The Natural Nipple In Nepal: Coming Together To Find A Solution -- Part 2

During residency, Dr. Shrestha witnessed infant malnutrition and the introduction of solid foods at two months of age. He began seeing the relationship of this practice to long term negative health outcomes and became passionate about educating his patients, who often could not afford the resulting follow on care, on the preventative benefits of breastfeeding...

The Natural Nipple In Nepal: How Breastfeeding Can Be Improved Worldwide -- Part 1

About a year ago, when conducting ‘Barriers to Breastfeeding’ research across the United States, I became intrigued by The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard statistics, demonstrating that Nepal was the most successful country in the world to support women in the WHO recommendation of breastfeeding for two years. Initially, I hypothesized that these rates were likely correlated to Gross Domestic Profit (GDP), with the poorest nations perhaps having increased breastfeeding rates out of necessity: lack of access to formula or bottles.


 

This did not seem to be the case with Nepal, as their success rates supersede countries with far lower GDP. According to Dr. Prakash Sunder Shrestha, President of the Nepal Breastfeeding Promotion Forum, “The persistent failure of governments to invest significantly in breastfeeding is hard to comprehend. Many thousands of babies die each year because they did not enjoy the benefit of breastfeeding and multiple thousands more grow up deprived of the many wonders of this special gift of god of nature and of the mother.”

 

After coming across the staggering result of over thirty years of Dr. Shrestha’s career and dedication to improving the health of his community through breastfeeding, I wanted to meet him for myself and discover what breastfeeding success secrets Nepal beheld.  A year passed of attempting to contact him. Then in August 2019, the Outlook inbox sound binged like pick striking gold: the correct email had been reached and Dr. Shrestha wanted to meet for an interview!

Less than a month later, I packed up my life into one (overly stuffed luggage) and hopped on a flight with this goal: to understand what Nepal is doing differently from the rest of the world to promote breastfeeding and optimizing future generation wellness and disseminate that with our markets globally.

 

Fast forward to Dullakel Pediatric Hospital. It’s a humid, smoky, festival day and the resulting traffic rendered me wandering into the lobby a standard ten minutes late asking random Doctors where I could find Dr. Shrestha’s office for ‘breastfeeding research’ (come to find out, this rendered me the funny local nickname 'Breastfeeding!') but sooner or later, I found Dr. Shrestha mid an opportunistic medical student lecture, true to his passion for preventative education.

He spent the next two hours in what was the most surprising interview of this journey yet. I was expecting him to excitedly uncover all of these tips and tricks he deems as responsible for the success rates of his country- but found a rather jaded opinion of how much better Nepal could be doing in supporting women along their breastfeeding journey.

 

It was an odd dynamic, myself and this Nepalese doctor at the end of his career spent sharing the same cause and resonating in the same frustration. He began his medical career in Calcutta, India. During residency, he witnessed infant malnutrition and the introduction of solid foods at two months of age. He began seeing the relationship of this practice to long term negative health outcomes and became passionate about educating his patients, who often could not afford the resulting follow on care, on the preventative benefits of breastfeeding. To read my interview with Dr. Shrestha on our other blog post here.

 

To find out more about what is being done differently in the hospital setting, I traveled to Propokar Maternity Hospital, where there is an average of 15,000 babies born every month. More clinical interviews here confirm the result of Dr. Shrestha's impact on Nepal’s success statistics. One NICU nurse, Rama, explains policy prohibits the use of bottles in hospital. The reason? The exact primary barrier to breastfeeding that we uncovered in the/U.S. exists here: nipple confusion.

 

This realization surprised me. If anything, I was expecting the bottle nipples here to be better matched to mom’s shape, feel, and flow. “What happens if a mom cannot be with her baby?” I asked.

 

“Breastfeeding is the expected and culturally supported norm. If a mom is critically ill, we use this little spoon to slowly drip her pumped breastmilk into the infant’s mouth.”

