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All About Breastfeeding by Aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com - 1M ago
The top 5 breastfeeding positions

I fooled you.  I titled this article the top 5 breastfeeding positions because I knew that would catch your eye.  Everyone wants to know the answer to this question. However, I am not going to give you detailed instructions on the 5 top breastfeeding different positions.  Instead,

I am going to share with you a story which will help illustrate why there is no one right breastfeeding position for everyone. I want you to think outside the box, rather than rely on others who give you specific position information and insist on – “my way or the highway.”You also want me, the breastfeeding expert, to sing the praises of the most popular pillow that new breastfeeding moms just cannot live without.

The reality is that some moms do well with “just a baby and a boob.”. Now, I don’t mean to trivialize things particularly if you do need extra support.  However, I think we have come a long way from the truth, and that is, some moms really just don’t need anything special to breastfeed with.

I vist homes where moms have 3 different kinds of pillows.  They are playing musical chairs by sitting on the living room couch, the kitchen table chairs and the nursing chair in the baby’s room.  They have pillows on their lap, behind their head and under their elbows. They are leaning so far forward to compensate for a pillow that is not working well for them.  All this, while they are trying to figure out why their neck and shoulders are killing them.

Moms are looking at all these pretty items and wondering what could be being responsible for breastfeeding gone bad. The fact is that when the latch is shallow, breastfeeding is going to hurt no matter what fancy pillow you have. If you are holding your baby in an awkward position – like laying them flat on a pillow and expecting them to turn their neck over their shoulder to latch on – then no pillow is going to make it all better.

If you have flat or inverted nipples or if your baby has oral ties, then we need to work on these areas.  How you are holding yourself, your baby and latching on becomes the focus and the pillows and stools and chairs become secondary.

Last week I visited with a mom who was struggling to nurse her third baby.  Mandy was incredibly frustrated. She spent a lot of our initial time whining and crying and complaining and just mad and angry.

Mary’s biggest frustration was that this was her third baby, a boy named Jaxon.  She breastfed her others just fine and why on earth is she having such difficulties breastfeeding Jaxon.  As I started to talk, Mandy jumped right in and said: please don’t tell me that he is tongue tied because that is what all my friends are saying. I have looked and I don’t see anything and neither did his pediatrician or the staff at the hospital.

To myself, in my own head, I said:  oy vey, I sure hope I don’t see a tie because this is going to get pretty rough.  Truth be told, based on her verbal rundown and what I now see as purple bruised and blistered nipples that look like raspberries,it’s a 50-50 chance of this being a tie issue.  

Silently to myself, I was already thinking – nursed 2 other babies just fine, no pain issues in the beginning. What is different here? Well the baby is different, so let’s explore that first.

I could see and feel beautiful tongue extension and movement.  No ties noted and his latch on my finger felt exactly as it should be.  As I watch her latch Jaxon on I am observing everything that is happening at breast. I am also listening to Mandy’s response to my questions.

I ask about medications, supplements, relationship concerns, any changes in her physical or mental health since her last baby. Mandy goes through this whole list of no, no, no, and then drops a little baby ” why breastfeeding isn’t working bomb.”  She said “I just hoped that this darn carpal tunnel stuff that I had during this pregnancy would go away by the time I gave birth.”  Actually it has become worse and now my whole hand hurts. It feels like I dropped a brick on it.

As she is saying this, I can easily see that she is latching her baby on fairly well.  I am thinking, between oral cavity looking good, and a breast and nipple that are perfect, this should not be hurting her at all.   As she continues talking, I note that Mandy is sitting up, with 3 bed pillows on her lap. She then raised the baby way too high. Once she latches him on, she takes her hands off baby and breast and lets the pillow fully support the baby.

While this might work well sometimes, the use of some pillows  can also interfere with comfortable breastfeeding. When a pillow is too high or the breast is being held at an awkward angle, the baby needs to compensate for this. When Mandy took her hand off Jaxon and her breast, the breast dropped down a bit, the nipple slipped closer to the gums and this changed everything.

Basically, the difference here between baby #2 and baby #3 is not her baby, but Mandy herself.  She had developed joint pain which changed how she brought her baby to the breast. I don’t really think she has carpal tunnel syndrome.  The key point that makes me wonder is that she has this pain in both hands, but I will let the experts evaluate and diagnose.

Thank goodness that even with all of her frustration, she was willing to experiment with me to find what worked best for her.  I suggested changes she could make while sitting in the same chair.

We played with the pillows a bit, but nothing really made her more comfortable. Mandy agreed to switch to another chair in which the back reclined. No pillows, no stools and no sitting up.  No big hands on baby, rather a gentle touch to help guide her baby to latch onto the breast.

She provided gentle breast shaping and support to help this along.  It did not come easily or quick enough for mom or baby. Within about 5 minutes and some crying on both their parts, Jaxon lifted his cute little head,  placed his wide open mouth over the bullseye, lowered his head and achieved an excellent latch.

Mary look toward the ceiling,  clench her jaws and closed her eyes immediately. About 30 seconds later, she opened her eyes and asked:  What is he doing… he’s not nursing? And I said, oh yes he is – look at him.  Jaxon was in the zone – feeding just beautifully. Now Mandy, the only thing she was doing was gently laying the flat of her hand on his back, between his shoulder blades and neck to support his head and neck in this  position. Her other arm was cradling him, keeping him close.

