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Early Feeding Cues

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Early feeding cues include wiggling, alertness, and hands to mouth.

Knowing when your baby is telling you she is ready to nurse is important. Crying is a baby’s last resort to tell you he is hungry.  Learning the early feeding cues can help you know when she is hungry and allow you to feed her before she gets upset, which can always make latching on and nursing more challenging. A new baby nurses for many reasons, not just hunger.  The world is a brand new place and she has just left the comfort of a mother’s womb where noises were lower, and she was held, comforted, and fed by mom at all times.

Breastmilk is easily digested because babies have a need for touch, bonding, and interaction. Babies also have a sucking reflex and enjoy sucking frequently. While it is not always feasible to be a human pacifier, breasts really were the first pacifier and it is perfectly acceptable to comfort nurse your baby. You will not be spoiling him and this will not last forever.  Babies grow quickly; it is okay to nurse your baby frequently and allow your baby to nurse for comfort as well as nutrition.

Whether you choose to nurse or use a pacifier to fulfill your baby’s desire for comfort nursing, it is essential you understand your baby’s early feeding cues.

Early feeding cues your baby is hungry include the following:

  • Moving his eyes
  • Increased alertness
  • Bringing hands to mouth
  • Sucking fists or blanket
  • Wriggling, licking, physical activity
  • Making murmuring noises
  • Rooting – turning head side to side

You cannot feed your baby too often.  Frequent nursing encourages a strong milk supply and allows your baby to quickly become more comfortable with it.  It develops a strong bond and is associated with many positive health outcomes for both mother and baby.


JU18

Sample Birth Plan

Labor:

  • Drugs – I desire a drug-free birth.  Please do not offer pain medication or Pitocin.
  • Vaginal Exams – Minimal
  • Monitoring baby – Intermittent only
  • Movement – I would like complete freedom of movement during labor.
  • Stripping of Membranes – Please do not strip my membranes.
  • Breaking of Water – Please allow my bag of waters to break naturally.

 During the pushing stage:

  • Positions – I would like the freedom to push in any position that is comfortable for me.
  • Perineum – I would like to try for an intact perineum with massage, support, hot compresses, controlled and guided pushing, and positions to promote perineal stretching.
  • Episiotomy – I would prefer to tear naturally and not have an episiotomy.
  • Forceps/Vacuum extraction – I do not want these used unless my baby’s life is threatened.
  • C-section – A last resort and only to be considered if my life or baby’s life is threatened.
  • Time – As long as baby is tolerating labor well, I would like to labor at my own pace without time constraints or labor augmentation.

 After Birth:

  • Baby – To be laid directly on mother’s chest after birth and allowed to breastfeed in skin-to-skin contact.  Any observations or measurements should be done while baby is on my chest.  Please allow baby to be laid on mom even through delivery of placenta and any repair work.  I would like to be present for all newborn procedures.
  • Cord – Please allow cord to stop pulsating before it is clamped.  Please do not milk the cord to speed the process.  Please do not clamp the cord early.  If possible, I would like to leave cord attached until placenta is delivered.
  • Placenta – Please allow the placenta to be expelled on its own, with no pulling or tugging.  I do not want to be given Pitocin unless fundal massage to control bleeding is not effective.
  • Temperature – I would like to hold baby skin-to-skin during the first hours to help regulate baby’s body temperature.

 Baby Care:

  • Rooming In – To begin immediately.  All necessary examinations should be performed w/us present.
  • Breastfeeding – The baby will be breastfed exclusively.  Please do not give baby a pacifier, bottled water, glucose water, formula, etc.
  • NO lab work is to be drawn, no injections or medications of any kind are to be given without our prior consent.

Alternate Plans:

  • Should a C-section be necessary, I would like my husband to hold baby in skin-to-skin contact immediately following birth until I am able to hold baby.
  • Should baby need special care after delivery, my husband or I would like to be present in the NICU or elsewhere.

Click here to download a .pdf of this sample birth plan.


Getting Started Thumb

Getting Started Breastfeeding

165427_10100153832465781_360474928_n As you are getting started breastfeeding, there are many breastfeeding basics you can do to create an environment for success.  Women have been breastfeeding their babies since the beginning of the human race, and its only been in the last century that anyone has used artificial infant formula. When there were no alternatives, almost every mother breastfed her babies successfully.  (And those that couldn’t would still have human milk through a wet nurse.)  I say this to encourage you. . . you can do it!  Here are some things that will help you with getting started:

    1. Prepare for the birth of your baby.
      Read books, make a birth plan, and choose your doctor/birthing facility wisely.  If you are giving birth in a hospital, try to find one that meets the BFHI (Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Initiative set out by the World Health Organization) requirements.  We know that the type of birth you have affects breastfeeding so make a plan for how you’d like your birth to go.
    2. Have minimal intervention, as natural a birth as possible.
      A natural and unmedicated birth leaves you and your baby ready to start breastfeeding strong.  Did you know that a healthy, unmedicated baby has innate instincts and reflexes that if placed on your belly can push himself up and latch onto his mother’s breast unassisted?!  It’s been termed the breast crawl and is quite powerful to witness.  A natural birth allows you to immediately begin skin-to-skin time with your baby and helps him to be alert, able to latch, and suck well for his first breastfeed.
    3. Hold your baby skin-to-skin immediately following birth.
      Do this for at least the first 2 hours, before your baby is bathed, weighed, or even wiped off.  This is critical bonding time for you and your baby as your body has many thriving hormones that allow you to bond and absolutely fall in love with your new little blessing.  Skin-to-skin helps regulate your baby’s temperature, stabilize her heart rate, stabilize blood glucose, reduce crying, stimulate self-latching, and coordinate sucking at breast.  For the mom, skin-to-skin helps to regulate her temperature, increase oxytocin levels, develop adequate milk volume, bond with her baby, increase her confidence, and decrease breastfeeding problems.
    4. Delay screenings, baby checks, bath, etc. until after first breastfeed.
      You can never get the first two hours after your birth back and all the key baby checks for a healthy, full-term baby can be done while on skin-to-skin with her mom.  Postpone everything else and enjoy these precious moments with your new baby.
    5. Room in with your baby.
      The best way to get to know your new baby is to spend time together.  Keep your baby in your room with you so you can see early feeding cues your baby gives and nurse on demand.
    6. Practice safe co-sleeping.
      Co-sleeping allows you to maximize sleep while allowing your baby to nurse on demand.  Rather than having to get up every time your baby wakes and go to another part of the house, it is much easier to nurse and take care of your newborn’s needs while bed sharing or in the same room as mother.  Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines. And remember, your baby hasn’t read all those parenting books about scheduling sleep and feeds. You’ll find it a lot less stressful if you just follow your baby’s needs and go with it.
    7. Have support in the first weeks after birth so you can concentrate on feeding your baby. 
      Your job is to feed your baby.  Treat yourself as  queen. . .prop pillows around you to be comfortable, have a remote, book, and cell phone nearby, as well as a glass of water and snack.   And, accept all offers for help around the house with cooking, cleaning, and taking care of older siblings.  Now is not the time to keep a spotless house and or to cook gourmet meals.  Enjoy your new baby and take time to rest and nurse often.
    8. Breastfeed often and on demand.
      It is normal for your baby to nurse often.  If you have a sleepy baby, make sure to wake her up and nurse at least every three hours. It is also normal for babies to not only want to nurse for hunger, but also nurse for comfort (“non-nutritive sucking”).  Even non-nutritive sucking offers milk, builds your supply, and allows you to bond.  Offer both breasts at each feed and nurse until your baby comes off satisfied.
    9. Don’t settle for breastfeeding pain.
      Breastfeeding should not hurt.  If you have pain or sense something is not right, seek help from a qualified Lactation Consultant (ideally an IBCLC – International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). Seek help sooner rather than later!
    10. Find a mom-to-mom support group.
      For help and encouragement, try to find a local breastfeeding group such as La Leche League.  You will meet other moms who are at different places in their breastfeeding journey and it can be a wonderful encouragement and support for you.
    11. Know what’s normal. . . and what’s not.
      For example, all babies loose weight after birth.  It is normal to take up to 2 weeks to gain this weight back.  It doesn’t mean you don’t have enough milk.  Or, after your baby is born you have colostrum (the thick, rich, antibacterial first milk) for the first 2-4 days before your milk begins to come in.  This is normal and it helps your baby pass meconium (the dark first poo) and help against developing jaundice.  Just nurse often and on demand to encourage your milk to come in strong.
    12. Find a pediatrician who is supportive of breastfeeding.
      And don’t hesitate to find a new one if you find out yours just gives lip service to the importance of breastfeeding.  If you want to nurse your baby and you or your pediatrician have concerns, seek a lactation consultant before turning to artificial infant formula.
    13. If you sense there is a problem, work to build your supply by expressing (either by hand or with a pump).
      You can offer this additional milk to your baby via syringe, cup, or bottle.  But, building a strong supply of milk is important.  Don’t wait until your supply dwindles to begin pumping if you have concerns about your supply or how much your baby is eating at each feed.
    14. Trust your body to make milk.
      Your body knows what to do and it has been getting ready throughout your pregnancy.  Have confidence in your body’s ability to make milk.  Relax and don’t stress.  Also, don’t supplement with formula just because you don’t think you have enough milk.  (This is a slippery slope and will just about guarantee you won’t have enough milk.)  Believe in your body and nurse your baby on demand so your body gets the message to continue to make milk.  Remember, an empty breast makes more milk!  Not only does your body know what to do, but your baby also has an innate ability to latch on to your breast and nurse.
    15. Finally, through it all, remember why you want to nurse your baby.
      Realize nursing is more than just giving your baby amazing milk. . . it is also a wonderful bond that you share and will grow throughout your lives.  Lots of skin-to-skin and cuddling with your baby not only has a positive impact on breastfeeding, but also on your mothering relationship.  Cherish these precious moments as your little blessing will grow so fast.  You cannot spoil your baby by nursing too frequently, cuddling too much, or sharing too much skin-to-skin time.  Your baby just spent the last nine months in your womb having every need met immediately.  Continuing to meet her needs (food, love, cuddles, nurturing) are exactly what she needs.

JU29

Urine and Stool Output

Day
Urine Output
Stool Output
1st Day1 or more wet diapers1 or more meconium (black) stools
2nd Day2 or more wet diapers1 or more meconium / transitional stools
3rd Day3 or more wet diapersTransitional stools (brown)
4th - 7th Days6 - 8 wet diapersYellow stools (may be seedy, loose, or runny)
1 - 6 Weeks6 - 8 wet diapers3 - 5 yellow stools
6 Weeks - 6 Months6 - 7 wet diapers3 - 5 stools, may skip days

Adapted from Riordan, J. and Wambach, K. (2010) Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 4th ed.  Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC . 272.


Krista Gray, IBCLC

Krista Gray, IBCLC – Lactation Services

Positioning and attachmentWhether you’re preparing to breastfeed or need support with your current situation, Krista Gray, IBCLC – Lactation Services is here to help.  I am a certified lactation consultant and offer face-to-face and online breastfeeding support (as well as prenatal breastfeeding classes) to assist you in meeting your breastfeeding goals.   I see clients throughout the Upstate of South Carolina and North East Georgia as well as via Skype and FaceTime worldwide.

Lactation Consultations

Initial Consultation – $135 for a 1 – 1 1/2 hour private consultation.  Sometimes you just need that bit of extra support to get breastfeeding off to a good start or to overcome challenges. I can help you reach your personal breastfeeding goals. This visit can take place in your home or my home office.  (Follow-up phone/text/emails for home or office consultations are always free!) Discount for clients who have a prenatal appointment with me.*

Follow Up Consultation – $75 For new concerns and follow up appointments*

Pump Consultation – $60 Heading back to work and want to make sure your pump is working properly? I can help get your pump set up, ensure the flanges are the right size, and share tips and information about maintaining your supply as you return to work.*

Virtual Consultation – $50 I offer virtual breastfeeding consultations worldwide via Skype or FaceTime. (Up to one hour consultation; Payment made via PayPal) 

Telephone/E-mail Consultation – $30 Do you have a specific breastfeeding question? I can discuss this with you on the telephone (up to 30 minute call) or through e-mail.

Monthly Retainer Option – $150 For those who would like me to be available for unlimited calls/texts/emails throughout the month.  There is no limit to how often you can contact me and, if I am not available at the time of a call/email/text I will always respond the same day.

*In home rate applies to homes within 15 miles of 29655 zip code.  Beyond that area, there will be a fuel surcharge and hourly travel fee, which will be quoted at time appointment is made.

*Payment can be made with cash, check, and PayPal.

*Payment is expected at the time services are rendered.  Nursing Nurture does not file insurance on your behalf, but will provide you with an itemized Super Bill for your health insurance provider.

What happens during a consultation? Find out more here.

Download the forms for your breastfeeding consultation.

Learn more about Krista Gray, IBCLC or contact Krista to schedule a lactation consultation. Continue reading »


Krista Gray, IBCLC

Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes

Whether you’re preparing to breastfeed or need support with your current situation, Krista Gray, IBCLC – Nursing Nurture Lactation – is here to help.  I am a certified lactation consultant and offer in-home lactation consultations as well as prenatal breastfeeding classes to assist you in meeting your breastfeeding goals.   I see clients throughout the Upstate of South Carolina and North East Georgia as well as via Skype and FaceTime worldwide.

Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes

Private Prenatal Breastfeeding Class – $85 for a 1 1/2 hour private class.  We will discuss the basics of breastfeeding from what you can do to be prepared, the early days, common problems and solutions, how to express and store milk, maximizing your milk supply, and what to expect as your baby grows.*

Prenatal Consultation – Addressing specific concerns – $50.  Do you have a specific concern about breastfeeding? I’d be happy to meet with you over coffee and discuss your concern so that you can be better prepared for your new baby’s arrival.

Prenatal Group Class – $35 per couple.  Minimum of 3 couples, maximum of 6.  Do you know other couples that would like to take a prenatal breastfeeding course with you?  This class includes information and encouragement for a successful breastfeeding experience, including how birth affects breastfeeding, getting breastfeeding off to a good start, positioning your baby at the breast, common problems and solutions, how to express and store milk, maximizing your milk supply, and other helpful support.

*in home rate applies to homes within 15 miles of 29655 zip code.  Beyond that area, there will be a fuel surcharge and hourly travel fee, which will be quoted at time appointment is made.

*Payment can be made with cash, check, and PayPal.

*Payment is expected at the time services are rendered.  Nursing Nurture does not file insurance on your behalf, but will provide you with an itemized Super Bill for your health insurance provider.

Learn more about Krista Gray, IBCLC or contact Krista to schedule a breastfeeding class.


Ethnic Hispanic Mother breastfeeding her son

Breastfeeding Positions

How should I breastfeed my baby?

There is no right or wrong way to nurse your little one.  Any position that is comfortable for you and your baby is just fine.  And while it is important to ensure your baby is positioned and latched well in the beginning, after a few months your growing baby and then active toddler just might choose some positions you never would have considered!  The following breastfeeding positions will give you ideas of ways many moms have comfortably and effectively nursed their babies.

Positioning Techniques

Many moms find it helpful to have plenty of pillows to prop up around them so they don’t have to support the weight of their baby while nursing.  Other moms find having pillows and feeling like they can only nurse in their “nursing station” to be cumbersome.  These moms prefer to not use pillows or other support.  Either way is perfectly fine!

What is most important is to make sure your baby is supported throughout his head/neck/shoulder region, his head and neck are in alignment, and he has equal muscle movement on both sides of his body.  This means you will want his body gently pressed against yours – his tummy on your body – and your hand securely holding his head between his shoulder blades.  Make sure your hand does not hold his head though as this is very uncomfortable and keeps a baby from latching well.  (Imagine if you had to keep your chin down on your chest while you chewed and swallowed your food!)  His head should be free so that he can bring it back if his nose becomes blocked.  Your baby should have firm contact against his mother (skin-to-skin is ideal!).

Latching Techniques

In addition to ensuring good positioning in the early days, it is equally important to ensure a proper latch.  A mother can support her breast with her hand if necessary.  Make sure to keep your fingers behind the areola and position fingers in a C-hold so that you can easily help your baby latch on and take enough breast into his mouth.  A baby’s nose should be level with the mother’s nipple.  Your baby should have his head tilted back and lead his mouth to the breast with his lower jaw.  His mouth should be opened wide, tongue down and extended over the bottom gum, with nipple pointing up toward roof of baby’s mouth.  His chin should be pressed against breast with bottom of jaw/lip taking in more areola than the top.  Your baby forms a teat with the nipple and breast tissue, which should be tucked well into baby’s mouth.  His mouth should be open very wide with both top and bottom lips relaxed on the breast and flanged outward.  There should not be any pain!  Make sure to allow your baby to nurse as long as he wants – don’t set a time limit.

Cradle Hold

Cradle Hold

Cradle Hold

This is one of the most popular nursing positions.  A baby lies on the forearm of the side she is going to nurse, and her body extends across the front of her mother.  Her head may be cradled in the bend of the elbow or down lower on the mother’s forearm depending on the size of the baby.  The baby’s chest is against her mother’s chest without space in between; baby’s chest should not be facing up toward the ceiling.  Her legs/feet may be tucked in around the mother’s waist to feel more secure.  It is important that baby is held at breast-level rather than the breast being lowered down to reach baby (which can alter the latch, put pressure on the breast, and keep milk from draining adequately in some areas leading to plugged ducts and mastitis).

Cross-Cradle Hold

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Cross-Cradle Hold

Similar to the cradle hold, but the baby is supported in the arm opposite of the side she is nursing on.  If nursing on the left side, baby would be held by the right arm.  In this example, a mother could support her breast with her left hand and help ensure an optimal latch.  This position is often used with preterm infants.

Football/Clutch Hold

Football Hold

Football Hold

In this position, a baby lies at breast level on the arm of the side she is going to nurse.  Her head is by her mother’s hand and her body wraps around the side and back of her mother.  This hold is especially helpful for a mother who needs to be able to better see her baby’s latch – with large breasts or with a painful latch – as well as after a c-section so baby doesn’t put weight on the incision.  Many mothers of twins also nurse their babies in this position.

Laid-Back Nursing/Biological Nurturing/Reclining

Laid-Back Nursing

Laid-Back Breastfeeding

It has a variety of names but in this position, rather than sitting straight up, the mother is comfortably reclining.  She could simply slide down in a straight back chair, sit in a reclining chair, or lie on a bed propped up with a couple pillows.  A baby can then be positioned across the mother’s body allowing gravity to securely position baby’s body against hers as well as allowing gravity to help with the latch.  This position allows a baby’s natural breastfeeding instincts to kick in.  It is particularly helpful for a tired mom to get rest while nursing or when your baby struggles to open wide to latch such as in cases of tongue tie.

Nursing Lying Down (Side-lying)

Side-Lying Breastfeeding

Side-Lying Breastfeeding

Nursing lying down is an essential tool for breastfeeding and sleep.  Since babies need to nurse at night but mothers also need sleep it is a wonderful way to meet both needs.  In this position, mother and baby lie next to one another on a safe surface.  Baby is securely pressed against mother’s body, and a mother protects her baby with her legs curled around the bottom of her baby and arm over the top.  It can be challenging to first learn this position, but with practice most mothers find it very relaxing to know they can nurse while also getting rest.

Upright Nursing (Baby Sitting)

Upright Breastfeeding

Upright Breastfeeding

Some babies prefer to be in a seated, upright position when nursing.  This type of position is especially useful when a mother has a forceful milk ejection, baby has breathing or swallowing issues, cleft palate, etc.  This position helps reduce choking from a fast flow of milk.  It is still important to adequately support a baby in this position allowing her body to feel a secure touch across her body as well as ensuring her head is well supported by holding one hand in between the shoulder blades at the base of the neck.


Milk Supply Issues

Whether real or perceived, low milk supply is one of the main reasons given for mothers to supplement or wean their baby.  There are a number of things that can cause milk supply issues; these are known as antigalactogogues.  The Top 10 most common antigalactogogues in our western culture are listed below:

  • alcohol, tobacco, other recreational drugs
  • caffeine
  • decongestants & antihistamines
  • contraceptives with estrogen
  • chasteberry (fruit/leaf)
  • greek oregano
  • parsley
  • peppermint
  • rosemary
  • sage

While not every mom reacts to these, if you are at all concerned about your milk supply it would be wise to steer clear.  But it is important to remember that these antigalactogogues are dose-dependent – the more you have the greater the negative impact on milk supply issues. For example, an occasional glass of wine or daily cup of coffee is usually fine for most breastfeeding mothers.  But daily alcohol intake or multiple sources of caffeine throughout the day can definitely cause milk supply issues.  And while most drugs are completely compatible with breastfeeding, decongestants and antihistamines should be taken with extreme caution.  Not only do they dry up the sinuses but they can dry up a mother’s milk supply quite fast.

Perhaps the most often overlooked antigalactagogue is STRESS.  If you are facing milk supply issues, seek out qualified help and support and try not to spend time worrying about making milk.  Also, try to eliminate other sources of stress you may be dealing with.

Two herbal galactagogues that can increase your milk supply are Fenugreek (3 capsules, 3 x per day) and Blessed Thistle (3 capsules, 3x). It usually takes at least 24 hours to begin to see any effect.

In Egypt, home to the fenugreek research for increasing women’s milk supply, the common wisdom is to cook fenugreek (it looks similar to wheat) like you would oatmeal and then serve with milk and honey. All new moms drink this regularly after giving birth.

For any mothers with supply issues, please let me know if you’ve found any of these to be true and what has worked for you!

Additional information about reasons for low milk supply and increasing your milk supply can be found here.


What To Do When Baby Won’t Latch

Cindy and Jana

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.  You can download their app NuuNest – Newborn Nurse Answers and Baby Tracking for expert guidance through the first crucial weeks after childbirth or visit their website, Cindy & Jana.  You can also connect with Cindy and Jana on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest.

Noella was just 35 weeks into her pregnancy when her water broke. 12 hours later, her baby boy, Nathan, was born. Nathan was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit  for antibiotics and monitoring. His first feed was a bottle of formula. Noella pumped faithfully throughout Nathan’s two week hospital stay but had little opportunity to try breastfeeding. When he was discharged from hospital, she began to offer the breast every feed but Nathan was used to bottles. Breastfeeding attempts became increasingly frustrating for both mom and baby. After two more weeks, Noella made the decision to discontinue all feeding attempts at the breast and instead focus her energy on pumping, bottling her expressed milk, and enjoying her newborn.  A month later, we received a phone message from Noella: “You aren’t going to believe it.  Nathan is now breastfeeding! I just decided to try it one day and it worked!”

Why babies may not latch at birth

Noella is not alone in her struggles to establish breastfeeding. Many babies are born prematurely and are not yet strong enough to maintain a latch. There can also be other reasons why babies don’t initiate breastfeeding right from the start:

  • Baby may be recovering from a difficult birth.
  • Baby may have a tongue tie.
  • Baby’s first feeds may have been given by bottle and baby is therefore unsure how to suck at the breast.
  • The shape of mom’s nipples may make it difficult to grasp the breast.
  • Baby may have an anatomical challenge such as a cleft lip or palate or the shape of the mouth or jaw may make latching challenging.

If baby will not latch in the first 24 hours after birth:

  • Keep your baby skin to skin as much as possible.
  • “Practice” breastfeeding: express a drop of milk on your nipple and let baby lick and nuzzle. Try to keep these practice sessions pleasant and free from frustration for both mom and baby.
  • Support baby well during feeding attempts to help baby feel secure. If you are feeding in a cradle or football hold, use pillows to support baby. If you are feeding in a laidback position, baby’s body will be well supported against your body.
  • Begin to use hand expression to stimulate your breasts to begin producing milk. (Learn how to hand express with this video.)
  • Feed any drops of milk obtained back to baby with a spoon. Baby will “sip” the milk from the spoon.

If baby continues to not latch after 24 hours:

  • Continue with “practice sessions”. If either you or the baby becomes frustrated, take a break. Calm your baby by snuggling. Remember, dad can snuggle baby if you need a break!
  • Do some massage and hand expression before attempting at the breast so that the milk is “right there” for baby.
  • In addition to hand expression, begin to use a hospital grade electric pump. We suggest you pump about every 3 hours for 10 minutes per breast (or every time the baby feeds). Please do not be discouraged if you don’t get a single drop! The pumping “tells” your body that baby is here and will need milk. Developing a good supply of milk will be key in coaxing baby to the breast.
  • Consult an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to have a thorough assessment. The consultant will have suggestions based on the cause of the difficulties.
  • You will, of course, need to feed your baby. Your health care provider may suggest you feed baby by spoon, cup or finger feeding. The first choice is to use your own expressed milk. If, for medical reasons, your health care provider recommends additional supplement, banked human milk is the next choice. If donor milk is not available, infant formula may be used. Feeding your baby will help ensure he has the energy to continue to learn to breastfeed.
  • Some women find using a 20-20-20 principle helpful. “Practice” at the breast for 20 minutes; feed the baby in an alternate way if needed (approximately 20 minutes) and pump/hand express for 20 minutes. (Please note: the times are suggestions only. Please modify according to your baby’s cues. Sometimes babies are quickly frustrated and 20 minutes of trying may be too long.)
  • Sometimes, giving baby a little milk prior to a breastfeeding attempt may be helpful, especially if the baby is quite hungry. Taking the edge off the baby’s hunger may help baby to be more relaxed with the latching attempts.
  • Once baby is taking larger volumes, your health care provider may suggest beginning to use a bottle to feed your baby. This does NOT mean we have given up on breastfeeding! Again, it is important to feed your baby so that he will have energy to learn to feed. When baby is taking larger volumes, some babies will tire before they have been able to complete the feed. If you choose to bottle, use a rounded nipple rather than one with a flattened cross-section. Choose a slow flow nipple. Entice the baby to gape widely when taking the bottle to simulate latching at the breast.
  • A nipple shield may be useful in some instances once milk supply is established. Using a nipple shield before the milk supply is established is not recommended. Please discuss this with your Lactation Consultant.
  • Search out a mother-to-mother support group such a La Leche League.

In our experience, with time and patience, most babies who do not latch initially will eventually go to the breast. While working towards getting baby to the breast, stimulating the milk supply and having lots of skin to skin time are the most important things you can do.


ULMas Breast Pads

ULMas Breast Pads – Review and GIVEAWAY!

 

ULMas LogoAre you an Undercover Leaky Momma? “What’s that?!” you ask.  Do you wear breast pads while breastfeeding?  If you do, then you are seriously going to love ULMas Breast Pads.  Washable and reusable, these breast pads are the best I’ve found on the market.  Here’s why I love this product, and why I think you will too:

  • They absorb. A lot.
    Most washable breast pads can’t hold anywhere near the amount of disposables.  Not ULMas; I’d put them up against any disposable for as much as they can absorb.
  • Wicks away moisture so you feel dry.
    ULMas are made of performance fabric so that your skin stays dry even while your breast pad is absorbing milk that leaks.  There’s another added bonus to this fabric – they dry very quickly after washing.
  • You don’t look like a deer in headlights flashing a sign a saying, “Yes, I’m wearing breast pads!”
    These are thin, like a disposable, so you don’t have the “ring” around your breasts that everyone sees and knows, “Oh, she’s wearing breast pads.”
  • Fun designs
    I love the bright, fun prints.  I know this has nothing to do with absorbency but isn’t it nice to feel happy about what you put on?  And, let’s face it, a lot of us new mamas aren’t putting on fancy clothes each day so having cute breast pads is all the more exciting.
  • Helps the environment
    Okay this is true for any washable breast pad.  But it’s an important point.  If you’ve been wavering between disposables and washables, ULMas can help you take the jump into washables.
  • Variety of absorbency levels
    Every woman is different.  Most women need breast pads for the first month or so.  Many need them for the first few months.  And some, like me, need them pretty much the whole time we’re nursing. With ULMas, I can have heavier absorbency pads in the beginning and lighter absorbency later on.  Or, I can use the regular absorbency during the day and heavier absorbency at night (though both are thin and can be worn at any point while nursing – day or night).

yellow winter flowers pink w logoWhen I had my first child nearly 8 years ago, I found I needed breast pads continually.  I liked the ease of disposables but not the price or what I was doing to the environment.  I researched washables and bought the best I could find on the market.  Compared to disposables, they were thick, anything but discreet, and would leak.  When my daughter was just 4 months old we moved overseas.  There I met a friend who felt the same about breast pads as me. So we handmade some breast pads for our personal use – out of performance fabric.  I always wished someone would put a product like this on the market but no one ever did.  When I discovered ULMas, I contacted the owner and requested a sample so I could see if they were what I thought and hoped they would be.  I was not disappointed!  I am so excited about these breast pads!

Where can you find ULMas breast pads?  Well, you can order them online and you can also enter to win a free set of 2 pairs of regular and 1 pair of overnight – for a total of 3 washable breast pad sets.  There will be 2 winners.  The contest will run from noon April 10, 2014 – midnight April 20, 2014 EST.  Winners will be notified by email on April 22nd.  (This is a great gift to give to an expecting mama too!)

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Disclaimer:  ULMas provided me with a free demo pack at my request.  I was under no obligation to write a product review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free sample.  I do not have any vested interest in this product nor do I stand to benefit in anyway if you choose to buy ULMas breast pads.