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How do I determine if a medication is safe for a breastfeeding mother?

How do I determine if a medication is safe for a breastfeeding mother?

Have you ever been told you need to stop breastfeeding because you need medical testing or a medication? The good ...

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Credit: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team

My power went out and I have breastmilk in the freezer - Help!

How to preserve your "liquid gold" when your power goes out, plus some tips for pump-dependent mothers.

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Breastfeeding Helplines

Breastfeeding Helplines

Breastfeeding phone helplines, listed alphabetically by country, plus some resources for finding local breastfeeding help.

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How does milk production work?

How does milk production work?

To understand how to effectively increase (or decrease) milk supply, we need to look at how milk production works...
For ...

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Image credit: koadmunkee on flickr

Increasing Low Milk Supply

First of all, is your milk supply really low? Often, mothers think that their milk supply is low when it ...

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Image credit: jcgoforth on flickr

Breastfeeding your newborn — what to expect in the early weeks

Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for breastfeeding at least 10 - 12 times per day ...

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Image credit: Jerry Bunkers on flickr

Frequent nursing

First of all, do know that frequent nursing is normal and expected in the early months - most newborns need ...

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Growth spurts

Most babies go through several growth spurts (also called frequency days) during the first 12 months. During a growth spurt, ...

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My baby fusses or cries when breastfeeding - what's the problem?

Some babies will fuss, cry or pull off the breast during nursing. There are a number of reasons why this ...

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Spitting Up & Reflux in the Breastfed Baby

Spitting up, sometimes called physiological or uncomplicated reflux, is common in babies and is usually (but not always) normal. Most ...

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Breastfeeding Basics

Breastfeeding your newborn — what to expect in the early weeks

Image credit: jcgoforth on flickr

Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for breastfeeding at least 10 – 12 times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T breastfeed too often–you CAN breastfeed too little. Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)–don’t wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy at first–wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing.

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Breastfeeding Basics

Hunger Cues – When do I feed baby?

Hunger Cues – When do I feed baby?

Babies should be fed when they indicate hunger. Crying is a late indicator of hunger – breastfeeding is much easier for both mom and baby if mom is able to pick up on baby’s earlier hunger cues.
Common infant hunger cues include:…

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Breastfeeding Basics

How does milk production work?

How does milk production work?

To understand how to effectively increase (or decrease) milk supply, we need to look at how milk production works…
For the most part, milk production is a “use it or lose it” process.
The more often and effectively your baby nurses, the more milk you will make.

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Supply Basics

Frequently Asked Questions about Milk Production

Frequently Asked Questions about Milk Production

How does milk production change over the course of lactation?

For the first few days, up to and including the point at which mom’s milk “comes in,” milk production does not depend upon milk being removed from the breast. After those first few days, it is necessary for milk to be regularly removed from the breast (via baby or pump) to continue milk production. The breasts will begin to shut down milk production within several days if milk is not regularly and effectively removed.

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Breastfeeding Basics

Tips for juggling a newborn and toddler

Tips for juggling a newborn and toddler

First off, per a wise friend of mine who is a mom of five: Be creative, patient, and hold tight to your sense of humor!

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Supply Basics

I’m confused about foremilk and hindmilk – how does this work?

I'm confused about foremilk and hindmilk - how does this work?

Foremilk is the milk (typically lower in fat) available at the beginning of a feeding; hindmilk is milk at the end of a feeding, which has a higher fat content than the foremilk at that feeding. There is no sharp distinction between foremilk and hindmilk – the change is very gradual. Research from Peter Hartmann’s group tells us that fat content of the milk is primarily determined by the emptiness of the breast — the less milk in the breast, the higher the fat content

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Breastfeeding Basics

Latching and Positioning Resources

Latching and Positioning Resources

No matter what latch and positioning look like, the true measure is in the answers to these two questions:

Is it effective?
Is it comfortable?

Even if latch and positioning look perfect (and, yes, even if a lactation consultant told you they were fine), pain and/or ineffective milk transfer indicate that there is a problem somewhere, and the first suspect is ineffective latch/positioning.

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Breastfeeding Basics

Lactation yoga …side-lying nursing without getting up to switch sides

Lactation yoga ...side-lying nursing without getting up to switch sides

If you’ve mastered the art of side-lying to nurse, then the next trick is to be able to nurse off the top breast so that you don’t have to change sides of the bed at night. If you co-sleep and breastfeed, then I’m sure you’ve had an experience like mine at some point. You’re all snuggled in, warmly and cozily cuddled with your baby. You are breastfeeding in the side-lying position and drowse off to sleep. waking a while later to find that baby is hungry again, and unfortunately the most convenient breast is the least full one.

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Newborn Challenges

Establishing and maintaining milk supply when baby is not breastfeeding

Establishing and maintaining milk supply when baby is not breastfeeding

It is important to express your milk to establish and maintain milk supply if your baby is not nursing at all or not nursing well. By expressing, you will also have your milk available to feed baby – every bit of moms’ milk that baby gets (even the tiniest amount) is like liquid gold.

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Breastfeeding Basics

Latching: Thoughts on pushing baby’s chin down when latching

Latching: Thoughts on pushing baby's chin down when latching

When it comes to pushing down on baby’s chin to get a wider latch, sometimes it works but often it doesn’t… Many a baby will naturally resist the downward pressure and close his mouth further if you push down on his chin.

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Common Newborn Concerns

Are mothers supposed to love breastfeeding 24 hours a day?

Are mothers supposed to love breastfeeding 24 hours a day?

by Glenda Dickerson, IBCLC. Reprinted with permission from the author. If there is a day or week where you no longer feel like you are loving or even enjoying breastfeeding, does it mean that this is the right time to stop? I have felt for years that many mothers wean because they thought they were […]

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Adoptive BF/ Relactation

Relactation and Adoptive Breastfeeding: The Basics

Relactation and Adoptive Breastfeeding: The Basics

Relactation or induced lactation (for those who did not give birth to their baby) is essentially a two-fold process:

You will be teaching (or re-teaching) baby to nurse at the breast, and to equate nursing with comfort. If you’re having problems getting baby to nurse, see Help — My Baby Won’t Nurse!
At the same time you will be developing (or re-developing) a milk supply. Developing a milk supply requires nipple stimulation (via baby nursing, hand expression, pumping or a combination) and milk removal (once there is milk to remove). If your baby will nurse, regular and frequent nursing sessions (even if baby is just learning in the beginning) will be very helpful.

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Breastfeeding Basics

Breastfeeding Logs

Breastfeeding Logs

Under normal circumstances it is not necessary to use a breastfeeding log. However, some mothers feel more comfortable in the beginning if they are keeping track of nursings and diapers. Most mothers will benefit from the safety net of using a log for the first week or so until they and their baby’s health care provider are reassured that breastfeeding is going well and that baby’s weight gain pattern is adequate.

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Common Concerns

Breastfeeding Helplines

Breastfeeding Helplines

Breastfeeding phone helplines, listed alphabetically by country, plus some resources for finding local breastfeeding help.

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BF Concerns: Child

Frequent nursing

Image credit: Jerry Bunkers on flickr

First of all, do know that frequent nursing is normal and expected in the early months – most newborns need to nurse at least 8 – 12 times per day. Frequent nursing is also needed — to avoid/reduce engorgement in the early days, to nourish and grow a baby who has a stomach the size of his fist but who needs to double his weight within 5-6 months, to establish a good milk supply for mom, and to help a baby who has been cradled close and warm inside mom for 9 months adjust to life in the outside world. Frequent nursing may sometimes be a warning sign of inefficient milk transfer or low milk supply, but if baby has good diaper output, is gaining well and is generally happy and healthy, then the frequent nursing is unlikely to be a sign of a problem.

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Newborn Challenges

Weaning from formula supplements

Image credit: Jerry Bunkers on flickr

Put baby to breast often

Aim for 10 breastfeeding sessons per day. If baby is not breastfeeding well, work with your lactation consultant.
Method for weaning from supplements…

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Common Newborn Concerns

Growth spurts

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Most babies go through several growth spurts (also called frequency days) during the first 12 months. During a growth spurt, breastfed babies nurse more often than usual (sometimes as often as every hour) and often act fussier than usual. The increase in baby’s milk intake during growth spurts is temporary. Physical growth is not the only reason that babies may have a temporary need for increased nursing. Babies often exhibit the same type of behavior (increased nursing with or without increased fussiness) when they are working on developmental advances such as rolling over, crawling, walking or talking. Mom’s milk is for growing the brain as well as the body!

