Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Repeat After Me, "I Don't Do Guilt!"

By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
Before we had our blog, I wrote some blog-like notes on my Facebook page. I just came across this one from 2009 and thought it was VERY relevant, so I thought I would share it with you all.

From Research Frontier
Why are moms so prone to guilt? In the last week I've had a couple of long conversations with mothers who were feeling tremendous amounts of guilt. Interestingly enough, both of them had to do with breastfeeding (not surprising, actually, since I'm a lactation consultant.)

One mother needed to talk to me because she was struggling with her decision about when to wean. She's a terrific mom...really sort of a superwoman, like so many moms I see every day. She is mothering a precious baby, working at a demanding job, and taking care of home and hearth. She struggles with feeling guilty about the time she takes at work to pump, even though her job performance continues to be excellent. Her husband feels like pumping might be draining her and has suggested she wean. She doesn't really want to wean quite yet, but feels bad about not taking hubby's advice after she asked him for it. What a conundrum. 

As an IBCLC, my job is to support and encourage breastfeeding mothers, but each mother has to make her
From Grace Women's Ministry
own decision about how long she's going to nurse. So instead of trying to give her a bunch of options, though we did talk some about management, I focused on guilt. I asked her to make a point of telling herself each morning, "I don't do guilt!" I know she'll make the right decision for herself and her baby, but she doesn't need to feel guilty if that decision involves weaning before baby is a year old!

The second mother had lactation failure with her first baby. She has been pumping and trying very hard to develop a supply, but yesterday she brought her pump back. Depression has set in, and she feels terribly guilty for giving up. To make matters worse, she speaks very little English, and her doctor, who speaks no Spanish, insists she use a formula that doesn't seem to agree with her baby. She has begun taking antidepressants, but still feels overwhelmed by guilt. It doesn't help that her peers tell her the reason her baby is small is because she's not nursing. 

I think it would be very wrong for me to add to her guilt at this point. Instead, my job is to encourage her because she has tried so hard. I told her that breastfeeding is NOT what makes her a good mother. I reminded her that she was the expert on her baby, not the doctor and encouraged her to talk with the doctor (via translator) again. I don't know how much good I did, but I told her the same thing I told Mom 1: Tell yourself daily, "I don't do guilt."

It's taken me 49 years to learn this myself. I've done guilt all my life. My dad and stepmom spent years trying to help me learn the "I don't do guilt" lesson. It finally sunk in (more or less). Life is just too short to waste it on guilt. Unless a mother is truly a monster (like the Alabama mom who set her house on fire with her child inside), there just isn't any need for her to feel guilty. We all learn as we go, and children are unbelievably forgiving (at least before they become teens).

So if you are letting others make you feel guilty about breastfeeding or not breastfeeding, about co-sleeping or not co-sleeping, about working outside the home or not going back to your job, STOP! Repeat after me: "I DON'T DO GUILT!"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

4000 Friends GiveAway

Our ANM Facebook page is a lot of fun! We post fun pictures and interesting links related to pregnancy, breastfeeding, cloth diapering and parenting. We also have a lot of interaction with our followers about a wide variety of topics. Recently we've discussed breastfeeding-friendly pediatricians, VBAC friendly Ob/gyn's, pacifiers, nursing in church, sippy cups and many other topics that you have asked us about.

We're on the verge of having 4000 Facebook friends. Why does that matter? It means that more and more local moms are learning about A Nurturing Moment and what we have to offer. Our goal is to help as many mothers in North Alabama breastfeed successfully as we possibly can. We love being able to answer questions and help our moms in their parenting journey.

Now that we are offering Skype consults, we've extended our reach beyond the Tennessee Valley. Our ANM extended family comes from all over. We want all our moms to enjoy the community that we have created through our Facebook page.
Win the Melissa & Doug Pelican Walk

That's why we've created our 4000 Friends Giveaway! Entering is easy. Just like our FB page, Share it with your friends asking them to like it, and Tweet about it. We've got some awesome prizes like the new Charlie print diaper cover from Rumparooz, the Baby Dipper bowl, a cool Melissa and Doug toy that your baby will love, and Medela Hydrogel pads. We will announce the winners just as soon as we hit 4000 followers! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nursing Your Baby During Immunizations Reduces Pain

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

When my babies were little I had a couple of fabulous pediatricians - one in Florida, and one here in Huntsville. Both understood the benefits of attachment parenting and strongly encouraged breastfeeding. Twenty-five years ago, the recommended vaccination schedule contained significantly fewer immunizations than today, and we had our children vaccinated on schedule. My pediatrician recommended that I nurse my baby as she was getting her shots. She barely even cried...unlatching for a moment to protest when the needle went in, but latching right back on and nursing actively until she fell asleep. I nursed every one of my children as they received their shots and never had a doctor say I couldn't do that.

