Supporting Breastfeeding

La Leche League Canada

Traveling With a Breastfed Baby

Around this time last year, my husband and I were packing innumerable bags and loading the car for our first trip away from home as a family of three.  I toiled over the “to-pack” list and tried to supervise my husband as he stowed our luggage away, while our tiny baby nursed and slept at my breast.

Nursing pillow?  Check.  Nursing cover?  Check.  Breast pump?  Check. Pump parts, bottles, and milk storage bags?  Check, check, check.  Our baggage grew exponentially.

We planned for the four-hour drive to take five hours. Naturally, it took six.  Our baby was three months old, exclusively breastfed, and co-sleeping with us.  As we drove, she became increasingly less tolerant of being anywhere other than at my breast and in my arms, so we stopped often.

Once we arrived at our destination and again throughout our stay, I found myself frequently locked away in a bedroom, pumping breast milk.  At the time, it seemed like the least awkward of all of my baby’s feeding options.  After all, my baby girl’s grandmother wanted desperately to feed the baby a bottle and her grandfather was supportive but still uncomfortable with breastfeeding.  So, I hid and I pumped and I turned what should have been an enjoyable family visit into a week of sequestration and dirty dishes.

What I didn’t know back then was that traveling with your breastfed baby doesn’t have to be so hard.  My breast pump is a fabulous tool that allowed me to work full-time while also providing breast milk for my daughter, but on the road it became yet another complicated baby accessory.  If I really thought about my baby’s needs and my own needs, they were simple: feed the baby.  That didn’t change just because we were away from home.

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With hindsight being 20/20, here’s what I would change if I could take that first trip again:

I would leave the pump at home.  Maybe I’d pack a manual pump and one bottle just in case, but bringing my entire arsenal of pumping supplies – and washing them on the road – was a lot of work.  Nursing my baby is much, much simpler than pumping.  There is no time spent pumping, no storage, no toting bottles around, and no dishes to wash.  Nursing on the go is, dare I say, easy.

I would plan for more nursing breaks on the road.  It added undue stress to our trip when we had to stop unexpectedly because the baby was upset and needed to nurse.  We may need to stop more often when traveling with a baby, but we also should have planned for more nursing stops.  That would have helped relieve my anxiety that we were running behind and also would have given our baby the breaks she needed.

I would find other ways to let family share in caring for baby.  I know my daughter’s grandmother really, really wanted to give her a bottle, but instead she might be happy burping the baby after nursing and giving her a bath that evening.  There are so many ways family can bond with a new baby; it doesn’t have to be through a bottle.  And if I leave my pump at home, there really is no choice but to nurse her anyway (wink, wink).

I would put my baby’s need to nurse ahead of others’ comfort levels.  This is the hard one – for me – but I believe it’s also the most important.  Doing this might mean I choose to nurse my baby in a private room, but at least I’m not alone and hooked to a pump at the same time.  It might mean that I choose to nurse using a nursing cover, or it might mean that I choose not to be offended if someone leaves the room when I nurse uncovered. Ultimately, it means that I choose to put my baby’s needs first, even when we’re in someone else’s home.

Once we had that first trip under our belt, it became so much easier.  My confidence level rose knowing I could manage it all away from home.  I learned to lean on my nursing relationship with my baby instead of being inhibited by it, and suddenly things were so much simpler.  I was much less afraid to travel because it became less of an ordeal and more of an experience again.  And I am so happy I’ve been able to share those experiences with my nursing baby.

 

By Ashley Smith
Used with permission from LLL USA, New Beginnings http://www.lllusa.org/traveling-with-a-breastfed-baby/

 
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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It’s Kind of Magical

In December, I gave birth to our long awaited son, James David.  He is our second child but the first to be breastfed.  Having to go back to work soon after the birth of our first child, Amanda, I had no idea what I had decided to give up when I decided to bottle feed her. With the birth of J.D., I was glad that I had gone to LLL meetings to prepare myself for a pleasant nursing experience. Having read everything I could get my hands on before this second baby came, I am still amazed at how we as women, by breastfeeding alone, can sustain our helpless babies and help them grow into strong, well-nourished children.

One day a friend asked me to watch her two children—four and a half year old Ian and seven month old Lindsey.  We were all playing in the nursery when my son J.D. decided it was time to eat.  I stayed there in the nursery and fed him as usual.  All at once my friend’s son noticed what I was doing.

 

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“What’s that in his mouth?” Ian asked.

“I am feeding him,” I replied.

“No!  What’s that in his mouth?” he asked again.

At the second question, I suddenly realized that he probably had never seen a mother breastfeeding her child since both he and his sister had been adopted.  “That’s my breast in his mouth.  He sucks on it to get milk out of it just like Lindsey sucks on her bottle,” I explained.

Ian walked up closer to get a better look and with those questioning eyes asked, “But how does he know when the milk is all gone?”

Realizing he was confused at the fact that you can’t see through a breast like you can with a bottle, I only hoped I could answer his question to his satisfaction.

“Well, if he doesn’t drink all the milk sometimes he falls asleep or if it’s all gone he just lets go of it.  If he still wants more, then he will suck on the other breast.”

“You mean he just knows when to let go?”

“That’s right.”

“Gosh!” he said as he whirled around in a circle. “That’s kind of magical.”

Smiling, I looked down at my enthusiastic and plump son nursing his way to contentment and said, “Yes, it really is magical.”

 

by Fran Workman

Used with permission from LLL USA New Beginnings http://www.lllusa.org/looking-back-its-kind-of-magical/

Originally published in September/October 1983 issue of La Leche League News
Editor’s Note: The first issue of La Leche League News, the bimonthly publication for members, was published in 1958. The name changed to New Beginnings in 1985.

 

 

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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Dealing With Thoughtless Remarks

Even when you are feeling comfortable with your breastfeeding choices, other people’s thoughtless remarks can make you feel anxious or upset. Remember that the remark is a statement about the speaker’s feelings or experience and not about you.  When you are feeling challenged by other people’s feeling about your breastfeeding relationship, talking with a La Leche League Leader can help you frame your replies and renew your confidence.

The following is a collection of remarks that might be made and some examples of responses.

Remark:  “How long are you going to breastfeed that baby?
Responses:
* You’re wondering when he will wean? I’m curious about that too.
* That is up to him and how long he seems to need it.
* Partner’s name and I are not worried, we are in no hurry to stop.

 

Remark:  “Didn’t you just nurse him?
Responses:
* We love to cuddle.
* He evidently forgot!
* That is the nicest part; we’re not tied to a schedule.

 

Remark:  “Aren’t you awfully tied down?
Responses:
* I’m indispensable and I like it that way.
* I appreciate your concern but no I don’t feel tied down.
* A nursing baby is so portable it is really the opposite of being tied down.

 

Remark:  “If you weren’t nursing him I could help you more.
Responses:
* But you have been so much help already! If you hadn’t <fill in the blank> we couldn’t have made it this far.
* You’d probably like to spend more time with him. How about giving him a bath later?

 

1-thoughtless

 

Remark:  “Don’t be a martyr. You don’t have to breastfeed to be a good mother.”
Responses:
* You are right, there a lots of wonderful mothers who don’t breastfeed.
* Who’s a martyr? I really enjoy breastfeeding.

 

Remark:  “He’ll never let you go, you are making him overly dependent!
Responses:
* I understand that you see it that way but we each have our own way of doing things.
* Our closeness now will make him secure enough to be independent when he is older and ready for it

 

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. 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 With Diabetes

 

My first daughter, Katharine, was born four-and-a-half years ago. She literally kicked her way out of my womb, and my husband says when he saw her face for the first time, as she screamed at the top of her lungs, he felt a sense of fear: she was a force to be reckoned with. Katharine was demanding in every way, not the least of which was nursing. I was determined to nurse her exclusively for as long as possible. I have been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 15 years, and I knew that nursing her would reduce the risk of her getting diabetes but it was a challenge from the start.

Katharine wanted to be at my breast all the time. She rarely napped for more than half an hour. Like many needy babies I’ve learned about since then, she wanted to be held, comforted, and nursed most of the time. It seemed as if I never had enough milk for her. I remember one day when she was three weeks old, I had had her on my breast for five hours without more than a couple of 15 minute breaks all afternoon. At 5:30 PM, my husband, Lazaro, walked through the door and I burst into tears. I was exhausted, mentally, emotionally, and physically. We decided to give her a bottle of formula. After four ounces, she was finally contented and peaceful and she slept for the first time all day. I felt so inadequate as a mother. That day was truly a low point but, luckily, things became easier after that. I persevered, determined to nurse Katharine exclusively. Slowly but surely, my milk supply began to increase to the point where, at three months, she was satisfied and happy.

Katharine weaned at eight months, earlier than I wanted but I was happy that it was her decision. Today, Katharine is an incredibly bright, healthy four-year-old who speaks fluent Spanish and English and is a joy to behold. She is (and always will be, I’m sure) demanding, energetic, and often difficult.

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My baby, Elizabeth, is just the opposite. She was born just over a year ago and her laid-back disposition was evident at birth, just as Katharine’s fiery personality was. Elizabeth has always been easy but when she was four days old I feared she was too easy. She was simply sleeping too much and not as alert as she should be. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what. My LLL Leader, Faith, was the one who noticed Elizabeth’s jaundiced appearance. Faith told me not to worry but to be sure and wake her frequently for feedings. I was worried and called my pediatrician, who was my husband’s cousin and godmother. When I described the jaundice, she said immediately, “Stop the breast. She has breast milk-induced jaundice. Give her formula. If you insist on breastfeeding, give her lots of bottles of water.” I knew from reading baby-care books that that type of jaundice was extremely rare and didn’t appear until two weeks and my baby was only five days old. My mothering instinct told me that what my baby needed was more of my milk, not less. I had read that giving her bottles of water would make her jaundice worse by starving her of the calories she needed. I decided to take my baby out into the sunlight and breastfeed her as much as possible. To my husband’s family’s horror, I decided to find a new pediatrician, one who would support my commitment to breastfeed my baby exclusively.

Elizabeth improved and within a few days was healthy and gaining weight like crazy. She did not have a drop of formula from the day she was born until she was ten months old. Even though I went back to work part-time when she was six months old, I had built up a supply of frozen milk from the early weeks by pumping every morning.  Elizabeth began to wean last month (at thirteen months) and is incredibly healthy.  I am so grateful that I had Faith’s support and counsel and that I had the determination to do what I knew was best for my baby – to give her my milk.

 

By Lauren Priegues

Used with permission from LLL USA http://www.llli.org/nb/nbmayjun00p84.html

Readers should remember that research and medical information change over time.

 

NOVEMBER IS DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH

 

 

 

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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Reading Media Reports and Studies About Breastfeeding

Articles about breastfeeding books and breastfeeding research appear in the various forms of media on a regular basis. Sometimes they are reporting on the results of studies and sometimes they are opinion pieces. Whether the reports come from social media, blogs, print media, radio or television reporting, it is important as a reader to have a baseline against which to measure the validity of the reporting or opinion.

 
The most important thing to remember when reading any opinion article or research study is this:  human milk and feeding at the breast are the biologically normal way of feeding human babies and therefore this is the “control” group that all research or opinion about infant feeding must be measured against.

 
The question is never “is human milk and breastfeeding better than XYZ?” It is always “is XYZ better than human milk and feeding at the breast?” Research, and the discussion of the results of the research, should compare the potential for risk/harm/loss from alternate infant food sources and feeding methods against the norm (human milk and feeding at the breast).

olderbaby

 
If you want to look deeper into articles or research it is important to look at the terms and understand what the author means by them. “Exclusive breastfeeding” is one term that has been defined differently in many studies. The precise definition is: nothing other than human milk is given to the baby until the middle of the first year. However, some studies may allow a limited amount of non-human milk liquid in their “exclusive” group or they may use a different time range, which leads to confusion when comparing results and conclusions. To confound the issue further, some mothers may not be made aware that their baby was given a formula supplement in hospital or by a “helpful” family member so, when asked by a researcher, they would define themselves as exclusively breastfeeding. Research shows that once a baby has had any non-human milk feeding, even if it is only once, the gut flora changes. There is an excellent article by Marsha Walker IBCLC which summarizes what we know about supplementation of the breastfed baby.

 
It is also important to consider the scale of the study and make-up of the group of infants being discussed. Is the piece you are reading based on one person’s experience, a study of a small group of children over a short period of time or a very large group of children over a long period of time? Were the parents reporting on their breastfeeding experiences at the time they were breastfeeding or are they looking back and reporting on what they did many years before? All of these options are valid and serve a specific purpose but they need to be recognized and understood so you, as a reader, can consider the potential limitations in how their conclusions could be applied to the general population of infants or your own infant.

 
Realistically, we need to understand that not all research is done to the same standards. The better the quality of the research the greater the value we can draw from the conclusions. Sometimes we have the opportunity to look at individual studies and to consider their implications as stand-alone information. Other times researchers undertake something called a Meta-Analysis where they look at a large number of studies on a similar topic with a goal to finding the common conclusions that can be drawn by looking at a lot of data all together. When doing a meta-analysis, researchers may set aside some of the studies because they had a poor or limiting design. This does not necessarily mean the purpose of that specific study was not worthwhile nor that the conclusions would not be repeated in a larger or more rigorous study; it means only that right now this study is considered weak and not helpful to the general discussion. An example of a meta-analysis of current breastfeeding research can be found HERE.

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When you see media reports on studies about human milk, it is worth trying to look at the original study. You don’t need to be a statistician or university trained researcher to look at a study report and gain some understanding of it. Most studies and journal articles that are being reported on in the various forms of media are accessible online. Search for the author’s name(s) and “breastfeeding” or the study topic and you can usually find it quite easily. Some studies are available to the public in abstract form only, which means without paying for access to the whole article you can only see a summary of the purpose of the study, what group of individuals or specimens were included in the study and the conclusions made by the authors. When you are given online access to an entire article or study, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount and detail of the information included. You will find the information about the purpose and group to be studied at the beginning of the article and the conclusions drawn by the study’s authors at the end. It can also be interesting to look for the information about who the researchers are affiliated with and who paid for the study. This information is usually found at the very end of the report.

 
The fact that there is so much research happening about human milk and breastfeeding is wonderful. This tells us that the research community recognizes the value of human milk and wants to better understand what makes it the ideal food for human infants, what long term health outcomes it is giving to children, and how producing human milk and breastfeeding influences the health outcomes of their mothers. The researchers (for the most part) are looking to find even better evidence to understand the most important health reasons to breastfeed rather than suggesting that the human milk has little value.

 
Studies are generally about large populations and general conclusions, while opinion pieces tend to be about one person’s experience. La Leche League Leaders are happy to help you look at information you may see in any of the forms of media and evaluate it in the context of your own breastfeeding situation with your own baby.

 
http://www.lllc.ca/thursdays-tip-reading-media-reports-and-studies-about-breastfeeding

 

 

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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Should You Mix Human Milk With Formula?

The Canadian and American Pediatric Associations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and then the slow introduction of complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed for a year or longer. Exclusive breastfeeding means nothing but breastmilk: no water, no juice and no formula. Many mothers are happy to know that their breastmilk is all baby needs in the first six months but other mothers may consider supplementing with formula for a variety of reasons. Those mothers may have questions about whether it is okay to mix formula into their breastmilk.

Dad and Babe

 

Here are some science based answers to this question:

It’s best not to mix breastmilk and formula in the same bottle because the storage guidelines for the two substances are very different. If you mix your milk with formula, and the baby doesn’t finish the bottle, then some of your milk goes down the drain. Formula has to be discarded after the feeding (Alberta Health) [1] whereas human milk left in the bottle can be refrigerated for another feed (LLLI Safe Handling and Storage of your milk [2]).

Mixing formula into the breastmilk will affect some of the protective components of human milk. The following quotes are from the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), [3] in their 2005 publication “Best Practice for Expressing, Storing and Handling Human Milk in Hospitals, Homes and Child Care Settings”: “Feed human milk, with or without fortifiers, separate from formula to maximize the benefits of human milk. If the mother is not producing sufficient milk for each feeding, collect as many pumpings as necessary to make one exclusive human milk feeding and use formula at the other feedings.”  The rationale: Quan et al [4] found that when bovine milk based formula is mixed with human milk prior to feeding, there is a significant (41-74%) decrease in lysozyme activity. Additionally, there is significant increase in the growth of E coli, resulting from the decrease in anti-infective properties in the milk. “Adding human milk fortifier causes a 19% decrease in lysozyme but no corresponding effect on the anti-infective properties or increased growth of E coli.”

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It makes sense that human milk, which is alive, would not be in its ideal state by adding a dead substance, possibly containing agents that might bind up some of the live constituents in the human milk, making them hard to absorb by the baby, or maybe not available at all.

The aim for most mothers is to exclusively human milk feed their babies. Therefore, if formula is used because the mother has not enough milk, but might in the future, it is best to treat the formula like a medicine, used temporarily and separately, to ‘top up’ her milk until such time as she has enough of her own.

Mothers with adequate milk supplies who may choose to use formula for some feedings rather than expressed breastmilk, will also want to ensure that their babies get the full benefits of the breastmilk by using the formula separately rather than mixing it with breastmilk.

If you have questions about how to increase your milk supply or any other
breastfeeding questions please contact a LLL Leader.
http://www.lllc.ca/thursdays-tip-should-you-mix-human-milk-formula

 

Links:

1 https://myhealth.alberta.ca/health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=hw97537&

2 http://www.llli.org/faq/milkstorage.html

3 https://www.hmbana.org/

4 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8200164

 
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LLLC Spring Appeal Campaign [5] for the support of breastfed babies: Help LLLC Grow – If you, or someone you know, has benefitted 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.

5 http://www.lllc.ca/fundraising-campaign

 

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Breastfeeding Your Teething Baby

When a group of first time pregnant women talk about breastfeeding and the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Canadian and American Pediatric Societies’ recommendation for breastfeeding (exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and then breastfeeding continues along with complementary foods for as long as mother and baby choose) someone will inevitable ask “but what do you do when they get teeth?” Our logical side says it must be possible to breastfeeding a child with teeth because humans have been doing it for thousands of years but the thought of teeth near your tender nipple can be cringe worthy.

Babies’ primary (baby) teeth generally start to come through the gums around six months. Occasionally babies are born with a tooth or two already visible and occasionally the first tooth won’t appear until around the first birthday. The range of normal in the teething timeline is pretty wide. Babies may experience discomfort from the erupting teeth for a month or two before the tooth is visible above the gum line.

baby on grass

Some babies sail through teething without any fussing while others have more difficulty. Gum discomfort from the erupting teeth can make baby unsettled at the breast. As pressure can lessen the discomfort, baby may clap down or make chewing movements rather than sucking normally at the breast. Occasionally teething discomfort may cause a temporary nursing strike. If baby appears to want to chew to alleviate the discomfort, a damp frozen washcloth or a teething toy can be offered. For more information on dealing with a baby who is clamping down at the breast check out our post on Breastfeeding and Biting.

Medications for teething babies which state they will numb the gums, should be used with caution. The numbing agent works not only on the gums but also on the tongue and throat surfaces. That numbness will change how breastfeeding feels to baby and may make it difficult for her to know how to latch on properly.

When baby is latched effectively, mum’s nipple is far back in his mouth and his tongue is forward. Baby’s bottom teeth are covered by his tongue so the lower teeth don’t touch the breast during nursing. The top teeth do rest on the breast and may, at times, leave small indentations in the breast. The work of breastfeeding is done by the lower jaw and tongue so the top teeth are not moving on the breast. If baby is actively nursing he cannot bite.

NursingStrike2

Breastfeeding a baby who is teething and then has visible teeth is not only possible it is almost inevitable. If you have concerns about breastfeeding in the teething period or any other breastfeeding challenges please contact a La Leche League Leader. We offer information and support through meetings and via the phone and internet.

http://www.lllc.ca/thursdays-tip-breastfeeding-your-teething-baby

 

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!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LLLC Spring Appeal Campaign for the support of breastfed babies: Help LLLC Grow – If you, or someone you know, has benefitted 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.

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Waste Reduction Through Breastfeeding

1TreeMother

As a breastfeeding parent, you are already reducing the amount of resources used by your family and limiting the waste produced by your household. So how does breastfeeding save resources and limit waste production?

 

 

  • Breastfeeding is a sustainable, locally produced, renewable resource that is free and creates no waste. Breastfeeding uses none of our planet’s scarce natural resources or raw materials.

 

  • Breastfeeding is climate compatible; it is a low carbon and clean green solution because breastmilk is neither industrially manufactured nor ultra-processed

 

  • Breastfeeding is a zero waste feeding method. Nothing is wasted or becomes unwanted at any stage. If 50% of infants born in Canada (total births about 400,000 per year) are breastfed for six months, then 15 million fewer tin cans will be discarded.

 

  • Breastfeeding also has zero water footprint. Water footprint is the volume of fresh water used for the goods and services produced by any activity or used by an individual or a community. All that a baby needs for the first six months of his or her life is breastmilk. Not a single drop of water is needed for feeding purposes.

 

  • A bottle-fed baby needs about 1 litre of boiled water per day to prepare feedings and 2 litres to sterilize the bottles and nipples. Breastfeeding mothers “drink to thirst”, which may be more than their usual fluid intake, but it is unlikely to be 3 liters per day more than their pre-breastfeeding intake.

 

  • Bottle feeding requires feeding products, many of which are made from plastics. Waste is created during manufacturing process and when the item is disposed of.

 

  • Mothers who exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months and then continue breastfeeding often have delayed fertility, and experience delayed menstruation for an average of 14 months. This ensures that the mothers use fewer menstrual pads and tampons which end up in landfills or incinerators.

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More information on the environmental effects of breastfeeding vs formula feeding can be found in Formula for Disaster: weighing the impact of formula feeding vs breastfeeding on environment © BPNI/IBFAN Asia 2014.  Authors: Alison Linnecar, Arun Gupta, JP Dadhich and Nupur Bidla.

 

http://www.lllc.ca/thursdays-tip-waste-reduction-through-breastfeeding

 

Celebrate EARTH DAY April 22nd !

 

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 Diabetes Prevention

You know breastfeeding provides the nutrition your baby needs. You know that if he wasn’t breastfed he’d have more colds, viruses, infections. But do you know that by breastfeeding, you are helping to ward off diseases that could affect him for the rest of his life?

Let’s look at just one of these: Diabetes. As you probably know, there are two types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. Both are serious illnesses with possible life-threatening complications, and both are on the increase in North America. In Type 1 diabetes, the body stops producing insulin; in Type 2, insulin is still produced but the body’s cells resist letting that insulin transport sugars as it should.

What you might not know is that breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of developing both types of diabetes for the child, and of developing Type 2 diabetes for the mother as well.

 

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Here’s what the research says:

A 2008 study comparing children who developed Type 1 diabetes with children who did not, reported that “up to one half of the diabetes cases could be attributed to modifiable factors.” In other words, about half the cases could have been prevented. The most important factor, according to these researchers? You probably guessed it: breastfeeding. The longer the baby was breastfed, the less likely he or she was to develop Type 1 diabetes, and the older the baby was when formula or cow’s milk was introduced, the lower the risk as well. Exclusive breastfeeding for six months, with continued breastfeeding as solids are added to the baby’s diet, would provide the most protection.

Another factor identified by researchers is that babies who experience viral infections during the first year are more likely to develop Type 1 diabetes. Those who experience more infections are at greater risk. Breastfeeding, of course, helps to protect babies against infections and so strikes another blow against diabetes.

What about Type 2 diabetes? While there is a genetic component to this disease as well, being overweight or obese is a major risk factor. Babies who are breastfed and who start on solids at around the middle of the first year are less likely to be obese as children and as they grow older. So they are less likely to have Type 2 diabetes as well. There have been a number of studies on effect of breastfeeding on future obesity which have come to varying conclusions. The majority of these studies were retrospective studies i.e. asking mothers to recall their breastfeeding experiences possibly years after the fact. There is an ongoing study that is looking at mothers who have developed gestational diabetes and then following their children. This will allow researchers the best access to data about effects of exposure to maternal metabolism as a fetus and feeding choices on future growth and disease risk.

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Mothers who breastfeed, even those who developed gestational diabetes during their pregnancies, are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome or diabetes later in life. Lactation appears to have a persistent positive effect on women’s cardiometabolic health (Gunderson et al 2010). One factor may be ~ while it doesn’t feel like exercise to us while we’re doing it (unless we have a fussy baby and we’re walking aruond and nursing!) ~ that the calories burned up as our breasts manufacture milk are significant. A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that postmenopausal women had a 1% reduction in BMI (Body Mass Index) for every 6 months they had breastfed.

