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Home/Hospital Visits

Breast health tips with a CNM and an IBCLC

Breast Health

By | Breastfeeding, Home/Hospital Visits

Today we are excited to have Jennifer Krebs, Certified Nurse Midwife from Valley OB with us! I am so happy to have her as my primary care provider.  I just had my annual exam (see photos) and she took her time answering all of my questions.  I asked her if she would be a guest contributor today, sharing her tips for breast health.

 Did you know that women who breastfeed (especially for a duration of a year or more) have a lower incidence of breast cancer? (1) Many women have heard of the benefits of breastfeeding to their infant, but aren’t aware there are long-term health benefits to the breastfeeding mother as well! Keep reading for more ways to stay on top of your breast health. 

Breast health tips with a CNM and an IBCLC via lactationlink.com

Know your family history. Has anyone in your family had breast cancer? Ovarian cancer? Uterine cancer? Think of Aunts, Cousins, Mothers, grandmothers and sisters. And very importantly…their ages at diagnosis. Having family members with these pre-menopausal cancers increase your chances of genetically heritable mutations that increase your risk of developing these cancers. Already having this information at an office visit helps us screen women effectively.

Pay attention and look in the mirror.  When you get out of the shower just stand and take a look. Are your breasts somewhat symmetrical? Is there dimpling? Areas of redness? Nipples approximately the same size? Drainage or leakage when not breastfeeding? Abnormal masses? The difficulty with breasts is that they are lumpy and bumpy. You will notice abnormal masses if you know what normal feels like. They say that women doing self breast exams doesn’t improve outcomes so many providers have stopped recommending them. However, most problematic masses are found by women themselves so it is still important.

 Go to your routine health maintenance exams. As women and mothers, we tend to be very busy and don’t have time to think about regular maintenance. I frequently see women only when they have problems or need refills on birth control or get pregnant. It’s important to STAY healthy and keep up on preventative health measures and hopefully avoid problems in the future. Don’t wait until you have a problem. Be seen for routine physicals. Get your blood pressure checked. Have your clinical breast exam. Get routine health maintenance labs. Discuss family history. Staying healthy helps you be more effective in your day-to-day life.

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Thanks Jen! I know I appreciated these tips about breast health. Along with breastfeeding, knowing your family history, being aware of your body and going to your healthcare provider regularly are all great ways to stay involved in your breast health.  You can book an appt with Jen in her American Fork or Lehi locations by calling 801.756.1577
Thanks for stopping by, 

 

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Source 

(1) Breast cancer and breastfeeding: collaborative reanalysis of individual date from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50,302 women with breast cancer and 96,973 women without the disease. The Lancet, volumet 360, Issue 9328, 187-195. Retrieved from: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(02)09454-0/abstract?cc=y=

 

How to relieve breast pain while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

How to relieve breast pain while breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Home/Hospital Visits

Hi mamas, I’m Stephanie Weight Hadfield, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and mom of 4. I’m here to talk about common causes and solutions for breast pain in breastfeeding mothers. 

We are often asked about various kinds of breast pain so today I am sharing some information and resources for how to deal with common types of breast pain. Note: this article is discussing breast pain. If you’re concerned about nipple pain, you can read more about that here.

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Common causes & solutions for breast pain in breastfeeding mothers

Engorgement. Your breasts may feel very full and firm in the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding, while your body is enthusiastically gearing up to churn out plenty of milk for your baby. Breast pain related to engorgement is felt in both breasts, during and/or between feedings. This pain will go away as your breasts settle into their milk-making role and engorgement resolves, usually by the time your baby is about 2 weeks old.

How to relieve breast pain while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

{Lil’ Buds breast comfort packs: use code LLINK for 10% off}

For relief from engorgement, first make sure that your baby is latching deeply and nursing frequently, at least 8-12 (for a newborn) or more times a day. You can hand express a small amount of milk before feeding to help soften the areola and make it easier for baby to latch well. You can also hand express just enough milk between feeds to relieve uncomfortable pressure. Cold compresses on your breasts between feedings can help reduce swelling and pain. Read more about relief from engorgement here.

Strong Milk Letdown. If your breast pain happens in both breasts and starts at the beginning of a feed when your baby starts gulping, it could be due to a strong milk letdown. Ultrasound studies have shown that this is due to the stretching of the milk ducts as the milk is released. The wider the milk ducts opened, the more discomfort mothers reported. This pain doesn’t typically last through the whole feed and usually decreases and disappears on its own over the first month or so of breastfeeding. Relaxation or distraction techniques can help you get through it. Many mothers find slow deep breaths or counting to be helpful, and babies seem to handle the strong flow of milk better in a side-lying or laid-back position.

How to relieve breast pain while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

Referred pain. Breast pain can a problem when neck, back and shoulder muscles are strained by leaning forward in an uncomfortable position to nurse. This referred pain can happen because the breasts and the muscle strain share the same nerve pathways. Gentle stretching of the shoulders and back to relax tight muscles can provide immediate relief in these cases. Many moms find it helpful to place their hands on either side of an open doorway and leaning forward. Nursing in a laid-back position can reduce the strain on your body, and help you be more comfortable.

How to relieve breast pain while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

Plugged Ducts or Mastitis. Both plugged ducts and infectious mastitis can cause a firm, painful area in one breast, and your plugged duct has probably transitioned to mastitis if you have fever and flu-like symptoms such as body aches and chills. The basic treatment is the same for both situations: keep your milk moving.

Research has shown that it is safe for your full-term, healthy baby to breastfeed while you have plugged ducts or mastitis. Continue to breastfeed often, and change up your feeding positions. Positioning baby’s nose or chin towards the firm, tender area of the breast for will allow for better drainage. Massage the breast from the blocked area towards the nipple while the baby nurses to help move the milk and clear the blockage. Pump and/or hand express the affected breast after feedings to drain the breast as thoroughly as possible and speed healing.

How to relieve breast pain while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

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More tips for feeling better soon:

  • Talk with your doctor or midwife about using an over-the-counter pain reliever to help with pain. Pain can inhibit milk letdown, so keeping it under control could help encourage better milk removal. Ibuprofen is a good option because it is also an anti-inflammatory and is considered compatible with breastfeeding.
  • Use heat (a shower or hot pack) and gentle massage before feeding to improve milk flow. Use cold packs on the breasts between feeds to help reduce pain and swelling. Lil’ Buds are a great option for this and you can use code LLINK for 10% off.
  • Rest, hydrate, and eat nutritious foods. Put on your robe and jammies and put your feet up! Call in extra help from friends or family members for childcare, carpools, meals, etc.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • After 24 hours of home treatment your symptoms are the same or worse
  • You have been running a fever for some time or it suddenly spikes higher
  • You have visible pus in your nipple or milk

Breast pain can be caused by lots of things and also be worrisome and confusing. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an IBCLC if you need help figuring out your situation. We can even help on an eConsult. (Pro-tip: Use you Healthcare Spending Account card to book!) I hope this post gives you the knowledge you need to feel more confident with breastfeeding!

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course?

I think you’ll find it really helpful. Click the image below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

Get in-person or online help with breastfeeding.

Stephanie Weight Hadfield, BS, IBCLC

Sources:
Amir, L. H. (2014). ABM Clinical Protocol #4: Mastitis, Revised March 2014. Breastfeeding Medicine,9(5), 239-243. doi:10.1089/bfm.2014.9984

Lauwers, J., & Swisher, A. (2011). Counseling the nursing mother: a lactation consultant’s guide (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Mohrbacher, N. (2010). Breastfeeding answers made simple: a guide for helping mothers. Amarillo, TX: Hale Publishing.

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com Know the difference in lactation professionals so you can get the best support!

What is an IBCLC?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Home/Hospital Visits, Lactation Link team

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 what makes an IBCLC different from other lactation professionals. I hope this answers questions you have had about IBCLCs.

What is an IBCLC?

Now that you’re pregnant, you may be focused on making informed choices for your birth– which is so important! Once that baby arrives, though, you’ll be mostly focused on feeding that sweet little one! You may be wondering who you can trust when it comes to breastfeeding support. There is breastfeeding advice out there in so many places– everywhere from your mom and sister to your nosy neighbor to online forums and social media. It can be hard to know what information and people you can depend on! So you can feel super comfortable preparing to breastfeed and meeting your breastfeeding goals, you should definitely have an IBCLC on your team! That’s a long acronym, so to get started, let’s go over that and some other professional lactation-related acronyms:

  • IBCLC: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • LLL: La Leche League (a mother-to-mother volunteer breastfeeding support organization)
  • RN: Registered Nurse (sometimes the lactation specialist at the hospital is a nurse with no other lactation training or credential)
  • CLC: Certified Lactation Counselor (Helpful in assisting with normal course of breastfeeding issues)
  • CLE: Certified Lactation Educator (Someone who is trained in teaching breastfeeding topics to others)
  • CLEC: Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (Very similar to a CLC; trained in the normal course of breastfeeding)

There are three IBCLCs and one CLEC (who is on track to become an IBCLC soon!) with Lactation Link right now, so we are overflowing with breastfeeding support and knowledge!

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Lactation Link lactation professionals: Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC; Stephanie Weight Hadfield, BS, IBCLC; Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC; Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC.

In most U.S. states (Rhode Island and Georgia excluded), the term “Lactation Consultant” is not regulated and does not require a license (1).  This means that someone can call themselves a lactation consultant, even if they aren’t an IBCLC. It also means that you’ll sometimes read on social media something like, “Make sure you see a real IBCLC!”  So what makes an IBCLC so special?  

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Stephanie Weight Hadfield, IBCLC teaching at a Lactation Link class.

To become an IBCLC, one must pass seven college-level health science classes, six other health science classes like CPR and medical terminology, 90 hours of lactation-specific education, and complete 1000 hours of hands-on clinical experience with breastfeeding mothers and babies.  That’s alot of boobie talk!  After all that is completed, the candidate qualifies to sit for the IBLCE exam.  This is a 4-hour, 175-question exam. After completing the requirements and passing the exam, one becomes an IBCLC!  It is then required to re-certify every 5 years with continuing education credits and/or re-taking the exam (2).  There is no other lactation education or support credential that requires so much preparation and knowledge!

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Lactation Link IBCLCs and educators at a Lactation Link class.

To briefly compare training, a CLC and CLEC are the nearest to an IBCLC in requirements to qualify.  To earn either certification, one must take a 45-hour lactation education course and an exam on that material.  No clinical experience component or other health education is necessary (3, 4).  The clinical experience backgrounds that IBCLCs have is a staggering difference between other breastfeeding certifications and is the gold standard for assessing and managing breastfeeding issues.  Wouldn’t you rather have someone who has seen hundreds of moms and babies with many different issues be the one who helps you?

This is why you might notice that on Lactation Link’s website & instagram page, we proudly refer to ourselves as IBCLCs instead of just saying lactation consultants.  A lot of time, work, effort, studying, and passion went into earning the IBCLC credential and we are proud that we’ve obtained the highest certification available for breastfeeding support and can better serve moms like you!  

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Lactation Link’s IBCLCs offer e-consults, in-person consults, online video classes, and in-person classes.  Each of us qualified to become an IBCLC with different backgrounds (including RN experience; doula and birth experience; Women, Infants, and Children counseling; La Leche League community support, and many different classes and conferences full of education).  This amazing spectrum of knowledge makes us fully qualified to offer these services to moms who want the best information out there so they can succeed in meeting their goals.

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

In fact, research proves this to be true!  One research summary found that after reviewing all available studies regarding the outcomes of using IBCLCs, mothers who had higher breastfeeding initiation rates, a longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding, a longer duration of any breastfeeding, higher breastfeeding rates for all infant age groups, AND better maternal and infant health outcomes as compared to those who didn’t seek out IBCLC support (5).

IBCLC FAQ’s

  • Do you need to be a nurse to be an IBCLC? No.  Some IBCLCs are also Registered Nurses or Registered Dieticians but there are other pathways to becoming IBCLC.  
  • Are all lactation nurses in the hospital IBCLCs? Some are, some aren’t.  Some of the ‘lactation specialists’ rounding for the hospital don’t have any extra credential or training other than their experience in the hospital.  This varies a lot by hospital and region.  One of the reasons we offer hospital visits at Lactation Link is so you have the opportunity to get all the support you need and want after birth, no matter how much education, knowledge, or time the hospital lactation nurse has.
  • How long does it take to become an IBCLC? This varies a lot, but it generally takes 2-5 years to complete all the qualifications.  Other breastfeeding credentials generally take anywhere from 1 week to 6 months to complete.

Now that you know that an IBCLC is the gold standard in breastfeeding support, how can you get in touch with one?  Our video classes are a great place to start.  They are so comprehensive and reasonably priced, the cost savings is huge.  First, you have to consider that, on average, formula can cost $3000 over the course of baby’s first year.  We can also help with in-person or online consultations.  You can actually use your Health Savings Account card to book in-person and e-consults with us!  Some moms have even had success in having the cost of the breastfeeding classes or their consults reimbursed by their insurance companies (we can provide an itemized receipt for you to submit for possible (not guaranteed) reimbursement).

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Hopefully, you’re feeling a little more comfortable about navigating the waters of breastfeeding support when you’re looking for help with your breastfeeding questions.  We help moms all over the world, so if you need some help don’t hesitate to schedule an e-consult or in-person consult with us! Also, remember that not all breastfeeding courses are developed and peer-reviewed by IBCLCs, so if you’re looking for breastfeeding education to prepare yourself for your new baby or heading back to work, you can feel confident that our on-demand video classes are full of research-based information!  You can start learning in your first trimester and always refer back to the info because the classes don’t expire!

Want to work with Lactation Link?

We are looking for IBCLCs to join our team around the country! E-mail melissa@lactationlink.com for more information!

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Lactation Link professionals: Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC; Stephanie Weight Hadfield, BS, IBCLC; Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC; Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC.

 

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course?

I think you’ll find it really helpful. Click the image below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

lactationlink008

Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

Sources

  1. Herbert, D. (2016, April 29). Georgia achieves licensure. Retrieved from https://uslca.org/georgia-achieves-licensure
  2. “Preparing for IBCLC Certification.” IBLCE. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. <http://iblce.org/certify/preparing-for-ibclc-certification/>.
  3. Baker, G. (n.d.) Lactation educator counselor. Retrieved from http://breastfeeding-education.com/home/clec-2/
  4. “Lactation Counselor Training Course.” Healthy Children Project. N.p., (2017). Web 23 Feb. 2017. <http://www.healthychildren.cc/clc.htm>
  5. Patel, S., & Patel, S. (2015). The effectiveness of lactation consultants and lactation counselors on breastfeeding outcomes. Journal of human lactation 32(3), pp. 530-41.
learn how to breastfeed with oversupply with lactationlink.com

How to breastfeed with oversupply

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Home/Hospital Visits

Hi mamas, I’m Stephanie Weight Hadfield, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and mom of 4. I’m here to talk about how to breastfeed with oversupply and share my top 3 tips for managing oversupply.

What is oversupply?

It’s pretty obvious that dealing with low milk supply would be a problem to breastfeeding mothers and babies, but too much milk can also be a problem. When a mother makes much more milk than her baby needs, we call this oversupply or overabundant production. Mothers who breastfeed with oversupply often have deep breast pain with letdown and/or between feeds, excessive leaking, and even recurring plugged ducts and mastitis.

learn how to breastfeed with oversupply with lactationlink.com

How does oversupply and forceful letdown affect baby?

Oversupply can also be hard on baby, partly because it often goes hand in hand with forceful letdown. When the letdown or flow of milk is too fast for baby to manage, it can make nursing a stressful and sometimes scary experience for baby, sort of like trying to drink from a fire hose.

A baby struggling with milk flow may be fussy at the breast and choke, sputter, or pull away often during letdown. Some resourceful babies will try to slow strong milk flow by using a biting or chewing motion, rather than sucking. As you can imagine, this hurts mom, and can cause injury and infection to the nipples. In some cases, babies get so frustrated with the fast flow that they refuse the breast and go on a nursing strike. Other signs of oversupply in a baby can be frequent spitting up, being gassy and fussy, and green, explosive stools.

learn how to breastfeed with oversupply with lactationlink.com

The key to oversupply

The big key to the oversupply puzzle is weight gain. In the first three months, we expect babies to gain about 2 pounds a month, on average. If your baby is gaining much more than that, oversupply is likely to be the cause of those symptoms mentioned above. If your baby is gaining at about expected rates, or slower than expected rates, oversupply is probably NOT the cause of your breastfeeding concerns, and any efforts to reduce milk supply could do more harm than good. And remember, the first 4-6 weeks are an important time for regulating supply, so don’t try to reduce the amount of milk you’re making before that.

learn how to breastfeed with oversupply with lactationlink.com

How to manage oversupply

Now for the good news: with good breastfeeding management and patience, and maybe a little help from an IBCLC, your body will most likely regulate to make just the right amount of milk for your baby.

Here are my top 3 tips for how to breastfeed with oversupply:

  1. Change positions. Use positions that help baby have more control over milk flow, such as laid-back nursing, or side-lying. Give baby frequent breaks to catch his or her breath and burp.
  2. Switch up feeding pattern. Try feeding your baby more frequently, before your breasts feel so full, and feed on only one side, alternating breasts at each feeding. If your baby wants to eat again within 30 minutes or so, put baby right back to that same side he or she just came off of. You can also use breast compressions to help baby drain the breast well.
  3. Consider block feeding to reduce your supply just enough that it is more manageable for your baby. Here’s how: continue to feed baby just as often as he or she wants, but offer the same breast for a certain block of time (for example, 4 hours), and then alternate to offer only the other breast for the same amount of time. If the unused breast begins to feel uncomfortably full, you can hand express or pump only enough milk to reduce the pressure and discomfort. Give it about a week. If baby seems more comfortable, and you are feeling more comfortable, you can go back to alternating breasts at each feeding.

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If you have questions about your specific situation, schedule an e-consult or in-person consultation with one of Lactation Link’s IBCLCs. We would love to give you the support you need to meet your personal breastfeeding goals.

We have a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started right! Click the image below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for reading,

Get in-person or online help with breastfeeding.

Stephanie Weight Hadfield, BS, IBCLC

Sources
Mohrbacher, N. (2010) Making Milk. Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple (pp 425-430). Amarillo, TX: Hale

How to Know if Your Baby is Getting Enough Breastmilk

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Home/Hospital Visits

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

What supplement can I take to increase milk supply?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Classes, Home/Hospital Visits

Increase supply with hand expression.

Many times on my Instagram forum and on other online mother forums, I see moms who ask how to increase supply and many other moms suggest breastfeeding supplements. This is what I want to address today. I’ve had a post about milk supply before and you might have noticed that I did not mention any breastfeeding supplements.

What are these breastfeeding supplements?

Let’s talk a little bit about these breastfeeding supplements. In the research literature, they are known as galactagogues or a substance that increases milk supply. Some breastfeeding supplements that I have seen suggested are fenugreek, fennel, blessed thistle, Gatorade, brewers yeast, beer and water (in copious amounts). For most breastfeeding or pumping moms, galactagogues are not necessary to keep up a normal or necessary milk supply. I try to base my classes and advice on evidence-based information and there is simply not enough research on galactagogues (breastfeeding supplements) for me to give a solid recommendation.

What I do suggest to moms who need to increase their milk supply is to encourage...What does help increase milk supply?

What I do suggest to moms who need to increase their milk supply is to encourage baby to feed frequently and increase frequency of breast stimulation. If the mom is pumping, I also suggest using hands-on pumping and hand expression to help increase supply. Remember that milk is made by asking for milk. And we ask for milk by breastfeeding or expressing through pumping or hand expression.

Final notes

In most cases galactogogues will not hurt you, but make sure to consult with your healthcare provider when introducing any herbs or supplements in conjunction with any medications you are already on.

I know that there are many women who have had success with galactagogues and I think that’s great! But without frequent breast stimulation, milk supply will not increase in most cases. If you feel like your supply needs a boost and frequent breast stimulation has not helped, you would probably benefit from a one-on-one consult with an IBCLC. I love helping moms with in-person consults and eConsults. In my video classes I discuss various ways to encourage a healthy supply like hand expression and hands-on pumping, in-depth. What helped encourage a healthy milk supply for you? Share in the comments.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

3 Tips for increasing baby’s weight gain while breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Home/Hospital Visits, Recommended Products

I work with Moms all the time in my consultations and classes who are concerned about their baby’s weight gain.  First off I’d like to mention that weight gain is just one piece of the well-baby puzzle.  There are several other indicators of wellness that include head and length growth, skin and muscle tone, ability to be active and vigorous, good diaper output, etc.  As an IBCLC, I try to assess each of these factors and not just the weight gain as the sole indicator for a baby’s overall wellness.  Additionally, if a baby is doing well in every other area, I think breastfeeding management between the breastfeeding dyad (mom and baby), the healthcare provider, and an IBCLC is a very reasonable approach.  Today I wanted to share a few tips on how to get baby more calories overall and encourage weight gain.

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1 – Use hand expression during and between feeds

Hand expression can help in a few ways.  It can encourage efficient breast emptying when used while baby is latched on.

mom breastfeeding baby in the hospital
It can also be used in-between feeds to remove milk and deliver some extra calories.  A lot of times we think either breastfeeding or pumping.  Hand expression is a low-tech but highly efficient way to keep your milk supply up, and offer supplementation with your own breastmilk.  Once you express your breastmilk, you can offer it to your baby on a spoon or medicine cup.

baby being fed breast milk

You can learn about how to do hand expression in my video breastfeeding classes.

2 – Allow baby to go back to the same breast

When an infant self-detaches from the breast and comes up for a break, instead of switching sides, consider returning to the same breast.  This will increase the chances that baby has access to the fattier hind milk; hindmilk comes when the breast is drained more efficiently.

lactation consultant, mom and baby
{Nursing pillow by Ergobaby}

3 – Frequent feedings equal higher fat content

Don’t be alarmed at frequent feedings.  As long as baby is latching well and transferring breastmilk, there is no problem.  Babies are born with a strong desire to suck!  When you breastfeed frequently, the breastmilk tends to contain more fat.

mom holding her baby

I love to see babies happy and content in their mama’s arms!

lactation consultant talking to a mom

I hope this helps!  I have a few in-person breastfeeding classes coming up in Utah (2/20, 3/12, and 4/9).  I also have an in-person class in Seattle, WA on 3/19.  Space is limited so be sure to register today.  We will have some great sponsors and giveaways in those classes too!  My video breastfeeding classes are available here and are such a great resource to learn on your own time, at your own pace.  The video classes come with a notes outline and can be watched again and again – they never expire!  I also do personal consultations via econsult or in-person appts.  Email me to arrange those.  Come say hi on instagram today – I love hearing your experiences and answering your questions!

I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

 

Evening fussiness + NuRoo Promo Code

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Home/Hospital Visits, Recommended Products

Sometimes infants will follow a more consistent feeding pattern throughout the day and then seem to be fussier in the evening and wanting to eat frequently.  Many times mothers will think “What am I doing wrong?” or even, “I must not be making enough milk for my baby’s needs.”  In reality, most likely nothing is wrong!  Especially if baby is having wet and messy diapers, is vigorous at the breast, and gaining weight.  This evening fussiness may be a result of baby being more tired and experiencing over-stimulation.  In certain cases, it could also be due to a slower flow of milk in the evening because milk has been removed efficiently earlier in the day.  This is especially true if Mom has a larger storage capacity and baby tends to sleep longer stretches at night (1).  Not to worry!  This explains why your baby seems to be eating more frequently in the evening — when milk is being removed as its being made, the flow is slower and the volume is less.  Here are a few things to keep in mind about evening fussiness:

#1 – Baby won’t mind having many small meals instead of one large one.

#2 – Mom needs to settle into a comfortable spot and put her milk supply worries to rest.

#3 – Breast compressions/hand expressions during feeding can help maximize milk removal (video tutorials in my video breastfeeding classes).

I’ve also teamed up with NuRoo today to offer a promo code to my readers.  Use code ‘LLINK’ to take 20% off your total purchase today (expires 12/30/16).  They have several items that could come in handy in-between feeds including their pocket, swaddle, and scarf.

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NuRoo Pocket 

The pocket offers full coverage for Mama while allowing for continued skin-to-skin contact with baby.  It comes in black and teal, available in a short-sleeve or 3/4-sleeve option.  The included belt provides safety and support for an infant well beyond the newborn stage!

NuRoo Clouds Lifestyle 3-2

NuRoo swaddler

If you’re looking for a swaddle to soothe baby in-between cuddle time and feeding time, the NuRoo is a great option because it fits newborns up to when baby rolls.  No need to buy multiple sizes, the swaddle grows with baby!  Comes in ten unique and stylish patterns.  Baby can be swaddled at shoulders as pictured, or a bit lower underneath armpits to keep baby warm during play time.

NuRoo Nursing Scarf-2

NuRoo scarf

The NuRoo scarf is a versatile piece that can work as an outfit accessory, also adding coverage and warmth during feeding time.  Comes in five great colors and can be worn during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and after weaning.

I hope this helps!  Come let me know what you think today on instagram.  Many more great tips like this in my in-person and online video breastfeeding classes.  I also love helping Moms with my in-person consults in their homes, my office, and the hospital.  E-consults are also available via phone or secure video chat.  Arrange personal consultations via email.

Thanks for coming by today,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

 

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  1. Cregan, M., Mitoulas, L., Hartmann, P. (2002). Milk prolactin, feed volume and duration between feeds in women breastfeeding their full-term infants over a 24 h period.  Exp Physiology, 87(2), 207-214.
mother and child

Tuesday Tools – How to stop biting

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Home/Hospital Visits, Recommended Products

I’ve had a lot of Moms contact me recently about tips to prevent their infant from biting while breastfeeding.  This can really be an issue as infants get a little older and start to cut teeth.  I talk about this more in my Intermediate Breastfeeding video class.

Easing the discomfort of teething

Wearing a silicone teething necklace.  I like these Chewable Charm necklaces because they are safe for baby and also look cute for daily wear!

baby chewing on teething necklace

Offering cold finger foods (frozen peas, blueberries) or also freezing breastmilk in an ice cube tray and offering it to baby in a mesh feeder.

What to do when baby is biting

Many infants will bite towards the end of a feed when they become bored and want to play.  If you start observing closely, you should be able to recognize this playful behavior coming on and stop the feed before biting occurs.  You can do this by breaking suction and turning baby’s attention to a book or toy.  Make sure baby has gotten what he needs from the breast and don’t be alarmed if your infant wants to ‘snack’ more during the teething period.  By ‘snacking’ I mean shorter, more frequent feedings.  If biting ends up happening, you want to break suction and tell your baby “No, no, no,” repeated 3 times.  Be cautious not to yell or startle your baby as this could cause a nursing strike (breast refusal for 2-7 days).  Baby can come back to breast after this, but if biting continues, break suction, say “No, no, no,” 3 times and set baby down somewhere safe and walk away for a minute or two.  When you return, talk to your baby, letting him/her know that biting hurts, and mommy can’t feed when they bite.  It may seem silly, but with consistency this should do the trick!

baby sucking on his mom's breast

I hope this helps!  My Intermediate Breastfeeding class is a great follow-up to Breastfeeding Basics because it addresses so many common issues like sore/cracked nipples, mastitis, thrush, jaundice, tongue-tie, over supply, slow weight gain, boosting milk supply, how to introduce solids, and much more!  Great information you don’t want to miss out on.  I also offer home/hospital consultations (first priority to those who have taken my classes) as well as e-consults for my clients via secure video chat.  Email me to arrange.  Come say hi on instagram today!  Don’t forget about our current promo code for 25% off your entire Loyal Hana clothing purchase.  Check out the previous post for the code and details.  The photography in this post is by Janae Kristen photography.

Thanks for coming by today,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

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Elevator Breastfeeding Position

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Home/Hospital Visits

Many unexpected things can come up during lactation.  You can hit bumps early on, a few weeks in, or even months or years into your breastfeeding experience.  In addition to breastfeeding issues which require education and support, sometimes maternal illness can occur.  Sometimes an illness, incision,  or soreness will make it tough for you to sit upright or even turn comfortably.  If you find yourself saying, “My baby and I are healthy and I’ll just stay away from any surgeries while breastfeeding,” keep in mind – most women who experience sudden illness or have surgery aren’t planning on it!  To relay a personal experience, I had 3 unexpected surgeries while breastfeeding my daughter.  It’s nice to be equipped with ways to continue breastfeeding in the face of unexpected obstacles.  Today I wanted to share a breastfeeding position that may come in handy if you find yourself recovering from something while breastfeeding.

Elevator Position

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The Elevator position allows you to breastfeed on both breasts without having to roll over to change positions.  For this Mama, she started out breastfeeding in this sidelying position on her left breast.  When baby was done on the left side, we placed a pillow beneath baby.  The pillow acted as an elevator, allowing baby to access the second side (in this case right breast) without having to change positions or roll over.

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Same principles apply as in any breastfeeding position we use – make sure baby is tummy-to-tummy with you with no space in between.  You can place a body pillow behind your back for comfort and support.  You can also place a roll behind baby’s back to help keep them facing you.  Here, we are using a thin muslin blanket rolled up.

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Ofcourse I hope you never find yourself with an illness, injury, surgery, or recovery anytime — let alone when you are breastfeeding.  But life happens!  Having as much knowledge and support as possible will increase your chances of getting through whatever comes your way.

Many more great tips like this in my breastfeeding  classes.  My video classes are available anytime – they never expire, can be watched over and over, and you can learn in the comfort of your own home!  Anytime after 12 weeks in pregnancy is a great time to start preparing and they also come with a notes outline.  My in-person classes are held in Highland, UT – upcoming dates are 12/10, 1/16, 2/20, and 3/12 and 4/9.  Will travel for groups of 10 or more!  First priority for my limited home/hospital visits is given to those that attend the classes.  Email me to arrange personal consultations.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

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