What was the difference?  Mandy was not holding her breast up high.  She supported her right breast in its natural position.   Jaxon was on her chest in a vertical position with his legs pointing down to her knees and with his belly touching her belly.  He had full use of his hands to help guide him to the breast. He did have a bit of support with her hand on his back close to his neck.

The difference here is that since Jaxon found his way onto the breast, he immediately relaxed, and began sucking. Mandy went from painful breastfeedings to very comfortable breastfeedings. Mandy is an experienced breastfeeding mom. Yet she was in pain and just needed a fresh pair of eyes on the whole situation to take an objective look at things.  This can be very hard. Particularly when your focusing on “things” that are not really the issue. When you keep looking at the same things in the same way, it is hard to find solutions.

The top 5 breastfeeding positions. Which one is best for you? The best one for you is the one where you and your baby are both comfortable and relaxed, and you don’t have to strain to hold the position or keep nursing.  My best advice is to recognize that there are no cookie cutter answers and be open to experimenting.

A few more words of wisdom:

I encourage all of you to think outside the box and yes, call for expert help.

Don’t wait for 3 weeks though.  Why should you let this ruin your postpartum recovery days when you should be relaxing, recovering and enjoying your baby. I would love to share so much more breastfeeding information with you and help make  breastfeeding an enjoyable experience.  Please consider joining my breastfeeding class. Check out all the lovely details and learn all that is included in the class by going to:  aabreastfeeding.com/breastfeedingclass

Listen to the complete podcast

http://traffic.libsyn.com/allaboutbreastfeeding/episode_358_mixdown.mp3

An Online Breastfeeding Class you take in the comfort of your own home

Lori J Isenstadt IBCLC

Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is the creator and founder of the All About Breastfeeding class. She became an IBCLC ( lactation consultant) 20 years ago and shortly after founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding. Lori is an international speaker, author and host of the All About Breastfeeding podcast. Lori lives, works and plays in sunny Arizona. You can contact Lori at: aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com

The post Top 5 Breastfeeding Positions appeared first on all about breastfeeding.

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All About Breastfeeding by Aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com - 2M ago

New Parenthood and Sleep Deprivation – I bet most pregnant parents have heard this a million times. Be sure you sleep when the baby sleeps. If this is a first baby for you and you have not been around newborns, you probably nod your head and say: “I will. we will”. and then you go on your merry way. I remember the first time I was told this. I was standing inside the elevator in my office building.

The door opened and in came this lady who was in her mid 60s. She said congratulations when she saw my belly and I said – thank you. She asked when I was due and I told her. She then said – Oh that’s nice. She then said: Good Luck honey!

I did not respond and then without skipping a beat. she said you better go home and sleep all night, until the urge to pee wakes you up. Go pee and then go right back to bed. I just smiled and said: okay. This was before I had my first baby and getting into a conversation with intimate details like this with a lady who was a stranger to me, well, at that point in my life, it was kind of odd.

I know. I know. I talk like that now on an every day basis, but that was before I had my first baby. Little did I know how that would change. Anyway, we talked for a few more minutes until she got off the elevator. She seemed to be intent on making sure I got enough sleep. now because goodness knows it will be years before I ever sleep in peace and uninterrupted quiet again.

It did not take long for me to figure out why this lady acted this way with me. She obviously knew a lot more than I did about new motherhood, newborns and sleep. I would meet other new moms in the park and when they asked how I was doing, I would say Fine. I asked them how their babies were sleeping and they usually said just fine. I found myself not asking this question or just lying to them when they asked how well my baby slept. It was just too emotionally difficult for me. I could not tell the truth.

My truth – I was blessed with one of those babies that they say – Oh she just never sleeps because she is so busy. She is like those babies that are so interested in the world around her that she doesn’t want to sleep and miss anything.

All I did was daydream about a cheap and easy solution to this problem. I could have rubbed whiskey on her gums like my Aunt use to do. I could have given some baby pain medicine like I heard some other desperate parents have done. While I did contemplate this from time to time, I just could not bring myself to do it. The fact that I even considered these as options gives you a little window into how desperate I was to get some solid sleep. I did become “that mom” and Alisha did become “that baby.” No sleep for either of us.

I am not sure what I was thinking during my pregnancy. I thought that if I had a good birth, no tearing, no medication that I would bounce back from birth quickly. Have you ever been so tired you felt drunk? Have you ever been so tired you were slurring your words or had trouble putting one foot in front of the other?  Have  you ever been so tired that you fell asleep  while standing up, talking on the phone or the second you sit down? That was me.

According to sleep expert and Harvard School Professor, Charles Czeisler
If a person averages about 4 hours of sleep per night, for 4-5 nights, her mental impairment is equal to that of someone who is legally drunk. Well, once I read that, I knew I wasn’t crazy.

It helps for new parents to learn from experts that their babies sleep will likely be quite unpredictable and they will often have their sleep uninterrupted. Parents of newborns need to hear this information many different times from many different people. Otherwise, it is easy for them to be in denial as they are often thinking “this is what happens to other people.” As if, other people are doing something right and they aren’t. 

