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can you detox while breastfeeding

Can you detox while breastfeeding?

You might be familiar with detoxing, or it may recently have been mentioned to you. Whether it’s to clean your body from toxins, or because you want to lose weight. You may be interested in detoxing, and you may be wondering whether you can detox while breastfeeding and whether it can affect your milk supply or the health of your baby. What is a detox? A detox is believed to be a way to get toxins and other waste products out of your body. Sometimes, they are referred to as cleanses. Detoxes are believed to help support your body’s natural ability to remove heavy metals and harmful toxins to help you stay healthy and strong. Types of Detoxes There are a variety of detox methods you can try. Some are safer than others. Here are a few of the most common detoxing methods. Detox Diet There are tons of special diets that can help with the removal of toxins from your body. Not eating junk food is a big part of it, and it usually involves eating natural ingredients and whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, leafy greens, and sometimes whole grains and healthy fats. Sometimes, a detox diet includes fasting for a period of time as well and then starting slowly with healthy foods. This is to help clear out the digestive system. Usually, if you are using a healthy diet with a detox program, they will often use caloric restriction, which can cause some health problems if you are not careful. Detox Drinks Juice cleansing is another common way to detox your body. Many will use vegetable juices or make fresh juice themselves and drink those throughout the day. Detox teas are also an excellent way to detox your body. Usually, teas don’t have drastic changes and are potentially a safer option. Many herbal teas will help with kidney function and help you support a healthy lifestyle as they naturally detox your body using herbs and pure water. Herbal Medicines Similar to herbal teas, there are also a few herbal medicines that can help support detoxing your body. These can be in the form of a supplement or herbal tincture. Colon Cleansing Using laxatives or enemas is another form of cleaning out toxins from your body. It is best to speak to your healthcare provider about this, as there are some potential risks with this type of detox. Other Regimens People can make many lifestyle changes to help detox their bodies without significant changes naturally. These can include: ● Dry brushing● Detox baths● Deep breathing● Oil pulling● Physical exercise The benefits of Detoxing There’s almost no research done on detoxing, especially not while breastfeeding. So, there is no guaranteed benefits, if any to detoxing while breastfeeding. But there are some of the claimed benefits that some people have reported. The risks of detoxing Severe calorie restriction Several detox diets recommend fasting or severe calorie restriction. Short-term fasting and limited calorie intake can result in fatigue, irritability, and bad breath. Long-term fasting can result in energy, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies, electrolyte imbalance, and even death. Colon detoxing methods can cause dehydration, cramping, bloating, nausea, and vomiting. A possibility of overdosing Some detox diets can increase the risk of overdosing when using supplements, laxatives and diuretics. Some methods recommend excessive herbal tea, juice or water intake as part of the detoxing method, which can lead to many issues including electrolyte imbalances and even water intoxication. What does the research say about detoxing? There is little to no research available on detoxification methods. One study done in 2017 found that initially, a detox diet and juicing caused rapid weight loss, but because it wasn’t a balanced diet or a healthy way of living, people gained the weight right back. Another study was done on people who were exposed to harmful substances and who followed a detox program that used healthy habits like vitamins, physical exercise, and saunas, and they found some success. Although the detox industry is booming, there is very little clinical evidence to support the use of these diets. A handful of clinical studies have shown that commercial detox diets enhance liver detoxification and eliminate persistent organic pollutants from the body, although these studies are hampered by flawed methodologies and small sample sizes. Overall, there isn’t enough scientific data to prove detoxing is very successful or safe. More research is needed. Is it safe to detox while breastfeeding? Because many detox diets or programs do not involve healthy habits, it is not a good idea for a nursing mother to do a detox. Certain ones are not very safe and can cause medical conditions, hurt your immune system, and can lower your energy levels. Plus, most of the diets for a detox limit your calorie intake, so you won’t be getting enough calories or nutrients to support your milk production. If you want a healthy milk supply, new moms should not do a special detox diet. Your breastfeeding body is already going through a lot, and you don’t want to ruin your breast milk supply. Can you drink detox tea while breastfeeding? There is not much research showing if drinking a detox tea while breastfeeding is safe. Most teas contain herbs, which can help a breastfeeding mom get nutrients in a safe way, but it is important to talk to your healthcare provider to ensure that the herbs in the tea are safe for breastfeeding. Generally, chamomile or ginger tea can be safe while breastfeeding. Both of these herbs can help with your digestion. Be sure to ask your doctor before trying. Can you take detox pills while breastfeeding? It’s not recommended to take detox pills while you’re breastfeeding as it may contain ingredients that can be harmful to your baby. It’s important that you consult with a healthcare provider before starting any detox regimen, especially while breastfeeding. Can you do a colon cleanse while breastfeeding? Doing a colon cleanse is not recommended while

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how to make breast milk soap

