tips Archives - Lactation Link

3 Tips for increasing baby’s weight gain while breastfeeding

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

I work with Moms all the time in my consultations and classes who are concerned about their baby’s weight gain.  First off I’d like to mention that weight gain is just one piece of the well-baby puzzle.  There are several other indicators of wellness that include head and length growth, skin and muscle tone, ability to be active and vigorous, good diaper output, etc.  As an IBCLC, I try to assess each of these factors and not just the weight gain as the sole indicator for a baby’s overall wellness.  Additionally, if a baby is doing well in every other area, I think breastfeeding management between the breastfeeding dyad (mom and baby), the healthcare provider, and an IBCLC is a very reasonable approach.  Today I wanted to share a few tips on how to get baby more calories overall and encourage weight gain.


1 – Use hand expression during and between feeds

Hand expression can help in a few ways.  It can encourage efficient breast emptying when used while baby is latched on.

mom breastfeeding baby in the hospital
It can also be used in-between feeds to remove milk and deliver some extra calories.  A lot of times we think either breastfeeding or pumping.  Hand expression is a low-tech but highly efficient way to keep your milk supply up, and offer supplementation with your own breastmilk.  Once you express your breastmilk, you can offer it to your baby on a spoon or medicine cup.

baby being fed breast milk

You can learn about how to do hand expression in my video breastfeeding classes.

2 – Allow baby to go back to the same breast

When an infant self-detaches from the breast and comes up for a break, instead of switching sides, consider returning to the same breast.  This will increase the chances that baby has access to the fattier hind milk; hindmilk comes when the breast is drained more efficiently.

lactation consultant, mom and baby
{Nursing pillow by Ergobaby}

3 – Frequent feedings equal higher fat content

Don’t be alarmed at frequent feedings.  As long as baby is latching well and transferring breastmilk, there is no problem.  Babies are born with a strong desire to suck!  When you breastfeed frequently, the breastmilk tends to contain more fat.

mom holding her baby

I love to see babies happy and content in their mama’s arms!

lactation consultant talking to a mom

I hope this helps!  I have a few in-person breastfeeding classes coming up in Utah (2/20, 3/12, and 4/9).  I also have an in-person class in Seattle, WA on 3/19.  Space is limited so be sure to register today.  We will have some great sponsors and giveaways in those classes too!  My video breastfeeding classes are available here and are such a great resource to learn on your own time, at your own pace.  The video classes come with a notes outline and can be watched again and again – they never expire!  I also do personal consultations via econsult or in-person appts.  Email me to arrange those.  Come say hi on instagram today – I love hearing your experiences and answering your questions!

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.


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Headshot white with grey


3 Tips to Improve Breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Uncategorized

Today I wanted to share a few breastfeeding tips that can help boost your confidence if breastfeeding is not going smoothly right away.  Some babies just take a little longer than others to master that latch-on.

1 – Make sure baby is getting needed calories.

Newborn being fed with a spoon

If baby is not latching well initially, its important to know how to express your milk and deliver it to your infant in a way that will keep your goal of breastfeeding in mind.  You can learn how to hand-express your breastmilk and deliver it to your infant on a spoon or in a medicine cup.  Since infant stomach capacity is so small in the early days, it doesn’t take much volume to get them what they need while continuing with frequent attempts at the breast.  This approach is low-tech but very effective!  Infants born as early as 30 weeks have been shown to be able to cup and spoon feed breastmilk.  If there are latch issues early on, don’t panic!  Latch can be improved over time.   A hungry baby is going to be agitated but a fed baby is going to be much more patient at mastering the new skill of breastfeeding.  I go over this in detail (audio, picture, and video tutorials) in my Breastfeeding Basics video class!

2 – Keep up frequent stimulation

Women milking self for milk production

{Nursing bra by: Simple Wishes, use code ‘LLINK’ for 20% off}

Frequent stimulation is so important!  The more frequently and the more efficiently breastmilk is removed, the higher the signal is for your body to make more!  Ideally, baby will be doing the majority of milk removal so your supply adjusts perfectly to baby’s needs.  However, if there are any latching or suck issues, you still need to be removing milk frequently.  The most efficient way to do this is by using a combination of hand expression and an electric breast pump.  There is a full video tutorial of this technique in my Pumping and Storing Breastmilk video class.

3 – Fix the issue, don’t just use a band-aid.

Lactation consultant with new mom holding baby

If you’ve incorporated the first two steps mentioned above, the baby is getting enough calories and your milk supply is protected.  Now, you can keep practicing until you and baby get it down.  Frequent attempts at the bare breast, lots of skin-to-skin, and patience can go a long way in improving latch and overall breastfeeding.

I’m always here to help support you in whatever your goals may be!  I always say, “Mama knows best!”, I’m just here to educate, give options, and encourage!  Prenatal education and postnatal support are huge indicator of success and confidence when it comes to breastfeeding.  My video classes are available for viewing from the comfort of your own home, on your own schedule.  I also have e-consults that are accessible and convenient for quickly getting reliable information.  I offer in-person consultations in Utah (in-home, in-office, and at the hospital/birthing center of your choice).  Here is my upcoming in-person class schedule, including a March class in Seattle, WA.

Lactation consultant helping mom breastfeed her baby

{Nursing pillow by: Ergobaby }

I hope you enjoyed these breastfeeding tips!  Come say hi on instagram today and share your experiences.  I love getting your questions over there and many of the comments become post topics!  You can also enter the awesome “All About Her” instagram giveaway we have going on…pampering just in time for Valentine’s Day!

I also did my first Periscope broadcast this week and here’s what one of my viewers @mrsvkantro had to say about it, “Thanks for all the info on your Periscope broadcast yesterday!  Thanks to your tips I was able to get nearly 2X the breastmilk out than what I normally can during pumping!”  Periscope is a live video broadcast where you can interact and ask questions.  It’s pretty fun and informative!  If you miss the live broadcasts, you can catch replays for up to 24 hours and be alerted to my new broadcasts by downloading the app now and adding me on Periscope (username: @lindsey_shipley).  Just add me, go to my bio, and click “Broadcasts”.

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.


Thanks for coming by today!

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Shipley - Lactation Consultant