Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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Corky Harvey, R.N., M.S., a lactation consultant and co-owner of The Pump Station, shows you how to best use a breast pump. Related: How to Breastfeed: Master the Deep Latch Technique
It's hard to believe that milk can stay out of the refrigerator and not go bad, but when it comes to breast milk, it's true. That's because mother's milk is an antibiotic of sorts, capable of killing many bacteria and viruses. That said, even though some experts say breast milk can be kept at normal room temperature for up to eight hours without the danger of bacterial growth, I'm not comfortable with leaving it unrefrigerated for more than four to six hours.
If you’re a new mom and nursing for the first time, pumping can seem downright daunting. But with a little planning and know-how, it’s easy to master the art of pumping—and to find the time to do it. Here, expert answers to the most common questions about expressing breast milk.
When Jo Anderson became pregnant, she knew she wanted to breastfeed her baby for as long as possible, even after she went back to work. But when she returned to her job as a public relations executive, she found that continuing to breastfeed was more difficult than she had anticipated.
Whether you’re planning to, trying to or nursing your baby as you read this, we can all agree on one thing: Breastfeeding exclusively for six months—as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)—is invaluable for the health of you and your baby.
According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stats, 74 percent of new moms agree and start out breastfeeding their babies. But, by the six-month mark, only 14 percent are still nursing exclusively.
The first days and weeks of breastfeeding often boil down to sheer survival: getting your baby to latch onto (and stay on!) your breast; functioning on what often feels like mere minutes of sleep; and willing yourself to keep going if you’re having problems.
Honest women will tell you that breastfeeding can be challenging, especially at first. While 3 out of 4 new moms begin nursing after giving birth, about 67 percent are no longer exclusively breastfeeding at three months, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To help keep you on the good end of those statistics, here are some of the more common difficulties you might encounter, along with ways to overcome them.
This week I'm singing the praises of lactation consultants (LCs) and women who conquer breastfeeding hurdles in creative ways. These women (are there any guys who do this job?) are all about finding solutions to breastfeeding problems that might otherwise cause women to ditch breastfeeding and hit the bottle. LCs are breastfeeding specialists; usually (but not always) registered nurses and childbirth educators with extensive training and board certification. They're nursing women's "breast friends," working boob jobs to feed the masses. (Sorry, I had to get those puns off my chest).
Lesley caught that cold that's been going around—the really nasty one that's been laying everybody up in bed for days. She wrote wondering what she could take that would be safe while breastfeeding. She also wondered how long her breastmilk will last if she doesn't nurse for a couple of days. Wow, she must be sick if she can't even breastfeed. Poor Lesley. You can take ibuprofen and Tylenol for sure. Ask your pharmacist or doctor before you take anything else though.
When Jo Anderson became pregnant, she knew she wanted to breastfeed her baby for as long as possible, even after she went back to work. But when she returned to her job as a public-relations executive in San Diego, she found that continuing to breastfeed was more difficult than she had anticipated. “Finding the time to pump was hard,” says the 37-year-old Anderson. “Even though my employer was understanding and supportive, my job is pretty demanding, and it was tough to get away several times a day for the 20 or so minutes it took to pump.” But Anderson’s work didn’t end there.
If your newborn has at least three yellow stools and six wet diapers a day and is gaining weight properly (1 ounce per day until about 3 months of age), chances are you're producing enough milk and don't need to pump. In fact, pumping when you have an adequate milk supply can be detrimental, says Corky Harvey, M.S., R.N., a certified lactation consultant and co-owner of The Pump Station in Santa Monica and Hollywood, Calif. Heres why: If you produce so much that your baby doesn't take it all in a feeding, the unreleased milk can lead to clogged ducts or mastitis.