Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘breastfeeding’ Category

With the new Affordable Health Care Act (ACA), insurance companies are finally beginning to cover lactation services and necessary aids and equipment; like breastpumps.   After I have attended several seminars on insurance reimbursement, the consenses is that the US insurance industry is in turmoil and confusion about adding lactation services and equipment to their reimbursement menu. Each company is intrepreting the ACA in it’s own way.

You are not alone if you are confused!

We are all trying to figure it out, but it is worth it for you to pursue reimbursement for the services and products you need, with your insurance company, to be able to breastfeed and provide breastmilk for your baby. More and more companies ARE paying, and the more consumer demand, the more the lawyers and businessmen that run our health care industry will realize how important these services and products are.

It would be smart for every insurance company to provide “well” breastfeeding services for ALL mothers and babies just like they pay for “well” pediatric visits as babies that are breastfed are so much healthier and have, on average, 1/2 the health care costs compared to babies that are formula fed.

These links will provide you with more information.  Please ask your insurance company to pay for the services and products you need.  Best Start Parenting Center is here to help in any way we can.  (434) 384-MAMA (6262)

Jane Bradshaw RN, BSN, IBCLC, RLC

The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new “Patient’s Bill of Rights” gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health.

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/index.html

Get your questions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and insurance-covered breastpumps answered!

 http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/breastfeeding-insurance

http://www.ameda.com/products/breast-pump-coverage/affordable-care-act

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program

http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/Breastfeeding/mainpage.HTM

http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/Contacts/coor.HTM

Read Full Post »

By Joy Rhodes, virtual assistant to Jane and Mom of three boys

I recently had my third son this past summer and was looking forward to breastfeeding him just like I breastfed my other two sons.  Having had wonderful breastfeeding experiences with my other two boys, I was quite surprised when I experienced pain while breastfeeding with this baby.  I knew that the latch looked right from the outside, but something was not right if there was pain.  Jane Bradshaw, my wonderful International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and friend, always told everyone that breastfeeding should never hurt, so I started investigating other possibilities.  I noticed that my baby seemed to eat all the time with hardly a break.  I would sit for two hours at a time on the couch with a baby that seemed to eat and eat and eat and not feel satisfied.  He would sleep a bit and then wake up hungry again.  He was getting milk, but it seemed to take him so long to get it.  That in combination with the pain was wearing down this mommy quick.  So I made an appointment with Jane to do a weight check and a breastfeeding snapshot to see exactly how much milk he was getting in a feeding and also have her look at his latch to make sure I was not missing any problem areas.

The first thing Jane checked was his tongue.  She noticed that he did not stick his tongue out of his mouth and it did not rise very high when he cried.  These were two very good signs of the possibility of a tongue-tie in combination with the breast pain and long feedings.  Sometimes you can see the frenulum visually, but in my son’s case he had a very deep rooted tongue-tie that was not easily seen until the Ear Nose and Throat Specialist found it underneath the web-like tissue.  Even my son’s doctor did not see the tongue-tie because it was one that was not commonly seen with an initial look in the mouth.  Thankfully he was getting enough milk to gain weight, but I had to work harder with pumping and compressions to get all the milk to him in a feeding (not to mention the pain I was feeling!).  Jane suggested a visit to the Ear Nose and Throat Specialist in Lynchburg, VA, Dr. Andrea Kittrell.   I made an appointment and had the procedure done that day.

No one likes to see their baby in pain and worries about having any kind of procedure done that would cause it.  My son cried a little when he came back to the room from the procedure, but the pain afterwards was very minimal.  He breastfed immediately and I felt a difference right away!  No pain from nursing at all, right there at the doctor’s office.  Jane gave me some post-procedure exercises to do with him to help him learn to use his tongue better, and he was soon sticking out his tongue with gusto and enjoying the new-found freedom to move his tongue.  Feedings improved dramatically and there was NO pain.

Jane told me that tongue-ties are very common, and most are undiagnosed because moms give up breastfeeding because of the pain.  Many people live with the pain of breastfeeding and just assume that it is normal and something to have to struggle through in order to give your baby the best food, breastmilk.  I think of many friends and family members who pushed through with breastfeeding and eventually gave up around six months because it hurt too much or the baby was not gaining enough weight because they thought they didn’t have enough milk.  I agree with Jane, it’s not supposed to hurt!   I wish they would have gone to an IBCLC and got a solution to ease their pain so that they could enjoy the incredible bonding experience of breastfeeding their baby for as long as possible, not to mention the tremendous benefits of breastmilk for their baby.    If you have pain from breastfeeding, make an appointment with Jane Bradshaw or another IBCLC in your area today to find relief.

Read Full Post »

A sweet mother called this week, worried because her milk supply is too low.  Her baby cries and is no longer satisfied.  We talked a while and she said she has been breastfeeding according to the information in the book ‘Babywise’.  Her baby was 4 to 5 months old, sleeps 9 to 11 hours at night and she breastfeeds 5 times during the day and he recently dropped another feeding.  I encouraged her to breastfeed more often and she texted me that in less than 24 hours she could tell the difference and that she had more milk.   This is the email with resources I sent her.

————

Dear _________,

I’m so glad you are seeing a response with an increase in your milk supply already.  It will work, and you will see your milk grow and grow until it is abundant again.  I want you to come home, grab a plate of food, put your feet up, nurse the baby and read all this stuff I’m sending you on your computer, watch TV and snuggle up to your husband.  You can do a lot of “couple time” while the baby is in your lap, which Gary Ezzo doesn’t understand.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

When your baby wakes in the middle of the night, you probably have a routine to get him back to sleep. For Coleton

Click to go to our Bookstore to Purchase Online!

and me, it was breastfeeding. I used to nurse him until he was totally asleep. Every hour, we had a very exact pattern: Coleton woke, I shifted him to the other side, I kissed his head, and then he nursed — a beautiful, soothing ritual. Sometimes he would wake up and pucker up, looking for the kiss and the shift. As sweet as this ritual was, after 12 months of this nightly/hourly ceremony, I desperately needed a change.

As with the writing of this book, learning how to break the association was a gradual, thoughtful process that required self-examination. I discovered that I was responding to Coleton so quickly and intuitively that I’d put him to the breast before he even made a real noise — he would just fidget, gurgle, or “sniff” and I would put him to the breast. I began to realize that, on so many of these occasions, he would have gone back to sleep without me.

I am a follower of the “never let your baby cry” rule, and I took it very seriously. What I didn’t understand, though, is that babies make sounds in their sleep. And these sounds do not mean that baby needs you. Babies moan, grunt, snuffle, whimper, and even cry in their sleep. Babies can even nurse in their sleep.

The first step to helping your baby sleep longer is to determine the difference between sleeping noises and awake noises. When she makes a noise: Stop. Listen. Wait. Peek. As you listen attentively to her noises, and watch her, you will learn the difference between sleeping snorts and “I’m waking up and I need you now” noises.

When I learned this eye-opening piece of information, I started “playing asleep” when Coleton made a nighttime noise. I would just listen and watch — not moving a single muscle — until he began to make actual wakeful noises. Some of the time, he never did; he just went back to sleep!

The idea, then, is to learn when you should pick your baby up for a night feeding and when you can let her go back to sleep on her own. This is a time when you need to really focus your instincts and intuition. This is when you should try very hard to learn how to read your baby’s signals.

You need to listen and watch your baby carefully. Learn to differentiate between these sleeping sounds and awake and hungry sounds. If she is really awake and hungry, you’ll want to feed her as quickly as possible. If you do respond immediately when she is hungry, she will most likely go back to sleep quickly. So, the key here is to listen carefully when your baby makes night noises: If she is making “sleeping noises” — let her sleep. If she really is waking up — tend to her quickly.

Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Sleep Solution (McGraw-Hill 2002).

 

Read Full Post »

By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of Gentle Baby Care

Click the Image to Purchase this Book in Our Online Bookstore!

“Help! I’m getting so frustrated with the endless stream of advice I get from my mother-in-law and brother! No matter what I do, I’m doing it wrong. I love them both, but how do I get them to stop dispensing all this unwanted advice?”

Just as your baby is an important part of your life, he is also important to others. People who care about your baby are bonded to you and your child in a special way that invites their counsel. Knowing this may give you a reason to handle the interference gently, in a way that leaves everyone’s feelings intact.

Regardless of the advice, it is your baby, and in the end, you will raise your child the way that you think best. So it’s rarely worth creating a war over a well-meaning person’s comments. You can respond to unwanted advice in a variety of ways:

Listen first

It’s natural to be defensive if you feel that someone is judging you; but chances are you are not being criticized; rather, the other person is sharing what they feel to be valuable insight. Try to listen – you may just learn something valuable.

Disregard

If you know that there is no convincing the other person to change her mind, simply smile, nod, and make a non-committal response, such as, “Interesting!” Then go about your own business…your way.

Agree

You might find one part of the advice that you agree with. If you can, provide wholehearted agreement on that topic.

Pick your battles

If your mother-in-law insists that Baby wear a hat on your walk to the park, go ahead and pop one on his head. This won’t have any long-term effects except that of placating her. However, don’t capitulate on issues that are important to you or the health or well-being of your child.

