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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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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: 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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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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I'm not pumping enough milk. What can I do?

Milk supply normally varies somewhat throughout the day and over weeks and months. As long as baby is allowed to ...

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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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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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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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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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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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Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-Based Practice

Following are some useful links on evidence-based practice: Evidence-Based Medicine: What it is and what it isn’t Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical […]

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Adventures in Tandem Nursing: About the Book

Adventures in Tandem Nursing: About the Book

My name is Hilary Flower. I tandem nursed my daughter and son for 18 months, and my son is still nursing. While I was trying to sort through the challenges and joys of my own tandem nursing experience, I began writing a book on the topic. How exciting to connect with 200 other mothers who had breastfed during pregnancy and either weaned during pregnancy or went on to tandem nurse! How gratifying to dig into scientific literature and correspond with researchers, finally getting some answers to the many questions that arise!

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Infant Growth Calculators – Metric

Infant Growth Calculators - Metric

Many moms wonder if their baby is growing as expected. It may be helpful to use this calculator, together with the information in Average Weight Gain for Breastfed Babies, when analyzing your baby’s growth.

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Infant Growth Calculators

Infant Growth Calculators

Many moms wonder if their baby is growing as expected. It may be helpful to use this calculator, together with the information in Average Weight Gain for Breastfed Babies, when analyzing your baby’s growth.

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Financial costs of not breastfeeding

Financial costs of not breastfeeding

Financial costs of not breastfeeding
…or cost benefits of breastfeeding

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How much expressed milk will my baby need?

Image credit: Jerry Bunkers on flickr

Many mothers wonder how much expressed breastmilk they need to have available if they are away from baby.

In exclusively breastfed babies, milk intake increases quickly during the first few weeks of life, then stays about the same between one and six months (though it likely increases short term during growth spurts). Current breastfeeding research does not indicate that breastmilk intake changes with baby’s age or weight between one and six months. After six months, breastmilk intake will continue at this same level until — sometime after six months, depending in baby’s intake from other foods — baby’s milk intake begins to decrease gradually

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Breastfeeding your Premature Infant (Resources)

Breastfeeding your Premature Infant (Resources)

Links: Breastfeeding a Premature Infant

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Milk vs. formula… under the microscope

Milk vs. formula... under the microscope

We just got a digital camera attachment for our microscope, so what do you think I photographed first?

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Baby’s Second Night

Baby's Second Night

You’ve made it through your first 24 hours as a new mom. Maybe you have other children, but you are a new mom all over again…and now it is your baby’s second night.

All of a sudden, your little one discovers that he’s no longer back in the warm and comfortable – albeit a bit crowded – womb where he has spent the last 8 ½ or 9 months – and it is SCARY out here!

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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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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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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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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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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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Foremilk and hindmilk – what does this mean?

Foremilk and hindmilk – what does this mean?

The breast only makes one type of milk (which has a relatively high fat content). Because of the mechanics of milk release, the amount of fat in the milk available to baby gradually changes as a feed progresses. As milk is produced in the breast, the fat globules in the milk tend to stick to each other and to the walls of the alveoli (where the milk is made). Between feedings, milk collects in the breasts and gradually moves out toward the nipple, leaving more and more of the fat “stuck” further back in the milk ducts. The more time between milk removal (feeding or expression), the lower the fat content of the milk available to baby at the beginning of the feeding.

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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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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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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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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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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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Relactation and Adoptive Breastfeeding: The Basics

Image credit: ODHD on flickr

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. At the same time you will be developing (or re-developing) a milk supply.

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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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Breastfeeding Helplines

Breastfeeding Helplines

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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