Listen to the complete show to find out more on this subject. I share my BEST TIPS to help cope with the early days of newborn parenting and sleepless nights.

http://traffic.libsyn.com/allaboutbreastfeeding/episode_357_undated_mixdown.mp3

Lori J Isenstadt IBCLC

Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is the creator and founder of the All About Breastfeeding class. She became an IBCLC ( lactation consultant) 20 years ago and shortly after founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding. Lori is an international speaker, author and host of the All About Breastfeeding podcast. Lori lives, works and plays in sunny Arizona. You can contact Lori at: aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com

The post New Parenthood and Sleep Deprivation appeared first on all about breastfeeding.

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All About Breastfeeding by Aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com - 2M ago

What is a nipple shield? This is a silicone nipple shield which can be helpful to the breastfeeding mother. It is a device that a mother places over her nipple-areolar space prior to latching her baby onto the breast. A nipple shield can be this amazing tool that helps a baby breastfeed, who would otherwise not have been able to breastfeed. It can be a tool to help a baby who has early difficulty in latching. Once the original problem is solved, mom can work with her baby to gradually make the transition to the bare breast. I love nipple shields for all the benefits they provide to the breastfeeding mother. I do want to share what I call the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to nipple shields though.

The Good:

1. Wonderful tool to help babies latch on, when they were struggling to do so. Whether it be flat or inverted nipples or a baby that is premature or a baby with tongue tie, a nipple shield can be very useful in the early days of breastfeeding.

2. When used appropriately, this may help you avoid bottles if your baby is able to get a full feeding at the breast. 3. When used for nipples that have suffered damage, the nipple shield is a wonderful tool to use. Mom can continue breastfeeding, avoid bottles and allow her nipples to heal.

The Bad:

I am not a big fan of using a nipple shield in the first few days of life. Here are the reasons why:

1. I notice that nipple shields are frequently given to moms in the hospital before discharge. This frequently presents a problem for several reasons. A majority of mothers do not have the milk volume to support the proper use of the shield. The colostrum is a highly concentrated fluid, with everything a newborn needs to sustain them through this period. However, it is usually a rather sticky substance and is in very low volume. This means that it can be quite difficult for the newborn to get adequate milk transferred when using it.

2. I find that nipple shields are given to moms during their hospital stay without a plan for follow up. Things change quickly in a newborns life and without proper follow up, a nipple shield can create more harm than good. A very common scenario is what happens at the pediatricians office a few days later. A weight check reveals your baby is continuing to lose weight. Moms are often very surprised and feel defeated when they realize the last few days their baby has not been getting good feedings.

3. Good follow up is important to be sure the nipple shield is the right size and is being used correctly.

4. Information about the need to pump ( if warranted) when using the shield is often not given to moms. 5. Moms struggle without having guidance as to when and how to gradually wean from the shield when the time is right. This often leads to long term nipple shield use.

The Ugly:

1. As helpful as nipple shields are, they can also hinder breastfeeding progress.

2. I have seen way too many mothers coming into consultations with poorly fed babies. There are many things wrong with this picture. I find that the mother has no idea that her baby is not actually transferring good volumes of milk. She has not been taught how to tell when her baby is actively sucking and swallowing and I notice that her baby is mostly sleeping. Moms think that the nudging and poking and tickling and blowing on their babies to keep them feeding, is a normal thing to do. It is not. A full term, healthy baby, who has a mom with a good supply, will keep breastfeeding until there belly is full.

3. I have seen way too many babies that are really sleeping at the breast and not actually feeding. This is dangerous because the baby is not being well fed and well hydrated. Too much weight loss, too quickly puts the baby at risk. The longer baby has poor feedings, the more they lose weight, the more tired they get and the less active breastfeeding they do. None of this is a good combination. This is why I say that the inappropriate use of a nipple shield is the
Ugly part of Nipple shield use.

4. I have seen some pretty disgusting looking nipple shields. Moms come in with them in poor shape. My worst nightmare are the shields with the tips cut off. At some point, moms were given advice to cut off a piece of the tip of the shield every day. This would mean that they had more of the nipple in their mouth when they breastfed. As more of the tip was cut away, the closer to bare breast feeding the baby would be. This is one way of weaning from the shield, but I feel it is dangerous.

What about the possibility of some of these jagged ends being swallowed by the baby. YIKES!

For all of these reasons, I would love for all moms using a nipple shield to be working closely with an IBCLC. This way we can start you off by using the shield properly and provide good follow up care.

We will be looking to make sure that the shield is:

1. Comfortable for you and your baby – no squeezing or biting the tip of the shield.

2. The right size equals good results. The wrong size = poor results.
We want to be sure your baby is having good milk transfer – no sleeping instead of feeding. If needed, appropriate pumping instructions will be given.

You will be given proper instructions on weaning from the shield and be told in no uncertain terms – “No messing with the shield.”

http://traffic.libsyn.com/allaboutbreastfeeding/episode_356_nipple_shields_mixdown.mp3

Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is the creator and founder of the All About Breastfeeding class. She became an IBCLC ( lactation consultant) 20 years ago and shortly after founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding. Lori is an international speaker, author and host of the All About Breastfeeding podcast. Lori lives, works and plays in sunny Arizona. You can contact Lori at: aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com

The post Nipple Shields for breastfeeding appeared first on all about breastfeeding.

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All About Breastfeeding by Aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com - 2M ago
Weaning from breastfeeding

Weaning from breastfeeding by definition means to gradually take away, to detach. An optimal way for moms to go about the weaning process is for it to happen gradually and with love. Optimal, but not always possible.

