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What Are Supple Cups?

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      The Supple Cups are a new product on the market aimed at helping and even correcting flat or inverted nipples.  Supple Cups work by creating a gentle suction that you choose the strength of.  It has been designed to help address flat and inverted nipples.  It comes in four different four sizes.
     Supple Cups helps the nipple stay erect longer, which helps the baby latch on better.  It is recommended to use a nipple crème or butter, putting the crème on your nipple and the interior of the Supple Cup, to help with suction. Typically, the Supple Cup is used for a few weeks. 
     Supple Cups are clinically proven.  Use a tape measure to measure your nipple when erect to see what is the best size for you.  If you have any discomfort with this product, contact your healthcare provider and discontinue use for it,.  It should be worn for a short time the first day,  for 15 minutes.    Gradually increase your time up to a few hours a day.  Ask your healthcare provider before starting this product while pregnant.  Be careful because nipple stimulation can cause contractions.
      You can use the Supple Cups 5-10 minutes before breastfeeding.  If your nipples turn color while using the Supple Cups, discontinue using it and contact your healthcare provider.  If you have been bleeding or sore, or cut nipples, do not use the Supple Cups.
     In conclusion, Supple Cups are a treatment for flat or inverted nipples.  Flat and Inverted Nipples can cause problems with breastfeeding.  The Supple Cups can help by pulling out and elingating flat or inverted nipple, helping to create longer nipples for your baby to successfully latch on.   Supple Cups have helped many new moms who give up hope to breastfeed, due to a flat or inverted nipples.  I wish all new moms a great breastfeeding journey.

Zika Virus And Breastfeeding

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     Breastfeeding is best for your baby. Breastfeeding has  significant benefits for both mom and her baby.  Because breastfeeding has so many benefits, women are encouraged to breastfeed where Zika Virus is found.  Furthermore, the World Health Organization recommends moms start to breastfeed their baby one hour after birth and breastfeed at least six months.   Mothers who are infected with the Zika Virus during pregnancy, should be closely monitored while breastfeeding.  However, current evidence suggests that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of the Zika Virus through transmission o fbreast milk.
     The World Health Organization says that Zika Virus is a mosquito born virus transmitted by Aedes Mosquitos and is known to circulate in Africa, America, Asia, Pacific and other parts of the world.  The virus is  transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.  Mosquitos become infected when they feed off of one person who is all ready infected by the virus.  Infected mosquitos can spread the virus through bites. Additionally, health experts believe that you can catch the Zika Virus by having unprotected sex with an infected person.  Furthermore, doctors are not sure how long the virus stays in the body. Once you get the Zika Virus, you are immuned for life. 
    The World Health Organization and the Center For Disease Control has linked the Zika Virus to pregnant women and Microcephaly, a birth defect where the baby’s head is smaller then normal.  Therefore, pregnant women should be careful traveling abroad.  Breastfeeding women should also be careful too. Additionally, the World Health Organization has said that congress has given billions of dollars to help fight the Zika Virus. 
     It is safe to use insect repellent while pregnant or breastfeeding.  Women should try to protect themselves by wearing long sleeve clothing and long pants, use repellent, not travel too much while pregnant or breastfeeding and do not staying out for long periods of time where there are mosquitos.
      In conclusion, protect yourself by listening to the advice of your healthcare professional while pregnant or breastfeeding.  Zika Virus is so new that further research needs to be done as far as the transmissibility of Zika Virus in breast milk.  To date, there are no known documented cases of the Zika Virus being transmitted through the mom breastfeeding her infant.

Nipple Vasospasm And Breastfeeding

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     Breastfeeding is best for your baby.  It should be enjoyable for both mom and baby.  However, some women suffer from vasospasm, which may cause pain.  Vasospasm is the sudden constriction or narrowing of blood vessels.  In breastfeeding women, vasospasm occurs when blood vessels tighten up and go into spasm, therefore, the blood does not flow to the nipple.  This can happen during, between or after breastfeeding.
     Vasospasm can occur in nipples.  It can be triggered by a shallow latch.  It is connected to Raynauds Phenomenon.  Raynauds Phenomenon can cause the nipples to turn white and return back to its color as the blood flow returns.  As the baby compresses the nipple, it may cause the mom to feel sharp pain, burining or tingling sensations in her nipples.  This pain can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain.
     Raynauds Phenomenon is a disorder of the tiny blood vessels of the extremities which reduce blood flow.  The pain can cause numbness, throbbing and tingling sensations in the fingers, toes etc….   Mom’s who suffer from Raynauds Phenonmenon, are at a higher risk of experiencing nipple vasospasm.
     How do you avoid vasospasm symptoms?   Get help with positioning the baby on your breast.  If needed, make an appointment with a Lactation Consultant.  Keep yourself warm and use a heating pad on your nipples if needed.  Use a cloth in between the heating pad and your nipple for a few minutes at a time.  Avoid cigarette smoking,caffeine, alcohol or medications that promote vasoconstrictions.
          Ask your healthcare provider for advice if your pain continues.  They will help you solve your problems.  They may recommend ibuprofen, supplementing with calcium/magnesium, Vitamin B complex, fish oil or even low doses of Adalat, Nifedifine.  Calcium/ magnesium relaxes the blood vessels and  fish oil improves blood vessel relaxation.  Adalat, Nifedipine is used to treat painful nipple vasospasm.  It is a calcium channel blocker drug that relaxes, widens blood vessels veins and arteries.  It is taken orally.  There are side effects so always ask your healthcare provider before taking this drug while breastfeeding.

     In conclusion, identify and fix the causes of your pain, such as fixing your poor latch etc…  Use a warm compress on your nipples when needed.  A warm compress is effective at stopping the vasospasm and treating the pain. Consult your healthcare provider if pain persists.  I wish all of you good luck breastfeeding your beautiful baby.  I hope you cherish this breastfeeding journey.

Breastfeeding Roadblocks: Being Patient With Breastfeeding

     Breastfeeding is best for your baby.  It protects both mom and baby from a variety of health problems.  Some women breastfeeding for six months, one year or even two.  While other women stop because they are overcome by obstacles that interfere with their ability to breastfeed.  By seeking a professional Lactation Consultant, such as myself, you can succeed with breastfeeding and experience a joyful journey with your beautiful new baby.
    I often tell my patients, my new moms, that practice makes perfect.  It takes time for your baby to establish good breastfeeding patterns and for you to get to know your baby.
     So why do women give up?  There are many reasons to stop breastfeeding.  Some women feel they have an inadequate milk production.  New moms have to learn how often to breastfeed their baby.  Some new moms resort to using formula to substitute meals.  Some women experience pain in their nipples because they have a poor latch.  This is the second most common reason a women stops to breastfeed early on.  The cause of nipple pain can be:  nipple injury by your baby or breast pump, engorgement which is when the breasts are too full and your baby is having a hard time latching on, a plugged duct, nipple or breast infections because your nipples are cracked or bleeding or you have Mastitis or you are dealing with excessive milk supply.  Use hot and cold compresses to help with pain and swelling.  Pump if nipple pain is not allowing you to breastfeed.  If you have symptoms of Mastitis, fever breast pain etc… Call your doctor to prescribe you antibiotics.  It will not go away on its own.
     Check and see if your baby has a tongue tie, Ankyloglossia.  Sometimes a tongue tie can contribute to an uncoordinated suck and latch, where a baby is not moving its tongue properly in a correct rhythm to extract milk and mom’s nipple get really sore.  You can consult with your pediatrician, who can recommend you to a specialist if needed to check and see if your baby has a tongue tie.

     In conclusion, work with a Lactation Consultant to make sure your baby is getting enough breast milk.  Count how many wet diapers and stools your baby has daily.  Make sure your baby is gaining weight.  Allowing a healthcare specialist, Lactation Consultant to observe your breastfeeding session.  Learning how to latch your baby on correctly is important.  I wish all of you luck and hope you truly enjoy your breastfeeding journey with your beautiful new baby.

Ashkenazi Jews And Breast Cancer

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       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.

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

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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
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Recent Posts

What Are Supple Cups?
Zika Virus And Breastfeeding
Nipple Vasospasm And Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Roadblocks: Being Patient With Breastfeeding
Ashkenazi Jews And Breast Cancer

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