Posted on Leave a comment

Breastfeeding and Prescription Medications

Are you worried that the medicine you are taking is affecting your milk? You shouldn’t. Cells that are responsible for producing breastmilk has natural barriers that most medications cannot penetrate. Even if some medications are able to penetrate the barriers, they only do so in very low amounts that won’t have any effects to your baby. However, there are some exemptions which you need to consider before assuming that you can breastfeed while on medication.

Does my baby’s health and age influence how he gets affected by the medication I’m taking?

If you have a newborn baby or if your baby is considered to be medically unstable with poorly functioning kidneys, it’s best to steer clear of any heavy medications. However, for healthy babies who are 6 months and older, the risk of them getting affected by it is lowest compared to newborn ones.

Should I stop breastfeeding while taking medication?

Ensure that your doctor knows you are breastfeeding. If you think your doctor is not sure if you can breastfeed safely while on medication, ask that they consult with pharmacists. If your doctor says that medicine might be indeed be harmful for your child, ask for an alternative medication. Contacting the Medicines Information Centres to ask about the medicines you can take while breastfeeding is also highly recommended.


Posted on Leave a comment

Helping Your Toddler Welcome The New Baby

Your baby is now a toddler and you discover that you are expecting another baby! Though having a new baby is always exciting, you will probably also worry about how you will be able to manage the two. Luckily, there are tips you can follow to make things easier for you and the whole family. Below are some ideas that worked for other families.

Finding out that you are pregnant

Most mothers inform toddlers of their pregnancy soon after finding out. However, saying that there’s a new baby inside your tummy won’t probably mean much to a toddler. Try looking at magazines or books of pregnant women and explain to her that the woman in the image has a nice tummy because there’s a baby growing inside her and that you too will have a round tummy soon because there’s also a baby growing inside you. Try to mention it to your toddler often even if she doesn’t really understand.

If you have a toddler that is still breastfeeding, there is no need for you to stop. If you want to wean your toddler because of your pregnancy, it is recommended to do it slowly. For advice on breastfeeding while pregnant please speak to your maternal and child health nurse or doctor.

Though being pregnant the second time around can be as exciting, it can also come with some different challenges. Less stressful, at least, since by now you already know how to properly prepare for the coming of your second child, however you will need to start thinking about the kind of adjustments you have to make. Will your toddler move out of her cot and into a bed? Will you be entrusting her to a relative or a friend when the new baby is born? Or will she be attending day care?

Aside from the adjustments you have to make at home, you also need to think about the birth. Would you like your child to be present when you’re giving birth? Do you think your toddler can cope when he sees you in pain and with lots of people around? Or will be you leaving your toddler with someone? If yes, who will that someone be? Needless to say, if it’s a family member or friend, your toddler needs to feel safe and comfortable around that person before you decide to leave them alone.

How to introduce your toddler to their sibling

Toddlers are naturally wary of people they don’t know. Though some toddlers may bond with the baby immediately, some toddlers will expect that the baby will not stay. If you want your toddler and your new baby to bond immediately, many mothers recommend that you do tandem breastfeeding. Keep in mind that your toddler may get jealous to find a new person who is constantly with you. You may first want to introduce your baby to your toddler at the hospital or at the house of a relative and then let them know that you will be bringing the baby home.

Another tip to help your toddler welcome the new baby is by giving a gift from your baby to your toddler. By doing so, you make their meeting more special and give the toddler something to play when he gets bored.

The first few days

Just like on your very first pregnancy, getting to know your baby is exciting yet very tiring. With your first child, you don’t have to worry about anyone but them, but now everything is different and you also have to worry about your toddler as well.

Handling two children alone can be very difficult. Ask your partner if he can take some time off his work and spend time with your toddler and your baby. By doing so, you all bond together and you help your toddler get used to your new baby. Other family members can also care for your newborn while you are playing with your toddler or care for your toddler when you are spending some time with your newborn.

Most toddlers also love to help and be involved with what’s going on. Ask your cute toddler to bring the items you need to bathe your baby. Make sure that you let your toddler feel how much you appreciate their help. Also, another way for your toddler to get used to the new baby is by asking him to introduce guests to his new baby brother or sister. You may also want to ask your relatives or friends to give a gift to your toddler so he does not feel left out when they visit your new baby.

When you are breastfeeding, it is important that you make your toddler busy. Before breastfeeding your baby, give your toddler a toy, a book, or a DVD. Something that will keep him busy while you breastfeed your baby. Ensure that your toddler also has something to eat or drink so he won’t interrupt you when you are already breastfeeding your baby.

Make sure to get enough sleep and rest

Your toddler and your new baby need you. Don’t let yourself be extremely tired or you might get sick. If both your children are sleeping, take advantage of that and get some rest too. Don’t hesitate to ask your partner if he can do the chores while you get your well deserved rest.

Posted on 1 Comment

Looking After Yourself

As a mother, how do you take care of yourself, while also looking after your kids? Being a mum is rewarding and nothing can beat the feeling of taking care of your children as they grow but don’t forget to take care of yourself as well.

Pursue New Activities

Taking care of your children, not to mention the whole house, can be exhausting and stressful that’s why it’s important that you also unwind and plan some activities that you find enjoyable and relaxing. Unwinding could be as simple as learning a new craft or getting to know your neighbours or perhaps taking up a new sport. Basically activities that you can manage alongside taking care of your children. Other activities may need to wait until your children get older.

Disorganised Time

Don’t stress if you think that your time may seem disorganised. This is normal for mothers who have little ones at home. Though as a mother you always find yourself starting and completing tasks amidst many different interruptions, you could always pursue new interest while your children are sleeping or when they are busy.

Below are some more activities you can pursue while your children are sleeping or when they are out:

*read the paper
*enjoy a relaxing shower
*patchwork, knitting, sewing or painting
*Sit outdoors and take care of your plants
*Plan the itinerary of your next vacation
*Try talking to other mothers and share amazing motherhood stories

Get Enough Rest

There are several things you can do to take care of yourself. Make sure that you get enough rest. Though sometimes a daytime sleep is impossible, you can always listen to relaxing music and sit comfortably with your eyes closed and breathing slowly for a couple of minutes.

Keep in mind that how you are feeling will affect your entire family. It is very important that you not only look after your children but also your own well-being. Don’t forget to relax and improve yourself.

Posted on Leave a comment

Lactation Suppression When You Stop Nursing

When you breastfeed regularly, your body establishes a continuous cycle of breast milk production. If for some reason you decided to stop breastfeeding you’ll notice that your breasts will still produce milk for a certain period of time even if your baby is no longer breastfeeding. You will even notice that your milk leaks when you hear your baby cry. This is completely normal and the leaking will stop as your supply dries up and milk production ceases.

Avoid Wearing Restrictive Bras

In an effort to suppress lactation, many women in the past did binding. Binding is when women bound their breasts with bandages or brassieres in an attempt to stop milk production. Recent medical studies no longer support or recommend binding since doing so may make the breasts vulnerable to infection and swelling. Should you decide to stop breastfeeding, wear supportive bras and not bras that would restrict your breasts.

Go for Dark Clothing and Use Breast Pads

Wear dark tops if you’re worried about leaks and make sure you wear a bamboo breast pad in your bra.

Don’t Dehydrate Yourself

Though dehydration may help in stopping milk production, it will also affects your entire health and well-being. Make sure you drink lots of water and that you go for foods that are filled with vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps relieve engorgement during the first week after you stop nursing.

Don’t Fear Hot Showers

When you shower, your breasts are likely to leak milk. Many women think that leaking milk enhances milk production- this is not true. Breastfeeding enhances milk production and not hot showers. If your breasts are engorged, hot showers can certainly relieve the pressure and pain you are experiencing.

Gradually Stop Breastfeeding

Instead of quitting right awat, you may want to do it gradually. If you usually breastfeed every 4 hours, you may want to add one more hour to it. If you usually express 8 ounces of milk, try to cut it down to 5 or 6. By gradually reducing the breastmilk you express, you avoid some of the symptoms associated with lactation suppression.

Posted on Leave a comment

What You Need to Know About Mixed Feeding

Mixed feeding is an option for those mums who are concerned about their breastmilk supply and their baby’s weight gain. Simply put, mixed feeding is when a mother breastfeeds her baby at some feeds and formula at others. Though mothers do mixed feeding for a myriad of reasons, it is important that you think carefully and thoroughly why you want to mix feed as mixed feeding is not as beneficial to your baby in comparison with purely breastfeeding. Before you start mixed feeding your baby, you need to be aware of the following:

* Your milk supply will decrease if you replace breastfeeding with formula.
* Your baby needs to learn the technique of bottle feeding. This comes easy to some and not so easy to others.
* Though some babies find it hard to breastfeed after being bottle fed, there are some babies who have no issues with it.
* Formula reduces the protection against illnesses which your natural milk provides. If possible, don’t stop breastfeeding, as any amount of breastmilk can still protect your baby from harmful organisms or substances in the environment.
* If you think mixed feeding is not for you and your baby then it’s still possible to switch back to pure breastfeeding.

When to Start Mixed Feeding

Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) strongly recommends babies to be exclusive breastfed during the first six months. However, if you feel that mixed feeding is necessary, you need to ensure that your breastfeeding routine is well established before you start mixed feeding. The reason behind this is because it usually takes several weeks for your breastmilk supply to build up and breastfeeding your baby is the best way to make sure a good milk supply is established.

If you start bottle feeding your baby even before you’ve established your supply, your milk production will most likely be reduced and your baby may develop a preference for bottle feeding thus giving up on breastfeeding easily.

Consider the following when introducing infant formula:

* Gradually introduce your baby to the formula to give time for your body to adapt and reduce the amount of milk it makes.
* It is best to formula feed your baby when they are relaxed and not when they’re hungry.
* Try to get someone to give the first feeds so your baby is not near you and so he won’t be able to smell you.
* Keep in mind that it may take a while before your baby gets used to formula feeding. It’s important that you keep trying and don’t ever resort to force feeding him.

ABA encourages mothers to make informed choices as to how they feed their babies. The association also advises mothers who are mixed feeding to work closely with a child health expert and breastfeeding expert to determine how much formula milk to use and how to further maximise breastmilk supply.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Relieve Lactose Overload in Babies

Lactose overload may happen when babies consume large amount of breastmilk. Babies who are experiencing lactose overload can usually gain a lot of weight and may urinate more than 8 x daily. Additionally, frequent bowel motions within 24hours is also observed. Poos may look like those of babies who are lactose intolerant– green and frothy. If you think your baby is suffering from lactose overload, you should make it a point to check the nappies because it can tell you what’s happening. Remember that what goes out always have something to do with what your baby has been consuming.

How It Happens

Your baby may be consuming larger portions of fat very quickly that the lactose is not being completely digested. The undigested lactose that reach the bottom bowel will then draw more water into the bowel that is then fermented by the organisms present there thus resulting to gas and acidic poop.

Once gas starts to build up, your baby may experience stomach pain and he will act like he’s hungry. If you notice your baby sucking then it’s best to let him be because it helps in moving the gas along the bowel. Sucking during a lactose overload helps your baby feel comfortable as it helps ease the pain temporarily.

Unfortunately, most mothers think that since their babies want to suck, they logically feed their babies again resulting in another vicious cycle of lactose overload.

Change Your Breastfeeding Routine

If your baby is suffering from lactose overload, it will help if you change your breastfeeding habit. This is only temporary and you can go back to your old routine once your baby feels well again. Keep in mind that the goal is to reduce the rate of milk going through your baby by feeding him only one breast or by block feeding. If you want to block feed, you need to set a 4hour period and each time your baby gets hungry during the 4hour period, you offer the same breast. You only start using the other breast on the next 4 hours.

Since your baby continues to suck on the used breast, he gets a low volume and a high fat feed which helps in slowing the system down. When the symptoms are gone, you then go back to your normal breastfeeding habit.

Severe Lactose Overload

If you think that your baby is experiencing severe lactose overload, you may want to work out the following to find out why an oversupply is happening.

  1. Have you been timing your feeds and switching breasts?
  2. Does your baby feel unsettled resulting in even more sucking and oversupply?
  3. Mothers with low supply of milk overcompensates by feeding their babies more than what they really need thus overstimulating her supply.

There are more ways to help relieve lactose overload but you may need to consult with your doctor or your breastfeeding counsellor.

Posted on Leave a comment

Breastfeeding and Tooth Decay

It is very common for parents to blame prolonged breastfeeding for the early onset of tooth decay. Though most parents think this is factual, it is not. As a matter of fact, there are no sufficient amount of scientific evidence that conclude breastfeeding indeed causes tooth decay. This belief may have only stemmed from a small number of case reports and on the inadequate knowledge of most dentists on breastfeeding.

Recent studies and research, in fact, suggest that breastfeeding may protect against tooth decay. Certain antibodies in breastmilk stops bacterial growth including Steptococcus mutans which is the bacteria that causes tooth decay.  The Lactoferrin, which is a protein found in breastmilk, kills Steptococcus.

Formula, however, may potentially cause tooth decay since it significantly dissolves tooth enamel and support bacterial growth.

How different is breastfeeding from bottle feeding?

The two feeding methods have obvious differences. In bottle-feeding, the milk gets released in the front of the mouth and gets around teeth. Whereas, in breastfeeding, the nipple reaches the back of the babies’ mouth and the milk gets released into the throat thus helping the baby to swallow.

Furthermore, when a baby falls asleep with a bottle on his mouth, chances are that the teat will continue  to leak milk on the baby’s mouth. The breast, on the other hand, does not release milk not unless the nipples are sucked.

What about our ancestors? Did they suffer from tooth decay?

According to certain archaeological studies, children from prehistoric times rarely suffered from tooth decay. Most babies during prehistoric times are said to have been breastfed and certain studies also stated that some even slept with their mothers and were breastfed during the night.

Factors responsible for the development of tooth decay

* Frequent sugar intake. Avoid exposing babies to sugar filled food and drink.
* Bacteria entering a baby’s mouth. This bacteria can be inadvertently passed by kissing a child on the mouth, sharing spoons or drinks.
* Salivary disorders
* Maternal illness or stress during pregnancy
* Poor oral hygiene of the family
* Family genetics

In Summary

There are sufficient pieces of evidence that disprove the notion that breastfeeding causes tooth decay. Breastmilk alone does not contribute to tooth decay. Babies who are purely breastfed, however, are not immune to decay because there are still several factors that can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Posted on Leave a comment

Selecting the Best Breastfeeding Bra

There are several types of maternity bras you can use but it can be a bit confusing which one to buy.  This article should be able to help you decide which nursing bra is best for you.

Maternity Bra Fitting

Fitting for a maternity bra differs from woman to woman. Your breasts will begin lactate in the early stages of pregnancy and you are expected to outgrow your usual bra size. Most changes to your breast will occur during your 4th month of pregnancy and for most women; this is the perfect time to be fitted.

Is it advisable to wear an underwire?

Unfortunately underwire bras are not recommended for breastfeeding mothers. The reason for this is, underwire bras may put pressure on the breast which may lead to blocked milk ducts or mastitis. Instead of considering underwires, it’s better to just opt for a flexible low-gauge wire support since it’s made to accommodate the changing shape of your breasts.

When trying on different maternity bras, it’s important that you open and close the bra cup. Some bras are manageable compared to others. You might want to look for breastfeeding bras where the entire cup can be folded. You might also want to consider centre front and shoulder clasp styles bra.

Do I wear a bra to bed?

It depends on you if you want to wear a bra to bed or not.  Some mothers feel that wearing a maternity bra even at night is necessary to keep their breastfeeding pads in place, some find wearing a bra to bed uncomfortable. If you think a maternity bra is uncomfortable, try opting for a special sleep bra.

How do I take care of my nursing bra?

It is best if you have at least 2-3 bras. You may need to change more frequently since your breasts may leak milk. To avoid milk leakage, check out our breastfeeding bamboo pads. This type of breastpads is not disposable and can be reused. Best of all, it has anti-bacterial properties which protect your nipples from possible infection.



Posted on Leave a comment

Postnatal Depression and Breastfeeding

You should not be ashamed if you have antenatal or postnatal conditions. Most mothers try their best to cover it up not realising that they don’t have control over the way they are feeling.

It is important for a mother to recognise the symptoms of antenatal and postnatal depression. The sooner a depression is identified the earlier the recovery can start.

Keep in mind that both antenatal and postnatal depressions can be treated.

Postnatal depression symptoms:

  • Sleep interruption or disturbance not related to baby’s needs
  • Frequent crying
  • The feeling of being unable to cope
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear of being with people
  • Feeling guilty and mediocre
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Having suicidal thoughts

If you don’t feel happy after having your baby and you’re not excited to take care of your baby, it is important that you talk to someone you trust. If you don’t feel you can confide in your relatives or friends, you can talk to a medical adviser. You can also contact a PANDA counsellor (Post and Antenatal Depression Association) for guidance and advice.


Depending on your doctor, you may still breastfeed while on anti-depressant medication.

Ensure that your doctor knows that you are breastfeeding and ask him if it’s possible to breastfeed while taking a particular medicine.

Signs you should watch out for

If you know someone who shows some of the signs below then you should try to get help for them through your local health counselors. The following are danger signs you need to watch out for:

  • Talk of harming herself or her baby
  • Weird speech patterns
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Drastic change in mood
  • Obsession with morbid thoughts
  • Statements such as they are better off without me.

In Summary

Postnatal and antenatal depression differ for each mother. But she will normally struggle to find happiness in her baby or her life. Though it is normal for mothers to feel tired or down, postnatal depression is different in the sense that it lasts longer. If you know someone or if you think you have postnatal depression then you may want to start getting help as earlier detection leads to fast recovery.

Posted on Leave a comment

Extra Sleepy Babies – Should you worry?

Wondering if you need to wake your baby for feeds? This article should help you determine the answer to such question.

According to doctors, newborns have very small tummies thus needing frequent feedings. For instance, for the first couple of days their tummy can be compared to the size of a ping pong ball. Afterwhich, their tummy grows to about the size of their own fist. By ensuring that you feed them frequently, you also ensure that you have a good milk supply.

Since breastmilk is easily digested, it’s normal for your baby to feed at least 12 times a day. This means that your baby is expected to feed every 2-3 hours day and night. Don’t compare your baby to other babies as the length of time between feeds may vary greatly.

Most of the time, healthy newborns will wake on their own to feed. By knowing hunger signs or feeding cues you help your baby to feed better. However, there may be some reasons why your baby is extra sleepy. If you think your baby is past his feeding time then you need to wake your baby to ensure he feeds. Some common reasons are:

  • Jaundice
  • Heart problem
  • Infection
  • Medications for pain relief during birth

If you’re not sure what’s causing the extra sleepiness of your baby, it would be best to contact your medical adviser about it. It’s difficult to recognise the feeding cues of a sleepy baby so you need the help of a medical adviser.

If you think you need to wake your baby for feeds, the tips below can help:

  • Change the diaper of your baby
  • You might try to feed in a different position. Some mums find that the underarm hold helps keep their babies awake.
  • Try giving your baby a warm bath.
  • Talk to him and then make sure to maintain eye contact.
  • Massage the back of your baby in circular motions.
  • Stroke his feet and hands.

Remember that babies can feed even if they are not fully awake. Once your baby starts feeding the tips above can keep him awake. It will also help if you switch breasts when you think your baby is getting slow with his sucking and starts to doze off again.