FAQ

What is weaning and stopping your milk flow?
Introducing infants to other foods and reducing the supply of breast milk is what weaning a child is all about. Your body needs to slowly wean itself from breast milk production. The physiological factors involved in the weaning process are crucial to both the mother and the child. Baby led weaning helps a child explore taste, texture, color and smell of foods by choosing which foods to taste as finger foods. This is a great time for the baby to explore and learn to chew and grasp. Here are a few things you can do to help your body wean off of breastfeeding.
1. Use cold packs to relieve pressure, swelling and discomfort.
2. Drink plenty of water. This will actually help dry your breast milk faster.
3. Drink 2 to 3 cups of Jasmine or Sage tea a day.
4. Take pain relievers to help with your discomfort of drying up your breast milk.
5. Wear a good sports or support bra that is NOT too tight.

 

What birth control methods are recommended while breastfeeding?
Ideally, postpartum contraceptives should start to be discussed before delivery and the postpartum follow up appointment should be used for a woman to further discuss this with her doctor and make a final discussion on which birth control method is the right choice for her. Lactational Amenorhea Method ( LAM) is a modern temporary family planning method that helps support breastfeeding family planning. LAM is a family planning method that supports improved breastfeeding, healthy child spacing, child survival and women’s health. LAM is effective if you are not menstruating. Furthermore, you need to be breastfeeding day and night. LAM is 98% effective during the first 6 months of life. Males can use a condom which has no effect on lactation or the baby. Women can use a diaphragm which needs to be properly fitted by your doctor. Women need to be fitted properly. Another method is a cervical cap which has to be fitted after delivery. The Intrauterine Device (IUD) can be used six weeks after delivery. Sterilization is a birth control method used only if you are 100% sure you do not want anymore children. Female sterilization can be done usually right after delivery. Male sterilization, a vasectomy, can be performed at anytime. Both are 99% effective. Birth control pills with hormones decrease the milk supply. Therefore, it is not recommended while breastfeeding. The mini pill, which is the progestin only contraceptive pill, has no effect on lactation. This can be taken after six weeks after delivery or at the time your first menstrual period begins. The Injectable Contraceptive or Depo Provera shot may make you produce less breast milk if given before the first six weeks. Therefore, wait until your six week check up post delivery before you get this shot. Natural Family Planning or Rythmatic Method is harder to use while breastfeeding. You have to depend on regularity of your menses, body temperature and mucous patterns which during lactation are all unpredictable therefore, you cannot predict ovulation.

 

What do I do about sore nipples?
It is best to use your own breast milk on your own sore nipple to keep them lubricated. You can also use a lanolin cream on your sore nipple. Making sure that the baby has a good latch on your best will help you not get a sore nipple in the first place. If a baby’s feeding position rubs and presses incorrectly on the nipple of your breast while the baby is breastfeeding, this can cause a sore nipple to happen. If it turns out that you have a sore nipple, then only breastfeed on that side for ten minutes. You can use a breast shield temporarily until the nipple heels. It is also a good idea to wear Hydrogel Pads, comfort gels, for 1-2 hours at a time and follow directions on how to use them. Many women like the way they feel on their breasts and this greatly soothes a women pain.

 

What should you do if you have an oversupply of breast milk?
Mothers who produce too much milk should offer one breast at a time per feeding. Changing breastfeeding positions help. You can breastfeed in a reclining or lying down position. A mother should squeeze some breast milk from the breast if you have a forceful let down. Avoid pumping if you can.

 

Can I breastfeed a disabled child?
A child that is born with a disability needs to be breastfeed even more. The breast milk is very beneficial for this baby and also he needs his mother’s warmth and love while he is breastfeeding. A child with Down syndrome may need extra support in order to breastfeed. Sometimes, a mother can roll a towel under her breast and give extra support this way so the baby will have an easier time breastfeeding. This baby may need additional breastfeeding supplemental feeders, such as a complete supplemental feeder, made by Lact- Aid or Medela, a feeding syringe, dropper, and or a cup. (You can e mail me if you need to purchase one). A baby with a cleft palate or lip may have a hard time breastfeeding. This baby may need help forming a good seal around the mother’s breast therefore, a device called the Obturator may need to be specially designed for this baby until the baby can have a surgery to correct the mouth and lip area.

 

What should I do if my breasts become swollen or engorged?
If your breasts become swollen, this can decrease milk production. The best advice is to prevent this from happening. Therefore, you have to make sure that you are feeding your baby on cue and frequently. If engorgement happens then you can use cold compression for twenty minutes at a time. Put an ice pack on your breast. Next you may have to massage your breasts. Some women have found that cold cabbage leaves from the refrigerator helps with the swelling to go down. However, be careful if you are allergic to sulfa because you cannot use cabbage leaves. You need to have a lot of patients because sometimes the breast will go down quickly and other times it may take a long time. A hot shower and massaging your breasts in the shower helps.

 

Does my baby need supplemental formula feeding?
Good breast milk production depends on frequent emptying of your milk supply. Therefore, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended if possible. After 4 to 6 weeks, you can introduce your baby to a bottle with expressed breast milk in case you want to go out sometime or return to work. Sometimes preemies need supplementation. The most commonly used methods are Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) made by Medela Inc. and Lact -Aid Nursing Trainer System. Supplemental feeders can also be used for babies with a cleft palate or adoptive babies.

 

How can a Woman succeed to do Induced Lactation or Relactation?
Adoptive mothers can do induced lactation. It may be hard for the first few weeks. A woman should drink plenty fluids. Ask your doctor for the drugs methoclopramide, chlorpromazine or the ophylline for the first few weeks which helps with the milk supply. Skin to skin and kangaroo care is very good to do for your baby. You can use a nipple shield if needed for your breast.

 

How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?
By how many wet diapers and stools your infant makes per day, you can judge and see whether your baby is getting enough of your breast milk.In the first few days of a newborns life, on first day, the baby should have 1-3 wet diapers and at least 1 bowel movement. On the second day, your baby should have at least 2 wet diapers and at least1 bowel movement. On the third day, your baby should have at least 3 wet diapers and at least 1 bowel movement. On the fourth day, your baby should have 4 wet diapers and at least 2 bowel movements. By the fourth to eight week, a baby should have 2-3 bowel movements a day. The first few days, the baby is passing the meconium, the tarry first stool substance made up of all the bowel movements that the baby has accumulated for the last nine months in the womb. Breastfeeding the baby on the first few days with the Colostrum Breast milk helps the baby have a bowel movement. The stool becomes browner as the baby starts to breastfeed. Then the stool turns to yellow green and then to a mustard yellow color. The stool at this time should be a nice yellow in color and seedy in texture. This tells you that the baby is getting a good supply of your breast milk. The baby needs to go back to its birth weight by 10 to 14 days after it is born. When the baby is weighed at its 2 week check up, being at least to its original birth weight will be an important indicator that the baby is being nourished and growing well.

 

How long should each feeding last?
During the first week, offer the baby both sides when you breastfeed. Start by trying to feed the baby for five minutes, then ten minutes on both sides. Encourage the baby to breastfeed for as long as it wants to. By doing this, the baby will help you establish a good milk supply. Once the breast milk supplies come in, you can breastfeed for twenty minutes on each side or one side per feeding. It is important to note that there is no right or wrong on how long you should breastfeed your baby. You should feel that the baby is emptying your breast. There will be a feeling of a let down to know when it is time to breastfeed your baby again. You can also follow feeding cues that your child is giving you. These feeding cues can help you feed your baby on demand. Pre hunger cues may include: increased alertness, putting a fist in its mouth, sucking on his hand, clenching their fist, making a rooting motion by turning its head to touch and squirming. A late hunger cry is full blown crying. Remember, infants are helpless and dependent on us therefore, it is important to be responsive to their needs by feeding them on cue and on demand.

 

How do you do when a mother has a low milk supply?
The breast works on the law of supply and demand. The baby should be fed at least every three hours. By allowing the baby to breastfeed often, your body will receive the message that more breast milk is needed. You should avoid supplemental bottles and even pacifiers. This encourages the baby to meet all its sucking needs at your breast. This will help increase your milk supply. If you are using a pump to increase the supply of breast milk use in a hospital grade pump and pump on both sides simultaneously is possible.

 

How do I breastfeed my baby who is suffering from Torticollis?
This is an injury or spasms to the muscles of the neck which may cause the head to fall to one side, often the chin points to the other side. A mother who is breastfeeding a baby, who has been diagnosed with Torticollis, needs to find a comfortable position for breastfeeding. The tightness and weakness of the neck muscles need to be addressed through therapy. This will greatly help.

 

How can a baby be breastfed with a tongue tie, ankylogglosia?
A tongue tie is whena small piece of skin under the tongue is very tight and hold the tongue fastened to the bottom of the baby’s mouth. This condition tends to run in families. Doctors can clip this small piece of skin the lingual frenulum, the small piece of skin. This procedure is called a Frenotomy. It is important for you as a mother to decide whether your baby’s tongue may be in the way of breastfeeding, Together with your doctor, you can make a decision on whether to have this procedure done. After this procedure, babies tend to do better breastfeeding by having a better latch on of the mother’s breast and because of the good position, the mother’s breast is no longer sore. It is a procedure that does not take long in the doctor’s office and the outcome is very beneficial so it is well worth it to look into this procedure for your baby.

 

Should a Mother Breastfeed if she has Diabetes?
A diabetic mother should be encouraged to breastfeed. Women who have gestational diabetes during a pregnancy are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes if they do not breastfeed the baby (Kjos, Henry and Lee, 1993). Ask your doctor for further advice about breastfeeding your baby.

 

What is Tandem Breastfeeding?
Some mothers breastfeed through a pregnancy and then find themselves in an interesting situation of breastfeeding two children of different ages. This is called Tandem breastfeeding where a mother feeds two children at the same time. A woman can do tandem breastfeeding when she has a baby and an older child by breastfeeding them both at the same time.

 

How Should I Breastfeed My Multiples?
Breastfeeding is a supply and demand process. The greater the demand for breast milk, the greater the supply. Therefore, the body adjusts to having multiples to breastfeed. Buying a nursing pillow for twins can help. Feed each baby on both sides of the breasts for 5, 10 and 15 minutes then switch to the opposite breast. This way, the body will have enough breast milk for each feeding.

 

Should Woman in the United States With HIV Breastfeed?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) can be transmitted from mother to child. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatric, the World Health Organization and the United States centers for Disease Control advise against breastfeeding where formula is acceptable, feasible, affordable and safe.

 

What is Postpartum Blue, Depression and Psychosis and How Does it Affect Breastfeeding?
Postpartum Blues happen to some women where they experience depression after birth lasting only for a few days. This is temporary. Skin to skin contact with the baby may help. Postpartum Depression, PPD is a form of clinical depression which affects women. Factors that cause postpartum depression vary from woman to woman. Symptoms can include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, crying episodes, feeling of anxiety and irritability (Beard, 2005). Most treatment options for depression are compatible with breastfeeding. Support groups can help. There are ways that you can help yourself when you feel down. Make sure you are eating healthy, develop a moderate daily exercise program, even if it is a small walk and find time to relax and sleep. Make sure to find time for yourself, even if it is a warm soothing bath daily. Remember, the most important person is you and you should be number one in your life. If you are healthy and well, you can care for your baby. Postpartum psychosis happens and a mother suffers from severe depression. A mother can experience insomnia, irrational ideas such as wanting to harm its baby, feelings of failure, hallucinations and thought of suicide. Sometimes postpartum hormonal shifts can play a part in this.

 

How Can Breast Augmentation and Breast Surgery Affect Breastfeeding?
Breast Augmentation is the most common cosmetic surgical procedure preformed in women today. Depending on what kind of breast surgery you have had and where the incisions were made, will determine how well you can breastfeed your baby. An incision under the fold of the breast or through the armpit shouldn’t cause trouble. An incision around the areola periareolar incision is most likely to cause problems. If nerves were damaged during surgery you may not be able to breastfed fully. Breast implants may cause problems for breastfeeding and make it more difficult to breastfeed successfully. Therefore, it is wise for women to not have breast augmentation until after you are finished having children.

 

What is Jaundice and can a Baby Still Breastfeeding?
You can learn how to recognize the signs of jaundice when your baby is born. Look at your baby’s color of its skin in natural sunlight or under a florescent light. Press your fingertip on some part of your baby’s skin whether it is the nose, arms, abdomen or legs and see if the skin looks white once you press down for a few seconds. If the skin looks yellowish, you need to consult the baby’s doctor. This may be a sign of jaundice. The doctor will take a blood sample of the baby and test the baby’s bilirubin count. A baby that has a high hyperbilirubinemia and has a good weight for its age, can breastfeed with no interruption. Exclusive breastfeeding is the best. Babies, who are underweight and show symptoms of jaundice, may need to supplement their fluid intake. The child’s pediatrician can make this decision. Sometimes medical interventions are needed to bring down the bilirubin level and the infant needs to go under lights called phototherapy lights. This is when a Lactation Consultant can work with the pediatrician and family to develop a feeding plan for the infant.

 

What Causes Colic?
No one seems to know what causes colic. Babies cry uncontrollably in pain for three hours per day, three days a week more then three weeks. This can go on for several weeks. Pick up and hold the baby in a position that soothes the baby’s tummy pain. Walking around with the baby or rocking the baby helps. Keeping the baby in an upright position during feedings and for a short time after feedings, it might help. There are also special bottles for colicky babies if you give your baby a bottle when you go out or to work. Making sure to burp the baby well is important for colicky babies. Lying over your shoulder is also a good position for the baby. Changing the babies diaper may help because the baby is uncomfortable being wet. A little rocking on the rocking chair may be soothing for the baby too. Wrapping the baby tightly in a blanket may also help. Massaging the baby’s stomach may relieve pain. Sometimes a car ride can also soothe the baby. I found this to be my last resort when all else failed.

 

What is Yeast or Thrush and What do you do if you are Breastfeeding?
Thrush is yeast like infection. Breastfeeding moms can experience this yeast infection caused by the fungus Candida Albicans. It can be very painful and can spread to the baby’s mouth or visa versa. If this happens, the mother needs to see a doctor and consult with the pediatrician. Nystatin is usually recommended and Tylenol for pain however, you should follow what the doctor orders. The medicine should be followed for ten days or as long as the doctor recommends. The treatment needs to be completed. Continue to breastfeed your baby. However, you should change your breastfeeding pads often. Parts of the breast pump parts that can be removed, should be boiled. Otherwise, you should wash breast pump parts with warm soapy water. The baby’s pacifier and toys should be boiled in hot water for twenty minutes.

 

Can an infant show signs of allergy while breastfeeding?
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first few months is the best. Sometimes, when babies start to get introduced to new foods, they show signs of being allergic to the food. Some babies have a reaction to cow’s milk while the mother is breastfeeding. The mother may have to limit herself for a while to all dairy products and see if this helps the baby. The baby may show signs of fussiness, crying, rashes and wheezing. So, try to eliminate dairy products for a while and see of this helps. Of course, you should always contact a pediatrician.

 

How does breast milk help with constipation?
Breast milk is easily digested. Breast milk is a natural laxative. If a baby gets constipated with the introduction of new food, the mother should breastfeed more often.

 

What is a baby who is failure to thrive?
This is a baby who has not regained its birth weight by 10 to 14 days old. This baby is struggling to put weight on. Sometimes the doctor will recommend supplemental feedings. If there is no medical condition and the baby is older more nutritional therapy will probably be recommended.