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Ashkenazi Jews And Breast Cancer
Breastfeeding After HELLP Syndrome
It’s Raining Candy Hearts: The Effects of Sugar on Breastfeeding Babies
Breastfeeding And Family Planning Facts
Hand Expression of Breastmilk

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Breastfeeding ,Weight Control and A Healthy Diet
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Ashkenazi Jews And Breast Cancer

Please like my facebook page.  I have written this blog for all of you to read and enjoy.  It has been a labor of love.  I am sending my love to all.
 
                                                                         


       Genetic disorders are common in various ethnic racial and geographical groups.  In fact breast cancer is slightly higher among Ashkenazi Jews then other women.  There seems to be a higher incidence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation in Jewish women of Eastern descent, Jews who have come from Germany, Poland and Russia.  These women have an increased susceptibility to breast cancer.  Furthermore, genes are inherited from our biological moms and dads.
     Researchers have been hard at work trying to help specific cultures understand why they are more likely to develop breast cancer.  Many groups have been trying to understand why some cultures have a higher tendency to develop breast cancer, including the  group responsible for the coding of the human genome.  This has led to new technology, which has developed over the past decades, allowing us to link racial and ethnic groups to specific diseases.
     Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York is the worlds oldest and largest private institution devoted to the prevention, patient care, research and education in cancer. They have done numerous studies showing that is Ashkenazi women have a mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, they face an 80-90% chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime.  However, hereditary cancer only account for 5-10% of all cancers.
      Genetic Testing is now available for both BRCA1 and for BRCA2 gene mutations.  A good genetic counselor can help you decide whether these tests are right for you.  They will sit down and discuss whether testing is right for you and your family.
      If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, become informed about your diagnosis and treatment and what the future holds for you.  Find others who are going through what you are going through because a support group helps you get through this hard time in your life.
       In conclusion, Ashkenazi Jewish Women have an inherited genetic mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer in Jewish Women of Eastern European Descent.  Ashkenazi Jews represent a genetically unique population.  The BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are higher in Ashkenazi Jews, reinforcing the fact that this is a genetically unique group of people.  The best thing any women can do is to have your yearly mammograms and ask your health care provider questions about your health.  Staying knowledgeable and informed is a great way to stay ahead of breast cancer, so you can catch it early and prevent it from spreading any further, throughout your body.  Please take care of your health. 
 
 
 
 
A good site on genetic diseases for the Ashkenazi Jewish population.
www.jewishgeneticscenter.org

Breastfeeding After HELLP Syndrome

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     Breastfeeding is best for your baby.  Breastfeeding is particularly important for babies who are born premature, especially after their mom has experienced hypertensive diseases in their pregnancies, HDP.  In fact ,some women who are diagnosed with preeclampsia will develop HELLP Syndrome.  Preeclmpsia happens when a women is pregnant and her blood pressure rises usually after her twentieth week .    HELLP Syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur in pregnant women.  HELLP Syndrome was named by Dr. Louis Weinstein.  It stands for H, hemolysis, which is the breaking down of red blood cells, EL, which stands for elevated liver enzymes and LP, low platelet count. 
     Some of the symptoms of HELLP Syndrome are:  headache, nausea, vomiting, pain after eating, abdominal or chest tenderness and upper right side pain, shoulder pain, bleeding, changes in vision, swelling.  You may have high blood pressure or protein in the urine.  See your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms.
     How can someone prevent themselves from getting HELLP Syndrome.  Before getting pregnant, make sure you are healthy by eating properly, getting enough rest and exercising daily.  During your pregnancy, make sure you go to regular  prenatal visits.  Inform you doctor of any family history with HELLP Syndrome.  Understand the warning signs and contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of these signs.
     The severity of HELLP Syndrome is classified into 3 categories.  Class 1 is severe.  Class 2 is moderate and Class 3 is mild thrombocytopenia, platelet count in your body.  It is severe if your platelet count is under 50,000/mm3, moderate if your platelet count is 50,000 and 100,000/mm3 and mild if your platelet count is 100,000 and 150,000/mm3.
     Treatment for HELLP Syndrome are:  a blood transfusion if bleeding problems continue.  Corticosteroid medicines help the baby’s lung develop faster, medicines treat high blood pressure, magnesium sulfate infusion to prevent seizures.
     In conclusion,  the prognosis for HELLP Syndrome is good as long as you are diagnosed early.  If HELLP Syndrome is undiagnosed or untreated, it can result in life threatening complications for both mom and baby.  Therefore, make sure you have regular prenatal check ups.  Encouraging and supporting new moms to breastfeed is so important, so we can improve the physical and mental development of preemie babies.  Enjoy your time with your baby and enjoy your journey of breastfeeding your baby.
 

