Archives for February 2013

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Gestational Diabetes

Having gestational diabetes (GDM) should not hinder couples from enjoying Valentine’s Day. Of course, chocolates and candies are already out of the picture, but those things do not comprise the whole of Valentine’s Day. The important thing here is to spend the day together, no matter what kind of activities you engage into. As a partner to a woman with gestational diabetes, moral and emotional support can go a long way in relieving stress caused by GDM. Here are some of the ways in which couples can enjoy each other’s company during the most romantic time of the year:

  1. Schedule a visit to the doctor together. Unlike other women with normal pregnancy, a woman with GDM would need extra prenatal visits to the doctor to monitor the baby and take care of you accordingly. Why not schedule a visit to the doctor with your partner on Valentine’s Day? This is a good way to promote bonding between couples, and also to involve the partner in the care of both the baby and soon-to-be mom. The woman will feel as if she is not alone in this phase of her life, and it would help her a great deal emotionally.
  2. Shop for cookbooks on gestational diabetes. For couples who love to cook, planning a meal together can be romantic. Do not make your partner feel alone by restricting her from eating foods with too much carbohydrates or simple sugars. Instead, try to plan your meals accordingly so that both of you enjoy delicious yet low sugar foods. Buying a cookbook exclusively catering to meals that are best for people with gestational diabetes is a good way to show your empathy towards your partner. And of course, don’t forget to cook these foods for her!  You can read more about our cookbook here – Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes: Your Guide To Controlling Blood Sugars & Weight Gain
  3. Learn about gestational diabetes. In order for you to be able to help your partner in coping with her condition, you also need to learn about what GDM is all about. You can schedule to attend a seminar about GDM so that you can learn about the different aspects of the condition. Another way is to buy books about GDM and read them together. Women with GDM can also share their feelings to their partners about the condition so that their partners will know how to act accordingly.
  4. Exercise together. Physical activity is also a part of GDM coping, since this can enhance the woman’s response to insulin, thus lowering her blood sugar levels. You can plan an exercise routine that both of you can do together, and then have the doctor approve it before executing it. A study made by the American Diabetes Association showed that women with GDM are more likely to stick to an exercise routine if they are being encouraged and supported by their partners.
  5. Do chores together. Traditionally speaking, women are supposed to do the household chores and responsibilities at home. But then, a woman with GDM easily gets fatigued because glucose is not readily converted into energy. What you can do is to help her in doing the chores at home so that she does not get tired easily. And for Valentine’s Day, why not volunteer to do the work altogether? Aside from helping her relieve her fatigue, you also make her feel like your queen. That, perhaps, is one of the most romantic gestures that you can do, far more romantic than chocolates and candies.  Trust me, she will really appreciate a night off from doing her regular “stuff”.

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Using the Medela Pump for Breastfeeding After Having the Baby

Assembled pump

Assembled pump (Photo credit: treehouse1977)

In today’s world, women play certain roles in society other than being a mother. She is also a daughter, a wife, a sister, a friend, and a career woman. To keep up with the changing times, women who are always on the go now make use of breast pumps to allow them to give their babies breast milk without compromising their hectic schedule at work and at home. Breast pumps are also great ways to let the father feed breast milk to the child, thus promoting father and child bonding.
Hence, it is very important for moms to select a trusted brand of breast pump that they can use whenever they are unavailable to breastfeed their babies physically. One such brand is the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump w/ Backpack breast pump.

Why trust Medela?

Medela is one of the leading companies that manufacture breast pumps for lactating women of all ages. This company has been manufacturing breast pumps for more than 30 years already, and has made a commitment to quality and safety with regard to manufacturing breast pumps and other breastfeeding needs. They also make sure that they continuously research for ways to make breastfeeding an enjoyable experience, and apply these researches to their manufacturing of breast pumps. Medela has also made a commitment to protect the environment so that it makes efforts to recycle materials that they use for their products, thus making them eco-friendly.

There are many different types of breast pumps that a mother can choose from. There is the double electric breast pump, which is an all in one breast pump kit that can be used every day and can easily be transported to and from work. There is also the manual breast pump, perfect for moms who only use the breast pump occasionally. It is also a good backup pump for the electric breast pumps.

Aside from breast pumps, Medela also manufactures other breastfeeding needs such as specialty feeding devices for babies who need to be fed in a different way other than through breastfeeding, and even cleaning solutions for their products. Materials for breast care and other spare parts for breast pumps are also being made and sold by Medela.

There are many benefits to using breast pumps not just for women who are working, but even for full time moms. It increases efficiency as compared to manual expression of milk. You can pump ½ to 2 ounces every pumping session, thus making sure that your baby’s supply of milk will last. Remember that the rule for breastfeeding is that the more milk you express, the more milk your body makes. Therefore, it is important to express milk to make sure that your breasts do not dry up. If you miss nursing even just for a few days, you might be surprised to know that your breasts are no longer producing milk. Breast milk is a lot better than formula milk because this is the best food that you can give to your child in terms of nutrients. Also, this is a great way to promote bonding between father and child by letting him feed the expressed milk to the baby.

I used a Medela pump to make sure I was getting the most milk in the least amount of time.  As a mom, you can’t have enough time, and trying to pump and get your baby taken care of can be rough, but the Medela pump I used worked through both pregnancies and my babies had fresh milk whenever they needed it.

To learn more about breast pumps and their importance in breastfeeding your child, you can sign up for our monthly newsletter.

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Can I Breast Feed My Baby If I Had Gestational Diabetes?

breastfeeding

breastfeeding (Photo credit: sdminor81)

Breastfeeding is one of the most important things that a mom has to do after giving birth to her baby. Milk coming from the mother’s breasts is rich in nutrients that can help the baby grow strong during his or her first months of life. However, mothers suffering from gestational diabetes during pregnancy often wonder whether it is safe for them to breastfeed their babies or not. Even though gestational diabetes stops right after pregnancy, mothers often worry about the possibility of passing their condition to their newborn babies. Hence, one of the dilemmas that they have is whether to breastfeed or not.

I breastfed both my children – first I pumped because they were preemies, but later breastfed at home and pumped to keep the supply up.  It is a very important part of taking care of a newborn or preemie, and I encourage you to breastfeed.

To Breastfeed or Not to Breastfeed?

The answer to the aforementioned question is pretty simple. If you want your baby to grow healthy, then you should breastfeed your baby. If you don’t want to breastfeed your baby, using formula is also acceptable, as whatever formula your doctor recommends will contain healthy nutrients to help your baby grow. Breastfeeding is best, especially if your child has allergies or is delivered early, but you have the choice.

Having GDM is not a hindrance to breastfeeding. It will not have any impact on your ability to breastfeed your child. In fact, breastfeeding is highly encouraged, if not sorely needed, by the newborn. A baby borne of a mother with GDM is at risk of developing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar after birth because of the pancreas’ continuous production of insulin as conditioned inside the womb of the mother. Hence, early breastfeeding within 30 minutes to one hour after birth is needed to maintain the normal blood glucose levels in your baby’s body. Moreover, because of the nutrients that can be found in breast milk, you are actually lowering the risk of you baby’s incurring diabetes later on in life.

How Important is Breastfeeding?

It is often said that breastfeeding is best for babies up to two years of age. That is because breast milk contains many nutrients that can be beneficial to your baby not just for the time being but also later in his or her life. Breast milk contains antibodies that help protect your baby against illnesses during his or her first few months of life. This prevents the baby from getting colds, gastroenteritis, and infections, in which he or she is very prone to because of the immature immune system that the baby has right after birth.

Allergies like eczema and asthma are also prevented by breastfeeding. Contrary to popular belief, breast milk can also help reduce the risk of diabetes, leukemia, and other types of cancer later in life, regardless whether the mom had gestational diabetes or not.

Breastfeeding also has a couple of advantages for the mother. Constant breastfeeding can help you lose the weight that you gained during your pregnancy. In fact, continuing breastfeeding beyond six months is a great way to naturally control your weight. It also has long-term benefits, such as reducing your risk of developing cancer and osteoporosis. Hence, breastfeeding is not only good for the baby, but also for the mother.

If you are worried about breastfeeding and gestational diabetes, learn more about gestational diabetes in general by signing up for our newsletter and getting great information to help you understand how your body works.

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