HOTFLASHES | August 2021

Breastfeeding Awareness Month

There are many benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby, but sometimes breastfeeding can be difficult due to problems latching or other complications. The process doesn’t always come so easy and instinctively to new moms as one might hope, but we have a few tips to make the process a little easier.

  1. Breastfeed right after birth. Breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, or as soon as possible, is a great way to set baby and mom up for breastfeeding in the future. In fact, allowing moms and babies to have skin-to-skin contact right after delivery encourages newborns to start breastfeeding in the first 30 to 60 minutes. Breastfeeding early on sends signals to your brain and body to produce milk. At the start, your body produces only a small amount of colostrum (the yellowish breast milk produced before normal lactation begins), which is all a newborn initially needs. But eventually you produce more breast milk as baby breastfeeds. Even if baby needs immediate medical attention or requires a stay in the NICU, you can still express colostrum with your hands to stimulate those breastfeeding signals.
  2. Take advantage of the nurses in the hospital. While you and baby are still in the hospital, it’s a great idea to take advantage of help there while you have it. Your hospital may have access to a lactation consultant who will meet with you and help to make sure baby is latching properly. Your nurses also know what a proper latch looks like and may be able to help you try different positioning or give you tips on how to help baby latch. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you think you need it.
  3. Get baby to open wide. Your baby needs to have a wide, open mouth that will allow the milk ducts around the nipple to empty properly. If baby is latched only onto the nipple, it will likely cause you pain, and baby won’t fully empty the breast. This means baby isn’t getting a good feed, and your body isn’t sending signals to the breast to make more milk. To get a good latch, make sure the bottom of your areola (the area around the nipple) is in baby’s mouth and the nipple is toward the back of her mouth, where the palate is soft and flexible.
  4. Let others help with the housework. For the first six weeks, while you’re establishing your breastfeeding, let others help out with chores around the house. Friends and family will likely come over and ask what you need, so don’t be afraid to tell them. Nursing the baby is the one thing they and dad can’t do, so let them help with the cooking, cleaning, and changing the diapers.  When you’re not actively breastfeeding, focus on self-care, including eating well and getting rest.
  5. Know how to hold baby to get a good latch. Learn more about different nursing positions like the football hold, cradle hold, and others and don’t be afraid to try them out. Different positions may be more comfortable for you and baby than others depending on things like the size of your breasts, whether or not baby has reflux, and if you have healing incision from a cesarean birth. Again, nurses and a lactation consultant at your hospital may be able to give you tips on this and help you try different positions.

Information gotten from


Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry


1 lb 4 oz sirloin steak , thinly sliced

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

2 tbsp light soy sauce, divided

2 tbsp canola oil

1 tbsp chopped garlic

2 tsp peeled, chopped ginger

6 cups broccoli florets

1/2 cup homemade chicken stock , or sodium-free broth

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp cornstarch , mixed with 1 tbsp water


Step One: Combine beef with sherry vinegar and 1 tbsp soy sauce, and toss together.

Step Two: Heat a wok or large skillet over high. Add oil and carefully tilt wok to coat. Working in batches, sear beef for 1 min or until browned on the outside but not cooked through. Remove beef with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Step Three: Add garlic and ginger to wok, and sauté for 30 sec. or until fragrant. Add broccoli and stir-fry for 1 min or until it begins to turn bright green. Add ¼ cup water to wok, cover with a lid and steam for 2 min or until just tender-crisp. Combine remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce, chicken stock and oyster sauce, and add to wok. Bring to a boil and cook 1 min or until flavors are combined.

Step Four: Stir in cornstarch mixture, add reserved beef and cook 1 min longer or until sauce is thickened and beef is heated through. Serve over rice noodles or steamed rice.


Recipe from


Importance of Vaccines

As parents, we all want to do what is best for our child, and making sure they get their vaccines early on is a great way to do that. Vaccines protect your baby from dangerous diseases such as polio, whooping cough, chickenpox, and many more. While it can seem like a lot of shots for such a little baby, those vaccines are protecting your little one when they can be most vulnerable. While breastfeeding can help protect babies from infections and viruses by passing on immunities, this only works for breastfed children and will wear off once they are no longer breastfed. Vaccines are the best way to protect your child from preventable diseases.

Vaccines work by imitating infection of a certain disease (but not its symptoms) in your child’s body. This prompts your child’s immune system to develop weapons called antibodies. These antibodies fight the disease that the vaccine is meant to prevent. With their body now primed to make antibodies, your child’s immune system can defeat future infection from the disease. Below are the vaccines you can expect your child to get within the first few years, and the important information you need to know about each one.

  • HepB: Protects against hepatitis B (infection of the liver). HepB is given in three shots. The first shot is given at the time of birth. Most states require HepB vaccination for a child to enter school.
  • RV: Protects against rotavirus, a major cause of diarrhea. RV is given in two or three doses, depending on the vaccine used.
  • DTaP: Protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). It requires five doses during infancy and childhood. Tdap or Td boosters are then given during adolescence and adulthood.
  • Hib: Protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b. This infection used to be a leading cause of bacterial meningitis. Hib vaccination is given in three or four doses.
  • PCV: Protects against pneumococcal disease, which includes pneumonia. PCV is given in a series of four doses.
  • IPV: protects against polio and is given in four doses.
  • Influenza (flu): Protects against the flu. This is a seasonal vaccine that is given yearly. Flu shots can be given to your child each year, starting at age 6 months. (First-ever dose for any child under age 8 is two doses given 4 weeks apart.) Flu season can run from September through May.
  • MMR: Protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). MMR is given in two doses. The first dose is recommended for infants between 12 and 15 months. The second dose is usually given between ages 4 and 6 years. However, it can be given as soon as 28 days after the first dose.
  • Varicella: Protects against chickenpox. Varicella is recommended for all healthy children. It’s given in two doses.
  • HepA: Protects against hepatitis A. This is given as two doses between 1 and 2 years of age.


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