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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

5 ways family and friends can support a new mom

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

The village really seems to mobilize after a baby is born! After birth, mom needs to focus on healing and bonding with baby. In my video classes, moms write down their breastfeeding goals. They also write down two people they know they can turn to for breastfeeding support when they need it.  Family and friends can help reduce stress and provide support in many ways.

  1. Learn how family and friends can give a new mom the support she needs after giving birth so she can focus on bonding and breastfeeding.Bringing meals. Coordinate with family and friends to create a meal train for the family for several days or weeks. Another option is a sending them a meal delivery service to cut down on time spent planning and purchasing food.
  2. Housekeeping. The last thing Mom should be worrying about is housework when she’s bringing home a newborn (whether its her first or fifth!).  Mom’s attention should be kept on trying to rest, breastfeed, and bond with baby. Family and friends can be so helpful by helping out with a few chores around the house.   If you aren’t close by, you can send a gift certificate for a cleaning or laundry service.
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  3. Healthy snacks. If you aren’t close by, sending mom a box of Milkful lactation bars can be super helpful! They are delicious and a healthy, fast snack for mom. Use code LLINK for 15% off!
  4. Make her a breastfeeding basket. While breastfeeding, it’s nice to everything you need within arms reach. A bottle of water, snacks, an extra phone charger, nipple cream and good nursing pads like Bamboobies are some ideas of what to include. (Use code LLINK20 for 20% off Bamboobies!)
  5. Help with older children. If the mom has older kids, this is a great time for playdates so mom can rest with baby. Bringing over kid-friendly snacks and meals is also helpful.
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 What did your family and friends do that helped support you breastfeed and recover after birth? Share in the comments.

Related articles from Lactation Link:

5 Ways Grandparents can support breastfeeding

5 Ways partners can support breastfeeding

How to create a community of support for breastfeeding

 

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

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Friday Favs – Loyal Hana

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Recommended Products

Recently some of my clients introduced me to the brand Loyal Hana.  Today they are offering 25% off to my readers with the PROMO CODE ‘LLINK’.  It’s a collection of stylish, comfortable and functional clothes for the expectant or nursing mother.  Stylish clothes while breastfeeding?  Yep, it’s true.  Shelley, the owner and designer behind the Loyal Hana line has a vision that you don’t have to sacrifice style while pregnant or breastfeeding.  Kudos to her for providing breastfeeding mamas lots of options – from tees to sweaters to dresses and jumpsuits.  My favorite part?  All her items come equipped with built-in zippers on each side of the chest for easy access to breastfeeding.  You can go from play time to breastfeeding easily and comfortably, without completely disrobing!  Let me show you what I mean.

two moms and their children

Here are a few of my clients wearing Loyal Hana tops at a recent play date with their little ones.

mom reading a book to her child

Notice the discreet built-in zipper on the ‘Alex’ sweater in grey (Upper left shoulder).

baby breastfeeding with a breastfeeding sweater

Jenica is using the side-lying position to breastfeed her sweet baby girl, and the ‘Alex’ sweater maintains a lot of coverage throughout.  No untucking/re-tucking undershirts or stretching out your top by pulling it up or down for breastfeeding access.

baby reading a book with its mom

Jessica and Lily easily go from playtime to feeding session with the Audrey top.

baby breastfeeding with breastfeeding sweater

Jessica is using the cross-cradle position here (nursing pillow is Ergobaby).

lactation consultant with two moms

 

Hope you enjoyed this post and take a minute to checkout Loyal Hana’s line and don’t forget to use promo code ‘LLINK’ for 25% off your total purchase.  Learn about more breastfeeding positions in my video breastfeeding classes and in-person breastfeeding classes.  Come say hi on instagram today. Photography in this post by Janae Kristen photography.

Thanks for coming by today,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Shipley with black jacket

mom learning how to breastfeed correctly

Tuesday Tools – Both Hands Make a “C”

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Features, Recommended Products

In my Breastfeeding Basics class (offered in-person and online) I spend about ten minutes going over latch.  I focus so much teaching here because I find that the majority of my personal consultations are spent improving or correcting a poor latch.  Difficulty with latch is also one of the top 3 reasons mothers wean their infants.

Today for my Tuesday Tools I’m sharing “Both Hands Make a C” when learning the cross-cradle breastfeeding position (one of my favorites to teach).

women in a class

Here I am in a recent Breastfeeding Basics class teaching the attendees about making a C with their hands when latching their infants.  (Nursing Pillow is from Ergobaby).

baby being breastfed

Here you can see one hand is ‘making a C’ supporting the breast.  Keep in mind not to get too close to the nipple or areola.  You don’t want to get in baby’s way!  You can see the other hand is ‘making a C’ by supporting baby’s neck and her fingers are placed loosely below the infant’s ears.  The palm is resting in-between the shoulder blades.

Hope this helps!  More great tips like this in my breastfeeding video classes – Breastfeeding Basics, Intermediate Breastfeeding, and Pumping and Storing Breastmilk.  Once you purchase the classes they can viewed over and over and they never expire!  In-person class dates coming up are 12/10, 1/16, 2/20, 3/12, and 4/9.  If you’d like me to come to your area, I would love to travel for a class size of 5-10. Email me to arrange.

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey head shot

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

Lindsey head shot

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.

What to do when baby won’t latch

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Home/Hospital Visits, Recommended Products

Getting baby latched

There is so much emphasis placed on getting a good latch when breastfeeding.  A good latch will help avoid nipple pain and breakdown, lead to more efficient milk removal and an overall good milk supply.  It is important!  But what happens when, despite great technique and positioning, baby won’t latch?  There are more obvious reasons why certain babies may take a little longer to get the hang of it.  For example: prematurity, a difficult delivery, or an oral abnormality to name a few.  Other times, it can take a full-term healthy baby a little longer to catch on for seemingly no reason at all!  I make sure to teach Moms in my classes what to do when baby won’t latch.  This way, if it ends up happening, they are calm and prepared instead of panicked!

Plan B

If baby won’t latch, it is still important to get them needed calories.  After several hours without a good feed, nursing staff will check blood glucose levels.  If those levels drop low enough, it may even mean admittance to the special care nursery or NICU.  Many times when blood sugar is low the first suggestion is formula supplementation with a bottle.  We know from research that early formula supplementation puts you at a higher risk for early weaning.  From my experience, I’ve found that introducing a bottle early on amidst latching problems only makes things worse.  Here’s an alternative that is low-tech, requires little equipment, and works very well to deliver needed calories without the use of a bottle.

breast hand expression in a hospital

Using hand expression to collect colostrum in a spoon

mom feeding baby with a spoon

Delivering expressed colostrum via a spoon

mom and baby eating

Sometimes, offering a few drops of colostrum on a spoon is enough to coat babies tongue, and stimulate them to latch on.  Other times it may take several feeds of delivering the colostrum this way, coupled with frequent attempts at the bare breast to get a good latch.

mom getting help to breastfeed her child

Latching baby to breast

mom swaddling her baby

baby swaddled in a blanketI hope this helps!  One Mom told me, “I’m so glad I took your class!  It took several days for my baby to latch on properly.  The whole time I was relaxed and prepared because I knew how to feed my baby in the meantime while keeping my goal of exclusive breastfeeding in mind.” ~ Maddie

I’m here to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be!  I’m here to provide all the research and options, but I’m a firm believer that “Mama Knows Best”.  I love when Moms tell me that my classes helped them have a good breastfeeding experience.  Breastfeeding Basics is available in-person in Highland, UT (upcoming dates 11/14 and 12/10) and all 3 of my video courses are available to view individually or in a bundle.  The video courses come with an outline for note-taking.  They also never expire and can be watched over and over!  Come say hi on instagram today! The nursing pillow I use in my consultations is from Ergobaby and the photography in this post is by Lizzy Jean Photography.

I’ve created this great 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 coming by today,

Lindsey head shot

~ Lindsey, RN, IBCLC

lindsey@lactationlink.com