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Adoptive BF/ Relactation

Notes from “Induced Lactation and Adoptive Nursing”

Notes from "Induced Lactation and Adoptive Nursing"

Reasons for adoptive breastfeeding

Standard reasons for breastfeeding
Benefits for adoptive relationship
Enhancement of bond between mother and child
Breastfeeding as a reflection of femininity
Mother and child don’t lose breastfeeding experience (in addition to pregnancy and birth)
Much more than nutrition

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Common Newborn Concerns

Cluster Feeding and Fussy Evenings

Cluster Feeding and Fussy Evenings

It is very common for babies to be fussy and nurse very often in the evenings, particularly in the early months.

My daughter had a fussy time every evening for a couple of months (yes, it does go away!). I spent weeks camped out on the end of the sofa with a constantly nursing and/or fussy baby every evening from about 6 to 10 PM…

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BF Concerns: Child

The Distractible Baby

The Distractible Baby

Latch on, suck a moment, pull off… latch on, suck a moment, pull off. Nurse a minute, pull away to smile at mom. Nurse a minute, pull away to see who just walked in the room. Nurse a minute, pull away to listen to the TV. Nurse a moment, pull away because the dog wagged his tail. Sound familiar??

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What is Normal?

Reverse Cycling

Reverse Cycling

What is reverse cycling?

Reverse cycling is when baby nurses frequently at night and less frequently during the day.

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After the First Year

Do babies under 12 months self-wean?

Do babies under 12 months self-wean?

True SELF-weaning before a baby is a year old is very uncommon. In fact, it is unusual for a baby to wean before 18-24 months unless mom is encouraging weaning. However, it is very common to hear a mother say that her baby self-weaned at 9 or 10 months old, or even earlier. How do we reconcile these statements?

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After the First Year

Breastfeeding Your Toddler: What to expect

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Are you considering breastfeeding your baby into toddlerhood and wondering how the breastfeeding relationship will change? Are you wondering if your toddler is trying to wean, or wondering why your toddler is suddenly breastfeeding round the clock? Here are a few observations on typical toddler breastfeeding behavior. As always, the way your particular baby approaches nursing will also depend on her unique personality.

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Older Infant

Breastfeeding and Fertility

Breastfeeding and Fertility

How can I use breastfeeding to prevent pregnancy?

The Exclusive Breastfeeding method of birth control is also called the Lactational Amenorrhea Method of birth control, or LAM. Lactational amenorrhea refers to the natural postpartum infertility that occurs when a woman is not menstruating due to breastfeeding. Many mothers receive conflicting information on the subject of breastfeeding and fertility.

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After the First Year

Getting Pregnant While Breastfeeding

Getting Pregnant While Breastfeeding

Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond, published by La Leche League International

So you’re breastfeeding and dreaming of a new baby? Good news! Lots of moms are able to conceive a new baby without having to wean their current nursling. Let’s look at seven of the most common questions.
1. Do I have to wean in order to get pregnant?

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Supply worries

Forceful Let-down (Milk Ejection Reflex) & Oversupply

Forceful Let-down (Milk Ejection Reflex) & Oversupply

Is forceful let-down the problem?

Does your baby do any of these things?

Gag, choke, strangle, gulp, gasp, cough while nursing as though the milk is coming too fast

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What is Normal?

Normal prolactin levels in breastfeeding mothers

Normal prolactin levels in breastfeeding mothers

“Plasma prolactin levels increase the most in the immediate postpartum period but rise and fall in proportion to the frequency, intensity, and duration of nipple stimulation.”

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Supply worries

Let-down Reflex: Too slow?

Let-down Reflex: Too slow?

It is normal for let-down not to feel as strong as your baby gets older. Some mothers never feel let-down, and some stop feeling the let-down sensation as time goes by. This does not necessarily indicate that let-down is not taking place.

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Legal issues

Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding in public tends to be controversial. However, if a bottle-fed baby can have her dinner in public, why shouldn’t a breastfed baby have the same rights? I have certainly never seen a public restroom that I would like to feed my baby in! And I’m certainly not going to stay cooped up at home all the time because I’m afraid that my baby will get hungry while we’re gone

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Legal issues

Breastfeeding: Legal Issues

Breastfeeding: Legal Issues

Breastfeeding and the Law from La Leche League International. Information on breastfeeding legislation, breastfeeding and family law, extended breastfeeding, breastfeeding in the workplace and more.

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