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Pop-Up: Breastfeeding Support Live Q&A

Dana C.
DANA C.
Lactation Consultant
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Join our Tinyhood lactation consultant, Dana Czuczka, for a one hour live Q&A. Dana will be here to answer all of your questions about milk supply, pumping, weaning and more.

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Message Dana
DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Low supply
KIM, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 4 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

How do I increase my milk supply?

Dana
DANA

Hi, Kim - thanks for asking our first question tonight! Since this is one of the more frequently asked questions we get at Tinyhood, we recently posted an article with our top tips. Take a look and let me know if you have any follow-up questions. Hope it helps!

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

KIM

I read the article do you know of any places that I could purchase anything to help my milk supply? And I'm nursing or pumping or both every 3 hours and I just feel like my baby isn't getting enough.

Dana
DANA

Hi, Kim -- more often then not, if we feed baby on demand our body produces what baby needs. It's a hard leap of faith for many new mamas at the beginning!

How old is your baby? Is baby feeding approximately every 2-3 hours (or 8-12 times in 24 hours)? Content after nursing sessions? Having wet and poopy diapers + gaining weight? These are the kinds of questions we use to assess whether baby is getting enough milk. (check out this chart! https://www.tinyhood.com/parenting/breastfeeding/low-supply/is-your-baby-getting-enough-breastmilk)

If you do indeed need to increase supply, the best way is to empty your breasts more frequently (and effectively)! There really is no magic bullet or quick fix.

Oatmeal is thought to help with milk production (real oats, not the instant kind). You can even add a little flax seed meal in there too. Things like "mother's milk tea" can be purchased at most supermarkets. (Most moms need to drink 3-4 glasses a day to see any benefit).

Good luck!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
To much breast milk
HANNAH, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My breasts are to full and big. How do I go about breast feeding and what would be the right position for him to be comfortable in? I'm a 1st time mom and my baby is a week old.

Dana
DANA

Hi, Hannah - congratulations on your new baby! Sounds like your milk is coming in and you are engorged -- this is normal! But, it certainly can be uncomfortable for mom + make it difficult for baby to latch on. Don't worry -- this stage does not last forever!

When you are very full, hopping in a warm shower right before you feed baby is very helpful. Do some gentle breast massage (in an upward movement) - some moms think it's helpful to put olive oil on hands to help with massage. I would recommend doing this multiple times a day for next day or two.

If baby is having a hard time latching on because your breasts are so full/hard, try pushing back some of the swelling with a technique called "reverse pressure softening" -- this is when you push back on your areola at base of nipple for 30-60 seconds and then move position of fingers and do again. You can do this with your first two fingers in a "peace sign" or between thumb and index finger. You should notice your nipple becomes more prominent after a minute or two. Then try latching baby.

Some moms use ice packs after a feeding to help reduce swelling

Some moms take ibuprofen for discomfort/inflammation

Re: best position, do whatever works in the moment for you and baby! There are no strict rules. If one position doesn't work, try something else. I like starting with baby on your chest skin to skin and see if baby will lead the way, find your breast on their own.

Good luck and feel better! Congrats again!

HANNAH

Great!! Thank so much for the help and advice!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Also trying to wean 19 mo old
TINA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

I stopped pumping about 5 months ago and work full time. My daughter eats enough and finally started drinking milk (although not much). I had been hoping to wean her completely by now, but she would not give up her bedtime feeding. We just recently started getting her to sleep with nursing right before bed. However, as I cut down the nursing, she now wakes up in the middle of the night (sometimes more than once) yelling for mom. My husband will go comfort her and lie with her in a regular bed next to her crib. She will cry with him right there, getting progressively louder, for over an hour before my husband finally gives up. If I then go in there, she will aggressively try to rip off my clothes to get to the nipple and yells "mommy milk". Not sure what to do. I can't imagine that I even have that much milk being produced. Any thoughts on how to get her completely weaned? We have tried giving her bottles of milk and water in the middle of the night. We even tried giving her a pacifier despite the fact that she gave that habit up before she was 6 months old. Nothing seems to work.

