A community of women and wellness – Brick Canvas

By | Breastfeeding, community breastfeeding support, Uncategorized | No Comments

It can be hard to find a spot in the community that feels like home!  A place we can go to be women, to be individuals, and to replenish and regenerate all that we give day-in and day-out as mothers.  Somewhere we can meet other women who are in the same stage of life and are also striving to be mindful about how they live and how they love.  As Moms or Mom-to-be, it’s so hard to make time for ourselves, but it’s so necessary for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.  Taking time out to fill our own cup actually allows us to be more present and give more love to our families.  It doesn’t have to be a big deal or take all day.  Here are a few ideas: take a 20-min walk around your neighborhood, take a warm bath, take a yoga class, schedule a massage, or meet a girlfriend for lunch.  How about a pedicure for those months when you’re belly is growing and it’s tough to even see your own toes? These things can recharge us so we are ready for all the ups-and-downs that pregnancy, postpartum, and motherhood brings.  About six months ago, I found a wellness center local to me that offers so many of these services.  Brick Canvas (in Lehi, UT) has a full-service salon and spa, a Bikram Yoga studio, a cafe, and an events center.  Today I’d love to share more with you about what I’ve discovered in this local wellness community, especially the salon and spa because that’s every Mom’s favorite anyway!  Read through to find some exclusive promotions for Lactation Link readers.

Massage

I’ve had several massages due to my involvement in college sports, my two pregnancies, and during my recovery from my cancer treatment.  Sage Leaf salon and spa did not disappoint!  The 90-min massage I received from massage therapist Janelle was the most relaxing and therapeutic one I’ve had.  I was honestly so surprised with how wonderful it was!  It begins with putting on a robe in their luxury locker room/changing area, then relaxing in the rejuvenation room (basically heaven – chocolate covered snacks, fruit-infused water, dimmed lights and a comfy couch!) until my massage therapist came to get me.  I chose a few extras – like my favorite essential oil scent and hot stones to be used during my massage.  I highly recommend Sage Leaf for a true “spa” experience.  Along with regular exercise, massage is an excellent therapy to have on an ongoing basis during pregnancy – to help aid those aches and pains.  Make sure to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any complications.  Keep in mind that Sage Leaf has massage therapists who are trained in maternity massage – making the experience both safe and relaxing for your growing bump.  Massage is also a fantastic way to help your body rejuvenate and heal after birth! Not to mention that hour away from baby to help you relax and re-charge.

Pedicure  

In labor and delivery the nurses joke about how pretty all the laboring women’s toes seem to be!  Often times when women are waiting around for baby to come, they love to pass the time with a pedicure.  I know I did when I was pregnant.  You don’t have to think too hard to come up with a great “excuse” to get a pedicure!  I met a friend to get a pedicure a few weeks ago and it was definitely a unique experience at Sage Leaf.  There are only two pedicure chairs in a private space – so you can actually talk with a friend!  No one to talk over or anyone hurrying you along.  My favorite thing about the pedicure was the cooling balm they used instead of hot wax – it was tingly and felt great on my tired feet!  I also loved how we were served chilled grapes and chocolate during our pedicure – felt like royalty for an hour!  

The Loft, Fraiche Cafe, and Bikram Yoga studio

Bikram is actually how I found out about Brick Canvas!  I was invited by a friend to try it out and immediately knew it wasn’t like any exercise I had done before.  I won’t say I was an instant pro, but I started going once a week and have found it to be so cleansing for the body and mind. It’s a great thing to add to your exercise routine that helps to stretch and lengthen your muscles.  They have classes early morning and later evening – perfect for when baby’s sleeping.  See their full class schedule here.  Last time I went I was pretty hungry after class so I grabbed something to go at Fraiche Cafe.  I grabbed a smoothie and a hummus trio – perfect wholesome snack after a workout!  They make their hummus on the spot and the trio comes with lemon garlic, sundried tomato, and mint pea variations!  Yum.  Their menu is full of fresh menu items, refined-sugar free, gluten-free, and everything can be prepared dairy-free as well.  Lastly, when I saw Brick Canvas had an events center (The Loft), I knew it was perfect for our classes!  Spacious, great natural light, and doesn’t have a classroom feel!  Perfect for our attendees to feel comfortable and have a good time!  You can check out our last event we had in the Traverse Room here. I asked Brick Canvas if they could share a promotion with my readers and they did!  Mention these offers when booking (801.407.8620) – and hurry!  They’re only valid through November 4th, 2017.  

I hope you enjoyed this tour around Brick Canvas and all it has to offer!  

Thanks for stopping by,

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

 

Here are some unconventional but super helpful baby gifts from a mom who knows.

Unconventional & Super Helpful Baby Gifts

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, community breastfeeding support, Recommended Products | 2 Comments

Hi mamas! I’m Lacey Parr, a lactation educator, and mother of 3. I’m here today to talk about some fun ideas for baby shower gifts. I hope this gets some inspiration flowing for baby gifts! Enjoy!

If I’m being honest, there isn’t much that a baby needs. What a baby needs is to breastfeed and to be held. And you as a mother are great at doing both! But motherhood is not to be done alone. Every mother needs support and love. Baby showers are a great way to show our love and support to new moms. When giving a thoughtful gift, this love and support are felt even more! Here I have collected 7 baby gifts that will not be returned to Target but that the mother will use and reuse with gratitude!

  1. Breastfeeding class. Our research-based, peer-reviewed breastfeeding classes can be viewed over and over and never expire. They start with the benefits of breastfeeding, the anatomy of breastfeeding, how to hold your baby while breastfeeding, how to latch, even how to wean. (And loads more in-between!) The gift of knowledge is a gift that is perpetual!
  2. The gift of babywearing. As the saying goes, you cook for a mama once, you feed her for a day. You teach a mama to babywear, you feed her for a lifetime! 😉 Wearing your baby in a wrap or carrier increases bonding, lowers crying, facilitates breastfeeding and frees up mama’s hands. Soft wraps like the Moby Wrap are great for the newborn stage and Ergobaby is great for older babies. You can also search Babywearing International for local groups and gift a membership, which connects her with local experts to help answer her babywearing questions.Here are some unconventional but super helpful baby gifts from a mom who knows.
  3. Frozen homemade meals. A stack of meals, ready to go in the freezer, is such a relief to new families.
  4. Mattress protector. Yeah, she says she isn’t going to co-sleep. Yeah, she has that changing table. But I’m gonna tell you right now, she will leak milk in her bed. And one sleepy morning, she will change a diaper bleery-eyed and only realize till when it’s too late that it’s blow out. Trust me, a mattress protector might raise some eyebrows at the shower, but it’s worth it. She’ll thank you later.
  5. Nursing basket. Gather supplies from our favorite products list, add some diapers, wipes and lip balm, put it in a basket, and BOOM. Perfect baby gift and mama will think of you every time she sits down to nurse.Here are some unconventional but super helpful baby gifts from a mom who knows.
  6. Nursing activity basket for toddler. A basket of coloring books, special toys and snacks is a perfect way to keep an older child happy while mama feeds the new baby.
  7. Nursing friendly dress. Take the fuss out of feeding in the public for the new mama and get her a no-fuss nursing dress or top. She’ll thank you for days.
Here are some unconventional but super helpful baby gifts from a mom who knows.

{Use code LLINK for 20% off anything from Undercover Mama!}

What did you think of this list? What baby gifts would you add? What unconventional and super helpful baby gifts have you been given or have you gifted? I’d love to hear in the comments. 

More on supporting new moms and creating a community for motherhood from Lactation Link:

5 Ways partners can support breastfeeding

5 Ways Grandparents can support breastfeeding

Favorite Breastfeeding Products

Which nursing pad is right for me?

4 Ways family and friends can support a new mom

 

Thanks for coming by,

lactationlink.com

Lacey Parr, CLEC

Tips for labor & delivery to make breastfeeding easier via lactationlink.com

3 Tips for labor & delivery to make breastfeeding easier

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips | No Comments

Hi, mamas! I’m Lacey Parr, a lactation educator and blog manager here at Lactation Link. I’m also a birth advocate and have birthed my 3 children in all different scenarios and am excited to discuss a few tips for labor and delivery to make breastfeeding easier!

We know that prenatal breastfeeding education is a big factor in breastfeeding success (1). We are thrilled to help moms get the information they need prior to birth to have a successful breastfeeding experience. In addition to prenatal education, there are a few ways to help breastfeeding get off to a good start. Labor and delivery is one place to look.

When all the focus is on helping mom and baby have a safe delivery, we might forget about a few things during labor and delivery that can help make breastfeeding easier. Here are a few things about labor and delivery that not only help you have a more enjoyable experience, they can also help get breastfeeding started well. Be sure to discuss any of these options with your healthcare provider and place of birth.

