From our Facebook Friends: Advice about Breastfeeding in Public

From our Facebook Friends: Advice about Breastfeeding in Public

Editor’s Note about Photo: Facebook Friend and donor mom Kathleen Wilkinson is one of the many moms who contributed their advice to this post. Thank you all!

We posted on Facebook  asking our mamas for their best tips for nursing in public and we got some great responses. It’s not always the easiest thing to do (trust us, we’ve been there!) so here is some advice from our Facebook friends on how to prepare both physically and mentally.

Preparing Physically

  • Wear a nursing tank under your shirt. When you pull the shirt up, pull the tank down and baby is feeding, everything is covered.
  • For our more conservative mamas, try packing a shield or burp cloth. This will help make you feel more comfortable while still feeding baby.

Preparing Mentally

  • Many of our mamas agreed on this one- confidence is key! Feel good about the fact that you’re bonding and nurturing your baby and don’t worry about what others think.
  • Smile! This will help you relax and boost confidence.
  • One Facebook friend recommended practicing in front of a mirror. It may sound silly, but it helps you realize others aren’t seeing as much as you think they are.

If you’re still not comfortable breastfeeding in public, pumping before you go out is always a good option. In the end, nursing in public isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay too. We love hearing all of your advice and appreciate your support of this breastfeeding community. Be on the lookout for our next question and maybe your comment will be featured on our blog!

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Guest Blogger: Wellness Pointe WIC Staff

Guest Blogger: Wellness Pointe WIC Staff

Guest Blogger- Wellness Pointe WIC staff
Longview and Kilgore, TX

Editor’s Note: The Wellness Pointe WIC offices are Milk Depots for the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas

Kilgore StaffAs a drop off location for the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, the Longview and Kilgore WIC offices of Wellness Pointe are honored to help spread the word of the importance of breastfeeding for mother and baby. We are also proud to educate the public of the importance of becoming a donor for those families that have a need for breastmilk for their babies.

WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is a USDA program that is available in all 50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and American Samoa. WIC is available to women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and children up to 5 years old. Currently 53% of the infants born in the US and its territories are served by WIC. By offering prenatal, breastfeeding and postpartum nutritional education, we help families break the cycle of obesity and poor eating habits.

We are fully committed to assisting mothers in order for them to have healthy, long-term breastfeeding experiences. Our breastfeeding peer counselors and WIC staff are trained in the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, assistance with latch, issuance of breast pumps, and supporting our breastfeeding families. Our breastfeeding peer counselors go to our local hospitals to visit with and assess the needs of our WIC moms. This is a vital link in the chain of continued community breastfeeding support. We work together with the hospitals, especially with families that may have an infant in the NICU, to make sure that they have the resources and equipment available to provide vital support during this stressful time.

Longview Staff 2We offer three styles of breast pumps-large electric, small electric, and hand pumps at no cost to our clients. Our WIC breastfeeding staff provides education on the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby-reducing certain types of female cancers, reducing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, lowering the rate of ear infections, stronger immune systems and smarter babies!

Our WIC offices serve close to 5,400 families each month in East Texas. Our locations have three Registered Dietitians, two Nutritionists, five members of the breastfeeding department and three WIC Certification Specialists that are available to answer any nutritional issues that may arise.

Our Longview location has been a drop off location since May 2012 and has collected 10,014 ounces of donor breast milk. The Longview and Kilgore WIC offices are honored to support the Mothers’ Milk Bank North Texas, our donors, and the families that benefit from their generosity.

Longview WIC Staff 1Wellness Pointe WIC Staff:

    • Director- Scherry Barnes
    • Office Manager- Maria Galvin
    • Breastfeeding Coordinator- Carole S. McKinney
    • Registered Dietitians- Kyle Blanton, RD, Denise Frye MS, RDN, LD, Stacy Lennon RDN, LD
    • Nutritionists- Rachel W., BS, Shya C., BS, WIC Certification Specialist Cristina V.
    • Breastfeeding Peer Counselors- Rosa R., Judy V., Miriam M., and Mariesha R.
    • Income Department- Eli R., Lourdes S.
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Part 2: Breastfeeding Sisters are also Donor Moms

Part 2: Breastfeeding Sisters are also Donor Moms

Vicky Van Buren
Arlington, TX

My son, Andrew, was born in July 2013. During my delivery my epidural made me feel numb and I couldn’t move the left side of my body, so my doctor performed a C-section. After Andrew was born, my husband brought him back to my room where he began to Van Buren - Andrew with hat - mom's favorite pic.2breastfeed almost immediately. He was able to latch, but he was very sleepy.

Andrew latched on in the first 48 hours, but lost weight because he was lethargic and kept falling asleep while nursing. I first learned about donor human milk when I was asked by the hospital nursing staff if I wanted to give Andrew donor milk or formula. We spoon-fed him donor human milk at the hospital two times, and used a feeding tube while breastfeeding once.

Within 30 minutes of receiving donor human milk, Andrew was noticeably more alert. We could see a huge difference with just 10 mL.

V Van Buren - Cousins

Cousins Andrew and Elizabeth

My niece, Elizabeth, is 100 days older than Andrew and my sister was breastfeeding at this time. We asked if my sister, Erin Baker, could give my baby her breastmilk. The hospital’s lactation consultant said that the hospital could not recommend sharing breastmilk outside of a milk bank due to certain risks, but if we felt comfortable with it then that would be our decision.

Once we were home, my sister shared her milk with Andrew and we did spoon-feedings another 24 hours. Then, Andrew was perking up and had enough energy to complete a feeding on his own.

I first found about the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas when my sister became a donor mom. After Andrew was older and I realized I had extra breast milk, I became a donor mom as well. I dropped off my excess supply at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Hurst-Euless-Bedford.

I love being a donor mom. Because Andrew needed a little bit of donor milk in the hospital, donating gave me a way to give back and help moms who are having trouble breastfeeding, whose milk hasn’t come in yet or those with sick babies. I’m able to provide other babies with good nutrition, and this makes me happy.

I want new moms to know breastfeeding is challenging, but it is worth it because you are able to feed your child, protect him or her against diseases, and receive the greatest gift: bonding with your baby.VanBuren - Family

Breastfeeding does get easier. If your baby wants to keep breastfeeding even after a year, then just continue on until he or she decides to stop.

If you are an over-producing mom and have extra milk, then you should consider donating. It is a great gift to be able to give an infant the nutrition he or she needs!

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Breastfeeding Sisters are also Donor Moms

Breastfeeding Sisters are also Donor Moms

Erin Baker
Arlington, TX

Erin Baker - Family at HospitalIn April 2013, I was pregnant with our first baby and started to have high blood pressure.  My doctor and I agreed to induce labor at 39 weeks and 2 days.  Once I was admitted into the hospital, my water broke before my doctor could come in and break it herself! After 13 hours of labor, my doctor and I were ready to greet my daughter, Elizabeth.  My doctor was so committed to meeting her, she delivered Elizabeth with a broken wrist that she’d broken the previous day.  The delivery went smoothly, and we happily held the newest member of our family.

I am a pediatric physician assistant, and I have always known that I wanted to breastfeed my children and try not to use formula if possible.  Things were not going well, so I worked with lactation consultants and researched, and later tried, so many different potential solutions. I had a very hard time breastfeeding at first due to Elizabeth being lip- and tongue-tied, and I was struggling with terrible pain and over-production. Once we had her ties corrected, I then was diagnosed with nipple thrush on both sides. Even still, I was determined to breastfeed Elizabeth.

Erin Baker FamilyOne day, the pain became so bad that I cried out and had tears streaming down my face.  My husband suggested for me to stop breastfeeding; he hated seeing me in such pain. I was determined, so I persevered. I’m glad I did, because I made it through the tough times and breastfed Elizabeth for 12 months.

In July 2013, my sister, Vicky, had her first baby. My nephew, Andrew, was so lethargic that he had trouble latching to feed. When I visited them in the hospital, I learned that Andrew received donor milk at the nurses’ suggestion instead of formula. Elizabeth was almost three months old, and I was overproducing milk — even after all the previous trouble I had.  When Andrew was about to be discharged, there was concerns about how he was going to continue to receive breastmilk until my sister’s milk came in.  I asked if I could donate my milk to Andrew.  The hospital’s lactation consultant said that the hospital could not recommend sharing breastmilk outside of a milk bank due to certain risks, but if we felt comfortable with it then that would be our decision.  This was my first experience of donating my milk to someone else, and who better than my own nephew.  It inspired me and really made me think about donating my excess breastmilk.  I had thought about it before Andrew was born, but giving to Andrew prompted me to call the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas to be screened as a donor mom.

Erin Baker - cousins

Cousins Andrew and Elizabeth

Once I completed the donation process and approved as a donor, I dropped off my milk about once a month at the Green Oaks WIC office in Arlington.

Elizabeth generously shared her breastmilk with the Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas

Elizabeth Baker

I loved being a donor mom. It is one of the best things I’ve ever done! Because I work in pediatrics, I see premature newborns go home once they are stronger and healthier, after receiving donor milk. I am someone who gives the gift of nutrition to babies and their mothers. I’ve shared such an important source of life they might not otherwise had and this has touched me more than words can express. If I was in their place, then I know I would be grateful to have my baby receive donor human milk because it is such a wonderful benefit to the health of the baby.

I would encourage moms with extra milk to look into donating to a nonprofit HMBANA milk bank. It is an indescribable feeling to help and mother an infant who needs the support given through donor human milk feedings. Your support can make a difference!

Being a mother is hard enough without figuring out how to handle how to breastfeed. What if that new mom’s breastmilk hasn’t come in yet and her worry is, “How am I going to feed my child?” I wanted to help with that burden, and that’s why I became a donor mom for the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas.

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Breastfeeding Wasn’t Easy, But I’m Glad I Stuck With It!

Breastfeeding Wasn’t Easy, But I’m Glad I Stuck With It!

Nicole Hutchison
Joshua, TX

It would’ve been easy for me to give up breastfeeding in the first couple of weeks. Sometimes I felt like I couldn’t go on another day, another feeding. Looking back, I’m so glad I stuck with it!

I knew as soon as I got pregnant with Kamden that I wanted to try breastfeeding. I was not breastfed as a child and I am an only child, so I don’t have sisters, brothers, or cousins I’m close enough to talk to about breastfeeding. I did know that breastfeeding was good for the baby and good for the mom.

I attended a breastfeeding class at the hospital. There I learned that although it may not be easy, anyone can breastfeed. My lactation consultant was approachable, explained things very well, and was just fabulous – I still have her on speed dial!

Nicole Hutchinson - KamdenAlan-birthinfoRight after Kamden was born on December 19, 2013, he was place on me skin-to-skin. I was ready to breastfeed him, but I kept wondering, “Is he going to latch on, will he feed, will I have colostrum?” He latched on immediately.

We experienced a few bumps in the road the first few weeks. But, looking back, I think it was the exhaustion and stress I put on myself, making my expectations higher. I asked myself, “Should I be producing more? Is my baby hungry?” But, those worries were unfounded. He was getting enough milk, and he has the chunky cheeks and fat thighs to prove it.

I knew I’d have my gall bladder out in March, so I began pumping when Kamden was six weeks old. I wanted to build up a freezer stash, and by doing so, we realized I was producing more than Kamden was eating. My surgery went well; I was home that same day and didn’t have to pump and dump as long I thought I would because I didn’t need a lot of pain medication. I instead focused on resting and continued to nurse Kamden. I didn’t need to use the milk I had stored in the freezer!

In April 2014, I learned about the NICU Helping Hands Angel Gowns program. It is an amazing program! The stories I read about the volunteer seamstresses were heartwarming. As an only child and mother of a son, I knew my wedding dress would just sit in my closet, without any future plans. When I donated my wedding dress to the Angel Gowns program, the program coordinator, Natalie, told me about the time her twin babies had spent in a hospital NICU.

Natalie told me about the donor human milk they received from the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. When our conversation was over, I left Natalie and drove straight over to the milk bank to get information about becoming a donor mom.

I then talked to my husband about the milk bank. After assessing our freezer stash, he gave me the option to either buy another freezer or donate our stored milk. I had frozen 1,000 ounces of breastmilk- we had no idea it was that much!

Nicole Hutchinson - Kamden.MilkBags-2Since April, I have made monthly donations to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas – and I’m still donating Kamden’s excess milk to babies in need.

Although I didn’t know about milk banking, I was looking for a mission project for this new period in my life. I’d previously served on multiple, international mission trips to Haiti. My time in Haiti was very important and personal and it made a huge impact on my life. Now, this is my opportunity to do something locally.

What better gift is there than breastmilk? It is full of nutritional value and it gives goodness to premature and critically ill babies. This is the least I can do to help somebody else.

Nicole Hutchison’s Breastfeeding Tips:

  1. I drink at least 200 ounces of water a day to keep up a good milk supply. I’m not a medical professional, but breastfeeding Kamden has encouraged me to make lifestyle changes to my diet and exercise. I only drink water now – no sugar, no caffeine, and I gave up my sweet tea. I stopped drinking sweet tea cold turkey the day after I found I was pregnant!
  2. I pump as many time as Kamden eats, plus once or twice more.
  3. I have an amazing support system. Nurses at the hospital, my lactation consultants, my family, husband, and others. It has also been really fun for me to educate my mom – it has been a learning experience for her too!

 

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