breastfeedingclasses 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.


Thanks for stopping by,


Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC



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

How to 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

lactation consultant visiting a mom in the hospital

What’s the best nursing bra?

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Recommended Products

So many nursing bras out there to choose from, how do you know which one will work for your needs?!  I’ve tested several nursing bras with my clients, and one of their favorites seems to be the Supermom style from Simple Wishes.

A lactation consultant's favorite nursing bra + promo code!

Today I’m sharing a 20% off your total purchase with code: ‘LLINK’.  The Supermom nursing bra comes in black and nude colors, has plenty of sizing choices, and no underwire (a tight underwire can cause mastitis!).  Besides all that it has 3 great ways to use it!

simple wishes bra

Everday pregnancy/postpartum bra

simple wishes bra on bed

Nursing bra / easy clip-down

showing the simple wishes bra

Hands-free pumping bra

Lots of tips in my Pumping and Storing Breastmilk Class about why hands-free pumping is so important to getting the most out of your time with the pump!

I hope you enjoyed my #fridayfav feature and remember you can always get started with my Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success!

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

safe co-sleeping tips || mom cuddling with her baby

How to co-sleep safely

By | Breastfeeding, Classes

Although co-sleeping can be a convenient way to breastfeed and get more rest, some Moms report concern about baby’s safety in the bed with them.  Through research we know that co-sleeping, when practiced safely, provides no greater risk of SIDS than an infant being in a crib.  So, how do you do it safely?  Tonight I’m sharing the “Safe Sleep Seven” by La Leche League International.  This list is referring to 7 ways to ensure safe co-sleeping if you want to use that as a nighttime sleep option with your infant.

get tips on safe co-sleeping from a lactation consultant

{Photo courtesy of Taylor Catherine Photography}

“Safe Sleep Seven” by La Leche League International

If a mother is:

1. A non-smoker

2. Sober

3. Breastfeeding

If her baby is:

4. Healthy

5. On his/her back

6. Lightly dressed and UNswaddled

And they both:

7. Share a safe sleep surface

Additionally, here are a few things to keep in mind about bed sharing.  Family members besides the parents should not be in the bed, because they are less aware of the infant’s movements and needs.  Always avoid couches, sofas and armchairs as a sleep surface.  They have too many crevices that can become dangerous.

Even if you do not plan on co-sleeping, it is important to prepare for safe co-sleeping as many mothers will fall asleep breastfeeding. (Thanks oxytocin!) If you prepare for safe co-sleeping, no matter your bedtime plans, you can rest with ease!

I hope this helps!  I’ll be sharing a FLASH SALE on my breastfeeding video classes tomorrow on periscope!  Make sure you download the app and follow me over there, username: @lindsey_shipley.  I will only be sharing the PROMO CODE over there!

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

  1. The Safe Sleep Seven. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.llli.org/sweetsleepbook/thesafesleepseven



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!


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


  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.


Volume of breastmilk needed when bottle feeding. via lactationlink.com, a lactation consultant's blog.

Volume of breastmilk when bottle-feeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

I held a Q&A last week on Instagram, and many Moms asked me about how much breastmilk to feed their baby when bottle-feeding. This is a valid concern because many of us will be separated from our infants at some point due to returning to work, travel, or a night out. When we are breastfeeding, we can’t see the volume the infant is receiving. This is why many women constantly worry about their supply. Some great indicators that your supply is just fine are wet/messy diapers, baby is content between feeds, appropriate weight gain, etc.

volume of breastmilk needed when bottlefeeding via lactationlink.comIt is impossible for anyone to say how much milk an infant will want at any given feeding. A small baby will consume anywhere from 2-4 ounces, 8-12 times, in a 24 hour period (1). Another good rule of thumb early on is an ounce per month old the infant is. From there, the caregiver will start to gauge how much the infant needs at a feeding. Chances are, an older breastfed infant won’t consume 8-9 ounces during a feed like their formula-fed counterparts. Why? Because the energy components of breastmilk are utilized more efficiently than formula, so less is required. Keep in mind, even breastfed babies will consume more volume when breastmilk is offered in a bottle rather than the breast. This is due to the faster flow rate of a bottle.

volume of breastmilk needed for bottlefeeding via lactationlink.comTips to use when offering a breastfed baby a bottle to avoid overfeeding:

  • Using the slowest flow nipple available
  • Holding the baby in a more upright position to let gravity slow the flow
  • “Pacing the feed”, taking short breaks to allow the infant to realize when they’re satisfied

Also, remember that the baby is the most efficient remover of milk so when you are reunited, allow your infant to feed often to ensure the maintenance of a good milk supply! I hope this helps all of you that were asking.

I have a great giveaway going on right now for a Solly Baby wrap, ends tonight at midnight so hurry and enter on my instagram page @lactationlink!

Want some great education and support to get breastfeeding off to a great start? Click the image below!


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC



1. Mohrbacher, N., & Stock, J. (2003). La Leche League International The Breastfeeding Answer Book (3rd edition). Schaumburg, IL: La Leche League International.