Taking a closer look at some Maternal Mental Health Myths 

Let's take a closer look at some Maternal Mental Health Myths

May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month! With that in mind, we’d like to take this opportunity to clear up some common misconceptions associated with a parent’s mental health and look at some resources available to you.

Are you feeling a little down? A little less like yourself? Have you experienced a loss of interest in doing the things that bring you joy and substituted that with feelings of worry, guilt, hopelessness, or irritability? These are all common symptoms of Post-Partum Depression (PPD) or Post-Partum Anxiety (PPA). The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) considers PPD to be a common but serious medical condition affecting 10-20% of mothers in the first year after giving birth. Let’s take a look at some of the myths surrounding PPD/PPA and some resources available to you to overcome it!  

Myth: You can’t breastfeed if you are taking mental health medications.

There are medications available that make it possible to continue breastfeeding your baby. The ABM states that all antidepressant medications can be found in breastmilk but that doesn’t mean they harm your baby. You and your doctor will decide together which medication is best for you. Looking at how much of the drug makes it into the baby, medications such as SSRIs (Zoloft) were found to be undetectable levels in the babies of mothers who breastfed in most cases. If you are already taking an antidepressant your doctor may assess the risk of continuing that same medication as long as it is not unsafe for the baby. LactMed is a good resource to use to help find what medications are safe to take during pregnancy.

Myth: I would know if I had PPD or Post-Partum Anxiety (PPA).

Some studies have found that up to 50% of women with PPD will go undiagnosed. Sometimes it can be hard for you to see the signs in yourself, or you may not even know what to look for. Feeling a little blue is completely normal but if it lasts more than 2 weeks or you have some red flags it may be time to see your doctor. Red flags can be feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness. Feelings of anger or scary and unwanted thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.  Feelings of anger or scary and unwanted thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.  Difficulty bonding with the baby, losing interest in things you enjoy or having sleep or eating difficulties. Your doctor can use screening tools such as EPDS, PHQ-9 and PASS. Red flags can be feelings of guilt, shame, or hopelessness. If you see any of these symptoms in yourself or someone you know, get help as soon as possible so you can get back on the right track.

Myth: I must take medication to treat a mental health disorder.

Medication is not the only treatment option. In fact, most providers will try some form of therapy or counseling before trying any medications. Support from your family members and friends can go a long way, especially if they are able to help at night so you can get some extra sleep. The goal would be to get at least 5-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep which is possible if you have someone else feed the baby for one of the nighttime feeds or someone can bring the baby to your breast while you sleep so baby can get their midnight snack in. Sunlight and exercise can help, you could try taking a walk with your baby on a bright sunny day. Eating a healthy diet and getting in some much-needed relaxation can also boost your mood. You could try a yoga class, meditation and relaxation techniques.


PPD and PPA aren’t the only mental health disorders to be on the lookout for, some of the others include panic disorders, OCD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, or postpartum psychosis. If you think you may be experiencing any of these then reach out to your doctor or a trusted family member or friend for help.

National Helpline open 24/7 365 days a year.

LactMed

Postpartum Support International (PSI)

PSI Helpline English/Spanish call 800-944-4773 or

Text “Help” to 800-944-4773 for English

Text “Help” to 971-203-7773 for Spanish 

*Special thanks to Caroline Flores, an IBCLC student, who contributed to this blog post. Thanks Caroline! 

Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

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Breastfeeding and World Health Month

Breastfeeding and World Health Month

The World Health Organization has designated April 7th as World Health Day and the full month of April as World Health Awareness Month.  This year’s theme is “My Health, My Right” and was “chosen to champion the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to quality health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.”

What does this have to do with breastfeeding you ask? 

To quote from an unknown source – “breastfeeding is a vital sign”. Human babies are designed and born to feed from the breast. Our abilities to provide expressed breastmilk and formula are a testament to the human ability to manipulate our environment. But are those good options? And what impact do those choices have on infants?

A mother’s choice on how to feed her infant is entirely personal but that choice should be INFORMED, meaning a mother should be educated on the benefits of breastfeeding, the risks of not breastfeeding, the risks of formula use. She should have access to quality classes and skilled providers who can educate and support her in her decisions. She should have access to PAID maternity leave, not only for her own healing time but to bond with her infant, creating the unique bond that reflects in and shapes every other relationship in that infant’s life. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recently released a position statement on the impact of paid maternity and paternity leave on infant health and breastfeeding outcomes and provides comparisons across countries. https://abm.memberclicks.net/assets/DOCUMENTS/PROTOCOLS/bettinelli-et-al-2024-abm-position-statement-paid-maternity-leave-importance-to-society-breastfeeding-and-sustainable.pdf

So is it a choice of breastmilk or formula? No, it is the right of the mother to have access to healthcare options that can educate her on the risks and benefits, what’s normal, what isn’t, what she can expect, support her in her decisions, and ensure she is taken care of herself with proper nutrition and general support as a giver of life.

What can you do? Support those organizations who strive to create these options. The organizations who push to change a healthcare system to be more supportive of mothers the critical role they play in infant health and development. The organizations that work to remove barriers to skilled services such as International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. 

Here is a list of such organizations:

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health

Global Breastfeeding Collective

US Breastfeeding Committee 

National Lactation Consultant Alliance

This World Health Month, challenge yourself to reach out and support these organizations in any way you can, whether that be through signing petitions, letters to state and federal representatives, through advocacy, or monetary donations. We’d love to hear your support stories! Leave us a comment here on the blog.

Sincerely, Your ABC Family.

Post Author- Stephanie Glover, IBCLC, LPN 

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Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

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Celebrating World Breast Pumping Day Year Round!

We Celebrate World Breast Pumping Day Year Round!

January 27th was World Breast Pumping Day. However, at ABC Pediatrics, we celebrate this all year long! That's because we are a certified "Family Friendly Breastfeeding Business" as designated by the NC Breastfeeding Coalition. Furthermore, we employ a certified lactation consultant on staff here at ABC.  So, here's more about this special celebration of World Breast Pumping Day. This day was created to acknowledge the time, effort, and dedication that pumping breastmilk requires. According to research from the FDA and CDC, published as the Infant Feeding Practice Study II, up to 85 percent of infants have received pumped breastmilk from a bottle and approximately 18.7% of infants are receiving this pumped breastmilk in the first month of life in the US.

Pumping, or expressing breastmilk is a labor of love. A mother’s choice to pump arises from many different factors, either from choice or need, such as returning to work/school, for medical reasons, or latching difficulties. Regardless of choice or need, mothers providing pumped breastmilk to their infant are still providing the best nutritional start in life. 

For those considering pumping or if you have already incorporated pumping, here are some considerations:

  • Choose your pump wisely - Pumps are designed for different uses. Knowing your reason for pumping (everyday vs once in a while) should be one of the first factors you consider when deciding what type of pump to get.
    •  “Plug in the wall” pumps are reliable and designed for day in and day out pumping. If you plan to only pump - this would be the pump for you. 
    • Battery operated pumps are ideal for moms who are returning to work or moms who need a portable option while traveling.
    • “Wearable” pumps are for pumping on the go. This one is for the mom who has little time to reserve for pumping or wants a portable option for backup. The wearable pump motors are not designed to be your primary pump and are not recommended in the early postpartum days to establish lactation. 
  • Always check with your insurance provider first. Under federal law, most insurances are required to include breast pumps in their plans. Checking your benefits is the place to start to save some money. Also, check for replacement part coverage.
  • Now that you know what type of pump you need and what your options are - do your research on brands! Know the company behind the brand you select. Warranties and customer services reviews are important. 
  • Get fitted!! Having the right size flange to fit the breast is so critical to maximizing production and for avoiding nipple trauma and pain associated with incorrect flange sizing. 
  • Once you have your pump, take the time to learn all its functions and how it operates. Incorrect pump use is a major contributor to production issues. 
  • Replace all your parts frequently. How frequent depends on how often you are using your pump. Usually every 3-4 months is sufficient. 
  • Working with an experienced lactation consultant on your options and getting you correctly sized is the best way to ensure success in your breastfeeding journey. 
  • And yes, pumping is breastfeeding!

Hats off to all the mom who have pumped once, twice, or pump everyday - multiple times a day. Your dedication to providing the best start in life for your baby is commendable and does not go unnoticed. 

Sincerely, Your ABC Family.

world breast pumping day

Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

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Obtaining your New Year’s goals while Breastfeeding

It’s that time again - looking back/reflecting on the past year and setting new goals and expectations for the New Year. While you may or may not put any weight behind resolutions, many people do. Quite often, those New Year’s goals have something to do with diet, exercise, and health. So how can you incorporate those healthy goals while breastfeeding?

First, breastfeeding in and of itself is one of the healthiest decisions you can make, not only for your infant, but yourself as well. Breastfeeding decreases a mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.  So you are already off to crushing those health goals!

Second, kudos to making a decision to invest in yourself and your health. In Western medicine, diet and exercise are often overlooked as a simple, yet effective way to decrease risks of diseases and in some cases, even stop a disease process altogether. Taking the first step and creating a goal for your health is commendable. You always want to make sure you are ready to begin any diet and exercise program, especially after a recent birth so checking in with your primary care provider beforehand is recommended.  

Breastmilk production is an intricate process that uses the nutrients from a mother’s body and creates a “living” fluid designed with everything a growing babe needs. As such, the way a mother nourishes her body can potentially impact the quality of her breastmilk as well as her production levels. 

According to the CDC, “Breastfeeding mothers generally need more calories to meet their nutritional needs while breastfeeding. An additional 330 to 400 kilocalories (kcal) per day is recommended for well-nourished breastfeeding mothers.” This number can be affected by a mom’s age, activity level, and level of breastfeeding. A healthy, balanced diet with adequate amounts of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates from all food groups is essential for a breastfeeding mom. Restrictive diets that create large calorie deficits and eliminate food groups may have an impact on breastmilk production. Strenuous, heavy exercise may also impact production. So what does all this mean?

Start slow. Increase your water intake and eliminate any sugary drinks and sodas. Swap that dessert for a fruit bowl instead. Aim to eat proteins and veggies at every meal. Don’t skip meals. Occasional fasting has benefits but if not done correctly, it can lead to binging and overeating later. 

Start by taking a brisk, 30 minute walk everyday. Use a stationary bike. Park your car in the spot farthest away from the entrance. Take the stairs. Increase your movement daily. 

These small changes add up. Increased energy levels, better sleep quality, and overall a general sense of wellbeing are often noticed once we are consistent with our diet and exercise choices. 

Good luck! You’ve got this. 

Share some of your 2024 health goals below with a comment or leave some on our social media! 

 

breastfeeding mother

Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

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Alcohol and Breastfeeding

Alcohol and Breastfeeding during the Holidays

A common question I get asked during the holidays is “Can I have an alcoholic drink and still breastfeed” or “ I can just ‘pump and dump’ if I drink, right?” During the festivities of the holidays, from Christmas to New Year, the opportunities to indulge with an alcoholic beverage seem to abound. So, what are the current recommendations regarding alcohol consumption while breastfeeding? Let’s take a look.

The CDC’s website states:

Not drinking alcohol is the safest option for breastfeeding mothers. Generally, moderate alcohol consumption by a breastfeeding mother (up to 1 standard drink per day) is not known to be harmful to the infant, especially if the mother waits at least 2 hours after a single drink before nursing. However, exposure to alcohol above moderate levels through breast milk could be damaging to an infant’s development, growth, and sleep patterns. Alcohol consumption above moderate levels may also impair a mother’s judgment and ability to safely care for her child.”

The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) policy statement:

Breast milk alcohol concentrations closely parallel blood alcohol concentrations, with highest levels in milk occurring 30 to 60 minutes after consuming alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption by a breastfeeding mother (up to 1 standard drink per day) is not known to be harmful to the infant, especially if the mother waits at least 2 hours after a single drink before nursing or expressing milk to be fed to the infant. Moderate alcohol intake does not appear to affect breastfeeding duration. Consuming more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks daily is discouraged.”

