Dr. Amy's Guide to Food Introduction

photo credit: Big River Farms CSA

photo credit: Big River Farms CSA

One of Dr. Amy’s passions is food introduction. It is a fundamental building block for a baby’s development, their immune system and has long-term health benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding (no formula or solid foods). Breast milk contains antibodies that support immune function as well as optimal nutrient ratios that change as the child grows. Until approximately 6 months of age, a baby’s digestive tract is not able to adequately digest most foods. Early introduction of foods may result in food allergies or sensitivities. Around six to nine months, breastfed and formula-fed infants will begin to develop their gastrointestinal track in a way that makes them ready to start some solid foods.

Food introduction is one of the most important times in your child’s health; it becomes the building blocks and foundation of health for the rest of your child’s life. The gastrointestinal tract is an extension of the immune system. Introducing foods in a way that will not cause allergic reactions will help build a stronger and more solid foundation than if your child is always fighting off immune reactions. So many early health problems in children are related to food introduction. It is pertinent that you observe your child for signs of a reaction, such as red marks around their mouth, red cheeks, eczema, diaper rash, constipation or diarrhea, etc. (see below more complete list). If these early warning signs are not headed, more serious reactions may result as the immune system becomes more and more compromised.

Signs Baby is Ready for Solid Foods

•      Is at least 6 months old

•      Able to sit unsupported

•      Can push away food

•      Can turn head from side to side

•      Shows interest in what you are eating

Since breast milk is all your baby needs in terms of nutrients, there needn't be any rush to start your baby on solids. Let your baby lead. If she is always grabbing for your food, then allow her to explore it. But if she isn’t interested, don’t force her to try it. Most babies will become interested in food between six to nine months. If your child hasn’t started trying solids by nine months, start offering it to him and see how he responds.

This transition in life can be a source of stress for many parents. Take your time and be patient with your child. Know that she is getting all the nutrients she needs from your breast milk or formula.

Up until the first year, the benefit to babies of trying solids is being exposed to new textures and learning hand mouth coordination; prior to a year most babies gastrointestinal tracts are not mature enough to be absorbing many nutrients from solids, so if your child isn’t eating a lot of solids, it is not compromising his nutrient intake as long as he is still drinking breast milk or formula.

Introducing Foods

New foods should be introduced one at a time. Wait a few days after introducing each new food to see if your baby reacts to the food. If your baby has any of the following symptoms below, remove the food from baby’s diet for 2-3 months, then try again.

If your child has a life- threatening reaction to a food such as difficulty breathing, call 911.

Your baby will show you he has had enough to eat. Stop feeding him when he spits food out, closes his mouth, or turns his head away.  Let him control how much he eats.

Symptoms that may indicate a reaction to a food include:

•      Rash around the mouth or anus

•      Hyperactivity or lethargy

•      “Allergic shiners” (dark circles under eyes)

•      Skin reactions/rashes

•      Infections/cold/flu

•      Diarrhea or mucus in stool

•      Constipation

•      Runny/stuffy nose or sneezing

•      Redness of face/cheeks

•      Ear infection

•      Other unusual symptom for your child

Use the following schedule as a general guide for introducing foods to healthy, full-term babies. You can hang it on the fridge and put a date next to each new food introduction so that it is easier to remember what your child is eating and for reference if your child develops a reaction. If your child has chronic illness, special needs, or has signs of allergies or sensitivities such as asthma, chronic respiratory infections, or chronic ear infections, a modified schedule may be necessary.

Even though it is a common practice in our culture to give babies powered rice cereal, this is not an evidenced based practice and is not recommended by nutritionists. Start with vegetables and fruits. When it is time to introduce grains, use whole grains whenever possible, instead of processed grains.

Finally, enjoy this new time in your baby’s life as he explores new textures and tastes. Be playful with your child and let meal times be a fun game or a time to be social and sing songs about foods. Use it as a time to learn colors or numbers, instead of always focusing on getting your child to eat. If they don’t like something, introduce it again in a few months. Try to make it easier on yourself by modeling good nutrition to your child and giving them some of your meal, instead of always having to make something completely different for them. Enjoying our meals improves digestion and overall quality of life, so do what you need to for yourself to de-stress mealtime and enjoy.

Join us on March 26th at 10:00am on the MyTalk, 107.1 Mom Show to learn more and visit https://www.health-foundations.com/mom-show/ after the show to download a specific food introduction schedule.

 

Birth Slings at Health Foundations Birth Center

As a part of our innovative maternity care at Health Foundations Birth Center, we have recently installed a birth sling in our birth suites.  There are many amazing benefits to using a birth sling in labor. At Health Foundations we encourage mothers to be upright and moving during labor; the birth sling allows for her to remain upright while adding some extra support. It can also be a helpful tool for squatting, providing resistance. These upright positions can be greatly effective during pushing as well.

The birth sling promotes wider hip capacity and optimal fetal positioning which creates more effective labor patterns. For example, the "supported squat" or "dangle position" where the woman's weight is supported completely under her arms thought to be very effective for helping change baby's position when the baby is posterior or asynclitic by removing pressure from the pelvis. It also helps with slow descent. 

Here are some position options for labor:

To learn more about our innovative services at Health Foundations Birth Center visit our website or call us at 651-895-2520 for a free consulation with a midwife and for a tour of our Birth Center.

Thank you Anna Botz (Health Foundations Birth Assistant) for being our model! And a special Thank you to Rochelle Matos (Health Foundations Birth Educator) for taking these awesome photos!

Innovative Care at Health Foundations - Using Low Intervention Approaches in Childbirth

Care at Health Foundations Birth Center is evidence-based, holistic, and founded on the premise that women’s bodies know how to give birth and should be enabled to do so without needless intervention. We have many different options for comfort measures during labor and birth. Each of our birth assistants and midwives are knowledge in the use of these tools that can greatly impact the sensations of labor. It is important to know that these things are available at all times at our birth center.

Eating / Drinking During Labor 

It is essential in labor to keep your body nourished and hydrated. During early labor it is a good idea to have a protein rich meal to enable your body with sustained energy. Throughout active labor it is good to have bites of easily digested foods. This helps maintain your strength and energy. We strongly encourage women to drink during the entirety of labor. Taking a sip every 15-30 minutes is ideal. Our birth center has a kitchen area that is available for use by our families that deliver here. It is equipped with dishes, an ice/water machine and a microwave. Each suite has a small refrigerator for your personal use. We also have coffee available for dads to help keep him up!

Continuous Labor Support

In addition to the care provided by our midwives and nurses, continuous one-to-one emotional support provided by support personnel, such as a doula, is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor. Benefits found in randomized trials include shortened labor, decreased need for analgesia, fewer operative deliveries, and a greater satisfaction with the experience of labor. Health Foundations has a doula intern program that offers families the option of having a doula at their birth at a reduced cost.

Water Birth / Laboring in the Water 

Each of the birth suites at Health Foundations has a large tub for use during labor and birth. Warm water during labor and birth greatly reduces discomfort and also promotes relaxation. It is know as the “Midwife’s Epidural”. Along with pain relief, water also provides a gentle space for the baby to be delivered in, replicating the warmth of the mother’s womb, creating an easier transition when born. It can also help the perineal tissues stretch, resulting in lower incidence of tearing.

Birthing Slings

A “birthing sling,” is a soft ribbon of cloth that dangles from an ‘O’ ring in the ceiling of a delivery room. Capable of holding more than 500 pounds, the sling supports the expecting mother in an upright position during labor. There are many different positions that you can get into in the sling. These positions can help make contractions more effective and also help the baby into a good position.

TENS Unit

Health Foundations has a TENS Unit available for use during labor. The use of this can cut the discomfort of contractions in half. It can also be a wonderful option for women experiencing back labor. Four electrodes go on to your back and they are connected to a small handheld device. The frequency is as high or low as you would like. During a contraction, there is a “Boost” button that increases the sensation. The electrical pulses prevent pain signals from reaching your brain and also stimulate your body to release pain-relieving endorphins. You can use the TENS Unit at any time in labor, just not in the water.

