Interval Training for Labor Prep- with Maura Shirey from Bodies for Birth

This week we are honored to have a guest blogger, Maura Shirey, from Bodies for Birth.

Bodies for Birth

Bodies for Birth is first and foremost a fitness company, but it’s so much more than that. It’s your village and your source for connection and resources in the community.  It’s Maura’s firm belief that women deserve to be supported holistically throughout pregnancy and postpartum.

I have enjoyed working with Maura, professionally for the past year. She is passionate and knowledgeable in her work and takes amazing care of our shared clients. Maura is sharing with us this week about the benefits of interval training for labor.

Interval Training for Labor Preparation

While there is so much we can’t control in labor and delivery, we can control how we prepare our minds and bodies.

With that said, this specific preparation looks so different for each one of us. For some of us, that’s attending classes, for others, it’s reading books, having conversations or asking questions. Despite the variable means of preparation, there’s tremendous comfort from knowing deep down that you have done whatever you consider to be your necessary work.

At Bodies for Birth we use a combination of modalities, but rely heavily upon interval training: bursts of higher intensity work followed by efficient, intentional recovery before beginning to work again.

This is in an effort to mimic the work of contractions–a time of sustained effort followed by efficient recovery…repeat, repeat, repeat and in labor…repeat again and again.

The mental and physical preparation allows for the opportunity to recognize the body’s innate ability to work exactly as it was designed and to recover with ease, noticing heart rate and respirations slow with the use of diaphragmatic breathing.

These repeated experiences can provide comfort, peace and resolve as you welcome labor and the uncertainty of it all.

workout-1931107_1920While we don’t pretend that we have any control over a labor or delivery experience or outcome, our goal is to constantly be adding tools to your toolbox. Each squat, each interval and guided visualization, each time you practice your breathing you are adding these tools.

And you won’t know which tools you will call upon during labor until the time comes, but the more tools you have, the better your coping will be. The greater confidence you will have that you are and have all that you need to meet the challenge.

Interval training is a vital component of this training and an essential in the labor preparation toolbox.

While the effortful work is important to train the cardiorespiratory system, to gain stamina and confidence in your body’s ability to perform the work, the magic happens during the recovery between the effortful work.

This is the interlude where the true preparation occurs, an opportunity to practice becoming efficient at recovery so that you can approach the next round of effortful work; ie: a contraction with renewed focus, energy and calm.

In class, we can often be heard saying, “and then, you turn it off. Just like a light switch. The work ends and you recover. Not ruminating on what’s passed or anticipating what’s coming next. Use your diaphragmatic breath to simply settle into this present moment of recovery. Right here. Right now.”

And what do we hear from clients and providers?

That Bodies for Birth clients really know how to recover in labor, that they have mental and physical resilience, a certain confidence in their abilities that translates into enhanced coping in labor.

Ideally, this endures right on into postpartum and motherhood.

Group Class (Photo Credit_ Benjamin Benschneider_The Seattle Times)
(Photo Credit: Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times)

So, what does interval training look like?

  • It can take the form of strength training or a low-impact aerobic style intervals.
  •  A strength training interval might include: body weight squats, stationary lunges or chest presses with a resistance band.
  • Aerobic-style intervals might include: marching in place with arms moving up and down overhead, repeated stepping up and down from a low step or moving side to side with swinging arms.
  •  If this all feels like too much coordination or aerobics just isn’t your thing, intervals can be incorporated into a walk, into lap swimming or work on the elliptical or other piece of cardio equipment. Swimming works particularly well as each lap can feel like an interval, followed by rest at the end. Hills also lends themselves easily to this sort of natural interval work.
  • Generally we advise beginning with an equal work to rest ratio; for example, begin with 30 seconds of effortful work followed by 30 seconds of recovery. Repeat up to three times.
  • The effortful work initially should be around a level “5” on a scale of 1-10 (10 being your max…which we never approach in pregnancy).
  • If this level of effort begins to feel easy, you may increase the ratio of work i.e.: 45 seconds of work to 30 seconds of recovery, perhaps approaching a level 6-7 on the exertion scale.
  • As you progress, notice the time it takes you to recover, notice your level of exertion throughout, not exceeding a level 6-7. In other words, you should be able to talk throughout the work.
  • Add short bouts of interval training into your routine and focus on the recovery between the work, always returning to your diaphragmatic breath.
  • With practice, notice how efficiently your body begins to recover and take great comfort in all of the preparation and your body’s ability to work exactly as designed.

Remember, intervals are completely versatile and modifiable, so listen to your body with the goal of exercise leaving you feeling energized and never exhausted in pregnancy! Your body is already working quite hard to support the work of pregnancy, so let exercise further fuel that effort, rather than deplete your reserves.

It’s a privilege to do the work we do at Bodies for Birth and such an absolute honor to know that it is making an impact.

No matter where you are in your journey, we will meet you exactly where you are, support you to the best of our abilities and help you to develop strength in mind and body while honoring your unique goals.

Bodies for Birth is much more than physical fitness; it is holistic wellness, and motherhood preparation at its finest, helping you to build strength, confidence and community.

Group classes are now open for all from preconception through postpartum! Visit MindBody to register and please reach out with questions!
Let’s build your village together!
About the Author:
Maura Shirey, RN, CPFE specializes in prenatal and postpartum fitness as the creator and owner of Bodies for Birth. Using current research and evidence-based practices, Maura helps individuals strengthen both mind and body as they prepare for and recover from one of life’s greatest feats! Maura’s wellness background includes work as a Registered Nurse, a Certified Personal Trainer & Chef, as well as a Health Coach & Screener for corporate wellness companies. Maura’s personal experiences, foundational nursing knowledge and passion for fitness and wellness provide the building blocks for Bodies for Birth.

As a woman and mother, Maura seeks to share her personal experiences with the Bodies for Birth community, to break down competitive barriers and to celebrate as clients surprise themselves with the inner strength they already possess. She is dedicated to ongoing education, pursuing best practices and individualizing fitness for each and every person. She is committed to providing a healthy and bold example to her son, Will (who had his own set of dumbbells and began practicing diaphragmatic breathing at 2 years old) and to creating a vibrant and sustainable future for her family doing work that brings her immense joy.

 

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Holiday Recipe Alternatives

It’s upon us! Holiday season is just about here. Thanksgiving is next week!

As you plan your dish to pass or your family meal, try out some of Dr. Samelak’s favorite recipes for delicious and healthy side dishes.

Not Your Grandmother’s Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are one of my favorite holiday sides, but not the flavorless, boiled kind I grew up with. Instead, I love oven roasted, garlic brussel sprouts. They are savory, delicious, and have a great crisp yet tender texture.

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Ingredients:

Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and rinsed

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Garlic Powder

Finely Ground Black Pepper

Coarse Sea Salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trim and rinse brussel sprouts, removing the external leaves so that they are tightly packed and the leaves are green. Cut them in half longways and lay them, cut side up, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I like to keep them close together so that they are pretty crowded on the sheet.

Drizzle olive oil over the sprouts- enough to cover them without drenching them.

Sprinkle the sprouts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

Place the baking sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the sprouts are slightly browned at the edges. The side touching the parchment paper should also be browned.

Serve while hot.

These are always a hit at my family gatherings and I can never seem to make enough!

Cauliflower, Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of the holiday staples. However, they are starchy and can easily spike blood sugar. I love to combine cauliflower and potatoes to add a little more nutrition to the dish, while keeping the same great taste.

Ingredients:

1 head of Garlic

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 head of Cauliflower

4 cups of peeled, diced Red Potatoes

Butter or facsimile

Milk or non-dairy alternative

Salt/Pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

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Take a head of garlic and slice off the top. Drizzle it with olive oil and wrap it with aluminum foil. Bake until the garlic is translucent and soft.

While the garlic is roasting, steam the cauliflower until it is soft and boil the potatoes until they are fork tender.

Squeeze the garlic out of the cloves. Place the cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, butter, and milk into a stand mixer and whip until smooth. Add salt/pepper to taste.

Real Cranberry Sauce

Forget jellied cranberries or cranberry sauce from a can! You won’t look back once you try this recipe. One thing I love about it is that I can make it as sweet or tart as the audience prefers.berries-1851161_1920

Ingredients:

Fresh Cranberries

Apple Cider

Sugar or Agave Nectar to taste

Instructions:

Place a saucepan on the stove and add in rinsed and sorted cranberries. Add in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of apple cider. Turn on the heat to medium and stir continuously until the berries pop. When the berries are all soft, taste the cranberry sauce and begin to add your sweetener of choice by the teaspoon until it is sweetened to taste.

Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. It will keep several days and is an excellent dish to make ahead of time.

These are a few of my favorite holiday dishes. They trim some of the sugar and starch out of the holiday, while keeping all the flavor.

And, who knows, you may just find that you LOVE brussel sprouts!!!

 

Can too much sugar effect bone density?

With Halloween next week, what could be more appropriate than a discussion about Bones and Candy, right?!

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The Western diet, high in protein and sugar is associated with an increase in all kinds of metabolic conditions from cardiovascular disease and Type II Diabetes Mellitus to osteopenia and osteoporosis. As a Chiropractor, bone density is a very important topic and it deserves some discussion.

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Let’s take a closer look at how our bones function in the human body. Our bones provide a framework for our muscles to hang upon. They create a safe space for our organs to live. They act as levers to allow us to move. These are all things that we have been told about before. But, did you know that your bones are actually the largest mineral reservoir in the body? From Guyton and Hall’s Textbook of Medical Physiology[1] we know the following. Our bones are constantly in flux with minerals like calcium, phosphate, and magnesium being borrowed and stored to maintain our body’s pH. 99% of the body’s calcium and over half of it’s magnesium is stored in bone.

skull-778075_1920pH refers to how acidic or alkaline the body is. We live within a tight tolerance and have several systems that make sure that this is regulated. Body fluids can push the balance one way or another within a fraction of a second, the respiratory system can make changes in minutes by changing our breathing to either eliminate or preserve CO2, and the kidneys respond slowly but are the most powerful  buffers of pH in the body. This is where we will focus.

When the body has an acidic environment, our body fluids, breathing, and kidneys work to shift it back to the middle. Our body increases the free calcium in extracellular fluid to correct the imbalance which tells the kidneys to excrete magnesium in urine. These minerals are usually sourced from our bones.

Now that we have reviewed the physiology of the pH balance system, let’s apply it to everyday life.

When we have a diet that causes our body to trend toward acidity, this buffer system is continually pulling minerals from bone. Odds are, more quickly than we can effectively store it.

Think of your bones like a bank. There is a bank balance that is your bone density. When your body needs to borrow some, it makes a withdraw. When it takes in calcium and magnesium from food, it deposits. This system works well when it is balanced. However, osteopenia and osteoporosis happen when you overdraw the account.

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Therefore, it is important to balance the budget. Reduction in sugar consumption can help to reduce the withdraws being made from your bones. Improving absorption of dietary minerals helps you to build up your account.

Guyton and Hall [1] discuss the importance of Vitamin D in the absorption of calcium. They report the following mechanisms:

  • increases intestinal calcium absorption by helping the cells to form calcium binding proteins within 2 days.
  • helps to improve phosphate absorption (another important mineral in bone).
  • helps to decrease kidney excretion of calcium and phosphate.
  • promotes bone calcification by transporting ions through cell membranes

This lets us know that appropriate Vitamin D levels are important in healthy bones. Many people in the northern hemisphere do not make or consume enough vitamin D to have adequate levels when tested in the blood. This is an important conversation to have with your primary care physician.

x-ray-223836_1920Bone density is much more complex than just the biochemistry/physiology; however, there are some tried and true methods for helping to improve your bone density:

Improve your diet. Reduce acidic foods, especially grains and sugars. Consume more green leafy vegetables.

Get your vitamin D levels evaluated.

Start participating in weight bearing exercise! Bone responds to stress. If you do not ask your bones to do work, they do not store as many minerals.

As always, please remember: This blog is intended to provide you with tools and information about the human body. Please speak with your own health care provider before making major lifestyle changes.

Below is a citation for Guyton and Hall.

[1]Guyton, Arthur C., and John E. Hall. “Textbook of Medical Physiology.” Textbook of Medical Physiology, 11th ed., Elsevier Saunders, 2007, pp. 371–985.

For additional reading on the topic, check out these links:

Why is Sugar Bad For You?

Calcium and Osteoporosis

Effect of consuming different caloric sweeteners on bone health and possible mechanisms.

Fat, Sugar, and Bone Health

 

Travel Smart- Chiropractic Travel Tips for Flying

Flying can be a pain. Literally. You haul yourself through lines at security, toting your carry on luggage. You wait for your flight in uncomfortable seating or on the floor. The planes are cramped with uncomfortable seats and not enough leg room. The air is dry and blows into your face. You finally reach your destination and are so thankful to be done flying that you haul your carry on luggage down the aisle of the plane and breathe a sigh of relief.

It can be better with some planning.

  1. Carry On Luggage
    • Your carry on suitcase is a strategic decision.
      • It is important to choose a lightweight suitcase, preferably with multi-directional wheels. This allows you to push it down the narrow aisle of the airplane and more easily lift it into the overhead bin.
      • Lifting your case into the overhead compartments can be a challenge. By keeping the case light, and talking with your chiropractor about proper lifting technique, you can spare yourself some discomfort in maneuvering your luggage.
    • Your personal item can make or break your trip.
      • A tote bag or large purse seems like a good idea for a personal item. They hold a lot and can be quite fashionable.
      • I prefer and recommend a backpack for your personal item. You can pack your empty purse inside or in your main luggage. Remember to place your belongings in the backpack with the heaviest closest to your body (ie: laptop). Lighter items can be placed farther from the body.
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        A backpack is an excellent choice for a personal item when flying.

        Most backpacks have many compartments which allow you to stay organized and evenly distribute weight. I prefer packs made by backpacking companies like Osprey or Deuter because they are lightweight with many compartments.

  2. Dress the Part
    • Between security checkpoints and the prolonged sitting involved in plane travel, clothing can be an important part of trip planning.
    • Ladies, your hairstyle matters!
      • I have longer hair and have to be sure that my hair is either down or in a top knot. If my hair is in a ponytail or on the back of my head, it forces anterior head positioning.
      • Anterior head positioning causes increased tension in the muscles of the neck and shoulders as well as promoting further poor posture
    • Wear comfortable shoes
      • Shoes should be easily removable for security, but should also be comfortable and practical.
      • High Heel ShoesHeels should be avoided because of the extreme angulation that they place the ankles in- not to mention the positioning of the pelvis while walking.  ***Stay tuned for a future blog that discusses the problems with high heels and their health impact***
    • Choose pants that allow for full hip range of motion. Tight pants, especially jeans can cause nerve and blood vessel impingement with prolonged sitting.
    • Consider compression socks for longer flights. These socks help improve circulation and can help with leg aching with prolonged inactivity.
  3. Remember Posture
    • We mentioned posture when choosing your hairstyle on a travel day… But it goes so much further. Good posture will help prevent low back pain and upper back pain from traveling.
    • Sit fully back in your seat and make sure that you are sitting on your “sit bones” not your tailbone.
    • Place both feet flat on the floor.
    • Adjust your headrest for optimum support.
    • Focus on alignment.
      • Think of your rib cage and your pelvis like 2 bowls.
      • Start by making sure that the bowl of  your pelvis is balanced and upright.
      • Now, line up your rib cage over it.
      • Make sure that your low back is not rounded or crunched forward.
  4. Hydrate
    • The dry environment in an airplane can dry out your mucous membranes- hydrating can keep them healthy and protect you from getting a cold while on an airplane.
      • When your nose dries out, it doesn’t protect you as well from viruses and bacteria.
  5. Sun Salutations!Forward Fold
    • Following your flight, it is time to move. I love how gentle yoga is to help me work the kinks out of my body after a day of travel. Sun salutations will help you to lengthen your spine and loosen tight muscles.

I hope that some of these tools will help you to feel better and be better prepared when you next travel. Please remember that this blog is intended for educational purposes. It is good to speak to your Chiropractor or Primary Care Physician to ensure that these tips are right for you.

MRI Study Demonstrates Lumbar Disc Herniation Heals!

backpain-1944329_1920.pngMany times in practice, a patient presents with symptoms of lumbar (low back) disc injury. They have pain into the leg, often have difficulty standing upright, and have accompanying low back pain.

This generally occurs when a disc bulge or herniation places pressure on the spinal nerves or the spinal cord. As shown in the image below, where the purple shape is pressing on the green nerve.

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Chiropractic care is a great conservative way to manage the pain and, often, it will centralize and resolve in a matter of weeks. A home exercise program is then prescribed to help prevent re-occurrence and strengthen key muscles. When symptoms do not improve with a trial of care, a referral is made to an Orthopedist for further evaluation and MRI. Sometimes surgery is warranted.

Previous studies suggested that, while it was possible to remove symptoms, disc injuries do not fully resolve- think of them like a sleeping dragon. This article, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is a case study that describes resolution of the patient’s disc injury, documented on MRI. This is incredibly promising and supports conservative management of  lumbar disc injuries with chiropractic care and physical therapy before a surgical option is considered.

***This blog post is intended solely for informational purposes. It is always essential to consult with your own health care provider when making decisions about low back pain or leg pain. ***

 

3 Simple Tools to Improve Your Sleep

Poor sleep is one of the most common problems that gets reported on my patient’s health history forms. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2014 survey, 45% of Americans reported that they have poor or insufficient sleep that affected their daily activities over the past week.

As Americans, why do we sleep so poorly?yawning-1895561_1920

What are we missing?

How is this affecting our health?

Check out this article from Healthline about the detrimental impact of sleep deprivation on the Central Nervous System, Immune System, Respiratory System, Digestion, Hormones, and so much more.

Do you think that you are sleep-deprived? Look at this list of symptoms, if you identify with these, you may be sleeping poorly on a regular basis:

  • Sleepiness
  • Pain
  • Frequent illness
  • Mood changes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble with memory
  • Disorientation
  • A feeling of being dull

Win back your life and your health using these three tools for more effective sleep.

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Create a sleep schedule

Did you ever wonder why small children thrive on a sleep schedule? They can devolve from happy, playful tiny humans into meltdown quickly when naptime is missed or a storm keeps them from their usual routine. You can apply this same principle to your own schedule.

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Are you going to bed at the same time each evening? Are you waking up at the same time each morning? Our bodies cycle the hormones Melatonin and Serotonin throughout the course of a day. Serotonin is one of your happy hormones and Melatonin is for sleep. When you have an inconsistent sleep schedule, it is easy to create an imbalance in these important hormones, leading to mood disorders.

Don’t let technology rule your life

Electronics are backlit and emit blue frequencies of light that prevent the release of (you guessed it) melatonin! Outside of this, electronics create an unhealthy series of habits that can be detrimental to sleep.

Can you remember the last time that you began or ended your day without your cell phone? Do you check your personal, or worse, work email before your feet even touch the ground each morning? Do you and your significant other sit next to each other on your phones before sleep each night?

It is time to institute boundaries. In my home, we don’t keep our phones by our beds. Instead, there is a bowl just inside our bedroom where our phones get parked each night. This may not work for you, but consider switching to a regular alarm clock instead of using your phone, putting your phone on “do not disturb” and not checking your notifications until your morning coffee, or reading before bed- from an actual book. I hope it goes without saying, but kick the TV out of the bedroom.

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Create total darkness.

Even the smallest bit of light (like on your TV) or the light that filters in through your blinds can keep you from dropping into the deepest levels of sleep. This affects our circadian rhythms.

Try this tonight, sit in your bedroom with the lights off- just like you would at bedtime. Look around you. Do you see light? Is there a smoke detector or power adaptor that blinks into the darkness? Do your curtains have a line of light that wraps around the periphery? Now try and eliminate these sources of light to improve your sleep environment.

These 3 steps have greatly improved my sleep hygiene and overall quality of sleep. I hope that they will help you as well!

Please remember, this blog is for informative purposes only. If you are having difficulty sleeping, please consult with your health care provider.

 

 

 

Breastfeeding Frequently Asked Questions- Guest Blogger Brandi Crockett

In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, we would like to welcome Brandi Crockett, IBCLC to answer some common questions regarding breastfeeding, lactation, and the role of an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Read what she has to say below!

August Is National Breastfeeding Month!

You may be wondering why on earth there would be such a thing as National Breastfeeding Month. This month highlights the many benefits of breastfeeding. Sometimes people feel as if birth professionals, shove breastfeeding down their throats. (We really don’t mean for it be a forceful thing.) There are still many individuals that don’t know about the benefits of breastfeeding.

What’s an IBCLC?

That is where I, as well as National Breastfeeding Month, comes in. I am an IBCLC. That stands for Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I hold the highest position within the lactation world. No, I am not a nurse and I do not work in a hospital. I work in private practice, and I love being able to see moms in their homes and giving them 100% of my attention and giving them the care that they deserve.

There are quite a few individuals that don’t even know that my profession even exists! This saddens me because I wish that all new moms received a home visit from an IBCLC. I think that we would see more successful breastfeeding and empowered moms because they would be given the knowledge they need in order to make the best decisions regarding breastfeeding.

But I digress.

Frequently Asked Questions

The whole point of this is to help empower you by answering some of the questions that I get most often as an IBCLC.

Why would a new mom call an IBCLC? Or when is a good time to call? Can’t a nurse do that?

I get this question all the time. Any time a mom feels that breastfeeding is not going well is when she should call an IBCLC, and please call as soon as you get that feeling. Please do not wait till your supply has tanked and baby isn’t latching.

There are times when I have had a mom connect with me prenatally, either by phone or consult, and we have a plan of action once baby arrives. Not every mom needs to do that, but it never hurts to be prepared.

Why can’t a nurse or your pediatrician or OB/GYN help you with breastfeeding?

The basic answer is that because it’s not their specialty! Your nurse is there to help you with delivering your baby and your OB/GYN help with your pregnancy and also with the delivery of your baby. A postpartum nurse generally has a few tricks up her sleeve to help with breastfeeding, but again, she’s only there to help you recover from having your baby. So do me a favor, and call an IBCLC.

What About Bottles and Pacifiers?

Neither the bottle nor the pacifier in innately bad, it’s all about how you use them and which ones, and sometimes when you introduce them.

I always recommend a Dr. Brown’s bottle, usually with a premie nipple, but sometimes a size 1 (0-3m), but depends on the age of baby.A Dr. Brown’s bottle is a great shape that encourages babies to breastfeed well, and sometimes better. A baby has to curl their tongue around the nipple and hold it in their mouth in similar way that they would a nipple to breastfeed. I will often use this bottle to help strengthen a babies suck if they have had some oral struggles such as a tongue tie.

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As for a pacifier, I would recommend a Soothie by Avent. The shape is similar to a Dr. Brown’s and in turn can help with suck training and strengthening. So how do we use a pacifier the right way? A nickname for a pacifier is a plug, and that is because parents will often give the baby a pacifier in order to get them to stop, or “plug” them up. Now the better way to use a pacifier is basically as last resort. Go thru the checklist; is baby hungry? Do they need to be changed? Burped? Cold? Hot? Anything pinching? If you’ve done everything then offer the pacifier. Sometimes babies will have a high suck need that a pacifier can help with- especially if mom doesn’t want to be the pacifier.

If all is going well with breastfeeding then a good time to introduce a bottle and a pacifier is by about 3 weeks of age. You can, by all means, introduce them earlier, but we generally try to wait until breastfeeding is more established before introducing anything extra. Now, I have certainly advised parents to introduce them earlier due to certain circumstances, but it’s always a case by case basis.

There are tons of different types of bottles out there, as well as lots of different types of pacifiers. The only time that I would say use whatever you’d like, is if breastfeeding is going extremely well. A lot of the pacifiers and bottles out there teach the baby to smash the nipple between their tongue and the roof of their mouth, which can then translate into smashing mom’s nipple while breastfeeding. That hurts! And is not doable long term. But again, it’s definitely a case by case basis.

How Long Should a Mom Breastfeed?little-girl-107421_1920

Now this is a loaded question! It really depends on the family dynamic. Some dryads (or triads) practice extended nursing (nursing beyond 2 years of age). And this works for them because breastfeeding is a relationship. It’s ever changing- and breastmilk is ever changing. Mom’s body knows exactly what that baby needs at that moment for how old that baby or toddler is.

baby-17327_1920Breastfeeding beyond a year may not work for everyone and that’s okay! Any breastmilk is better than no breastmilk. Again, breastfeeding is a relationship and it needs to work for all parties involved. Maybe the baby is ready to wean or mom needs/wants to wean, there are plenty of ways to go about this gently that works for everyone in order to make sure that everyone’s needs are met. Cold turkey weaning is hard on everyone, so I would not recommend it if you don’t have to. An IBCLC can help you figure out a way to wean your baby or even discuss your options for continuing to breastfeed past a year. An IBCLC is there to help with all aspects of breastfeeding.

Overall, breastfeeding is awesome! And I am so proud to be an IBCLC. I am glad that there is a National Breastfeeding Month so that we can bring this fantastic topic to the forefront. Lastly, when in doubt, remain calm and call an IBCLC!

Mountain Mama Lactation LogoBrandi Crockett, IBCLC lives in Granite Falls, WA with her husband of 14 years and 6 crazy, fully breastfed kids (including a set of twins). She loves her job and also enjoys running ragged playing soccer mom and scout mom as well as running 10k’s with her hubby.