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Having reading material for pumping moms is a nice amenity for your mother’s room. It’s a great way for moms to relax while pumping which helps them produce more milk. Have popular magazines or books on hand, especially on topics of motherhood, parenting and nursing. Books on nursing are great resources that let moms learn more about breastfeeding and working or read up on breastfeeding topics. Here are Healthy Horizons’s recommendations for reading material in your mother’s room!
Some great books for mothers to read while nursing are
Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing MothersWork. Pump. Repeat.: The New Mom's Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to WorkThe Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Le Leche LeagueThe Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of AnswersSweet Sleep by Le Leche League
Magazines that are great for moms to read are:
Working Mothers MagazineParenting MagazineParentsAmerican BabyBabytalkNew Parent MagazineBaby & ToddlerYour Local Area Parent Magazines
To keep reading material fresh, print out relevant blog articles and post them in the mother’s room. Healthy Horizons has a blog on Breastfeeding Advice and Guidance that covers a range of useful topics! You can post links to Breastfeeding USA or the American Academy of Pediatrics as a reference for moms to read on their laptops while pumping. encourage moms to donate books or magazines they’ve enjoyed to share!
For more ideas on reading material for your Mother’s room, contact Healthy Horizons Corporate Lactation Services!
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Do you spill milk when moving it from a bottle to a milk storage bag or from a milk storage bag to the bottle? If you are a pumping mom, use your flange as a funnel so you don't lose a precious drop!
See the CDC and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Guideline below for breastmilk storage:
Room Temperature: 3-8 hoursInsulated Cooler with Ice Packs: Up to 24 hoursThawed Breastmilk: Use within 24 hoursRefrigerated Milk: 5-7 daysFreezer: 3-6 months
If you are using frozen milk, you can place it in the refrigerator overnight. Or place it in a container of warm water. Do not thaw frozen breastmilk at room temperature, in the microwave, or in boiling water.
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Read Healthy Horizons Executive Team's Top 5 Corporate Mother’s Room Standards to Implement Now in Next Concept HR Magazine! http://nextconcepthrmagazine.com/top-5-corporate-mothers-room-standards-to-implement-now/
Today more mothers than ever before are returning to work within a year of giving birth, and they are returning to full-time jobs according to the US Census. With the uptick of new mothers in the workforce, the need for on-site mother’s rooms and lactation benefits has never been higher.
Like the majority of HR and facility leaders it can be hard to know where to start to implement a workplace lactation program that moms will be comfortable and happy using.
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As your baby develops, you may suddenly find they are fussier than normal and biting their fingers and toys. Your little one may have a tooth coming soon! A baby’s teeth typically start to come out around 6 to 12 months, but you may see symptoms of teething as early as 3 months. The lower front teeth usually come in first followed by the upper front teeth 1 to 2 months later. As these teeth start to erupt, your baby may show signs of teething due to soreness and tenderness in the gums. These symptoms can show 3 to 5 days before the tooth breaks through. The symptoms typically get better once the tooth has appeared.
Teething and Breastfeeding Normal symptoms of teething include extra fussiness, irritability, and drooling more than usual. You may also find that your baby has trouble sleeping, wakes often at night, or has a loss of appetite. They may even refuse to eat or drink. Teething also causes babies to be fussy while nursing, as they may find their gums bother them while sucking. They might start to nurse and then pull off and cry. They might also refuse to nurse all together. Some babies may want to nurse constantly to soothe their discomfort. If your baby refuses to nurse due to teething, you can pump your milk to keep up your supply and give it in a bottle or a cup. Be sure to continue to offer the breast whenever your baby shows that they are hungry. If your baby tries to use your nipples to teethe on, watch when your baby unlatches because a baby can’t bite if they are properly nursing. At that time put your finger between their mouth and nipple to so they can’t bite.
If your baby is showing symptoms of a fever, diarrhea, or rash and is cranky or uncomfortable, then call your pediatrician as there may a more serious issue.
Helping Baby Feel Better You can try to help make your baby’s gums feel better before nursing. Here are some things you can try before nursing, and if your baby pulls away during nursing to get them back on the breast.
You can massage their gums with your finger before a feeding to help make them feel better. Rub a frozen teething ring or ice cube on the gums before nursing. Freeze or refrigerate a wet washcloth for your baby to bite on.Chill a spoon in the refrigerator (not freezer) and rub it on their gums.If your baby has started solids, you can chill their food like applesauce to soothe the gums.Try chilling fruit like apple or banana slices and place in a mesh feeder for baby to bite on for relief and get a snack.
At our Healthy Horizons Breastfeeding Centers, we carry teething products that can also help soothe babies and help parents! Some of our products include:
Herblore Teething Tincture has a combination of herbs that helps relieve the pain of teething. 2-6 drops of the tincture can be given orally, massaged onto the gums, or put on a washcloth and frozen for baby to chew on.
The Munch Mitt® Teether is a teething solution where babies bite on a little teething mitt they wear on their hand. It prevents the constant dropping of teething toys which makes it convenient for parents. It provides easy access pain relief for teething babies who are still learning consistent grip and direction and protects the hands from irritation due to chewing. It is made with food grade silicone, and is BPA and Phthalate free.
EcoPiggy makes the Calmies Eco Teether which is made of 100% natural rubber. It is easy for infants to grasp and each vine of the teether has a unique pattern including a smooth, dotted, and twisted spiral; each providing a unique sensation for the baby depending on the teething stage. It has no BPA, no PVC, no parabens, and no phthalates.
Stop by our Healthy Horizons Breastfeeding Centers to find a teething strategy that works for your baby! If you find that you are having problems with breastfeeding and teething, schedule an appointment with one of our lactation consultants to help you get through the teething phase!
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A clean and organized mother's room welcomes new mothers back to work and maintains a comfortable space for mothers currently using the room. Learn how to keep your mother's room clean and tidy with our top 5 tips.
1. Wipeable surfaces are a must! Make sure the mother's room chair and nearby items are wipeable so mothers and your janitorial staff can easily clean stray milk stains. We recommend purchasing a leather or faux leather mother's room chair. This will not only keep your room cleaner, but it will look nicer without stains!
2. Designate the mother's room fridge for breastmilk storage only, this is important in communal fridges where multiple moms are storing milk.
3. Make sure attachment kits are not stored in the mother's room fridge. Mothers pump several times during the workday and it can be a lot of work to wash the kit each time. Some mothers store the kit unwashed in the fridge, although this does not prevent bacteria growth and can be dangerous. If you notice this, please refer mothers to the CDC guidelines on "How to Keep Your Breast Pump Kit Clean." Be sure to offer plenty of cleaning supplies so mothers have the right items to quickly clean their kits during the day.
4. Provide wall hooks and cubbies so mothers are able to store their personal items in a designated location. Provide stickers for mothers to write their name on or color code their items. This keeps each attachment kit separate in an easy to access place. Wall hooks help keep the floor clutter free and free of tripping hazards.
5. Every 3-6 months check-in with the mothers to see if they need any supplies and to remind them to remove their items personal items including their attachment kit if they are no longer using the room. Sometimes mothers stop pumping and may forget to remove their personal items from the room. Clearing out attachment kits and personal items stored in the room helps make room for new mothers returning to work! Checking in with mothers may reveal improvements you can make to the space and keeps the mother's room on your radar.
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We have many moms come into our Breastfeeding Centers asking how to boost their milk supply. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommends to first try methods that don’t involve medicines to increase milk supply. However if those methods don’t seem to be effective, moms can try herbs to increase milk supply (also called galactagogues). Our Healthy Horizons Breastfeeding Centers carry an extensive list of herbs in different forms such as pills, tincture, or teas. Let’s learn a little more about some of the most popular herbs for increasing milk supply.
Fenugreek is arguably one of the most popular and best herbs for increasing milk supply. It is native to the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, and Western Asia. The seeds smell and taste similar to maple syrup, and the leaves are used as a vegetable in India. When using fenugreek to boost supply, some moms may notice an increase in milk supply in 24-72 hours to 2 weeks. Besides increasing milk supply, fenugreek is also used to improve digestive problems and cholesterol levels. It is used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine to lower blood sugar, slow the absorption of sugar in the stomach, and stimulate insulin. Fenugreek can be taken in capsule form or as a tincture. Since fenugreek is a legume plant, women with allergies to peanuts should avoid fenugreek. Fenugreek for breastfeeding mothers is available in multiple forms such as capsules and tinctures. Healthy Horizons carries Nature’s Way Fenugreek Capsules and Herb Lore Fenugreek Tincture. Fenugreek is also available in lactation teas such as Mother’s Milk Tea.
Moringa (also known as Malunggay) is used by many cultures around the world as a valuable food source due to its high nutrition levels. It is a fast growing tree native to South Asia that is very high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. In addition to its ability to increase milk production, Moringa also has other health benefits. It may lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol. Moringa may make conception difficult so should be avoided by women trying to conceive. Moringa is available in liquid capsules and tinctures from Motherlove. It is also available in tea form such as Herb Lore Nursing Tea Moringa Blend.
Shatavari is a species of asparagus and is the most important Ayurvedic herb for women’s health. Shatavari means “a woman with one thousand husbands” because it is so important to women’s fertility and reproductive health. It is well known in India and China to boost milk supply. It also helps with female reproductive and fertility issues including menstruation and menopause. Since shatavari is part of the asparagus family, it should not be used by those with allergies to asparagus. It also should not be used by those who have diuretic issues or those who are pregnant. Healthy Horizons carries Motherlove Shatavari Capsules. It is also available in Mother’s Milk Tea Shatavari Cardamom.
Goat’s Rue is a plant native to Europe and the Middle East. It is used to stimulate the production and flow of breastmilk. Goat’s Rue also stimulates the growth of breast tissue. It is an herbal treatment for digestion problems and used to lower blood sugar levels. Since it lowers blood sugar, it should not be used by those with diabetes or hypoglycemia. It is a member of the pea family so should not use used by those allergic to peanuts, soybean, or alfalfa. Find goat’s rue at Healthy Horizons in Motherlove Goat’s Rue in liquid capsules.
These are just a few of the many herbs used for increasing milk supply. Herbs can also be used for alleviating other problems, such as mastitis, decreasing milk production, after-birth pain, swelling, menopausal symptoms, or even relieving cold and flu symptoms. However, it’s always best for a mom to use herbs under the supervision of a doctor to ensure there are no complications. If your healthcare provider has recommended using herbs to boost your milk supply, come visit our extensive line of herbal products at our Healthy Horizons Breastfeeding Centers.
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Introducing baby to solids is often a confusing topic for parents. Parents often wonder when their baby should start, how to introduce solids, and what kinds of foods are best? Plus, the recommendations or “rules” for solids have changed from generation to generation. Your baby’s grandmother may insist you follow guidelines that were standard when she was a new mother, but are no longer recommended. Ideas about which foods should be introduced first could be different across different cultures. Every baby develops at his or her own pace, so while one baby isn’t ready yet for solids, another baby at the same age may easily be able to put down that mashed banana. Here are some common questions and concerns parents may have about introducing solids.
When to introduce solids? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solid foods around 6 months of age. Introducing solids before the age of 4 months is associated with increased weight gain and obesity in infancy and early childhood. The baby’s digestive system is also more mature at 6 months. Around 6 months, the baby’s gut closes, and they start to produce antibodies on their own. Introducing solids before this time increases the risk of illness and food reactions.
Every baby develops at their own pace. Your baby needs to be developmentally ready for solids. It is ok to wait to introduce solids if your baby needs a little more development time. Your baby should be able to have head control and sit upright to swallow well. They should lose the reflex where the baby reflexively uses the tongue to push food out of the mouth. Your baby’s 6 month checkup is a good time to discuss your baby’s readiness and introduction to solid food with the pediatrician.
What foods do I introduce? In the US, it was customary to start baby on infant cereal due to the fact that parents would introduce them early and they could easily mix them in the bottle. The current thought is to start baby on fully cooked meats and vegetables, because they are not processed and are more nutrient dense. You can feed your baby pureed vegetables, meats, and fruits. Try making your own baby food by steaming vegetables or simmer meats in broth before pureeing. Be sure to discuss with your pediatrician if there are any foods to avoid specific to your baby.
How much food will my baby eat? A baby just starting on solids may only eat 1-2 tablespoons of food. Don’t worry if your baby refuses new food. It can take 10-15 tries over several months for your baby to accept a new food. You just need to offer a spoonful each time. It’s important to let your baby try different foods and expose them to a wide variety of flavors and textures. They are more likely to eat foods they see the rest of the family and their peers eating.
Does my baby need less breastmilk? Continue breastfeeding your baby when introducing solids. First solids are meant to complement your breastmilk, not to replace it. As your baby gets older, you may find that they will decrease the frequency of nursing as they take in more solids.
These are just a few of the many questions parents have about introducing solids. Parents may also wonder about how to prevent food allergies and what are the signs of a food allergy. Or they may wonder what time of day is best and how many times a day to offer solids. They may want to know what the feeding and nutrition differences are between a 6 month old baby and a 12 month old baby.
Since we encounter many parents with questions on feeding solids, Healthy Horizons has developed a new class to address these questions. Our Infant Nutrition 101: The Practical Guide to Introducing Solids and Intro to Baby Led Weaning class will help you understand the confusing advice for introducing solids. This class will teach different approaches to complementary feeding so you can feel confident in your choices in nourishing your baby. If you would like to sign up or learn more about this class, you can visit our online schedule or contact our Healthy Horizons Breastfeeding Centers.
Bibliography
“Infant-Food-and-Feeding.” Infant Food and Feeding, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2018, www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/HALF-Implementation-Guide/Age-Specific-Content/Pages/Infant-Food-and-Feeding.aspx.
“Working Together: Breastfeeding and Solid Foods.” HealthyChildren.org, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2018, www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/pages/Working-Together-Breastfeeding-and-Solid-Foods.aspx.
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Parents may find dressing their baby in the cold winter months challenging, especially as temperatures can swing from freezing cold to a warm day within a week or even during the course of a day. Here are tips on how you can dress your baby to keep them warm for any temperature change in the weather!
Dress your baby in layers. Layers allow you to adjust your baby's clothing to the changing temperatures. This is especially important in climates that have wide day to night temperature swings. You can have your baby wear a bodysuit and snug fitting leggings as a first layer. Then have a long sleeve shirt and pants over that. Finally put on a jacket with a hat, mittens, and booties. Don't have baby wear a puffy coat in the car seat. Even if it seems that the straps are snug against your baby, the material of the coat can compress during an accident and leave a large gap, increasing the chances of injury to your baby. Instead, take the coat off and put your baby in the car seat first. Then layer with a blanket or even the coat placed on top. Wear your baby. Keeping your baby next to you is another way to keep baby warm. Baby may not need that coat in the carrier, but be sure to have baby wear a hat and booties to keep them from losing heat.Tuck your baby under a blanket in the stroller. You might think that throwing a blanket over the stroller would be best, but that might impact the air flow to your baby. It is better to tuck a blanket around baby to chest level to keep them snug in the stroller.
Browse our Healthy Horizons Breastfeeding Centers
for your baby needs this winter!
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Many companies have a lactation program that meets the federal law, including having a place to pump that is not the bathroom and break time to allow women to pump. They may also provide information on breastfeeding resources in the area and company resource groups. However, as local and state laws on pumping in the workplace include specific details, such as how close a mother’s room needs to be to each employee, or what must be provided, companies find they need to update their program to be in compliance and to stay competitive. Here are areas where you can improve your company’s lactation program and keep your moms happy!
Let Your Employees Decide How Long to Breastfeed While the federal law requires pumping breaks for mothers up to 1 year of the baby’s life, some states such as California do not set an upper limit. An employee may continue to pump for several years after the baby is born. Letting mom and baby decide when is the right time to wean reduces stress on both of them which in turn is beneficial for the company.
Makeover Your Mother’s Room While companies in many states are only required to provide a room that is not the bathroom for pumping, improving your mother’s room makes the space more comfortable and shows moms that you want them to feel supported at work. In some cases (such as in San Francisco) it also ensures your company is in compliance with local laws. Here’s how to give your mother’s room a boost!
Ensure that your mother’s room is 500 feet or closer to the employee workspace it is designed to serve. Make sure it is roomy enough to fit a chair and a table for pumping, about 50 square feet or bigger.Have a chair and table large enough for pumping. Don’t use rocking chairs; use a chair where a mom has support sitting up while pumping. If the room is being shared by multiple employees, consider an adjustable chair to accommodate employees of different heights. Have a refrigerator for milk storage and a sink with hot and cold running water nearby. It is ideal if the refrigerator and sink are in the mother’s room.The room should be safe, clean, and free of any toxic chemicals or odors. The room should only be accessible to mothers and should lock from the inside. Code or badge access is ideal. If your mother’s room is a multi-use room, ensure that all your employees are notified that it is a designated Lactation location. Priority use of the room needs to be given to a mother needing to pump milk to avoid a violation. Have good signage that the room may be used as a mother’s room. Consider purchasing or renting a hospital-grade pump for your mother’s room. Having a hospital-grade pump available for your moms a win-win benefit to both the employees and the company because it reduced the time it takes to pump! Have extra breastpump accessories available including cleaning supplies to clean the pump and attachment kit parts. Have breastmilk bags on hand for mothers to use if they need extra storage to bring their milk home.
Communicate Your Policy Make sure your employees know what your company’s policy is for accommodating breastfeeding mothers. Include the policy in your employee handbook. If all your company’s info is online, make sure finding the policy and information about your company’s lactation program is searchable or has links. You can go a step further and make sure your corporate lactation program is included in Q&A sessions or benefits updates. Ensure that your managers know what your company’s policy is so they can communicate with their team.
Track Your Mother’s Room Usage Keep track of the usage of your mother’s room. Room usage or entry logs can help determine if the room is used often. This is valuable information to let you know if your company has enough rooms for your employees. In some areas of the country, such as San Francisco, companies are required to keep records of employee requests for lactation accommodation for 3 years. Knowing what areas have more usage also helps ensure that the company has a sufficient number of rooms so employees can be productive instead of having to spend time waiting for a room to be available.
Have An Escalation Path If an employee has problems with the mother’s room, such as the pump not working or the refrigerator not keeping milk cold, there should be a way for the employee to communicate this so it gets resolved. In addition, provide an escalation path if an employee is encountering difficulty with co-workers or managers regarding their rights to pump milk. Make sure it is a way mothers can bring up issues without fear of retaliation and your company follows through in resolving them. Breastfeeding laws specify fines for breaking or not following the law. This includes workplace discrimination to working breastfeeding mothers. The federal penalty is $1,000 per violation, California has a penalty of an additional $100 per violation, and San Francisco has a penalty of $500 per violation. If you are in San Francisco that could be $1,600 total per violation!
If it has been a while since your company adopted a lactation program, it may be time to review your offerings to make sure you are in compliance with the law, and competitive for retaining employees. Contact Healthy Horizons Corporate Services to review and update your company’s lactation program!
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As companies add benefits like complimentary meals and services for their employees, many are adding more amenities to their mother’s rooms for breastfeeding mothers. An easy amenity to add to a mother’s room is breastfeeding snacks. Breastfeeding mothers don’t need to be on a special diet, but since they are busy working and taking care of the baby and their family, it is easy for them to skip meals or not eat healthy snacks. They usually need an extra 300-500 calories a day above their normal nutrition needs. Having something healthy for them to snack on while pumping helps them keep up their energy throughout the workday. Breastfeeding moms need to stay hydrated so having water and tea in the mother’s room is a must. Here are great snack ideas for your mother’s room!
Healthy Foods Many companies provide fruit or snacks for their employees throughout the day. Provide some of these snacks in your mother’s room such as easy to eat fruit (apples, bananas, and pears). Packages of dried fruit and nuts are good sources of protein and fiber. Whole wheat crackers and veggie chips also make satisfying snacks.
Lactation Snacks An excellent snack that more companies are putting in their mother’s room are lactation bars and cookies. Lactation bars are made specifically for lactating women and are great snacks to have in the mother’s room. They are made from known herbs that promote lactation, also known as galactagogues, such as rolled oats, ground flax, brewer's yeast, and fenugreek. Since moms are often concerned about having enough milk for their babies, these bars are a great way for your moms to help boost their milk supply and energy during the day. They come in a variety of flavors for all moms to enjoy. Many are individually wrapped so they are easy to store in the mother’s room for a mom to grab while she is pumping milk. Here are our favorite and most popular lactation bars for mother’s rooms
Oat Mamabars are individually wrapped making them particularly convenient to have in the mother’s room. They contain rolled oats and brewer's yeast to boost milk supply. The bars come in several flavors such as apple cinnamon, peanut butter chocolate, chocolate almond coconut, creamy peanut butter chip, and nut and berry, so there’s bound to be a flavor that a breastfeeding employee will like! They are also free of gluten, dairy, soy, and egg. They are very popular with breastfeeding moms and easy to store in a mother’s room. Seasonal flavors are also available!
MilkMakers Lactation Cookie Bites come in individually wrapped packages which makes it easy to have in a mother’s room. They are made of rolled oats, and flax seed with chocolate chunks for a yummy flavor. One to two packages a day can help moms boost their milk supply.
Mrs. Patel’s Lactation Treatsare fenugreek bars that come in a variety of flavors. They also have gluten free and vegan bars for mothers with special diets. They come pre-cut into squares so they are convenient for moms to grab. These bars may need to be refrigerated so they are good for mother’s rooms that have a clean full size fridge.
Keep your mother’s room stocked with healthy snacks, beverages, lactation bars and teas to keep your breastfeeding mothers productive and happy. It’s a small effort that can produce big results and employee appreciation. It also helps foster good employee and public relations by showing that your company supports working breastfeeding mothers with inclusive snacks. If you would like to find out more about how your company can provide this benefit, contact Healthy Horizons Corporate Lactation Services to help you add this benefit to your lactation program.
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