House Calls

WIN 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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h o u s e c a l l s { winter 2019 } 33 ➲ ROPER ST. FRANCIS HEALTHCARE'S BREASTFEEDING BASICS CLASS: This course for expectant parents covers the benefits of breastfeeding as well as different techniques and positions. "A lot depends on prenatal education," Fort says. ➲ ROPER ST. FRANCIS LACTATION AND BREASTFEEDING SERVICES: Whether a mama delivers at a Roper St. Francis hospital or not, all are welcome to visit Roper St. Francis Healthcare Lactation Centers, located in the Women's Center at Bon Secours and Mount Pleasant hospitals. There, board-certified lactation consultants are available to troubleshoot issues and offer tips and support. Consultations are covered by most insurance providers; check with yours for details. ➲ LA LECHE LEAGUE: Local chapters of this national group provide mother-to-mother support to nursing parents. Visit lllalliance.org/southcarolina to find the chapter nearest you. ➲ BREASTFEEDING CENTER OF CHARLESTON: At these new facilities (there is one in Mount Pleasant and one in Summerville), board- certified physicians and lactation consultants offer prenatal education, mother-and-baby appointments, back-to-work breastfeeding advice, and more. Free classes on topics such as nutrition for nursing mothers and support for new fathers round out the offerings. Breastfeeding doesn't happen in a vacuum—nursing mothers need support, and an encouraging community can make all the difference. Tap into these local resources if problems arise—or before they do: FIND YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM Fly often? TSA's 3.4-ounce limit on liquids doesn't apply to breast milk, so know that you can carry it on in a cooler. Also, check out Milk Stork, a company that makes it simple to ship pumped breast milk while on the road. body learns how much milk to produce and what antibodies should be passed along," Fort says. Amazingly, as the mother's body takes cues from the baby's saliva, the composition of the milk morphs to meet the specific needs of the baby. "There's an important bonding element that's happening, too," she adds. The release of the hormone oxytocin, which stimulates milk production, is also thought to deepen the connection between mother and child. Common Challenges—and How to Solve Them For something instinctual, breastfeeding can be surprisingly difficult to establish and sustain—just ask any mom who has experienced cracked nipples or the painful red streaks of mastitis. We asked Fort to walk us through some of the common issues she sees new mothers face, and how to best troubleshoot them. • Nipple cracks and blisters: Nipple trauma is typical in the beginning stages of breastfeeding, and is often related to latching difficulties. The first line of defense is to see a lactation consultation. "We can teach a mom to improve latch and positioning technique," Fort says. To soothe the damaged skin, she advises "hand-expressing colostrum and applying that to the nipples to help soothe and heal that tender area." Other treatments, such as lanolin, hydro-gel pads, and, in some cases, antibiotics, can also help soothe the wounds. • Engorgement: Overly full breasts, a painful condition known as engorgement, can occur as milk is coming in. When this happens, Fort advises frequent feeding along with hand expression and breast massage to help fully drain the breast. "Warm compresses prior to feeding can help soften the breast and reduce discomfort," she adds. • Clogged ducts and mastitis: At first, a blocked milk duct may feel like a pea- size lump under the skin that's very tender, or a larger lumpy area of the breast that's sore and sensitive. Red streaking on the breast or a warm, tingly sensation may be signs the block is worsening. Left untreated, it can develop into mastitis—inflamed or infected breast tissue—so it's important to take steps to clear the block right away. Fort recommends emptying the breast as often as possible; getting

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