Basically, no alcohol consumption while breastfeeding is preferred but one website states “up to 1 drink daily” is not a problem for the infant and the other specifically mentions no more than 2 drinks per day. But how much alcohol is actually passing into breastmilk? There has been so much research on breastmilk and infant feeding over the past decade or so. We’ve known alcohol passes into breastmilk and therefore is available to the infant so a lot of older advice or information centered around not breastfeeding at all during alcohol consumption or “pumping and dumping”, the act of expressing our breastmilk and discarding it or using it for some other purpose. What we now know is alcohol passes into breast milk and out of breast milk at the same rate and ratios as it passes into our bloodstream and out of our bloodstream.  We also know the more drinks we have, the higher levels of alcohol are in our blood and therefore, the higher levels of alcohol that are available in breastmilk. According to the CDC, “Alcohol levels are usually highest in breast milk 30-60 minutes after an alcoholic beverage is consumed, and can be generally detected in breast milk for about 2-3 hours per drink after it is consumed.” The idea that you can have a drink or two, then wait 2 hours before feeding comes from this knowledge. Some other outdated advice has been for moms to “pump and dump” but again the CDC states, “The alcohol level in breast milk is essentially the same as the alcohol level in a mother’s bloodstream. Expressing or pumping milk after drinking alcohol, and then discarding it (“pumping and dumping”), does NOT reduce the amount of alcohol present in the mother’s milk more quickly. As the mother’s alcohol blood level falls over time, the level of alcohol in her breast milk will also decrease.”

So, how much is too much? Generally speaking, indulging in 1-2 drinks at a holiday party is not considered to be harmful while breastfeeding. There is no need to wait 2 hours before latching your infant and no need to “pump and dump” and no cause for concern. *However, all sources agree that caring for an infant while intoxicated is never recommended and bedsharing/co-sleeping while or after drinking is strongly discouraged as well. 

 

mom with baby christmas
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Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

Tips For Infant Feeding During Holiday Meals

All the Holiday Goodies!!

Everyone loves holiday gatherings and if you have a little one this holiday season, it can be tough to know what is ok to feed at these special mealtimes. Here are some tips for infant feeding during holiday meals:

Is your baby under 6 months old? If yes, breastmilk or formula are the only recommended and acceptable food. These recommendations are straight from the World Health Organization, the CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Breastmilk and/or formula provides a complete nutritional profile for your growing infant, so foods at this time are unnecessary and may even contribute to tummy issues after feeding.

If your baby is over 6 months old AND is ready for and interested in foods, let the party begin!

  • Food comes AFTER milk feeds. Breastmilk and/or formula is the primary source of nutrition until age 1. Your baby can not physically eat enough foods to get all the nutrition they need for the physical growth that occurs during the first year. 
  • Always stay with your baby while feeding
  • Avoid excess spices and salts
  • Limit sugars and desserts
  • Water only with meals – no juices or teas
  • Small, bite-sized, well cooked and easily mashed foods like potatoes,sweet potatoes, and green beans provide nutrients like vitamins A, C, B complex, and minerals like potassium, zinc, and magnesium.
  • Shredded dark meats and leafy greens are rich in iron
  • Small bites of deviled egg filling are good source of healthy fats
  • Fresh bite sized fruit is always a compliment to any meal

If this is your baby’s first time with foods, remember to introduce new foods slowly, one every 3 to 4 days to monitor for any intolerances. Always discuss your baby’s development and readiness to start foods with your pediatrician.

 

november mini blog featured image

Let’s see some pictures of those first bites!! Tag us with your photos on Facebook and Instagram: @abcpediatricsdunn

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Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

Breastfeeding and Illness During Cold and Flu Season

Breastfeeding and Illness During Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season is upon us. Getting sick while being a mom is never easy and breastfeeding while you or the baby is sick can have challenges. Here are some ways to get you through this year’s cold and flu season while breastfeeding:

Consider the flu vaccine and wash your hands!

Children under 6 months of age aren’t eligible to get the flu vaccine but pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, siblings, and other family members are. Getting your flu vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding and encouraging other family members to do the same is the best way to help prevent the flu in younger babies. Hand washing and general hygiene measures are other effective ways to prevent germ sharing.

If you do get a cold or the flu

Symptoms of the flu include sore throat, nasal congestion, dry cough, fatigue, muscle aches, weakness, headache, and fever greater than 100.4. You may be contagious up to 24 hours before symptoms appear and up to 7 days after symptoms develop. 

