This story is generously shared by Andrea and her daughter, Ainsley. Thank you both for your story and your determination to breastfeed!
When I was pregnant, I worried about everything. Everything, that is, except for whether I’d be able to breastfeed. Since many of my friends and my own sister had breastfed their children, it was a given that I would do the same. I pictured myself breastfeeding my daughter Ainsley, sitting on the beach in front of my house with her tucked inside a sling, contentedly drinking while we enjoyed a special bond. Continue reading →
I hear this phrase several times a week. It troubles me because it implies that the baby is unwilling breastfeed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You baby was born to breastfeed! She is hard-wired to seek comfort and nutrition from you breasts. This is, after all, how babies survive! When a baby is unable to latch and breastfeed it simply means that she is unable to latch and breastfeed—not that she is unwilling! Continue reading →
It’s no surprise that there are dozens of “cures” out there for sore nipples. In my lactation practice, nipple pain is the most common reason that mothers seek help. The only real way to “cure” sore nipples, however, is to fix the underlying cause. It’s usually a faulty latch that causes the problem in the first place. Once the latch is corrected, nipples feel better. Usually the results are immediate.
Some antibiotics and prescription medications can be helpful for badly damaged nipples, but nothing can eliminate the pain completely until the latch problem has been resolved. In your efforts to find relief, you may find remedies promising to cure sore nipples. Often these remedies are useless—or even harmful.Continue reading →
The mother in the video contacted me when her baby was 5 weeks old. Her first week of breastfeeding resulted in cracked, bleeding nipples and a bacterial infection. Her nipples were so sore, she had to stop breastfeeding. She did, however, pump regularly to preserve her milk supply. Breastfeeding was important to Claire. She had fond memories of nursing her first daughter. She desperately wanted to nurse this new baby as well; but was afraid to try again.
Claire told me her story and asked for help to breastfeed her newborn daughter without pain. She was concerned that, after 4 weeks of bottle-feeding, her baby may not want to breastfeed. She was also concerned about her milk supply—she was not able to “keep up” with her baby—needing to supplement with some formula each day. Continue reading →
Notice the position of the baby relative to mom’s breast. The baby is slightly under the breast and her top lip is aligned with the nipple. Mom waits for the baby to open wide. When latched correctly, baby’s top lip barely covers the nipple. See “Claire’s Breastfeeding Story” for more detail about this video clip.
Infant mammals have one thing in common. They all breastfeed. In addition, they are all equipped to squirm, crawl or swim to the breast and latch and happily suckle without the help of their mothers.
But human babies are different than other mammals, right? Don’t they need someone to “latch them on”?
Yes, human babies ARE different from other mammals. They are smarter and even more capable than their furry counterparts. After some help to get to mom’s torso, a newborn will have no trouble finding the breast and suckling comfortably and effectively. Just like other mammals, your baby has an innate need and an intense drive to breastfeed. To your baby it is not a choice. It is simply survival. Continue reading →
Wouldn’t it be nice if your breasts were equipped with little gauges that indicated how much milk was removed when your baby ate? Fortunately there are other ways to measure milk intake when a baby is breastfeeding.
Your baby should eat at least 8 times every 24 hours. If your baby is eating and not just sucking, you will be able to observe swallows. Swallows will be infrequent immediately after birth, but will gradually increase to about 1 swallow per second around day 4 or 5.Continue reading →
As I’ve stated many times to anyone who will listen, nipple shields can be helpful if a baby is having trouble breastfeeding. In the wrong hands, however, they can be downright dangerous. Just today I saw 2 moms who were given nipple shields in the hospital within 48 hours of their babies’ birth. Their 2 stories had very different outcomes.
Story number 1: Three -week- old baby. Mom given nipple shield day 2 because baby was having a hard time latching. Baby was able to latch with the shield, but he nursed for 45 minutes to an hour each feeding and never seemed satisfied. Things seemed to go OK the first week, but at a routine check-up 2 weeks later, baby hadn’t gained any weight. The pediatrician told mom to start supplementing immediately and referred her to me. I saw her the next day.Continue reading →
Breastfeeding should be enjoyable for you and your baby! If either one of you is not having a good time, something is not right. As a new mom, you have instincts to guide you. Your baby has instincts and very strong reflexes to guide him. But neither one of you has ever done this before and, most likely, you have never seen a baby breastfeeding. It’s likely you will need some help.