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Breastfeeding

  • Is your Baby getting enough Vitamin D?

    Breastfeeding your baby is a great way to not only bond with your baby but to give them the very best customized nutrition and antibodies that they need to be healthy.  However the one vitamin that you may be lacking in providing through your breast milk is vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important part of both your pregnancy diet while your baby’s bones are developing and your breastfeeding diet as your baby continues to grow and develop.

    If you do not get enough Vitamin D in your diet when you are pregnant your baby may develop a condition called rickets from soft bones. Also by getting enough Vitamin D while you are pregnant you increase your chances of having a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy.

    While breastfeeding it is important that you eat a healthy diet as your nutrient intake is what feeds your baby the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy as well. Depending on how much vitamin D you are getting with your diet and sun exposure, you may or may not be providing enough vitamin D for your baby. If you do not have enough vitamin D in your diet, you will need to give your baby a vitamin D supplement (and you should probably a supplement for yourself too).

    Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a number of factors including:

    Not enough sun exposure outside.

    Having dark skin

    Being overweight or obese

    General recommendations for Vitamin D for pregnant women by the Vitamin D Council are 4,000-6,000 IU/day. Researchers found that moms that took at least 4,000 IU a day where more likely to have uncomplicated births and their newborns were likely to have enough vitamin D when he or she was born. Women without enough Vitamin D in their diets were more likely to have premature births, develop gestational diabetes, have preeclampsia and more likely to have a C-Section.

    The Vitamin D Council’s recommended intake of vitamin D for babies is 1,000 IU/day.  If you are getting enough vitamin D as a breastfeeding mother, then your baby is also getting enough vitamin D and does not need a supplement. If you baby does need a supplement you can give them prescription vitamin D drops directly or add them to food or drink for your baby.

    If you as a breastfeeding mother are taking a supplement of 6,000 IU of vitamin D each day, then your baby does not need a vitamin D supplement as your breast milk will have enough. If you are not taking a supplement (or you are taking less than 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D) and not getting a good amount if sun exposure, then you need to give your baby a vitamin D supplement.

    If you are getting a good amount of skin exposure to the sun each day, then you are probably getting enough vitamin D to make your breast milk rich with vitamin D. However most mothers are not able to get enough skin exposure every day to meet this requirement and do need a supplement 5-6 days a week. When you are not getting enough sun exposure for a number of days your breast milk will quickly clear itself of vitamin D unless you are taking a supplement.

    The upper limits for Vitamin D intake is 2,000 IU/day for babies and 10,000 IU/day for pregnant women. So, unless you are over supplementing, it is hard to exceed these limits. Formula milk varies with how much vitamin D in the formula. Most formula milk has between 40-100 IUs of vitamin D per 100 calories. You will need to figure out how much formula your child has a day to add up the vitamin D IUs they are getting. Based on this result you can figure out if you need to supplement your baby with vitamin D or not and how much to supplement. Remember to adjust your supplements as your baby’s intake of formula may increase over time.

    Although exposing your skin to the sun is a great way for pregnant and breastfeeding women to increase their vitamin D supply for both themselves and their babies, you also want to be careful not to burn. Although skin exposure for your baby will increase their vitamin D directly, your baby’s skin is extra sensitive and should not be exposed directly to the sun for at least the first six months, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Even after 6 months you will need to be careful of your baby’s sun exposure, especially in the hot summer months as burns can happen quickly to your baby’s sensitive skin.

    Vitamin D supplements are a good subject to bring up with your pediatrician. However it is also good to educate yourself on this subject as well so you can have a very informed conversation with your doctor on how to best supplement your baby if needed.

  • Grace Kelly - Her Role as a Breastfeeding Advocate

    As Nicole Kidman kicks off Cannes with “Grace of Monaco” Premiere, many of us who are old enough, fondly remember the beautiful Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco. I think Nicole Kidman was a good choice as an actress to play Grace and I’m sure she has the poise and “grace” to pull it off in style, particularly with all of those beautiful dresses, hats and ensembles she gets to wear for the part as Princess Grace was well known for her fashion choices.

    Although people remember Grace as a beautiful Academy Award winning actress, a “partner in crime” actress and collaborator with Alfred Hitchcock, a Philadelphia well brought up socialite and lastly, as the esteemed Princess Grace of Monaco and dedicated mother to her three children.

    It is well documented that Grace turned down movie roles offered to her during her reign as Princess, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, Marnie, which would portray her as a kleptomaniac as well as others such asThe Turning Point, directed by Herbert Ross. She very well could have expanded her movie career and added more awards and accolades to her shelf, but instead she put Princess responsibilities and motherhood above her movie career as her position limited her involvement with anything Hollywood or entertainment driven. Both the public in Monaco and her husband were opposed to her involvement in films as Princess of Monaco and she respected that sentiment.

    She did go on to use her artistic talents and passions to support the arts and improve art institutes in Monaco. Later the Princess Grace Foundation was formed to support local artisans. Grace returned did return to a form of acting in a series of poetry readings on stage and narration of the documentary The Children of Theater Street. She also narrated ABC's made-for-television film The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966). But perhaps interestingly she took up a cause close to my heart, that of nursing women.

    Grace was one of the first celebrities to support and speak on behalf of La Leche League to advocate breastfeeding. She joined La Leche League in 1965 after the birth of her youngest daughter, Caroline.  In one of her speeches and press conferences for La Leche League in Chicago, she said she breastfeed all of her children after birth. She said, “I wouldn’t think of having a baby without feeding him myself.”

    Grace said she believed in improving the solidarity of family to help society overall and felt the best way to start this process was by focusing on the Mother’s connection to the baby at  birth by breastfeeding, “Solidarity begins with the child at the mother’s breast.” She continued, “as women it is one of our biggest prides that we have in our bodies every element that an infant needs for perfect health and growth.”

    She also added young siblings should be allowed to watch their mothers breastfeed their babies without embarrassment as it is a natural and beautiful experience for them to witness.

    The Milwaukee Sentinel documented that her 1971 La Leche League speech as attended by 1400 women and their children and caused quite a stir among the public and other hotel guests, “Passerbys looked twice as women were nursing their babies in the hotel lobby, hotel conference rooms and while walking down the aisles.”

    What amazes me is that is that is now 2014, over 40 years after this event occurred, and we still have to protest to protect the rights of nursing women in public and even to overcome the social stigma of breastfeeding outside your home. Even today we have newsworthy protests as women have “nursing” protests outside places of business, like Fitness Centers, where mothers are often regulated to nursing their babies in the restrooms. Nursing women everywhere receive dirty looks when discreetly nursing their babies in public places and are often asked to leave or relocate.

    I know I have spent many hours nursing all three of my babies on public toilets and although this can be a choice for privacy, it should not be a requirement. I believe every new mom should be awarded a card at birth which gives her the right to nurse in public for the first year of their baby’s life, sort of like a driver’s license. It should be a birthright for any baby to eat when it is hungry, particularly by way of breastfeeding as it is the cleanest most sanitary way for a baby to eat and it does not create a mess.

    Although the reviews have been scattered for the Grace of Monaco movie, I am looking forward to seeing Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Grace Kelly. I am particularly interested in the part about the hard choices Grace had to make between her roles as mother, princess (both her appointed royal role and her volunteer leadership role in her community), wife and her career. I know many of us can identify with at least two to three of those roles to balance or choose between, sometimes on a daily basis. I’m also interested in seeing if and how the film will incorporate any of Grace’s breastfeeding advocacy as she was well ahead of her time with taking a public stance on this issue as a celebrity.

  • TummyStyle’s 9th Anniversary!!

    Happy April’s Fool Day! Today we celebrate TummyStyle’s 9th Anniversary! On this day 9 years ago, my daughter Audrey was 4 months old and she accompanied me in her car seat to the County Office in Auburn, California where we officially filed our business license for TummyStyle. Although the site was not alive for another 6 months, it was the inception day of our business.

    I know April Fool’s Day is often a prankster and practical joke day, our business is not a joke and I view April Fool's Day as a good omen of things to come. I also view it as the official start of Spring and of new birth, which is fitting for this website which is dedicated to new mothers and new birth.

    Our mission from the beginning has been to support, inform, inspire and offer creative fashion pieces for expecting moms and new moms. As a nursing mother for each of my three children I understand how hard it can be to find fashionable nursing clothes that are both flattering and made to easily accommodate breastfeeding (without looking like it!). After not being able to find a nursing dress for my goddaughter’s baptism as I was also a new nursing mom to my own baby, I was inspired to start my own website where women could find fashionable nursing and maternity clothes without needing to leave their house. This idea soon expanded to encompass all aspects of maternity and nursing fashion including maternity swimwear and nursing pajamas and loungewear.

    Through our blog which we have maintained for over 4 years, we aspire to inform moms of the latest research on pregnancy, breastfeeding, nutrition, exercise, parenting issues as well as indulge in fun topics on maternity fashion and celebrity pregnancy. We know our site can’t be all things to all people, so we focus on our niche and hope you enjoy your stop here and maybe find a cute fashion piece or two to add to your maternity wardrobe.

    We thank all of our customers and supporters throughout the years who have visited our site and supported our business. We wish you health and happiness with your pregnancy, babies and life!

  • Breastfeeding Tips from Bravado!

    Breastfeeding is the best nutrition and antibodies you can provide your baby during it's first year of life and particularly for it's first 6 months of life. According to a new Study published by Bravado! designs, our top nursing bra brand, breastfeeding is on the rise in North America.

    In 2012 77% of new moms nursing their newborn, up 6% from 12 years ago in 2000 in the United States. In Canada breastfeeding rates also continued to rise with 89% of mothers breastfeeding their infants, up 4% from 2003. This is super news for both babies and new mothers as breastfeeding can improve the bond between mothers and their infants and even improve materal health and aid with postpartum weight loss.

    Here is Bravado's List of the Top 7 Benefits of Breastfeeding:

    1) Breastmilk contains the right balance of nutrients for your baby.

    2) Antibodies in Breast Milk boost your baby's immune system.

    3) Breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies.

    4) May lower baby's risk of SIDS.

    5) May protect your child from obesity.

    6) May boost your child's intelligence.

    7) May reduce your stress level and risk for post-partum depression.

    Although breastfeeding can seem a like perfectly natural thing to do, it may not always feel natural or be easy in the beginning. For many moms (and babies) it can take some time catching onto, breastfeeding every baby can be a different experience. Do not hesitate to get the help you need to get you and your baby on the right track with breastfeeding. Hospitals provide nurses and lactation consultants to guide you in feeding your baby. You can also to nursing support groups, La Leche Leagues and local Moms groups to seek out the help you need for breastfeeding.

    Here are some Basic Breastfeeding Tips (as provided by Bravado!)

    1) Ask for help right away

    The first time you breast-feed your baby - preferably within a few hours after delivery, ask for help. The maternity nurses or a Lactation Consultant can offer breastfeeding tips, stating with how to position the baby on the breast and make sure he or she is latching on correctly.

    2) Let your baby set the pace

    For the first few weeks, most newborns feed every two to three hours around the clock. Watch for signs of hunger such as restlessness, sucking motions with lip movements.

    3) Give it time

    If breastfeeding is tougher than you expected, don't get discouraged. Don't let a rough start turn you off from breastfeeding. The more your breastfeed your baby, the more milk your breast will produce and the better you will get at it. But do  not hesitate to get the help you need if you do hit a rough patch (back to Step 1 when all else fails!) You will get there with time, patience and practice.

    Breastfeeding is a job, but it is so worth it for your baby. It can be exhausting feeding your baby around the clock, so make sure you are getting the nutrition and support you need from friends, relatives, neighbors and anyone else who offers to cook you a meal, help with baby or household chores! Be sure to pat yourself on the back for doing a very good deed for your baby that will reap rewards for your both now and for years to come.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Gisele Breastfeeding on the Job

    elle-gisele-breastfeeding-hGisele Bundchen, as beautiful as ever, recently posted a photo on her Instagram account which takes multitasking to a new level. As seen in the photo she is getting her hair brushed by a stylist, getting her eyes done by a makeup artist and her nails painted by a manicurist (who happen to wear coordinating striped tops) all while simultaneously breastfeeding her baby.

    My reactions to this scene is first, yes, how gorgeous (and calm!) she looks in the midst of this primping whirlwind craziness while she lovingly breastfeeds her child. Quelle entourage!!

    Also, how good of her to prioritize her baby by unabashedly breastfeeding her child without lurking off to some hidden corner or caring what others thought of her openly breastfeeding. Life goes on and she’s back to work, but her baby isn’t going to take second place to her high end job demands.

    My other reaction was, isn’t this the royal treatment we all could use as overworked moms, especially moms of babies and newborns? Heck I would still be breastfeeding my five year old if I had this sort attention and pampering!

    Despite a little bit of envy (and wishing I looked half as good a few months or ever after having my babies), I have to take my hat off to Gisele for finding a way to prioritize her child and show that anytime is a good time to feed a baby and anyone who judges can simply leave the room. (I would also wager a bet that the continual primping and styling surrounding you as a supermodel can get a little wearisome after a while and may not feel like the spa indulgence that us normal moms may splurge on occasionally). However I would also wager a bet that most of us would trade our 9-5 jobs for this one if we could!

    In a 2010 interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK edition Gisele raised eyebrows with her strong pro-breastfeeding stance stating that a worldwide law should require all mothers to breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life. She went on the say, “Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?”

    Although I wholeheartedly support breastfeeding and agree that it is without a doubt the best thing you can do for your baby nutrition wise, particularly for the first six months of life, I also appreciate that it is sometimes extremely difficult for every mom to breastfeed fulltime given work and other demands. Certainly breastfeeding on the job may be easier in certain professions than others, but I do like the fact (as so glamorously demonstrated in Gisele’s photo documented example) we can all get creative and try to figure out a way to pull it off sometimes.

    For example, pumping milk for a caregiver to feed your baby is a good option when nursing is not possible with your job or life demands. Many a professional mom has found that pumping (often while on a conference call) is the key to continuing breastfeeding when you need to be away from your baby by day. Even nighttime nursing alone is highly beneficial to your child and helps in your mother-baby bond if you are limited in the time you can spend with your child. Additionally, nighttime nursing also helps stimulate your milk supply more than pumping alone. In tandem, nighttime nursing and pumping for daytime feedings can often meet all of your baby’s feeding needs when you need to be at work or away from your baby during the day.

    Gisele’s more tactful follow up comments in her personal blog are far more helpful and supportive of moms in general than her initial comments:
    "I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge," she wrote. "I believe that bringing a life into this world is the single most important thing a person can undertake and it can also be the most challenging. I think as mothers we are all just trying our best."

    My thoughts exactly. We are all trying to do our best as moms day by day and as part of this parenting community we should support one another wholeheartedly in this endeavor.

  • Selfies of Uber-fit Moms who show off bodies after Birth are Selfish

    Personally I am tired of these moms coming out of anonymity to show off post baby ultra-fit bodies by posting selfies on Facebook while scantily clad to put the rest of us normal people to shame. Really, is there not any decorum and decency left? Of course I say “good to you” if you can find the time, means and let’s not kid ourselves, genes, to drop all your baby weight in mere days after giving birth and reveal something like a set of six pack abs. But in my opinion these photos reveal more about vanity than muscles.

    However it does give me pause to wonder if they are forgetting about the baby or were more focused on their own body weight than a healthy pregnancy. If you are nursing postpartum, which is a fulltime job in itself, you should be consuming an additional 500 calories a day for a total of approximately 2500 calories a day to support milk production.

    Many nursing women find that over time nursing does help them burn off a lot of the baby weight while continuing to eat a healthy 2500 calorie a day diet, particularly as the baby gets older and eats more. Personally I think nursing fulltime should be redefined as something of a contact or endurance sport as it does take a high level of skill, patience, strategy, quick reaction time and limitless energy to get it right. Of course the long-term benefits to your baby and to your own health are infinite and priceless (and yes it does save you money). However, any sort of weight drop from nursing is usually gradual and generally does not kick in for several months as the early day and weeks postpartum are really about revving up your milk supply and learning how to feed your baby successfully (and around the clock while trying to steal catnaps whenever possible and feel vaguely human).

    So my message to the exhibitionists who are looking for instant fame and recognition through a viral Instagram or u-tube videos for their abnormal postpartum weight loss is, please keep it to yourself or between you and your husband. We may gawk at your photo and send encouraging messages, but really you are shaming the rest of us normal people with actual human bodies that do not react like yours.

    Redirect the focus to your postpartum health and that of our baby and less on vanity. These early days with your new baby are a precious bonding experience which can set the tone for your relationship with your child for life. Savor them, expect them to be heartwarming as well as challenging steeped in sleep deprivation. Be sure to rely upon the kindness of friends and family who offer to help and cook a meal or watch the baby while you take a break or rest.

    Remember to give yourself a pat on the back for successfully bearing a child, managing your life and body through 9 months of pregnancy and having the guts to care for a newborn who does not always follow an instruction manual and seeking to make that new baby a priority in your life in the days, months and years to come. That’s the important stuff, six pack abs can wait.

  • Sucking Your Child’s Pacifier Is Not A Bad Thing!

    Most parents have done this on the sly, but now you can do it openly, go ahead and suck that baby pacifier that fell to the ground before popping back into your baby’s mouth. Most feel guilty for not boiling the pacifer or trashing it. However, that parental instinct to just use your own spit is really the best thing you can do for your baby . A new study tells us that this practice will actually help reduce your baby’s chance of allergies later on.

    “It’s really an interesting study, because it supports the theory of the hygiene hypothesis,” said Dr. Samuel Friedlander, an allergy specialist at University Hospital in Cleveland. “It’s a theory that state that our world is too clean. The immune system is like an army, and if the army doesn’t have anything to fight – like germs – it fights allergens.”

    The study showed that toddlers were less likely to develop eczema and asthma if their parents were shared by their parent as the saliva on pacifiers appeared to help promote a bacterial diversity and stimulate the child’s immune system. In the same way, babies delivered vaginally benefitted from increased exposure to bacteria in the birth canal as newborns.

    Of course there are times when this practice can be detrimental to a child’s health, such as when a parent is sick, has a virus or cold sores. However for the healthy parent it appears sharing a little saliva on a pacifier or utensil may be helpful to your child’s immune system.

  • Breastfeeding Can Extend Your Life (New Research!)

    If you are wondering where to stand on the breastfeeding v. formula debate, some new research may make that decision a little clearer.

    A mass study published that past Wednesday in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that exclusively breastfeeding your baby for at least six months could cut your chance of dying from cancer and all other diseases by 17%. This includes an 8% reduction in dying by heart disease alone.

    Previous studies on breastfeeding have primarily looked at the affect on the baby or the short term health benefits to the mother, such as weight loss.

    "No previous study has investigated the association between breastfeeding and mortality in the mother," lead researcher Anne-Claire Vergnaud said. She added that "failure to breastfeed" related to an increase in premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and diabetes.

    The study also confirmed previous findings on health benefits to the baby from breastfeeding including less likelihood of adult obesity or even being overweight, which reduces risk for seven different types of cancer as well as diabetes.

    AICR Director of Research, Susan Higginbotham explains the connection between breastfeeding and longevity, "Physical changes in breast tissue that accompany milk production provide some protection as well." Since breast tissue cells are shed during lactation, the cancer risk is decreased. She adds, "Because cells have potential DNA damage get shed before they can spark the cancer process." Also, longer breastfeeding helps by reducing menstrual cycles and the lifetime exposure to hormones such as estrogen that can increase the risk of breast cancer.

    Only 16% of US women exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months and 36% breastfeed exclusively for three months, so many American women are clearly missing the health benefits for themselves and their babies that exclusive breastfeeding has to offer. 47% of women in the U.S. breastfeed the first six months while also supplementing with formula.

    Clearly the breast is best not only for your baby and for helping with your pregnancy weight loss, but also for your long-term health, reduced chance of cancer and overall longevity. That’s a powerful reason to breastfeed your baby!

  • Maternal America Charmuese Nursing Blouse

    New this fall from Maternal America is the Charmuese Nursing Blouse is a silky in appearance with a beautifully printed orchid on a rust/orange color base. The black reverse cami under the orchid print blouse provides for discreet access. The nursing top is held together with a large black bow to provide more styling. Comes in a 3/4 sleeve for that cool fall weather.

    Only $79 now at TummyStyle.com. Sizes range from XS to Large. This nursing top is so stylish that no one would every believe you could breastfeed in it!

  • National Breastfeeding Week in Ghana

    National Breastfeeding Week was launched in Koforidu as a part of the campaign for exclusive breastfeeding in Ghana. The Theme is “Understanding the Past, Planning, the Future, Celebrating 10 years of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding; Reviving Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative In Ghana.”

    Research has shown that children who were not exclusively breastfed the first six months of life had increased risk of asthma, allergy, acute respiratory infections, nutrient deficiencies, cancers, obesity, and diarrhea and reduced cognitive development.

    This campaign is also aiming at educating parents in the importance of not giving a baby water for the six months since in the past babies in this culture were traditionally given all types of drinks as infants including water, cod liver oil, gripe water and other liquids which is detrimental to their development and health.

    The few mothers who attempt to practice exclusive breastfeeding in Ghana often find the social support system challenging as their mothers, grandmothers and in-laws and even pharmacy shops have sabotaged their efforts by encouraging them to supplement their babies with cod liver oil and gripe water to boost their babies’ systems.

    Dr Iyabode Olusanmi, the country representative of UNICEF, who performed the launching, said the reduction in the exclusive breastfeeding meant that thousands of children had a lesser chance of surviving childhood just because they were not breast-fed early and exclusively, several children were being exposed to the risk of diarrhea and other infections and malnutrition and stunting growth would continue to plague children.

    She called on the GHS to focus their attention on achieving the set goals for exclusive breastfeeding in the communities to reach mothers, fathers and husbands, older women, mothers-in-law and all those who played critical roles in influencing feeding practices in young families.

    The World Breastfeeding Week campaign was launched globally about 20 years ago to raise awareness of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in reducing infant mortality.

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