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Breastfeeding 101

Dana
DANA
Lactation Consultant
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We hear you, mamas! Getting breastfeeding basics under your belt can be tough. That's where we come in. Join the conversation for expert advice, when and where you need it. Led by Tinyhood Breastfeeding Expert and Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Beth Sanders.

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DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Getting ready for twins
CHRISTINA, PARENT OF 17 MONTH OLD

Hi! I breastfed my son for his first year.
And now I am pregnant with twins, I was wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages (if any) from breastfeeding from the breast vs pumping exclusively?

Dana
DANA

Congratulations, Christina! And, great job nursing baby #1!

Exclusive pumping vs breastfeeding...great question! Much of the research to date on the benefits of breastfeeding was done with babies who were breastfeeding from the breast versus exclusively drinking breastmilk, so this is an evolving discussion.

Here are some differences/advantages/disadvantages to consider:

One difference with pumping is less skin to skin bonding. But.. if you pump, you can just make sure you get in lots of skin to skin cuddling!

Another interesting difference to keep in mind is that when we store milk and then heat, we change the composition a bit.

Certainly you will hear different opinions from different twin moms about what strategy works best for them. Some will say it's easier to tandem feed both at breast and skip the pumping, washing and bottle feeding! Others will say it's easier to get help with feedings + measure how much the babies are eating each day. Some moms feel supply diminishes without latching. Other moms have abundant supply!

I would recommend keeping your options open at beginning so you can make the decision for yourself!!

CHRISTINA

Dana thank you so much for your input! I really appreciate your professional advice. This helps set my mind at ease.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
BF pain
RACHELE , PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My son is almost 3 weeks and the pain from breastfeeding is getting unbearable. I have tried different holds and even though it seems that he has a good latch, I still have a lipstick shaped nipple when he is done feeding. I’m worried that not only will the pain not go away because the latch isn’t correct, but that he’s not getting enough milk at each feeding. He wants to eat about every hour, though I’ve been trying to stretch it to two hours because it hurts so much. One of my nipples has been cracked and trying to heal for two weeks and the other is starting to crack where there is a ridge from him feeding. I have shooting pains and sometimes my nipples get so sensitive that even putting on a shirt is painful. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong! Is it possible that his mouth being small is affecting his latch? I’m starting to feel really defeated and thinking about strictly pumping and bottle feeding because every time I feed him I’m in tears.

Dana
DANA

Oh, no! I'm so sorry you are in so much pain. Soreness can be normal in the first few days but pain at week 3 signals us that we need to recheck/work on the latch. And the compressed, lipstick shaped nipple also tells us that latch is too shallow.

I would recommend having an in person appointment with a Lactation Consultant so they can observe a feeding and take a look at latch, baby's mouth, etc. You can find a certified, local LC here: http://www.ilca.org/why-ibclc/falc

Until then, one option is to give yourself a minor break and pump for next 24-48 hours and bottle feed babe. This will allow your nipples to heal + protect your milk supply + get babe the milk he needs.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Painful breast
MICHELLE

My baby is now 3 weeks old and every time she latches to the right breast I have stinging/stabbing pains for a few seconds and then resolves. It is also tender to touch but no reddened areas exteriorly. The left breast has no issues. Could this be mastitis or yeast infection? Should I contact my doctor?

Dana
DANA

hmmm!

is the pain in the nipple of the breast?

have you tried to switch the way you position/hold baby to see if that helps? the good news is it resolves after a few seconds! that's why i'm thinking it may be a latch issue that fixes itself?

mastitis would come with bad flu-like symptoms and a fever. and yeast infection is usually on both sides but without an exam it's hard to say! does that nipple look different (pink, flaky?) from the other?

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Thrush
JEANIE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I am exclusively pumping for my daughter due to poor latch. I recently started experiencing pain in my nipples and breast tissue. My breast are tender and getting shooting pains going towards the armpit nipples are sore milk supply is down tremendously. My daughter was just seen for her one month check-up and did not have Thrush but from what I've read I believe I may have it in my breasts.

Dana
DANA

Hi, Jeanie -- sorry you are in so much pain. It could be thrush -- baby wouldn't necessarily show any signs since baby isn't latching. I would recommend calling your OB/midwife in the AM for an exam. In the meantime, I would also check the online fit guide associated with your pump to make sure you are using the correct size breast shield. Is it a medela? https://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/assets/file/1908488_RevA%20Breastshield%20Sizing%20Tool.pdf

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
hi my 3 months old son refused to take feed from 3 weeks. if is only feeding if he is half asleep. otherwise he is crying of hunger
SUNEETHA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Dana
DANA

Sounds stressful! In addition to the sleepy nursing sessions are you also pumping and bottle feeding? Can you share what a typical day looks like in terms of nursing/pumping/bottle feeding/etc...

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Sore nipples
SANA, PARENT OF 23 MONTH OLD

I have sore nipples baby is only 6 days old can't even touch the nipples what should I do nothing works

Dana
DANA

Hi, Sana -- congratulations! Usually nipple soreness peaks around day 3-7. Have you tried expressing a little colostrum/breast milk and rubbing on your nipple and air drying?

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Will a breastfed baby ever sleep through the night; and if so when!?
COURTNEY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Dana
DANA

Yes! But, I can't give you an exact timeline since every baby is different (no matter how they feed!) It also depends on how we define "sleep through the night."

If you're looking for baby to stretch at night, it's important to make sure you feed baby at least every 3 hours during the day so they get their calories in during day. Also, do your best to differentiate the daytime feeds from the nighttime feeds. Nigttime feeds should be BORING :) lights dim, no talking, no engaging with baby no matter how many smiles baby gives you!