• The LA Baby Show
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  • The LA Baby Show
  • The LA Baby Show
  • The LA Baby Show
  • The LA Baby Show
How To Get The Support You Need While Breastfeeding

How To Get The Support You Need While Breastfeeding

After teaching a postnatal class two weeks ago, a few of the mothers and I began talking about breastfeeding, and the support one may need during that period. One mother, Dina, who was bottle feeding, shared her story about why she was no longer breastfeeding.

“About half my friends did not breastfeed so when I had problem after problem, even though I really wanted to breastfeed, I thought it was pretty average to stop breastfeeding. My mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law didn’t breastfeed, so I just didn’t have much support on the home front. They didn’t understand why I was “putting myself through this,” she explained. Now that I’m out in the mommy world, I see that most people do breastfeed. I really feel that if I had known that, and if I had known that what I was going through was completely normal, and similar to what everyone else is going through, I would have been more inspired to continue to push myself through the rough part.

Also, the problems that we encountered were firstly due to a severe lack of help from the nurses at Lenox Hill Hospital to get me started on the right foot, so I came home from the hospital already with sores on my nipples. Sloan would only latch if she was hungry but not starving. If she was starving, it was really hard to get her to latch. She was extremely gassy, so I had to cut out a lot of food from my diet. Then she developed acid reflux and an allergy to milk and soy and I had to cut them both from my diet. I was trying to pump and hardly anything was coming out, so I felt that my supply was low. In retrospect, I don’t think it was, since Sloan was gaining weight.

And on a personal level, it was just hard for me to feel like I didn’t have any break. It was constant, every 1-2 hours and it would take her at least 45 minutes to eat, so I felt like it was just unending. Of course, I’ve now learned that the babies get more efficient and it takes them less time to eat as they get older. My mom said that if I didn’t bottle-feed, she’d never sleep through the night, but of course I know tons of breastfed babies who sleep through the night and did sleep through the night earlier than Sloan did.”

Stories like Dina’s are not uncommon. One of my close friends, Valerie, also experienced difficulties breastfeeding. Her daughter, Mia, had a hard time latching on. Valerie was pretty discouraged by this turn of events, but luckily was able to find a supportive network that encouraged her to continue pumping in order to exclusively feed Mia breast milk. For 12 months, Valerie and her breast pump were intimate friends. Recently, Valerie shared that had she not had the support and common bond with another mother going through the exact same experience at the same time, she does not know if she would have been able to sustain such a challenging pumping and feeding regimen.

Common Problems That May Arise:

It may be reassuring to realize that many mothers experience a slew of common problems when first initiating breastfeeding. Many of these issues are solvable once addressed with the proper guidance. Here are just a few difficulties you may encounter.

  • The mother many not feel enough support from family, friends or hospital. When researching doctors and hospitals, look for a “Baby-Friendly” hospital status
  • Sore nipples
  • Cracked nipples
  • Inverted nipples
  • Low milk supply
  • Going back to work and managing pumping
  • Breast problems and pain including thrush and mastitis
  • Challenge with baby latching
  • Fussy feeder
  • Colicky baby

From just listening to the breastfeeding stories of these two amazing mothers, Dina and Valerie, I learned how important it is to seek out help, should trouble arise. Recognizing that the problems you may have are normal can be comforting and encouraging. Additionally, please know that if you are having problems breastfeeding, it is in no way a reflection on you as a mother, you have not failed your child in any way. There are several venues to find support for breastfeeding mothers that can help should you encounter breastfeeding obstacles.

Where to Find Support

Interesting Statistics and Data about Breastfeeding Practice in the US

How many infants born in the United States are breastfed? The CDC National Immunization Survey is a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population, among infants born in 2006:

  • 73.9% were ever breastfed
  • 43.4% were still breastfeeding at 6 months of age
  • 22.7% were breastfeeding at 1 year of age
  • 33.1% were exclusively breastfed through 3 months of age
  • 13.6% were exclusively breastfed through 6 months of age

How long should a mother breastfeed?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

Whereas 59 percent of women initiated breastfeeding in 1984, roughly three-quarters of women now start breastfeeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Immunization Survey.

Despite recent progress, gaps still persist between current breastfeeding practices and national breast-feeding objectives. Rates of exclusive and sustained breastfeeding remain low. Less than one-third of infants are exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months of age, and almost 80 percent of infants in the United States stop breastfeeding before the recommended minimum of one year. Furthermore, unacceptable racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in breastfeeding persist. Compared with white children, breastfeeding rates are about 50 percent lower among black children at birth, 6 months of age, and 12 months of age, regardless of the family’s income or education status. Compared with middle- and upper-income families, children in low-income families are less likely to be breastfed.

Debra Flashenberg is the founder and Director of the Prenatal Yoga Center. She is a certified labor support doula, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, and certified prenatal yoga instructor. She is continuously in awe of the beauty and brilliance of birth and is the proud mother of her son, Shay and daughter, Sage. Visit prenatalyogacenter.com for more info!

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Roro’s Lulla Doll Brings Comforts to Babies… and Moms!

Roro’s Lulla Doll Brings Comforts to Babies… and Moms!

lKD221_2What’s better than a special doll to help get through tough times? So many of us can remember our favorite doll or toy that helped us through trying times and helped create fond memories. The Lulla doll by Roro is a hit among new moms and babies for helping babies sleep better, and feel comforted and content.

What’s more, Roro will be at the 2017 LA Baby Show, on November 4 and 5, at the Magic Box at the REEF, in DTLA, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families returns to Los Angeles.  A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the LA Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Los Angeles County, and the surrounding counties, and beyond!

