A Storage Question: Can You Freeze Refrigerated Breastmilk?

Freezing Refrigerated Breastmilk_Pic_EditedTo freeze or not to freeze? That is the question when it comes to refrigerated breastmilk. We get this question a lot at Ybreast and we want to make sure you know the dos and don’ts of freezing breastmilk that’s been hanging out in the fridge, so your little one is getting the very best.

Picture this scenario: let’s say you need some serious me-time and you’ve scheduled a long-awaited and well-deserved mani/pedi. You secured Grandma’s babysitting services for this afternoon and you’re all set. You pump and leave milk in the fridge, just in case you’re not back in time for baby’s next feeding, and off you go. When you return, you find that the whole trip took under an hour and you’re back in time for baby’s next mealtime. Hurray! It’s only the next day when you go to grab some milk from the fridge for your morning coffee (which yes, is perfectly fine during breastfeeding!) that you realize you completely forgot to freeze that just-in-case breastmilk. Argh! Now what? Can you freeze the milk once it’s been refrigerated?

By |December 6th, 2013|

Sleeping on the Job? The 411 on Caffeine and Breastfeeding

Caffeine_Pic_Edited“Sleep when the baby sleeps,” or so they say. But what if the baby NEVER EVER sleeps unless he’s in your arms or on your chest or in some other position that makes it totally impossible for you to get simultaneous shut-eye? And what about the 10 thousand-plus household chores that you’re supposed to tackle during his all-too-short naps? Laundry to fold, bills to pay, hair to wash—it never ends.

To make it through the day, many of us frazzled moms need a jolt of java—and the reassurance that caffeine won’t hurt our babies. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly fine to drink coffee while you’re breastfeeding. Push that snoozing-baby-carrying stroller right over to Starbucks and order yourself a latte with zero guilt.

The more we learn about breastfeeding, the more we understand that very little is off-limits. Caffeine hasn’t been shown to

By |November 29th, 2013|

Your Baby Is a Born Addict: The Truth About Pacifiers

Pacifier Pic EditedBabies emerge from the womb with a hard-core addiction: they love sucking. They want to suck all the time, night and day, around the clock. That’s because sucking releases cholecystokinin (CCK), a feel-good hormone that soothes and relaxes the baby. Babies can’t get enough, so they suck and suck in the hopes of mainlining as much CCK as possible.

There are two ways to satisfy your baby’s CCK addiction. The first and most natural one is through breastfeeding, which releases relaxing hormones in both baby and mommy. Ever noticed how a baby looks drunk right after a good feeding? That’s the CCK at work; it helps the baby feel more full, and a full-feeling baby is more likely to sleep.

Pacifiers and other artificial nipples also give babies their much-needed CCK fix. We’ve all seen a baby drift off to never-never land sucking on a pacifier, and it’s because of that wonderful CCK. But is it a good idea to introduce a pacifier?

By |November 15th, 2013|

Pumping Got You Down? Pump Up the Jam to Increase Milk Output

Music_Pic_EditedPumping moms may be surprised to learn that rocking the tunes while pumping can have an impressive impact on milk output. In a study for Advances in Neonatal Care, researchers showed that mothers pumping milk for their preemies in the NICU produced more milk while listening to music—two to three times more milk, in fact!—than those who pumped without a musical soundtrack. And it wasn’t just the quantity but the quality of milk that improved: the milk these moms made while listening to music had a higher fat content and more fat equals faster growth.

More flow and better milk just by cranking up the music? Sounds too good to be true, but researchers speculate that music’s relaxing properties increase the amount of oxytocin released into the mothers’ bloodstream. And, as we know, oxytocin stimulates milk letdown, and faster letdown means more milk at every visit to the pump. Working moms get an extra benefit, too: playing music while pumping is a sure-fire way to muffle that embarrassing, telltale “I’m-pumping-in-here” noise. 

By |November 8th, 2013|

Protect Your Baby with Breastmilk, It’s Baby’s First Immunization

We moms want nothing more than to protect our children from harm, and when our babies first arrive, the potential predators can seem endless. Germs are everywhere, so we wash our hands incessantly, shield our strollers with covers, and avoid public places. Most of us only start to breathe easier at six weeks, when our babies have had their first round of immunizations.

But did you know that long before that, you can provide your baby with his first and best defense against the deadly bacteria and viral microorganisms in your environment? One of the most powerful protections is right inside your underwire bra. That’s right: your breasts. By making breastmilk, we moms can construct an immunological fortress around our babies that nothing in science can even begin to approximate.

By |November 1st, 2013|

The Mystical and Magical Powers of Colostrum

Forget Dom Pérignon and Chateau Margaux: colostrum—also known as “liquid gold”—is the ultimate luxury beverage.  Like fine wines, it’s produced only in extremely limited quantities and lasts just a few days after birth.  You can’t buy it in a store or stock up on the Internet.  There’s only one source for this miraculous elixir: you.

That’s right—no technology can come close to replicating the nutrition and immunological properties of colostrum, which has some seriously mind-blowing benefits. It’s one of the first and greatest gifts that a mother can give her baby. So if breastfeeding is the only thing you accomplish during your infant’s first week of life, then you rock. This small-batch substance you’re churning out is truly lifesaving.

So why exactly is colostrum so incredible?  Let me count the ways.  

By |October 18th, 2013|

The First Latch Is the Key to Breastfeeding Success

Timing is everything in life: the perfect job, the perfect romance, or even just a free taxi at rush hour—so much depends on being in the right place at the right time. Breastfeeding is no different: get the timing right, and success comes easy. Get it wrong and you may struggle or ultimately give up. It all hinges on the very first time the baby puts her mouth to mom’s nipple and begins to feed. Done at the right time, in the right way, that first latch can put you on the fast track to breastfeeding success.

Here’s the thing that most moms (and even most “experts”) don’t always get. Babies are born with the instinctive drive to locate the breast immediately following birth. They have certain involuntary reflexes that encourage them to crawl—yes, crawl—toward their mothers’ breast. Within minutes of being born, babies are stretching and elongating their tongue muscles, rooting their heads and smacking their lips. All of these motions help babies physically ready themselves for the most important job of their little lives: getting fed.

By |October 4th, 2013|

The Beer-Breastfeeding Myth: The Truth About Drinking While Breastfeeding

Alcohol_Pic_EditedAfter nine months without drinking, you’re ready to kick back and celebrate the arrival of your little bundle of joy. Well, guess what? You can. Time to break out the bubbly!

At Ybreast, mothers are constantly asking us about drinking. Will a glass of wine hurt the baby? Can I drink sometimes? But when and how much? Well, here’s the deal. It’s true that alcohol enters your breastmilk: blood circles in and out of your milk ducts, and if there’s alcohol in your blood, it will pass into your milk. That said, the milk doesn’t stay there for long. If you wait about two hours after drinking, you can nurse without fear that you’re hurting your baby. Your milk will no longer register the alcohol you had every right to enjoy.

And even if you nurse right after drinking (or even while drinking), you have to realize that it takes a lot of alcohol to affect your baby; we’re talking multiple drinks a day every day of the week. If you have a single glass of wine in the evening, your

By |September 27th, 2013|

A Breastfeeding Survival Tool: The Almighty Side-Lying Position

News flash: having a baby is exhausting. First there’s the whole labor and delivery thing, and when it’s over, you get this tiny, needy creature who sleeps only in short bursts and wants to feed what feels like All. The. Time. At the hospital, you may think you have your new job under control, thanks to all the support from nurses and family members. But just wait till you get home. That’s when Ybreast starts getting the panicked phone calls from new parents.

“Why does the baby wake up every single hour? Unless he’s at the boob, he cries and cries nonstop— am I doing something wrong? Will I ever sleep again? I can’t survive that many more days like this!” We’ve heard it all.

The husbands call, too: “My wife is going to get sick if she doesn’t get some sleep!” they’ll cry. “This cannot possibly be normal.”

By |September 20th, 2013|