Chapter 5 Preview: The Breastfeeding Latch

By Carly Hill

The breastfeeding latch is very important because it allows your baby to drink effectively – and to draw enough milk out of the breast. For the mother, a good latch is key to a pleasant breastfeeding experience. A baby who suckles with an improper latch will cause bleeding, raw, chafed nipples.

It is common for mothers to give up hope and throw in the towel saying, “Breastfeeding just isn’t for me.” But, if you can be patient and determined enough to do everything it takes to get your baby to latch, breastfeeding should prove to be a wonderful blessing for you and your child.

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Chapter 4 Preview: Breastfeeding Nutrition

By Carly Hill

After nine months of food restrictions, food aversions and food cravings, by the time you give birth, you’re probably yearning for some normalcy to return to your diet. The good news is, now you can – even if you’re breastfeeding. You don’t have to keep nearly as close of an eye on your diet after you give birth as you did while your baby was in utero. In addition, you have a whole lot more wiggle room to indulge in luxuries like soft cheeses, wine and sushi. That being said, while you are breastfeeding, you do need to keep in mind that certain things you put into your body do pass through to your breast milk and can even affect your supply. Healthy breastfeeding nutrition is of the utmost importance for new moms.

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Chapter 3 Preview: Lactation Consultants

By Tamar Mekredijian

Lactation Consultants are amazing resources for knowledge about breastfeeding and are trained to help educate new mothers about the benefits and the process of breastfeeding. They help with troubleshooting physically and support mothers emotionally through the process of learning how to breastfeed and overcoming obstacles along the way.

Here is a Q&A with International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Tess Johnson, from Fresno, California:

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Chapter 2 Preview: Breastfeeding Education

By Megan Van Sipe

There is so much more to breastfeeding than bringing baby to the breast so they can eat. For such a natural process, it truly does take a lot of work, persistence, support, and breastfeeding education! There are many things you can and should do to prepare yourself for your breastfeeding journey. Many moms quit trying not just because it’s hard, but because it’s hard and they don’t feel empowered, determined, and supported. Use your time before your baby arrives to pack your proverbial “breastfeeding education” tool bag so that you will not be surprised by the challenges you may face.

As prepared as you can be mentally and emotionally for the journey ahead, there are a few tangible tools you will need as well so educating yourself on the purpose of a nipple shield and how you might use a breast pump are just as important!

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“Ask Me Anything” with Lactation Consultant Crystal Karges

In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, SmartMom has invited a Lactation Consultant into the app to answer all of your questions, provide resources, and offer support LIVE!

Join us for a live chat with Board Certified Lactation Consultant Crystal Karges this Thursday at 8pm ET/ 7pm CT!

GIVEAWAY ALERT! The most engaged moms during the live event will receive Organic Lactation Cookies and Brownies from MilkaholicsAnonymous!

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Chapter 1 Preview: Benefits of Breastfeeding

By Andrea Newell

To breastfeed or not to breastfeed is one of the most hotly contested issues between mothers and a very personal choice. However, numerous experts and years of research say that if mothers are able to breastfeed, it has a long list of health, psychological financial and even environmental benefits.

Although baby formulas have come a long way, there is no substitute for breast milk as an amazing source of nutrients for your baby that adjusts to every stage of your baby’s life. The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates breastfeeding exclusively for six months and continuing for at least two years while introducing other age-appropriate foods as your baby develops. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends six months of exclusively breastfeeding (no water, formula or other food or drink), then starting around six months breastfeeding in tandem with other foods for through the first year, and to keep breastfeeding as long as the mother and baby can afterward. (4)

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When does Colostrum come in?

When does Colostrum come in? - SmartMom

I was about 35 weeks along with my daughter and living in utter pregnancy bliss. With the exception of some morning sickness during my first trimester I was having an amazing pregnancy. I felt great, had an adorable basketball baby bump, and not a stretch mark in sight, when it happened. My breasts started leaking. Like really leaking. My breasts were leaking like I had already had my baby and had missed a feeding. No one told me about the leaking.

It looked milky but wasn’t milk.

It didn’t have a smell but was kind of sticky.

It had the amazing ability to soak through my shirt at the most inopportune times.

It was magical, mystical, nutritional colostrum although I was happy to see I was producing so much I was not prepared for its early arrival.

I dug a few nursing pads out of a gift bag I had received at a recent baby shower and put those bad boys to work, a little earlier than expected, making sure my shirts stayed dry. Had I known then what I know now about the amazing liquid gold that is colostrum, I would have invented some kind of pocket that could catch each and every drop. That might sound strange, and very unlikely, but when you learn how amazing and beneficial colostrum is to both baby and mommy, you’ll agree it’s definitely earned the name liquid gold. Continue reading

What to do when Breastfeeding Hurts

What to do when Breastfeeding Hurts - SmartMom

You’ve probably heard tales of cracked, sore nipples from breastfeeding mothers or even experienced the pain yourself.  There are many women who say, “I stopped breastfeeding because it hurt too much.” But, if you are breastfeeding correctly it will not hurt. That bears repeating. If you are breastfeeding correctly, it will not hurt. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for breastfeeding to be painful and difficult particularly in the beginning for new mothers.  Good positioning and correct latch-on are key to helping you breastfeed correctly and cherish the precious time with your baby.

Although breastfeeding is a mother’s choice to do what she feels is best for both her and her baby, if you do choose to breastfeed, you should know how to do it correctly. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to find the crucial support you need. Most women experience breastfeeding difficulty at some point, so you should not feel embarrassed, nervous or anxious about seeking help. Whether you reach out to another mom who is successfully breastfeeding their baby, a nurse for help before you leave the hospital, or a board-certified lactation consultant, it is important you begin breastfeeding correctly so you can continue to be comfortable.

Best Positions
There are several ways to hold your baby as you breastfeed. You may find that you need to try a variety of them until you and your baby are both comfortable. The most common positions include the football hold, cradle hold, and cross-cradle hold. Another popular position for nursing is side-laying. This is particularly comfortable if you have had a C-section. When you are properly positioned you will not experience a sore back, shoulders or breasts, and your baby will be able to properly latch on. Continue reading

How To Get A Free Breast Pump With Insurance

Free Breast Pump with Insurance - SmartMom

Breast pumps are a necessity to almost all new mothers but the high quality (and most effective) pumps are quite expensive! Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most insurance companies are now required to provide breast pumps to pregnant and nursing moms. That is wonderful news! Now, how do you go about getting your free breast pump with insurance? How do you know what kind of pump your insurance will cover? There are programs that even do the hard work for you so getting your pump can be as easy as one phone call! Continue reading

Does Breast Pumping Exclusively Dry You Out More Quickly?

Breast Pumping Exclusively - SmartMom

Breast pumps are heaven-sent for mothers who are eager to continue nursing even while they are busy at work and those who cannot breastfeed the conventional way because of latching problems (either the child has cleft palate or the mother has a condition that prevents her to do so). In addition to that, breast pumping stimulates the production of milk.

That last bit of information answers the question posted above, but that doesn’t end there, of course. To fully understand the issue raised, we need to know the how starting with a little breast physiology. Don’t worry, we’ll try to make this part as quick and a little less drab as possible. Okay, without further ado, here’s what your breasts can do. Continue reading