“Your baby isn’t gaining enough weight because you’re producing skim milk.” First of all, the idea of skim milk comes from cows who produce milk, which is then processed and turned into skim milk, allowing you to enjoy your cow’s milk with less fat. COWS DO NOT PRODUCE SKIM MILK. It is a drink only possible because humans processed that cow’s milk. Nobody is processing your milk; it’s coming out whole human milk.
There are a lot of reasons I cannot stand when someone tells a mother she is producing “skim milk,” but the biggest reason is that the person (who is clearly uneducated in lactation) can often invokes feelings of “not being enough” for a mother. This FALSE statement can lead to discontinuing breastfeeding before she is ready.
Some mothers will discontinue their journey earlier than they had hoped for and some others will fall prey to products marketed to increase fat content of their milk. It doesn’t even have to be products you find on Facebook or Pinterest. I’ve heard of medical professionals advising mothers to consume a lot of fat (good and bad!) or even to put coconut oil directly in a baby’s bottle (seriously, don’t do this).
Before you spend your hard-earned money on a product you found recommended online from someone who is NOT a lactation expert, let me explain to you how the fat content in breastmilk works and the couple of ways you can change it.
“I’m losing my milk supply and I don’t know what to do!”
I hear this anguished cry from breastfeeding parents constantly. I hear it in the clinic. I see it in Facebook support groups. I hear it from private clients when we’re doing support sessions. Perceived low milk supply is the biggest reason people give up on breastfeeding. Notice I said perceived, not true low milk supply. A VERY small percentage of mothers are biologically unable to produce enough breastmilk to feed their baby (most studies say less than 5%). Now, that doesn’t mean that low milk supply can’t develop. There are some very real things that can sabotage you and lead to true low supply. So what happens then? I usually cringe as person after person spouts the same ridiculous advice - “Drink more water!” “Try coconut water!” “Body Armour drinks”. “Starbucks Pink Drink!” “Lactation teas and cookies.” “Gatorade, but it has to be blue.” Let’s look at milk production, and then examine the effect some of these fad suggestions might have.
Working with breastfeeding moms, I get asked all the time about new products and gadgets marketed to make their lives easier. I wholeheartedly believe you are all you need for your baby, but I don't mind trying out items to review and share my opinion.
Recently, I tried out TWO new products- the Beaugen Inserts and Lacteck BabyMotion Flanges. Both companies sent me these items to review and give my honest opinion. These products have two very different methods for similar problems pumping mothers experience. *I am not receiving any compensation or endorsement from either of these companies.
6/29/2019 3 Comments
What's the story behind these jars of milk? How did one get only 4 oz in 4hrs, but the other got 16 oz?!
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 4 oz jar on the left and the mom with the whopping 16 oz 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 our team of breastfeeding experts would do...
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 mama hat, and my friend hat, and my stranger hat) because I see the struggle EP mamas face in my practice, and I want you to know I see how hard you're working. 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 mama, 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.
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.
If you've ever taken my online breastfeeding class, then you've probably seen this statistic:
The #1 reason a woman gives up breastfeeding is because she thinks she isn't making enough milk.
Why is that??? Well..... one of the top reasons a mom thinks she's not making enough milk is because she doesn't understand what her baby is trying to communicate. The great news is newborns are actually excellent communicators, if you know how to interpret their language that is. In this blog we're going to talk about the 3 most important cues your baby uses to communicate, that could just save your breastfeeding relationship.
“Do I need to pump and dump?”
I hear this question countless times a week from concerned moms who get conflicting (or sometimes just plain wrong) information about what’s safe for a breastfeeding baby. But this week, I heard something I’d never heard before! A massage therapist told a breastfeeding mom she’d need to pump and dump after getting a massage to clear out toxins.
Kelly and I agreed we need a blog post to help moms like you figure out what to do in some of these common reasons moms (and doctors, and dentists, and pharmacists, and apparently massage therapists) think they need to throw out their milk. Milk is precious and we want to keep you from wasting it!
Are you breastfeeding and have been told to give up dairy? This advice may have come from your doctor, a good friend, or another breastfeeding momma. I hear this advice given regularly as a solution to solve certain symptoms in babies- especially in mom groups!
As a lactation expert, this is one of the most frustrating pieces of advice people give to my clients. Gassy baby? Give up dairy! Baby spits up? Give up dairy! Fussy baby? Give up dairy!
Giving up dairy seems to be the "cure all" to everything these days- when it's actually usually NOT the answer.
One question I am often asked is how long are you supposed to breastfeed? Well, the answer is simple. There is no right or wrong length of time to nurse your baby. There are expert recommendations, for example, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing to the age of 1 year and beyond. The World Health Organization recommends nursing until the age of 2 years and beyond! So, even our experts can't agree!
The simple answer is IT'S COMPLETELY UP TO YOU! Breastfeeding is a relationship and it takes two for it to work. No matter who decides it's time to stop, mom or baby, then that is the right time for that specific dyad. There are many reasons a mother may want to wean, and for some, weaning when baby is still very young is the healthiest option for both involved. No matter when, or why, when you're ready to wean you'll need to know how! I have put this guide together for YOU momma, for when you're ready. So when it's time for your breastfeeding journey to come to an end, you'll know how to get through it.
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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