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We're Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week!

by Stephanie Rodriguez August 08, 2017

It’s World Breastfeeding Week!

...and we’re a few days late to celebrate. But don’t worry - the delay is worth the wait. ;) This puppy is chock-full of the best breastfeeding info for new mommies.

As a mom to three little ones, I can tell you I have seen most - if not all - of the pros and cons of breastfeeding (woohoo, it worked… ahhh it hurts! Come snuggle, baby… stop biting!... you get the picture).

We all SEE pictures of women doing it, doing it seemingly well, and enjoying it. Some of these I’ll share here, ha, and many times you can look like this, too. But sometimes the realities (like my life experiences!) are different. Resources and support are crucial.

Bottom line:

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week 2017, I want to give you ALL. THE. GOOD. INFO.

Let’s skim over the benefits of breastfeeding (henceforth known as BF,) as per this WebMD article:

  • Breastmilk is manna for baby - all of the best vitamins, proteins and fats
  • Baby gets your antibodies, helping fend off those uber-contagious viruses and bacteria
  • Mommy burns extra calories and has a nice release of oxytocin, which helps your post-delivery uterus shrink back to size
  • Mommy/baby bonding is so beneficial (to both parties)

We know that though, right? Doctors, friends, family, unlicensed strangers - they all have something to say or gently “remind” us about in regards to our babies. Still, science does support that mommy milk is a pretty great way to start your baby’s life on earth.

I asked Carol Rodriguez Carroll, a Perinatal Educator and Lactation Consultant at Memorial Hermann Hospital - Katy, for some advice for new moms. You can trust her, y’all, she has a whole alphabet after her name!

Carroll, BA, BSN, RNC-MNN, IBCLC (see? told you...), got into this field after working as a Labor & Delivery nurse but most enjoyed helping women to care for their baby and themselves, including starting BF, after delivery. 

She says she loves watching the families bond, but she also enjoys “the biological aspect of how and why a woman’s body produces milk, why breastmilk is unique to a newborn’s needs, and how mother’s body and milk supply responds to different situations - both positive and negative.” 

I asked her: “what is the #1 BF concern/question with first-time moms?” Without a doubt, she says, it’s “how do I know my baby is getting enough?” (yep, I ASKED THAT EXACTLY.)

Advice for handling that concern? “Trust that your body knows what to do and that you know what the baby needs.” 

She also is sympathetic that it is sometimes easier said than done. There are ways to seek support and to track other things to reassure you that baby is getting enough, like “quantity and quality of feedings, wet/dirty diaper counts, daily weights of baby, lab results, and assessments of feedings.” 

And the best part - you can still do most of this from home, too.

BUT...What if it sucks? (pardon the pun!)

If you’re still not sure about BF, it’s ok! Carroll, even with her background and experience says her pet peeve is "healthcare professionals or institutions that overstep the line between being supportive of BF and being pushy or overbearing in the process.”

Many perceived challenges can be overcome with the right support - but truly, FED is best.

So what are other resources outside of the hospital room?

  • Lactation Consultants (yes, they meet with you later!)
  • Your and your child’s doctor (OB/pediatrician)
  • Local La Leche League: 800-LA-LECHE
  • Texas Lactation Support Hotline (check your state): 855-550-6667
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Facebook/online support groups
  • Friends and family
  • Youtube videos (again use check your source) for tips
  • National Breastfeeding Hotline: 800-994-9662

Some final tips and encouragement from Carroll:

  • Breastfeed early, breastfeed often.
  • BF takes time to nail down so cut yourself some slack.
  • Skin to skin time with baby has amazing benefits!
  • NEVER hesitate to ask for assistance and support.
  • Make sure the source of your advice is legitimate and the information is evidence-based.
  • TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

No matter where you are on your BF journey, we salute you!

P.S. I got this email the other day and was like YES - I FORGOT THIS - most insurance companies do offer a breast pump covered at 100%. That’s how I got mine! Of course, this email was from one of my favorite baby registry sites… Babylist. Check out this article they shared, and register with them too, while you’re at it! SUPER HELPFUL. Happy ordering!

Cheers!

Stephanie

 

 

Photos sourced from: here, here, here and here





Stephanie Rodriguez
Stephanie Rodriguez

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