Five Reasons Why Breastfeeding Is Good For You (And Five Tips To Be Successful)

breastfeedingWe’ve all heard why breastfeeding is good for your baby but what’s in it for you, Mom? Here are five reasons why you should try breastfeeding:

1. It can help to shrink your belly
Breastfeeding helps your uterus return to its size before pregnancy.

2. It can help you shed that baby weight
Breastfeeding helps you burn up to 500 calories a day and that can make it easier to lose those pregnancy pounds.

3. It helps to protect your health now and later
Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of postpartum depression and breast and ovarian cancer.

4. It can help prevent an unexpected pregnancy
Breastfeeding can delay the return of your period. To be safe, you should still use some form of birth control while breastfeeding.

5. It saves money
You don’t have to buy formula, right?

And here are five tips to help you be successful at breastfeeding:

1. Room with your baby at the hospital
This will help you and your child learn how to feed on demand as soon as possible.

2. Get an expert opinion on technique
When you’re in the hospital, have a nurse or lactation consultant check how your infant latches on. You may not have the right position if it hurts enough to make you grimace with every feeding.

3. Plan to breastfeed a lot
This could be eight to 12 times per day. Always feed on demand and looks for signs of hunger, like when your baby puts his hand in his mouth, or if she looks increasingly alert.

4. Stay hydrated
This ensures that your body can make enough milk.  Drink water throughout the day and sip from a glass of water when nursing.

5. Find a quiet place
Start by nursing in a calm setting to help your milk let down. After time, you’ll find that your milk will flow just by unhooking your bra or hearing a baby cry.


Making The Most of Your Annual Visit

annual examYour annual visit to the gynecologist is about more than a Pap test. It’s an opportunity to help you and your doctor understand your health at every stage of your life.

For women of childbearing age, the annual visit is when you can learn about all the options for birth control and find out if the method you’re using now is the best choice for you. Visiting your OB/GYN every year means you’ll be on the forefront of the latest innovations. It’s also when you can be screened for sexually transmitted diseases that could lead to chronic pelvic pain or even sterility if left untreated.

The pelvic exam that’s part of your annual visit can help your doctor detect diseases such as vaginal and ovarian cancer that have few obvious symptoms in their early stages. An annual breast exam can uncover signs of cancer that may not be detected by a breast self-exam, and earlier detection increases your chances for survival.

An annual visit can help your doctor track your bone health throughout your life. Osteoporosis is a leading cause of disability for women in their senior years. Your doctor also has immunizations that can protect you from meningitis, pneumonia or shingles.

Seeing your gynecologist every year also offers an opportunity to get your health questions answered by an expert. That’s important because people often depend on information from websites and social media that may not be accurate. You can also share any personal information in a confidential and caring environment.

On top of all the medical reasons to see your gynecologist every year, an annual exam lets you and your doctor get to know each other better. Developing a good relationship through the years can make you feel more comfortable working together when an issue arises or you need treatment. And if you plan to have a child, you’ll have more peace of mind knowing you and your baby are in good hands during your pregnancy.


The Importance of Oral Health During Pregnancy

oral health pregnancyWith so much to think about during your pregnancy, it’s not surprising that women can forget the importance of good habits like brushing your teeth and flossing daily. Studies show that poor oral health can have a significant impact on a mother’s health during pregnancy and the health of her child.

Begin with a complete dental check-up as part of your pre-conception plan. Gum disease during pregnancy can cause preterm delivery and low birth weight. Consult with your dentist about whether you’ll need a dental check-up every trimester instead of the typical semi-annual visit.

 The hormonal changes that are part of pregnancy may increase the risk of conditions such as pregnancy gingivitis than can cause tender gums to bleed easily. It can be a challenge during the first trimester when you’re dealing with morning sickness, but you need to be brushing twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing every day. Use a flouride toothpaste and chew surgarless gum to add more protection against tooth decay.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet right from the start is vital for you and your baby because first teeth begin to develop about three months into pregnancy. Essential minerals that you can get from dairy products, cheese, and yogurt are crucial for the baby's developing teeth, gums, and bones.

Talk to your dentist and OB/GYN about when is the right time for routine dental care. Often that will be during the second trimester, but elective procedures should be delayed until after the baby is born.

Breastfeeding can aid in the development of your baby’s mouth. The latching and sucking motion can help to develop a strong and functioning jaw and airway and breast milk offers minerals that help build strong teeth. And remember to set a good example for oral health by brushing your teeth in front of your child daily, and start brushing the baby’s teeth with a soft brush as soon as the first tooth appears.


Great Ways To Add Outdoor Exercise To Your Summer

outdoor exercise smSummer means outdoor fun and it's a great time to find different ways to add more exercise to your life. Here are some suggestions to combine good health with the great outdoors.

Train for a 5K
In Fall, there are many opportunities to run a 5K race for a good cause. Now's the time to start training and that can start with your smartphone. You'll find many free apps that can take you through a 60-day plan to get ready for your first five-kilometer run.

Outdoor Yoga
Combine the power of yoga with the beauty of the outdoors for a workout that builds the body and feeds the soul. Whether you use your own backyard sanctuary or head to a shady spot in the nearest park, you can practice a natural form of exercise with nature all around you.

Go Golfing
Golf can be a solid four-hour workout if you ditch the cart and take a walk along those 18 holes. Even if you're only playing a short nine, you can add thousands of steps to your day and have some competitive fun in the process.

Hop On The Bike
Remember those great summers as a kid when you could spend all day riding your bike? Why not release your inner child on two wheels? Cycling is an amazing form of exercise that the whole family can share. Be sure to always wear a helmet and stay safe when you ride.

Take a Hike
Slip into some comfortable walking shoes and step off to better health. It doesn't have to be rugged; you can tackle that challenging uphill trail or have a fun adventure with the kids on a walking path in a nearby park.  To reduce the risk of tick bites during a nature hike, wear long pants tucked into your socks and avoid trails with tall grass.

A Trip to The Playground
When you take your kids to the playground, get off that park bench and join in the fun. Swings, monkey bars or playing tag can give you a real workout and show your kids how much fun exercise can be for everyone.


Six Tips To Safeguard Your Skin This Summer

summer skin tipsYou want to soak up that summer sun, but don't pay the price with premature skin aging, or an increased risk of skin cancer. Be smart and keep your skin safe with these summertime tips:

Start At Night To Build Skin Protection
A few weeks before that beach vacation, begin to wear sunscreen every night. Dermatologists say the technique builds up the outer layer of the skin and makes it less likely to burn.

Skip The Foundation
During summer, you can put away the foundation and opt for a daily moisturizer with a gradual self-tanner and SPF. It can give your skin a more natural glow and protect it from the harmful rays of the sun.

Get In Sync With Zinc
If you want fast coverage, look for a sunscreen that offers broad spectrum chemical protection plus zinc oxide, the original mineral-based sunscreen. Where chemical sunscreens might need 15 to 30 minutes to start working, zinc oxide begins protecting your skin immediately on application.

Stay Hydrated
Water is your body's friend during summer, and that includes your skin, too. Drinking plenty of water can help to keep your skin looking it's best. And remember that when you begin to feel thirsty is when you're already dehydrated, so drink water throughout the day.

When In Doubt, Re-Apply
Don't be stingy with the sunscreen. To get the advertised protection for most products requires an application equal to a shot glass full of lotion, and that's a lot more than a typical handful of sunscreen. Consider the protection time listed on the product as the maximum, and be wary of sunscreens that promise long-lasting waterproof or sweat-proof protection.

Say “Hello” To My Big Floppy Friend
There's no better or easier skin protection than a wearing a hat that shields you from the sun's harmful rays. Look for one that's stylish and wide enough to protect your face, ears and neck and make it part of your outdoor summer wardrobe.


Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax