- Women’s Health
- Healthy Living
- Health Conditions
- Nurse Barb
Most pregnant moms plan to breastfeed, but may not be sure how to get prepared and have what they need in place to be able to breastfeed their little one. Many moms already feel overwhelmed by all the changes they’re experiencing in pregnancy and their concerns about delivery.
With recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics that moms breastfeed their babies exclusively for 6 months, there’s a real need for education, classes and support starting before the baby is born. If you live in Silicon Valley, you’re in luck, because El Camino Hospital has some of the highest breastfeeding rates in the state, thanks in large part to the complete range of breastfeeding support available for every mom and baby.
Getting a Good Start with Classes
Moms who take a breastfeeding class and have time to learn how to hold a baby, get them latched on and learn what to do for common concerns prior to their baby’s birth, are much more likely to be able to breastfeed. At El Camino Hospital, the breastfeeding classes use life-sized dolls so that moms can practice. Dads are welcome too, and don’t worry, no one takes off their clothes to practice.
Once the Baby Arrives
After a baby’s delivery, every effort is made to help moms breastfeed their newborn within the first few hours. There are many benefits for both mom and baby and the mother-baby nurses are on-hand both in the delivery room and the postpartum unit to assist with breastfeeding practice every few hours. We know that practicing and having plenty of support available round the clock helps moms feel more comfortable with this new skill.
Another important consideration is to have specially trained lactation specialists, registered nurses who are internationally board certified lactation consultants IBCLCs, available to new moms as an added level of support.
Lactation support doesn’t end when you go home, it continues with free support groups and one-on-one scheduled appointments available with a lactation consultant. These can easily be arranged by registering online or calling 650-988-8290 for the Mountain View Campus or 408-866-3905 for the Los Gatos Campus.
What about Breastfeeding supplies?
Baby gear and supplies to make life easier for new parents has come a long way in the last few years. With Maternity Boutiques at both the Mountain View and Los Gatos campus, which are conveniently located near the support group sessions, new parents can find virtually everything they need for breastfeeding, from pumps and milk storage bags, to nursing bras and comfortable clothing for mom and baby. It makes it so much easier to get everything you need in one stop, and not have to move the baby, the car seat and stroller from store to store to find hard to locate items such as nipple shields, creams and safe herbs that increase milk supply.
Dicslosure: I’m working with El Camino Hospital to bring more awareness to the programs and initiatives that help educate and improve health in Silicon Valley.
After birth, your baby still relies on you for nutrients. Without the umbilical cord, it’s a little less immediate, but what you eat mostly determines what you’re giving your baby.
Eating for Two
Can I lose weight and eat like this?
Pregnancy and delivery can be incredible challenging and yet when your sweet baby is born, your journey as mother takes a new turn. When you make the switch from expectant mother to proud mama, life gets a lot more complicated and what you learn day-to-day and minute-to-minute is incredible.
You think that the hard part, giving birth, was overwhelming, now you have to figure out how to feed this little person while at the same time recovering from birth. You love this baby and you want them to only have the very best, and yet, this is a new skill and you’re probably exhausted. (more…)
This is a question I hear from a lot of moms who are doing everything right, following all the advice and still they’re not producing enough milk for their baby.
I met with Elisa*, a mom, who I’d cared for throughout all of her 4 pregnancies. She was the kind of mom who makes it all seem so easy. She juggled part time work as a nurse while also caring for her children. She breastfed her first three children exclusively without any issues and said to me once, “If I can do it, then there’s no reason why every mom can’t breastfeed. I think it’s just laziness.” Elisa was dismissive of the reality that many moms face. Then, without warning, the unexpected happened with her fourth child.
Elisa is shocked
Elisa’s pregnancy and delivery were uneventful, she even took more time off for this fourth baby, because she knew he would be her last. Elisa wanted to enjoy and savor the time she had with her beautiful baby boy. I called to check on her 1 week after her delivery and she was distraught. Her milk hadn’t come in. (more…)
Before you panic – Stop – take a deep breath – gather your thoughts –and then figure out what to do next. It’s very scary when you see blood in your baby ‘s diaper. After recovering from the initial shock and disbelief, it’s time to figure out what’s going on.
So here’s something I learned from working in Pediatric Intensive Care. You’ll be much more effective and can get help faster if you’re calm. So, take a few deep breaths, gather your thoughts and ask yourself a few questions so that you can help your pediatrician or pediatric NP help you care for you baby.
Gather information first
New Moms are confronted with a gazillion new things to learn, cope with and react to. Many new moms haven’t spent a lot of time around babies and children, which makes the tsunami of feeding, diapering, sleeping and recovering from childbirth issues overwhelming.
It’s hard to know what to do when there is no magical book that tells you exactly the type of person you are, match it with your baby’s temperament and add in to it all of the unpredictable factors like labor and delivery experience, breastfeeding issues, sleep, crying, spitting up, you name it.
Feed Me – I’m Yours
Feeding babies is a highly emotionally charged experience when you break it down. Some parents worry that the baby is not getting enough to eat and could become sick. Others, worry that the baby is eating too much and will be overweight. All of this is dependent on parent’s own relationships with food, how much their baby weighed at birth, whether they’re growing appropriately on the weight chart. It’s difficult to not obsess about these things. (more…)
This is the dream deprived topic that vexes most new parents. Sleep deprivation.
It’s pure torture and can lead to lots of unanticipated consequences, like arguing with your partner about who should get up, being irritable with older children/family/coworkers or anyone who you come in to contact with.
Your baby might be sleeping, but you’re not. (more…)
You may have read about a recent study that found that children who are still drinking their milk from a bottle at age 2 have higher obesity rates. I wonder what the association is with this finding, and if the bottle is more comforting than using a sippy cup? No matter what the association is, there are few things to remember.
A: Women who are breastfeeding CAN and DO get pregnant all the time, so unless you want to add to your family again, by all means use birth control. Breastfeeding is NOT good birth control. (more…)
I received a question the other day on this website about what feeding options moms have when they are HIV positive. It’s an amazing question for a few reasons. The answer really depends upon where in the world the mother lives.
Because breastmilk is a bodily fluid, it can transmit the virus. There’s evidence that the longer a mom with HIV breastfeeds, the more likely her baby is to get the virus. Transmission can occur from labor and delivery and it also occur from breastfeeding.