For further information visit:  www.preeclampsia.org

It’s Raining Candy Hearts: The Effects of Sugar on Breastfeeding Babies


                                                                                        
Please like my facebook page.  Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog.  I enjoy writing these blogs.  I had a dream last night that it rained candy hearts. It was my light bulb moment to write this blog on Breastfeeding and Sugar.  I guess I was thinking about Valentines Day.  Happy Early Valentines Day.  May your life always rain Happy and Sweet things.  I am sending my love to everyone  around the world.  Blessings and peace to all.

Love,  Betty H. Greenman, IBCLC,  International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Founder and Owner of Breastfeeding With Love

 
       Breastfeeding is best for your baby.  The American Academy Of Pediatrics recommends moms to breastfeed for at least a year.  However, if you cannot breastfeed for the first year at least the first six months are especially crucial to breastfeed.  At this point, most babies only breastfeed exclusively and do not get solids.  Therefore, all the nutrients come from your milk. 
     Breast milk contains all the right nutrients your baby needs.  It helps protect your baby from many illnesses.  Furthermore, it is beneficial to your baby’s health, protecting his digestive system, preventing ear infections, less diarrhea and respiratory illnesses.  Since you the mom are supplying your baby with breast milk, it is very important for you to eat a well balanced and nutritious diet, filled with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, foods filled with iron, calcium and all the other essential vitamins and minerals and not too much sugar.
     Eating too much fatty, high sugary snacks is not good for your baby.  Your breast milk provides good carbohydrates, proteins and fats needed to nourish your baby.  Higher calorie foods is not good for your or your baby.  Remember what you eat goes through your body and your breast milk.
     Breast milk contains less sugar.  In fact, babies who breastfeed, are less likely to get tooth decay.  Naturally occuring antibodies found in breast milk, stop the growth of bacteria in your baby’s mouth.  Therefore, breastfeeding is such a healthy choice for your baby.
     If your baby is fussy, has green poop, you may be giving the baby too much of your foremilk, the breast milk that babies drink in the first few minutes of breastfeeding.  The foremilk contains lots of sugars and can irritate a baby’s stomach.  Pump off the foremilk for a few minutes and then breastfeed your baby.  Mix this milk with other breast milk that you have pumped the same day. I hate to tell you to throw this milk away.  By giving your baby the hind milk, the milk that comes after the first few minutes of sucking, you are giving the baby less sugar, allowing the baby to feel better.

     In conclusion, breast milk is known to provide the best vitamins for your newborn baby.  It holds many magical components, protecting your baby from many harmful illnesses.  I am so proud of every new mom that attempts to breastfeed.  I know it is  a very hard thing to do sometimes because I have breastfed many children.  Relax and enjoy your baby.  It is such a blessed and special time for you both.

Breastfeeding And Family Planning Facts


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                      Breastfeeding With Love, Betty H. Greenman Is Wrapping The                                                             World Around With Her Love.


Breastfeeding And Family Planning Facts    
 
The following types of birth control are safe and will not affect your milk supply.

1.  Lactational Amenorrhea Method-LAM  To use this method, you must be exclusively breastfeeding your baby.  Your baby has to be less then six months old.  You need to breastfeed your baby at least every 4 hours and 6 at night.  You have not started your period yet.  This method is 98% effective.

2.  Condoms- This method also helps prevents transferring sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.
 
3.  Diaphragm/Cervical Cap-This is a small rubber device that women put into their vagina, birth canal and place over their cervix.  These devices block sperm and help prevent pregnancy.

4.  Sterilization, Vastectomy or Tubal Ligation-  This is a surgery that is permanent to stop a women from getting pregnant.

5.  Natural Family Planning-  This is a method to avoid pregnancies by observing the natural rhythm of your body and knowing the signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of your menstraul cycle.

6.  Spermicides-  This method kills and disables sperm so that it cannot cause pregnancy.  It can be in a foam, gel, creme, suppossitory or sponge method.
 
7. The Sponge-It is made out of plastic foam and contains spermicide.  It is a vaginal barrier method to prevent pregnancy.
 
8.  Copper Intrauterine Device(IUD)-  This is a small device, a T shaped device that is placed into the uterus by a trained healthcare provider.  It provides continuous and highly effective birth control.
 
 
 
 
These birth control methods should not be started sooner then six weeks after delivery.  Talk to your OB/GYN about these methods to see what is best for you.

1.  Depo Provera-  This is a birth control shot which is an injection of a hormone that lasts 3 months and prevents pregnancy.

2.  The Mini Pill-  This does not contain Estrogen.  The Progestin is lower.  The mini pill thickens cervical mucus and thins the lining of the uterus preventing sperm from reaching the egg. 

3.  Mirena IUD- This is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.  A healthcare provider places it into your uterus.  It is a hormonal IUD.
 
4.  Single Rod Inplant-  A match stick sized rod inserted into your arm to prevent pregnancy.
 
The following is not recommended while breastfeeding.  These birth controls have the hormones Progestin and Estrogen in them therefore, this may keep your breast milk from coming in or stop it all together.  Therefore, they are not recommended for most women to breastfeed.

1. The Ring-  This is inserted into the vagina where it slowly releases hortmones through vaginal wall into the blood stream to prevent pregnancy.

2.  The Patch-  This is a thin, plastic patch that sticks to the skin.

3.  The Pill, a birth control pill with Progestin and Estrogen-  This pill contains hormones to changethe way the body works to prevent pregnancy.

4.  Emergency Contraceptive Pill-  This is a way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse, commonly known as the after morning pill.

Hand Expression of Breastmilk

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    Breastmilk is the best nutrition you can give your baby.  In fact, breastfeeding gives you the power to protect your baby from many illnesses.  However, sometimes new moms need to start off by hand expressing their breast milk for various reasons.
   There are many reasons why new moms should learn to manually express their own breastmilk. Hand expression can give you as much breastmilk as a manual or electric breast pump.  It takes a bit of practice however, you will get a good amount of breastmilk.  If your breasts are too full, you can hand express some out and then allow the baby to latch on.  Some moms find hand expressing easy while others find it more challenging. 
   There are many benefits for a breastfeeding mom to know how to hand express your own breastmilk.   You can hand express when you feel:  baby is too tired, feel engorged, have Mastitis or many clogged milk ducts.   Find a comfortable place to sit to hand express your breastmilk.  Start off by washing your hands .  Find a container that is sterile to catch your breastmilk.  Massage your breast by stroking downwards toward the nipple.   Support your breast from underneath.  Press your thumb and finger towards your chest.  Space your fingers under your breast making a big C shape around your breast, about an inch behind the nipple.  Roll your thumb and fingers towards the nipple to drain your breastmilk. Do this a few times.  Squeeze then release.  Keep the rhythm going.  You can try to squeeze your breasts in different directions. Experiment seeing where to squeeze and how much milk comes out. By squeezing you breasts, you are stimulating your milk ejection reflex, releasing the hormone Oxytocin.  Once you finish expressing, you can give the baby the breast milk or save it for another time, putting your breast milk in the refrigerator or freezer.
     When babies end up in the NICU, some moms choose to hand express their breastmilk.  Try to sit near your baby because the baby stimulates your hormones that help with milk production.  Some babies are too tired at first therefore, hand expression your first milk, Colostrum makes sense.  Additionally, what may seem like a small amount of breastmilk is liquid gold for your baby, packed with lots and lots of nutrients.  A nurse or Lactation Consultant can help you learn the technique of finger feeding so you can do this in the hospital and even at home. 

     In conclusion, when hand expressing, remember practice makes perfect.  Have patience and slowly you will learn the technique of hand expressing.  Good luck and I hope it all worked out for you.

Tips For Traveling While Breastfeeding Your Baby

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      Breastfeeding is best for your baby.   Sometimes, a mom needs to travel with her baby while she is breastfeeding. It can get very tricky if you are breastfeeding and flying.  If a mom needs to travel without her baby, that can get even harder.  In fact, pumping and storing are real important while traveling.  Therefore, traveling while breastfeeding should be well planned out.
     Call your airline company before you travel.  Ask them about regulations about traveling with a baby.   The Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, recommends that babies under 40 pounds, be secured in a car seat.  However, it is not mandatory.
     Breastfeeding on an airplane can be done.  Make a list of what you need to bring.  Try to board early, so you can get situated where you will sit on the plane etc... 
     I liked to breastfeed and sit in a window seat.  I used something to put over me while I breastfed.  I know that other moms prefer an aisle seat, so they can get up and down more easily.  
     Here are a few tips that I recommend: Wear loose clothing so you can easily pull it up to breastfeed your baby.  Make sure to drink plenty of water and liquids while flying. Wash you hands before and after you breastfeed.  Be prepared to have some expressed breast milk available in case you need it.  Change your baby's diaper before the flight.
     Breast milk falls into the same category as liquid medications.  Tell the security officer at the counter that you have pumped breast milk.
      Some moms find it beneficial to breastfeed while taking off and landing.  This helps the baby's ear get unplugged and can ease the pressure in their ears.
     Bring extra spare parts for your pump.  Sterilize them before bringing them with you.  Keep them in a sealed bag.  
     Make sure that anywhere you travel, your baby is caught up with their immunizations.  Don't let too many people touch your baby unless they have washed their hands.
     A sling or soft baby carrier is helpful when you travel.  Try to book a flight when less people are on.  Off peak hours is a good choice if possible.  Help your baby out if your baby is crying inconsolably.  Get up and walk to the back of the plane to help soothe the baby if necessary so the baby crying will not disturb too many people.
     If a mom has to go on a business trip and cannot bring her baby, try to pump on a schedule that is similar to your baby's feeding schedule as possible.  Put the milk in a cooler immediately and refrigerate when you get to a hotel.
     In conclusion, be prepared before you travel.  If you stay organized, your trip will be more fun.  Breastfeeding a baby on a plane is possible.  Taking a business trip while breastfeeding can happen, as long as you are organized.  Enjoy and have a safe flight.


Check TSA for latest regulations:http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/traveling-children
     

Help Defeat Breast Cancer

     Please like my page and facebook page.  Thank you for stopping by to read my post.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.   Therefore, I decided to write another post on Breast Cancer.  I am sending my love and blessings to everyone around the world.                                 






     There are so many cancers in the world.  It is so frightening when one is diagnosed with cancer.  That is why it is important for every women to help yourself.  Helping yourself means getting mammograms when needed and recommended. Early detection saves lives.
      We have come a long way learning the signs and getting early detected to help cure this cancer and live a long life.   Breast cancer is most treated before it spreads and advances.  Simple changes in you life can help.  Eating fiber and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables are important in your daily diet.  Maintaining a healthy weight helps.  Try to limit your alcohol consumption.  Don't smoke or if you do stop.  Try to get at least 30 to 45 minutes of daily physical activities.  Do regular breast exams in your twenty's and thirty's.  Get annual mammograms as recommended by your doctor.  Some recommend you starting in your mid 30's.  Though it is less common, 1% of breast cancer are seen in men.
     Family history plays a big part of when a women should begin so discuss this with your doctor.  Because of your family history, a genetic tendency or certain other factors, you may need additional testing such as an MRI,  Talk with your doctor to see what is the best course of action for you.
     Other things that influence getting breast cancer are:  using menopausal hormones.  This is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.  The FDA recommends using medications at a low dose as possible for a short period of time possible because of this association to breast cancer.   Data also shows that women benefit to having children in their 30's or younger.  Some studies have shown breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
     The Komen Organization urges women to watch out for these eight warning signs of breast cancer:
1.  A lump or hard knot thickening in the breast or under your arm area.
2.  Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
3.  Change in size or shape of your breast
4.  Dimpling or puckering of the skin.
5.  Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.
6.  Pulling in of the nipple or other part of the breast.
7.  Nipple discharge that starts suddenly.
8.  New pain in one spot that does not go away.
     We have come a long way helping fight breast cancer.  There are trials going on to find a vaccine.  We are improving ways to assess risk in young girls with family history.  There are many groups designing weight loss programs.  There are new survivor groups so you can share your story and inspire others.  Many other trials are happening today.  Evelyn H. Lauder helped establish The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing the world's most promising research to help eradicate breast cancer.

     In conclusion, maintaining a healthy weight throughout your lifetime is something that you can control. Try to exercise daily.  Eat a healthy diet filled with lots of fruits and vegetables.  Get regular mammograms.  Check your breast by doing your own exam to see if you feel any lumps.  Report any changes to your doctor.  Hopefully in our lifetime, we can see a cure for Breast Cancer.  Together lets defeat Breast Cancer.  To all the women fighting Breast Cancer, remember to take it one step and day at a time.  

     I am sending my love and prayers and I am thinking about all of you as you undergo chemotherapy or radiation etc...  I have been on this path of cancer with one of my sons, who is a cancer survivor so I know the pain.  If you ever want to reach out to me, you can send me an e mail at breastfeedingwithlove@hotmail.com.   Please take care of yourselves.  You are important and your family loves you.


Breast Cancer Support Groups

National Cancer Institute- 1-800-422-6237

MD Anderson Cancer Center- 1-855-302-5821

Susan G.Komen 1-855-276-9813

Breast Cancer.org
     

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome,PCOS and Breastfeeding

     Breastfeeding is best for your baby.  It provides the right nutrients for your baby to grow.  Even women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, PCOS, can breastfeed.  In fact, it is important that women who want to breastfeed with PCOS, make sure they are educated about PCOS, while pregnant and breastfeeding.  
     What is PCOS?  PCOS is is an endocrine disorder in females.  Women can experience many signs of PCOS.  Early detection is important because women with PCOS can develop diabetes and high cholesterol.  Women with PCOS can experience cysts in their ovaries, high levels of testosterone, which is a male hormone.  High levels of testosterone can lead to Hirsutism, which is male pattern baldness or excessive hair growth.  A high level of testosterone can also prevent ovaries from releasing an egg each month.
    PCOS is related to a number of possible reasons for Lactation problems.  Insulin, progesterone and estrogen are all essential hormones for the breast to development and successfully breastfeed your baby.  These three hormones can be imbalanced in women with PCOS.  They can range from insulin resistance, which is a physiological condition, where cells fail to respond to normal actions of the hormone insulin, hypothyroidism, which is under active thyroid, where your thyroid doesn't make enough hormones, hyperandrogenism which is  an excess levels of androgen  and too much estrogen and insufficient mammary tissues.  Androgens, which are typically high in PCOS women, can also interfere with and bind to prolactin.   
      Moms with PCOS,  need to prepare themselves if they want to successfully breastfeed.  Finding a good latch and position for your baby is crucial.  PCOS moms need to pump in order to help with their breast milk supply.  Skin to skin is important.  Make sure you continue taking Metformin, if you have been on it since pregnancy and before.
     I am hoping one day to do a study with women who are breastfeeding and PCOS.  One Lactation Consultant who has done a study is Lisa Morasco.  According to Lisa Morasco, "Some women with PCOS,may experience inadequate milk supply, because the breast tissue fails to undergo physiological changes, during pregnancy , needed to prepare for lactation,prior to pregnancy."  Some women with PCOS have lower levels of progesterone.  Progesterone is needed for alveolar growth and breast tissue  development.  Other PCOS women have lower levels of progesterone.  Progesterone is needed for alveolar growth and breast tissue development.  Other PCOS women have insulin resistance, which plays a role in milk production.
     It is important to find a Lactation Consultant who knows about PCOS.  I actually have PCOS myself.  I am very knowledgeable with PCOS because I struggled to breastfeed my own babies.  I have come to realize that any breast milk I gave my babies was amazing.  Some of my children, I breastfed longer.
     Managing your PCOS is important. Medical management as well as lifestyle modifications are the best way to manage PCOS.  Work with your doctor while you are pregnant as well as breastfeeding, to maintain normal levels of your hormones and develop a plan.
     In conclusion, understand your own body and health.  Early detection of PCOS and proper education is crucial.  While many women with PCOS have no problems with breastfeeding.  Other struggle to keep their milk supply up.  Speak to your doctor and seek out a professional Lactation Consultant, one who understands PCOS well.  I hope each and everyone of you enjoy breastfeeding your baby and have an easy journey with great success.

Lactation Cookie Recipe To Help Boost Your Milk Supply

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     It can be frustrating when you milk supply while breastfeeding remains low.  Many of my patients have turned to creative ways of boosting their milk supply. Baking cookies is one of them.  Often when I visit my patient, they are baking cookies.VHere is one recipe I found and refined.  It has brewer's yeast, flax seed and oatmeal as well as chocolate chips in it.

    Oatmeal, brewer's yeast and flax seed helps with milk production.  This recipe calls for oatmeal, brewer's yeast and flax seed.
Lets talk about these three ingredients.

OATS-   They are the key ingredient to boost milk because of the iron.  Oats are also a great source of fiber.

BREWER’S YEAST – It is a good source of Vitamin B.  There is a boost of energy with brewer's yeast. 

FLAX SEED- It is a great form of fiber.  Flax is a powder with omega 3 in it.  Omega-3 is great for the human body and brain. 

LACTATION COOKIE RECIPE
3 cups whole natural oats (not quick oats)
1 1/2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
3 tablespoons ground flax seed (milled flax seed comes in a bag or box)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter softened
4 tablespoons unrefined organic virgin coconut oil
 1/2 cup brown sugar and ½ cup regular sugar
2 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks
1 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
2/3 cup water
optional-3/4 cup raisins

 
Directions on baking cookies for a better milk supply while breastfeeding.
Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips,raisins, with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.
Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds (I use an ice cream scoop so they are fairly uniform in size) and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

Place the cookies on a pressed cookie sheet.  Scoop onto the sheet and press down each ball of dough lightly with your hand or a fork.
Makes 20 to 22 cookies. Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Breastfeeding My Baby- Is This Normal?

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     Breastfeeding is best for your baby.  It has just the right nutrients and vitamins your baby needs.  However, sometimes a baby can experience too much gas or develop reflux after breastfeeding.  Additionally, some babies experience diarrhea or constipation and are not happy.  They begin to cry for different reasons.  As you get to know your baby, you will begin to recognize your baby's different cries and know what your baby wants and needs.  In this blog, I will discuss what is normal as far as crying, colic, constipation and diarrhea and spitting up go for your baby.
     Why is my baby crying?  A crying baby is trying to tell you that something is wrong. Your baby can be hungry, have a dirty diaper, needs more sleep, wants to be held, has tummy problems, such as gas, needs to be burped or is too hot or too cold.  
     Hunger is the number one reason a baby cries.  Recognize hunger cues such as:  fussiness, a baby smacking of his lips, turning cheek to find food, rooting,or putting hands in their mouth. Reflux, stomach flu, milk allergy, lactose intolerance and constipation can be other reasons your baby is crying.  

      What causes constipation and diarrhea and what can you do as a parent to help your baby?  Diarrhea can be caused by an infection.  It can also be caused by your baby's inability to digest nutrients in the foods moms eat.  Call your doctor if you notice blood, pus  or mucous in the stool, your baby has fever, your baby is more irritable or does a lot of vomiting.  Also, be aware of your baby refusing to eat, have a darker urine or decreased or increased activity of bowel movements.  Call the doctor if the baby has a dry sunken eyes or dry mouth. Your baby can get dehydrated and need medical attention.  If constipation is not that severe, you can try to exercise your baby's legs or gently massage your baby's stomach.  Normal color for bowel movements can be yellow, green or brown.  The consistency can be a little watery to a little hard.
     Babies can experience gas.  They can sometimes swallow too much air, if the burp is not burped back up.  If the burp gets trapped as it passes through the digestive tract, the baby can get very uncomfortable. Therefore, try to burp the baby when you switch from one breast to the other while breastfeeding.
      You just fed your baby breast milk and your baby spits up.  Spitting up is normal however, a lot of spit up is not.  Some babies experience gastroesophageal reflux, called infant reflux.  Call your pediatrician if you are concerned.  Remember to keep the baby upright for 20-30 minuted after feeding.  Try to feed your baby in smaller more frequent meals.  If the baby isn't gaining weight because of too mush spitting up, speak to your pediatrician.  Your doctor may prescribe medicine.
     A baby crying can be colic.  Colic is inconsolable crying at least 3 hours a day for at least three days a week.  It starts at about 2 to 6 weeks old and can last 3 to 4 months.  Colic can be from a baby who has gas, too much hormones causing a stomach ache, a baby who is sensitive to light or noise etc....  The baby's nervous system is continuing to develop, possibly causing colic.
     I had many babies who were colic.  It can get rough.  Just remember to take it one day at a time and nap if you can during the day.  Now they have anti gas drops that your pediatrician can recommend.  I heard for some babies they work well and for others they don't work so well.  
      Here are a few things you can try for a baby experiencing colic:  Try to play calming music for your baby, rub your baby gently, swaddle your baby, hold your baby upright.
     Breast milk oversupply can cause colic.  Ask a Lactation Consultant for advice on what to do.  I have helped many new moms in my private practice to help slow down oversupply and find the right position to breastfeed.
     In conclusion, if you are concerned about your baby, call your doctor and get a full exam to find out the cause of your baby crying or fussiness.  Respond early to signs of hunger.  If you see that your baby is uncomfortable, try to move to a quieter room with less visual stimulation.  Additionally,normal range of bowel movement varies from baby to baby.  Call your doctor if you feel something is wrong with your baby and your baby may be experiencing constipation or diarrhea.  Always follow your heart and motherly instinct and call your doctor if you feel you need to.  As your baby grows older, their body will improve.  Be patient and things will get better.