Tips for labor & delivery to make breastfeeding easier:

  1. Have a doula present. A doula is a trained professional who is hired by the mother to give emotional and physical support during labor and birth. She does not perform exams or monitor the the baby like a midwife or a doctor. Doulas often help mothers achieve unmedicated birth and aim to support the mother initiate breastfeeding. The mother and doula have a relationship prior to the birth and having peer and community support is helpful to breastfeeding success. Doulas also help mom find resources prior to birth like breastfeeding education. Also, doulas care for one mother at a time. For mothers giving birth in the hospital, they are being cared for by a nurse and healthcare provider that are often caring for several other patients simultaneously. This is when doulas and hospitals can work really well together to help moms. A doula usually stays with mom continuously until 2-3 hours after the birth and is there to assist in the first feeding, if needed. If a mom has more breastfeeding concerns, help from an IBCLC is best. We now have 4 IBCLCs on staff and can help with your breastfeeding concerns in an e-Consult or in-person.              Tips for labor & delivery to make breastfeeding easier via lactationlink.com
  2. Consider alternative pain management options. More than two-thirds of moms in the U.S. use an epidural for pain management during labor (3). But did you know that unmedicated births can have more positive breastfeeding outcomes (4)?  Keep in mind that many, many women are able to breastfeed successfully after an epidural. However, I recommend taking a quality childbirth class even if you plan to get an epidural because it will prepare you to handle labor before you arrive at the hospital and while you are waiting for the anesthesiologist (something I missed with my first birth!). Pain management options such as movement, counter pressure, hypnotherapy, breathing techniques and more will be helpful during labor. Using alternative pain management tools will allow you to be more in control of your birth and can help you get started breastfeeding. A quality, in-depth childbirth class from a trained childbirth educator will give you and your partner lots of tools for pain management during birth.        Tips for labor & delivery to make breastfeeding easier via lactationlink.com
  3. Immediate skin to skin. Immediate skin to skin means that as soon as baby is born, they are put directly on your chest, before measurements, before swaddling. The benefits of immediate skin to skin are numerous (5). Immediate skin to skin after birth allows for a beautiful surge in oxytocin (the love hormone!) to flood mom and baby.  Your chest is your baby’s home and the best way to start breastfeeding. In healthy, full-term infants, all necessary immediate measures can be done on your chest. Height and weight measurements can wait and can be done at the bedside. The largest organization of obstetricians and gynecologists in the U.S. (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) now even recommend waiting to cut the cord, which can help facilitate immediate skin to skin time (6). Skin to skin can even occur in the operating room. Be sure to discuss these options with your healthcare team.

Tips for labor & delivery to make breastfeeding easier via lactationlink.com

Tips for labor and delivery to make breastfeeding easier via lactationlink.com

Luckily, moms and babies are incredibly resilient and many are able to meet their breastfeeding goals without a doula, immediate skin to skin or after a medicated or surgical birth. There is no right or perfect way to birth or feed your baby. I only wish you an experience that makes you feel informed, confident, strong, supported and loved. Did anything you do during labor and delivery help set you up for breastfeeding success? How did your birth attendants help you start breastfeeding well?

More on preparing to breastfeed from Lactation Link:

What is skin-to-skin?

What is SIDS and how can breastfeeding reduce my baby’s risk?

How to breastfeed in public

Thanks for stopping by,

lactationlink.com

Lacey Parr, BS, CLE

 

Sources

(1) Rosen, IM., Krueger, MV., Carney, LM., Graham, JA. (2008) Prenatal Breastfeeding Education and Breastfeeding Outcomes. The American Journal of Maternal and Child Nursing. 33 (5). 315-19.  Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18758336

(2) Gruber, KJ., Cupito, S.H., Dobson, C.F. (2013) Impact of Doulas on Healthy Birth Outcomes. The Journal of Perinatal Education. 22(1) 49-58. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3647727/

(3) National Vital Statistics Report. (2011) 59(11). Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_05.pdf

(4) Montgomery, A., Hale, T. and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. (2012). Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol #15: Analgesia and Anesthesia for the Breastfeeding Mother. 7 (6).  Retrieved from: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/bfm.2012.9977

(5) Vila-Candel, R., Duke, K., Soriano-Vidal, J., Castro-Sanchez, E. (2017). Effect of early skin-to-skin mother-infant contact in the maintenance of exclusive breastfeeding. Journal of Human Lactation. Retrieved from journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0890334416676469.

(6) ACOG News Release 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.acog.org/About-ACOG/News-Room/News-Releases/2016/Delayed-Umbilical-Cord-Clamping-for-All-Healthy-Infants

Breastfeeding Around the World: Part 2

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support | No Comments

As part of our World Breastfeeding Week celebrations last week, we heard from moms in South Africa, India, Belguim and more. This week, we are interviewing moms from Australia, Venezuela, Brazil and more about their breastfeeding stories. We hope that their experiences help put your breastfeeding journey into perspective and help you feel connected to mothers around the world. Enjoy!

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

What made you decide to breastfeed?

“I love how it provides the best nutrition for my baby, as well as being such a great way to comfort and connect with her.” -Selina, Australia

“In the beginning, I did it for Necesity. My country is passing thru a terrible economical crisis and we have no easy access to formula, in fact with my first child I did not breastfeed. knowing the case I start to investigate everything about breastfeeding, and convinced my self that was not the only option, was the best option.” -Dianela, Venezuala

“I don’t look at it as choosing to breastfeed. Bar no complications, illness etc for me breastfeeding is the way we are meant to nourish our children.” -Tash, South Africa

Breastfeeding around the world with Lactation LinkHow does your culture or family life influence the way you mother?

“It makes a huge impact as in India a new mom will have a lot of people to help with baby, generally new moms stay stay with her family for a few months with the baby . Get post natal massages for at least 1 month and rest a lot, letting the body heal.” -Asmita, India

“I came from a family where they were convinced that breastmilk was not enough for the baby, so I had to fight constantly with the idea that he didn’t need complementing with formula.” -Maria, USA

“It was harder in Turkey. But here in Brasil I’m so free… everybody respects each other.” -Eda, Brazil

“Family in Italy is very important, we can say it is an institution. I have the example of my mom, she had three children and was a working-mom, it wasn’t easy because the country is lacking political policies to support family but there is a strong social network made by grandparents and other relatives. -Silvia, Italy

What would you say to a new mom who is having a hard time breastfeeding?

“Be patient, take your time… sometimes hurts (because everyone says it doesn’t ) but you and your baby are going to find the way to do it right… and of course follow Lactation Link!!” -Dianela, Venezuela

“To trust herself and her baby and to contact an experienced lactation consultant.” -Allison, Belguim

“First of all you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Breastfeeding requires all your strength and your motivation. You need to rest and sleep as much as you can in the first period, so let people around you be helpful (cooking, cleaning up, etc..) because you and your baby have the priority. Don’t give up, it’s just the beginning of a beautiful journey, but even if you couldn’t breastfeed you shouldn’t feel guilty, a mom knows what is better for her and his baby.” -Silvia, Italy

“That it’s gonna pass.. just know that your baby needs you… try more and don’t be ashamed to ask for help.” -Eda, Brazil

Thanks for reading our Breastfeeding Around the World Series. You can access Part 1 here. What did you think of this series? Should we do it again? Can’t wait to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lacey Parr, BS, CLE

Breastfeeding Around the World: Part 1

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Breastfeeding, like many aspects of motherhood, is a universal phenomenon that can connect us to other mothers. This week, during World Breastfeeding Week, we are talking with moms from around the world about their experience breastfeeding. We hope you can feel connected to these moms and know that we are all doing our best to provide the best start for our children. Enjoy! Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

What made you decide to breastfeed?

“It seemed like the most natural thing to me, and I also wanted the best for my baby. I also felt like the separation from my baby would be less intense with that bond.” -Neila, France

“The benefits are amazing for the baby and the mother. It feels natural and the healthiest choice for the baby. I also love the connection and bond I have with my son. My son is 7 months old now, I work full-time, so I also pump at work, and have a very active 3 year old toddler; so breastfeeding provides me some quiet time for the baby and I to just wind down a busy and hectic day” -Lina, United Arab Emrates

“Because I believed it was best for my baby. Also that it’s free and convenient helps!” -Erin, Australia

What (or who) has helped you reach your breastfeeding goals?

“At first nobody helped me. During the pre-birth course “breastfeeding” wasn’t on the agenda so I was totally disoriented, but three day after birth (when I was giving up) a midwife working in the hospital was very helpful. She was so nice to me, she encouraged me giving me wise advices as how to lutch on or leaving milk on nipples to heal up. She and her colleagues followed me until my discharge.” -Silvia, Italy

“La Leche League from Belgium and the lactation consultants [at] the hospital where I gave birth. Also reading a lot about breastfeeding.” -Allison, Belguim

“First, my husband and I took the class that the hospital offers. So, when our baby was born we knew that they have lactation consultants available, and they made a big deal of difference those first days. Second, since my husband was with me during the classes and those first days, he didn’t let me renounce my goal of exclusively breastfeeding when I was ready to. He was prepared for that moment and offered the right support.” -Maria, USA

“I did a lot of research during my pregnancy and made sure I was educated and knew what I was in for. As natural as it may be – those 1st couple weeks are tough and I can see how moms could get discouraged without support or adequate knowledge throughout the process.” -Tash, South Africa

What about breastfeeding has brought you joy?

“I never could imagine how much joy! And pride! When people complement my baby about how big, smart and most important, healthy he is (including his pediatrician) we know that breastfeeding was the right choice.” -Maria, USA

“The connection with my baby is definitely magic and joyful. completely different to the connection that I had with my bottle fed baby, even when I love both deeply.” -Dianela, Venezuala

“It gives me immense joy to feel her at my breast as she likes to look around with those big beautiful eyes while drinking, and the feeling that my body and me are working together to provide for Eva.” -Asmita, India

I have LOVED hearing from these moms around the world. Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey that we can all take joy in. Support and education are so vital and I hope this series helps you feel connected to mothers around you and abroad. Stay tuned for Breastfeeding Around the World Part 2.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lacey Parr, BS, CLE

Breastfeeding in the news via lactationlink.com. Breastfeeding news with a lactation educator. Why breastfeeding news matters.

Breastfeeding News

By | Breastfeeding | No Comments

Hi mamas, I’m Lacey Parr, lactation educator and blog manager here at Lactation Link. Today we are talking about some recent breastfeeding news. 

We are starting today what we hope will be an on-going tradition here on the Lactation Link blog, a round-up of recent news about breastfeeding. I hope the thoughts from our lactation educators and consultants about these news items will give the headlines some context for you. Please share and comment, we would love to answer your questions and hear your opinions. Read on for recent breastfeeding news and why it matters!

World Breastfeeding Week

To start off, World Breastfeeding Week is coming up this week (August 1-August 7)! You can stay abreast (pun intended 😉 on all the global happenings on their website and Facebook page. You might find a Big Latch On event happening in your local area, they are happening all over the globe. We have some exciting things happening here on the blog and over on Instagram as well for WBW, so stay tuned!

Women of Color Breastfeeding: Photo Series

This photo series, created by Krista Welch and Isolde Raftery of KUOW, is a beautiful representation of women of color breastfeeding their babies. This is an issue that Lactation Link is keenly aware of as women of color have many barriers to breastfeeding. Some of these barriers are: lack of prenatal education, and healthcare, low income jobs that do not allow for pump breaks or paid postpartum leave and many more. Another gap that women of color face is the simple lack of representation. Many women of color do not have family that have breastfed and the media does not often show WOC breastfeeding. This series of photos and interviews is a wonderful way to bridge that gap and allow WOC to see themselves in the women depicted. From Nadia Rodrieguez, a mother depicted in the story, “I want more women of color to know the benefits of breastfeeding for baby and themselves.” We do too Nadia! Kudus to Krista and Isolde for creating such a beautiful project.

Australian Senator Breastfeeds in Parliament

Recently, Australian Senator Larissa Waters took the internet by storm when she became the first woman to breastfeed in the Australian Parliament. Parliament passed new rules in 2016 allowing for breastfeeding in the Parliamentary chambers. This is significant because it gives an example to the rest of the nation–and the world–on how to support new mothers and babies. In a time when mothers are often forced to wean earlier than planned due to unsupportive work environments, allowing breastfeeding in the Parliamentary chambers shows that motherhood and breastfeeding can occur simultaneously with the mother’s career. Supportive work environments have many possibilities for implementation. They can look like allowing mothers to bring breastfeeding babies to work, allowing for frequent pump breaks, flexible scheduling, work from home options and breastfeeding education and consultations as a part of their benefits package. We appreciate Senator Waters for her courage in standing up for breastfeeding!

Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project

Leilani Rogers of the famed Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project has chosen new winners. We love seeing breastfeeding as a normal part of the day for moms and their children. We have shared some past images from this project in our How to Nurse in Public post. We look forward to showing off more of these images soon!

Breastfeeding Moms Cardboard Cut-Outs

Here’s another way to encourage breastfeeding wherever you go! With the help of the local health department, Timmins, Ontario, Canada will have life-size cutouts of breastfeeding mothers placed around public places. This is intended to normalize breastfeeding in public and encourage mothers to feel comfortable doing so. We wish them well in their project!

What breastfeeding news items have caught your eye recently? Share in the comments.

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course?

I think you’ll find it really helpful. Click the image below for more info.

Thanks for coming by,

Lacey Parr, BS, CLE

Brickyard Buffalo Guest Editor

By | Uncategorized

 

I am so excited to be the Guest Editor over at Brickyard Buffalo today!

Brickyard Buffalo is a website designed to help you shop your favorite brands on a budget. They curate the trendiest items out there for a price you can afford. They work with ‘Guest Editors’ to help find great products and this month I’m lucky enough to have picked out some of my favorite shops and products to be featured for you to shop at a discounted price!

Here are a few of my picks!

I designed this shirt with Cents of Style to inspire others to ‘Keep Moving Forward’ through good times and bad.

I love baby wraps because they facilitate skin-to-skin! Which in turn can help foster a great breastfeeding relationship. I’m so happy Happy Baby Carriers will be selling thier wraps at such a great price this week!

Lillemer Breast Comfort Packs are one of my top recommendations to my breastfeeding mamas. They can be warmed or cooled to help comfort a range of breast discomfort.

Covered Goods Multi Use nursing cover is a MUST for breastfeeding mamas. Not only is it a functional 360-degree nursing cover, but it also can be used as a car seat cover, high chair cover and scarf!

Puj baby tubs are a must have for newborns.  They are soft, comfortable, portable and, in my opinion, beautiful!

I had to pick this print as one of my Guest Editors choices! I decided to go for it with this business and it has been so incredibly rewarding!

Head over to Brickyard Buffalo to check out the rest of my picks!

Can I exercise and breastfeed? via lactationlink.com

Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?, motherhood

Hi, mamas! I’m Lacey Parr, a lactation educator and mom of 3. I’m here today to talk about exercise and breastfeeding. 

After healing and resting from pregnancy and childbirth, many moms feel the need to bring some more movement into their routine. Often moms are concerned about how exercise and breastfeeding can go together. Luckily, studies have shown that moderate exercise will not affect your milk supply (1). So why do so many moms worry about exercise and breastfeeding? Lots of new moms begin exercising around 6 weeks postpartum and at the same time, baby often starts nursing more frequently. Many moms think this means they are having issues with supply, related to their exercise. But actually, 6 weeks is a normal growth spurt when baby will need to nurse more often. So feel free to start moving your body in healthy ways without any worries about supply. If you do have consistent worries about supply, please contact a lactation consultant. We have 4 lactation consultants here at Lactation Link that can help online or in-person

Bringing more movement into your life can bring not only physical strength, but the mental clarity mothers need! Be sure to check with your midwife or doctor before returning to physical activity after childbirth. New moms might find it helpful to think outside the exercise box. There are other options outside of joining a gym or starting a complicated routine. The physical movement that nourishes your whole body can be added throughout your day and can include your baby. I hope the following tips will encourage you to feel confident about exercise and breastfeeding. Here are a few ways that have helped other moms bring movement into their lives with a new baby:

  1. Start small & work up. You already have an 8-pound weight that you are lifting and carrying all day: your baby. So check weight lifting off your list, you’re already doing that ;). You can increase your amount of movement in other small ways as well. Nurse in different positions and locations, like the floor. When going for checkup, take the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also increase the amount of steps you take each day by parking in the back of the parking lot, or a block away from your destination. Anytime you can walk, rather than drive, will add more movement to your day.                          Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise? via lactationlink.com
  2. Include your baby. Many gyms do have daycare as an option, but if you aren’t ready to be away from your baby, you can remove the stress of pumping, finding a sitter and leaving your baby behind a few hours by bringing your baby along for more movement! Look at local barre, yoga and even Zumba classes that encourage babywearing. Natural movements at home like stretching on the floor and going for a walk can all include baby. With some practice, you’ll be able to hike and nurse at the same time with your baby carrier! Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise? via lactationlink.com
  3. Bring community along. Movement and exercise are more fun with friends. Put a call out on social media and meet up with other friends to take a walk. Bring your baby carrier or stroller with you and you’ve received fresh air, exercise and socializing all at once! In this relaxed environment, you can take breaks to nurse as often as baby needs.
  4. Get outside. Simply getting outside of our normal sedentary surroundings, we find more opportunities for movement. Take a walk in your neighborhood or find a hike in your area. Even a playground can be a great place to get more movement. The monkey bars can be a great place to hang (literally) and work muscles that need more movement. Take your vegetable chopping to your balcony or deck. Squatting or sitting on the ground to chop will not only work different muscles than doing it at the counter, it probably has a better view!Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise? via lactationlink.com
  5. Stack your life. I learned one summer when we were without a dryer that hang-drying my laundry was totally counting as exercise. Lifting a basket of heavy, wet laundry, walking it to the line, and going through the repetitive motions of bending, lifting and reaching was moving my chest and arm muscles in ways I hadn’t in months. I was cleaning, helping my family, getting fresh air and getting more movement. Think outside the exercise box. Do you have a flower bed or garden that needs weeding? Think of all the bending and squatting necessary to weed and tend to your plants. In addition to being outside, learning more about your food and helping it grow, you are exercising! Bring your baby along in your sling or on a blanket for easy access for nursing.

Being more active and adding more movement into your life after a baby doesn’t have to involve a gym membership or a strict exercise routine. Exercise and breastfeeding are compatible and helpful for you and baby. Recognizing the new movements you are already doing, including your baby, bringing along community, getting outside and stacking your life are all great ways to bring movement into your motherhood. 

Have you signed up for our free Confident Breastfeeding Course yet?

You’re gonna love it! Click below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Related articles:

Can I breastfeed if I want to lose weight?

Fun on the swings

What not to eat when breastfeeding

How to breastfeed in public

Thanks for coming by,

lactationlink.com

Lacey Parr, BS, CLE

Sources

(1) Daley, A.J., Thomas, A., Cooper, H., Fitzpatrick, H., McDonald, C., Moore, H., Rooney, R., Deeks, J.J. (2012). Maternal exercise and growth in breastfed infants: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pediatrics, 130 (1). 108-14. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22711727

3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy to prepare for motherhood via lactationlink.com

3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, motherhood

Hi, mamas! I’m Lacey Parr, a lactation educator and blog manager here at Lactation Link. I’m a mom to 3 and am here today to talk about 3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy to prepare for motherhood. 

There are some things I wish I would have known as a first-time mom. From my thorough Pinterest research (snicker) I assumed that the best thing I could do for my baby was to create a beautiful nursery and buy a bunch of stuff. Spoiler alert: we didn’t use the nursery or much of the stuff. Baby slept in a pack n’ play next to our bed for most of his first year. Creating a cute nautical-themed nursery was fun, but unnecessary.

What I wish I would have done was prepare to learn how to breastfeed. I thought I would just figure it out at the hospital. The nurses were great and encouraged me but had other patients to help too. So I went home not quite knowing what to do. I devoured every book on breastfeeding at my local library and went to several lactation appointments and we eventually hit our stride. We had a wonderful breastfeeding experience for over 13 months which led to even better experiences with my second and third children. But learning how to breastfeed didn’t have to happen when I was sleep deprived and anxious about my newborn. If I would have had access to a breastfeeding class like our Breastfeeding Basics class, I know breastfeeding would have come much easier.

Here are 3 things I wish all women knew about during pregnancy to help prepare for motherhood:

  1. Obtain quality prenatal care. This seems like a given, I know. But if you’ve walked into an appointment with your healthcare provider and felt rushed, know that it’s okay to shop around for providers. Ask other mothers you admire who they go to for prenatal care. It’s nothing personal to switch providers. You deserve, even need to feel supported, heard and safe during your appointments. Feeling comfortable with your provider now will help you to feel safe and comfortable during birth. I switched providers early on during my first pregnancy and was glad I did! I started motherhood with a team of caring providers who lifted me up. Pro tip: You can switch providers as late in your pregnancy as you want!
  2. Prepare for birth. Take a quality childbirth class. Read positive birth stories. Surround yourself with women that talk highly of birth. Consider hiring a doula, someone who will guide you through the mountain summit of birth! Talk with your partner about what you expect of them during birth. There is no wrong way to birth, my only hope for you is to feel supported, safe and heard during birth.3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy to prepare for motherhood via lactationlink.com
  3. Educate yourself on breastfeeding. I actually intended to take a breastfeeding class when I was pregnant with my first. We went to the hospital for the class and the teacher had an emergency and could not come. There was not another class before my due date. Lucky you, you don’t have to worry about coordinating dates with your hospital! You can take a quality, peer-reviewed breastfeeding class on your couch! I so wish I would have had Lactation Link when I was pregnant. You’ll never regret learning more about how to prepare for caring for baby and breastfeeding. Have you taken our free Confident Breastfeeding Course yet? It comes to your email and is a great place to start.

You might notice my list does not include “create a trendy nursery.” If only I could go back to my younger self and tell her that! But, I can tell you and that’s pretty close. But listen, if creating a beautiful nursery makes you feel prepared for baby, go for it! Nesting is a real thing and we all do it. Just don’t let that be the only thing you do. We cannot prepare 100% for motherhood because there is really no way to prepare for the intensity of joy, anxiousness, spit-up, poop and head-over-heels LOVE that comes with bringing life to the world. But obtaining quality prenatal care, preparing for birth and taking a breastfeeding class can help you visualize with confidence this new journey. Okay, mamas, what helped you feel prepared for motherhood? 

More on preparing for motherhood from Lactation Link:

How to create a community of support for breastfeeding

A survival guide for the first two weeks of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding tips for new moms

Why should I breastfeed?

Thanks for stopping by,

3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy to prepare for motherhood via lactationlink.com

Lacey Parr, BS, CLE

How to wean via lactationlink.com

How to Wean from Breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, motherhood

Many of you have been requesting a post on how to wean.  No matter how much we and our babies enjoy nursing, it will come to an end at some point! It’s up to you and your child to decide when is best. Today I wanted to share a bit more on how to wean by first discussing Child-Led Weaning and Mother-Led Weaning.  I hope this post will give you some confidence in this process! As always, know your options so you can continue to create confidence in your choices as a mom!

how to wean from breastfeeding via lactationlink.com. A lactation consultant's blog.

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There’s no “right time” to wean for everyone

No matter when your Mom, sister, neighbor, or grocery-store clerk weaned their baby, remember there’s only one right time for you and your baby.  Try not to let outside opinions or pressures factor into your decision to wean.  It’s a very individual choice for each mom/child pair! Keep in mind your original plan or goal for breastfeeding may change over the course of your experience.  A client recently told me, “My initial goal was to breastfeed for six months, now my daughter is fifteen months and there’s no end in sight!” Another client called me to her home on day three of her newborn’s life for some breastfeeding support and told me her goal was to breastfeed for one month.  The point?  All Moms and situations are different!  I’m here to support you in your goals and choices!

how to wean from breastfeeding via lactationlink.com. A lactation consultant's blog.

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Child-Led Weaning

Child-Led weaning is when the child guides the weaning process. Child-led weaning is when the child no longer has needs either nutritional or emotionally to breastfeed.  These children are typically drinking well from a cup and getting the majority of their nutrients from solid foods.  Keep in mind that child-led weaning rarely occurs before 18 months, so if you experience breast refusal before then, it’s most likely due to a nursing strike that will pass in a few days. Learn more about how to deal with a nursing strike on our Common Breastfeeding Concerns post.

how to wean from breastfeeding via lactationlink.com. A lactation consultant's blog.

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Mother-Led Weaning

Mother-Led weaning is when the mother decides it’s the right time to wean before noticing cues from her child. For mother-led weaning, be sure to consider your feelings and thoughts before beginning.  Is it your decision or are you feeling pressure from family or friends?  I read a polite but witty response to the inevitable question, “So how long do you plan to nurse?”

“OH, ABOUT ANOTHER 5 MINUTES”

Whether the decision to wean was mom’s or child’s, it’s best to take a gradual approach if possible. Remember to consider the pros and cons before starting the weaning process.  This will allow you to access the right time for both you and baby and look back on the experience with positive feelings.

How to wean via lactationlink.com

How to wean

If you have weighed the pros and cons and feel ready, obtaining some guidance on how to wean will be helpful. While there is much variation in each breastfeeding relationship, these general tips can guide you in your weaning process:

  1. Slowly & gently. This is always my quick answer to the question, “How do I wean?” Weaning overnight will be painful for you and baby. However, gentle weaning can happen and I promise your baby won’t nurse in middle school. 😉 Removing one feeding every week until they are gone is one method that has worked for many moms and babies.
  2. Find new ways to comfort. Breastfeeding is wonderful for its many purposes. It is food, drink, comfort, cuddles, hugs (and more) all in one! Since it is the answer to so many needs, when the time for weaning comes, it can be helpful to find new ways to comfort baby. Rocking, cuddles, and book reading are some things that have helped other moms.
  3. Call for reinforcement. Finding new ways to comfort your baby or toddler is a great time to include your partner. Since the hardest feeds to end are often at bedtime, it helps to have dad pitch in more during bedtime.

Much more weaning info and how to go about it gently in my video breastfeeding classes!  My goal is to create confidence in motherhood so moms can feel comfortable and certain in their choices and care for their little ones!

Have you signed up for my free Confident Breastfeeding Course yet? You’re gonna love it! Click below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC