Supporting Breastfeeding

La Leche League Canada

Breastfeeding Can Reduce Breast Cancer

Mothers who breastfeed are at significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer, hypertension and suffering heart attacks than women who do not, according to researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“Anyone wearing a pink ribbon to fight breast cancer, or a red dress to fight heart disease, should take note of these findings”, said co-author Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, M.D., M.S., associate professor of medicine, epidemiology, and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services at Pitt’s School Of Medicine.

“While breastfeeding is widely recognized as important to infant health, more people need to understand that breastfeeding appears to have substantial long-term effects on women’s health as well,” Dr. Schwarz explained.

The study findings indicate that if 90 percent of mothers were able to breastfeed as recommended (for 12 months after each birth), U.S. women might be spared nearly 5,000 cases of breast cancer.

 

http://www.lllc.ca/tuesday-tip-womens-heart-health-and-breastfeeding

 

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If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support. Your donation is essential and very much appreciated to help LLLC cover the cost of producing breastfeeding resources: https://www.lllc.ca/donate or become a LLLC Friend http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Canada

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World Breastfeeding Week Canada 2016

In Canada, World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from October 1st to 7th. This year the theme chosen by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development.  

We hope you will participate in events in your community. La Leche League Canada is celebrating – for more information visit http://www.lllc.ca/World_Breastfeeding_Week:
⦁ enter our Photo Contest
⦁ share your story with us for possible future publication
⦁ purchase our beautiful La Leche League Canada 2017 calendar!  It’s easy to order and have it delivered right to you. Discounts available for bulk orders.
⦁ become a LLLC Friend
⦁ make a donation in support of breastfeeding

Celebrate and support breastfeeding families during World Breastfeeding Week Canada 2016!

WBWAnnualWalk

 

ABOUT WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK

WBW 2016 theme is Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development
“By recognizing that breastfeeding is a key to sustainable development, we will value our wellbeing from the start of life, respect each other and care for the world we share.”
This theme celebrates the start of the Sustainable Development Goals and takes up the challenge to frame infant and young child feeding strategies within sustainable development. It will enable the breastfeeding movement (and beyond) to connect with a variety of development issues over the next 15 years.
World Breastfeeding Week covers the main link areas between breastfeeding and the Sustainable Development Goals along 5 broad themes (1) nutrition/food security, 2) health, well-being and survival, 3) environment and climate change, 4) work productivity, empowerment, social protection,and 5) sustainable partnerships and rule of law.

The objectives of WBW 2016 are:

Inform:  To inform people about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF).

Firmly anchor: To firmly anchor breastfeeding as a key component of sustainable development

Galvanize: To galvanize a variety of actions at all levels on breastfeeding and IYCF in the new era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Engage: To engage and collaborate with a wider range of actors around promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding.

wbw2016-logoSMWorld Breastfeeding Week is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide based on the Innocenti Declarations, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future and the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. WABA’s core partners include La Leche League International (LLLI), as well as the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA),and Wellstart International. WABA is in consultative status with UNICEF and an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

1LeaderMother

 

 

HAPPY WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK CANADA!
http://www.lllc.ca/World_Breastfeeding_Week

 
If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support. Your donation is essential and very much appreciated to help LLLC cover the cost of producing breastfeeding resources: https://www.lllc.ca/donate or become a LLLC Friend http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends

 

 

 

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Breastfeeding Success after Cesarean Section

Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.

This statement from La Leche League philosophy encompasses all births, whether medicated or unmedicated, vaginal or cesarean section. Due to the surgical procedure, mothers who have a cesarean birth may face challenges unlike those who have a vaginal birth.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition) states on page 57:
The effects of medications and IV fluids, and the difficulty in finding comfortable positions for breastfeeding when your abdomen is tender from surgery, can make breastfeeding more difficult. And it’s challenging to recover from major surgery and look after a new baby at the same time. This doesn’t mean that you can’t breastfeed after a C-section—many, many women do…

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Here are a few tips for getting breastfeeding off to a good start after having a cesarean birth:

Breastfeed as soon as possible after delivery. Because of the nature of Cesarean delivery, it may not be possible to breastfeed immediately following delivery, but as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, try to nurse. Nursing soon after delivery stimulates the release of hormones, which will help your body first produce colostrum followed by your breast milk. Whether a mother went through labor or had a cesarean birth, her milk supply may take longer to come in and vary if she received medications or other circumstances at the time of delivery. Your milk will come in anywhere from two to six days (usually two to three days) after delivery, and colostrum will provide exactly what your baby needs until then.

Take advantage of an extended hospital stay. Room in with your baby if possible so that you can bond and offer the breast as frequently as every two hours. Concentrate on nursing and bonding with your new baby. Encourage your partner to snuggle and bond with the baby when visiting. This gives you time to rest.

Try different breastfeeding positions to avoid discomfort at the incision site. If holding your baby across your belly is uncomfortable, try the football hold, where baby is tucked under your arm on the feeding side. Another position to try is side-lying. With the baby parallel to your body, lie on your side with pillows to support your back and incision.

Stay well rested. Eat nutritious, protein-rich meals and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. When you were pregnant, you likely heard, “If I can do anything for you, just let me know,” from friends, family, and neighbors. Take them up on their offers. Allow people to bring over food, walk the dog, do the laundry, or help clean the house.

Ask for help. Don’t assume that just because the act of breastfeeding is a natural function of your body that it comes naturally. If you are having an issue, reach out to a La Leche League Leader, lactation consultant, or your health care provider. They may be able to answer questions and provide insights to help you overcome many breastfeeding struggles.

Gather the things you will need while feeding your baby in one place or put them all in a basket that you can carry with you. Having your supplies together will minimize the number of times you have to get up and allow you to focus on nursing. Have a water bottle, some reading material (or the television remote), your phone or tablet, baby wipes, snacks, and burp cloths handy at your nursing station.

Try to relax. Establishing your breastfeeding relationship while learning how to be a mother and recover from surgery may be stressful for you. Take a few minutes here and there for a hot shower (or a bath once your doctor gives the go-ahead), go for a walk, or have someone rub your back and shoulders. Snuggle time and skin-to-skin time with your baby can relax you.

Rule out other issues. If you are having problems getting started, don’t be too quick to associate them with the surgery. Contact a La Leche League Leader, lactation consultant, or your health care provider to discuss concerns that may be related to latch, inverted nipples, or other issues.

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For more information about getting breastfeeding off to a good start and breastfeeding after a cesarean birth, please click on the following links:

How to Get Your Milk Supply Off to a Good Start  www.llli.org/nb/nbjulaug05p142.html

Is it possible to breastfeed after a cesarean birth?  www.llli.org/faq/cesarean.html

Establishing Your Milk Supply http://www.lllc.ca/Information-sheets

Can I breastfeed after having a Cesarean (C-section) birth? http://www.lllc.ca/faq-page

Breastfeeding After a Cesarean Birth https://supportingbreastfeeding.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/breastfeeding-after-a-cesarean-birth/

 

By Kendra Atkins-Boyce
Used with permission from New Beginnings
http://www.lllusa.org/set-yourself-up-for-breastfeeding-success-after-cesarean-section/

 

If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!

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Large Families

When I was pregnant with my fifth child, I borrowed a book from the library about managing large families. I was very disappointed to discover that the book was talking about coping with two children. I thought: surely our definition of large families hasn’t been so much reduced! If two is large then one must be small, and there isn’t much scope for anything else! What’s three? Super-sized?

 
I don’t want to minimize how hard it is to have two children, but having more than the normal 2.4 kids takes different management. The more children, the more highly-organised you have to be. So ways of managing large families may seem overly-regimented to those with smaller families.

 
Probably the hardest number of children to adjust to is one. That first child throws your whole life into disarray as he or she forcibly brings about what you will be considering the “new normal” for the next 18 years. Or 25. Or whatever.

 
For us, a second child was not so difficult to add. He just seemed to fit into our template of couple and small children. Number three was a different kettle of fish, we think, because suddenly there were not enough adults to go around. I vividly remember the day when I was changing the baby’s nappy (diaper – Ed.) on the floor near where the two toddlers were drinking soup at the table. The baby started screaming because of the nappy. Suddenly our four-year-old noticed that her little brother had a rubber band around his wrist and reached over to prevent his hand dropping off (she was a dramatic child), knocking over her hot soup in the process. Four-year-old starts screaming. Two-year-old joins in either because he thought his hand was going to drop off or because he was going to lose his rubber band. In the space of a few minutes a pleasant, organised little family had turned into complete chaos and THEY ALL NEEDED ME AT ONCE.

1 large family2

 

 
By this stage we had to learn some new tricks fast, so by the time we got to four it was a doddle. There were still enough adult hands for one per child. By the time five came along there were some older kids to share the load. And with number six, I practically had to fight to get time with him. Just as well I was breastfeeding.

 
I decided at one stage to formulate some rules of parenting that I was absolutely sure of. I only had one rule for the first few years – always take the baby’s bootees off when changing a nappy. I’m still sure of that one. When I had two toddlers I added another – buy the same flavour ice-cream for both kids. That one has kind of gone out the window now that they all know about the other flavours. Later on, we decided to make a rule that you can’t come to the dinner table naked, but it doesn’t seem so relevant now that we don’t have toddlers. So I still only have one sure-fire rule. But I do have some ideas that worked for us.

 
Perhaps my most important realization was that when things are turning to custard, I am the one who has the power to change things. Not the kids, me. I’m the one with the life experience, the big picture, and the power. I can decide to do things differently. We don’t have to go to the library just because it is library day. We can have sandwiches for dinner. We don’t have to do just one more errand today. I can write this article tomorrow. We don’t have to get out all the paints. I can have this conversation later (I know this will date me terribly, but with the advent of cordless phones, there was a seismic shift in communication with small kids around. All of a sudden you could have just one phone call, not a series of 30 second calls interrupted by “I’ll call you back, little one has just sat on the cat/pulled the stuffing out of the chair/fallen down the steps…”) .

1 large family

 
In a large family, the kids learn early about taking turns, and it is a great argument-saver (and reward system) for the parents too. The kids can take turns sitting in the front seat, going to get the groceries with Dad, saying grace, having the blue cup, and so on. Some families assign each child a day of the week when they get to have all these treats at once! When we had four children we even had routines for who stood where around the pram. There were two handholds so the walking children had their own. Baby in the pram, toddler in the seat, everyone latched on and off we went. We had “the way we do things”, from crossing roads to sitting down for dinner, to climbing trees and choosing videos.
Of course each child is different, and there has to be a balance between routine and flexibility. To me, the organisation and the routines are the structure on which you can hang the variations which each child requires. The children are treated differently according to their ages, capabilities, personalities, and needs; and the family routine changes to reflect this. The guidance each child requires is different. Some of my children were very motivated to change their behaviour by being told off once, but some needed to do everything at least twice, even for very serious things such as shutting yourself into a wardrobe with your little sister and lighting matches. Some of them loved star charts and lists of things to do; one would only be motivated by money. Some would consider having to talk to a stranger a cruel and unusual punishment, others would consider it a treat. We try to have “dates” with each child individually so that they get one-on-one time with each parent. Tandem feeding was also a way of meeting the needs of each new big brother or sister to not quite give up being the baby, and help them to accept the new little one who was feeding on “the other side”. I have lovely memories of the toddler holding the baby’s hand as they both fed.

 
Have a bag for every activity. Swimming, soccer, music lessons, LLL meetings, errands, general going-out bag with nappies, change of clothes, toys, snacks. That way you can just grab it and go. Once the togs or soccer socks are washed, they can just go back in the bag. If you are really organised you restock it after each trip. If you are not really organised at least the things which are only used for that activity have a place to go and you won’t be hunting for the swimming goggles or the dreaded Cub woggle all over the house every week. You put your stuff in them too – the bills to pay and the parcel to post in your errands bag, the library book to return in your LLL bag. I have a friend who uses flexible plastic tubs in the back of the car for the same thing.
Teaming the children up works best in particularly large families, or perhaps in families with a big age range, so that older children can be paired with younger ones for routines such as the morning rush. We used it on adventures such as long train trips, when we would buddy up the children to look after each other in the stations. We also used it for household chores, pairing a child who already knew how to clean the bathroom with an apprentice.

 

children at play

 
Keeping everything in a diary has made such a difference. BD (Before Diary) I was always forgetting appointments, library books, birthdays … Now it is a family emergency if my diary goes missing. I write in all the routine events as well as the appointments and extras that come up, when bills are due; birthdays, as well as ideas for presents and when I have to have bought and posted them; the date for that class I am taking in two weeks, as well as the time I need to set aside to plan for it; everything.

 
In the back of my diary are everyone’s bank account numbers, IRD numbers, cell phone numbers, all the things that I don’t want to search through a filing cabinet for. I look in my diary many times every day, and think of it as my extra brain that remembers mundane details while I am busy remembering the name of Thomas the Tank Engine’s sidekick. The other day when we were facing a day of two fundraising events, two soccer games, an opening ceremony, a birthday party, and running a teenagers’ skating trip, my teenaged son got out the blackboard and we all made a chart of exactly who had to be where, when, and with what. It worked beautifully!

