Formulas that are Unclean

Mothers of infants- we know breastfeeding is best but if you have chosen to supplement or solely give formula. please be aware of the ones that contain
pork or insects. (see comments) Written by MoriYah Eshet Ruben:

Similac Alimentum Advance- has Pork
Similac Lactose Free- Pork
Pregestimil Hypoallergenic- Pork
Nutramigen hypoallergenic formula- Pork
Carnation Good Start Supreme- Pork

Hebrew Earth Mama: Please note their are alternatives if you cannot breastfeed. First know, breastfeeding is most challenging the very first time. It is notably easier with each baby. It is very important to be proactive and set up help with a midwife, doula, or lactation consultant. They offer invaluable support and help with breastfeeding. Proavtivity is key. Also, La Leche League is a wonderful resource and they are available day and night. I would recommend hooking up with a local group before you deliver. Meet your leaders and obtain their phone number nad email addresses prior to delivery. You will need people that are very pro-breastfeeding and are able to offer support during your postpartum phase. With exhaustion and raging hormones it is very easy to quit. I promise you it will be woth hanging in there. I cannot iamgine the challenges bottle feeding poses with waking up at all hours to sterilize and measure formula. I imagine that poses as much of a challenge as breastfeeding intitally.
With breastfeeding, as you become a pro you can basically just throw and go. The baby goes on and you go about your day. Remember, it's free, convient, and the healthiest option. When you become more comfortable you can also breastfeed in a front baby carrier attached to your chest. I highly recommend wearing your baby all the time whenever you can. Babies can breastfeed in the carrier. I have also posted links on how to get stylish baby carriers free with the cost of shipping.
For those who, have to go back to work or have other struggles that are completly valid and prevent you from nursing there are other alternatives, have no fear. One excellent alternative is goat's milk which is the closest animal milk to human milk.

Postpartum Recovery

How do I recover and rest physically? I have some tips and techniques. First of all continue with women's blend tea especially, if nursing. This will get your uterus back in shape, help milk production, and help hormones balance. E3 Live for mental clarity, energy, milk production, mood stabalizer, combating depression or 'blues', and just recovering smoother. Look on my favorites page to order. About four weeks, maybe earlier or later, start a light yoga program and incorporate a 20 minutes pilates routine. I like Denise Austin's standing pilates routine because I don;t always want to be on the floor lying down. Once you feel strong work up to a good hour. Join a mommy and me exercise group so you can connect with other mommies and workout. These are key ingredients to a physical recovery health, nutrition, exercise.
What do I do with my baby?
Don't worry just love up that baby first of all and everything will fall into place. Your motherly instincts will kick in for sure. Don't worry about messing up, the first one is always an  Call your mama, grandmama, aunts, girlfriends,and lean on them for as much support for as long as possible. If that is not an option, don't worry consider a doula. You can always email me for suggestions. Some doulas. will barter for services or give you a sliding scale fee. There are so many videos on youtube for infant care, breastfeeding, etc.
Breastfeeding help? La Leche League is a national organization and they are avaialble day and night by phone to help with any and everything. Don't be afraid to call all the time. They are there for you. Meetings are pretty great too. Take your husband and go learn as much as you can. Also, a certified lactation consultant or postpartum doula can come to your home and help you. If you are a first time mom, seriously spend the money to have the one on one help. You will need the resouce and your baby is so worth it. I breastfed four kids so, if you email me I will try and help as best as I can to support you. I am not a trained professional. . I also love Dr. Jack Newman videos on breastfeeding technique.
Emotionally I am a hot mess and I am tired? So, for energy and mood balancing I love E3 Live. I love it and your gonna take this eat a really healthy diet full of superfoods. Your recovery will be much smoother. You are also  really want to get to a postpartum support group. If none are around, try to find one online. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to meet new moms going through the same stuff. Invaluable.
What can is a postpartum doula? I for sure hands down recommend a doula to help you and for support. Woman just do not understand how it can be so exhausting to be a new one and lonely. Also, if you have had a birth that didn't go as expected it helps to process with another sistah. Also, you may just need a hand around the house or with the kids. Especially, if your single mom or your husband your husband is not available.

The problem with yeast.  Too much diagnosis.  Too little data

Nipple pain is caused by two major things: a poor latch and a bacteria called staph aureus.  Other things can cause pain: vasospasm (or a constriction of the blood vessels of the nipple), Reynaud's phenomenon (where the nipple turns white, red, then blue) , pump trauma, certain skin conditions, tongue-tie, pregnancy,  and other infections, like yeast.  It's not meant to be an all-inclusive list, but you get the idea.  Lots of things cause pain.

But we do we know , from lots of studies, that the vast majority of pain is due to a poor latch (and probably vasospasm after the latch is fixed ) and staph aureus.  And the staph can't get there unless the skin is broken and the nipple is injured, so back to the latch. The point is, bacteria are much more common as a cause of nipple pain. But we blame yeast for everything. 

So, a little on yeast.  The typical symptoms described for yeast are redness, itching and burning of the nipples and shooting pain in the breast.  The diagnosis is by looking at the nipple and correlating it with symptoms.  No culture is done and if it was, it's probably useless.  Lactoferrin in human milk makes culturing yeast from milk very difficult unless the right technique is used.  And you have to culture nipples very carefully and interpret the results carefully.  Many studies have shown that women with no nipple pain will often grow yeast on a skin culture. It also doesn't "invade" tissues; in normal people it stays on the surface of tissues.  That's why the diagnosis of "ductal yeast" has never made sense to me.  The yeast would have to invade to cause that pain.  Dr. Hale's study (below) calls into very serious question whether ductal yeast exists. 

Yeast is found naturally in everyone's GI tract, and helps with the health of the GI tract.  If you culture random people, you can get  Candida  (which I'm going to continue to call yeast) from the mouth of 31-55% of them. Yeast is everywhere. It only becomes a disease -causing agent when something else is wrong.  For example, you got antibiotics and killed the good bacteria in your gut.  Then the yeast overgrow and have a party.  Or, you have  AIDS, are receiving chemo or have otherwise really, really messed up your immune system.

In terms of treatment, there are no ("gold-standard" )randomized controlled trials.  Fluconazole (Diflucan) is often used, and can cause blood vessel constriction and make vasospasm symptoms worse.  Expert opinion says treat mom and baby even if one has no symptoms, but again, no data supports that practice. Sounds messy to me and maybe we should know we are treating yeast before we actually treat it.  Because if we treat yeast and it isn't yeast, we are keeping that mother in pain unnecessarily.  And pain casues weaning.  We need to get this right, for the sake of the dyad.

I haven't treated yeast for nipple pain in ages in my own practice because I know (and hopefully you do too now) that the overwhelming causes of nipple pain are related to poor latch and staph.  I use Muciprocin (Bactroban) for the staph and fix the latch.  But the women I care for who come to see me talk of "resistant yeast" and have been on numerous courses of yeast-treating things with no relief.  How many times do we need to treat the same thing before we begin to think we have the wrong diagnosis?

In my practice, these symptoms are often oversupply, where the baby bites and pulls back, injuring the nipple. Some are missed, significant tongue-tie.  I've diagnosed more than a few women with Reynaud's phenomenon.  I've seen pump trauma, usually from incorrect use (too high of a suction) or an old motor (too low of suction) - that resolves with a new or no pump.  I've found a few pregnancies (much to the surprise of the mom...eek.)  One mother was pumping in her car in January and I'm pretty sure her "yeast" was frostbite. 

I'm not saying nipple yeast doesn't exist.  But it shouldn't  be our first or or even second guess. 

I hope you can access this study from Dr. Hale because it's excellent:

Jenny Thomas, MD, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM

Hebrew Earth Mama: My remedies for poor latch is help, help, help! Have pro-breastfeeding woman over to help you. La Leche Lague, lactation consultants, doulas, midwives. Call everyone and ask for support. These woman are so happy to assist you and want you to be successful at breastfeeding.

Can I start having sex before my six-week postpartum checkup?

Expert Answers Laura Fijolek McKain, ob-gyn There are good reasons for the recommendation not to have intercourse immediately following delivery, whether you've had a vaginal birth or a c-section. The uterus and cervix undergo significant changes during the process of delivering a baby, and they need time to heal. During this healing phase the lining of the uterus, especially the site where the placenta was attached, is susceptible to infection. Intercourse, douching, tampons, and anything placed in the vagina may introduce bacteria, and cause an infection. The flow of lochia, which is a sign that the lining is healing, can last from three to eight weeks. When the lochia flow is no longer bright red, it signals that healing is near completion, and it's probably safe to have intercourse again. However, if you're still healing from an episiotomy or vaginal tear, you'll need to wait longer still.

A vaginal laceration, rectal tear, or episiotomy that requires stitches can take three weeks or longer to heal, depending on the extent of the injury. If you attempt intercourse too soon, not only can you cause yourself pain, you can also disrupt the healing of the wound and possibly cause a rupture that requires another surgical procedure. I recommend waiting six weeks before having intercourse mainly because that's when most women go in for their postpartum exam. At that time your healthcare provider will make sure that your vagina and perineum have healed enough for sex to be safe and pleasurable.

Needha Laws following Childbirth

Lev 12:2   Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
Lev 12:3   And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
Lev 12:4   And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.
ev 12:5   But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.

Basically, abstain if you have a male child 40 days and if you have a female child its two weeks plus 66 days. You will allow your body to purify itself and clean itself out. You will allow your hormones to regulate. This will give you time well spent for bonding with your baby. You will heal from being sore because open scrapes and cuts can be areas for infection if you are having sex. There are very legitimate reasons for waiting this scriptural block of time instructed by the Most High.
I have found postpartum, with hormones being all over the place, you really don't necessarily find your libido is running high. You expereince fatigue, and your body image is off, hormones are regulating, and your breasts are now feeding a baby. Intimacy with spouse takes a back seat. THey love you and your new baby so it's all good. No worries just heal and do your mama thing.

Oral Sex After Childbirth

Laura Fijolek McKain, ob-gyn Oral sex and other forms of "outercourse" like masturbation are safe a few days after delivery. They can also be a good way to share pleasure with your mate during the standard four- to six-week waiting period for intercourse. If you have stitches from an episiotomy or a vaginal laceration repair, be sure your partner avoids contact with that area in order not to disrupt the healing.

While you may be concerned that bacteria in your partner's mouth could increase your risk of infection, you needn't worry as long as the stimulation is strictly external (in other words, stick to the area around your clitoris). Stay away from the vagina and the perineum and everything should be fine.

And if you're thinking about wearing a tampon to stop the flow of lochia — postpartum discharge — during oral sex, think again. You shouldn't put tampons, or anything else, in your vagina until your doctor gives you the go-ahead (usually at your six-week postpartum checkup) because you could end up with an infection.

How & Why to wear your baby

I am a huge fan of baby wearing like I am a huge fan of pacifiers and breastfeeding. To each his own. I discovered baby wearing with my third baby. This was 2003. It was such a gift. I had two small children, 2 and 3.5 years old. We were always on the go and we lived on the third floor of our apartment building. This saved me. I wore my daughter all the time every where and  it freed my hands. I wore her to cook and clean. I breastfed her in the carrier and she slept in the carrier. I also felt comforted because she was always with me, always on me. She was a very quiet easy baby. She is seven years old now and she is still very quiet and very easy child. My husband was just saying what a good daughter she is. I believe it benefited her immensely to be worn in a baby carrier.  Once you decide, then the next step is picking out the right carrier and there are many.
Here are 10 Reasons to wear your baby:

Afterpains & Cracked Nipples

The surge of oxytocin that may also possibly trigger the milk ejection reflex also causes the uterus to contract. During breastfeeding, mothers may feel these contractions as afterpains. These may range from period-like cramps to strong labour-like contractions and can be more severe with second and subsequent babies. Some women's breasts also become dry and chapped and even crack open and bleed while breast feeding. Rubbing lanolin on the nipples and areola can help with those problems [8].

Afterpains are a b^%$#! I found out with my subsequent pregnancies, I did not tolerate them well. After everything I endured during labor, LOL, I just wanted to lay and love my baby in peace. I found ibruprofen to get the job done. I recommend tylenol, as motrin is a blood thinner. When your placenta is expelled and your uterus contracts, it will stop postpartum bleeding. We want you to help so, be conservitive tylenol over motrin.

For first time mamas, I recommend buying the tools you will need for breastfeeding. It is hard the first time, make no mistake. You will need guidance and support so, get it. It is important, seek guidance from your midwife, postpartum doula, or La Leche League. After the first time, it's a piece of cupcake.  Also, with more pregnancies your nipples toughen. I just threw my nipple in my babies mouth and we went about our day. The only time it hurts after that is when they start growing teeth and bite you,LOL. It really is the easiest , cheapest, most nutritious way to feed your baby, if you are able to breastfeed. I definetely recommend the Lansinoh Lanolin nipple cream to have on hand. A tube will probably last you at least 2 pregnancies. Have some on hand, its amazing and soothing.
See my favorites page to buy some.

After the Birth, what a family needs

Posted on by gloria  “Let me know if I can help you in any way when the baby is born.” … “Just let me know if you need a hand.” … “Anything I can do, just give me a call.”

Most pregnant women get these statements from friends and family but shy away from making requests when they are up to their ears in dirty laundry, unmade beds, dust bunnies and countertops crowded with dirty dishes. The myth of “I’m fine, I’m doing great, new motherhood is wonderful, I can cope and my husband is the Rock of Gibraltar” is pervasive in postpartum land. If you’re too shy to ask for help and make straight requests of people, I suggest sending the following list out to your friends and family. These are the things I have found to be missing in every house with a new baby. It’s actually easy and fun for outsiders to remedy these problems for the new parents but there seems to be a lot of confusion about what’s wanted and needed…

1. Buy us toilet paper, milk and beautiful whole grain bread.

2. Buy us a new garbage can with a swing top lid and 6 pairs of black cotton underpants (women’s size____).

3. Make us a big supper salad with feta cheese, black Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, organic green crispy things and a nice homemade dressing on the side. Drop it off and leave right away. Or, buy us frozen lasagna, garlic bread, a bag of salad, a big jug of juice, and maybe some cookies to have for dessert. Drop it off and leave right away.

4. Come over about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners. If there’s no laundry to fold yet, do some.

5. Come over at l0 a.m., make me eggs, toast and a 1/2 grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw out everything you are in doubt about. Don’t ask me about anything; just use your best judgment.

6. Put a sign on my door saying “Dear Friends and Family, Mom and baby need extra rest right now. Please come back in 7 days but phone first. All donations of casserole dinners would be most welcome. Thank you for caring about this family.”

7. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum and dust my house and then leave quietly. It’s tiring for me to chat and have tea with visitors but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to clean, organized space.

8. Take my older kids for a really fun-filled afternoon to a park, zoo or Science World and feed them healthy food.

9. Come over and give my husband a two hour break so he can go to a coffee shop, pub, hockey rink or some other r & r that will delight him. Fold more laundry.

10. Make me a giant pot of vegetable soup and clean the kitchen completely afterwards. Take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house and reline with fresh bags.

These are the kindnesses that new families remember and appreciate forever. It’s easy to spend money on gifts but the things that really make a difference are the services for the body and soul described above. Most of your friends and family members don’t know what they can do that won’t be an intrusion. They also can’t devote 40 hours to supporting you but they would be thrilled to devote 4 hours. If you let 10 people help you out for 4 hours, you will have the 40 hours of rested, adult support you really need with a newborn in the house. There’s magic in the little prayer “I need help.”

First posted online August 2001

I was blessed enough to live in a community where we had meals for a month. One of the best gifts you can give a mama to be during her baby shower is, compile a meal list and a household list. A meal list will consist of dietary restrictions listed at the top. Every day at the same time, say 6pm, a friend or relative will drop a meal off to the new family on their assigned day, say October 15th. Hopefully, you can get people to sign up once or twice to get 30 days of meals for new family. The chore list can be the same idea, someone will come over at the same time, so mom can bathe, sleep, and you can do laundry, clean and mom can just love her baby.

Another wonderful idea: buy a gift certificate for a postpartum doula, if everyone buys a week or a couple days, mom might have care for up to 3 months! This can certainly aid in helping prevent mood disorders like postpartum depression or anxiety. If the baby as any medical issues you will want to hire a baby nurse.

These are wonderful community like gestures that not only prevent postpartum mood disorders, being overwhelmed, but, makes a mom feel safe and loved, and aides her in just loving her new baby. Better mom equals better bond. This is an important and wonderful way to give back and start living more community-oriented.

Assess if you have Postpartum Stress

Online Group for Post Trauamtic Stress

Postpartum Resource Center of New York
Moms on Call and Family Support Telephone Volunteers
Offering free and confidential telephone support
Call 631/422-2255

Many times postpartum emotional issues go undiagnosed or overlooked. It is not uncommon for woman to have postpartum stress, anxiety, panic, or depression disorders 6 months or over a year after giving birth. We live in a society where community is not available. We must ask for help. We must always as woman seek what we need to help us be better wives and mothers. This  is especially for woman of color.

Postpartum Anemia

Often after childbirth you can feel fatigue and exhaustion. You can also feel the 'blues' and other syptoms. If they go on longer than six weeks you could have  postpartum anemia. Please see my previous information on pregnancy anemia.

Free Nursing Cover and Baby Carrier

I am posting 2 websites in which you can currently order a beautiful baby carrier and nursing cover for free. You do have to pay shipping.
This should run you about $22 and if you paid full price, you would be well over $80. What an amazing value. Even if you are not pregnant, order one for a baby shoer/blessingway gift. You can also apply the discount to sets. I will be ordering the sling and baby leg warmer set for my new addition. I will also be posting videos on how to make your own baby leg warmers. If you like to sew tune in.
Udder Covers
Seven Slings