Breastfeeding

Is Hydroxycut Safe While Breastfeeding?

Significance

The effects of Hydroxycut on babies have not been scientifically studied, so it is not known if the product passes through breast milk. Therefore Hydroxycut is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers.

Considerations

Hydroxycut contains caffeine, which causes sleeplessness and fussiness in infants and is easily passed through breast milk.

Warning

In May 2009, Hydroxycut was voluntarily recalled from the market because of reports of liver damage related to the product. The Food and Drug Administration advised consumers to stop using the products. Because of this, it is especially important for pregnant women to avoid this product.

Effects

Although it does help people lose weight, Hydroxycut has numerous side effects. These include increased heart rate and other cardiovascular issues, seizures and Rhabdomyolysis. Any product that puts a mother at risk should not be consumed while breastfeeding.

Prevention/Solution

A healthy diet and exercise are the best form of weight loss, especially for a breastfeeding mother. A nutritious and balanced diet is best for mother and baby.

How to Help Your Preemie Stay Awake to Nurse

Undress your baby to help her stay awake while nursing. The process of removing your baby’s clothing might stimulate her to stay awake, but guard against chilling your baby, warns the Lincoln Pediatric Group website. Premature babies often struggle to maintain body temperature. Keep your little one warm by placing her directly against your bare skin while you breastfeed.

Press gently on your breast while your baby nurses to increase the milk flow; this is known as breast compression. Slow milk flow might make your baby sleepy because he needs to work so hard to nurse, while a faster milk flow might help your preemie stay awake, according to information provided by the International Breastfeeding Centre.

Watch your baby’s latch to ensure that it’s correct. You shouldn’t feel pain with a correct latch. An incorrect latch might make your baby work too hard to breastfeed, which could cause tiredness. If you have difficulty breastfeeding effectively, consult a lactation consultant for guidance and support.

Take your baby off the breast to rouse him from his sleepiness. Moving your baby from his comfortable spot in your arms might interrupt his sleep.

Express a small amount of breast milk by hand and place the drops on your baby’s lips to encourage more alert nursing, advises the Stanford School of Medicine website.

Tip

Follow your physician's instructions for feeding your premature baby. Generally, a preemie should feed between eight and 12 times in a 24-hour period, feeding every 1 1/2 to 3 hours on a demand schedule, according to post-discharge instructions prepared by registered dietitian Salisa Lewis for the Kosair Children’s Hospital. Avoid letting your preemie sleep for longer than one, five-hour stretch in a 24-hour period.

Have your preemie evaluated for weight gain and hydration according to your physician's recommendations to ensure that he’s eating efficiently and that he’s gaining enough.

How to Adjust Your Diet When Breastfeeding a Colicky Baby

Eliminate all milk products from your diet for 7 to 10 days to see if your baby's colic improves. A protein found in cow's milk is a known trigger for colic, so abstain from eating all dairy foods for awhile.

Reduce the amount of spicy food you eat, or only enjoy these foods when you're not approaching feeding time.

Select foods that do not contain wheat, a known allergen that may cause colic. Instead, opt for gluten-free foods found in your grocery store's natural foods section.

Eat cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, in moderation only. These vegetables irritate young breastfed babies.

Drink alcoholic beverages and those that contain caffeine sparingly. Both may cause colic.

Abstain from eating nuts and strawberries, two highly allergenic foods. Avoid foods containing garlic.

Tip

Slowly reintroduce any foods you abstained from if your baby's colic seems better after several days. Allow a few days between reintroductions to see if you can pinpoint which ones are causing the colic. Eliminate those foods you've targeted as the cause of the colic until your baby is 3 months old. At this point, he will likely outgrow his sensitivity.

Why Can't You Use Slim Quick While Breastfeeding?

Needs

According to lactation consultant expert Kelly Bonyata, nursing mothers need to consume, at minimum, 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day. Breastfeeding will burn 200 to 500 calories a day.

The Facts

A Slim Quick-type diet contains four main ingredients: skim milk, sugar, fructose and cocoa. The calories in a liquid meal are around 240, which is not adequate for a nursing mother.

Consequences

Parenting expert Heidi Murkoff explains that an inadequate diet will not hurt the baby’s milk supply at first. However, it will deplete the mother’s store of nutrients. Too extreme of a diet can have a negative impact on milk supply—and therefore the baby’s nutrition and growth.

Solution

Research has shown mothers who breastfeed frequently and continue for longer than six months have an increase in maternal weight loss. It is healthy to lose 1.5 pounds a week.

Considerations

To lose weight, Bonyata suggests decreasing fat intake while maintaining high levels of protein, eating throughout the day instead of three large meals, and engaging in moderate exercise. Another option is Weight Watchers, which offers a program targeted for breastfeeding mothers.

Should Nursing Mothers Drink Decaf Tea?

Caffeine Levels

Regular coffee has about 16 milligrams of caffeine per ounce whereas black tea has 5 milligrams per ounce and decaffeinated tea has 0.50 milligrams per ounce. The caffeine levels found in decaf tea are extremely low and should not be harmful to most breastfed babies. However, this can change depending on each infant's circumstances and tolerance. Herbal tea is naturally caffeine free, but some varieties can also affect breastfed babies.

Caffeine Complications

Breastfed babies can experience complications from caffeine. For most babies, high levels of caffeine can cause "fussiness and jitteriness," according to the Univeristy of Arizona's College of Pharmacy. The organization defines high levels of caffeine to be the equivalent of 10 cups of coffee. However, some babies can react to lower levels of caffeine if they have an intolerance, which can cause colic or crankiness.

Infant Metabolism

According to the University of Arizona's College of Pharmacy, infants under three months of age do not break down caffeine as quickly as older infants. This means that younger babies, particularly newborns, will be more susceptible to caffeine intake. This should be taken into consideration if an infant is more sensitive to caffeine. Breast milk contains about 1 percent of the caffeine ingested by the mother, so with decaffeinated tea, even younger babies shouldn't have problems. "If you drink no more than three cups of coffee spread throughout the day, there is little to no caffeine detected in the baby’s urine," states HealthyChildren.org.

Tips

While decaffeinated tea will pass on little to no caffeine to breastfed infants, mothers need to remember that caffeine is found in a variety of sources including soda, chocolate and coffee. If the caffeinated tea is consumed along with other caffeine sources, the amount in breast milk could increase dramatically.

How to Speed Up Weight Loss with Breastfeeding

Refrain from dieting while you are breastfeeding, advises Barbara Struempler, professor of nutrition and food science and nutrition specialist at Auburn University, in an article for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Dieting while breastfeeding hinders your body’s ability to produce enough breast milk for your baby; eating a healthy, calorie-rich diet consisting of vitamins, minerals, calcium, iron and protein ensures that your milk supply is healthy and plentiful, and that you are able to lose weight quickly.

Exercise regularly, but wait to exercise until after you nurse your baby. According to pediatrician William Sears in an article for "Parenting" magazine, you'll be much more comfortable working out soon after nursing because your breasts are empty and less painful. While milk production burns as much as 500 calories per day, working out regularly helps you to speed up the process of weight loss while breastfeeding.

Start your postpartum exercise routine slowly, suggests Dr. Sears. Even if you worked out regularly before your baby was born and before you were pregnant, it’s safer and healthier for you to gradually ease back into your old routine -- though not before getting the all-clear from your doctor. For example, walking is a great start to working out after giving birth. You can push your baby in the stroller or wear her in a baby carrier while you walk. The additional calories you burn can help you speed up your weight loss.

Weigh yourself only once a week, advises Struempler. You may want to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans as soon as possible, but for your own health, it’s not advisable to lose more than 1/2 pound of weight each week. Any more than that could be indicative of an unhealthy diet, which in turn could mean your baby is not getting the proper nutrition he needs. Postpartum weight loss is understandably important to you, but your baby’s health should be your No. 1 priority.

Breastfeeding & chicken pox

Immunity

Breastfeeding a baby when the mother has had either the wild chickenpox virus or the vaccine does pass immunity to the infant. While the amount of immunity may be less than is created with a vaccine, the baby receives and benefits from the mother's already developed immunities while breastfeeding and is less likely to get chickenpox when exposed. In addition to actual immunities, the baby's immune system is further protected with nutrients and healthy fatty acids present in breast milk.

Exposure

If another member of the family gets chickenpox, try to keep physical contact with baby to a minimum.
If another member of the family gets chickenpox, try to keep physical contact with baby to a minimum.

If someone in the family is exposed to chickenpox, the incubation period is between seven and 21 days. During this time it is advisable to keep the breastfeeding infant away from the exposed person as much as possible. A mother who has been exposed does not need to quarantine herself since it is likely the baby has already been in contact, and continued breastfeeding will help keep the baby healthy. After scabs have healed and the family member is determined healthy to be around people again, it is fine to have him around the baby as well.

Shingles

If the mother experiences chickenpox or shingles while breastfeeding, she will be passing along the immunities her body develops. In the event sores or blisters are present on the nipple the mother may need to pump her milk from the affected breast until the sore heals to prevent nipple-to-mouth transmission and to allow her nipple to heal. Seeking professional assistance from a board-certified lactation consultant, breastfeeding peer counsellor or La Leche League Leader can provide the information and support a mom needs to continue breastfeeding safely.

Vaccination

Chickenpox or varicella vaccine is available to mothers and infants. The vaccine creates some immunity for the person receiving it and is considered relatively safe to be given while a mother is breastfeeding. While no vaccine is 100 per cent effective, medical professionals recommend this vaccine to all healthy people of the appropriate age. Alternatives to vaccination can be found through naturopathic or homeopathic health care professionals.

Professional Help

Mother-to-mother support can help with the challenges of breastfeeding and chickenpox.
Mother-to-mother support can help with the challenges of breastfeeding and chickenpox.

If a mother has concerns about breastfeeding and chickenpox, she can contact her family health care professional or breastfeeding specialist. Some health care professionals may have limited information, but organisations such as La Leche League International can provide information, support and often connect the mother with other members of her community who can help her.

Does Breastfeeding Help a Baby's Immune System?

Immune System Boost

The first breastmilk available after birth – colostrum – is highly concentrated milk that contains higher amounts of antibodies, cells and other elements, states Robert M. Lawrence and Ruth A. Lawrence, with the American Academy of Pediatrics. Generally, breastmilk transitions from colostrum to mature milk within the first two weeks of breastfeeding. Mature breastmilk also contains antibodies that boost a baby’s immune system, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Breastmilk has enzymes and white blood cells that provide real-time protection during the breastfeeding period and often even beyond breastfeeding after the child weans. Breastmilk also contains the ideal levels of protein, sugar and fat to keep a baby healthy.

Antibodies

A mother who has virus germs is likely to pass the germs to the breastfeeding baby. By continuing to breastfeed, the baby also receives effective antibodies to the virus through the breastmilk. The antibodies may act in one of two ways, offers the American Academy of Pediatrics. The antibodies may help the child by lessening the severity of the virus or they may enable the child to fight off the virus completely.

Prebiotics

Breastmilk contains ingredients that promote healthy intestinal bacteria. With the presence of breastmilk in the intestines, the prebiotics contained in the breastmilk encourage the growth of probiotics in the intestines. Babies who receive formula often have more harmful bacteria present in intestines than breastfed babies. The lower pH level of breastfed babies’ intestines inhibits the growth of E. coli and Staphylococcus.

Additional Benefits

Babies receiving breastmilk often have fewer ear infections. In addition, breastfed babies receive fewer tonsillectomies, have lower adult cholesterol levels, have fewer upper respiratory infections and less influenza and pneumonia, according to Ask Dr. Sears, a website run by pediatricians. Breastfed babies also have fewer gastrointestinal infections and have a smaller risk of contracting diabetes, states the Ask Dr. Sears. Breastfed babies may receive some protection against allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis and wheezing, states the American Academy of Pediatrics website.