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How do you REALLY know your breastfed baby is getting enough milk?
1. Wet Diaper Output: 4-8 within a 24 hour period and pale or water-colored urine.
2. Poop, Poop, Poop: Especially within the first 2 months of life. We’re talking nearly every feeding Mama’s! After the 2-month mark, it generally lessens to once a day, once every 3 or 4 days, or even once a week. Color should be similar to that of mustard and the consistency of cottage cheese. YUMMY!
3. Feeding Evaluation: In the beginning, your breasts will feel full prior to a feeding and soft after. Some women even say jiggly! You know that tingly, sometimes creepy crawly feeling you get after babe sucks for a few minutes? It is a letdown and that means the milk is a-coming! Watch for baby swallowing, sucking noises, and those cute little milk dribbles from the side of their mouth. One last sure sign, MILK DRUNK!
4. Weight Gain: Don’t fret if your babe loses weight after birth. Most will lose 5-7% and even more, depending on the type of birth, fluid retention, efficient nursing, and health issues. Most babies will gain their birth weight back within several weeks, if not within the first week. Remember to figure baby’s gain by their LOWEST weight, and to ask your pediatrician to refer to the WHO breastfed growth chart, NOT the AAP formula fed chart.
BREASTFEEDING IS ALL ABOUT CONFIDENCE!
THE TEN EASIEST STEPS TO MAKING MILK
1. FREQUENT NURSING SESSIONS; NO FORMULA!
The more often you nurse, the more milk you make. Supply=Demand. If you give formula, your babe will feel too full to nurse frequently.
2. ALL YOU NEED IS BREASTMILK! (AND LOVE)
The AAP recommends only breast milk for the first 6 months; no other food or drink is needed.
3. FEED EARLY AND OFTEN!
Feed at the earliest signs of hunger, not at the point when baby is screaming with hunger. If babe is awake, sucking on hands, moving his mouth or eyes, stretching, or whimpering, offer the breast.
4. IF BABE DIDN'T SWALLOW, BABE DIDN'T EAT!
Listen and watch for the motion and sound of swallowing.
5. JUST SAY NO TO BOTTLES AND PACIFIERS!
If pacifiers and bottles are used when your babe is hungry, you are limiting your supply and babe’s milk intake, by not offering the breast.
6. SLEEP NEAR YOUR BABY AND NURSE LYING DOWN!
Side-lying nursing is a mommy lifesaver during those first months. Ask a LC or peer counselor to help you perfect the position.
7. MAKE SURE BABE'S MOUTH IS WIDE OPEN AND LIPS FLIPPED OUT!
The tip of your nipple should be as close to the back of babe’s throat as possible. Babe should be directly facing you chest-to-chest, chin-to-breast. Proper positioning prevents sore nipples, incorrect latch, and poor transfer.
8. WATCH THE BABY, NOT THE CLOCK!
Feed babe when hungry, and switch sides when swallowing slows down or when babe unlatches from the breast.
9. TAKE BABY EVERYWHERE YOU GO!
This ensures no missed nursing sessions and provides babe with the closeness needed this early.
10. DON'T WAIT TO ASK FOR HELP!
Waiting too long to ask for help, ensures the issue will continue and possibly get worse.
Adapted from the Massuchusets Breastfeeding Coalition, "Making Milk is Easy." www.massbreastfeeding.org.
Do any of you relate to this Breastfeeding “I Wish Someone Had Told Me!” list?
1. Your first time breastfeeding might not be rainbows and unicorns.
2. Your baby is born knowing how to suck, not how to latch.
3. If you don’t ask for help, you will not get any help.
4. All Purpose Nipple Ointment or affectionately APNO.
5. The difference between nutritional and comfort nursing.
6. It hurts. BAD. But only for the limited we are on a learning curve time.
7. What the heck is tongue tie?
8. Take probiotics to ward off thrush. Wait, what the heck is thrush?
9. All those things you limited while preggers, no more! Get it on!
10. All of the above does not matter, when you work+baby works+boobies work= breastfeeding bliss.
Adapted from the following post. Please check out the entirely hilarious blog post at
We are always talking about the benefits of Breastfeeding for babies. What about the benefits for mommies? Check this out!
Recovery from birth faster and easier. Uterus shrinks quicker and blood loss is lessened. Reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and improved heart function. Quicker weight loss. Delayed menstruation and the ability to use the Lactational Amenorrhea Method as contraception during the first 6 months post partum.
Find more benefits for mom and baby at the following webpages:
Is latch really that important? YES! It is one of the most important steps in ensuring a successful breastfeeding relationship. It lessens nipple soreness and pain, prevents chewed-up cracked nipples, guarantees sufficient milk transfer, and adequately drains the breast. Making an appointment with a LC or IBCLC is invaluable once home with baby, and will confirm if you and yours have that perfect latch! Look at the step-by-step illustrations and information below to find out more.
Breastfeeding moms need support!
A support system is vital to establishing and maintaining a Breastfeeding relationship. It is very important once a mother is home, to be surrounded with people that wholly support Breastfeeding, her decision to do it, and those armed with past breastfeeding experience or certified education, such as a lactation counselor. Breastfeeding moms can find support in a variety of ways. Most local hospitals, medical centers, and family focused government offices, such as WIC, have their own or can point you in the right direction. The La Leche League has chapters all across the world, and can be easily accessed through their webpage. Social networking sites, especially Facebook Breastfeeding groups, are very helpful during the first few months at home and for those that do not have a support circle close at hand. Being connected to hundreds, if not thousands of other Breastfeeding moms, at the click of your mouse is a breast saver. Literally! Nothing compares to seeing a lactation counselor within the first week after returning home. Their expertise is invaluable and provide moms the extra confidence needed to continue Breastfeeding through any issues that may arise. The presence of a peer counselor, or someone that has already breastfed, is almost as important as seeing a lactation counselor. It provides an example for new moms, a "Hey, look I've done this before, and I support you." If you are planning to Breastfeed, are currently Breastfeeding, or know someone that is, don't be afraid to get the support needed!
"What to do when a woman breastfeeds near you on an airplane"
Seems odd to me that people are confused about what to do when a woman is breastfeeding her child on an airplane. If you have ever walked on a plane with a small child, you know that look on people's faces – that look that says "please, please don't sit next to me." No one wants to be trapped near a crying, fussing child. Why then would anyone object to anything (safe) that would silence an unhappy child?
I was among many who were shocked in late 2006 when Emily Gillette and her family were thrown off a Delta Airlines flight for refusing to put a blanket over her breastfeeding child's head. While the Gillette case resulted in a multi-city nurse-in and an on-going lawsuit – both of which I have been writing about in Mothering – it also generated lots of negative statements about breastfeeding in public generally and breastfeeding on airplanes specifically.
I was surprised recently (though shouldn't have been) to find that Her Bad Mother, who blogged in September of last year about her experience with a rude flight attendant on WestJet, was still getting comments about her experience – 213 comments at this writing and still coming in. In Under the Blanket, Her Bad Mother blogger Catherine writes about how humiliated she was by a flight attendant pressuring her to cover her breastfeeding child with a blanket and finally throwing the blanket next to her when Catherine refused. It is an eloquent, sad, and truthful post about how vulnerable we are when we are feeding our children. Please go read it.
Most of the many comments to Catherine's blog post are supportive – lots of angry mothers wanting WestJet to apologize for this unacceptable flight attendant. Some of those commenting try to justify the flight attendant – perhaps the flight attendant actually thought she was being helpful, they write. And then there are the other comments. The nasty "I don't want to see your boobs" comments. And there is the response from WestJet which maintained requiring a cover is within the rights of the airline and then announced a change in policy (apparently in response to another well-publicized breastfeeding harassment case on a WestJet flight early last year).
Clearly people need a primer. It isn't a legal analysis – you get enough of that from me. It is a primer about being human. So here it is and I owe it to a woman who sat next to me on an airplane a decade ago.
I was flying alone with my two eldest sons. One was three years old and one was a few months old. Both were breastfeeding. My large infant (ten pounds at birth and much larger at a few months) was in a sling and I walked down the airplane aisle with my toddler holding one hand, dragging a car seat behind me with the other hand, and averting my eyes from all the panicked "please don't sit next to me" looks of my fellow passengers. I had a window seat and I secured the car seat into the middle seat. I knew that both my sons were going to want to nurse at some point during the flight and since each had always steadfastly refused to nurse while the other did, I knew I would need to switch them in and out of the car seat.
When the person assigned to the aisle seat arrived, it was an older woman perhaps in her sixties. She looked at me with my kids and their toys and the sling and the car seat and seemed … well … tense. I had no idea how she would react once the nursing started. No sooner had the doors closed when the boys started racing for my breasts. As soon as one came off the breast, the other wanted to nurse. Whichever boy wasn't nursing was squirming, crying, and tossing toys on the ground I couldn't reach. The woman in the aisle seat looked increasingly uncomfortable. She looked at me, then looked away. Twice it seemed as if she was about to say something and then didn't. I tried to prepare myself for her comment. Completely overwhelmed, I was torn between an indignant reply and just bursting into tears. And then she spoke:
"If it is okay with you, would it help if I held whichever child isn't nursing?"
Fighting back my tears, I said, "Yes! Thank you so much!"
For the next few hours, this wonderful stranger played with whichever child wasn't nursing, cheerfully passed my sons back and forth to me, fetched the toys from the ground. When the flight attendant ignored me, our new friend asked what I needed and set up my water on her tray. At one point, she even stood in the aisle and rocked my chubby baby in her arms. We never talked about breastfeeding or whether she was a mother or a grandmother. I don't think we even exchanged names, though she asked the boys' names so she could chat with them while they played. She saw I needed help and she helped me. I thanked her again and again but she only smiled back at me.
So, whoever you are, the person in the next seat or many rows away, and particularly if you are the flight attendant who is actually being paid to help the passengers, if you see a breastfeeding woman, consider what she needs. A smile might be all. If she is alone, chances are she needs some help managing toys or kid stuff. At the very least, she needs something to drink. If a breastfeeding woman (or anyone traveling with a child) is on a plane with you, help her.
Now, was that so hard? If being the wonderful stranger who sat next
to me isn't what you would do, read the primer again. There will be a
pop quiz. Mothers who need your help are everywhere. You may need to
take the quiz tomorrow.