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Breastfeeding Basics

Dana C.
DANA C.
Lactation Consultant
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Breastfeeding... what? Join the conversation and discover ways to best navigate your breastfeeding journey: feeding cues, common challenges, and more. Led by Tinyhood Breastfeeding Expert and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Dana Czuczka.

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DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
How long can it take for milk to come in fully?
MIRANDA, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

I have some milk coming in but it’s still colostrum. I haven’t felt that “let down” feeling of the milk yet. I’ve been massaging my breasts, anything I can think of to get rid of the pressure but I feel stuck. Any advice?

MIRANDA

Also been pumping alot.

Dana
DANA

Hi Miranda -- congratulations on your new babe! Is babe able to latch and nurse? If so, I would recommend following baby's lead and nursing on demand today -- if baby is sleepy then wake to feed at least every 3 hours. If you are feeling full/engorged, try a warm shower before the next few feeds today. You can pump a few times a day to help speed things along but you don't want to overdo it. Remember, baby's tummy is still very small so baby doesn't need a huge amount of volume. Usually around day 5 (where you are right now) you start seeing transitional milk. Hang in there!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Breastfeeding
CRIZTAL , PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

My baby is 1 month old and he was doing good with eating and wet diapers. A few days ago he started to throw up after he ate and he only had one bowel movement. I’m concerned that I’m not producing enough or there’s something wrong with my milk

Dana
DANA

Hi, Critzal -- newborn spit up is very normal! Though, it's definitely scary when it happens (especially if it comes out their nose). Try and burp baby a bit more throughout a feed and keep him upright for 15 to 20 minutes following a feed. This should help.

Re the poop -- was the color and consistency normal when babe went?

It's very unlikely this has anything to do with your milk! If you are concerned, it's worth checking in with your baby's doctor for more piece of mind.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Feed breastmilk
SANJEETA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have a baby of 2 and half mo th old , i want to feed him my breastmilk, but it stopped coming , is there any way of producing breastmilk ?

Dana
DANA

Hi, Sanjeeta -- it is possible for most women to start making breast milk again once they've stopped (this is called "relactation"). Do you have a pump? If so, I would recommend starting to pump every 3 hours for 20 minutes. At first you may not get anything but keep going...you are sending a message to your body that you want to make milk again. If baby is willing to latch and suck at breast, that will help too! Some older babies are not patient enough to go to breast if there's no milk flow. If this is the case, we can work on rebuilding milk supply and then work on transitioning baby back to breast. Good luck!

SANJEETA

For how long we need to do that ? If so I will try for some days .

Dana
DANA

It's hard to say how long it will take until we start trying! Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
3 month old cries while nursing
JACQUE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hello! With in the last week my daughter has been fussing or all out crying when she nurses. Sometimes she will eat her usual time especially during the night, but during the day she cries while nursing and I can’t get her to latch for more then 4 mins. If I offer her a bottle after a failed attempt to nurse she always takes it so I am worried she is not getting enough food. She poops once a day and had 3-4 wet diapers a day. Should I be concerned or just let her lead? Thanks so much!

Jacque

Dana
DANA

Hi, Jacque! Great job on the breastfeeding so far. Sorry the last week has been challenging. I generally find when baby all of a sudden becomes upset at breast it has to do with a milk flow issue -- too fast or too slow. Since it's happening so early in a feeding, I'm wondering if it's too fast: have you noticed any chugging/gasping/coughing at breast?

JACQUE

Yes she does sometimes cough and gasp. I can sometimes hear a lot going into her mouth. How can I help that? And thank you so much for getting back to me so soon - that’s awesome!

Dana
DANA

Try reclining a lot at beginning of the feed -- this will help slow down flow a bit. Let's see if that helps. My guess is it's probably worse in the morning?

JACQUE

Okay thank you I will try it! It’s actually worse in the afternoon. During the day I usually feed her every three hours.

JACQUE

What if it’s coming out too slow, any fixes for that?

Dana
DANA

If it's because the flow is too slow, try doing breast compressions/massage while baby is latched. This will help increase the milk flow. If baby continues to get fussy, try switching sides.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Breastmilk production
DESTINY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have a little girl of 2 months and she is eating more and I have to leave her for a few hours everyday to attend school but I'm not producing enough milk . Any suggestions on how to produce more Brest milk

Dana
DANA

Congrats Destiny!

Great question. Since milk production is based on supply and demand, the best way to boost supply is usually to nurse or pump more frequently. This sends signal to your body to make more milk. For more details and tips check out this article:

https://www.tinyhood.com/parenting/breastfeeding/low-supply/5-ways-to-increase-your-breast-milk-supply

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Nipples hurt very very much
JOHANA RAMOS, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have a three week old baby girl! My first. I have these routing of nursing,burping, and putting to sleep on crib. But she does not like to be put down! So every time she cries i nurse,burp, and put down again, sometimes i have to do that for like three hours because she wats to sleep on my boob! Now my nipple is cracked and hurts a-lot! And i think i am feeding her too much! What can i do! Thank you!!!

Dana
DANA

Congratulations Johana! Sorry you are in pain! The first few weeks can definitely be hard. It gets easier! A few thoughts:

- Usually newborn babies eat 8-12 times in a 24 hour period. Their tummies are small so they eat frequently! You can't really overfeed if you are feeding on demand. But, it may be that baby is falling asleep at breast before getting a full feed and then is waking up frequently to eat. Try working on keeping baby actively drinking at breast and waking her up to offer both sides so she has a nice full feed and maybe stretches 2-3 hours before next feed.

- Soreness in the first week can be normal but "pain" and bleeding at week 3 is not. This tells us baby's latch can be deeper (no matter how it looks from the outside!). To get baby to open wide, tease your nipple on baby's upper lip or rub from tip of her nose down to her upper lip. You should notice baby tip her head back and open wide like a yawn -- this is when you guide baby to breast. Think about bringing baby to you not you to baby.

- Now that baby is 3 weeks old you could consider pumping to give your nipples a break and give baby a bottle of expressed milk.

Let me know what you think + if you have any further questions.

Good luck! Hang in there, mama.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Breast pumping
JESSICA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My breast has gotten to the point to where they are to big for him to latch on to. So I got myself a breast pump. I did so well on the first time doing it. Filled both the bottles from each breast. Then I would pump for 20 minutes and get little to nothing. And it would hurt so bad! How can I get more while pumping?? I really don’t want to get him on formula but he needs to eat!

Dana
DANA

Hi, Jessica - congratulations on your new baby! When milk first comes in the engorgement can definitely make it difficult for baby to latch. I would recommend hopping in a warm shower a few times today right before a feeding. Do some gentle massage in the shower (some milk may leak out, that's ok!) and then when you get out of shower try to do what we call "reverse pressure softening" right before you latch babe. This is when you make a peace sign with your fingers, position nipple between fingers and push back on the areola at base of nipple to push back some of the swelling. Then change finger direction and push back again. Do this for a minute or so. These tricks should help enable babe to latch on more easily. Make sense? Good luck and let me know how it goes!

PS Try not to pump too much because this could exacerbate the engorgement. If you need to pump for relief, I'd recommend only doing a couple of minutes for comfort.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Reduction surgery and breastfeeding?
SANELA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I had a breast reduction over ten years ago. I've read so many different things about whether this will affect my ability to breastfeed. I'm pregnant with my first baby and due in the spring.

Dana
DANA

Congratulations! Very exciting :) It's great you're starting to think about breastfeeding your baby already! It's impossible for us to know ahead of time what impact your surgery will have on how much milk your body will make. Many women with history of breast reduction (or other surgeries) produce some amount of milk even if it's not a full supply. Keep in mind, of course, that when it comes to breastmilk, any amount is still beneficial for your baby! So, my best advice to you is to share your history with the lactation consultant and nurses at the hospital/birthing center so they can ensure you get off to the right start. Do a lot of skin to skin cuddling those first few days and weeks. Allow baby to nurse frequently. And, add in some hand expression from day 1. Research shows that this helps milk production tremendously. Once baby arrives, let us know how it goes! We're here to help!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Thawed milk?
CHRISTINE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby is one month old. I pumped a few hours ago and left 3 ounces in a bottle on counter for my husband to use. He didn't realize I had left it and thawed other milk to feed. Now this milk has been sitting out for almost three hours. Do I have to throw it out??

Dana
DANA

Don't toss it! Freshly pumped milk can be left out at room temperature for quite a while! There are a lot of different guidelines out there based on various different research studies. Bottomline, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine states: "3-4 hours optimal" and "6-8 hours acceptable under very clean conditions."