If you develop cold/flu symptoms, you should continue to breastfeed using extra precautions like handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, and using tissues when coughing/sneezing. You can not pass a cold or flu through your breastmilk to your baby. In fact, breast milk contains millions of immune cells, even more when you are sick and your baby is getting those extra germ fighting cells with every feed! This is nature’s way of protecting the baby while breastfeeding continues.

Taking care of yourself

In most healthy adults, treatments for the cold and flu are comfort measures. Making sure you take in plenty of fluids and eat nourishing foods. Use saline sprays and humidifiers for nasal congestion and throat lozenges for sore throat and cough. If you are sick enough to need antiviral medications, Tamiflu is preferred for breastfeeding mothers over other antiviral medications. 

If you need to take over the counter (OTC) medications to help treat symptoms, most OTC medications are compatible with breastfeeding but some medications are preferred over others. Choose shorter acting medications (medications you need to take every 4-6 hours) over medications that last longer. Medications containing Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) may cause a decrease in production and should be avoided if possible. Always nurse your baby or pump immediately prior to taking medications to limit passage into breast milk. Contact an IBCLC or use LactMed’s online database to look up medications and their compatibility with breastfeeding.

If your baby gets sick 

Even when your baby is sick, breast milk provides all the hydration and nutrition your baby needs. Breast milk is easy to digest and provides protection (remember those immune cells?). Saline drops with gentle nasal suctioning, using a humidifier, with smaller, more frequent feeds may help with congestion during feeds. Contact your pediatrician if fever develops, feeding difficulties last longer than 24 hours, or if you notice a decrease in the number of wet diapers your baby is having in 24 hours. 

The picture above shows the protective effects of breast milk against germs. The “cloudy” parts of the plate are where germs are reproducing and growing. The white dots in the center are drops of breastmilk. The clear area surrounding the breast milk is the “protected” area surrounding breastmilk. Science experiment shows the amazing powers of breastmilk

Check out these other resources:

Influenza (Flu) | Breastfeeding | CDC

Influenza Season Recommendations for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers | InfantRisk Center

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Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

Breast Cancer Awareness and Breastfeeding

Are Mammograms safe while breastfeeding?

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women of reproductive age. Although breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, routine screenings are important in early detection and treatment. Recently, the recommendations for breast cancer screenings have changed and routine screenings (mammograms) are now recommended once yearly beginning at age 40 for all women. Insurances are required to cover these annual screening mammograms. With these changes to begin screenings at an earlier age, more women find themselves breastfeeding at the time when annual screenings begin. 

Can you get a mammogram while breastfeeding? Yes, you can! Mammograms are safe to get while breastfeeding. You will need to nurse or pump immediately before the mammogram and you want to make sure the radiologist reading the mammogram is aware you are breastfeeding and as the lactating breast is more complex in structure.

Self breast exams are no longer recommended as a screening tool as they have not been shown to reduce breast cancer deaths, however, they are useful for you to learn what your breasts feel like and with regular use, you may notice changes. Self breast exams should never replace breast exams by your provider or annual screenings. 

Links for breast cancer data:

 

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Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

Breastfeeding is never “All or Nothing”

Breastfeeding is never "All or Nothing"

“This isn’t how I thought this would be”. Have you ever found yourself thinking as much? Breastfeeding doesn't always go according to how you planned. Maybe you planned to latch only and didn’t want to pump but found latch was difficult and you had to pump. Perhaps there was a birth trauma and the baby wasn’t able to latch and you had to pump to establish production. What if medical complications required supplementation? You may have returned to work earlier than you planned. Whatever the reason, it's important to understand that breastfeeding doesn't have to be "all or nothing." Every drop of breastmilk counts, and you are a breastfeeding parent by providing breast milk no matter how long you are able to do it, no matter if you latch or pump, and no matter whether you supplement or not. How you feed your baby does not define your success as a parent. 

Those early days and weeks are important to establishing breast milk production so early education and intervention is key. Take prenatal breastfeeding classes, in person or online. Learn techniques for latch and positioning. Locate your resources ahead of time. Find pediatricians that support breastfeeding and have breastfeeding resources available in their office for moms. And last, find your support team. Navigating the world with a new baby can be tough. Having support is crucial to success. 

Whatever your breastfeeding journey looks like, we are here for it all - latching, pumping, supplementing, and weaning. 

 

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Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

This is our Why! Celebrating National Breastfeeding Month 2023

This is our Why! Celebrating National Breastfeeding Month 2023

Breastfeeding is a personal feeding choice, and yet it is often a topic of public discussion. Although natural, breastfeeding may come with challenges, some we prepare for and some we can’t. From the first time mom to the mom who has breastfed before, every pregnancy and every baby is different and therefore every feeding journey is different. Everyone, from our family, our neighbor, and even a stranger in the supermarket, loves to give advice on how, when, and what to feed those cute new babies but often that’s where the support ends. Over the past 70 years, the support women receive after childbirth has changed.  At one time, a new mom, regardless if it was her first child or her 10th, had a village of support with other mothers, grandmothers, aunt, sisters, and neighbors who supported her in those early days to rest and establish that coveted breastfeeding bond. Over time and with changes in society and culture, that level of support is no longer guaranteed and is often considered a luxury. And with those changes, support for new moms is more valuable than ever, regardless of feeding choice. 

 

August is National Breastfeeding Month,  with August 1st-7th designated as World Breastfeeding Week. The theme for this year is “This is Our Why”. This month we celebrate our successes, no matter how small, we share our driving force, our motivation to push through those early challenges to continue breastfeeding in any form. We share our resources and empower families to make informed feeding choices. Join us in celebrating our successes and challenges by visiting our Facebook page and sharing your why! You can also comment directly on this blog post.

 

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Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC

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Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Stephanie is a Harnett County native and a previous patient at ABC Pediatrics. She attended nursing school at Central Carolina Community College and began work at ABC Pediatrics in 2008. She has worked beside many providers during her 14 years as a nurse at ABC Pediatrics. Always a breastfeeding advocate, she attended Wichita State University in 2011 and NC State University in 2022 to earn her board certification as a Lactation Consultant. As a board certified lactation consultant, her special interests are with first time moms, extended or natural term breastfeeding, infant oral rehabilitation, infant movement and bodywork, infant feeding and development, bottle refusal, and pump selection. Her other areas of interests are in holistic and natural/alternative therapies in breastfeeding.  She works with all breastfeeding mothers and babies throughout their time breastfeeding. She is a certified yoga instructor and loves to spend her time with family on road trips and adventures when not at work. She has been a member of the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition since 2019.

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Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby

Happy World Breastfeeding Month!

Every year in August we celebrate World Breastfeeding Month! In addition to the full month, there's also a Breastfeeding week that runs the first week in August traditionally. This year it ran August 1th through August 7th. In order to raise some awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, ABC Pediatrics' own Dr. Mary Ann Chiodo provided some benefits of breastfeeding for both Mom and Baby!

Breastfeeding Benefits for BABY:

- access to nutrients that strengthen baby's immune system
- breast milk contains perfect nutrition- exactly the right proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and other elements for baby's growth and development
- better response to immunizations against Polio, Tetanus, Dipththeria and Haemophilus influendza
- better oral development due to jaw movements, nutrients in breast milk decrease risk of tooth decay
- lowers risk of allergies
- lowers risk of obesity and diabetes
- lowers risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- lowers risk of ear infections and gastroenteritis
- enhances baby's brain development
- better protection against respiratory infections including those cause by rotaviruses
- reduced risk of hospitalizations with pneumonia and bronchiolitis
- enhance performance on cognitive development tests

Breastfeeding Benefits for MOM:

- reduces mom's risk of ovarian, uterine and breast cancer, as well as osteoporosis
- helps mom burn up to and extra 500 calories a day
- reduces post-delivery bleeding and the chances of mom developing anemia
- breast milk is free, convenient, sterile, the correct temperature and environmentally friendly

picture of baby and mom

Breastfeeding is a commitment and investment in health for both mom and baby. ABC Pediatrics offers support through specialized education, encouragement and expert staff. Please reach out to us for all your breastfeeding questions!

Call: 910-892-1333