Aspen Birth Center Blog

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Anyone can be a superhero!

August 6, 2019

World Breastfeeding
National Breastfeeding Month


Celebrate World Breatfeeding Month

Protect your right to breastfeed!

Anyone can be a superhero. Colorado laws allow breastfeeding in public. Employers in Colorado are required to provide private space, not a toilet stall, and break time to pump or breastfeed. #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds

Talk to your employer and child care provider. Tell them of your plans to breastfeed and your needs to pump. Protect your right to breastfeed! Provide them with the Colorado toolkits and resources. Remember the laws that support breastfeeding. #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds

Promote breastfeeding!

Anyone can be a superhero. Arm yourself with information. Learn about breastfeeding. Share it with others. Make breastfeeding the norm. #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds

Pregnant? Find out if your hospital is designated as Baby-Friendly. A Baby-Friendly certified hospital must meet guidelines that support breastfeeding and have improved health outcomes for moms and babies. Baby-Friendly hospitals provide the best start for your baby and the best support for families. For more information visit #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds

Support breastfeeding! 

Anyone can be a superhero. Build your support team. Ask for help. Get help from family, friends, WIC, health care providers, lactation consultants, coworkers and support groups. #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds

Health benefits

Did you know breastfeeding improves moms’ health by reducing the risk of:

·       Breast and ovarian cancers.

·       Heart disease.

·       Diabetes.

·       Rheumatoid Arthritis.

·       Weak bones and breaks.

To receive the most health benefits, breastfeed for at least one year. #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds


Did you know breastfeeding improves babies’ health by reducing the risk of:

·       SIDS.

·       Respiratory tract and ear infections.

·       Diarrhea and other stomach problems.

·       Childhood obesity.

·       Leukemia and childhood cancers.

·       Asthma, allergies and eczema.

To receive the most health benefits, breastfeed for at least one year. #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds

Give yourself and your baby all the benefits of breastfeeding. Any breastfeeding provides health benefits to both moms and babies! Doctors recommend feeding your baby only breast milk for the first 6 months to receive the most benefits. #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds

Breastfeeding longer has benefits that last a lifetime. It is recommended that babies continue to receive breast milk at least until the baby is 1 year old. Moms should continue to breastfeed as long as they and baby wish thereafter. #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds


Breastfeeding helps moms and babies bond and can increase mom’s confidence. Breastfeeding also helps moms make connections with family, friends, WIC and other moms. #YouAreEnough #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds


Breastfeeding gives moms peace of mind. Breast milk is always available! No need to worry about properly mixing formula, ensuring it is the right temperature or checking expiration dates or recalls. #BreastfeedingPeaceOfMind #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds


A Bright Future

Breast milk is good for the environment! Its production does not harm the environment and fewer bottles and cans end up in the landfill. #GoGreenAndBreastfeed #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds

Breastfed babies are sick less often which lowers health care costs and reduces the number of sick days for parents. #BreastfeedingBenefitsThatLast #COHealthyKids #WBW2019 #COBreastfeeds


Posted by Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC and Childbirth Educator
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Fathers are Key Team Players to Breastfeeding Success

June 17, 2019
Fathering norms are constantly changing. Fathers nowadays are more involved in the day-to-day care of children and share more work at home, a vital and ongoing change in the long road towards gender equality. Fathers are more and more involved in caring for babies and have a profound influence on breastfeeding. So how do we ensure that fathers are fully informed about how they can provide the most effective support for breastfeeding?
Breastmilk is the best food for the baby and breastfeeding benefits mother, family, society and nations. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary food up to two years of age or beyond. Studies have shown that fathers involvement and emotional support are crucial for mothers to complete her breastfeeding journey. When fathers receive breastfeeding education, materials, and professional support, breastfeeding rates are significantly higher.

The best support that fathers can provide is when both parents form a parenting team. Fathers can build a unique bond with their baby by actively interacting, cuddling and caring for the baby during exclusive breastfeeding. Both the parents can decide as a team on their breastfeeding goals, how best they can support each other, what will be each parent’s responsibilities and how they can share the domestic tasks, especially if there are older children who also need care. Communication is critical to forming a winning breastfeeding team.
“Fathers-to-be, current fathers, and father figures, let us join our hands together and support mothers during breastfeeding, playing our role in building a strong family bond, and closing the gap of absent fathers.”
Thulani Velebayi
MenCare Trainer with Sonke Gender Justice
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and Family Initiative wish the best to all involved and supportive fathers. Happy Father’s Day 2019!  
#HappyFathersDay2019 #WABA #FamilyInitiative #EmpoweringParentsCampaign #Breastfeeding #WBW2019
For more information, contact:
Thinagaran Letchimanan
Duncan Fisher
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Reality-New moms fall asleep feeding their babies...

April 30, 2019

Where will you be when (not if) you fall asleep while feeding your baby?

Dr. Ann Kellams-breaks down the reality of feeding your baby at night, and how to prepare safe feeding spaces, in her blog written for the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.

Healthy newborns wake easily and often to feed, and a “good sleeper” in this age group is one that lets you know when he or she is hungry, is an efficient and effective feeder, and settles after the feeding and falls back asleep.  Modern societal expectations often do not allow for or encourage new mothers to sleep during the 16-20 hours/day that a newborn sleeps.  There is often housework, family and visitors, thank you notes, older siblings, and far too often at least in the U.S., an earlier-than-it-should-be return to work.  The “village” that traditionally swooped in and surrounded the dyad with care and support is often spread across miles, even oceans, and these mothers, while still recovering from birth, are left alone as their partner returns to work.  It is not surprising that new mothers find themselves exhausted and in “survival mode” during which time the recommendations that they have heard to feed a certain way or have the baby sleep a certain way may fly out the window as they desperately try to achieve a little more sleep.  And even though they may or may not be planning to, mothers of newborns are falling asleep while feeding their babies.

