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Breastfeeding 101

Beth S.
BETH S.
Lactation Consultant
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Having a tough time feeding baby? We hear you, loud and clear. Get the personalized advice you've been searching for, all at your fingertips. Led by Tinyhood Lactation Consultant, Beth Sanders.

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BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Weight gain
HEATHER , PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My son has fallen to the 2nd percentile for weight and the dr wants me to increase to 25 ounces a day he gets 19-20 now. He fights me on nursing and won’t take an expressed bottle anymore he is 9 weeks.

Beth
BETH

Hi Heather,
Thanks for reaching out! This sounds stressful. Can you please help me understand how your baby is eating, how often, and how much? And please let me know what your goals are and what your questions are. I'd love to be able to help out.
Thanks!
Beth

HEATHER

He is a snacker and was eating 2 ounces or so every 2 hours then some feedings he would go three. I’m stretching out feedings now to 3-1/2 hours in hopes he would eat 4 oz but usually he stops at 3. He would take a bottle before but now he refuses from everyone. So with my efforts he still falls around 20 oz a day he weighs 9.9

Beth
BETH

So, he's breastfeeding? Or is he taking all meals from bottle? When you said he fights you on nursing, what does that mean?

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Latch trouble
ANGELICA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My 2week old is currently on a half formula/breastmilk feeding, off of bottles. I would like to try and have latched feedings, but everytime I offer up a breast he cries and gets frustrated and so I end up offering a bottle instead. How can I help us both, to where he will get a good hold of my breast and stay latched long enough to feed?

Beth
BETH

Hi Angelica,
Thanks for reaching out, and congratulations on your new baby!
Try these tips to get your baby to latch:
Start with gentle breast massage and hand expression to get the flow started.
When you see drops or squirts from the nipple, try to offer the breast to your baby by rubbing the nipple on or near his nose.
When he opens his mouth, very quickly put the nipple in his mouth and hold his head very close to the breast.
Hold his head at the base of the skull, with your hand cupping the lower part of his head and your fingers reaching around to his ears. Babies don't like to have the top of their head messed with, and he might push back.
Frequent skin to skin will help. Make sure the meal is readily available and close by.
Attempt to breast feed when your baby is drowsy and not fully awake, and not fully hungry. He may be more willing to try if he's not super hungry.
Stop the attempt at the first sign of frustration from either you or your baby. Keep the experience pleasant so that even if it doesn't work this time, he will be willing to try again.
Get help from a local lactation consultant if you can, if these tips don't work.

I hope these tips help. Please let me know if there is anything else I can answer for you.
Keep up the good work!
Beth

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Weaning
MEGAN, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My baby is 8mo and I would like for him to be weaned by 13-14 months. I would just like my body back, and it’s bittersweet, but something I am highly anticipating.

If I start drinking sage tea 3-4 times per day, when I am ready to start this process, is it possible that my supply will dry up and LO will simply loose interest, therefore bypasssing any crying or withdrawals?

What are some of the easiest ways to wean a baby? I’ve read do it in a week, then I read that’s really hard on the baby and cruel. I’ve read it’s easy, I’ve also read it’s hard. I’m stressing!

Currently I am trying to wean him from night time feedings, which seem to be be only feedings he is truly interested in currently, and it’s not easy. My tactic is cutting down by 30 sec every night, and eliminateing feedings one by one. Our night feedings start at 12am and he feeds 2-3 times til morning. We also have our intimate morning feeding before breakfast. Then during the day he’s too busy to nurse lol.

Maybe I am doing it wrong?

Beth
BETH

Hi Megan, thanks for reaching out, and congratulations on breastfeeding for this long!
You have quite a bit of time to work with before you are ready to wean your baby, so that gives you plenty of options and flexibility. I do not advise to wean in a week. That could cause pain and possible mastitis for you, not to mention the sudden loss of nursing for your baby.
Weaning does not have to be hard or stressful. That said, the nighttime feedings are usually the last to go, since babies love those feeds and they do provide so much nutrition and calories that make up for all the distractions of the day.
Your baby still needs a lot of your milk though, and those nighttime feedings are really super valuable to him. I encourage you to not wean too fast, or you risk losing milk supply before you are ready at 14 months, and have to use a supplement.

When you are closer to your goal of 14 months, I think your plan is a good one. Eliminate one feeding at a time until your body and your baby adjust, then eliminate another feeding. I can't guarantee he won't complain, but I assure you he will definitely get used to the new routine pretty quickly. But until then, if you can stick with nighttime feeds a little longer, you and your baby will both benefit.

Let me know if you have any other questions, and keep up the great work!
Beth

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Latching
KYNDRA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby’s is three weeks old, and she has struggled with latching for most of that time. During the day, she often has no problem getting a latch, but it’s almost always some degree of painful. At night, however, she often struggles to latch at all, quickly getting frustrated and crying. And, again, when she does it tends to hurt.
We’ve met with a lactation consultant a couple times and are again tomorrow. Sometimes the tips she gives helps, but sometimes they just frustrate my baby. Then she’ll just cry and fuss until I let her keep her painful latch. Additionally, the IBCLC prescribed nipple shields to help gettingwith my sore nipples, but baby’s latch on those tends to be shallow too. And I don’t want her to become dependent on them.

KYNDRA

Anyway, I know that’s long, but if you have any additional insight I’d appreciate it! I’ve done a lot of research and between that and the lactation consultant feel like I’ve identified the problem (shallow latch). However, none of the tips or tricks I’ve been given seem to work to help her latch on deeper.

Fortunately, my milk supply is still strong, and baby is growing well. I just would like to be able to enjoy our nursing time rather than dreading it!

KYNDRA

For some additional insight, Baby did come 3 weeks early (not induced, just came early on her own). She was 7lbs, 11ozs at birth, so not small, but her head (and therefore mouth) we’re/are small. At her 2 week appt her head measured in the 23rd percentile.

Beth
BETH

Hi Kyndra, thank you for reaching out and for giving me a pretty clear picture of what's been going on! It sounds like you have done a great job with breastfeeding even when it's tough, and seeking the help you need. Well done, mama!
I advise you to ask your lactation consultant to do a thorough and careful assessment for tongue and /or lip tie. Let me know what she thinks!