breastfeeding tips Archives - Page 2 of 4 - Lactation Link

Should I wake my baby to breastfeed?

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


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?


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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.


After 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 can be 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! If your breasts do feel full and you need to express, but you worry about having to wake every night to relieve that pressure, know that this will not last forever! Try expressing just long enough to relieve the pressure and your breasts will adjust. 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.


Thanks for stopping by,


Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC


(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.

Can I breastfeed if I have surgery?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?

can i breastfeed if i have surgery? via lactationlink.com

Today we are continuing our series, “Can I breastfeed if…?” It’s not uncommon for moms to need to undergo surgery while she is breastfeeding. I myself had 3 unexpected surgeries while breastfeeding my daughter. To be able to breastfeed after surgery can be a way to help mom feel that she is back to normal after her procedure. I hope this post can reassure you that breastfeeding does not need to be interrupted for surgery.

Learn how and when breastfeeding is compatible w/ surgery. Many moms are able to breastfeed after surgery without problems. Can I breastfeed…

Can I breastfeed if I have to have surgery?

Almost always, yes! There is no contraindication to breastfeeding while fasting if that is necessary before your procedure.  Many mothers worry about sedation medications or anesthesia affecting their infants but, if you have a healthy baby, once you are awake enough to hold and nurse your baby, the anesthesia has left your system enough to not be an issue for baby(1).  Also, many prescription and over-the-counter pain medications are compatible with breastfeeding if that is necessary.  

Can I breastfeed if I need surgery? via Lactationlink.com || Breastfeeding support and education

As you can see, breastfeeding is compatible with most situations!  Even if breastfeeding has to be stopped for a short period of time, it can usually be resumed.  If you need information about pumping and storing for a planned breastfeeding break, be sure to check out our Pumping and Storing breastmilk video class. If you have further questions or a complex situation, don’t hesitate to schedule a consult to figure out how to best meet your breastfeeding goals no matter what is going on!

Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


(1) Montgomery, A., & Hale, T. W. (2012). ABM Clinical Protocol #15: Analgesia and Anesthesia for the Breastfeeding Mother, Revised 2012. Breastfeeding Medicine,7(6), 547-553. doi:10.1089/bfm.2012.9977

can i breastfeed if i plan to drink alcohol? via lactation link

Can I breastfeed if I drink alcohol?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?

A common question we get in our community of moms begins with “Can I breastfeed if….” And it’s no wonder! We are told to avoid everything from roller coasters to alcohol to X-rays while pregnant, and  the conflicting recommendations can carry over after birth when our body is still nourishing our little ones. So today we are launching a new series, “Can I breastfeed if…” and we will discuss some commonly asked questions about the safety of various activities and substances while pregnant.  If you have a question share it on instagram with the hashtag #canibreastfeedif and we will repost and answer our favorites!

A common question we get in our community of moms begins with “Can I breastfeed if….” And it’s no wonder! We are told to avoid everything…

Can I breastfeed if I plan to drink alcohol?

The short answer is yes when done with a few guidelines in mind.  The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding recommends that mothers limit their alcohol intake while breastfeeding, and ingest no more than 2 oz. liquor, 8 oz. wine, or 2 beers, as well as abstain from breastfeeding for about 2 hours after drinking to further minimize any alcohol in breastmilk. (1)

can i breastfeed if i plan to drink alcohol? via lactation link

Pumping and dumping shouldn’t be necessary when following the above guidelines as it does not reduce the alcohol in milk any faster. Just be sure to feed baby right before leaving home and consuming your alcohol fairly soon after arriving.  This gives the alcohol time to work its way out before becoming reunited with baby.  Since milk is made from your blood, once your own blood alcohol level has gone down, so has your milk’s alcohol level.

can i drink alcohol if i plan to drink alcohol? via lactation link

So feel safe to enjoy that holiday eggnog and return to breastfeeding a few hours later. Do you have any questions for us in this series? Let us know in the comments and on social. Lots more info about how substances and food interact with breastmilk in my video classes.

Get more breastfeeding wisdom with my Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips. Click below to get started.


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


  1. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. (2012, March). Pediatrics, 129(3), 842-856. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827

What is on-demand breastfeeding?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Classes, Lactation Link team

Today, we have our own Kristin Gourley, IBCLC, here to answer some questions about on-demand breastfeeding. Enjoy!


Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

On-Demand Feeding: For the Benefit of Mom and Baby
Many of us may have had a well-meaning friend or family member ask us, “Is your baby on a schedule yet?”—referring to both eating and sleeping. In our highly-scheduled and fast-paced society, it would seem that the hallmark of a “good baby” is one who is predictable!  What I’ve found by working with hundred of moms is that babies can be very unpredictable!  So what should we consider normal or expect in terms of schedule or frequency of feeding?

On-Demand feeding tips and tricks!

Milk is made by supply and demand—baby demands it by nursing (or with a pump or hand expression), and then mom supplies it. If baby demands more, mom supplies more.  Baby won’t necessarily eat the same amount of times each day because the infant needs ebb and flow with growth patterns.  Somedays it may feel like baby wants to eat every hour!  We talk a lot about these ‘frequency days’ in our video breastfeeding classes – what’s normal and how to manage those times.


As babies grow physically or go through developmental leaps, they want to nurse more because they need more at that time.  Our bodies are exceptionally good at adjusting, it’s that mother heart and mind that needs to trust the body to do its job!  Before you question, trust the process.  Think about it — do you eat at the exact same time each day?  How about the exact same amount?  Our needs change daily so it make sense that baby’s do too! So listen to those feeding cues and let baby nurse when they need to! This is how to do on-demand breastfeeding and is also the simple recipe for a healthy milk supply.

Thank you Kristin! I love that she reminded us that babies grow in spurts and their needs will change during those spurts. For more tips on how to fit breastfeeding or pumping into your life check out our breastfeeding video classes bundle. If you have concerns about helping baby through a growth spurt, Kristin and I both help moms with in-person consultations and eConsults

How did you work on-demand breastfeeding into your life? 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.


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


Smith, L. & Riordan, J. (2010). Postpartum care In Riordan, J. & Wambach, K., Breastfeeding and human lactation (pp. 265-7). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Mohrbacher, N. (2010). Making milk In Breastfeeding answers made simple (pp. 399-400). Amarillo, TX: Hale Publishing, L.P.


How to choose a healthcare provider for baby

By | Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, community breastfeeding support, Uncategorized

This month we’ve been discussing the importance of having a breastfeeding-supportive partner, friends and family in your life, and today we’ll go over how another important figure in your baby’s life–his or her healthcare provider–can support you in your breastfeeding goals as well.


Your have several options for a healthcare provider. Some families choose a pediatrician, who specializes in child health. Others might choose a family practitioner so that the whole family can go to the same doctor. Others might choose a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. Each will have slightly different training and may have different perspectives on the best way to keep your child healthy.

Healthcare providers may not get much breastfeeding education in their training and may focus their continuing education on disease treatment or child development, but that does not mean they can’t be supportive of breastfeeding!

Learn a lactation consultant's tips on how to choose a healthcare provider for your baby. Learn how to find out if your provider is…

Set up an interview. Many healthcare offices offer an interview with the provider before becoming a patient.  Use this time to ask some questions such as, if they have a breastfeeding-friendly office policy, are supportive of continuing breastfeeding even if an issue like jaundice arises, or if they have IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) to refer to if you experience problems.


Lactation support in office? While any healthcare provider can definitely be a good fit without having an IBCLC in their office, it has been shown that employing a lactation professional leads to higher breastfeeding rates both immediately postpartum and long-term.  You could try asking some mom friends or calling a few offices to ask if they have lactation support.  Even if they do not have an IBCLC on staff, you asking about it could plant the seed and they may look into it in the future!

Your healthcare provider works for you. You will be seeing your baby’s provider often in the first couple of years, so it pays to make an informed choice.  Rest assured that if you don’t feel supported after your baby’s first couple of well-checks, you have the right to choose a different provider who will support you both!  


Reach out for support. Other ways to seek out support in between your baby’s check ups at the provider’s office are to sign up for our Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips, check out our Instagram page for tips, tricks, and many mama’s experiences, as well as watching our on-demand video classes with information to help you overcome issues you might face.  And consults are always available for individualized support.  The Lactation Link team is always here to support you in meeting your breastfeeding goals!

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.


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


Grawley, A.E., Marinelli, K.A., Holmes, A. V., & the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. (2013). ABM clinical protocol #14: Breastfeeding-friendly physician’s office: Optimizing care for infants and children, revised 2013. Breastfeeding Medicine, 8(2), pp. 237-42.

Tips to induce lactation

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

This month is National Adoption Awareness Month! Growing your family through adoption is a beautiful thing. Adding a child of any age to your family brings so much love. We are celebrating adoption today by answering some commonly asked questions about adoption and breastfeeding.

Some moms who adopt can induce lactation for their adopted baby. Get tips from an IBCLC on how to induce lactation & re-lactate after a…

I’ve had many moms ask me about inducing lactation for an adopted baby so I thought I would answer a few questions here today. Not everyone can or will want to induce lactation, but if you’re interested, we are dispelling a few misconceptions here.

dsc_1338Common Misconceptions

One of the common misconceptions is that you have to take a lot of hormones to induce lactation.  There are some hormonal and medication-based protocols that women have found success using, but they do require some advance notice of when baby will arrive as they may take a few months to work successfully. It’s best to get a one-on-one consultation to make a personalized plan. If you don’t have advanced notice or prefer not to use hormones or medications, you can still make milk for your baby!

Another misconception is that moms who have never breastfed before cannot induce lactation. It is true that mothers who have been pregnant or breastfed before might have more or quicker success in bringing in a full milk supply, but many mothers who have never given birth have fully or partially breastfed their babies.  

dsc_1269Key points

Many things that are beneficial for any breastfeeding mother are also beneficial for adoptive mothers wishing to breastfeed.  Keeping baby skin to skin will increase hormones that assist in lactation, for example.  Also, all breastfeeding mothers need frequent breast stimulation and removal of milk to encourage and sustain milk production, and adoptive mothers are no different!  Even when milk is not yet being produced in quantities larger than drops, continuing to stimulate will help milk to increase.


Re-lactating is related in that it involves helping your body make milk after a time of not breastfeeding.  I often get asked on Instagram about re-lactating after not breastfeeding for a few weeks. These moms didn’t have enough help and support and would like to start breastfeeding  again. I love helping with this! This usually requires an individual plan but involves lots of skin to skin and increased breast stimulation, similar to the needs of a mother attempting to induce lactation.

Have you ever re-lactated after not breastfeeding for some time? Share in the comments. Lots more tutorials and explanations of how to keep a healthy milk supply for any mom in my breastfeeding video classes.

Find more about getting breastfeeding start off right with my top 10 tips!


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


How to create a community of support for breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Classes, community breastfeeding support

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC and mom to 5. I am here today to talk about creating a community around you to feel supported in breastfeeding.

It’s a cruel joke that motherhood, when you are constantly surrounded by children, can be very lonely!  This can be especially true for breastfeeding mothers when their families or friends don’t know how to support their choice to breastfeed.  

An IBCLC shares tips on how to create a community of support to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. || Top 10 tips for breastfeeding…

When I had my first baby, I didn’t have any friends who had breastfed before and didn’t really have any support aside from my husband, who wasn’t exactly knowledgeable about breastfeeding!  My son and I were lucky enough to meet our breastfeeding goals, but if I had taken a breastfeeding class prenatally, I might have avoided some rough experiences and spent less time Googling and questioning!  I might also have made some friends.


One of the benefits of attending Lactation Link’s in-person breastfeeding class is that you get to meet other moms!  We encourage moms to trade contact information or social media handles to help bridge that loneliness gap that can come during pregnancy and once baby arrives. We still have some openings in our next class, sign up before they sell out!

Even those who do not take our in-person class can benefit from our online breastfeeding classes as well as our support network on Instagram

Click through to learn how I found a community of support. Read More

5 ways partners can support breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, community breastfeeding support, Lactation Link team, motherhood


Read the top 5 way partners can support a breastfeeding mother from a mom of 3 and lactation educator. Start with a breastfeeding class…

5 ways partners can support breastfeeding

  1. Take a breastfeeding class together. The more you know, the more you can help! You can watch our video classes anytime.  Partners love our classes because they are so convenient and can be watched in the comfort of your own home.  dsc_1535
  2. Take on extra responsibilities.  Mom and baby will be spending lots of time breastfeeding.  Now plan for it. What gives her the most stress? Dishes? Cooking? Laundry? Plan to do more to help out and get creative with additional sources of help.  Consider a bi-monthly housekeeper for a few months.  Consider a meal delivery service.  Think about a diaper delivery service. 
  3. Be a cheerleader. When she is second-guessing herself and her abilities, encourage her. Help her find more resources if needed. We can help with online and in-person consultations.
  4. Baby care. Diapers/burping/babywearing/swaddling are all great things for partners to do! When baby is done feeding, you can help baby burp by holding him/her chest to chest and applying some firm upward pressure with your fingers. You can also be a diaper changing superhero! Babies thrive when being held. When baby doesn’t want to be put down and mom needs a shower, you can wear the baby in a carrier. When my baby was ready for sleep, my husband became the champion swaddler.dsc_1870dsc_1815
    {Ergobaby adapt carrier}

    {Ergobaby Adapt Carrier}

  5. Be there, whenever you can. Many Moms find it supportive when their partner will bring the baby from the bassinet to the mom each time baby wakes to feed during the night. Others really enjoy when their partner can give them a break as needed by babywearing or rocking baby.


We couldn’t do what we do as moms if it weren’t for great support from our partners! I like to remind partners that the more they are a part of preparation and plans prior to birth, the easier it will be to help after! How did your partner support you? If you are a single mom, how did you find the help and support you needed? 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.


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


When should I wean?

By | Breastfeeding, breastfeeding tips, Classes

toddler breastfeeding

When to wean?

When questioned about when to wean from breastfeeding, I like to point parents to the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on breastfeeding when answering this question. The AAP recommends all infants be exclusively breastfed until 6 months and then adding complementary foods.  They recommend to continue breastfeeding until a year, or as long as it is mutually desired by mother and child. Worldwide ages of weaning range from a few months to a few years. 

When's the right time to wean your baby from breastfeeding? I refer parents to...

Personal choice

Like I discuss in my Breastfeeding Basics 102 class, most babies will not self-wean until 18 months old or older.  It’s important when making this decision that you remember the benefits of breastfeeding do not end at a certain age. Your milk continues to supply your child with antibodies, anti-allergens, growth factors and anti-viruses throughout the breastfeeding relationship. Some research shows that when breastfeeding for over a year, you milk has “significantly increased fat and energy contents” to benefit your child’s nutrition. When it comes to weaning, it’s really up to you and your baby!

What affected your decision to wean? 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.


Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, 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.


Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC