Thank you to all our incredible service members in the community! We are thrilled to announce that we are now in-network with TriCare health insurance. Members of TriCare can look through the website to see what services are covered. As in-network providers that means you can book appointments with Metropolitan Breastfeeding and be seen in-home or in-office using your insurance plan!
Did you deliver at Walter Reed? Our Bethesda office is right around the corner! Not close to Bethesda? Our consultants can come see you all over the Maryland, Virginia and DC area.
Service members also receive a military rate on breastpump rentals. Make sure when you call our office you mention that you are a service member.
As always, we will work with all of our families regardless of insurance status. Please call the office at 301-943-9293 to discuss your needs.
image courtesy https://www.pumpspotting.com/blog/breastfeeding-in-uniform
Photo credit: Vanessa A. Simmons, CLEC – normalizebreastfeeding.org/about
So, here’s the deal. You just had a baby! After nine long months of preparing for this very moment, you find yourself swept into a whirlwind of excitement, fear, exhaustion, and joy. No matter how many parenting books you read or hours you spent typing questions into the Google search bar, you may still feel an overwhelming sense of, “What do I do now?”
The postpartum stage of pregnancy is often neglected in the intense journey towards your due date, but it is one of the most physically and emotionally challenging periods for a new parent. Much of your focus will be dedicated to your brand new baby as you become acquainted and try to decipher every cry. It’s easy to forget that you just completed a nine-month marathon where your body, mind, and soul were stretched to their absolute limits. Take a moment, breathe, and congratulate yourself! In order to be the best parent you can be, you must first take care of yourself.
Here are 7 essential tips to help new parents power through the postpartum period:
- Get more sleep. Many new parents struggle to get any semblance of rest as they shoulder new responsibilities and cope with their baby’s erratic sleep schedule. It’s best to sleep when your baby sleeps, but getting your baby acquainted with day and night needs to be a priority. Small things like leaving the curtains open during daytime naps and keeping the nursery dark and quiet during nighttime dozes can encourage a regular circadian rhythm. And a rested baby is a rested mother.
- Keep taking your prenatal vitamins. Although it might seem logical to stop taking prenatal vitamins when you are no longer pregnant, these crucial doses of nutrition may be important for both breastfeeding and your body’s recovery. Make sure you are eating regularly, and talk to your OB/GYN about continuing your supplement regime.
- Be patient with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a completely new experience for both you and your baby, so try not to panic if you encounter a few obstacles. In general, make sure you are staying hydrated, keeping calm, and caring for your breasts. If you are having difficulty or need answers to your questions, ask for help – there are lactation consultants for a reason!
- Make a funny file. How long has it been since you laughed out loud? With all of the emotions and exhaustion weighing you down, you truly need a dose of laughter to keep yourself afloat. Start making a folder of silly memes, YouTube videos of animals making weird sounds, or clips from your favorite stand-up comedian. We promise that these will come in handy later!
- Join a group. If you are struggling to get out of the house in the weeks or months following delivery, you may begin to feel alone. The stress of parenthood can be isolating in itself, as you may find it difficult to keep up with your old social circle. Find other parnets in your area through MeetUp, Mothers Offering Mothers Support (MOMS), or Mocha Moms. Connecting with others who are experiencing the same crazy life changes as you may help you make the journey a little less scary.
- Treat yourself. Find 20 minutes each day to dedicate totally to yourself. Make a cup of green tea and read a book. Light some scented candles and take a bubble bath. Pop on a pair of headphones and listen to your favorite podcast. A little bit of self-care will go a long way!
- Ask for help. Throughout all the craziness, it’s crucial to remember that you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with watching your new baby, cleaning around the house, buying groceries, or folding the laundry. Every Superparent needs a couple sidekicks to get through the day.
Tis the season of holiday gatherings and events, and we know how stressful the season can be for parents with a newborn. This season is full of love and family togetherness, but it can come at a price for newborns. With the weather getting colder and families spending most of the days inside, colds and flu are a cause for concern for many parents of newborns. Because of this, it’s important for new parents to set boundaries with family and friends during holiday get-togethers. A general rule we believe is important is the ‘No touching’ rule. It seems simple enough, but we all know that there will be at least one person that wants to believe they are the exception to the rule.
The grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., will want to cuddle and kiss on their new addition to the family, and you might be a little more hesitant to tell them ‘no.’ We get it – they’re family! But the little bundle of joy you brought into the world needs you to be the one to protect them from possible exposure to the cold and flu. If you are having trouble thinking of how to lay down the law, here are some helpful tips:
- Be Upfront and Confident – Don’t beat around the bush! Tell anyone that will be around your baby what you expect from them. They should respect your rules, as it’s for your baby!
- Be Calm – If someone is challenging/questioning your rules, try and stay calm and don’t give in. People get frustrated when they can’t kiss a cute baby, but that frustration will pass (and if it doesn’t, then it is not on you to compromise).
- Be Patient – There might be times where you might want to bend your rules but be patient and hold onto them. For example, you may have a little niece or nephew that wants to cuddle with your newborn, and as cute as that maybe you should be cautious of who is exposed to your newborn. Your baby will be grateful that you were!
Sick and Breastfeeding
If you or your breastfed baby do become sick, the best thing you could do is continue breastfeeding. The amazing thing about breastmilk is that its composition will change to help baby’s needs. For example, your body will know if you or your baby is sick and will increase the antibodies produced in the breastmilk. So, if the breastfeeding parent stopped breastfeeding they will not only hurt their supply, but they’ll also prevent the baby from obtaining those needed antibodies.
The holidays can be a tad stressful, but don’t let that stop you or your family from enjoying it! Set your ground rules, be sure everyone fully understands, and go have a little fun. If you have any holiday stories about your baby, we’d love to hear about it on our Facebook!
To all the partners and supporters of a nursing parent: thank you! Thank you for looking into how you can help your partner in their breastfeeding journey. It is a lot of hard work to breastfeed, but having a strong support system can help to build a solid foundation for the entire family. The fact that you took the time to read this – and probably other resources – proves that you are already doing an amazing job as a supporting team player. Did you know that the number one predictor of breastfeeding success is partner support?
Let’s start with some basics. It’s important that you begin to try and understand the process your breastfeeding partner is going through. To begin, it isn’t easy – it’s natural, but not easy. Even for those with an adequate milk supply, feeding a child or multiple children from one’s body can be taxing. It can be even harder for those with supply, latching, and/or painful feeding problems. Luckily, there are resources available for your family (like us here at Metropolitan Breastfeeding!). Be sure to be by your breastfeeding partner’s side and absorb all the knowledge you can!
How to Help
Next, lets discuss more specific ways that you can help your partner in their journey:
- Know and fully understand their breastfeeding goals and why they chose those goals.
- Accompany them on their lactation informational visits.
- Assist with chores that they normally do. If they cook dinners, then take over that responsibility for them.
- Give them the gift of a doula or nanny to help when others are not able.
- Surprise them! Who doesn’t love a date night? Or some beautiful flowers?
- Get them all of their pumping and lactation supplies. The last thing on their mind will be running around to find out how to get a hospital-grade pump or insurance pump. Stop by Metropolitan Breastfeeding and we’ll set you up with everything you need to get started!
Signs to Look for
Your partner will probably only have their baby’s needs in mind and this could affect them in negative ways if they lose track of their own needs. Be sure to remind them when they aren’t eating with dinner already made or let them know they needs their rest by letting them sleep while you go settle the crying baby. Some things to look out for:
- Insomnia – Serious lack of sleep could be dangerous for both the nursing parent and baby, as it’s difficult to properly complete tasks.
- Overwhelmed/Panicked/Overly Anxious – This one is a bit trickier to point out. New parents are normally on high alert and on edge, but if you notice that your breastfeeding partner is overwhelmed to the point of shutting down, it is important that you reach out for professional help and advice.
- Over-sleeping/Lack of motivation- You guys are going to be tired and deserve every second of rest you can get. That being said, look out for if your partner not wanting to leave the bed and has a lack of motivation to get things done.
When mentioning any concerns, please be mindful of your partners stress and sensitivity levels. Do not place any blame onto them and be sure to vocalize that your concerns are based from love and supporting their goals. Ask a medical professional the best ways to help if you are still feeling uneasy or unsure on how to bring it up. There are plenty of family-based resources online and in person that are available. If you need assistance getting started, reach out to us for help!
Primary Practitioner, Ob-Gyn, IBCLC, or 24/7 Care?
When it comes to lactation problems, some parents aren’t sure who to see to help alleviate their concerns. Should you schedule with their primary practitioner, Ob-Gyn, IBCLC, or go to a 24/7 medical care center? Everyone is different, but there are some general things you can keep in mind to decided where to turn to when faced with a problem.
When to see a Family Practitioner/ Pediatrician
Your family practitioner/pediatrician will probably have the closest relationship to your family. They are normally the first you will go to with concerns of your baby’s health. If you have general questions or concerns, such as with baby’s weight gain and physical wellness assessment, you will probably go to them first.
When to see an Ob-Gyn
Your Ob-Gyn specializes in reproductive health. If you have any questions or concerns in that area, go to them. For example, if you are wondering about any birth control or fertility options, your Ob-Gyn should be able to give you a specialized plan based on your past medical reproductive history.
When to see an IBCLC
If you have lactation problems you should schedule to see an IBCLC. This can include latching issues, pain while feeding or pumping, and/or supply issues, Your IBCLC will be specialized in the lactation field, and normally general practitioners and Ob-Gyns will refer their patients will lactation issues to an IBCLC. Some general practitioners and Ob-Gyns may also be accredited IBCLCs, so be sure to ask.
When to go to 24/7 care
The medical professionals mentioned above normally operate during normal business hours and through appointment only. If you are having problems outside of regular business hours, cannot get an appointment, or are having an emergency, please go directly to urgent care or the ER (depending on the situation). After your visit with either urgent care or the ER, be sure to schedule a follow up appointment with either your primary practitioner, Ob-Gyn, and/or IBCLC for future care.
The milestones of growing up can be exciting for the whole family! The first time babies smile at us, grab onto us, crawl to us, and so much more! Growing up can be fun – but it can also be challenging and painful! We all have to deal with the physical aches and pains that come with growing. One of the pains every child and parent has to endure is teething. On average, many babies begin teething between four and six months old. If you are a breastfeeding parent, you probably realized that if your goal is to breastfeed for at least six months you’ll have to prepare for breastfeeding a teething baby. We know imagining a teething baby going in to feed can seem a bit intimidating, but no need to fear! We’ve got you covered on ways to work around the fuss of teething and we’re going to go over a crash course on breastfeeding a teething baby.
Signs of Teething and Effects on Breastfeeding
There is a chance that your baby may seem fussy and irritable days or even weeks before the first tooth shows up. Even though the teething process lasts for about 24 months, the pain is much less intense after the first few teeth come in (thank goodness!)
Some general signs of teething include: gnawing on toys and/or fingers, swollen gums, increase in drool, fussiness, and changes in sleeping and eating. Some signs you may notice if your breastfed baby is teething are: change in latch, breastfeeding parent’s nipples becoming sore from baby ‘gumming’ while feeding, biting while feeding, frequent feeding and baby refusal to nurse.
Ways of Dealing with Teething
First and foremost, if you notice your child wanting to breastfeed more often, that may be their best way for them to cope with the pain of teething. Children that are breastfed are likely to feed more frequently when they aren’t feeling well, as breastfeeding helps to reduce their stress. However, if breastfeeding does not help soothe them, or you are looking for ways to help with gnawing or biting, do not worry as there are plenty of other methods you can use to help.
Try 30 Minutes Before Feeding – Give your child something to gnaw on. Normally when children are teething, the first thing many parents look into are safe-to-chew toys for their child. One amazing brand, Nibbly Bits, has a whole line of teething jewelry and toys that are safe for babies to chew on! It is recommended that the toy not be completely frozen, as it could be too cold and hurt the baby’s gums. One great alternative to chewable toys can be a cold wash cloth – just be sure to supervise when your child is gnawing on anything for pain relief. Also, if the gums are not swollen you can massage your child’s gums with a finger dipped in cold water.
If you are still having problems, discuss with your doctor about using a baby pain reliever.
Dealing with sore nipples
If you are experiencing nipple pain due to a change in latch, your child gumming on your nipples while feeding, or damage from biting, and natural or over-the-counter remedies aren’t working, please visit with your lactation consultant and/or primary physician to go over possible options.
Ah, one of the many challenges of parenting. But don’t worry, you’ve got this! Before you know it, your child will be losing their first tooth and hiding it under their pillow for the tooth fairy. It may seem a bit stressful but one day we hope you’ll look back to the days of teething and realize how awesome you were for overcoming every obstacle!