I Can Breastfeed

I Can Breastfeed

by Kristina Chamberlain Cnm Arnp Ibclc


$12.56 $13.95 Save 10% Current price is $12.56, Original price is $13.95. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, November 25


"This book is empowering, informative, and made me believe in affirmations!"

-Abby Sher, author of Amen, Amen, Amen and Breastfeeding Mom

Part self-help guide, part nursing companion, I Can Breastfeed: Visualizing Your Way to Breastfeeding Success off ers help in preparing for the arrival of a new baby. Learn to use visualization and affirmations to build confidence and foster a successful breastfeeding relationship with your baby.

Based upon her experience as a lactation consultant, midwife, and mother of two, Kristina Chamberlain, CNM, ARNP, IBCLC, provides practical advice for the new mom and the working mom. Gain confidence on a variety of breastfeeding topics:

• Benefits of breastfeeding

• Expectations for the first two weeks of your baby's life

• Proper breastfeeding positions and latch

• Common breastfeeding obstacles and how to avoid them

• Appropriate birth control while nursing

• Preparations for going back to work

I Can Breastfeed provides ten visualization exercises and over forty affirmations that will motivate you to believe that breastfeeding is not only the normal but the very best way to feed your baby.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781450253970
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/10/2010
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

First Chapter

I Can Breastfeed

Visualize Your Way to Breastfeeding Success
By Kristina Chamberlain

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Kristina Chamberlain, CNM, ARNP, IBCLC
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-5397-0

Chapter One

You Can Do It. Yes, You Can! But Why?

* * *

My breasts know exactly how much milk my baby needs.

Breastfeeding is the gift of ideal nutrition and the best start for good health. Breast milk is the optimal food for your baby, providing the healthiest foundation for her immune system and overall future health. Breastfeeding also allows time for you and your baby to slow down and connect with each other. Dads and partners can be confident that breastfeeding provides their baby with the best nutrition possible. The whole family benefits from breastfeeding! Breastfeeding also benefits society as a whole.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, and continued breastfeeding for at least the next 6 months. (1) In other words, breastfeed your baby for at least a year, even if you are feeding her solid food by then. All benefits of breastfeeding continue the longer you breastfeed. In America, about 72% of moms start breastfeeding their babies at birth. At 6 months, that rate drops to about 14%. (2) That's too low! Many moms and babies are missing out on the long-term benefits of breastfeeding. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a goal of the Healthy People 2010 Initiative was for breastfeeding rates at 6 months postpartum to increase to 50%, and to 25% at one year. This would have a great positive impact on the overall health of our country, improving quality of life, decreasing chronic illness, and decreasing the amount of health care dollars spent because breastfed babies grow up to be healthier adults.

Why are so few moms still nursing at 6 months? Lack of support is probably the biggest reason: lack of support from family, lack of support from employers, and lack of support from society in general, not to mention a non-supportive maternity leave in this country. As a society, we don't wholly embrace nursing our babies as normal. Children's books often show babies feeding from a bottle, rather than a breast. Women are still asked to cover up or leave public places when nursing their babies in some states. Nursing a toddler is negatively judged by many, so moms keep it a secret. Somewhere along the way (right around when formula was created and given free to new moms in the hospital), breastfeeding got a bad reputation and we have been working to change it ever since.

Components of Breast Milk

What is in breast milk? What makes it so delicious and nutritious for our babes? We probably don't know everything included in this living liquid, but here is what we do know about the composition of human milk:

Breast milk is made mostly of water, about 87%. It provides all of the water a baby needs, even on really hot days. (3)

Protein is synthesized from amino acids, which are the building blocks of all cells. These amino acids come from the mother's blood and are important for the development of the central nervous system. There are 2 types of proteins: casein (curd), which makes up 40% of the proteins and whey (lactalbumins), which makes up 60% of the proteins. (4) (3)

Whey proteins have infection protective properties; it inhibits the growth of certain bacteria in the baby's gut. It also protects against respiratory illness and allergies.

The casein found in human milk allows more iron to be absorbed by the baby's body. This is especially important because iron is found in low amounts in human milk.

Protein enzymes have an anti-inflammatory function and are antimicrobial. They also promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and aid in the development of intestinal tissue.

The main carbohydrate found in human milk is lactose. High amounts of lactose create a more acidic environment in the baby's gut, which decreases the amount of "bad" bacteria. It also improves the absorption of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Fat is a vehicle for fat soluble vitamins and cholesterol necessary for brain development and a precursor for prostaglandins and hormones. The majority of calories in human milk come from fat.

There are many vitamins found in human milk. The fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. The water soluble vitamins are C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, folate, B12, biotin, and panthothenic acid. (4) (3)

The minerals found in human milk are phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. (4)

The electrolytes found in human milk are potassium, sodium, and chloride. (4)

The trace elements found in human milk are zinc, iron, iodine, copper, manganese, selenium, chromium, and cobalt. (4)

There are also plenty of white blood cells (WBCs) in human milk. The job of WBCs are to fight infection: another reason breast milk is so great at keeping your baby healthy!

Benefits to Baby

Breast milk provides probiotics (good bacteria) to your baby so that her gut begins to work properly. Breast milk also contains disease-fighting antibodies. These antibodies lay the foundation for the immune system of your baby. Thus, breastfed babies are healthier and get fewer infections. When mom is sick, her body produces the antibodies to fight that particular illness. These antibodies pass through the breast milk to the baby, giving him protection from the very illness his mother has.

Babies utilize the nutrients of breast milk more efficiently, so it is digested more easily. This means that a baby fed breast milk will empty his stomach sooner than a baby fed formula. Most formula is made from cow's milk or is soy based. Cow's milk digests more slowly, sitting in the baby's gut longer, curdling. This results in more gas, colic, constipation, and spitting up.

Breast milk contains cholesterol, which is only found in very small amounts in formula. This cholesterol is thought to help adults combat high "bad" cholesterol. Human milk is also full of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential omega 3 fatty acid. DHA promotes brain and eye development. It also contains the carbohydrate, lactose. This promotes intestinal bacterial growth in the gut, which is important for digestion.

Breast milk is species specific. This is my favorite argument for nursing our babies. Each mammal mama produces milk that provides everything her babies need. For example, polar bear and whale milk is higher in fat because those animals need more fat to survive. Human milk is specifically designed for what the human baby needs. Formula made from cow's milk is not, however, it is perfect for baby cows.

Breastfed babies have less diarrhea. This is literally a life saver in developing countries where water sources and supplies are not clean and diarrhea is the leading cause of death in infants and small children.

Breastfed infants have fewer respiratory illnesses, allergies, asthma, diabetes, ear infections, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Crohn's disease, and increased IQ and emotional security.

Suckling at the breast strengthens facial muscles and helps to align the baby's teeth better. This promotes better speech development and less need for orthodontics.

Breast milk contains endorphins, which are natural pain killers. This helps babies to cope with medical procedures, vaccines, bumps, and bruises.

Benefits to Mom

The process of developing breast milk and nursing benefits mothers physically and emotionally. The act of breastfeeding supports a mother's body as it shifts from pregnancy to the post-partum period. As a woman breastfeeds her baby, oxytocin is released, which causes the uterus to contract, bringing it back to its non-pregnant size sooner. This protects moms from postpartum hemorrhage and may result in less blood loss during the days after birth. Oxytocin also promotes relaxation, bonding with your baby, and reduces the risk of postpartum depression.

Producing breast milk burns calories, resulting in more weight loss. You can lose up to about 2 pounds a month just through nursing alone.

Breastfeeding also provides benefits that continue throughout a woman's lifetime, long after she weans her baby. A woman's iron levels can decrease during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period due to blood loss. The lack of periods caused by breastfeeding allows a woman's iron levels to recover, decreasing the chance of anemia. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of breast cancer occurring before menopause and adds protection from ovarian cancer. Giving your baby breast milk can decrease your risk of osteoporosis later in life. Even though calcium levels drop while nursing, your bone mineral content improves.

The emotional benefits are less tangible. There are no tests or labs to quantify how advantageous they are to mom. But it's the emotional benefits that can remind mom why humans are meant to breastfeed. One of my favorite perks of breastfeeding was the fact that I had to STOP to do it. It forced me to focus, relax, and connect with my babies when things were getting too rushed or chaotic (as will happen with a new baby!).

Breastfeeding is convenient. There are no bottles, or formula packs to lug around! "Have boobs, will travel!" As soon as your baby shows signs of hunger, you can nurse without having to prepare anything or make your baby wait. And, it is always fresh.

Breast milk is FREE!

Breastfeeding delays the return of your period after delivery. Therefore, breastfeeding can be used as birth control if you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby. Indeed, this was one of the best forms of birth control and child spacing back in the day. More information about breastfeeding and birth control can be found in Chapter 9.

There is a bonding that takes place while nursing your baby that can't be replicated by any other activity the two of your do. You are more aware of your baby's needs because you are holding your baby more and because your body is more connected to your baby. (Sometimes your body knows your baby needs to nurse before you have a chance to observe your baby's hunger cues: the heaviness of your breasts can be your first clue.) Your baby comes to rely on you for nourishment and comfort. Of course, dads can have a connection with their babies that is full of love and tenderness. But breastfeeding provides a bond between mom and baby that is just a little different and that much more special.

Benefits to Dad/Partner

Sure, Mom is the one who breastfeeds the baby, but dads and partners also benefit from the breastfeeding relationship. A breastfed baby is a healthier baby. This can greatly reduce stress for new parents, especially dads who feel pressure to be the "provider". Since breastfeeding also supports mom's health and well being, a partner can go to work knowing that the family is healthy and doing the best thing to help them stay that way.

Breast milk is FREE! (This is worth repeating.)

Dads can be available during the night for diaper changes, and to support Mom when she needs it.

Last, but maybe not least, breast milk poops are less stinky. This was my husband's favorite benefit!

Benefits to Society

Though the breastfeeding relationship lasts only a few months or years, the benefits last a lifetime for the mom, baby, family, and society. It has a ripple effect. A mom and her baby are healthier, thus her family stays well. Healthier babies become hearty adults. This results in fewer healthcare costs and more vigorous, happier people in our society.

Breastfeeding is also eco-friendly. Breastfeeding produces less consumer waste, which is better for the environment. Really, there is no waste with nursing. Only when mom is pumping is there the potential for waste. However, this is minimal compared to the waste when using formula.

Breastfeeding is good for business. There is less work absenteeism due to less illness. A more productive work force creates a better domestic economy. Now we just need to get the work place to better support moms who are pumping at work. This is slowly happening.

All of these benefits increase the longer a baby is breastfed!

Chapter Two

Visualize It! Benefits of Affirmations and Visualization

* * *

My baby gains weight feeding only from my breasts.

Many of you may have heard of or even taken a hypnobirthing class during your pregnancy. I took one during my second pregnancy. In the class we learned coping techniques to handle the discomfort of labor, including visualizations. I was given a CD (really showing my age here) that had a visualization exercise on it, as well as many affirmations. I listened to this CD many nights before I went to bed and during my labor. This kept me grounded, kept my mind free of fear and focused on the wonderful, yet challenging thing I was doing. That experience inspired me to write a breastfeeding book incorporating visualization and affirmation. I feel that there is a need for this type of book because so many women are plagued with doubt and fear when it comes to nursing their baby. We have lost touch with our instinct to breastfeed because we are in our heads. Too much technology, a fast paced schedule, and no experience watching other women nurse have left us with an intellectual understanding of what breastfeeding is supposed to be, rather than an instinctual knowledge of what breastfeeding just is.

Visualization and affirmations will help you successfully breastfeed. Visualization is the act of seeing in your mind's eye the outcome you desire from any situation. Affirmations are positive statements you say to yourself that create a change in your attitude. I believe that visualization and affirmations are pivotal in creating success within us so that we create success in our world. This is true in all aspects of life, and can be used to create a successful breastfeeding experience for mom and baby.

When my mother introduced me to visualizing, I didn't welcome the idea with open arms. In fact, I really wanted nothing to do with it. I thought it was silly, far-fetched, and I was a little embarrassed for my mom. My mom made tapes of her own voice reciting visualization exercises and affirmations. She often listened to them as she was falling asleep at night. My brother and I would openly mock these. All of this was beyond me. Really, how could visualizing a ride along the colors of a rainbow make any difference in my life? I didn't get it, until I was a few years older.

I felt stressed about school and the constant fighting that went on between my brother and me. I developed migraines. As anyone who has experienced migraines knows, the pain is excruciating at times. Rather than ask my mom to chop my head off to ease the pain (which always seems like a good idea when I have a migraine), I asked her to give me one of her visualization tapes. For years she told me how the exercises could put a person into a deep state of relaxation, as if their body was floating away. I was feeling desperate, so I started to listen to my mom's visualization tapes as a way to relax and get over my headaches. The exercises weren't really focused on anything in particular; it was my mom's calm voice telling me to get more and more relaxed as I walked down the ocean shore. Her voice guided me along the shoreline and into a deeper state of calm.

So how does all this work? Have you ever wanted something so badly that you could see it actually becoming a reality? That's the power of visualization. Visualizing something isn't just about wanting it or wishing for it. It's about changing your thought pattern so that you BELIEVE your visualization as truth. You can't deny the truth, can you?

How do you go about changing your thought pattern? Seeing is believing. Whatever it is you are out to achieve, you have to see it as your reality. See it as happening, in the present, not in the future. For example, if you want a natural, unmedicated birth, visualize yourself actually laboring free of drugs, with your support people next to you. See and feel your strength. Watch yourself in your mind's eye achieving your goal as it is happening. Changing your thought pattern changes your attitude.

Don't visualize in terms of the future. In the above example, you wouldn't say to yourself, "I hope I can give birth without drugs" or "I'm going to try to give birth without drugs". This is nonproductive for two reasons:

1) Hoping something happens is putting the event in the future and allowing some uncertainty. We don't know what the future holds, which means that your event may or may not happen. There should be no question that it will happen, and no question of your success.

2) Proclaiming that you will try to do something allows room and gives permission for failure. Sure you can try, and you may succeed. Or you may not. See? You don't want to give failure or doubt a place in your visualizations, because visualizations are to bring you success.


Excerpted from I Can Breastfeed by Kristina Chamberlain Copyright © 2010 by Kristina Chamberlain, CNM, ARNP, IBCLC. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction I've Been There Too!....................xi
Chapter 1 You Can Do It. Yes, You Can! But Why?....................1
Chapter 2 Visualize It! Benefits of Affirmations and Visualization....................8
Chapter 3 Successful Breastfeeding Before The Birth....................16
Chapter 4 What Are My Breasts Doing?....................24
Chapter 5 Birth to Two Weeks....................29
Chapter 6 Positions and Latch: Getting It Right....................41
Chapter 7 How Do I Know My Baby Is Getting Enough Milk?....................51
Chapter 8 Obstacles That Can Be Overcome....................55
Chapter 9 Breastfeeding, Sex, and Birth Control....................67
Chapter 10 Pumping While Away From Baby....................74
Chapter 11 Feel the Confidence....................84
Chapter 12 For Those Unable To Breastfeed....................88
Appendix 1 Affirmations for Successful Breastfeeding....................93
Appendix 2 Writing A Birth Plan....................97
Appendix 3 Galactogogues....................101
About the Author....................109

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

I Can Breastfeed: Visualize Your Way to Breastfeeding Success 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The small black haired, violet eyed 16 year old took a shower. She was skinny) weighed 97.3 lbs and was 5'4"