Breastfeeding

Enjoying the Holidays with a New Baby

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It's the Holiday Season; you are making plans to visit friends and family, and they are making plans to see your new baby. Having a new baby during the holidays can be overwhelming. The struggle to please everyone while maintaining your sanity in the postpartum period can make it very difficult to enjoy the holiday season. Throw in going gift shopping with your infant when all you want is to enjoy your baby-moon, and you have a recipe for disaster. There is good news, though! Communication is so important when setting boundaries. Friends and family will not know where the boundaries are if you do not communicate your needs up front. Are you tired? Make it known. If you are hungry, ask for someone to bring you food. Do you need to hold your infant? Tell whoever is holding the baby that it is Mommy's turn. Communicate yours and your baby's needs to everyone in order to maintain your sanity and keep everyone happy! Utilize your resources. Have friends or family that live close by? Take them up on previous offers to help out, whether it be helping to decorate, going shopping with you (or even for you!), and, if you can bear it, let them babysit for some self-care.

 

The Basics of Paced Bottle Feeding

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Many parents have questions about bottle feeding their breastfed baby. Using a bottle, especially in the early days of your child’s life, can allow the responsibility of feeding your newborn to be shared by both parents. However, breastfeeding mothers sometimes are unsure how to go about successfully bottlefeeding their breastfed baby. One of the methods to quickly help your newborn transition between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding is called paced bottle feeding. Below you can read more information on this technique.

What is Paced Bottle Feeding?

The idea behind paced bottle feeding is to mimic the process of natural breastfeeding but with a bottle instead. It is a technique that puts your baby in control of when feeding sessions begin and end rather than a rigid schedule. This method of bottle feeding forces your child to work harder for their milk and, as a result, slows down their feeding patterns. In part, the added difficulty of retrieving milk from the bottle helps reinforce your infant’s preference for the breast. Therefore, it can allow you to bottle-feed your baby with confidence knowing they will feed more easily and readily from the breast.

Why is it Needed?

Since your child is the one in control of the feed, paced bottle feeding can help you avoid over or under feeding your baby. They will exhibit hunger cues or signs of being full that, when followed, will let you know whether they are getting enough milk, too much milk, or just the right amount. Additionally, because it is designed to mimic breastfeeding, this technique supports your breastfeeding relationship with your baby. For many new moms, the ability to allow their partner to take over evening feeds can make a dramatic difference in their sleep schedule and

How do you do it?

The method is fairly straightforward. First, keep an eye out for hunger cues and when you see them it is time to start the feed. When beginning a paced bottle feeding session, use the nipple on the bottle to elicit a rooting response where baby will draw the nipple into their mouth on their own. During the actual feeding, tilt the bottle only enough to keep milk in the nipple. While you don’t want your baby to swallow a lot of air, maintaining a more horizontal bottle reduces the flow and ensures your child is working for the milk. At regular intervals (20 to 30 seconds or when active sucking stops) tip the bottom of the bottle down or remove it from their mouth to stop flow and bring it back up when they begin sucking to simulate a let down. Repeat these steps until your baby is satiated. For more detailed information check out these blogs from Mama Natural and Motherlove.

Breastfeeding Let Down

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It is common for new mothers to have questions about breastfeeding and several of those questions center around the terminology. One term that is often unknown before pregnancy and birth is “let-down.” Below you will find information on breastfeeding let-down as well as how it works when pumping.

What is a Let Down?

In the simplest terms, a breastfeeding let-down is a release of milk from the breast tissue. The process begins when nerves in the breast are stimulated, typically through some form of sucking. This stimulation triggers the release of oxytocin which causes the muscles surrounding the milk-producing cells to contract. The result of these contractions is ejection of milk from the cells into the pathways that carry the milk to the nipple and eventually out of the body. There are other ways your breastfeeding let-down may be triggered that you should be aware of and can read about here. One of the better-known examples is the sound of a baby crying which has been known to create embarrassing situations in public.

How Do You Know When It Happens?

According to KellyMom, “most moms describe let-down as a tingly, pins-and-needles sensation in their chest, which can happen right after birth or even several weeks into breastfeeding. The tickly feeling is actually milk making its way through the ducts to your nipples.” You can tell a breastfeeding let-down when it’s happening because your baby will change their sucking pattern from short and choppy (think pacifier suck) to longer, rhythmic nursing once the let-down has begun. Additionally, your baby will start swallowing more frequently as they get more milk from you.

Pumping

Let-down also occurs during pumping sessions but in some cases may require some intervention to stimulate it. By far, one of the easiest ways to stimulate milk production is to relax. Using a little bit of breast massage or a warm compress on the breast to help the milk flow. You may also be able to think about your baby, look at pictures or videos to help you stimulate a let down. For more ideas on ways to encourage let-down while pumping, check out this article.

Returning to Work as a New Mom - Your Rights

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There are a large number of new moms that end up going back to work while they are still breastfeeding their baby. While needing to pump while at work is a well-known issue, what many don’t know is that they have rights when returning to work as a new mom. Read on to see some of the places you can go to learn more about your rights before returning to work as a new mom.

Company Policy

One of the first places to look for information on your rights when returning to work as a new mom is to talk to your Human Relations representative. Your company may have specific policies that provide you with flexible scheduling, work from home options, pumping breaks, or other benefits that you can’t take advantage of if you don’t know they exist. It is also a good idea to talk to your boss about any options you plan to use so that you can find solutions that work for both of you. Finally, you want to check your company’s policies against both state and federal laws to ensure there are no conflicts between the law and company policy.

State Law

In the State of California, it is illegal for employers to “discriminate against women for breastfeeding or breastfeeding-related medical conditions.” Additionally, “an employer must provide reasonable unpaid break time to a woman to express breast milk unless doing so would seriously disrupt the employer's business.” Finally, “the employer must make a reasonable effort to provide the mother with a private space close to her work area, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.” Click here for a map of states that provide protections under their state laws to new moms returning to work.

Federal Law

According to Federal Law, when returning to work as a new mom, you are entitled to all of the same benefits of other employees regardless of how you may have been affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. According to the Department of Labor, “Effective 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. § 207) ("FLSA") to require that employers provide a nursing mother reasonable break time to express breast milk for one year after the birth of her child.” Unfortunately, there is no requirement for the time to be compensated but check other state and local laws as additional protection may be afforded.

Issues and Ailments - Tongue Tie

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There are a wide variety of issues and ailments that can afflict newborns. While each provides unique challenges, issues that interfere with feeding are of particular concern because of the vital role nutrition plays in development. One common condition that can severely impact a baby’s ability to feed is a tongue tie, and you can learn more about them below.

What is a Tongue Tie?

The medical term for a tongue tie is ankyloglossia and is the result of the skin connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth being too short. As a result, the tongue is anchored in the mouth and experiences reduced movement. Unfortunately, this condition is often missed in newborns and infants which can lead to problems breastfeeding as well as more severe issues as they grow older. If your baby has a tongue tie, please remember that there are currently no confirmed cause for this condition so there is no need to worry or wonder if there was something you could have done differently.

Associated Problems

For mothers with babies that have a tongue tie, breastfeeding can pose a significant challenge. Since the newborn’s tongue is anchored in the mouth, it is difficult for them to establish or maintain a proper latch. Additionally, according to Mayo Clinic, “Breast-feeding requires a baby to keep his or her tongue over the lower gum while sucking. If unable to move the tongue or keep it in the right position, the baby might chew instead of suck on the nipple. This can cause significant nipple pain and interfere with a child's ability to get breast milk.” In terms, of long-term effects, a child with a tongue tie may experience mild to severe speech issues, gap formation in teeth, and the inability to do certain oral activities such as play a woodwind instrument.

Corrective Treatment

Typically, a physical examination and diagnosis are required before anything can be done to correct the tongue tie. If the doctor deems it necessary or in the best interest of the child, they will typically recommend a frenotomy or frenuloplasty depending on the conditions surrounding the tongue tie. Both procedures involve removal of the excess tissue that is restricting the motion of the tongue.

For more information, check out this article on the UK’s National Health Service website.

What to Expect in Your First Days Breastfeeding

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Many new moms who intend to breastfeed don’t know what to expect in their first days breastfeeding. Unfortunately, the lack of dialogue in our society leaves many of these mothers with unrealistic expectations about how their body will respond to the need to feed their baby in the earliest days. Keep reading to learn about what you can expect from your first days breastfeeding.

Feeding Frequency

One of the biggest misconceptions is that you will go from not producing any milk before giving birth to having an abundance of milk on day one of your baby’s life. It takes time and work to build up your supply. Additionally, your child’s stomach is tiny in the first few days (take a look at the chart from Medela) which means you can expect to be frequently feeding (even once an hour) during your first days breastfeeding. Don’t be discouraged, however, because the frequent feedings signal your body to make more milk and if you stick with it, you will make enough to feed your baby.

Breastfeeding Issues

There are a variety of issues you may encounter during your first days breastfeeding but not to worry, they are not uncommon and can be overcome with proper care and persistence. Due to the frequent feedings and the commonality of improper latching, of those issues that many new moms experience is sore or cracked nipples that can make nursing or pumping exceptionally painful. The added difficulty of feeding or pumping with sore or cracked nipples can seem insurmountable, but with the proper support and treatment, many mothers are able to establish a good latch and continue breastfeeding.