 
Our family started off as a small family (there’s no other way, unless you begin with quads), and its dynamics and routines have changed with it. There was the “growth” stage, where we were adding more children, and life was filled with small child activities and preoccupations. Everywhere I went I had to take all the children with me, like a row of little ducklings. There was a huge change when the eldest reached an age where she could be left at home, and then when she could babysit others. Suddenly we could all do different things at the same time, which required a whole new set of management tricks. Then we transitioned into a six-child family of teenagers and children, with different dynamics, and the baby spending lots of time at the soccer field and being passed around groups of teenagers. And now, after years of babies and preschoolers, we are at the stage of having children leaving home, and only one child under 10. Life has a very different focus.

 
I usually think of my six-child family as a medium-sized family, and admire mothers who manage their eight or ten. I am often surprised when people think six is a lot. It has become my norm, so I think of it as a norm for everyone else too. Until I read a book which considers two children to be a big family.

 

by Carolyn Driver-Burgess,
Used with Permission from La Leche League New Zealand, Aroha http://www.lalecheleague.org.nz/Websites/laleche/images/PDF_Downloads/Aroha_articles/Aroha_vol_15_iss_4_Large_Families.pdf

 
If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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World Breastfeeding Week 2016 – Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development

This Special Edition of Supporting Breastfeeding blog celebrates World Breastfeeding Week August 1 – 7, 2016. La Leche League International is a core partner.

The 2016 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme “Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development” is about raising awareness of the links between breastfeeding and the Sustainable Development Goals. By recognizing that breastfeeding is a key to sustainable development, we will value our well-being from the start of life, respect each other, and care for the world we share.

In September 2015, the world’s leaders committed to 17 goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity. Together, they form the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs are a blueprint for global commitment and action towards equitable development and aims to first raise awareness of its links to breastfeeding and second, to foster partnerships for long-term development. The WBW theme, “Breastfeeding: a key to Sustainable Development” commemorates the start of the Sustainable Development Goals. This year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) takes up the challenge to frame infant and young child feeding strategies within sustainable development. It will enable the breastfeeding movement (and beyond) to connect with a variety of development issues over the next 15 years (by 2030) for maximum impact.

World Breastfeeding Week covers the main link areas between breastfeeding and the SDGs along 5 broad themes (1) nutrition/food security, 2) health, well-being and survival, 3) environment and climate change, 4) work productivity, empowerment, social protection,and 5) sustainable partnerships and rule of law.

The objectives of WBW 2016 are:
Inform:  To inform people about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF).
Firmly anchor: To firmly anchor breastfeeding as a key component of sustainable development
Galvanize: To galvanize a variety of actions at all levels on breastfeeding and IYCF in the new era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Engage: To engage and collaborate with a wider range of actors around promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding.

 

wbw2016-logoSM
The logo depicts a ‘triad’ of two adults and an infant, which reinforces the importance of support. The proportions and forms between the two adults, have been equalized to symbolize equality, equity and the collaborative act of nurturing. The new WBW design shows an affinity with the Sustainable Development Goals campaign, but places the infant and carers at the centre.

 

 

 

Dr. Amal Omer-Salim, WABA’s Co-Executive Director said, “Celebrations should mark on-going efforts to learn from achievements and overcome challenges. The annual WBW celebration should be more than a week-long effort. By focusing on a broader context, longer time frame and practical yet ambitious goals, we can create sustainable and engaging campaigns. Let us campaign for a generation!

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) has been celebrated since 1992 and is the biggest social mobilisation platform for breastfeeding. Participation has grown steadily and WBW is now celebrated in over 170 countries by more than 1.5 million individuals, with a reach of up to 30 million through mainstream and social media.

 

La Leche League Canada celebrates World Breastfeeding Week!
http://www.lllc.ca/world-breastfeeding-week-2016
http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/  #WBW2016

 

https://supportingbreastfeeding.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/breastfeeding-and-a-sustainable-world/

 

 

If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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Breastfeeding Beyond Toddlerhood: Why Support Matters

From my experience supporting breastfeeding mothers, many do not set out to breastfeed beyond toddlerhood. While these mothers know they are doing what they feel is right for their families, each of them struggled at points with personal expectations, outside pressure to wean, and doubt about whether to set limits with their child.
But each one also has reached out for support when it was needed. Breastfeeding support is critical, no matter where a mother is on her parenting journey—even, or perhaps especially, when breastfeeding beyond toddlerhood.
My first baby was an early preemie and never did latch on, so I exclusively pumped for about six months until I, regrettably, became overwhelmed and stopped pumping. I was shocked at the cost of artificial infant milk and dismayed when she developed an allergy to cow’s milk.
Seven months later, I had my second baby. I was determined to breastfeed and I did. But I struggled with low supply until I finally lost my milk supply when she was nine months old. I was shocked again, this time by how much I missed breastfeeding.

1. toddler2

 
Four years later when I had my third child, I was determined to breastfeed for a full year and to avoid struggling with low milk supply. Early on, I had problems with poor latch, sore nipples, mastitis, thrush, and an abscess. After a few months, I felt I had the easier breastfeeding relationship I had been looking for since my oldest was born.
I set a goal of one year. When his first birthday arrived, he was still breastfeeding at least six times a day and a couple times at night. So I decided to set 18 months as a new goal as he was clearly not ready to wean. At 18 months, I set a new goal of two years. And at two years, I made a firm decision in favor of child-led weaning.
But a few months later, I was surprised by my feeling of being touched-out and tied-down. I felt ready to wean, but at the same time, I was very sad at the thought. It was quite evident that my son was not ready to wean. I never thought that I would be struggling with these feelings.
And then I reviewed the book To Three and Beyond: Stories of Breastfed Children and the Mothers Who Love Them by Janell Robisch.
A former La Leche League Leader, Robisch put together breastfeeding stories from mothers who have engaged in child-led weaning and breastfeeding beyond three years. Robisch breastfed her three children until the ages of five, four and one-half, and three and one-half years.
The support I received from these stories helped me work through my conflicting emotions about breastfeeding. I continued to breastfeed my son for another year and some months: he weaned completely on his own terms. I was happy with how it all went. Not a tear was shed by either one of us!

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I find support, especially local and in-person from other mothers who’ve “been there, done that” to be empowering for every breastfeeding mother. So does Robisch, who had this to say about supporting mothers who are breastfeeding beyond the age of three:
Remember why you have made the choice to continue breastfeeding.
You are not alone, not by far. I feel comfortable saying that, at this moment, there are thousands—if not more—mothers nursing beyond infancy and even toddlerhood.
One of the most important things to do is to find support. It means the world, even if it is only online or from one friend or family member in your life.
While no two mothers’ experiences are the same, one of the main threads running through their stories is of individual mothers carefully considering their children and their families and making decisions about breastfeeding and parenting based on the family’s needs as a whole and the children’s needs in particular. There is compassion and respect here for children’s needs, even when they contrast with what society presents as the ‘right’ way to do things, and there is balance as well.
I just want to give a shout out to all the brave mamas out there who fly in the face of tradition, not to rebel but to parent in the best way they know how, those who are brave enough to question parenting practices that ignore the needs and developmental stages of children and do what feels right for their children and families.

by Rita Brhel, Hastings
Used with permission from New Beginnings http://www.lllusa.org/breastfeeding-beyond-toddlerhood-why-support-matters/

 
If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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Creating Your Nursing Nest

In the early days of breastfeeding, you are going to spend a lot of time sitting and nursing. It is helpful to create yourself a nursing nest spot (or two) so that everything you might want is within arm’s reach once you get baby latched on. Here are some tips from other mothers of the things they think found important to have at hand:

1) Something to drink: Keep a full unspillable water bottle or cup by your nursing nest. It is amazing how thirsty you can feel when your milk lets down. If you forget to put a drink close by, you will feel like you are in the desert watching for a waterhole and never getting there. The kitchen tap will seem like a mirage and you will be sure the nursing session will never end!

2) Something to eat: You are producing 500- 700 calories of milk a day for your baby; feeling hungry is justifiable. You may be sitting in your nursing nest for a while so be prepared with healthy snacks. Nuts, granola bars and fruit can all sit at room temperature which means they are ready to eat when you need them. Some mothers make a sandwich or cut up cheese to keep in a container in the fridge. This gives them a snack that can be grabbed with one hand on the way to the nursing nest.

1 Nursing NestWM

 

3) Something to entertain your mind:  Mothers figure out how to breastfeed while reading books, working on their computers or using a smart phone. Television can be a distraction option and older children are guaranteed to keep your mind occupied. Gazing in awe at the most beautiful baby in the world is one of the best parts of breastfeeding so don’t forget to put aside the gadgets for a while. Whatever stage your nursing child is at won’t last long and this time together in your nursing nest will quickly become a memory.

4) A towel, receiving blanket or burp cloth: in the early days you may be leaking and baby may be overflowing at both ends. Having something at hand that is intended for mopping up soggy spots will come in handy.

5) A really good breastfeeding resource book:  You are sitting in your nursing nest and breastfeeding; as the milk flows the questions start to flow through your mind. You could poke around the internet for answers but how do you evaluate the quality and applicability of the advice and information you will find there?  The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding  is a book you can read from front to back or you can dip in and find information about almost anything to do with breastfeeding. Having it at hand is like having a breastfeeding buddy in the room with you.

6) Your La Leche League Leader’s phone number or e-mail address: If you have your smart phone in your hand and you have a question now is a good time to contact LLL.  A conversation with a Leader is better than searching the internet for answers to your questions because she can help you figure out what information is relevant to your specific situation and what is not. If you have the number at hand you won’t need to search for it on the day you decide you really want it. There are no foolish questions and Leaders don’t mind if you are crying when you call.

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Because breastfeeding isn’t always easy, we’re here to help.

 

http://www.lllc.ca/thursdays-tipcreating-your-nursing-nest

 

If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!

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Good Days & Bad Days and the Emergency Family Dinner

A few weeks ago my 20 year old daughter was going through my recipe file cards and came across the “recipe” below.

“Emergency Family Dinner:
Take 1 messy house; throw in 3 cranky children and a strained mother. Allow to simmer for a few hours until boiling. With a frazzled father, put in a car for a short time and decant at (fill in the name of your local fast food place here). Fill and allow to cool off.”
Like every family we had our share of days when nothing went quite right and everyone was irritating everyone else simply by existing. My daughter and I had an interesting talk that afternoon about the things we did as a family to change the atmosphere when we were having “one of those days”.

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I remember putting on loud music and getting everyone to dance until we were sweaty and laughing again. I remember instituting mid-afternoon bath time with soap crayons for the kids and letting them stay in the tub until their fingers were like raisins while I sat beside the tub and nursed the littlest one or read a magazine. In the summer, when they were little, a couple of buckets of water and some big paint brushes kept everyone busy, and separated, as they repainted the whole backyard and any part of the house they could reach. We also had a few indoor snowball fights with rolled up socks!
A La Leche Canada Leader in Edmonton shared a couple of ideas her family uses on “those days”. She told me “we have a “do-over”:  if it is a brutal day, we all put our heads down and then “wake-up” again saying “good-morning” and start our day over. Her family also has “I love you” fights where they all yell that they love each other until they are all laughing again.

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The recipe card is in my hand writing but there is no date or other clues on it to say what was going on that day. I know if was from some time before my daughter was born because she is the number four child. Our chat revealed that she doesn’t remember the specifics of any of “those days” and neither do I.
When you are in the middle of one, it can seem like it will be burned in your memory forever. Thankfully it seems that if you can find a way to turn the tide and get everyone moving, laughing and fed, those bad days don’t hang around in yours or your children’s memory banks.

http://www.lllc.ca/thoughts-parenting

 

If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!

 

 

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Toxic Chemicals in Breastmilk

There is no reason to discourage breastfeeding.

The internet is buzzing with articles about toxic chemicals in breastmilk following the release of research [1] done by the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health which looked at the levels of perfluorinated alkylate substances (PFAS) in breastmilk.
Perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS) make up a large group of chemicals which have been used in industrial and consumer products since the 1950s. The substances are mainly used in firefighting foams, protective coatings in food wrappers and containers, stain resistant textiles, floor wax, polish and in the electronic industries. These substances have a high likelihood of ending up in waste dumps, sewage water and the general environment.

The chemicals of the PFAS group are virtually indestructible and were until recently thought to be completely biologically inert and not available for uptake in living organisms. It now appears that they bond with proteins and fats in food sources. Since the late 1990s, increasing numbers scientific studies have brought PFAS chemicals in the focus of international environmental concern. PFAS are shown to be globally distributed and some of them are bioaccumulative which has implications for human exposure.

 

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The Harvard research, which was done in the Faroe Islands in conjunction with the Norwegian Government, showed that PFASs are transferred through breastmilk and that blood samples levels increased the longer that babies were breastfed. After the babies were weaned their accumulated PFAS levels decreased. Babies who were exclusively breastfeed had higher levels than partially breastfeed babies. This information is important not as a reason to discourage breastfeeding but because it is a look at PFAS exposure and accumulation levels in both women and children in that community. The tested babies only showed levels of PFASs in their blood samples because their mothers had built up an accumulation of PFASs over their lifetimes which they could pass on.

