See.... we have here two jars of breastmilk......
So, what's the story behind these jars of milk? How did one collect only 4oz in 4hrs, but the other was able to collect 16oz????
Both were collected using the same techniques, the same breast pump, by a mom nursing a 4 month old baby..... so.... what's the deal? What do you think the difference is between the mom with the 4oz jar on the left and the mom with the whopping 16oz jar on the right????
What advice would you give to the poor mom who only pumped 4oz, to help her increase her milk supply??? Read on to find out exactly what we (breastfeeding experts) would do....
Did you know the birth you have matters when it comes to breastfeeding? There are certain interventions that can affect breastfeeding and your milk supply. Some common interventions that can affect your ability to breastfeed are IV fluids, epidural, Pitocin, and cesarean births.
Sometimes birth interventions are necessary, and if that's the case that doesn't mean you can't breastfeed, it just means we may need to alter the way you approach those first feedings, and early postpartum period so you can have the best breastfeeding experience despite your birthing circumstances.
Knowing is half the battle. As a lactation expert, one of the fist things I would say to you during a virtual breastfeeding support session is... "tell me about your birth". I can get clues about what's going on based on your birth experience, and then use that knowledge to make a plan of action that will work for you, your baby, and your circumstances.
In this post we cover different birthing scenarios, and how you can still have Your Best Start to Breastfeeding, no matter your birthing outcomes.
Please help me welcome Lynn Turcotte-Schuh, who has written this guest blog post for us today! She is a child birth and parenting expert, and the owner of Happy Mama Wellness. Lynn helps expecting families prepare to welcome their little ones, and care for them after they arrive.
Thank you Lynn for your wisdom, and for this incredibly informative guest post for our audience.
As a first-time expectant Mama, you want to be prepared for anything and everything. The problem is, most of what lies ahead will be out of your control. Rest assured, no matter HOW your baby enters the world (vaginal, traditional cesarean or gentle cesarean) you can still have an empowered birth experience!
The large majority of Mamas are going to enter their birth experience laboring towards a vaginal birth. Nationally, just over 30% of those Mamas will end up having a cesarean birth.
There's one really great way to level up and become an extraordinary first time dad, and it's simple: focus on bonding with your baby. But, how do you do that exactly? Well, in this post we break it down for you, and share the perfect tool to help you do it.
In our practice as lactation consultants we have the honor of supporting families with our prenatal class and have been given insights from the perspective of countless dads, and partners about their views of becoming a new parent. What we see commonly: the partner feels left out of the whole pregnancy experience, and can feel disconnected from the process.
And that makes sense I suppose. I mean, all the appointments and classes are about mom and baby. Not about dad. So it would seem their role is secondary to their partner and baby. That is not how we feel. We feel very strongly that partners need to be fully included in the prenatal experience, and have a crucial role in the breastfeeding relationship as well. Being an extraordinary first time dad/partner comes down to one very simple thing- Bonding.
But how do you bond with your breastfed baby? Do you give your baby a bottle and give your partner a break from breastfeeding? (Well... if you've read our top tips you know we don't recommend this.) Do you play with baby? Read to baby? Massage baby? Often partners are discouraged from bonding with their babies because newborns are very mom obsessed, and usually are happiest at the breast. Nobody wants to hold a screaming baby.
But, bonding with your baby can be easy if you have a few skills, and there's one crucial bonding method that is tried and true, and will set you up for success!
For those of you who are exclusively pumping, I absolutely applaud you. You deserve all the brownie points, and all the brownies. In my opinion, exclusive pumping (EP) is more challenging than nursing a baby at the breast. At least, emotionally, and sometimes physically too.
It's harder to establish and maintain a milk supply when you EP, challenging to pump and care for a baby, and often comes with a slew of emotions around not nursing baby at the breast. These are just to name a few.
That being said, there are countless women who are not afraid of that challenge and take on the EP journey with stride (and a whole lot of support!) And to those of you in it, I tip my LC hat to you (and my momma hat, and my friend hat, and my stranger hat) because I see the struggle EP mommas face in my practice, and want you to know I see how hard you're working, and no matter what anyone says to you or thinks you're just as much a breastfeeding mom as any other breastfeeding mom.
With that said, I also wanted to provide you, brave EP momma, with more than just recognition. In today's post, I have some gold for you (liquid gold if you will). We are going to cover the topic of Exclusive Pumping, as I chat with an EP expert and share all of her best tips, and a few of mine too.
What you don't know about your breast pump actually can hurt you..... literally.
It can hurt your nipples, and your milk supply. So knowing how to use your pump properly, and having a pump that fits is the difference between being successful with pumping and struggling to keep up supply, or worse (and we've seen it often) causing damage to your nipples.
When you're struggling with pumping and maintaining your milk supply with your pump, don't be hard on yourself, it's likely not you, momma. The first place you should be looking is the equipment you're using, and how you're using it. It's almost never something wrong with us, and instead improper pump usage or malfunction.
So if you're not sure if it fits, pumping is uncomfortable for you, or your output is not what it should be, you can get support to figure it out.
How much time have you spent thinking about your birth? If you're like most first time moms, I bet it's alot! You want to know exactly what to expect, and that makes complete sense- you've never done this before. You've taken the birth class, you're preparing for labor and practicing your pain management techniques... All of this is good, really important stuff, BUT- you're missing one really important piece.
One of our new segments on the blog is the Successful Breastfeeding Story Series, and the journeys we are capturing are absolutely blowing me away! This one is no exception.
This episode of the Successful Breastfeeding Podcast I had the honor of chatting with Gopika. She is a single mom, which is no easy feat (I've been there too!) and she is raising a beautiful daughter with some unique challenges.
Exhausted?? Us too! So is our Successful Breastfeeding Community. When I shared the news that I was going to be tackling the topic of how to get a baby to sleep through the night our group jumped on board, and asked ALL THE QUESTIONS. (Join us here btw.)
So.... When we stumbled across Elizabeth Bine Sleep Consultant, I knew I had to record a podcast with her, and sneak away with a load of her golden nuggets of wisdom. And oh boy did I!!!
Elizabeth has solutions to help you get your breastfed baby to sleep through the night, and do so without loosing your sanity or letting your baby cry it out. This is probably one of the most valuable collaborations we have ever done!
In this episode we cover....
*How to get more sleep without weaning.
*Tips for transitioning from cosleeping to independent sleep.
*When can we expect a baby to sleep through the night.
*How can we get baby to sleep without a Rock N' Sleeper after the recall?
And a whole lot more!
I HATE pumping. Hate it. I don't think I have ever met a soul who loves it. (If you're out there.... raise your hand!)
At 4 weeks postpartum, I started pumping once a day using my Advance Double Electric from Medela for “practice bottle” milk, bath/skincare milk, and I’d freeze anything I didn’t end up using. I only pump for 10 minutes (because I hate pumping) and always during my son’s morning nap, which was 1-2 hours after he nursed last.
When I heard about the new PersonalFit Flex Breast Shields by Medela I had to try them. According to their marketing campaigns these new shields to increase comfort and get more milk faster. (Sounds great Medeala! I would love to pump less often and more comfortably.) Their claim is you'll pump 11.8% more milk and have a faster milk ejection than the traditional shields that come with the pumps. The shields are also made to be compatible with any Medela breast pump.
But does it really work?? I am always skeptical when it comes to anything marketed to breastfeeding moms. So I got a set, and decided to try! In this post I go over differences I noticed between both models, things I liked and didn’t like, and how much milk I got using each.
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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