what is skin-to-skin contact via lactationlink.com

What is skin-to-skin?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips | No Comments

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC. I’m a mom to 5 and lactation consultant with Lactation Link. I’m here today to talk about skin-to-skin contact and how to make it a part of your life with a new baby.

Some moms feel like skin to skin might be time consuming or restrictive to normal life, so why do we recommend it? Well, it can be beneficial for...

If you’ve taken our breastfeeding classes in-person or online, you may have noticed that we make a big deal about skin-to-skin time!  In fact, I almost always tell moms to do lots of skin-to-skin time as part of their care plan when I see them for a personalized consult.  Some moms feel like it might be time consuming or restrictive to normal life, so why do we recommend it? Well, it can be beneficial for breastfeeding!  But what IS skin-to-skin time anyway?

what is skin-to-skin contact via lactationlink.comWhat is skin-to-skin?

Skin-to-skin is just what it sounds like– keeping baby on you, with baby’s skin touching yours, usually with baby lying on your chest.  This is important after birth because it can help to regulate baby’s temperature and heart rate, but also allow baby ample opportunity to latch on and learn to find comfort at the breast!  (1,2)

It continues to be important even after those first few days because it still provides baby access to nurse as often as she’d like and provides a reason for mom to slow down and allow herself to heal from birth and frequent night wakings.

So, we know it’s important when baby is tiny, but it also has an effect for the entire time you are breastfeeding.  One study found that women who practice frequent skin-to-skin contact are more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding when baby is 3 months old! (3)

what is skin-to-skin contact via lactationlink.com

{gray cardigan}

Tips for skin-to-skin time at home

We’re confident it’s important, but nothing can be beneficial if we can’t fit it into our normal lives.  If you’re wondering how to keep your naked-in-a-diaper baby on your bare chest without feeling like you need to make a dash for your closet if the doorbell rings, one of the answers is: use a robe or cardigan!

There are so many robes now that are made for new moms and aren’t big, fuzzy, or seem like they’d fit right in at a nursing home.  You can use a pretty, silky robe or an on-trend tunic paired with comfy leggings!  Simply open your robe or cardigan when you’re relaxing at home, dress down your  baby to a diaper, and make yourself comfortable on the couch with baby resting on your bare chest while you watch Netflix, read a book, or take a nap.

what is skin-to-skin contact via lactationlink.com

{gray cardigan}

But what if you have another child?  You can’t just leave him to his own devices, eating cereal by the handful straight from the box every day while you rest on the couch!  You can fit skin-to-skin time in with your new baby while still caring for your older baby by doing skin to skin in a wrap!  Putting baby (just in a diaper) in a stretchy wrap or other baby carrier while you aren’t wearing a shirt. You can wear a cardigan or robe over this if you want. The wrap or carrier covers all your important bits so if you had an unexpected visitor, you’d just look like you were wearing a tank top under the wrap and baby.  But you and baby will be getting the awesome benefits of skin-to-skin time, while staying covered and having your hands free!

It doesn’t have to be cumbersome or restrictive to have skin-to-skin time with your baby!  After baby arrives, make sure you plan to have no plans so you have plenty of time for this important bonding.  For more information about the benefits of skin-to-skin or how to fit it into your life, check out our classes!

Thanks for stopping by,

lactationlink008

Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

Sources

(1) Kimura, C. & Matstoka, M. (2007). Changes in breast skin temperature during the course of breastfeeding. Journal of Human Lactation 23(1), pp. 60-69.

(2) Ludington-Hoe, S., Anderson, G.C., Simpson, S., Hollingsead, A., Argote, A., Medellin, G., Rey, H. (2016). Skin-to-skin contact beginning in the delivery room for colombian mothers and their preterm infants. Journal of Human Lactation 9(4), pp. 241-2.

(3) Vila-Candel, R., Duke, K., Soriano-Vidal, J., Castro-Sanchez, E. (2017). Effect of early skin-to-skin mother-infant contact in the maintenance of exclusive breastfeeding. Journal of Human Lactation. Retrieved from journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0890334416676469.

losing weight while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

Can I breastfeed if I want to lose weight?

By | Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if? | No Comments

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC. I’m a mom to 5 and lactation consultant with Lactation Link. I’m here today to talk about breastfeeding and losing weight!

I am often asked by moms if breastfeeding while trying to lose weight is okay.  In general, yes!  It is safe to lose weight and breastfeed your baby.

So what if you aren’t losing weight naturally while breastfeeding? Is it safe to diet? A lactation consultant shares tips and...

After the obvious loss of weight from the baby and placenta, some women find that they continue to lose pregnancy weight without any extra effort (lucky ducks!).  Just like everything related to babies, though, that’s not always the case and postpartum weight changes vary woman to woman!

losing weight while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

{ergobaby carrier}

How breastfeeding can affect mother’s weight

One study found that women who entered pregnancy with a normal-range Body Mass Index retained less weight if they breastfed for 6+ months, versus those who breastfed less than 1 week, who retained more weight.  The same study found that women who entered pregnancy obese were below their pre-pregnancy weight at six months postpartum if they breastfed exclusively!

k-21ItU6VOK-bQp6nVppHk7FixTbSwt3bl3kcYif1Am0Yw9qF3imkgTus00_KjH5K3Y-9GDlgsJstb56Idj-fuIUpuB4xPLZESptFYMqoeV0pi8qtR8GGrztlA8cwqeA39W2fxj2JJrQyUgTmAzVJ1LvjUVbo2kFcg-CVrM0zJy3fzyA2YuVOaBYo6TYBUlDz51iJ0dLWQw2xYeLOI5bemOYPh1zKfdLJ5P_q3U2WIPfMmk7x8bKOYqgEY6womPn1HEEac7Vc27Skv_FmC4Jm2GM4Rbok7p0riq2Lwewhbyub1oZ0t0psMrwKK6gqNOKi991FPtWhEjYuX_qa_qKND1CU9_LrBY77qmarlT_CdxV5p6xQCfSXhOi-iKES0EsPVqIQfZmHjKnLNAspmo_lBoWfWQFBK_jD9dcJ69LCoMndMlk2_WbX2CbwEGT2T0caBQh-jILXJzTTAN-UHF26jj1IFmXlio5zE_vrtN6dBWCMFZNRiCniL9VXcYxiFcZnk6nM23CvRT-q6lgysGq8rRRkQD4CN2SQpO393WAubfpDuYGpZSsu930jACqHB_9xRH2mJ0_N5kMohdpol13io-2ICOHC4fn79tZccrP8_Y3nKIrGgRyz3KHwVTFQ88mHV6bQZgMtXjjb6iuHg4d6z4LitcWgayTxeUa9dJU-Q=w728-h90-no.jpg

Whether you notice that you don’t have to work hard to lose the baby weight or that you have to consciously watch your diet in order to drop pounds, it is still important to eat healthy as a breastfeeding mom. I like to recommend a colorful diet, drinking water as often as you are thirsty, try to minimize sweets and fried foods.  While your milk is still high-quality even if your diet isn’t perfect, how you feel, how you sleep, and your mood may be affected if you’re not taking in enough nutrients.

losing weight while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

{ergobaby carrier}

Can I breastfeed if I want to lose weight?

So what if you aren’t losing weight naturally while breastfeeding?  Is it safe to diet?  Studies have shown that short-term dieting combined with exercise does not affect milk supply.  Most women should eat at least 1800 calories per day and can safely lose around 1 pound per week.  Harsh diets like liquid fasts and diet pills should be avoided. Get some tips for postpartum wellness from a nutrition coach here. Remember to be cleared for exercise by your doctor or midwife after birth before beginning to work out.

Most mothers do want to lose weight postpartum.  Breastfeeding alone may help you in that endeavor, but the bottom line about postpartum weight loss is that eating healthy is always a good idea, exercise is safe while breastfeeding, and it’s okay to work to lose about a pound per week.  If you’re having trouble losing weight or are losing too much, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.  If you are worried about your weight loss’s effect on breastfeeding, reach out to us for a consult so we can help you reach your goals!

