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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 | One Comment

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

{Plum Pretty Sugar Robe}

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

    {Plum Pretty Sugar Robe}

  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

{Dock a Tot}

  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

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

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.

 

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Pros & Cons for Each Breastfeeding Position

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 the pros and cons for various breastfeeding positions. Enjoy!

In general, any position is just fine as long as mom is comfortable and baby is able to get....

In many breastfeeding pictures you come across on social media or in other places, you may notice that lots of moms feed in a cradle or cross-cradle position.  In fact, many hospital nurses are only familiar with cradle positions!  Our in-person and video classes, however, go over many different breastfeeding positions commonly used for breastfeeding.  It can be great to have all these different tools in your toolbox for when baby is tired, distracted, you need to rest, your nipples are sore, or baby is having trouble latching.

What are the positions?

Check out our classes for detailed information and video how-to’s, but some great breastfeeding positions are:

  • Cradle & cross cradle
  • Football
  • Laid back / Biological Nurturing
  • Side lying

As baby gets older and more acrobatic in his nursing, you may notice that you experience some very creative and non-traditional breastfeeding positions!  In general, any position is just fine as long as mom is comfortable and baby is able to get all the milk he needs.

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Which breastfeeding positions should I use?

The answer to what position you should use is just like the answer to so many breastfeeding questions- it depends!  Baby’s age and size, your breast size and shape, the type of birth you had and how you’re recovering, and many other things can influence what position you’ll find most comfortable for you and your baby.  

I’m going to go over the most common breastfeeding positions and give some pros and cons to them to help you decide what might be best for you.  Remember that sometimes you don’t know if you’ll like it until you try!

Pros & Cons to Breastfeeding Positions

Cradle & cross cradle

  • The most common positions and your nurse at the hospital is probably familiar with them and can help you adjust some
  • When latching baby with the cross-cradle, you can help steady his head and bring him gently and quickly to your breast when he opens wide.  Sometimes moms can be nervous and this position can help them feel more in control!
  • Many moms find cradling baby’s head in their forearm/elbow to feel comfortable and natural, and leaves their other arm to do something else (hold a remote or reach for that snack!)
  • Many nursing pillows are designed for the cradle positions and can help raise baby higher without too much strain from mom, and can help position baby tummy-to-tummy with mom.
  • When nursing in public, this position covers your postpartum tummy with baby’s body!
  • Many moms use this position successfully from baby’s birth day until weaning day, no matter how old baby is when that happens!
Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Cross Cradle hold

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Cross Cradle hold

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Cradle hold

Football

  • Many moms who had a cesarean birth find this position most comfortable since it doesn’t press baby’s body onto your abdomen.
  • It is usually able to be used with nursing pillows, especially if you rotate the pillow to your side.
  • You can steady baby’s head with your hand as you bring him gently and quickly to your breast when he opens wide.  
  • Some moms find baby latches better and seems more cozy in this position since they are so tight against mom and their legs don’t hang at all.  If baby is sleepy, though, it might make baby fall right to sleep due to the coziness.
  • Depending on baby’s size and mom’s breast size, football position can be tricky in public.  It’s generally easier to achieve a good latch when you have pillows behind you, which isn’t always possible at a restaurant or the mall!
  • Usually most compatible with smaller and younger babies.
Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

{Football hold} + {Plum Pretty Sugar Robe}

Laid back / Biological Nurturing

  • This is a great position for mom to relax or even catch a little nap with her feet up!
  • Some babies are more comfortable on their tummies, and this position allows baby to be on his tummy.
  • This is a great position to try when skin to skin.
  • Baby takes the lead with this position, which can feel strange for mom at first.  
  • It can feel very tricky at first, but remember that practice makes perfect!  Some moms find that having an IBCLC help them with this position for the first time to be helpful.  Many moms I see have their husbands help them the first few times with this one as they learn how to position baby and their breasts.  Other times Mom can sit back and watch baby latch unassisted. 
  • Being laid back can be great for mamas with oversupply or a forceful letdown because gravity helps to slow down the milk flow for baby.  Babies who get frustrated by choking on the milk in other positions often like this one.
  • Can be used with any age or size of baby.
  • Even if you are primarily using another position, reclining some can make any position more comfortable and prevent painful hunching over baby.
Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Laid back nursing + {Undercover Mama dress: use code LLINK for 20% off}

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Laid back nursing

Side lying

  • This can be a good position if you’ve had a difficult birth and it’s uncomfortable for you to sit for long periods.
  • Some moms find this position comes naturally, but some moms need a little help figuring out where to put their arms, breasts, and baby.  Having another person help position baby at first can be helpful, too.
  • This is not the best position for nursing in public since we don’t often have access to a bed or comfy spot to lay down and nurse when not at home.
  • Of course, this is one of the best positions for mom to take a nap while feeding! Just grab a nursing nightgown and a pillow for your head!
  • Many moms use this position over the whole course of breastfeeding, no matter baby’s age!  
Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Side lying + {Undercover Mama nursing dress: use code LLINK for 20% off}

Breastfeeding Positions: Pros and Cons via lactationlink.com

Feel free to come back and go over these pros and cons when baby enters a new stage and you need to try something new– babies always keep us on our toes!  For more information about how to achieve these positions, check out our Breastfeeding Basics class.  If you’re trying a position and it’s just not working, don’t hesitate to try another one and contact us for a consult to give you some personalized support.  Remember that the only rule when it comes to breastfeeding positions is that both mom and baby are comfortable and baby is getting what she needs!  

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, BS, IBCLC

References

Wilson-Clay, B. & Hoover, K. (2017). Positioning and latch in The Breastfeeding Atlas, 6th ed. Manchaca, Texas: LactNews Press.

Lauwers, J. & Swisher, A. (2011). Getting breastfeeding started in Counseling the nursing mother:  A lactation consultant’s guide, 5th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

How to breastfeed in public via lactationlink.com Photos by Leilani Rogers of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project

How to breastfeed in public

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips

Hi mamas, I’m Lacey Parr, a certified lactation educator counselor and mom of 3. I’m here today to talk about something I am particularly passionate about… helping moms feel confident to breastfeed in public! Enjoy! Special thanks to Leilani Rogers of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project for the images in this post.

How to properly breastfeed in public

Breastfeeding In Public: How to Find Your Confidence

When it comes to breastfeeding in public, there seems to be a lot controversy around the topic. Our newsfeeds seem to be flooded with stories about moms being shamed about breastfeeding away from home. But is that the real story? Is it wrong to breastfeed in public? How could it be wrong to feed your baby? I’m here to remind you that the shaming and eye-rolling situations are the exceptions, not the rule. Millions of mothers feed their babies in millions of places each day without any issue. But since this can be a sensitive issue that some new moms feel uncomfortable with, let’s talk about some topics with public breastfeeding so you can breastfeed in public places with confidence!

  • Reasons to consider breastfeeding wherever you go
  • State & Federal Laws: What Are Your Rights?
  • How to address others
  • Where To Breastfeed in Public
  • Tips for Breastfeeding in Public
  • Breastfeeding in public stories

How to breastfeed in public via lactationlink.com Photos by Leilani Rogers of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project

Reasons to consider breastfeeding wherever you go

One of the top reasons mothers wean has to do with apprehension about breastfeeding in public. I want to help dispel those concerns today. We all eat when we are hungry and so, your baby requires the same thing. Yes, they may need to feed more often and what may seem like at the most inconvenient times, but all they know is that they are hungry and that you satisfy that need. Let’s talk about some of the reasons breastfeeding on the go is easier than an alternative:

  • Your milk is always the right temperature.
  • Nothing extra to carry. You’ve got all the “equipment” with you.  
  • Not having to worry about feeling engorged when out and about.
  • It’s a great way to connect with baby during your busy day together. Baby is taking in all the sights and sounds of being in a public place. Resting to nurse and just focusing on you will help baby to feel calm and secure.

How to breastfeed in public via lactationlink.com Photos by Leilani Rogers of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project

State & Federal Laws: What Are Your Rights?

The majority of states have laws on the books that protect a mother’s right to breastfeed in any location that she has the legal right to be (1). Learn your state’s specific law at breastfeedinglaw.com. So keep on nursing! It’s your right. In addition, this knowledge can create confidence, especially if someone were to confront you about feeding your baby in public. 

How to address others

In the case that someone does react negatively to your legal right to feed your child, here are a few responses that have been empowering to other moms:

  • “I have the legal right to be here and to feed my infant.”
  • “Oh? You aren’t comfortable with me keeping my baby alive in public?”
  • “Your comfort is not my concern. My concern is my baby’s comfort.”
  • “You can look away if you aren’t comfortable with my feeding my infant.”

If you are like me and try to avoid others when breastfeeding out and about or have an easily distracted baby, finding a good spot is key. Read on how to find a great spot to breastfeed in public.

How to breastfeed in public via lactationlink.com Photos by Leilani Rogers of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project
Where To Breastfeed in Public

When your baby gets hungry while out and about for the first time, you might look about frantically for a good spot.  Here are a few places that some moms have found helpful:

  • In a carrier. Feeding while walking around can make a new mom feel like a pro – comfortable for baby and people may not even be able to tell you’re breastfeeding. Read our tips on breastfeeding in a carrier here.
  • In the shade if you’re outside on a hot day.
  • Many public places have a nursing room, research locations or the Pumpspotting app for the closest one.
  • Out of the hustle and bustle. Often a quiet corner can be a great place to get a baby quieted and ready to nurse.
  • If you are in a health clinic or office and would like a private room, just ask! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many people want to accommodate you.
  • Anywhere and wherever you want.

Remember, you have a right to feed your baby whenever and wherever you need.  Read on for 5 tried and true tips for breastfeeding in public from moms who have successfully nursed their children wherever they go.

How to breastfeed in public via lactationlink.com Photos by Leilani Rogers of the Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project

Tips for Breastfeeding in Public

  1. Relax. Find a nice spot where your baby will be less distracted. Drop your shoulders, push your hips forward in your chair and get comfy. You’re feeding your baby, that is all. When you are relaxed, your baby can be relaxed as well.
  2. Use a cover, or not. Decide on the amount of coverage (or not) you are comfortable with. Some moms feel more comfortable using a cover (we love Covered Goods). Some babies nurse well under them, as they can help block out noisy distractions. Other babies kick them off. Do whatever works best for you and your baby.
  3. The two-shirt method. I like to use what is often referred to as the two-shirt method. This is when Undercover Mama (use LLINK for 20% off!) tanks really come in handy. I reach under my shirt to pull down my bra/tank and then latch baby as I lift my shirt. Easy-peasy. My t-shirt covers the top of my breast, my tank covers my stomach and baby covers the rest.
  4. Use a carrier. I have found this to be the easiest way to nurse in public. Ergobaby’s babywearing educator wrote a blog post about this for us recently.
  5. Give yourself a pat on the back. You are feeding your baby beautifully wherever you are.

Breastfeeding in public stories

We have collected some stories from real moms who found confidence breastfeeding in public. I hope they inspire you as well!

“I was away from baby most of the day working. My husband came to pick me up from my event. But at the last minute, a bunch of women came to my table to try and buy product. So, I just latched baby on and kept working. It was a beautiful experience with all the women being supportive and being my hands!” -D. R. Vigil

“I was at a store with a 2 month old and my 2 other crazy boys ages  4 and 2. It was around Christmastime and we were waiting in line for an online pickup. I wasn’t going to leave the line to feed her so I fed her right there in line standing up and the two women behind me were so nice and in awe that I could multi-task so well! Haha. I am grateful they were so helpful and nice while I was feeding my baby. I don’t think I ever felt so much confidence in breastfeeding in public before that experience.” -A. Denney 

“I saw a photo from early in American history where women were openly nursing in church. I thought, ‘if it was modest and accepted in THEIR day, it definitely should be in our’s. If someone take issue with isn’t, that is their problem, Not mine.’ Now I nurse in church and just about everywhere else.” -J. P. Bellinger 

I hope that you can remember that breastfeeding wherever you go is a great choice for you and baby. Understanding that breastfeeding is your right and protected by law can be empowering! Know that there are many options for breastfeeding in public and no wrong way to do it! I hope this reduces any stress or concern you have about breastfeeding in public. Remember that all of us at Lactation Link are cheering you on.

Thanks for stopping by,

How to breastfeed in public via lactationlink.com

Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC

Sources

  1. http://breastfeedinglaw.com/federal-law/
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!

6-day

Thanks for stopping by,

headshots-lactation-link-2-1

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.

 

 

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.

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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).

How to Know if Your Baby is Getting Enough Breastmilk

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Home/Hospital Visits

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Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, an IBCLC and mom to 5. I’m here today to answer our most commonly asked question!

A Lactation Consultant's tips on how to know if your baby is getting enough...

One of the most common questions lactation consultants get is, “How do I know if my baby is getting enough?”  Our culture is so used to measuring and knowing numbers and figures!  It can be hard for us to switch our brains over and trust our bodies and our babies.

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dsc_2482Since our breasts don’t come with measuring lines on them, we need other ways to be sure your baby is thriving from breastfeeding.

How to know if your baby is getting enough breastmilk:

  • Baby’s growth. Baby is growing well—weight gain is important; but weight gain is not the only growth measurement that pediatricians track!  Is baby growing in length and head circumference in addition to weight?
  • Diaper output. About 6+ wet diapers and 3+ dirty diapers per day for the first couple of months.  Sometimes babies go longer without pooping; this can be normal in babies over a month old.  Remember: it can’t come out if it’s not going in!
  • Baby’s behavior. Baby is content—all babies get fussy, but a well-fed baby will usually have periods of sound sleep and have content periods during the day.
  • Baby’s development. Baby is developing appropriately and your pediatrician is happy with his or her development.
  • Breast softness. You usually feel some relief after nursing and notice your breasts are a bit softer even if they fill again quickly.

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If you can tick through that list successfully, then it is likely your breastfeeding relationship is thriving!  If you’re not sure that you or your baby is doing well, we’d love to have an in-person  or e-consult with you! If you’d like to learn more ways to promote your own breastfeeding success, check out our video class bundle. The classes go over everything you need to know to meet your breastfeeding goals!

Another way I’d love to share some breastfeeding wisdom with you is with our Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips. Click the image below to access them.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

get answers to breastfeeding questions from a lactation consultant

Lactation Link featured on Romper

By | Breastfeeding, breastfeeding tips, Features, Media

Today, one of our IBCLCs, Kristin Gourley is answering questions about breastfeeding on Romper. She writes about the interactions between breastfeeding and birth control, breastfeeding while pregnant and gives tips on weaning.

answers to breastfeeding questions from a lactation consultant“Weaning is hard,” Gourley says. “Some moms experience some hormonal swings and all-over-the-place emotions after weaning. It should pass in a few weeks, but that may be playing into your feelings. It’s hard not to second guess ourselves as parents with so many different decisions.” She suggests that if you want to try breastfeeding again, you may be able to rebound your supply and get baby back to breast with the help of an IBCLC. “But it’s OK to stay weaned and to enjoy your new relationship with your baby Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s not as close,” Gourley says.

Read more at Romper.

Have you signed up yet for our free Confident Breastfeeding Course? Click the image below for more info.

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Reasons & solutions for nipple pain

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Lactation Link team
reasons and solutions for breastfeeding nipple pain from lactationlink.com

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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.

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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5 ways grandparents can support breastfeeding

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

Hi mamas! I’m Lacey, a certified lactation educator and mom of three. I’m here today to talk about how grandparents and family members can support a new or seasoned mom while she is breastfeeding her new baby.

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I am grateful I had family that supported my decision to breastfeed. Mothers and grandmothers can be very influential to a new mother. By driving me to breastfeeding consultations and sometimes latching the baby herself, my mother gave me the strength and courage to keep going.  When I was struggling, she recalled what helped her through breastfeeding struggles. She encouraged and supported me and when she didn’t have the answers, she helped me find them. 

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How grandparents can help support breastfeeding

  1. Buy a breastfeeding class off mom’s registry. Our breastfeeding video classes are available to be added to a Babylist registry! Our classes cover everything from positioning, latch and common problems with breastfeeding.
  2. Encourage and uplift. Support her decision to breastfeed by encouraging and complimenting her on the gift she is giving her baby.
  3. Help around the house. Help with meals and housework. If mom has other children, take them for a fun outing.
  4. Be the door bouncer. Well-meaning family and friends might want to stop by the hospital or home to see new mom and baby. If the new mom isn’t comfortable with visitors yet, be the “bouncer” so mom doesn’t have to turn away them away herself.
  5. Cuddle and swaddle baby. Sometimes grandparents want to help by feeding baby for mom. In the early days, it’s usually best that baby be at the breast to help encourage a healthy milk supply. Support the new mom by bonding with baby after a feed when mom needs a break.

Learn 5 ways grandmas can support a new breastfeeding mother. Learn how grandmas can be the bouncer. Send this to your mom, thank us later!

How did your mother or grandmother help you breastfeed? 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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Photos by Cate Johnson.

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Lacey Parr, CLEC

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Sources

Mueffelmann, Rebecca E. , Racine, Elizabeth F., Warren-Findlow, Jan, & Coffmann, Maren J.,  (2015). Perceived infant feeding preferences of significant family members and mothers’ intentions to exclusively breastfeed. Journal of Human Lactation, vol. 31 (no. 3), 479-489. 

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