Babies are hardwired to breastfeed. After birth babies exhibit over 20 neonatal reflexes that help with breastfeeding. Some of these reflexes move the baby to the breast and others help baby attach and get milk from the breast. Click on the link to read a great blog post by scarymommy.com and watch the video on the breast crawl. https://www.scarymommy.com/breast-crawl-newborn/
Breast compressions are an important thing for all new moms to learn. Sometimes when you are nursing your precious bundle they will start to drop off to sleep before you feel that they might be finished. Breast compressions can help to wake up a sleepy baby by giving him or her a bolus of milk to stimulate more breastfeeding. They can also help to more thoroughly empty the breasts which will in turn help to make more milk. Watch the following video to see how to do breast compressions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBrLYhABUlM
I am purposefully keeping these blog posts short if possible so that you won’t feel that you have to read through scads of words before coming away with something you can hang in your mental file folder.
I love to teach! One of my goals as a Lactation Specialist is to teach expecting parents, well, what to expect. Studies have shown that women who attend prenatal breastfeeding classes had significantly increased breastfeeding rates at 6 months. With both of my daughters they readily admit that a prenatal breastfeeding class would have benefited them greatly.
So since I love to teach I am going to doing posts here on the blog with the basic outline of my breastfeeding class. Although I do firmly believe that a hands-on class where you can participate and ask questions is the best way to experience this, I also know that some people just prefer to find an online way to learn or maybe just want some information at their fingertips.
I call my Prenatal Breastfeeding Class “The ABC’s of Breastfeeding”. There is so much information out there to get your feet wet with when it comes to breastfeeding that I was able to come up with something for every letter of the alphabet. I am planning on trying to keep my post short and succinct with this so that you won’t feel that you have a ton of things to wrap your brain around and remember but I want to at least touch on things.
We are finding that most moms want to know what issues they could possibly run into with breastfeeding rather than not knowing so I will be introducing some things that you may never even experience in your breastfeeding journey.
So after all of that I want to jump right in with the letter “A”
“A” is for Adjustment
There are a lot of adjustments during this time. Your body needs to adjust to not being pregnant anymore, maybe you have some extra healing that needs to take place. Your sleep is most likely being interrupted and you and your partner need to adjust to being parents and adding a new family member.
Another adjustment is your milk. You may feel like you have no milk at first. That is because of the very important substance called “colostrum”. Your baby doesn’t need very much of this “first milk” since his or her stomach is the size of a marble with a maximum capacity of 5-7 ml (about 1/4 of an ounce). It does not have the ability to expand to accommodate more milk yet so our body isn’t producing much yet, just what baby needs. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your baby needs to be taking ounces of breast milk at this point. That could lead you to feel that you need to supplement with formula. But your body is producing just what baby needs. We will cover how great colostrum in when we get to the letter “C”.
By day 3 baby’s stomach has grown to the size of a ping-pong ball, holding about an ounce.
By days 5-8 baby’s stomach continues to grow and by day 10 and beyond it is about the size of a chicken egg, holding about 2-3 ounces.
Around day 3 your milk will start to “transition”, sometimes said to be “coming in” but technically you already had milk, it is just changing from colostrum and increasing in volume. Now you are going to have some adjustments of your own which we will cover in more detail when we get to the letter “E” and talk about engorgement.
That is all we will touch on for today. As I said, I don’t want to overwhelm you and give you too much to read through in one post. I will be back soon to move on to the letter “B”.
Feel free to leave any comments or ask questions. I will answer them to the best of my ability.
I am super excited to be hosting my very first breastfeeding class. I am calling it The ABCs of Breastfeeding since I will be covering something related to breastfeeding for each letter of the alphabet. There are so many things to cover about breastfeeding and I want you to come away feeling like you were prepared for whatever may come your way as you start out on your breastfeeding adventure.
Join me Friday, November 22nd from 6:30-9:00 pm in the beautiful cozy space at 405 NE 3rd St., McMinnville, OR 97128. We will be up the stairs next to Union Block Coffee in suite 6/7.
I am keeping this class small, only 4 couples or eight individuals so that it will be an intimate atmosphere where we can discuss your individual concerns. I am planning on this being a hands-on class and hope to teach to each learning style represented in the class.
As I have talked with others and thought about the subject of breastfeeding education I am realizing that from the time we find out we are expecting a baby we start dreaming and planning for our pregnancy, delivery and even our nursery but we spend very little time preparing for how we will feed that baby. Education is such a huge investment into your breastfeeding relationship with your baby. Breastfeeding is natural and what your body was created to do but just like walking or riding a bike, there is a time of adjustment and a learning curve as two individuals (mom and baby) learn to do this amazing thing together.
So I hope you will join me, if not in this month’s class then in an upcoming class as I seek to support your breastfeeding experience through education and encouragement.
You can reach me through my Contact Me page here, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, message me on Facebook at Mama Bee Lactation or through Instagram at Mamabee_lactation.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have and can even schedule a private breastfeeding class if you desire.