If you are interested in an in-depth look at strategies for diabetes prevention check out the American Diabetes Association on-line journal Clinical Diabetes.

So breastfeeding provides many layers of protection from this serious illness – as well as from other obesity-related diseases. That doesn’t mean, of course, that the risk becomes zero. As Teresa Pitman says “I have two friends whose children developed Type 1 diabetes:  both children were breastfed for more than a year. And as they deal with insulin pumps and doctor visits, they’d be the first to tell you: breastfeed. Do what you can to reduce the risk. Every time you put your baby to your breast, you’re giving him an amazing gift. “

 http://www.lllc.ca/thursdays-tipbreastfeeding-and-diabetes-prevention

 

April 7, 2016 is World Health Day. This year’s theme is “Beat diabetes”.

 

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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Engorgement: Cabbage leaves and Other Treatments

Engorgement is the tender, full, larger feeling that many women get in their breasts between day 2 and day 6 after giving birth.  Some women describe it as feeling like they have Barbie Doll breasts.  The change in size and sensation is caused by increasing milk volume and increased blood and lymph flow to the breasts.  The increase blood and lymph flow supports milk production.

Women who have had intravenous fluids during labour are at an increased risk of having an extended period of engorgement while the body rids itself of the excess fluids.  If the baby is latching and nursing well the normal postpartum levels of extra fluid generally don’t cause any breastfeeding difficulties.  As the pregnancy and childbirth hormone levels decrease over
the next few weeks, mother’s breasts feel softer in-spite of the increased milk volume of established breastfeeding.

Several studies have shown that when babies feed more frequently in the early days mothers are less likely to experience engorgement.  An Australian study which compared mothers who were told to let their babies nurse as long as their wanted on one breast before offering the second breast found those mothers had less engorgement than the mothers who were told to be sure their babies took both breasts at a feeding.

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Treatments for postpartum breast engorgement have not been well studied so mothers will get lots of opinions and advice.  The ideas we know work well are those that get the baby nursing effectively and emptying the breast:

-Breastfed as often as baby is willing (at least every 2-3 hours) and allow the baby to stay on the first breast until he comes off on his own.  The second breast can be offered if the baby is interested.  If baby isn’t interested in the second breast right away make sure to offer that side at the next feeding whether that is 10 minutes or two hours later.

– Get assistance sooner rather than later from La Leche League or another trained breastfeeding support person if baby is not latching well.

– Cold compresses between feedings can help reduce the swelling and the often feel good.  A soft gel Ice packs or a bag of small dice frozen vegetables works well to sooth an engorged breast.  Protect the skin with a layer of cloth between the ice pack and the skin.

– Pain medication may be helpful while waiting for the increased breastfeeding and cold compress to be effective if a mother is experiencing a lot of discomfort from engorgement. Discuss appropriate pain control medication with a health care provider.

– Express some milk if baby isn’t able to latch on well due to the swelling.  Some mothers worry that by expressing milk they will increase their milk production and create a bigger problem. Draining the breast helps to decrease the congestion of extra blood and lymph in the breast tissues.  Milk volume is unlikely to increase beyond baby’s needs with the amount of milk expression needed to regain comfort and make it easier for baby to latch on.

– Gentle breast massage before feeding or expressing may help to make the milk flow more easily.

-Cabbage leaves have long been recommended as a treatment for engorgement.  The small amount of research that has been done shows they don’t prevent engorgement.  Another study showed that they don’t appear to be any more effective than frozen gel packs but mothers preferred using cabbage leaves over the frozen gel packs.  If mothers want to try using cabbage leaves as a treatment for engorgement, choose green cabbage not the red/purple variety (it stains skin and clothing!).  Take a rinsed, room temperature or refrigerated, cabbage leaf and cut out the heavy vein out of the middle of the leaf.  The leaf or leaves are laid over the breast directly on the skin.  Putting on a bra or snug top over top of the leaves will keep them from falling off.  Remove the leaves when they are wilted and soft (usually within a few hours) or when the baby wants to feed again.  Fresh leaves can be applied after a feeding or when the first ones are wilted.

La Leche League Leaders can help you work through engorgement and other breastfeeding challenges.

http://www.lllc.ca/thursday-tip-cabbage-leaves-and-other-treatments-engorgement

More information about engorgement can be found by clicking here.

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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