How to Make Breast milk Soap

If you’re a breastfeeding mother, chances are you’ve heard about the benefits of breast milk, other than the benefits from producing it or consuming it, but also the benefits of external use. Using it for baby acne, bum rash, eye infections, eczema and other skin conditions are all great examples of reasons why moms all over the world choose to make breast milk soap or lotion for their babies’ and for their entire family’s skin. Why you should consider making breast milk soap Making breast milk soap is not just about using up any extra breast milk you may have, it’s also about using that precious liquid gold of yours for something that benefits your baby’s skin, or even the whole family’s skin. Whether you have too much milk for you to use, or whether your baby no longer drinks expressed breast milk, instead of wasting it, you can turn it into soap for your baby and even for yourself and your family. Breast milk is rich in fatty acids, vitamins, and natural moisturizers. This means that breast milk soap can help soothe dry skin, improve baby acne, and even help with conditions such as eczema and cradle cap. What you’ll need to make breast milk soap How to make breast milk soap There are two options when it comes to making breast milk soap, the cold process method and the melt and pour method. The cold process method The melt and pour method For those looking for a faster and easier method to make breast milk soap, the melt-and-pour method is ideal, and much safer to make too. This method involves melting a ready-made melted soap base and then adding your breast milk along with any other ingredients that you choose to add such as essential oils or carrier oils. After mixing the melted soap base with your breast milk and other ingredients that you want to include, pour the mixture into molds and let it set. This usually only takes a couple of hours in the refrigerator. While this method doesn’t necessarily allow for the same level of customization as the cold process method, it’s still a great way to enjoy the benefits of breast milk soap quickly and easily. Additional tips for making perfect breast milk soap The great thing about making your very own soap is the ability to be as creative as you’d like. Experiment with different colors and ingredients, different shapes and smells. The possibilities are endless. Experiment with different textures and scents Customize your soap by adding natural ingredients like oatmeal for gentle exfoliation or honey for its extra moisturizing properties. Both are wonderful for managing skin conditions like dry skin or eczema. You can also add ingredients like vitamin e oil or lavender, both offering its own benefits too. Use different colors and designs Use natural colorants to give your soap a beautiful color while avoiding unnecessary chemical colorants on the skin. For example, turmeric can add a warm golden color, while spirulina can create a vibrant green. The shape of silicone molds that you use can also add a fun twist to your homemade soap, making each bar as unique as your liquid gold. You can even make some fun shapes for the kids like animals, vehicles or shapes. Curing and storage Cold-process soap needs to be cured for about four weeks to make sure that it’s hard enough and gentle on the skin. To extend its shelf life, store your finished soap bars in a cool, dry place. If you opted for the melt-and-pour method, keeping your soap in the refrigerator can help maintain its freshness, especially in warm climates. Common soap-making issues and what to do about it Sometimes, things don’t go as planned and even though you’re following the instructions step by step, it still doesn’t work out. Here are a few common issues and how to fix them: The soap mixture isn’t setting If your soap mixture remains liquid longer than expected, it may be due to an incorrect ratio of lye to fat. Double-check your measurements and ensure you’re using a reliable lye calculator. The soap is brittle or crumbly This can happen if there’s too much lye. It’s important to measure that your ingredients accurately to prevent a harsh, crumbly bar of soap. The soap is developing ‘soda ash’/a white powdery substance A white powdery substance on the soap’s surface isn’t harmful but it can be unsightly. To prevent this, cover your soap molds with plastic wrap during the first 48 hours of curing. Important notes on making breast milk soap DIY breast milk soap combines the wonderful benefits of human milk with the rewarding experience of creating something uniquely beneficial for the skin. Whether you’re making breast milk soap to help manage baby acne, to help provide some moisture for dry skin, or simply as a special addition to bath time, breast milk soap is a wonderful way to turn your extra breast milk into something valuable for your baby and even your whole family. If you ever need any education or support related to breastfeeding, contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) for evidence-based information and support. If you’re ever worried about your or your baby’s health, do not hesitate to consult with your healthcare provider for support. Additional information and resources Milk Therapy: Unexpected Uses for Human Breast Milk The Anti-Inflammatory Properties of the Topical Application of Human Milk in Dermal and Optical Diseases Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

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baby drinking less milk and sleeping more

Why is my baby drinking less milk and sleeping more?

Most new parents won’t even question it when their babies start sleeping for longer stretches at night as they’re just so happy for some more rest or better sleep after so many sleepless nights. Some mothers may worry about this sudden change in their baby, and they may be worried whether their babies are getting enough milk and whether they should wake their babies for a feed and how it may affect their milk supply. This is especially true for breastfeeding mothers not knowing how much milk their breastfed baby is getting. Reasons why your baby may be drinking less milk and sleeping more There may be many reasons why your baby may suddenly be drinking less milk and/or sleeping more than usual. It can be normal in many cases such as growth spurts and cognitive development, but it can also be a sign of something more serious such as illness, sensory issues and failure to thrive, which can all cause your baby to drink less and sleep more. It’s important to check for any signs that something may be wrong and if at any time you’re worried about your child’s health, get medical attention as soon as possible. Rather seek help and it’s nothing serious than ignoring signs of illness and not getting help for your baby. Your baby is going through a growth spurt One of the most common reasons for your baby to have big temporary changes in their eating and sleeping patterns are due to growth spurts. A growth spurt is a time during which your baby has a more intense period of growth in both height and weight. This will cause them to feed much more frequently, sleep either less or more than usual and become both fussy at the breast and fussy overall. Growth spurts can happen at any age, but the most common ages to expect growth spurts are in the first 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 3-4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months and of course into toddlerhood too. Growth spurts usually only last for a few days and usually no more than a week. So, everything should go back to normal again soon. Your baby may be going through a cognitive leap Just like with growth spurts, babies will go through many cognitive or mental development phases and stages during their life and this will also affect their feeding and sleeping habits. Mental development can also be expected every few weeks. Whether it’s seeing patterns and colors or learning how to clap hands, it is very significant to your baby’s brain development and it probably may cause some mayhem for a while. Your baby may be unwell Babies may feed less due to feeling unwell and uncomfortable during feedings such as a stuffy nose, sore ears etc. This will usually go back to normal as they get better. Make sure your baby is still getting enough milk and express milk if needed to maintain your supply until your baby is breastfeeding well again. It’s no surprise that most people, including babies, sleep more when we’re unwell. We’re often fatigued, and our bodies need some more rest than it usually does. Rest does us so well and helps the healing along much quicker. Once your baby starts feeling better, they will be much more alert again and go back to previous sleeping patterns, or some version of it. Your baby is teething Most babies feed much more and sleep much less while teething, but this is not a rule. Many babies do the exact opposite! This will usually only last while the tooth erupts through the gums, which is usually within a few days. Signs of teething Offering your baby something cold and age appropriate to chew on will help soothe their gums and reduce the risk of them feeling the need to bite you during a feeding. They’re a bit older and much more efficient at the breast and may sleep longer stretches Your baby won’t breastfeed every hour or 2 forever, some babies will breastfeed less frequently as they get older and more efficient at the breast. Babies don’t breastfeed by the clock or on a schedule. Their needs change all the time and so will their feeding patterns. As babies get older, they may start sleeping longer stretches during both the day and the night and this is completely normal. Sleep isn’t linear and before you know it, your baby will change up their sleeping patterns again. It may also surprise you that babies only develop a circadian rhythm around 8 weeks of life, which may or may not make a difference in their sleeping patterns too. There are external factors influencing effective breastfeeding and sleeping There can also be external factors causing your baby to feed less and sleep more. Things like pacifier use, overheating, overfeeding your baby by supplementation or solids, your baby not getting enough milk, swaddling, medical conditions and medications can all cause your baby to feed less, and sleep more than they should. If you suspect something is wrong, or if your baby isn’t gaining weight as expected or they’re showing signs of dehydration, consult with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and/or a healthcare professional for help. Both feeding and sleeping aren’t linear Many people expect babies to feed less and less as they grow, and in some cases, they do, but it may take much longer than people expect it to take. Just like with feeding, people often expect babies to sleep for certain periods of time or to sleep through by a certain age. Many people also expect a baby’s sleep pattern to stay the same and unfortunately that’s not very realistic. Babies go through many stages and phases, growth spurts, mental development, feeling unwell etc. All of which will cause babies to sleep less or more than usual, and it usually doesn’t last long before changing again. Babies can go from feeding every 3-4

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are probiotics safe while breastfeeding

Probiotic supplementation while breastfeeding

Something that may come up sometime during your breastfeeding journey is the use of probiotic supplements, especially when discussing your baby’s diapers and their diaper frequency or even baby cramps. But is it actually necessary to take probiotics while breastfeeding? Even more importantly, is it safe? What are probiotics? Probiotics are living microorganisms, primarily bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. This bacterium offers many health benefits such as supporting a healthy gut microbiome. This bacterium is naturally present in the body and has been found in abundance in breastfed babies’ stool. Sometimes, the balance of these good bacteria may be interrupted such as when you use antibiotics or other medications which may kill all of the bacteria, both the good bacteria and the harmful bacteria and this can lead to many issues such as yeast infections. Consuming probiotics, whether by food or supplements, can help restore and balance the gut microbiome again. Research has also shown that the breastmilk composition of mothers who consume probiotics are altered. This helps to restore and balance the infant’s gut which helps with optimal immune development. It’s important to note that breastmilk already contains a big variety of bacteria to promote a healthy gut microbiome in infants. So, if your baby is healthy and doing well, additional probiotics are not necessary seeing as breastmilk is already composed of natural probiotics. You can find probiotics in many different forms, from everyday foods to naturally fermented foods. Some common sources include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and probiotic-fortified snacks. The other option is probiotic supplements. The benefits of probiotics for breastfeeding mothers Improved breastmilk composition Probiotics in your diet can potentially boost the composition of your breastmilk. Studies suggest that beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, can enrich breastmilk, which can then support a baby’s gut health and immune development. Probiotics do not directly transfer into breast milk, but they work by improving the mother’s health, which in turn changes the composition of the breast milk to make it healthier for the baby. It supports your gut health After giving birth, our bodies go through many adjustments, including changes in the gut microbiome. Probiotics can help in restoring and maintaining a healthy balance of gut flora, which is important for our well-being and can indirectly benefit our babies. Probiotics may provide relief from certain health conditions caused by bad bacteria This may include (but are not limited to) diarrhea, constipation, yeast infections, urinary tract infections (UTI), eczema, and gum disease. Probiotics may be able to treat mastitis and reduce mastitis symptoms Some studies have shown that Lactobacillus strains of probiotics can lower the bacterial infection of mastitis (an infection in the breast tissue) and can reduce the severity of symptoms (such as breast pain and soreness) you often experience during mastitis. It may reduce the risk of postpartum depression Research done on Lactobacillus Rhamnosus and its effects shows that the microbiome-gut-brain axis may be important for mental health. They conducted a study of probiotic supplementation in pregnancy and 6 months after delivery (if breastfeeding). The probiotic treatment group reported significantly lower depression and anxiety scores than those in the placebo group. It strengthens both our and our babies’ immune systems Probiotics can play a big role in strengthening both our and our babies’ immune systems. It improves digestive function Probiotics can reduce common digestive issues and promote regular bowel movements, making it easier for mothers to focus on caring for their newborn babies. It’s clear that probiotics hold the potential for a wide range of benefits. Whether it’s to restore and balance the gut health after an antibiotic course, improving a baby’s gut health after antibiotics or medications, improve our own immunity or promote good digestive health for both mother and baby. How does probiotics affect your baby’s health? Eczema Prevention While everyone is different, probiotic supplements have shown the potential to help prevent and treat eczema (atopic dermatitis). Research also found that the use of probiotic supplements while breastfeeding may provide protection from eczema in breastfed infants in their first two years of life. Reduced risk of infections A healthy gut flora in babies is linked to a reduced risk of infections and possibly even long-term health outcomes such as a decreased likelihood of certain allergies and chronic diseases. It may reduce colic in infants There is no clear evidence that probiotics are more effective than a placebo at preventing infantile colic; however, daily crying time appeared to reduce with probiotic use compared to a placebo. There were no clear differences in adverse effects. Gut colonization in infants An infant’s gut is sterile at birth and is colonized by microorganisms during labor while they’re in the birth canal, and after labor during breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is even more important for cesarean section mothers as breastfeeding will help the good bacteria colonize their babies’ guts faster. A healthy gut in babies is very important for both protection and for their digestive health. If anything interrupts the flora of an infant’s gut, probiotics by means of the mother’s breastmilk will greatly improve their gut health. Are probiotics safe while breastfeeding? According to research, consuming probiotics while breastfeeding is safe and is considered low risk as these bacteria are naturally present in the human gut to begin with. Side effects from probiotics are very rare unless you consume too much of it. Breastfeeding mothers often ask if taking probiotics is safe for both them and their babies. The use of probiotics is considered safe during breastfeeding. Probiotics, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, are naturally present in the body and are also found in various foods. These friendly bacteria have been associated with positive effects on gut health without significant adverse outcomes. If you’re planning on using probiotic supplements, check the labels to see which strain probiotics it is and what the dosage is. Some strains are more researched and proven to be effective for breastfeeding mothers than others. Paying attention to the quality of the product

