Amy's Corner. our lactation consultant answers your questions about nursing.

Prenatal Dental Care

Many moms-to-be are not aware that prenatal dental care is an important part of your holistic prenatal health.  Beyond wanting to maintain your pearly whites, good dental practices are especially essential during pregnancy to prevent long term oral issues for you and to ensure harmful bacteria that may build up in your mouth does not transfer to your baby.

Oral care in pregnancyDuring pregnancy hormones are surging.  These additional hormones increase plaque and bacteria in the mouth and can lead to pregnancy gingivitis or periodontal gum disease.  Gingivitis is the build-up of plaque that inflames the gums.  It is sometimes a precursor for gum disease, but not always.  Periodontal gum disease or periodontitis is a more serious condition in which bacteria from plaque infects the inner gum and bone, causing them to form pockets that collect and spread more bacteria and debris.  Eventually, the bacteria itself and enzymes produced by the immune system to help break down bacterial toxins move deeper into gum tissue and bone and disrupt tooth stabilization.  Tooth decay and loss can occur in severe cases of gum disease.

Women with gingivitis and periodontal gum disease have a higher risk of premature births and having a baby with a low birth weight.  Due to this heightened risk, sensitivity and potential for extra bacteria-filled plaque, pregnant women should be very attentive to prenatal dental care.  If you already practice good oral hygiene, you probably don’t have to do much more than you are already doing.  Here are the best tips for keeping you and your baby safe from oral bacteria during pregnancy:

  • Brush twice daily with toothpaste, preferably after meals.
  • Floss your teeth once a day to avoid bacteria build-up between teeth.
  • Use a sugar-free and alcohol-free mouth rinse daily.
  • Ensure your teeth get fluoride from toothpaste, mouth wash and water.  You may also need to apply fluoride gel occasionally.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet with plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals, especially calcium.
  • While you may be eating a bit more and have some unusual cravings, do not consume excess sugar that can linger on your teeth and cause decay.
  • Chewing gum with xylitol after meals helps eliminate plaque and strengthen teeth.
  • If you experience pregnancy nausea that causes you to vomit, brush, rinse or coat your teeth with baking soda to neutralize acids afterwards.

It is important to maintain regular dental visits during pregnancy.  Ideally you would have seen your dentist prior to getting pregnant and then again between your fourth and sixth month of pregnancy.  Because the first trimester is the most critical stage of child development, exposure to x-rays, antibiotics and other potential dental procedures is not ideal early in pregnancy.  Later in the third trimester, your bump will make it uncomfortable and unsafe to lie back in a dental chair for long periods of time.  Therefore, the second trimester is the best time to see your dentist, if possible.  However, never leave a dental issue unseen.  While you may opt not to proceed with the recommended treatment until after your baby is born, you should always see a dentist to discuss your symptoms if you experience oral pain.

Be sure to let you dentist and dental hygienist know that you are pregnant prior to beginning any work during your visit.  If you are having any sensitivity, irritation, bleeding or other issues, discuss them with your dentist.  Prevention of gingivitis and gum disease is best, but early detection is second best.  If you do have either of these problems, your dentist may want you to come in every three months for cleanings during pregnancy.

Make prenatal dental care part of your regular health routine during pregnancy.  With just a few preventative measures, you can keep dangerous bacteria at bay and show off a gleaming smile to your bundle of joy when she arrives.

20 Ways to Praise Your Child

baby-mom-readingThere’s no doubt you love your child and are proud of him in many ways.  But do you say it often enough and with variety?  Children need praise to build their self-esteem and self-confidence.  Constantly saying “good job” can get monotonous and lose meaning to your child after awhile.  There are many ways to express a similar sentiment without using the same phrase over and over again.  Remember, while you’re laying a foundation of confidence, you also don’t want to over-inflate your child’s ego.  There’s a delicate balance to praise.

Even if you have an infant now, you’ll want to get into the practice of diversifying your praise.  Form the habit now and carry it through to when your baby will eventually understand and internalize your praise.  We’ve compiled 20 productive ways to praise your child:

You are special – Letting your child know that he is special ensures he feels unique and different, as indeed he is.  Special is a magical word to children and is definitely a separate positive designation than just a plain on “good job.”

