Milk

A few weeks ago I received a random text from Missy.  Missy has been my bestie since we were in Girl Scouts at the age of 8.
“Matthew is trying to tell me that we are NOT the only species that drinks a different species’ milk. Tell me he’s wrong”  the text read.

“Matthew is definitely wrong” was my response.  Knowing Missy as I do, I imagined she was enjoying her victory at that moment.  Matthew, her (usually) very knowledgeable husband, had to accept his defeat with this one.

When I first started to learn more about breastfeeding, I remember hearing someone say this exact thing. We are the only species that drinks a different species of milk. At least intentionally.  I really had to give this consideration at first – think about other mammals, whether or not I had ever heard about them feeding from other species. When you really look at it that way, it seems kind of strange to think that we are the only species that intentionally and willingly drinks the milk of another mammal, and consider it normal. Yet, feeding the milk that our body creates especially for the baby that we birthed is strange to some.  Am I the only one who sees this as odd?

I have no idea what sparked the discussion between Matthew and Missy about this very topic. Honestly, I have known Missy for so long that I didn’t even ask why they were arguing about human milk when their youngest child is a teenager and had weaned long ago.  This week on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, Abby and Dianne talk more about milk because this is a question we get quite often. Not just about human milk, but about when to start babies on another species of milk and how to go about making that switch. Or do you even have to? Want to hear more about that? Tune in this week!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/admin/episodes/687622-035-cow-s-milk

 

Advertisements

Breastfeeding and Wine…(or beer…or, well, alcohol)

I know I have mentioned this before, but I knew absolutely nothing about breastfeeding when I had my kids. It was probably better that way, to some degree. One thing I do wish I had known about was food consumption, caffeine and alcohol.

It wasn’t like I wanted to go out and get trashed. That wasn’t it at all. However, I remember being at a winery and was offered a taste and declined because I was breastfeeding. I remember not drinking anything with caffeine for the same reason.   And food…well that’s a whole other story for a different day. But really, the alcohol. This is one of those questions that I get so often, that I am almost surprised people don’t already know the answer. Quite the contrary, most new mothers (and their support person) are under the impression that you CANNOT have a drink for the duration of your breastfeeding relationship with your child. That’s simply not true. Alcohol is safe, just like most other things, when done in moderation. What is not safe is what happens when you are under the influence of alcohol. It is a bigger problem to drink and make poor decisions involving you and/or your baby – such as bringing the baby to bed with you or driving your babysitter home. Having a glass of wine pales in comparison to something like that.

Breastfeeding is not a deal breaker for living your life. You should be able to get back to things that are enjoyable.   I get this question most often during the summer months when families are going to graduation parties, weddings and picnics and just want to know that they are safe to drink if they want to. The other time I get this question is during the holidays, when it is not uncommon to have a drink while at holiday gatherings.

If you decide to have a drink, be sensible. There are no set-in-stone guidelines for how long to wait (if at all) before breastfeeding. Basically, if you feel ok and you do not feel drunk, you are fine to breastfeed. Since everyone metabolizes alcohol at different rates, recognizing how you feel is the best way to determine if you should breastfeed.   I can tell you t his – it would take quite a lot of alcohol to really make a difference.

Want the numbers? Abby and Dianne break it all down for you this week on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast. You don’t want to miss it!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/admin/episodes/636754-episode-24-alcohol-consumption-and-breastfeeding

 

Breastfeeding and Birth Interventions

Birth Interventions and breastfeeding can be somewhat controversial. Meaning that there are still some people out there who believe that HOW a baby was born does not have any affect on HOW that baby breastfeeds in the early days. Contrary to that, birth, birth interventions and medications received can play a large role into how feeding is initiated, how things progress and how mom and baby adapt to their new life.

In a perfect situation, this is information that women should receive well before the birth of their baby. It goes along with informed consent, and laboring women should be aware that what happens during labor could potentially make breastfeeding a challenge in the beginning. This does not mean that women should not be encouraged to have the labor they want to have. It just means that being educated on choices is an important part of the whole process.

Regardless of how things progress with breastfeeding and why, a solid support system makes a big difference if a new mother is struggling at all. Good breastfeeding support, information that pertains to their specific situation and follow up are the foundation to ensuring that mom and baby are off to a positive start.

If you are interested in receiving more information about this, feel free to send me an email at diannecassidy@rochester.rr.com.

Birth Interventions and Breastfeeding is the topic of the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast this week. Check it out for even more information!

https://www.buzzsprout.com/admin/episodes/633488-episode-23-effects-of-birth-interventions-on-breastfeeding

 

 

Breastfeeding and…Telomeres?

Breastmilk is really amazing.  You may think I am bit biased, because of course, I am a Lactation Consultant.  Certainly I think breastmilk is amazing.  However, I learn new things all the time that breastmilk is capable of.  It’s not only that I am learning new things, science is continually learning new things that breastmilk can do for the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies.

Most recently, I was reading that scientists now suspect that breastmilk is responsible for lengthening telomeres.  I had no idea what a telomere is, so I did a little research of my own.  I will try not to get overly scientific here, but I will break it down.  This is some good stuff.

First – what is a telomere?  A telomere is the name given to the protective cap at the end of the DNA strands in the body.  DNA makes up our cells.  Our cells duplicate throughout our lifetime, and as the cells duplicate, the telomere at the end becomes shorter and shorter.  When the telomere becomes too short, the cells die.  Basically, longer telomere = longer cell life.  Telomeres will shorten naturally, but lifestyle can increase the chances of them shortening faster.  Things like smoking, obesity, stress…all that stuff we know causes negative reactions in our bodies anyway.  Now new research is showing that breastfeeding can actually lengthen the life of telomeres, which means a longer cell life as well.

One question is whether it is actually the breastmilk, or the behaviors that breastmilk encourages that makes the difference.  For example, researchers are suggesting that the positive attachment, which accompanies breastfeeding, reduces stress, and therefore protects telomeres.

This is fairly new research, and more research is sure to be done on this, but it’s a pretty positive outcome so far.

Read more about this cool stuff here.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/breast-fed-babies-may-have-longer-telomeres-tied-to-longevity/?_r=0

https://www.tasciences.com/what-is-a-telomere/