As a lactation consultant, the assumption is that I only help mothers who want to breastfeed their baby. Of course, this is one of the important things I do each and every day. Educate through breastfeeding classes, blogs, and private consults and now with podcasting.

There are circumstances where some moms need to stop their milk production as soon as possible. As a lactation consultant, I also help moms with the weaning process.

I recognize that there are many reasons why some mothers who have been breastfeeding and or pumping want to or need to stop producing milk. Moms need help, not judgement. I will do my best to meet their needs and help them wean in the safest way possible. It is all part of the breastfeeding journey.

Weaning from breastfeeding and weaning from pumping

For some moms, the choice to wean is not an urgent matter and I can help her do this gradually. There are times, however, when a mother needs to stop producing milk abruptly. This is usually because:

She needs long term treatment for a medical problem which is not compatible with breastfeeding. Her only option is to take medication that is not compatible with breastfeeding. A breast abscess for which she needs to dry up that side.

It is important to note that having a breast abscess does not automatically mean you need to wean from that side. In fact, with proper management, most moms can continue breastfeeding. Good thing though, that our breasts are autonomous .

Drying up one breast does not mean you need to dry up the other side. Sudden separation for military deployment or emergency surgery, illness, or an accident. Sadly, her baby has died and after understanding her options, she has decided to wean quickly.

How sudden weaning can affect the mother:

  1. Physical changes
  2. painful breast engorgement which can lead to plugged ducts and/or a breast infection or abscess.
  3. Emotional changes
  4. Abrupt changes in hormone levels, specifically oxytocin and prolactin, puts you at risk for emotional difficulties. You may feel deep sadness, have feelings of anxiety and depression. Let your loved ones know these risks. You will want their help and support and compassion during the weaning process.
  5. Sudden changes will likely affect her baby. Depending on their age and frequency of nursing, the loss of comfort and security they get with breastfeeding may have quite an impact. The nutritional aspects as well as the change in milk they get may affect their gut health.

Weaning abruptly is serious business therefor I highly recommend that you consult with an IBCLC to help you safely go through this process. While you are waiting to connect with an IBCLC, here are some tips that you might find helpful during this delicate time –

Speak with your physician about taking some over the counter medication to help with pain.

Hand express or pump for comfort. Even if you need to do this on an hourly basis, just take off only as much milk as you need to so your breast can feel more comfortable.

Binding your breasts is old fashioned and dangerous advise. Wearing a very supportive bra, but not too restrictive one will be helpful. Also Sage, parsley and peppermint are herbs that can help to speed up the drying up process.

As I have said, abrupt weaning is serious business which can greatly affect your physical and emotional health. Please seek expert help during the weaning process. Talk to your partner, your family, and your friends. Let them know how you’re feeling and be willing to accept their help.

Lori J Isenstadt IBCLC

Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is the creator and founder of the All About Breastfeeding class. She became an IBCLC ( lactation consultant) 20 years ago and shortly after founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding. Lori is an international speaker, author and host of the All About Breastfeeding podcast. Lori lives, works and plays in sunny Arizona. You can contact Lori at: aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com

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All About Breastfeeding by Aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com - 2M ago

Breastfeeding and Pain, What’s the real deal?

I am a lactation consultant on a mission to help bust the popular myth that goes like this – “Breastfeeding hurts – just keep going and in about 6 weeks it will be so much better.”

Instead, my mantra is: Breastfeeding is not suppose to hurt. Not on Day 1 or Day 2 or Day 3. If it does, get help. There is no need to suffer for days while you are waiting for it to get better. There are some things in life that it makes sense to wait it out and see if it gets better. Breastfeeding is not one of them.

What motivates me to get the word out and repeat my mantra on a daily basis? The facts! The CDC latest report from 2018 shows us that about 83% of all mothers start off planning to exclusively breastfeed. By 6 months, only 25% are exclusively breastfeeding. By the time babies are 1 year old, only 36% of babies are receiving some breastmilk. These statistics are not much different when looked at from a global perspective. The duration rates are high. Thank goodness for this. Widespread breastfeeding education and peer support have really helped to drive these numbers up. However, where we fail is the duration rates.

What does this tell us? We are failing to meet the needs of new mothers in between the day they give birth and the following few weeks. 83% of mothers are saying, I would like to exclusively breastfeed my baby for 6 months. When less than a third meet their goals, this tells us that there is a huge gap that lies between the initiation rates and the duration rates. Where are the holes that need to be plugged up? What is happening with moms that they aren’t meeting their personal goals?

There are several key areas that the experts say we could be doing better with.

Mothers need the right support from the right people in their lives. Statistics show that mothers are more likely to meet their breastfeeding goals when they have the full support of their physicians. Preferably all physicians will have taken an entry level breastfeeding class so they know how to evaluate breastfeeding. Full support means that they have learned enough so that they are able to assess the situation.

They have a basic understanding of normal newborn breastfeeding behavior. They will refer to the local IBCLC who will help with breastfeeding challenges that deserve a full evaluation.

Mothers also need to surround themselves during the postpartum period with close family and friends who support their interest in breastfeeding. During the first few weeks of breastfeeding, you will want to be pretty picky about who you have staying with you. The last thing you want is a loved one telling you that they were fed formula and they are fine so if you need to feed your baby formula, they will be fine also.

I am not going to argue the whole breastfeeding/formula thing, but rather suggest we stick with the mothers wishes. If you want to breastfeed, then everyone around you should do all they can to help you do so.

In addition to having supportive physicians and supportive family members, we need to do better with breastfeeding education. Mothers need to know what to expect in the early days. What is normal and what is not. I don’t want mothers to continue to be exposed to all the crazy myths out there and believe that breastfeeding is suppose to hurt, or that they will not make enough in the early days and will need to supplement.

Pain and low supply are very common reasons why moms discontinue breastfeeding. This may be common, but it surely is not normal. Understandably they cannot continue on any regular basis putting their baby to breast and be in such pain that their toes are curling and they are trying to hold back tears. This is not what we would call an enjoyable breastfeeding experience.

There is no reason why mothers should be suffering with breastfeeding pain and painful breasts and nipples when breastfeeding.

Tissue trauma increases the risk factor of getting a breast infection and this is a common reason why moms stop breastfeeding. If trauma has been created, please get help ASAP to keep this from getting worse. There are many barriers to breastfeeding – lack of good support, painful breastfeeding and not preparing with a good breastfeeding class. Let’s all do what we can to help moms and reduce these barriers.
Surround new parents with good breastfeeding supporters.

Let them know that breastfeeding is not suppose to hurt.

Offer them an excellent breastfeeding class that will teach them what to expect in the early days and will offer on-going support after their baby is born.

Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is the creator and founder of the All About Breastfeeding class. She became an IBCLC ( lactation consultant) 20 years ago and shortly after founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding. Lori is an international speaker, author and host of the All About Breastfeeding podcast. Lori lives, works and plays in sunny Arizona. You can contact Lori at: aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com

The post Breastfeeding Pain appeared first on all about breastfeeding.

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All About Breastfeeding by Aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com - 2M ago

Breastfeeding around the clock – and my baby is still losing weight.

There are times when moms are breastfeeding around the clock – literally every 2 hours. Babies do breastfeeding frequently. They even have cluster feeding sessions where they nurse non-stop for 3-4 hours in a row. However, when babies are nursing every 2 hours and are still losing weight – This is not normal. If the weight loss is more than 10% and continues past the 4th day of life, I agree that supplementing is good advise.

My argument is that often times moms are not given appropriate advise on how to supplement a baby while still working on breastfeeding. My argument is that often times moms are not given appropriate advise on a pumping plan. They are just told to supplement. Or they are told to just keep breastfeeding and come back in a few days. All the while, the baby continues to lose weight. Both of these common scenarios greatly affects the mothers ability to continue breastfeeding for the long term. Learn why I think that more should be done for this dyad, other than just telling mom to supplement. I will then offer an opinion as to how the breastfeeding should be managed.

If you are told that it is normal for breastfed babies to nurse around the clock and still lose weight,

Do NOT listen to anyone who tells you this is normal. This is NOT normal.

This week I had 3 consults in a row, all with the same complaint.
Mom says: “My baby is breastfeeding around the clock and is losing weight. I am getting conflicting advise – what do I do?” This is a complaint, but make no mistake. Just because it happens on a regular basis, does not mean that it is normal.

I want you to know with 100% certainty, that babies who are breastfeeding around the clock and losing too much weight, is not normal.

Do NOT listen to anyone who tells you this is normal. This is NOT normal.

This week I had 3 consults in a row, all with the same complaint.

Mom says: “My baby is breastfeeding around the clock and is losing weight. I am getting conflicting advise – what do I do?” This is a complaint, but make no mistake. Just because it happens on a regular basis, does not mean that it is normal.

I want you to know with 100% certainty, that babies who are breastfeeding around the clock and losing too much weight, is not normal.

Here are 3 common reasons parents are told why it is normal for their babies to be breastfeeding around the clock. To compensate for the weight loss, they are told they need to supplement.
1. They are spending a lot of energy at the breast and losing calories while doing so.
2. Or, it takes much longer for breastfed babies to gain back their birth weight.
3. Or, this happens to a lot of moms. When your milk comes in, your baby will start gaining.

Unfortunately, this is all poor advice. It is wrong, wrong, wrong. My response to this crazy advise is to tell parents the following:

Babies who are breastfeeding well, with moms who are producing enough colostrum do lose a little bit of weight, about 4-7 oz in the first 4 days, but by the 5th day they should definitely be gradually gaining each day. A gain of about 1/2 ounce each day is the usual. At 2 weeks old, babies should be back to their birth weight.

You can supplement and your baby will pack on the weight. However, this alone, will not help you with breastfeeding. You need professional help so you understand why this is happening and work together to fix this problem.

Without good breastfeeding preparation and expert help:

You may be told by your baby’s pediatrician to stop breastfeeding and go straight to bottle feeding – until your baby gains back their birth weight. Once this happens, you will be given the go ahead to return to exclusive breastfeeding. This advice totally sucks… and yes, that pun is intended. It sucks because you are removing your baby from its natural habitat, your body, your breasts and giving them a bottle 24/7. Your baby gains the weight, your pediatrician is happy and announces hooray! You can go back to breastfeeding.

But now what? You were given no other guidance. You may not have been given information about the need to pump what kind of pump to use, how frequently you should pump, how long you should pump for? Using a breast pump is not something you have ever done before. It certainly is not instinctive to use a plastic pump.

Does someone go home with you to help you transition your baby back to the breast. It is now 5 days later with a baby back to birth weight. You are excited to breastfeed again. The problem – your overall supply is low and your baby is use to the bottle and freaks out every time he or she is brought to the breast.

Another version of poor advice:

Mom is given strict instructions to breastfeed every 3 hours. Offer both sides for 10 minutes each and then supplement 1 oz. Parents are now ignoring their babies cues. They are busy watching the clock, timing feedings, and counting ounces.
Perhaps mom is pumping. Perhaps she is not. She may not be following a specific care plan except to pump purely because she needs the relief.

Between limiting her babies time at breast and not pumping regularly, she begins to struggle to keep her milk supply up. After 3 days of little pumping, she finds on the 5th day, that her breasts are comfortable and she does not need to pump anymore. Pretty soon, she is not making enough milk for her baby. After her next pediatric visit, she is told to stop supplementing, only breastfeed, but now her supply is so low her baby is frustrated all the time at the breast.

And as if all of this is not bad enough, some parents are turned into zombies. The pediatrician gave parents very strict instructions to – wake your baby up every 2 hours. Feed your baby at breast first and when done, give them 1 oz of milk in a bottle until they are full.

Now just think about this –

Wake baby at 1:00. Between breast and bottle feeding and diaper change and settling back down to sleep, average feedings take an hour. Up again at 3:00, feed takes 1 hour, sleep at 4, wake up at 5, then 7, then 9, then 11, and then 1:00. Welcome to Zombie-land.

A quick review of what normal is:

Babies should lose no more than 4-7 oz in their first 5 days of life. If your baby is not gaining weight, there is something not right and you need to get professional help.
Babies should begin gaining by their 5th day of life – about 1/2 oz per day would be normal. If they are not close to meeting these goals, something is not right and you need to get professional help.
Recognize bad advice –

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that it takes a baby a specific time 10,15,20 minutes to remove the milk from the breast. Sure we have averages, which are appropriate, but only when we are sure your baby is breastfeeding well. If your baby is just hanging out at the breast, sleeping at the breast, inefficient at removing the milk at the breast – then time spent at breast is a moot point.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to supplement, but does not spend a good amount of time explaining to you all the details of pumping, what kind of pump to use, how long to pump, frequency to pump, etc.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you to keep supplementing your baby, come back in 3-5 days and if your baby gains back the weight we wanted, then I will give you the go ahead to stop supplementing and go back to breastfeeding.
If your babies are getting bottles of formula and you are not pumping, you are at a great risk factor for losing your supply. The general rule of thumb is to pump every time your baby gets a bottle.
Good breastfeeding management –

There is no cookie cutter answer to this problem. What should happen? How about a referral to an IBCLC. A complete evaluation will allow the IBCLC to help mom understand why her baby is nursing around the clock and why her baby is losing weight. The consultation will include a full assessment and a care plan that will specifically address the babies need for more food. The World Health Organizations goal is to increase breastfeeding duration rates. Appropriate breastfeeding management will play a key role in accomplishing these goals

Prepare for breastfeeding.

Join the All About Breastfeeding Class where you have lifetime access to a comprehensive online breastfeeding class. You will be invited to join our private breastfeeding mothers group which is for students only. Typically, once you walk out the doors, class is over and access to an IBCLC and ongoing breastfeeding education is gone. Our online class gives you daily support with other students and your IBCLC, for as many days, weeks and months as you need it. The ability to meet up with an IBCLC for LIVE virtual chats means amazing lactation and new mother support for as long as you need it.

Say YES, I want and need ongoing support for the whole time I am breastfeeding.

Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC

Lori J Isenstadt IBCLC

Lori is a huge breastfeeding advocate and supports all breastfeeding families.  Once she became turned on to birth and became a childbirth educator, there was no stopping her love of working with families during their childbearing years.  Lori first became a birth doula and a postpartum doula.  She then became an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has been helping moms and babies with breastfeeding for over 25 years.  In her private practice, Lori meets with moms and babies on an individual basis in her office or In their home. Lori is an international speaker, book author and host of the popular itunes podcast called – All About Breastfeeding, the place where the girls hang out. You can reach Lori by email at: aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com

The post Breastfeeding around the clock appeared first on all about breastfeeding.

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Postpartum depression – You can’t just snap out of it.
 
I interviewed Morgann  for the All About Breastfeeding podcast when she was 14 months pregnant with her third baby.  She has since given birth to a beautiful baby, making this her third daughter.  She was so hoping that perhaps this time she would escape having a third baby who was tongue tied, but alas, this was not to be the case.  Morgann knew she would be better prepared as she was well connected with the birthing and tongue tie community this time around.  And yet, it would have been nice to not have to deal with these challenges this time around.
 
I was quite interested to have Morgann as a guest.  She was ready to talk about her postpartum experience in the hopes that her experience would shine a light on a very important issue – postpartum mood disorders.  A mother can have the most gentle birth experience with the most wonderful care providers.  She can have a wonderfully supportive partner, family members and a calm and peaceful household – and yet she can be hit over the head like a ton of bricks with postpartum depression/anxiety, despite it all.
 
In Morgann’s case, she had so much going on with her second pregnancy, birth and baby that I probably would have been quite surprised had she not had any issues during her 4th trimester. Just look at what she had going on.
 
*Due date –   July 30th
*Move date – August 1st
 
Take a guess when her beautiful baby Everly was born –  If you guessed right smack dab in the middle of those 2 dates, you are 100% correct.  On July 31st, Morgann gave birth to her 2nd daughter at a local birth center, came home after a few hours, and in less than 24 hours, the moving trucks came.  No matter how much help a new mother has, giving birth and moving your household just has to take its toll on you.  Morgann shares with us her postpartum experience – her guilt and fears and anxiety that consumed her during the early months.
 
Morgann felt like so many other new mothers do – out of sync, short tempered with her older daughter, feeling like she just could not do this anymore, and wanting to give up.  With it all, Morgann also acted like so many moms do – she kept it all bottled up inside.  Alone with her thoughts and fears, the anxiety builds and often worsens. Afraid to tell her health providers out of fear that he kids could be taken away from her.  Afraid to reveal her true thoughts to her husband as he might be fearful of leaving her home alone with the kids.  Smiling and pretending to the rest of the world because, well, because new motherhood is suppose to be blissful.  You are suppose to be grateful for all you have and you wouldn’t want anyone to think anything less of you.
 
Such a difficult and lonely place for a new mother to be.  So sad that there continues to be such incredible stigma surrounding such a COMMON health issue.  It is actually quite frustrating for everyone all around.  Listen to Morgann as she shares what her turning point was and how she came to get the strength to begin the road to recovery.
 
If you need help with breastfeeding  contact me
 
Need help:  www.postpartum.net  Here you will fine a kind and compassionate person to listen, support you and offer local resources to you
 
http://traffic.libsyn.com/allaboutbreastfeeding/Episode_341_mixdown.mp3
Lori J Isenstadt IBCLC

Lori is a huge breastfeeding advocate and supports all breastfeeding families.  Once she became turned on to birth and became a childbirth educator, there was no stopping her love of working with families during their childbearing years.  Lori first became a birth doula and a postpartum doula.  She then became an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has been helping moms and babies with breastfeeding for over 25 years.  In her private practice, Lori meets with moms and babies on an individual basis in her office or In their home. Lori is an international speaker, book author and host of the popular itunes podcast called – All About Breastfeeding, the place where the girls hang out. You can reach Lori by email at: aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com

The post Postpartum depression – You can’t just snap out of it. appeared first on all about breastfeeding.

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All About Breastfeeding by Aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com - 3M ago

Tongue Tie is just a fad – Says who?  Breastfeeding mothers are on the front lines. Some are struggling with breastfeeding challenges and are suffering greatly.  As they seek to find answers, some will have a visit with an IBCLC.  Leah is a mom who just does not understand why her baby is still hungry after an hour of breastfeeding.   She is trying so hard but it seems that no matter what she does, breastfeeding takes a very long time and her nipples feel battered and bruised. Leah is so desperate to get more than 1 hour of sleep at a time, but her baby rarely is settled for more than an hour.

She hits her breaking point when her baby boy Lucas is about 2 weeks old.  Any confidence she might have had was thrown out the window when her pediatrician expressed concern that her baby should have gained more weight by now. In tears, she explained that is doing almost nothing night and day, except breastfeeding Lucas.

Asking whether her baby could be tongue tied, Leah said she felt like she being scolded.  Her pediatrician said that tongue tie is just a fad and does not believe in this.  This is a story that Dr. Richard Baxter is all too familiar with. He is a pediatric dentist and  Author of  – Tongue-Tied: How a Tiny String Under the Tongue Impacts Nursing, Speech and More.

In our interview, Dr. Baxter helps you really understand what t his tiny string under the tongue really means to a breastfeeding mom.  He breaks down the difference between tongue and lip and buccal ties and how each one can cause major breastfeeding problems.  Dr. Baxter attended an excellent dental school and yet he did not come to fully understand about ties until he had twins.  Yes, believe it or not, both were tongue-tied.  Guess what, he learned that is had a tongue tie also.

Tongue tie is definitely not a fad.  It is definitely not going to just go away. Tongue tie is a true medical diagnosis for which there is a solution to. I would love to hear your feedback about this interview as well as any experiences you have had with breastfeeding challenges related to ties. Go ahead and share them in the comments section.  Let’s get a great discussion going on  so we can all learn from each other.

Need more information regarding tongue tie contact me

http://traffic.libsyn.com/allaboutbreastfeeding/episode_340_mixdown.mp3
Lori J Isenstadt IBCLC

Lori is a huge breastfeeding advocate and supports all breastfeeding families.  Once she became turned on to birth and became a childbirth educator, there was no stopping her love of working with families during their childbearing years.  Lori first became a birth doula and a postpartum doula.  She then became an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has been helping moms and babies with breastfeeding for over 25 years.  In her private practice, Lori meets with moms and babies on an individual basis in her office or In their home. Lori is an international speaker, book author and host of the popular itunes podcast called – All About Breastfeeding, the place where the girls hang out. You can reach Lori by email at: aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com

The post Tongue Tie is just a fad – Says who? appeared first on all about breastfeeding.

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While I have known about baby carriers/wraps for quite a few years, I imagine it is because I am in the BIZ. I have to keep reminding myself that for new parents, baby carriers may be new to them. I always love to highlight that wearing babies in carriers is a great way to calm a fussy baby.

While there are many baby carriers available, I do not claim to know about all of them. I do know about Boba Wraps because I sold them for 8 years.

The main reason I sold Boba Wraps is the material, the price and the beautiful colors. I also love the softness and the versatility. The same wrap can be used by mom and dad and grandparents…. and believe me, the wraps do get passed around!

What is one of the most comment sentiments that new parents make? Probably the most common one I hear is: ” I just don’t know why, but she likes to be held all the time.” This is usually followed by mom saying, “now don’t get me wrong, I love holding my baby, it is just that sometimes I would like to put her down so I can get just a few things done.”

So, yes, even when babies have been fed well and are dry and comfortable, they still really like to be held close. It is one of the easiest ways to calm a fussy baby. After all, they have been use to being “rocked and rolled” inside mom for a better part of 9 months.

Babywearing makes parenting easier because it allows you to respond to your baby quickly before crying escalates and stresses you out.

Social conditioning has led parents to believe that if a baby is held or carried too frequently they will be spoilt, clingy or demanding. Research aside, just ask a babywearing parent if they feel that carrying their baby has created a clingy, dependent child. More than likely you will hear parents agree with what we know to be true. The physical and psychological benefits associated with baby wearing encourage children to feel secure and content and build a solid sense of self-esteem.

Babies worn in carriers are less clingy and tend to initiate separation much earlier than babies less frequently held. It allows them to be at the centre of activity not THE center of attention, which is a wonderful environment proven to stimulate brain development and cognitive learning.

Here are the common type of baby carriers:

The sling:  You wear this carrier over one shoulder.  Some have heavily padded shoulders, which are optimal.

Fabric carrier:  Just like the Boba Wrap, these are very versatile in how you can use them.  Typically, they are one big long piece of fabric that you wrap around both of you to support your baby.  These wraps tend to be very helpful in minimizing back pain and fatigue.

Soft structured carrier:  You can choose one to use for a newborn and it can grow into using for an older baby. These carriers also help to distribute your child’s weight to minimize back pain and fatigue.

There is lots more info on the benefits of carriers. They come in all different colors and styles.  Here are links to ones that I recommend for beginners. Baby carriers make excellent baby shower gifts for any new parent or even for your childcare provider.

Boba Wrap, Grey, 0-36 Months

Baby Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier, Adjustable Newborn to Toddler Carrier, Ergonomic and Multiple Positions for 7 – 45 pounds – Stormy (Gray)

Maya Wrap ComfortFit Ring Sling & Baby Carrier

The post Baby Wearing – calming your fussy baby appeared first on all about breastfeeding.

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All About Breastfeeding by Aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com - 4M ago

“In front of my neighbors, many of whom had come out of their houses to see what was happening, several strong men wrestled me to the ground strapped me onto a gurney, and loaded me into a waiting ambulance. I cried out for help, but no one responded. All I could do was move my head, and it was hard to see through my confusion and the pulsing colored lights. But off to the side I thought I saw my husband talking to several people. It looked like him, but Michael wouldn’t just let this happen to me, would he?

“Were my college friend and my doctor in the crowd milling about on the lawn? I remember calling out, pleading for assistance, but no one responded. Where was my 2 month old son? I had tried to protect him as I was assaulted, but now I couldn’t see him anywhere. What had they done with him? Why was this happening?”

I settled into the passenger seat of my Honda Pilot as my husband and I prepared for a 2 hour trip to Tuscon, AZ. I had this book for a couple of months sitting in my “go to” bag. This was a bag I kept in the car for long car rides. I was anxious to begin reading Jennifer Moyer’s book – A Mother’s Climb out of darkness. The subject matter was dark and I assumed very depressing. As much as I knew the book needed to be read, I will admit that I kept avoiding doing so. I waited until we drove away from suburbia and got onto the open road before I opened the book.

As I began reading Chapter One, I quickly realized I was right… and wrong. When I began reading the first chapter and the words in the above quote, I knew this was going to be depressing. A mother assaulted? A baby being taken away from its mother? My husband Alan and I were going to be spending a fun and carefree day in Tuscon. Did I really want these images sitting in the forefront of my brain? Not really. However, Jennifer was going to be a guest on my All About Breastfeeding podcast. Interviews are much more productive and meaningful when I have actually read the authors book.

As I learned about her first hospitalization, any fears of getting depressed quickly vanished. Jennifer writes so beautifully and had me hooked by the end of the first chapter. In this heartfelt memoir, Jennifer takes us along on her personal journey through diagnosis to recovery. Along the road to recovery, she experiences setbacks. I can only imagine how hard this illness is on a marriage. I can only imagine how having a mom with postpartum psychosis affects the child. This book is for every person who is going to be a parent, is a parent or works with parents. It is a must read for healthcare providers who will come in contact with pregnant, and postpartum mother’s and their families. When Jennifer wrote that the paramedics and hospital staff thought that she had taken illicit drugs because they did not know any different, well this just broke my heart. Not knowing what they were really dealing with had a negative impact on how she was initially treated. Thanks Jennifer for writing this book, making us all aware so that no mother should have to go through this alone and in the dark.

The post Jennifer Moyer appeared first on all about breastfeeding.

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