Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Have a toddler running around while nursing a newborn?

So a friend secretly sent me a message this morning and let me in on her secret! She has two children, one in grade school and the other an infant, and she just found out she is PREGGERS!!!!! WAHOO to her!

She has some fears about what to expect and asked if I had some insight. Breastfeeding, for her, was not as successful as she had hoped for but she is excited to try it again. (hurray!)

So it got me thinking. Her two youngest babies will not be that far off from mine...maybe by a few months or so. That got me thinking what I did in the early days while nursing Katelyn and having Joslyn running around.

So here are some tips:

* give your toddler something to munch on while your little one is nursing, fruit or other hand held food works well!

* let your toddler watch! Joslyn loved to snuggle against me while Katelyn nursed (in the early months.)  This will help them understand what is going on and will help them feel not so left out.

* (As much as some parents will hate this next one) turning on the tv to watch a favorite cartoon for a few moments wont hurt. This might give your toddler some quiet time that he or she needs.

* don't be scared if your toddler shows some curiosity! Joslyn would watch Katelyn nurse and seemed to want to join in, but she could not figure out how. (hehe) She would eventually caress Katelyn's head just so she could feel like she was helping.

* let your toddler feed her (or his) baby doll like mommy feeds her/his baby sibling. It is super cute, a great photo op, and a way for the big sissy (or brother) to feel important! Or if you are uncomfy with your son doing this then ignore this tip.

* Lastly......take the time to explain to your toddler what you are doing. Do not ignore this time. It is a great moment to explain "mommy is feeding the baby......" this way it is as normal to your toddler as it is to your new baby.

How about you? Do you have any tips? If so please share them below!!!!

Oh and congrats to my secret friend!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just when you think all is worked out....WHAM!

So after nursing my current Nummies lover for the past 8 months and fixing (well really tolerating) Over Active Letdown, I thought we had reached a great point in our nursing relationship. Let me tell you how wrong that statement is!

Katelyn has not nursed at night since she was 7 weeks old, so you can imagine how much milk I have when I wake up in the morning. She normally has no problem nursing first thing, but she also does not empty me out either. So typically, after she is done, I will hand express some milk, into a towel, to relieve some of the pressure. This morning was no different. But come the next feeding, I found myself to be a bit fuller on the side she ended on earlier that morning. Sure enough after one minute into her feeding, she pulled off and began screaming. As I looked down I saw such a stream of breastmilk that made my eyes fly open! I counted 7 (YES SEVEN) streams of quickly flowing breastmilk, shooting out of me and going in every direction! Up, over, down, straight out....you name the direction, it was going there.

Now I have had this happen countless of times, but never that many streams at once. I remember being IMPRESSED at 5 streams! But oh my gosh! SEVEN?!

Well to say that Katelyn was not impressed is an understatement. It was clearly causing her discomfort and pain. But she so desperately wanted to nurse, as she kept going back to latch on, but would turn her head and scream some more. So there we sat, her screaming, me covering the 7 streams of agony, and my 2 year old saying "mommy....sissy?!" over and over again. This lasted for about ten minutes! Finally my stream had stopped, Katelyn regained her sweetness and we tried again.

AHHHHHH it worked! She was happily latched on with her eyes closed, hugging her snuggly blanket.

So the next time I say I have overcome over active let down, I will force myself to picture 7 streams shooting in every direction, with a screaming baby trying to escape! (Ever hear a crying baby helps your letdown occur? Well it is TRUE!!!!!)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Longer breastfeeding may raise infants' eczema risk

I found this article today and it leaves me with more questions.

The study states that breastfeeding did not help prevent babies (6-18 months old) who were breastfed from getting atopic dermatitis. 

However, these babies were not exclusively breastfed as stated in the article:
Chuang and colleagues point out, however, that most previous studies focused on exclusive breastfeeding, something they could not do because few Taiwanese parents exclusively breastfeed their children without adding other liquids or solids. As a result, they say they "cannot totally dismiss the supposed benefits of exclusive breastfeeding with regard to atopic dermatitis."

The study also excluded a large amount of children for fear the information was incorrect, as stated here:
The researchers excluded a large number of children who were diagnosed before they were 6 months old for fear that their parents might have changed the way their kids were fed after the diagnosis, thus skewing the data. Of the 18,773 children that remained, 1,050 (almost 6 percent) were diagnosed with atopic dermatitis between the ages of 6 and 18 months.

So, I am lost on this study. It seemed they were trying to debunk the 2008 study done by The  American Academy of Pediatrics, that found infants at high risk of developing allergic diseases (including dermatitis) might benefit from EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding for 4 months. But for infants in general, "after 4 to 6 months of age, there are insufficient data to support a protective effect of any dietary intervention for the development of atopic disease."
So with this information, how can they compare the two studies if one was with exclusive breastfed babies and the other not?

HMMMM let's ponder that one! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Saw this great ad....It's an oldy....but GREAT!

I came across this ad this morning. Amazing how differently breastfeeding ads are in other countries. Makes me want to put together a collage of other countries breastfeeding ads....(ohhhh that is an idea!)

Here is the article to go along with the ad.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reflux and breastfeeding

As most of you already know, we have been cursed by the reflux monster with both our girls. Now Pooker had it pretty bad, needing to be hospitalized for 4 days when she was only 3 days old. (You can read about Pooker's Story.)
There are two different forms of Reflux (aka GER), Silent Reflux and Loud Reflux. Our daughters were cursed with both! Pooker had Silent Reflux and Kit Kat has Loud Reflux (although here recently it is turning into Silent Reflux).

Luckily what you do to help one....is the same for the other. So I wanted to take the time and blog about what we did/do and what tricks we found.

I blogged about Pooker's hospital stay here, so I will spare you that story. Pooker had to visit a GI Specialist MANY times in the first year of her life. If your child has GERD I highly recommend seeing a specialist. Nothing against Pediatricians.....but they are not all that knowledgeable in GER.  

Silent reflux is when the liquid is not spit out, but instead swallowed. This can be very damaging, as the acid goes up and back down again.

Here are some symptoms of Reflux:

*Frequent spitting up or vomiting; discomfort when spitting up. Some babies with GERD do not spit up – silent reflux occurs when the stomach contents only go as far as the esophagus and are then re-swallowed, causing pain but no spitting up.
*Gagging, choking, frequent burping or hiccoughing, bad breath.
*Baby may be fussy and sleep less due to discomfort.

Warning signs of severe Reflux:

*Inconsolable or severe fussiness or crying associated with feedings.
*Poor weight gain, weight loss, or failure to thrive. Difficulty eating. Breast/food refusal.
*Difficulty swallowing, sore throat, hoarseness, chronic nasal/sinus congestion, chronic sinus/ear infections.
*Spitting up blood or green/yellow fluid.
*Sandifer’s syndrome: Baby may ‘posture’ and arch the neck & back to relieve reflux pain–this lengthens the esophagus and reduces discomfort.
*Breathing problems: bronchitis, wheezing, chronic cough, pneumonia, asthma, aspiration, apnea, cyanosis.
*Hoarse voice

GERD may cause babies to either undereat (if they associate feeding with the after-feeding pain, or if it hurts to swallow) or overeat (because sucking keeps the stomach contents down in the stomach and because mother’s milk is a natural antacid).

I often blamed myself for Pooker's horrible pain, while she nursed. Reflux does A LOT to you as it does to your babies! However, breastfeeding is one of the BEST things you can do if your child has reflux. Just be strong and hang in there. But keep in mind... breastmilk is most likely better for reflux than formula. Since breastmilk is easily digested, so it leaves the stomach faster and can be less irritating when it is refluxed up.

The tricks we found were:
* Not laying them flat for 30 mins after a feeding
* Reflux babies more often hate tummy time......so bare with them
* Keep them elevated at about 30 degrees while they sleep. This helps encourage the fluid to stay down....but to be honest if they are going to "reflux up" it does not matter their position
* Try not to jostle them following a feeding....see above for the same reasoning.  Again....to be honest if they are going to "reflux up" it does not matter their position
* Burb them OFTEN during feeding. I burbed every 5 minutes, then as they got older I burbed  them after each breast
* Maaloox was a SAVIOR with Pooker. PLEASE check with your pedi or specialist before giving them this medicine
* I also have/had over active let down with both babies. This can GREATLY irritate reflux! Pooker would get 2 breastmilk bottles daily, when my letdown was at it most fierce. I would pump those two feedings. Kit Kat HATES bottles...so this trick did not work with her

* Poor weight gain (PWG) and Failure To Thrive (FTT) are also very common with babies who have Reflux. For Silent Refluxers....it is the pain associated with feeding that makes them eat less. But for Loud Refluxers it is just trying to keep what they taken in, well, in. Pooker had Poor Weight Gain at 5 months old. She was at BARELY 12 pounds and at the 3rd % for her weight. Luckily her GI Specialist knew how important breastfeeding was and suggested I give her 1-2 ounces of pumped milk following each feeding. I did this for one month and she began to gain weight!

* Medication, Prevacid and Zantac for example, might be needed. Both of my girls responded best to Prevacid. Reglan should ONLY be given if all other medicine has proved not to work and all other options have been tried. This medicine can DANGEROUS....pooker had a HORRIBLE reaction to it before we pulled her off. It was prescribed by her Pediatrician. Later her GI Specialist informed us he does not give that out to children and did NOT want her taking it.

*When feeding, keep them as elevated as possible. I invented (okay named) our position "the Souders' Sit." They are more so sitting up on my lap as they nurse.

* What you eat may bring on the pain! I could not drink orange juice with Pooker. (Still too scared to try it with Kit Kat!) So you might need to look into an elimination diet.

The hard part is knowing there is not much you can do for your baby. You give them the medicine, you try to comfort them when they are clearly in pain, you help them to breath again when they are having a reflux related Apnea episode, and you clean up their spew. But your heart will break, you will get angry and upset, and you will feel like it will never end. But most babies grow out of it by the time they are one yr old. You can do it! Give your baby the best you can and hang in there. I survived 11 months of breastfeeding a Silent Reflux ravished daughter. IT WAS HARD! And a good friend told me she was sure most women would have given up (I love you Jo Ann) and how proud she was I kept going. Just take one day (or heck one feeding) at a time.

Feel free to email me at mummiesnummies@gmail.com if you have questions. I am sure I forgot some tricks. Besides it helps to have a support system!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Have you seen it?

Best For Babes created an ad in USA Today. It is a great ad for many reasons! It is a very creative way to support breastfeeding, it was FEATURED in USA TODAY ( huge accomplishment!) and they managed to also convince USA Today to exclude ANY formula advertisements in the entire guide!!!!! (CRAZY GREAT HUH?!)

Here is the ad

You can read about the ad here, directly from Best for Babes. Happy reading!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh Breast Milk how I love you...Let me count the ways!

I recently saw that someone squirted expressed breast milk in their child's nose, to help a stuffy nose. REALLY?! I never knew breast milk could help that. So I did some research....and I found this article. Here are some ideas for you to try!

Drop some milk in irritated eyes using a needless syringe or medicine dropper. This works for infected or plugged tear ducts, pink eye, sties and ophthalmologist allergies (watery eyes). You can also use for contact solution on soft, hard, or gas permeable lenses, or use it in place of or in addition to tea bags or cucumbers to soothe red, puffy, tired eyes.

Rinse your skin with plain water, pat dry, spread breast milk on skin and let it air dry. This can help soothe and heal a number of skin calamities, including diaper rashes, cracked or bleeding nipples, acne, eczema, chicken pox, chapped cheeks, and rashes or hives due to allergies or poisonous plants like poison oak or poison ivy. You can use a cotton ball moistened with the breast milk to spread it on the skin. This will also help any bite or sting, whether it comes from an insect, a pet or another child.

Gargle it. This will heal a sore throat very quickly. In addition, giving your weaned older children or your husband/partner a cup of expressed milk will help them get over a cold or flu occurrence quickly. It's a great remedy for chapped lips, canker sores, cold sores, and other mouth sores in both children and adults.
Use breast milk to ease the symptoms of colds as well. It can be used in place of nasal saline drops to loosen mucous of the nose, and it can be used as ear drops to ease the pain of an ear infection. (**side note... my pediatrician said not to use in ears as she feared the sugar in the breast milk would make an ear infection worse. But some people swear by it!!!**)

Remove makeup with breast milk. Alternately, you can use it as a general facial cleanser.

Treat injuries like scratches, abrasions, ingrown toenails, scrapes and burns with breast milk. Just dab it on and let it heal, or in hand/foot injuries, let it soak in a cup of milk.
Calm the pain of teething or toothaches. Experiment with different temperatures to find the one that brings most relief. Chewing on a cloth soaked in breast milk really helps.
Cook with it. It can be used in the same proportions that you would use cow milk in cooking and baking.
Donate it. If you are a super-producer with your pump, consider donating some of your overage. Milk banks will use this precious commodity to heal babies who need it the most, such as preemies and babies with severe congenital problems.

So my question is.... Is it weird of me to wish for my husband to have a stuffy nose so I can try this method?!