With hurricane force winds and rain brewing in the Gulf of Mexico many of our local families are concerned about how to keep their frozen breastmilk safe if the power goes out. We have some great tips from a professional and we want to share them with you.
Additional tips in cases of bad weather:
Every Wednesday for the last couple of years the IBCLCs of The MILC Group have opened their doors from 10am to Noon for drop in Weight Checks and Lactation Chats. We decided we should write a short blog post letting people know what to expect during Weight Check Wednesday (WCW).
Weight Check Wednesday is an excellent way to get accurate information from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for a minimal fee and in a short amount of time! It does not substitute for a consult.
The fee for Weight Check Wednesdays with The MILC Group is just $20. Come in and see us this Wednesday!
The MILC Group offices are located inside of Go Baby Go, 6104 Broadway, #C-4, San Antonio, TX 78209. Contact us online at www.TheMILCGroup.com or by phone at 210-960-MILC/210-960-6452.
When The MILC Group first started out we ran a series that we called "JJs Nip Tips." They were named for an adorable chunky baby who we spent a lot of time with. JJ is now a rambunctious preschooler and we wanted to take a moment to pull together a list of our favorite Nip Tips and post an adorable updated pic of our chunky mascot.
If you need breastfeeding support you can contact The MILC Group here:
Your baby has arrived and you are having problems breastfeeding. What should you do? Some of your knowledgeable friends suggest that you should see an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). That sounds okay, but you want to know what to expect during a meeting with one. Here is what to expect if you choose to meet with an IBCLC from The MILC Group.
We hope that this answered your questions about what to expect if you schedule a Lactation Consultation with The MILC Group. We look forward to meeting with you and your family!
We can be reached by phone at 210-960-MILC/210-960-6452.
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.
Nipple shields....are they good or a bad? There is so much conflicting information out there for moms so we thought we might try to clarify it.
Nipple shields have been used in one form or another for over 500 years! Early nipple shield were made of:
Fast forward to the 20th Century and we started to make nipple shields from rubber, latex and now silicone. They have come a long way for baby and are much thinner now than ever before.
We hear a lot about the possibility of nipple shield use reducing milk transfer. This most likely comes from a 1980 study which had this finding. The thing is that the nipple shields being used in 1980 and those being used today are quite different. The much thinner silicone shield allows for much more feeling for mother and thus less reduction in milk transfer and production. Some shields also have a cut out for the babies nose and this tends to aid in that touch component.
We recently asked a group of moms why they used a nipple shield and these were some of their responses (paraphrased):
Why Use a Nipple Shield?
Nipple shields can be a great tool if used with common sense. Good reasons include:
Ultimately, there are usually underlying circumstances for which a nipple shield is being used. It is imperative that families visit with a trained lactation professional to figure out what is going on and to make sure that we take care of those issues. Long term nipple shield use may be a challenge. Often babies will not take a nipple shield as they get older. Carrying a nipple shield with you at all times can be stressful and putting one on with ease before latching baby in public can also cause mom undue stress.
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!
This is not going to be a popular post for some of you. Others of you may cheer and be happy that I am saying it. This post is brought on by the massive numbers of mothers who discuss pumping on breastfeeding support pages and in breastfeeding groups. Let me clarify that YES, working mothers will need to pump in order to provide milk to their baby and to maintain their milk supply while they are away from their baby.
Let's look for a moment at the History of the Breastpump....
An amazing invention, the breastpump allows women to work away from their babies and to provide milk for them with much more ease than in the past. Our foremothers had to work very hard to provide milk for their babies if they were away working.
Good reasons to use a breastpump:
NOT good reasons to use a breastpump:
Ultimately, a breastpump is a tool that was designed to be used when you are AWAY from your baby, NOT sitting right in front of your baby. Too often we see mothers who are obsessed with their pumping output instead of concentrating on just relaxing and feeding their baby. We look at the numbers on the outside of a bottle or milk storage bag and judge ourselves and how much milk we can release from our bodies. Stop judging your body. Nurture your milk supply by nursing your baby early and often from birth and then on demand as baby grows. If your baby shows signs of not taking in enough food (low weight gain, low diaper output or dehydration), seek the assistance of an experienced International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and your Health Care Provider.
~Tina & Ginger