You got this, mama!

The support you need is just a virtual consultation away.

We get it. You are probably feeling concerned, overwhelmed and maybe even wanting to give up. Nursing can be discouraging when it hurts, or is causing you to be troubled or anxious. You aren’t alone - even experienced moms need extra support before, during and after breastfeeding.

Free Lactation Consultation

Its okay to feel frustrated, but breastfeeding doesn't have to be this way forever.

Whether you are a first or second time mom you are going to have a lot of questions. From cracked nipples to blocked ducts, feeding positions and questions about whether or not your baby is getting enough breastmilk… your concerns can feel overwhelming. But you're not alone! All moms experience uncertainty. Schedule a free session with a lactation consultant now.

  • Latching 
  • Breastfeeding positions
  • Sleep problems
  • Weaning
  • Milk supply
  • Nipple guards
  • Painful, pinched and cracked nipples
  • Breastfeeding twins
  • Bottle feeding help
  • Pumping
  • Going back to work
  • Blocked ducts, mastitis and other issues
  • SO much more...

Stop worrying, stop hurting, and enjoy your baby.

While breastfeeding can be hard, it is also very rewarding - for both you and your baby. The majority of breastfeeding problems can be addressed with a lactation consultant. 

Read about the benefits of breastfeeding.

nursing-baby
nursing-help

No breastfeeding story is exactly the same.

Just like no two babies are the same, the needs of each mom and baby are unique. This can make it hard to know if something is wrong and how to fix it. Rest assured that you can get real answers now!

You and your baby are going to be OK.

Whether you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding, cloth diapering, sleep training, pacifying, going back to work, or staying home - you and your baby are going to be OK. In fact, you are going to be great.

breastfeeding

Offering the support you need in this moment.

SimpliFedIllustration_01.svg

Signup for an appointment based on your and your baby's schedule.

SimpliFedIllustration_02.svg

Use a secure video link for your scheduled appointment.

SimpliFedIllustration_03.svg

Meet with your board-certified lactation consultant from any device.

nursing

Simplifed moms tell all...

“SimpliFed IBCLC Nina was totally there for me at  one of my worst moments. She was patient, evidence-based, and explained things in a way I could understand to allow my daughter to gain weight and also make me feel like “I got this!” in the process. She is famous in my family.” - Andrea
 
"I reached out to SimpliFed and was connected with Kathleen who helped me with a plan for weaning my almost two year old daughter. She was very understanding of our situation and helped us put together a plan. She checked back in with us as needed and was extremely responsive. I'm so grateful for the team at SimpliFed and highly recommend them. - Stephanie

Our Team of Lactation Specialists!

(i.e. Certified Lactation Consultants)

DANYEL BREWER

RDN, CDN, IBCLC

KATHLEEN MURPHY

PA-C, IBCLC

NINA PEGRAM

RN, PNP, IBCLC
Unsplash_Baby.11
Unsplash_Baby.12
Unsplash_Baby.9
Unsplash_Baby.6
chayene-rafaela-invemvSFXAM-unsplash
Unsplash_Baby.7

Frequently Asked Questions

What to Expect in Your First Appointment:

At your first appointment, you will meet one of our trusted breastfeeding support specialists, or IBCLCs, who will answer your questions without judgment, give guidance without guilt, and share suggestions and best practices. The first consultation is usually sharing any goals or issues, answering any questions, and getting set up for infant feeding success! 

What if I haven't had my baby yet?

You can absolutely start now! Before you have your baby is a great time to meet with a breastfeeding support specialist or IBCLC.  They can share information about how to prepare, what to expect, what questions to ask your OBGYN/Midwife, how to set up your breastpump, and more.

Do you accept insurance?

The Affordable Care Act requires that lactation support services are a covered benefit.  If you are out of network, Simplified will create a superbill for you to send to your insurance company for reimbursement.

  •  
What are the appointments like?

The appointment is done via a secure video link that you'll receive via email. You can have the baby with you, or not, whatever you are comfortable with. You can speak to the IBCLC, ask questions, get answers, all from the comfort and safety of your own home!  No need to put the baby in the car seat or put on real pants. Stay in your sweats, make yourself a cup of tea, and connect with your support team who will answer questions, share best practices, solve any issues, and give you peace of mind.

Do I have to show my boob?

Nope! Only if you're comfortable and are actively feeding the baby. You are welcome to feed off-camera, meet with an IBCLC while the baby is asleep, and stay totally covered if that's what makes you comfortable.

  •  
Do I need to follow my baby's schedule?

You can call an IBCLC anytime, with or without baby.

Will my employer pay for this?

SimpliFed works with some employers across the US and Internationally to provide this as an employee benefit. 

Ask your employer if they offer this benefit. If your employer does offer this, grab the code from the benefits portal and the appointments will be free of charge to you!

Breastfeeding and Drinking

HOORAY NEW MAMA! You deserve a parade after giving birth. Seriously, a day should be named in your honor. Now the big question: can you treat yourself with a tasty alcoholic beverage while breastfeeding? After mucho researching the academic literature, here is the deal: 

Well, the answer is yes, but one drink only. According to the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), you should wait at least two hours after one alcoholic drink before breastfeeding [1, 2]. That is the estimated  time it will take your body to process the alcohol and get rid of it from your breast milk. The alcohol will be present in your milk if it is still in your bloodstream, which means that the more you drink, the longer you will have to wait to safely breastfeed. But how long the alcohol will be in your milk or your blood is not a simple calculation of the number of drinks multiplied by two. It depends on many factors that affect how fast your body can metabolize alcohol. The CDC recommends no more than one standard drink a day, which is about half a glass of wine (5 fl oz) or a can of beer (12 fl oz). 

Breastfeeding and alcohol don’t mix well. According to the Mayo Clinic, no level of alcohol in breast milk is considered safe for the baby [3]. Research has shown that babies that are exposed to alcohol through breast milk may have impaired motor development and changes in sleep pattern, while the moms who drink may experience decreased Letdown reflex and milk production [3]. If you experience physical discomfort and would like to adhere to your milk expression schedule after you drink, you could choose to “pump and dump,” meaning to express milk and then discarding it. However, “pump and dump” doesn’t increase the elimination of alcohol from your body. If you’re worried about your baby getting hungry, you may also express milk prior to drinking and feed your baby later. Please remember that, if you choose to drink, plan carefully to avoid exposing your baby to any alcohol via breast milk. 

How does alcohol move through my body? 

Alcohol is categorized as a depressant because it slows down the central nervous system. It causes a decrease of coordination, reaction time, and intellectual performance. Once entered the body, alcohol is absorbed by tiny blood vessels called capillaries, with about 20% absorbed through the stomach and 80% through the small intestine. Alcohol in the bloodstream is delivered to all parts of the body, including your breast and breastmilk. It is gradually metabolized by enzymes in the liver. There are two pathways through which alcohol is processed. In the first pathway, alcohol is broken down by an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) into acetaldehyde, which is then broken down into a smaller molecule, acetate by enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Acetate is further processed and eventually leaves the body as carbon dioxide and water. An alternative pathway, known as the microsomal ethanol-oxidizing system, is used when the blood alcohol level is very high [4]. 

That is why it takes time for the body to process and get rid of the mimosa you had. The time it takes varies from person to person and depends on many factors, including how fast someone drinks, how much he or she weighs, and how well the body metabolizes alcohol. For instance, genetic variations can lead to differences in the ADH and ALDH enzyme activity, resulting in different efficiency of alcohol breakdown. 

References 

  1. “Breastfeeding Your Baby.” ACOG, www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/labor-delivery-and-postpartum-care/breastfeeding-your-baby.
  2. “Alcohol.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Dec. 2019, www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/vaccinations-medications-drugs/alcohol.html.
  3. “Breast-Feeding and Alcohol: Is It OK to Drink?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 3 July 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/breast-feeding-and-alcohol/faq-20057985.

“How Is Alcohol Eliminated from the Body?” The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership, Duke University, sites.duke.edu/apep/module-1-gender-matters/content/content-how-is-alcohol-eliminated-from-the-body/.

What to Expect at your SimpliFed Appointment

Welcome to SimpliFed! We are so excited to have you. Now that you've found us, we want to share a little bit about what your first appointment might look like and the various services we offer. 

Who are we… ?

