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Breastfeeding 101

Dana C.
DANA C.
Lactation Consultant
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As an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), I'm committed to helping moms achieve their breastfeeding goals. I know it's not always easy, but I can support you along the way. I'm here to help with all things breastfeeding, be it day 1 or day 365.

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Message Dana
DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
My baby won’t breastfeed
KARINA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby will not latch, or take the breast , instead she gets very anxious and cry all the time

Dana
DANA

Hi Karina - that’s very stressful! Is this new all of a sudden today or has latching been an issue from day 1?

While we try and work through this, I would suggest a lot of skin to skin cuddling with baby on your chest - this will help calm baby down and may even encourage babe to find your breast all on her own.

KARINA

Thank you i will do that

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Supply decreasing..
DAJAH, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My son is 5 months now and up until now everything was going so well. Now I’m seeing a decrease in my milk supply when I’m pumping it out. I also feel like he’s eating more. I’m getting concerned that what if I can’t keep up with how much he wants to eat. I tried the tea called mothers milk but nothing is working. Could stress have an effect on supply? What should I do about my milk supply?

Dana
DANA

Hi Dajah - usually the best way to boost supply is to add in a couple extra pumping sessions or do some hand expressing after baby finishes nursing or after the pump stops dripping. You can usually get more out with your hands! The more we empty the more we make!

Stress can impact supply. Has anything changed recently that could also be impacting production - is baby eating solids or have you started a new medication?

I’ve found that Most moms need to drink 3-4 glasses of mother’s milk tea to see a difference :)

DAJAH

Yeah I should add in more pumping sessions throughout the day when I am home.
I just recently started birth control so maybe that could be a factor..
Thank you so much for the advice !

Breastfeeding
BAILEY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I was told you can never over feed a breastfed baby because we never really know how much they are getting from the breast. Well, if I am pumping and leave my little one with grandma for a couple hours how much breast milk should she be given for one feeding and is it possible to overfeed with breast milk at that point?

My milk supply is drying our
JISSETTE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

What Can I do to produce more I want to keep feeding my baby Breast milk I hate formula.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Night feeding
KANTI, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby is a month old and still wants to sleep all day and eat all night. I'm exhausted. I don't think I can keep this up much longer.

Dana
DANA

Hang in there mama! Most of the moms I work with (if not all!) can certainly relate. I promise it gets easier and this works itself out over time. To speed the process up, I would recommend waking babe during the day to feed every 3 hours. This will help baby start differentiating day from night. The hope is that baby will begin nursing more frequently during the day (get those calories in) and be able to stretch longer during the night. Also, make sure to differentiate the day feeds versus the night feeds too -- during day the lights are on, people are talking, you are engaging with baby, etc. During the nighttime feeds try to keep the lights dim and voices very low + no tv, no playing...keep it boring and get babe back to bed as soon as you can :)

JESSY

My baby was like that. She is 8 weeks now, wakes up twice during the night, eats and goes back to sleep on her own. At 5 weeks, I started implementing a routine for her to let her know it was bed time. She is in bed by 7pm, and wakes up @7 am (only wakes up twice to eat).

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Painfull nipples!
JOHANA RAMOS, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hi there!!
I have a three week old baby girl! She is my first and I am very lost!! Dont have any family members here!
Shes is not sleeping much at night and lots during the day. So at night all I do is nurse, burp, and put down but she does not like to be put down! So i pick her up again, nurse her, but she falls asleep on the nipple. When Input her down again she cries, so I pick her up again. Then so on and so forth. I do this routin for like 2 or three hours so I think she is really using my nipple as a pacifier... one cracked so im pumping it and the other one is on process if I keep giving it to her so much.... what am I doing wronggg!!!!

Dana
DANA

Hi! So sorry to hear you are in pain. Usually a painful latch and cracked nipples = a shallow latch. Check out this resource on positioning and latching from Stanford University’s Dr. Jane Morton - it has great pictures and descriptions of how to achieve a deeper more comfortable latch. Enhancing the latch will also help baby get more milk at each feed and then hopefully let you get a little more rest between feedings!

Pumping to give yourself a break is a great strategy! This allows your nipples to heal + gets milk for babe + protects your milk supply.

https://med.stanford.edu/newborns/professional-education/breastfeeding/abcs-of-breastfeeding/getting-started---position-and-latch.html

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Taking zinc?
KELSEY , PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby is five weeks old and breast-fed. I feel like I’m getting a cold and know that zinc is good for helping to fight off a cold but I’m not sure how much is safe to take. How much would zinc can I take per day?

Dana
DANA

My understanding is that the jury is still out if zinc really helps fight the common cold...there are a few differing studies out there. That being said, the recommended daily dose for adults is 12-15 mg. Most supplements are 25-50 mg. Dr Thomas Hale rates zinc as an L2 (on breastfeeding compatibility scale of L1-L5) which is, “probably compatible.” Per Hale 25-50 mg a Day is probably safe but excessive doses are discouraged. For more information you can consult the InfantRisk.com website or hotline. They are the experts on medication safety and breastfeeding. Feel better!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Amount of feedings a day
COURTNEY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

How long do breastfed babies nurse 8-12 times a day? When will the amount of times they eat start to decrease?

Dana
DANA

At eight weeks most babies are eating every 2-3 hours during the day and stretching a bit longer during night. The length of time babies nurse at breast varies tremendously and may be impacted by mom’s milk supply. I’ve seen babies be done in ten minutes and others nurse for 40+. The length of nursing time may also vary depending on time of day. Are you concerned about the number/length of your baby’s feeds?

COURTNEY

Thanks Dana, I’m not concerned about her feeding just curious to know how long I can expect it to be so frequent....

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Improper latch
AUBREY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I am concerned that my baby isn’t latching properly. The hospital gave me a nipple guard due to the fact that my nipple are flat. My baby is 5 weeks old today and we are still using the nipple guard and I would like to feed him without it, but don’t know how to get him to latch properly. All the videos I have watched show moms who have protruding nipples. And I believe his latch is affecting my milk supply I can only pump an ounce total after pumping 30 to 60 minutes.

Dana
DANA

The nipple shield can be a great tool to help enable baby to latch at breast in beginning but you’re wise to try and transition off. At your next feed start the session as usual with the shield. Halfway through the first side see if you can slip off and latch babe without. Often when milk is flowing + nipple has everted during the feed baby has easier time latching directly (plus baby’s not starving anymore and is more relaxed). Let me know how’s it goes!

AUBREY

I will definitely give that a try! Thank you!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Need advice ASAP
CAROL, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby is only a few days old. So far I've only been breastfeeding. Some feeds go better than others. I feel like sometimes he eats for 30 plus minutes but sometimes it's only 5 minutes and he falls asleep. Then of course, he wants to eat again half hour later. What am I doing wrong?

Dana
DANA

You're not doing anything wrong! Sounds like you are doing awesome, mama. This is very normal newborn behavior. Nursing sessions won't always be the same length of time. Sometimes our baby is hungrier than other times, sometimes are breasts are fuller than other times so baby takes one side instead of 2, etc. There are no strict time rules. That being said, 5 minutes is probably too short. There are a lot of helpful tricks to keep baby more awake during a feed: undress babe down to diaper so babe is more alert and easier to tickle/stimulate during feed. You can also take a quick break and burp babe (not just to get a burp but to wake babe up!). My favorite trick is to squeeze or compress breast while babe is still latched -- you will notice with the increase of milk flow, babe will start drinking again. Using your hands to help babe get a good, full feed is a great strategy no matter how old baby is!