Posted on

Tips on getting a good breastfeeding latch

Breastfeeding may be the most natural way to feed your baby, but it can take time and practice for you both to get the hang of it. Understanding how a good breastfeeding latch (also known as breastfeeding attachment) should look and feel can be a huge help in getting feeding established.

There’s no right or wrong way to hold and feed your baby, and each mum and baby will find their own preferred position to feed in. What’s important is that you both feel comfortable. Knowing a few different breastfeeding positions and techniques can be helpful because life often requires us to be versatile, especially as your baby gets bigger and you start to go out and about more.

A Proper Latch

Before breastfeeding, a mother needs to get into a comfortable position as feeding may take 5 minutes to an hour. Use cushions to support the back to prevent it from getting strained. Not only will it help with the back, it will also help the baby to latch properly. To start feeding, bring the baby towards the nipple; do not bend towards the baby, as it will result in a poor latch and will hurt in the process.

Holding your breast in a “U” shape will help the baby with good latching. It also makes it easy for the baby to latch on. Keep hands 2 inches away from the nipple. Support the neck of the baby with hand and gently bring the baby towards the breast.

Aim your nipple towards the upper lip of the baby and not towards the center. If the baby does not latch on the breast, try rubbing the nipple on its upper lip. This way the baby’s head will tilt back. If the baby does not open its mouth, do not force it in but instead gently rub breast against its mouth. Squeezing a little milk out and then rubbing will also help the baby open its mouth.

Make sure that mother and the baby are chest to chest with its nose slightly above the breast. As the baby latches on to the breast, ensure that the nipple and areola (the dark area surrounding the nipple) are in the baby’s mouth. This is considered to be a good latch!

Basic Steps for Latching Positioning

  1. Position yourself comfortablywith back support, pillows supporting your arms and in your lap with your feet supported.  Whatever feels most comfortable to you!
  2. Position baby close to youwith his hips flexed, so that he does not have to turn his head to reach your breast. His mouth and nose should be facing your nipple (rather than having to turn his head to face your nipple).
  3. Support your breastif needed so it is not pressing on your baby’s chin. Your baby’s chin should drive into your breast.
  4. Attach or latch baby onto your breast.Encourage him to open his mouth wide, and pull him close by supporting his back (rather than the back of his head) so that his chin drives into your breast. It helps to tickle his upper lip/nose with your nipple. This will encourage him to open his mouth wide and latch onto your breast. His nose will be touching your breast. Your hand forms a “second neck” for your baby by lightly supporting his neck (not his head).
  5. Enjoy!If you are feeling pain, detach baby gently and try again.

As you and your baby become more experienced and comfortable with breastfeeding, you’ll find that you can alter your positions in many ways, even from feeding to feeding. As long as you’re comfortable and the baby is nursing successfully, do what works best for you.

How to help your baby latch on the breast

1: Check your latching position

Before you start, and whichever breastfeeding position you choose, make sure your baby’s head, neck and spine are aligned, not twisted. His chin should be up, not dropped towards his chest. Make sure you feel comfortable too – you could use pillows or cushions to support your back, arms or baby.1

2: Encourage your baby to open his mouth

Hold your baby close, your nipple level with his nose. Touch your nipple gently against his upper lip to encourage him to open his mouth wide. The wider his mouth is, the easier it will be to get a good latch on.

3: Bring your baby to your breast   

Once your baby has opened his mouth wide and has brought his tongue over his bottom gum, bring him on to your breast, aiming your nipple towards the top of his mouth. Your baby’s chin should be the first thing that touches your breast. He should take a large portion of your areola into his mouth, with his bottom lip and jaw covering more of the underneath of the areola.  It’s OK if you see part of your areola isn’t inside his mouth – we all have different-sized areolae and different-sized babies! Some mums find that gently shaping their breast at the same time as bringing their baby on to feed helps. Experiment and see what works.

4: Keep your baby close during latch on

Remember mums all have different breast shapes and nipple positions, so you may not always have that ‘textbook’ latch. Whenever possible, keep your baby close to you, with his chin in contact with your breast. Newborn baby’s noses are turned up so they can breathe easily while attached to the breast, and can learn to coordinate sucking and breathing with ease.

5: Look and listen

As your baby feeds, your nipple will be against the roof of his mouth, cupped gently by his tongue underneath. The latch should not feel uncomfortable – it should be more of a tugging sensation. Watch your baby – at first he’ll do short, rapid sucks to stimulate your milk flow (let-down reflex). Once milk starts flowing, he’ll suck more slowly and deeply with some pauses, which may indicate he’s taking in milk – a good sign! You should see his jaw moving, and may also hear sucking and swallowing as he feeds. These are all good signs, but it’s also important to check your baby is producing plenty of wet and dirty nappies and gaining weight as expected.

6: How to break your baby’s latch on the breast

If your baby’s latch is shallow or painful, or he starts chomping on your nipple or brushing the end of it with his tongue, remove him from your breast and try again. Ease your clean finger gently inside the corner of his mouth to break his suction if you need to.

How To Confirm If Your Latch Is Good?

