Working and Breastfeeding: You Can Do It!

Women have been combining work with motherhood for thousands of years. Since babies get their nutrition directly from their mothers, society expected moms and babies to be literally joined at the hip for the first year or more. It’s only been in recent history that “going back to work” has been a potential roadblock to continuing to breastfeed. Although it is normal to work while caring for baby, our modern world and societal expectations often require moms to be separate from baby while working.

So, is it really possible to continue breastfeeding while working away from baby? Absolutely! It takes some planning and commitment, but as a mother,  you’re already committed to your baby and you’re probably a master planner and multi-tasker! Just make sure you have the tools and information you need to be successful. Continue reading

Breastfeeding and Milk Supply

Why do some mothers seem to be overflowing with milk and others barely keep up with their babies? The answer to that questions remains a mystery. We do know, however, which practices enhance milk production and what may decrease milk supply.

Newborns need to eat frequently. All that early suckling before your milk “comes in” helps set the tone for later milk production. Think of as your baby placing an order to be filled at a later date. On the other hand, restricting breastfeeding in the first few days may lead to decreased milk production overall. Continue reading

Can I Increase my Milk Supply?

Do you feel that you are breastfeeding  “all the time”? Does it seem that your baby is never really satisfied at the breast? Is your baby wakeful? Fussy? Sometimes, despite doing all the “right” things, you may find yourself producing less milk than your baby needs. Here are some things you can try:

  • First, check with your lactation consultant or pediatrician to get an accurate weight for your baby. Then you will know if your baby needs some extra nutrition while you are working on your supply. Continue reading

Hidden Hazards of Nipple Shields

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

What is a Nipple Shield?

Nipples shields are molded silicone “nipples” that fit over a natural nipple. They look a bit like a sombrero, and the rim or base of the shield extends out about an inch to adhere to the breast. There are usually 4 holes in the nipple that mom’s milk can flow through. They are very thin and made in several sizes and styles. They are designed so that baby can latch on to the shield and get milk from mom.

So why on earth would anyone want to use a plastic nipple?

Nipples shields can be helpful when a baby is unable to form a strong vacuum at the natural breast. Sometimes, if baby’s tongue is not doing what it should, a nipple shield can enable a baby to breastfeed who otherwise would need to be bottle fed. Continue reading