As we celebrate Canada Day it is fun to know that the most iconic Canadian animal also breastfeeds its young.
Recently there seems to have been a rise in the number of stories shared through social media about mothers who are told they should cover up or leave a public location because of breastfeeding. Hopefully this increase is more a factor of mothers speaking up and calling out those who try to shame them for breastfeeding than an increase in actual incidents. The unfortunate side of the publicity around these stories is they make many new parents worried that if they breastfeed in a public location someone will say something negative to them.
This is the week when the focus is on Dad. In many breastfeeding families dad plays a huge role in helping breastfeeding get off to a good start and supporting the breastfeeding parent. To find out more about what breastfeeding has to do with fathers check out our blog post from last year.
There are also many other great guys who can support a breastfeeding parent:
What is skin-to-skin contact? Skin-to-skin, also called Kangaroo Care or Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), is holding a baby bare chest to bare chest. It helps newborns adjust to being outside the womb. It is ideally done immediately after the birth and as much as you can during the first few days of life. Skin-to-skin can be done by both mother and father. It is especially useful for dad to hold his baby this way if mother is unavailable because of medical procedures.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) isn’t a topic any new parent wants to think about. If you are breastfeeding you are taking a positive step to reduce the risk of SIDs for your baby. Studies show breastfeeding reduces risk by about 50% at all ages throughout infancy.
There are a number of reasons why we think breastfeeding helps and the answer is probably a combination of all of them.
Many breastfeeding parents of newborns find themselves battling little hands that seemed determined to go in the mouth just as they try to get baby to latch. Why is baby doing this?
It is not to drive you crazy although it might feel that way at the time.
Your baby has been bringing his hands to his mouth since he was in utero. Ultrasounds show the hand to mouth movements associated with baby swallowing amniotic fluid. So baby has been practicing this pattern for several months.
Outbreaks of gastroenteritis are not uncommon in situations where large numbers of people are living or interacting in close proximity. They happen regularly in senior’s care centers (particularly in the winter), children’s day cares, emergency evacuation and refugee centers. Viral gastroenteritis causes vomiting, nausea and diarrhea and is easily transmitted from person to person. In healthy adults it is a self-limiting mild to moderate infection but it can cause severe illness in the elderly, the immunocompromised and young children.
1: Limit visitors: Everyone is excited by a new baby and wants to drop by. Having extra people in your space can be exhausting for you as a new mother even if you don’t change out of your pyjamas or produce food and drink for them. If people want to come by make it clear that the visit can be 20 – 30 minutes tops. If they offer to bring you supplies from the store take them up on the offer, meet them at the door, take the supplies and trade them a peek at baby. In a couple of weeks you will feel up to longer visits and then they can come back.
There are times when, due to individual circumstance, parents are unable to breastfeed or feel that it is really not what they want to do even if things are objectively going well. When our breastfeeding hopes, or intentions don’t come to fruition we can struggle with feelings of loss, sadness, anger, grief and shame. When we are at this point we tend to think we are the only person feeling this way but in reality these feelings are not unusual or abnormal.
What is the one thing only mothers can do to help reduce landfill waste, preserve valued energy, and help prevent deforestation? Breastfeed their children.
As people from around the globe commemorate "Earth Day," on April 22nd human milk remains the ultimate natural renewable resource and perhaps the most overlooked way of helping to create a healthier planet every day.
Human milk requires no resources for packaging, shipping or disposal. The production and disposal of artificial baby milk products add to our environmental problems by consuming energy and producing waste.