New mothers turn to the Internet more and more for breastfeeding help and support. Social media is the new support group. Where do mothers go? One source for everything and anything is Pinterest and it holds true as a source for breastfeeding help as well. Search sore nipples and you get hundreds of tips, tricks and remedies. My business The MILC Group is even pinning now. We pin from our blog as well as fun things we find on the Internet.
Judge your resources carefully. Make sure they are unbiased and evidence based not just one mama’s opinion. Although another mama’s support and experience is great, it is important to know that each breastfeeding pair is different and some things share may be “old wives tales’ or not accurate. One example you can find on Pinterest is a list of foods that breastfeeding moms should and should not eat. This is not based on truth. In reality one mother might be able to eat whatever she wants and other will have to eliminate one or two things and yet another (in the small minority) will have to be on a very retricted diet.
Love your Pinterest, but choose your pins carefully!
I have joined fellow lactation consultant TIna Castellanos in forming The MILC Group – Modern Initiatives in Lactation & Childbirth. Located in San Antonio, Texas, we provide advanced birth and breastfeeding resources for parents, professionals and corporations. This includes home visits for breastfeeding mothers, continuing education for professionals, corporate lactation program development and more. We can be reached at 1-844-GOT-MILC or 1-844-468-6452.
Newborn babies eat all of the time. Seriously. All of the time. I always tell mothers to plan to spend the first few weeks sitting on the couch or in your comfy chair feeding your baby. It will probably seem like that is all you do. And it is totally normal. Most baby should and do eat eight to 12 times per day. This lasts for the first six to eight weeks, but sometimes up to the first three months. As long a your baby acts happy and alert when not nursing or sleeping, is peeing and pooping regularly and is gaining the appropriate amount of weight, frequent nursing is not a concern.
Make the time you spend breastfeeding less stressful by creating your nursing nest that includes supplies for your little one as well as supplies for you. Make sure you have a place for water, snacks, reading material, and your audio-video remote and/or favorite internet connected device. Invite your friends over to see you. Let them know you will be feeding baby, but you would love their company.
Also remember, pumping especially in the early weeks is not a good indicator of supply. Pumping is a learned art that often takes practice.
Kellymom.com is a great resource and you can read about this topic here.
Engorgement can be very uncomfortable. It is important to empty your breasts by feeding your little one early and often. We recommend feeding 8 -12 times per 24 hours and making sure your latch and position is correct. In order to get your breasts soft enough for you little one to latch on, you pump a little (to comfort only) or taking a warm shower and hand expressing. Sooth the discomfort with cold packs and whatever pain relievers your healthcare provider told you was okay to take.
For more thoughts on engorgement check out these links:
La Leche League
Jack Newman, MD
These are the five things I tell every new mother I work with on breastfeeding.
- Tummy to mummy
- Nipple to nose
- Wide open latch
- Patience & persistence
- Ask for help if you think there is a problem.
The simple answer to that question is … well there is not one. Breastfeeding should not hurt. At least not more than a mild sunburn. And only at the beginning of the latch. And only for the first few days. If it does hurt more than that, ask for help and ask for it soon. The sooner the problem causing the pain is corrected, the better.
What might cause nipple pain? An incorrect latch and/or position. Engorgement. Infection due to nipple damage. Skin conditions.
The main reason is the first one listed, incorrect latching or positioning. This can usually be fixed with some simple adjustments. (Remember the basics: nipple to nose, tummy to mummy, wide open mouth, patience and persistence!) Read up on latching, watch a video, ask your support group for help or talk to a lactation consultant!
Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt!
I am a researcher in my heart. If something is happening to me or some one tells me about something I don’t know about, I go look it up. The Internet is great for that. However, there are many less than reputable sources out there. So what are some reputable sources for breastfeeding information?
Kellymom.com is my favorite Internet resource where I send people for accurate information. Mostly because it is so comprehensive and has links to other good sites with more information. There are also tons of great books out there as well.
You can check out my resources page for other good places to find information to include the books I often recommend to my mamas.
They were. Humans are mammals. All mammals suckle their young at the breast.
During the 20th century, in many cultures, we moved away from breastfeeding not realizing the role it plays for mother and child. Over the last few decades, we have learned though how important it is both psychologically and biologically for mama and baby. Breastfeeding provides so much more than just food. It provides love and nurturing, immune support, and health protections to both members of the breastfeeding pair.
If you are unsure about breastfeeding, just give it a try. You can always stop. But if you don’t start right away, it can be difficult if not impossible later on to give your baby what nature intended.
Babies were born to be breastfed.