The topic of increasing iron intake for toddlers comes up often in our Support Groups. This recipe for a yummy quick bread was mentioned so I typed up the recipe for everyone to have. One tbsp. of blackstrap molasses provides 3.5 mg of iron. This provides half of the recommended daily intake for toddlers, and 13 percent of the recommended daily intake for pregnant women.
In honor of St. Valentine's Day I wanted to express my feelings about my children for they are truly the best Valentine's Gifts I could ever have received.
Mamas, enjoy every moment with your children. Some will be good, some will be bad, some will be amazing but all are worth it. Happy Valentine's Day!!
Last summer Ginger and I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful workshop at the Texas La Leche League Conference. We attended the daytime session led by Jaye Simpson, IBCLC and thoroughly enjoyed hearing in-depth information on "Structure and Function" as it relates to the anatomy of the infant and what could be contributing to breastfeeding difficulty. That evening we attended a hands-on clinical session where we observed techniques and put them to work evaluating an infant. We attended many other wonderful sessions in lactation education; however, the sessions taught by Jaye had the most impact on our work. I would say that this information was so empowering and helped us to become even more confident in our evaluations of infants during our lactation consultations.
This knowledge coupled with our years of additional training and experience would lead me to say that here in San Antonio we may be the lactation consultants doing the most thorough examinations of babies and catching oral and physical issues that other practitioners miss. This may be because they are either rushed through visits (often not by choice when the practitioner works in a hospital with limited time resources) or because they lack the extensive training that we have received. Ginger and I continue to seek out courses that further our education and we are excited to team up with other lactation professionals in Central Texas to educate ourselves more fully on how different practitioners working together can get a baby nursing more effectively, gaining weight better and nipping (no pun intended) oral or physical issues in the bud before they effect a baby's later development.
On our website www.TheMILCGroup.com we have compiled a short list of wonderful resources for parents who are seeking information regarding a possible tongue tie, lip tie or other oral issue in their baby. We include practitioners who our clients have found helpful as we want all of our clients to have the best possible experiences. We do suggest that parents seek out the guidance of a lactation professional to help them to decide what kind of practitioner will best serve their needs.
If you suspect that your baby has an oral issue and would like to meet with us for a full evaluation you can contact us by phone at 210-960-MILC/210-960-6452.
For those parents not located in San Antonio, South Texas or the surrounding areas, we suggest that you seek out the support of your local La Leche League Leader or IBCLC to find resources to assist you with your breastfeeding issues. We are always happy to support families who are not located near to us in finding the support that they need.
Human milk sharing has been around most likely since the beginning of time. When women died in childbirth another woman would step in to breastfeed her child. When one woman was away from her child another would breastfeed that baby in a sort of informal shared parenting agreement. There were no bottles or breastpumps. Other cultures still share breastmilk with each other as a way to survive. Even here in the United States situations can arise where mothers are unable to provide breastmilk to their baby themselves but wish for their baby to receive the nutrition of breastmilk and so they enter into some sort of human milk sharing.
There are two basic types of human milk sharing. Those are formal and informal milk sharing.
Here at The MILC Group we as International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) uphold very strict health standards. We promote breastfeeding and support mothers in reaching their breastfeeding goals. We provide information and resources. However, we do not facilitate milk sharing or act as a go between for mothers. There are risks to milk sharing. A great discussion of these risks can be found in this article, Milk sharing and formula feeding: Infant feeding risks in comparative perspective? by Karleen D. Gribble and Bernice L. Hausman.
This week I had the pleasure of meeting with a local San Antonio pediatrician. Her office had contacted us and asked for a meeting. We were pleased that they had reached out but also wondered what they would want to chat about.
Since we started The MILC Group late last year we have worked hard to market the business to local health care providers as well as the families that we serve. We strive to have professional integrity and we want the families that we work with to know that we represent them and not the interests of any particular care providers. We LOVE that our location is not affiliated with any particular medical practice and we don't pander to any certain medical practices. When asked if we can recommend a pediatrician we give out several names often based on location but always based on our knowledge of how supportive those doctors are of breastfeeding.
Our chat with the local pediatrician went really well! Ginger was not able to make it because it was smack dab in the middle of her busy time of day shuttling her kiddos around. I was rushing that day from one thing to the next and came directly from the elementary school track meet so I was sweaty and feeling sunburned...lol. At first it seemed like it might be a short chat and she asked me a few pointed questions. We then started a more casual conversation about birth, her own breastfeeding experience, her own children's oral issues (or maybe what I thought they might be from hearing her descriptions of nursing issues), her desires for her patients, etc. It turns out we are very much on the same page. Bottom line...we both care about the health of our client's children. We both feel that breastfeeding is extremely important in the development of that good health. We both want to make sure that babies are being fed adequately. I explained what we do during a consult and how we strive to educate our client's on the importance of the baby transferring milk well and what factors can impede that. I talked about our desire to keep baby at the breast while still providing the baby with the proper amount of nutrition and if supplementation is necessary then supplementing with their own breastmilk is our first choice. It was refreshing to hear a health care provider express such a clear interest in the care of her patients beyond the hot topics like vaccines, etc. Our chat led me to want to write this little post and stress the importance of finding a supportive health care provider for your baby.
