Helping new families with breastfeeding day after day, you begin to notice some of the same questions popping up. With years of experience under their belts, our team of lactation consultants have answered numerous questions for both new and experienced parents. This week we wanted to give some answers to some of the most common questions that we’ve seen. From mastitis to pumping, we’ve got you covered!
Should I stop breastfeeding if I develop mastitis?
Mastitis can be a very common occurrence and it can be painful. Breastfeeding is a way to help clear the infection. Mastitis occurs when the milk ducts are not properly drained. Continuing the breastfeed helps to draw the infection out and take care of the issue. As BabyCenter states, parents should consult a professional if they think they have mastitis. The professionals in either of our two locations can give the help you need to take care of this infection.
Can I pass illnesses on through breastmilk to my baby?
Many parents come to our offices worried about passing illness to their children through breastmilk. While there is a list of serious illnesses that should make you pause before breastfeeding, we are lucky in that our bodies produce antibodies to help cure infections. Those antibodies get transmitted into our breastmilk upon production. This makes it possible to breastfeed when sick with common illnesses like colds and flus, without passing anything along to the little ones.
When is the right time to start pumping?
This is one of the most common questions we get in the office. While breastfeeding versus pumping is a very personal decision for each parent, there is a general consensus that beginning to pump as early as three weeks so that baby can get used to breastmilk from the bottle as well as the all natural way! Consult your lactation consult for more information and for help making the ever-important pumping decisions.
Have more questions that weren’t answered here? We now have two offices servicing the greater Metropolitan area, and our consultants are all expertly trained and ready to help you!
Parenting isn’t Easy!
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from working with parents all across the Metropolitan area, it’s that everyone struggles with parenting in different ways. Breastfeeding doesn’t come easy to everyone, and we are all in this together! From celebrity stories to people walking into the office and meeting with our team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, we know that there are families who struggle with breastfeeding every single day!
A Tool to Make it Easier!
For new parents especially, there is one tool that we have found to really make a difference, and that is keeping a breastfeeding log! Call me crazy, but we are TIRED after having a little one, and creating a log means having less to keep in the memory bank in your brain. Having a breastfeeding log for yourself ensures that you can keep track of baby’s feeding and bathroom schedule. You can also be sure that baby is gaining weight when expected.
Keep Up With It!
According to one of our go-to sites, KellyMom, a log can be useful not only at the beginning but also if any issues should arise later on. It can also give families a really great idea of what baby’s schedule is looking like. Medela offers a printable log for parents to use, or you can download the MyMedela app for more information and help with creating a log!
Do you use a breastfeeding log? What was most helpful to you? Let us know on our Facebook page!
Parenting- It’s Written in the Stars!
To no one’s surprise, many new and expecting parents can be bombarded by information pertaining to breastfeeding (not to mention every other aspect of raising a newborn). Navigating through it all could drive anyone insane. Even people with access to a lot of resources – like celebrities! – have their share of trouble when it comes to balancing it all. Thankfully, breastfeeding is becoming normalized within celebrity circles! They are sharing their stories with us to raise awareness that being a breastfeeding parent can be challenging for anyone. The Rock, Jessica Alba, and Anne Hathaway all share their breastfeeding experiences with the media or on social media. So, we’ve decided to find a commonality that is relatable to all breastfeeding parents.
We’ve read through many celebrity stories (don’t judge!) and found a special commonality these stars have with the average breastfeeding parent. There’s a significance of building a trusting support system.
Family is a great place to start when creating your team of supporters. Your team can be of significant others, parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, and yes, even the in-laws! Parent stars, like The Rock, post their support of the breastfeeding mothers in their lives. This highlights how important it is to have family in your corner. It’s only fitting that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson embodies being the ‘rock’ for Lauren Hashian (his partner) to lean on. The Rock shared a picture of helping to feed Lauren while she’s breastfeeding on Instagram. The Rock shows that he knows the importance of keeping mom fed so she can keep the baby fed! We can see that there’s no butler, or ‘personal feeder’ or anything else crazy helping Lauren to eat. It’s good-ole-fashion family bonding and it’s adorable to see! Allowing supportive family to help with things like cooking and cleaning can lift a huge weight from your shoulders.
Friends and Co-workers
Making sure you have helpful and understanding friends and co-workers during your breastfeeding journey can also be extremely beneficial. There will be times where you feel uncomfortable and having people there to reaffirm that you are doing an awesome job (because you are!) is very special thing to have. For example, Anne Hathaway was on the set of ‘Oceans 8’ when she realized that she forgot to pump before shooting. We’ve heard all the Hollywood stories of unfair treatment of actresses, but this is not one of those stories! Hathaway was surrounded by her female co-stars and friends as they encouraged her to go and pump. She had people in her corner that understood she was uncomfortable and made sure she could have a break to pump, feel better and get back to what she loves doing. It can’t be promised that all your friends and co-workers that you spent time with before you were pregnant will automatically jump on the parenting train with you, but those that do stick around to help are the ones worth putting in your support group.
Your support team also doesn’t have to solely rely on personal relationships either! There are plenty of caring professionals, like the amazing consultants of Metropolitan Breastfeeding, that can give you the professional and emotional support you need during any difficult times. Let’s take Jessica Alba as another example. Alba decided to hire a professional nanny to help ease the burden of parenting as well as give support with breastfeeding. Even though she hired a nanny to help, she trusts that her nanny has her and her family’s best interest at heart and that’s all that matter! And who knows- they may become a part of the family!
Bottom line is that whether it’s from family, friends, and/or professionals, you should build a dependable and trusting support system that can help you whenever you may need!
The rain is over (hopefully!), summer is finally coming, and the greater DC area is about to get real steamy! For those that are pregnant right now, we know it can be extremely uncomfortable. So, we wanted to give our readers a few fun ways to beat the heat this season!
Pro Tip #1: Sweet Summer Sips
Treat yourself to a mocktail at Happy Hour, or blend up a fun smoothie at home using fresh local ingredients and you’ll be feeling more cheerful in no time! Luckily for us, there’s more than a few farmers markets in the area to choose from, so finding in-season fruits and veggies is a breeze! Throw some cucumber, mint, and lemon into a cold glass of seltzer and you’ve got yourself a fun mocktail that can masquerade as the real deal, and with so many great restaurants around you’ll surely be able to find a bartender that can whip you up something delicious – you deserve it!
Pro Tip #2: Take a Dip
One of the best ways that we’ve found to stay cool while pregnant is to submerge yourself. Whether you have a community pool nearby, or make the drive to the coast, getting yourself into some water will cool you off and take some pressure off of your aching joints! Bonus points if you can find a community pool that offers water aerobics so you can work those muscles at the same time!
Pro Tip #3: Get Outta Town
Summer is a great time to take the opportunity for a babymoon! Is there somewhere you’ve been wanting to go? Pull the trigger and do it! Chances are, once that baby comes you won’t have too much travel in your future, so now is your time! With new places and faces in front of you, the discomforts of being pregnant may not seem so bad anymore. AND this gives you a chance to do some shopping – we all know the ladies love to shop, and there are so many good options for maternity wear these days!
There you have it – three surefire ways to beat that DC heat this summer!