When you throw your clothes in a bag to head to the hospital, don't forget the goods that will aid in breastfeeding your new babe. Ease into the motherly duty with a few of these items that may ensure nursing success.
Breast is best, but is it realistic? The World Health Organization recommends six months of exclusive breastfeeding to ensure a healthy start for newborns and infants. And while some mamas treat that 6-month mark as a goal, a new study suggests it is simply unattainable for many.
According to the small Scottish study — which included 220 face-to-face interviews — nursing is harder than most health care professionals lead new parents to believe, and the current culture of "pressuring" parents to put baby to breast is backfiring. Some women felt that the bonding experience wasn't as strong as they had hoped, while others didn't feel supported once they left the hospital, ultimately leading them to stop nursing sooner. The US breastfeeding rate is up to 14.8 percent — far lower than the 25.5 percent the Centers for Disease Control set as a target, but up 4 percentage points over the past four years. That said, are we unrealistic about our goals for new moms?
Source: Flickr User Raphael Goetter
This week Beyoncé joins the ranks of celebrity moms who breastfeed in public, so we're excited to share this post from our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop! Every week, we bring you the best celebrity baby stories from Celebrity Baby Scoop, including this post from Jenny Schafer about celeb moms who nurse out in the open.
Although it's still considered taboo in some circles, there's no shame in nursing your baby in public . . . or on the cover of a magazine for that matter! And we're so glad that celebrity moms such as Gwen Stefani, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Miranda Kerr are on board. And not to mention Salma Hayek's experience with wet-nursing a starving infant in Africa!
Take a look through our pictures and read about 10 celebrity moms who have breastfed in public.
A picture's worth a thousand words, but mama may have more than 1,000 words to say if her breastfeeding pictures are used inappropriately. The intimate act is one that many new families like to record for posterity — in fact, 57 percent of LilSugar readers have taken breastfeeding photos of themselves. It's what they do with them afterward that may be cause for concern.
We all know about the controversy surrounding breastfeeding pictures on Facebook, but with the popularity of photo-sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest, there are new concerns about the use of photos that depict nursing babies. A new post on the site of Best For Babes — the nonprofit breastfeeding advocacy group — interviews a mom whose instructional breastfeeding video was stolen by pornographers and spliced in with sex-act scenes. To make matters worse, the filmmakers used both the mom's and baby's names in their "movies." It has taken her more than two years to have the videos removed from various sites.
Though this case is extreme, it certainly isn't the only one out there.
Source: Flickr User christyscherrer
Got milk? For many nursing mamas, the answer is a surprising — and often disappointing — no. Before giving up all together, get to work! There are plenty of surprising — and often tasty! — ways to increase mom's milk supply for her tot. Keep reading to see what it may take to give your lil one the milk he needs to keep on growing!
Source: Flickr User aurimas_m
Breastfeeding makes the pregnancy pounds melt off. That statement, and other's like it, are reason enough for many mamas to put their babies to their breasts. Celebs such as Naomi Watts and Angelina Jolie have credited their baby's feeding schedules with their own rapid weight loss, so many of us bought the claim hook, line, and sinker — including Jenna Fischer.
While walking the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Jenna Fischer talked about her struggle to lose the baby weight, saying:
Let me please stand in solidarity with all of the women who are not a size 2 six weeks after leaving the hospital. I thought, you read all of the stuff in magazines like, "Oh, I breastfed my baby and I am so skinny now." I am breastfeeding my baby and I am not getting any skinnier! I think I'm just going to be a little bit bigger for a little bit longer, and that's fine with me.
Jenna, whose son Weston Lee is four months old, joins Salma Hayek — who told Oprah that nursing did nothing to help her lose the weight — and countless others, including myself, who actually found the opposite to be true.
We're excited to share this post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we will be bringing you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post from Jennifer Borget about some unusual ways she won't be using her breast milk.
Breast milk. It's a great source of nourishment for your growing baby, a comfort snack for some toddlers, like my 16-month-old who doesn't seem to want to stop (that's a whole-nother post). And breastfeeding in general is beneficial in many different ways. But did you know breast milk has more than a dozen other uses?
Why yes, some sources will tell you breast milk has a variety of uses.
Are you taking full advantage? Let's take a pop quiz:
When you cut your foot or burn your finger, do you grab the Neosporin, or use a bit of your own liquid gold to do some healing? If your answer is western medicine, you may be selling yourself short.
When I returned to work after maternity leave I had a stash of 220oz of milk in my freezer and I didn't want to waste a drop of it on anything else.
I'm not going to lie, ok? Some of the things I've read people using their milk for creep me out just a little bit. Here are seven things I don't plan on using my breast milk for.
- A weapon: I've read stories of women who squirt their milk across the room at their husband, their dog, or whoever is getting on their nerves at the time. While I'm sure at some point in my lactation abilities I may have been able to accomplish this, I can proudly say I have never tried.
- Acne: Ever heard of Proactive? … Or maybe this is the secret ingredient. Sorry, I don't wash my face with liquid gold, or my bodily fluids for that matter.
- Scratches, scrapes, and cuts: Bandaids people! And something that works… Like Neosporin.
- Ashy legs/ dry skin: I'll admit, I've been in a bind several times where I look down and my legs are pale white from dryness. But it would take far too much milk, and be far too awkward to pump my milk like a lotion bottle.
- My milkshakes: This gives Kelis' Milkshake song (think "My milkshake brings the boys to the yard…") a whole new meaning. No thanks.
- Contact solution or eye redness: I know people who have used breast milk for pink eye. I've even had friends tell me it works like a charm. But the thought of putting milk in my eyes seems weird and wrong. Coming from a human or not. And if you're in a bind for contact solution please don't look for the nearest lactating mom. You can make your own by mixing salt with distilled water.
- Sexual lubricant: This is quite possibly the most disturbing suggestion I read on that list. I would love to know who actually has tried this sexy idea.
I won't judge you. You can tell me. Have you or would you try any of these things?
Source: Flickr User Daquella Manera
In an ideal world, new mamas bring a newborn directly to their breast, they latch on, and feeding/bonding experience begins. Reality isn't quite that simple. Luckily there are products out there to help with virtually every ailment the nipple or breast may encounter. Take this quiz to see how much you know about the products and accessories that are available to breastfeeding mums.
If you can pump while checking your email and reading a magazine, shouldn't you be able to nurse that way too? Breastfeeding pillows help bring baby to the proper height to comfortably reach the breast, but lil ones can easily roll off them and they aren't very convenient when mama's trying to nurse out of the home. The Koala Kin ($90) makes hands-free nursing a reality by combining the structure and convenience of a baby carrier with a pouch-like place to allow the baby to lie down and latch on. Best of all, the pouch provides privacy while allowing mama to maintain eye contact with her lil one throughout the nursing session, unlike a nursing cover. What do you think?
Way to go mamas! Choosing breast milk for your baby is a commitment, and moms who go that route should be commended. We're in the midst of World Breastfeeding Week where the benefits of mama's milk and the women who create it are celebrated. We've rounded up our best tips, tricks, and real-life experiences to help nursing moms keep their milk flowing!