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expectant mom eating healthy in preparation for breastfeeding

How do I prepare myself for breastfeeding?

The ups and downs of breastfeeding

Breast milk contains all the essential nutrients your baby needs to develop. It’s a natural immune booster for newborns, and it reduces the risk of many lifelong illnesses. It even helps new moms lose some of the weight they put on while pregnant and triggers the happy hormone oxytocin that helps both mom and baby relax.

But it’s not always easy. Some days you’ll be tired and “touched out” from so much contact with baby, as described by Amanda Barnhardt in our interview with the military mom. Some days your little one will be colicky and even the soothing balm of breastmilk won’t ease the crying. On those days, it’s good to be prepared. So how do you prepare for breastfeeding?

Assemble your breastfeeding support team

Feeling supported during your time breastfeeding will increase your chances of success. A knowledgeable team will help you mentally prepare for the experience while also helping you respond appropriately to challenges you may face. While your breastfeeding experience will be entirely unique, it can help to know that you won’t be alone in your experience. Lots of us have been there, and we can help show you the ropes and support you throughout your time nursing.

Who should you include in your team? Recruit your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician as well as a lactation consultant if possible. Enlist friends who have breastfed or make new friends via local breastfeeding or parent groups. You can even give the consultants at Milk N Mamas Baby a call or email if you need a sounding board.

Become a breastfeeding expert in your own right

If you can find a breastfeeding class in your community, sign up. Not only will you get some in-person time with lactation consultants who can offer valuable information on what to expect, you’ll also have an opportunity to meet other breastfeeding moms. However, if there aren’t IRL classes, you can learn plenty online from sources like Medela’s Breastfeeding University or the Learning to Breastfeed Library at the website for the Office of Women’s Health. Books like La Leche League International’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding with Confidence by International Lactation Consultant Association President Sue Cox can also offer insight and encouragement. The more you know about breastfeeding, the more confident you’ll be, and that’s half the battle.

Get the breast pump equipment you need ahead of time

Deciding on the right breast pump for your situation will also take a little time and research. Do you want manual or electric? Is portability important? What sort of suction are you looking for in a pump? How often will you use it? If you’ve got insurance, you’ll need to find out if the pump you prefer is covered. Fortunately, you’ve already got some support in this area. We’re more than happy to talk you through your decision and help you choose a pump that’s just right for your circumstances. Just give us a call at 1-888-606-8425 or email us at [email protected].

Surprise! These summer veggies boost milk production!

Summer vegetables do more than add color to your plate.

During the early days of summer, you’ll see plenty of articles and blog posts singing the praises of fresh summer veggies. And why not? They’re as healthy as they are delicious and beautiful. June and July seem to infuse those plump tomatoes and strawberries with bold flavor and the bright, glossy shine of the summertime sun.

They’re rich in vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants and prebiotics, making a picnic spread of sweet peppers, sliced cucumbers, and green bean salad a healthy midday meal. However, fresh summer veggies aren’t just good for you. They’re galactagogues, a fancy Latin word that means “milk-booster.”

Which summer foods really benefit breastmilk production?

You can hardly go wrong when you’re selecting fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market or your local grocer’s produce display. But some do stand out as particularly helpful in boosting lactation.

Dark, leafy greens

Spinach, collard greens, and even dandelion greens are chockful of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and phytoestrogens, a.k.a. plant-based estrogen. The estrogen produced by leafy greens can lead to increased production of prolactin, which in turn boosts milk production.

Carrots

Colorful, delicious, and full of nutrients, carrots also product phytoestrogens, so keep a supply of baby carrots on hand for an afternoon snack and add shredded carrots to your favorite salad. Check out this simple summertime recipe from Familystyle Food for inspiration.

Legumes

A string bean teepee can add more than shady charm to your backyard during the summer. Lima beans and green beans are considered milk-boosters. Low in sodium and containing no cholestrol, these beans are high in protein, folate, Vitamins C and A as well as beneficial minerals like calcium and iron. Delicious blanched, sautéed, or even pickled, beans are versatile and healthy.

While we’re on the legume train, don’t forget hummus, especially when it contains garlic, as both chickpeas and the stinking rose are known galactagogues.

A healthy mom is a healthy baby – year-round

While boosting milk production is a concern of many moms, it’s just as important to consider the quality of the breast milk you’re producing. Your milk should be full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and other nutrients important to your baby’s growth. That means you’ve got a built-in excuse to indulge in the season’s abundant supply of fruits and vegetables as well as fish and nuts. Bon appétit!

The most comfortable summer fashion for expectant moms

Pregnancy plus soaring temperatures mean wilting days for expectant moms

We all look forward to summer until summertime hits. Then, suddenly, we remember what it feels like to be scorching hot (and not scorching hot like a sexy supermodel – scorching hot like the surface of Mercury and nearly as round). Summers for expectant mothers can be particularly brutal because pregnancy causes an increase in blood flow, which elevates body temperatures. That’s right, even higher than your usual June or July heatwave.

What does that mean for maternity fashion this summer?

For some moms, that means floating barely clad in a plastic pool in the backyard will be the lewk du jour. But some of you would probably like to do a little better since this summer may be your first chance at a barbecue or a beach outing or just about any social event in over a year. So what does the style savvy mama wear to beat the heat and still feel like the belle of the beach ball?

Natural, breathable fabrics

Skip the polyester and nylon, and give silk a hard pass during the summer months. These fabrics will only increase your body temperature and stick to your skin. Instead, opt for cotton and linen, which allow air to circulate around your skin, cooling you down.

Lighter colors

Dark colors absorb heat, which means you’re better off wearing colors towards the lighter end of the color spectrum. Whites, pastels, even brighter colors will reflect the sun away from you, keeping you cooler.

Flowy and loose

Close-fitting clothes will feel hotter as they stick to your skin, and they’re more likely to show sweat stains. Give your body a little freedom with looser, flowy dresses and skirts instead.

Lightweight layers

Of course, if you’re going to be moving between conditioned and unconditioned spaces, it’s a good idea to wear light layers. These can be added or removed as you change location or as daytime heat drops in the evening.

What are you wearing to beat the heat this summer?

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we enjoy seeing what our favorite mamas – including you, of course – are wearing. Tag us in your maternity fashion posts on Instagram so we can LOVE your looks!

Need to accessorize? Take a look at some of our breast pump bags that are sure to add style and convenience to your summer look.

cute baby in easter bunny outfit

Top 10 cutest spring-inspired baby names

Still haven’t decided on a name for your springtime baby?

We’ve narrowed down the lists for you. These baby names for boys and girls come from a wide variety of cultures, but they all put us in a spring state of mind.

Spring-inspired names for baby girls

  • The Persian name Zaida, or Zada, implies good fortune and abundance, both ideas that we strongly associate with the blooming, full days of spring.
  • If you picture an alpine meadow full of wildflowers when you think of spring, consider a Scandinavian name like Loa, which means “spring bird.” Loa is also a term of endearment associated with the name Elísabet.
  • How do you let your newborn know she’s the light of your life? How about with a name like Aurora, the name of the ancient Roman goddess of the dawn? Aurora is a lovely baby name that lends itself to lots of charming pet names like Rory and Aura.
  • Floral names are always a sweet choice for baby girls born in the spring. Iris captures both the beauty of the delicate purple flower as well as the majesty of the Greek goddess of the rainbow.
  • The name Chloe shares Greek roots with chlorophyll, the green pigment found in growing spring plants. The name itself means “green shoot” and is an epithet of the spring goddess Demeter.

Spring-inspired names for baby boys

  • The French philosopher Blaise Pascal had, perhaps, the most spring-inspired name ever. Blaise calls to mind the fiery blaze of the spring sunshine while Pascal means “one who was born on Easter.” Either would make a delightful name for a boy born in the springtime.
  • The German name Brynner has a fresh look about it, and it means one who dwells by the stream, an idyllic spot to spend spring days.
  • The popular Spanish name Xavier is associated with Saint Francis de Xavier; however, the original etymology stems from the Basque “etxaberri,” meaning “new house” or “bright.”
  • The sweet-sounding Arabic name Rabi mean “springtime,” and it’s associated with gentle breezes and an equally gentle temperament. It’s a perfect name for a mild-mannered springtime babe.
  • Hugo is another German name that seems perfectly suited for springtime. It means “bright in mind and spirit,” and we think it’s an adorable name for a baby boy.

Milk N Mamas baby is here for your baby, whatever name you choose.

From Avas to Zadas, we ensure nursing babies of all names, cultures, and backgrounds get the nourishment they need. Our breast pumps and breastfeeding equipment give expectant and nursing mothers everything they need to make a smooth transition from pregnancy to nursing and everything beyond. Take a look around the site today to see how we make breastfeeding your newborn easier.