UPDATE (Mar 5, 2012)
Welcome to the "new" BREASTFEEDING sticky! Feel free to chat, ask questions, post pictures and share your experiences! I will be updating the front with a few more helpful links soon. =D
This are two great links for all things BFing related:
New WHO growth charts:
How to Increase Your Milk Supply: 35 Ways to Boost Your Milk Supply
In order to understand how to increase your milk supply it is important to understand how the process of milk production works. You may have heard that breast milk supply is based on supply and demand, but milk production isnít initially based on supply and demand. After you give birth, hormones in your body tell your breasts to start making milk. During this time period your body doesnít know exactly how much milk your baby will need. This is the best time to establish a good milk supply.
Over time, your body eventually learns how much milk to produce based on the removal of milk from your breasts. When your breasts are empty, this tells your body to make more milk. Likewise, full breasts signal your body to make less milk. Emptying the breasts frequently during the early stages of breastfeeding will help ensure that you have a good milk supply. But what can you do if breastfeeding didnít get off to a good start or if you want to increase your milk supply?
Here are 35 ways to boost your milk supply:
1. Breastfeed frequently. Frequent breastfeeding is the number one key to boosting your milk supply.
2. Offer both breasts during feedings.
3. Make sure baby nurses long enough to empty your breast when she nurses.
4. Donít schedule feedings. Follow your babyís hunger cues for feeding.
5. Allow your baby to cluster feed. Cluster feeding is when a baby breastfeeds several times during a short period of time. Babies often cluster feed in the evenings before they go to sleep.
6. Try switch nursing. Nurse on one breast, if baby gets tired of nursing switch to the other breast, and continue switching breasts until both breasts are empty or baby will no longer suck.
7. Use breast compression
when you nurse. Breast compression involves massaging your breast and squeezing extra milk out as your baby nurses.
8. Breastfeed at night. Night feedings are great for boosting milk supply.
9. Pump after nursing. Usually pumping after nursing will help empty the breast. If you find that you are not pumping anything after nursing you can try pumping before nursing. Babies are much more efficient at emptying the breast than a pump so this may work better for some moms.
10. If your supply is low or baby is not gaining weight see a lactation consultant for help.
11. Make sure baby is latching on well. Try more than one technique to get your baby latched on.
12. Get support from breastfeeding moms.
13. Pump while you nurse. Pump on one side and nurse on the other. Then switch sides and let baby empty the breast that you pumped.
14. Get lots of skin to skin contact with baby.
15. Nurse in bed. Lying down in bed may help you relax and allow baby to nurse for longer periods of time.
16. Donít sleep on your stomach at night. This may compress your breasts and hinder your supply.
17. Let your baby comfort nurse even if you donít hear her swallowing.
18. Try babywearing
. Carry your baby in a sling or try nursing her in the sling.
19. Avoid pacifiers and artificial nipples
20. Avoid taking birth control pills while you are breastfeeding if possible.
21. Donít smoke.
22. Drink plenty of water, especially right before you nurse.
23. Limit how much caffeine you drink.
24. Try to relax when you nurse and not rush.
25. Avoid supplementing if at all possible.
26. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of protein.
27. If your baby needs to supplement, consider using a supplemental nursing system or lactation aid
so that your baby can nurse at the breast while you supplement.
28. Take a nursing vacation. Spend a weekend in bed with your baby and nurse her as much as possible.
29. Try taking fenugreek or blessed thistle. Both our herbs that have been used to help improve milk supply.
30. Try drinking motherís milk tea. Motherís milk tea can be found at most health stores.
31. Donít diet while you are breastfeeding.
32. Eat a bowl of oatmeal. Some moms believe oatmeal helps boost milk supply.
33. Talk to your doctor about prescription medication like Reglan to boost your milk supply.
34. Avoid decongestants and antihistamines as these may decrease milk supply.
35. Remember that any amount of breast milk your baby gets from you is good for her.
Top 10 Breastfeeding Problems Solved
Leaks, cracks, clogs? Your top 10 feeding problems solved.
Itís a natural process so it should be easy, right? But just like learning how to ride a bike, you need to learn how to breastfeed (and so does baby, by the way). We consulted with Jane Morton, MD, on how to handle the 10 most common breastfeeding problems. She should know -- sheís been teaching doctors, nurses, and lactation consultants how to teach the rest of us for more than 30 years. And sheís on staff at Lucile Packard Childrenís Hospital at Stanford in Palo Alto, California.
Problem #1: Latching pain
Itís normal for your nipples to feel sore when you first start to breastfeed, especially if youíre a first-timer. But if baby has latched and the pain lasts longer than a minute into your feeding session, check the positioning.
Try to achieve an asymmetrical latch where babyís mouth covers more of the areola below the nipple rather than above. To reposition him, place your index finger inside babyís mouth to take him off your breast. Tickle his chin or wait until he yawns so his mouth is wide open and seize your opportunity. (Sandwich the breast as described in the video clip below to shape it to the babyís mouth.) When he is correctly positioned, his chin and nose touch your breast, his lips splay out and you canít see your nipple or part of the lower areola.
If babyís position is correct and latching on still hurts, your nipples may be dry. Make sure to wear loose clothing and avoid washing with soap. Lanolin-based creams are good for applying between feedings.
Problem #2: Cracked nipples
Cracked nipples can be the result of many different things: thrush (see #6), dry skin, pumping improperly, or most likely, latching problems. During the first week of breastfeeding, you may have bloody discharge when your baby is just learning to latch or you are just beginning to pump. A little blood, while kind of gross, wonít harm baby.
Check babyís positioning -- the bottom part of your areola underneath your nipple should be in babyís mouth. Also, try breastfeeding more frequently, and at shorter intervals. The less hungry baby is, the softer his sucking will be.
As tempting as it is to treat your cracked nipples with anything you can find in your medicine cabinet, soaps, alcohol, lotions, and perfumes are no good -- clean water is all you need to wash with. Try letting some milk stay on your nipples to air dry after feeding (the milk actually helps heal them). You can also try taking a mild painkiller like acetaminophen or ibuprofen 30 minutes before nursing. If all this fails, try an over-the-counter lanolin cream, specially made for nursing mothers and use plastic hard breast shells inside your bra.
Problem #3: Clogged/plugged ducts
Ducts clog because your milk isnít draining completely. You may notice a hard lump on your breast or soreness to the touch and even some redness. If you start feeling feverish and achy, thatís a sign of infection and you should see your doctor. Most importantly try not to have long stretches in between feedings -- milk needs to be expressed often. A nursing bra that is too tight can also cause clogged ducts. Stress (something all new mommies have an over abundance of) can also affect your milk flow.
Do your best to get adequate rest (you should recruit your partner to pick up some slack when possible). Also, try applying warm compresses to your breasts and massage them to stimulate milk movement.
Clogged ducts are not harmful to your baby because breastmilk has natural antibiotics. That said, thereís no reason why you have to suffer. Breastfeeding should be enjoyable for mom and baby.
Problem #4: Engorgement/high milk supply
Engorgement makes it difficult for baby to latch on to the breast because itís hard and un-conforming to his mouth.
Try hand-expressing a little before feeding to get the milk flowing and soften the breast, making it easier for baby to latch and access milk. Of course, the more you nurse, the less likely your breasts are to get engorged.
Problem #5: Mastitis
Mastitis is a bacterial infection in your breasts marked by flu-like symptoms such as fever and pain in your breasts. Itís common within the first few weeks after birth (though it can also happen during weaning) and is caused by cracked skin, clogged milk ducts, or engorgement.
The only sufficient way to treat the infection is with antibiotics, hot compresses, and most importantly, frequent emptying. Use hands-on pumping, making sure the red firm areas of the breast and the periphery are softened. Itís safe and actually recommended that you continue breastfeeding when you have mastitis.
Problem #6: Thrush
Thrush is a yeast infection in your babyís mouth, which can also spread to your breasts. It causes incessant itchiness, soreness, and sometimes a rash.
Your doctor will need to give you antifungal medication to put on your nipple and in babyís mouth -- if youíre not both treated at the same time, you can give each other the fungi and prolong healing.
Problem #7: Low milk supply
Breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand process. If your doctor is concerned about babyís weight gain, and he is being plotted on the World Health Organization curves designed for breastfeeding babies, this may be the problem.
Frequent nursing and hands-on pumping during the day can help increase milk supply. Surprisingly, forcing fluids and eating more calories or different foods hasnít been shown to increase milk production.
Problem #8: Baby sleeping at breast
Baby is sleepy in the first couple of months after birth (hey, heís been through a lot) so falling asleep while nursing is common. All that bonding makes baby relaxed!
Milk flow is fastest after your first let-down, so if you want to increase efficiency, start off at the fuller breast, then switch to the other breast sooner, rather than later. When you notice babyís sucking slowing down and his eyes closing, remove him from your breast and try to stimulate him by burping, tickling his feet, or gently talking to him while rubbing his back, and then switch breasts. As baby gets older heíll be able to stay awake longer, so donít fret.
Problem #9: Inverted/flat nipples
You can tell if you have flat or inverted nipples by doing a simple squeeze test: Gently grab your areola with your thumb and index finger -- if your nipple retracts rather than protrudes, youíve got a problem, Houston. Not really. But breastfeeding will be more challenging.
Use a pump to get the milk flowing before placing baby at your nipple and use breast shells between feeds. Once you feel like your milk supply is adequate, try using nipple shields if baby still has problems latching.
Problem #10: Painful/overactive let down
Your breast is like a machine -- when you let down, all the milk-producing engines constrict to move the milk forward and out of your nipple. Sometimes the working of these inner parts can hurt, especially when in overdrive. Some mothers feel a prickly pins-and-needles sensation and others just get an achy feeling.
If this feeling of pins and needles goes beyond a mere tingling and feels more like a hundred little daggers poking your breasts, you need to check for a breast infection (yeast or bacteria). Sometimes this pain develops when you have an excessive amount of milk. Try feeding baby longer on one particular breast and switching to the other only if you need to. If the result is an infection (fever, aches, and chills may be present), youíll need to get antibiotics from your doctor. No matter how unpleasant it is for you, itís still safe for baby to nurse.
> Need a lactation consultant? Whether you live in Wyoming or Guam, Breastfeeding.com
has a directory of more than 3,000 consultants.
-- Dara Pettinelli
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2-4 tablespoons brewer's yeast
1. Preheat oven to 350į.
2. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
3. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
4. Add eggs and mix well.
5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
6. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
7. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
8. Stir in oats and chips.
9. Scoop onto baking sheet.
10. Bake for 12 minutes.
11. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.
STILL IN PROGRESS
(these are links from a previous BFing thread. I will be going through them and updating them or deleting links that no longer work. stay tuned.)
Links and information:
(in alphabetic order)
Bad breastfeeding tips:
Breastfeeding after breast surgery:
Meds while BFing (info, list):
Relactation & Adoptive breastfeeding:
cute blinkies, including for tandem nursing and extended nursing. =D