Summer Travel Tips for Breastfeeding Moms

Summer is almost here!  During this time of year, we are more likely to spend more time traveling away from home, and doing so while breastfeeding can be challenging for moms.

While breastfeeding your baby on-the-go can be tricky, utilizing the following tips can make traveling a little easier for you:

  • Plan ahead- Planning ahead can alleviate some of the frustration associated with breastfeeding and traveling. Mapping out rest stops or other locations that provide a space to breastfeed can be very helpful. Many airports offer breastfeeding lounges or a clean and quiet place to pump- check before you fly. If traveling without your baby, be sure to pump extra breast milk before you go.
  • Learn breast milk travel regulations- Before taking a flight; learn the breast milk travel allowances for your airport. According to the United States’ Transportation Security Administration (TSA), “Formula, breast milk and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities in carry-on bags.”  These items will be screened separately from the rest of your belongings. The organization advises that travelers check their website, tsa.gov for policy updates.  It is also important that you take note of the breastfeeding regulations in foreign countries; some have stricter rules than others.
  • Bring bottled water-It is important to stay hydrated while you travel. Dehydration can negatively affect your breastmilk supply. Washing breastfeeding equipment in water fountains or public bathroom sinks is not recommended, it is better to wash these items with bottled water.
  • Keep breastmilk cool- Storing pumped breast milk in room or cool temperatures is important. Temperatures can increase during travel so packing breastmilk in a cooler or similar device is helpful. It is advised that you inquire if your hotel or lodging accommodation is equipped with a refrigerator.
  • Wear comfortable clothing- Wear comfortable or loose tops that make breastfeeding easy. Wearing a nursing bra or tank top provides easy access for mealtimes.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center is currently offering a breastfeeding education program, to schedule a breastfeeding education session or for further information, please call 718-291-3276.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Breastfed v. Formula

Mother feeds her little daughter feeding.

Did you know that babies who are breastfed have a better chance of fighting off viruses and bacterial infections than babies who aren’t breastfed?
Well, it’s true; breast milk contains antibodies that can fight off viruses and bacteria, as well as lowering your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies.

Some additional benefits of breastfeeding are:
• Breastfeeding strengthens a baby’s immune system
• Breastfeeding aids in digestion with less bouts of diarrhea, constipation or colic
• Breastfeeding in premature babies is an effective way to enhance health, growth and development

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed exclusively for the first six months. Beyond that, breastfeeding is encouraged until at least 12 months, or longer if both the mother and baby are willing to continue breastfeeding.

The reason healthcare professionals are promoting breastfeeding over formula is commercial formulas try to duplicate breast milk; however, they are unable to completely match breast milk’s exact composition. Breast milk is a living substance made by each mother for her individual infant.

Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is one of the biggest decisions a new parent will make. If would like more information about the benefits of breast feeding over formula feeding, you can speak with a Lactation Specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center. Call 718-291-3276 to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Zika

According to the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention, the Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.  The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

Most recently, the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly in babies of mother’s who contracted the virus during pregnancy. Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s brain with microcephaly does not develop properly during the pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, this results in a smaller sized head.

What we DO know:

  • Zika virus can be passed from pregnant women to their fetus during pregnancy or at delivery.
  • Pregnant women can be infected with the Zika virus through the bite of an infected mosquito
  • You can become infected by a male sex partner
  • Pregnant women should not travel to areas affected by Zika
  • Based on available evidence, the Zika virus infection in a woman who is not pregnant would not pose a risk for birth defects in future pregnancies after the virus has cleared from her blood.

What we DO NOT know:

  • How likely a pregnant woman who has been exposed to Zika will get the virus
  • How the virus will affect her pregnancy or how likely it is that Zika will pass to her fetus
  • If the infected fetus will develop other birth defects or when in the pregnancy the infection might cause harm to the fetus
  • If sexual transmission of Zika virus poses a different risk of birth defects that mosquito-borne transmission

If you must travel to Zika areas affected by Zika, speak with your healthcare provider about the risks of Zika Virus before you travel.  Learn how to protect yourself from mosquito bites and try to avoid regions where Zika is present.

If you have traveled to a region where Zika is present and are pregnant, talk to your health care provider about Zika symptoms. If you would like to speak with a physician, you can make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Women’s Health Center, call 718-291-3276.

For more FAQ’s on Zika Virus you will find the following websites helpful –www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/

http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Your Body Makes Milk for Your Baby

breastfeeding-475378452Your breasts give you the earliest clues that you are pregnant.  When you become pregnant, they become swollen, tender and the skin on your nipples and areolas become darker. Within the first trimester you will continue to experience physical changes in your breasts-such as the bumps(Montgomery glands) surrounding your areolas  increasing in size. Milk –producing cells (alveoli) and ducts in the mammary glands will also multiply in preparation for the distribution of milk.

Usually by your fourth to sixth month of pregnancy, hormones will be released which tell your mammary glands to begin producing milk.  The alveoli draw fats, proteins and sugars from your blood to make breast milk. At this point of pregnancy, it is not unusual for your body to begin leaking milk. This form of milk is called colostrum and may be yellow or orange in color and sticky.

After the birth of your baby the body increases levels of the hormone prolactin.  This hormone releases signals to produce more milk. It is also known as the hormone that makes mothers feel maternal.

You can attempt to feed your baby soon after delivering; however some mothers are not fully capable of feeding their newborn within 24 to 48 hours after delivery. Your “first milk” will be colostrum, which will have a creamy appearance.  Colostrum is specially created for newborns; it is high in protein, low in fat and sugar and is easy to digest. It also helps your baby to make the first bowel movement and provides antibodies that strengthen the immune system.

As you can see, your body is designed to make the nutrients most essential to your baby’s health.  Breastfeeding will provide many benefits for your bundle of joy and it will also provide you with countless health, emotional and financial benefits.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Foods that promote lactation

LactationBreast feeding is a very special time in the life of a mother and her baby. It is important for mom to maintain a well-balanced diet in order in-order for both of them to get the proper nutrients needed.

Foods that are beneficial to the body during breast feeding are called lactogenic. If you are a breast feeding mother, some of the foods that are beneficial to you and the baby are:

• Oatmeal – good for relaxation and increases the production of oxytocin, a hormone responsible for the production of milk.

• Spinach – an excellent source of calcium, vitamins A. K and folic acid. It is also an excellent source of phytoestrogens, a plant based chemical that is similar to estrogen produced by the body.

• Carrots – contain phytoestrogens and also a good source of energy.

• Hummus – made from chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, a good source of energy.

• Papaya – has phytoestrogen and also promotes relaxation.

• Asparagus – contains phytoestrogen, fiber, folic acid, vitamins A, C, K and also tryptophan which stimulates prolactin, a hormone needed for milk production.

• Brown rice – Is a complex carbohydrate which is great for energy and also can increase serotonin level in the brain which is important for prolactin production.

• Apricots – contain fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium and calcium. Also contains tryptophan.

• Salmon – contains essential fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acid both help in the production of hormones needed for lactation.

It is very important for women who are nursing to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you would like to discuss your breast feeding nutrition requirements with a lactation consultant in our Women’s Health Center, please call 718-291-3276

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Breastfeeding is Nutritious, Effective and FREE!

BreastFeeding.SickThere are many factors to consider when choosing to breast feed or formula feed your baby.

The American Pregnancy Association recommends breastfeeding for most families because breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants.  It is a nearly perfect mix of all the ingredients your baby will need to grow. Breast milk contains vitamins, protein, and antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses, as well as, being more easily digested than infant formula.

A mother’s milk is always the perfect temperature, does not have a preparation time and is readily available at any time and place.

There is also a great financial benefit to breastfeeding.  Formula prices can range from $54.00 to $198.00 per month depending on the brand.  The additional cost of bottles, nipples and preparation should also be factored into this expense.Breast feeding not only saves you time and money, it will give you time to relax quietly with your newborn and bond.If you have any questions about breastfeeding and would like to speak with a lactation specialist, call Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center at 718-291-3276.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Avoiding Mastitis while Breastfeeding

BreastFeeding_476894625Breastfeeding can be a wonderful bonding experience for mother and baby. It can also pose a few obstacles including mastitis. Mastitis is an infection caused by a clogged duct in the nipple of a nursing mother.  Here is some information about mastitis and some helpful tips on how to prevent it.

Mastitis won’t hurt your baby but it can reduce the milk supply in the affected breast.It can happen to occur when bacteria enters the breast through a cracked or sore nipple. It can start as a painful area in one breast and may be red or warm to the touch or both and can be accompanied by fever, chills, and body aches.

Try to avoid mastitis by following a few of these helpful tips:

  • Get plenty of rest and eat a healthy, balanced diet while you are nursing.
  • Try your best to avoid letting your breasts become overly full or engorged.
  • If your breasts are not empty after nursing or pumping, or you have a plugged duct, use warm compresses and massage to get the milk out.
  • Avoid under-wire bras and bras that are too small.

If you are beginning to feel the symptoms of mastitis, continue to breast feed as you normally would but make sure to see your doctor. Applying warm compresses for several minutes before each feeding will help alleviate any pain. Antibiotics may be prescribed, but pain should subside within one to two days after taking you prescriptions.

If you feel you may need help breastfeeding, contact Jamaica Hospital Women’s Health Center to speak with our lactation consultant at 718-291-3276.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Should You Breast Feed When You Are Sick?

BreastFeeding.SickThere are many benefits to breast feeding, but is it harmful to your child’s health when you are sick with a cold or virus?

Even when you are sick, your baby will almost always benefit from breastfeeding. In most instances, viruses are most likely transmitted before symptoms even occur. Breast feeding can actually help protect your baby from the virus since your breast milk produces the necessary antibodies to stave off the illness. In fact, even if your baby gets sick, it is usually a much milder case than anyone else in the house.

It is not a good idea for you to stop breast feeding abruptly because your breasts can become engorged, which can lead to painful inflammation, known as mastitis. Instead, while you are sick, ask a family member to bring the baby to you to nurse and take him way when you’re done so you can rest. Also, drink plenty of fluids when you are sick so you don’t become dehydrated and your milk supply does not decrease.

Some moms may also be concerned about taking medications while breastfeeding, but with few exceptions, over the counter medications are just fine. Some suggestions include:
• Avoid using extra or maximum strength pain medication or fever reducers.

• Medications that contain ibuprofen are recommended over those that contain acetaminophen.

• Try to use single ingredient, short acting forms of cold, cough, and allergy medications.

• Avoid taking aspirin as there is a small risk of infants developing Reye’s syndrome.

It is important however to carefully read medication labels and check with your physician before taking any drug while you are nursing. If you do not have a doctor, contact Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center at 718-291-3276 to make an appointment.

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All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.