Steer clear of the topic

If your brother is pressuring you to let your baby cry to sleep, but you would never do that, then don’t complain to him about your baby getting you up five times the night before. If he brings up the topic, then distraction is definitely in order, such as, “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

Educate yourself

Knowledge is power; protect yourself and your sanity by reading up on your parenting choices. Rely on the confidence that you are doing your best for your baby.

Educate the other person

If your “teacher” is imparting information that you know to be outdated or wrong, share what you’ve learned on the topic. You may be able to open the other person’s mind. Refer to a study, book, or report that you have read.

 

Quote a doctor

Many people accept a point of view if a professional has validated it. If your own pediatrician agrees with your position, say, “My doctor said to wait until she’s at least six months before starting solids.” If your own doctor doesn’t back your view on that issue, then refer to another doctor – perhaps the author of a baby care book.

Be vague

You can avoid confrontation with an elusive response. For example, if your sister asks if you’ve started potty training yet (but you are many months away from even starting the process), you can answer with, “We’re moving in that direction.”

Ask for advice!

Your friendly counselor is possibly an expert on a few issues that you can agree on. Search out these points and invite guidance. She’ll be happy that she is helping you, and you’ll be happy you have a way to avoid a showdown about topics that you don’t agree on.

Memorize a standard response

Here’s a comment that can be said in response to almost any piece of advice: “This may not be the right way for you, but it’s the right way for me.”

Be honest

Try being honest about your feelings. Pick a time free of distractions and choose your words carefully, such as, “I know how much you love Harry, and I’m glad you spend so much time with him. I know you think you’re helping me when you give me advice about this, but I’m comfortable with my own approach, and I’d really appreciate if you’d understand that.”

Find a mediator

If the situation is putting a strain on your relationship with the advice-giver, you may want to ask another person to step in for you.

Search out like-minded friends

Join a support group or on-line club with people who share your parenting philosophies. Talking with others who are raising their babies in a way that is similar to your own can give you the strength to face people who don’t understand your viewpoints.

This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)

 

Read Full Post »

By Karen Gehl, BS, ICCE

A client recently asked me, what do all those letters mean after your name, and what is the difference between being a “childbirth educator” and a “certified childbirth educator”?  This is a great question, and one many people have as they search the internet for resources and classes to help guide them through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and parenthood. If you have googled “pregnancy” lately, you already know there is an overwhelming amount of information to be obtained on the internet.  It can be very confusing, and unfortunately, often misleading.  It is important for expectant parents to really research the credentials of the people they hire to help them through this special process of bringing their baby into the world.  It is my belief that there is nothing more amazing, awe inspiring, and breathtaking than experiencing or witnessing the birth of a child.  We owe it to that tiny little being to provide him with the safest, most loving environment possible, both inside and outside of the womb.  This is why childbirth classes are so very important, and this is why I have dedicated myself to being the best childbirth educator I can be.  And this is why I welcomed this client’s question!

I explained to my client that I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Virginia Tech in 1987, which is why I have the initials B.S. following my name.  The ICCE initials stand for International Certified Childbirth Educator, which means that I have been certified to be a Childbirth Educator by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA).  What does it mean to be certified through ICEA?  ICEA holds their instructors to a very high standard of knowledge and it has a very intense and rigorous certification process for childbirth educators.  From the time I decided to pursue a career in Childbirth Education to the time I actually received my certification, I had invested 2 full years to acquiring continuing education credits, attending conferences, completing the extensive list of required reading, observing classes, being observed, student teaching, and finally sitting for the 3 hour exam.  It was a very long and intense process, but I passed the test and was officially certified (and very relieved!) in spring of 2006.  That is when I earned the initials ‘ICCE’ after my name.

ICEA has achieved a reputation as one of the leaders in the field of childbirth education because of their strict standards for certification, which is also why they require ICCE’s to prove they are keeping current on childbirth issues!  How do they do this?  Well, in order to maintain the very highest quality of childbirth educators, ICEA requires recertification every 4 years.  I am required to keep up with all the latest research and information on pregnancy, labor and delivery, as well as breastfeeding and newborn care.  In order to recertify, I am required to prove that I am continuing my education and keeping current on all the available information in the field.

For example, July 2010 the ACOG (the American Congress of Obstreticions and Gynecologists) issued a new statement that a vaginal birth after a cesarean is “a safe and appropriate choice for most women . . . including for some women who have had two previous cesareans.”  You can read about it by following this link:   http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr07-21-10-1.cfm

I am very proud to say I have just recently completed my requirements for recertification!

But the studying doesn’t stop there, nor does my commitment to my clients!  The field of childbirth is always evolving and the information changes as new studies are done and new evidence based practices are implemented.  When I am not in the classroom teaching, I spend a great deal of time just keeping up to date on all the latest research and studies regarding pregnancy, labor, birth, newborn care and breastfeeding.  This is how I ensure that my clients will get the absolute best information, based on evidence and research, so they can make the very best choices for themselves, and for their babies and fully experience the life changing miracle of birth.

———-

Click Here to find one of Karen’s Childbirth/Lamaze Classes for you on our Event’s Calendar or call our office today at (434) 384-MAMA (6262).

Read Full Post »

By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of Gentle Baby Care

Click the Image to Purchase this Book in Our Online Bookstore!

Babies love new places! There’s so much to investigate and new things to touch. But many people aren’t too happy to have your little one crawling or toddling freely about the house exploring everything in sight. While you think its adorable that Baby found the Tupperware, your host may not think it’s cute that her tidy cabinet has been rearranged by sticky baby hands. If your host has a big heart she’ll let you know that your baby’s exploring is okay. But even then, you run the risk of your baby breaking or losing something.

Bring toys!

The best thing you can do is bring along a bag of toys to seize your child’s attention. You can purchase new items, or dig through your baby’s toy box to put together a collection of forgotten favorites. Avoid bringing loud toys that may annoy others, and bring toys that will hold your baby’s attention for a long time.

Bring your own supplies

Think about things that keep your baby happy at home or in the car, and bring these with you, such as your sling, a favorite blanket, a Boppy pillow, or a special lovey. If you are prepared, then your baby will be more content.

Safety issues

Visits with a mobile baby are tricky, especially if you’re at a home that isn’t childproof. If you want to avoid physically shadowing your baby around the house, bring a few safety tools, such as outlet plugs and a folding baby gate to section off stairways. When you arrive, assess the area and ask if chemicals, medications, or fragile vases can be put away during your visit. Remember that you’re certain to miss some hazards, so keep a close eye on Baby during your entire visit.

Food and eating

Whether your baby is new to solid food or has been eating it for a while, bring along a few favorites. If you don’t bring snacks with you, your baby may not touch the dinner that’s served and may cry for her favorite crackers. In any case, don’t feel you must push your baby to try something new to the point of a temper tantrum. Politely requesting something simple like toast or cheese is perfectly okay and will be welcomed more than a loud and tense test of parent/child wills.

What if you’re breastfeeding and your baby is hungry?

Do what comes naturally: Feed him! Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed a baby. If your hosts aren’t used to seeing a mother breastfeed, then you’re doing our world a favor by introducing one more person to the beauty of baby feeding. Be thoughtful about other’s sensitivities. This doesn’t mean you need to hide, but your efforts to be discreet are a courtesy for those around you and may help others feel more comfortable about seeing you breastfeeding your baby. Using a sling, blanket or nursing shirt are easy ways to accomplish this.

Changing Diapers

Bring a changing pad; this will protect the surface you’re using. If you don’t have a pad, ask for a towel. Ask where your host prefers that you change the baby, or suggest a location: “Do you mind if I lay the towel on your bed to change the baby?”

Bring along (or ask to use) plastic bags to store messy diapers. Make sure that they are sealed so that they don’t create odors. If you use disposables, put used diapers in a sealed bag and offer to take them out to the trash. People don’t like stinky diapers in their bathroom trash.

Sleeping and napping

If your little one sleeps in a cradle or crib you may want to bring along a portable crib. If you don’t have one, or if you co-sleep at home, this is a time when “anything goes.” If your baby will sleep in your arms, then go ahead and enjoy an in-arms nap. If your baby is flexible, put a blanket on the floor and set up a sleeping nest. Don’t leave Baby alone, since the area probably isn’t childproof.

A great nap solution is to bring your car seat into the house and strap your baby in securely, or fashion a bed from a large box or an empty dresser drawer. Keep your baby close by or check on her frequently.

For co-sleepers, your first order of business is to create a safe sleeping place. Inspect the furniture placement in the bedroom. If you know that pushing the bed against the wall would make the situation safer for your baby, then politely explain to your host. Let her know that you’ll move it back before you leave (and then remember to do so).

Be prepared for anything

Life with a baby is filled with surprises. Take a deep breath, and do your best to keep your baby content….and if things don’t go as well as you’d hoped, remind yourself that “This too shall pass.”

Show your appreciation

If you’ve had an overnight stay, if your host is helpful, or if you made special requests during your stay, remember to send a thank you note that expresses your appreciation.

This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: