Question of the day

pexels-photo-356079.jpegQuestion: When can my baby have a pacifier?
Answer: You should wait until your baby is about 4 weeks old before offering a pacifier. Giving a pacifier too early can interfere with your milk supply and you might miss some of your baby’s early feeding cues. During the first month, all of your baby’s suckling should be done at the breast.

 

Using herbal supplements to increase milk supply

aid-baby-cure-65056There are many reasons for low milk supply and, at times, herbal supplements can help. A consultation with an IBCLC is an important step in determining the cause of low milk supply and whether herbal supplements are indicated. There are a variety of herbs that can be used, but listed below are a few all-purpose herbs and combination supplements that I suggest routinely.

  Fenugreek is one of the oldest documented herbal supplements, and according to animal research studies that have been conducted, fenugreek appears to raise prolactin plasma levels and may stimulate growth hormone. Fenugreek is commonly sold in 610mg capsules and the usual dosage is 3 capsules, 3 times per day.

 Blessed Thistle is another herb that has been used for centuries and is considered a hormone balancer.  It is often used along with fenugreek and the usual dosage is 1 capsule, 3 times per day.

For women with a history of PCOS, Goat’s Rue  is said to increase breast tissue and has anti-diabetic properties. Metformin, a pharmaceutical drug used to treat PCOS, is actually derived from one of the components of Goats Rue. As a single herb, Goats Rue can be purchased as a liquid capsule or liquid extract by Motherlove. The product label provides instructions for use.

Motherlove More Milk Plus is a combination product that contains fenugreek and blessed thistle along with nettle leaf and fennel seed, both of which are beneficial for milk ejection and hormonal balance, but are not usually used independently.

Motherlove More Milk Special Blend contains all the ingredients in More Milk Plus, but also contains Goats rue.

Informal milk sharing

active-activity-adventure-541520Mothers have been milk-sharing throughout time. Additionally, the World Health Organization states that if a mother’s own milk is unavailable, then the milk from another woman is the next best thing.

Pasteurized donor milk from a milk bank is the safest option but is not always obtainable. Informal milk-sharing sites such as human milk 4 human babies and Eats on Feets offer mothers who have extra milk an opportunity to share with families in their community are unable to otherwise provide enough human milk for their babies. These online communities also offer information on safe handling and sharing of human milk so that families are able to make an informed decision.

Collecting colostrum during pregnancy


Some newborn babies are at risk for hypoglycemia in the first days of life. Antenatal colostrum collection is sometimes suggested to decrease the risk of formula supplementation in those babies.

It is ok to begin collecting colostrum after 36 weeks gestation, with the approval of your OBGYN and with education on collection and storage of colostrum by your IBCLC. Your IBCLC can also teach you how to correctly hand express.

It is usually advised to limit the time spent collecting colostrum to about 5-10 minutes, twice per day. It is also recommended that you stop hand expressing if it causes uterine contractions.

Other suggestions for decreasing the risk of hypoglycemia in the 1st days of life include; skin to skin care, delaying bathing the baby, and breastfeeding on demand. Click here for more information and instructions.

Free breast pump through insurance


The Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) requires insurance companies to cover breast pumps and breastfeeding services. Aeroflow Breastpumps offers great customer support while assisting mothers-to-be with selecting a pump to meet their needs. They offer a variety of pumps and accessories, as well as upgrade options that are HSA eligible. Just click the link above and enter the requested information to start the process. Check with your local IBCLC if you have questions about selecting a pump that is right for you.

Question of the day

pexels-photo-356079.jpegQuestion: Is it ok to share breast milk?

Answer: Mothers have been milk-sharing throughout time. Additionally, the World Health Organization states that if a mother’s own milk is unavailable, then the milk from another woman is the next best thing.

Pasteurized donor milk from a milk bank is the safest option but is not always obtainable. Informal milk-sharing sites such as human milk 4 human babies and Eats on Feets offer mothers who have extra milk an opportunity to share with families in their community are unable to otherwise provide enough human milk for their babies. These online communities also offer information on safe handling and sharing of human milk so that families are able to make an informed decision.

Using a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS)

There are times when it is appropriate and to offer a supplement to a breastfeeding baby. However, offering a supplement does not necessarily mean using a bottle and formula. A baby that is able to latch to the breast may be supplemented using a supplemental nursing system or “SNS.” A SNS can be used at the breast while mom and baby continue to breastfeed. If mom has expressed breast milk or human donor milk available, it can be used as the supplement. If not, formula is used.

I use the SNS regularly in my practice for a variety of reasons. I know it can seem a little intimidating at first, but I encourage my patients to recall the feeling of positioning their new baby at the breast the first few times; that was likely a little intimidating and awkward, as well, but is second-nature after a few days. I also encouraged my patients to remember that a SNS is often used only temporarily.

A supplemental nursing system should be introduced by a Lactation Consultant who also provides education on proper cleaning of the equipment and safe handling and storage of milk. The Lactation Consultant will also work to determine and correct the underlying issue resulting in the need for supplementation and provide follow-up support while mom and baby are using the SNS. See the link below of a mom and baby using a SNS device.

Link: video of a mom and baby using a supplemental nursing system 

Question of the day

pexels-photo-356079.jpegQuestion: Can I express colostrum for my baby while I am pregnant?

Answer: Some newborn babies are at risk for hypoglycemia in the first days of life. Antenatal colostrum collection is sometimes suggested to decrease the risk of formula supplementation in those babies. It is ok to begin collecting colostrum after 36 weeks gestation, with the approval of your OBGYN and with education on collection and storage of colostrum by your IBCLC. Your IBCLC can also teach you how to correctly hand express. It is usually advised to limit the time spent collecting colostrum to about 5-10 minutes, twice per day. It is also recommended that you stop hand expressing if it causes uterine contractions. Other suggestions for decreasing the risk of hypoglycemia in the 1st days of life include; skin to skin care, delaying bathing the baby, and breastfeeding on demand. Click here for more information and instructions.

Link: APNO

All-Purpose Nipple Ointment

I’ve included a link for Dr. Jack Newman’s compounding recipe for APNO (all-purpose nipple ointment). In addition to treating a variety of nipple problems, it provides pain relief. Some providers may not be familiar with APNO, so Dr. Newman’s information sheet may need to be printed and taken to the doctor’s appointment. click here for Dr. Newman’s APNO compounding recipe.

Question of the day

pexels-photo-356079.jpegQuestion: My baby is 2 days old and has lost weight. Is this normal?

Answer: Most babies lose weight until mom’s milk comes in on day 3. If your baby is breastfeeding well on day 1 and 2, the weight loss probably won’t exceed about 7% of baby’s birth weight. Weight loss greater than 7% may indicate that baby isn’t breastfeeding effectively yet.

A Lactation Consultant can assess the situation, determine if there is a concern, and assist, as needed. Once your milk is in, your baby should not lose any additional weight, and should begin to gain about 1 ounce per day or 5 ounces per week during the next 3-4 months.