Knowing the right breastfeeding latching tips and being aware of common latching signs can make the problem of baby not latching go away in no time. It will make breastfeeding a seamless and hassle-free process. Here are the signs of proper breastfeeding latching amongst babies:

  • No pain – If the breastfeeding process feels smooth and less painful, then you’ve latched your baby on properly.
  • Comfortable positioning – Put pillows behind your lower back for added support. If you’re breastfeeding your baby in bed, put some pillows below your knees for cushioning and support.
  • Nipple inside baby’s mouth – When you’re breastfeeding correctly, the entire nipple should be inside the baby’s mouth
  • Tummy-to-tummy position – Position your baby in a way that her tummy faces yours during the breastfeeding process.
  • Head and neck alignment – Make sure the baby’s neck and head align in the same direction so that there’s no discomfort faced when bringing the baby close to your nipple.
  • Breast support – Support your breast in a way that baby’s chin drives into your breast and not the other way around.
  • Close positioning – Position your baby close to your nipples so that she doesn’t have to bend or turn her head to reach your breast.
  • Mouth and nose facing nipple – Your baby’s mouth and nose should face the nipple with the nose touching the breast during the breastfeeding process.
  • A level head and bottom – Your baby’s head should be at level with the bottom of his body during the breastfeeding process.
  • Wide mouth – Encourage your baby to open his mouth wide during the breastfeeding process.

The cheeks of the baby will look full, its chin must rest on the breast, and nose must be free and above the breast. The baby does not make any noise except for swallowing. After the feeding, there will be no change in the shape of the nipple and the baby will look satisfied, any previous irritation disappears, and the baby might even fall asleep.

There will be no movement in the lower jaw of the baby. Instead of an up and down movement, there will be circular movements in the baby’s mouth. With good latching, the baby will be relaxed. If the baby is still restless then the latch is not done properly and will have to be redone.

Here’s a video on how to get on a good latch for new mothers.

 

Here’s a another awesome video on how to latch

Remember, breastfeeding should not be painful.  A good latch will help keep discomfort to a minimum.  When the baby has not latched on well, other problems can develop including cracked and sore nipples.  Once you get accustomed to positioning your baby and helping him/her get a good latch, breastfeeding can be a wonderful, pain-free bonding experience between you and your baby.

If you are still experiencing any nipple pain, dryness or discomfort, try a nipple cream.

If you need further assistance, many hospitals have lactation consultants. Seek to work with a lactation consultant at the hospital or birthing center in which you deliver. If you are already home you can speak with your healthcare provider. You can also call a breastfeeding helpline or contact an independent lactation consultant. Join our breastfeeding community to ask fellow mummies for support too!

Last but not least like what Kelly mom mentions

No matter what latch and positioning look like, the true measure is in the answers to these two questions:

  1. Is it effective?
  2. Is it comfortable?

Even if latch and positioning look perfect (and, yes, even if a lactation consultant told you they were fine), pain (particularly after the first two weeks) and/or ineffective milk transfer indicate that something needs to change, and the first suspect is ineffective latch/positioning.
If baby is transferring milk and gaining weight well, and mom is not hurting, then latch and positioning are – by definition – good, even if they look nothing like the “textbook” latch and positioning that you’ve seen in books.

.

“Rules and regulations have no place in the mother-baby relationship. Each mother and baby dyad is different and what works well for one mother and baby may not work well for another mother and baby. The important thing to do is to look at the mother and baby as individuals.”– Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC in The Mother-Baby Dance

Posted on

Nipple Confusion and its solution

If anyone ever deserved a break, it’s a nursing mom, so your desire to have your little one take breast milk from a bottle every now and again so that you can get out of the house and go for a much-needed walk (or at least take a shower or a nap) is completely understandable. But are you worried that your little one won’t take to the bottle easily? Heard one too many “nipple confusion” sagas from friends and lactation specialists? Or has that theory been discounted by the paediatrician and your mother-in-law, leaving you more confused than ever?

What is nipple confusion during breastfeeding?

First a quick definition. Nipple confusion is when babies used to sucking from bottles have a hard time getting back on the breast. They may have difficulty latching on, and may protest the different size or texture.Nipple confusion sometimes occurs in young infants who are breast fed, given a bottle and given a pacifier all within a few days of birth. Sucking on a breast a bottle nipple and pacifier all require differ sucking techniques.By being required to use two or three different sucking techniques and young infants become confused about which technique works for which type of nipple.

A hungry infant who has difficulty sucking becomes quickly frustrated making feeding your baby difficult and frustrating both for you and you child.  While not all young infants suffer from nipple confusion, enough do that it poses a real problem for many new parents.

Is nipple confusion real?

Most babies have no problem switching from breast to bottle and back again. Others, particularly those who take a little longer perfecting the art of suckling at the breast, do find it hard to transition from breast to bottle, and then back to breast. Which is why most experts agree that you should wait until your newborn gets the hang of breastfeeding(about three weeks) before you break out the bottle.

If breastfeeding hasn’t hit its groove by the three-week mark, wait a little longer before introducing the bottle.

Why do you need to hold off before you switch off? If you don’t wait until your baby has perfected her breastfeeding skill, there’s a risk she’ll give up breastfeeding sooner than you’d like.

Does your baby know the difference between breast and bottle?

Newborns catch on pretty quickly they don’t have to work nearly as hard to get milk from a bottle with a rubber (or silicone) nipple as from your breast. To breastfeed, your baby needs to master the fine art of taking your nipple far back into her mouth and then using her tongue to pump out the milk (which can take a minute or so before it starts flowing). With a tilted bottle, a baby has gravity on her side: She can suck with her lips and get all the milk she wants right away. So the baby suffering from nipple confusion may not be befuddled so much as opinionated. She prefers the bottle. And why wouldn’t she? It’s the quicker, easier route to a full belly.

The main reason for developing nipple confusion for bottle feeding

Nipple confusion happened due to 1 main reason which is:

Bottle feeding for a breastfed baby is completely different from natural breastfeeding.

No matter what is in the bottle, either you introduce breastmilk of formula.

It is about the device “your breast vs the bottle”, where your baby sucks the milk in 2 different ways.

Add on this, the difference in:

  • Mouth muscles used while sucking from breast are more than in the baby bottle.
  • His tongue moves in a different way in each situation.
  • The elasticity of breast skin vs the bottle teat.
  • The milk flow rate from the breast “slower” vs from the baby bottle”faster”.

The result of nipple confusion may be:

  • Breast refusal which means breastfeeding discontinue.
  • Bottle refusal is an issue if you are going to pump

Note

Usually, breastfeeding mothers face the nipple confusion issue when they tend to pump/express breastmilk before returning back to work or study.

Hence, here are the cautions to take to avoid and fix the nipple confusion during mixing between breast and bottle feeding.

When to introduce the bottle

Give breast-only feeding the recommended three weeks for your milk supply to get well established and for your newborn to really master the technique, and then feel free to give yourself that longed-for break.

Tips for introducing the bottle

Some babies take to bottle-feeding right away, others protest. If you’ve got a stubborn bottle feeder on your hands, be ready to offer a choice of formula, nipple sizes and style, and formula-feeding times until he decides which one he prefers. If your baby balks at breast or bottle, here’s a game plan for handling that nipple confusion (or preference!):

What to do if your baby won’t take a bottle

Go back to square one. Revisit the basics of latching on and remind your baby how soothing breastfeeding can be by cuddling her skin-to-skin. It may require a few sessions of fumbling at the breast before she gets back on track, but it’ll be worth it!

Make it easier. Get your milk flowing (either manually or by pumping your breast milk) before your baby starts to eat, so she doesn’t have to work that hard for the milk. (Just pump enough to get things dripping; you’re not looking to fill a bottle just yet.)

Time it right. She should be in the mood for a meal (aka hungry) so she’s motivated to give it a try…but not so famished that she can’t get her baby brain around relearning an old trick. If she’s starving, she may not have the patience to latch on or suck hard enough to get the milk she wants—and that might lead to a full-blown frenzy of frustration, which can throw both of you off track.

Back off on the faux nipples. If the whole switching process has given your baby a bad case of nipple confusion, just stick with breastfeeding till she’s got it down solid. (This means you’ll need to put away the pacifiers too, just in case she’s gotten too fond of sucking for satisfaction with her lips.)

What to do if your baby prefers breastfeeding

Let Daddy do the feeding. Sometimes a baby is just too attached to Mom’s nipple, so hitting the bottle while Mom is so close by (yet buttoned-up) seems wrong. But it may be a different story if someone else is bringing on the bottle — whether it’s Dad, Grandma, or your best pal. But don’t worry that you’ll always need a Mommy stand-in at feeding time — once your wee one gets the hang of the bottle, she won’t care who gives it to her!

Try different nipples types. If one nipple doesn’t succeed, try, try another one. Just watch the flow rate. The milk should comes out fast enough that your baby doesn’t get frustrated…but not so fast that she can’t keep up with the flow. A drop a second when you turn the bottle upside-down is just right.

Make bottle feeding as much like breastfeeding as you can.Interact with your baby. Switch arms halfway through so she has something different to look at. Burp her. But remember that while some newborns want bottle feeding to be just like breastfeeding, others take to it better if the experience is completely different. So if that’s the case with yours, try a different location or even a different position.

To avoid nipple confusion

  • No bottle introduction “or pacifier” through the first month of age.
  • Avoid giving your breastfed baby a pacifier. It is enough to introduce one artificial nipple at a time which is the bottle nipple.
  • Start introducing the bottle 3 weeks before back to work to give him a space to learn the new skill.

How to fix nipple confusion?

You can do that by decreasing the gap as much as you can between breast and bottle.The whole idea of how to fix nipple confusion is to mimic the natural process of breastfeeding.

While you try to introduce the artificial nipple, do your best to decrease the difference between the natural nipple of you and the synthetic bottle nipple.

Breastfed baby breast refusal may be due to the type of bottle

The ordinary classic baby bottle has 2 huge disadvantage regarding nipple confusion:

  1. It is light in weight
  2. It has a narrow/small bottle nipple.

And for that, it is much easier for your breastfed baby to get his milk from the regular bottle rather than your heavy, wide breast. By the time, he would prefer this small/light nipple rather than your breast. So, it is far from your heavy, wide breast nipple.

How to fix that?

Pick the wide base baby bottle which has a wide nipple to mimic the size of your breast. Also, the wide neck bottles are closer to your breast regarding its weight. And remember that your breast is like a heavy sandwich for your breastfed baby to latch on to it.

Nipple confusion makes your baby refusing the breast due to the flow rate

The breast milk ejection from the breast is a time-consuming process. This process is mediated through lactation hormones “Oxytocin and Prolactin.” Your breastfed baby may take around 2 mins to receive the breast milk during natural breastfeeding.

But the milk comes easily and quickly in the case of bottle feeding.

How to fix that issue?

Thus, try to choose the slow flow rate teat to make the process takes much time. Add on that; the fast flow bottle nipple “teat” may make your baby get choked.

Another way to mimic the slow milk rate of breastfeeding is to apply pauses while bottle feeding to do it, don’t let your baby for the whole 10 mins of feeding latched on to the bottle.

The gravity is making the milk flow rate from a bottle much faster than the breast.

So, what to do instead?

During bottle feeding, you can control the flow by making pauses “10 sec every 2 mins”. These pauses would stretch the time needed to finish the milk from the bottle.

By doing that, you mimic breastfeeding session regarding the duration and flow rate. And your baby can switch between both ways of feeding without feeling that huge difference.

Did your breastfed baby latch on the bottle properly?

Baby good latch during breastfeeding is something crucial for maintaining a successful breastfeeding journey.As your baby used to latch deeply while natural breastfeeding, he should do so on the baby bottle also. Shallow latch on the bottle is a probable cause of nipple confusion.

What is the solution for that bottle shallow latch?

Simply, be sure that your baby is catching the wide base of the bottle rather than the tip. Like what happens in the normal latching process while breastfeeding, where your baby is catching the most of your areola within his mouth.

How to achieve that?

First, you should stimulate your breastfed newborn for the wide mouth opening.This could be done by raising the bottle at a higher level than his mouth.

Then hit his nose with the tip of the baby bottle tip.

Naturally, he would widen his mouth opening to catch the bottle nipple.

The second step is to pick the widest mouth opening and insert gently and deeply the bottle. You can control this process by grabbing your baby’s head using your hand.

How to balance breastfeeding and bottle-feeding

Bottle or breast feeding doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing choice. By spacing out feedings, finding a formula baby likes almost as much as mom’s breast milk, and making sure nursing time includes lots of skin-on-skin bonding, you’ll be able to enjoy the flexibility of both.

sources

Posted on

Choosing the right breastshield for you

Did you know that breast shields ( flanges) come in different sizes? Many mummy experience inefficient pumping session, and the reason is usually because of wrong breast shield size. Many breast pumps ship with size 27mm or 28mm in Singapore; however, that doesn’t mean that everyone will fit that size (we don’t all wear the same sized shoes, after all). There are breast shields on the market ranging in size from 15mm to 36mm!

Follow this simple guide to determine your breast shield size but first thing first

Pump for 5 minutes, and then measure

It’s a common misunderstanding to measure your nipple before you start pumping, but you actually have to measure the nipple after you pump. The reason is simple. The nipple swells while pumping, and since the rate of swelling varies between women, it’s important to take this swollen measurement to select a comfortable shield size. Grab the shield that came with your pump, assemble it to the milk collection kit and then pump on a low setting for 5 minutes, so the nipple swells. You might even express milk while doing this (if this is your first time pumping, be sure to use the lowest vacuum setting to avoid any pain or discomfort).

Measure the diameter of the nipple at the base of the nipple

 

After your nipple has swollen, measure the diameter of the nipple at the base of the nipple. Be careful not to include any areola in the measurement. Gently lay a ruler onto the areola next to the base of the nipple so the measurement lines are visible when looking straight at the breast. This can be tricky so some women find that doing it in front of a mirror or using a smart phone in selfie mode is helpful.

Select a shield size 2-3mm larger than your nipple diameter

To allow the nipple to move freely within the flange while pumping and to avoid any pain or discomfort (or worse – blisters!) from rubbing, select a shield size that is 2-3mm larger than the diameter of your nipple. For example, if your nipple measures at 18mm, you would want to try the 20mm shield. It’s important not to go too large either because excess areola can be drawn into the flange, causing discomfort, pain, or even constriction of milk flow.

Signs your breast shield may be too small

  • Painful rubbing of nipple in flange.
  • Nipple not moving freely inside of flange.
  • Redness of the nipple.
  • Whiteness of the nipple and/or a white ring around the base of the nipple.
  • Little milk is being expressed.
  • General discomfort while pumping.

Signs your breast shield may be too large

  • Excess areola is drawn into the flange or even up and around the nipple. Note that a small amount of areola may enter the flange for some women; however, it should never be uncomfortable or painful.
  • Sensation of pulling and/or pulling pain.
  • Nipple is pulled to the end of the flange.
  • Shield falls from the breast while pumping.
  • Little milk is being expressed.
  • General discomfort while pumping.

Size that is just nice

  • A properly sized breast shield should be very comfortable.
  • You should barely be able to feel it while pumping.
  • Just a gentle tugging sensation on the nipple and nowhere else.
  • You should not see any excess areola being drawn into the flange
  • Should not feel a pulling sensation or pain while using your breast pump.
  • After your pumping session, your nipple should be free of any redness or whiteness.
  • Pumping should be pain-free

 

Additional factors impacting breast shield size

Although the above instructions provide a good indication of the size of breast shield you will need, there are few things to consider:

  • Every woman’s body responds differently to pumping. It is possible your measurements before pumping might change during pumping, therefore we suggest taking measurements of the swollen nipple 5 minutes after pumping.
  • Your measurements might be different throughout the day. For example, you might be fuller in the morning after going a few hours without pumping and/or feeding at night, warranting a larger size. You might also be smaller in the evening after consistent pumping or feeding throughout the day.
  • You might be larger at the beginning of a pumping session, and smaller after some milk has been expressed.
  • Your measurements might change after your milk supply is well-established (about 10 weeks postpartum).
  • One breast may need a different sized breast shield than the other.