I love to teach. I have been homeschooling my children since my first was in first grade a very long time ago. So the opportunity to teach breastfeeding classes to expecting parents is especially exciting to me. I will be hosting my first class on Friday, November 22nd from 6:30-9:00pm. We will be meeting at 405 NE 3rd St. suite 6/7. You can contact me through my webpage, emailed at email@example.com or find me on Facebook at Mama Bee Lactation
There are so many options on the market
nowadays, and I know for me it was hard to know which one to choose.
I probably should have sought advice from
people like my mother (who has given birth twelve times and has breastfed and
pumped for many of those children), or my sister who had just given birth to
her first child and was using a Medela breast pump at the time.
But no, I wanted to be independent and make my
own wildly uninformed decisions.
I read reviews on all the breast pumps that my
insurance covered and ultimately chose the Motif Duo Double Electric breast
pump. Overall I have been pretty happy with this pump and here’s a breakdown of
It is super small and lightweight!
The pump itself it about five inches long and weighs less than a pound. It has
a sleek, smooth design that makes it easy to slip into a pump bag or even a
large pocket if you had to.
It is battery powered and comes
with a charger which plugs into an outlet. I’ve found that it only takes 1-2
hours to fully recharge and the charge lasts for about 2.5 hours of pumping,
which means I can go about five pump sessions before I need to recharge. I love
that this pump doesn’t have to be plugged into an outlet when I use it, which
makes it great for pumping on the go.
It automatically shuts off after
30 minute of pumping, which is great if you’re like me and occasionally fall
asleep while pumping in the middle of the night.
The pump itself is very quiet. It
makes a low, vibrating sort of hum, much less noticeable than the whirring
sound that the Medela Pump In Style Advanced makes.
It has a backlit digital display
on the front which includes a timer (so nifty for when it’s 3 AM and you can’t
even remember how long you’ve been pumping), which mode the pump is in (massage
or expression mode), what level of suction the pump is set to, and the battery
It has 10 different levels of
suction which you can adjust and set your preferences in the pump’s memory
mode. I like this because the Medela pump the toggle to increase suction has no
numbers or discernable levels, you just turn a blank knob until it feels right.
With the Motif’s digital display I know exactly what level I am at and where it
should be in order to get the best results.
The pumping system has backflow
prevention. With some pumps, if you fill the collection bottle up too much, the
milk can get backed up in the valve and be sucked up into your tubing (I’ve
totally done this before). But the Motif has a rubber diaphragm outside of the
collection bottle in the piece that connects the bottle to the tubing,
preventing milk from ever getting into the tubing.
Whether your purchase this pump on Amazon or
get it through your insurance, the Motif package should include:
1 – Double electric breast pump
1 – Maylilly Tote (if ordered through Aeroflow Breastpumps)
1 – 12 Volt Power adapter
2 – 21mm breastshields
2 – 24mm breastshields
2 – 27mm breastshields
2 – 180 mL milk collection containers, cap, cover, disc
2 – Nipples
2 – Valves
2 – Connectors and diaphragms
2 – Tubing and tubing
I was blessed to have a hospital-grade pump
rented for me to use while I am at home for the past month or so, but when I am
out and about I use the Motif pump since it doesn’t tether me to an outlet
while I use it.
So far my only complaints about this pump are:
Replacement parts are more expensive than,
say, Medela parts.
The pump does not automatically
change from Massage mode to Expression mode. Many a time have I been distracted
while pumping only to look down at the display and realize that I have been
pumping in Massage mode for fifteen minutes instead of switching to Expression
mode after 2-3 minutes. The Massage mode is gentler and is supposed to mimic
the quicker, shorter sucks a baby initially does when breastfeeding, and this
mode is of course much less effective at pumping out milk.
I would rate this pump 4 stars!
Overall this is a great little pump for mamas
whose milk supply is established and need an option for pumping at work or on
I have nursed 6 babies and I must admit that I had never heard of tongue tie. If it is real thing how could I have not heard about it? Well for one thing I really didn’t have a lot of breastfeeding problems to prompt me to get any help or look for answers. I remember some times of excruciating nipple pain but it was short-lived so I just powered through it. Not a good idea if the pain doesn’t go away but I had never even heard of a Lactation Consultant or any other kind of breastfeeding specialist to go to.
As I started out on my journey to become a breastfeeding specialist I began to hear about this thing called “tongue tie” or Ankyloglossia. One of the first classes I took was on this subject and early chiropractic or bodywork for a newborn. Shortly after that one of my daughters had a baby with breastfeeding issues. As she looked into it she found out that her baby not only had tongue tie but also a need to see a chiropractor who was well versed in babies and practiced CST (craniosacral therapy). Along came my next grand baby a couple of months later and he, too, had breastfeeding issues which were diagnosed as a tongue tie. He also benefited from craniosacral therapy.
So began my fascination with all things “tongue tie”. I wanted to learn all I could about it so I could be better armed with information if my clients had this issue with their babies.