A TENS unit is a handheld machine, connected by wires to electrodes that stick to the skin on your back. TENS works by sending electrical nerve stimulation through these electrodes; it doesn't take away the sensation of contractions, but essentially interrupts the pain signals your brain is receiving, possibly reducing your awareness of them or producing endorphins that allow you to cope better

Nitrous Oxide 

Health Foundations offers Nitrous Oxide during labor, which is a safe pain relief option that many women find helpful. It can be used during any stage of labor. You can use it anywhere in the birth room, including the tub. Nitrous does not “take the pain away” but actually alters your perception of the pain and can help reduce anxiety. The effects are felt immediately and also dissipate within a few minutes of fresh oxygen. It does not inhibit labor progression in any way.

Birth Stools

A birth stool helps you into a physiological upright posture during labor and birth. They can help provide balance and support to laboring women. Different positions and various movements can help with progress and comfort during labor. The benefit of gravity is helpful in labor and the stool allows for that while giving your feet and legs a rest! We have two different types of birth stools available at our center.

 Sterile Water Injections

If a laboring woman is experiencing back labor, sterile water injections can ease the pain instantly. They are quick, easy, safe and effective. Sterile water is injected just under the skin surface at four points over the lower back. The injections cause an intense stinging sensation that lasts for 30 - 90 seconds. If it works to relieve back pain in labor, the relief will be felt within 2 minutes. The pain relief generally lasts 2-3 hours.

Essential Oils

There is a large list of the many benefits essential oils can have in labor. We have an essential oil kit available for use in each of our birth rooms. Oils can be used to reduce nausea, help with stalled labors, calm and focus the mother, increase energy, relieve pain and more.

We are thrilled to be able to offer all of these options at Health Foundations Birth Center and invite you to contact us for a free consultation with a midwife and for a tour of our Birth Center to learn more. The remarkable physiological and psychological benefits that these comfort measures provide to mom and baby make birth a truly unique option for you and your family.

Meet Our Lactation Specialist, Jan Kaste, APRN, IBCLC

Name:  Jan Kaste

Hometown:  Galesville, Wisconsin

Family: My son Justin, daughter Erin, 4 grandsons (Oliver, Andrew, Johannes and a baby boy due in 6 weeks) and one granddaughter (Lilje). 

With Health Foundations Since:  November 2015

My role at Health Foundations:  My biggest role is that of the Postpartum Nurse. I see families in their home between 24 and 48 hours after they deliver their baby at Health Foundations at which time I provide education and support to the new family regarding breastfeeding, baby care and making sure mom and baby are doing well.  Newborn screening is done at this visit as well.  I am also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and I see patients in the clinic for lactation consults when moms are experiencing difficulties breastfeeding and require additional one on one support.  I teach PumpTalk 101 once a month for moms who are going back to work and want to continue to breastfeed successfully.  I also teach the Early Home Care Class on Mondays and provide breastfeeding support and education during Mama's Milk Hour every Thursday. I see clients in the clinic for prenatal and postpartum visits when the Midwives are called away from clinic to do a delivery and I routinely see each client at their 20 week visit. That visit gives me the opportunity to meet clients before they deliver and find out if they have experienced nursing difficulties in the past or have concerns about breastfeeding.  This allows me to make a plan with the mom to proactively deal with potential breastfeeding issues before they occur. I wear lots of hats and I love them all.

Educational Background and Training:  I became a registered nurse in 1975, which means I have been a nurse longer than most of my patients have been alive!  Yes, that's a long time! I have spent the entirety of my career in OB, NICU, Infertility and other areas in Women's Health. I became a Certified Women's Health Nurse Practitioner in 1999 which gave me an expanded role in providing care to women.  My IBCLC certification provides another avenue to make a difference in my patient's lives. 

Favorite Thing When Not at Health Foundations: I love spending time with my grandchildren!  I am also an avid horseback rider. I love to trail ride but I also compete in working western disciplines (reining, working cow horse and ranch riding).

Travel Anywhere:  I would go to New Zealand for it's spectacular scenery.

Super Power: Time travel!

Inspiration to be a Nurse:  I wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a little girl. It was the only thing I ever wanted to be (well, except for being a cowgirl and riding horses all day). I love the art and science of medicine but also the deeply personal aspect of providing care to a person or family at a a critical time in their life. What a privilege to be in that position of trust. 

What I Love About Health Foundations:  I love Health Foundations for the way it provides the opportunity for women to find and experience their inner strength and resolve when becoming a new mom. It is life changing for the woman and her partner and impacts her for the remainder of her life. I love being part of an amazing team where everyone contributes to bring these miracles to fruition. 

Birth Philosophy:  Women are wonderfully made and equipped to bring babies into this world with a minimum of outside interference. By nurturing and affirming that strength, women can experience the birth they choose.  A birth that is empowering physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Advice: I would advise women to envision themselves as powerful, capable women and mothers.   Surround yourself with people who will love and affirm you and help you be the best you can be.  And be that for others in their journey. 

Overnight Oats to Boost Your Milk Supply

Ingredients:

1/3 Cup Steel Cut Oats

1 TBSP Flax Seed

1 TBSP Brewer’s Yeast

1 TBSP Maple Syrup or Honey

1/2 TSP Cinnamon

1 Cup Milk of Your Choice

1/4 Cup Dried Fruit of Your Choice

 

Instructions:

Mix the oats, flaxseed, brewer’s yeast, maple syrup or honey and cinnamon thoroughly. Add the milk, stirring to ensure an even mixture (you don’t want the brewer’s yeast to clump). Add in the fruit. Place in a sealed container like a Mason jar overnight in the refrigerator. By morning, the oats are ready to enjoy!

It can be helpful to make up a few jars at a time so that you can eat this throughout the week. The oats, flax seed and brewer’s yeast are great breast milk boosters. Even if you’re not trying to boost your milk supply, this is a great breakfast option for anyone! (just maybe leave out the brewer’s yeast)

Breastfeeding? Going Back to Work? Here is What You Need to Know

If you’re like most working moms, you might be feeling anxious about returning to work after the birth of your little one. Adding pumping and bottles into the mix can seem downright overwhelming. You might be wondering how you will fit pumping sessions into your schedule or maybe you are concerned about maintaining your breast milk supply. Although it may be a challenge to adjust to your new routine, you can be successful and find balance with a little pre-planning. The following are some basic tips to get you started.

Supplies: There are some very handy supplies available to pumping moms. Try and stock up on these things ahead of time to relieve some stress when going back work.

  • Electric Breast Pump: Most insurance plans cover breast pumps. Call your insurance company and find out where to get yours. This can be done before you have your baby.
  • Easy Expression Bustier Hands-Free Pumping Bra by Medela: This bra is very convenient whether you are pumping at home or at work. It allows you to easily pump both breasts at the same time while giving you time to read a book, browse the internet or take a little "me" time while you pump.
  • Extra Breast Pump Supplies: Supplies can get lost or broken which is inconvenient when you need to pump, keep a few extras on hand:
    • Replacement Membranes
    • Connectors
    • Breast Shields
  • Breast Milk Storage Bags: You will want to keep a box of these on hand in your breast pump bag.

Maintaining Your Milk Supply: Are you concerned about your milk supply decreasing when you head back to work?  The following are ways to increase and keep your supply strong.

  • Eat good protein rich meals and snacks.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Try a supplement such as Motherlove More Milk Plus.  Take 2 capsules, three times a day.
  • On working days, make time to pump approximately every three hours.
  • During evenings, nights and weekends breastfeed your baby on demand.
  • Eliminate other things that could decrease your milk supply, such as:
    • Peppermint or Sage Tea
    • Decongestants
    • Parsley

Storing and Thawing: It is important that you know how to safely store and thaw your breast milk and that the person taking care of your baby knows too.

  • When pumping at work keep your bags of milk in the storage section of your breast pump bag with an ice-pack. If you do not have that kind of pump, bring a small cooler with you to store your milk.
  • Once home, place milk in the fridge. It is okay to keep in the fridge for 72 hours. If the milk hasn’t been used by then, put it in the freezer. Breast milk is safe to store in the freezer for 6 months.
  • Remember to always label each bag with the date, time and quantity.
  • When thawing or warming up the milk, never microwave it. This destroys the nutrients. Put the bag or bottle of milk into a bowl of very warm water.

If you would like to learn more about pumping and returning to work, come to our class PumpTalk 101 with Jan Kaste, IBCLC. This class is taught every first Thursday of the month at 3:30pm. It is $10. To sign up, contact our office 651-895-2520. Health Foundations Birth Center also offers lactation visits during the week and many other services to help with your breastfeeding needs.

The supplies mentioned above can be found on our on-line store, as well as our PumpTalk 101 Kit. This kit contains the pumping essentials at a great price! Get yours here.

Cold and Flu Fighting Ginger Soup

This ginger soup in a great way to fight colds and the flu this season! It is a safe way to fight sickness during breastfeeding and pregnancy. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 inch piece of fresh garlic, sliced thin
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup of mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cups of chicken bone broth or chicken stock

Instructions to Prepare:

Combine ginger, garlic and mushrooms in a pot with a small amount of the broth or stock. Simmer until the ingredients are softened. Add the rest of the broth or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 20-30 minutes. 

This soup can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

Enjoy and be well!

 

A Mothers Gift: Donor Breast Milk

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There are two beautiful sides to donor breast milk, the mother that donates the milk and the babies that receive it.  There are many reasons that mothers choose to donate their milk and there are many reasons that babies need this liquid gold. Donated breast milk can be vital to babies are that in the NICU, underweight due to low milk supply, babies with low blood sugar before the mother’s milk supply is established and more.

The mamas that are able to provide this gift are able to for different reasons but they all have the same selfless quality and that is extending their milk to another. For some mothers, they have an over supply and rather than trying to lessen it, they pump after feedings and are able to produce freezer-fulls to donate.  Some will continue to pump and donate after their child is finished breastfeeding. Then there are the stories of loss, mothers that pump their milk during their grieving process. Some find this as a connection to their child that passed. In all of these unique scenarios, the end result is a priceless gift.

Health Foundations Birth Center is a full lactation center, which means we accept donor milk at our location for the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio. We also have breast milk available for purchase.

If you would like to give the gift of breast milk, here are the steps to take:

  • Call the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio at 614-566-0630. They will do an over-the-phone screening first. After the screening they will ship you a kit that includes the basic lab supplies, your donor ID and some containers for your milk. You can use your own containers as well.
  • Once you receive your kit, call Health Foundations and make a quick lab appointment. When your labs have been drawn, we will ship them to Ohio for you. The reason for this is to confirm that it would be safe for you donate milk. They check for certain diseases such as HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis.
  • After the full screening process, you can bring in your containers of milk to Health Foundations. The containers must be labeled with your Donor ID. We will ship them for you to the Ohio Milk Bank.

The following are some resources for families looking for donor milk:

  • You can purchase donor milk from Health Foundations Birth Center. We ask that you call ahead to ensure that we have the milk in stock. You do not need a prescription or doctor's order. The cost is $13.53 for three ounces. The milk is frozen. Our staff ensures that you understand how to thaw and handle the donor milk.
  • You can also purchase donor milk directly from the Mothers Milk Bank of Ohio 614-566-0630. If you are purchasing direct you will need a prescription from your pediatrician.
  • There are local organizations that help coordinate mom-to-mom milk sharing which can be useful for long-term donor milk supplementation.

At Health Foundations Birth Center, our lactation consultants and postpartum nurses are here to assist you with any and all questions or lactation concerns you have related to breastfeeding your new baby. 

We also have a group, Mama's Milk Hour, led by Jan Kaste, IBCLC. This group meets every Thursday at 2:30. It is free and open to the public. You have a chance to weigh your baby, nurse and weigh your baby again to get an idea of how much your baby is eating at each feeding. Jan is there for basic questions and advice.

Banana Bread for Healthy Lactation

This banana bread recipe promotes healthy lactation in nursing mamas. Some of these ingredients are known for increasing milk supply.  The milk boosting ingredients are highlighted. Enjoy warm with some butter!

Ingredients

  • 2 TBS Flaxseed Meal
  • 4 TBS Water
  • 1 ¾ C Flour
  • 1 ¼ C Oats
  • Dash of Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 TBS Brewer’s Yeast
  • 1 tsp Ground Fenugreek
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ C Softened Butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 C Sugar or ¾ C Maple Syrup
  • 3 Medium Mashed Bananas (the riper the better!)
  • 2 TBS Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ C Chopped Pecans or Walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 10-inch loaf pan. Mix dry ingredients together first then blend in all other ingredients. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the bread. Let cool and remove from pan.

Breastfeeding: How Do I Know My Baby is Getting Enough?

Breastfeeding a newborn is an incredible boding experience between a mother and her baby. One of the common worries for a mom is whether or not her baby is getting enough to eat. Unlike bottle feeding, the actual amount is unknown. This can feel concerning. Especially is the baby is fussy or not sleeping. Occasionally, due to milk supply or a poor latch, the baby may not be getting as much as they need. Thankfully there are things you can do to help if that is the case!

 Comforting Signs That Your Baby is Getting Plenty to Eat:

Wet / Dirty Diapers: Your baby should have on average 6 wet diapers and 4 stools per day. The urine should be light in color and mild smelling. By about day 5, your baby’s stool should have transitioned from meconium to yellow and loose.

Alert / Satisfied Baby: When your baby is hungry he will be active and alert, giving you cues to demand feeding. Afterwards, your baby should appear satisfied and probably sleepy.

Breasts Feeling Empty: Once your milk is in and your baby nurses, your breasts should feel empty at the end of the feeding. They may feel harder and full at the beginning and soft at the end.

Your Baby is Gaining Weight: Although there typically is slight weight loss in your baby before your milk fully comes in, around day 5-6 your baby’s weight should slowly start creeping up on the scales. Every baby is different but the goal is to have your baby at least back to birth weight by two weeks of age.

If your baby shows any of the above signs that he is not getting enough to eat, it is important to see a pediatrician and a lactation consultant.

At Health Foundations Birth Center, our lactation consultants and postpartum nurses are here to assist you with any and all questions you have related to breastfeeding your new baby. 

We also have a group, Mama's Milk Hour, led by Jan Kaste, IBCLC. This group meets every Thursday at 2:30. It is free and open to the public. You have a chance to weigh your baby, nurse and weigh your baby again to get an idea of how much your baby is eating at each feeding. Jan is there for basic questions and advice.

 

Super Purple Lactation Smoothie

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Start your day with this yummy Lactation Smoothie! The ingredients chosen for this recipe are great for boosting your milk supply! If you are dairy free, you can add some almond milk or coconut milk instead of greek yogurt. 

1 Large Banana

1 Cup of Blueberries

1 Cup of Strawberries

1 Tsp of Flax Meal

1 Tsp of Brewer's Yeast

Drizzle of Honey

Handful of Spinach

1 Heaping Tablespoon of Plain Greek Yogurt

Combine all ingredients in your favorite blender, blend until smooth and ENJOY!

Boobs, Breastfeeding & Lactation

Breastfeeding a newborn is a beautiful way to bond, connect and nourish your baby. There are many benefits of breastfeeding. What aren’t often talked about are the struggles that can happen during the first few weeks postpartum. As you learn about your baby and your baby learns about you, there are some things that can ease the difficulties that may arise. Collecting these items and organizing support before your baby arrives is ideal.

Create a Breastfeeding Station

There are things we have found helpful for the breastfeeding mama to easily have on hand. This can be a basket that has the following items available and easy to access when you nurse your baby.

Good Nipple Cream: A good nipple cream is essential to help relieve discomfort of sore, cracked nursing nipples. This can be applied before and after breastfeeding and anytime in between. We love Motherlove Nipple Cream.  

Nursing Pads: No nursing mom wants to face the embarrassment of wet spots on her shirt from milk leakage, but it can happen to even the most prepared woman. The chances are reduced if you use breast pads, which when used properly can prevent uncomfortably soaked clothing. Choose from washable or disposable types, both of which can keep you comfortable and dry. 

Gel Pads: Medela makes a wonderful product called Tender Care Hydrogel Pads. They quickly soothe sore nipples and act as a barrier between your clothes and your skin so they don't rub and irritate further.

Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is important while breastfeeding.  Keeping water nearby during breastfeeding is a must! Becoming dehydrated can decrease your milk supply and also make you feel tired. It is estimated that over 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. 

Easy Snacks: While breastfeeding you need about an additional 400 to 500 calories a day — to keep up your energy.

To get these extra calories, opt for nutrient-rich choices, such as a slice of whole-grain bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter, a medium banana or apple, and 8 ounces of greek yogurt. Try to have protein with each snack to help balance your blood sugar which in turn will help maintain your energy and mood.

Cloth or Small Towel: Have this handy for when your baby spits up or you need to catch milk leaking.

A Good Book: Reading is one of my favorite things to do while nursing. With my first baby, I finished many books in our marathon nursing sessions from the rocking chair. Clever pillow arrangement allows your hands to be free, or think about a book holder. Set up a little table right next to your rocking chair, have a basket of snacks on hand, set the book in a book holder, and you only need one hand to turn the page! You can also read in the side-lying nursing position – just prop the book on a pillow behind baby.

Support System – Good Support is Essential

Educate Your Partner: It is important for your partner to be educated about the ins and outs of breastfeeding so that he or she can help you in your breastfeeding journry.

Breastfeeding Friends: If you have friends that are breastfeeding, surround yourself with them. Keep their phone numbers handy for questions and encouragement.

Your Mom: Sometimes mothers can be a great support during breastfeeding, especially if they breastfed themselves. However, don’t feel guilty if you need to tell your mom that you would rather not talk about the subject if you find it stressful. 

At Health Foundations, our lactation consultants and postpartum nurses are here to assist you with any and all questions you have related to breastfeeding your new baby. We also have a group called Mama’s Milk Hour that meets every Thursday at 2:30. Our group is led by a lactation consultant and is a wonderful way to connect with other moms. This group is free and open to the public. 

If you are pregnant and just beginning your search for prenatal care, contact Health Foundations to schedule a free consultation with a midwife and a tour of our beautiful Birth Center. We are here to serve you at every stage.

Meet Migdalia - Health Foundations New Sonographer!

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Name: Migdalia Argote-Maes

Hometown:  New York, NY

My role at Health Foundations is as a Sonographer. I started in December 2016.

My immediate family consists of my husband Ben who is the Direcror of Raquet Sports at the Rochester Athletic Club in Rochester MN, my son Will who is 15 years old and my daughter Lindsi who is 10 years old.

My educational background:  Degree in psychology as well as completing an Ultrasound  program in New York.

A bit about my own birth:  Back when I was born in 1966, there was no ultrasound so when my dear mother went in to deliver a baby, she was shocked to find out from the doctor that there were two of us!! I am so grateful to be a twin! She is my best friend and her name is Sara.

Some of my favorite things to do when I am not working is doing yoga, playing tennis, and spending time with family.

If I could travel anywhere, it would probably be Scandinavia. I have traveled quite a bit through Europe, but have always wanted to see that part of our world!

I was inspired to get into my field by a love of Anatomy. I have always had an interest in the human body and how it works. The more time I spent doing Ultrasound, the more I realized that I was even more interested in studying the unborn child.

What I love about Health Foundations is that I get to do what I love in a wonderful and caring atmosphere and spreading a little cheer when new parents get to see their unborn children in motion.

After being in my field for over 20 years, the mystery and intrigue of the  child in utero and child birth never ceases to amaze me.

My advice for pregnant/new moms:  Enjoy this privilege that you have been given. I promise it is the best gift you will ever receive!

Birth Control: Do You Know Your Options?

