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Finding good information about medication use during lactation

Finding good information about medication use during lactation

Have you ever been told you need to stop breastfeeding (temporarily or otherwise) because you need medical testing or a ...

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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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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 during nursing - 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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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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Illness, Surgery & Medical Procedures

Finding good information about medication use during lactation

Finding good information about medication use during lactation

Have you ever been told you need to stop breastfeeding (temporarily or otherwise) because you need medical testing or a medication? Although many, many moms are told they need to stop breastfeeding for a certain number of hours or days, this is rarely necessary.

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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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Common Newborn Concerns

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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Breastfeeding & pregnancy

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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Legal issues

Jury Duty?

Jury Duty?

A call to jury duty can be very worrisome for mothers who stay at home with their young children, particularly those who are breastfeeding infants. Breastfeeding mothers who work and pump for their child will probably have reliable childcare available, but may be worried about whether she would be allowed sufficient time for pumping.

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Legal issues

Breastfeeding & Jury Duty – My Experience

Breastfeeding & Jury Duty - My Experience

I recently completed a week of jury duty service (8/16-20/04) while breastfeeding, and I wanted to share my experience, in case it may help others dealing with the same situation in the future. My daughter, Juliana, was born 5/29/04, and I’m still on maternity leave (as yet undecided as to whether I’m going back to work). I’ve been pumping periodically since she was about a month old, to build up a supply of milk for when I leave the house by myself (to run errands, work out at the gym, etc.), but I’d only ever pumped at home, and not on any sort of regular schedule.

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What is Normal?

Breastfeeding and Speech Development

Breastfeeding and Speech Development

Since breastfeeding promotes normal development of the face and mouth, it would make sense that breastfeeding would enhance speech development and help to prevent speech problems. The research on this topic is mixed. Several studies have shown breastfeeding to enhance speech development and speech clarity, and others have shown no speech differences between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding.

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Growth & Development

Average Weight Gain for Breastfed Babies

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A few things to keep in mind when evaluating weight gain

A 5-7% weight loss during the first 3-4 days after birth is normal. A 10% weight loss is sometimes considered normal, but this amount of weight loss is a sign that the breastfeeding needs to be evaluated. It’s a good idea to have a routine weight check at 5 days (baby should be gaining rather than losing weight by day 5), so that any developing problems can be caught and remedied early.

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Growth & Development

Average Weight Gain for Breastfed Babies (Metric)

Average Weight Gain for Breastfed Babies (Metric)

It is acceptable for some babies to gain 4-5 ounces (113-142 grams) per week.

The average breastfed baby doubles birth weight by 3-4 months. By one year, the typical breastfed baby will weigh about 2 1/2 – 3 times birth weight.

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Growth & Development

Average Toddler Growth

Average Toddler Growth

Some things to look at to determine that your child is getting appropriate nutrition…

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Older Infant

Increasing Low Milk Supply

Image credit: koadmunkee on flickr

First of all, is your milk supply really low? Often, mothers think that their milk supply is low when it really isn’t. If your baby is gaining weight well on breastmilk alone, then you do not have a problem with milk supply. It’s important to note that the feel of the breast, the behavior of your baby, the frequency of nursing, the sensation of let-down, or the amount you pump are not valid ways to determine if you have enough milk for your baby.

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Older Infant

My breasts feel empty! Has my milk supply decreased?

My breasts feel empty! Has my milk supply decreased?

It is normal for a mother’s breasts to begin to feel less full, soft, even empty, after the first 6-12 weeks.

Many mothers have concerns about milk supply after the early weeks because they notice a drop in pumped amounts or they notice that their breasts feel “soft” or “empty”. It is normal for your breasts to feel mostly soft after the first weeks, although if there has been a long stretch without nursing or pumping they might feel a little full and heavy.

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Growth & Development

Average Growth Patterns of Breastfed Babies

Average Growth Patterns of Breastfed Babies

A growth chart isn’t a test, where you are striving to get your baby into the 100th percentile. The growth charts show us the statistical distribution of weight, height , etc. in a particular set of babies (or children or adults). So if a baby is in the 50th percentile for weight on the CDC charts, it means that half of the babies of the same age in the US are heavier and half are lighter; if a baby is in the 10th percentile for height, then 90% of babies of the same age in the US are taller and 10% are shorter.

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