 

Shocked, yet impressed with the clinical dedication to prevent nipple confusion, I discussed these findings with Dr. Shrestha, as they did not seem feasible to immediately implement in Western hospital systems where time and cost savings drive care. Ultimately, our time together resulted in the unified view of the solution to the hospitals and community that can sanitize products: a better bottle nipple.  

 

Here is the synopsis of that discussion: We agreed that companies have the positioning power to make a difference and that currently, formula marketing plays on the fear that mom can’t produce enough milk- causing early introduction of bottles. What Dr. Sundrath described next shocked me once again. He confirmed what Nurse Rama had told me, describing what they also call ‘Nipple Confusion’. I shared with him our findings from U.S. surveys and explained we have the same problem, especially when moms need to introduce a product after going back to work in three months. “You have the right point. Nepal is increasing maternal leave to 14 weeks- but how can we expect exclusive breastfeeding when moms have to go back to work after that?” 

After realizing Nepal faces the same challenges with current bottles on the market, yet has done a good job bolstering cultural support and hospital protocol that prevents introducing a product at all, I spilled my thought process behind The Natural Nipple.

 

“Why not have industry take the lead in driving the policy change that promotes breastfeeding, rather than presenting, up until now, the primary barrier against it?” I asked. “There are few people like you and me in this world,” replied Dr. Shrestha. “Formula companies have the funding to buy policy change by putting their curriculum now at the medical education level and spend millions of dollars on advertising why moms need it. It’s the human right of the baby to have breastmilk.” 

 

“I agree, it’s not scientific marketing, but if this is how the consumer and future key stakeholders are digesting information why not fight fire with fire? In the 30 years that you’ve been trying, the policy still hasn’t changed to the degree that you hoped would support breastfeeding families.”

 

This is why I’m passionate about what we can control and I think it’s important for people who are driving the industry to begin making a difference. To do that you have to be passionate about the cause. Why not be the first bottle company that comes out of a clinical and research background, with the specific purpose to empower breastfeeding, promote bonding, and optimize wellness worldwide?

*coming soon*

The Natural Nipple Goes to Nepal

The Natural Nipple Goes to Nepal

The natural nipple goes to Nepal

That’s right! Our founder and CEO, Lauren, is heading to Nepal to do customer and product research, and also to learn about their techniques and culture around breastfeeding. 

So, why? Nepal is one of the countries that has been very successful in implementing the Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, and it’s currently estimated that around 66% of babies under 6 months are breastfed, and the rate of children still breastfeeding at 2 years is around 89% (reported by the World Health Organization (WHO)). 

The recommendation by WHO is currently to have at least 6-months of exclusive breastfeeding. And we will emphasise the at least part. They say that it is ideal to provide breastmilk for up to 2 years since it can still provide the crucial nutrients and energy they need during this time. 

Our current customer discovery has been predominantly with caucasian, middle class moms in the United States, but we recognize that the challenges faced with breastfeeding are on a global scale so we want to continue to learn about the challenges women face with breastfeeding with as much variation and diversity as we can

In order to be able to address the global market, we need to be able to discover the challenges that women face in countries that have the worst breastfeeding continuity rates (the U.S. is one of the worst), as well as learn from the challenges that moms are able to overcome in countries that have some of the best breastfeeding rates (Nepal is one of the best). 

“Because Nepal has some of the best breastfeeding rates in the whole world, I firmly believe it is crucial to parallel our research, which began here in the U.S. identifying what the primary barrier is to breastfeeding, and discover what women who experience nipple confusion and latching issues in Nepal are doing to cope.
Is it some angle they position the baby at? Some sort of cultural guidance that is passed down from generation to generation?”  - Lauren Wright 

She will be working with Dr. Prakash Sunder Shrestha, President of the Nepal Breastfeeding Promotion Forum, to conduct her research. 

