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Why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS via lactationlink.com

What is SIDS and how can breastfeeding reduce my baby’s risk?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

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!

 

Even small amounts of breastmilk offer some safety from SIDS, and exclusive breastfeeding offers the best risk reduction. Let's take a look at the....

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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.

Why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS via lactationlink.com

While researchers still have a lot to learn about this tragic condition, multiple studies have found something that I’m very interested in as a lactation consultant: Breastfed babies have a decreased risk of SIDS by 50% or more (2). The protection seems to increase the more mother’s milk your baby gets (i.e. how much of baby’s food source comes from breastmilk).  Even small amounts of breastmilk offer some safety from SIDS, and exclusive breastfeeding offers the best risk reduction (3). Let’s take a look at the research to find out more.

Why does breastfeeding make a difference?

We don’t know exactly why breastfeeding protects babies, but there are a few theories. First of all, illnesses like diarrhea and upper respiratory infections happen more often for babies who are not breastfed, and these minor illnesses have frequently been associated with SIDS (4).  Another theory is that breastmilk provides optimal nutrition for brain development and this could help at-risk babies’ brains mature so that they have the normal response of gasping for air when they should.

Why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS via lactationlink.com

The typical sleep patterns of breastfed babies might also offer some clues as to why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS. Researchers have found that breastfed babies generally sleep for shorter stretches and are a lot easier to wake from active sleep than non-breastfed babies (5,6). Shorter sleep stretches and being more easily woken could be another piece of the protection puzzle.

If just hearing the news that breastfed babies have shorter sleep stretches makes you feel more exhausted, listen up! Exclusively breastfeeding mothers (and their partners) get more sleep and spend more time in deep sleep than mothers who are not breastfeeding, even though their babies tend to wake more frequently at night (7,8).  This is because breastfed babies and their moms fall back asleep faster.  It’s pretty fantastic that breastfeeding can help you get more rest AND protect your baby at the same time.

Why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS via lactationlink.com

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What causes SIDS?

Scientists still don’t know exactly why some babies die without explanation, but recent research points to the possibility of brain stem abnormalities that prevent some babies from being able to rouse from sleep and gasp for air when their blood oxygen levels are too low. (9,10,11). These babies seem to be in more danger when other risk factors for SIDS are present and babies are younger than 6 months. The four biggest risk factors are (12):

  • Household smoking
  • Putting a baby on his or her stomach for sleep
  • Leaving a sleeping baby unattended
  • Formula feeding

Why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS via lactationlink.com

There is no way to know ahead of time if your baby has the condition researchers describe, so the best way to protect babies is for all parents to take measures to reduce the most common and avoidable risk factors:

  1. If you smoke, try to quit.  At the very least, don’t allow anyone to smoke inside your house or car or around your baby.
  2. Always put your baby on his or her back to sleep.
    Why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS via lactationlink.com

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  1. Keep your baby close at night. There are many different sleeping arrangements that can keep your baby close (and safe) at night, which can also make nighttime feedings easier and help you get more rest (13):
  • A bassinet or cradle next to your bed
  • Baby’s crib attached to your bed in a “side-car” arrangement (no gaps or wedges present)
  • A “co-sleeper” bed that attaches to your bed
  • Baby put to sleep on a mattress on the floor away from the walls in your room, so you can lie down and sleep while breastfeeding the baby and return to your own bed after the baby goes back to sleep.
  • Baby sleeps in your bed, either for part of the night– after he or she awakens the first time– or for the whole night. Read our article on How to Co-sleep Safely for more information.
Why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS via lactationlink.com

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  1. Breastfeed. The #1 rule is always feed the baby, so if formula is necessary, use it. If it’s not necessary, try to avoid it. Remember that the more of your milk your baby gets, the lower the risk of SIDS. Some breastfeeding is definitely better than none. A visit with a lactation consultant (IBCLC) can help you maximize the amount of your milk that your baby will get. Lactation Link’s IBCLCs are available for home and hospital visits for families in our geographic area and secure video e-consults for families everywhere else. We are always happy to support mothers with their breastfeeding questions and goals.

