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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

In Their Own Words: Katie

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 8:16 AM Comments comments ()
Kandid Katie perseveres through breastfeeding challenges to nurse her baby This post was written as part of Sweet Pea Birth’s "In Their Own Words" series. For more info on the ITOW or if you want to participate, contact Krystyna Bowman: krystyna{at} sweetpeabirths {dot} com. Today's post is about persevering through breastfeeding challenges.  The breastfeeding ITOW series runs through the month of August. 

Katie Newton is an alumni mom from our Fall 2011 Class.  She and her husband have three children.  See more of Katie's "random thoughts and mutterings" by visiting her blog, http://kandidkatie.blogspot.com/

When Ellie was born, I was going to breastfeed.  There were no caveats, like "if we can."  There wasn't even "I'll try" in front of it.  That's just what you do, and I was going to do it.  She came out and latched like a leech.  She was a champion feeder.  By her third day, however, she started getting fussy at the breast.  She'd eat for 5 or 10 minutes and then start crying and wagging her head.  I was so tired and emotional that I reluctantly said "yes" when Mike asked if I wanted him to go buy a pacifier.  She happily took the pacifier after every feed and often in between feeds.  (I'm blessed with an overabundant supply, so this did not affect our breastfeeding relationship to my knowledge at the time.)   

 Things were not all sunshine and lollipops, though.  Ellie screamed.  Not every-baby-cries screams.  Blood-curdling screams.  Any of the twenty-four hours of the day were game.  Her skin was burned with eczema.  This was not colic.  This was suffering.  It was not until weeks later, under the guidance of a very knowledgeable lactation consultant, Debbie, that I learned about food sensitivities and that Ellie had some bad ones.  I found this out by doing the elimination diet which, while restrictive enough, is almost unbearable as a vegetarian.  I ended up going wheat free and dairy free for over a year, also not a picnic as a vegetarian, for the sake of my daughter.   

 Around two weeks after Ellie's birth, breastfeeding suddenly became excruciating.  When she latched, I felt paralyzing electricity throughout my torso.  It got so bad that I would crumple into a crying, hysterical mess of a panic attack in the ANTICIPATION of her need to eat.  After discussing the issue at length with my first lactation consultant, Mary, she thought I had an intraductal yeast infection.  I did two or three rounds of antifungal medication (under the care of my OB) with no improvement.  I also pumped exclusively during this time but for one breastfeeding session to make sure Ellie was still willing and able.  She was.  After three weeks of no relief, Mary directed me to her associate, Debbie.   

 Debbie felt like the cause was Raynaud's Phenomenon.  She was right.  Not only was Ellie's breastfeeding triggering the "attacks," as I call them, because that's how they feel, but my pump flanges were way too small and basically ripping off my nipples a little bit every time I pumped.  Additionally, Ellie had a tongue-tie, but it never got fixed because the go-to doctor had apparently lost his mind (a story for another day).  Thankfully, it stretched on its own over time.  (Interested side note: I discovered only recently, with Ellie almost 4.5 years old, that she also had a lip tie.  We never looked for it, so we never saw it.  She ripped it by accident one day.  Problem solved.)   

 Now that I had the causes uprooted, I started the healing process.  I kept my nipples warm and covered (which really complicates showering, by the way...I've since gotten a Shower Hug, which helps immensely).  I did salt water soaks, which is no dignified practice.  Most of all, I waited.  By the time Ellie was seven weeks old, I felt brave enough to give breastfeeding a go.  Ellie latched on like we never had a break, and it didn't hurt.  I was flooded with relief.  But then I started seeing the symptoms of food sensitivities again, big time.  The screaming and gas and fussiness at the breast were back.   

 Once again, Debbie came to rescue.  She recognized I had oversupply.  She educated me about block feeding, which is feeding on one side exclusively for a number of hours instead of counting feeds.  (There's more to it than that.  Please consult a lactation consultant.)  I had to go to the maximum recommended block before I saw an improvement.  I did this for a number of weeks before it stopped working.  No, my supply didn't go crazy.  Ellie turned four months old and suddenly had an opinion.  She decided she only wanted my fast-flowing side during feeds in public.  (Yes, sides can differ greatly from one another.) She was always a down-to-business eater, and this way she could maximize her time observing the world outside her home.  I had to plan ahead, feeding the right side at home and remembering to feed the left at home if we weren't going anywhere...it was like learning to breastfeed all over again.  Thankfully my supply was pretty stable at this point.  The pacifier also helped us deal with the oversupply, but I still wish we hadn't used it.   

 Ellie was still nursing at least 8 times a day at 14 months old, when I found out we were expecting Mikey.  I dreamed of tandem nursing the two.  I daydreamed, planned, read up on how to handle the challenges.  I was partway through Adventures in Tandem Nursing when Ellie's nursing dropped by half.  Instead of 8-12 times a day at 14 months, she was now nursing 4-6 times a day at 15 months.  Then 2-3 times a day at 16 months.  Then, one weekend, she nursed once on Saturday, once on Sunday morning, May 31st, and she was done at only 16.5 months old.  For a week I offered the breast, but that made her angry, even if she willingly got in position first.  I was DEVASTATED.  I blamed - and still blame - the pacifier.  I blamed myself for letting her have the pacifier.  My head was spinning with confusion and disbelief and outright denial.  I was a complete mess.  For a month, my husband could only rub my back while I cried.  I felt like my child had died.  My response was primal...   .

..and compounded by my knowledge that I would not get to tandem nurse my two children.   

 After that first month that felt like the end of the world, I focused on thoughts of nursing my new baby and the possibility that Ellie would be interested again when she saw Mikey nursing.  He came almost exactly four months later.  He was a little reluctant to nurse after delivery, but gentle determination on my part got him going, and he ate a good first meal.  We spent the next 36 hours in the hospital thanks to the unnecessary use of antibiotics (another story for another day).  In that time, Mikey nursed once or twice.  (In case you have any questions, that is NOT acceptable for a newborn, and no, we did not have him circumcised.)  The lactation consultant was so backed up that she didn't get to us until the end of that time.  She watched him think about latching and said he was doing everything right.  I argued that he wouldn't nurse.  She shrugged and said he'd get it.  My gut said no, but my heart wanted so badly to believe she was right.   

 On the third day, I changed his diaper and saw red.  Literally.  Red "brick dust," a sign of dehydration.  My heart broke.  Not only was I not getting the breastfeeding relationship I dreamed of, I was hurting my child through delusion and hope.  I started to pump.  For ten months, I tried everything to get him to breastfeed.  (He was also tongue tied, severely, but the repair - by a wonderful, not-crazy doctor - did not help.)  This was stressful enough without the additional medical sucker punches that just kept flying.  He was aspirating, so he had a feeding tube for ten weeks, from five to seven months old.  Breastfeeding dreams quickly fading.  He had feeding therapy with professionals who had no intention of getting him on the breast.  Breastfeeding dreams circling the drain.   

 He had 3-5 doctor visits and 3-4 therapy appointments a week, leaving little to no time to pump, let alone work on breastfeeding.  Before he even got the tube, we were supplementing with formula because I couldn't produce enough even with the hospital-grade pump I was now renting.  Me, with my oversupply, and I couldn't extract enough milk for my child.  By ten months, he was lucky to get an ounce of my milk.  I gave up.  I still pumped for four more months, but I was only getting a half ounce a day at the end.  There just wasn't time during the day, and I had to choose sleep at nights.  I returned the pump when he was 14 months old.  (He also had food sensitivities, so I was dairy free for the 14 months I pumped.)   

 I continued to produce milk for about seven more months, and my hope held out for that long.  It wasn't positive hope.  It was desperate, painful hope.  I longed for another baby so that Mikey might become interested through example.  Don't get me wrong; I wanted another baby just because I was ready for another baby, but that nagging hope was like an accelerant.  When Mikey was 18 months old, we got pregnant on our first try.  As was God's will, I miscarried right at five weeks.  We tried again the next month and succeeded again.  I focused my thoughts on having the birth I wanted and declared, regularly, that this baby WOULD breastfeed like a pro.  I prayed every night that she, Angela, would be normal and healthy and a breastfeeding champ.   

 Angela was born on Monday night in a tub at a birth center.  No drugs.  Delayed cord clamping.  Uninterrupted bonding.  At first she fussed at the breast.  I started to panic but had the clarity to recognize a stuffy nose.  Once she was lovingly suctioned, she latched right on and nursed for two hours straight.  I thanked God and tried to ignore her clicking sounds and the familiar electricity feeling.  We went to my parents' house that night, and I slept upright in a chair and fed her on demand.  The pain and clicking got worse with each feed.  She started to struggle to get enough.  I got in ASAP to see Debbie.  Angela had a terrible posterior tongue tie and a lip tie.  I called the wonderful doctor, but he couldn't get me in for over a week.  I couldn't bear the pain, so I started finger feeding.  This was all on the Thursday after she was born.   

 Saturday night around 9pm, when I realized it would be hours more before I got to eat dinner, I let Mike give her a bottle.  This crushed me.  I saw my breastfeeding dreams once again circling the drain.  I kept reminding myself about Ellie's success after the bottle and focused on the next week's appointment.  That would fix everything.  Finally the big day came.  I excitedly handed her over to the doctor, waited for him to confirm the diagnosis and prepared myself to witness the procedure, just as I did with Mikey.  He confirmed the diagnosis and then instructed me to schedule the procedure.  Wait, what?  It would be another week before he could do it, as he changed his policy about doing it at the first appointment.  I bawled.  I'd given one child to him before, and even though it didn't help, here I was, fully trusting him again, and he was treating me like a first timer.  I was furious.  I understood his position, but my dreams were fading with each passing day.  Plus, Angela was starting to refuse the bottle, and feeding was becoming a concern.   

 We managed to keep her fed until the procedure.  I wasn't allowed to watch this time, but it was over very quickly.  When i went back in the room, the wonderful doctor was cuddling and rocking my baby and chattering on excitedly about how successful it had been and how deep he'd had to go.  But there was little improvement.  I gave it time, a week, but it seemed to get worse instead of better.  Debbie said that there was still more tie there.  I scheduled another appointment.  Another week of waiting.   

 During this time, I put Angela on the breast almost daily since a feed or two a day didn't cause too much damage.  Finally we went to the appointment.  The doctor agreed there was more or it had reattached.  He agreed to try again.  At his other office.  The next week.  I didn't cry this time.  Crying didn't help.   

 We went in for our fourth appointment.  Angela was six weeks old.  Everything went as before.  The doctor went as deep as he could but still couldn't get all of the tie.  I didn't care.  I knew this was it.  I knew he "fixed" her.  She started breastfeeding perfectly that afternoon.  She still clicked because her palate was - and is - still high, but there was no pain.  She was able to eat her fill.  God had worked a miracle.   

 Angela is now 19 weeks old and eats like a horse.  I struggled with oversupply and finding my block feeding balance for a couple of weeks and even battled postpartum depression for a spell as my hormones worked themselves out.  She has food sensitivities, too, so I've had to do the restriction dance again.  I haven't been a vegetarian since the day Mikey was born, so the diet is more forgiving.  I've learned to take tons of pictures of my nursling because I am so awed and grateful to have this relationship.  I'm still sad that I haven't had my tandem experience, but I hold out hope for another baby.  I also tell Angela that she'd better nurse until she's four or five, but I'm just happy to know there is nothing standing in the way of her deciding when she's ready to wean.   

 I make milk.  What's YOUR superpower?    

For the pre-quel to this post, visit Katie's blog:  http://kandidkatie.blogspot.com/2011/02/it-may-not-be-loss-in-your-eyes-but-im.html    

Disclaimer:  
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson  The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  
This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®. 

Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 7:01 PM Comments comments ()
Bradley Method® classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleI like to dedicate the last Friday of the month to a breastfeeding-related topic.  Today’s post is a shout-out to all the mamas who are managing to feed their babies breastmilk against the odds.  I am not going to call them out by name; I will leave that to them if they want to share more of their story in the comments section.  I do want to share their situations so that if you know of someone or you are the someone in their situation, you can take heart in their stories and maybe breastfeed just one more day…
 
I also want to put my Bradley Method® teacher hat on and state each family needs to evaluate their situation and decide which path is right for them.  This is not a judgment on parents who choose to formula-feed – they have their reasons and that decision is right for them.  My goal with this post is to encourage the families who want to breastfeed because that is the choice for their family, and let them know that other people have been in a tough place and made the choice work for them.
 
These are examples taken from our last two classes in Fall 2011 and Winter 2011-12.  I also have examples of working moms for you to take inspiration from – you can read their stories here and here.
 
Mom 1:  Mom showed signs of pre-eclampsia and was having gall bladder issues.  At their doctor’s advice, they decided to head in for an induction at 38 weeks since mom’s blood pressure kept climbing higher and higher.  They had an emergency cesarean section when the induction sent both mom and baby into distress.  Baby was born at 5 pounds, 3 ounces – not bad for a pre-term baby, yet still pretty small.  Mom started nursing in the hospital, and the staff insisted they supplement with formula since they felt he was loosing too much weight. It soon became apparent that Baby wasn’t getting enough either way since he lost too much of his birth weight and didn’t gain it back within the first ten days of his life.  They finally got baby’s weight back to an acceptable level so they could cut out the formula.  It seems like maybe the issue is a tongue-tie – they’ve been to four lactation consultants and one pediatrician so far with no definitive answer…yet another appointment is on their schedule to see if they can get the information/help they need to get baby latching properly.
 
Guess what?  At the time of writing this post, Baby is seven weeks old…mom knows he isn’t getting enough at the breast, yet she has committed to giving him breastmilk.  She is pumping and bottle-feeding and this kiddo is thriving.  He is weighs over eight pounds now and is just as chunky as can be.  I think the secret to her success is her attitude.  She calls her pump her best friend. 
 
Mom 2:  This Mom went into pre-term labor at 35 weeks and five hours later she was holding a 3 pound, 12-ounce bundle of joy.  Being so little and so early, he did not have a strong sucking reflex.  Because he was small, he was in NICU for observation and parents were very limited on the time Mom could hold him and attempt breastfeeding. The staff mentioned it was highly likely supplementing with formula would be insisted on, depending on breastfeeding/pumping results.  Despite the “no pressure, but” attitude, mom nursed, and then she pumped and was able to produce enough colostrum and then breastmilk for baby during their extended hospital stay.  No formula necessary!

The parents found out Baby was tongue tied when he was 3 weeks old (after a lactation consultation) and had it fixed at 4 weeks.  In order to ensure baby was getting enough calories until the procedure, Mom continued to supplement breastfeeding sessions with bottle-feedings of pumped milk. At four weeks old, Mom reported Baby was up to 5 pounds, 11 ounces.  Since then, he has had his tongue-tie procedure and Mom reports his latch is already much improved.  Today’s update: he is now 5 weeks old and weighs 6 pounds 1/2 ounce!  There are some residual latch issues as baby re-learns to nurse…yet mom is keeping up a positive attitude and is working on getting Baby exclusively breastfed.
 
 Mom 3:  This Mom attended our classes while pregnant with Baby 2.  With her first child, she visited 5 different lactation consultants for help.  The fifth one was the charm – and she and her daughter ended up having the breastfeeding relationship they wanted; even what some people would consider an “extended” nursing – daughter was nursed until she was two years old. 
 
Fast forward to this birth:  Baby seemed to be nursing vigorously in the hospital, but the scale told a different story.  Mom was incredulous that she was going to have to do this the hard way again.  With this baby, it has been a nipple fit issue – and I learned something new.  We teach in class that it is possible for women with different sized breasts and/or nipples to feed their babies.  I didn’t know it meant sometimes that means feeding with a bottle until the baby’s mouth is big enough to take the breast into the mouth and be able to nurse efficiently. 
 
From Mom:
“My actual nipple is too big for his mouth to latch on properly to - lovely.  The even more ironic part is that my nipples are flat and inverted so outside of nursing I never even really have nipples and then when I need them for what God created them for and they have to exvert - they are too big!!  Aaagghhh, we are hanging in there though and little guy has gained over 3 pounds of all breastmilk so I am truly thankful I have been able to feed him still. Although, it's not the perfect experience I was hoping for, I am still hopeful and each day he is doing a little better!” 
 
There is also a suspected tongue-tie with Baby; so Mom is investigating that possibility as well.  To bring it back to the topic, Baby is almost five weeks old, and mom has found success nursing in the side-lying position and supplemented with breastmilk bottle-feeding to keep Baby growing and thriving.
 
Mom 4:  This is mom with two kiddos at home (4 yrs. old and 2 yrs. old) plus a newborn.  Baby is one week, five days old at the time of this post. 
 
From Mom:
“Breastfeeding started out strong, with a few clicks during a feed but no problems.  By day two, the problems with her latch and suck started to show themselves in the form of stripping my nipples.  By day three, Thursday, it was apparent she was not getting enough, a fact that was confirmed by a scale during a visit with the lactation consultant.  I started finger feeds Thursday night because she wasn't getting enough at the breast and I was in excruciating pain.  If either factor had not existed, I would have persevered.  Saturday night, it was after 9pm and I still hadn't had dinner, so I gave [Coach] a bottle to feed [Baby].  She took pretty well to it.  
 
It took her another day before she'd take a bottle from me.  She had problems with it flowing too fast, despite the preemie nipple, but there was less waste, so I switched entirely to bottles.  By Monday or Tuesday the clicking was a regular occurrence on the bottle.  Each day has shown a steady decline in her ability to eat from the bottle.  Some sessions result in only a tiny fraction of an ounce of milk consumed.  Today, Friday, day 10, we took her to get her tongue tie clipped.  We did not know that the doctor changed his policy and no longer does the clips on the same day as the consult.  
 
We are happy to note she is back at her birth weight (she never lost much, really, even less than many properly-fed babies), but given her difficulties on the bottle, I feel I need to switch back to finger feeding.  Every day that passes increases the risk that she won't breastfeed.  Not only is the stress of this risking my milk supply, but the whole pumping-feeding process is taking away from her and my other children.”
 
Going through this experience plus mothering her two other children – it has opened my eyes to what a mom is really capable of doing if she sets her mind to it.
 
Thank you Mamas, for helping me to write this post.  I am grateful that you are willing to share your stories with other families who are seeking encouragement out on the Internet.
 
All of these mamas are my heroines.  They have committed to pumping their breasts, and then washing and sterilizing their equipment and their feeding systems.  It is a major undertaking to do this several times a day.
 
Bradley Method® classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, ScottsdaleCoaches, do not underestimate your contribution in this situation.  A mom will succeed in this effort because you are helping and encouraging her, and thanking her for going above and beyond to provide the nutrition you both want for your child.
 
If you are having challenges breastfeeding, take heart that it can be done.  I definitely encourage you to read the IBCLC blog post on what to do when breastfeeding isn’t working out.  You can also take heart in these stories – you are not alone.  There are other families out there making the choice to provide their babies with Mom’s breastmilk the hard way.  It is my fervent prayer that all mothers who want to feed their babies breastmilk will be able to find a path to do so joyfully, and from their breast if at all possible. 
 
No matter how you deliver the breastmilk, your growing baby is the best reward for the time and the effort.  In the time period when our children were exclusively breastfed, it was awesome and humbling to see them growing and thriving on my milk.  If that is what you want to do, I wish the best breastfeeding relationship possible for you, too.
 
Do you have a breastfeeding challenge that you overcame?  Please share your story with us.
 
Programming note:
Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC, will be back next month for another installment in her Breastfeeding 101 series.  To see her other blog posts, click the Breastfeeding 101 blog topic link.

Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 

Breast Care 101

Posted on December 23, 2011 at 3:30 AM Comments comments ()
We have lots of new mommies in the queue, so I thought I would share some of the great products available for milkin' mammas.  I picked four categories, and with the help of Talisha Heiden, I have product descriptions and some informational videos for you.

Galactagogues
As I mentioned in my newbie's post, it is important that mom's get help within the first three weeks of their current breastfeeding relationship if they have any doubts or are concerned about their milk supply.
In this video, Talisha shares her knowledge of the products she carries to help new mother's increase their milk supply.




Breastfeeding cookie available at Modern Mommy Boutique, site of classes for Krystyna and Bruss Bowman, AAHCCShe also carries a breastfeeding cookie.  As she told me today, at 230 calories a pop, it's not the most calorie-conscious way to increase your milk supply, nor would she suggest it instead of a supplement.  It is however, an option for a snack if you are a nursing mom.  We do tell Coaches in our classes to get mom a tall glass of water and a snack whenever Mom sits down to nurse.  This product has several ingredients that support milk production, making it a good snack choice.


Therapy Pillows
One of the most common words people associate or know in regards to breastfeeding is "engorgement".  When milk comes in after 2-7 days of making colostrum, a mother's breasts will swell as they fill with milk.  If you are producing a regular amount of milk or an oversupply, you are likely to experience some level of engorgement.  This can be uncomfortable and painful.

Both brands of therapy pillows are filled with flax seeds and can provide warming or cooling relief with an all natural, gel-free product. The pillows can be heated in the microwave or cooled in the freezer to provide warming or cooling relief from the common discomforts of breastfeeding.

A warm pillow opens clogged ducts and increases milk production.  The warm, moist heat encourages milk flow, maintains open milk ducts to prevent clogged ducts, promotes let-down and it could comfort the symptoms of infection or mastitis.  

Therapeutic cooling soothes sore new mama nipples and breasts.  You can store them in the freezer and wear them inside your bra between feedings to help reduce the swelling and tenderness of engorgement.  Since they are made to last, you can use them as you complete your breastfeeding relationship to comfort breasts during weaning.

Therapy Pillows
Therapy Pillows
by bamboobies
Therapy Pillows
Therapy Pillows
by Earth Mama Angel Baby
As you can see, the bamboobies product covers the nipple, whereas the Earth Mama Angel Baby product fits around the areola.  The right product for you will depend on which of your nursing parts are sore and need relief.

Reusable Nursing Pads
We suggest that our Bradley Method® students do their research if they decide to use a nursing pad.  If they think they want to use nursing pads, we suggest they take care to choose a product that prevents leaks from showing through their clothing while keeping the nipple area dry.  Moisture in the area can keep a sore nipple from healing and it can also grow bacteria - yuck.

Talisha offers her description of her favorite nursing pads - both of which she sells in her store.  In the product gallery below, you can also see two more offerings.  She does offer a variety because each mom is unique - what feels good to mom is an individual choice.

All of the products shown here are washable and reusable - modern mommies take care to use earth-friendly products :)

Nursing Pads
Nursing Pads
by bamboobies
Nursing Pads
Nursing Pads
by Epibi
Nursing Pads
Nursing Pads
by La Leche League Int'l
Nursing Pads
Nursing Pads
Lily Padz

Nipple Cream
This falls under the "must-haves" on Talisha's breastfeeding survival list.  She is especially fond of the Motherlove product since it made a big difference in the nursing relationship with her firstborn.  A good nipple cream will quickly relieve the discomfort of sore, cracked nursing nipples. Look for a product made from ingredients that are safe for ingestion, so it does not need to be washed off prior to breastfeeding baby.  The Motherlove product she carries fits this description.

Motherlove Nipple Cream available at Modern Mommy Boutique, site of classes for Krystyna and Bruss Bowman, AAHCC

As you can see, Talisha is a wealth of information when it comes to establishing and maintaining a mutually enjoyable and beneficial nursing relationship.  The products shown today are just the tip of the iceberg.  She is a working mama who made the breastfeeding relationship work.  Her experience drives her product line.  She carries a full compliment of breastfeeding supplies and accessories in her store: nursing teas, nursing cookies, nursing covers, breast pumps, milk storage supplies, bottle-feeding equipment and more. 

In addition to speaking with Talisha, you can attend the free Breastfeeding Support group on Monday mornings that is facilitated by Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC, or attend Debbie's class that is offered the first Saturday of every month.  Talisha and Debbie make a great team for nursing moms that are looking for answers!  If you can't stop in to the store and see one or both of them, you can always call and reach them on the phone (480-857-7187). 

This season, give yourself the gift of knowledge...there is no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to learning how to feed your child the way you want to feed them.  There is no shame in needing or wanting to take advantage of this tremendous resource.  You will be glad you did, and baby will thank you later when they are fed, happy and sleeping peacefully.

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to all!


Modern Mommy Boutique
3355 W. Chandler Blvd, #3
Chandler, AZ  85226

480.857.7187










Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.  



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Breastfeeding for Newbies

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 8:30 PM Comments comments ()
"What You Need to Know About Breastfeeding That No One Tells You"
 
We had our first introduction to the benefits of breastfeeding in last night's class.  We have the benefit of having two moms who have already breastfed in our class and it was great to have their input as we introduced the new parents to the concept of breastfeeding.
 
Most people know about engorgement or nipple soreness, or that it can take a few days for your milk to come in.  There were comments about the new things our students heard about breastfeeding when we closed class, so I thought I would share the insights people learned in class.  Although it seems that the general awareness about breastfeeding has increased, there are still a lot of ideas that haven’t hit the mainstream that are important to share – hence the subtitle in today’s post.
 
Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt.  One of the common reasons mothers give for giving up is that it was literally too painful to nurse.  To quote our chiropractor, “It may be common, but it’s not normal.”  He shows our classes the way the head and neck are compressed in the birth canal.  That alone is a tight squeeze that might cause a misalignment.  Add in the “help” from a well-meaning care provider when they tug on the head during delivery and you have a baby that is misaligned to the point that they cannot latch on properly.
 
Baby’s that are misaligned might also appear to prefer to breastfeed on only one side.  Guess what?  Mom’s breasts are a matched set!  The feel of the breast is the same, the texture of the nipple is the same, and the liquid coming out is made the same – there isn’t vanilla on one side and chocolate on the other.
 
If you are having one or both of these issues, you have a couple of options.  You can look into taking your infant to a chiropractor that does pediatric work.  With a simple adjustment, he or she can make a huge difference in your breastfeeding relationship. You can also consult with a breastfeeding specialist, ranging in expertise from a peer counselor to an IBCLC certified lactation consultant.  These ladies can also take a look at the way you are breastfeeding and make suggestions to improve your latch.
 
Whether you go to a chiropractor or a breastfeeding specialist, the goal is to make breastfeeding enjoyable for everyone.  We always encourage our students to do their research and whatever they decide to do, take the time to find a chiropractor or breastfeeding specialist that is certified in their field and comes highly recommended. 
 
Get help within the first three weeks to establish your milk supply.  If you feel like you are not making enough milk, or your baby is acting like (s)he is always hungry, ask for help.  It is critical to establish your supply in the early days.  Your baby and your body working together will work to establish what baby needs, creating a “ceiling” of production.  Your production can ebb and flow from there, however you will always be able to go back and meet your peak.
 
You also make new milk glands for each baby.  If you had a hard time feeding one baby that does not necessarily mean you can’t feed the next baby.  The best description I have heard of these glands is to imagine a cluster of grapes.  You make new clusters with each pregnancy, and once you stop using them, they wither up and the body absorbs them.  If it was hard the last time, get help now to identify which factors contributed to low production, and find out how you can increase your supply with the next baby.
 
You can search for lactation consultants on the web, or click here  to find an IBCLC, considered the gold standard in lactation services.  However, if along with low production you are experiencing a fever or anything else that indicates you need to see a doctor, see your care provider as soon as possible.  Only a lactation professional that is an M.D. will be able to correctly diagnose a medical problem and prescribe you the needed medication.  If they don’t fit this description, see your M.D. as soon as possible so that you don’t go down the route to an infection that leads to hospitalization.  A hospital stay will surely interfere with the breastfeeding relationship you are trying to establish.
 
 
There are lots of options in support groups.  A support group is a place to get answers to your breastfeeding questions.  You can also take heart that you are not the only one struggling, and find encouragement in the stories of women who have gone through what you are going through and come out on the other side as happy breastfeeding moms.  You can also gain confidence to nurse in public by being in a safe and accepting place when you start nursing away from home.  Support groups are a great way to meet other new moms and make friends for you and baby.  We have a couple of students who have made lasting friendships through the groups they attended.
 
There are a variety of places to get breastfeeding support.  La Leche League is the most recognized name in breastfeeding support.  I know…it also has a few negative stereotypes associated with it.  To quote someone I know, “Birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, breastfeeding zealots.  Nice, right?  Well, guess what – it is a Stereotype.  Will you meet some moms on the fringe there?  Maybe – then again, you can meet someone on one extreme or the other wherever you go.  You will definitely meet regular, everyday moms who are looking to learn more about breastfeeding and moms who are there to share their knowledge of breastfeeding.  The best thing you can do is to try a couple of different groups and see if you find a leader that fits with your personality.
 
If La Leche League is not for you, there are other free-of-charge options in the Chandler, AZ area.  Monday mornings you can go to a breastfeeding support group run by Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, that meets at 10:00 am at Modern Mommy Boutique.  Wednesday mornings you can head to Chandler Regional Hospital for an IBCLC-led group that meets from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.  On Fridays, you can head to Mercy Gilbert Medical Center for their IBCLC-led support group that meets from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.  All groups meet weekly with the exception of major holidays.  (See below for phone numbers.)
 
If you are not in the Chandler area, call your local hospital to see if they have any classes or groups to attend.  You can also check and see if there are any Meet-up groups or do a search for breastfeeding support in your area.
 
Your baby’s poop color can change according to your diet.  Most of us have heard or learned that breastfed babies make a mustard-yellow poop.  Guess what?  That’s not always the case!  Just because what goes in is whitish, doesn’t mean that what comes out is going to be mustard all the time.  Bruss is always tripped out when he sees green poop, or purple poop…he can usually tell when I have eaten spinach or beets.
 
A word of caution: if anything in the poop raises a red flag do not ignore it.  One of the reasons you hired your naturopath or pediatrician is so you could ask a child health expert questions about your child.  (Another reason to hire someone you absolutely trust!)  If you feel something is wrong, call them.  They can reassure you that it’s normal, or help you find answers if it’s not normal and you need to follow up with an office visit plus.
 
Your baby’s palate will reflect your diet.  There are many reasons why breastfed babies tend to be healthier adults.  One of them is that they are more likely to eat a variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs.  The milk you make is imbued with the tastes from your previous meal.  When you introduce solids, they are more likely to accept a variety of foods and become less picky eaters.
 
The main ingredients in formula are whey, casein, vegetable oils and lactose.  In other words – a common allergen, a manufactured fat and a sugar…read: the ingredients in processed food.  On top of that, the baby is receiving the same flavor every single time they eat…every feeding for as long as they take formula.  They are less likely to eat a variety and may tend to gravitate towards the processed foods that taste like the food to which they have become accustomed.
 
You can supplement with your own milk.  When a pediatrician says that you need to supplement your feedings for any number of reasons, most of us make the leap to assume that you use formula.  Not necessarily…if you pump during or after a feeding, you will have your own milk to supplement with, instead of substituting your unique food with chemically manufactured formula.  If you are having a supply problem and pumping is not a choice for you, there are several organizations that are gaining popularity that connect moms needing breast milk with moms that have breast milk to donate. 
 
You can do an internet search for “milk sharing”.  Do your due diligence and ask lots of questions before you make a decision to ask for milk donations.  Each family needs to make that call based on their particular situation.
 
You can still breastfeed if you have a low supply.  Dr. Jack Newman drove home a very important point at his lecture this summer: breastfeeding is much more than breast milk. You probably did not expect that you would only be able to nurse your child one or two times a day.  From another perspective, youcannurse your baby once or twice a day.  No matter how many times you are able to nurse, the laxative qualities in your breast milk will help your baby process the formula in their system.  You will help them be less constipated.  Those one or two feedings will still provide your baby with immunities and antibodies.  And most importantly, the you and baby will get to bond the way nature intended – skin-to-skin.
 
There is a growth chart designed specifically for breastfed babies.  Did you know that the growth chart in most physicians’ offices was designed in the 1950’s?  Not only have our standards for what “healthy” is changed since then, those charts were designed based on the growth patterns of formula-fed babies (remember..fat and sugar babies?).  We make big babies and I have nuclear milk, so our children have never had a problem being measured against those charts.  However, that is not the case for every family.  If your baby is measuring small against the traditional chart and your pediatrician is concerned, then click here and print out the chart that pertains to your baby (boy or girl specific) and measure your baby.  These were designed by the World Health Organization specifically to address the different rates of growth for breastfed babies.  The WHO standards establish growth of the breastfed infant as the norm for growth – yeah! 
 
I hope this will help you have the confidence in your body, your baby and your milk.  Just as you were designed to birth your baby, you were also designed to feed him or her.
 
There are lots of options and many avenues to get the help you need.  You can breastfeed the best way you are able to and reap the benefits for you and baby.
 
Did you discover anything about breastfeeding that nobody told you about?
 
Note:  For some great “how-to” breastfeeding posts, you can check under the Breastfeeding 101 blog topic and access information written by Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC.

To read some of our student's experiences with breastfeeding, look under the "In Their Own Words" topic link. 
 
Breastfeeding support groups:
 
Mommy Help Center
Inside Modern Mommy Boutique
3355 West Chandler Boulevard
Chandler, AZ 85226
phone: 480.786.0431

 
Chandler Regional (Frye Rd & Dobson)
Mercy Gilbert (202 Frwy & Val Vista)
~ For more information, please call the ResourceLink toll-free 1.877.728.5414, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You may also leave a message during after hours and someone will return your call during the next business day.
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
We are now enrolling
for our Spring Series
March 5, 2012 to
May 21, 2012
 
For more information
or to register,
please call us at
602-684-6567
or email us at [email protected]
 

Choosing a Breast Pump and Its Parts

Posted on October 28, 2011 at 2:28 PM Comments comments ()
Breastfeeding 101 Series

Welcome to this month’s post from Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC.  You can find her at Modern Mommy Boutique on Monday mornings at 10:00 am for a FREE Breastfeeding Support Group, and she will also be featured here on the fourth Friday of every month.  Please see the end of the post for Debbie's contact information if you are interested in reaching her for more information, or to find registration information for her Breastfeeding 101 Class offered on the 2nd Saturday of the month (October 8, 2011).
 
To read Debbie’s previous posts, please click on the “Breastfeeding 101” link on the left side of the page.

Baby is coming soon and you find yourself standing in the breastfeeding products section of the giant baby store.  Should you buy a pump now or wait?  Which pump should you put on your registry?  What’s the difference between the $60 pump from one company and the $350 pump from another company?  What should you look for in a pump anyway?

Buying a substandard pump or using the wrong pump for the job can jeopardize mom's milk supply or even damage mom's breast tissue, and don’t expect the pimply-faced clerk to steer you in the right direction on this decision.  What’s worse, if you do happen to pick the wrong pump but don’t realize it until you already opened the package, you aren’t able to return it like you could a pair of shoes.  Following are some guidelines to picking the right pump for the job.

"Do I need a breast pump if I’m going to breastfeed?" 
Some women would say that a pump is absolutely essential to breastfeeding success.  Other women point out that mothers have been breastfeeding their babies for centuries without ever using a breast pump.  The United States has the highest number of pumping moms in the world because our maternity leave policies require mothers to return to work so quickly, compared with other countries.  Fortunately breast pump design has come a very long way in the past 30 years, and pumping is now more comfortable and efficient than ever before.  If you need to express milk from your breasts for any reason – separation, baby won’t latch, problems breastfeeding – a breast pump can be your best friend, especially if you will need more than the occasional bottle.

"When should I buy a breast pump?" 
Some women want to have a pump ready to go before baby is born, in case they want to pump to relieve engorgement in the early days, express milk for separation or “emergency milk” for the freezer, or because they plan to return to work soon after baby is born.  Other moms prefer waiting until baby is born to be sure they choose the right pump for the job, or even to be sure that they are going to breastfeed long enough to need a pump in the first place.  If you do get a pump before baby is born, remember that pumping prior to baby’s birth can induce labor, so set aside your new toy until baby is safely on the outside.

All brands are not created equally. 
Cheaper pumps may look appealing, especially if you are concerned about all the other expenses that come with a baby.  The problem with the cheaper pumps is that they tend to break down unexpectedly, may not even be effective, can even cause tissue damage, and don’t offer a variety of sizes of parts to fit each mother’s anatomy.  Any money saved by purchasing one of these pumps is going to be wasted on buying another pump after that one breaks, or – even worse – the many expenses of formula after your milk supply has crashed.  The only two brands that are reliable, efficient, and versatile are Ameda and Medela; steer clear of other brands.

"I’m staying home full-time with my baby." 
If you’re only planning to need one or two bottles a week, a manual pump like the Ameda One Hand pump or Medela’s Harmony will fit the bill.  Any fancier pump is a nice luxury but not essential.

"I’m going to be working part-time, a few days a week." 
A manual pump may work if separation is only going to be for just a few feedings per week.  A safer option might be an electric pump that only pumps one breast at a time, like Medela’s Swing pump.  This handy little pump, about the size of a donut, can even clip onto mom’s belt for portable use.  It would be nice for this mom to have a pump that expresses both breasts at the same time, but not absolutely required in most cases.

"I’m going to be working full-time, plus commute." 
A pump that will allow you to pump both breasts at the same time is essential with this level of separation, to make pumping fast and efficient, and to maintain milk supply while away from baby.  Medela’s Pump in Style Advanced or Freestyle, or Ameda’s Purely Yours Ultra will do well.  These pumps are designed for use once breastfeeding is going well, mom's milk supply is well established, and baby is nursing well at least half the time (four+ times a day).  If a mom finds that she is pumping more than breastfeeding, I would recommend upgrading to the hospital-grade pump to protect her supply.  FYI both the Ameda and Medela pumps offer an A/C adapter so mom can pump during her commutes to save time and boost milk supply.

"My baby was born early and is now in the NICU."
If baby is not latching at all (in the NICU, for example) or is not breastfeeding strongly immediately after birth, it's important to rent a hospital grade pump to do baby's job of establishing milk supply.  Other pumps do remove milk, but they also leave milk behind and can’t stimulate mom’s milk supply in place of baby.  A good double electric breast pump can run $200-$350 to purchase; a hospital grade breast pump costs about $1,500-$2,000 to purchase.  The first few weeks after baby is born are most critical to a good milk supply for the whole time you’re breastfeeding, so don’t gamble your milk supply on trying to use your store-bought pump to establish milk supply.  It’s like trying to ride a scooter from Phoenix to New York: it’s not impossible to be successful, but it’s not very likely.

Which brand of pump should I rent? 
Hospital grade pumps come in Medela and Ameda brands.  Moms tend to rent whatever they used in the hospital since they already have the parts and are comfortable with the pump itself.  All of the East Valley hospitals but Mercy Gilbert and Chandler use the Medela Symphony in the hospital; Mercy Gilbert and Chandler use the Ameda Elite pump.

Where can I rent a pump? 
Chandler and Mercy Gilbert hospitals do not rent any pumps.  Modern Mommy Boutique (www.ModernMommyBoutique.com), conveniently located in front of Chandler Mall, rents both Medela and Ameda pumps for excellent prices.  Banner hospitals rent pumps, making it convenient to come home with the same kind of pump used in the hospital.  Hospitals tend to run out of pumps to rent, so have a back-up source lined up if this happens.  Two local companies offer free pick-up and delivery: Anything for Baby (www.anythingforbaby.com) and Serenity Feeding (www.SerenityFeeding.com).

Does one size fit all? 
Pump parts come in different sizes because mommies’ nipples come in different sizes.  The part that goes against the breast is called the flange and looks like a funnel.  Flange fittings are important to mom's pumping success and comfort, but I see many poorly fitted flanges.  Unfortunately you can't just "eyeball" the mom's nipple size and choose a flange, because many women's nipples usually swell during pumping.  A fitting should include pumping for at least five minutes before deciding on a flange size; flange size has everything to do with the nipple and nothing to do with the areola or breast size, and rarely changes between babies.  Also, a woman could very easily use one size on one breast and one size on the other.  I often do flange fittings at my consultations, and urge moms to bring their pumps when we meet for consultations to be sure that they are using the right size parts.

Is there anything that can make pumping easier? 
Yes!  A dab of olive oil on the inside of the flange helps eliminate any friction before milk flows.  Fully adjustable pumping bands can hold the parts in place so that mom can pump hands-free.  She can use her computer, read a book, talk on the phone, eat lunch...and allow her body to let the milk flow.  The pumping band holds the flanges in place comfortably and securely, so mom doesn’t have to worry about using too much pressure on the flanges.  The pumping band also provides some coverage for modest pumping.  Some moms even pump their milk while commuting to and from work using the pumping band, using the A/C adapter available on some models.  A nursing shawl can provide an added layer of privacy.  Other things that can improve pumping include photos or audio files of your baby, massaging the breasts before and during pumping, and smelling something your baby has worn.

"I found this pump on Ebay…" 
A good quality breast pump is going to cost a few hundred dollars so it’s very tempting to borrow a used pump from a neighbor, or pick one up at a garage sale or off of Ebay.  You may think you only need to buy new tubing and pieces to the pump, but there is no way to sterilize the pump’s motor and it may be growing a jungle.  Also, even high quality breast pumps are going to eventually die, and you don’t know how many hours a second-hand pump has worked, or how long it will continue to work before it leaves you stranded.  Ask for one at your baby shower, put together gift cards, return baby shower gifts you really didn’t need…a new pump just for you is a wise investment.

Parenthood is a whole new world, and breastfeeding is just one neighborhood of that new world.  If you have any questions about anything before, during or after baby is born, contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).  It’s better to ask than to worry and wonder.  The best thing you can do is enjoy your baby.

To read Debbie’s previous posts, please click on the “Breastfeeding 101” link on the left side of the page.
 
With questions about this post, or to contact Debbie for a consultation:
Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC
Registered with the International Board of
Lactation Consultant Examiners
(480) 786-0431
 
Breastfeeding 101 Class
Join Debbie for a 90-minute comprehensive breastfeeding class once a month (2nd Saturday - 11:00 am) at Modern Mommy Boutique for only $10/couple.
Call Modern Mommy Boutique for registration: 480-857-7187
3355 W. Chandler Blvd #3, Chandler, AZ 85226 
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.



New class starting
December 5, 2011
for families with due dates around or after
February 20, 2012

Call 602-684-6567
or email us at
for more information

What to Do When Breastfeeding Isn’t Working Out

Posted on September 23, 2011 at 7:17 AM Comments comments ()
Breastfeeding 101 Informational Series from Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC
Breastfeeding 101 Series

Welcome to this month’s post from Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC.  You can find her at Modern Mommy Boutique on Monday mornings at 10:00 am for a FREE Breastfeeding Support Group, and she will also be featured here on the fourth Friday of every month.  Please see the end of the post for Debbie's contact information if you are interested in reaching her for more information, or to find registration information for her Breastfeeding 101 Class offered on the 2nd Saturday of the month (October 8, 2011).
 
To read Debbie’s previous posts, please click on the “Breastfeeding 101” link on the left side of the page.
 
You made the decision to breastfeed your baby.  You told all your friends and family, read some books and pamphlets on it, and maybe even took a breastfeeding class (or two!).  None of that matters now, because you’re exhausted, sore from birth, overwhelmed, the baby in your arms is crying – and maybe you are, too – and you’re not sure if you made the right decision.  Breastfeeding is supposed to be the most natural act in the world, so why isn’t it coming naturally?
 
Take a step back and follow the Three Rules of Breastfeeding, while you work through the causes for your current problems.  No “window of opportunity” is closing; in fact, often this step back saves the breastfeeding relationship.  Follow these three rules and you will have all the time you need to learn how to breastfeed your baby.
 
Rule #1:  FEED THE BABY!  If baby is not latching on well, or not at all, he may need some milk away from the breast, to keep him healthy while you two work this out. **
 
How do I tell if my baby is getting enough milk? In the early weeks when you’re getting the hang of breastfeeding, it’s important to keep track of baby’s output, particularly soiled diapers, to make sure that baby is getting enough milk.  Some babies show all signs that they’re swallowing milk and it turns out they’re fooling us, so watch those diapers:  Calories in means poo out!  If baby isn’t getting enough milk, their stools will decrease well before their wets, so don’t assume everything is fine if your baby is still making wet diapers but has not stooled in a while.  In the first month, breastfeeding babies will typically have three to five stools in 24 hours, and they must be larger than the size of a quarter to count.  If a baby gets any formula, switch to counting wet diapers as an indicator, in case the formula constipates baby.  You should see four to six really wet diapers in 24 hours, and they will be clear to pale in color with no strong odor.  If you don’t see this output, it’s a strong sign baby isn’t getting enough calories.
 
What if my baby is not getting enough milk at the breast?  If your baby is breastfeeding, you might choose to offer expressed breast milk after he has breastfed, very slowly, to make sure he has had a full feeding.  By feeding him slowly, you don’t have to worry about him overeating or eating too fast.  If your baby was born a few weeks early and seems to fall asleep within just a few minutes after latching, you might have better success to offer expressed milk as the appetizer before breastfeeding, to give him the strength and patience to work harder at the breast.
 
How much milk should my baby be eating?  Newborns will only take about a teaspoon of milk – usually colostrum – at each feeding for the first 24 hours, because their tiny tummies are still very small.  That’s one reason why they need to be fed so frequently, because they can’t hold very much and human milk digests quickly, unlike milk for baby bunnies or baby cows.  Gradually baby will work up to more milk on Day Two, Day Three, and so on, until he will take about two ounces per feeding on Day Seven.  By Day Fourteen, most babies are taking about 2.5 ounces per feeding, eight feedings per day.  Small babies might take less; larger babies might take more.
 
I’m scared of…NIPPLE CONFUSION!  Considering how this term is used as a threat so often in breastfeeding circles, it’s no wonder!  Nipple confusion is the term used when a baby who had formerly been latching on suddenly no longer latches.  Actually, baby isn’t confused at all: He just wants to be fed!  If a baby is struggling at the breast, feeding after feeding, crying in protest and being pushed into mom’s breast anyway, and getting hungrier by the hour, that baby is at risk of deciding that breastfeeding is not for him.  In protest, he will refuse to latch, even if he’s never seen a bottle in his young life.  Other babies who are also struggling to get fed at the breast might be given a bottle after the doctor notices he’s not gaining weight fast enough.  If a baby gets a bottle in the traditional manner, lying flat on his back with a bottle pouring into his mouth, he may easily decide, “Hey, this is awesome – all I have to do is lie back and keep from drowning!  I’m never going back to the breast again!”  He now prefers the bottle.  On the other hand, if baby is fed in a way that preserves breastfeeding, this will not happen.
 
So should I feed my baby with a cup or syringe?  These are good short-term solutions to feeding baby while avoiding bottles.  If, however, it turns out baby needs to be supplemented for longer than just a few days, or if it’s 4 a.m. and more milk is ending up on baby’s onesie than in baby’s tummy, consider feeding the baby using upright, paced bottle feeding.
 
How do I give my breastfeeding baby a bottle?  Most bottles flow way too quickly compared with breastfeeding; remember, feeding a newborn at the breast usually takes 20-30 minutes, start to finish.  Compare that with the five minutes it takes to watch Junior suck down two ounces from that freebie bottle nipple provided by the formula company.  Sit baby upright, like he’s sitting on Santa’s lap, allowing his chin to tilt back off his chest, about the same angle as our chin as we drink from a glass of water.  When baby takes the nipple in his mouth, only tilt the bottle sideways until the level of the milk is just barely covering the hole in the nipple.  Holding the bottle sideways allows baby to breathe and take his time.  Offer ½ ounce, then put the bottle down and burp him, to help slow down the feeding.  Repeat this, ½ ounce at a time, until he seems content, then set the bottle aside.
 
Rule #2:  Protect and improve Mom’s milk supply.  If breastfeeding isn’t going well, we often focus so much on Rule #1 (feed the baby!), we forget about doing anything about Mom’s milk supply.  During the first three weeks after your baby is born, your body is calibrating how much milk you’ll need for the entire time you’re breastfeeding.  It’s critical that you stimulate your supply frequently and either breastfeed or pump the milk out thoroughly, so your body will establish a fine milk supply.  If baby isn’t latching on at all, or is leaving a lot of milk behind after feedings, it’s important that Mom pumps her milk to provide supplemental milk for baby away from the breast, and to keep her milk supply going in the right direction.  Mom’s breasts need to be emptied at least eight times in 24 hours to maintain current supply, 10-12 times to increase supply.  Pumping how-to’s will be covered in detail in a later blog.
 
Rule #3:  Keep happy things happening at the breast.  This rule seems logical, but it’s often overlooked.  If baby struggles to latch repeatedly, feels like he’s being shoved around too much at the breast (beware of well-meaning but aggressive nurses), or if he isn’t getting enough milk, feeding after feeding, he’s going to decide the breast is not a fun place to be.  Then he’ll fight and kick and scream as soon as you try to put him in the nursing position, which will break your heart.  If this happens, it’s not a death sentence for breastfeeding; it just means you’ll have to launch a P.R. campaign to get him back to the breast again.  This rule also means that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.  If Mom dreads every feeding because her nipples are so raw and painful, that’s not “happy things” and she is going to consider quitting.  Keep it happy, get help, and things will improve quickly.
 
This list should include Rule #4: Get help sooner rather than later.  You deserve a positive breastfeeding experience, and that might mean getting help.  Also, if baby is struggling to feed and you don’t get help for a few weeks, your milk supply may suffer.  Sure, breastfeeding is natural, but so is childbirth, and you certainly didn’t do that alone.  Use the lactation consultants in the hospital, call a private practice lactation consultant for an appointment, visit your WIC breastfeeding peer counselor, call La Leche League volunteers, go to breastfeeding support groups – keep asking for help until you and your baby are breastfeeding happily.  Breastfeeding will continue to benefit you and your baby throughout your lives, long after the breastfeeding relationship is a distant memory.  Hang in there – it gets better!
 
To read Debbie’s previous posts, please click on the “Breastfeeding 101” link on the left side of the page.

** Krystyna’s Note:  In today’s internet age, feeding baby away from the breast doesn’t mean you have to supplement with formula.  Consider doing research into breast milk-sharing organizations – you can buy breast milk from for-profit companies; some groups are social sites where milk is donated and exchanged instead of bought.
 
With questions about this post, or to contact Debbie for a consultation:
Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC
Registered with the International Board of
Lactation Consultant Examiners
(480) 786-0431
 
Breastfeeding 101 Class
Join Debbie for a 90-minute comprehensive breastfeeding class once a month (2nd Saturday - 11:00 am) at Modern Mommy Boutique for only $10/couple.
Call Modern Mommy Boutique for registration: 480-857-7187
3355 W. Chandler Blvd #3, Chandler, AZ 85226 
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.



New class starting
December 5, 2011
for families with due dates around or after
February 20, 2012

Call 602-684-6567
or email us at
for more information

The Can-Do Five

Posted on August 26, 2011 at 11:26 AM Comments comments ()
Breastfeeding 101 Series

Thank you to Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC, for today's installment on breastfeeding.  You can find her at Modern Mommy Boutique on Monday Mornings at 10:00 am for a FREE Breastfeeding Support Group, and she will also be featured here on the fourth Friday of every month.  Please see the end of the post for Debbie's contact information if you are interested in reaching her for more information, or to find registration information for her Breastfeeding 101 Class offered on the 2nd Saturday of the month (September 10, 2011).
 
The Can-Do Five
No, it’s not a spin-off of the Jackson Five.  The Can-Do Five are simply five things you “can do” before you even leave the hospital that can help ensure breastfeeding success.  The Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), launched in 1991, lists ten model breastfeeding practices that hospitals are encouraged to follow as the gold standard for improving the breastfeeding initiation and duration rates in the United States.  Of these practices, five of these maternity practices resulted in significantly more mothers meeting their breastfeeding goals. 

Those Can-Do Five practices are as follows:
1.  Infant is fed in the first hour after birth.
2.  Infant is fed only breast milk in the hospital.
3.  Infant stays in the same room with the mother in the hospital.
4.  Infant does not use a pacifier in the hospital.
5.  Hospital staff gives mother a telephone number to call for help with breastfeeding after discharge.

None of these are new to any of us, yet it is quite surprising how frequently these five steps are not followed for a variety of reasons.  Stack the odds in your favor by communicating these goals to your support team, including your family members and any friends who will be at the hospital helping you; your obstetrician and your baby’s pediatrician; and any nurses or lactation staff who are caring for you.  Make it part of your birth plan.  Why are these particular practices so important?

1. Infant is fed in the first hour after birth.  This means holding off on routine procedures such as eye ointment, baths, and any tests that can wait until later, assuming you and your baby are doing well.  That first hour after your baby comes into this world, (s)he is completely wired to breastfeed, and all systems are GO!  His or her senses are particularly acute, so (s)he’s smelling the amniotic fluid on his hands and seeking that same scent on his mother’s nipples.  His face is particularly sensitive to pressure on the cheeks and chin, specially designed to find the breast, root for the nipple, and latch on with little help from mom.  Check out The Breast Crawl on Youtube and you’ll be able to see it in action.  If you miss this crucial period of time, your baby will not completely reject breastfeeding, but his instincts aren’t going to be quite as sharp later on.
 
2. Infant is fed only breast milk in the hospital.  Again, this seems pretty intuitive, but many babies still routinely receive supplemental formula.  New mothers are often told, “Your milk isn’t in yet, you need to give your baby formula until your milk comes in,” without noticing whether the baby is breastfeeding well or how the baby is doing on mom’s colostrum.  During the first 24 hours after birth, one teaspoon of your precious colostrum is a full feeding.  Very few situations require supplementation in the first few days, and usually a blood sugar test can verify if baby is struggling.  What’s best for low blood sugar in baby?  Mom’s colostrum.  We don’t want babies to go hungry; we just want to make sure that supplementation with formula is medically indicated, not routine.

3. Infant stays in the same room with the mother in the hospital. Many hospitals in the Valley don’t even routinely staff their nurseries unless there happens to be a sick baby at the time.  Other hospitals encourage mothers to send their babies to the nursery, so they can take advantage of the help at hand and get their rest before going home with the new baby.  Even if the nursery isn’t used for complimentary babysitting, some hospitals send baby to the nursery for procedures such as routine testing and bathing, rather than doing it in the mother’s room.  If baby isn’t with mom, mom and baby can’t practice breastfeeding.  While in the nursery, babies are sometimes accidentally fed bottles of formula or samples of sugar water to keep them calm while away from mom or during testing, upsetting baby’s developing intestinal flora and throwing off baby’s appetite.  If your baby needs to leave your room, try to send an advocate with them, to ensure his or her speedy return to your side.

4. Infant does not use a pacifier in the hospital.  This one has more to do with getting baby fed than worrying about “nipple confusion.”  Baby doesn’t know right away that the pacifier doesn’t feed him, so he sucks harder and harder, waiting for his reward.  By the time he realizes the Binkie isn’t feeding him, (s)he is one angry little person and very difficult to calm down enough to breastfeed.  Encourage your baby to have his or her sucking needs met at the breast – offer the breast whenever (s)he shows signs of life.  This ensures a strong milk supply, as well as good weight gain for baby.  If you do want to offer a substitute to calm baby, such as during diaper changes, try offering your finger, pad side up.

5. Hospital staff gives mother a telephone number to call for help with breastfeeding after discharge.  What if mom and baby still haven’t gotten the hang of breastfeeding after they leave the hospital?  What if she has questions about breastfeeding once she gets home?  Valley hospitals now offer each of their patients a frequently updated list of resources, including breastfeeding support groups, breast pump rental and purchase sources, contact information for certified consultants she can call to answer her questions, or who will meet with her privately to work through her remaining challenges.  This resource list provides a safety net to catch her if breastfeeding doesn’t take off, so she doesn’t feel that her only option is to quit.

Not every situation will allow a mother to implement these five practices, but simply knowing about each of them will improve your success.  If you have any questions about any of these Can-Do Five, please contact me.  You can do this!

With questions about this post, or to contact Debbie for a consultation:
Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC
Registered with the International Board of
Lactation Consultant Examiners
(480) 786-0431

 
Breastfeeding 101 Class
Join Debbie for a 90-minute comprehensive breastfeeding class once a month (2nd Saturday - 11:00 am) at Modern Mommy Boutique for only $10/couple.
 
Call Modern Mommy Boutique for registration: 480-857-7187
 
3355 W. Chandler Blvd #3,
Chandler, AZ 85226 
 

Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

For more information on our Bradley Method® classes, please visit our FAQ's page.

Our next series in Chandler is still open for enrollment - call 602-684-6567 for more information.
MapQuest Terms and Conditions Maps/Directions are informational only. User assumes all risk of use. MapQuest, Vistaprint, and their suppliers make no representations or warranties about content, road conditions, route usability, or speed.

Breastfeeding: Set Yourself Up For Success

Posted on July 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM Comments comments ()
New This Month:  Breastfeeding 101 Series
Thank you to Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC, who has agreed to write a monthly post about breastfeeding.  You can find her at Modern Mommy Boutique on Monday Mornings at 10:00 am for a FREE Breastfeeding Support Group, and she will also be featured here on the fourth Friday of every month.  Please see the end of the post for Debbie's contact information if you are interested in reaching her for more information, or registering for her Breastfeeding 101 Class offered on the 2nd Saturday of the month.

Preparing for a Smooth Breastfeeding Experience Before Baby Arrives
Your baby’s due date is approaching rapidly and you’ve already made the decision that you’re going to breastfeed.  What can you do now to ensure you can meet your breastfeeding goals?

Learn about breastfeeding. 
This seems pretty intuitive but lots of moms, including me, spend more time on planning for the birth than breastfeeding.  Attend breastfeeding classes – as many as you can find – to hear how to get started with breastfeeding, what is normal and when to call for help.  Purchase a quality breastfeeding book written by a reliable source, such as La Leche League’s Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Made Simple by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, or The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Dr. Jack Newman. 

The Internet is an excellent source for information, but it’s also an excellent source for misinformation, so be careful.   Kellymom.com is an excellent online resource, as is La Leche League (www.LLLI.org). 

If you have friends or family who enjoyed breastfeeding, ask them what they think helped them succeed, and what they might have done differently.  The more you know about what’s normal, the more confident you will feel once your baby is in your arms.

Surround yourself with a supportive team. 
It takes a village to raise a child, so it’s important your village is filled with people who are supportive of your decision to breastfeed.  If your husband or family members don’t agree with your choice, seek out local support groups and spend time with others who share your goals. 

Ask your pediatrician what (s)he suggests to parents who might encounter struggles with breastfeeding: Does (s)he push them immediately to formula, or does (s)he urge them to supplement with pumped milk as needed and get breastfeeding help from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)?

Use the resources available. 
Of course, this starts with knowing what resources are available, because the worst time to try to find help is when you need it!  Who can you call for help once your baby is born to help you get started or fine-tune your technique? 

If you’re having your baby in a hospital, ask about the hours and days the hospital offers lactation support.  Most hospitals provide a list of resources that includespump rental sources, support group information, and contact information on area IBCLC’s who can meet with you at your home or their office, or you can search for help by zip code at www.ILCA.org

Anyone on AHCCCS is automatically qualified for WIC and free breastfeeding support from WIC breastfeeding peer counselors, who are supervised by IBCLC’s.  La Leche League offers free breastfeeding support by phone and monthly support groups all over the Valley.  The State of Arizona offers free 24-hour breastfeeding support by phone at 1-800-833-4642.

Choose a quality pump to fit the job. 
You may want to pump your milk for a variety of reasons, and choosing the right pump for the job is important to your success and comfort.  Choosing the right pump for the job is essential because breast pumps cannot be returned.

We’ll cover this topic in much more detail in another discussion, hopefully before your baby shower!  Burning questions?  Call an IBCLC – most will be happy to answer general questions over the phone free of charge.

With questions about this post, or to contact Debbie for a consultation:
Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC
Registered with the International Board of
Lactation Consultant Examiners
(480) 786-0431

Breastfeeding 101 Class
Join Debbie for a 90-minute comprehensive breastfeeding class once a month (2nd Saturday - 11:00 am) at Modern Mommy Boutique for only $10/couple.

Call Modern Mommy Boutique for registration: 480-857-7187

3355 W. Chandler Blvd #3, Chandler, AZ 85226 



Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


MapQuest Terms and Conditions Maps/Directions are informational only. User assumes all risk of use. MapQuest, Vistaprint, and their suppliers make no representations or warranties about content, road conditions, route usability, or speed.

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