However, you should not follow this guideline blindly because the info graphic merely relies on nipple diameter only. In addition to nipple diameter, you should also consider the following factors:

  • Check how your nipple moves while pumping.

The nipple should move freely and it should not rub the side wall of the flange. You may see a little bit of areola gets pulled, but not the whole areola. And your nipple should not hit the back wall of the breast shield.

  • Comfort

Even if you think you already choose the best breast shield size, but you feel uncomfortable / painful while pumping, that means something is not right. Try to size up or down. Nipple redness / or sore feeling after pumping is also an alarm that you may need to choose different breast shield size.

  • Effectiveness of pumping

If you feel you breast is not emptied after pumping, you may suspect that you don’t use the correct breast shield size (note: various factors can affect this, breast shield size is just one of possible reason).

  • Breast tissue / elasticity

Some women has a very elastic tissue so that the skin will get pulled easier. In this case, it is possible that pumping makes nipple get elongated so much until it hits the back wall of the flange. For this case, using breast shield with longer ‘tunnel’, or using smaller insert in bigger breast shield may help.

 

Nipple Ruler

We also found Nipple Ruler by pumpables.co

Simply print it out, fold along the line, and carefully cut out the circles.

The nipple ruler works on both US Letter and A4 paper sizes. Make sure you select “full size” or “100%” in your print menu (don’t “scale to fit”). You can also print it on larger sizes like US Legal or A7, but you might have to trim off the extra

 

At the end of your pumping session, use the circles to measure the diameter of your nipple at the base. You should select a size that is snug, but not constricting, around your nipple.

Here’s another Nipple Ruler we found from MayMom

If you have more questions or need further help with breast shield sizing, reach out to a Certified Lactation Consultant. In the long run, it’s worth taking the time to determine the breast shield size that’s right for you. You’ll benefit by maximising your pumping sessions so you can get back to what matters most – the little one you’re pumping for!

Reference
https://pumpables.co/measure/
https://spectra-baby.com.au/measuring-nipple-correct-flange-size/
https://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/article/143/breast-shield-sizing:-how-to-get-the-best-fit

Posted on

Breastfeeding Newborns

The First Week

How often should baby be nursing?

Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for nursing at least 8 – 12 times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T nurse too often–you CAN nurse too little.

Go on demand feeding. Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)–don’t wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy at first–wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing.

Is baby getting enough milk?

Weight gain: Normal newborns may lose up to 7% of birth weight in the first few days. After mom’s milk comes in, the average breastfed baby gains about 170 g/week. Take baby for a weight check at the end of the first week or beginning of the second week. Consult with baby’s doctor if baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: In the early days, baby typically has one dirty diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). After day 4, stools should be yellow and baby should have at least 3-4 stools daily that are the size  of about2.5 cm or larger. Some babies stool every time they nurse, or even more often–this is normal, too. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy.

Wet diapers: In the early days, baby typically has one wet diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). Once mom’s milk comes in, expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet.

Breast changes

Your milk should start to “come in” (increase in quantity and change from colostrum to mature milk) between days 2 and 5. To minimize engorgement: nurse often, don’t skip feedings (even at night), ensure good latch/positioning, and let baby finish the first breast before offering the other side.

Call your doctor if:

  • Baby is having no wet or dirty diapers
  • Baby has dark coloured urine after day 3 (should be pale yellow to clear)
  • Baby has dark coloured stools after day 4 (should be mustard yellow, with no meconium)
  • Baby has fewer wet/soiled diapers or nurses less frequently than the goals listed here
  • You has symptoms of mastitis (sore breast with fever, chills, flu-like aching)

Supplement

Get Singapore Lactation Bakes’s Cookies 1-2 weeks in advance and put in your hospital bag. Skin to skin and latch baby immediately after birth and you may start having the lactation cookies. 10-12 cookies per day promotes more let downs or fuller breast. Pump or latch baby immediately when you feel the let downs or fuller breast to encourage more milk productions.

Weeks Two through Six

How often should baby be nursing?

Frequent nursing in the early weeks is important for establishing a good milk supply. Most newborns need to nurse 8 – 12+ times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T nurse too often—you CAN nurse too little.

Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth) and don’t wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy, wake baby to nurse every 2 hours during the day or 4 hours during the night if baby doesn’t wake up to nurse. Once baby has established a good weight gain pattern, you can stop waking baby and nurse on baby’s cues alone.

The following things are normal:

  • Frequent and/or long feedings.
  • Varying nursing pattern from day to day.
  • Cluster nursing (very frequent to constant nursing) for several hours—usually evenings—each day. This may coincide with the normal “fussy time” that most babies have in the early months.
  • Growth spurts, where baby nurses more often than usual for several days and may act very fussy. Common growth spurt times in the early weeks are the first few days at home, 7 – 10 days, 2 – 3 weeks and 4 – 6 weeks.

Is baby getting enough milk?

Weight gain: The average breastfed newborn gains 6 ounces/week (170 grams/week). Consult with baby’s doctor and your lactation consultant if baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: Expect 3-4+ stools daily that are the size of about 2.5 cm or larger. Some babies stool every time or even more often when they nurse this is this is normal . The normal stool of a breastfed baby is yellow and loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy. After 4 – 6 weeks, some babies stool less frequently, with stools as infrequent as one every 7-10 days. As long as baby is gaining weight well, this is normal.

Wet diapers: Expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet. After 6 weeks, wet diapers may drop to 4-5/day but amount of urine will increase to 4-6+ tablespoons (60-90+ mL) as baby’s bladder capacity grows.

Milk supply

Some moms worry about milk supply. As long as baby is gaining well on mom’s milk alone, then milk supply is good. Between weight checks, a sufficient number of wet and dirty diapers will indicate that baby is getting enough milk.

Boosting Milk supply

Take cookies, muffins, herbs  (called ‘galactagogues’) to stimulate the hormones that govern their milk supply. Eat food that boost milk will help too. By finding your milk booster, you will need to trial and error as different body reacts differently to different food.

 

Reference:

Kelly mom  https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/

 

 

Posted on

Stress less tips with naturally low milk supply

When you’re a breastfeeding mom who has a milk supply that is naturally on the lower side, the already-existing stress can escalate really quickly, and for completely justifiable reasons.

Here’s the thing about stress and breastfeeding: Stress is Number 1 Milk Killer.

Stress can make it harder to produce breastmilk, so when you’re supply is already lo. letting something like stress interfere isn’t really an option.

These tips have helped me reduce breastfeeding stress and successfully breastfeed all of my daughters, even with a naturally low breastmilk supply.

1. Set Small Goals As You Go (and Celebrate Meeting Each One)

My big picture breastfeeding goal with all of my daughters was to nurse them for one year without supplementing with formula.

But let me be honest here, real quick. On night two of being home from the hospital with a newborn, sore nipples, and a low milk supply. Nothing seems further away than that one year mark. It feels completely unattainable. Entirely hopeless.

So how do you combat that overwhelming feeling that you will be a breastfeeding mama for all eternity? Set a smaller goal and allow yourself some happiness (and maybe some kind of treat ( Like Our Lactation Cookie Cups) when you meet it.

Whether it be making it through another month, another week, another day, or another nursing session. Set small goals as you need them, one step at a time

2. Build a Freezer Stash (Even if It’s a Small One)

Building a freezer stash of extra breastmilk when you’re already struggling may seem like a completely impossible task.

I was barely able to build a freezer supply when nursing my first daughter, but with my second daughter I did it and for my Third, my freezer was bursting!

There are a few key steps and strategies that really worked for me and helped me build up a freezer supply before my maternity leave ended.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Moms

If you’re the only mom you know who has a naturally low breastmilk supply, having conversations about breastfeeding can be really stressful and disheartening.

I can’t count how many times I’ve patiently listened to other breastfeeding moms talk about how they ” how they “can’t stop leaking milk everywhere because there is just so much”, or how they “have hundreds of ml stored in the freezer” (and their baby is still a newborn), or how they are going to “donate extra milk to babies in need because they just won’t go through it fast enough”.

On one hand, I’m genuinely happy for moms who have breastfeeding experiences like those, and don’t resent them one bit. And I mean that from the very bottom of my heart. Breastfeeding isn’t easy for anyone, even those moms with naturally higher milk supplies, so those mamas are WORKING to feed those littles and build those supplies. I’m in now way trying to imply that they “have it easy”—because they don’t.

But here’s what happens when I, a mom with a naturally low milk supply, hear those stories: I start to wonder if I’m inadequate. If there’s something wrong with me. If I’m not trying hard enough. If I’m failing my baby. If I’m less of a woman than those other moms. If I’m not good enough.

It genuinely has nothing to do with the other moms and everything to do with how I view myself and my own insecurities (like almost everything in women-to-women competition is when you dig down to the root of it).

To combat this, remind yourself that not all breastmilk supplies are created equal. There’s no point in competing with other moms. Focus on your supply, on your baby, on your experience, and know that if you get up in the morning and feed your baby—however you choose to do it—that you are enough.

4. Know When to Walk Away From a Conversation

There are plenty of folks out there who won’t accept that having a naturally low breastmilk supply is a thing.

They will make you feel like you simply aren’t trying hard enough; that you aren’t doing enough to accomplish your breastfeeding goals. That you haven’t downed enough fenugreek, or aren’t using the right medical-grade breastpump, or aren’t nursing enough times during the day—because, in case you haven’t heard—breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand system! Is your mind completely blown right now? Probably not, because…of course you’ve heard that.

All breastfeeding moms have heard the same advice. Over and over. The breastfeeding info typically starts at your prenatal appointments and is slammed in your face at every possible opportunity pretty much until your child looks a little too old to be of breastfeeding age.

And if you are one of the lucky few who hasn’t had to endure this cycle in person, my guess would be that if you’re a breastfeeding mama with a naturally low milk supply. you found all of the same advise through your own research immediately after realising you had a naturally low milk supply.

Because that same advice is everywhere. And the truth? Most breastfeeding advice-givers don’t help the situation at all.

Yes, it’s true that breastfeeding is a supply and demand system. Yes, there are some things that can help. But it’s also true that some women start off with less milk than others, and that there are only 24 hours in a day, and you can’t nurse and/or pump during every single one of them and do the million other things that being a parent requires of you and stay sane.

If you’re having a conversation with someone who just doesn’t quite understand the low-supply struggle, don’t be afraid to politely shift or end the conversation. You have enough on your plate, mama. And, to be honest, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Never allow yourself to be overwhelmed because you feel like you do.

5. Don’t Spend Tons of Money on Breastmilk-Boosting Products

When you start your breastfeeding  journey and realise your milk supply is low, it can be tempting to throw money at every product that may be rumored to boost breastmilk supplies in hopes of upping your milk production. Don’t do this.

If you buy everything at once, and use everything at once, you’ll have absolutely no idea what is actually helping and what isn’t. This means you could end up spending a ton of cash on products that aren’t actually doing anything.

When you’re trying a breastmilk booster (always clear it with a medical professional before you do), it’s best to try one at a time. Give each product at least a week and see if you notice any change in production. If you do—great! You’ve found a booster that works for your body. If not—no worries! On to the next booster to try. Our minimum order of cookies is 600g this is about a week’s supply and it gives you a good indication to know if our bakes works for you.

Heres a list of Lactation Cookies and Lactation Muffins that has helped many mummies in their breastfeeding journey

6. Meditate Every Single Day

This sounds like complete hippy nonsense. I know. I get it. But meditation can actually boost breastmilk production because it helps reduce stress.

Stress is no friend to anyone, but breastfeeding moms have more reasons to try to keep stress at bay than most people do, because high levels of stress can actually decrease milk production.

Yep. That’s a real thing. (As if us mamas with a naturally low milk supply didn’t have enough to worry about already. *sigh*)

Meditating can be as simple as closing your eyes for 60 seconds and breathing in and out, slowly and calmly. It’s so hard for moms to find time for yourself, but out of the 1440 minutes that happen every day, you deserve to set aside at least 1 for a little meditation.

7. Don’t Obsess Over Your Baby’s Weight

When you’re breastfeeding, especially in those early months when your babe hasn’t started solid foods and is onlydrinking breastmilk, it can feel like the entire health and well-being of your baby is dependent on your ability to produce breastmilk. The weight of that responsibility is huge.

Now factor in a naturally low milk supply and the stress factor is upped by about a thousand.

It can become so easy to start obsessing over whether or not your baby is doing okay food-wise, and the easiest way for us mamas to gauge success on? How much your baby weighs and how rapidly weight gain is occurring.

If you have genuine concerns, always address them with your doctor. If your doctor has concerns and gives you advice to keep your baby healthy, always follow the advice, or seek advise from a different medical professional. (I’m not a medical professional.)

But, if your doctor has no concerns and everything seems on track—stop overly-obsessing about your baby’s weight.

Yes, if you have a naturally low milk supply, there’s a chance that your baby may not be in the 98th percentile for weight out of all the babies. That’s actually very likely to be the case. But guys? Not all babies can be in the 98th percentile because then it wouldn’t technically be a 98th percentile. It would just be “the weight that all babies weigh”, which is silly and also not a thing.

Babies come in all shapes and sizes and grow at all different rates, and that’s perfectly okay.

8. Choose Nursing Over Pumping When You Can

This one is obviously for mamas who aren’t exclusively pumping or exclusively nursing, so if that’s you, feel free to skip on over this one.

But for anyone who does a little bit of Column A and a little bit of Column B, this is one of the best de-stressers there is for all breastfeeding mamas: nurse that baby.

Being close to that little love bug that you are working so hard to feed is a great way to remind yourself of exactly why you’re going through all of this madness in the first place.

That skin-to-skin contact combined with the fantastic baby smell can work wonders for your stress levels. Plus, you’re not watching milk being slowly pumped out drop-by-drop and obsessing over how few drops there are. (Which is seriously, seriously stressful.)

I really hope the above tips helps and don’t be afraid to seek help when you really feel overwhelmed. Talk to your husbands, friends or a Lactation Counsellor if you feel that you cannot cope with the stress.

We are all here for you so relax, Eat SLB . Breastfeed . Repeat

Posted on

Top 14 Breastfeeding Problems Mummies Face

Breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Because many mothers face a few challenges along the way, we’ve uncovered 14 breastfeeding problems you might encounter, plus solutions to help you fix your breastfeeding relationship with your babe. If these ideas don’t work for you be sure to seek out expert help from a lactation consultant,  a public health nurse, your midwife or your doctor.

PROBLEM 1: LATCHING PAIN

It’s normal for your nipples to feel sore when you first start to breastfeed, especially if you’re a first-timer. But if baby has latched and the pain lasts longer than a minute into your feeding session, check the positioning.

Solution:

  • Try to achieve an asymmetrical latch where baby’s mouth covers more of the areola below the nipple rather than above.
  • To reposition him, place your index finger inside baby’s 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.
  • When he is correctly positioned, his chin and nose touch your breast, his lips splay out and you can’t see your nipple or part of the lower areola.
  • If baby’s 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, 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, won’t harm baby.

Solution:

  • Check baby’s positioning — the bottom part of your areola underneath your nipple should be in baby’s mouth.
  • 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 isn’t 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, that’s 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.

Solution:

  • Do your best to get adequate rest (you should recruit your partner to pick up some slack when possible)
  • 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, there’s 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 it’s hard and un-conforming to his mouth.

Solution:

  • 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. It’s 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.

Solution:

  • 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.
  • It’s safe and actually recommended that you continue breastfeeding when you have mastitis. Take paracetamol or ibuprofen (not aspirin) to relieve the pain, as instructed on the packet or by a pharmacist.
  • Keep breastfeeding or pumping frequently. Your milk is still safe for your baby to drink. Flowing milk will help clear any blockage and prevent further painful build-up. Stopping suddenly could exacerbate symptoms.
  • You may need to express any leftover milk after feeds.
  • Offer your baby the affected breast first. This may help your baby to drain it adequately. If this is too painful, start on the non-affected side to get the milk flowing, then switch.
  • Rest, drink and eat well. Make sure you’re having plenty of fluids and eating nutritious foods.
  • Massage the area in a warm bath or shower, or compress with a warm flannel or heat pack to help release the blockage and ease symptoms before feeding or expressing. Use a cool pack after feeds to reduce inflammation.

 

PROBLEM 6: THRUSH

Thrush is a yeast infection in your baby’s mouth, which can also spread to your breasts. It causes incessant itchiness, soreness, and sometimes a rash.

Solution:

  • Your doctor will need to give you antifungal medication to put on your nipple and in baby’s mouth — if you’re 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 baby’s weight gain, and he is being plotted on the World Health Organization curves designed for breastfeeding babies, this may be the problem.

Solution:

  • Lactation Cookies or Lactation Muffins by Singapore Lactation Bakes will help you with more let downs. Combined with frequent nursing and hands-on pumping during the day can help increase milk supply.
  • Pump or latch when you are having let downs or when fuller breast after having the SLB lactation cookies or SLB lactation muffins helps to tune your body to make more milk.

 

PROBLEM 8: BABY SLEEPING AT BREAST

Baby is sleepy in the first couple of months after birth (hey, he’s been through a lot) so falling asleep while nursing is common. All that bonding makes baby relaxed!

Solution:

  • 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 baby’s 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 he’ll be able to stay awake longer, so don’t 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, you’ve got a problem, Houston. Not really. But breastfeeding will be more challenging.

Solution:

  • 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.

Solution:

  • 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), you’ll need to get antibiotics from your doctor.
  • No matter how unpleasant it is for you, it’s still safe for baby to nurse.

PROBLEM 11: BABY WON’T LATCH

Solution:

  • Skin to skin is the way to go,”. It’s like a magical cure for the non-latching baby (and helps with other issues too).
  • Get naked from the waist up, strip baby down to just a diaper, and get yourself comfortable in a semi-reclining position with baby on your chest.
  • When your baby is ready, he’ll scoot down to the breast and latch on. (You many need to provide your baby with expressed milk in a cup or syringe until he figures it out, and pumping or hand-expressing during this time will also help build up your milk supply.)

PROBLEM 12: BABY IS CONSTANTLY NURSING

Solutions:

  • This may just be a perfectly normal baby. Babies have small stomachs and they really do need filling up frequently.
  • Imagine if you were asked to double your weight in the next six months, as an average baby will do. What would you have to do?
  • You’d eat a lot.” Some mothers also have less storage capacity in their breasts, so while they produce plenty of milk over 24 hours, the baby needs to eat frequently (it’s called cluster feeding) to get enough.
  • If the baby is otherwise gaining well, having at least two or three poppy diapers each day and your nipples are not sore, frequent feedings may just be the norm for your baby. If baby is not gaining well, speak to your paediatrician or family doctor.

PROBLEM 13: BREAST NO LONGER FEEL FULL

Solutions:

  • This usually happens somewhere from six to ten weeks and mothers are often concerned that their milk production has faltered for some reason.
  • In most cases it’s actually good news, It means your breasts have adjusted to meet the actual appetite of your baby.
  • Instead of filling up between feedings, the milk doesn’t start to flow until the baby is nursing.
  • Just keep an eye on your baby’s weight gain and diaper contents to be sure everything is going well.

PROBLEM 14: Ouch! BABY IS BITTING OUR NIPPLES

Solutions:

  • Most babies will try out their gums or teeth at some time
  • Try pulling the baby in close so that your breast blocks his nose and he has to let go to breathe, rather than trying to pull back which can make him clamp down harder.
  • If you’re alert when the baby is nursing, you may be able to catch the moment when he pulls his tongue back in order to bite down.
  • Be ready to stick a finger in the corner of his mouth and prevent him from chomping on you. Be gentle —he doesn’t mean to hurt you!

So there you have some quick breastfeeding problem-solvers that may help you past some of the common breastfeeding challenges. Still having problems? Don’t hesitate to seek out more assistance from some of the lactation experts in your community, who can tailor their advice to your situation.

Posted on

Daddies Cheat Sheet: How you can support your breastfeeding wife

breastfeeding wife

Support Breastfeeding Wife

As our society progresses, we are moving into an era where daddies are also getting super hands on and more daddies are showing support breastfeeding wife. More and more daddies are rolling up their sleeves changing diaper, feeding milk and bathing babies.

In SLB, we notice that here is an increase trend of daddy supporting their wives in their decision in breastfeeding. Some daddies even came by our store to pick up the bakes while others surprise their wives with the gift set!

Should your better half decide she wants to nurse your baby, she’s going to need a lot of support. It’s one of the hardest things she will ever do as a mum.

Since you are reading this ( coming this far into researching for your wife ), kudos to you!

You can show your support to your wife and make this breastfeeding journey a lot easier for her by the tips shown in the picture.