Why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS via lactationlink.com

Information like this is exactly why I’m so passionate about supporting families with feeding their babies. Breastfeeding isn’t just a lifestyle choice or another way to get food into babies, it is the biological norm for nurturing babies and supporting their overall growth and development and helps make healthy families and communities.

Why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS via lactationlink.com

Here at Lactation Link, we want to support you! Our breastfeeding video courses can help you get a great start to your breastfeeding relationship, and our lactation consultants are available to help you with any concerns that pop up along the way. Let us help you reach your breastfeeding goals, whatever they may be.

Thanks for stopping by,

Get in-person or online help with breastfeeding.

Stephanie Weight Hadfield, BS, IBCLC

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Sources

(1) Centers for Disease Control (2017, February 1). Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Data and Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/sids/data.htm

(2) Hauck, F.R., Thompson, J.M., Tanabe, K.O., et al. Breastfeeding and reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome: a meta-analysis. Pediatrics 128, no.1 (2011): 103-110.

(3) McVea, K. L. S. P., Turner, P. D., & Peppler, D. K. (2000). The role of breastfeeding in sudden infant death syndrome. Journal of Human Lactation, 16 13-20

(4) Dujits, L., Jaddoe, V. W., Hofman, A., & Moll, H. A. (2010). Prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of infectious diseases in infancy. Pediatrics, 126, e18-e25

(5) Quillin, S. I., & Glenn, L. L. (2004) Interaction between feeding method and co-sleeping on maternal-newborn sleep. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 33(5), 580-588.

(6) Ball, H. L. (2003). Breastfeeding, bed-sharing, and infant sleep. Birth, 3 30(3), 181-188.

(7) Doan, T., Gardiner, A., Gay, C. L., & Lee, K. A. (2007). Breastfeeding increases sleep duration of new parents. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing. 21(3), 200-206.

(8) Blyton, D. M., Sullivan, C. E., and Edwards, N. (2002). Lactation is associated with an increase in slow-wave sleep in women. Journal of Sleep Research, 11(4), 297-303.

(9) Kinney, H. C. (2005). Abnormalities of the brainstem serotonergic system in the sudden infant death syndrome: A review. Pediatric and Developmental Pathology, 8, 507-524.

(10) Kinney, H. C., Randall, L. L., Sleeper, L. A., et al. (2003). Serotonergenic brainstem abnormalities in Northern Plains Indians with the sudden infant death syndrome. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, 62, 1178-1191.

(11) Paterson, D. S., Trachtenberg, F. L., Thompson, E. G., et al. (2006). Multiple serotonergenic brainstem abnormalities in sudden infant death syndrome. Journal of the American Medical Association, 296, 2124-2132.

(12) Moon, R.Y., et al. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths; expansion of recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics 128, no.5 (2011): 1030:1039.

(13) Mohrbacher, N. (2010) Breastfeeding answers made simple: A guide for helping mothers. Amarillo, TX: Hale.

 

3 amazing breastfeeding benefits for moms via lactationlink.com

3 amazing breastfeeding benefits for moms

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support

We see so much in the news, on blogs, and on social media about the benefits of breastfeeding for baby– for good reason, breastfeeding is GREAT for babies!  But did you know that research shows that breastfeeding also provides long-term health benefits for moms too?  Here are my three top reasons that breastfeeding benefits mom’s health:

3 amazing breastfeeding benefits for moms via lactationlink.com

3 Amazing Breastfeeding Benefits for Moms

  1. Breastfeeding improves the overall health of women.  When a mother breastfeeds, she is reducing her risk of reproductive cancers as well as other common health problems. A great way to decrease your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is to breastfeed (1). Breastfeeding also reduces your risk of ovarian cancer.  The longer you breastfeed, in fact, the greater reduction in your risk.  Other health issue risks reduced by breastfeeding are hypertension and heart attack. (2)
  2. Breastfeeding moms get more sleep. It may seem counterintuitive if you’re a tired mama waking often to nurse your little one back to sleep, but it’s true!  Multiple studies have found that exclusive breastfeeding moms sleep more hours, are healthier physically, and have more energy than formula feeding mothers. What an amazing breastfeeding benefit that we all need! (3, 3a)
  3. Longer duration before fertility returns, but more thorough return to pre-pregnant state: Did you know that a mom’s uterus returns to its pre-pregnant size much faster if the mom is breastfeeding?  Weight loss can vary among breastfeeding moms, but mom’s uterus size going back to normal is definitely influenced by breastfeeding (4). Also, breastfeeding is much more likely to keep your period away after birth.  Exclusive breastfeeding–following baby’s lead day and night–can prevent your menstrual cycle from returning for a time and even be used as a reliable form of birth control for up to six months as long as you don’t have any vaginal bleeding in that time period (5).  If this sounds like an option for you, you can discuss natural family planning methods with your healthcare provider.  

3 amazing breastfeeding benefits for moms via lactationlink.com

Breastfeeding can seem overwhelming sometimes and it’s hard as a mama to be on-call 24/7 for your little one, but reviewing the benefits for not just baby but also for you can be a great motivator when the going gets tough.  What breastfeeding benefit has been most impactful for you as a mom?  I’d love to hear in the comments.

 For more info on breastfeeding benefits for both mom and baby, check out our Confident Breastfeeding Course!

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

 

References

(1) Newcomb, P.A., Storer, B.E., Longnecker, M.P., et al. (1994). Lactation and a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer. New England Journal of Medicine. 330:81-87.

(2) Schwarz, E. B., Ray, R. M., Stuebe, A. M., Allison, M. A., Ness, R. B., Freiberg, M. S., & Cauley, J. A. (2009). Duration of Lactation and Risk Factors for Maternal Cardiovascular Disease. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 113(5), 974–982. http://doi.org/10.1097/01.AOG.0000346884.67796.ca

(3) Kendall-Tackett, K., Cong, Z., Hale, T.W. (2011). The effect of feeding method on sleep duration, maternal well-being, and postpartum depression. Clinical Lactation 2(2): 22-26.

(3a) Doan, T., Gardiner, A., Gay, C.L., Lee, K.A. (2007). Breastfeeding increases sleep duration of new parents. Journal of perinatal and neonatal nursing 21(3), 200-206.

(4) Negishi, H., Kishida, T., Yamada, H., Hirayama, E., Mikuni, M., Fujimoto, S. (1999). Changes in uterine size after vaginal delivery and cesarean section determined by vaginal sonography in the puerperium. Archives of gynecology and obstetrics 263(1-2), pp. 13-16.

(5) Riordan, J. & Wambach, K. (2010). Fertility, sexuality, and contraception during lactation. In Breastfeeding and human lactation (4th ed., p. 705-736). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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.

 

 

Can I breastfeed if I have surgery?

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

can i breastfeed if i have surgery? via lactationlink.com

Today we are continuing our series, “Can I breastfeed if…?” It’s not uncommon for moms to need to undergo surgery while she is breastfeeding. I myself had 3 unexpected surgeries while breastfeeding my daughter. To be able to breastfeed after surgery can be a way to help mom feel that she is back to normal after her procedure. I hope this post can reassure you that breastfeeding does not need to be interrupted for surgery.

Learn how and when breastfeeding is compatible w/ surgery. Many moms are able to breastfeed after surgery without problems. Can I breastfeed…

Can I breastfeed if I have to have surgery?

Almost always, yes! There is no contraindication to breastfeeding while fasting if that is necessary before your procedure.  Many mothers worry about sedation medications or anesthesia affecting their infants but, if you have a healthy baby, once you are awake enough to hold and nurse your baby, the anesthesia has left your system enough to not be an issue for baby(1).  Also, many prescription and over-the-counter pain medications are compatible with breastfeeding if that is necessary.  

Can I breastfeed if I need surgery? via Lactationlink.com || Breastfeeding support and education

As you can see, breastfeeding is compatible with most situations!  Even if breastfeeding has to be stopped for a short period of time, it can usually be resumed.  If you need information about pumping and storing for a planned breastfeeding break, be sure to check out our Pumping and Storing breastmilk video class. If you have further questions or a complex situation, don’t hesitate to schedule a consult to figure out how to best meet your breastfeeding goals no matter what is going on!

Thanks for stopping by,

lindsey-headshot-white-with-grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Sources

(1) Montgomery, A., & Hale, T. W. (2012). ABM Clinical Protocol #15: Analgesia and Anesthesia for the Breastfeeding Mother, Revised 2012. Breastfeeding Medicine,7(6), 547-553. doi:10.1089/bfm.2012.9977

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

kelley and family

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,

lindsey-headshot-white-with-grey

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

4 tips to getting more rest with a newborn

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Classes

4 tips to getting more rest with a newborn
Rest is such an important component to wellness as a mom with a newborn! I’m joking, right? How am I going to get rest with a brand new baby? But! Not making rest a priority can lead to a decreased milk supply and is also a risk factor for MASTITIS.

4 tips to getting more rest with a newborn! Rest is an important component to wellness, if you don't make rest a priority it can lead to...

Here are my top tips for getting rest with a newborn:

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  1. Plan to “make no plans” for the first several weeks postpartum. Eliminate as many extra activities as possible and focus on breastfeeding and resting.
  2. Practice the side lying breastfeeding position until it is second nature. Being able to lie down while nursing is a lifesaver.
  3. Setup play groups and carpools for your other kids.
  4. Consider extra help for the first few weeks – housekeeping, laundry service, meals (may cost some money but a small investment to decrease stress, maintain milk supply, and avoid formula costs).

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These tips and MORE like how to make a postpartum breastfeeding plan in my video breastfeeding classes. Any rest tips of your own? Share in comments!

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

When should I wean?

By | Breastfeeding, breastfeeding tips, Classes

toddler breastfeeding

When to wean?

When questioned about when to wean from breastfeeding, I like to point parents to the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on breastfeeding when answering this question. The AAP recommends all infants be exclusively breastfed until 6 months and then adding complementary foods.  They recommend to continue breastfeeding until a year, or as long as it is mutually desired by mother and child. Worldwide ages of weaning range from a few months to a few years. 

When's the right time to wean your baby from breastfeeding? I refer parents to...

Personal choice

Like I discuss in my Breastfeeding Basics 102 class, most babies will not self-wean until 18 months old or older.  It’s important when making this decision that you remember the benefits of breastfeeding do not end at a certain age. Your milk continues to supply your child with antibodies, anti-allergens, growth factors and anti-viruses throughout the breastfeeding relationship. Some research shows that when breastfeeding for over a year, you milk has “significantly increased fat and energy contents” to benefit your child’s nutrition. When it comes to weaning, it’s really up to you and your baby!

What affected your decision to wean? Share in the comments.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Source:

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

Tips for breastfeeding in a carrier from a babywearing educator

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Classes, Features, motherhood

woman breasfeeding her child using a carrier

We are excited to have Laura Brown, a certified babywearing educator with Ergobaby with us today! To celebrate International Babywearing Week, she will be sharing her tips with us on how to breastfeed while wearing your baby in a carrier. Thanks for sharing with us Laura!

Breastfeeding in a carrier made simple with these tips from a baby wearing expert!

  1. Make sure you having breastfeeding upright down before trying out in your carrier. You can either lie back, have baby gently straddling you, or even practice side lying and breastfeeding to get your latch down.
  2. Know your carrier and its features well, as well as how to put it on comfortably on your own so you feel confident before attempting breastfeeding in it. Most carriers also have hoods you can use if you if baby is distracted or you’d like some additional privacy.
  3. Practice! Practice at home or another environment where you feel comfortable before trying out and about. Try latching baby on before baby is crying and upset, when baby is content and curious. Move and sway if you need to.
  4. Dress in a way that makes it easy for access to the breast. Crossover tops and nursing tanks work well, or the “two shirt method” where you layer one top over another so you can lift the top one up and bottom one down (like an envelope).
  5.  You will likely need to lower your carrier and possibly being breast up to meet baby. Practice lifting the edge of your buckles to release slack and drop baby down a few inches. If you still feel your breast is too low, you can put a rolled up washcloth under your breast, or you may want to try a soft cup bra rather than drop cup nursing bra which will give you a few inches of boost.
  6. Keep in mind the younger baby is, the more you may have to help guide until they have complete head and neck control. Don’t forget to lift baby back up and retighten your carrier once you’ve finished.

Laura Brown is a Certified Babywearing Educator with Ergobaby, posptartum doula, and the founder of BabywearingLA. She currently teaches classes and consults in Los Angeles.

 

ergobaby adapt carrierlatched while babywearing

breastfeeding dressThe carrier seen here is the Ergobaby Adapt, a new carrier that allows you to use from birth without an insert! The dress is Harper & Bay’s Raglan dress, which has side zippers to open for nursing!

How has breastfeeding while babywearing helped you? What has been your experience? Share in the comments. 

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

baby smiling at the camera

Top 3 tips for distracted breastfeeding + Chewable Charm promo code

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Recommended Products

“My baby is so distracted while breastfeeding – he is coming off the breast multiple times per session to look around the room.  Help!”  

baby chewing on his mom's necklaceThis is a statement I hear a lot on instagram and in my classes.  Distracted breastfeeding can be difficult for moms because it makes it tough to make it through a session!  This typically starts happening as baby gets older and more aware of his/her surroundings.  You can’t blame baby, he/she just wants to see what’s going on!  Here are a few tips to minimize the distraction and maximize the milk flow!

Distracted breastfeeding can be difficult for moms because it makes it tough to make it through a session. The first tip is...

  1. Try giving baby full eye contact — it’s easy to get distracted by your phone or the TV and sometimes baby is craving that one-on-one attention.
  2. Use a Chewable Charm teething necklace and/or a book to hold baby’s attention six inches away from the feeding session instead of six feet across the room! (Chewable Charm is offering 25% off your purchase today with code ‘LLINK’).
  3. Move to a quieter room so there’s less people walking in/out and less noise overall.

baby sitting on his mom's lap

I hope this helps!  A lot more great tips like this in my breastfeeding video classes.  They are great for anyone past 12 weeks in pregnancy and many moms take them after delivery too!

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,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

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How to Create Confidence in Motherhood

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Recommended Products

I’m so excited to have several women sharing on the blog today about their experiences as Moms.  These mamas are always giving great comments and input over on our instagram, I wanted to chat with them about something so important to me – confidence in motherhood.  At Lactation Link our motto is “Creating Confident Moms”, because I believe having knowledge and options helps you tap into your mothers intuition much more confidently!  I also believe strongly that ‘Mama Knows Best’, read on and you’ll know what I mean!

Whitney Fox

Mom and two children sitting in bed

I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and truthfully, I always thought I would be a pretty good one. When pregnant with my first daughter and for the first couple months of her life, I poured so much of myself into research. Research about everything. I needed to know I was doing the absolute best for her. I needed to know I was starting solids at the exact right time, I needed to know she got 30 minutes of tummy time a day, or met her milestones when she was supposed to ect.  That period in my life was the most stressful, confusing, pressuring time to date. I stressed every little thing I did, I was confused by all the contradicting information out there on how to mother, and I felt insane amount of pressure to measure up and to do what all this research told me I must. As time went on I slowly started to listen to myself.  There isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to babies or to us as moms! We all have different things we are comfortable with, different priorities, different values, different emotions, and so on. Same goes for our baby! I learned this especially after having my second, I had to relearn all new tricks and I had to find what worked for her because what worked for my oldest, didn’t work for her. Mother’s intuition is one of the strongest things I’ve experienced in life. There is such a special bond between a mother and a baby, and once I just slowed down, really listened, and trusted myself, that’s when my confidence came. Motherhood is so much more enjoyable when you trust yourself!

♥Whitney Fox is a mom of two gorgeous little girls and shares daily snippets on her instagram @_whitneyfox.

Amanda Sanchez

Baby sitting in mom's lap
Motherhood is a whirlwind, especially for us first-timers. I remember when I was pregnant I tried to keep myself calm and collected at all times, hoping it would carry over after my baby came and that I’d somehow magically be a calm, collected and confident mom. The truth is, confidence doesn’t just happen. For me, confidence as a new mom has come from the repetition of trying again and again each day. My little boy Benjamin is 4 months old now, and while breastfeeding has been going smoothly, some days he doesn’t eat as well as others. And it always makes me worry. But I just do my best, consult all my resources if I need help, and then try again tomorrow, and slowly overtime, I build confidence that I’ll know what to do if he has another day where he doesn’t eat well. The same goes for sleeping.
 
I’ve received a lot of motherhood advice over the past 6 months and most women have said, “Trust your instincts. Every baby is different. You’ll be surprised just how often you’ll know exactly what your baby needs.” This has helped me find confidence in the moment when I’m struggling to make the best decision for Benj. Should I put him down for a nap, or try to keep him up another hour? Should I pump and give him a bottle, or would he rather nurse? Should I bathe him now or wait until bedtime? The questions and self-doubts can seem endless. I think it’s important for us moms to stop and give ourselves credit along the way and know that we’re not alone, especially when our confidence is low. Motherhood is challenging for each of us, but the joy it brings also brings us together as women, and that’s a pretty incredible thing.
 
♥Amanda Sanchez is the mom of an adorable 4-month-old boy Benjamin.  She is the social media manager at Adobe and also runs the blog littlemissfearless.com.  She shares daily snippets on her IG @littlemissfearlessblog and her insight on fashion, feel-goods, and fitness on her blog.

Annie Staten

Mom and baby looking at each other

The best thing I’ve done to create confidence in motherhood is to trust my intuition and let it guide me to where I could learn and grow with an open heart and mind. It’s meant accepting that although I’m not the perfect mother, I’m truly meant to be my children’s mother. They are meant to be mine and together we are perfect.  The more I’ve practiced listening to my intuition as a woman, wife, and mother, the more confident I’ve become in my ability to recognize what that inner voice is saying. Sometimes it’s saying “no, this doesn’t feel right for my family” or “yes! these values or decisions fit into our family dynamic.” Listening to and practicing confidence in my motherly intuition has led me to discover the tribes of women I connect with who have helped me learn, grow and realize my potential as a mother.  When I implement using my motherly intuition on a consistent basis, my children benefit, my family reaps the reward of a confident (not perfect!) mom, and I feel I can manage the challenging and wonderful work of motherhood! @kthelinphotos

♥Annie Staten is a mama of four, including a set of twins!  She is a fitness, birth, and breastfeeding enthusiast as well as an IdealFit Athlete.  She shares a peak into her days on her IG @aejamba.

Alycia Crowley

Mom and baby looking at camera

As a first time mother, everything is new, and it can be hard finding confidence in anything your doing. Personally, I found confidence in learning as much as I could and then following through while trusting my instincts. I did this as I prepared for an unmedicated child birth, as well as breastfeeding. Each was a challenge that I came to with the tools I acquired, and then let my intuition fill in the gap. Preparation and instincts created a foundation of confidence, which turned into trust between the two of us. That trust is part of the sacred bond of mother and child. As I learned to take care of Ella the way Ella needed to be taken care of, it created a confidence that I knew her better than anyone else. I was her mother.

 
♥Alycia Crowley is a mom to her sweet Ella who is eleven months!  She is self-described as “Canadian born, California grown, and Utah Livin”!  She Shares life, style, and beauty tips on her IG @alyciagrace.  She also has a blog called Crowley Party.  Her latest project includes a tot apparel brand called lunabybaby.

Liz Cannon

Pregnant woman holding her stomach

The best thing that I have done to create confidence in motherhood is to surround myself with a village of other mothers. Some have similar aged kids, some are a few seasons ahead of me, and others are women whose kids are grown. We all have different skills, perspectives, and experiences that make us equipped for motherhood in unique ways. I love being able to sit with a friend and hear how she may be mothering in a completely opposite way but know that we can still be united by our deep love and desire to care for our children. Being in a community with other mothers has given me confidence to say without a doubt that I am the woman best suited to be the mother to my children and supplied me with endless tools to become a better mother. XO, Liz
 
♥Liz Cannon is mama to one little girl Elouise with another ‘Cannon baby’ on the way!  She recently started blogging and is sharing lots of great ideas for dressing a baby bump.  You can also catch her daily snapshots on her IG @mrsseacannon
 
Trisha Bell
Mom sitting on bed with infant and toddler
To me, confidence comes from within. It comes from happiness and positivity. It comes from “feeling good” about your every day choices. When you throw motherhood into the mix, it takes time to find a good healthy balance. You’ll make a lot of “wrong’s”, that will eventually lead to so many “rights”.. The key is to stay positive and to learn from the mistakes you make as a parent, instead of beating yourself up over them.
I’ve been through soooo much in my 26 years of life. At a young age, I knew I wanted to have a big family. I knew I wanted to be a mother. I just didn’t know about the struggles I would have to face, to get the 2 boys I was blessed with. I lost 3 little angels before I was finally blessed with my oldest, Urijah, who is now 3 and a half years old. We wanted our babes to be close in age, so we started trying for baby number 2 when Urijah was only 11 months old. Little did I know, we would lose 4 more pregnancies, before we would finally be blessed with our little Ezrah. But that wasn’t the end of our struggles. Our sweet Ezrah had complications at birth and was born with a severe brain injury. We almost lost him. We “should” have lost him – but, the positivity that I was able to find in our time of need, pushed us through the hardest times of our lives. I get it, how in the world do you find any type of positivity from a situation like ours? Well, you search and you search DEEP, but it’s there and you will find it. You can let your struggles beat you down to the ground -or- you can choose to rise above it. To let it empower you. Let it build you. Make you stronger.
My sons are my miracles. They are my heaven on earth. Choosing to be a positive person, has made me the best “Me” I could possibly be. And when I’m the best “me”, I know my kids and family life are well taken care of. I am confident as a parent, because I am in control of the way I choose to look at life. I am in control of the way “I do motherhood.”
 
Trisha Bell is a mom to two amazing boys Urijah and Ezra, and 7 in heaven.  She shares family happenings over on her blog and also daily snippets on her IG @trisha.bell.  She is a huge inspiration and source of support for other Moms who have experienced infant loss.

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I hope you guys LOVED all the submissions as much as me!  If you’d ever like to see a certain topic covered or apply to be a guest contributor, please email us at info@lactationlink.com.  Don’t forget about our first FACEBOOK LIVE Q&A Monday, August 7th at 7PM.  I’ll be there answering your questions, discussing upcoming classes/events, and answering FAQs about our breastfeeding video classes.  You must like us over on Facebook to have access to the Q&A.  Make sure to RSVP to be entered for our event giveaway (huge swag bag from Ergobaby!).  You can also leave a question in the event page comments – I’ll answer those questions first during the broadcast.

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Shipley - Lactation Consultant

 

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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World Breastfeeding Week Kickoff – Facebook Live Q&A

By | Breastfeeding, Classes

 

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Next week is WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK and we have so many fun giveaways, collaborations, guest blog posts and more lined up to celebrate with you!  Our kickoff event is going to be like a big LIVE hangout over on FACEBOOK LIVE.  Make sure you are following us on Facebook to have access! The event is Monday August 7th and you can RSVP here (RSVP enters you into our swag bag drawing!). You can also ask a question in the comments on the event page and I’ll answer those first!  I’ll be there sharing tips, answering your questions, talking about Frequently Asked Questions about our video breastfeeding classes, and giving away a swag bag during the event.  See you there!

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

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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