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how to scald breast milk

High lipase breastmilk and the scalding process

As a breastfeeding mom, you may have to express your breastmilk and you may have noticed that it has a strange smell or taste, or your baby may be refusing thawed breastmilk while they’re perfectly happy to drink fresh breastmilk. Someone may have mentioned high lipase breast milk, chemical oxidation of breastmilk and how to scald breast milk, so it won’t start smelling or tasting differently than usual. You may be wondering whether it really is high lipase and what you can do about it. The good news is that it doesn’t have to impact your breastfeeding journey too much. What is lipase? Lipase is a naturally occurring enzyme present in breastmilk which helps break down the fat in the milk. Making digestion easier for your baby. High lipase Each mother produces a different amount of lipase and changing food or diet won’t change the amount of lipase a mother produces. Some women’s breastmilk may have excess lipase activity, which may change the breastmilk smell or the milk taste. Lipase can cause breastmilk to have a soapy smell and a soapy taste, sometimes it can even have a metallic smell or taste after some time has passed. Some women’s lipase activity is higher than others and the time it takes for the milk to change depends on many factors such as the individual mother and the storage of the breastmilk. Lipase is completely natural and completely safe for babies to consume, although some babies may refuse the breastmilk due to the smell and taste. Chemical oxidation If your breastmilk has a sour smell and taste or is rancid smelling, rather than soapy, it could be due to chemical oxidation of the breastmilk. A mom’s intake of polyunsaturated fats may be involved, or free copper or iron ions in her water. Recommendations for chemical oxidation of breastmilk include: What does scalding breastmilk mean? The best way to deal with high lipase breastmilk if your baby refuses to drink it is to scald your breastmilk as soon as possible after expressing the milk. The process of scalding milk breaks down active enzymes, heating the milk to a scald will inactivate the lipase and stop the process of fat digestion. How to scald breast milk Use storage containers that are specifically designed for human milk. Lawrence & Lawrence recommend a rigid polypropylene storage container due to the fact that fewer essential nutrients and immunological components are lost compared to breast milk stored in other types of containers. If polypropylene containers are not available, Pyrex is the next-best choice. Does scalding breastmilk destroy nutrients and antibodies? The scalding process will destroy some of the anti-infective properties of the milk and may possibly lower some nutrient levels. This is unlikely to be an issue unless all of the milk your baby is receiving has been heat-treated. Scalded human breast milk will still be a superior choice compared to infant formula milk though. So, no need to stop breastfeeding if you need to scald your breastmilk. Is scalding breastmilk always necessary with high lipase? The good news is that it’s not always necessary to scald your breastmilk. You’ll first have to determine the issue. Is it chemical oxidation or high lipase? If you’re sure it’s high lipase, you can then continue to find a solution. Offer it to your baby Even if it smells or tastes different to you, many babies won’t have an issue drinking it. So, try to offer it to your baby first before making a lot of unnecessary work for yourself. If your baby is refusing the breastmilk, make sure it’s because of the lipase and not for other reasons. We all know that breastfed babies are notorious for refusing bottles, and there are many tricks to try and get them to take a bottle. Perhaps try cup feeding and see if they’re interested. Oftentimes, it’s the bottle they don’t like and not the milk. Try a few ways to be sure. If they’ll happily take freshly expressed breastmilk but not breastmilk high in lipase, then you’ll know it’s indeed the smell and taste of your milk causing the refusal. Check the storage Are you storing your breastmilk properly according to storage recommendations? Are you washing, drying and storing your pump parts as needed? Are you sure it’s high lipase and not the milk actually going off? Have you tried airtight containers to see if it might lengthen the time before the smell and taste of your milk changes? This sometimes helps. Perhaps use fresh breastmilk before it changes and try not to express too much breastmilk and then having to freeze it. Use freshly expressed breastmilk The lipase activity is different for every mother. Some may notice a change after a couple of hours, some may only notice a difference after a couple of days. Investigate when exactly the smell and taste of your milk changes, and when possible, try to use it before it happens. Mix it with fresh milk If you have previously frozen breastmilk that’s high in lipase and your baby is refusing to drink it. You can mix your previously frozen breastmilk with freshly expressed breastmilk. This may help with the smell and taste and many babies will accept the breastmilk this way. Scald it If all else fails, you’ll need to scald the milk to prevent the lipase activity from changing the smell and taste of your milk. You’ll have to do it as soon as possible after expressing, to avoid it changing. Use alcohol free vanilla essence I will start off with saying that there is no research or recommendations on this, and I do not recommend this. This is something that many moms have done for many years. You’ll need to decide whether this is the best choice for you and your baby or not. Some moms have found that putting just a small drop of alcohol-free vanilla essence into their breastmilk will help change the smell and taste and many babies will

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why is my breast milk watery

Why is my breast milk watery? Is it still nutritious enough?

Whether you’re a new mom or a well experienced mom, there’s always the possibility of experiencing something new. You may have pumped some breastmilk, whether as a 1-time thing, or because you pump exclusively. You may have noticed that your breastmilk seems watery or even blue in color. You may be wondering why it’s not white like cow’s milk, or perhaps it used to be white and now it’s suddenly watery. So, what’s going on? Why is your breastmilk watery? Is this watery breastmilk still nutritious enough for your baby? Why your breastmilk may seem watery There are many reasons why your breastmilk may seem watery to you. Human milk is not cow’s milk When we think of milk, we think of cow’s milk, don’t we? A glass of full cream white milk. But I will remind you that we produce human milk which is not the same as cow’s milk. So never compare them with each other. It’s warm or humid Our bodies are so smart that when the weather is more humid or warm, your body will automatically produce more watery breastmilk to help quench your baby’s thirst. You have an oversupply This is where the whole foremilk and hindmilk imbalance thing comes in, which is often a widely misunderstood term. When you have an oversupply, your baby may not be removing the milk quickly enough. This can cause the fat to separate from the rest of your breastmilk and cause it to be watery. Watery breastmilk is still highly nutritious. But an oversupply can come with many complications for both mother and baby, so it’s best to seek support to get it sorted out as soon as possible to avoid further complications. Why is my breastmilk blue? Breastmilk is actually naturally white with a natural bluish tinge to it. This is caused by the presence of casein, one of the proteins in milk. This is often most noticeable at the beginning of a feed or pumping session, especially if your breasts are full as the fat may have separated somewhat. Yes, there’s still enough fat in your breastmilk, but frequent feeding will ensure the perfect composition every time. Your breastmilk is still very nutritious and essential to your child’s nutrition, health and development. Casein contains all the essential amino acids, which are necessary for muscle development. Foremilk vs hindmilk – fact or myth? Foremilk and hindmilk are very misunderstood terms. It was previously believed that the breast produces two different types of milk, foremilk and hindmilk. Research shows this is not the case. We only produce one type of milk. Foremilk is the milk that comes out at the beginning of a feed, usually the watery part of the milk, or blue in color, but still has plenty of fat content. Hindmilk is the fatty milk that comes out at the end of a feeding, usually the fat dense part of the milk. The longer a baby goes without feeding and the fuller your breasts become for a longer period, the more chance the fat has of sticking to the sides of the milk ducts, making your breastmilk more watery. If you breastfeed or pump frequently, there is no reason for you to be worried about the fat content of your milk. Your baby will be getting exactly what they need and when they need it as your breastmilk is removed as needed and doesn’t have time to separate. With frequent milk removal, the fat content will be very balanced during the entire feed. Is watery breastmilk nutritious enough for my baby? Yes of course. Breastmilk will always be nutritious enough. People often forget that there is so much more to breastmilk composition than just fat. It contains all of the essential vitamins and minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, water and fat. Your baby needs all of these nutrients, not just the fat. Watery or blue tinged breastmilk is high in most of these essential nutrients, especially protein. The only time this may cause some issues for your baby is when you struggle with an oversupply and your baby is struggling to keep up and your breasts aren’t drained properly. This can lead to lactose (which is the milk sugars) overload, which can cause some discomfort and complications for your baby. Oversupply and lactose overload An oversupply is when your body produces too much milk. More than what your baby needs in a day. This may cause difficulty for your baby to drain your breasts as needed. When you have an oversupply and your breasts aren’t drained frequently, this can cause the fat to separate from the milk and cause your baby to get too much protein and lactose at a time. Lactose overload occurs when their body produces more milk than what the baby needs. Infants will fill their stomachs with lactose-rich milk, which is crucial for growth and brain development, but may not get much of the fattier milk. Fattier milk triggers satiety hormones. So, when an infant isn’t getting enough fat, this may result in hunger and infants that cue often to feed, despite getting adequate amounts of milk. The amount of lactose in this milk may then overwhelm their digestive ability of their lactase; this lactose then passes into the large intestine where the bacteria have a bit of a party, digesting the lactose and producing carbon dioxide as a byproduct. Carbon dioxide causes distention of the large intestine (pain and bloating) and acts like a laxative to draw water into the bowel, leading to loose, frothy diarrhoea. All of this can lead to some intestine damage, inadequate weight gain (or too much weight gain) or even weight loss. Signs of an oversupply and/or lactose overload The causes of an oversupply What to do about watery breastmilk and an oversupply You’ll first have to determine the cause of your oversupply and then treat the issue at the root. Your lactation consultant may help with feeding positions or block feeding, depending on the severity. Here

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can you take emergen c while breastfeeding

Is it safe to take Emergen-C while breastfeeding?

If you or one of your family members have been feeling unwell or you’re heading into the flu season or the cold season or if you have a little one starting daycare soon, you may be tempted to grab a vitamin c supplement such as the Emergen-C one. Great start for searching the safety first. Breastfeeding moms should never just take herbs, supplements or medicines without first researching the safety at a reputable source, consulting a lactation consultant or their doctor to check whether or not it may harm their baby. You may be wondering or worried about whether it’s safe for you to take Emergen-C while breastfeeding and whether it can affect your breast milk composition, your milk production and your milk supply or your baby’s health in any way. What is Emergen-C? Emergen-C is a dietary supplement that’s used to boost the immune system, especially during times of illness. This brand has many different products available in a variety of flavors. Some of their most common products include: Emergen-C Everyday Immune Support, Emergen-C Immune plus, Emergen-C Energy plus, Emergen-C Botanicals, Emergen-C Probiotics Plus, Emergen-C Hydration Plus, Emergen-Zzzz, for sleep and relaxation and Emergen-C Kids. The Emergen-C products come in many different forms including gummies, shots, and effervescent powder. With a chewable tablet being the most popular choice. They also come in many different flavors such as orange, coconut-pineapple, raspberry, lemon-lime, acai berry, and so much more. The main ingredient of Emergen-C is Vitamin C, with 1000 mg in one serving which is much higher than the recommended 120mg of Vitamin C for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. It also contains ingredients such as Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium and many of the B Vitamins. Is Emergen-C safe to take while breastfeeding? High doses of vitamin c up to 1000 mg, such as some of the Emergen-C products, does increase milk levels, but not enough to cause a health concern for the breastfed infant and is not a reason to discontinue breastfeeding. Some of the Emergen-C products may contain Ginseng and Caffeine, both considered safe to take while breastfeeding, but with caution. Ginseng Reported toxicities of ginseng include estrogen-like effects including diffuse mammary nodularity and vaginal bleeding. The most commonly reported side effects of Ginseng are nervousness, excitation, morning diarrhea, and inability to concentrate. Dr Thomas Hale does not recommend the use of ginseng in breastfeeding mothers for more than 6 weeks. Because of its possible estrogenic activity and lack of information during breastfeeding, many sources recommend that ginseng should not be used while breastfeeding. High estrogen levels can decrease the milk supply, which is why breastfeeding mothers should take caution when using ginseng while breastfeeding. Caffeine Caffeine does transfer into breastmilk, but the amounts are very little. Caffeine is considered safe to take while breastfeeding. But it’s important to know that caffeine can affect some babies and it does have a very long half-life in babies, especially younger and premature babies. Caffeine intake can cause heightened irritabilities and sleeping difficulties in affected infants. The half-life of caffeine in adults is 4.9 hours, the half-life in neonates is as high as 97.5 hours. The half-life decreases with age to 14 hours at 3-5 months and 2.6 hours at 6 months and older. Caffeine is considered compatible with breastfeeding and most babies won’t have any issues with the very small amount of caffeine in the breastmilk. It’s recommended that breastfeeding mothers keep their caffeine intake to a limit of around 300mg per day, depending on whether their infant reacts to caffeine and how sensitive they are to the amount of caffeine being consumed by the mother. Why is Vitamin C recommended for colds and flus? Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin which the human body can’t synthesize, so we must acquire it from dietary sources because a gene for a synthesis enzyme has mutations that render it dysfunctional. We can acquire Vitamin C through foods that are rich in Vitamin C or from dietary supplements like Emergen-C. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for the human body to function effectively. It is responsible for many functions in the human body and the health of humans. Does Vitamin C really help with colds and flus? The results from one meta-analysis of multiple studies indicated that for the general population, a daily dose of Vitamin C supplements had no effect on the number of people who catch the common cold. A subgroup analysis found that regular Vitamin C supplementation in persons under high physical stress (such as marathon runners) decreased the incidence of the common cold by 50%. While regularly administered Vitamin C did not seem to affect the incidence of the common cold in the general population, the same review also analyzed 31 comparisons on the effect of regular vitamin C supplementation on symptom duration and severity of colds. The results indicated that regular Vitamin C supplementation resulted in a significant reduction in the duration of common colds, an 8% reduction for adults and 14% reduction for children. The severity of cold symptoms was also reduced. The benefits of Vitamin C Vitamin C plays an important role in the function and health of the human body. The benefits of Vitamin C Vitamin C deficiency Scurvy, also known as Vitamin C deficiency, is a condition caused by a severe lack of Vitamin C in the diet.People who don’t include enough fruits and vegetables in their diet are at risk. Symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency Overdose of Vitamin C The good news is that Vitamin C is generally very well-tolerated. Although in some cases, very large doses may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, trouble sleeping, and flushing of the skin. These symptoms should disappear once you stop taking Vitamin C supplements. Sources of vitamin c There are many different sources of Vitamin C including food and dietary supplements. When possible, food sources will always be the best option. Food sources include: Important notes on taking Emergen-C while breastfeeding Emergen-C is

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how much water should i drink while breastfeeding

How much water a breastfeeding mom should be drinking

As a new mom who’s breastfeeding, you may have noticed that you get extremely thirsty, especially during feedings and you may be wondering what’s going on. You may have also heard many different opinions and guidelines on how much water you should be drinking as a breastfeeding mother. You may have heard that drinking too little or too much water can affect your breast milk production or milk supply. So, you may have the question of how much water should I drink while breastfeeding? The recommended amount of water intake for the average person You will hear many different opinions and guidelines on how much water people should be drinking. Some may recommend 8 glasses of water per day; some may suggest 2 or 3 liters of water per day. How much is it really? There are many factors at play when deciding how much you as an individual may need. Things like sweating, exercise, gender, pregnancy and breastfeeding all play a role in determining how much water you need to drink. According to research, the recommended total daily fluid intake of 3,000 ml for men and 2,200 ml for women is more than adequate for most. But this will greatly vary between individuals, some may need less, and some may need more. Higher fluid intake does not have any convincing health benefits, except perhaps in preventing recurrent kidney stones. The recommended amount of water intake for pregnant women Water and adequate hydration play an important role during pregnancy. Not only does it assist in delivering nutrients to your baby, but it helps support the development of amniotic fluid as well as the increases in your blood volume. More fluids are lost through sweat and urination during pregnancy due to natural hormonal and physiological changes. This makes drinking enough fluids even more important. Fluids are also important to help prevent or reduce constipation during pregnancy, as dehydration will make pregnant women struggle with constipation even more. The fluid recommendation during pregnancy is around 8 to 12 cups of fluids per day. The recommended amount of water intake for breastfeeding mothers The same recommendations apply to for breastfeeding mothers, just like they need extra calories, they’ll need extra water on top of what they usually need too, as producing breastmilk will take a lot of water from the body. Research recommends that breastfeeding mothers should be encouraged to drink enough water to quench her thirst or a little more. A common recommendation for the mother is to drink a glass of water with meals and whenever she breastfeeds (although this can get a lot if your baby is feeding frequently or cluster feeding, so do keep this in mind so you don’t try to force yourself to drink too much water). Drink water frequently throughout the day, keep an eye on signs of adequate hydration or dehydration such as the color of your urine. Drinking more water than what your body needs will not result in more breastmilk being produced, as many people may believe. The only time water may boost your milk supply is if you weren’t hydrated enough and your milk supply was already reduced because of it. Drinking too little, or too much water can both reduce the milk supply. Therefore, it’s recommended to drink to thirst. More frequently if you don’t really get thirsty frequently. Drink water throughout the day rather than big amounts at once. Never force yourself to drink more than what your body needs. Drinking too much water can result in water toxicity; however, water toxicity is rare in normal adults. Factors that influence how much water an individual needs: Exercise or activity levels Your activity level will have an immediate impact on how much water or fluids you need. The more active you are, the more you will sweat. This means someone who may be exercising more frequently will need more fluids than someone who isn’t as active. The environment/humidity A hot climate makes you sweat more than you normally do. Some people may sweat much more than others. This will cause your body to become dehydrated much faster than it normally will. The higher the heat and/or humidity, the more fluids you will need. Overall health When you’re ill, you tend to become dehydrated very quickly, especially if you have severe vomiting or diarrhea. Someone who’s sick will need much more fluids than someone who’s overall healthy. Your size Your size and metabolism will also have an effect on how much fluids you need. Someone who’s very small will need much less water than someone who’s bigger. Your diet It’s estimated that around 20% of our fluid intake comes from food if you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet with a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables and lean meats. So, not all fluid comes from the drinks we have. If you’re someone who eats food high in water content, you’ll need much less fluids than someone who doesn’t consume a lot of water-rich foods. Pregnancy and breastfeeding During pregnancy, you will need to keep well hydrated as this will help with your overall health and it will also help reduce many pregnancy symptoms. When you’re breastfeeding, you will naturally need more water as you’ll be producing around 700-1000ml of breastmilk per day. Signs that you’re well hydrated Signs of dehydration Tips for better hydration Some of us struggle with water intake, we may either not realize that we’re thirsty, or we just don’t like drinking water. The good news is, there are a lot of ways that we can remind ourselves to drink fluids in a way we enjoy it. Get yourself a big water bottle One of the best ways to get enough fluids in is to keep a big water bottle with you at all times, reminding yourself to drink small amounts frequently all throughout the day. This is especially a good idea for those who forget to drink fluids during the day. Drink different types of

