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

Why Is Seafood So Important to Your Pregnancy Diet?

Why is seafood so important to your pregnancy diet?Recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a big change in the food recommendations made specifically for pregnant and breastfeeding moms and their children. Pregnant women are often discouraged from consuming certain foods (sushi, hot dogs, and goat’s milk cheese are among the many on the “do not eat” list) and seafood has long been a culinary category many expecting moms stay away from. Because some fish carry too-high mercury levels for safe consumption, many pregnant women nix seafood from their diets altogether. A recent FDA analysis shows that one in five US pregnant women eats little to no fish at all. To change the public perception about all fish being unsafe for a pregnant woman’s consumption, the FDA is attempting to raise the recommended minimum serving to eight ounces (two servings) a week for pregnant and breastfeeding moms, as well as children.

Why is seafood so important to a pregnancy diet? Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, play a vital role in positive fetal development, especially concerning brain tissue. Doctors site studies that show that children born to women who dined on fish while pregnant have higher I. Q.s and more advanced behavioral development—plenty of reasons to encourage pregnant women not to forgo fish completely. Fish varieties that are deemed low-mercury and safe for consumption include salmon, shrimp, cod, tilapia and light canned tuna. Albacore tuna has a higher mercury level than light canned tuna and therefore only has a recommendation of six ounces a week.

Though this regulation change is still in its exploratory phase, the FDA hopes to calm some of the anxieties that surround mothers concerned about mercury levels in fish. While Omega-3 supplements are available in most stores and can also be naturally found in walnuts, kale, spinach, and other green vegetables. Scientists warn that not all Omega-3s provide the same health and development benefits though, and that taking a daily dose of fish oil is not the same as eating a salmon filet for dinner. To find out what diet changes are best for you and your children, talk to your doctor about nutrition needs and what kinds of fish you can incorporate into your family’s diet for safe, healthy benefits for all.

Photo attribution

Thrush and Breastfeeding: Symptoms and How to Treat the Common Infection

Thrush-and-Breastfeeding-Symptoms-and-How-to-Treat-the-Common-InfectionBreastfeeding moms, have you noticed white patches on your baby’s mouth or tongue that do not seem to wipe away easily? Or are your nipples red, cracked, itchy, or burning? These are common symptoms of Thrush, a yeast infection that affects both moms and babies. Thrush is not a medically serious condition, but can linger and cause prolonged irritation for both mom and baby. Read through some of our Thrush warning signs so you can be familiar with the symptoms and contact your health care provider if you are worried about your baby’s appetite or if you’d like more advice about treating the infection.

Most cases of Thrush are brought on by antibiotics; if you’re a breastfeeding mom currently taking an antibiotic, make sure to pay special attention to any nipple or breast pain you feel while nursing or if your baby exhibits any of the following signs. Antibiotics naturally clear the good bacteria you carry which keeps your yeast levels in check. Thrush occurs when your bacteria levels are imbalanced and you’re susceptible to a yeast infection. Moms and babies have the ability to pass Thrush back and forth through breastfeeding. Your baby can develop Thrush even if you show no symptoms; some experts say that babies can develop Thrush through bottle and pacifier overuse, but no concrete explanation has been found yet.

Signs to watch for with your baby:

  • White patches on the tongue, inside of cheeks or lips. These patches will not be easily wiped away.
  • Mouth tenderness, fussiness, reluctant to nurse or bottle-feed.
  • Diaper rash

Signs to watch for with yourself:

  • If your nipples are any of the following: red, itchy, cracked, or burning.
  • A vaginal yeast infection
  • Deep, shooting breast pains not commonly associated with latching or positioning.

You and your baby might exhibit none of the above symptoms and still experience Thrush.

Breast and bottle care will be very important when treating Thrush. Make sure to wash your breast and nipples with hot, soapy water between feedings. Some pediatricians will recommend that you let your nipples air dry rather than use a towel. Boil water and submerge all breast pump parts, bottles, and pacifiers that you use for at least twenty minutes. Sterilizing all of your breastfeeding equipment will help fight against the infection. If you are worried about your baby’s appetite or the Thrush lasts beyond a few weeks, contact your health care provider to figure out a new plan of action. There are some treatments a doctor can prescribe that will effectively clear up Thrush.

Photo attribution

Breast Pump Question: Finding the Right Size Flanges for Your Breastfeeding Comfort

Breast pump flange courtesy of MedelaMy breast pump flange doesn’t fit. What do I do?

If your breast pump flange is too big or too small, it may make pumping uncomfortable and also may affect how much breast milk you obtain. A well-fitting flange will enable your nipple to move freely inside the flange without rubbing awkwardly against the edges. It’s also important to wear the right size flange because it will help you collect the largest amount of breast milk you produce.

How can you tell if your breast pump flanges are too small or large? Some signs include if your nipples barely fit in the flange while you are pumping, or if one or both nipples are rubbing against the sides of the flange. These signs indicated that your flanges are too small. If you lose suction while pumping or if your nipple size is smaller than the diameter of a pencil eraser then your flange may be too large. A flange that is too large can cause nipple abrasion and damage. In this case you will want to invest in a smaller flange. It is a good idea to check the flange sizes before you pump for the first time so you can avoid any nipple discomfort or damage.

Most pump companies have several sizes to choose from, so don’t worry if the flanges included with your breast pump are not a perfect fit. All pumps are sold with standard size flanges so you may have to contact the pump company to find out where to purchase the correct flanges separately. Typically the cost of the flanges are about $10 and well worth the investment.


Breastmilk Documentary: Go Inside the Lives of Five Breastfeeding Couples

Photo still from Breastmilk documentary courtesy of Aleph PicturesSure, you may know what it’s like to breastfeed your own little one, but do you ever wonder how women across the United States tackle everyday breastfeeding? Filmmaker Dana Ben-Ari joined forces with executive producers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake (yes, of talk show fame) to capture the lives of five breastfeeding couples in the new documentary Breastmilk, shot in the US. Breastmilk was screened this past May in New York City and was met with warm accolades from critics. Director Ben-Ari focuses in particular on how mothers in professional careers balance breastfeeding with pumping in the office and other routine measures they take to continue nursing, as well as a mother’s struggle to find necessary support and encouragement in the face of feeling doubtful about continuing to breastfeed. These topics are sure to be familiar to many nursing mother’s own lives.

What can you expect from this documentary? An honest portrayal of how breastfeeding is not as easy as it seems and that real struggles exist for women who set out with all intents and purposes to nurse. We were delighted to see how couples interacted in the trailer—it’s great to see partners support one another while learning the breast milk ropes. The documentary’s main question seems to hover on the current CDC statistic that 85 percent of new mothers report a desire to breastfeed exclusively for at least three months, but only 32 percent end up seeing this goal through. Without judgment, Breastmilk seeks to expose what modern-day factors give new mothers the hardest time while upholding a breastfeeding schedule.

Check online to see if your town is screening Breastmilk (it has a limited theater run) if you’re interested in the documentary. What can you do to help encourage new mothers who might feel let down by their own breastfeeding experiences? Offer what resources you can: a lactation consultant’s phone number, your own breastfeeding knowledge, or even an online community you frequented for your most dire breastfeeding questions. Your support will help new moms feel empowered by breastfeeding rather than inadequate; Even if your friend or sister cannot make it past the three month mark nursing, it’s better to let them know how proud you are of them for trying to make the best health decisions for their babies.

Pregnant Women Concerns: A Global Look at Expecting

Have you ever wondered what moms-to-be across the globe pull out of their fridge at night to satisfy a pregnancy craving? Do you think that all pregnant women are concerned about spider veins, stretch marks, and sagging breasts? While pregnancy is a very universal condition experienced by most women around the world, different countries have notably unique questions and concerns when it comes to pregnancy. New York Times contributor Seth Stephens-Davidowitz combed through Google search data and made a very interesting infographic about the desires, wishes, and fears of pregnant women in different countries based on the most common search engine questions. His findings truly paint a picture of how pregnancy is experienced globally.

Pregnant women concerns: a global look at expectingWhat do you think the United States, Australia, Britain, and South Africa have in common when it comes to filling in this Google search: “How to ____ during pregnancy”? If you guessed “preventing stretch marks” or “avoiding stretch marks”—you’re right! Turns out that pregnant women from the listed countries are more body conscious than moms-to-be from India or Nigeria; this specific “how to” question does not appear once in either country’s top 5 most searched lists. The United States, Australia, and Britain mention stretch marks twice in their most popular searches lists while South African women focus more on morning sickness and sleep. Across the board, the question of a couple’s sexual relationship appears in the top 5 most searched lists. It’s clear that husbands and wives around the world value their personal relationships and put emphasis on maintaining physical contact throughout pregnancy.

The other popular search engine question Stephens-Davidowitz analyzed was “Can pregnant women ___?” The answers that appear in his infographic are much more indicative of how individual cultures perceive pregnancy in terms of what foods, pain medications, and activities are popular for the country as a whole. For example, Spain’s number one fill-in-the-blank to this query is “Can pregnant women eat paté?” This goose-liver delicacy is not nearly as popular in the United States or Britain, but interestingly both the US and UK mention shrimp (“prawns” is the UK term used) as a potential worry for pregnant women.

What are some other worries pregnant women have? Nigeria wonders if pregnant women can drink cold water, Mexico is concerned that expecting moms can’t wear high heels, and Singapore isn’t sure if moms-to-be can eat ice cream! I’m sure moms in every nation can reassure Singapore that ice cream is a pregnant mom go-to for cravings at any hour. For the complete list of Stephens-Davidowitz’s findings, click here.

Do you have any common worries that come from a country different than your own? Let us know what some of your own Google searches were for while you were pregnant, moms!

Common Pregnancy Questions: Is It Normal for My Nipples to Leak?

Common pregnancy questions: is it normal for my nipples to leak?Pregnancy changes—even if you’re pregnant and it’s not your first, there’s no telling what surprises your body’s going to unexpectedly throw at you. Any mom will tell you that no two pregnancies are alike. When you’re hyper-sensitive about your body’s changes and indescribable mood swings, the littlest occurrences can seem monumental. Your breasts will swell during pregnancy and seemingly become just as sensitive as you feel while watching a sappy movie. What about leaking nipples though—what’s going on? Is it normal for your breasts to leak while pregnant? We’re exploring common pregnancy questions and answering this one for you:

Yes, it’s completely normal to leak fluids while pregnant. Not all women experience this, but most notice a little leaking during the third trimester. Have you wondered what exactly you’re leaking? It’s called colostrum and is a precursor to breast milk. Colostrum is nutrient rich, low in fat, and full of antibodies—it’s perfectly engineered to be your baby’s first food and supercharges your little one’s immune system. Leaking colostrum means that your milk system is working and that breast milk production is underway.

Worried about leaking breast milk in public? Grab a pack of nursing pads and slip them into your bra as needed. If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you’ll need a couple of pairs anyway. To prevent nipple stickiness or pain, make sure to use a lanolin-based nipple cream with your nursing pads for ultimate comfort. You might want to avoid wearing your favorite bras or tops if you’re leaking just so you don’t get stains from stray droplets. But again, it’s completely normal to leak before giving birth and you’re not alone.

Photo attribution

Night Weaning Breastfeeding Tips for Nursing Moms

Night weaning breastfeeding tips for nursing momsIt’s no secret that new moms don’t get a lot of sleep. When you first start breastfeeding, it’s clear that because your baby will feed every 2-3 hours, your sleep schedule forms around your baby’s needs. But what about when your baby reaches his or her first birthday and does not have to nurse as frequently? Many mothers who practice extended breastfeeding go through a night weaning phase with their little one. Night weaning does not mean that mom wants to stop breastfeeding completely—she’d just rather sleep through the night without waking to breastfeeding since the necessity is no longer there.

What’s the best way for mom to begin the night weaning process, and how long does it take for a toddler to effectively give up nursing at night? There’s no real time frame when it comes to weaning, so be prepared to spend a few weeks at least implementing the new no-nursing-at-night routine. Your new policy might not be met with smiles, too. Patience is going to be the key to getting your little one used to his or her new schedule.

We like this suggestion from Monica Beyer’s night weaning article: anticipate your little one’s schedule so you can alter it effectively and without causing a nighttime temper tantrum. Set an alarm to go off before your child typically wakes up to nurse and wake up your child to breastfeed at different points throughout the night. Spend the whole week following this nursing pattern and slowly make your breastfeeding sessions shorter and shorter. Then begin eliminating feedings altogether. Soon, your child will be phased out of the nighttime breastfeeding routine.

But what if your child completely resists your efforts to eliminate nighttime breastfeeding? It’s ok, your little one is just not ready to go without nighttime nursing, and that does not mean that anything is wrong. Wait a little longer (2-6 months) until you feel ready to try the process again. While this weaning process will inspire a few tears, it should not cause extreme amounts of stress or all-night crying fits.

Looking for alternative nighttime breastfeeding weaning options? Check out this helpful illustrated book Nursies When the Sun Shines by author Katherine Havener; Nursies is a children’s book that helps introduce the idea of nighttime weaning and many parents have found success using it as a tool for their children.

What nighttime weaning tricks do you have to share with other moms? Let us know in the comments.

Photo attribution

Mother’s Day Gifts That Last: Homemade Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day Sugar Cookies photo courtesy of SheKnows.comMother’s Day is right around the corner, and we hope your plans include plenty of relaxation and pampering from your partner and children. Want some ideas of ways you can celebrate together? We’ve looked high and low (and across many Pinterest boards) for great ideas that celebrate you, the mom, without excluding you from all of the creative fun.

What mom doesn’t want to indulge her sweet tooth on Mother’s Day? This adorable (and fuss-free) cookie recipe is perfect for little cooks to try. By combining two of our favorite Mother’s Day staples—thoughtful cards and sweet treats— has a sugar cookie recipe that doubles as a Mother’s Day card! Follow the instructions to help your children make the perfect cards you’ll love to read and eat.

Now that spring’s here, is there a better way to spend time together as a family than by heading outdoors and soaking up some sunshine? Crafty Texas Girls shared this adorable sidewalk chalk photo gift with her two girls (that’s actually a Father’s Day gift) but you can stage your own imaginative scene before capturing the moment. Frame your favorite photo as a daily reminder of your fun Mother’s Day celebration with your family. We like the idea of spending Mother’s Day enjoying your family’s company and printing photos (or other photo keepsakes, many stores have a laundry list of affordable options) after the fact.

If your little ones are too young still to make Mother’s Day gifts on their own, have this easy-peasy salt dough recipe ready for dad so you can make handprint and footprint keepsakes. From The Imagination Tree, this baby-friendly craft is the perfect gift for any new mom and contains only three ingredients. If your partner’s feeling extra crafty, let him know that he can add food coloring to the dough to make a rainbow of baby handprint and footprint molds that are perfect gifts. Parents know how quickly babies grow up, so what better way to capture their newborn stages than with these molds?

What are your Mother’s Day plans? Let us know what kinds of crafts you plan on creating with your family in the comments.

Leading Lady Fan Paula Garcés

paula-garces-with-babyNew mom Paula Garcés is not only a doting mother to her son, Antonio, and older daughter Skye, but is also a popular Colombian actress best known for her roles in the Harold and Kumar movie franchise, popular television series including Devious Maids and Warehouse 13, and appearances in many of TV’s successful dramas like The Sopranos and CSI: Miami. Married to Antonio Hernandez in 2002, Paula and her husband welcomed their first child Antonio in November 2013. Paula wore Leading Lady nursing bras and tanks after delivering and “swears by” our nursing collection to provide the comfort and style she needs for successful breastfeeding. Thanks for being a fan, Paula and Toñito! Paula blogs for Mamas Latinas and People’s Moms & Babies. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter for new mom updates from one of our favorite celebrities.

Best Breastfeeding Positions for New Moms with Larger Breasts

Best Breastfeeding Positions for New Moms with Larger BreastsBreastfeeding isn’t as simple as it may seem to some moms-to-be, and our lactation consultant Amy is here with advice for the best breastfeeding positions for women with larger breasts. She shares her thoughts on different ways to hold your baby while nursing to achieve the best breastfeeding latch:

While there is no right or wrong way to position a baby at the breast, there are certain breastfeeding positions that may be easier for a new mom to master. For your first days breastfeeding, it is very important to find a position that is both comfortable and gives your baby the best latch. Football hold has been a favorite of mine when I am assisting new moms, especially those with larger breasts. Make sure to position the baby on one or two pillows or a nursing pillow so he is level with your breast. He can either lay under your breast, on his back with his head supported by your hand, or you can lay him on his side and have him latch like that.

Cross-cradle or modified football hold is also a good breastfeeding position if you want to achieve a deep latch. My least favorite position is cradle hold. Cradle hold may be the most natural position to hold an infant, but definitely not the best when latching an infant to the breast. I recommend that new moms start with football hold or cross-cradle before switching to cradle so you can focus on perfecting your baby’s latch. Once you are confident and the baby starts to latch more easily, the cradle and side-lying hold may work out very well for you.

Photo attribution

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 poison
babies in pumpkins
babies love music
baby as a pumpkin
baby boy names
baby brains
baby bump
Baby bumps
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's first cold
baby's runny nose
baby's senses
Babymoon Destinations
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 plan
bleeding gums
Body Acceptance
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 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 Policy
breastfeeding positions
breastfeeding positions lying down
breastfeeding pumping
Breastfeeding Registry
breastfeeding supplies
Breastfeeding Support
Breastfeeding Support Groups
Breastfeeding Tips
breastfeeding tops
bump style
caesarean section
can pregnant women eat shrimp
Celebrity Babies
celebrity pregnancies
child proofing
Children's Play
Chris Hemsworth
Christian Bale
Christopher Nolan
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
developing baby's senses
dietary restrictions
Doutzen Kroes
Drew Barrymore
Elie Saab
Elsa Pataky
Emily blunt
Extended Breastfeeding
family bed
family photos
family physician
Family Planning
family planning trends
family size
Father's Day
Fertility Calendar
fish oil
flanges breast pump
Flying While Pregnant
food allergies
food and drug administration
Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
formal maternity dresses
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
health benefits of breastfeeding
Healthy Breakfasts
healthy diet
Healthy Eating
Heart disease
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 breastfeed
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 sleep better
how to sleep train a baby
how to stop breastfeeding
how to stop breastfeeding at night
how to take great family pictures
immune system
In the Media
indoor activities for babies
infant safety
Jason Goldberg
Jason Wu
john krasinski
Just for Fun
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
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
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 bra
Nursing Bras
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 thrush
organizing car
Oscar awards
Ovarian Cancer Awareness
Parental Guidance
Paula Garces
peanut allergies
peanut allergy
peanut allergy symptoms
poison prevention
polka dot maternity clothes
pregnancy announcement
Pregnancy Calendar
pregnancy changes
pregnancy concerns
pregnancy cravings
pregnancy diet
Pregnancy Discrimination
pregnancy fashion
pregnancy gingivitis
pregnancy health
Pregnancy in the work place
Pregnancy Myths
pregnancy nipples
Pregnancy Stretch Marks
pregnancy workouts
Pregnant Belly
pregnant celebrities
pregnant women
Preparing to Breastfeed
proper latch
public breastfeeding
pumping at work
pumping breast milk
pumpkin activities for babies
reading and smart babies
red carpet
red carpet dresses
Returning to Work
Rh negative
safe drugs while breastfeeding
safe medications for breastfeeding
Scarlett Johansson
sensory experiences for babies
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
Storing Breaskmilk
stretch marks
Sugar substitutes
summer maternity clothes
symptoms of common cold in baby
taking pictures of baby
talking to your baby
teaching children about giving back
Thanksgiving Activities
that 70s show
The Benefits of Music for Babies
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
toxins in cosmetics
toxins in makeup
toxins that are bad for babies
trends in family size
unique baby boy names
unique baby girl names
unique baby names
Valentine's Day
varicose veins
varicose veins treatment
ways to find other new moms
ways to relieve congestion in babies
weaning breastfeeding
weaning from breastfeeding
what is colostrum
what is thrush
what medicines can I take while breastfeeding
white noise machine
wintertime activities
wirefree nursing bras
World Breastfeeding Week
yeast diaper rash