International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

We celebrate the contributions of women everywhere helping build a better world. Our hearts go out to Ukrainian women and all those affected by the war against their country. Women and girls are disproportionately impacted by conflict. Offering them safety, protection and support is critical. We applaud the brave Ukrainians fighting the invaders and those brave Russians who have been demonstrating against this war. We must all do what we can to help.

PUMP legislation passes the House!

The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act has passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 276-149! This victory is the culmination of ten years of hard work by lactation advocates to close a gap in federal law. We are now an important step closer to ensuring that nearly 9 million more workers have protected time and space to express breast milk at work.

The next stop is the Senate!

Global Breastfeeding Collective celebrates the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the Code) by the 34th World Health Assembly.

Nearly forty years ago, the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the Code) was adopted, calling on governments, companies, and health care workers to protect families from aggressive marketing efforts, particularly of formula, feeding bottles, and artificial nipples.

However, the existence of the Code is not enough to secure a world where predatory marketing does not stand between mothers, parents, and breastfeeding. 

The 40th anniversary marks a critical moment for all of us to learn more about the Code and get tools for the ways that we can strengthen and support this essential protection.

You are invited to join as the Global Breastfeeding Collective celebrates the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the Code) by the 34th World Health Assembly.

At the celebration, hear from leading speakers on how big corporations influence infant and young child feeding patterns around the world and how those practices risk public health. You can get inspired with how governments tackle these practices through Code legislation and learn what more we can do to strengthen the Code in the years to come to provide our infants with the best start in life.

Sponsored by the Global Breastfeeding Collective, which includes UNICEF, the WHO, and more than 25 international agencies including ILCA, all of whom are calling on governments, policy makers, development partners, and civil society actors to increase investments in breastfeeding worldwide.

21 May 2021 at 14:00 to 15:30 CET (8:00 a.m. New York, 14:00 Geneva, 15:00 Nairobi, 17:00 Islamabad, 21:00 Tokyo) in English, Russian, French, Spanish, and Arabic. Live stream via Zoom. Free registration required.

End Systemic Racism!

The violent murder of George Floyd has shocked us to the core. It has woken us up to the fact of a culture or systemic racism and oppression and white privilege. While our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and all people of color in the United States we call on law enforcement everywhere to prevent the recurrence of racist behavior of all kinds. Moreover, we need to change the systemic racism in the United States of America. To do this, we each have a role to play. While thinking of the country as a whole, we must act locally. We must recognize the prejudices we each harbor and see that we act justly, without prejudice in all our dealings with other people.

We must recognize that American blacks and other minorities have higher maternal mortality, prematurity rates, receive lower wages, less opportunity, access to healthcare and education than those of us who are privileged and we must correct this. It is now our responsibility to go beyond demonstrations and work on how this should be done, COVID 19 not withstanding. Failure to do so makes a farce of the idealism upon which our national values are founded! 

Virtual Lactation Consults during Covid-19 Pandemic

While we are warned that social distancing is essential to slow the spread of the coronavirus mothers & babies still need help to breastfeed optimally. Effective breastfeeding is particularly important to enhance baby’s protection against this virus and other infections. So telemedicine comes to the rescue with  virtual consultations by Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). The IBCLC is the gold standard in infant feeding support.

For a virtual/video consultation call 917-371 1948

Or NYLCA 646 450 2694

A Birth Plan For Breastfeeding

A Birth Plan for Breastfeeding

Adapted from article by Carrie Dean, Mama Bear LLC

While most families go to great lengths to craft their birth plan, often times not as much preparation is put into the next two weeks at home. Of course, the first part of your postpartum plan is to hold, snuggle, kiss, and cuddle this tiny human you just brought into the world. Skin to skin is their favorite place! Enjoy this time and relish in the fact that your heart just grew to a capacity you never knew possible.

The next part of the plan is lots of feeding. To get you started, have a look at 4 key elements to making your postpartum weeks a bit smoother.

Know the Pros.

If you choose to breastfeed, getting off to a good start is integral. Many IBCLC’s (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, the gold standard of lactation care) offer a prenatal consult. During this visit, a medical history and breast assessment are done. It’s an incredibly efficient way to prepare mom with personalized tools to get through the early days. Additionally, most OB and pediatrician offices offer breastfeeding classes. Online resources and videos are also helpful, as long as you are using a trusted source. Kellymom, Dr. Jack Newman, and Stanford University are some of the favorites among IBCLC’s.

You can find an IBCLC to  to do a virtual consult or come to your home or   office near you by texting the free NYLCA referral line (646) 397-4640or search our listings yourself here. All NYLCA members are IBCLCs in good standing in the NYC metro area.

Two golden words: hand expression

It is helpful in all breastfeeding scenarios. It starts with “the Golden Hour,” the first hour after birth. By removing milk in the first hour of life, your supply can double what it would be if you removed milk after 4-6 hours of life. Yes, double.

So, we support moms and partners learning hand expression before the birth. If mom and baby have to be separated for whatever reason, mom can hand express. This stimulation is a necessary signal for the body to start making milk. Baby only needs a few teaspoons per feeding in the early days. If latching is difficult or mom’s supply is slow to come in, hand expression is the answer!

Let’s talk Pain

It’s the number one complaint among newly breastfeeding mothers.

Discomfort, tenderness or soreness

Burning, pinching or stabbing

Gritting your teeth pain is not normal. It’s a bright red flag begging you to get help. STAT. The great news is that it’s often due to a poor, shallow latch – an easy fix! Have your lactation consultant on speed dial.

I also suggest preparing by researching pictures and videos of deep latch versus shallow latch. Usually baby needs help from mom to achieve deep latch. Baby can benefit if mom creates a “sandwich’ with her breast to match baby’s mouth while latching. It helps ensure a deep latch. Deep latch = no pain. Check that the mouth is open wide, hinged at the jaw as opposed to pursed lips sipping through a straw. Straw lips = pain.

The other cause of pain can be anatomy.  If mom has flat or inverted nipples, you might need extra help with positioning or tools like a nipple shield or supple cups. Anatomical challenges for babies include oral ties of the lip or tongue. Depending on the severity of the restriction, this could make latching exceptionally difficult. IBCLC’s are trained to perform an oral assessment on baby to help identify ties and refer to necessary providers for intervention.

Even super moms need help

Rely on your tribe, folks who want nothing more than to be your champion through this transition. Trust me, they are happy to help…hand over your grocery list, basket of laundry, and baby with the dirty diaper. Schedule an appointment for a postnatal massage.

Be kind to yourself. Spend time staring at your baby, not a feeding timer. Let your success be measured by going from size 1 to 2 diapers, and by learning to trust your maternal instinct more each day.

And as my 8 and 4-year-old boys are presently listening to poop songs on Alexa and toilet papering the living room behind me, trust me…this precious baby time goes by quickly.

This article also appeared on the Westchester County Moms Blog.