no camaraderie. I was isolated and lonely. At about 12 months, I was starting to hate it. I would pump in my car, but hooking up with the stupid hands-free bra in a car that had been sitting in the sun all day while trying not to expose myself to passers-by. What a sweaty, frustrating ordeal. But! I kept doing it until she was nearly 2, sometimes cursing about it, but I did it.

Who did you have to talk to to make it happen?
Empowered by the ease of my first experience with pumping at work, in my new school, I knew what I was entitled too, but most of all, I was open about talking to people about pumping and breastfeeding, especially  the”extended” relationship. I wrote a very professional, informed, and informative email that sent to the entire Administrative team at the high school where I teach. My principal thanked me for the information that I provided and we even chatted for awhile about the inequity of motherhood in the workplace and how we both hope to see it change in our lifetime. As a single guy, he had never thought about it. I developed a view of myself as an advocate and found ways to normalize and  remove the stigma of  breastfeeding and pumping at work for an extended time. The more I talked about it frankly with those around me, the less I got a reaction; which I think is awesome! That's normalizing, right? Now that I am pumping for my 2nd child, my co-workers don’t bat an eyelash when I say, “I'll be back in 20. Going to make lunch for my son.”

What kind of provision did your employer make; and was it easy, or did you have to push hard?
I took the lead on advocating for myself in the workplace. I took the attitude of, “If I walk in like I own the place, no one will question me.” When I wrote my email to my administrators and had follow up conversations, I made sure to be informed and provide links to state and federal information, guidelines, and statutes that supported me. I informed my administrators of what was legally expected of them and what I was entitled to. I also provided them with my pumping schedule, and the location that I planned to pump. It was more like, “this is what I’m doing, and this is why you have to let me.” It wasn’t that I expected backlash. I wanted to be clear and straightforward.
My department head was very accommodating in scheduling my prep period for a time that was best for me to space out my pumping. I believe that all of this seemed “easy” because I was well informed and took the role of educating and informing my workplace, advocating for myself, and for other mothers in the future. I didn’t expect them to know what to do, and I didn’t expect anyone to change they way they went about their day to accommodate my needs. My commitment to my child would come first if there were any issues, but there were not.

What kind of support did your partner provide that was helpful?
My partner is extremely supportive, but didn’t quite get why I feel dejected when he would tell me “just pump” when I was trying to schedule my life around feeding my baby. We talked about it, and I explained rather than getting frustrated and shutting down. I would describe how frustrating it was to try to hook up to my pump in the car, in the heat, with a hands-free bra, and a nursing cover, or how I couldn’t do “x” because it was too close to feeding time, or wouldn’t allow me time to feed... and then I ran across an ad for the Freemie on Facebook! He bought me a set. I loved it. Then I complained that I had to wash them every day, and he bought me a second set, so I didn’t have to wash them every day. Best. Husband. Ever.

How much time should a mom plan for each pumping session? Any tips for better/easier letdown?
I usually pump for about 15 minutes. If I reflect on how I got to that, I started by pumping until I wasn’t ejecting any more milk. That would usually take about 20-25 minutes, which was about the length of my commute to work. I discovered that I was pumping more than the baby was eating, I would end up engorged on the weekends. I cut down to 15 minutes and now I end up about even with what baby consumes while I am gone.
To trigger letdown, at first I would just talk about my baby with my colleagues. Especially pumping side-by-side with another momma, let down was not difficult to achieve. Now, I start to let down a few minutes before I start pumping. When I changed schools, it was a little more difficult. I didn’t have that camaraderie any more. On more stressful days, it would take a little longer to trigger letdown. On these days, I sit quietly, turn off distractions, and breathe. Looking at pictures hasn’t worked for me in the past, but closing my eyes and visualizing nursing my baby has helped.

How long did you make the pumping commitment work - how did that match your expectations?
When we decided to breastfeed my husband and I talked about it. I wanted to do at least a year, but thought about continuing the more I learned about extended breastfeeding. Hubby was super supportive of extended breastfeeding, so I made the commitment to nurse as long as my daughter wanted to. I ended up weaning her when I became pregnant. She and I made it 22 months. I am now on month 12 of nursing and pumping for my son. I know that I probably sound like an ad for Freemie, but with Freemie, I don’t see myself stopping until he’s not nursing during the day anymore.

What words of advice would you give to someone who is ready to go back to work and wants to pump for their baby?
Be informed. Inform others. Have a plan. Have a backup plan. Keep perspective. This is for your baby, everybody else can take a number. You are legally protected. Get comfortable saying things like “expressing milk” and “breastfeeding” to complete strangers. They don’t understand euphemisms. I’ve pumped in many places that weren’t schools and I’ve never been told that they couldn’t help me. I hope it was because I was confident and informed. If I were being completely truthful, I smiled inside when I saw someone squirm. I thought to myself, “I’m making them change. This is good.” This is your right and my right to provide for our children. The more we make people uncomfortable, the more comfortable they become and the more “normal” feeding babies breastmilk will be for future generations.