Thanks for stopping by,

lactationlink008

Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

References

Baker, JL, Gamborg, M, Heitmann, BL, Lissner, L, Sorensen, TIA, Rasmussen, KM. (2008). Breastfeeding reduces postpartum weight retention. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 88: 1543-1551.

Lauwers, J. & Swisher, A. (2011) Nutrition in pregnancy and lactation. Counseling the nursing mother: A lactation consultant’s guide. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

3 amazing breastfeeding benefits for moms via lactationlink.com

3 amazing breastfeeding benefits for moms

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support | 2 Comments

We see so much in the news, on blogs, and on social media about the benefits of breastfeeding for baby– for good reason, breastfeeding is GREAT for babies!  But did you know that research shows that breastfeeding also provides long-term health benefits for moms too?  Here are my three top reasons that breastfeeding benefits mom’s health:

3 amazing breastfeeding benefits for moms via lactationlink.com

3 Amazing Breastfeeding Benefits for Moms

  1. Breastfeeding improves the overall health of women.  When a mother breastfeeds, she is reducing her risk of reproductive cancers as well as other common health problems. A great way to decrease your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is to breastfeed (1). Breastfeeding also reduces your risk of ovarian cancer.  The longer you breastfeed, in fact, the greater reduction in your risk.  Other health issue risks reduced by breastfeeding are hypertension and heart attack. (2)
  2. Breastfeeding moms get more sleep. It may seem counterintuitive if you’re a tired mama waking often to nurse your little one back to sleep, but it’s true!  Multiple studies have found that exclusive breastfeeding moms sleep more hours, are healthier physically, and have more energy than formula feeding mothers. What an amazing breastfeeding benefit that we all need! (3, 3a)
  3. Longer duration before fertility returns, but more thorough return to pre-pregnant state: Did you know that a mom’s uterus returns to its pre-pregnant size much faster if the mom is breastfeeding?  Weight loss can vary among breastfeeding moms, but mom’s uterus size going back to normal is definitely influenced by breastfeeding (4). Also, breastfeeding is much more likely to keep your period away after birth.  Exclusive breastfeeding–following baby’s lead day and night–can prevent your menstrual cycle from returning for a time and even be used as a reliable form of birth control for up to six months as long as you don’t have any vaginal bleeding in that time period (5).  If this sounds like an option for you, you can discuss natural family planning methods with your healthcare provider.  

3 amazing breastfeeding benefits for moms via lactationlink.com

Breastfeeding can seem overwhelming sometimes and it’s hard as a mama to be on-call 24/7 for your little one, but reviewing the benefits for not just baby but also for you can be a great motivator when the going gets tough.  What breastfeeding benefit has been most impactful for you as a mom?  I’d love to hear in the comments.

 For more info on breastfeeding benefits for both mom and baby, check out our Confident Breastfeeding Course!

6-day

Thanks for stopping by,

headshots-lactation-link-2-1

Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

 

References

(1) Newcomb, P.A., Storer, B.E., Longnecker, M.P., et al. (1994). Lactation and a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 330:81-87.

(2) Schwarz, E. B., Ray, R. M., Stuebe, A. M., Allison, M. A., Ness, R. B., Freiberg, M. S., & Cauley, J. A. (2009). Duration of Lactation and Risk Factors for Maternal Cardiovascular Disease. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 113(5), 974–982. http://doi.org/10.1097/01.AOG.0000346884.67796.ca

(3) Kendall-Tackett, K., Cong, Z., Hale, T.W. (2011). The effect of feeding method on sleep duration, maternal well-being, and postpartum depression. Clinical Lactation 2(2): 22-26.

(3a) Doan, T., Gardiner, A., Gay, C.L., Lee, K.A. (2007). Breastfeeding increases sleep duration of new parents. Journal of perinatal and neonatal nursing 21(3), 200-206.

(4) Negishi, H., Kishida, T., Yamada, H., Hirayama, E., Mikuni, M., Fujimoto, S. (1999). Changes in uterine size after vaginal delivery and cesarean section determined by vaginal sonography in the puerperium. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics 263(1-2), pp. 13-16.

(5) Riordan, J. & Wambach, K. (2010). Fertility, sexuality, and contraception during lactation. In Breastfeeding and human lactation (4th ed., p. 705-736). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Bartick, M.C., Schwarz, E.B., Green, B.D., Jegier, B.J., Reinhold, A.G., Colaizy, T.T., Bogen, D.L., Schaefer, A.J., and Steube, A.M. (2016). Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: Maternal and Pediatric Health Outcomes and Costs. Maternal and Child Nutrition, doi: 10.1111/mcn.12366. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mcn.12366/full.

 

 

Is My Baby’s Poop Normal?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Lactation Link team | 2 Comments

Is my breastfed baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, an IBCLC and mom of 5. I’m here today to talk about your breastfed baby’s poop!

Before you become a parent, you have no idea how much you’ll think about and analyze poop – trust me!  You and your partner will know just how far you’ve come when you can spend ten minutes discussing diaper frequency and appearance. 

I always ask about baby’s stooling habits because it can be a great way to know...

In fact, in every consultation I ask about baby’s stooling habits because it can be a great way to know how baby is thriving. In Breastfeeding Basics, there is lots of detail about what to expect in baby’s first poops, but today we are going to be talking about poops for infants, rather than newborns. 

Is my baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

The Rainbow of Poop Colors

Yellow or orangey-yellow is usually what breastfed babies’ poop is colored once mature milk comes in around 10-14 days, but sometimes it is watery, sometimes it is seedy or full of curds, sometimes it seems super thin, and sometimes it’s more like toothpaste.  The texture varies from baby to baby but can also vary from diaper to diaper in the same baby.  Some moms ask us how they would know if their baby had diarrhea since their regular poop is so liquidy.  Diarrhea is not common in the exclusively breastfed baby but if they get it, it’s generally VERY watery, comes VERY often, is usually green or almost neon can be mucousy, and almost always has a VERY foul odor (much worse than the mild smell of a breastfed baby’s poop– which is one awesome benefit of breastfeeding!).

What if baby’s poop is green?  Or kind of brown?  Well, you can breathe easy knowing that generally this is just a variation of normal.  What if you see blood?  Usually it’s nothing dangerous or scary, but it can point to an anal fissure that will probably heal on its own (these are very common!) or allergies.  Be sure to call your baby’s healthcare provider if you are concerned about anything you see.  Babies often push hard to poop, but this isn’t typically a concern.  They’re trying to figure out what is actually necessary to get their business done! 

dsc_1685

{breastfeeding robe}

Baby Pooping Frequency

Moms will sometimes be getting into their groove with nursing and then at 6 or 8 weeks suddenly baby is only pooping every third day.  That sounds terribly uncomfortable to our adult bowels, but the exclusively breastfed baby is very rarely truly constipated.  True constipation is hard, pellet-like stool and warrants a call to the pediatrician in a breastfed baby.  If baby is passing soft, yellow stool after a long hiatus from pooping, you can rest easy– but get out your big box of wipes because this often means there will be a LOT of poop when it does come! It’s worth noting that pooping infrequently (less than once a day) at under a month old could mean inadequate milk intake, so you should check in with us to make sure baby is nursing well, but it is not a reason to panic.

Is my baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

If you feel like you’re up to your ears in dirty diapers, try to remind yourself that it’s an awesome problem because it means baby is drinking lots of milk to grow and thrive.  If you’re worried about your baby’s pooping habits, reach out to us for help.  If you’re pregnant or you’re still not sure what’s normal, check out our online breastfeeding video classes which also go over important things to know about poop, as well a LOT more about breastfeeding! 

Have you signed up for our Confident Breastfeeding Course yet? It’s a good intro to the online breastfeeding classes. Click the image below to download.

Koin our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

headshots-lactation-link-2-1

Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link

Lactation Link January Breastfeeding Basics Class + Promo Codes

By | Breastfeeding support, Classes, community breastfeeding support, Media | 2 Comments

Wow! I had an incredible time teaching our January in-person breastfeeding class in Lehi, Utah at the Loft at Brick Canvas presented by Lillemer, Lil Buds breast comfort packs. We enjoyed meeting so many moms and partners excited to learn about how to make their breastfeeding experience a positive one. “Creating Confident Moms” is my mission statement at Lactation Link and we love helping moms find their confidence through breastfeeding education!

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding suppliesFrom one of our attendees:

“I’m a second time mama, and I still learned things that I didn’t know with my first baby! And even though nursing went well with baby #1 its still great to get a refresher course (and the handout!) to be able to refer back to. I’m excited to also get the video breastfeeding classes and learn even more. Thank you for being so awesome and for a fabulous event!” ~Emma

lactstionlink026In addition to our breastfeeding class, hands-on practice, and Q&A time, each of our attendees walked away with grab bags worth over $150, a lunch from Blue Lemon and a whole new support network including new friends and four lactation professionals!  Here’s my team of educators, they also help us have good coverage for in-person and online consults!  You can book with one of us here.

lactstionlink006

L to R: Lacey Parr CLEC, Stephanie Hadfield IBCLC, Lindsey Shipley IBCLC, Kristin Gourley IBCLC

Shannon Weight Photography was there to capture the event for us, and did a fantastic job!  Check her out for maternity,   newborn, and lifestyle photography in UT and Salt Lake County! You can get $30 off  a full session in 2017 if you book by March 19th! Email her at weightphotography@gmail.com.  

Our venue was phenomenal. We loved having our class at the Loft at Brick Canvas at Thanksgiving Point. The classy backdrop was ideal for our class and we couldn’t have asked for better service. Thanks Brick Canvas for being such great hosts!

Grab bags

We were so happy to be able to work with such wonderful sponsors to contribute to our event and help keep ticket costs down! Lillemer, Lil Buds breast comfort packs was our headlining sponsor. We have loved them from the beginning because of the comfort they can bring to engorgement, plugged ducts, and more!  They can be used for heating or cooling packs and are made of lavender and flaxseed.

lactstionlink102

Our grab bags were valued at over $150 and each one included all these goodies!

Blanqi leggings. These are made particularly for expecting and new moms with a supportive waist band while still being slim and stylish.

We were super excited to share Bamboobies with our moms. They are a great option for nursing pads – comfortable and reusable!  You can save 20% using code ‘LLINK20’ on their site.

Loved giving Lillemer’s Lil Buds to each one of our moms.  Use code ‘LLINK’ for 10% off on their site.

Milkful Lactation Oat Bars supplied some awesome bars for our mamas. They are so yummy and good for mama and baby! You can use the code ‘LLINK’ for 15% off your order at Milkful if you missed the class or need to stock up again. 😉

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding and baby suppliesSweet n Swag also included a pair of infant moccasins in every grab bag. You can use code ‘LLINK’ for 15% off total purchase on their site.

Undercover Mama also gave out their classic nursing tank (that attaches to any bra!). Use code LLINK for 20% off anything in their online store, we really love their nursing dress!

Persnickety Prints provided our wonderful class outlines. They print newborn announcements, memory books, calendars, and more! Use code ‘LLINK10’ for $10 off any purchase of $50 or more.  They ship right to your door!

Chatbooks  You can also use the code ‘LLINK’ to get your first book free!

Blue Lemon also gave our attendees some swag to take home and provided a delicious lunch.

If you couldn’t make it to class you can still win one of these grab bags here!

Class instruction

The main event! My presentation is jam-packed with the best research-based breastfeeding tips and tricks. This includes info on the first feed, how to latch, how to hand-express and more! One tip I shared in class is how crucial skin-to-skin contact is right after birth and beyond. I reminded our attendees that as soon as baby is born (for most moms and babies), baby can be laid on your tummy. Research shows this is the best way for baby to transition to life outside the womb!  Vital signs can be taken on mama’s chest and measurements, footprints, and baths can wait. This information can be an empowering tool for moms to initiate breastfeeding in a natural, progressive way.

lactstionlink044Here is what one mom had to say about the class instruction,

“This was amazing. I couldn’t even compare it to the breastfeeding class I took before I had my first. There was so much useful information and helped me feel so much more prepared!” ~Megan

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.    in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

Our attendees love taking notes on the provided class outline, printed by Persnickety Prints.