SimpliFed is a tele-lactation service aiming to provide support, information and guidance for all of your feeding needs. Whether choosing to breastfeed, use formula, or a combination of the two, we are here to answer any questions you may have. Our team of lactation specialists is available for individualized appointments that you can participate in without having to leave your home! No matter what your feeding goals are or where you are in your parenting journey, we are here to listen and help. 

Before your appointment… 

Taking some time to prepare for the appointment can ease some of the potential stressors that come with it. One of the biggest ones that moms often ask about is insurance. Lactation consultations are covered by your insurance as the Affordable Care Act requires the coverage of lactation support services. Currently, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Healthcare are known to cover tele-lactation support. Before you meet with your support provider, it may be beneficial to call your insurance provider to ask about what will be covered. We've provided a list of questions that are helpful to ask here. More information on insurance can be found on one of our previous blogs, Does my insurance cover lactation support? Once you have all your bases covered in terms of insurance, there are a few more things to prepare! You may want to come to your appointment with previously thought out questions to maximize the time you spend with your support professional. It can be helpful to jot down some notes in the time leading up to your appointment on your phone or a notepad so you don't forget important points you want to make! Lastly, take some time to think about your personal goals for feeding your baby. We've provided a comprehensive worksheet on the different feeding choices you have, their pros and cons, as well as some questions to ask yourself at the end. Now that you're prepared, we look forward to seeing you soon!

The first appointment… 

When you choose to set up your appointment with us, we will introduce you to one of our trusted breastfeeding support professionals. These specialists are Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants, or IBCLCs, and are there to provide you with judgment-free guidance to help you find the best practices for your breastfeeding needs. In your first meeting with our specialists, you will typically share goals you have or any issues you've been experiencing. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions and our IBCLC partners will get ready to set you up for success. Our appointments are all done by telehealth services on a secure link that is sent straight to your inbox! You can choose whether or not to bring your baby, and get top notch breastfeeding support without leaving the comfort of your own home. SimpliFed appointments are covered by your insurance as the Affordable Care Act requires the coverage of lactation support services. We also provide superbills to send to your insurance company if you are out of network. You can set up an appointment at any time, even if you haven't had your baby yet! Meeting with an IBCLC while you're pregnant can have lots of benefits such as learning how to set up your breast pump, asking any questions you may have early, and getting more information on how to prepare for successful breastfeeding. 

What else do we do … ?

 In addition to our telehealth services, we have so much more to offer! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for up to date information on what's happening in the parenting world and what we are doing to address it. Our blog features posts that discuss various topics from pregnancy to parenthood! We provide information on frequently asked questions, worksheets to help you meet parenting goals, and research based papers on issues near and dear to our hearts. Our founder, Andrea Ippolito, makes frequent appearances on podcasts and news outlets to share SimpliFed's message, which you can check out on our social media! Stay tuned for more updates to come as we continue to grow!

The Environmental Impact of Breastfeeding

At SimpliFed we believe that whatever works for you in feeding your baby works for us! The most important part of choosing how to feed your child is finding what method is the right fit for your family! If you're still deciding how you want to feed, click here for more information on different types of infant nutrition. Whether breast, bottle, or both, getting those nutrients into your little one is what matters. With that in mind, there are different benefits for each type of feeding. Breastfeeding in particular is known for its numerous health benefits, but what about the environment? Let's talk about the connection from mother to Mother Earth, and the sustainability of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is the most environmentally friendly option available for infant nutrition. Not only is it renewable, it has no waste products, no packaging, and does not harm any natural resources. There are no energy costs to store it and no plastic required. In fact, the carbon footprint of breastfeeding is next to zero.1 While it may sound like a dream, there are drawbacks, and breastfeeding, especially exclusively, is not a viable option for every mother. However, it cannot be discounted that if you are interested in a sustainable option for feeding, breast is a great option. Other options such as formula are based in cows milk, which has a larger footprint in terms of carbon emissions and water usage. In addition, the environmental costs of manufacturing, storing, and packaging formula are high.2 Choosing to be sustainable does not mean always making the greenest choice, but rather being conscious of where in your life you can afford to reduce. If breastfeeding is not the right choice for you, there are many other ways to curb your environmental impact. 

One of the biggest benefits of breastfeeding on the environment is the lack of waste produced. Mothers who breastfeed produce enough for their baby to eat, and the source is continually renewed as long as breastfeeding is sustained. Although there are numerous positive impacts of breastfeeding on the Earth, there is a small increase in the carbon footprint of a breastfeeding mother. It is recommended that people who are breastfeeding consume around 500 calories more of food, which may slightly impact that mother's impact, depending on how the food is sourced.2 On the other hand, a recent study showed that if an infant is breastfed exclusively for 6 months, it would save approximately 105,280 L of water and 488 kg of carbon dioxide from formula production.3 A recent study in the United Kingdom saw that if all babies were breastfed for six months, the reduction in carbon emissions would be equivalent to removing up to 77,500 cars from the road in a year.4 When compared to the small increase in calorie intake, the benefits are undeniable. In reality, every choice has externalities, and there is no perfect answer when it comes to being sustainable. 

We at SimpliFed Believe…  

That once again, do what feeding options work best for you. As we've said above, getting your baby nutrients is what we care about most, and supporting moms through that feeding journey is what we are here to do. There are benefits to breastfeeding, but that does not mean that other options are not beneficial as well. There are many ways to be sustainable, and while breastfeeding is one of them, it is not the only way. We encourage you to choose the option you are most comfortable with that keeps your baby growing and healthy!

Resources

1Breastfeeding and the environment. (2021, March 22). Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.laleche.org.uk/breastmilk-and-the-environment/

2Green Feeding – climate action from birth. (2019, November 6). Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.gifa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2019-Green-Feeding-Europe-Worldwide-Nov6.pdf

3 Davidore, M. E., & Dorsey, J. W. (2019). Breastfeeding: A Cornerstone of Healthy Sustainable Diets. MDPI.

4Brown, N. (2019, October 08). Breastfeeding can help tackle climate crisis but it's on governments, not mums to save the world. Retrieved April 14, 2021, from https://phys.org/news/2019-10-breastfeeding-tackle-climate-crisis-mums.html

What to Buy for an Eco-Friendly Baby

When shopping for a baby, it might seem like the options are endless. There are hundreds of brands selling seemingly identical products, and it may be hard to know which one is best for you. Unfortunately your little one can't tell you just yet what they want, but there are other ways to narrow down the choices. Advice from friends and family, product reviews, and good old trial and error are great ways to find what you want. Another way to shop is to pick products that send a message that resonates with you. In this case, since it's Earth Day, we wanted to take a look at some purchases you could make to help cut down on your baby's (tiny) footprint.

The Essentials… 

For tiny humans, babies sure need a lot of gear! Let's break down some of the things you'll find yourself buying over and over, or needing for a long time. First off, diapers. When it comes to waste, diapers are one of the biggest contributors in terms of baby gear. Because of this, many environmentally conscious parents opt for reusable cloth diapers. This can be a difficult choice however, since it includes extra time doing laundry, or extra cost if you use a diapering program. Another option that has recently been taking off are bamboo diapers! Bamboo is a fast growing, versatile plant that releases much more oxygen into the atmosphere than normal trees. It's a great alternative to traditional plastic diapers and can even be composted in some cases. For baby wipes, cloth options are also available which can be washed and reused many times. If you're planning to breastfeed, reusable nursing pads can be a helpful tool. They even make ones made from bamboo that are easy to clean and rewear. For pumping and formula, glass bottles can be a good alternative. That might sound unsafe, but they are made from thermal-shock resistant glass that is much stronger than the average cup. The list for sustainable swaps can go on and on, so if you're interested continue to look for reusable or plastic reduced options. It's even more sustainable to buy second hand, so if you're interested in cutting down on waste, see if you can get some hand me downs, or if a local thrift store has any products!

The Extras … 

There is a lot more that parents often buy for their kids that is helpful, or even just cute! When it comes to toys, clothes, and accessories, again the most sustainable option is to reuse. If you're shopping for something new, pay attention to the material of the item, because this may tell you whether or not it is sustainable. Bamboo is one of the best materials for sustainable, long lasting items and you can find everything from clothing to toy blocks made out of it! When it's safe, glass or metal options are often preferred over plastic. Cleaning products especially are important to know what is in them, to avoid harsh chemicals. Vegan options are often toxin free, and can be better for the baby's skin as well as the environment. When it comes to buying for your baby, look into companies with messages that make you feel good! Doing this research can take a little time, but once you've found your favorite brands, you often have a product for life.

Our Favorites … 

There are many more products out there that we haven't discussed, so let's take a look at some companies we've looked into that are doing their best to sell sustainable options for children and parents!

  1. This company, Green Toys, makes everything from bath toys to outdoor recreation all out of 100% recycled plastic!
  2. For both parents and baby, Earth Mama has great options for organic self care products including for breastfeeding and pregnancy.
  3. Babies grow so quickly that buying clothes becomes a routine! Mori is a company that provides super cute soft clothing made of a combination of organic cotton and bamboo!
  4. Earth Hero is a one stop shop for all the sustainable items you could need! From birthday party supplies to teething rings to lunch bags, we love the versatility and commitment to sustainability of this company. 
  5. For bath time, and a host of other sustainable items, check out & Keep for their plastic free parenting section that includes organic shampoo and conditioners that are safe for your baby and the Earth!
  6. Hand me downs are so helpful for baby gear, they grow so fast it can be hard to keep up! Local organizations like Goodwill are great for resale and online companies such as Markid help parents get sustainable options to buy and sell gear!

Resources

Much of the information in this blog was anecdotal and derived from personal experiences. Leave a comment below with some suggestions for your favorite products!

  1. 31 Best Natural Baby Products of 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2021, from https://www.babylist.com/hello-baby/best-natural-baby-products

How much does virtual lactation cost?

Good news, your first consultation is FREE! After that, your first 30-minute consultation is $50 and 60 minute standard consultations are $150 each.

Simplifed virtual lactation consultations is an on-demand service. You pay for each lactation appointment as needed. There are no subscriptions or minimum number of session requirements. Start anytime, stop anytime.  

Two options for paying for the sessions:

  • Pay out of pocket (credit card, HSA/FSA debit cards)
  • Pay out of pocket, then we can send you an invoice (aka a superbill) to submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement.

What are Doulas?

As unpredictable as giving birth can be, many people will still want to plan all the details they can before the big day. One of the things you often have control over is who will be in the room during delivery, and who will be in charge of your journey. To ease some anxieties, deciding on the arrangements ahead of time can be very helpful. Many people think of their OB/GYN, their partner or parents, but who else might be in the room? Let's discuss another person who may assist during and after birth, a doula. While some may not know what that is, they're a growing community of birth support professionals who help with a range of pre and postpartum care areas.

Graphic by Chloe Chen

So what is a doula… ?

Doulas have many different roles throughout the pregnancy and childbirth journey, but their main obligation is to provide information and support before, during, and even after birth. They are professionally trained in childbirth and are beneficial for answering questions, specifically in planning for birth and postpartum recovery.1 This can be very helpful not only for new moms, but anyone who is looking to learn more about the birth process and different options in terms of medications. Typically, people meet with their potential doulas a few months before their due date to create a birthing plan. A birth plan includes information like where you would like to give birth, for example at home or in a hospital, which medications you would like to take, and any other thoughts and concerns you have about delivery. Doulas are also great resources for postpartum recovery, which can be an area of care that may be overlooked. Giving birth is no easy feat, and you will need some time to heal. Having someone well versed in recovery, who is knowledgeable in how to properly mend from both vaginal and cesarean deliveries can be beneficial to some mothers. Doulas provide a more holistic perspective on the birthing process than some other healthcare workers, and recent studies have shown that continuous labor support has no known harms and numerous benefits for both the mom and baby.2 According to a review of postpartum doula care, this continuous support is linked to improved maternal responsiveness and competence.3 Doulas are also able to provide feedback during postpartum that is outside of the scope of what most OB/GYN provide. A postpartum doula makes quick and necessary interventions for a large range of postpartum issues including latching, breastfeeding obstacles, mental health, pelvic pain, sleep disturbances, and much more. In the end, who you choose to have on your labor team is up to you! Whatever makes you the most comfortable is the right choice.   

What should I look for in a doula… ?

When choosing a doula, there are many important factors to look for. One of the first things is to find out if they are certified, and through what organization. While the majority of doulas have certifications, it is not required. If you are interested in finding certified doulas through a well known organization, click here to find them in your area. After finding some near you, you may want to meet with multiple and see who you are most comfortable around. The doula is a support person for you, and since they are not medically necessary, it is essential that they are someone you trust and want to have around during your delivery. When searching for the right one, ask many questions about things like their previous experience, their reason for entering the field, and how they think they can best support you. Once you have completed the interviewing process and have found someone you click with, they will guide you through the rest of the birth journey! If you are interested in someone to provide support during the postpartum period as well, it is important to specify that in your search, since not all doulas provide that service.

We at SimpliFed believe … 

The most important thing during delivery is getting you a happy and healthy baby. The decision on whether or not to hire a doula is ultimately up to you, since they are going to be a member of your support system. There are benefits to having a doula, but they can also be an extra expense that not every person deems necessary during birth. Using one of our labor worksheets, you can learn more about the birth process and determine who you want on your birthing team! It is impossible to know exactly how birth will go, but planning what you can may help make the big day a little easier!

Resources

  1. Having a DOULA - What are the benefits? (2021, March 10). Retrieved March 19, 2021, from https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/labor-and-birth/having-a-doula-616/
  2. Hodnett, Ellen D et al. “Continuous support for women during childbirth.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 10 CD003766. 17 Oct. 2012, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub4
  3. McComish JF, Visger JM. Domains of postpartum doula care and maternal responsiveness and competence. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing : JOGNN. 2009 Mar-Apr;38(2):148-156. DOI: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2009.01002.x.

Women in the Workforce

Prepared by SimpliFed Team Members Claire Dowell and Michelle Wang

The role of women in the workforce has been evolving for decades now. Decades after the integration of women into the workforce, gender parity still remains out of reach. The issue does not lie with lack of education or even opportunity, but retention after childbirth. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in millions of job losses, and the majority of those out of work are women. It is vital that equality in the workforce is a priority in this economic recovery. This paper explores the causes and consequences of women's declining role in the workforce, as well as ways to build the workforce back in a more equitable way.

Women in the Workforce

Postpartum Birth Control

Here at SimpliFed, we know that women's health spans a multitude of topics. Unfortunately, some of these get swept under the rug. One of these topics is postpartum birth control. It's often an afterthought for many, but without birth control it is possible to become pregnant again very soon after having a baby. For those who choose it, birth control allows for freedom in family planning, which can be especially beneficial in the postpartum period. Let's unpack what postpartum birth control may look like, and the advantages it can provide. 

What birth control options are available after having a baby… 

Almost all of the birth control methods that are available before having a child are still safe and effective once postpartum. Choosing the method that works for you is based on personal preference, but there may be some changes that are important to note. For instance, birth control methods such as the sponge or the cervical cap are less effective after having a child. If either is your preferred method, it may be beneficial to look into other options. Certain birth controls may be started right away such as the IUD, the implant, and the injection. Other options, like traditional barrier methods, shouldn't be used until following the six week appointment, when most people are cleared to begin sexual activity again. Hormonal methods such as the pill and the patch, may have more complications after having a baby. Women in the postpartum period have a higher risk of developing blood clots, which may be increased by hormonal birth control, specifically for women over the age of 35. In addition, there is a slight risk that the estrogen present in the birth control can change the milk supply. It is recommended not to start hormonal methods until around 5 weeks postpartum when the milk supply has been established, and the risk of clotting is lowered [1]

How does breastfeeding play a role in postpartum birth control… 

Breastfeeding can actually be used as a form of birth control in the postpartum period. Also known as the lactational amenorrhea method, or LAM, your body is unable to become pregnant again while breastfeeding. This works because during exclusive breastfeeding, your body does not ovulate or produce a period. Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as feeding every four hours during the day, and every six hours at night [2]. This method can be tricky to keep up with and for women who choose not to breastfeed, it is not an option. In addition, this method is temporary and after about six months or when your normal period returns, it will be ineffective [1]. However, LAM is a free and natural method of birth control, and when exclusive breastfeeding occurs, is as effective as both an IUD and hormonal birth controls. 

We at SimpliFed Believe… 

That postpartum health needs a lot more attention! The decision of which birth control to use postpartum, or to use one at all, can be difficult. We believe that by having these conversations we can decrease the stigma, and help women to be happier and healthier postpartum. In addition to reading this blog and consulting the resources listed below, never hesitate to reach out to a medical professional with any questions regarding your postpartum health. 

Resources

  1. Postpartum Birth Control. (n.d.). Retrieved January 9, 2021, from https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/postpartum-birth-control
  2. Parenthood, P. (n.d.). What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding as Birth Control? Retrieved January 9, 2021, from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/breastfeeding/what-are-benefits-using-breastfeeding-birth-control
  3. Hope Ricciotti, M. (2016, August 14). Birth control right after having a baby: Why it's important, why it should be covered. Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/birth-control-right-after-having-a-baby-why-its-important-why-it-should-be-covered-2016083110200
  4. Wisner, W. (2019, October 31). Best Postpartum Birth Control Options. Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/postpartum-birth-control-options-4689972
  5. The Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) for postpartum contraception. (2020, June 01). Retrieved January 19, 2021, from https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/lactational-amenorrhea-method-lam-postpartum-contraception

Choosing a Pediatrician

Often, when your baby is born, time moves at warp speed. You take them home from the hospital and before you know it, they're crawling around! In order to help them grow as quickly as they do, having access to a good pediatrician is essential. Switching from prenatal to pediatric care happens abruptly, and it's good to know who your pediatrician is before that happens. To make sure you're choosing the right provider in enough time, we've compiled some tips!

When should I look for a pediatrician… 

Even though the pediatrician is your baby's doctor, they often work to support the whole family, especially right after birth. To make a good connection with this doctor, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends finding a pediatrician about three months before your due date. Not only does this help navigate potential waiting lists, but many pediatricians offer prenatal visits [1]. This visit is a great way to start to build a relationship between you and your doctor, which can help with communication once your baby arrives. In addition, pediatricians look for warning signs of postpartum depression, and establishing good communication prior to the baby's arrival can be very helpful for this. It is recommended that all parents participate in this prenatal visit, and it may be especially helpful for women with high-risk pregnancies, or with multiple babies on the way. Finally, oftentimes after labor, the hospital will ask who the baby's pediatrician is. Finding one beforehand will be one less thing you have to worry about once your baby is finally here!

What should I look for in a pediatrician… 

Ideally, a pediatrician will look after your child throughout childhood and adolescence. They come to really know your baby and your family. Knowing how to choose the right pediatrician for your child is important, since they will be influential in many healthcare decisions for years. The first step is to make a list of pediatricians in the area that you are interested in. If you're able, ask friends and family about good (and bad) experiences they've had, to see if they have any recommendations for doctors. If they don't have suggestions, the internet is your friend! Look up reviews, or use a search tool to find doctors in your area. Once you have a list, write out questions in order to find out more about both the doctor and the practice they are a part of. You can ask these questions during a prenatal visit, or over the phone. There are many different questions you can ask, some may be specific to your child and their needs. Here are some general questions to get to know the pediatrician [3]

  1. Ask about their background, education, and board certification. They may have done a residency in family medicine or pediatrics, either are qualified to treat your child, but a pediatrician is more specialized. Inquire if they have a specialty, this could include adolescent medicine, gastrointestinal, or many more [4].
  2. Which hospitals does the doctor have privileges in? This helps to know where the best place to go in case of an emergency may be.
  3. How can they be reached outside of the office's hours? Does the practice have a nurse on call for questions? Are last minute appointments available? 

There are many other things you can assess at the first appointment, like whether or not you feel comfortable expressing your concerns to them, or how seriously you think they will take any potential health problems in your child. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and if you have any concerns, don't feel bad about going to a different provider who better fits your needs. 

What should I expect at the visits… 

For the first two years of your baby's life, they will see the pediatrician fairly often, and complete a series of tests to ensure that their development is on track. The AAP recommends that children be seen by their pediatrician at 3-5 days old, 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, 15 months, 18 months, and 2 years old [5]. The measurements and screening procedures that take place at each appointment will vary by age, but many attributes of physical and behavioral development are retested at each appointment. The pediatrician will measure length, weight and head circumference at each appointment for the first two years to ensure they are following their growth curve. They will do a psychosocial and behavioral assessment each time as well, and the first few months will also include a maternal depression screening to look for signs of postpartum depression. Each visit will also include a full physical examination and immunizations. Other testing such as for vision, hearing, or blood pressure may be done if the pediatrician feels it is necessary to check on [5]. Remember to ask any questions you may have and address any concerns with the doctor during these appointments. 

Resources

  1. Cohen, G. (2009, October 01). The Prenatal Visit. Retrieved December 10, 2020, from https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/4/1227
  2. Find a Pediatrician. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/find-pediatrician/Pages/Pediatrician-Referral-Service.aspx
  3. How to Choose a Pediatrician. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/Pages/How-To-Choose-A-Pediatrician.aspx
  4. Pediatrics. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://www.aamc.org/cim/explore-options/specialty-profiles/pediatrics
  5. Periodicity Schedule. (n.d.). Retrieved December 23, 2020, from https://www.aap.org/en-us/professional-resources/practice-transformation/managing-patients/Pages/Periodicity-Schedule.aspx

What to Buy to Prepare to Breastfeed

Momma you are a star! You chose to take on the difficult but important task of breastfeeding, and that's huge. Now that you have decided how to feed your baby, there are so many things to learn about the practical side of breastfeeding. A huge step to prepare might be taking a breastfeeding class, or getting a lactation consultant. One of the more confusing aspects of learning to breastfeed however may be knowing what you need to be successful. Breastfeeding technology has come a long way, and there are so many gadgets and devices to make this journey easier. Let's break down what you really need to buy to be prepared for breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Resources… 

Breastfeeding is not an easy task. It may be difficult in the beginning, but knowing what tools to use can help to reduce the discomfort that is often experienced. One highly recommended product for breastfeeding is a breastfeeding pillow. This is usually a circular shaped pillow with a firm surface that can be placed below your chest so your baby can rest near your breasts and you can give your arms a break. This helps to provide both comfort and stability to both you and your little one! Breastfeeding stools serve a similar purpose by allowing you to prop your feet up to have more support when holding your baby. Along with a stool, many nursing moms enjoy the comfort of a glider for late night feedings. To help with some breast discomfort you may experience, many moms benefit from the use of nipple creams or balms. Once your milk comes in, the use of nursing pads and nursing bras can help prevent leaks from showing or staining clothes! In addition, sleep nursing bras and nursing tanks can provide additional comfort and support, especially during nighttime nursing sessions. 

Pumping Resources… 

While breastfeeding, pumping can be an effective way to provide your baby with their nutrition when you are unable to be there for meal times. Whether you are returning to work, or producing a large supply you don't want to waste, pumping your breast milk is wonderful for both mom and baby! To help with this, additional tools are useful. The most important of which is an actual breast pump. Nowadays, many insurance companies cover these! There are many different kinds of pumps available, including a hands-free pumping bra. Once the milk is pumped, storage is needed. You will likely need many bottles with extra nipple attachments, as well as freezer milk bags for long term storage. 

We at SimpliFed Believe… 

Breastfeeding is a big, and amazing, challenge. It is an adjustment, and many things may be difficult. Even with all the right tools, don't be afraid to reach out for help from a lactation consultant, or reevaluate if breastfeeding is the best method for your family. The most important thing is to have a fed baby, whichever way you achieve that is awesome!

Resources

The information in this blog was anecdotal and derived from personal experiences. To help with purchases, we've included a list of some of our favorite products!

  1. Breastfeeding pillow - My Brest Friend, Boppy
  2. Glider - Swivel Gliding Recliner, Rachel Glider
  3. Nipple cream - Earth mama angel baby, Motherlove, Medela Tender Care 
  4. Nursing pads - M&Y 
  5. Nursing bras - Bravado, Dairy Fairy, Cosabella, Medela    
  6. Sleep nursing bra - Bravado, Medela 
  7. Breast Pump - Medela, Spectra S1, Haakaa,  
  8. Pumping bra- Simple Wishes, Medela
  9. Freezer milk bags - Lansinoh

Copyright 2021 Simplifed