What should I know about giving my breastfed baby a pacifier?

KellyMom.com

When can I begin using a pacifier?

It is recommended that pacifiers and other types of artificial nipples be avoided for at least the first 3-4 weeks. I’d personally suggest that most breastfed babies – if they get a pacifier at all – would be better off without a pacifier until mom’s milk supply is well established (6-8 weeks, usually) and the 6 week growth spurt is over. That way you’ve established a good milk supply and don’t lose any much-needed breast stimulation to a pacifier.

KellyMom Logo Contest

I’ve narrowed the logos down to eight finalists. Please vote and let me know what you like and don’t like about the logos in the comments below. I will be choosing the final design myself, but I want to see your opinions on the logos before I make my choice.

Mom’s story: Breastfeeding & Gall Bladder Surgery

KellyMom.com

I had gall bladder surgery (cholecystectomy) at 3 months post-partum.

I had to go in for my health history a few days prior to the surgery. I really liked my intake anesthesiologist, but he gave me the usual spiel about pump-n-dump for 24 hours after the surgery. When I asked him why, specifically, he hemmed and hawed and finally mumbled something about being safer for the baby, but no specifics. I had my daughter with me and said that I intended to continue to breastfeed unless it was specifically contraindicated. He finally fessed up and said that they routinely told women to pump and dump for 24-hours post-op (with gall bladder surgery) but there wasn’t any really compelling reason to do so.

Breastfeeding and Lasik eye surgery

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Many breastfeeding mothers have been told that Lasik eye surgery cannot be done until their child has weaned; sometimes it is recommended that the mother wait 3-6 months or longer after breastfeeding has ended before considering this surgery. These recommendations are based upon the idea that breastfeeding will cause changes in the curve of the cornea which will persist as long as breastfeeding continues. The concern with having Lasik surgery during lactation is that the surgery may need to be redone later if the mother’s vision changes after weaning.

Breastfeeding and Lyme Disease

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Per the US Centers for Disease Control, Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, and is transmitted to humans via the bite of a tick infected with this bacteria. The Lyme disease bacteria has not been cultured from human milk (though associated DNA have been detected – see below), and no babies have developed Lyme disease from their mothers’ milk.

Should breastfeeding continue when mom is sick?

KellyMom.com

It is very, very rare for a mom to need to stop breastfeeding for any illness. There are only a few very serious illnesses that might require a mom stop breastfeeding for a period of time or permanently. Per Dr. Ruth Lawrence, “HIV and HTLV-1 are the only infectious diseases that are considered absolute contraindications to breastfeeding in developed countries” (Lawrence & Lawrence 2001).

Breastfeeding when mom has surgery

KellyMom.com

General anesthesia should not affect breastfeeding. You can safely nurse once you are awake and alert enough to hold your baby. By that time, the amount of medication in your bloodstream is low enough that the amounts in your milk would not be significant. The point at which you wake up after general anesthesia is the point where enough of the drug has left your system that it no longer has an effect. In addition, pediatric surgeries require anesthesia – and that is a more serious exposure than through mom’s milk. Mom might want to nurse just before the procedure in case she’s out for a while or too groggy to function normally for a bit. See the articles and references below for more detailed information.

Breastfeeding and West Nile Virus

KellyMom.com

Breastfeeding mothers have been concerned about West Nile Virus (WNV) since the flurry of publicity in Fall 2002 about the transmission of West Nile via breastmilk.

The current recommendation from the US Centers for Disease Control is that a mother should not interrupt breastfeeding if she contracts West Nile Virus, since the risk to the baby from weaning to infant formula is greater than the risk posed by the potential WNV infection.

Breastfeeding and Alcohol

KellyMom.com

In general, if you are sober enough to drive, you are sober enough to breastfeed. Less than 2% of the alcohol consumed by the mother reaches her blood and milk. Alcohol peaks in mom’s blood and milk approximately 1/2-1 hour after drinking (but there is considerable variation from person to person, depending upon how much food was eaten in the same time period, mom’s body weight and percentage of body fat, etc.). Alcohol does not accumulate in breastmilk, but leaves the milk as it leaves the blood; so when your blood alcohol levels are back down, so are your milk alcohol levels.

Breastfeeding and Caffeine

KellyMom.com

Most breastfeeding mothers can drink caffeine in moderation. Some babies, particularly those under 6 months, may be more sensitive to mom’s caffeine intake. Babies whose mothers avoided caffeine completely during pregnancy seem to react more to caffeine in mom’s diet. Even if baby is sensitive to the caffeine now, he may not be when he’s a little older — so if you do have to stop or limit your caffeine intake, you can try again when baby is older.

Breastfeeding and Marijuana

KellyMom.com

Marijuana is on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs (2001) list of Drugs of Abuse for Which Adverse Effects on the Infant During Breastfeeding Have Been Reported. The AAP notes “Only 1 report in literature; no effect mentioned; very long half-life for some components.”

Can I continue to breastfeed if…? Beauty/Recreation/Misc.

KellyMom.com

There is no evidence that nipple piercing (or other body piercing) affects breastfeeding. Some professional piercers recommend against getting a new nipple piercing while breastfeeding. Be sure to observe safety procedures and choose a reputable piercer, to help protect against diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

Exercise and Breastfeeding

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Does exercise affect milk supply or nutrient content?

No. Studies have shown no difference in the volume or composition of the milk or babies’ weight gain. One study showed a slight increase in milk supply for the women who exercised regularly, but because of the small size of the study this increase may not be significant.

Breastfeeding and Cigarette Smoking

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Should a mother who smokes cigarettes breastfeed?

First of all, a mom who can’t stop smoking should breastfeed. Breastfeeding provides many immunities that help your baby fight illness and can even help counteract some of the effects of cigarette smoke on your baby: for example, breastfeeding has been shown to decrease the negative effects of cigarette smoke on a baby’s lungs. It’s definitely better if breastfeeding moms not smoke, but if you can’t stop or cut down, then it is better to smoke and breastfeed than to smoke and formula feed.

Herbs to avoid while breastfeeding

KellyMom.com

Using large amounts of the following herbs and other natural remedies should be avoided while nursing because they have been known to decrease milk supply. The amounts of these herbs normally used in cooking are unlikely to be of concern; it’s mainly the larger amounts that might be used therapeutically that could pose a problem. However, some moms have noticed a decrease in supply after eating things like dressing with lots of sage, sage tea (often recommended when moms are weaning), lots of strong peppermint candies or menthol cough drops, or other foods/teas with large amounts of the particular herb. These herbs are sometimes used by nursing mothers to treat oversupply, or when weaning.

Acne Medications and Breastfeeding

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The information summarized below is only a general overview. For detailed information on the specific drugs, please review the references listed below with your health care provider.

Over-the-counter topical acne medicines containing benzoyl peroxide or salicyclic acid are considered compatible with breastfeeding. Per Thomas Hale, PhD (author of Medications and Mothers’ Milk), “The transcutaneous absorption of both of these drugs is minimal to nil. Peroxides, even if absorbed, would be instantly metabolized in the body and would not be able to reach the milk compartment.”

Birth Control and Breastfeeding

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It’s recommended that any estrogen-containing contraceptive be avoided until baby is at least six months old AND after baby is well-established on solid foods.

Combination contraceptives contain both progesterone and estrogen and come in several different forms:

Cold and Allergy Remedies Compatible with Breastfeeding

Image credit: Jerry Bunker on flickr

Natural Remedies
General

Rest. Drink lots of water and take hot baths. Run a humidifier.
Take in extra vitamin C from foods, juices or in supplement form.
Echinacea is generally recognized to be safe for nursing moms.
Garlic eaten raw, cooked, or taken as a supplement can help. Raw is always best, though it’s hardest to get down.

Herb Safety Categories

KellyMom.com

A No contraindications, side effects, drug interactions, or pregnancy-related safety issues have been identified. Generally considered safe when used appropriately.
B May not be appropriate for self-use by some individuals or dyads, or may cause adverse effects if misused. Seek reliable safety and dose information.

Breastfeeding and Mercury Exposure

KellyMom.com

Since mercury is all around us in the environment, we all have small amounts of mercury in our bodies. There are different forms of mercury, and each form is absorbed into the body differently:

Breastfeeding and environmental contaminants

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Many moms worry about environmental contaminants in their breastmilk, particularly as the media brings this concern to the forefront periodically. Nursing continues to be the best choice for mothers and babies, but there are ways to minimize your (and baby’s) exposure to environmental contaminants.