Dana
DANA

Hi, Tina -- I know this is so stressful right now but, I promise it's temporary! She will eventually move through this phase.

-What do you do to put baby to sleep without nursing at beginning of night? Is this something that can be replicated in middle of night when she wakes?

- Have you been talking to her about the process and the expectations? Many moms have success (or at least feel better!) explaining to their little ones (throughout the day) that there's no more mommy milk at night and that we can cuddle in the morning (or whatever specific words/message work for you and your family).

- Try a transitional object? Or, perhaps offer her the shirt you wore that day that smells like you?

Hang in there. This too shall pass...eventually!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Only breastfeeding 3-5 mins
MARIA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My baby will be 8 weeks old in 3 days
She's breastfeed and lately she has only been breastfeeding on one side per feeding 3-5 mins at most about every 2 hours once a day she will feed 10-15 mins and that's usually at night before she sleeps about 4 hours could she be possibly getting enough during those 3-5 minute feeds
I called into the hospital for after hours questions and the nurse seemed concerned she could be dehydrated but she is having normal many wet diapers as usual the only thing she has had a few green poops here and there

Dana
DANA

Hi, Maria -- I agree, it doesn't sound like she's nursing for very long but, it's a very good sign she is having wet and dirty diapers. I'm wondering if you notice that your baby starts her feed but then comes off after a few minutes coughing and trying to catch her breath from "chugging"? Sometimes if mom has a very fast let down, baby gets a lot of milk in a very short period of time + since it's coming out so forcefully baby sometimes is tentative about going back to the breast right away (plus, her hunger has been a bit satiated, so she may just forgo a "full feeding.") If this sounds like it could be the case, I would recommend reclining back a lot (almost laying flat down) at the beginning of your next few feeds to help baby cope with the faster flow. See if this allows her to better pace her feed. Let me know what you think...

MARIA

Yes the nurse said I may have a fast let down, and she does pop off after a few minutes I can hear the really big chugs and some milk even coming out the side of her mouth, I have been trying to lean back but still am struggling even when I lean back she will still pop off after a few minutes and go back being latched on only for a total of 5 weeks minutes at most, I try latching back on but she is fussy and wont latch she seems to calm down and satisfied when giving her a pacifier, is the green poop a bad sign? She does have many wet diapers I'm constantly changing her and pooping about every other time she eats. The nurse telling me she could get dehydrated has me really worried but like I said it's been an ongoing thing only eating 3-5 mins during the day for a while now, how many oz should she be taking at this age?

Dana
DANA

Most breastfed babies 1-6 months are taking an average of 25 ounces a day (give or take 5 ounces). That being said, it's very possible your baby is getting many ounces in just five minutes!

Re green poop: it's not anything to panic about! The doctors I work with are really only concerned about poop that is red, black or white. Green poop in a situation like this is likely because of the fast let down/abundance of "fore milk." Again, it's not overly concerning.

A few other things to try:

- hand express or pump until you have a let down and let the initial spray come out and then latch baby. this usually helps!

- schedule a visit with a trained lactation consultant where you do a pre-feed and post-feed weight check. that way the LC can observe a feeding, help you with positioning + get an idea of how much milk baby is taking. you can find a local certified person using this guide: http://www.ilca.org/why-ibclc/falc

- schedule a non-urgent, weight check with your baby's doctor for piece of mind. in the meantime until your visit, pump and offer baby a bottle a few times a day so you know that baby is getting volume.

- some moms try "block feeding" to try and slow down supply. this means you feed from same side two times in a row instead of alternating (for about 24-48 hours). however, it's really important to be aware of how your other side is feeling -- if it's uncomfortable/engorged remove a little milk for comfort so we don't cause a mastitis as we try and slow things down a bit. make sense?

MARIA

Thank you so much! I tried hand expressing and ate a little over 10 minutes on one side

Dana
DANA

Ahhh, great news!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Breastmilk in bottle
YESENIA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

How many times can breastmilk be re-heated?

Dana
DANA

Hi Yesenia - breastmilk should only be warmed up once. That's why it's best to make bottles in the smallest amount your baby will likely want and then add more if necessary. This will help minimize waste of your "liquid gold."

We have an article with other storage and use guidelines/tips - take a look!

https://www.tinyhood.com/parenting/breastfeeding/milk-storage/breast-milk-storage-guidelines

YESENIA

Ok, and also when I finish pumping is it ok to store warm milk in the fridge or freezer?

Dana
DANA

Yes -- you can store freshly pumped milk in fridge or freezer but, don’t mix milks of different temperatures. That is, try to avoid adding warm, freshly-pumped milk to already cooled or frozen milk. It’s better to cool down the newly expressed milk before combining it.

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Weaning 19 month old
AMANDA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

After a lot of thought we have made the very tough decision of slowly and gently weaning my little guy who turns 19 months this week. He currently nurses at wake up in the morning, wake up from nap and before bed. My plan is to offer a fun distraction after nap with a cup of almond milk and take it day by day. When the habit of that feeding is completely broken then we will move on to the next and next. My question is- is there anything else I should be taking into consideration? Any tips? I know it's going to be emotional for me but I want to make sure he is okay with it as we move forward. Our breast feeding journey has been very special and I don't want the end to be stressful in any way. Thank you for your time!

Dana
DANA

Hi, Amanda -- sounds like you have done an amazing job breastfeeding your little one! And, your approach sounds perfect! The only other thing to keep top of mind is that this journey may not be a "straight line" (if that makes sense). Expect that you could take a few steps forward and one step back. It's a process.

Given all the thought you've put into this decision and the kind of mama you sound like from just this short email, I'm confident your babe is going to feel very supported and loved and comforted through this journey.

Let us know how it goes and if you have any further questions!

DANA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Bottle feeding
NAASIA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My 5 month old has been ebf with an occasional bottle here and there. For the last month, I have been trying to give him a bottle once a day. Sometimes, he will take it and sometimes, he won't. I am just starting to go back to work and my baby refuses to take the bottle at daycare. Luckily, I have been able to pick him up early but soon I will not be able to. I send pumped milk in and he will maybe, take two oz but will fight it. We have been using the Como Tomo bottles. Any tips? I just keep thinking about how hungry he will be at daycare :(

Dana
DANA

Hi, Naasia -- I know this can be so stressful (my son did this too!). It is important to stay calm and keep telling yourself "this too shall pass." It may take some time, but we'll work through it!

Here are a few tips that I have found to be very helpful to transition our exclusively breastfed baby to a bottle:

- try and offer when baby is not too hungry (it's hard to learn anything new when we are starving). sometimes we have success with sleepy babies!r/>
- offer freshly pumped milk (but in small quantities in case baby refuses we don't waste too much). I have found this takes the question of "too hot" or "too cold" or "too old" out of the equation for both mom and baby.

- use a slow flow nipple and think about "paced bottle feeding" (bottle is more parallel to floor then straight up and down but always be sure there is milk in nipple, take breaks, follow baby's lead). let baby root for the nipple versus sticking in baby's mouth. drip a little milk on baby's lips.

- change up the environment/positioning. if you always nurse in a glider then don't sit there for the bottle. or, if you use a nursing pillow...skip it! hold baby in a completely different way...maybe even try when baby is distracted in bouncer or you are swaying, etc. movement is good.

- don't force it. if either of you are getting frustrated take a break and try again later.

- leave the room (or house!) and let someone else try. [obviously, this is the case when baby is at daycare but use this tip if trying at home in evening or on weekends]

- try the bait and switch :) start with breastfeeding and when baby is relaxed try to offer the bottle. [same caveat as above]

- If none of these strategies are working, you may want to consider introducing a sippy cup sooner rather than later. perhaps baby will accept milk in a cup instead.

Hang in there mama! You are doing great!

Any other moms have any tips that worked for you?