MUST SEE: Great video showing an actively nursing baby - technique is great and you can hear the baby suck-swallow. CLICK HERE
CAPE COD BREASTFEEDING MOMS GROUP on FACEBOOK
LA LECHE MOM-TO-MOM FORUM ( We Highly Recommend!)
LA LECHE's HELP SITE:
Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition Help Site:
Healthy Children Center for Breastfeeding
MY MAMMA'S MILK - PEER HELP: 508-415-1295
Got a question on a medication
Call the world's best researchers for free at the
Infant RIsk Center at Texas Tech University: (806)-352-2519
How valuable is breastmilk?
The cost of a container of Similac formula that makes 168 oz is $24.00
The cost of buying 168 oz breastmilk from a registered milk bank is $756.00.
The cost of nursing your baby? Priceless!
GROWTH CHARTS FOR BREASTFED BABIES
charts are for breastfed babies only. The typical growth chart at most
pediatricians' offices are an average of both formula and breastfed
babies (and, ironically often are supplied by formula companies!).
These are much more accurate (pdf files to download):
Q: When should I wean my baby?
A.When your child decides he or she is no longer interested in the breast. This tends to be a slow process of nursing sessions becoming fewer and fewer. Know this, though: the NATURAL weaning age of a human child is between 2 and 7 YEARS of age (not when moms are bullied into it by family and peers):
In the study Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives, Dettwyler
wrote about the natural age of weaning for humans, meaning the length
of time humans would likely nurse if cultural expectations did not
In comparing humans to other primates, research showed that humans'
natural age of weaning is a minimum of two and a half years and a
maximum of between six and seven years. Researchers compared things
such as the age of sexual maturity; the age of the eruption of
permanent molars; the time when children quadrupled their birthweight;
and the length of gestation.(4)
In every other primate, nursing continues for years, not just months.
According to Dettwyler, "The very word infant in zoological terms
refers to the time between birth and the eruption of the first
permanent molars. " Dettwyler further emphasizes, "The
research looking at weaning time in primates and dental eruption shows
that breastfeeding ends when infancy ends, when the first permanent
molars are erupting. In humans, that happens between 5.5 and 6.5
Moreover, Dettwyler has compiled references for all the studies that
address the benefits of breastmilk beyond six months, data that will
be included in the upcoming new edition of her book. She cites 23
studies, not including numerous studies on allergies, that link
positive outcomes with breastfeeding beyond six months.
"Another important consideration for the older child is that they
are able to maintain their emotional attachment to a person rather
than being forced to switch to an inanimate object such as a teddy
bear or blanket," Dettwyler wrote in the book. "I think this
sets the stage for a life of people-orientation, rather than
materialism, and I think that is a good thing."
Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives by Dettwyler can be purchased from Amazon.com
Q: I think I do not have enough milk! I think I am going have to buy formula!
A. This is probably the NUMBER ONE issue with moms I see. They think, often due to poor advice and savvy formula marketing, that they cannot make enough milk to feed their baby. Poor milk can be caused by: poor latching technique of baby, use of pacifiers or bottles, and not feeding "on demand and for as long as the baby needs." The actually rate of having breasts that are PHYSICALLY unable to produce enough milk is extremely rare. So, the good part: 97% of all low milk supply problems are fixable! Call us or one of the lactation consultants listed here. You can also visit this site for some more tips: LOW MILK SUPPLY.COM
Q: I have heard a lot about Milk sharing lately. Can you give me some advice on this?
A. Breastmilk sharing is a wonderful option for the VERY SMALL percentage of women who physically cannot produce milk. I want to stress the "VERY SMALL" part of the last sentence. The vast, VAST majority of women, given the right support and knowledge, can breastfeed their children with little to no supplementing. Supplementing needlessly can actually reduce your milk supply. So number 1: make sure you are one of those extremely rare cases that cannot be fixed. Contact us if you wish, just to make sure you are getting the best milk-making tricks and advice. We work with many moms that THINK they are not making enough, when in fact, they are but just need some help to optimize their milk production. Our help line is 508-415-1295.
Now, if you are a mom (or dad) that does need milk, you can contact our Cape Cod Breastfeeding Moms club or milk sharing sites on the Internet like Eats on Feets and Milkshare. If you are sharing milk with someone you don't know intimately (a dear friend, sister, relative, etc), you absolutely should get up-to-date blood tests from the donor AND pasteurize the breastmilk. These 2 steps, used together, should almost eliminate any possibility of contamination due to disease or bacteria. Some women will argue that pasteurizing breastmilk ruins its nutrition, but this is not true. While pasteurizing does remove about 30% of immune properties of breastmilk, it still leaves a product that is far superior to formula.
Women donating breastmilk should be careful who they are corresponding with over the Internet (yes - there are weirdos out there) and always use a buddy system when picking up or dropping off breastmilk. NEVER EXCHANGE MONEY. EVER. If someone asks for money in exchange for their milk, see this as a red flag. There are women who will try to sell breastmilk for money and this can lead to the milk being watered down or too old. It is rare, but possible.
Breastfeeding moms are a very generous group of women. If they have milk to share, they do so with a kind heart and no desire to pass on illness. However, sometimes a woman is unaware that the has contracted an illness (infidelity can bring home many illnesses, including HIV and women who are unaware of a cheating partner may end up infected and not know it). Bloodwork is therefore crucial. Realize that HIV may not show up in bloodwork for 6 months. Pasteurizing, however, kills HIV and many other diseases.
Pasteurizers can be found online for under $400. You want one that can have the temperature turned down to 144.5 degrees F and timed to 30 minutes (this is the Holder Method used by breastmilk banks and is very effective).
Q: Does breast-size impact how much milk I can make?
A.The quick answer is "no - "It is the amount of well-developed glands inside the breast, rather
than exterior breast size, that determines storage capacity." You can be a DDD or an A, all that really matters is how often you nurse (and even if your storage capacity is low, you can just nurse more often). Remember - on demand and as long as the baby needs will result in the best milk supply. After several weeks, your breast size may seems to go back to normal and you may worry you do not have enough milk- fear not! Your breasts have simply regulated to what your baby demands. The following tips make up a great "cheat sheet" for the new nursing mom!:
1. Skin to Skin Contact After Birth to Stimulate Suckling Reflex in Baby &
Milk Let-Down in Mom
2. Unswaddle Baby When Nursing (free hands help stimulate milk and orient baby to nipple)
3. Breastfeed Immediately After Birth (babies are alert and pre-programmed to latch at this time, though epidurals and pain meds can make them drowsy)
4. Nurse Often and On Demand (Ditch the Clock)
5. Ban the Binky and the Bottle (these can hinder milk supply!!)
6. Proper Latch & Mosturize to Keep Nipples Happy
7. Wear Your Baby & Keep Him Close
8. Learn to Nurse Lying Down and in Public
9. Find Great Breastfeeding Support Like the Cape Cod Breastfeeding Moms on Facebook
Q: I am pregnant and nursing my toddler. My doctor says I should stop nursing my toddler, but I don't think I should. Any advice?
A. Sometimes doctors amaze me! Did you know that in the 1600s, a wet nurse was allowed to nurse up to 7 babies at once? Did you know that you can safely nurse a baby AND be pregnant at the same time? Weening your toddler because you are pregnant is a decision of the heart. From a physiological standpoint, it is completely safe in a normal pregnancy. We do recommend that you eat well and take in enough calories to cover breastfeeding and growing a new human! Remember also that doctors are not requires to have ANY lactation training, so when it comes to breastfeeding issues, please check the advice you get with the pros listed here on My Mamma's Milk. We highly recommend our Cape Cod Breastfeeding Moms group or the La Leche Mom-to-Mom forum (listed above).
Q: What does it mean to have a Tongue Tied Baby?
A: Tongue Tie is when an infant has a short frenum (the piece of skin under the tongue that connects to the floor of the mouth). Babies with a short frenum can have trouble nursing. Know what to look for!!!! Tongue Tie is easy to correct and is no reason to stop nursing!!
Q: How do I know if I can take a certain medicine while nursing?
A: See the Infant Risk Center link above or below!! You can call their hotline and ask. They are the leading researchers IN THE WORLD on medications and breastfeeding! http://www.infantrisk.com/
Q: What is the recommendation about drinking and breastfeeding? I am getting conflicting information . . .
A: Alcohol in MODERATION is usually safe, though it is believed that the consumption of beer can cause a reduction in breastmilk production and an increase in milk odor, which may bother the infant. If you have a small amount of alcohol (one glass of wine) 3 days a week, there is no issue with breastfeeding. If you drink more that 2 drinks A DAY, you should wait 2 to 3 hours before nursing. Excessive drinking and significant infant problems (psychomotor delays) have been reported and studied. Best bet? If you really want ONE glass of wine with dinner once in a while, feel free to enjoy. This information is found in the Thomas Hale, M.D's book Medications and Mother's Milk 13th Ed. This book (which I consider INVALUABLE to any nursing mother), can be purchased through Hale's site by clicking here: ibreastfeeding.com
Q: How can I store breastmilk and for how long can I safely use it?
Q: My 4 month old is suddenly nursing ALL THE TIME. I am worried that I can't produce enough milk to keep up with him. I am thinking of switching to formula. Thoughts?
A. If your son is gaining well, he may be going through a growth spurt. And though he seems like he is always nursing, by doing so, he is causing your breasts to produce more milk. Though you may feel like you are not making enough, you are probably making plenty and your body is "ramping up" production to meet his needs. Although your breasts may feel completely "deflated" they still produce milk (if you are ever worried that your breasts have been "sucked dry" simple attempt to manually express some milk - if you get milk, you are producing milk!)
Your breasts are the most perfect example of "supply and demand" ever created. The more a child nurses, the more milk you will make. The less your child nurses (hence why we recommend no pacifier or bottle) the less you will produce. So feed him when he wants and for as long as he wants and you will be a milk-making Venus!
Q: I have heard that babies should nurse no more than every 2 hours. So if my child wants to eat before the 2 hours are up, I should just give him a pacifier, right?
A. WRONG. The cardinal rules of breastfeeding are "on demand and as long as the child wants to nurse." What the new breastfeeding mother often does not realize is that the use of a pacifer can cause nipple confusion AND lower your milk supply. A mother's milk supply is largely based on how much her baby nurses. The more the baby nurses, the more milk you produce. The less the baby nurses, the less milk your breasts make. It is crucial, especially in the early weeks of life, to nurse as often and for as long as the baby desires and empty your breasts frequently, which triggers more milk production (and avoids engorgement which can lead to mastitis). Newborns should nurse at LEAST every 2 hrs. A baby sucking on the pacifier is NOT sucking at the breast and stimulating more milk to be made.
As far as nipple confusion goes, a baby at the breast nurses very differently than a baby at the bottle or pacifier. Switching between the two can frustrate a new baby and he may have trouble latching properly to the breast. He may even show an aversion to the breast as an artificial nipple is easier to suck.
Q. I am due with my first child in a couple of weeks and would like to breastfeed, but worried that it is going to be painful. Any advice?
A. Sore boobies are a big issue that stops many women from using the finest baby food in the universe - breastmilk. The best defense against sore boobies is 2-fold:
1. Proper nursing technique! Proper "latch on" is nearly impossible to describe on a website and requires the right angle, baby's lips to be folded out, etc. It is an art and is teachable to both mom and baby. We HIGHLY recommend that you attend a breastfeeding Mom's meeting / playgroup, ideally before you even give birth and regularly after the birth. Proper latch on prevents sore nipples and stimulates milk production. Improper latch can be painful and cause problems with milk production and weight gain in your infant. Just remember - most breastfeeding issues can be fixed, so don't give up!
This is a good video about the proper "latch on" technique.: CLICK HERE 2. Lube up the Girls! About 2 weeks before your due date, start applying Lansinoh ointment or
Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Nipple Butter (sold right here as we think it is the best). After the baby is born
and you are nursing, apply the ointment after EVER FEEDING. These
products will help soften your skin and make your breasts less prone to
cracking and soreness. Also, do not wash your breasts with soap and
only pat them dry (don't rub) after a shower. Let your breasts air dry
if possible after nursing (at least in the first few weeks).
Q. Any tips on co-sleeping?
A. Most countries around the world co-sleep with their children. This is especially true for the breastfeeding family as it makes night nursing very easy. We encourage all families that are thinking of co-sleeping to read how to do so safely from the following websites:
Q. What is Attachment Parenting???
(from Wikipedia) Per Dr. Sears' theory of attachment parenting (AP), proponents such
as the API attempt to foster a secure bond with their children by
promoting eight principles which are identified as goals for parents to
strive for. These eight principles are:
- Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
- Feed with Love and Respect
- Respond with Sensitivity
- Use Nurturing Touch
- Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally
- Provide Consistent Loving Care
- Practice Positive Discipline
- Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life
BREAST IS BEST: