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breastfeeding video classes Archives - Lactation Link

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

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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

Top 3 Tips for Breastfeeding after a C-Section

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Uncategorized

@rebekahanneblog asked over on Instagram “What’s the best thing to do post c-section to help with successful breastfeeding?” This is such a common question so I decided to make it into a blogpost!

Here are my top 3 breastfeeding tips for my c-section mamas:

top 3 tips for successful breastfeeding after a c-section via lactationlink.com

1) Room-in with baby. Moms that room-in, rather than use the nursery, are more likely to be exclusively breastfeeding at 4 days postpartum.

2) Lots of skin to skin. Skin to skin contact stimulates oxytocin release and more milk production! Mama’s chest is baby’s home.

A Lactation Consultant's top 3 tips for breastfeeding after a c-section. Good info to know!

3) Tweak positioning. Using positions like the football hold can keep the pressure off your healing incision.

top 3 tips for successful breastfeeding after a c-section via lactationlink.com

Undercover Mama dress; use code LLINK for 20% off!

 

I love helping new mamas get breastfeeding off to a good start. For more breastfeeding tips like these, check out my breastfeeding video class bundle. If you need one-on-one support before or after baby is born, consider a breastfeeding consultation. And you can also read my C-section story.

 
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,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Sources

World Health Organization. Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2003. Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/child_adolescent_health/documents/9241562218/en/.

Bramson, L., Lee, J. W., Moore, E., Montgomery, S., Neish, C., Khaled, B., & Melcher Lopez, C. (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. vol. 26 (no. 2) 130-137. 

Reasons & solutions for nipple pain

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Lactation Link team
reasons and solutions for breastfeeding nipple pain from lactationlink.com

{Motherhood Maternity cardigan}

You may have read on our Instagram that breastfeeding should not be painful. Like any physical pain, nipple pain indicates that something is not right. However, some Moms still experience pain and discomfort.  You are not alone!  Here are the most common reasons that moms I see are suffering from nipple pain and how to help.

  1. Tenderness immediately postpartum.  It can be normal to experience tenderness right after baby latches on when you first begin breastfeeding. The hormones released during and immediately after birth can cause nipple tenderness as well.
  2. Poor positioning.  If baby isn’t tummy-to-tummy with you, it can cause unnecessary pulling on your nipple or poor alignment for baby which can be very uncomfortable.  Check out our Breastfeeding Basics 101 class for a great breakdown of how to position baby for the best latch.
  3. Shallow latch.  It’s called breastfeeding instead of nipple feeding for a reason!  If baby doesn’t have enough breast tissue in his/her mouth your nipple can be pinched and even sustain damage.  Waiting for baby to open wide can be a huge lifesaver! If you feel constant nipple pinching while nursing, seek out help! A lactation consultant explains the common reasons behind breastfeeding nipple pain and solutions to remedy them. Get a promo code for a…
  4. Milk blister or bleb.  This is like a plugged duct right at the opening of a nipple pore.  It can be very painful, but warm compresses and frequent nursing are great solutions.  Some coconut oil on a cotton swab applied to the area can also help to soften the clog.
  5. Vasospasm.  This happens most to women who have experience ‘Reynaud’s Syndrome’ – a condition that causes poor circulation and your hands and feet to feel cold most of the time.  Using a warm heating pad can help alleviate that discomfort, but there are also medications that can help if needed.  If you have burning or shooting pains during and in-between feedings, you may need a personal consultation.
  6. Infection.  A bacterial or yeast infection that happens after the nipple has been wounded can cause persistent pain even if latch and positioning have corrected the original problem.  Depending on the extent of the infection, a nipple cream can help or you may need a prescription medication. It’s best to consult your healthcare provider and an IBCLC if you think you have an infection.
reasons and solutions for breastfeeding nipple pain from lactationlink.com

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For nipple pain caused by things that respond to over-the-counter creams, we recommend checking out Upspring Wellmom Organic Coconut Oil Nipple Balm.  Coconut oil has been proven to be moisturizing, antimicrobial, AND antifungal (1)– a great trifecta to protect sore nipples!  Use code LLINK for 15% on their website (this expires 12/14/16!). If you need latch or positioning help, check out our video class bundle for great instruction and tips or schedule a consult for personalized help.

Find more about preventing nipple pain in our top 10 tips!

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

Sources

(1) Evangalista, M.T., Abad-Casintahan, F., Lopez-Villafuerte, L. (2014). The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skincapacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. International Journal of Dermatology, 53(1), 100-108.

(2) Shilling, M., Matt, L., Rubin, E., Visitacion, M.P., Haller, N.A., Grey, S.F., Woolverton, C.J. (2013). Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile. Journal of Medicinal Food, 16(12), 1079-1085.

(3) Verallo-Rowel, V.M., Dillague, K.M., Syah-Tjundawan, B.S. (2008). Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis, 19(6), 308-315.

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.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Source:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16140689

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,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

5 ways to keep your milk supply

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Recommended Products

We talk a lot on here about how to establish a good milk supply, but what about keeping it?  This is a top concern for mamas, and can especially cause worry when returning to work or planning mother-baby separation time.   Today I want to give you a few tips so you can stay ahead of the game and keep your milk supply up for as long as possible.

1 – When using a breast pump, make sure you are using your hands in a technique called “Hands-on Pumping”.

breast pumping machine

There’s a full video tutorial of this technique in my Pumping and Storing Breastmilk video class.  Research shows that incorporating your hands while pumping can help maximize your output and keep your milk supply up (1).  Use a hands-free bra to do it comfortably.  (Use code ‘LLINK’ for 20% off this client favorite).

2 – If you ever feel like your milk supply is dwindling, you can always incorporate hand expression alone to help boost milk supply.

breastfeeding: hand expression

Several short sessions (2-3 min) in a day can make a difference over several days.

3 – Don’t automatically associate baby going to breast more frequently as a low milk supply.  There will be times when infants have an increased need (growth spurts, teething, illness, change in routine, etc).

baby in a blanket on a bed

4 – Keep up frequency of breast stimulation when you are away from baby to keep up your milk supply.  It’s important to express your milk just as often as baby eats or your body will be signaled to make less each day.

5 – Plan “frequency days” when you are reunited with baby.  Since nothing removes milk as efficiently as a healthy baby, you can make up for any lagging by encouraging frequent feeds on those days when you are reunited with baby.

mom, baby, and dog

I hope this helps!  Great tips and a blueprint for breastfeeding success available in my video classes.  Also, get my free pdf ‘Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success‘ here – its a great starting point!

Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

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  1. Morton, J. (2012). The importance of hands. Journal of Human Lactation, 28(3). 276-277. doi: 10.1177/0890334412444930.

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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What to do if breastfeeding hurts – Positioning, Latch, and the Baby’s Suck

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Recommended Products

One of the top 3 reasons mothers wean is nipple pain/soreness (1).  When breastfeeding is hurting, we need to revisit and master the basics!  There are 3 things I want to share today to help make breastfeeding more comfortable – Positioning, Latch, and the Baby’s Suck.  I go over all these things in detail in my in-person and video breastfeeding classes.

Positioning

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Get in a comfortable position so your back and arms will be supported.  My favorite nursing pillow is curved so it naturally puts baby in a tummy-to-tummy position.  So many moms make the mistake of placing baby in a tummy-to-ceiling position.  This makes it so baby has to turn their head to breastfeed.  Try turning your head and swallowing – its not as comfortable!  This pillow does a lot of the work for you – my clients love it in my office appts.  Also pull baby in close so there is no space in between you and baby.

Latch

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I talk about both hands making a “C” when it comes to latch.  One hand supporting the breast, and one hand supporting baby’s head and neck.  Make sure not to crowd the nipple/areola, this will prevent the infant from getting enough breast tissue in their mouth to feed efficiently and pain-free.  Make sure to be patient for baby to open wide.  A lot of times Moms are anxious to “get it right” and have difficulty waiting for baby to get a very open mouth.  Opening wide will solve a lot of problems and decrease pain.  Once baby is on, check to see if the chin in touching your breast and if the bottom and top lip are flared out.  These are signs of a good latch.

The Baby’s Suck

After baby is latched, check to see if the baby’s tongue is thrusting out underneath.  You also want to see the jaw going up and down.  After let-down occurs, listen for some audible swallowing.  A good feed typically lasts for 10-20 min.  Many infants take both breasts at a feed.

 

I hope this is helpful!  There is a great promo going on this week for 30% off all of our classes!  It’s the biggest sale of the year – the classes are well-priced to begin with so we don’t run promos very often!  Just sign up for our newsletter to get the promo code straight to your inbox (We’ll be sending one out this evening).  Come say hi on instagram today!  As always I’m here for home/hospital visits (UT-based), as well as e-consults via secure video chat.

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey, RN, IBCLC

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References

1. Hoover, K., & Wilson-Clay, B. (2013). The breastfeeding atlas (5th ed.). Manchaca, TX: LactNews Press

2. Mohrbacher, N. & Stock, J. (2003). The breastfeeding answer book. Schaumburg, IL: La Leche League International.

How to relieve breast pain while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

“I keep getting plugged ducts! Help!”

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

I’ve had a lot of questions on Instagram about plugged ducts, causes and management. I address this topic in detail in my Breastfeeding Hurdles and How-to’s class. I’m going to answer a few of your questions on the topic directly today!

best tips for plugged ducts via lactationlink.com“How do I know if I have a plugged duct or mastitis?”

Mastitis means inflammation of the breast tissue, and comes in different forms, including plugged ducts. A plugged duct means that a milk duct is not draining properly and milk is getting stopped up in that area. If a plugged duct is managed improperly, it can lead to an infection of the breast tissue.

Here are some signs that you have a plugged duct (1):

  • tender spot
  • redness
  • sore lump
  • no fever
  • comes on gradually
  • may shift in location
  • little or no warmth to the touch
  • feel generally well

“I keep getting plugged ducts! What do I do?”

best tips for plugged ducts via lactationlink.comLike I mentioned, it’s important to manage plugged ducts properly, so you don’t develop a breast tissue infection.

Here are some ways to treat and alleviate plugged ducts (2):

  • ensure a good latch (asymmetrical latch technique)
  • frequent nursing (at least every 2 hours on affected side)
  • alternate breastfeeding positions
  • gentle breast massage in circular motion
  • warm compress 10-20 min before feeding
  • loosen constrictive clothing (bra underwire)
  • Don’t use breast shells
  • Get more rest
  • Decrease stress

Want more great tips like these to get breastfeeding off to a good start? Click the image below!

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

References

  1. Lawrence, R., & Lawrence, R. (1998). Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession (5th edition). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
  1. Mohrbacher, N., & Stock, J. (2003). La Leche League International The Breastfeeding Answer Book (3rd edition). Schaumburg, IL: La Leche League International.