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how breastfeeding changes as baby gets older via lactationlink.com

How Breastfeeding Can Change As Baby Gets Older

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

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 how breastfeeding changes as baby gets older. Hope it helps create some confidence as you go about breastfeeding your growing baby!

How can breastfeeding change as baby gets oldre

Breastfeeding a newborn can be a lot different than breastfeeding a 9 month old! If your breastfeeding goals are to nurse past the first few months, things will change a bit for you and baby. Luckily, the same skills apply and we learn as we go!  Many of the moms I meet have a goal to breastfeed their babies for 6, 12, or even 18 or more months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed for at least 12 months, so so many moms shoot for that. And since breastfeeding changes during the first year and beyond, we  at Lactation Link want you to have all the tools you need. Check out our online class, Breastfeeding Basics for getting things started off right. (Pro tip: you can watch anytime from any smart device!)

How breastfeeding changes as baby grows via lactationlink.comIf your goal is to breastfeed for more than the first few months, you’ll need to know more than just the basics as breastfeeding changes as baby grows! That’s why we offer our Hurdles and How To’s class as part of the three class video bundle. Hurdles and How-to’s goes over the bumps that can arise over the entire course of breastfeeding– whether that’s 24 hours or 24 months for you.

Part of the reason that things change even though the basics of breastfeeding (like latch and supply & demand) are still important, is because baby changes! Knowing how different milestones can affect breastfeeding can help you know what to expect as baby grows..

how breastfeeding chages as baby gets older via lactationlink.com

Here are a few ways that breastfeeding can change as baby gets older:

Distraction. Some babies become very distractible around 3-6 months! They are hungry and know to look for mom to nurse, but then someone talks, the phone rings or even the dog walks across the room. Baby just can’t help turning to check it out! This can be a frustrating phase, but baby being interested in the world around him is really a great thing! You can help limit distraction by nursing in a quiet room or trying out a new position where baby can see around the room better without unlatching.

how breastfeeding changes as baby gets older via lactationlink.com

{Little Sapling Toys: use code LINK10  for 10% off your order!}

Sleep changes. We are often asked on Instagram whether it’s normal for baby to be waking up at night again, after sleeping long stretches for a time. Some newborns learn to sleep long stretches and parents can count on a full night’s sleep after a few months. But most moms find that sleep development doesn’t progress so smoothly! Due to all sorts of physical and mental growth and development, it’s normal for babies to wake up more often every few months. Going to baby and meeting his needs during the night will ensure he continues to grow and develop well. In fact, healthy babies can go from many night nursing sessions, to none, and back to night nursing a few times during that first year.

how breastfeeding changes as baby gets older via lactationlink.com

Changes in nursing frequency & length. Moms often let us know that their baby is nursing less often and/or finishing a nursing session more quickly. Babies become more efficient at the breast as they get older. So if your baby took 20-30 minutes to breastfeed the first few months, you may be surprised when he is finished after 10 minutes when he is older. This is normal! If baby is growing well, trust baby to know how often and how long he needs to eat. Similarly, when solids are introduced or baby begins to crawl or walk, he may want to nurse less often. Again, trust baby that he’ll get enough when he does nurse. At the same time, offer the breast often for little snack breaks while he enjoys his newfound freedom.

Just like so many other aspects of parenting, be ready for breastfeeding changes as baby gets older! I tell moms of newborns all the time to trust baby and allow him to nurse often– this is one thing that doesn’t change! Keep trusting your baby. If you’re unsure about whether your baby’s behavior at the breast is normal, don’t hesitate to reach out for an e-consult so we can help you reach your breastfeeding goals! What breastfeeding changes did you notice as your baby grew? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Have you signed for our free email breastfeeding course yet?

I think you’ll find it really helpful! Get more info by clicking the image below.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

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 from around the world! E-mail kristin@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.
Which nursing pad is best for me? via lactationlink.com

Which nursing pad is right for me?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Recommended Products

Hi mamas! I’m Lacey Parr, a lactation educator and mom of 3. I’m here on the blog today to talk about how to find the perfect nursing pad for you!

One of the most useful tools for breastfeeding is a good nursing pad! Especially in the first few weeks or months, many moms will leak breastmilk. So it’s nice to have something there that will catch the leaks before they come through your clothes and some nursing pads even help prevents leaks! In this post, we have partnered our favorites to help you save when you need to stock up and we will go over the pros and cons of each so you can find one that works best for you. We love sharing products with you that we have used and loved ourselves!

Which nursing pad is right for me?Disposable nursing pads

which nursing pad is right for me? via lactationlink.com

{Bamboobies disposable nursing pads: use code LLINK20 for 20% off}

In the first few days and weeks, most moms will leak quite a bit and will need to change pads out often to prevent things like thrush. This is when a disposable nursing pad comes in handy. You will be amazed at how much liquid these babies can hold! Remember to change your pads out each feeding or anytime you notice any wetness on your skin. Bamboobies have great disposable nursing pads because you can forget the guilt over more trash because these are made from eco-friendly and sustainable bamboo. The inner layers are also antibacterial and antimicrobial. Use code LLINK20 on their site for 20% off your entire order at Bamboobies. If you want to deal with less packaging and waste after the first few weeks, a reusable nursing pad might be right for you.

Reusable silicone pads

Which nursing pad is right for me? via lactationlink.com

{Lilypadz nursing pads: use code LLINK for 15% off}

If you’ve ever been a nursing mom in a public place without a pad, you understand that direct pressure can sometimes prevent a let down. Lily padz are reusable silicone nursing pads that apply gentle pressure on your breast to prevent leaks from starting. They also cling to your skin, without being sticky, so there is no losing them in the folds of your clothes. Some moms find that their leaks accumulate in the pad and they have to carefully remove them to prevent a big spill. And after some time and regular use, the surface that adheres to the skin will wear and will become less tacky. Just be sure to properly use and care for them so they will last as long as possible. But they are super nice because they cling to your skin and you can wear them without a bra. (Yay for braless days!) One study even showed that mothers using Lilypadz had fewer cases of mastitis and thrush. Score! Use code LLINK to save 15% on your Lilypadz order.

Which nursing pad is right for me? via lactationlink.com

{Lilypadz nursing pads: use code LLINK for 15% off}

 

Reusable cloth pads

Which nursing pad is right for me? via lactationlink.com

{Bamboobies cloth pads: use code LLINK20 for 20% off}

The most common type of nursing pads that moms use are reusable cloth. Bamboobies cloth nursing pads are also made out of bamboo and are super light and soft while still being absorbent. Their overnight pads are helpful for overnight and the times of big leaks like the first few weeks. But their regular pads are perfect for day-to-day use. Just remember to change them out as soon as they feel wet on your skin. I keep an extra set in my nursing basket and diaper bag. You can use code LLINK20 for 20% off your Bamboobies order.

Which nursing pad is right for me? via lactationlink.com

{Bamboobies cloth pads: use code LLINK20 for 20% off}

For more tips on breast and nipple care products, check out our favorite products post and our post on how to care for engorgement.

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course? Lots of great tips and info on breastfeeding. Click below for more info!

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

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Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC

losing weight while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

Can I breastfeed if I want to lose weight?

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

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 breastfeeding and losing weight!

I am often asked by moms if breastfeeding while trying to lose weight is okay.  In general, yes!  It is safe to lose weight and breastfeed your baby.

So what if you aren’t losing weight naturally while breastfeeding? Is it safe to diet? A lactation consultant shares tips and...

After the obvious loss of weight from the baby and placenta, some women find that they continue to lose pregnancy weight without any extra effort (lucky ducks!).  Just like everything related to babies, though, that’s not always the case and postpartum weight changes vary woman to woman!

losing weight while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

{ergobaby carrier}

How breastfeeding can affect mother’s weight

One study found that women who entered pregnancy with a normal-range Body Mass Index retained less weight if they breastfed for 6+ months, versus those who breastfed less than 1 week, who retained more weight.  The same study found that women who entered pregnancy obese were below their pre-pregnancy weight at six months postpartum if they breastfed exclusively!