In addition, depending on where they turn for information, the recommendations for infant feeding and safe sleep can be confusing and may appear to be at odds with one another.  We know that mothers who bedshare with their infant breastfeed for longer.  We also know that where babies start off the night is not always where they end up in the morning.  We know that breastfeeding is protective against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but also that bedsharing may pose a risk for a sleep-related infant death, particularly in the setting of other risk factors such as prenatal smoking, formula feeding, maternal substance use, sedating medications, maternal obesity, prematurity, and the presence of soft bedding in the sleep environment.  Some organizations recommend bedsharing as a means of supporting breastfeeding and cite data about the physiologic patterns and postures of mothers and babies when they bedshare.  Other recommendations focus on safe sleep and recommend breastfeeding as a strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS but recommend against bedsharing to avoid an unintended sleep-related death.


031319 ABM Blog Graphic Safe Sleep Environment Kellams 1What then is a mother to do? And how as physicians should we counsel them?  I think we need to start with listening to the mother.  What is the current sleep arrangement and why?  Is she aware of the recommendations?  What are her goals?  How old is her baby?  Is she back at work or school?  What other specific risk factors does she or her baby have?  What kind of support does she have?  Starting with listening can help the physician determine the level of risk given the particular situation and tailor the education and advice.  Even the organizations that recommend no bedsharing recognize that mothers are at risk of falling asleep while feeding and that the safest place to fall asleep while feeding is an adult bed with a flat, firm mattress and no soft bedding, i.e. pillows, blankets, or comforters in the environment.  The groups that advocate for bedsharing as a strategy for successful breastfeeding also caution about soft bedding, the gestational age of the infant, breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, the avoidance of smoking and sedating medications or substances, etc.  In fact, all of the recommendations have more items in common than not.

031319 ABM Blog Graphic Safe Sleep Environment Kellams 2

Rather than talk about breastfeeding recommendations as something separate from safe sleep recommendations, I think we need to focus on “safe nighttime feeding spaces.”  You likely are going to fall asleep while feeding your baby whether it is planned or unplanned.  So, perhaps it is time to think about the feedings when a mother may fall asleep, and make them as safe as possible.  Here is what that might look like: When thinking about falling asleep while feeding, think of the letter ‘F’:  Infant is Face-up (or on the back); it is on a Flat, Firm adult mattress; the space is Free of any pillows, plush, or soft bedding or head covering; the infant is Feeding only breastmilk; the space is Free of anyone other than the mother; there is a “Fashioned” infant sleep space nearby where they baby can be returned after the feeding; the mother is “Fully-aware” meaning she is not under the influence of sedating medications or substances; the infant is Fully-vaccinated; and there is Fresh air, i.e. no risk of overheating and no tobacco smoke in the environment.  Situations or conditions that should certainly be avoided during nighttime feedings are pillows, blankets, comforters, plush of any kind in the bed; being in a couch, sofa, or chair where the risk of suffocation and falling is greater; or bedsharing when the infant is sick or premature.

031319 ABM Blog Graphic Safe Sleep 2.1

Planning the spaces where “sleepy” feedings occur has the potential to achieve both public health goals simultaneously:  Helping mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals and reducing the risk of sleep-related infant deaths.  Having non-judgmental conversations, acknowledging that mothers are likely to fall asleep while feeding, and talking about both breastfeeding and safe sleep together will ensure that physicians are able to give, and mothers are able to receive, clear messages that are tailored exactly for them and their circumstances.

Dr. Ann Kellams is Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Virginia who served for 12 years has served as Medical Director of Well Newborn service and helped found the UVA Breastfeeding Medicine program in 2011.    She serves on the Virginia Department of Health Breastfeeding Advisory Committee and on the Board of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and is the immediate past-Chair of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Advisory Council for Maternal, Fetal, and Infant Nutrition.  Her research is in the area of prenatal education related to infant feeding, hospital breastfeeding support, and safe sleep practices with the SMART and SCHOOL grants funded by the NICHD.  She is a scientific advisor for the Virginia Department of Health Breastfeeding Friendly Consortium that offers web-based CME and MOC.

Blog posts reflect the opinions of individual authors, not ABM as a whole.


AAP SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths:  Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment

ABM Clinical Protocol #6:   Guideline on Co-sleeping and Breastfeeding

La Leche League Sweet Sleep- Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family

Attachment Parenting Infant Sleep Safety Guidelines

University of Notre Dame Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory Frequently Asked Questions

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Product Recall-Fisher Price "Rock and Play"

April 11, 2019

Public service announcement:

MONDAY, April 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Ten infants are known to have died in the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play sleeper since 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns.

In a joint statement with Fisher-Price, the CPSC said it voted to announce that "the health and safety of the public requires immediate notice" of the danger to babies.

All of the infants died after rolling from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained. All 10 infants were aged 3 months or older. Infants typically begin to roll over at 3 months, the CPSC noted. Therefore, the agency says parents and caregivers should stop using the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play sleeper when infants reach 3 months of age or when they begin rolling over. Previously, the agency had warned parents and caregivers to use restraints in infant-inclined sleep products.

On its website, Fisher-Price said the company "will continue to work closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and other international regulators, to encourage the safe use of our products and find ways to keep your little ones happy, healthy, and above all -- safe."

More Information

Last Updated:

Posted by Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC and Childbirth Educator
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