Imagine my shock when one of my ANM mamas told me that her pediatric practice said she couldn't nurse during immunizations...she had to wait until afterwards. Some doctors have told mothers it isn't safe because baby might bite (mine never did, and that is NOT a usual reaction). I've also heard mothers say that they were told it, "just isn't allowed here." That's about the time I would respond with, "Then I think we just don't fit in here!"

Breastfeeding as Analgesia

There is considerable research demonstrating that breastfeeding provides an analgesic, pain-reducing effect in infants. This study published in 2002 in Pediatrics clearly demonstrates that infants who nursed during a heel prick had significantly fewer pain markers than those who did not. Clearly the act of breastfeeding, the suckling, the milk itself, and the close proximity to mother work together to reduce infant stress and discomfort. 

If you know that you have an easy method of making immunizations less traumatic for your infant, why in the world wouldn't you take advantage of it? A baby who has a deep latch and is actively suckling is very unlikely to bite during the needle stick. If baby is snuggled skin-to-skin in a cradle hold position on his side, the nurse has easy access to his upper leg where the vaccination is normally given. It actually makes it easier for the nurse if baby is nursing contentedly when she administers the immunization.

If you are not breastfeeding, allowing your infant to suckle on a pacifier with sucrose has been shown to have a similar effect.

Convincing Your Doctor

Presented with the research mentioned above, most doctors should be willing to let you nurse through immunizations. Sometimes, however, a particular nurse just might not be comfortable with a mother nursing during shots. You might have some convincing to do. Here are some tips for you:

  • Take a copy of this statement to your pediatriacian and ask him if he subscribes to AAP recommendations. If he/she does, then you should be allowed to nurse during immunizations.
  • Refer to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine protocol on non-pharmocological pain relief during procedure-related pain in the breastfeeding infant.
  • Kindly remind the doctor that YOU are the consumer, and YOU are the baby's mother who maintains the final say regarding your infant. You have the right to insist that they allow you to nurse during immunizations. If they refuse, you do NOT have to stay and get the shots. Find another doctor who is better educated.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Newborn Hypoglycemia and Breastfeeding

Photo from drugdiscovery.com
By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

I received a call several days ago from a good friend whose baby had just been born. The pediatrician said they HAD to give the newborn a bottle of formula because his blood sugar had dropped to 30. The parents were very upset because they were planning to exclusively breastfeed. Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often, catching parents unaware, frightening them, and all-too-often disrupting the breastfeeding relationship.

What Is Hypoglycemia in an Infant?

When the blood sugar level of a newborn drops below 30mg/dL (1.65mmol/L) in the first 24 hours of life or below 45mg/dL (1.25mmol/L) in a baby older than 24 hours, it is considered neonatal hypoglycemia. This is the most common metabolic problem in newborns. Left untreated, it can cause some serious problems including seizures, mental retardation and even cardiac issues.

What Are the Risk Factors?

There are certain factors that may predispose a newborn to this condition. The include the following:
  • Being pre-term or post-term
  • Being either small OR large for gestational age
  • The mother being diabetic
  • The mother receiving a large dose of IV glucose solution during labor
  • A complicated or stressful delivery
  • Respiratory distress or breathing difficulties requiring oxygen right after delivery
  • Infants with low thyroid hormone levels
  • Infants with certain rare genetic disorders

What Should I Do If They Say My Baby Has Hypoglycemia?

The fact is that transient hypoglycemia occurs in nearly all newborn mammals. Normally, even in the absence of a feed, glucose levels spontaneously rise within  2-3 hours. If a baby isn't showing any symptoms, the American Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine protocol discourages glucose testing in normal, term newborns. Colostrum contains ketone bodies which provide glucose-sparing fuel to the newborn brain, thereby protecting the neurologic function, so even if glucose may be slightly low, in an asymptomatic term newborn, it shouldn't be a problem.

However, if a baby is having symptoms like bluish colored skin, problems breathing, loose or
floppy muscles, problems maintaining body temperature, tremors, shakiness, sweating or seizures, then treatment is definitely indicated. Some babies may actually need intravenous glucose. However, many respond to a dose of infant formula. If the baby is able to be put to the breast, the formula should be given via curved tip syringe at the breast. This not only preserves breastfeeding, but it also allows baby to get some all-important colostrum!

A study just published in Lancet in December, 2013, indicates that 40% Dextrose Gel 200mg/kg applied inside the cheek three times a day for the first two days of life makes a statistically significant difference in the outcome of treatment for neonatal hypoglycemia. It is definitely worth insisting that your baby receive this very inexpensive, non-invasive treatment if there is any concern at all about hypoglycemia.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Awesome Jewelry and Used Diapers

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
I thought that title would get your attention!!

Your gently used diapers will be a
blessing to a mom in need.
The MOM Foundation  was able to do some amazing things last year, like provide over $1700 in breastfeeding support to moms who wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise. We also provided 32 nursing bras to mothers in the WIC program. This year we are excited about expanding our support for North Alabama families.

Today I met with a steering committee that is creating a cloth diaper bank for North Alabama as a project of the MOM Foundation. We already have a very active Share the Love chapter here in Huntsville. Our goal is to work hand in hand with them and complement the incredible work that Share the Love is already doing. Because of some of the limitations on the national program, there are some diapers that Share the Love can't accept. But our local cloth diaper bank doesn't have those restrictions! If you have cloth diapers that you are no longer using, we have a donation bucket at A Nurturing Moment where we can receive those diapers. We also have an incredible team of moms who volunteer to sort them and repair elastic, aplix and snaps so that the moms receiving the donated diapers get the best diapers possible!

We Need a NAME!!

We just have one problem, we don't have a name for this project yet! That's where you come in! We want YOUR suggestions for a name. Here's how it works: Leave your suggestion for a name in the comments. Next Friday the steering committee will pick a name from your suggestions! The person who offers the winning name will receive a $25 gift certificate to A Nurturing Moment.
Submit the winning name and you will 
Win a $25 gift certificate to ANM!!

MOM Foundation Fund-Raiser

Jennifer Blanshan of Premier Designs Jewelry is doing a fundraiser for the MOM Foundation. You can be
involved in several ways.
  1. Go to Jennifer's site online and use the access code BLING to view all the catalogs online. You can fill out an order form at A Nurturing Moment and leave your payment any time between now and the 18th.
  2. Come into ANM and take a look at the catalog. We have several mini-catalogs you can even take with you!
  3. Come to the party on Jan. 18th at noon. We will learn some really cool things to do with scarves and have a great time playing with cool jewelry!
Win Free Jewelry!!!! -  At the end of the party there will be a drawing, and the winner will receive 20% of the day's sales in FREE JEWELRY!! You can win tickets for the drawing for each pre-order you bring with you and each guest you bring. You also get tickets for attending and making a purchase. If you decide to book your OWN party, you get 5 tickets! If you do decide you want to host a show, 10% of your proceeds will go toward The MOM Foundation!

All the jewelry will be delivered to A Nurturing Moment 2-3 weeks after the show, and you can pick it up here!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Breastfeeding, Baby Teeth and Cavities

From Children's Dentistry of North Dallas
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Yesterday a mom dropped by to nurse her 12 month old right after their first visit to a pediatric dentist. The mom was really happy that the dentist didn't discourage her from continuing to breastfeed, even at night. I was pleased to hear that, too, because many dentists do tell mothers to stop nursing at night as soon as the first tooth erupts.

"Breast milk by itself," according to the National Institute of Health, "is the healthiest food for babies' teeth. It tends to slow bacterial growth and acid production." According to Dr. Sears, most children get at least one cavity, so most night nursers will get at least one cavity. But you can't really blame it on breastfeeding because most children will get a cavity anyway.

Nevertheless, many dentists remain adamant in their insistence that nighttime nursing causing "nursing caries." This term is actually used to refer to either breastfeeding or bottle-feeding activities as they relate to tooth decay in babies. Dr. Brian Palmer, DDS did pioneering work in the area of breastfeeding and infant tooth decay. He practiced in Kansas City, but passed away too young in 2012. However, he left some incredible research for us !to see. He points out the fact that anthropologically we don't see evidence of tooth decay in infants. Obviously their only source of food was breastmilk. He also points out the fact that cavities are caused by bacteria in the mouth. Infants are born without any cavity-causing bacteria. At some point it gets introduced, whether by someone kissing them, or by a spoon or cup shared with a parent, or via a shared toy or perhaps in some other way.
From Newparentgear.com

Protect Those New Little Teeth!

So what CAN a mother do to protect her child's teeth if she is nursing at night?

  1. Restrict juices or other liquids. Be sure that baby's teeth have been brushed  or wiped clean after any juices or food and before bed.
  2. Clean baby's teeth in the morning using gauze or a toothbrush.
  3. Avoid giving baby any foods with high sugar content. 
  4. Don't share a spoon or cup with baby in order to avoid introducing the bacteria that causes cavities into her mouth. 
  5. Be sure to see a dentist around baby's first birthday. But unless you really have a baby who is already very prone to cavities, (already had 2 or 3) there is really no need for night weaning.