Thursday, January 5, 2023

Support for Nursing Moms

  • Meetings are usually held on the third Saturday of the month.  The next meeting is on Saturday, January 21 at 10 AM at Mesa Public Library third floor conference room #1.
  • email help at ginamariepeterson(at)yahoo(dot)com
  • Phone help at (505)-695-9305
  • Home visits
  • Breastfeeding classes
  • Ecological breastfeeding classes
  • Lending Library

Saturday, October 22, 2022

About Me

Hello! My name is Gina, and I am a homeschooling mother of five children ages 11-23. I have been helping nursing moms in various ways for over 20 years. I have been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) since 2007.  I also have a BS in Mathematics and a BS in Basic Sciences from New Mexico Tech.

All of my services are free, because helping nursing moms is my passion and joy!

Friday, October 21, 2022

Newest Clinical Protocol for Mastitis (2022)

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) just came out with a new clinical protocol for treating mastitis a few months ago.  It is quite extensive, but I want to summarize it here for those nursing moms who have mastitis or believe they may have mastitis.   Some of the common advice has changed.  To keep this succinct, I will just go over the basic symptoms of mastitis and the current treatment recommendations.

Mastitis is now considered a spectrum of conditions. On one end of the spectrum, we have ductal narrowing which is the updated way of describing a “plugged duct.” If not addressed, this can then lead to inflammatory mastitis, then bacterial mastitis, and then an abscess.  


Ductal narrowing usually presents as a tender, painful, warm, red area on the breast. If the ducts continue to narrow due to inflammation, the situation may progress into inflammatory mastitis.  Symptoms can include a painful and swollen breast, redness, fever, chills, and fast heart rate. Bacterial mastitis often presents as the redness getting worse and the painful area becoming more firm in addition to the other symptoms continuing. If the situation progresses onto an abscess, the red and firm area will continue to get worse and there will be a fluid filled area.


Most cases of mastitis resolve without the necessity of antibiotics or interventions besides those mentioned below. 

If you start to have symptoms of mastitis, continue to nurse on demand. 

If you have a “plug,” it is best not to try to release it by aggressively squeezing or massaging the area.  This may lead to trauma to the tissue.  

It is best not to pump (or pump extra if you usually pump) to try to empty the breast.  This may make things worse. If you are feeling especially full, you can hand express a little to help soften your breast.  

Avoid using nipple shields. 

Wear an appropriately fitting supportive bra.  

Deep tissue massage of the breast is not recommended, because it can increase inflammation and swelling.  A possible alternative is Lymphatic Massage which has a much more gentle touch to it. 

Also avoid saline soaks. 

There is no need to sterilize bottles, pumps, or other items, because mastitis is not contagious.

To reduce inflammation, ask your physician if it is okay for you to take an over the counter NSAID medication. Also, ask your physician about an over the counter medication for pain. 

Ice can be applied every hour to reduce inflammation, too.  

Five to ten grams daily of oral sunflower or soy lecithin has been shown to reduce inflammation. Lecithin is routinely suggested to nursing moms who have recurrent bouts of mastitis. 

If oversupply is contributing to your mastitis, treat that to help reduce the inflammation and prevent future bouts of mastitis. 

Several studies did find that probiotics were helpful in preventing and treating mastitis, but more research needs to be done before it becomes a routine recommendation.

If you have a visible “bleb,” on your nipple, the best treatment is oral lecithin and the  “application of a topical moderate potency steroid cream such as 0.1% tri- amcinolone” according to ABM.  Just wipe it off before nursing your baby.

If you are not getting better:

If the above home treatment options have not improved things or you are still have persistent symptoms such as fever and/or fast heart rate after 24 hours, call your physician. In this case, it is possible the mastitis has become bacterial and will necessitate an antibiotic. 

If you are having symptoms of an abscess, it is also very important to see your physician.  Your physician can use both clinical observation and even ultrasound to help diagnose it. If it is determined that you have an abscess, the area will need to be drained.

If you are concerned about any symptoms you are having, I encourage you to contact a lactation consultant or your physician for advice.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom

                                                        (wikimedia commons)

1. Breastfeeding helps mom’s body recover from pregnancy and birth more quickly, and it helps her uterus contract and return to its pre-pregnancy size.  It also helps with the delivery of the placenta.

2. Breastfeeding helps mom lose weight.  

3. Breastfeeding reduces mom’s risk of uterine, ovarian and breast cancer.

4. Breastfeeding reduces mom’s risk of osteoporosis.

5. Breastfeeding helps with natural child spacing especially if the mom and baby practice ecological breastfeeding.

6. Breastfeeding saves mom money - possibly up to $3000 a year.

7. Breastfeeding moms get more sleep on average.

8. Breastfeeding makes it easier to handle tantrums and when baby is out of sorts which makes things just a little easier on mom.

9. The hormone prolactin, released during breastfeeding, helps mom relax.

10.  Breastfeeding encourages extra cuddles with baby which is good for mom’s heart ❤️ 


Self Care for Moms

1) Try to eat nourishing meals.  Drink to thirst. Taking a shower is not a luxury but part of self care!

2) Sleep and rest are important.  Try to sleep or at least sit down and rest when your baby is sleeping. The dishes can wait! Also, consider co-sleeping with your baby which can actually help you get more rest at night.

3) If you are a stay at home mom, remember that you are staying home to be a mom, not a housewife. Spending time with you children is more important than having an immaculately clean house.

4) You might need to adjust your expectations about really needs to get done.  Try not to compare your house or routine with someone who has only older kids or even no kids at home. 

5) Remember to fit in things that bring you joy! This will not only make you feel better but will also spill over into mothering.  Your kids will notice your joy!

6) Relationships are more important than how the house looks.  Let go of any shame you might feel if your house doesn’t look a certain way and you have family visiting.  My mother-in-law often tells me that she is coming to see me and my family, not my house!  I think that is definitely the right perspective.

7)  Get moving.  Take a walk with your baby.  Do an online or DVD exercise workout while your baby plays next to you. Ask your husband for help in fitting in exercise more often.

8) Stay connected with friends, especially other moms. The monthly support group meeting in Los Alamos is a great start!  Also, see if your community has moms groups or playgroups.

9) Find ways to keep up with hobbies and skills and try out new interests. It can be something small like crocheting for 10 minutes a day or something bigger depending on the ages of your children.

10)  Ask for help!  Everyone needs help sometimes.  It really is okay to ask for help!  You will most likely find out that your fellow mom friends would love to bring you a meal after your baby is born or to watch your child while you go out for an hour to rejuvenate yourself.

Most of these great tips came from my friend, Christelle.  She leads St. Croix Birth and Parenting in Minnesota.  However, she has a lot of great online classes and meetings.  Consider checking her out!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Did You Know that Kangaroos Tandem Nurse Their Babies?

My kids and I watched a cool documentary today about red kangaroos.  I would like to share it with you!  

An unborn kangaroo's baby - a joey - gestates for just 34 days and then after birth makes its way to the mother's pouch.  Once it arrives, it attaches to one of her nipples and suckles constantly for more than two months straight!  At that same time, the mother kangaroo could also have an older joey that is fully developed and does not need to stay in her pouch 24/7.  However, this joey may still nurse and has its own nipple inside the pouch.  Each nipple - the one for the newborn joey and the one for the older joey - provide different types of milk!  If you would like to read more about this fascinating topic, go to this website.

Although humans are different than kangaroos, human milk does change over time as the baby nurses.  The first milk is colostrum which is high in protein, immunities, and beta carotene.  Colostrum is low in water, fat and volume.  Then over the next three weeks or so breast milk increases in fat, carbohydrate and calories.  Breast milk gets fattier as a nursing session goes on, and the volume of milk is greater at night.

After a premature birth, breast milk stays higher in protein for a month compared to the amount found after a full term birth. 

As the baby gets older, the mother's milk changes.  After about 18 months, breast milk has less carbohydrates.  At age two, breast milk tends to have more protein and fat.  If the toddler increases how much he or she nurses, the amount of protein and fat actually decrease!  Also, breast milk has 60% more calories per ounce when the child is two or older compared to when the child was 12 months old.  As the child nurses less often as he or she gets older, breast milk has a greater concentration of immunities, too. Sometimes moms are told by well meaning friends or even healthcare providers that breast milk at age one or two is not beneficial anymore.  However, as you can see, breast milk at any age has value!

I hope you have found this as fascinating as I do!

(1) Breast Milk Changes During Prolonged Lactation

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Breastfeeding Research January - June 2021

COVID Vaccines and Breastfeeding: What the Data Say

Association between breastfeeding and new mothers’ sleep: a unique Australian time use study

Breastfeeding in women with rheumatic diseases

The need to study breast milk as a biological system

New insight into why breastfed babies have improved immune systems

The safety of asthma medications during pregnancy and lactation

The effect of kangaroo care on breastfeeding and development in preterm neonates

Breastfeeding, Physical Growth, and Cognitive Development

Duration of breastfeeding, age of introduction of complementary foods and allergy-related diseases

Tandem Breastfeeding: A Descriptive Analysis of the Nutritional Value of milk When Feeding a Younger and an Older Child

Distinct Changes Occur in the Human Breastmilk Biome Between Earlyand Established Lactation in Breastfeeding Guatemalan Mothers  

Update on the transmission of Zika virus through breastmilk and breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and wheeze related outcomes in high risk infants 

Daytime nap and nighttime breastfeeding are associated with toddlers’ nighttime sleep

Breastfeeding and the risk of childhood cancer: a systemic review and dose response meta-analysis

Exclusive breastfeeding moderates the association between prenatal and postpartum depression

Association between breastfeeding and child overweight in Mexico