It can be hard to find a spot in the community that feels like home! A place we can go to be women, to be individuals, and to replenish and regenerate all that we give day-in and day-out as mothers. Somewhere we can meet other women who are in the same stage of life and are also striving to be mindful about how they live and how they love. As Moms or Mom-to-be, it’s so hard to make time for ourselves, but it’s so necessary for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Taking time out to fill our own cup actually allows us to be more present and give more love to our families. It doesn’t have to be a big deal or take all day. Here are a few ideas: take a 20-min walk around your neighborhood, take a warm bath, take a yoga class, schedule a massage, or meet a girlfriend for lunch. Today I’d love to share more with you about what I’ve discovered in this local wellness community, especially the salon and spa because that’s every Mom’s favorite anyway! Read through to find some exclusive promotions for Lactation Link readers.
Hi mamas, I’m Stephanie Weight Hadfield, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and mom of 4. I’m here today to talk about SIDS and how breastfeeding can reduce your baby’s risk. I hope it brings you more confidence as you face infant feeding and sleeping options!
SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is a worry that strikes fear into the hearts of just about every parent. According to the CDC, SIDS is the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation. In 2015, SIDS was given as the cause of death for about 1,600 U.S. babies (1). Although SIDS is different from smothering or suffocation, they are all often lumped together in the research and discussion, which can make it difficult to really understand what is going on.
Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC. I’m a mom to 5 and lactation consultant with Lactation Link. I’m here today to debunk some myths about what not to eat when breastfeeding and if you need a breastfeeding diet. Thanks for stopping by!
Mothers from cultures all over the world have been breastfeeding for, well, forever. Many cultures have unique foods that would be considered anything but bland. These babies thrive even when their moms eat these flavorful foods, so we know it’s not something that needs to be universally avoided.
If you plan to breastfeed past the first couple of months, you may come across well-meaning relatives or friends who feel that breastfeeding a teething baby or baby with teeth is just like putting your nipple in a vampire’s mouth. Thankfully, that is NOT the case and you can rest easy that you’ll be able to breastfeed your teething baby for years (yes, even years!) without the fear of losing a nipple! Breastfeeding with a teething baby can be hard at times but is manageable with some preparation! In this post, we’ll discuss some of the symptoms of teething, how it might affect breastfeeding and how to meet your breastfeeding goals throughout teething phases. We’ll even talk about how to deal with biting.
Hi mamas, I’m Stephanie Weight Hadfield, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and mom of 4. I’m here to talk about breastfeeding twins. Enjoy!
You’re having twins. Congratulations! Lots of moms of multiples wonder if they will be able to breastfeed twins. You may be reassured to know that mothers of twins can have the same breastfeeding outcomes as the mothers of singletons. And although there may be a bit more of a learning curve– just like with every other aspect of parenting twins– the benefits of breastfeeding your babies are worth working for. I know it can seem overwhelming so I want to share some ways to make it more manageable for your life and family. Here are my top 5 tips for twin breastfeeding success:
Hi mamas, I’m Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC, mom of 2 and the creator/founder of Lactation Link, and I’m here today to talk about the best nursing bras! Enjoy!
We have compiled our readers’ top nursing bra questions and are answering them today! We are thrilled to have Bravado Designs sponsoring this post.
Our friends at Owlet have launched a new product — the Smart Sock 2! One of the most frequently asked questions I get in my breastfeeding classes is, “How can I get more sleep?!” Any Mom with a newborn is going to be short on restful sleep – this new tiny human depends on you for everything. I remember the first few days with my newborn I was so exhausted but couldn’t really sleep even when they were asleep because I was worried about them. “Is he breathing?” “Oh no, it’s been too long let me check on him, etc, etc.” It took so much work to get my baby here, I couldn’t let my guard down now! In comes Owlet Care.
The Owlet Smart Sock 2 uses pulse oximetry technology to track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep. If their levels go higher or lower than the preset zones, you are designed to be notified via the owlet base and the app on your phone. As a nurse, I know all about pulse oximetry as I’ve used it frequently to monitor my patients. Owlet is using clinically proven technology to give parents peace of mind that baby is doing great when they are asleep.
Here’s what’s new about Owlet’s updated product the Smart Sock 2.
- Design – the smart sock 2 is better fitting, goes on either foot, is hypoallergenic, and designed to grow with baby. The updated fabric sock makes it easier and more intuitive to place the sensor in the right spot for the best readings.
- Better Range – the upgraded bluetooth capability has greater range at up to 100 feet between the smart sock and the base.
- Mobile App – see baby’s oxygen levels in real-time and with push notifications. The smart sock is also compatible with ‘Connected Care’ (coming this summer!) to allow you to see sleeping trends and historical data of any notifications.
Since parents choose lots of different sleeping arrangements for them and baby, it’s tough to find a product that is useful for all of them. The owlet is great for parents who sleep with their infant in the same room or across the hall! You can learn more about the Owlet Smart Sock 2 here and order one today. For a limited time, you can get a free pair of infant crib moccasins with your purchase!
Thanks for stopping by,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC
Photography in this post by Jessica Kettle
Sponsored by Owlet
Hi mamas, I’m Stephanie Weight Hadfield, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and mom of 4. I’m here to talk about one of our most frequently asked question topics, breastmilk storage. Hope this answers your questions!
Fresh human milk is a dynamic, living substance. It is packed with live immune cells that actively target and kill bacteria, so it takes longer to spoil than pasteurized cow’s milk or formula. This is one of the many reasons why so many mothers choose to pump their breast milk when away from baby. Our Pumping and Storing Breastmilk online class has so many tips to make this easier on mom. In this post, I will discuss the necessary care when handling your precious milk. Learn these breastmilk storage guidelines to make sure your pumped milk maintains all of its wonderful nutritional and immune protecting properties. Here are some easy-to-remember tips:
Handling your pumped milk:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds before expressing your milk. (sing the alphabet song in your head to get the timing right)
- Store milk in clean glass or plastic containers with tightly fitting lids or heavy duty plastic bags designed for breastmilk storage. Breastmilk storage bags are a space-saving option for freezing milk. Ordinary plastic storage bags are not recommended for breastmilk storage, because they can easily tear and leak. (1)
- Clearly label the milk with the date it was expressed, as well as your child’s name if it will be given to a childcare provider. Use the oldest milk in the fridge or freezer first.
- Wash bottles and pump parts in hot, soapy water after use. Pump parts and bottles can generally be washed on the top rack of a dishwasher too; check the manufacturer’s instructions on your specific items to be sure. Sterilizing bottles and pump parts is unnecessary for healthy, full-term babies. (2)
- Store milk in smaller portion sizes to minimize waste. Storing in 2-ounce amounts and offering additional amounts if the baby is still hungry will prevent having to throw away unfinished milk. Having a few 1 oz portions stored can also be helpful for times that baby is hungry but mama is on her way. (3)
Guidelines for storing your pumped milk:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers ranges of time that milk can safely be left at for certain temperatures, you can find them here if you want to take a look. I like to recommend a simple rule that fits within these ranges and is easy to recall, even for the most sleep-deprived parents. Just remember 5-5-5.
- 5 hours at room temperature. If the room is very warm (more than 85 degrees F/29 degrees C), 3-4 hours seems to be a safer time range.
- 5 days in the fridge (store milk in the back of the refrigerator where the temperature is the coldest.)
- 5 months in a regular freezer (the separated compartment in a typical fridge/freezer unit) According to the CDC, milk frozen for longer than the recommended time ranges is safe, but may be lower in quality as some of the fats in the milk break down.
Other time ranges that don’t fit as neatly within the 5-5-5 rule, but are still helpful:
- Human milk can be stored for 6-12 months in a chest or upright deep freezer.
- Human milk can be safely stored with ice packs in insulated storage bags for up to 24 hours.
Milk Thawing and Use
Thawing slow and gently is the best way to preserve the immune properties that protect your baby and prevent milk contamination. An easy option is to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can also hold the container under warm running water or place in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
Never thaw or heat milk in the microwave. It can destroy many of the milk’s anti-infective factors. The uneven heating of microwaves can also cause hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth or throat even if milk is swirled or shaken afterwards. (4)
Thawed milk can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. The current guidelines for milk storage recommend that thawed milk should not be refrozen. However, in a 2006 study, researchers froze, thawed and then re-froze and re-thawed donor milk and tested batches that were then refrigerated or left at room temperature. None of the batches developed unacceptable bacterial counts or decreased vitamin content compared to a control batch that was only frozen once. (5) This indicates that current recommendations might be more conservative than necessary, and you may want to consider this as you make decisions about using your expressed breastmilk.
Have you taken Lactation Link’s Pumping and Storing Breastmilk video course? It’s packed with helpful information and will answer many questions about pumping and milk storage that you didn’t even know to ask.
Thanks for stopping by,
Stephanie Weight Hadfield, BS, IBCLC
(1) Garza C, Johnson CA, Harrist R, et al. Effects of methods of collection and storage on nutrients in human milk. Early Human Development 1982;6:295–303
(2) Pittard WB 3rd, Geddes KM, Brown S, et al. Bacterial contamination of human milk: Container type and method of expression. American Journal of Perinatology 1991;81:25–27
(3) Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. (2010) Clinical Protocol Number #8: Human Milk Storage Information for Home Use for Healthy Full Term Infants [PDF-125k]. Princeton Junction, New Jersey: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
(4) Quan, R., Yang, C., Rubenstein, S., Lewiston, N.J., Sunshine, P., Stevenson, D.K., et al. (1992). Effects of microwave radiation on anti-infective factors in human milk. Pediatrics, 89(4 Pt 1), 667-669.
(5) Rechtman, D. J., Lee, M. L., & Berg, H. (2006) Effect of environmental conditions on unpasteurized donor human milk. Breastfeeding Medicine, 1(1), 24-26.
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 some breastfeeding tips for new moms. Enjoy!
Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Whether you are a brand new mom or have been a mom for years and have a brand new baby, breastfeeding can seem overwhelming at times! We help new moms and veteran moms every week who have questions that they didn’t even know to ask while pregnant. I’m always glad that they asked for help from an expert, instead of relying on what their mom, neighbor, or social media said. I’m going to give my top four breastfeeding tips for new moms today– they’ll help you get off on the right start and know what to do if things get tricky.
These tips mostly are directed towards the time when moms feel most vulnerable: after they are discharged from the hospital. To learn tips for those first hours and days after birth, check out our Breastfeeding Basics video or in-person class!
Top Four Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
- Don’t suffer in pain! Some nipple soreness is normal, due to postpartum hormone changes and your breast tissue stretching. This is common the first few weeks. The pain should not last more than 6 0 seconds or be a tow-curling pain. If you have “ouch-ouch-ouch!” pain after the first couple of weeks, notice wounds on your nipples or they come out of baby’s mouth shaped like a brand new lipstick, seek some professional help to make sure that baby is latching well. Keep calm and call an IBCLC!
- Breastfeed often! For the first few weeks or even months, new moms might feel like they’re feeding baby all the time. I tell moms that you can’t nurse too often, but you can nurse too little. The first couple of weeks are very important in establishing your milk supply for the whole time you breastfeed. Additionally, baby’s tummy is small and breastmilk is digested quickly. That’s a recipe for frequent feeding! Aim to feed your baby at least 8-12 times in 24 hours; many moms find that they feed even more often than this. Remember that practice makes perfect, so breastfeed often!
- The pump is a tool, not a necessity. If you want to pump to have some extra milk in the freezer or if you plan to return to work, you will likely want to get a pump. But that doesn’t mean you need to start using it that first week or two home from the hospital! If baby is latching and breastfeeding is going reasonably well, you may just want to keep it simple rather than introducing the pump right off. Many women think that they should pump due to engorgement but it is generally more effective to hand express when new moms feel engorged. Take it one thing at a time; not every mom needs to introduce the pump right off the bat!
- Practice nursing in public, at home. Many moms are very nervous to breastfeed in public! It can seem a little strange to lift your shirt in public for the first time, but remember that baby has to eat and the law is on your side! One way to ease your mind before that first public outing is to practice nursing in front of a mirror. Latch baby on in whatever clothes you are planning to wear and see what shows. You may be surprised how discreet public breastfeeding can be! If you’re uncomfortable showing your postpartum tummy or just want a little coverage, you could use a tank like Undercover Mama (use code LLINK for 20% off!) that you pull down after you pull up your normal shirt. If you’re getting stir crazy at home with your new little one, don’t let the thought of breastfeeding in public be the reason you stay home!
Hopefully these tips bring you some peace of mind while in the turbulent waters of the newly postpartum period with your tiny baby! If you’re pregnant or you still have questions, definitely check out our Confident Breastfeeding Course, which goes over in detail a myriad of questions, concerns, and ideas for troubleshooting. If you need personalized help, don’t hesitate to reach out for an in-person or e-consult!
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.
Thanks for stopping by,
Kristin Gourley, IBCLC
Hi mamas, I’m Lacey Parr, a certified lactation educator counselor and mom of 3. I’m here today to talk about something I am particularly passionate about… helping moms feel confident to breastfeed in public! Enjoy! Special thanks to Leilani Rogers of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project for the images in this post.
Breastfeeding In Public: How to Find Your Confidence
When it comes to breastfeeding in public, there seems to be a lot controversy around the topic. Our newsfeeds seem to be flooded with stories about moms being shamed about breastfeeding away from home. But is that the real story? Is it wrong to breastfeed in public? How could it be wrong to feed your baby? I’m here to remind you that the shaming and eye-rolling situations are the exceptions, not the rule. Millions of mothers feed their babies in millions of places each day without any issue. But since this can be a sensitive issue that some new moms feel uncomfortable with, let’s talk about some topics with public breastfeeding so you can breastfeed in public places with confidence!
- Reasons to consider breastfeeding wherever you go
- State & Federal Laws: What Are Your Rights?
- How to address others
- Where To Breastfeed in Public
- Tips for Breastfeeding in Public
- Breastfeeding in public stories
Reasons to consider breastfeeding wherever you go
One of the top reasons mothers wean has to do with apprehension about breastfeeding in public. I want to help dispel those concerns today. We all eat when we are hungry and so, your baby requires the same thing. Yes, they may need to feed more often and what may seem like at the most inconvenient times, but all they know is that they are hungry and that you satisfy that need. Let’s talk about some of the reasons breastfeeding on the go is easier than an alternative:
- Your milk is always the right temperature.
- Nothing extra to carry. You’ve got all the “equipment” with you.
- Not having to worry about feeling engorged when out and about.
- It’s a great way to connect with baby during your busy day together. Baby is taking in all the sights and sounds of being in a public place. Resting to nurse and just focusing on you will help baby to feel calm and secure.
State & Federal Laws: What Are Your Rights?
The majority of states have laws on the books that protect a mother’s right to breastfeed in any location that she has the legal right to be (1). Learn your state’s specific law at breastfeedinglaw.com. So keep on nursing! It’s your right. In addition, this knowledge can create confidence, especially if someone were to confront you about feeding your baby in public.
How to address others
In the case that someone does react negatively to your legal right to feed your child, here are a few responses that have been empowering to other moms:
- “I have the legal right to be here and to feed my infant.”
- “Oh? You aren’t comfortable with me keeping my baby alive in public?”
- “Your comfort is not my concern. My concern is my baby’s comfort.”
- “You can look away if you aren’t comfortable with my feeding my infant.”
If you are like me and try to avoid others when breastfeeding out and about or have an easily distracted baby, finding a good spot is key. Read on how to find a great spot to breastfeed in public.
Where To Breastfeed in Public
When your baby gets hungry while out and about for the first time, you might look about frantically for a good spot. Here are a few places that some moms have found helpful:
- In a carrier. Feeding while walking around can make a new mom feel like a pro – comfortable for baby and people may not even be able to tell you’re breastfeeding. Read our tips on breastfeeding in a carrier here.
- In the shade if you’re outside on a hot day.
- Many public places have a nursing room, research locations or the Pumpspotting app for the closest one.
- Out of the hustle and bustle. Often a quiet corner can be a great place to get a baby quieted and ready to nurse.
- If you are in a health clinic or office and would like a private room, just ask! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many people want to accommodate you.
- Anywhere and wherever you want.
Remember, you have a right to feed your baby whenever and wherever you need. Read on for 5 tried and true tips for breastfeeding in public from moms who have successfully nursed their children wherever they go.
Tips for Breastfeeding in Public
- Relax. Find a nice spot where your baby will be less distracted. Drop your shoulders, push your hips forward in your chair and get comfy. You’re feeding your baby, that is all. When you are relaxed, your baby can be relaxed as well.
- Use a cover, or not. Decide on the amount of coverage (or not) you are comfortable with. Some moms feel more comfortable using a cover (we love Covered Goods). Some babies nurse well under them, as they can help block out noisy distractions. Other babies kick them off. Do whatever works best for you and your baby.
- The two-shirt method. I like to use what is often referred to as the two-shirt method. This is when Undercover Mama (use LLINK for 20% off!) tanks really come in handy. I reach under my shirt to pull down my bra/tank and then latch baby as I lift my shirt. Easy-peasy. My t-shirt covers the top of my breast, my tank covers my stomach and baby covers the rest.
- Use a carrier. I have found this to be the easiest way to nurse in public. Ergobaby’s babywearing educator wrote a blog post about this for us recently.
- Give yourself a pat on the back. You are feeding your baby beautifully wherever you are.
Breastfeeding in public stories
We have collected some stories from real moms who found confidence breastfeeding in public. I hope they inspire you as well!
“I was away from baby most of the day working. My husband came to pick me up from my event. But at the last minute, a bunch of women came to my table to try and buy product. So, I just latched baby on and kept working. It was a beautiful experience with all the women being supportive and being my hands!” -D. R. Vigil
“I was at a store with a 2 month old and my 2 other crazy boys ages 4 and 2. It was around Christmastime and we were waiting in line for an online pickup. I wasn’t going to leave the line to feed her so I fed her right there in line standing up and the two women behind me were so nice and in awe that I could multi-task so well! Haha. I am grateful they were so helpful and nice while I was feeding my baby. I don’t think I ever felt so much confidence in breastfeeding in public before that experience.” -A. Denney
“I saw a photo from early in American history where women were openly nursing in church. I thought, ‘if it was modest and accepted in THEIR day, it definitely should be in our’s. If someone take issue with isn’t, that is their problem, Not mine.’ Now I nurse in church and just about everywhere else.” -J. P. Bellinger
I hope that you can remember that breastfeeding wherever you go is a great choice for you and baby. Understanding that breastfeeding is your right and protected by law can be empowering! Know that there are many options for breastfeeding in public and no wrong way to do it! I hope this reduces any stress or concern you have about breastfeeding in public. Remember that all of us at Lactation Link are cheering you on.
Thanks for stopping by,
Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC