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.

DIY-how to make a no-sew baby wrap carrier

Boba Wrap Oasis

  1. Purchase six yards of stretchy fabric. Jersey knit is a great option because its machine washable, pretty durable, and won’t fray at all on the ends. It’s also widely available and pretty affordable, too! If you’re petite, you might only need four yards of this fabric. You’ll be able to judge the right amount based on your body size, but it’s always best to buy extra and trim off as needed.
  2. Wash and dry your fabric before you get started.
  3. Stretch your fabric out completely along the floor and fold it in half down the middle so that you have one long, thinner piece of fabric.
  4. The short end of your fabric should be at least 25” long after this step.
  5. Cut down the long, folded edge of the fabric to create two separate pieces. You don’t have to be too careful about this as long as you don’t make one piece significantly more tapered than the other!
  6. Try the wrap on without the baby first. If it seems too long, cut off the extra length. Be careful to only cut off a few inches at a time so you don’t risk having to sew it back on again!
  7. Tie the wrap as you normally would and test it out with your baby. You’re ready to go.

Surviving growth spurts

How do I survive a growth spurt?momandbaby

“During a growth spurt, let everyone else do everything else. This means someone else cooks dinner, loads the dishwasher, and washes clothes for a few days. No one else can feed your baby and boost your milk supply. Get comfortable, breastfeed, and enjoy you baby.” -LRM

 

How can friends and family support mom and baby?

  • Encourage moms to get to know their babies and trust their instincts.

  • Encourage moms to feed their baby when their baby communicates with them that they are ready to eat.

  • Discourage timed feedings or scheduled feedings in healthy babies. Remember “8 or more in 24.”

  • Discourage pacifiers and supplements that can interfere with baby communicating with mom.

  • If mom is concerned, suggest she call her Lactation Consultant. Moms want reassurance that breastfeeding is ok, and if it’s not, they wants help fixing breastfeeding.

 

Storing expressed breast milk

Remember the rule of 5

  • human milk is safe at room temperature for 5 hours
  • human milk is safe in the refrigerator for 5 days.
  • human milk is safe in the freezer for 5 months.

Using stored breast milk

  • frozen milk can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight.
  • frozen milk should be used within 24 hours of thawing.
  • never warm breast milk in the microwave.
  • an unfinished bottle of breast milk is ok to offer your baby at the next feeding.

 

 

How much milk will I pump?

Expect to pump more milk on Monday than on Friday and,

Expect to pump more in the morning than in the afternoon

    Also, you will probably notice that one breast produces more milk than the other breast; this is normal. As long as you have enough milk from both breasts combined, that’s all that matters.

Nights and weekends

    Babies are pretty smart! They realize they are breastfeeding fewer times during the day, so they make up for it at night and on the weekends. This is actually very good for your milk supply. Don’t worry, after your baby adjusts to the new schedule, he will sleep again.