  • I like the way you ___ – This specifically lets your child know what he did right.  All too often we scold our children and tell them what they are doing wrong.  “No, we don’t hit.”  “No, that’s not for you.”  Turn the tables and let your little one know how and when he is exhibiting good behavior.
  • I’m so lucky to be your mom – This tells your child that although you didn’t exactly pick one other, you are happy that you get to be together as mother and child.
  • I’m proud of you – If disappointment is worse than anger, pride is better than happiness to your child.  Toddlers, especially, are people-pleasers so they want you to be proud of them.  When your child can respond to you, ask him if he’s proud of himself.  Self-pride is another great way to boost self-esteem.
  • I believe in you – Kids are often quick to say “I can’t.”  Letting your tot know you have faith in him may just give him the lift he needs to keep trying or to do a better job next time.
  • Good thinking – Many times when you say “good job” it’s really because your child thought through something and made good choices.  By identifying that your child had good thoughts, you’re pinpointing and encouraging his thought processes.
  • You brighten my day – You may not realize it all the time but kids want to be helpful.  Knowing that something they did made you feel good goes into the category of helping you.
  • I knew you could do it – Much like “I believe in you,” this shows your child you have the upmost trust in him and his ability to perform a task.
  • Great discovery – Being an explorer of the world is not only fun, it’s actually your child’s job right now.  So making a “discovery” is the ultimate reward for your young explorer.
  • I appreciate it when you ___ – Treating your child with respect is essential to raising a courteous and grateful human being.  Using words like “thank you” and “appreciate” helps your child make these good manners connections at his level.
  • Good work, squirt – Sometimes being silly is a great way to help boost your child’s confidence, and make him laugh too.  Any fun term of endearment will do – we just find this one whimsical and easy to say.
  • You’re so smart – Being smart is one of the most important qualities you’ll want for your child.  To bolster your child’s idea that being smart is “cool,” tell him specifically when he’s being smart.
  • Better than I could do – Kids certainly love a little friendly competition.  As they enter toddlerhood, they’ll want to show you how they can run faster, jump further or draw better than you.  Healthy competition breeds ambition so use this phrase to let your tot know he’s really on top of it.
  • You’re a superstar – Who wouldn’t want to be a superstar?  And if not a superstar, a rock-star, a princess-star, or a pirate-star.  Use whatever kind of “star” floats your baby’s boat.
  • What an imagination – Imaginary play is a great sign of creativity and intelligence. Teach your little one what “imagination” is by identifying it for him when he’s using it.  Promoting imaginary play can lead you to all sorts of amazing discoveries and learning paths for your child.
  • You’re a joy – Make sure your baby knows he’s a pleasure to be around and not an obligation.  Joy is another way to say happy, thrilled or delighted – all things you should be feeling around your child.
  • You are one in a million – Much like being “special,” this catch phrase helps your child feel uniquely exceptional and extraordinary.  And isn’t he?
  • How clever – Being clever is like being smart and witty all in one.  That’s hard to beat!  Plus, clever is a common trait of characters in many children’s stories so you can find many examples to point out to your child in literature.
  • Good following directions – Listening is great, but following directions is the most basic skill your tot needs to learn, especially at school.  Definitely find moments to praise your child for this vital ability.
  • You worked it out on your own – As your child asserts independence, he’ll want to feel good about doing things on his own.  Make a big deal about doing activities that once required your help but now can be done “all by myself.”

It’s really not difficult to find ways to praise your child with enthusiasm and variety. Take advantage of this opportunity from a young age to build self-confidence and make your child feel loved and special.






Car Seats for Every Age

A car seat is one of the biggest safety measures you can take to protect your baby from infancy through early childhood.  Just like you should never drive or ride in a car without a seat belt on, your baby should never ride in a car without being properly buckled into a car seat.  In the event of an accident, small bodies that are not secured in an age appropriate car seat are highly susceptible to being flung from their seat, which severely increases the likelihood of injury upon impact.

You will need several car seats for different stages in your child’s life.  It’s important to follow the manufacturers’ instructions for installing your car seat and always ensure your child is belted snugly with the harness and the chest clip positioned correctly.  Also, be sure to follow the age, height and weight requirements for your specific brand of car seat.  Although your child may not prefer being in a car seat, the longer you can keep him in one, the safer he will be.

Curious about what’s in store for your future when it comes to car seats?  Here’s a basic guide to car seats for every age:

infant-car-seatNewborn to Age 2:  Rear-Facing Infant Seat or Harness Seat

For the first two years of life, babies should be turned around to face the back of the car.  While this makes it difficult to see your baby, it is the absolute safest way for him to travel because it protects the head, neck and spine.  Most parents begin with a detachable carrier car seat that can be removed from the car with the baby still in it.  This makes for an easy portable seat wherever your baby may be and also helps babies remain asleep when they’ve reached their destination.  (Trust us, you’ll be thankful for that!)  These carrier car seats usually come with separate bases that remain latched and buckled to your car for easy ins and outs while you’re on the go or for transporting your baby in multiple cars.

As your baby gets bigger, usually between 8 and 12 months, you will need to move to a larger rear-facing car seat.  These bucket seats sit upright and many of them can convert into a forward-facing car seat when the time is right.  They still have a tall, hard back to stabilize your toddler.  This seat should fit snuggly over the shoulders and lock at the top of the chest, and wrap around each leg for a between-the-leg latch.  As with your infant seat, this seat should be latched into your car and belted with your car’s on board seat belt.  Most have an over-the-seat latch for a third security measure ensuring the seat is firmly in place.  Keep your baby rear-facing for as long as you can based on height and weight.  Many parents prematurely turn their kids around because their feet are hitting the back of the seat.  However, rarely would legs or feet be injured in a crash.  Protecting the head and upper body is more important at this early age.

Graco-My-Ride-65-LX-Convertible-Car-Seat-in-Coda-P14153964Age 2 until Outgrown:  Forward-Facing Harness Seat

The next phase of car seats is exciting for everyone because your baby gets to turn around!  For the first time he can see exactly what you see, and you can look at each other too.  And the shift happens just as you and your little toddler are better able to have conversations.  Most people simply turn around their rear-facing harness seat, however this may be a good time to buy a new seat specifically for facing forward and that allows for maximum growth.  Keep your tot in a harness seat as long as the height and weight limitations allow as this is a much safer way to travel.  Make riding in a new “big kid” car seat fun by providing a cup holder and a pocket for some small toys and books.  As your child grows older, he’ll be able to get in his seat himself, which will make life easier for you too.  Always double check the buckling to ensure it is tight enough for safety.  Usually kids outgrow the forward-facing harness seat by around age 4 or 5.

boosterSchool Age:  Booster Seat

Once your child has outgrown the harness seat, which is determined by shoulders exceeding the harness allowance or ears peeking over the top of the seat, it’s time to move to a booster seat.  This usually happens between age 4 and 6.  A booster seat allows your child to sit higher so your car’s seat belt will fit properly.  The seat belt should cross your child’s shoulders and chest, not neck or face.  If your seat belt hits too high even with a booster seat, you may not be ready to leave the harness seat.  Kids usually ride in a booster seat until age 8 to 12.

Older Children:  Seat Belt

As your child becomes taller, he can use a regular seat belt without needing a booster.  Instill a sense of car safety in your child including always wearing a seat belt no matter where you are or how far you’re going.  Keep your child in the back seat until he reaches at least age 13.

9 Ways to Update your Play Space without Buying New Toys

You have endless toys and baby gadgets for your little bundle of joy to play with…so why are both of you already sick of your playroom?  When you play with the same toys day-in and day-out, they may be getting stale.  Even without buying new toys, there are ways to refresh and update your play space for a more exciting, meaningful and engaging play experience.

Move Things Around:  It seems so simple but it really works.  Move a toy from one room to another and watch your baby delight in something that was once highly ignored.  This works particularly well when you move something out of a crowded playroom into a room where there are few toys.  She’ll be able to focus on all that one toy has to offer instead of being distracted.  Next time you need to take a shower, try this trick by bringing an old toy into your bathroom.  We bet you’re baby will be occupied for at least enough time for you to get squeaky clean.

toy_sprawl1Rotate Toys:  Keep toys fresh by rotating them in and out of your place space.  Find somewhere safe to hide toys that aren’t currently in use.  Every two weeks to a month, rotate toys so your baby will have an entirely “new” set of things to do.  She’ll probably feel like they are brand new toys.  And you’ll notice some changes in the way she plays with the toys as your baby matures.  You can also do this with friends by borrowing and trading toys for a short period of time to liven things up in your playroom.

Re-Introduce “Baby” Toys:  As your baby grows older into a toddler, you’ll probably graduate some toys.  If you have space, save some of them to re-introduce later.  Your baby’s imagination will eventually blossom and baby toys are terrific for playing make believe.  Your little one will re-discover new ways to play with baby toys.  Plus, some of the lessons of the toy – such as the alphabet, numbers, shapes and colors – that were once lost on your baby will be more digestible for your toddler.

makedo-cardboard-box-kits-cool-mom-picksAdd Cardboard:  Speaking of imagination, cardboard boxes are a breeding ground for imaginary play.  Show your little one how to pretend your box is a rocket ship, row boat or racecar.  At first she may just want to climb in-and-out or otherwise manipulate the box.  But eventually she’ll catch on as her imagination grows.  Also, use the box to place fun items you want your baby to focus on that day, such as puzzles, blocks or a special book you want to read.

Use Non-Toys: Have you ever noticed that your little one is much more fascinated by simple household objects than her own toys?  As long as they aren’t dangerous, if that’s what floats her boat, let her play with them in her own place space from time-to-time.   Try to figure out what it is that your baby likes about the object: Is it shiny?  Does it make noise?  Can she see her reflection in it?  If you know what she likes about the item, you may be able to find other similar things she would enjoy.

Decorate:  Perhaps it’s not the toys themselves that are getting old, but the space feels rather dull.  Of course you can buy lots of decorative wall hangings for your playroom, or you can make them yourself.  One of the easiest ways to decorate a playroom is with your child’s own artwork.  Hang cork boards and tack up various art projects your kiddo completes.  It will be fun for her to watch the evolution of her artwork and perhaps even recall the seasons, holidays or events where she did them.  You can also supplement with some easy art projects of your own, such as an alphabet canvas, framed photos or high shelves featuring some of your baby’s toys and stuffed animals.

Create Stations:  One great way to refresh your play space is to create stations and encourage your children to rotate every once in awhile.  You can have an area with musical instruments, an art table, a puzzle corner or a trucks and train station.  This will stimulate creative juices and also help your child learn how to transition from activity-to-activity, which will be important as she enters preschool.  Make sure your stations reflect your child’s interests.

slideBring Outside, Inside:  Especially during colder months, bringing some of the outdoors inside may be just what you need to revive your play space.  If you have a small portable slide, clean it off and bring it indoors.  Perhaps your baby loves digging in the dirt or sandbox.  Create a small sensory box where she can get her hands dirty.  To keep things tidy, spread out a large picnic blanket or put your baby and the sensory box inside a much larger cardboard box to avoid spillage.  Small balls can be a great indoor activity if your space allows.

Art Wall:  What is more fun for kids than drawing on the walls?  Not much!  If your home and your nerves can accommodate it, create a wall where your little one can get creative.  Plaster poster board or put up a dry erase board or chalk board along an entire wall.  Provide washable crayons, markers and paints and let your tot go wild writing on the walls.  Just be sure to put away the art supplies when you’re done so there is no confusion about which walls are for art and which are not.

Birth Order Traits: Parenting to Your Child

3 kidsThere have been countless studies done on nature vs. nurture, whether we are each born who we are or if personality and behavior are learned.  Most people believe it’s a combination of both.  Along with genetics and gender, there’s another factor that has warranted much research and greatly contributes to who we become; that’s birth order.  Certain traits are associated with birth order and it’s actually quite important to know them so you can better parent to your individual children.

Today we’re breaking down typical birth order traits to help you understand each of your children:

Firstborn Child

Firstborn children are products of getting a lot of attention during their early years.  They tend to be “mini adults” and emulate their parents.  Often high achievers, people-pleasers and perfectionists, firstborn children like to be in charge, assume leadership roles and may boss around other children.  They are responsible, conscientious and reliable, but may feel jealous when younger children are born.  Firstborns put a lot of pressure on themselves and may feel anxious when they underperform.

Middle Child

The middle child usually gets the least amount of attention in a family.  Therefore, middle children learn to be independent and develop a social circle to compensate.  They usually become peacemakers and learn to compromise and negotiate to get what they need or want.  Middle children are flexible and feel comfortable in many situations, mostly out of necessity.  They will sometimes act out or at least find ways to stand out, such as selecting hobbies very different from their siblings.

Youngest Child

The baby of the family is usually the most outgoing, free-spirited and creative of the group.  Parents tend to be less strict with their youngest child and continue the role of caregiver and protector longer.  This makes youngest children less responsible and indecisive, and may be seen as spoiled and demanding.  Because parents’ attention is diverted between several children, the youngest learns how to turn on the charm to get noticed, and it usually works on the entire family

Only Child

Only children are similar to firstborns and youngest children in many ways.  They are surrounded by adults most of the time, which gives them maturity beyond their years, both intellectually and emotionally.  Only children usually enjoy structure, attention and responsibility, but may not take criticism well.  Only children are given more space to develop their creativity but also learn to be independent when they want to escape from the adult world.  They are sometimes viewed as self-centered and inflexible because they don’t have to share belongings or attention like children with siblings do.

Of course birth order traits are not an exact science.  In fact, some siblings may display the exact opposite of these characteristics.  But as a whole, most people fall into these categories.  There are some widely accepted exceptions, such as twins, adopted children, blended families and when there is a big age gap between children.  Even if your kids don’t fit these molds, it’s important to realize how children’s personalities and perspectives differ, and how you can best nurture your kids to reach their highest potential.

Ending a Breastfeeding Relationship: The Emotions behind Weaning

Breastfeeding is one of the most extraordinary experiences that mothers and babies can share.  It not only allows new moms to provide the ultimate nourishment to their babies, but it also forms an incredibly special bond built from physical and emotional closeness.  So when breastfeeding eventually comes to an end, emotions will certainly run high.

Weaning happens for a variety of reasons but is typically categorized in two ways: Child-led weaning is when the baby or toddler is ready to end the breastfeeding relationship and stops showing interest and desire to nurse.  This naturally occurs between 18 and 24 months for most children, when they are also eating many solid foods, drinking cow’s milk and are aware of their environment.  Mother-led weaning is when the mother is ready or forced to stop breastfeeding, regardless of whether her baby is ready.  Many mothers stop breastfeeding at one year because the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least this amount of time, she finds this timing to be the social norm or she’s looking for more freedom in her life.  Nevertheless, there is also evidence that extended breastfeeding is highly beneficial to mothers and babies.  Sometimes weaning is a joint decision between mother and baby.  That is, the mother notices signs of disinterest and then makes a formal decision to stop breastfeeding gradually.

Leading Lady BreastfeedingFirst, it’s important to recognize when a child is not necessarily ready to wean.  Many mothers are confused by mixed signals they may be getting from their babies.  For instance, as a baby becomes more mature, he’ll have a natural curiosity for the world around him, which may cause him to be distracted during breastfeeding.  This does not mean he’s apathetic to breastfeeding or doesn’t need the nutrition, it just means mom should help him refocus by eliminating distractions as much as possible.  Some babies go on a breastfeeding strike and suddenly do not want to nurse.  Child-led weaning is rarely marked by an abrupt end to breastfeeding.  A strike is probably about something else, like an illness, a lull in growth when he needs less milk or the eruption of new teeth.  Many mothers also feel pressure to wean when they go back to work, get pregnant with another baby or are influenced by others’ opinions.  However, none of these factors should determine when a breastfeeding relationship ends.

Babies are usually pretty adaptable and, especially with child-led weaning, have an easier time when breastfeeding ends.  As moms are more emotionally mature, they often struggle during weaning and may even feel depressed.  There are many elements at play that can lead to feelings of sadness and guilt.  If the mother is ready to stop breastfeeding before the baby naturally weans, she may feel guilty about putting her own desires above her baby’s.  Sometimes if a baby weans easily, even if not by choice, mothers feel unwanted or unneeded.

However it happens, many mothers feel nostalgic about weaning and often mourn the loss of this stage in the mother/child relationship.  Hormones also contribute to feelings of sadness and depression during weaning.  Prolactin, the hormone that is required for milk production, and oxytocin, which is responsible for the release of milk through let downs, both help calm and relax mothers and contribute to feelings of love.  When these hormones drop off, especially if weaning occurs suddenly, moms can spiral into depression.  At this point, it’s important to seek professional advice to ensure the safety and well-being of both mom and baby.  Also, finding other ways to emotionally bond with your baby can curb some of these negative feelings.  Cuddling, hugging, reading, singing and otherwise maintaining skin-to-skin contact will benefit both mom and baby.

Mothers who are unsure about weaning should talk to a breastfeeding counselor or health care provider before making a decision.  Once breastfeeding stops, it is very difficult to return to it and often confusing for the child.  Mothers should be absolutely sure about their decision.  When it’s time, weaning should be done gradually starting with dropping one feeding each week.  The process may stall at certain points and continue with just a couple feedings – often morning and before bedtime – for weeks or even months before breastfeeding completely ends.  This slow wean will help level off breast milk to avoid clogged ducts or mastitis and help rebalance hormones.  Plus, it will give baby time to get used to an increase in non-breast milk and other forms of nutrients.

Just like the entire breastfeeding journey, weaning is a time that moms and babies have to navigate together.  It should be done carefully and with much love and respect for each other’s health, feelings and well-being.  Remember, the bond of breastfeeding shared by mothers and children is one that transitions beautifully into a strong and loving relationship for a lifetime.

Chubby Babies: Natural Baby Fat or Overweight

Everyone loves to see a jolly chubby baby.  There is something about those rolls of fat on the legs, arms and chin that are irresistible.  For many babies, this is natural baby fat that will begin to shed as he or she becomes more mobile.  But there is growing concern about obesity among babies that may be a precursor for being overweight or obese later in life.

Your pediatrician is the best resource to determine whether your baby is a healthy weight.  As you’ve surely noticed, your doctor plots your baby’s height, weight and head circumference on a growth chart during each visit.  This not only helps determine the wellbeing of your own child’s growth pattern, but also compares your little one to others of the same age and sex.  While there are many times comparing your baby to others is not productive, in the case of growth, these averages are helpful to ensure your tot is on a good path.

iStock_000008954862SmallThe American Journal of Health Promotion reported that nearly one-third of babies under 9 months old are overweight or obese.  There are several reasons that contribute to this trend in larger children: if a baby is born large, he will likely remain on the large end of the growth curve all his life; babies born to obese parents are more likely to be overweight; and babies born to moms who develop gestational diabetes are at higher risk of obesity.  By tracking your baby’s growth curve and gathering all of the facts about your family history, pregnancy and lifestyle habits, your pediatrician can determine if your baby is hanging on to natural baby fat or if other factors are at play.

Either way, it is never acceptable to put your baby on a diet.  There is no reason to withhold food from your baby, especially essential fats that are required for brain, heart, bone and muscle development.  Instead, your doctor may recommend a few healthy changes to redirect your baby’s health and get back on the right track.

First, breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your baby’s weight.  Breast fed babies are less likely to be obese later in childhood and adulthood.  Formula feeding can lead to overfeeding, which may be the source of a baby’s weight gain.  Also, starting solids too early can contribute to obesity, especially when combined with formula feeding.  Solids should be introduced between 4 and 6 months of age but the journal Pediatrics claims 40% of parents begin solids prematurely.

When the time is appropriate, make sure you feed your baby healthy foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This young age is a crucial time for developing a healthy diet and eating habits.  Good eating habits include sitting at a table for meals, eating to satisfy not to stuff even if the plate is not empty, and eating when you are hungry.  Excessive sugar consumption is a huge contributor to obesity so limit juice and sugary snacks in your child’s diet.  Furthermore, encourage an active lifestyle by giving your babies, toddler and older children plenty of opportunity to run and play.

There are varying opinions about the long term effects of being overweight as a baby.  New studies indicate that overweight babies are more likely to be obese as children and adults.  And as we all know, obesity has become an epidemic.  But does it start as a baby?  The jury is still out.  Some say that once you expose the body to excess fat storage, the body finds homeostasis in storing fat.  Others say that with the right lifestyle choices, babies grow out of their baby fat by age 4 and being on the heavy side as a baby does not necessarily lead to obesity.

The bottom line about chubby babies is to ensure they are growing at a steady pace, according to your pediatrician, and giving them the best chance at a healthy weight by making good dietary and lifestyle choices.  Enjoy those rolls while they last because chances are, they will be gone before you know it.

5 Ways to Sweeten Valentine’s Day while Breastfeeding

With a new baby in your life, there’s probably a lot of love floating around your home, but perhaps not the same passion you experienced on previous Valentine’s Days.  As exhausted and preoccupied as you may be, Valentine’s Day is a time to rally.  Celebrating Valentine’s Day while breastfeeding and shortly after having a baby may not entail all the intimacy of Valentine’s past, but there are still many ways you can sweeten the day with your love.

Need some ideas?  We’re glad you’ve come to us!

Have a Romantic Dinner in “Bistro Your House”

Turn your dining room into the fanciest restaurant in town…or at least the closest to your house.  Here’s how to do it:  Drape your table with a festive tablecloth.  Turn down the lights and strike a match on some romantic candles.  And bust out your best dishes.  Plan a meal that incorporates both of your favorite flavors.  You can either surprise your love with this one-of-a-kind dining experience or cook the meal together.  Be sure to remove the traces of the day-to-day life that happens around your house like burp cloths, toys and bouncy chairs to ensure a more sophisticated mood, at least in this one dining space.  If you’re holding off on wine while breastfeeding, toast with sparkling juice or a delicious mocktail.

Button-Up-Sleeveless-ShirtdressWear a Sassy Nursing Dress and Use your Assets to Your Advantage

Whether you’re staying home or headed out, you should take the opportunity to get dolled up on this special day.  After having a baby, you may not have had the chance to spend time pampering and primping yourself.  Well, today is the day of all days for that.  And thanks to your baby, you probably have some new assets to use to your advantage, your breasts.  Select a chic wrap dress, button or zip top, or other low-cut blouse that will show off your new, even if only temporary, features.

Make a Collage of your Family’s New “Loving Moments”

In Valentine’s past, your husband may have ogled over a new watch, sports memorabilia or a swanky sweater.  This year, give him a lasting memory of his new love.  Plan a secret photography session of your baby and create a collage of images.  Get a few of you and your baby as well.  If time and budget don’t permit professional photos, take your own or collect ones from the past few months of your baby’s life to frame for your hubby.  We bet he’ll be thrilled to keep these “Loving Moments” with him always.

sexy-nursing-braBuy a New Wardrobe of Sexy Nursing Bras

Do you want to really sweeten the pot and wow your man?  Head on over to Walmart or for a Loving Moments sexy nursing bra shopping spree.  Our collection features everything from sexy lace, to flirty prints.  Wear a new sexy nursing bra every day for the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, and save your favorite one for the big day, of course.  You’ll be all set for breastfeeding so your baby will be happy, and we bet you’ll get a terrific reaction from your husband too.

Make Out After your Baby is Asleep

Even if your OBGYN hasn’t cleared you for intercourse, you can sweeten your Valentine’s Day while breastfeeding by making out with you husband after your baby goes to sleep.  As soon as you finish your nighttime feeding, set the mood and start the flirtation.  It may feel a little old-school but kissing alone often creates more intimacy and stimulates a sense of closeness all the same.

Celebrating a romantic Valentine’s Day while breastfeeding is doable!  Mop up the spit-up, slap on some lipstick and light the candles.  Then get ready for a meaningful, adult evening of love and togetherness.

6 Sexy Nursing Bras for Valentine’s Day

Who’s ready for Valentine’s Day?  We are!

Leading Lady is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to look and feel great this Valentine’s Day and nurture your baby.  Our sexy nursing bras are both functional for breastfeeding and comfortable for all day and night wear.  From pops of red and rosy pinks, to steamy lace and adorably fun patterns, we’ve got it all.  Today we’re sharing our six must-have sexy nursing bras for Valentine’s Day:


Leading Lady Sexy Lace Cup Bra_bra calendarLace Cup Nursing Bra

This stunning bra offered in wirefree or underwire will make jaws drop, not only from its sheer beauty, but also when anyone finds out it is a nursing bra.  It comes in black, nude and sweet lavender and will make you feel like a million bucks.  More importantly, it will help you nourish your baby and bond during the priceless experience of breastfeeding.



Molded Seamless Lace Frame Nursing Brax406_nude.jpg.pagespeed.ic.srsZ-i-y7N

From all-over lace to a more subtle lace frame, this bra is a sexy twist on our classic molded seamless bra.  Lace detail frames the cups and extends to the center and back as well. The comfort and fit of this bra are perfection, and the soft lace is a breathably attractive fabric choice.



Molded Comfort Wirefree Nursing Brax4006_nude_1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ZZVlHgFXc3

Stretchy and silky, this nursing bra is great for all stages of breastfeeding.  The flexible fabric grows with you as milk fluctuates and the lace detail outlining the cups adds a feminine touch.  Available in both nude and white, your Valentine will surely delight in this classic, sexy bra.



Modern Square Neck Nursing CamiNursing Cami

Need to add some red hot spice to your Valentine’s Day?  Check out this adorable nursing cami that gives you a splash of Valentine’s red when you unfold the nursing clasps.  The empire waist fit is flattering to moms as they return to their normal size.  This nursing tank can be worn as a stand alone top, layered under a sweater or as a pajama top for simple nighttime breastfeeding.



Shirred Front Comfort Nursing Cami and Chemise4041_BlackDot

Perhaps you need a “dot” of playfulness to spice up your Valentine’s Day.  Our fun polka dot nursing cami and nursing chemise will surely be the exclamation point you need to celebrate in comfort and style.  With bold contrasting colors, your baby will even enjoy this trendy print.



Nursing Top4049_black_withbackinset

One of our newest maternity and nursing wear pieces is this versatile black lace racer back nursing top. It’s the ideal shirt for any nursing mom on the go, especially on Valentine’s Day. The sheer lace and racer back style add a sexy detail to this flattering nursing top.


So go on, splurge on a few new sexy nursing bras for your special day of love.  We wish you a happy, and sexy, Valentine’s Day.

3 Ways to Teach Babies about Heart Health

It’s February, Heart Health Month and the month of love.  As a mom, you share your whole heart with your baby.  At such a young age, much of the love you give your baby is through health and security as you take care of her basic needs and ensure she feels loved and comforted. And matters of the heart – whether it’s your heart or your baby’s – are essential for your baby’s health and wellbeing throughout childhood and beyond.

Setting a heart-healthy example for your baby is crucial during these early years of life.  Babies learn health habits from their parents and all caregivers.  Nutrition, exercise and lifestyle behaviors are some of the most critical aspects of good health that you can impart on your children when they are young.  Being a role model and helping your kids learn to eat a balanced diet, get regular physical activity and make good choices will stay with them for a lifetime.  Caring for your own heart along with your baby’s will benefit you both and continue to spread that natural love.

Breastfeeding with Leading LadyA heart-healthy life begins with breastfeeding.  Breast milk provides babies with the perfect blend of nutrients for their growing bodies and continues to evolve as their developmental needs change too.  Breast milk and the closeness of breastfeeding helps regulate a baby’s heart beat to sync with her mother.  This calms many babies, creating a less fussy and more relaxed environment for the entire family.  We all know there are many amazing health benefits of breastfeeding, and these include benefits for the heart.  According to the American Heart Associate, breast milk helps decrease hypertension and high cholesterol as children get older, as well as reduce risk of diabetes, obesity and other serious conditions that affect overall health.  For moms, breastfeeding reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, in addition to cancer, diabetes and depression.

Around the sixth month, you’ll be ready to introduce solids into your baby’s diet along side breast milk.  Fortified baby cereals are a great place to start, followed by pureed fruits and vegetables.  Introduce healthy solids one at a time to gauge how your baby will react to each food.  Some babies take to solids immediately while others need some time to learn how to swallow a thicker substance.  If your baby is averse to trying new foods, mix them with breast milk to offer a more familiar scent and flavor.  Take this time to teach your baby about healthy food choices and having healthy eating habits.  It may seem quite early, but exposing your baby to a range of healthy foods has many advantages including the tremendous benefits of variety of nutrients and learning to like different flavors, textures and colors of foods.  Often, picky eaters develop because their parents permit it, which can lead to unhealthy food choices in the future.  Additionally, establishing a habit of designated meal times when everyone sits down to eat together is important at this early stage.

baby-jogging-strollerPhysical activity is another heart-healthy value you can instill in your baby.  Start by incorporating your baby into your exercise, such as bringing her with you on power walks or jogs, or integrate her into your yoga or weight lifting routines.  As your little one gets older, she’ll be much more mobile. Encourage physical activities at her level, which will strengthen muscles that she’ll eventually need to crawl, walk and run.  At first this may mean placing objects out of grasp so she has to reach for them and eventually thrust or scoot her body towards them.  As she begins to crawl, take her to a playground with soft turf where she can explore and begin to pull up on bars, slides and swings.  Before you know it she’ll be running around the park.  Make exercise fun for your tot by playing games, even if you make them up yourself.  As motor skills develop, introduce balls, bikes and other outdoor equipment that will challenge your child through play.

Finally, lead by example by making smart heart-healthy lifestyle choices.  Smoking is one of the riskiest behaviors for your own heart, but can also greatly damage your baby’s entire physical wellbeing through secondhand smoke.  Don’t drink excessive alcohol.  Eventually your baby will pick up on your drinking habits and realize that “mommy juice” is actually wine.  It’s unreasonable to think that your children will have healthy lifestyle habits if you don’t set the expectation with your own behavior from the get-go.  When they are grown, they will make their own choices and don’t you want them to be ones you taught them by example?

Heart health starts right now.  Not because it’s February.  Not because it’s Heart Health Month.  Not because it’s almost Valentine’s Day.  Do it because you love your baby.  Protecting your baby’s heart health, and overall health, is one of the most important things you can do to show your love.

Happy Heart = Happiness & Love

meet AMY
Submit your own question to be answered.
Please provide us with your name, email address and question, and you may find it as the next featured Q+A on Amy's Corner.
Terms and Conditions.

Search our past Q+A's.
Choose a topic that interests you to view only related Q+A's.

4th of July
academy awards
activities with babies
Alyssa Milano
American Heart Association
anaphylactic shock
Anne Geddes
Ashton Kutcher
babies and playgrounds
babies and poison
Babies and Type 1 Diabetes
babies in pumpkins
babies love music
baby as a pumpkin
baby boy names
baby brains
baby bump
Baby bumps
baby car seats
Baby Care
baby cough
baby gates
Baby Gender
Baby Gifts
baby girl names
Baby Halloween Costumes
baby name
Baby Names
baby news
baby photography
baby pictures
baby proofing
baby safety
baby schedule
Baby Selfies
Baby Shower
Baby Skin Care
baby sleep schedule
baby sleep training
baby talk
baby wearing
baby's development
baby's first cold
baby's runny nose
baby's senses
Babymoon Destinations
being a good patient
benefits of babywearing
benefits of breastfeeding
best breast pump
best breastfeeding positions
best Mothers Day gifts
best music for babies
best toys for babies
big sister
birth order
birth order traits
birth plan
bleeding gums
Body Acceptance
booster car seats
Bottle Feeding
boy names
Bra Fit Tips
Breast Cancer Awareness
breast feeding
breast milk
breast milk movies
Breast Milk Production
breast milk storage
breast pump
breast pump flange
breast pump flanges
breast pumps
Breast Reduction and Breastfeeding
breastfeeding a baby with a cold
Breastfeeding Advice
breastfeeding after c-section
Breastfeeding and Baby's Brain
breastfeeding and babywearing
Breastfeeding and Bonding with Baby
breastfeeding and burning calories
breastfeeding and co-sleeping
Breastfeeding and Earth Day
Breastfeeding and Exercise
Breastfeeding and Health Care
breastfeeding and medications
Breastfeeding and Ovulating
Breastfeeding and Pregnancy
breastfeeding and pumping
breastfeeding and smell
breastfeeding and the working mom
breastfeeding and touch
Breastfeeding Benefits
Breastfeeding Classes
breastfeeding diet restrictions
Breastfeeding During the Holidays
Breastfeeding Education
breastfeeding help
Breastfeeding in Public
breastfeeding in sling
breastfeeding issues
breastfeeding latch
breastfeeding latch tips
breastfeeding laws
breastfeeding on Valentine's Day
Breastfeeding Policy
breastfeeding positions
breastfeeding positions lying down
breastfeeding pumping
Breastfeeding Registry
breastfeeding supplies
Breastfeeding Support
Breastfeeding Support Groups
Breastfeeding Tips
breastfeeding tops
breathing techniques during pregnancy
bump style
caesarean section
can pregnant women eat shrimp
Car Seats for Every Age
Celebrate Mother's Day
Celebrity Babies
celebrity pregnancies
characteristics of children based on birth order
child proofing
childhood obesity
Children's Play
Chris Hemsworth
Christian Bale
Christopher Nolan
chubby babies
cleaning car
Cluster Feeding
cold weather activities
colostrum benefits
Comfortable Bras
common pregnancy questions
compression tights
cosmetics during pregnancy
crafts for kids
Cute Babies
cute maternity clothes
Danah Bordner
dental health
depression and weaning
developing baby's senses
dietary restrictions
different ways to praise a child
Doutzen Kroes
Drew Barrymore
eating fish during pregnancy
Eating Fish During Pregnancy and While Breastfeeding
eating fish while breastfeeding
Elie Saab
Elsa Pataky
Emily blunt
emotions behind weaning
exercise with baby
Extended Breastfeeding
family bed
family escape plan
family photos
family physician
Family Planning
family planning trends
family size
Father's Day
Fertility Calendar
fire safety for babies
fire safety for toddlers
fire safety in your home
fire safety tips
fish oil
fish recommendations for breastfeeding
flanges breast pump
Flying While Pregnant
food allergies
food and drug administration
foods to avoid during pregnancy
Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
formal maternity dresses
funny facts about breastfeeding
funny moments in parenting
Fussy Baby
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones HBO
Gender Prediction
Getting Pregnant
Gift Ideas
gifts for mom
girl names
giving back
giving back during holidays
Halloween activities
Halloween activities for babies
hands on pumping
happy kids
harness car seats
health benefits of breastfeeding
healthy babies
Healthy Breakfasts
healthy diet
Healthy Eating
Heart disease
heart health
heart health and your baby
heart healthy diet
heart healthy family
heart healthy lifestyle
holiday schedule
holiday spirit
holiday traditions
home remedies for babies
homemade gifts
homemade Mothers Day gift ideas
homemade Mothers Day gifts
Hospital Bag Checklist
how to avoid poisoning
how to avoid reflux
how to baby proof
how to be a good patient
how to be sexy while breastfeeding
how to breastfeed
how to engage your baby with toys
how to fall asleep
how to fall asleep fast
how to get rid of stretch marks
how to go to sleep
how to hold baby while nursing
how to keep car clean
How to Keep Your Babysitter Happy
how to potty train
how to raise happy kids
how to sleep better
how to sleep train a baby
how to stop breastfeeding
how to stop breastfeeding at night
how to take great family pictures
how to tell if baby is overweight
humor in parenting
immune system
In the Media
indoor activities for babies
infant safety
Jason Goldberg
Jason Wu
john krasinski
Just for Fun
juvenile diabetes
juvenile diabetes and babies
keep my car clean
Kerry Washington
Kraft Nabisco tournament
Kristen Cavallari
Labor Day
lack of sleep
Lactation Consultant
Latching On
laura silverman
Leading Lady nursing bras
leaking breast milk
leaking breasts
leaking nipples
leaving your job
liquid gold
little one
Losing Baby Weight
Losing Weight After Pregnancy
LPGA tour
makeup during pregnancy
making mom friends
maternity bras
maternity clothes
maternity dress
maternity dresses
maternity fashion
mental health during pregnancy
mercury in fish
mercury levels in fish
Mila Kunis
milk movie
Milk Supply
mom friends
Mother's Day
Mothers Day gift ideas
Mothers Day gifts
Mothers Day ideas
music and babies
nameberry baby names
nameberry unusual names
National Breastfeeding Month
National Heart Month
natural home remedies
Natural Home Remedies for Babies
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
new mom
New Years Resolutions
newborn photography
night weaning
nighttime breastfeeding
Nipple Confusion
nipple pain
nipple pumping
Nipple Soreness
number of kids per family
nursing attire
nursing bra
Nursing Bras
nursing cami
Nursing Fashion
Nursing Mom's Lifestyle
Nursing Positions
Nursing Supplies
Nursing Tank Tops
nursing wardrobe
Old Wives Tale Gender Prediction
Olivia Wilde
omega 3
omega 3 fatty acids
oral bacteria during pregnancy
oral thrush
organizing car
Oscar awards
Outdoor safety
Ovarian Cancer Awareness
overweight baby
Parental Guidance
parenting to your child
Paula Garces
peanut allergies
peanut allergy
peanut allergy symptoms
perinatal mental health
Plan Your Own Mother’s Day
play room
playground recommendations for babies
poison prevention
polka dot maternity clothes
post-partum depression
potty training
praise for children
pre potty training tips
precautions for babies while playing outside
pregnancy announcement
Pregnancy Calendar
pregnancy changes
pregnancy concerns
pregnancy cravings
pregnancy diet
Pregnancy Discrimination
pregnancy exercise
pregnancy fashion
pregnancy gingivitis
pregnancy health
Pregnancy in the work place
Pregnancy Myths
pregnancy nipples
pregnancy rules
Pregnancy Stretch Marks
pregnancy workouts
Pregnant Belly
pregnant celebrities
pregnant women
Prenatal Dental Care
prenatal yoga
preparing for childbirth
Preparing to be a Stay at Home Mom
Preparing to Breastfeed
proper latch
public breastfeeding
pumping at work
pumping breast milk
pumpkin activities for babies
Raising Happy Kids
reading and smart babies
red carpet
red carpet dresses
refresh your play room
Returning to Work
Rh negative
Rules of Babysitters
rules of pregnancy
sadness and weaning
safe drugs while breastfeeding
safe medications for breastfeeding
Scarlett Johansson
science behind happy kids
sensory experiences for babies
sexy new moms
Sexy Nursing Bras
Sheryl Sandberg
simon cowell
sleep schedule
sleep tips
sleep training methods
sleeping in bed with baby
smart babies
soleil moon frye
sound machine
spicy foods
spider veins
spirit of giving
Spring Fashion
stay at home mom
Storing Breaskmilk
stretch marks
Sugar substitutes
summer maternity clothes
symptoms of common cold in baby
taking pictures of baby
talking to your baby
Teach babies about heart health
teaching children about giving back
teeth during pregnancy
Thanksgiving Activities
that 70s show
The Benefits of Music for Babies
The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
The Cost of Breastfeeding
the golden rule
The History of Breastfeeding
thrush in adults
thrush in babies
thrush symptoms
thrush treatment
tips for sleep training
top things to do during pregnancy
toxins in cosmetics
toxins in makeup
toxins that are bad for babies
treat your babysitter like family
trends in family size
type 1 diabetes
unique baby boy names
unique baby girl names
unique baby names
update your play space
Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day nursing bras
Valentine's Day while breastfeeding
varicose veins
varicose veins treatment
visiting the doctor
Ways to Burn Calories with a Baby
ways to find other new moms
ways to praise your child
ways to relieve congestion in babies
ways to sweeten Valentine's Day
weaning breastfeeding
weaning from breastfeeding
what is colostrum
what is thrush
what medicines can I take while breastfeeding
what not to do during pregnancy
what not to eat during pregnancy
what to avoid during pregnancy
what to do before potty training
what to do on Mother's Day
what to eat during pregnancy
what type of car seat do I need
white noise machine
why children need praise
wintertime activities
wirefree nursing bras
World Breastfeeding Week
yeast diaper rash
yoga with baby