Another attendee commented:

“I thought it was the best thing I’ve done, education wise, in my pregnancy so far! It was so incredibly helpful and I’m so excited to buy the video breastfeeding classes!”

Mingling & Photo booth

We don’t like to let pregnant mamas sit too long, so we had a break to stretch our legs and take some fun pics!

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

We love having moms and babies in our class!

Hands-on-learning

We were super excited to have so many moms in class. In order for every mom to get individual hands-on practice, we broke out into four groups led by IBCLCs and lactation educators.

lactstionlink051

Lacey Parr CLEC hogging all the babies!

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

Practicing with the Ergobaby nursing pillow – supports skin-to-skin positioning!

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

Stephanie Hadfield IBCLC leading her breakout group!

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

Here I am answering questions and getting to know my Lactation Link Moms!  {Ergobaby nursing pillow}

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

Kristin Gourley IBCLC discussing cup feeding with her breakout group

lactstionlink072

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

Interactive learning experience

We make sure that our attendees are able to have time to ask their questions. Making sure our community of moms feels supported and heard is a big part of who we are. From one attendee, “I loved that I felt comfortable to ask questions before, during and after class.”

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

lactstionlink036

Lunch + meeting moms

Pregnant mamas, new mamas…we all need to EAT well and Blue Lemon hit the spot! The food was amazing and we loved having more opportunity to talk with moms one-on-one and answer more questions.

lactstionlink089

 

lactstionlink086

lactstionlink098

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

More classes and events

If you couldn’t make it to this class, we have you covered! You can check out our video breastfeeding classes. You can watch them anytime, anywhere, from any smart device.  You can also enter our giveaway of two of our amazing class grab bags {each one valued at $150!}

Come see us at the Empowering Fearless Birth event On February 18th in Sandy, Utah. We’ll have some awesome giveaways there! You can come meet more of the team and get some exclusive promos. I’ll also be leading a discussion there. Don’t miss out!

Thanks for stopping by,

xoxo Lindsey Shipley + The Lactation Link Team

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.I’ve also created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below to get started.

Learn breastfeeding tips and tricks on Lactation Link's free e-course.

3 tips for breastfeeding in the nicu

3 Tips for Breastfeeding in the NICU

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips | No Comments

When you have a baby (or two) in the NICU, breastfeeding can have interruptions that can make meeting your goals a little more difficult. To help through this time, I am sharing 3 tips that can make it easier.

A Lactation consultant shares her top 3 tips for breastfeeding in the NICU. The first one is...

Frequent skin to skin

Skin to skin contact has been shown to be the best way to establish and even increase milk supply (1). When you are with baby, make most of your time together by spending it skin to skin. Ask for a comfortable chair and help from a nurse if needed. As baby becomes accustomed to your chest, he or she will become better and better at breastfeeding. Even having your partner do skin to skin with baby can be beneficial.

3 tips for breastfeeding in the nicu via lactationlink.com

3 tips for breastfeeding in the nicu via lactationlink.com

{Simple Wishes Supermom bra use code LLINK for 20% off!}

Pumping while away

When you are separated from baby, pumping every few hours will also help establish and increase your supply. My Pumping and Storing class is great place to learn how to get the most out of your pumping session. But a good place to start is with hands-on pumping. Massage your breasts while pumping to increase your output. Great tutorials in the class! Using a handsfree nursing and pumping bra like the Supermom Bra from Simple Wishes is a great tool for hands-on pumping. (Use code LLINK for 20% off.)

Reducing stress

Find ways to reduce stress at home and at work. I have a great list of ways to reduce stress in Breastfeeding Basics. Let go of extra responsibilities such as in your church or community. Invite grandparents or other relatives to spend extra time with your older children. Embrace simple meals and a messier house if that helps you feel less stressed and able to spend more time with baby.

3 tips for breastfeeding in the NICU via lactationlink.com

Lastly, remember to give yourself grace during this period. A little breastmilk is better than none. Your baby needs you right now, in whatever form that is at this time. With some effort and support, you can meet your breastfeeding goals. Helping moms get breastfeeding off to a good start is what I love best and I would love to help you reach your goals and create confidence in your motherhood.

3 tips for a breastfeeding in the nicu via lactationlink.com

Have you had a baby in the NICU? What was your experience like? Share in the comments. 

We’d also love for you to be a part of our Confident Breastfeeding Course. Click the image below for more information.

6-day

Thanks for stopping by,

lindsey-headshot-white-with-grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Sources

(1) Bramson, L., Lee, J. W., Moore, E., Montgomery, S., Neish, C., Bahjri, K., Melcher, C. L. (2010). Effect of early skin-to-skin mother-infant contact during the first 3 hours following birth on exclusive breastfeeding during the maternity hospital stay. Journal of Human Lactation, 26, 2 (130-137).

is it okay for my baby to use a pacifier? via lactation link

Is it okay to give my baby a pacifier?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Lactation Link team | No Comments

Hi! I’m Kristin, an IBCLC here at Lactation Link and a mom of 5. I’m here today to answer some questions about pacifer use. Enjoy!

Pacifiers are so common in our culture and many moms, grandmas, and others find them to be helpful for soothing babies.  So why “Is it bad if I give my baby a pacifier?” a common question asked in our community of moms and at consults?

Is it really bad to give your baby a pacifier? A lactation consultant's answer is...

I certainly don’t think they should be avoided at all costs, but there are some things that moms should consider before using one. 

should i give my breastfed baby a pacifier? get the answer from an IBCLC at lactationlink.comWait to start pacifier-use

In general, it’s best to wait until breastfeeding is well-established before introducing a pacifier.  This means baby is nursing well, waking to feed on his own, and gaining weight consistently, while mom is not in pain or experiencing nipple damage.  

The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends considering giving a pacifier at nap time and bedtime after breastfeeeding is firmly established (1) as one way to help prevent SIDS. The evidence is unclear why a pacifier is protective, but it is something to consider.

is it okay for my baby to use a pacifier? via lactation link

Use pacifier in-between feedings, not to replace them

Another important factor to consider is ensuring that the pacifier doesn’t soothe baby too well.  Most babies need to wake at least once at night for many months as well as nurse every couple of hours during the day. Babies release sleepy hormones just from sucking, whether or not their bellies get full, so pushing off a feeding by using a pacifier can cause baby to not eat often enough or get enough milk.

is it okay for my baby to use a pacifier? via lactation link

Breastfeeding came first

On the flip side, many moms find that their baby is not interested in a pacifier!  Breastfeeding is a womb-like environment close to mom and offers warm milk and the promise of a full belly, so some babies will not take any substitute.  It can be hard for mom to feel like she is being used like a pacifier, but try to remember that the breast came first. A pacifier is a replacement for the breast when baby wants to suck continuously.

If you have any concerns about your baby’s pacifier use or any concern about breastfeeding, our video classes are a great resource, especially all troubleshooting included in Breastfeeding Basics 102. You can also reach out to us for an in-person  or e-consult for personalized help!

We’d also love for you to be a part of our Confident Breastfeeding Course. Click the image below for more information.

6-day

Thanks for stopping by,

headshots-lactation-link-2-1

Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

728x90_v3

Sources

(1) The American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016). SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. (Pediatrics. Vol. 138 no. 5) Retrieved from: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/10/20/peds.2016-2938

How to Know if Your Baby is Getting Enough Breastmilk

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Home/Hospital Visits | No Comments

dsc_2556

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, an IBCLC and mom to 5. I’m here today to answer our most commonly asked question!

A Lactation Consultant's tips on how to know if your baby is getting enough...