Today I want to take the opportunity to list the various options in birth control.  Last week we talked about IUDs.  This week we will be learning about the various other options listed, what they are, how they work and how effective they are. How many of these options were you aware of?

  • Abstinence

  • Birth Control Implants (Implanon & Nexplanon)

  • Birth Control Patch

  • Birth Control Pills

  • Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera)

  • Birth Control Sponge (Today Sponge)

  • Birth Control Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)

  • Breastfeeding as Birth Control

  • Cervical Cap (FemCap)

  • Condom

  • Diaphragm

  • Female Condom

  • Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs)

  • IUD

  • Outercourse

  • Spermicide

  • Sterilization for Women (Tubal Sterilization)

  • Vasectomy

  • Withdrawal (Pull Out Method)

Do you have questions about family planning and birth control options?  At Health Foundations Women's Health & Birth Center we believe in providing the best care based on each woman's unique needs for every stage of her life.  Our providers take the time to listen to you, to answer your questions and to make sure you leave your appointment feeling informed and cared for. Give us a call to schedule an appointment 651-895-2520.

Understanding IUDs: Is It the Right Birth Control For You?

If you keep up on women's health, or talk to other ladies about their hooha, I'm sure you've heard a lot recently about the rising popularity of the intrauterine device and wondered if you should get an IUD. After years of living in the shadow of its flashier sister the Pill, the IUD is finally having its day in the sun — it's 99 percent effective against pregnancy and it's been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the best form of birth control for young women. Everybody seems to be crazy for IUDs these days — but does that mean that they are the right birth control for you?

 

What is an IUD?

An IUD is a tiny device that's inserted in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It's long-term, reversible, and one of the most effective birth control methods out there.

 

What does IUD stand for?

IUD stands for Intrauterine Device i.e. a device inside your uterus. It's a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T. 

 

What are the different types of IUDs?

There are 5 different brands of IUDs that are FDA approved for use in the United States: ParaGard, Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, and Kyleena.

These IUDs are divided into 2 types: copper IUDs (ParaGard) and hormonal IUDs (Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, and Kyleena).

The ParaGard IUD doesn't have hormones. It's wrapped in a tiny bit of copper, and it protects you from pregnancy for up to 12 years. The Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, and Kyleena IUDs use the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy. Progestin is very similar to the hormone progesterone that our bodies make naturally. Mirena works for up to 6 years. Kyleena works for up to 5 years. Skyla and Liletta work for up to 3 years.

 

How do IUDs work?

Both copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy by changing the way sperm move so they can't get to an egg. If sperm can't make it to an egg, pregnancy can't happen.

The ParaGard IUD uses copper to prevent pregnancy. Sperm don't like copper, so the ParaGard IUD makes it almost impossible for sperm to get to that egg.

The hormones in Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, and Kyleena IUDs prevent pregnancy in two ways: 1) they thicken the mucus that lives on the cervix, which blocks and traps the sperm, and 2) the hormones also sometimes stop eggs from leaving your ovaries (called ovulation), which means there's no egg for a sperm to fertilize. No egg, no pregnancy.

One of the awesome things about IUDs is that they last for years — but they're not permanent. If you decide to get pregnant or you just don't want to have your IUD anymore, your nurse or doctor can quickly and easily take it out. You're able to get pregnant right after the IUD is removed.

 

Is an IUD right for you?

Maybe. IUDs have a lot going for them — they're the most effective form of reversible birth control for women, and you don't have to fiddle with them before sex or remember to put them in every day. But everyone comes to birth control for different things. Some of us are looking to help our forgetful selves. Some of us are trying to lessen our bad menstrual cramps. Some of us are just using birth control because we're on another medication that requires it (like Accutane). And because we all have different birth control agendas, we all need to sort through different sets of facts.

 

Interested in getting an IUD?

Do you have additional questions about IUDs?  Are you interested in getting an IUD?  At Health Foundations Women's Health & Birth Center we believe in providing the best care based on each woman's unique needs for every stage of her life.  Our providers take the time to listen to you, to answer your questions and to make sure you leave your appointment feeling informed and cared for. Give us a call to schedule an appointment 651-895-2520.