Questions to ask when looking for a breastfeeding-supportive Pediatrician/Health Care Provider:
1. What are your thoughts about breastfeeding?
2. What are your thoughts about breastfeeding beyond 6 months? beyond a year?
3. Do you have referrals to offer if I am in need of breastfeeding assistance? or are you an IBCLC?
4. Do you have a list of local breastfeeding support groups that you could give me?
5. If my baby needed to be supplemented would you go first to breastmilk or formula as a supplement?
6. What percentage of your patients are breastfeeding exclusively at 1 month?
How to know if a Pediatrician/Health Care Provider is NOT breastfeeding friendly:
1. If they give you formula samples when you meet with them.
2. If they tell you that breastfeeding and bottlefeeding are the same.
3. If they advise you to stop breastfeeding because baby is sick or if they give outdated information about breastfeeding.
4. If they act shocked that you are "still" breastfeeding at six months.
5. If they tell you not to allow baby to fall asleep at the breast or if they push rigid sleep scheduling early on.
6. If YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BREASTFEED IN THEIR OFFICE OR WAITING ROOM.....RUN THE OTHER WAY!!
We are so happy to have many supportive health care providers here in San Antonio but are always looking for more. If you have a great one, let us know!
Breathing is regulated by the autonomic nervous system and is subconscious. Breathing and our breath are things that we mostly take for granted. So, why am I writing a blog post about breath?
The other night I sat down after teaching my Bradley Class and was relaxing in front of the tv. It's my routine after talking for two straight hours to sit quietly and just veg out. I opened up my Facebook and was glancing through notifications when I saw something so upsetting. Literally my heart sank. A "friend" from high school apparently was having a bad night and she decided that something in my Facebook feed pissed her off. This is what I saw:
"And while I'm at it...can I bitch about how breast feeding nazis are up there with politicians, etc... hey, been there done that but you don't need to shove it down everyone's throats!! #thatsallyoupostabout!!!#sickandtiredofseeingtitts!!!
Now do you see why my heart sank? I was so sad. I have spent the last 16 years of my life trying to build women up. Working to empower them in their choices as mothers and working with partners to aid in that empowerment. I hope that I can support the family as it grows and changes. I LOVE what I do. I have worked with thousands of families in my roles as a La Leche League Leader, Birth Doula, Childbirth Instructor and Lactation Consultant. This is my life.
Why did I choose to do this work? Quite simply because of the impact that those who worked with me had on my choices and the way that I have parented. Our Bradley Instructor in Austin, Chan McDermott taught us to be proactive, intuitive, involved and informed. My La Leche League Leaders, Beverly and Laurie Ann, showed me how to be gentle in my parenting. I learned so much about breastfeeding but more so I learned so much about myself. I still to this day quote things that they said to me. I can not thank them enough. Over the years there have been others who have influenced and assisted me in this journey. I enjoy being the supportive educator to the young families that I now work with.
I want to encourage everyone who knows me to happily unfriend me if I offend you. If my posts are bothersome you do not have to be my friend on Facebook. It will not hurt my feelings. I am so blessed to have friends who support my career and passion. I get so many positive comments from old friends. Surprisingly my most supportive friends are often men who I have known since high school. My own partner Matthew often sends me articles, etc. on topics related to breastfeeding, childbirth, etc. that he sees on BBC online.
Oh and just for the record....I support each and every one of you in the choices that you have made in parenting/mothering/fathering. I do not like you any less because you chose not to breastfeed or you asked for an elective cesarean or you considered your epidural the best decision you ever made. You don't have to defend those choices to me. Those choices were yours and as long as you made them after being given good evidence-based information, I truly don't care. I made my choices for me and not for anyone else and expect the same of you.
How to handle breastfeeding during the Holiday Season....
This past week The MILC Group asked this question of our Facebook community. We figured that we should go to the source (the moms) for the best answers. We gathered together their responses for this week's blog post. The following are some ways that our MILC Moms dealt with the Thanksgiving Day preparation. These tips could be applied to all of your upcoming Holiday Gatherings.
The Holidays can be a challenging time for a breastfeeding mother. Feeling the need to "get everything done" while also meeting the needs of a baby can be quite stressful. We want to encourage you to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby. We often use the oxygen mask analogy. On an airplane you are told to put your own oxygen mask on first so that you can then put an oxygen mask on your child. This is done so that you are able to care for your child in that emergency situation. In life we encourage you to do the same. Your health and well-being are of paramount importance to your children. Make sure that you are hydrating, resting, eating well and getting lots of snuggle time with your babies.
If you have any questions about breastfeeding during the Holidays feel free to stop by and see us at our Breastfeeding Center. We are always happy to help!
On October 8th, 2014, The MILC Group was so honored to be a sponsor of a special mothers-only day at French & Michigan Gallery. The exhibition we were there to enjoy....Supply and Demand by Sarah Sudhoff.
From the French & Michigan website, "Turning to the politics of breastfeeding, Sudhoff pulls from her inability to produce enough milk for her then-young son as inspiration for documented performances, milk typologies, self-portraits, and sculpture. The milk serves as subject and metaphor for feelings of loss and failure experienced by so many mothers, while highlighting the way in which breastfeeding is highly medicalized and undeniably personal in contemporary American culture."
Thank you to all the mothers who came out with and without their babies. We would also like to thank Celeste Wackenhut who has so beautifully curated this exhibit and brought us into the project and Elizabeth Pearson who is the most amazing chef we know and provided the delicious treats we enjoyed that morning. Most of all thank you to Sarah Sudhoff for this beautiful work!
Supply and Demand by Sarah Sudhoff
French & Michigan
115 Michigan Ave.
San Antonio, TX 78201
~Tina & Ginger