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August 15, 2016

How to Better Understand Baby Sleep

When I was pregnant with my first child, someone told me that having to pee often at night was God’s way of preparing me for the frequent night feedings to come! My fear of sleep deprivation and quest for a good night’s sleep began before my baby had even arrived.

My newborn did feed often. Especially at night. I am convinced he fed every 2 hours at night until he was well over a year old. While I enjoyed nursing my baby to sleep (and it seemed to be the best way to get him to sleep), I had the nagging feeling I was doing something wrong and that he would never learn to sleep on his own.

I know I am not alone. Sleep is a huge issue for new families. Parents of babies only two or three days old ask me if they have started a bad habit because the only way their baby will sleep is tucked into bed beside them.

Desperate for sleep, parents look for a baby sleep solution. I know I did. None, however, felt right to my parenting heart.

I love what IBCLC Meg Nagle (aka The Milk Meg) had to say about one of the common sleep training methods. She graciously allowed us to reprint her article below. We would love to hear your comments and learn what worked for you.

-Cindy   

How-to-Understand-Baby-Sleep

 

Why “Feed, Play, Sleep” routines make no sense for a breastfed baby…

 

*Just to clarify, I don’t think it makes sense for ANY baby, bottle or breastfed to be on this routine…however it makes even LESS sense for breastfed babies. Also, if you are doing this routine and it’s working for you then great! This article isn’t for you (although I’d love for you to keep reading anyway)! This is for the millions of women who are told they “should” be doing this routine but know it’s just not working for them and they are wondering why. Because the reality is that for most women who breastfeed on demand, it doesn’t work! Here’s why…

If you live in a western culture you will have definitely heard of the “Feed, play, sleep” routine. This is a well known and frequently suggested method of getting your baby into a little pattern of eating, playing and then yes, you guessed it…sleeping. Every day. Now as a exhausted pregnant woman (or new mother) how awesome does this sound?! Sounds great until the baby actually arrives and they are on and off the boob constantly.

We find ourselves reading these books and websites about this wonderful routine wondering, “What is WRONG with my baby?! He won’t sleep longer than 40 minutes and half that time my boob has to be in his mouth! He wants to breastfeed before waking, after waking, during his play time and then to fall asleep again! Why is my baby not fitting into this schedule?! What is wrong with me? Why is this happening?!”

I’ll tell you why this is happening…because your baby is normal. Your baby is born incredibly prematurely compared to other mammals. Your baby is an actual person. A person who cannot do anything for themselves. Your baby needs cuddles, breastfeeds, cuddles and breastfeeds. Breastfeeding is not meant to be scheduled. It’s makes no sense from a biological, cultural or evolutionary perspective.

 

Here is why this little routine does not make sense for breastfed babies…

  • Breastfed babies have virtually all of their needs met by breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is not just about “feeding” but is about comfort, hunger, thirst, pain relief, boredom buster, tantrum stopper and basically answer to everything elixir. You may not know what is wrong with your baby but chances are…boob will fix it. So throw out that book that’s telling you to stretch out the next breastfeed until it’s “time”. Just whip it out. “When in doubt…whip it out”!

  • Your baby is actually a person…not a cookiecutter clone.

This is something that gets my panties in a bunch…your little baby is a person. This little person is going through many changes. They’ve just gone from a nice warm womb to a cold, crazy world. Your little person is not going to follow a schedule…if they do then pat yourself on the back and do a happy dance that you have a little weirdo (and I mean in a good way) baby! But it’s definitely not the norm.

  • Your breastmilk is MADE to put your little one to sleep.

As I’ve mentioned in my book and in my blog countless times, your milk has components in it to help put your child to sleep! It’s amazing! Just pop them on and watch them fall asleep. Most babies do this. This is not a habit that needs to be broken. It is what they are meant to do. It is important. It is the biological norm.

  • A breastfed baby on a routine means less frequent draining of the breasts which means less milk production.

Breastmilk production is simple…supply and demand. The more well drained your breasts are…the more they will make. Trying to distract a baby to not breastfeed since it’s not “feeding time” can affect your supply and put you at risk for needing to supplement or pump. Even though these routines stress how you can be “flexible” with some of these times, books and websites state that at a certain age you can stick to these routines by the minute…try telling that to most breastfed babies or toddlers and they will respond with a cry asking to be breastfed!

  • Breastfed babies need a breastfeed to help them work through feelings and to help calm themselves.

Breastfeeding is not just about “the milk”. Breastfeeding will happen at various times throughout the day and night that have NOTHING to do with hunger or the need for food.

  • Bottle fed babies find comfort through a pacifier…breasts ARE a breastfed baby’s pacifier.

This is one of the biggest differences in doing these routines with a breastfed baby compared to a bottle fed baby. A baby bottle feeds because they are hungry. When they are no longer hungry you can give them a pacifier and either rock them to sleep or put them down to sleep where they nod off by themselves. Cue the breastfed baby…this baby breastfeeds TO ACTUAL SLEEP because this is how they pacify themselves! They’ll breastfeed to wake up, breastfeed during their play time and then breastfeed back to sleep. They are calmed at the breast.

Here is the typical recommended schedule for people on how to do the “feed, play, sleep” routine…

When your baby wakes up:

  • Offer a feed.
  • Change your baby’s nappy.
  • Take time for talk and play.
  • Put your baby back down for a sleep.

And here is how it usually goes for a breastfed baby who is fed on demand and is with their mother 24/7…

When your baby wakes up:

  • Feed.
  • Change nappy.
  • Talk, Play, Feed
  • Carry around.
  • Feed.
  • Feed/sleep/feed.
  • Play/feed/play.
  • Feed.
  • Sleep.

Or to be more exact for the breastfeeding woman (because breastfeeding is not just about “FEEDING”…)

Now don’t think for one second that I don’t think routines are good ideas…Babies and children LOVE routines. They thrive on knowing what is going to happen when. However, I strongly believe that breastfeeding can happen before, during and after these rituals you do every day. Before sleep times you can read a book, sing them a song, give them a bath…all of this can happen while breastfeeding here there or everywhere in between these rituals you do. Remember your baby is a little human. A little person…and this little person needs frequent breastfeeds and frequent cuddles day and night. You are mothering through breastfeeding…not creating a soldier for the next graduating class of military cadets. Relax and just enjoy your baby.

xx

Meg

 

Learn more about newborns and sleep: 11 Ways to Cope with Sleep Deprivation and Baby’s “Days and Nights Mixed-Up”

 

Meg Nagle. The Milk Meg. Photo


About Meg:

In between breastfeeding her youngest boy, chasing after her oldest two boys, blogging and occasionally sleeping  …Meg Nagle works with women to help them reach their breastfeeding goals! Meg has also written a book, “Boobin’ All Day…Boobin’ All Night. A Gentle Approach To Sleep For Breastfeeding Mothers” which can be found HERE.

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August 8, 2016

Simply Breastfeeding Online Course

While the first weeks with a newborn can be amazing and filled with wonder, they can also be frustrating and filled with worry. Through years of working with new families, we have seen a pattern of common concerns.

 

Parents worry if their baby is getting enough milk.

They wonder if they are doing something wrong because their baby feeds often at night.  

Mom’s nipples are painful and they don’t know if it is normal.

 

When a new baby arrives, sleep deprivation and the steady stream of visitors make it difficult for new parents to learn what they need to know to feel confident.

 

We knew there must be a better way. What if parents could learn the answers to the most common breastfeeding questions BEFORE their baby was born? Once their newborn arrived, they could spend more snuggling instead of Googling.

 

As a first step to solving this problem, we began to teach a prenatal breastfeeding class in our hometown (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). The feedback from families was very encouraging. Moms told us they felt more confident and prepared for baby’s arrival.

 

We began to get requests for an online version. These requests were from:

  • Families who lived too far away to drive to our in person class.
  • Mothers who prefered to learn at their own pace, in the comfort of their own home.
  • Women whose partners worked out of town and were unavailable to attend the in person class.

 

We got busy filming and created a 12 lesson online video prenatal breastfeeding course, Simply Breastfeeding. In addition to the videos, each lesson is accompanied by summary notes and bonus downloadable content.

 

Here are a few of the things we want every expectant parent to know!

 

Your breasts will be soft in the first few days after birth but you do have milk! It’s a thick golden milk, full of germ fighting properties that are important for your baby. (We explain more about colostrum in the ‘Baby’s Very First Feed’ lesson.)

You will experience baby’s “Ravenous Second Night”. Your baby will want to feed very very often and you won’t get much sleep. It will be tiring but it is normal; your baby is doing exactly what we expect. This frequent feeding will signal your body to begin to make a larger volume of milk. The following nights will be easier. (We explain more in the lesson ‘Time to Feed? Watch Your Baby, Not the Clock’.)

You will spend 10 to 12 hours a day breastfeeding. You will want to be comfortable! Watch our free preview lesson about breastfeeding positions here. (‘Breastfeeding Positions: Getting Mom and Baby Comfy’)

You don’t have to endure sore nipples. It is common for nipples to feel ‘tender’ in the first week or two but you should not have pain that makes you curl your toes and bring your shoulders up to your ears. Latching baby deeply to the breast can help you to avoid sore nipples. (We explore how to get a comfortable latch in the ‘The Deep Secret of Latching’ lesson.)

You may worry whether you have enough milk. Concern about milk supply is the most common reason women stop breastfeeding or begin to give formula. Although it may seem logical, pumping is NOT a good way to tell if you have enough milk. (We cover how to know baby is getting enough milk in the lesson: ‘Is Baby Getting Enough? How to Know for Sure’.)

You are going to get lots of advice about breastfeeding; not all of it will be good advice. In fact, some women are told to avoid chocolate and caffeine. Thankfully, this is not accurate advice! A cup or two of coffee or tea and moderate amounts of chocolate are not off limits for breastfeeding mothers! (We tackle this and other common questions in the ‘FAQ’ lesson.)

 

The Simply Breastfeeding course is for:

 

  • Expectant mothers who are trying to decide out whether or not they want to breastfeed
  • Expectant mothers who want to learn more about how to breastfeed their baby before giving birth
  • Mothers who recently gave birth but quickly realized they needed to learn more about breastfeeding

Let the Simply Breastfeeding course help you to make the first weeks with your newborn as relaxing and stress free as possible.

Breastfeeding-(3)


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Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

 

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August 2, 2016

10 Benefits of Breastfeeding You are Going to Love

Imagine a medicine that could decrease your baby’s risk of pneumonia, colds, ear infections, stomach infections and diarrhea! What if this same medicine could also decrease your baby’s chance of developing diabetes, obesity and some cancers? Imagine if this medicine was available for free!

Breastfeeding is that medicine. It provides all of these benefits for babies, but the benefits of breastfeeding don’t stop there! Here are an additional 10 cool things about breastfeeding you may not know.

 

1) Stronger bones for mom.

Breastfeeding helps your body absorb calcium more efficiently, meaning less chance of osteoporosis!

2) It burns calories while you sit on the couch.

It is like going to the gym without leaving your house. You burn a whopping 500 calories per day, equivalent to running on a treadmill for 45 minutes, cleaning the house for 2 hours or doing one hour of Zumba.

3) It’s environmentally friendly.

There is no pollution or garbage involved!

4) There is no risk of contamination.

There have, however, been cases of contamination in powdered infant formula. You can learn more about Cronobacter infection in formula here.

5) Once established, it is pretty simple.

When your baby is hungry, no prep is required! Your milk is the perfect temperature, always delivered fresh and ready to serve. Now that makes life easy when you are out of the house!

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6) Fewer missed days when you return to work.

When a breastfeeding mom and baby are exposed to a germ in their environment, the mother’s body makes antibodies to that specific germ. Mom then passes that protective antibody to her baby through the breast milk. This means less illness for baby (and less time away from work for mom!)

7) It saves money.

You will save up to $3200 per year by not having to buy formula. Check out what you could buy instead. Fewer trips to the doctor and less hospital visits compound the savings.

8) You will get a leave of absence from your period.

Breastfeeding exclusively (giving no other food or liquid) around the clock delays the return of menstruation. For some, this means no periods for a full year. More money saved on feminine products and birth control!

9) Available in a variety of flavours.

The flavour of breast milk changes according to mom’s diet. Formula, on the other hand, tastes the same, day after day. The varying flavour of breast milk  is thought to make the introduction of solids foods that much easier.

10) It ensures lots of snuggle time.

Breastfeeding is a great reason to stop, sit down and simply hold your baby. Gazing into those little eyes leads to a strong connection.

The decision about how you will feed your baby could be one of the most most important decisions you will make as a new parent. Want to discover some skills and techniques proven to make breastfeeding easier (and essential to meeting your breastfeeding goals)? Register for our FREE email series, Getting Ready to Breastfeed.

References:

  1. Horta, Bernardo L., and Cesar G. Victora. Long-term Effects of Breastfeeding: A Systematic Review. Publication. N.p.: World Health Organization, 2013.
  2. The Baby Friendly Initiative | Research | Breastfeeding Research – An Overview.” Unicef UK, n.d. Web.

 

Want to learn more? Preparing to Breastfeed in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding – Getting Started


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Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

 

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August 1, 2016

Free for World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated August 1-7, 2016 in over 176 countries! This year we are highlighting the link between breastfeeding and wellbeing.

To celebrate, we have a couple of free gifts for you!

Breastfeeding is important not only for the wellbeing of babies but for their mothers as well. There are numerous benefits for both short and long term health. Read here about a few you might not have known. If you prefer to learn about the benefits in video format, we have a new FREE video course Getting Ready to Breastfeed. In addition to learning the importance of breastfeeding, you will also learn about some common breastfeeding myths and how to prepare for breastfeeding before baby arrives.

Women tell us they wish they had prepared for breastfeeding the way they prepared for the birth. Learn now what these women wish they had known BEFORE their baby arrived.

WorldBreastfeedingWeek

You can also snap up our NuuNest app for FREE this entire week. NuuNest offers everything new parents need to know about their newborn’s feeds, weight and diapers. It includes “All About Mom”, what’s normal after childbirth and when to worry.

Let’s celebrate next World Breastfeeding Week together, valuing well-being from the very start of life. Quite a beautiful thing!

 

Read more about preparing for breastfeeding here.


thumbnail-cindy-and-jana

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

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February 27, 2016

Exposing the Myths about Foremilk and Hindmilk

If we had the power to eliminate just one misunderstood notion about breastfeeding, it would be the concept of foremilk and hindmilk!

Science has shown that the breast milk a baby receives toward the end of a feeding (hindmilk) is higher in fat than the milk at the beginning of a feeding (foremilk). That part is true!

 

This bit of science, however, has been taken out of context. Breastfeeding literature and well meaning friends or health professionals may advise to “make sure baby feeds long enough to get the hindmilk” (higher fat milk). This advice can lead to confusion and mismanagement of breastfeeding.

 

Women are left wondering:

  • How long on a breast is “long enough” to get to the hind milk?
  • Should I feed from only one breast each feed to help my baby gain weight?

 

Lactation Consultants explain how worrying about foremilk and hindmilk may actually be harming breastfeeding.

 

Knowing these facts may help to answer those questions:

  • The increased fat content of breastmilk during a feed is gradual; there is not an exact time when “foremilk” ends and “hindmilk” begins.
  • Expressed breast milk does not look like the cow’s milk you are used to purchasing at the grocery store. Instead, it has a thin and watery appearance. This is normal!
  • The length of a breastfeed varies between babies as well as from feed to feed.
  • Some women have an abundant milk supply and only need to feed from one breast at a feed. Other women need to feed from both breasts every feed to satisfy their babies. One is not ‘better’ than the other. Both are normal.

Learn more about breastfeeding myths in our free online video breastfeeding course,“Getting Ready to Breastfeed.” Download it here.


If you are concerned about whether your baby gets enough hindmilk, please take note of how your baby is feeding at the breast rather than watching the time. Is your baby swallowing milk at the breast? Is your baby content and relaxed after feeds?

 

The concept of foremilk and hindmilk in breastfeeding has been misunderstood. Lactation Consultants hope to clear up the misunderstandings with this post.

There are only a few situations where women may need to pay attention to foremilk and hindmilk. These are very specific situations, centered around a problem (e.g. a very low birth weight baby, a very fussy, gassy fast gaining infant.) Consult with your healthcare provider or Lactation Consultant if your baby is fussy or not gaining weight.

 

The concept of foremilk and hindmilk has caused breastfeeding women unnecessary worry. It is more important to watch your baby rather than the clock.

 

Relax, put your feet up and let your baby lead the way!

 

References and More Information:

  1. Aksit, Sadik, Nese Ozkayin, and Suat Caglayan. “Effect of Sucking Characteristics on Breast Milk Creamatocrit.Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 16.4 (2002): 355-60.
  2. Bonyata, Kelly. “Foremilk and Hindmilk – What Does This Mean?KellyMomcom. 29 Aug. 2011.
  3. Kent, J. C., L. R. Mitoulas, M. D. Cregan, D. T. Ramsay, D. A. Doherty, and P. E. Hartmann. “Volume and Frequency of Breastfeedings and Fat Content of Breast Milk Throughout the Day.Pediatrics 117.3 (2006): E387-395.
  4. Mohrbacher, Nancy. “Worries About Foremilk and Hindmilk.RSS. N.p., 27 June 2010.

 

Other posts you may enjoy: Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk? and Breastfeeding Trivia: 16 Random Facts.


thumbnail cindy and jana

 

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

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February 26, 2016

Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

 

New mothers can get plenty of advice about foods to avoid while breastfeeding. Well meaning visitors advise against cabbage, beans, broccoli, spicy foods and even (gasp!) chocolate. But is there any truth to this advice?

 

While in your grandmother’s day, it was thought that foods could give a breastfed baby gas, we now know this is not supported by research. Many of the foods once believed to cause gas are staple foods in other countries, consumed by breastfeeding women without problems. There are no foods breastfeeding mothers MUST avoid! Most women are able to enjoy a healthy and varied diet.

 

foods-to-avoidSpicy foods may flavor a woman’s breast milk. This is seen to be an advantage as baby will be introduced to a variety of flavors at a very young age. This may help to guard against becoming a picky eater in the future.

 

Caffeine deserves some caution. Large amounts of caffeine may result in a more wakeful fussy baby. Limiting your intake to one or two cups of coffee, tea or cola products per day is suggested.

 

Chocolate contains a substance similar to caffeine. You would have to consume very large quantities for it to have an effect. You can read more about chocolate and breastfeeding in this La Leche League article.

 

When baby is fussy, it is easy for others to ask the breastfeeding mother “What did you eat?” For the most part, the fussiness will be unrelated to her diet. There are rare cases, however,  where a baby will react to a particular food. Dairy can be one of those foods. If you suspect your baby is reacting to a certain food, read this article by KellyMom: Dairy and other Food Sensitivities in Breastfed Babies.

 

Go ahead and enjoy a varied healthy diet. There are no foods to avoid while breastfeeding.

 

FoodsToAvoidWhileBreastfeeding

 

References and More Information:

  1. Dairy and Other Food Sensitivities in Breastfed Babies” KellyMom.com, KellyMom, 26 July 2011.
  2. Maternal Caffeine Consumption and Infant Nighttime Waking: Prospective Cohort Study. Santos, I., Matijasevich, A., Domingues, M., Pediatrics May 2012, 129 (5) 860-868.
  3. Prenatal and Postnatal Flavor Learning by Human Infants. Mennella, J. A., Jagnow, C. P., & Beauchamp, G. K. (2001). Pediatrics, 107(6), E88.
  4. “Things to Avoid When Breastfeeding.” HealthyChildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, 21 Nov. 2015.
  5. Thursday Tip: Chocolate and Breastfeeding.lllc.ca, La Leche League Canada, 12 Feb. 2015.

 

 

Other posts you may enjoy: How to Increase Your Milk Supply and 5 Misleading Myths that can Sabotage Your Breastfeeding


 

 

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About the authors:

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

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February 24, 2016

Comfortable Positions for Breastfeeding

You will spend a lot of time breastfeeding your newborn. It’s worth the effort to figure out which positions for breastfeeding are comfortable for both you and your baby. 

The following breastfeeding positions have worked for other moms. Feel free to experiment and find out what works for you. After a bit of practice, you may even invent your own! 


New to breastfeeding? Download our free ebook: 5 Crucial Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding.


Laid Back Breastfeeding Position

The ‘laid back’ position can work well when you and your baby are first learning to breastfeed. It is a relaxed position that helps to prevent muscle tension in your upper back and shoulders.

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How to do it:

  • Find a comfortable place where you can lean back and relax. Lean back far enough so that gravity will help to keep baby close to your body. Use pillows to support your head and back as needed.
  • Baby’s entire body should rest against your body with his cheek resting near your bare breast.
  • Use your arms to support your baby in whatever way feels most comfortable.
  • Your baby will lift his head and use his arms and legs to reposition himself until he finds the nipple. Some babies will need more help than others; use gentle guidance to nudge your baby towards the breast if needed. Remember, it takes practice to make any position work for you and your baby.

In the first few days of life, this position works best when both mom and baby are skin-to-skin (no shirt for mom, baby dressed in a diaper only). This helps to encourage baby’s natural feeding instincts. See this post for a video of baby latching himself (“self attachment”) when his mother is in the laid back position.

Cross Cradle Breastfeeding Position 

The cross cradle hold can also be helpful when you are learning to breastfeed. Premature babies or babies with lower muscle tone can benefit from the extra support this position provides.

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How to do it:

  • Sit comfortably with your feet supported on the floor or a low stool.
  • Place a pillow on your lap to support baby at the level of your breast. This will help to prevent your arm from getting tired.
  • Turn baby on his side with his entire body facing you. His tummy should be tucked against your stomach with his ear, shoulder and hip in a straight line. (To understand why this is important, try drinking a glass of water with your head turned to the side.)
  • If you are nursing from your right breast, lay your left arm along your baby’s back with your hand resting between baby’s shoulders. Support the base of baby’s head, your thumb on one side and your index finger on the other side. (Avoid holding the back of your baby’s head, as most babies will react by pushing away from the breast.)
  • Adjust baby’s position so that his nose is near your nipple and his chin is resting on the breast.
  • Support your breast with the other hand with your thumb and fingers well back from the areola (the brown part surrounding the nipple).
  • Keep baby’s bottom close to you to prevent him from slipping away from the breast.

If your baby needs extra help with latching, try this trick:

  • Gently shape or “sandwich” the breast, using your thumb and fingers. (Imagine eating a large sandwich; it is easier to fit into your mouth if it is flattened first.) Please note: you sandwich the breast to help it fit into baby’s mouth. The flattened part of the “sandwich” should be parallel to baby’s lips.
  • Encourage baby to open wide by tickling his upper lip with your nipple. In response, your baby will lift his chin and gape widely. Aim the nipple towards the roof of baby’s mouth. Baby’s chin should touch the breast first.
  • If your baby is crying or upset, calm him and then try again.
  • Try to get baby’s bottom lip as far as possible from the base of the nipple. The lips should be flanged outwards when latched.

Once baby consistently latches well, you will no longer need to use the cross cradle hold. You can simply cradle your baby in the crook of your arm for feeds.

Football or “Clutch” Breastfeeding Position

The football position works well for large breasted women. It can also be comfortable for those who have had a Cesarean section as it keeps baby’s weight away from the surgical site.

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How to do it:

  • Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet supported on the floor or a low stool.
  • Use pillows stacked at your side to support baby at breast level. If you find baby’s feet push against the back of the chair, put a pillow behind your back. This will move your body forward and give a bit more space for baby’s legs.
  • Tuck baby’s body against your own, legs tucked under your arm.
  • Support baby with your hand between the shoulder blades.
  • Hold baby’s head with your thumb on one side and your fingers on the opposite side, just behind baby’s ears.
  • Use your other hand to support your breast.
  • Position your baby so that his nose is near your nipple and his chin is resting on your breast. Your baby will need to tilt his head slightly and gape widely to latch.
  • When baby’s mouth is wide open, you can gently guide baby onto the breast with the palm of your hand.

Side Lying Breastfeeding Position

Breastfeeding while lying down can be very helpful when you are tired or if your bottom is still sore from childbirth.

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How to do it:

  • Get comfortable lying on your side with a pillow under your head and another behind your back. Some moms also like a pillow between their knees for comfort.
  • Allow your breast to be supported by the bed. You may need to lean back slightly so your nipple will be at a comfortable height for latching.
  • Lay your baby on his side, facing you and tucked close to your body. Baby’s lower body will be touching your tummy. A rolled up blanket behind baby’s back will help to keep him close.
  • Position him so that his nose is opposite your nipple. Baby’s chin should touch your breast. Baby will gape and latch to the breast.
  • When baby is ready for the second breast, reposition yourself onto the other side.

Relax and enjoy different breastfeeding positions. The best position is the one that works for both you and your baby.


To see moms latching their babies in all of these positions, watch our free preview lesson from the Simply Breastfeeding course. (Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the preview button.)


P.S Because so many people love this post, we turned it into a downloadable PDF Guide! See below 🙂 


Comfortable Positions for Breastfeeding

References and More information:

  1. “Breastfeeding PositionsHealthyChildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, 21 Nov. 2015.
  2. Colson, Suzanne. “Laid Back VideoBiological Nurturing. N.p., n.d. Web.
  3. Nagle, Meg. “Video Of The Laid Back Breastfeeding Position-Encourage Your Baby To Self-Attach!The Milk Meg. N.p., 9 Mar. 2014. Web.

 

Keep learning: Latching Your Baby and Breastfeeding Should Not Hurt!

 


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Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.



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A special thank you to our friend Amy and her beautiful week old son, Matthias, for modelling these positions. -Cindy & Jana

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February 5, 2016

How Long to Breastfeed at Each Feed

 

Women commonly wonder how long to breastfeed at each feed.

 

Jennifer’s baby feeds for less than 10 minutes at a time. Can her baby can get enough milk in that short a time?

Rachelle’s baby takes over an hour to feed. She wonders why it takes her baby so long.

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How long to breastfeed

No two babies are the same. Just like adults, babies have their own feeding preferences. Some babies like to linger over their meal, while others are eager to feed and finish quickly.

Even for the same baby, feeds will vary in length. Sometimes they will want a ‘full meal’, while other times they just need a little drink. Following your baby’s cues and letting him decide the length of a feed leads to a happier baby.

 

Watch your baby not the clock

Rather than focusing on the TIME baby takes to feed, watch what your baby is doing at the breast. Is your baby actively nursing? Are you hearing swallows? Some newborn need a little reminder to stay actively nursing; try undressing your baby or tickling the feet.

It is unusual for every feeding to take longer than an hour. If this is the case, try breast compressions to help baby take in more milk. ‘Switch nursing’ (switching back and forth between breasts two or three times during a feed) may also be helpful. If long feeds persist, you may want to consult a breastfeeding specialist, such as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Ask to have your milk supply and baby’s latch assessed.

 

How to know when baby has had enough milk

Try burping after a feed. If your baby awakens and begins to make sucking motions or searches with his mouth, return him to the breast. We know babies have had enough milk when they are relaxed or “milk drunk” after a feed.

There are other ways to know baby is getting enough milk. You can read about them in this post.

The best feeding pattern is the one that is right for YOUR baby. Watching your newborn is the very best way to learn how long to breastfeed.

 

See more answers to your breastfeeding questions here.



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Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

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January 22, 2016

Do Breasts Need Time to Fill Between Feeds?

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Do Breasts Need Time to Fill Between Feeds?

The answer is a solid “no”; you do not need to give your breasts time to fill between feeds. A mother’s breasts are really never truly empty. Your breasts may feel soft and like there is nothing left, but milk is actually produced while your baby feeds.  Waiting for breasts to “fill up” can in fact decrease milk supply.

 

Breasts do have some storage capacity. If it has been a few hours since your baby last fed, your breasts may become heavy or even uncomfortable. The pressure of milk in the ducts signals your body to cut back on breast milk production.

 

The best way to have a great milk supply is to frequently remove milk by feeding often. Allow your baby to feed whenever he is interested.

 

Babies can go through growth spurts (you read about them here), leaving their mothers feeling like they are doing nothing but feeding. The best way to increase milk supply is to nurse as often as baby wishes. The frequent feeding alerts your body to make more milk, thus accommodating baby’s growth.

 

Want to learn more about breastfeeding? Visit this page.


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Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

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January 16, 2016

Donating Breast Milk: The Greatest Gift

 

 

 

Donating breast milk can save a life!

Breast milk is full of antibodies and is considered the ideal food for babies. Although the milk of a baby’s own mother is the ideal, it may not always be available. Donor human milk is the next best choice. Donating your breast milk will help to ensure that premature or ill babies receive this life giving fluid.

 

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Can I Donate Breast Milk?

If you are currently breastfeeding a baby under one year of age and have milk to spare, you could be eligible to be a donor.

 

Women who have given their baby up for adoption, have acted as a surrogate or have lost their baby can also be potential donors.

 

Where Do I Donate?

There are currently 4 breast milk banks in Canada. If you are lucky enough to live in one of these cities, contact the milk bank directly to arrange for donation:

 

Canada also has 7 milk drops. A milk drop collects milk from approved donors for shipping to the nearest milk bank. There are milk drops in the following Canadian cities:

  • Edmonton, Alberta (Grey Nuns Milk Drop)
  • Medicine Hat, Alberta
  • Lethbridge, Alberta
  • Regina, Saskatchewan
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Yorkton, Saskatchewan
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba

 

If you are interested in donating breast milk, you must first contact the closest milk bank to arrange for their screening process.

 

If you live outside of Canada, click here to find the milk bank closest to you.

 

What kind of screening is required for donating breast milk?

Milk bank staff will ask you a series of questions about your medical and lifestyle history. You will then need to see your healthcare provider to complete paperwork and arrange for a blood test.

 

Collection and Storage of Donor Breast Milk

Donor moms are asked to donate a minimum of at least 4,500 ml (150 ounces). Collect and freeze your extra breast milk in a sterilized hard plastic (food-grade) container or in milk storage bags. Storage containers are available free of charge from the nearest milk bank or milk drop.

Click here for more information on pumping your breast milk.

 

Is Donor Human Milk Safe?

Breast milk can contain bacteria or viruses. To ensure donated milk’s safety, it is pasteurized according to very strict guidelines set out by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). This treatment has very little effect on the nutritional and health benefits of the milk.

After the heating process, tests are done to ensure the milk is germ-free. It is then frozen to -20 C (-4 F).

Since the guidelines of HMBANA have been followed, there has never been a report of pasteurized breast milk from a milk bank causing disease or harm to a baby.
If you are able, please consider donating breast milk. It is the greatest gift you can give!

 


 

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About the authors:

Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.

 

 

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