Friday, July 12, 2013

Forceful Let Down and Over supply of Breastmilk

Does your baby…?
©      Gag and seem to choke at the breast
©      Fuss and pull off of the breast when nursing
©      Spit up often or seem gassy
©      Do you see fast streams of milk coming from your nipple when baby pulls off

A forceful let down is often accompanied with and oversupply of breast milk. Our goal is to adjust the milk supply and help baby deal with it. This process takes time to see results from any type of intervention made so be patient and stick with it…your doing great mom!

Adjust and reduce your milk supply

©      One-sided feedings – if baby is gaining weight well, offering one-sided feeding is a great way to control the amount that he/she is taking in. What that will do is tell your brain that you don’t necessarily need the milk that is in the other breast at that time and your hormones will naturally regulate within a few days to reduce the amount made at that time. One the next feeding, alternate breasts.
©      If baby finishes on one side, but still seems to want to nurse, put him/her back on the same side.
©      Dealing with engorgement on the breast that you are not nursing on - one of the best ways to deal with that is actually putting a cold compress to the breast. What that does is it relives some of the pressure but also "shocks" the breast and slows blood and milk flow, therefore reducing production.

Helping baby deal with fast flow

©      You will be continuing to feed baby while your adjusting your supply. Because it takes some time to see results, your baby may continue to be slightly overwhelmed.
©      Try using some new positions. (Cradle hold with you leaning back, Elevated football hold, where baby is kind of sitting up facing you, & the lying down position with baby either next to you, tummy to tummy (you on side, she on side) OR tummy to tummy (you lying on your back, baby on his/her stomach on top
 of you).
©      Nurse more frequently or when baby is sleepy and/or relaxed – baby will suck more gently, therefore not removing milk as quickly.
Burp frequently.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Its HOT! Does my breastfed baby need water....?

In the summer months here is Boston, it can get very warm and humid. Today for example, as I sit here, I am feeling quite warm in my office, and today is just the 1st of June! Now during these times, we as adults feel more thirsty, we require more fluids to stay hydrated and crave cold beverages...But what about our babies?

Breastfeeding babies do not need water. Breastmilk is actually 88% water so all a baby needs to stay hydrated is Mom's milk. Assuming that an infant is feeding on demand or as needed, even in humid, very hot and dry climates water or other liquid supplements are not needed for infants up to 6 months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states "During the first 6 months of age, even in hot climates, water and juice are unnecessary for breastfed infants and may introduce contaminants or allergens."

For infants under 6 months of age, water supplements can fill a baby up with non-calorie liquids; therefore this could lead to less frequent feeds, insufficient growth and even weight loss if done often. Babies, who are not nursing frequently due to supplements of water or other liquids, may be at risk for lowering Mom's milk supply. 

When your baby is over 6 months of age and starting to experiment with complementary foods and you are starting to introduce a sippy cup, it is appropriate at this time to offer a few sips of water. At this time, it is still only recommended to offer less than 2 ounces in a 24-hour period, this is because breastmilk and solids are offering baby a sufficient amount of water on their own.

So during these hot months, stay cool, keep hydrated yourself with your favorite cold beverage, but don’t worry about your baby, once again, breastmilk saves the day!

Lemon & Mint Water
1 Gallon Spring Water
1 Lemon, Sliced thin
10 fresh and whole mint leaves

In a large pitcher, add water, sliced lemons and fresh mint. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 1 hour. Serve over ice for a refreshing summer beverage.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

International Kangaroo Care Awareness Day

There have been many studies over the years that show the benefits of mother and baby being together immediately after birth. When baby is put on mothers chest, skin to skin (baby naked, mom's chest bare) these studies have shown that babies are able to bring their body temperature to a stable level, that their heart and breathing rates are more steady, babies blood sugar is more elevated and with skin to skin babies are simply more happy. Skin to Skin or Kangaroo Care has been show to increase breastfeeding success rates in new born infants drastically.

Skin to skin and kangaroo care has been shown to be beneficial of course for a baby born term and in good health, but it has also been shown to be beneficial for premature babies, babies with health concerns (ie: babies requiring oxygen or feeding tubes) or for multiple births (twins and so on).

The time to initiate skin to skin for the first time is immediately after birth. Best practice is that immediately after the baby is born, baby is place directly on mother’s stomach area, just below or between her breasts. The baby can then be whipped or dried by the doctor or nursing staff, a dry towel is then placed over your babies back.  At this time, babies will do something AMAZING. They go through something called the 9 stages of skin to skin. This process typically takes up to 1 hour and by the end of these 9 stages, babies are typically self-latching and breastfeeding successful with no help from you.

Check out this video clip to see a new born baby in action: CLICK HERE

An important thing to keep in mind is that this process should not be interrupted. Necessary procedures and checks from the hospital staff can be done while baby is skin to skin with mother. (ie: vitamin K, Apgar, hospital bands, etc.)

More benefits of skin to skin:
· Is more likely to latch on well and in a comfortable position
· Maintains body temperature normal (better than an incubator)
· Maintains heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure
· Higher blood sugar
· Less likely to cry
· Is more likely to breastfeed exclusively and breastfeed longer
· Even Dad can do it!!

For more inforation about making Skin to Skin and Kangaroo care part of your birth and postpartum care place, please feel free to contact me, post a message, or share a story on our facebook page!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hyperlactation vs. Food Allergies

It seems that more recently we are seeing many babies that have been diagnosed with food allergies. Milk, Soy, Corn, Egg, and the list goes on and on. For a breastfeeding mother, this can be a devastating and complicated medical issue to tackle. Is my baby allergic to my breast milk? Should I change to a recommended hypoallergenic formula?

NO, it is not biologically possible for a baby to be allergic to mothers milk, it is however possible that a baby could be having an allergic reaction or a sensitivity to a food component in mothers milk (ie: something mom ate). If this is the case, it is important that a Mom be aware of the foods that she is eating, and try to slowly eliminate certain foods that may be associated with babies symptoms.

With all that said, I have also more recently been thinking that some of these allergic and colic symptoms could also be associated with hyperlactation.

Hyperlactation can make breastfeeding your baby quite difficult due to the fact that the baby has a hard time keeping up with the fast flow.

Hyperlactation is when your body produces a lot more breast milk than you need to meet your baby’s needs. The milk may come out fast, you may have a forceful letdown, which may cause milk to leak or spray between and during feedings.

It is normal in the beginning for your body to over produce, and the reason for this is that the first weeks after birth, your body is learning to regulate your supply. But when these symptoms of fullness, engorgement and overproduction continue after 4-6 weeks postpartum we can assume that you are over producing.

Babies who are nursing from a mother who may have a forceful letdown may show signs and symptoms during and after a feeding that are very similar to those of a baby with reflux, colic and food allergies. This makes diagnosing a true allergy very difficult and more often than not, mom will be advised to limit her intake of many foods to help with baby’s symptoms. Eliminating foods from Mom’s diet is not going to help the symptoms for a baby experiencing hyperlactation and when a mother eliminates foods from her own diet she is putting herself at nutritional risk, when in short, an allergy isn’t really the issue in the first place.

If you suspect that your baby may be showing symptoms of an allergy, contact you pediatrician and discuss your concerns! Seeking help from an IBCLC is so important to help you through these difficult times. Having the support from a team of professional in combination with your pediatrician is invaluable.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's normal to have questions during your pregnancy!

Congratulations, you have a baby on the way! There is nothing more exciting than a growing family. Does it seem that there is so much to know and to learn? Do you feel that you have so many questions for you doctors, nurses and/or midwives? Its normal to have questions, so never be afraid to ask them! Below are some commonly asked questions regarding breastfeeding!

Why Breastfeed?
Breastfeeding is the best and most natural choice for feeding your infant. Nothing compares to breastmilk, it contains all the nutrients your baby needs to grow. It also has health benifits for mom, it reduces your risk for certain cancers, diabetis, can promote weight loss, and more.

How long should I breastfeed?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends to exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months of life, and continue to breastfeed throughtout the first year with some solid food introductions (for example, fruits, vegetables, infant cereals). Its really your choice to decide when you stop breastfeeding.

What should I expect/What's normal in the beginning?
We're not going to lie, breastfeeding can sometimes start off a little rough, but remember, you and your baby are learning a new skill! After a short few weeks, most women relax and find nursing enjoyable. *Always ask for assistance if you feel that breastfeeding isnt going as planned.

I have friends who couldnt breastfeed, so does that meat that I cant?
Every women is different. Just because you have heard horror stories from friends and family memebers who have had difficulty breastfeeding or who were not succesful breastfeeding, does not mean the same thing will happen to you. Learn all you can about breastfeeding before you have your baby and find a support person (LIKE US!) that you can rely on for help.

Will it hurt?
In the very beginning, your breasts and nipples may feel a bit tender, but breastfeeding your baby should not be painful. If you do end up having pain throughout a nursing session, it usually means that the baby is not in a good position or isnt latched on properly. *Always ask for assistance if you feel that breastfeeding isnt going as planned.

Do I have to be on a special diet?
No, there is not special diet associated with breastfeeding. Generally, eating a healthy diet rich in a variety of healthy foods is recommended, but the occasional treat is ok.

Can I have a glass of wine or a cocktail?
Yes, in moderation. Because alcohol does have the ability to pass through to your breastmilk it is best to limit the amount. Blood alcohol levels and breastmilk alcohol levels are very similar, once you feel the alcohol is out of your system it is safe to breastfeed. You DO NOT have to "pump and dump".

Feel free to post other questions or concerns that you have about feeding your baby! Visit us on our NEW facebook support page.

Monday, February 18, 2013


“Imagine that the world had created a new dream product to feed and immunize everyone born on Earth. Imagine also that it was available everywhere, required no storage or delivery and helped mothers to plan their families and reduce the risk of cancer. Then, imagine the world refused to use it.”
This scenario sounds extraordinary; imagine having healthier mothers and babies, products available to everyone regardless of their economic status, ability to reduce your risk of certain diseases and cancers. WE DO, its breast milk. Breast milk is a superfood, available to every person at birth and yet we are still not utilizing it to its full potential. 

Reasearch has shown that early initiation of breastfeeding (starting to breastfeed soon after birth) can prevent 22% of all deaths among babies below one month in developing countries.

SO LETS BREASTFEED! Please visit our new FACEBOOK PAGE! - We are hoping that this page will build awareness in our community for breastfeeding mother. Please feel free to share your breastfeeding success stories, thoughts or concerns related to breastfeeding with us! All babies are born to breastfeed and we are hoping that we can lend a helping hand to the mothers behind the blankets.