Support

Regardless of whether or not you experience issues breastfeeding, all new moms require support to develop a strong and healthy breastfeeding relationship with your child. Support can come from your partner, family, or a certified professional. Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC’s) and Internationally Board Certified Lactation Counselors (IBCLC’s) exist to provide continuing support for breastfeeding mothers and have a wealth of information they can share with you. No matter what issues you and your child may be having with breastfeeding, they can provide you with guidance and advice that will help address any physical problems or pain while helping you to build up your supply. To find an IBCLC in your area, click here.

Additional Resources

http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/

https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-week-one/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/breastfeeding-the-first-weeks

https://www.fitpregnancy.com/baby/breastfeeding/first-48-hours-after-birth

Boosting Milk Supply

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Most people are familiar the use of breastfeeding as a means of providing nourishment to newborns and infants. What is not often known is that while the body does a lot of the work necessary to generate milk that it requires maintenance on mom’s part to make sure that her supply stays healthy. As a result, breast milk supply is one of the biggest concerns for many new mothers. So what can you do to maintain or increase the amount of milk that your body produces for your child? In this blog, we are discussing some tips for boosting milk supply.

Water Consumption

For breast milk to be produced within your body, it is necessary for you to provide your body with the raw materials required. One of the most critical of those raw materials is simply water which makes this one of the most valuable tips for boosting milk supply. While each mother’s water consumption needs may vary, the impact of not drinking enough can be seen pretty quickly and often takes the form of a dip in supply. If you are not producing as much milk as you were a day or two ago, consider how much water you have been consuming before resorting to other measures.

Pumping Schedule

Your bodies milk supply system works on a "supply and demand" basis very similar to the principles taught in basic economics. When your breasts are emptied of milk, your body naturally responds by sending signals to increase milk production. Conversely, if you have unused milk that remains in breast tissue, your body believes it is producing too much milk and sends signals to decrease milk production. Therefore, the tip for boosting milk supply is adding pumping to your schedule along with regular breastfeeding sessions because it tricks your body into thinking it is not producing enough milk and the result is an increase in supply. Maintaining a set pumping schedule once you have established an adequate supply will help you to keep it.

Utilize Both Sides

There are many reasons that it is tempting to use only one breast to feed your baby, but in doing so, you are limiting the production of milk in the other breast. By feeding and pumping on both sides, you double your milk production potential. A bonus to this tip for boosting milk supply is that switching sides can also help with some common breastfeeding issues and ailments such as sore nipples and engorgement.

Galactagogues

As previously mentioned, your body needs the proper raw ingredients to help facilitate the production of breast milk. Galactagogues are natural substances that promote lactation in humans and are often used as a means of increasing milk production. There are some products on the market containing galactagogues. If you're are struggling to produce milk, you may want to consider using this tip for boosting milk supply.

Breastfeeding Support & the Postpartum Doula

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[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Breastfeeding a newborn can be a very difficult task; especially in the first few weeks after giving birth. Many mothers feel overwhelmed by the hormonal changes their bodies are going through as well as adjusting to the demands a new baby places on their mom. In today's blog we will discuss 4 ways a San Francisco Newborn Care Specialist or Postpartum Doula can support a breastfeeding mother.

Provide Encouragement without Judgment New moms are constantly being bombarded with unsolicited advice that is often conflicting as well as criticisms that can make you question your ability to nourish your baby. Your NCS or postpartum doula will be there to provide reassurance that you are doing a good job. They will take time to listen to your concerns while providing words of affirmation that can provide a major boost to your moral in those early days.

Give You a Break Many new moms feel they are unable to care for themselves as a direct result of the demands their newborn puts on them. Our NCS's and doulas take the time to understand your needs and your boundaries so that we can make sure that you are able to tend to your basic needs and that you have what you require when baby is nursing. From bringing you some extra pillows or a snack while you are breastfeeding to taking the baby for a walk so you can take a shower, we make sure that you have all the breastfeeding support that you need.

Education New mothers are provided with a lot of information on breastfeeding from a variety of sources. A Postpartum Doula or NCS can help you discern good, evidence based information from bad and answer questions you may have about breastfeeding. The education they can supply removes the guess work and provides you with confidence to meet any challenges that may arise. We can also help you with positioning your baby in a way that is comfortable for you or teach you different positions that you may like more.

Finding Resources At San Francisco Newborn Care, we understand that breastfeeding can be difficult and are ready to provide you with options to help if the need arises. Whether it is contacting a lactation counselor or giving you a recommendation for a breastfeeding center in your area, your Postpartum Doula comes equipped with many resources to assist you. For many mothers, the aid of a lactation professional is the breastfeeding support they needed to be able to continue nursing their newborn for the duration of their choosing.

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