Monthly Meeting

Our regular monthly meeting will be held at 10 AM on Thursday, May 5th at the Panera in North Fayette (by Walmart).

If you have any questions, please contact us!

You can also find more information about our monthly meetings here.

We look forward to seeing you and your little ones!

Does drinking beer really help milk supply?

You may have heard that drinking a beer can be good for your milk supply. But is it really?

According to this article by Emily Farris, posted in the New York Times: Is Drinking Beer Really Good for Breastfeeding? Or is that an Old Wives Tale? most benefits are outweighed by the alcohol, which can inhibit let-down. To read more click on the link above.

Alcohol can be compatible with nursing as long as it’s done safely. Generally, if you are safe to drive, it is safe to nurse. According to KellyMom “Alcohol does not accumulate in breastmilk, but leaves the milk as it leaves the blood; so when your blood alcohol levels are back down, so are your milk alcohol levels.” Alcohol peaks in the blood in a half to an hour later, so if you plan accordingly you can enjoy a drink and go right back to nursing. Keep in mind that every woman metabolizes alcohol different and it can depend on a number of factors such as how much you’ve eaten and your weight. Read more on KellyMom.

James McKenna and Breastsleeping

Dr. James McKenna spoke at the LLL of Georgia’s Breastfeeding and Parenting Conference in November. This is an excerpt from Leader Today (the LLLI journal for Leaders) about the concept of “breastsleeping.”

cosleeping
“Dr. McKenna emphasizes that until recent history (in Western industrialized societies), “….no human (primate) ancestral or modern infant ever slept separated from its caregiver…” Human infants are contact seekers for a number of reasons based in evolutionary science. When our ancestors moved from walking on all fours to walking on two legs (bipedalism), pelvic openings became smaller to accommodate this innovation. Humans evolved to have the largest brains of any primate, so with this change, infants needed to be born “earlier”—partly due to the need to fit through the birth canal and partly due to the placenta’s inability to sustain such huge brain growth. The result is that human neonates are by far the most helpless at birth of any animal and require constant nourishment and care for the first few months of life.

More evidence for this comes from mother’s milk itself. Nesting or cache animal species (those animals that hide their young in camouflaged locations) have milk that is high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates, enabling the mother to leave her young for extended periods. The milk of contact/carry/co-sleeping species is opposite in composition, necessitating very frequent feeds. In addition, constant contact requires infants to be attractive to their caregivers—babies are cute for a reason! Big eyes, chubby cheeks, soft skin and cooing all attract parents emotionally and convince them to invest time and energy in child rearing.

Breastsleeping
In the current issue of Acta Paediatrica, 1 Dr. McKenna and Dr. Lee Gettler propose the concept of breastsleeping, because;

…”neither normal human healthy infant sleep, nor normal human optimal breastfeeding is understood independent of the other…”
Breastsleeping refers to a sober, breastfeeding mother sleeping with her baby on the same surface in the absence of all hazardous factors. In his research, Dr. McKenna has found that breastsleeping dyads synchronize their breathing and sleep cycles so that baby latches on and mother adjusts coverings, kisses baby’s head, etc. without either waking up fully. Breastsleeping babies also maintain higher body temperatures and breastfeed double or triple the number of times during the night compared with solitary sleeping infants. Both increased nighttime arousals and breastfeeding protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).”

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Have you heard of the 4th Trimester?

As moms, we know all about the three trimesters of pregnancy. But not many people talk about the 4th trimester. Your body goes through such an amazing transformation and out comes this beautiful new life. Society sometimes makes us feel that mothers should immediately bounce back, both with their bodies and minds. But it may be helpful to think of the first few months with your new baby as another trimester.

The United States Breastfeeding Committee has a weekly newsletter that recently included an article about the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute’s “The 4th Trimester Project.”

” The term “4th Trimester” reflects the concept that during the first months of life, newborns continue to function like a fetus in many ways; they require months of intense, ‘womb-like’ nurturing. A 4th Trimester perspective views the mother and infant as a mutually dependent unit, behaviorally and physiologically intertwined via breastfeeding and other interactions such as skin-to-skin contact.”

 

Learning to Love Nighttime Parenting

This post was originally published on the LLL USA blog by Jean Merrill (http://www.lllusa.org/blog/learning-to-love-nighttime-parenting/ ) about how to cope and perhaps think a bit differently about our nighttime parenting duties.

As mothers, we know what it feels like to be woken yet again by our babies at 4 a.m., realizing that the last sweet hours of restful darkness are almost over. This wake-up call is especially excruciating when we recall that we haven’t slept longer than a 45-minute stretch all night or even all week! Still, we haul ourselves out of bed, and with bleary eyes pull our babies in close and offer the breast again. We smell the intoxicating baby scent and feel the weighty warmth of their tiny bodies, and our weary hearts melt despite our bodily exhaustion.

Before becoming parents, we are warned about sleepless nights. We hear the phrase “your baby will nurse eight to 12 times a day” so many times that it becomes a recording that our brain flippantly dismisses. The reality of what these words mean are lost on us until we are drenched in the exhaustive sea of the experience. That bone-tired-slightly-crazed fatigue can’t be forewarned, nor perhaps, should it. We might scare off all future parents.

In the early weeks, a community of extended family and friends comes to us. They bring food and might even assist with errands and chores. It is all too easy to take this early help for granted; we are still intoxicated by early motherhood and eager to show off the masterpiece we have been growing for nine months. By about week four, the all-consuming business of new motherhood is no longer as enthralling. It is exhausting. Baby is at the breast constantly—all day and all night—and we have yet to sleep like we did before baby arrived. The reality sets in that there is no pause button; there will be no vacation. It is at this point that the utter desperation hits; new coping techniques have to be learned—and fast.

Where do we find these coping techniques? Turning to a resource like Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith, and Teresa Pitman has given hope to many, many tired parents and, as the title suggests, has helped mothers and fathers to learn to love nighttime parenting. Many new (and not-so-new!) parents find it helpful to shift their assumptions about their expectations concerning sleep. Before we welcome a newborn into our lives, we feel entitled to a full night of sleep. Coming to the understanding that those expectations need to change takes some letting go. We learn that it’s best to abandon the resentment and focus on how to keep on keeping on. Amazingly, once we are able to shift the spotlight from the amount of sleep we aren’t getting, we might just find ourselves sleeping much more soundly and feeling more rested. Removing the anxiety about it allows the sleep we do get to be better quality, and, importantly, remembering to sleep when the baby sleeps (and really do it) helps to fill in the gaps. These changes help us to focus on the quiet hours spent with our unbelievably wonderful babies—in our arms and at our breasts—where we continue to nurture a new little person.

nursing baby sleeping

Many mothers find that once they are able to shift expectations about sleep, they find themselves much more open to nighttime mothering. In those quiet, dark hours, the lack of distraction is actually quite calming and refreshing. Baby’s needs tend to be simple: to be held and fed. Mothers are experts at both of those things, and the ability to so completely meet the needs of our amazing baby is profoundly satisfying. We think of all of the other parents that are up with their babies at the very same middle-of-the night moment and take comfort in the thought of each of us cradling our babies in the dark of our homes, together in shared experience. Rather than feeling isolated and exhausted, we feel connected to the other tired mothers that are awake. The cycle of nighttime parenting is as old as motherhood itself and is a common experience to every mother throughout time. I enjoyed feeling connected to my own mother, who with tenderness and love met my nighttime needs just as I met the needs of my own babies.

So, to all of the tired mothers out there, breathe in and breathe out. These days are intense but short lived. Both you and baby will both be sleeping more soundly before long. For now, rest when you can. Cuddle your babies, nurse them, love them, mother them no matter what time the clock says. The lovely baby you rock tonight someday may have the opportunity to be gazing at the stars while holding a sweet baby of her own. She will be thinking of, and appreciating, you.

 

Pittsburgh Three Rivers Milk Bank Now Accepting Donations

Three Rivers Mothers' Milk BankPittsburgh now has a Milk Bank and has just begun to accept donor milk. This milk will be distributed to area hospitals to treat medically fragile and preterm infants. Donor breast milk helps to improve health outcomes, reduce infection, reduce the length of infants’ hospitals stays, and also helps to lower healthcare costs.

If you are interested in donating or learning more, please visit their website: http://www.threeriversmilkbank.org/.

FAQ’s on the Affordable Care Act Lactation Counseling Benefit

counselingThe Departments of Health & Human Services, Labor, and Treasury have issued another FAQ’s sheet regarding the Affordable Care Act’s lactation counseling benefit. Read this to find out how the law works and how your insurance company should cover these services. “The HRSA [Health Resources and Service Administration] guidelines provide for coverage of comprehensive prenatal and postnatal lactation support, counseling, and equipment rental as part of their preventive service recommendations, including lactation counseling.”

Read more here: FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation