Boutique Bummis

The art of being parents…naturally!

Here! Now! Breastfeeding in the Strangest Places

A little while ago, our very own MomOfThree@Bummis posted this on our Bummis.com Facebook Page: “If you breastfeed, at one point or another you have probably had to nurse your baby in places that are less than ideal… For me it was Halloween, and I was sitting on the curb at the side of hte road, in a costume, surrounded by kids on sugar highs, nursing my little pumpkin!”

What followed was a long list of hilarious and inspiring comments from moms describing the most unusual circumstances in which they’ve ever breastfed. Hey, if your baby’s hungry, your baby’s hungry. Sometimes the best place to breastfeed is HERE. NOW.

 

In 2010 Licia Ronzulli, a Member of the European Parliament in Italy, wore her baby to work.
Not sure whether she was breastfeeding, but people were nonetheless excited to see a baby in such an unexpected place, and the photo was widely circulated on the Internet.

So, where is the strangest place you’ve breastfed?

On a tractor.

At the Silent Film Festival in Topeka, Kansas! Note the word “silent” hence the need to nurse!

At my dad’s office.

Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Marineland in Niagara Falls. My then 3-month-old nursed during the dolphin show.

During a pelvic exam at my postpartum visit.

At a restaurant while my three-year-old cousin came to see what we were doing and started flapping my nursing cover up and down so he could play peek-a-boo with my daughter.

Slow dancing with my husband at a friend’s wedding. My son was 2.5 weeks old, and he wanted to nurse, and I wanted to dance! All three of us got to dance!

During carnaval in the Netherlands, sitting in front of a bar, dressed in a costume, nursing my Pippi Longstocking.

At a hockey game amongst 3000 yelling fans!

At the circus. (Seriously).

In was in the E.R. with Gallstones and was nursing my 5-week-old while the male nurse put in my IV. Not a very fun nursing time, but I will nurse my little one through anything!

On a bench set up in between the port-a-potties at a flea market

Standing up in the viewing gallery of the B.C. Provincial Legislature as the Lieutenant Governor was entering the Leg for his throne speech.

Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Walt Disney Resort.

While baby was in the Ergo, while I was on the elliptical trainer.

During a doctor’s visit. The doctor did my physical while I had a baby attached to my boob. I still don’t know who deserves more credit, me or the doctor!

Home alone, doing an initial walk-through with 3 male movers from the moving company!

Giving out candy during Halloween and having a little girl scream IT’S A REAL ONE!!!

During a massage, during yoga class (you understand all the meaning of yoga when you are breastfeeding doing it), in the bath, on the toilet, at the restaurant (trying to eat at the same time). I’m breastfeeding on demand REALLY.

On my balcony in the snow in my pyjama shirt.

At the dentist while getting my teeth cleaned.

While having my IUD put in. My baby lost her mind during my exam and was hungry.

On an air plane, sitting between a congressman and a lobbyist.

In the bathroom at my wedding, in my wedding dress that had a corset top… so I had to bend the boning down… hence why I was in the bathroom!

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Post written by Maeghan for our Bummis.com blog.

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Think it’s too hot for babywearing in the summer? My suggestions on how to make it a breeze… By Jin-Hee

People are predicting this will be a really hot summer, so what are your babywearing options in the heat? I would suggest a mei tai, a gauze wrap or a ring sling.

A mei tai is an asian type carrier which has 4 straps – 2 around the waist and 2 on the shoulders. It uses the least amount of material compare to any other two shoulder carriers out in the market, and is cool and functional and lovely!

If you are a wrapper and need something lighter, a gauze wrap is a good choice. They are very breathable, non-stretchy and super easy to manipulate. If you are expecting a baby this summer, I would definitely recommend this option.  My second son was born in August and I rarely touched any other carriers for the first two months. I had over 30 carriers in my stash and my gauze wrap was all I used!

I love ring slings! They are so pretty, compact and really quick to get a baby in and out of.  Yes, it is a one shoulder carrier, so use it for shorter periods.  Ring slings are perfect when you’re shopping, cooking, breastfeeding, going for a little walk, etc.

Remember, no matter what you do – carrying a baby in the summer is going to be bit hotter than usual.  So, stay in the shade, take lots of breaks and drink water!

About me

I am originally from South Korea, but have spent most of my adult life between London (UK) and Montreal.

I started babywearing with the birth of my first child in 2006.  Carrying a baby was not something “new” to me since I grew up seeing everyone do it in Korea. However, when I saw a woman carrying a tiny baby in a wrap on a bus after I had my first baby, I thought ‘“carrying a baby” was the coolest thing ever!

From then on, I went wild with babywearing, and soon discovered how many carriers there were out there. I loved the fact that when I wore my baby I was able take care of my son and get on with my “normal” life too.  It was also a good conversation starter on the street, in a mom and toddler group, cafe, etc.

Soon after I began baby wearing, I started up an online business selling slings. It took a while to convince local moms (in London), but once they tried it, they were all hooked.  I also gave workshops on babywearing.

Although I was already an experienced babywearer, I felt I needed more training in order to be able to teach others about it.  So I went and got certified at Trageschule in Dresden, Germany, and became the first certified babywearing consultant in the UK!

Fast forward a little to Montreal…

When I began working at Bummis, I often came across customers who, although they had a carrier, were looking for a new one. When I dug deeper, I found that often these moms already had a perfectly good carrier but didn’t know how to use it correctly.  That’s why we started a babywearing clinic at Boutique Bummis!

So, if you have a question about your baby carrier, you can just pop in during one of our clinics and I will help you as much as I am able to. The most asked about carriers are ring slings and stretch wraps, but some parents come to the clinic in order to improve their back wrapping technique, for example. I am glad to say the babywearing clinic has been hugely successful and I send a big  thank you to all the parents who are spreading the word to people who need help with babywearing!

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How to Talk to a Baby Who Can’t… Talk

I was on the bus the other day, sitting next to a mother with her 10 month old daughter on her lap. All of a sudden the little girl started fidgeting and getting worked up. Her mother responded by making a gesture with her hands, opening and closing her fingers and saying to her daughter “milk?” The little girl wriggled with excitement and attached herself to her mother, who barely had time to unhook her nursing bra. Wow, baby sign language is pretty amazing.

 

Brief History

In the 1980s, two psychologists specialising in childhood development, Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn, observed that babies who were unable to speak used “imitation” signs to designate objects. For example, they might sniff to say “flower”, or flap their arms to say “bird”. As a result of their observations, they came up with a system of signs based on American Sign Language, but using only basic words and no grammar. This simple language has allowed parents and babies to understand one another, and to be much, much less frustrated!

 

When Can I Start?

At the age of 5 or 6 months, when your baby begins to develop an attention span and to imitate his or her surroundings, you can begin to communicate with signs. At this stage, your baby will learn to understand the signs, without necessarily being able to respond with a sign of his or her own. Between the ages of 9 to 14 months, your baby’s motor skills will be sufficiently developed to allow him or her to reply.

 

Why Sign?

  • To allow your baby to be understood by the people around him or her, by some means other than crying
  • To stimulate your baby’s oral development, as signing will help to develop language skills in general
  • To help you as a parent to understand your baby’s first spoken words
  • To develop your baby’s motor skills, and intellectual and emotional development. It’s also good for your little one’s self esteem, as your baby will be validated for expressing him or herself!

 

A Few Basic Signs:

“Milk”

“Bath”

 

“More”

 

“I Love you”

Original post by Léa J. on the Boutique Bummis blog. Translated and adapted  by Maeghan B.

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Summer Sun: Choosing a Sunscreen

We’re experiencing a heat wave right now in Montreal. The temperature today is 32°C (90°F), and it feels like 38°C (100°F) with the humidity. And tomorrow? It’s going to be even hotter! You can have lots of fun in the sun, sure, but it can also turn nasty if you don’t protect yourself. In this kind of heat, protection is a must, especially for little ones with their sensitive skin.

Not all sunscreens are made alike, and not all ad campaigns offer a reliable portrayal of the actual benefits of any given sunscreen. A sunscreen “for kids” is not necessarily the best choice, or without any danger. It’s always best to check the list of ingredients. To help you make your decision, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put out a list of the safest sunscreens available in North America. These are some basic guidelines to help you make your choice:

Here are some useful tips from the EWG’s website:

Babies under 6 months should not be exposed directly to the sun because their skin has not yet developed enough melanin to keep them protected. Many manufacturers advise against the use of sunscreen on babies under 6 months of age, so shade and sunhats are a must!

Vitamin A (retinyl palminate) is good for the skin when ingested because it stimulates the production of melanin. In regular body creams, it acts as an anti-oxidant that slows the aging of the skin (not of great use to baby, but a little tidbit that might interest some moms). However vitamin A and sunscreen do not mix well. Combined with sunlight, vitamin A develops photocarcinogenic properties.

Sunscreens have either a mineral (zinc, for example), or non-mineral base. The EWG recommends mineral sunscreens, which penetrate less deeply into the skin, and therefore won’t change the skin’s composition. Non-mineral sunscreens may contain ingredients such as oxybenzone, which may act as a hormone disruptor in young children.

In any case, in the eyes of the EWG sunscreen should not be the primary method of protection against the sun’s rays, particularly for children. Best practices include wearing protective clothing, wearing hats, staying in the shade, and avoiding exposure to the sun during peak hours (between 11am and 3pm). When using sunscreen, it’s best to apply the cream one hour before going out, and then every 30 minutes once you’re outside.

And during a heatwave? Well… you might not feel like going outside at all!

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Battling Yeast in Cloth Diapers

Yeast. It’s one of those things that comes up occasionally in conversations about cloth diapering. Yeast can continue to grow in your diapers and reinfect your child after the rash is gone. Hard to get rid of? Not necessarily. In fact, this latest time that Malina had to deal with yeast in her household, she were able to keep her son in cloth while treating him and the diapers.

     
     Step One: Identify the Problem

Many rashes look alike, so it’s not always obvious to figure out what you’re dealing with. Yeast often manifests as bright red spots with bumps around them, like moons around a planet. It can look like chicken pox, or pimples, and is often concentrated in the creases and folds of the skin. Yeast often appears after a treatment with antibiotics, since they will kill both the good and the bad bacteria in the body; so if your baby has recently been treated with antibiotics, and has a rash matching the description above, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with yeast. That being said, it’s important to consult with your health care provider to determine whether that is actually the case.

 

Step Two: Kill the Yeast!

In order to get rid of yeast, you will have to treat your baby’s skin and you’ll have to wash any cloth products that have been in contact with the skin (diapers, liners, wipes, towels, changing pads, etc.). It’s very important to address both issues in order to fully resolve the problem. Read on:

 

Part One: The Skin

You will have to apply a diaper cream at every change. You can try a natural cream that is specially formulated to treat yeast. Or, if natural creams don’t seem to be working, you may need to use a medicated cream prescribed by a doctor. It’s important to use Bio-Soft liners during this time to protect your diapers from the creams you are using, to avoid residue problems. Contrary to what many people think, it is not a good idea to apply powder, as the yeast will feed on the talc in the powder, and it will make the problem worse! You should also try to change your baby’s diaper more often, about every couple of hours.

 

Part Two: The Diapers

To properly rid your diapers, liners, wipes, towels, changing pads, etc. of yeast, you will need to switch to a more rigorous washing routine using oxygenated bleach until your baby’s rash disappears, and for five days afterwards, as follows*:

  1. Fill machine with hot water
  2. Add the maximum recommended amount of oxygenated bleach, stir until dissolved
  3. Add diapers etc. and soak for 15 minutes
  4. Wash on hot, with oxy bleach (same quantity as above) + detergent
  5. Rinse well, with lots of water
  6. Dry in the sun if at all possible (it really helps to disinfect), or in the dryer.

*Please defer to your diaper manufacturer’s recommendations if they differ from these.

Some people choose to use disposable diapers while treating their baby for yeast. If this is what you choose to do, you will still need to complete the routine described above once, and then to put your cloth diapers aside until your baby’s rash disappears, and for five days afterwards, to ensure that the yeast is completely gone. If you continue to use cloth diapers, wipes, change pads, etc. while treating your baby, you will need to follow this routine at every wash.
Part Three: Advanced Troubleshooting for Stubborn Problems

If you follow the above routine and you are still unable to get rid of the yeast, you can try chlorine bleach instead of oxygenated bleach. It is much harsher, but much stronger. Follow the same steps, but you can use warm water instead of hot if you wish.

If you have prefolds, you can try boiling them to kill the yeast. We do not recommend boiling any other type of diaper, or any type of wrap, as the elastics and PUL are not likely to stand up well to this intense process!

  
     Alternative or Additional Solutions

Some people swear by grapeseed extract or tea tree oil as remedies for yeast, so you can try one of those instead of oxy bleach if you wish. You will need to use between 20-100 drops each time you wash. You can also make a bum wash solution with grapeseed extract or tea tree oil to help disinfect at each diaper change.

Some people swear by acidophilus as a treatment for yeast infections. If you are breastfeeding, you can take it yourself and it will transfer to your baby through your breastmilk. If not, it can be given directly to your baby. This article is more specific to breastfeeding and thrush, but is also applicable to yeast infections and diapering, and offers acidophilus treatment ideas.

This blog post is the result of a collaborative effort between Malina, Shirley and Maeghan.

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Beyond the x-ray: travelling with your breastmilk?

Simply by keeping an ear open while at Bummis headquarters, I overhear all kinds of interesting stories… and some that are a little disturbing. Recently I heard about a mom who had her breastmilk confiscated at the airport, just before boarding her flight. What?? Is it legal to confiscate a bottle filled with breastmilk? Jennifer Welch, our lactation consultant, wanted to know. She shared the fruits of her research with us, and the answer is: no, this practice is not legal. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You are allowed to take breastmilk on the plane so long as it is in a bottle, is separated from other liquids, the bottle is sealed in a plastic bag (like a Ziploc), and you declare it right away to the baggage control agent.
  • If you won’t need the milk during the flight, you can pack it in your checked baggage, no problem. Note that breastmilk will keep for up to 24 hours if sealed in a plastic bag and kept in contact with an ice pack.
  • If you need to bring breastmilk in your carry-on baggage, you will have to allow it to be passed through the x-ray scanner, as a result of security measures in place to screen for explosive liquids. X-rays are not dangerous for breastmilk: the milk remains safe to drink, and the nutrients are not compromised by the scan.

Mothers who are travelling by air have every right to bring breastmilk on the plane. Before leaving on your trip, you may want to print the list of restricted items from The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, or the Transportation Security Administration (for travel in the U.S.). This way you’ll have the evidence on-hand in case you run into a problem. There’s no reason why a mother shouldn’t be able to feed her baby while travelling, especially during a long flight! Have you ever encountered a similar situation?

Written by Léa, translated by Maeghan.

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Mastitis: Go Away and Don’t Come Back! — By Jennifer Welch

This article a the first of a series by our Guest Blogger Jennifer Welch, Lactation Consultant. Stay in tune over the next few weeks to read her great insights on breastfeeding and lactation!

So, you’re starting to feel the telltale signs of mastitis:  you’ve developed a painful lump in your breast and you feel a bit of a fever coming on.  You’re not sure yet whether it is just inflammation or a full-blown infection.  Not to worry, you will soon find out!  If you have an infection, there will be no doubt.  Your fever will spike up high and you will feel very, very sick, much like when you have the flu.  The good news is that there is a lot you can do at home to make yourself well again.

 

Now what?  How do you make it go away?


Strategies for mastitis are much the same, regardless if it is infectious or simply inflammatory:

  • Most importantly, keep the milk moving.  Nurse often, starting with the affected side.
  • Massage the sore spot and apply brief heat before your nurse (5 minutes max!).
  • Reduce the inflammation by applying cold packs after you nurse.  Ibuprophen is also great for reducing inflammation and is compatible with breastfeeding.
  • Rest, eat well, hydrate. Snuggle in with your baby in for a nursing staycation and be sure to eat nutritious foods and drink lots of water.
  • Consider seeing a IBCLC and your doctor.  Inflammatory mastitis should clear in 3 days or less but if it lasts longer or you are really sick with a high fever, there is a good chance you have an infection and will require antibiotics.  An IBCLC can increase your odds of clearing it quickly.

How can I make sure it doesn’t come back?


Mastitis is caused when milk is not draining well.  If there also happens to be bacteria present, then you’ve got the makings of an infection.  A bit of sleuthing may be required to figure out why the milk is not moving well.  Be sure to consider the usual suspects:

  • Poor latch or positioning
  • Oversupply
  • Infrequent or irregular nursing/pumping
  • Pump problems (your shields are the wrong size for you or they were poorly positioned)
  • Something pressing into your breast (ill-fitting bra or baby carrier, heavy bag/purse strap)

Still stumped?  Back again?  Since they are trained to consider all aspects of breastfeeding, an IBCLC can help pin-point the cause.


For more information on mastitis check out this link:  http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/mastitis.html

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me!

Jennifer Welch, IBCLC
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
jennifer.welch.ibclc@gmail.com

514-296-8073

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