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Author:  Renee
E-mail:  kohn@ix.netcom.com
Date:  10/31/2004 7:07:00 PM
Subject:  Nursing on Shabbat
Message:  There are a number of Shabbat related issues regarding breastfeeding.

Often a mother will experience a great deal of discomfort in the early weeks (this could be from a yeast infection too or just from the newness). I was taught that it is okay to manually express the milk in order to relieve the mother's discomfort but that it is not permissible to keep the milk.

Also there are a number of positions that a mother with very sore breasts might try that may alleviate the discomfort. Many of the mothers I know find that the pump causes MUCH more trauma to the sensitive tissues than the baby EVER does.

Whatever you do, stick with it. The early weeks of anything are always tough and there is no tougher nor more rewarding job than motherhood. You are doing the very best for your baby, you are giving your baby the very best you can in health and haskafa.

The main thing is that at two weeks postpartum, it is important to make sure that you are not doing too much (usually the main cause of nursing problems). Until you go to the mikveh, you are recovering and it is important to sit and rest as much as possible.

It is sad that there are few communities today that provide meals and visits for new mothers, but this used to be the norm. Until you go to the mikveh, your main task should be caring for the baby and recovering your strength. Anything else that can wait, should wait. Babies do not care if their clothes match or it they sleep in coordinated cribs and most new fathers are too tired to remember if they had tuna sandwiches for dinner for the past five days in a row.

As mothers one of the greatest tasks we are charged with is teaching our children about Hashem. When our babies cry and we answer them with loving arms, the enveloping warmth and smell of a loving parent and a belly full of warm milk that is the easiest thing to digest (gas is a very big issue for babies) we are teaching them that Hashem is always there and that Hashem answers their prayers, provides for them all of their needs and that their cries are not in vain.

I highly recommend Rebbetzin Tehilla Abramov''s book "Straight from the Heart" (from which I butchered the above quote).

I've been fortunate to have nursed BIH eight children successfully so if I can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to call at
305 865 0487, anytime.
   
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