Overcoming Breastfeeding Obstacles
By Dr. Jimi Francis International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Simplisse Director of Clinical Research
Knowledge helps us make our decisions and determine what is best for ourselves. Most women want to breastfeed their babies. Sadly, many women wean months before their original breastfeeding goal.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months and continued breastfeeding for one year or for as long as is mutually desired by the mother and baby. According to the Center for Disease Control’s 2011 Breastfeeding Report Card, 74.6 percent of U.S. mothers begin breastfeeding at birth. However, more than half of those moms stop before six months and only 23.8 percent continue breastfeeding until baby’s first birthday. A variety of factors can contribute to moms not reaching their breastfeeding goals, including discomfort, lack of support, scheduling or work-related issues. In order to achieve your six month and one-year milestones, I advise expectant moms to help themselves with the following steps:
Learn the Facts
Understanding how beneficial breastfeeding is for both you and baby is essential to your success. Medical research shows breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from disease early in life. Breastfeeding has been shown to protect against diseases in adulthood such as inflammatory bowel disease and cardiovascular disease. Babies who are not breastfed have a higher risk of ear infections, eczema, asthma, obesity, type one and two diabetes and childhood leukemia. Beyond the physical benefits of breastfeeding, baby receives emotional stability and a stronger parent-child bond from skin-to-skin contact with mom. In moments when you feel like quitting, remember the positive physical and emotional impact you’re making on both you and your child’s life. Take one day at a time.
Breastfeeding will help you get your little one off to the best possible start and it also has numerous benefits for moms. Women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type two diabetes and may have protection from future cardio-metabolic diseases. Breastfeeding also helps the uterus naturally contract and return to normal size after pregnancy.
Plan to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding before baby arrives. Breastfeeding classes are great for this. Talking to a Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a great source of information and will help you get personalized tips based on your specific situation. Make a list of questions and have them answered prior to your baby’s birth to reduce anxiety. This will help you start the process confidently and continue successfully. Don’t forget to check with your insurance provider before you make an appointment, as some cover lactation services.
Prepare at the Hospital
Take a tour at the hospital where you will deliver so you feel more comfortable when it is time for baby to arrive. Find out the hospital’s policies regarding skin-to-skin and breastfeeding. Moms who have immediate skin-to-skin contact with their babies through the first feeding increase their ease and comfort with breastfeeding. As soon as you arrive at the hospital, remind the doctors and nurses that you plan to breastfeed. Many times, hospitals are not fully equipped to help you breastfeed. Make your wishes clear and discuss concerns ahead of time to minimize any confusion. If the hospital is equipped to help you and provides a lactation consultant, ask your partner to stay and take notes, so you can learn together.
Secure a Support System
With a new baby, you need a support system. Many women run into obstacles and do not have the encouragement or information to overcome them. Lactation consultants and doctors can offer tips and support. While there is often a fee for a private practice lactation consultant, these services are well worth the expense – considering putting an LC visit on your baby shower wish-list. Invite a friend over who has breast-fed successfully to share experiences with someone who has been there. Also, support organizations such as La Leche League International, the Nursing Mothers' Council and local hospitals often offer opportunities to meet and compare notes with other local breastfeeding mothers. Most of all trust yourself to know what is best for you and your baby. Finally, make sure your partner and close family members are educated on the benefits of breastfeeding and are prepared to offer support and encouragement.
Plan for the Future
After you spend the first few weeks postpartum bonding with your baby, returning to work or your normal busy routine may become a distraction to breastfeeding. Some breastfeeding moms find a lack of privacy, inflexible schedules or fatigue can impede their breastfeeding intentions. Think about potential barriers and solutions ahead of time to help you stay on track. Before you return to work, talk to a human resources representative about your plans and understand your company’s policies and history with supporting breastfeeding mothers. According to Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers must provide reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom place for you to express your milk during your workday until your baby is one year old.
Choose the Right Pump
If you choose to pump, having the right equipment is vital. The first decision to make when choosing a pump is whether to buy a double electric pump or a manual pump. If you plan to exclusively breastfeed and need a pump occasionally, a manual pump may be your best choice. If you plan to work outside the home or be away from baby for several hours at a time, a double-electric pump may be better fit, You may decide to purchase both (put these on your baby shower registration). Be sure to understand the specific features of the pump, and make sure it is right for you. A pump that is comfortable and easy to use will help you continue pumping. As you research pumps, check to see if the company has a warrantee or a guarantee for their product and if they have a track record for good customer service. Be sure to open the pump you get, read the instructions, and know how to use it prior to your baby’s arrival. Understanding your pump ahead of needing to use it will help you avoid frustration once your baby arrives.
With the proper planning and support you can meet your breastfeeding goals. Years down the road you’ll be glad you persevered, and you will reflect fondly on those quiet moments you and your baby enjoyed as you provided the physical and emotional benefits of breast milk. Remember, you are the final expert on you. Knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding, understanding how breastfeeding works and knowing that it can work for you is your greatest advantage in this adventure.----
To help spread the important message of breast feeding, Simplisse and Bebe au Lait has offered a product of each as giveaway prizes to one of my lucky readers (US residents only please, you must be 18 years old to enter this giveaway). The giveaway winner will receive 1 nursing cover and 1 Gia nursing pillow.
How to enter:
In order to enter my giveaway, you MUST be a public follower of my blog through Google Friend Connect. To follow me, click on the "Follow" button on the right hand side of my blog. If you are not a follower and you enter my giveaway, ALL of your comments will be automatically forfeited.
1). Please go to Simplisse 0r Bebe au Lait and then come back to tell me about another product you would like to try (you MUST be a public follower of my blog to enter this giveaway, and your profile can not be set at private).
How to earn additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each additional entry):
2.) Blog about my giveaway- with a link back to here, when you leave the comment make sure you include the URL of where your post of my giveaway is. Please do not copy and paste my review over to your blog, please write about why you would like to win this giveaway and provide a link back to this post. The Contest ends Sep 8th, 2011 at 11:59pm PST. Blogging about my giveaway earns 2 additional entries.
3.) Add me as a friend on Facebook for 2 additional entries.
4.) Follow me on Twitter for 2 additional entries.
5.) Grab my button and display my button on your blog or website. Then come back to tell me what your website or blog address is, make sure to leave an url address so I can check it. Grabbing my button is worth 5 additional entries. If my button is not displayed on your homepage but it is posted elsewhere, you will not be eligible to win with your additional entries.
6.) Grab my "Bring Home The Baby Shopping Guide" button and display my button on your blog or website. Then come back to tell me what your website or blog address is, make sure to leave an url address so I can check it. Grabbing my button is worth 5 additional entries. If my button is not displayed on your homepage but it is posted elsewhere, you will not be eligible to win with your additional entries.
7.) Tweet about this review and giveaway. Please tweet the following: " I entered to #win #free Simplisse & Bebe au Lait #Giveaway @sugarpopribbons http://tinyurl.com/SPRRG ". After your tweet, please leave me the url of your tweet so I can check. If you do not know how to check your tweet url, please read this post for step by step instructions. You can retweet once every hour.
8.) Comment on one of my non giveaway posts for 1 additional entry (leave me a comment here to let me know which post it is).
9.) Enter in any of my active giveaways for additional entries. You get one extra entry per other giveaway you enter. So enter 1 of my other giveaways for 1 additional entry or 10 other giveaways to 10 extra entries. When you leave me a comment for your additional entry, be sure to let me know which giveaway it is so I can check.
10.) Grab my "A Summer to Remember Shopping Guide" button and display my button on your blog or website. Then come back to tell me what your website or blog address is, make sure to leave an url address so I can check it. Grabbing my button is worth 5 additional entries. If my button is not displayed on your homepage but it is posted elsewhere, you will not be eligible to win with your additional entries.
11.) Grab my "Combi Infant Car Seat Giveaway" button and display my button on your blog or website. Then come back to tell me what your website or blog address is, make sure to leave an url address so I can check it. Grabbing my button is worth 5 additional entries. If my button is not displayed on your homepage but it is posted elsewhere, you will not be eligible to win with your additional entries.
13.) Grab my "Back to School Shopping Guide" button and display my button on your blog or website. Then come back to tell me what your website or blog address is, make sure to leave an url address so I can check it. Grabbing my button is worth 5 additional entries. If my button is not displayed on your homepage but it is posted elsewhere, you will not be eligible to win with your additional entries.
Read the fine print:
* Lucky winner or winners will be selected through True Random Number Generator.
* If your profile page does not show your email address, please include your email address in your comment. For example: sugarpopribbons at yahoo dot com -- so that I may get in touch with you if you are selected as the giveaway winner.
* Each giveaway winner has 48 hours to respond to my email about getting the awesome giveaway prize to him/her. If the winner does not reply to my email within 48 hours, I will choose another winner using the True Random Number Generator.
* I do contact each winner via email. If anyone is curious about who the giveaway winner is for any of my giveaways, please go back to the original post of that giveaway. Once a winner is selected through random.org, I will post a screen shot of the number picked by random.org. You will be able to see which number has been selected and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can cross check who the giveaway winner is.
*I received a free product (or products) for review purposes. I did not receive any form of compensation from the company. All opinions are my own and not influenced in anyway. My reviews are not always positive, but they are my personal and honest opinions. Other people's views and experiences with the product or products might be different from mine.