Monday, April 7, 2014

Breastfeeding and Teething - Fear Not!

Been bitten by your darling baby yet? Teething is a common concern of breastfeeding moms and some women avoid nursing altogether for fear of being bitten.  Fear not, teething or biting do not need to end your nursing relationship.
Teething can be a very painful process for babies even before you see any teeth. It’s normal for your baby to want to bite down or rub her swollen gums on something to get relief, and your breast may seem like a good place. Your baby might start to nurse, but then pull off and cry or fuss because sucking is causing gum discomfort. On the other hand, some babies nurse almost constantly because it’s soothing to them. While your natural inclination is to pull the baby away and yelp or say "No!", that reaction may cause your baby to go on a brief nursing strike for fear of that same response.
Try rubbing a cold teething ring on the baby's gums before nursing or during breaks, or put crushed ice in a closed, clean sock for the baby to gnaw on. When you sense your baby is closing in for a bite, pull her close to your body so she will have to release to open her mouth more and uncover her nose. If that does not work, attempt to gently un-latch her and tell her firmly, but calmly, not to bite because it hurts mummy. Latch her on again but un-latch if it happens a second time. Repeat these steps every time your baby tries to bite you, and eventually she’ll get the message that biting triggers a stop in nursing.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Affordable Care Act and Breastfeeding

The Affordable Care Act (you may know it as Obamacare) generates a lot of buzz for a lot of reasons, but here at Lansinoh, we can’t stop talking about the benefits it offers breastfeeding moms.
Signed into law in 2010, the Affordable Care Act requires health insurance plans to cover the cost of breastfeeding support and equipment! (The legislation applies to health insurance obtained through the Health Insurance Marketplace and all other private health insurance plans, except for grandfathered plans. It also does not apply to all Medicaid or WIC plans.)

So can you get a breast pump through your health insurance? Probably! And not only are breast pumps being covered, but lactation consultations are most likely covered too.

Because the law doesn’t provide a lot of guidance on what is considered “breastfeeding support and equipment,” insurance companies are all interpreting this differently. To find out what your unique health insurance plan cover, contact your health insurance company before your baby is born.

We know that expecting moms have enough to think about without the added burden of navigating health insurance policies, so we’ve done the preliminary thinking for you. We have a list of questions on our website that you should use when calling your insurance company to discuss your breastfeeding benefits. They cover everything from whether your pump can be purchased or rented; to finding out if you need a prescription to get a pump or a lactation consult; to asking where you need to get your pump from so that it’s covered.

While there is still room for the government to expand its protection of breastfeeding moms and their babies, we definitely see this as a step in the right direction.

Here are some other websites that offer additional information about these breastfeeding benefits:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Returning to Work as a Breastfeeding Mom

More and more moms who work outside the home are choosing to pump so they can provide their babies the benefits of breastmilk even when they're apart.

Here are some tips to help make your return to work as smooth as possible.

Before You Return to Work:
  • Purchase a Breast Pump. Most moms prefer the efficiency of a double electric breast pump, like the Lansinoh Signature Pro.
  • Build Up Your Supply. Figure out how long you'll be away from baby, factoring in your commute time, and how many times baby will eat while you're apart. For example, if you are away from 8am until 6pm and your baby takes a bottle every two hours, you'll need to have enough breastmilk for five bottles every day. It's also a good idea to make sure you provide a little extra milk as well!
  • Practice, Practice, Practice. You'll want to practice using your breast pump - both putting it together, and figuring out which setting maximizes your milk production and comfort. Here are some tips to help. And baby will need to practice taking a bottle from someone else.
  • Figure Out Your Pumping Situation at Work. Ideally you'll make arrangements before you go on maternity leave. Your rights may be protected under federal law. Learn more at the Department of Labor's website.
  • Put Together a Pump-Friendly Wardrobe. As you think about returning to work, be sure to find clothes that make it easy to pump. Two piece outfits and button-up tops make it easier to pump while at the workplace.
Back at Work:
  • Schedule Time. To keep up your milk supply you will need to pump on a schedule similar to when you would feed your baby. Schedule breaks into your day every 2-3 hours. Missing sessions will cue your body that you need less milk, which will affect your milk supply.
  • Relax. Stress can negatively affect a mom's milk supply, so try to relax as much as possible. Although pumping at work can be awkward at first, soon you (and your colleagues) will get used to your new routine. Some moms find bringing in a photo of their baby helps them to relax and it can also help initiate let-down when pumping.
  • Be Prepared. You will need to bring your breast pump, storage bags or bottles, and a cooler bag and ice pack to work each day. You may want to keep an extra shirt and an extra set of disposable nursing pads at your workplace, for accidental leaking. And breastfeeding moms need to stay hydrated, so pack a water bottle and healthy snacks to help keep up your milk supply.
What tips and tricks have helped make pumping at work easier for you?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Breastmilk and Power Outages

Image Courtesy of AaronBBrown
With winter storms blanketing the eastern and southern states again, we have been talking to lots of pumping moms who are worried about power outages. Power outages can be stressful for any parent. But if you are a nursing mother and have frozen milk, it can be an all-out nightmare. Power outages can be anticipated in the case of hurricane or winter storms, but sometimes they are unexpected.

Number one rule? Don’t panic. Not only will panicking increase your stress level, but an increased stress level can lower your milk supply. So keep calm, and consider the following tips.
  • Consider investing in a back-up generator. Even though this can be a little costly, they can keep your freezer running at the appropriate temperature without the aid of any extra ice. Remember though, most generators run on gas and you will need to refill. Stock up on extra gas to prevent the generator from dying.
  • Use dry ice to keep milk frozen. If you don’t have a generator, consider using dry ice to keep your milk frozen. Dry ice can usually be found at a local grocery store. Remember to read up on the proper handling and storage of dry ice before buying, and try to buy the ice as close to the storm or outage as possible.
  • Contact a local hospital or emergency center ahead of time. Some may have emergency storage facilities that can accommodate milk you have stored up. It’s never too early to inquire in your area to see if this option is available.
  • Keep your fridge door closed. If there is no immediate reason for you to open your freezer door, don’t. A full freezer will maintain its temperature for about 48 hours, or 24 hours for a half-full freezer. Although this isn’t a long-term solution, it can help you to save time without using a generator.
If you need to keep pumping through the power outage, here are some tips on how to ride out the lack of power.
  • Stock up on batteries as these will lose juice fast
  • Buy a back-up manual pump to keep in storage just in case you run out of battery power
  • Learn how to hand express
  • Ask a trustworthy neighbor beforehand if you are able to store breastmilk  in their freezer in the event you lose power and they don’t
  • Remember, use any thawed milk within 24-48 hours. Do not refreeze thawed breastmilk.
Mother Nature and power outages can often strike without warning, so try to have a Plan A and Plan B before a storm strikes. If you don’t you could risk losing that liquid gold you worked so hard to stock up on.

Stay warm, everyone!

Friday, February 7, 2014

New Law Requires Mothers to Breastfeed For Two Years

The United Arab Emirates has passed a law requiring mothers to breastfeed their children for the first two years of the child's life (read more here). And back in November, a pilot program was launched offering vouchers to incentivize mothers in the UK to breastfeed (more about that one here).

What do Lansinoh moms think?

(We know people can get passionate when talking about these topics online, so please remember to be respectful of everyone's opinions! As Thumper taught us, "if you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all.")

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Benefits for Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding isn't just best for baby. There are significant medical, emotional and financial benefits for nursing moms.
In fact! Breastfeeding…
  • Decreases breast cancer risk and may decrease the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
  • Reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
  • Mothers show less postpartum depression. Breastfeeding triggers the release of oxytocin (the "love hormone") and prolactin, substances that help with relaxation and reduce stress
  • Burns extra calories, making it easier to lose weight after pregnancy
  • Helps your uterus return to its normal size and lessens bleeding you may experience after delivery
  • Saves valuable time! No need to purchase, measure or mix formula, and no bottles to warm in the middle of the night. Breastmilk is always perfectly mixed and the right temperature. Plus, you never forget to bring it with you!
  • Is free - at least the milk! Even if you are pumping, a good pump and accessories are far less expensive than formula. The average non-nursing mom spends over $3,000 a year on formula, while a good quality breast pump can be found for under $200
  • Is environmentally friendly, producing no waste, packaging or pollution

Monday, January 13, 2014

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby

Breastmilk is a “perfect food.” It’s easy to digest, and because it is made of live cells, your baby’s body can easily absorb it. Breastmilk provides just the right proportion of essential nutrients, vitamins, proteins, fats and antibodies to help your baby’s body and brain develop.
What’s amazing is that it also can adapt its composition to meet your baby’s needs as they get older or become sick.  Breastfed babies have a greater sense of taste and smell because breastmilk changes flavor based on the mother's diet. Just as importantly, your baby thrives emotionally because skin-to-skin contact with mom creates a strong bond and sense of security.
Being the perfect food, breastfed babies get a wealth of medical benefits. A preeminent baby authority, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), states: "Breastfeeding ensures the best possible health and best developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the infant." Here’s why.
Breastfed babies…
  • Get sick less and have a lower risk of allergies.
  • May have a lower risk of obesity and Types 1 and 2 diabetes as they grow older.
  • Have a lower incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • Have a reduced risk for ear infections (otitis media) and gastroenteritis.
  • Are on a path to optimal brain development.
  • Get substances that help strengthen and develop their immature immune system in a way no other substance can.
  • Respond better to immunizations against Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Haemophilus influenza (bacterium that can cause a severe infection).
  • Get substances that contribute to optimal oral development and decreases the risk of tooth decay.
  • Are protected against respiratory infections including those caused by rotaviruses.
  • Babies are less likely to be hospitalized with pneumonia or bronchiolitis, and have a decreased risk of lower respiratory tract infections.
  • Have been associated with a slightly enhanced performance on cognitive development tests.
  • May have a reduced risk of obesity