Perchlorate in Breastmilk: Responses to Concerns

KellyMom.com

As you obviously know, the topic in general and the paper in particular have received wide press coverage. Some of them report what I said accurately, others wrote what was in their mind. I cannot be responsible for them even when sometimes they put things in quote marks.

Breastfeeding and Asbestos Exposure

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Per the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, “Developing fetuses and infants are not likely to be exposed to asbestos through the placenta or breast milk of the mother. Results of animal studies do not indicate that exposure to asbestos is likely to result in birth defects.”

My Views on Weaning

KellyMom.com

I think that anyone who wants to breastfeed at all (no matter how limited) is doing a great thing for her child. Any breastmilk that your baby gets – even if only for a few days or weeks – is going to help your baby. And although breastfeeding is very beneficial to your child at any age, it is most important when your baby is younger — when his immune system is the least developed, and when he is not getting significant nutrition from other sources. So I want to help and support anyone who is interested in breastfeeding, no matter how long she wishes to continue.

Toddlers do wean…

KellyMom.com

Toddlers do wean… Many wise women here have been telling me that for at least 6 months. I have been stressing about it for awhile now. I never imagined I’d be nursing a 2 year old, heck, I never imagined nursing an 18 month old….. To be quite honest, I was uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding a toddler.

Night weaning Jack

KellyMom.com

I always planned on nursing, but never had a strong stance against formula and thought that I might supplement with the occasional bottle if we were out and about. Well, Jack had other ideas… Once he had yummy mommy milk he wasn’t about to accept anything else. He would never take a bottle and thus a drop of formula has never crossed his lips.

Partial Weaning & Combination Feeding

KellyMom.com

Breastfeeding is not an all-or-nothing process. You can always keep one or more feedings per day and eliminate the rest. Many moms will continue to nurse only at night and/or first thing in the morning for many months after baby has weaned from all other nursings. If you wish to begin feeding your baby formula in addition to breastmilk in the early months, your chances of success are greatly increased by exclusively breastfeeding for at least the first 3-4 weeks, then slowly weaning from some of the nursing sessions.

Night Weaning

KellyMom.com

Breastfeeding is not an all-or-nothing process. Night weaning is a workable alternative for many moms, and baby continues to receive the many nutritional and immunilogical benefits of breastmilk.

Remember that sleeping through the night is a developmental milestone (like walking or toilet training) that different babies will reach at different times. At some point, your child will sleep through the night – even if you do nothing to encourage it.

Weaning from the pump

KellyMom.com

Like weaning from the breast, weaning from pumping is best done slowly. This allows milk supply to decrease slowly, without fullness or discomfort.

There are a few ways you can approach weaning from the pump:

1. Drop one pumping session at a time.

Try dropping one pumping session every 3-7 days.

Weaning Techniques

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Don’t offer, don’t refuse

Probably the most gentle active approach is “don’t offer-don’t refuse”. This method involves not offering to nurse but also not refusing your child’s expressed desire to nurse. Many moms move into this naturally as their child gets older. It tends to take longer than other methods, so it’s not one that’s likely to bring a quick weaning if you’re in a hurry. On the other hand, it’s also the one that takes your child’s needs into account the most.

Breast comfort for mom during weaning

KellyMom.com

Do not bind your breasts to help your milk “dry up.” This is an outdated practice that can cause plugged ducts, breast infection, or breast abscess.

If your breasts feel full and uncomfortable when you don’t nurse at a specific time, then express just enough milk to relieve the fullness….

What is weaning? When is it time to wean?

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The weaning process begins the first time your baby takes food from a source other than your breast – whether it’s formula from a bottle or mashed banana from a spoon. Weaning is the gradual replacement of breastfeeding with other foods and ways of nurturing.

Frequently Asked Questions about Weaning

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Comfort measures for baby during weaning

Mother-led weaning can be a hard transition for your child, depending upon how close this is to his own natural timetable for weaning.

If you’re actively weaning, offer lots of cuddling, lots of one-on-one time, lots of kisses and hugs. Many moms who are weaning are often afraid to do this for fear that it might encourage their child to nurse again.

Weaning: How does it happen?

KellyMom.com

Child-led weaning occurs when a child no longer has a need to nurse – nutritionally or emotionally. A baby who self-weans is usually well over a year old, is getting most of his nutrition from solids, is drinking well from a cup, and cuts down on nursing gradually. If children are truly allowed to self-wean in their own time, most will do so somewhere between the 2nd and 4th year. Obviously, some will wean before this time and some will wean after this time, too.

Galactorrhea (unexpected milk production) and other nipple discharge

KellyMom.com

Per Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (Riordan, 2004, p. 80), “Small amounts of milk or serous fluid are commonly expressed for weeks, months, or years from women who have previously been pregnant or lactating.” The amount is most often very small, however, and spontaneous flow (leaking) generally stops within 2-3 weeks. Mothers who have breastfed for a longer duration may be able to express milk for a longer time after weaning. Any stimulation, e.g. checking to see if milk is still there, frequent breast self-exams, friction from a bra , stimulation during intercourse, etc., can cause further production.

Information is Your Ally in preparing to breastfeed: 10 Tips for Success

KellyMom.com

One of the most common questions a breastfeeding support person gets asked is “How do I prepare to breastfeed?” In the bad old days, sometimes moms were told to toughen their nipples – descriptions of which were enough to make even the most breastfeeding inclined mom shiver and reach for a bottle. Scientific research has shown, to our relief, that no toughening is needed. But there is still a lot to do in order to prepare –

The Many Benefits of Breastfeeding (Resources)

KellyMom.com

The AAP outlines 15 recommended breastfeeding practices and a number of statements on the role of pediatricians in promoting and protecting breastfeeding. Among other things, they recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months and that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired.

Q&A: Parents disagree about introduction of bottles

KellyMom.com

QUESTION:

Our baby is 5 weeks old. My husband and I both agree that breast is best, but since our son was born my husband has been asking me to start pumping milk so he can give baby a bottle each night. We have had many breastfeeding difficulties and are still struggling at times. I am worried about nipple confusion, but my husband just says I’m being emotional and a nervous new mom and is unwilling to read any information from books or websites. He says he wants to help with nighttime feedings so I can get more sleep at night, but he never hears the baby when he wakes at night. Do you have any suggestions?

Reusing expressed breastmilk

KellyMom.com

Q: Should breastmilk left over from a feeding be dumped immediately (like formula), or can you save it and give it to baby later?

A: It should be safe to save the left-over milk and use it at the next feeding.

Breastmilk Storage & Handling

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To avoid waste and for easier thawing & warming, store milk in 1-4 ounce portions. Date milk before storing. Milk from different pumping sessions/days may be combined in one container – use the date of the first milk expressed.

My expressed breastmilk doesn’t smell fresh. What can I do?

KellyMom.com

Human milk that has truly soured has a very distinct sour taste and odor – much like soured cow’s milk. If your milk doesn’t smell distinctly sour or rancid, then it should be safe to give to your baby.

If you repeatedly notice that your stored milk doesn’t smell or taste fresh, it might help to go through your storage procedures to see if there is something you could do to improve the smell/taste of your milk:

Do all breastfeeding mothers need a pump?

KellyMom.com

A good breastpump is a wonderful tool to have available when it is needed, but not every mother needs a pump. In fact, even for those mothers who need to express their milk, manual expression is a good option (though it may not be the best option for a particular situation).
Who needs a pump?

Hands-free pumping

KellyMom.com

This tutorial was created for breastfeeding mothers, lactation consultants, breastfeeding educators, nurses, physicians and any other health care professionals and is intended to help breastfeeding mothers who must use a breast pump to express milk. There are many “hands-free pumping systems” available on the market today, but many are relatively complicated and expensive and/or require special bras or equipment. This simple method utilizes very inexpensive and readily available materials and functions well for most women.

How to bottle feed the breastfed baby

KellyMom.com

Often, as infant feeding specialists, lactation consultants and other experts in the field of human lactation are asked how to properly bottle-feed a baby. Direct breastmilk feedings from the mother’s breast are always preferred to any artificial source or substance. In addition, there are often alternatives to bottle-feeding, such as cup feeding, which should be explored. For the baby who has to be bottle-fed, following is some information to help make the experience a good one for the baby and also to make sure that breastfeeding is fully supported even when artificial feedings are used.

Tools for Feeding: Bottles & More

Photo used with permission

There are a number of options for feeding baby when you are unable to directly breastfeed – a bottle is only one of them. Following are resources for alternative feeding methods, including bottle feeding, cup/dropper/spoon feeding, finger feeding, supplementing at the breast, and ideas for older babies.

Breastfeeding Manners

KellyMom.com

Kneading, patting, twiddling, scratching, pinching, grabbing mom’s nose, biting, pulling at mom’s shirt, playing with or pulling mom’s hair, blowing raspberries on mom’s breast, breastfeeding standing up, breastfeeding upside down, acrobatic breastfeeding…

When Baby Bites

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Will I need to wean when baby gets teeth?

Many people think that when baby gets teeth and has the ability to bite, then the nursing relationship has ended and it’s time to wean. Not true! If your baby is nursing properly, then you should not feel teeth, even if baby has a mouthful of them. And keep in mind that it’s physically impossible for baby to nurse and bite at the same time, because the tongue covers the bottom teeth/gum when baby is nursing.

Breastfeeding Haiku

We’re writing Breastfeeding Haiku today! We’re not trying for major literature here – there is plenty of information on writing proper haiku poetry out there, or you can keep it really simple and write three lines– with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third […]

I have thrush. Can I give baby my expressed milk?

KellyMom.com

Candida albicans is a single-celled fungal organism that is widespread in our environment and normally lives harmlessly in the mouth, GI tract, skin and vagina. Under certain conditions (immature or weakened immune system, broken skin, hormonal changes, antibiotic or corticosteroid use, etc.) an overgrowth of candida can occur, leading to various forms of candidiasis, including oral thrush, yeast diaper rash, nipple/breast yeast, yeast vaginitis, and jock itch.

Engorgement Help: Reverse Pressure Softening

KellyMom.com

More health care providers are observing that mothers receiving multiple intrapartum IV’s experience delay in expected postpartum fluid shift. Increased edema during the puerperium complicates engorgement, increases sub-areolar tissue resistance, distorts the nipple and interferes with comfortable, efficient latching. Edema may appear early, or later, within 48-96 hours, often lasting 10-14 days. (This may depend on both the quantity of IV fluid given and the time of infusion in relation to placental delivery, the stimulus for lactogenesis II.)

Recurrent Mastitis or Plugged Ducts

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Risk factors for recurrent plugged ducts or mastitis

Most mothers do not have repeated bouts of mastitis or plugged ducts, but when there is a history it’s always a good idea to look at additional risk factors. Make sure that you are aware of the symptoms of plugged ducts and mastitis so you can start treatment immediately. See Mastitis and Plugged Ducts for more information.

Breastfeeding and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

KellyMom.com

Many moms with PCOS have no problems with breastfeeding, but recent research is showing that mothers with PCOS are at greater risk for insufficient milk supply. On the other hand, about one-third of women with PCOS report problems with oversupply (perhaps this is connected with the hyperprolactinemia – elevated prolactin levels – that occurs in about 20% of moms with PCOS).

Healing Tips for Nipple Cracks or Abrasions

KellyMom.com

The following measures can be very helpful if the skin on the nipple is broken for any reason (cracked nipple due to improper latch or thrush, a bite, milk blister, etc.).

Keep in mind that one of the most important factors in healing is to correct the source of the problem.

How do you treat a milk blister?

KellyMom.com

What is a milk blister?

A milk blister, or blocked nipple pore, is also called a bleb or nipple blister, or simply “milk under the skin.” It occurs when a tiny bit of skin overgrows a milk duct opening and milk backs up behind it. A milk blister usually shows up as a painful white, clear…

Nipple blanching and vasospasm

KellyMom.com

Nipple blanching (turning white) after a feeding occurs when the blood flow to the nipple is limited or cut off. Blanching is most often related to latch problems. Nipple blanching is often, but not always, associated with pain. Because women may describe shooting, burning breast/nipple pain, this can be mistakenly diagnosed as thrush. If the normal color returns after your baby has finished a feeding and there is no pain, then the blanching is not a problem.

Nausea when breastfeeding

KellyMom.com

A small percentage of moms report nausea during a breastfeeding session in the early weeks of breastfeeding . It goes away for most (but not all) moms by the end of the 6th-8th week. If nausea during breastfeeding begins when baby is older, consider the possibility of pregnancy.

Plugged Ducts and Mastitis

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A plugged (or blocked) duct is an area of the breast where milk flow is obstructed. The nipple pore may be blocked (see Milk Blister), or the obstruction may be further back in the ductal system. A plugged duct usually comes on gradually and affects only one breast.

Engorgement

KellyMom.com

It is normal for your breasts to become larger and feel heavy, warmer and uncomfortable when your milk increases in quantity (“comes in”) 2-6 days after birth. This rarely lasts more than 24 hours. With normal fullness, the breast and areola (the darker area around the nipple) remain soft and elastic, milk flow is normal and latch-on is not affected.

“Dangle feeding”

KellyMom.com

Some mothers with a plugged/blocked duct find it helpful to breastfeed while leaning over baby (this positioning is sometimes called “dangle feeding”) so that gravity aids in dislodging the plug.

Carpal tunnel syndrome in breastfeeding mothers

KellyMom.com

Carpal tunnel syndrome can sometimes appear during pregnancy or postpartum. Carpal tunnel syndrome associated with pregnancy is thought to be related to inflammation and edema of the median nerve as it passes through the wrist. It can take a few weeks to a few months after delivery for the symptoms to resolve but it usually clears up completely.

Breastfeeding and breast abscess

KellyMom.com

I developed a breast abscess after I returned to work full time when my daughter India was 10 months old. I had mastitis my 4th day back, and then a recurrent plug that I just couldn’t get rid of. By my sixth week back, I had a full blown abscess the size of a kiwi. It was horrible – the area was very tender, especially when my breasts were full or if my daughter hit it while nursing, and my entire immune system was very taxed. Almost as horrible was having to deal with medical professionals who were very ill-informed about breastfeeding, telling me to wean.

Nipple shields

KellyMom.com

A nipple shield is a flexible silicone nipple that is worn over the mom’s nipple during a feeding. Nipple shields should in general be considered a short-term solution and should be used under the guidance of a lactation consultant.

How breastfeeding makes life easier for mom

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Going Out

Breastfed babies are incredibly portable, particularly in the first six months or so before they become mobile and before they are eating solids.

Breastfeeding moms can travel light. It will take less time to pack the diaper bag – all you need is a diaper & wipes, and perhaps a change of clothes for baby. I keep a couple of diapers, wipes and a change of clothes for baby in a backpack or hip pack (which doubles as my purse), but I don’t even take these with me if I’m going on a short shopping trip. I leave the bag in the car, put money and keys in my pocket and baby in the sling, and we’re off. For longer trips we’ll take the bag and sometimes a stroller.

Toddler Words for Breastfeeding

KellyMom.com

Since Jordan has become verbal, her word for nursing has evolved. This has been pretty interesting (to her mama, at least) to observe, so I’ve decided to record the progression of words. Nursing is still a pretty important part of this nursing toddler’s life, so we hear it mentioned all the time. I’m starting this little diary (of sorts) when Jordan is 18 months, and will add to it as needed.

Breastfeeding Past Infancy: 8 Myths

KellyMom.com

MYTH: Breastfeeding a child older than a year is no different than breastfeeding a young infant.
FACT:

Nursing frequency and duration varies widely from child to child after the first year. As time passes, and as the nutritional aspects of breastfeeding become less significant, the comfort aspect of breastfeeding becomes much more significant. Children also incorporate breastfeeding into their play, which can add a new dimension to the breastfeeding relationship.

Breastfeeding Past Infancy: Fact Sheet

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Breastfeeding children benefit NUTRITIONALLY

Although there has been little research done on children who breastfeed beyond the age of two, the available information indicates that breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues.

Handling criticism about breastfeeding

KellyMom.com

Unfortunately, many mothers end up having to deal with criticism about their choice to breastfeed at one point or another. Criticism from strangers happens occasionally, but tends to be easier to deal with since you’re unlikely to see those people again. Criticism from family members and others close to you can be much harder to handle.

Does My Baby Need Vitamins?

KellyMom.com

Vitamin and mineral supplements are not necessary for the average healthy, full-term breastfed baby during the first year. Breastmilk is all that your baby needs for at least the first six months of life. Studies have shown that vitamins, fluoride, iron, water, juice, formula and solid foods are rarely beneficial to healthy breastfed babies during the first six months, and some can even be harmful. There are certain cases where a vitamin supplement may be needed for a breastfed baby during the first year, but these cases are the exception, not the rule (see below for specifics).

Teething

KellyMom.com

Teething is one of the most common causes of frequent night waking during the second six months and through the second year. It can also cause fussy nursing behavior, as some babies experience gum discomfort with sucking. Baby might start to nurse, but then pull off and cry or fuss and not want to nurse anymore. Other babies nurse nearly constantly because the nursing is soothing to them.

Breastfeeding: It’s So Easy

KellyMom.com

You hear a lot about how breastfeeding is so good for your baby… and it sure is. But in the stressful days of early motherhood, maybe you’d like to know about something that’s easy for you. The good news is that breastfeeding is just as easy for Mom as it is healthy for baby! What a divine design!

Sweet Sleep

The convenience factor came up in a conversation around my kitchen table last week, she nursing her 8-week-old boy and I nursing my almost-3-years-old girl. “I just can’t imagine having to get out of bed in the middle of the night to go get a bottle, and waiting in the cold kitchen for it to warm up. Meanwhile the baby’s crying, cause when he’s hungry, he wants it right away.”

Is my baby lactose intolerant?

KellyMom.com

If your baby is sensitive to dairy products it is highly unlikely that the problem is lactose intolerance, although many people may tell you so.

There are three types of lactose intolerance:

Primary lactose intolerance
Congenital lactose intolerance
Secondary lactose intolerance

My baby is gassy. Is this caused by something in my diet?

KellyMom.com

Does a mom need to watch everything she eats to avoid having a gassy baby?

The idea that certain foods in any mom’s diet will cause gas in her baby is incredibly persistent but is not founded in research. If certain foods in moms’ diets were an overall problem for most babies, we would expect that cultures that emphasize those foods would have more gassy and fussy babies, but this does not occur at all.

What breastfeeding supplies do I need? (part 2)

KellyMom.com

Expecting and new moms are often deluged with lists of must-have items for baby. Do you really need all the breastfeeding paraphernalia? The short answer is “No, probably not.” There may certainly be some things that might make life easier for you, so if it’s within your budget, then go ahead and give it a try. But for most moms, the extras are simply that – extras. The “extras” are nice at times, but they are not needed for a successful breastfeeding relationship.

Nutrition for Breastfeeding Toddlers

KellyMom.com

It seems that all the the information I see regarding toddler nutrition assumes that your toddler is no longer breastfeeding and is eating mainly solids. As a result, many moms of breastfeeding toddlers (particularly those who are eating few solids) have lots of questions about how to adapt this information to their particular child.

My baby fusses or cries when breastfeeding – what’s the problem?

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Some babies will fuss, cry or pull off the breast during nursing. There are a number of reasons why this might be happening. It’s pretty common to see this type of behavior at around 6-8 weeks, though it can occur at any time. Here are some of the problem-solving steps I go through when my baby is fussy at the breast or a mother asks me why her baby is fussing during nursing.

Encouraging Teen Moms to Breastfeed

KellyMom.com

Some ways to encourage teen moms to breastfeed:

Suggest that she try breastfeeding for a few days or weeks. This may encourage her to breastfeed when she might otherwise never even start. Unless she brings up how long she plans to nurse, you might want to avoid discussing long-term commitments to breastfeeding. Avoid being judgmental.

About this website

Welcome! This website was developed to provide evidence-based information on breastfeeding and parenting. I am the mother of three lovely children, and I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). I hope that my articles are helpful and encouraging. Thanks for visiting!

Kelly’s Bio

Kelly

Kelly, an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), is the owner and originator of kellymom.com, an internationally recognized website providing breastfeeding and parenting information to professionals and parents…

Contact

If you have breastfeeding or parenting questions, please post your question on the message board — I am not able to answer individual questions by email at this time. For other types of questions…

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KellyMom supports breastfeeding and gentle, empathic parenting practices, and we enjoy getting people together to discuss these things. Here are our guidelines for discussion.

Link to KellyMom

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Using KellyMom Articles

Do you want to include text (not just a link) from KellyMom on your website or a message board or other media? How much text can I use?