To answer my own question….”Is that really a thing?”…Yes it really is a thing. So why are we just now hearing about it? In my personal opinion and from snipets I have heard, I believe it probably was a problem in the past and possibly dealt with in some manner or another and mamas just dealt with the pain. But as breastfeeding fell out of favor from the introduction of bottles and formula it just wasn’t seen much anymore and just faded into the background. Also breastfeeding education and specialists were pretty rare. Even today it is difficult to find a pediatrician who knows much beyond the basics of breastfeeding.
More moms are choosing to breastfeed now and as they run into problems they are looking for answers. People are out there now who are studying the problems and finding answers. Some of the experts in the field are Dr. Lawrence Kotlow DDS, Richard Baxter DDS and Dr. Bobak Ghaheri MD. Some good websites to visit on the issue are https://airwaymatters.blog/, https://www.drghaheri.com/ and https://www.kiddsteeth.com/.
I had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Dr. Ghaheri this weekend. I learned a ton. Some of the things that I learned that I want to highlight on this issue are that nipple pain and poor weight gain aren’t the only indications for intervention, some babies can compensate for their tongue or lip tie but that can cause negative downstream effects, untreated tongue- tied babies are 300% more likely to be exclusively bottle fed at 1 week of age, Ricke(2005) and that just because a baby can stick their tongue out doesn’t mean there isn’t a tongue tie. The issue of the tie is the elevation of the tongue and how that relates to breastfeeding.
If you have stuck with me this long, you must have a reason for reading this so let’s talk about the breastfeeding problems that can be associated with a tongue-tied baby.
Poor quality latch, falls asleep prematurely while nursing, slides of the breast, colic symptoms, reflux symptoms, gumming/chewing/chomping on the breast, pacifier problems, low milk supply, nipple damage(cracked, creased, bleeding), severe pain, poor/incomplete drainage of breast, mastitis/thrush, vasospasm, infected nipples, poor weight gain, baby’s lips are dark(like lip liner) while the edge of the lip is white which indicates baby is using his lips to hang on
Will your baby or you experience all of these symptoms? Not likely. Does having one or more automatically mean there is a tongue or lip tie? Not necessarily. But it does give an indicator that you and your baby need some additional help beyond your pediatrician. Seek out a breastfeeding specialist or IBCLC. They can help you figure out if there are other problems first before referring you to the appropriate ENT or pediatric dentist for help.
So besides researching the topic and being convinced that tongue tie is real I also have the real life experience of two of my grandchildren having a tongue tie. They both had the revision done and are thriving. There are after-care exercises and they are super important to do to keep the site from reattaching but it is doable and the short amount of time to do them compared to months and months of pain-free breastfeeding your precious baby are well worth it.
When I started this website and blog months ago it was to promote and write about Postpartum Doulas. While I still think Postpartum doulas are needed and a valuable thing for any new mom, I have found that I have more of a passion for helping with breastfeeding. So I am working on making changes to the website and blog, updating my new look with a new logo and putting finishing touches on the services that I will be offering soon. I hope you will come back and check it out in the coming weeks. I am working on writing my own curriculum for teaching breastfeeding classes and classes to support moms who are returning to work and want to exclusively breastfeed and need to pump.
I have a new appreciation for what birth doulas do. It takes a lot of stamina, strength and patience to walk alongside a mama in labor. I have been on the other side many times but today was my first time being on the helping side. I just watched my newest granddaughter come into the world. I am exhausted. So a big shout out to the birth doulas out there. And of course a big shout out to all you mamas doing this birth thing.
This was shared on my Doula Facebook Group page and I thought it was a wonderful thing to share here….
In the hustle of the room I peered over at my friend bent over in pain. Baby had just been born and everyone was surrounding the miracle that happened before our eyes and naturally everyone was in awe of him. But I was especially in awe of her. I saw you, mama. I saw the pain in your eyes and in your face and in your body. Because this is now a new season called postpartum. We tend to forget our mamas when babies are around. We ask how baby is, what does baby need, can we hold the baby, can we buy this for the baby but… what about mama? Let us not forget the hard work she endured to carry this child AND the hard road ahead to mother and heal and feed and rest and parent her other children also. What do mamas really need? Meals dropped off, someone to watch baby so they can shower, solid child care for her other children, house cleaners to stop by and help out. Heating pads and coffee and comfy PJs. Maybe fast food. Or a friend to fold laundry. Maybe a new movie to watch or your Netflix login. Let’s not forget the mamas. It’s just so easy to because women are incredibly strong and seem to have it all together but they need the support and the extra hands more than ever entering into that fourth trimester.
Babies are so amazing! Our Creator knew what He was doing when He created us! Did you know that baby will crawl up mom’s abdomen to find the breast within minutes of being born? To watch an amazing video of a baby doing the Breast Crawl watch the video below.
Also here is a great page to visit if you want to know about the breast crawl and the benefits…