Whether you notice that you don’t have to work hard to lose the baby weight or that you have to consciously watch your diet in order to drop pounds, it is still important to eat healthy as a breastfeeding mom. I like to recommend a colorful diet, drinking water as often as you are thirsty, try to minimize sweets and fried foods.  While your milk is still high-quality even if your diet isn’t perfect, how you feel, how you sleep, and your mood may be affected if you’re not taking in enough nutrients.

losing weight while breastfeeding via lactationlink.com

{ergobaby carrier}

Can I breastfeed if I want to lose weight?

So what if you aren’t losing weight naturally while breastfeeding?  Is it safe to diet?  Studies have shown that short-term dieting combined with exercise does not affect milk supply.  Most women should eat at least 1800 calories per day and can safely lose around 1 pound per week.  Harsh diets like liquid fasts and diet pills should be avoided. Get some tips for postpartum wellness from a nutrition coach here. Remember to be cleared for exercise by your doctor or midwife after birth before beginning to work out.

Most mothers do want to lose weight postpartum.  Breastfeeding alone may help you in that endeavor, but the bottom line about postpartum weight loss is that eating healthy is always a good idea, exercise is safe while breastfeeding, and it’s okay to work to lose about a pound per week.  If you’re having trouble losing weight or are losing too much, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.  If you are worried about your weight loss’s effect on breastfeeding, reach out to us for a consult so we can help you reach your goals!

More on this topic from Lactation Link:

What not to eat when breastfeeding

Can I breastfeed if I drink alcohol?

Caffeine + breastfeeding

Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise?

Thanks for stopping by,

lactationlink008

Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

References

Baker, JL, Gamborg, M, Heitmann, BL, Lissner, L, Sorensen, TIA, Rasmussen, KM. (2008). Breastfeeding reduces postpartum weight retention. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 88: 1543-1551.

Lauwers, J. & Swisher, A. (2011) Nutrition in pregnancy and lactation. Counseling the nursing mother: A lactation consultant’s guide. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Is My Baby’s Poop Normal?

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

Is my breastfed baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, an IBCLC and mom of 5. I’m here today to talk about your breastfed baby’s poop!

Before you become a parent, you have no idea how much you’ll think about and analyze poop – trust me!  You and your partner will know just how far you’ve come when you can spend ten minutes discussing diaper frequency and appearance. 

I always ask about baby’s stooling habits because it can be a great way to know...

In fact, in every consultation I ask about baby’s stooling habits because it can be a great way to know how baby is thriving. In Breastfeeding Basics, there is lots of detail about what to expect in baby’s first poops, but today we are going to be talking about poops for infants, rather than newborns. 

Is my baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

The Rainbow of Poop Colors

Yellow or orangey-yellow is usually what breastfed babies’ poop is colored once mature milk comes in around 10-14 days, but sometimes it is watery, sometimes it is seedy or full of curds, sometimes it seems super thin, and sometimes it’s more like toothpaste.  The texture varies from baby to baby but can also vary from diaper to diaper in the same baby.  Some moms ask us how they would know if their baby had diarrhea since their regular poop is so liquidy.  Diarrhea is not common in the exclusively breastfed baby but if they get it, it’s generally VERY watery, comes VERY often, is usually green or almost neon can be mucousy, and almost always has a VERY foul odor (much worse than the mild smell of a breastfed baby’s poop– which is one awesome benefit of breastfeeding!).

What if baby’s poop is green?  Or kind of brown?  Well, you can breathe easy knowing that generally this is just a variation of normal.  What if you see blood?  Usually it’s nothing dangerous or scary, but it can point to an anal fissure that will probably heal on its own (these are very common!) or allergies.  Be sure to call your baby’s healthcare provider if you are concerned about anything you see.  Babies often push hard to poop, but this isn’t typically a concern.  They’re trying to figure out what is actually necessary to get their business done! 

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{breastfeeding robe}

Baby Pooping Frequency

Moms will sometimes be getting into their groove with nursing and then at 6 or 8 weeks suddenly baby is only pooping every third day.  That sounds terribly uncomfortable to our adult bowels, but the exclusively breastfed baby is very rarely truly constipated.  True constipation is hard, pellet-like stool and warrants a call to the pediatrician in a breastfed baby.  If baby is passing soft, yellow stool after a long hiatus from pooping, you can rest easy– but get out your big box of wipes because this often means there will be a LOT of poop when it does come! It’s worth noting that pooping infrequently (less than once a day) at under a month old could mean inadequate milk intake, so you should check in with us to make sure baby is nursing well, but it is not a reason to panic.

Is my baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

If you feel like you’re up to your ears in dirty diapers, try to remind yourself that it’s an awesome problem because it means baby is drinking lots of milk to grow and thrive.  If you’re worried about your baby’s pooping habits, reach out to us for help.  If you’re pregnant or you’re still not sure what’s normal, check out our online breastfeeding video classes which also go over important things to know about poop, as well a LOT more about breastfeeding! 

Have you signed up for our Confident Breastfeeding Course yet? It’s a good intro to the online breastfeeding classes. Click the image below to download.

Koin our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

3 tips for breastfeeding in the nicu

3 Tips for Breastfeeding in the NICU

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

When you have a baby (or two) in the NICU, breastfeeding can have interruptions that can make meeting your goals a little more difficult. To help through this time, I am sharing 3 tips that can make it easier.

A Lactation consultant shares her top 3 tips for breastfeeding in the NICU. The first one is...

Frequent skin to skin

Skin to skin contact has been shown to be the best way to establish and even increase milk supply (1). When you are with baby, make most of your time together by spending it skin to skin. Ask for a comfortable chair and help from a nurse if needed. As baby becomes accustomed to your chest, he or she will become better and better at breastfeeding. Even having your partner do skin to skin with baby can be beneficial.

3 tips for breastfeeding in the nicu via lactationlink.com

3 tips for breastfeeding in the nicu via lactationlink.com

{Simple Wishes Supermom bra use code LLINK for 20% off!}

Pumping while away

When you are separated from baby, pumping every few hours will also help establish and increase your supply. My Pumping and Storing class is great place to learn how to get the most out of your pumping session. But a good place to start is with hands-on pumping. Massage your breasts while pumping to increase your output. Great tutorials in the class! Using a handsfree nursing and pumping bra like the Supermom Bra from Simple Wishes is a great tool for hands-on pumping. (Use code LLINK for 20% off.)

Reducing stress

Find ways to reduce stress at home and at work. I have a great list of ways to reduce stress in Breastfeeding Basics. Let go of extra responsibilities such as in your church or community. Invite grandparents or other relatives to spend extra time with your older children. Embrace simple meals and a messier house if that helps you feel less stressed and able to spend more time with baby.

3 tips for breastfeeding in the NICU via lactationlink.com

Lastly, remember to give yourself grace during this period. A little breastmilk is better than none. Your baby needs you right now, in whatever form that is at this time. With some effort and support, you can meet your breastfeeding goals. Helping moms get breastfeeding off to a good start is what I love best and I would love to help you reach your goals and create confidence in your motherhood.

3 tips for a breastfeeding in the nicu via lactationlink.com

Have you had a baby in the NICU? What was your experience like? Share in the comments. 

We’d also love for you to be a part of our Confident Breastfeeding Course. Click the image below for more information.

6-day

Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Sources

(1) Bramson, L., Lee, J. W., Moore, E., Montgomery, S., Neish, C., Bahjri, K., Melcher, C. L. (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, 26, 2 (130-137).

Should I wake my baby to breastfeed?

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

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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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{Undercover Mama nursing dress} Use code LLINK for 20% off!

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.

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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.

6-day

Thanks for stopping by,

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Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC

Sources

(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.

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.

reasons to breastfeed from a mom of 5

Why should I breastfeed?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Classes, motherhood

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Hi  mamas! I’m Kristin, a Lactation Link IBCLC and mom of 5. I’m here today to share with you my top 5 reasons to breastfeed. Enjoy!

We’ve all heard that “breast is best” and you’ve probably heard a few things scattered in with that to explain why—breastfed babies are healthier, or less fussy, or more attached to their parents and more.  But why is breast really best?  Why is mom’s breast literally home for babies? Why do women even want to breastfeed?

Top 5 reasons to breastfeed from a lactation consultant and mom of 5.

The following are my top five reasons why women choose to breastfeed:

  1. Nutrition: This is the food part.  Baby must be fed, of course!  Breastmilk has balanced nutrition tailored just right for your baby.  You could call it 100% organic!  
  2. Immunities: You’ve probably heard that breastmilk has lots of probiotics in it, which is true, and so important for a developing tummy!  It also has a ton of disease-fighters that can’t be found anywhere but breastmilk!  (1)
  3. Emotional: This is the emotional component that breastfeeding fulfills for both mom and baby.  We know this is true because oxytocin, the “love hormone” (the same one that is vital in labor and present during sex), is released during breastfeeding. Research also tells us that breastfeeding can be protective against postpartum depression (2). This emotional aspect is also why women who thought they’d wean at six months or one year continue to breastfeed because it brings joy to their babies and themselves.
  4. Convenience: You never leave home without your breasts, so there’s so much less “equipment” required!  Some women are worried that leaving baby may be inconvenient as they’ll have to pump, but the milk is always there and can be expressed on your timetable, though it needs to be regularly removed.  You’ll never need to run to the store in the middle of the night because you ran out of formula!  You’ll also save hours per week (shopping for formula, disposing of the cans, mixing the bottles, washing the bottles, etc)
  5. Cost savings: Did you know that formula for a year can cost $3000 or more, and even more if a special formula is necessary?  If you need a breast pump for some mother/baby separation time, click here to see how to get a free pump through your insurance.  You may also save money on healthcare because studies show that breastfed babies are generally have less sick-visits to the pediatrician, less infections, and recover from normal childhood illnesses more quickly than their formula-fed peers. (3)

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Breastfeeding is important to different women for different reasons, all of which are completely valid.  What’s important is that you are supported in the choices you make for you and your baby.  That’s our whole mission — Creating Confident Moms!  Why did you choose to breastfeed? Share in the comments.

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Now that you know why you should breastfeed, learn a few quick things on how to get started with our top ten tips.

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You can learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to help get a good latch, providing breastmilk during mother/baby separations and more with our breastfeeding video classes!  Many moms have told us how our breastfeeding classes was the best thing they bought for their baby. They are available on-demand to fit into your busy life.  If you need personal help to overcome an issue, we can meet you for an in-person or e-consult to troubleshoot!

Thanks for coming by,

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Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

Sources

(1) Vorbach, Capecchi, Penninger (2006) BioEssays. “Evolution of the mammary gland from the innate immune system?” <https://ai2-s2-pdfs.s3.amazonaws.com/767f/676444e333a47fbb7a6b9e7442c942944023.pdf>

(2) Pope, C.J., Mazmanian, D. (2016) Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression: An Overview and Methodological Recommendations for Future Research. Depression Research and Treatment. doi:  10.1155/2016/4765310. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4842365/ 

(3) Bartick, M.C., Schwarz, E.B., Green, B.D., Jegier, B.J., Reinhold, A.G., Colaizy, T.T., Bogen, D.L., Schaefer, A.J., and Steube, A.M. (2016). Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: Maternal and Pediatric Health Outcomes and Costs. Maternal and Child Nutrition, doi: 10.1111/mcn.12366. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mcn.12366/full

Riordan J and Wambach K. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 4th ed. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2010, p. 628.

Infant Loss Awareness Month

By | Breastfeeding, motherhood

This month during Infant Loss Awareness month, we wish to show love and compassion for the women and families who have had the heart-wrenching experience of infant loss.  We send our love and light to all of you who have experienced this – in all of its forms. We see you, we love you. With the personal stories that are shared today, we hope you feel some solidarity and support in your experience.


Emily’s Story

14812900_10154735455613274_1764331127_oMiscarriage is hard. For me, miscarrying the first time vs the fourth time was just as hard. I question over and over again if I did something wrong that caused it, or if there was something I could go back and change to keep it from happening. To help me cope with miscarrying, I found myself reading blog posts and forums about other women’s experiences with miscarriage. I also found that journaling about my experience and feelings was really therapeutic and it also helped for when someone wanted to talk about it, I had already tried to make sense of my over-abundance of emotions on paper.
After I miscarried my first, a family friend who was an OBGYN said to me, “Oh don’t worry about it, 1 in 4 women miscarry.” His words were far from helpful and they brought me to tears as I stood in front of him. What I’ve learned from what he said is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Seek out others who have had similar experiences and connect over this very raw and fragile event. There is strength in numbers and I have made many beautiful friendships as I’ve been willing to open up and reach out to others who have miscarried.
~Emily Manning

Roman’s story

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Last year I gave birth to a baby boy named Roman with a very rare and terminal lung disease. For the first 2 weeks of his life he was so fragile the doctors wouldn’t let us hold him. Even too much physical touch could send him into distress. So for two weeks we sat and watched and waited and prayed for a miracle. And I pumped. I pumped and I pumped and I pumped.  I pumped so much the nurses nicknamed me “Bessy”. Almost every other motherly duty had been taken from me, and the one thing I could still do for my child was to provide him with the nourishment of my breastmilk, even if the only way he could receive it was through a feeding tube. Roman eventually did grow stronger and soon we were able to hold and snuggle with him, even though he could never tolerate nursing.  At 3 months of age Roman took a turn for the worse. The stress of seeing him decline definitely affected my milk supply. I was only pumping 1/10 of what I used to. There were days the doctor would have “the talk” with us and I didn’t want to pump at all. Soon my milk was almost completely dried up, but by this time Roman’s disease had progressed enough that we knew it would soon be time to let him go. The best advice I received while in the NICU was, “If you want to be there for your child, then you first must take care of yourself.” As mothers we often put everyone else’s needs before our own and we simply forget how important our own physical, emotional, and mental well- being is. During the last few days of Roman’s life I was so grateful that I could spend that precious time with him without the stress of pumping and feeling engorged. Roman passed away in my arms just 1 day shy of turning 4 months old.  Losing a child is awful, but trials do make you stronger and I’m proud to be able to look back at the strength I’ve gained through this experience. ~Kelley Airapetov

Nathan’s story 

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My Nathan was 3 days shy of six months and exclusively breastfed when we lost him to SIDS. His big appetite had created an abundant milk supply so it was only a matter of hours when aching breasts joined my aching heart over the sudden loss of my sweet baby. So what do you do when your milk is suddenly not necessary? The frequent feeling of breast fullness is a constant reminder of your loss. I did become uncomfortably engorged pretty quickly, but my milk supply dwindled with time.  I did hand express in the shower just enough to make the pressure bearable and avoid mastitis. Within 10 days my milk was pretty much gone.  If you are dealing with an established milk supply, I suggest to not bind your chest, because it will be painful and can trap milk and cause mastitis. Just wearing a supportive bra and leaving your breasts alone as much as possibly might be all you need. 

A few weeks into my grief and healing I looked for something to do with the 400 ounces of liquid gold in my freezer. At that point the only mother’s milk bank I found that was taking donations was in Colorado. I did talk to them, but the screening process and procedure were more than my broken heart could handle at the time, so all my hard work and sacrifice to feed my baby got old in my freezer and went down the drain. Fortunately, Mother’s Milk banks are on the rise, and it has become easier to donate milk since then. ~Amy Mitton


Thank you all for sharing your stories and your heart with us. We wish any parent with loss, seen and unseen, true peace.  You can view more stories and connect with other parents that have experienced loss at Still Standing Magazine and The Compassionate Friends. You can also join support groups about infant loss at Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss.  If you would like more information on donating expressed milk visit Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC