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Breastfeeding Beginnings

Beth S.
BETH S.
Lactation Consultant
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We know—there's nothing basic about breastfeeding. That's why we're here to support you each step of the way! You'll feel like an old pro in no time at all. Led by Tinyhood Lactation Consultant, Beth Sanders.

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BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Quitting pumping
QURATULAIN , PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My daughter is 15mo old now. She has a congenital heart disease n had to have surgery right after she was born ( n then another at about 6mo). Due to her situation she was initially weak to exclusively breastfeed n was only allowed onebreastfeed a day n for the rest I used to express n bottle feed n one formula feed a day. After she was 3mo old she was getting breastmilk exclusively but in a bottle. She could just never latch on once she was better. I had enough supply to give her breastmilk exclusively between 3mo to 13mo. After that I was struggling with my supply n with her Pediatricians advice started to mix normal cows milk with my breastmilk. Recently my supply has become so less that it’s no more than 30-40mils a time. N I express twice a day now. It used to be 150mils I till a few weeks ago but now with just 60-70mils a day I’m wondering if it’s worth the effort. I am currently not working but even then I want to know if it’s worth the effort n stress.

QURATULAIN

Also, my child’s situation is such that she might need another procedure or so in the next few weeks for her heart. It’s not going to be a surgery but a catheter procedure to put in a stent or something. The condition she has, there’s no full fix for it. So she’s a child who will be seeing doctors for more surgeries at different growth points in her life. If even this little an amount is going to help her I would continue to express for as long as possible. I just want to know if this little an amount at this age is beneficial

Beth
BETH

Hi Quratulain, I'm so glad you reached out about this. You have done an amazing job providing breast milk to your baby despite some very difficult challenges, I hope you take a second to reflect on what a great mom you are and have pride in what you have accomplished!
The benefits of breast milk do extend beyond one year, and the amount that you are pumping is beneficial. Two ounces a day continues to provide your baby with extra immunity, and given that her immunity may be compromised by all the medial complications she is facing, your milk is an important component of her protection. I encourage you to continue, as long as it is still working for you and your family.
That being said, you have done an amazing job already, and at the point that you decide to stop, please do so without guilt. If pumping is causing stress to you, you might be better off to stop pumping and put your energy into caring for your baby.
I hope this helps.
Beth

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

Daughter and I have latching issues...she tends to not open wide and many times slurps the nipple in. She seems to be content after feedings and has a pee diaper after almost every feed, as well as 2 BMs in a day (yellow and curdy). She is putting on weight but I feel like she is not getting the best nursing/milk possible. She seems to always fall asleep at the breast and has restless sleeps. I have been pumping to try and keep up my supply, but even that seems to be dropping. Any help is appreciated, just want the best experience for us and to help her grow strong.

Beth
BETH

Hi Lise, thanks for reaching out! Congratulations on breastfeeding this long - it looks like your baby is gaining weight well,she's content after feedings, and having plenty of wet and poopie diapers. Sounds like you are doing a GREAT job!
Are you having any breast or nipple pain? If your nipples are healthy, and she is gaining and having lots of diapers, then her latch might be ok.
If you want her to stay awake during meals, you could try switch nursing (go from one breast to the other as soon as she loses interest on one side), and/ or gentle breast compressions while she feeds. But all signs point to a very healthy baby and mom, it is possible that her latch may not look textbook, but it's working!
Keep up the good work!
Beth

LISE

Thank you for the reinsurance. She has a doctor appointment coming up, as well as a lactation class. Just seems like she is still hungry after feedings but she did go from 7lbs 14ounces to 11lbs 4ounces in roughly 6 weeks.

Beth
BETH

You're welcome! Please let me know if you have any other concerns after her doctor appointment.

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Reduce supply
BEATRIZ, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have been breasfeeding my 14 weeks old baby from day 1, and I have/had a lot of milk supply. My freezer is full of milk. I would like to start reducing my milk supply and start giving her the frozen milk. But I want to stop bresfeeding in a healthy way. I think that way my LO will have milk until she is 6 months old. I don’t even mind to introduce 1 formula bottle a day so she also starts trying it. How can I do that in a healthy way for both of us?
Also, what is the best way to unfreeze the milk and how long can I keep it in the fridge after defrost?. Thanks a lot

Beth
BETH

Hi Beatriz, thanks for reaching out, and congratulations for doing all the work to breastfeed and store up your milk!

Start by eliminating one feeding / pumping at a time. Do not drop another feeding/ pumping until your breasts have adjusted. If your breasts feel really heavy and hard after you drop a feeding, go ahead and pump just enough to keep them soft. This will help prevent engorgement, and will not make your supply go back up.

Unfreeze the milk by putting it in a bowl of warm water - it thaws pretty quickly. Keep in the fridge for 24 hours.
Hope this helps!
Beth

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Pumpming
TECIA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My daughter is 2 months old and has been on formula. My question is how do i get my milk supply back?

Beth
BETH

Hi Tecia,
Congratulations on your decision to start making milk for your baby!
Start with doing a lot of skin to skin and allow for frequent sucking.
Use an at-breast feeder (SNS or syringe). This will inspire your baby to stay latched on, because she will enjoy the flow of milk. Use a nipple shield if that helps. You may need to get someone (a local IBCLC) to help you with these tools. If you don't have access to these tools or to an IBCLC, read on... you can still make milk!
Put baby to breast when she is sleepy and not too hungry. Avoid pacifier; offer breast if she wants to suck.
Nurse for comfort when she is fussy.
Switch breasts often while breastfeeding, and use gentle breast compressions.
Pump after feedings using breast massage and hand expression, minimum of 8 times a day for 15 minutes; more if possible.
Power pump once a day: 10 minutes pump, 10 minutes rest, for one hour.
Warm (not hot!) towel wrapped on the breast might help with let down.
Reduce stress; eat plenty of high quality calories and drink to thirst.
Take some extra time with your baby if possible.
These tips can lead to milk flow in a few days to weeks, depending on how long you breastfed/ pumped for her before you stopped, and how long it has been since you made milk.
I hope this helps!
Beth

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Bottle Supplement OK?
LIZ, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My 11 day old baby tends to cluster feed during the day. I have very sore nipples, do use the shield when I can and he gets turned off by my boobs when there is little flow. He eats about once an hour for 4-5 hrs at a time during his cluster feedings. We have supplemented a few times, 2-3 out of the 10-12 daily feedings with a bottle filled with breast milk if we have it, formula if we don’t. Baby tends to latch back to Momma ok next feeding, but wondering if this is ok? What should I be on the lookout for? I know the bottles are easier for baby so I don’t want to entice him to only take a bottle. Thanks.

Beth
BETH

Hi Liz, so glad you reached out!
Short answer... yes, it's ok! It sounds like you are working really hard through some tough times, and you're doing a great job making sure your baby is getting fed.

Longer answer... I really encourage you to find out why your nipples are so sore and why you are using the nipple shield. Sore nipples could mean that your baby is not getting as much milk out when he breastfeeds as he could be getting. A very deep, wide latch will allow the nipples to stay comfortable while giving baby plenty of milk. If he's having trouble latching deep enough, then he won't be getting as much milk as he wants, which can lead to the frequent cluster feeding (some cluster feeding is normal... my concern is the cluster feeding in combination with the very sore nipples). Is there someone near you who can help you with that latch?

Anyway, back to your question, what to look out for? I encourage you to breastfeed him first, before you supplement with the bottle. Continue to breastfeed him often and on demand, and since he's already going back and forth ok, he will probably continue to do well.

Keep up the good work!