Presumably every other adult in that community has similar levels of accumulated PFASs.
Choosing to formula feed doesn’t necessarily protect an infant from exposure to these chemicals for two reasons. Firstly the baby has already been exposed in utero. Studies have shown that PFASs cross the placental barrier and high maternal levels can be linked to miscarriages. Secondly, community water supplies can carry high levels of PFASs. Drinking water prepared by treatment which does not include GAC filtration or reverse osmosis will generally contain higher PFAS levels. The potential for exposure to PFASs in formula fed babies through water supply applies both to the water used in the manufacturing of the formula and the water used to prepare it at home.
Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard Chan School and spokesperson for the research team said “There is no reason to discourage breastfeeding, but we are concerned that these pollutants are transferred to the next generation at a very vulnerable age. Unfortunately, the current U.S. legislation does not require any testing of chemical substances like PFASs for their transfer to babies and any related adverse effects.”

 
More information about PFASs can be found at the following links:

 
Community Drinking Water [2]

Immunization response and PFAS exposure [3]

European Commission Community Research and Development information Service (CORDIS) Final Report summary – PERROOD (Perfluorinated organics in our diet) [4]

 

Do you have questions or concerns about breastfeeding or are you searching for a supportive community of other breastfeeding mothers? Check out a LLLC group near you.

 

1 http://www.ehjournal.net/content/14/1/47
2 http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2015/08/your-drinking-water-safe
3 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4488050/
4 http://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/55843_en.html

 

 

http://www.lllc.ca/thursdays-tip-toxic-chemicals-breastmilk

 

If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!

 

 

 

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Breastfeeding and First Nations Families

Breastfeeding is the natural way of feeding babies for humans of every ethnic and cultural background. Canada’s First Nations peoples traditionally breastfed their babies. The period of breastfeeding usually lasted until the mother became pregnant with another child or the child was able to fill all of his nutritional needs by eating adult foods. Three to five years would have been the norm for breastfeeding duration. With the dramatic changes that have been experienced by Aboriginal peoples over the past 200 years – from living situations to the increased availability of non-traditional foods (including formula) and the cultural shifts away from the traditions of the past – breastfeeding went from being the norm to being less common. As families became disconnected from each other and their heritage, the wisdom and breastfeeding knowledge of the older women (the Grandmothers and Aunties) was often not available or discarded in favour of the lure of the modern and manufactured life style seen in the non-aboriginal communities and in the media.

The 2009-2010 Canadian Community Health Survey [1] looked at women across Canada who had given birth in the last 5 years and gathered information on birth and breastfeeding practices. The survey found that significantly fewer off-reserve Aboriginal mothers initiated breastfeeding (77.8%) than did non-Aboriginal mothers (88.0%) and significantly fewer off-reserve Aboriginal mothers breastfed their last child exclusively for six months (or more) (16.6%) than did non-Aboriginal mothers (26.7%). This survey did not include data for women who lived on reserves or in other Aboriginal settlements. Interestingly a comparison of breastfeeding initiation and duration rates of the First Nations communities in British Columbia using 2006 data found in the document STRONG WOMEN, STRONG NATIONS:  Aboriginal Maternal Health in British Columbia [2] showed higher rates than the Canadian average at that time.

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The Canadian Community Health Survey included Inuit women living in the 10 largest communities in Nunavut but not those living in more remote communities. Their information was included in with the other off-reserve Aboriginal mothers. A 2006 Indigenous Childrens’ Heath Report [3] showed a rate of breastfeeding initiation for all Inuit children of 66% compared to the Canadian average at that time of 80%.

The good news is, like many cultural and ethnic groups, Aboriginal communities are working to reclaim their traditional breastfeeding knowledge and heritage. In 2013, the Kanesatake Health Center in Quebec became the first aboriginal health center in North America to receive an official BABY FRIENDLY Health Center designation. From 1995 to 2001, Jane Banks, CHN for the Kanesatake Health Center, developed and implemented a breastfeeding promotion program that saw breastfeeding initiation rates increase from 32% to 75 percent. This program called Ka’nisténhsera Teiakotihsnie`s [4] (KT), “she who helps the clan mother” applied principles of cultural competency and capacity building, utilizing the strengths within the people. Building on this foundation, ten years later, the health center began working toward Baby Friendly accreditation. This involved the adoption of a Baby Friendly policy; the training of staff and a dynamic group of breastfeeding peer support women; inter-generational gatherings; and establishing partnerships at many levels. The community has seen the breastfeeding initiation and duration rates increase substantially. Karen MacInnes, Maternal Child Health Nurse, reported, “At the time of our accreditation, not only did 90 percent of our mothers initiate breast feeding but 90 percent of those mothers breastfed six months and beyond!”

As part of the circle of support for breastfeeding families in Canada, La Leche League Leaders provide breastfeeding information and support to all Canadian parents. The resources of La Leche League are available, without cost to the participants, in-person in many communities and by phone or e-mail to those in remote communities. To find support check LLLC’s “Get Help” webpage [5].

While the bodily processes of breastfeeding are more or less the same for everyone, the questions and concerns of Aboriginal breastfeeding mothers may differ depending on their life situations and support systems. Some people are more comfortable receiving information when the language and cultural references are familiar and when the people in the photos seem familiar. The Ontario Best Start Resource Centre has created a breastfeeding resource for Aboriginal women called “Breastfeeding for the Health and Future of Our Nation [6]”. This booklet follows the medicine wheel and uses it to share key information and skills for breastfeeding. An Aboriginal mother from Yellowknife created a video sharing her own journey to gather information about breastfeeding during her first pregnancy. It can be seen HERE [7].

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As Canada celebrates National Aboriginal Day on June 21st, La Leche League Canada joins with Aboriginal families in celebrating the traditional way of feeding our babies.

 

http://www.lllc.ca/thursday-tip-breastfeeding-and-first-nations-families-canada

 

More Resources:
Breastfeeding for the Health and Future of Our Nation, Available in PDF in English, Cree and Ojibway. http://en.beststart.org/for_parents/are-you-looking-aboriginal-parenting-resources
The Creator’s Gift to Mothers, Shibogama First Nations Council https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkaxLGI5WBw

 
If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader. In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking http://www.lllc.ca/find-group or Internationally http://www.llli.org/.

If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at http://www.lllc.ca/join-lllc-friends so we can continue to help others breastfeed. Thank you!
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LLLC Spring Appeal Campaign for the support of breastfed babies: Help LLLC Grow – If you, or someone you know, has benefited from the support of LLLC, a donation is one way you can “pay it forward”.
Donate Today!
Over 385,000 babies are born in Canada each year and we want to ensure every mother has access to La Leche League Canada support whenever she needs it. We are working hard to grow and we need your support. Every donation helps us provide more support to more families!
Thanks to past donations, we have been working hard to grow our services:
Our volunteer Leaders are the cornerstone of LLLC and the support we provide. We have increased our Leaders by 10% in the past year and Leader Applicants by 40% over the past 2 years!
More than 13,000 mothers attend LLLC meetings and another 20,000 receive one-to-one phone support from Leaders.
We have doubled our community and health professional outreach in just one year!
5 new Information Sheets in various languages were made available free of charge to mothers and health professionals
A new Communication Skills program was developed to strengthen health professional and breastfeeding peer support skills and our Best for Babies pre-natal program continues to grow.
Our Leaders are a vital part of LLLC’s breastfeeding foundation. They freely devote their time to help other parents give their children the optimal start in life. You, the donor, make up the other part of the foundation on which the LLLC breastfeeding services rest. Your gifts mean that our Leaders can carry out the valuable help families need. Frankly, we would be unable to deliver services to families without you or our Leaders so please take a moment to consider how valuable your support is and make a donation, either online or by using our pledge form. If a one-time donation is not suitable for you, perhaps spreading your gift over a year would make sense. Our pledge form has the monthly donation option for your convenience.
We are proud of our growth – but we want to do so much more! We need your support to help us serve even more mothers. Please donate today so we can grow to serve the mothers and babies of tomorrow.
Thank you for taking the time to consider supporting La Leche League Canada and our continued efforts to support all breastfeeding families who need us.

 
Links:
[1] http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getSurvey&Id=81424

[2]
https://centredoc.cssspnql.com/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=941

[3]
https://www.itk.ca/publication/early-inuit-child-health-canada-report-2-breastfeeding-among-inuit-canada

[4] http://kanesatakehealthcenter.ca/sites/default/files/january%20february%20Karihwiios%202013web.pdf

[5] http://www.lllc.ca/get-help

[6] http://www.beststart.org/resources/breastfeeding/BFHFN_sept26.pdf

[7]
http://www.isuma.tv/collective9/our-tradition-my-choice-one-expectant-mothers-journey-about-breastfeeding

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