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how to correct a shallow latch breastfeeding

The ultimate guide on how to fix a shallow latch

You’re a breastfeeding mom and you’ve been struggling with raw, damaged or sore nipples. You don’t know what’s going on, but someone somewhere mentioned that your baby has a shallow latch, whatever that means. But what can you do about it? Before you reach for a nipple shield that so many people recommend, rather seek the correct information and support to fix the problem completely. Sure, you can use nipple shields, creams and ointments or you can get laser therapy, many of these are great options to help with the treatment of damaged nipples. But it’s not addressing the cause of the damaged nipples, so it’s not solving the problem. The real question should be, how to correct the cause of a shallow latch when breastfeeding. What is a shallow latch? A shallow latch is when a baby latches onto the nipple, often called nipple feeding and not onto the breast. A shallow latch is when a baby doesn’t open their mouth wide enough or does not position their tongue correctly to take in enough of the areola (the darker area around the nipple) when breastfeeding. There are many factors that can influence the process of latching a baby onto the breast. Many of these factors can cause a very painful latch. How does the latch and milk removal process work? Babies use suction mainly to stretch out the breast tissue and to hold it in their mouth. The oxytocin reflex makes the breast milk flow along the ducts, and the action of the baby’s tongue presses the milk from the ducts into the baby’s mouth. When a baby is well attached his mouth and tongue do not rub or traumatize the skin of the nipple and areola. Suckling is comfortable and often pleasurable for the mother. She does not feel pain. Factors that influence the latch Breastfeeding may be natural for humans, but that doesn’t mean it comes without practice or complications. Like I always say, breastfeeding may be natural, but it’s still a learned skill, just like crawling and walking. For some, there may be more anatomical or health complications at play. The good news is that there is almost always something you can do to achieve a deeper and pain free latch. There are many factors that can influence the latch including positioning, poor latching technique, oral function issues such as a lip tie or a tongue tie, medical issues in either the mother or the baby and anatomical reasons such as inverted nipples or very big nipples. Signs of a good latch Proper positioning You and your baby are tummy to mummy, their shoulders, back and hips are well aligned in a straight line. Your baby’s nose is lined up with your nipple to encourage them to open wide. Most importantly, you’re both comfortable during the feeding. You’re baby’s mouth is wide open You will be able to tell that their mouth is wide open. It’ll look like their mouth is stuffed with the breast. Almost like a cute little chipmunk. There’s no cheek dimples When your baby’s mouth is wide open and they’re latched onto enough breast, there won’t be any dimples on their cheeks, their cheeks will be nice and rounded. Their nose is close to your breast Anatomy differs and nose position will look different for every breastfeeding dyad, but your baby’s chin should be closer against the breast than their nose. Remember, they use their jaw to extract milk from the breast too. Neutral upper lip It’s commonly said that the upper lip should be flanged out, but this isn’t true for all dyads. It should be neutral and relaxed to form a proper seal. Flanged out bottom lip The lower lip is usually flanged out if the baby has a deep latch. Your baby’s tongue is extended over the bottom gum ridge Your baby’s tongue should always be extended over their lower gum ridge, this is how they extract milk from the breast. If their latch feels choppy, it’s definitely a shallow latch. You are comfortable and pain free The most important sign of all is a comfortable latch. You’re comfortable and pain free during and after feeding sessions. Anatomy looks different for every breastfeeding mother and baby; each latch will look different. What may be normal for one dyad may not be normal for another dyad. Being comfortable and pain free is a great sign. Although it’s important to note that you can sometimes be comfortable and pain free with a shallow latch too. Signs of a shallow latch Improper positioning This may look different depending on different factors. This can include your baby’s body being turned away from you, so your baby has to turn their head to the side to latch onto the breast or you have to hunch over to breastfeed your baby. Their mouth isn’t wide open You will see that their mouth isn’t open wide. It’ll look shallow if you look at the corners of their mouth. There’s cheek dimples present If your baby’s cheeks have very noticeable dimples present while breastfeeding, this is a big sign of a shallow latch. Their nose is pressed into your breast During a shallow latch your baby’s nose will be pressed into the breast further than their chin, it should be the other way around. Their lips are retracted/curled up If your baby has a shallow latch, their upper and/or bottom lip will look retracted/curled up. You will clearly see your baby trying to hold onto the breast with their lips. They will often have milk blisters on their lips due to having to hold onto the breast with their lips. Your baby’s tongue doesn’t cover the bottom gum ridge If your baby’s tongue is retracted during a feed or you feel a choppy sensation, this is a clear sign of a shallow latch. You’re experiencing pain Breastfeeding should not be painful. Sensitivity can be expected in the first few days as your nipples get used to

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why am i gaining weight while breastfeeding

Reasons why you may be gaining weight while breastfeeding

If you’re a new mom who’s also breastfeeding her baby, you may be ready to get started on your weight loss journey to get back to that pre-pregnancy weight. You may have heard that breastfeeding helps you to lose weight, but you’re not losing any weight or even worse, you’re gaining weight. You may be wondering what happened to the whole breastfeeding makes you lose all of your pregnancy weight that everyone has promised you. Does breastfeeding really help you lose weight? It’s true that breastfeeding helps many mothers lose weight. The reason why breastfeeding helps with postpartum weight loss is because milk production burns extra calories. Breastfeeding burns around 300-700 calories per baby, per day. The exact number of calories burned will greatly vary from person to person and their specific circumstances. If you’re an overall healthy person who’s in a slight caloric deficit, you’re probably going to lose some weight. Think of it like exercise, producing milk is like a workout, it burns calories. But you can exercise all you want, if you consume more calories than what you’re burning, you’re not going to lose weight. Why you might be gaining weight while breastfeeding First of all, it’s not breastfeeding that’s making you gain weight. There are many different reasons as to why you may be gaining weight instead of losing it. Genetics and health conditions Sometimes, it’s in our genes to be on the bigger side. There are of course a few health conditions that can also cause weight gain or difficulty losing weight. Some of these conditions include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, insulin resistance, thyroid issues, Cushing syndrome, anxiety and depression, eating disorders etc. Certain medications such as contraceptives, antidepressants, antihistamines and corticosteroids can also cause weight gain. Burning a few calories when you have a health condition and/or are using a medication that can cause weight gain isn’t going to help you all that much, if at all. You can discuss your concerns about weight gain with your medical provider. They may be able to offer you an alternative medication that may affect your weight less than the medication you may currently be using. Some health conditions can be controlled really well with the correct medication and dosage, making weight loss easier. You’re stressed Studies show that elevated cortisol levels (the stress hormone) have been associated with weight retention in the first 12 months postpartum. Overall life stress, and particularly maternal stress, is a significant risk factor for weight retention later post birth. You’re sleep deprived Studies have consistently shown that when we struggle with a lack of sleep, we see a boost in our hunger hormone (ghrelin) and a dip in our satiety hormone (leptin), causing our appetites to surge. It’s also been found that people who are struggling to get enough sleep, tend to reach for higher-calorie foods compared to their well-rested counterparts. Your hormones are out of whack After giving birth, your hormone levels such as estrogen and progesterone are supposed to drop as other hormones increase to lactate. If this happens properly, the hormonal changes may help promote weight loss. Estrogen is the female hormone responsible for fat storage and reproduction. If your estrogen levels don’t drop enough, then weight loss can definitely stall. You’re not breastfeeding exclusively If you don’t breastfeed your baby frequently, or if you supplement your baby with infant formula, your body will produce less milk than it should. Having to produce less breastmilk means burning less calories. So, to really get the full potential of breastfeeding burning calories, it’s best to breastfeed your baby frequently, on demand and responsively. You’re eating too many calories We’ve already established that the average exclusively breastfeeding mother needs around 300-700 additional calories per baby, per day. Or around 1800 calories in total per day. If you’re consuming a lot more calories than what your body is burning, you’re not going to lose weight, you’re probably going to gain weight. You’re eating unhealthy foods Eating highly processed foods, foods that are high in fat, junk food and of course, sugary foods are not only empty calories, it’s also very high in calories and will easily push you over the limit of what you need. Rather option for healthy foods, this way you can eat more food, more frequently while consuming less calories and getting more nutrients. You have unhealthy snacking habits You may be snacking a lot, as many breastfeeding mothers do. But if you’re reaching for all sorts of sugary snacks, you’re not helping your weight loss journey at all. Watch out for products such as lactation cookies and lactation shakes, not only are they not backed by good quality research, but they’re also often excessively high in sugar too and many of these products will have you consume quite a lot to see the promised effects. You’re not drinking enough water Did you know that we sometimes tend to think we’re hungry and start snacking when in fact, we’re actually just thirsty? Drinking enough fluids and staying hydrated may help you snack less which will of course lead to reduced weight gain. When we don’t drink enough fluids, our bodies tend to retain water, making us look bloated and weigh more than we actually do. Adequate fluid intake is not just about your weight, but it’s extremely important for your milk supply and your overall health too. Research shows that it’s best to drink to thirst and eat to hunger. Make sure you drink water regularly throughout the day. Tips for losing weight while breastfeeding Take care of yourself Don’t obsess about your body too much. Pregnancy and the postpartum period are difficult times and are hard on your body. Wait until you’re ready and then take it slow. Self-care is so incredibly important for your mental health. A happy mom is the best mom. Start with small things and grow from there. Eat healthy and nutrient-dense foods Rather than obsessing over the number of calories you’re

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