As for the bottle, ask friends to borrow different types of bottles before you spend a fortune. Both of our kids like the Dr. Browns bottles, but that isn’t what we had a full set of. . .
I took twelve weeks off with both of my kids. With my daughter (first born) we tried a bottle with her the week before I went back. This was not soon enough because she wouldn’t take a bottle and I went to my first day back thinking, “my baby isn’t going to eat.” She did, and everything was fine, but I was stressed, which made it harder to pump and made it harder for me to do my job. I think even two weeks out would have been good. 

Don’t be the one to give baby the bottle. Have a partner, friend, or family member do it so the baby will actually try. I had to leave the house to get my daughter to even attempt a bottle. From our experience, don’t wait until they are starving. Giving a crying baby a bottle for the first time didn’t work out for us.

Bottom line? Be confident. Be informed. Inform others. Find your path. Ask for help. Be an advocate.


Thank you to Courtney for sharing her breastfeeding journey today <3 I hope it has touched you and inspired you in some way, and that you will take heart and courage in your own breastfeeding journey.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Phoenix La Leche League: Live, Latch, Love
As part of the LLL area conference
August 26th, 5-7 PM
Embassy Suites Biltmore
 
La Leche League Conference
August 26-28, 2016
Embassy Suites Biltmore

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of Birthing From Within or The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of Birthing From Within, The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Breastfeeding Your Newborn

Posted on August 25, 2016 at 9:57 AM Comments comments (0)

Wardrobe provided by Modern Mommy Boutique

Breastfeeding is biologically designed to keep us wired to our newborns so that they stay warm, safe, and alive.

All those glossy, shiny pictures that show ethereal mothers and sleeping babies - they are nice. Realistic? Not so much.

The immediate postpartum period is hazy. We are coming out of the birth journey through labor land, our hormones are adjusting to being not pregnant, we are minus the placenta that has been a hormone factory since it formed in utero to support the pregnancy; oh, and we have a tiny little human to look at in wonder and keep alive every day.  Add in all the leaking from our eyes, our breasts, and our vagina...and the possibility that everyone wants to come over and see the baby so now you have the pressure of cleaning a house and being presentable yourself...it's a chaos and adjustment period like no other.

Like today's quote says, breastfeeding meets all of our newborn's needs: safety, security, and nourishment.  I have said this before and I will say it again...the only thing you *have* to do in the immediate postpartum is rest and get to know your baby.  Dim the lights, stay in bed, do lots of skin-to-skin with your newborn; get up only to use the restroom or shower.

Let everyone else take care of you: all meals in bed, and limit visitors to the ones that are comfortable seeing you naked and/or breastfeeding (and that you are comfortable if they see you naked and/or breastfeeding!). The only thing you need to do in the days after your baby is born is recover from the birth journey and feed your baby. I ask my students to at least consider a minimum "lying-in" period of 3-7 days. 

It is important for everyone to get sunshine. Along with lying in, we also did about 30-60 minutes outside during indirect sunlight hours to go for a walk and get some fresh air while keeping baby skin-to-skin.

Once you have gotten lots of sleep to recover from the birth journey and have breastfeeding established, start adding more to your routine. If you have older children, it is definitely okay to ask for help with them so at the very minimum mom and the new baby can bond and get organized with living, breathing, and breastfeeding together. This is a great time for the partner to step up and do bonding time with the older siblings so that they feel attended to and seen even though there is a new person in the house.  

You can also switch roles! We would have a nap time when Bruss would do skin-to-skin with the new baby while I stayed out of the bedroom. I would use that time to connect with the older sweet peas in the house. Maybe we would go outside together, read a book, play games, do a craft; something to let them know that they were still seen and loved by me although I had the new sweet pea to nourish, too.

In this age of information, it is easy to read too much and get overwhelmed with all the do's and don'ts that are available on the internet and on-line forums, including this post you are reading right now!!  My best advice: read your baby.  The baby books are general information.  YOU KNOW YOUR BABY BEST. Never, ever doubt your mother's intuition.

You know what your baby needs, your baby knows what (s)he needs, just do that. You cannot spoil a baby by holding them too much.  You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby, even if it was just 20 minutes since the last time they ate: you are giving them a LIVE fluid that is easily digested and used efficiently by the body...yes, they might *really* be hungry again.

The last idea I want to leave you with is the two magic words: FOR NOW.  This phase you and your baby (and the family) are going through is FOR NOW. It is not forever, it is not for a lifetime...it is FOR NOW. The baby is eating around the clock FOR NOW. The baby is not sleeping FOR NOW. You are feeding around the clock FOR NOW. You are cluster feeding FOR NOW. You are leaking everywhere FOR NOW.

The phases will pass and you will be onto the next FOR NOW before you realize it. By the time your sweet pea is 6 months old, you will have a good handle on this keeping them safe and alive thing that is also called parenting.  Ask for help when you need it from the people who will do what needs to be done without passing judgement on your choices for your family. Seek out and become involved in support groups (they are available online and IRL) that align with your parenting philosophy and breastfeeding goals.

Best wishes as you make your way in the world with your sweet pea - you've got this.  You are the parent that your baby needs.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Phoenix La Leche League: Live, Latch, Love
As part of the LLL area conference
August 26th, 5-7 PM
Embassy Suites Biltmore
 
La Leche League Conference
August 26-28, 2016
Embassy Suites Biltmore

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of Birthing From Within or The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of Birthing From Within, The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


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