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Breastfeeding: Your First 6 Months

Beth S.
BETH S.
Lactation Consultant
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The first few weeks of feeding baby might have you feeling like Frosty the Snowman in the middle of August—ready to have a meltdown. But, help is on the way! Today's conversation is led by Tinyhood Lactation Consultant, Dana Czuczka.

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BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Boost milk supply and satisfy child more.
MEGAN, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I've just recently started pumping and I've noticed that when I pump little to no milk comes out no matter how much milk, water, juice, and oatmeal that I eat or I drink. Is there anything I can eat or drink to give me a boost in my supply I have to go back to work and don't want to end up supplementing with formula or just using formula period. And I've noticed lately all she wants to do is eat I can barely even take a five minute shower to put her down without her screaming. She's constantly eating her hands after I do put her down. She's not under weight, but it makes me question whether I'm producing enough milk.

Beth
BETH

Hi Megan, congratulations for breastfeeding for 3 months already!
From reading your question, I think you have not returned to work yet; are you still primarily breastfeeding your baby for every meal? If so, then most of the milk that you are producing is being directly fed to her when she breastfeeds, leaving small amounts for the pump.

It sounds like her weight is ok, so it doesn't seem like you're underfeeding her. It is possible that you're making just enough milk but not much extra.

If this is the case, then when you are at work, it is possible that when you pump without
having fed her, you will get a lot more milk out!

In any case, to increase your supply, you can try gentle massage while the pump is going, and then hand express for 3 to 4 minutes after pumping. Studies show that these 2 little things make a big difference in how much milk is pumped.
Also, with breast milk, more is more! The more you ask your body to make, the more it will make. So, you could add in an extra feeding (if you have dropped the night time feeds, add them back in), or pump more often. As you increase feeds and/ or pumping, your body will respond by making more milk.
Continue with the oatmeal and drink plenty of fluids, but you don't have to force it. There are some herbal supplements that might help. Herbs such as Fenugreek and Motherlove tea can help boost supply (but don't take these if you have a problem with your thyroid).

Hope this helps!

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Antibiotics safe while breastfeeding?
STEPHANIE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hi!
I was prescribed a Zpak for a minor surgery I had on my foot. Is it safe to take this? Also can I take anything other than Tylenol for pain?
Thanks so much!

Beth
BETH

Hi Stephanie,
Zpack (azithromycin) is considered safe to use while breastfeeding. As far as pain meds go, most over the counter pain meds are safe with breastfeeding. If you want to ask the pros about specific meds, you can call the Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech University at 806-352-2519. Good luck, and feel better!

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Weening off nipple shields
JESSICA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Iv been using nipple shields for almost 3 months now (since my daughters birth) and I'm ready to stop using them. Iv tried to nurse without them, but my daughter just gets frustrated. Iv also tried not using them when she's fed and more relaxed and that doesn't work either

Beth
BETH

Hi Jessica, congratulations on breastfeeding for 3 months! It sounds like your strategies to wean your baby are good ones. I don't know why you were given a nipple shield, but it appears to be working great for now. If the situation has changed from when she was first born until now, then maybe you could wean her. If you were given the nipple shield by a lactation consultant, it might be worth it for you to contact her and ask for advice.
In the meantime, continue to try to breastfeed her without it on occasion, when she's not super hungry. Maybe when she is coming out of a nap or getting ready to sleep, she will be more willing to latch without it. Please stop the attempt at the first sign of frustration.
I am a big believer in doing today what works today, meaning that if the shield is helping you breastfeed, then it is a great tool. Tomorrow may look very different!
Keep up the great work!
Beth

JESSICA

Thank you! I was using it because nursing without them was just way too painful. I am very lucky that it hasn't affected my supply or anything, I was just wanting to stop using them because sometimes they can be an inconvenience. I will keep on trying!

Beth
BETH

Yes, I agree they can be an inconvenience! I just hope that whatever was causing you all that pain has been resolved. Keep up the good work, and keep trying! She might just surprise you one day!