Spring is right around the corner, and you may be considering getting out more with your little one. Maybe you are planning a long road trip or having date nights with your significant other or your girlfriends. Either way, we want to share a few breastmilk pumping and milk storage tips and tricks to make your pumping on-the-go adventure an easier one. With the pandemic still upon us and as some places begin to open back up, it’s important to remember that the virus is not gone. Being extra diligent about handwashing, sanitizing, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and taking other special precautions will help secure a safer time. Adventurous times such as taking a flight, adult gatherings, and running errands without your baby can be exciting and a little tricky. Here are some go-to tips and tricks so you can continue your outing with ease. Tip 1: Feed your baby before you leave! If you are bringing your baby with you in the car, then you have a few hours until you may need to pump or feed. And we all know a good car ride can be a perfect time for your little one to nap. Tip 2: Make sure your portable pump is charged and ready to go. It is also a good idea to have extra batteries ready for pumping. For long car trips, if you are pumping and plan on giving a bottle, most breast pumps can run on batteries or you can charge your pump in the car with a USP port, just make sure to bring an extra pumping kits so cleaning parts between each pumping will not be a challenge. Looking for a portable pump? The Ameda Mya Joy is a great option! This lightweight, hospital-strength pump fits in the palm of your hand for easy pumping wherever you go. Tip 3: Be comfortable! Consider wearing an outfit for easy pumping or a cover to help you feel more comfortable. Tip 4: Keep storage solutions readily available. If you’re going on long trips and car rides or staying away for a while, an easy way to pump and store is to use quality milk storage bags. The new Ameda Pump’N Protect milk storage bags are a perfect choice! The bags are easy to use and a perfect solution for storing on the go. Pumping directly in the bag makes it easy and with the double zipper seal with leak proof technology, your milk will stay safe and secure. Safe travels!
Plastic surgeries, lasers, chemical peels – there are millions of procedures people undergo to hide the signs of aging. As a rule, they are pretty costly and, unfortunately, only lessen the appearance of the problem rather than solving it. But don’t worry! Nature has its way of aiding us, and our own body is our ally – as long as we know how to address them, wrinkle reduction can be a surgery-free process. As we get older, the skin gradually loses the protein that gives the tight, smooth surface – collagen. No one is immune to that, and as time goes by, we all end up getting wrinkly. With continuous loss of collagen and thinning dermal layer it may seem that wrinkle reduction is a losing battle, but don’t give up just yet. While the process of aging cannot be stopped, there is a list of things that can be done to slow its speed and level of damage. And trust us, they are much more cost-effective than surgery, injections and other short-term solutions. Vitamin C Growing up you would have most likely heard that vitamin C is essential to boost one’s immunity against colds. This isn’t its only benefit. In fact, vitamin C is crucial for your skin too, according to the National Institutes of Health. Keeping yourself replenished with vitamin C will help you with fine lines and discoloration caused by sun damage – all you need to do is either take some oral supplement or use an exfoliating topical vitamin C face mask. Or, simply rub some fresh lemon juice into your face – be mindful of the amount, though: too much of it can cause dryness or flaking. If that happens, a daily moisturizer will help you. Silky Dreams You would be surprised to learn that quite a few of our wrinkles come from sleep – a process we think of as the time our body regenerates. According to American Academy of Dermatology, sleeping on your side will increase the number of wrinkles on your cheeks and chin, and sleeping face-down results in a furrowed brow. In other words, the only way to reduce wrinkles is to sleep on your back, right? Unfortunately, we do not control our position when we sleep. However, the way our skin resists or creates wrinkles can be influenced not by just our sleeping position but also on what we sleep on. Invest in pillowcases with high thread counts such as satin – they are known to aid wrinkle reduction. Banana Mask Bananas are rich in potassium when eaten, but they also work miracles on your face when you put them on it! Mash up a banana with a teaspoon of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of orange juice, apply it to your face and keep it on for 15-20 minutes. The potassium will hydrate and moisturize skin cells, while the vitamin A will fight dark spots and blemishes. Vitamin B is the one to prevent aging, and vitamin E will boost your skin’s resistance to UV damage. Face Massage Working in a similar way to the micro-current procedure, you can give yourself a face massage using nothing but your finger. With your index and middle finger massage 20 rotations between your brows, then apply light pressure to each temple and jaw joints for 10 seconds while clenching your teeth. This will relax your muscles, stopping them from making the micro-movements that cause tension and stress and result in wrinkles. Superfoods There are plenty of foods that provide great replenishment to your skin by giving it water, fats and proteins. These foods are so rich in useful nutrients that they have been labeled as ‘superfoods’ and they mostly include berries, nuts and veggies. For example, blueberries are full of collagen-protecting vitamin C and high concentrations of antioxidants. Tomatoes contain lycopene that improves the vascular system, in turn giving your skin a natural glow through extra blood circulation. And almonds are packed with skin-plumping and hydrating fats – what’s not to love? Micro-current Treatment The human body is full of electric signals – from blood flow to nerve signals that are responsible for us feeling sensations. Adding gentle stimulation to your skin can aid in wrinkle reduction as well as lift and tighten your soft tissues. TensCare went an extra mile here and developed a device that helps with not just wrinkle reduction but also other signs of aging using this method. The muscle stimulator Perfect BEAUTY is a Health Canada approved device that can help you to reduce the signs of aging. Aging is a natural process everyone goes through. There is no way of stopping it, but there are ways of slowing it down. Surgery and injections are likely to remove visible effects for a short term but they won’t address the underlying issue. Wrinkle reduction can be done from the comfort of your house – and it is less pricy than you would assume. You can buy it on Amazon here
Taking your first vacation away from your little one? You may have questions about how to keep up your milk supply while you are away. Here are some tips: 1. Bring a portable, light, effective breast pump & extra pumping parts with you 2. Bring a hand pump as back up, especially if traveling on a long trip or to a place with limited electricity 3. Use storage bags – easier to travel with! 4. Make sure you have the right electrical adapter if you are traveling outside of the country 5. Pump when your baby would normally breastfeed 6. Store your milk safely, ask ahead of time if you’ll have access to a fridge or freezer & bring a cooler bag for transport– here are storage guidelines for your reference, https://www.ameda.com/milk-101-article/how-to-store-breast-milk-safely/ 7. Know your airline’s rules about bringing milk back on the plane or plan to ship it back with a reputable milk shipping company 8. And, have fun & relax! Written by: Pamela K. Murphy, PhD, MS, APRN, CNM, IBCLCCertified nurse-midwife, lactation consultant, OB nurse, educator, healthcare administrator, mother & wife
The first few weeks of breastfeeding can feel quite overwhelming. It’s a learning time for both you and your baby, each of you getting a feel for each other. Your baby is slowly discovering how to breastfeed and find comfort outside the security of your womb. You are learning how to communicate with your baby and offer comfort and nourishment. Be patient with yourself and your baby; it will get easier, particularly once your milk supply becomes established. Having questions is normal. Trust your instincts, but also try to prepare yourself by understanding what to expect in the first few weeks. Below we’ve compiled some breastfeeding basics and tips from Day 1 to Week 6. What to Expect Your milk production grows from about 1 ounce (30 mL) to about 30 ounces (900 mL) between Days 1 and 40. Most mothers start to make noticeably more milk starting around Day 3 or 4. Your baby should be back to birth weight by 2 weeks. You can then expect baby to gain about 7 ounces (210 g) per week or 2 lbs (900 g) per month. Most babies feed 8-12 times per day, but not at set times. They may bunch feedings close together for part of the day (cluster feed). Your baby may want to feed again soon after breastfeeding. This is normal in the beginning. By Day 3-5, baby’s black stools (meconium) turn first green, then yellow. You can then expect 3 or more yellow stools every day. Also, expect 5-6 or more wet diapers a day by Day 5. If your breasts feel very full, breastfeed more or express milk. This will make you feel better, not worse. Most babies sleep for one 4-5 hour stretch each day. This may not happen at night, unfortunately. Fun Facts A baby’s stomach stretches from the size of a shooter marble on Day 1 to a chicken egg by Day 10. Babies may take one breast at a feeding, or they may need to feed on both breasts. Let your baby decide. Drained breasts make milk faster. Full breasts make milk slower. Breastfeed only if possible. Avoid pacifiers and any other liquids General Breastfeeding Tips Breastfeed whenever your baby wants to. You’ll know it’s time when your baby’s head turns from side to side with an open mouth. Or when she puts her hand to her mouth. Ideally, don’t wait until your baby fusses or cries. When upset, it’s harder to feed well. Use a position that feels good for you and your baby. Learn to sleep while you breastfeed. Practice during the day. If breastfeeding hurts, get help. A small change in how your baby takes the breast may be all you need to feel better. Find a mother’s group near you and spend time with other breastfeeding mothers. We are stronger together! You Know You Have Plenty of Milk When Baby is gaining weight well on breast milk alone. 0-4 months: 7 ounces (210 g) a week or 2 lbs. (900g) a month When to Seek Help If breastfeeding hurts. If your baby loses more than 10% of birth weight or after Day 4, gains weight too slowly. Even when breastfeeding is going well, you may experience some of the following: Your baby has fussy times – Most babies do. She wants to feed again soon after breastfeeding -Most babies do. She wants to feed more often – This adjusts your milk production Your breasts no longer feel full – Usually at about 3-4 weeks She wants to feed less often or for a shorter time – Babies get faster with practice Frequent night feedings – Babies need to do this to get enough milk She will take a bottle after breastfeeding – Babies like to suck, this might not be related to milk supply You can’t express much milk – This skill takes practice One thing that we can not stress enough is, be patient with yourself. Breastfeeding is natural but it’s also a skill, and like all skills there is a learning curve involved. You are not expected to know it all and there is no shame in asking for help and reaching out. Seek out the support you need. Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, Lactation Consultant, Ameda Breastfeeding ProductsCoauthor of Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers
There are countless articles, books, and websites that explain everything you need to know about how to breastfeed. These instructions, however, often ignore the fact that breastfeeding is an interactive experience, dependent on the communication between you and your baby. It’s not a matter of placing Point A (baby’s mouth) over Point B (mother’s breast) and commencing breastfeeding. It’s much more like a dance that engages the whole body. Each breastfeeding duo sets its own rhythm and pace. Instinct is still the key. There are some things in life that are best learned by tapping into our left-brain, the analytical, rational hemisphere where logic is king. Then there is the right brain, a more holistic and intuitive way to learn. Some things you process best by intellect, others by experience. Breastfeeding falls under the latter. Mothers and babies have physiological responses that draw them to each other, encourage them to look at each other, touch each other, and interact. Much of this behaviour is guided by the right side of the brain. We need to listen to and trust this more. It’s time to take a right-brained approach to breastfeeding. How exactly do you use a right-brained approach to learning to breastfeed? First, take some deep breaths and let go of those worries about doing things “wrong.” Instead of thinking of breastfeeding as a skill you need to master, or a measure of your worth as a mother, think about breastfeeding as an expression of you and your baby’s relationship. As you spend time with your baby, you’ll become more adept at reading their cues. As you hold your baby, they will become more comfortable seeking your breast. Breastfeeding will flow naturally out of your affectionate relationship. And your body dynamics can make breastfeeding easier or harder. Here are some specific things you can do to help: Watch for early feeding cues. These cues could include turning their head when someone touches their cheek or a hand-to-mouth motion. Take note of when baby starts smacking their lips or putting their hands to her mouth. This is an ideal time to try breastfeeding. Start with a calm baby. One mistake that many women make is waiting until their baby is screaming to try breastfeeding. Do you learn best when you are upset? Probably not. The other reason to start with a calm baby comes down to physics. When a baby is screaming, their tongue is on the roof of her mouth. You will never get your breast in their mouth when their tongue is there. Unfortunately, it may not always be possible to catch your baby in the early hunger stages (such as when you’re sound asleep!) and you will have to deal with an upset baby. Some babies go from slightly hungry to very hungry in the blink of an eye. Sometimes offering your breast will work to calm your baby. But if this doesn’t work, don’t force the issue. First, try soothing your baby by holding, swaying, rocking, or walking. Then try these suggestions: Lean back in a comfortable position. Semi-reclined positions in which your back, neck, shoulders, and arms are well-supported are sometimes referred to as laid-back. breastfeeding. These may be the same position you use to watch your favorite TV show. Lay your baby, tummy down between your breasts. Your baby can be either dressed or stripped down to her diaper. Then make your breast accessible. Your chest is a very calming place for your baby. She can hear your voice and your heartbeat. She can smell you and get the feeling of your skin. Talk with her and make eye contact to bring you closer to your baby. Follow your baby’s lead. When a calm baby lies tummy down on her mother’s laid-back body, this triggers instinctive feeding behaviours such as head-bobbing and movements toward the breast. If she is lying between your breasts, she probably won’t need much help. Encourage her with your voice. Babies can’t understand your words at this age, but they can understand your tone of voice. And feel free to touch and stroke her as the spirit moves you. Play while you learn to breastfeed. Rather than worrying about doing things wrong, focus on your relationship with your baby and think of breastfeeding as a part of this larger whole. Breastfeeding often flows naturally from this attitude. Sometimes your baby may try to take the breast even when they’re not really hungry, just to try out this new behaviour. Practice times are good and will help them breastfeed better when they are hungry. Try out different latching and breastfeeding positions and feel out which ones work best for you and your baby. Remember, instinct is key, trust it. Adapted from the book Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC Related Products