One of the most common questions lactation consultants get is, “How do I know if my baby is getting enough?”  Our culture is so used to measuring and knowing numbers and figures!  It can be hard for us to switch our brains over and trust our bodies and our babies.

dsc_2886

dsc_2482Since our breasts don’t come with measuring lines on them, we need other ways to be sure your baby is thriving from breastfeeding.

How to know if your baby is getting enough breastmilk:

  • Baby’s growth. Baby is growing well—weight gain is important; but weight gain is not the only growth measurement that pediatricians track!  Is baby growing in length and head circumference in addition to weight?
  • Diaper output. About 6+ wet diapers and 3+ dirty diapers per day for the first couple of months.  Sometimes babies go longer without pooping; this can be normal in babies over a month old.  Remember: it can’t come out if it’s not going in!
  • Baby’s behavior. Baby is content—all babies get fussy, but a well-fed baby will usually have periods of sound sleep and have content periods during the day.
  • Baby’s development. Baby is developing appropriately and your pediatrician is happy with his or her development.
  • Breast softness. You usually feel some relief after nursing and notice your breasts are a bit softer even if they fill again quickly.

dsc_2852

If you can tick through that list successfully, then it is likely your breastfeeding relationship is thriving!  If you’re not sure that you or your baby is doing well, we’d love to have an in-person  or e-consult with you! If you’d like to learn more ways to promote your own breastfeeding success, check out our video class bundle. The classes go over everything you need to know to meet your breastfeeding goals!

Another way I’d love to share some breastfeeding wisdom with you is with our Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips. Click the image below to access them.

button-3

Thanks for stopping by,

headshots-lactation-link-2-1

Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

Feature: Jane.com

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Features, Media, Uncategorized | No Comments

img_6538-jpgWe are teaming up with Jane.com this week to talk about the best in maternity clothes and of course, breastfeeding tips and tricks.

We had a great time doing a Facebook Live Q & A session with Jane. You can see the full video here.

I’m sharing my Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips on their blog. One tip is about how to best utilize skin to skin contact with baby. Learn more on their site. Let me know what you think about the tips in the comments.

I also picked my favorite maternity and nursing products with them this week. Check out my picks on their site.

IMG_1790

Should I wake my baby to breastfeed?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Lactation Link team | No Comments

dsc_0685

Hi mamas! I’m Lacey Parr, a certified lactation educator counselor and mom of 3. One our most commonly asked questions at Lactation Link is whether or not you should wake your baby to feed if they begin to sleep in longer intervals. Mamas and babies need good rest! My hope is that learning when to wake a sleeping baby or when to let them sleep will help bring you some more confidence.

While most babies will need to feed frequently throughout the night for several months, some will begin to sleep longer intervals. It is important to...

Should I wake my baby to breastfeed?

dsc_0688

{Undercover Mama nursing dress} Use code LLINK for 20% off!

Before 2 weeks

Before baby turns two weeks old and regains their birth weight, it is important to keep waking baby to feed. Babies at this age need to be fed around the clock every 2-3 hours or 8-12+ times in 24 hours. A newborn’s stomach can only hold a few teaspoons and must eat frequently to satisfy their hunger. This time is also crucial in establishing your milk supply, so frequent breastfeeding is key. Keep feeding on baby’s cues, whenever they are, and throughout the night.

dsc_3131After 2 weeks

While most babies will need to feed frequently throughout the night for several months, some will begin to sleep longer intervals. After baby regains his/her birth weight (around 10-14 days of life), it is normally safe to allow baby to sleep longer intervals (1). Some moms like to wake at this time to pump or hand express to relieve any pressure they might feel in their breasts. This is also a good time to start saving milk to return to work or school. But other moms take this time to get more sleep. Do whatever works for you and your family! Any experiences with this? Share in the comments.

Get more breastfeeding wisdom and answers to commonly asked questions with our Confident Breastfeeding Course. Click the image below.

6-day

Thanks for stopping by,

headshots-lactation-link-1-1

Lacey Parr, CLEC

Sources

(1) Lauwers, J. & Swisher, A.. (2011). Breastfeeding in the early weeks. Counseling the Nursing Mother (5th ed., pp. 378). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.