The Natural Nipple will be the first company to recognize a problem at the clinical level and continue to do global research to make the best possible solution for families worldwide. Here are some of the questions she’ll be asking the women, 

  • Did you experience difficulty latching in your breastfeeding journey?
  • If so, what do you think caused that?
  • What do you think helped you through that?
  • Did you experience difficulty latching if/after you introduced a bottle?
  • What do you look for when you buy a bottle? What kind of bottles have you tried? What made one better than another?

When Lauren conducted her first study on what the common barriers to prolonged breastfeeding are, she found that among the women she surveyed Nipple Confusion was the most common. 

the first breastfeeding challenges survey conducted by the natural nipple

Data from our survey conducted with currently and previously breastfeeding mothers. In our study, Nipple Confusion includes confusion related to shape and feel of the nipple and breast, as well as confusion caused by the difference in milk flow rate between the mothers' breast and the bottle nipple. *Deficiency has many variables, which includes if a mother gave birth preterm which impacts her milk supply.

 



Her goal is to find out if Nipple Confusion is one of the larger issues in Nepal as well, and what other challenges women there face. 

But you can hear more about it from her! Watch the interview with Lauren to learn more about her goals on her voyage to Nepal.

 

 

August 11, 2019 — Megan Lozicki
in the hospital getting ready to give birth

Being a Millennial Mom In an Old School Medical System

Its millennials turn to have babies, and they are a group that is armed with information and their own vision of how they want their birth experience to be. But are the doctors and nurses from the previous generations ready for them? Millennial mom, Aneesah, had an intense experience not only because her birth did not go as expected, but also because of the unforeseen tension between her and the hospital staff.
August 04, 2019 — Megan Lozicki
Home Remedies For Sore Nipples:  What Causes Sore Nipples, Quick Tips On Preventing It, And Natural Ingredients To Soothe The Pain

Home Remedies For Sore Nipples: What Causes Sore Nipples, Quick Tips On Preventing It, And Natural Ingredients To Soothe The Pain

Throughout new-motherhood, breasts can be tender and having a little one struggling to latch on doesn’t help with the pain.

However, when momma has a better understanding of what exactly causes this pain, and how to improve or reduce it, then she can conquer and feed like the queen she is!

10 BEST FOODs TO INCREASE BREAST MILK

10 BEST FOODs TO INCREASE BREAST MILK

During breastfeeding period, most of the mothers are worrying much about their milk supply. Thousands of questions running through their mind, is my baby having enough milk? Is my milk production enough? What shall I do or any food shall I eat during my breastfeeding period? Don’t worry about it; you are not the only one who facing this problem. Since breast milk is the only source of nutrition for newborn babies, most of the new moms are worrying about the breast milk production, as well as the growth curve of the little one.
In fact, there are many foods enable increasing of breast milk, and they can be obtained easily in life. After reading this article, you might don’t have to spend extra on buying supplements to boost your milk supply.

1. Asparagus
Water makes up 93% of asparagus’s composition it is a high fiber food.  Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is rich with vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. It can be steamed or fry lightly with some olive oil or with other vegetable.

2. Salmon
Salmon is rich in essential fatty acids and Omega-3, which are considered a super food. Adding salmon intro your diet, it makes the breast milk more nutritious. Salmon is very easy to prepare, you can grill, pan-friend or steam and serve as a main dish.

​3. Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are very nutrient and healthy, such as spinach, kale, fenugreek leaves, and mustard greens. Greens are the Number One food you can eat regularly to help improve your health and boost your milk supply. You should add at least one portion of green leafy vegetables in your daily diet.

4. Oatmeal
Oatmeal is easy to prepare and it is great in rich in energy and fiber. It is also good in controlling diabetes post-delivery. Having oatmeal with some fruits for breakfast is always easy and a good choice. Nutritionists recommend adding oats to any diet to increase breast milk production; you can try eating oat cookies as well.

5. Brown Rice
There are researches shown that brown rice enhances breast milk production. It is also highly beneficial to the mother by giving her more energy and contributing to a healthy direction. Soak brown rice for half an hour and pressure cook it. Eat it with vegetables.

6. Unripe Papaya
​Unripe papaya has been used as a natural sedative which may help you to relax and feed baby better. This fruit can be cooked in for thai-inspired soups, salads and noodle dishes. Unripe papaya is considered one of the best fruits to increase breast milk

7. Almonds / NutsNuts containing many vitamins and minerals especially rich in Vitamin E and omega-3, they are gluten free, and low on the glycemic index. You can eat variety of nuts such as almond, peanuts, cashew nut raw or find almond supplements to increase milk supply.



8. Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is rich in carbohydrates, which is a major source of potassium. It is rich in vitamin C, B-complex, and a muscle relaxant mineral – magnesium. You can baked a sweet potato, make some cakes or pudding for dessert

9. Brewer’s Yeast
Brewer’s yeast is good serving as a dietary supplement for breastfeeding mom. It is rich with protein, iron, and vitamin B, which can be used to support lactation and boost your milk supply. Some research also found that vitamin B can improve the depression symptom. A mother’s mood does impact a lot of your milk supply during breastfeeding.
10. Water
​Water is the main and the most important component in our body. A mom supply about 700-850ml of milk every day during breastfeeding, meanwhile, extra intake of water is very important. Make sure you drink at least 10 glasses of water per day.

A balancing in daily diet and the most important, try to have a balance meal everyday with all kind of nutritious food. The last tip for you mama, keep nursing! Your baby is better than any other method to boost your breast milk, happy breastfeeding!

April 14, 2019 — Megan Lozicki
How Your Alexa Will Update You on the Latest Infant and Maternal Health News

How Your Alexa Will Update You on the Latest Infant and Maternal Health News

Parents, we know mornings can be hectic around the house. Especially if you have little ones running around making it impossible for you to sit down with your coffee and read or watch the news. Or even leisurely read a blog post. That’s why we’ve decided to make it easier for you to stay up to date with the latest research and advice from The Natural Nipple.

   While you’re running around making sure your household is running as smooth as possible, and even while you’re breastfeeding your newborn you can get a quick update from us. All you have to do is ask Alexa.

   To hear from The Natural Nipple, it’s as simple as, going into your Alexa app, searching for The Natural Nipple, and then clicking "enable."

  “Alexa, what’s the news for today?” And you’ll get an update from us. We’ll cover our latest findings in our research to help keep you informed, and we’ll also include advice, tips, and some “good to know” facts about breastfeeding, and infant and maternal health.

  To add The Natural Nipple news briefing skill to your Alexa, simply click the link below, and stay in the know.

 

Enable The Natural Nipple Alexa skill now!

 

 

April 14, 2019 — Megan Lozicki
Tags: podcast
Preterm Babies

Preterm Babies

For most mothers with preterm births, the right word is more PANIC. Having a preterm baby, while incredible, can be really scary and stressful for the parents at first.

A preterm birth is a birth that occurs before 37 weeks of gestation, as oppose to normal gestation which usually takes about 40 weeks. These births can even happen as being as early as 23 weeks.

April 13, 2019 — Kaleigh Del Giudice
Tags: preterm
The Natural Nipple podcast - family with a new born baby

The Natural Nipple Podcast - Episodes Coming Soon!

Subscribe to our podcast to hear us discuss with experts topics around the challenges parents face with breastfeeding, as well as other challenges that arise when you have a baby. 

April 13, 2019 — Megan Lozicki
Tags: podcast

10 Best Foods to Increase Breast Milk

During breastfeeding period, most of the mothers are worrying much about their milk supply. Thousands of questions running through their mind, is my baby having enough milk? Is my milk production enough? What shall I do or any food shall I eat during my breastfeeding period? Don’t worry about it; you are not the only one who facing this problem. Since breast milk is the only source of nutrition for newborn babies, most of the new moms are worrying about the breast milk production, as well as the growth curve of the little one.


In fact, there are many foods enable increasing of breast milk, and they can be obtained easily in life. After reading this article, you might don’t have to spend extra on buying supplements to boost your milk supply.

March 19, 2019 — Tram Pham