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   Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding’ Category
How Hospitals are Promoting Breastfeeding

These days, in response to pressure from the World Health Organization, more and more hospitals are promoting breastfeeding as the “norm” for mothers with new babies. In some cases, this promotion has gone to the extreme of keeping baby formula and bottles out of sight unless they are actually in use.

Most of us have heard the breastfeeding instructions so many times they have become somewhat of a mantra: breastfeed your baby to the exclusion of all other food for the first six months, and then continue to breastfeed your baby for at least a year after that as you introduce other foods into her diet. Most of us would agree that breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed our babies.

In addition to the nutritional value of our breast milk (which has never been accurately reproduced in any infant formula), there are a number of reasons why it’s best to breastfeed if you are able to do so. These include:

  • Immunization benefits for baby.
  • Bonding between baby and mother.
  • Savings in cost.
  • Extensive health benefits for the mother.
  • Weight loss for the mother.
  • Convenience.

The sad truth, though, is that there are some women who either can’t breastfeed or who choose not to for perfectly legitimate reasons. While we would hope that all mothers and babies would share this wonderful experience, we wonder if pulling all trappings of bottle feeding out of sight in the hospitals is really helpful in promoting breastfeeding.

What we know it does for certain is foster negative feelings amongst those mothers who don’t breast feed. While we don’t recommend making any mother feel like less of a parent (or a person) for her choice to bottle feed, we are especially concerned for those mothers who have a physical or medical reason which prohibits them from breastfeeding.

We’ve all run into those who are militant about breastfeeding. We would agree that it’s something well worth taking a stand and making your voice heard about. We would question, however, whether it does anyone any good to make a mother feel ashamed about her decision to feed her baby formula. We would suggest pointing out the positive aspects of breastfeeding instead, and supporting the mother however you can regardless of her decision.

Posted in Breastfeeding |
Goat’s Rue and Breastfeeding

Goat’s rue is a specific type of an herb. Goat’s rue comes from a plant that grows between two to three feet tall, and has branching stems, and leaves that are opposite and oval. Goat’s rue produces a number of purplish or pinkish flowers. The leaves of the plant are what are used in herbal remedies. There are a variety of applications for goat’s rue, including helping to lower blood sugar levels, and increase sweating so as to help relieve a fever. Goat’s rue is even thought to be able to help with breastfeeding.

Goat’s rue helps with breastfeeding in a number of ways. First of all, goat’s rue is believed to stimulate the mammary glands, and the breast tissue. This, in turn, helps to increase the supply of breast milk. If a woman is having trouble producing enough milk for her baby, or if a woman is trying to begin breastfeeding an adoptive baby, this can be particularly useful. Goat’s rue can also be useful for the woman who works outside of the home, or who is away from her baby for several hours at a time. It will allow her to produce enough breast milk that she can pump extra so that her baby has access to breast milk even when she is not there.

In addition to helping with breastfeeding, goat’s rue is believed to stimulate the development of mammary tissue. This can help increase breast size in women who are not breastfeeding. Goat’s rue is thought to be safe during the final month of pregnancy, when a woman’s body is getting ready to start producing milk for the purpose of breastfeeding.

Goat’s rue can be used instead of, or alongside with, other herbs that can help with breastfeeding. For example, fenugreek, blessed thistle, and alfalfa all fall into the category of herbs that can help increase a woman’s supply of breast milk. Many times, herbal products for breastfeeding may contain only one type of these herbs or another, however.

Posted in Breastfeeding |
Healing Those Sore Nipples

Breast soreness, nipple tenderness, and even cracked nipples are an unfortunate but very common thing to have during breastfeeding. Almost every woman who breastfeeds will have breast soreness of some degree or another, at one time or another. However, when nipples become so sore that they actually crack, it can create a great number of problems. Cracked nipples can cause problems with your baby latching on, for example. Cracked nipples can also make it so painful to breastfeed that many women who have cracked nipples feel as thought they would like to give up altogether. Having said all of that, there are ways to go about healing cracked nipples during breastfeeding.

To start with, there are a variety of nipple butters and nipple creams that can be used to help go about healing cracked nipples during breastfeeding. Some of these products are organic and more natural in their composition, while others are more on the artificial side. Some of the creams and lotions on the artificial side of things might rely on ingredients like lanolin. Other sorts of nipple creams or breast lotions take a more natural approach. Some of the natural nipple creams use ingredients such as cocoa butter, shea butter, and mango butter. Natural nipple creams may also rely on a variety of herbs, such as calendula, to speed up the healing of your cracked nipples.

Breast compresses are another way to go about healing cracked nipples during breastfeeding. Some of these compresses resemble an ice pack, and are used cold. The cold will help to reduce swelling, as well as to numb the cracked nipples a bit. There are also more natural breast compresses that can be used to help with healing cracked nipples during breastfeeding. For decades, women have used cabbage leaves or even tea bags to soothe their sore nipples during breastfeeding. There are even herbal breast compresses. These compresses use a variety of herbal ingredients to help soothe your sore nipples. O

There are other things that you can do to heal cracked nipples during breastfeeding. Allowing them to air dry for 5 or 10 minutes after nursing may help. You should avoid soaps that tend to try the skin. You may try different positions from one feeding to the next. Ultimately, with some determination and patience, you should be able to resolve the issue of cracked nipples, or at least make it manageable.

Posted in Breastfeeding |
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