Tickets to the LA Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

FOR TICKET INFO & OTHER BABY NEWS:  To be alerted for when tickets first go on sale, and to plug into other news, trends, and resources of interest to expectant and new families in LA, sign up for our free LA Baby Newsletter.

We spoke with a member of the team at Roro to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the LA Baby Show.

For someone unfamiliar with Roro, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?

RoRo is dedicated to helping babies and their caregivers feel better.

Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?

The company name RoRo originates from the Icelandic wor “ro” which means calmness and comfort. RoRo was founded in 2011 around a single idea: to make a product for babies that imitated closeness when their parents needed to be away. Indeed, the idea of the Lulla doll was born when our friend had her baby girl prematurely and had to leave her alone in the hospital every night for two weeks.

lDK221_3What are the most popular and/or newest products from Roro?

Lulla doll is the first product of the Icelandic company RoRo. Lulla doll is a truly unique sleep companion for preemies, babies and toddlers. Lulla doll aims to promote a more stable heartbeat and breathing that can result in better quality sleep, longer sleeping periods, less stress levels and overall wellbeing. For some, the doll also works to help babies calm down and to fall asleep.

What sets the Lulla doll apart from other baby toys ?

Due to its comforting abilities, the Lulla doll has been praised by parents around the globe as it’s hailed a lifesaver and priceless, with one parent commenting, “The Lulla doll has made a huge change in our lives. We have all had a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling rested and happy”. The Lulla doll has also won numerous awards and just recently was voted as the Best Baby Comforter in the Loved by Parents awards. Thoughtfully created by an Icelandic mother, with the guidance of health professionals and based on a number of scientific research studies, the Lulla doll is truly one of a kind. Using naturally calming recordings of heartbeat and soothing yoga breathing sounds from a mother at rest, the Lulla doll ingeniously imitates closeness, a vitally important feeling that has been scientifically proven to improve sleep, stabilize heartbeat, reduce stress and improve well-being.

Unlike many other comforters available that use mechanical white noise, music or sonar sounds playing in short stints with the aim of helping children fall asleep. The Lulla doll aims to help children stay asleep with unique real life sounds that run for up to 8 hours. The Lulla doll is purposely created using neutral colors, with a super soft cotton outer layer, the Lulla doll is not only machine washable and gentle on skin, it will also absorb scent from caregivers, giving children an added feeling of comfort and security.

What can parents expect from Roro at the LA Baby Show?

The Lulla doll has been wowing parents around the world, having sold out globally last year, which led to a frenzy on eBay where it sold for more than six times its retail price. Lulla doll has been featured in various media such as the Today Show, US weekly, Popsugar, Babble, Good Housekeeping & Country living. Parents at the LA Baby Show will be able to meet Lulla up close and purchase on a special offer for the show. The team at RoRo is visiting all the way from Iceland is looking forward to present Lulla and also new product lines coming out in the next year.

Moms Feel Fashionable With 828 Clothing

Moms Feel Fashionable With 828 Clothing

828Pregnancy and new motherhood results in an entire change of wardrobe. Between maternity and new mommy needs, many women are left feeling unlike themselves yet filled with joy at being a new mom. There’s no need to settle: 828 Clothing creates stylish clothes, which fit into a new mom’s lifestyle!

What’s more, 828 Clothing will be at the 2017 LA Baby Show, on November 4 and 5, at the Magic Box at the REEF, in DTLA, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families returns to Los Angeles.  A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the LA Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Los Angeles County, and the surrounding counties, and beyond!

Tickets to the LA Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

FOR TICKET INFO & OTHER BABY NEWS:  To be alerted for when tickets first go on sale, and to plug into other news, trends, and resources of interest to expectant and new families in LA, sign up for our free LA Baby Newsletter.

We spoke with Danielle Forte, owner of 828 Clothing to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the LA Baby Show.

For someone unfamiliar with 828 Clothing, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings? 

This brand was created for moms by a mom. Our mindset is that when you look good you feel good. So many things change about you when you become a mom. The balance is not losing your self-identity but being the greatest mom you can be. We want to be the help to get just one thing off your plate. You can have fashionable clothes that fit into your family lifestyle. So for all the spit-up, food, and spill accidents, you won’t be afraid that you ruined your clothes. We also offer baby onesies with amusing mommy and baby lifestyle quotes.

Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?

Recently, we decided to rebrand 828 Clothing to grow with me. When pregnant with our daughter Nahla I decided that I would exclusively breastfeed. The only downside were the clothes. I wanted to be able to keep my style without compromising and buying clothes just for convenience. My husband Matt suggested that I make my own. I was then linked with Alva Glass who has been a Godsend. As the line grew so did my mommy hood. I realized that I wanted the line to catch up to me as a woman, wife and mom. That is where I birthed the rebrand and it is now called 828. 828 was derived from Matt’s and my favorite bible verse Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” As a parent there are so many worries but we know no matter what happens, it all will work for the greater good. The new line is for every stage of motherhood. We won’t forever be pregnant or nursing but will forever be a mom.

What are the most popular and/or newest products from 828 Clothing?

The most popular have been our leggings and also the DeeDee Dress, which is functional for maternity and nursing. For 828baby, it’s the funsie onesie which says, ” if you wake me, you take me.” That was a hit this year.  Our newest products on 828 will continue to feature the whimsical onesies, DeeDee Dress, and our new cardigans that are quickly becoming a favorite.

What sets 828 Clothing products apart from other clothing companies?

We are really intentional on creating things that are unique to mainstream and are created by need and trial and error by us. I won’t sell something that my children or I would not wear!

What can parents expect from 828 Clothing at the LA Baby Show?

You can expect new refreshing designs and onesies from our family. We can’t wait to help you feel like the pre-baby you …. with your special blessings you have now.

Your Guide To Breastfeeding In Public

Your Guide To Breastfeeding In Public

I clearly remember my first outing with Shay when I knew I would end up feeding him out of the house. As a new mother, I was a bit nervous since I had a whole “breastfeeding station” set up at home. This included a supportive pillow, water bottle, stool for my feet, right to expose myself if need be, and my Nook. Once out of the house, I felt unprepared and overwhelmed at how we would manage without my props. Luckily, with the help and support of my husband, all went well and this became the first of many “public” breastfeeding experiences.

Soon enough, breastfeeding out of the house didn’t require as much work or planning. I also stopped throwing a blanket over my shoulder in an attempt to cover the baby and breast. My main reason for this being that I liked looking at him while he nursed. I also felt like he was getting lost in the material and I couldn’t see what was going on. I tried the kind that covers the baby, but leaves an opening at the top to see the child and that wasn’t right either. I felt it was drawing even more attention to myself and again, I felt a little lost in the excess material. I opted for clothing that gave easy and discreet access to my breast. Since I was no longer fidgeting with covers and didn’t have my reading material along with me, I started noticing the people around me. Some people that saw me seemed interested, while others noticed and then suddenly turned their gaze away. Some looked shocked and a few looked disgusted.

Breastfeeding in public stirs up a lot of feelings and opinions for people. Some people, like the “bottle fed generation of the 60’s,” see breastfeeding as a private matter that should be saved for home or a private, discreet setting. Considering a newborn feeds about every two hours, poor mom would never leave home! Another reason some are opposed is because of the sexual implication of a bare breast. I believe there is more alluring breast exposure in beach-wear or scanty clothing then there is in breastfeeding. With the exception of the baby expectantly popping off, the baby’s head covers most of the breast.

Mothers are getting mixed messages. The America Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continue to nurse for a full year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 75 percent of mothers start breastfeeding immediately after birth, but less than 15 percent of those moms are breastfeeding exclusively six months later. I believe this dramatic drop could be the lack of support to continue breastfeeding. For those that are continuing to 6 months or beyond, they make breastfeeding a life style choice. They are likely not tethered to their couch, so they must learn to breastfeed on the go.

“Nurse-ins” have become a popular protesting strategy among some “lactivists” to help normalize breastfeeding and to amplify breastfeeding mothers right to feed her baby where ever she likes, and they also heighten the public’s awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding.

To help support nursing mothers, breastfeeding laws have been passed to protect the right of public nursing. Currently, 45 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location, those excluded from the list are Idaho, West Virginia, Michigan, Virginia, and South Dakota.

I don’t pay too much attention to tabloids or the activities of celebrities, but I am grateful that so many have chosen to breastfeed their children in public. Since we are culture that treats celebrities like royalty, this can help reduce the stigma of breastfeeding in public for the rest of us. This list includes: Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Miranda Kerr, Selma Hayek, and Selma Blair.

Tips for breastfeeding in public:

Wear your baby! Certain carries allow you to easily nurse your child with little fuss to get baby to breast.

Find easy access clothing. My personal favorites have been Glamourmom tank tops and the Boob shirts. Both of these have made it easy to nurse with little exposure.

Have a distraction for baby. A lot of babies have a “roaming arm” while breastfeeding. This active arm may be pushing your shirt up to your collarbone or pulling the other side of your shirt down. You may find it helpful to hold your baby’s hand or wear a necklace that the baby can reach for instead of your clothing.

Listen to your baby’s hunger cues. An overly hungry, crying baby can be a lot harder to pacify and will draw attention to you. Try to avoid getting to that point if possible.

Be mindful of where you position yourself in the room or surroundings. I have found this helpful not just to avoid being the center of attention, but to also limit distractions for Shay. I try to find a quiet, uncrowded space if possible. If the room is bustling, I head for the corner.

Feel confident that you are doing the right the thing for you and your baby! If anyone comments to you or gives you dirty looks, know that you have the right to feed your baby where ever you see fit.

Once you have the hang of breastfeeding in public, it will become second nature to you. Happy breastfeeding!

Debra Flashenberg is the founder and Director of the Prenatal Yoga Center. She is a certified labor support doula, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, and certified prenatal yoga instructor. She is continuously in awe of the beauty and brilliance of birth and is the proud mother of her son, Shay and daughter, Sage. Visit prenatalyogacenter.com for more info!

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How To Get Proper Nutrition While Breastfeeding

How To Get Proper Nutrition While Breastfeeding

I found that a great deal of attention and information was given to me while pregnant about receiving proper nutrition. However, upon entering the postpartum phase, all I heard was “make sure you get enough water to compensate for the fluids lost while breastfeeding.” But besides the reminder to hydrate well, very little was discussed about what other nutrients were needed for supporting my milk producing body.

Since I was exclusively breastfeeding, I did experience the “breastfeeding weight loss” and noticed a drop in dress size pretty quickly. I also noticed that between breastfeeding and getting my little one down for a nap or even out the door for a walk, I had little time left to focus on my own food intake. I was joking with friends that the reason new moms lose weight is because we don’t have time (or a free hand) to feed ourselves! But laughing aside, I did start to notice that I was neglecting my own diet. I was grabbing whatever was in the fridge, specifically those things that could be eaten with one hand. I even started substituting Larabars for meals every now and then.

My diet started to concern me. Was I getting the right nutrition to support myself and my breastmilk?

I knew that breastfeeding mothers need on average 300-500 extra calories a day. The La Leche League cautions new mothers to approach this increased caloric intake with healthy dietary guidelines in mind. For example, the extra calories should from nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, veggies, complex carbs and protein, not empty calories from sugary treats. As for protein, the basic rule is to eat 1 gram of protein each day for every lb you weigh.

Wow, that is a lot of protein per day! Knowing I do not get over 100 grams of protein a day, I was getting concerned that the quantity and quality of my milk was going to suffer. Thankfully, some research findings eased some of my concerns. In recent years, research has confirmed that even if some nutrients are missing in a woman’s daily diet, she will still produce milk that will help her child grow. There is very little difference in the milk of healthy mothers and mothers who are severely malnourished. For example, if a mother’s diet is lacking in calories, her body makes up the deficit, drawing on the reserves laid down during pregnancy or before. Unless there is a physical reason for low milk production, a woman who breastfeeds on cue will be able to produce enough milk for her baby, regardless of what she eats. Basically, the malnourished mother’s body will still produce good milk, but at the cost to the mother, whose nutritional needs will go unmet.

Even though research suggests that I don’t have to worry about the quantity of my milk supply, it is still important to replenish the nutrients lost while breastfeeding. For those who like to follow guidelines to help establish a healthy diet, the US Department of Agriculture released a suggested food pyramid for breastfeeding mothers. My Pyramid Plan for Moms maps out a clear selection of healthy foods that support breastfeeding mothers. You can even get a plan designed just for you and your lifestyle. Go to mypyramid.gov/mypyramidmoms. The suggestion My Pyramid Plan offers seem quite reasonable to follow. For example, they focus on 5 different food groups; fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats and beans and dairy with realistic intake from each group, like 2 cups of fruit a day or 3 cups of veggies. To get an idea of what that would look like in a daily diet, one medium grapefruit equals 1 cup or one large sweet potato equals 1 cup.

From the food pyramid, you will notice two things. One: There is not a category for nutritional supplements. Assuming you are getting all your nutrition from food, you may not need additional vitamins. (Although many women do continue to take their prenatal vitamins postpartum.) Lana Levy, founder of Just For Today Nutrition states: “Dietary supplements can improve milk quality and quantity in women that are malnourished; however, a balanced diet without excessive supplementation is the best way to ensure good milk. Vitamins that are taken in excess are excreted in the urine anyway, so don’t waste your money!”

The second observation is, 1/5 of the pyramid is taken up by animal protein, and for those that are vegan, 2/5 of the pyramid would be excluded. Nutritionists urge vegetarian and vegan mothers to make sure they are getting enough b12, calcium and zinc which are generally found in dairy products, meat, fish and eggs. To get adequate b12, try fortified soy milk and fortified yeast or b12 supplement. Calcium is abundant in dark leafy greens, almonds, calcium-enriched tofu, and blackstrap molasses. Zinc can be found in spinach, pumpkin seeds, yeast, wheat germ, peanuts, beans, and bran cereals.

I hope this has clarified supportive nutritional needs for those that choose to breastfeed. As for my own time management/eating schedule, I try to have a bowl of almonds handy, along with yogurt packs and instant steel cut oatmeal to hold me over until my son is calmly playing or napping. Then, I can have a proper meal. I figure, as long as I am making healthy choices in my “quick bites” my body and my baby will be just fine.

Debra Flashenberg is the founder and Director of the Prenatal Yoga Center. She is a certified labor support doula, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, and certified prenatal yoga instructor. She is continuously in awe of the beauty and brilliance of birth and is the proud mother of her son, Shay and daughter, Sage. Visit prenatalyogacenter.com for more info!

Breastfeeding 101

Breastfeeding 101

August is National Breastfeeding Month–and what better way to celebrate than by catching up with one of the best experts in the breastfeeding field about benefits, myths, and key info to know?

Gina Cicatelli Ciagne is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Lansinoh’s Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Clinical Communications, and a mother of two breastfed children. She’s also a nationally recognized expert on breastfeeding, and has been an active advocate for breastfeeding and women’s health for more than a decade. As a Certified Lactation Counselor and La Leche League International-trained breastfeeding peer counselor, she has worked with and provided advice and support to thousands of breastfeeding mothers around the world. She is the mother of two breastfed children. Read on for her expert insight into some common breastfeeding questions!

What are the biggest benefits to breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is more than a lifestyle choice — it is the ideal way to nurture and nourish your baby and has many benefits for you that last beyond the period of nursing. The first few weeks can be challenging, and sometimes new mothers give up before they, and their babies, can experience the benefits. Knowing the breastfeeding benefits can keep you motivated and increase your chances of success.

Breastmilk is more easily digested and provides the essential nutrients, vitamins, proteins, fats and antibodies, in just the right proportions that the baby needs to develop physically and neurologically; breastmilk will also change its composition to meet your baby’s needs as they get older or if your baby is sick; and breastmilk is made of live cells and is easily absorbed by your baby.

Additionally, breastfeeding decreases a mother’s risk of developing breast cancer. In addition, studies show that breastfeeding may decrease ovarian cancer and uterine cancer in women who breastfeed; breastfeeding mothers may have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (researchers say breastfeeding may change a mother’s metabolism in ways that make the possible connection plausible); studies show that breastfeeding mothers show less postpartum depression than formula-feeding mothers because breastfeeding triggers and releases oxytocin (also called the “love hormone”) and prolactin that can help you relax and feel less stressed; and as a nursing mother, you will burn extra calories, making it easier to lose the pounds put on during pregnancy. Breastfeeding will help you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster.

What are some myths about breastfeeding that women should know are not true?

There are many myths associated with breastfeeding.  One of these is that breastfeeding causes breasts to sag or lose their shape.  As a matter of fact, according to research, it is the stretching of the ligaments caused by weight gain during pregnancy that can cause breasts to sag (also called Ptosis).

Another common myth is that breast size determines how much milk a mom will make and this is untrue. The size of her breasts does not impact her internal breastmilk storage capacity. So, a small-breasted woman can produce as much milk as her baby needs as can a larger breasted woman.

A third common myth is that feedings should be timed and baby’s breastfeeding sessions should be scheduled. These are untrue! It is important, for establishing and maintaining a good milk supply as well as nourishing your baby, that is fed “on demand” meaning baby is put to the breast when exhibiting hunger cues (smacking lips, sucking on fingers and hands, rooting) and allowed to feed as long as they wish without taking them off after a certain time period. Let baby nurse on one breast until they stop or unlatch themselves. They may take occasional pauses during a feed but that does not mean they are done. If they pause, see if they re-latch themselves or you can relatch baby if he is still hungry.  Then offer the other breast but know it is okay for them to only feed on one breast at a session. This ensures that baby drains as much milk as possible because then the body refills the milk that has been removed (keeping up your supply based on baby’s needs!). Some babies are quick at nursing and others take longer. Also, don’t be strict about time in between feeds. Some go for an hour in between and others build up to feeding every three hours. Babies do tend to start to lengthen time between feedings as they get older but it is important for your comfort and for baby’s optimal growth and development to not be a strict scheduler, especially in the early days. Timing feedings and sticking to a strict schedule can affect baby’s weight gain, can cause engorgement, and can lead to low milk supply (if milk is not removed, your body will start to make less).

What are some reasons that you hear from women as to why they aren’t comfortable breastfeeding in public?

We have all seen media stories of moms who have been publicly shamed or ridiculed for breastfeeding their baby in public and that has made some worried about feeding their babies in public. Moms also worry that they will be seen as an exhibitionist if someone happens to see their breast if their baby unlatches while nursing in public.While breasts are designed for breastfeeding, not everyone understands that and forget that this is about nourishing a baby.

What are strategies that you’d recommend to help breastfeeding mothers feel more confident breastfeeding in public?

It is important to remember that breastfeeding is so beneficial for you and baby’s health and that there are laws that protect her right to breastfeed. Many moms take along a nursing shawl or cover up but many also find that baby has other plans and doesn’t like to be covered! That eye contact is so important during feedings too so many moms don’t want to cover up or feel ashamed for caring for their babies. Moms should feel comfortable wherever they nurse and remember that their focus should be on their baby and not these naysayers. There are also many establishments who will be accommodating and provide a private space for mom to nurse if she feels more comfortable nursing away from others.

Are there specific products you recommend to make breastfeeding easier (in public and private)?

Breastfeeding can come with some challenges but there are solutions. Since leaking is a common issue for many moms, having nursing pads with them so they can capture leaks if they let-down can also be reassuring. Having ultra-pure HPA Lanolin cream or Soothies Gel Pads can also be helpful particularly in the early days when moms are experiencing soreness. Therapearl Breast Therapy Packs are unique in that they provide hot or cold relief for engorgement, swelling, and plugged ducts, and can also aid in a faster let-down and more milk released when warmed and wrapped around a breast pump flange. For pumping moms, a high quality breast pump is important so they can keep up their milk supply and also have milk to leave behind for their babies when they will be apart. There are manual pumps for occasional use as well as double pumps available on the market. It is important to know that there are closed system pumps and open system pumps. Closed system pumps, like the Lansinoh SmartPump, ensure that no milk backs up into the tubing or the motor which can prevent mold and bacteria growth. The SmartPump is the first technologically advanced with Bluetooth connectivity double electric breast pump and connects to the Lansinoh Baby App so it records time and date and time spent pumping and has many sections moms can use to capture developmental and growth milestones.  Moms can track and record information to share with their healthcare providers such as breastfeeding sessions, diaper changes and also access resources and articles on breastfeeding and pumping. Having safe breastmilk storage bags is key for moms who are pumping and storing their milk. Being able to pump directly in the bags is helpful for moms who don’t want to transfer the milk from a bottle to a bag before stashing it away. Choosing bags that are BPA and BPS- free and that have extra security measures like double zipper lock closures are also great to use.

What advice would you give to moms who are having a hard time getting their baby to breastfeed in a consistent way (or having trouble with latching, milk supply, and beyond)?

It is important to get help or assistance if a mom is encountering issues with breastfeeding such as worries about latching on or if they are worried about their supply. A small issue can turn into a big issue if not addressed and so many early challenges with breastfeeding can be remedied with some assistance. There are professionals whose purpose is to help breastfeeding moms and babies and it is important to know there is no need to suffer in silence! Reading ahead of time to know what to expect can be hugely helpful as well as going to credible sources for assistance with positioning, latching on and how to establish and maintain a good milk supply.

What should women know about the new CDC regulations for keeping pumps clean?

Pumping can be a cumbersome task for many moms but they do it because they will be apart from baby during feeding times and they need to maintain their milk supply and be able to leave expressed breastmilk for their baby’s caregiver to give in their absence. It is important to familiarize yourself with the new CDC guidelines on how to effectively clean your breast pump parts regularly to ensure that it is kept clean and sanitary so your expressed breastmilk is kept safe. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for your pump on how to sanitize and clean the breast pump before using for the first time and after each use.  It is also important to know that there are closed system breast pumps which prevent milk from getting sucked up into tubing and into the pump’s motor which are different than open system pumps which cannot prevent this type of milk back up. The backup is not only inconvenient but it can be a safety hazard as mold and bacteria can grow in a warm, moist environment like pump tubing and in small areas that cannot be cleaned or sanitized.

Gina Cicatelli Ciagne is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Lansinoh’s Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Clinical Communications, and a Media Spokesperson. She is a nationally recognized expert on breastfeeding, and has been an active advocate for breastfeeding and women’s health for more than a decade. As a Certified Lactation Counselor and La Leche League International-trained breastfeeding peer counselor, she has worked with and provided advice and support to thousands of breastfeeding mothers around the world. She is the mother of two breastfed children.

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Traveling & Breastfeeding? Here’s How!

Traveling & Breastfeeding? Here’s How!

Peggy Economou and her daughter

After graduating with an economics degree from Colgate University, I moved back to my hometown NYC and started my career in investment banking. Although I had a great career and loved my colleagues, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled professionally and creatively so after eight years I quit and traveled the world for a year. During my travels I met my husband who is from Siena, Italy, which is where we live now with our 2.5-year-old daughter, Dafne, who was the inspiration behind Teat&Cosset.

My experience breastfeeding her and the challenges I faced with clothing during this period is what sparked the idea. Breastfeeding was hard enough in the beginning and I felt that clothing was an unnecessary obstacle. She was born in December 2014 and it was difficult finding winter tops that would keep me warm and that I could comfortably breastfeed in, either at home or out. Besides not always being functional or good quality, every top I found had that same stretchy wrap look with minuscule slit openings that I barely used. I refused to spend any more money on something that I was going to get rid of after I finished breastfeeding. I also wanted to feel like myself again and the way I dressed was a big part of that. I definitely did not feel good wearing the nursing tops I had found so I went to a local seamstress with a few designs in mind, that were both stylish and functional. These first designs went on to become pieces in our collection at Teat&Cosset.

Wearing beautiful and functional clothes positively changed how I felt about my experience nursing and removed an unnecessary obstacle to breastfeeding. Designing beautiful clothing to help women reach their breastfeeding milestone is something I can say I am truly passionate about.

With that said, here are a few tips for traveling moms on the go!

1) Where to pump: If there isn’t a pumping or mothers space at the airport (some airports have Mamava pods which are wonderful and private) then I would find an isolated corner while you’re waiting for your flight or when you land. You can also check out websites such as Moms Pump Here or Pumpspotting (app) to find pumping friendly spaces.  If you have to pump on the plane just do it in your seat and bring a poncho to cover up and remember, most people will not notice or care!

2) Cooler choice: the number of days you’re away depends on what size cooler to bring. For one night away I suggest a small insulated lunch box cooler. For a three-day trip you can use a six-pack cooler and for longer trips as 12-can cooler. There are also many specifically designed breast milk coolers you can find on Amazon if you don’t want to use a regular cooler.

3) Breastmilk transport: For US travel the TSA allows you to carry on as much milk as you want. For international travel you may want to check the airport before traveling to make sure if you can carry it on.  It is a good idea to freeze your milk for longer trips and the TSA does not have to inspect frozen milk so you can save time at the airport too. You can always ask the hotel staff to do this for you if you don’t have access to a freezer and make sure your ice-packs are frozen too.

4) What to pack: a permanent marker to label breast milk bags, ice-packs, a shawl or poncho – the Olimpia poncho is a favorite – to cover up on the plane, a pumping bra, breast pump, spare parts, breast milk storage bags, cleaning soap, a few spare bottles, a spare hand pump (if you can’t use the electric pump during taxi or take off), a cooler and lots of photos of your baby to help with letdown

5) Plan each day: Look at your schedule and decide in advance the times you are going to pump and make sure to schedule it in. Also think about where you will be at those times and where you will be able to pump. Give yourself some leeway around these times though because you never know what may come up.

Peggy Economou is the founder of Teat&Cosset. For more on Teat&Cosset, visit: teatandcosset.com and follow along on Instagram at @TeatandCosset!

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Luv Bug Makes Accessories That Protect Your Little Luv Bug & The Environment

Luv Bug Makes Accessories That Protect Your Little Luv Bug & The Environment

RESIZE-DSC_0017-200x300Naturally, expectant parents focus on getting all of the essentials, such as a car seat, stroller, and crib for their newborn first. With those big-ticket items taken care of, it is time to accessorize! That’s where Luv Bug comes in, and no one does it better! The environmentally conscious brand creates fashionable, high-quality, multifunctional accessories designed to make your life a little easier. With offerings such as waterproof crib sheets, a waterproof 2-in-1 car seat canopy, bibs, blankets, and bedding, Luv Bug has everything your little luv bug needs for a more comfortable life.

Luv Bug will be at the 2017 LA Baby Show, on November 4 and 5, at the Magic Box at the REEF, in DTLA, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families returns to Los Angeles. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the LA Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Los Angeles County, and the surrounding counties, and beyond!

Tickets to the LA Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

FOR TICKET INFO & OTHER BABY NEWS: To be alerted when tickets first go on sale, and to plug into other news, trends, and resources of interest to expectant and new families in LA,  sign up for our free LA Baby Newsletter.

We spoke with one of the co-founders and owners of Luv Bug, Cindi Roe, to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the LA Baby Show.

For someone unfamiliar with Luv Bug, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?

They say: When your work is your passion, it never feels like work. At Luv Bug we are blessed to work with what we are passionate about everyday: creating baby and child gear & accessories that embrace the joy, love, and free spirit of children. Family and community are the roots of our company. Having three amazing kids, careers in school and community counseling, and as an elementary school principal, makes those roots a natural part of what we stand for. We value the meaning of community building and sustainability. Several of our products have components of organic textiles, and we use minimal packaging to help preserve our environment for the future generations. Our products are both hand made by professional artisans and manufactured proudly in the United States. We recognize that we are a part of something greater than ourselves and giving back helps strengthen the community in which we are all a part of.

Our products are 100% inspired by children, and we strive to create stylish, high quality, multifunctional baby and child accessories that make parenting easier. Our bold and bright fabrics are the perfect way to capture the vibrant & fun loving spirit of kids, which is the core of what the Luv Bug Company represents. We take pride in customer satisfaction, and listening to the needs of our consumers.

Tell us about the background of Luv Bug. When did Luv Bug start? How has Luv Bug evolved since then?

During the summer of 2013, we were on a family vacation with my parents. In the evening, we began discussing how to improve a nursing cover that I was using with my son Maddox. The next morning, my mom broke out a sewing machine and started creating what I envisioned as the best nursing cover on the market (our Peek a Boo mini). From there, the Luv Bug Company was born! My husband and I always call our children luv bugs, which was a natural fit for our company’s name! Each year, we strive to continue to bring high quality products to our customers by utilizing our knowledge base of raising three children, and working with a number of parent focus groups that drive our product development. We are in the business of helping families function with a splash of style!

What are the most popular and newest products from Luv Bug?

Our most recent products are our waterproof crib sheets and waterproof 2-in-1 car seat canopy. Our car seat canopy is a testament of the feedback we received from parent focus groups. After consulting with several focus groups on this product, and listening to our customers’ needs and recommendations during the development process, we created an amazing product that will shelter your baby from the weather elements and create privacy when desired. Our canopy turns into a play mat when not used as a canopy, and comes with a great storage pouch too! Parents use it for a grab-n-go bag for toys, art supplies, diapers/wipes, and even soiled diapers. Our waterproof crib sheet is an easy 1-step changing design that eliminates the need for a protective mattress cover. This leaves only the top sheet to change because of its waterproof backing. The ultra-soft organic fabric front side helps babies fall asleep with ease and comfort.

Our UPF 50+ Sun Protection Blanket is a customer favorite. And you can go anywhere with our hooded sunscreen blanket. It is perfect for the pool, a stroll in the park, the beach, or even a baseball game. It protects your child’s delicate skin; the part a stroller canopy doesn’t cover. The Sun Bug Blanket is a UPF 50+, UV protection fabric for the ultimate sunscreen alternative.

What sets Luv Bug apart from other baby and child companies in the marketplace?

Our core mission is to make parenting easier. Parents drive our product development before it goes to market. Our products are created with the idea that function and style are a necessity for today’s parents. Another aspect that separates us from other companies is that several of our products are designed with the idea of reusability, and we use minimal packaging to help preserve our environment.

What can parents expect from Luv Bug at the LA Baby Show?

Parents can expect to find a super enthusiastic husband and wife team that loves hearing stories from new and expecting parents. We will be selling our full product line and are offering a special discount to anyone that makes a purchase during the 2-day event. In addition, we will be holding lots of product raffles too!

To learn more about Luv Bug, check out luvbugcompany.com.

What You Need To Know About Breastfeeding & Epidurals

Ask a room of expectant women if they intend to breastfeed and almost 100 percent of them will say yes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least 12 months and the World Health Organization encourages mothers to continue to breastfeed for two years, but only 49 percent of babies are breastfed at 6 months and only 27 percent are still breastfeeding at one year.

One of the reasons for these poor numbers is that problems arise in the first few days after birth, when mom and baby are trying to establish a breastfeeding routine. Three days after giving birth, 92 percent of the new mothers said they were having problems breastfeeding, which can cause them to lose confidence in their ability to successfully breastfeed and to feel pressure to supplement. However, research has shown that there could be another reason why moms at this stage are struggling with breastfeeding: there is a correlation between breastfeeding issues and epidurals.

When a woman receives epidural anesthesia, she also must get at least two bags of IV fluid to help keep her blood pressure from dropping (a side effect of the epidural). She continues to receive IV fluids throughout her labor, and as a result, both she and baby are full of excess fluid at birth. Within two days, the mother’s body re-absorbs the excess fluid, rendering her breasts more swollen, while her nipples become harder, flat, and more shallow, which can cause latching issues. A typical scenario for new mothers and babies is that the baby establishes a good latch on day one, but by day two, the nipple and breast has changed making latching difficult and frustrating for both mom and baby. Unfortunately, the mother is often blamed for having flat nipples and is given a breast shield (which is controversial among lactation consultants), or the baby is blamed for having a poor sucking reflex or being tongue-tied.

According to Dianne Cassidy, author and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, while this problem can be frustrating, it is only temporary. “If mothers realize the swelling and difficulty latching is just from the epidural, not forever…then they will have better breastfeeding,” she says. Since more than 80 percent of women will choose an epidural, Cassidy stresses the importance of helping women get past these temporary difficulties and not give up on breastfeeding. It is extremely important that the new mother’s support team offers her encouragement and tries to build her confidence. If she is having breastfeeding problems due to latching and swollen breasts, encourage her to loosen up the breast by pumping, to hand express, to enjoy as much skin-to-skin contact as possible, and to drink tons of water to help flush out the edema.

The effects of the excess fluid can also been seen in the baby. Within days of being born, babies tend to lose a percentage of their birth weight (10-15 percent), which can cause doctors to become concerned they are not getting enough milk, when in reality, the infant is just peeing out the excess fluid. If the weight of the extra fluid is not accounted for, then the mother who was once committed to exclusively breastfeeding may feel pressured to supplement with formula. This added stress and anxiety can negatively affect her milk supply

As pediatrician Dr. Sonia Gidwani explains: “These parameters are set for people who are not ready to make clinical judgments on patients. Ten percent is a number given out to nurses or people at the hospital who are discharging these babies to identify if the baby needs to be seen immediately. The real way to assess a child is to monitor the baby’s urine output: Day one, one wet diaper, day two, two wet diapers, and day three, three wet diapers. This an indication that there is enough fluid to profusing the kidneys. The baby should urinate at least once every eight hours. Parents can also look for pink crystals (uric acid crystals), which are signs the baby is getting dehydrated.”

There are two more notable correlations between epidurals and breastfeeding to highlight. Epidural usage increases the chance of an instrumental birth with forceps or vacuum extraction, which can affect the baby’s jaw, thus affecting the latch. The baby exhibits a tight jaw and a poor suck pattern, more choppy than sucking. Babies born with forceps and vacuum assistance are also at higher risk for jaundice, which can render them tired and uninterested in feeding. Dianne has seen great success in remedying this issue with cranial-sacral therapy for the baby.

Lastly, some studies have suggested that an epidural paired with the use of pitocin, the synthetic form of oxytocin, can negatively affect breastfeeding. “Labor epidural anesthesia had a negative impact on breastfeeding in the first 24 hours of life even though it did not inhibit the percentage of breastfeeding attempts in the first hour. Further studies are needed to elucidate the exact nature of this association.”

Given that 80 percent of women will receive an epidural during labor, it is vital to support those facing breastfeeding challenges. Tips for getting past breastfeeding difficulties include:

  • If possible, birth in a nursing-friendly hospital that encourages breastfeeding and does not push formula.
  • Discuss ahead of time with your pediatrician the expectation of weight loss for the baby.
  • Room-in with the baby.
  • Find a breastfeeding support group like La Leche League or a local breastfeeding support organization.
  • Seek out a lactation consultant.
  • Educate mothers on newborn behavior and breastfeeding patterns.
  • Adjust expectations of baby’s eating pattern. Babies do not eat a lot in the first week or two; they take in very small amounts during each feeding: a teaspoon in the first day or so, increasing to an ounce in the first week.
  • Encourage skin-to-skin contact.
  • Have tools available to help alleviate swelling and fluid from the epidural, such as a hospital-grade breast pump, or self express.
  • Adjust expectations of ourselves as birthing women. Breastfeeding can be hard, but you can be successful!

Debra Flashenberg is the founder and Director of the Prenatal Yoga Center. She is a certified labor support doula, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, and certified prenatal yoga instructor. She is continuously in awe of the beauty and brilliance of birth and is the proud mother of her son, Shay and daughter, Sage. Visit prenatalyogacenter.com for more info!

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Ju-Ju-Be Offers Diaper Bags For Every Style

Ju-Ju-Be Offers Diaper Bags For Every Style

legacy_the knight stars_lifestyle_bff2Gone are the days when diaper bags were frumpy. On the contrary, today’s accessories for new moms are chic and stylish. Ju-Ju-Be offers diaper bags that are practical and fashionable.

What’s more, Ju-Ju-Be will be at the 2017 LA Baby Show, on November 4 and 5, at the Magic Box at the REEF, in DTLA, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families returns to Los Angeles.  A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the LA Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Los Angeles County, and the surrounding counties, and beyond!

Tickets to the LA Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

FOR TICKET INFO & OTHER BABY NEWS:  To be alerted for when tickets first go on sale, and to plug into other news, trends, and resources of interest to expectant and new families in LA, sign up for our free LA Baby Newsletter.

We spoke with a member of the Ju-Ju-Be team to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the LA Baby Show.

For someone unfamiliar with Ju-Ju-Be, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?

Ju-Ju-Be was started by the dynamic duo of diaper bags. Despite the great fashion (and even some great features) of the other brands, there were still some things lacking. No one had put to use the latest in technology. No one had successfully acted on the idea that fashion and function are not mutually exclusive. No one else had delved into the deep realm of microbes and anti-stick coatings. Everyone else said that diaper bags aren’t rocket science. Ju-Ju-Be thinks they can be. Along with being a lot of fun!

Ju-Ju-Be’s offers custom13FM02L-TFL-NO SIZE 1ers fun and functional bags and accessories, including backpacks, diaper bags, wallets, bibs, totes and a duffle, among others.

What are the most popular and/or newest services from Ju-Ju-Be?

Ju-Ju-Be’s B.F.F diaper bag is one of its most popular items. This bag will be your BFF. It will also make you new BFFs because all the other ladies will want to be your friend. It might make your current BFF a little jealous, but that’s OK because she wasn’t all that good of a friend anyway. Just a few questions: Did she ever offer to carry all of your stuff in an ultra organized way? The BFF will. It has tons of pockets and organization…so much you won’t know what to do with it all. Is she flexible? The BFF comes with detachable shoulder straps and messenger straps. Use it any way you want! Does she have spice and flair and elegance and style? If she does, then you better dump her right away, she might make you look bad! Just kinda sorta kidding mostly…but seriously, if she does, then you need a BFF just to keep up. Smooches, pinkie swears, and forever friends.

What sets Ju-Ju-Be apart from other companies?

Practically and style!

What can parents expect from Ju-Ju-Be at the LA Baby Show?

Lots of new styles to checkout and great deals!