Edie and Amy

Breastfeeding

All You Need To Know About Cluster Feeding

Have you ever wondered what would happen if your baby simply refuses to stop eating? Well, it happens. Thankfully, this article contains all you need to know about this situation, which is known as cluster feeding, and how to manage it effectively.

Sometimes, babies just want more. For most new moms, this may be surprising or even stressful. However, it is a normal phenomenon that primarily represents a developmental milestone.

The great new is: Cluster feeding passes quickly.

What Is Cluster Feeding?

Cluster feeding is simply your baby’s way of improving your breast milk supply as he or she grows. It occurs when a baby suddenly begins to eat much more frequently, or in clusters, for a period. This normal behavior is characterized by a rapid increase in appetite demonstrated by an obvious desire for more food.

It is a simple law, really.

With breastfeeding, the more the demand, the more the supply. 

Whenever your baby seems to ‘request’ for more milk by fussing, crying or turning his/her head from side to side, and reaching out to your breasts, he/she is only trying to get your body to produce more milk to suit the rising demand.

baby sucking her mum's breast

It is also important to note that cluster feeding doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with your breast milk or supply. Your baby is only increasing the demand to help you increase the supply.

How Can I Identify Cluster Feeding?

For most new moms, it may be quite tasking to identify the period of cluster feeding. To help you, we’ve compiled a few common road signs to make the process easier.

Your child is likely to be cluster feeding if:

  • Baby is three to six weeks old
  • He/she shows the usual signs of hunger at a more frequent rate
  • Baby does not stop crying until nursing occurs
  • He or she wants to eat constantly or frequently, but only for a short period.
  • Baby seems perfectly sated and happy (almost like nothing else is wrong) while eating
  • He/she still has regular wet or dirty diapers.
  • Baby becomes very fussy and does not stop crying until breast milk is offered.

In addition to this, cluster feeding is more common in the evenings. Therefore, if you observe any or all of these signs in your baby in the evening, there is a high chance that your little one is cluster feeding.

Also, older infants may show these signs for multiple evenings in a row or even eat more frequently throughout the day. In most cases, older children cluster feed as they experience teething or growth bursts.

What Causes Cluster Feeding

By now, you’ve probably realized that cluster feeding is a normal process for most children.

Studies have shown that most newborn feed in a fairly predictable pattern, following this routine:

  • 1 meal every 2-3 hours, leading to a total of 8-12 meals in a 24 hour window

As it occurs, your baby will exceed this count. In fact, he or she may feed every hour or even multiple times in the same hour.

To help you understand the process of cluster feeding better, here are the following factors that may lead to your baby increasing his/her demand for breast milk:

1. An Incoming Developmental Milestone

Healthy babies are expected to grow. This growth process is monitored by certain developmental milestones which indicate how healthy your child is. As your baby prepares to cross a new milestone, there are chances that his or her appetite would also increase to match the body’s demands.

2. Your Baby Is Teething

For adults, it is easy to communicate needs or discomfort. However, babies don’t share this luxury. Whenever your baby is uncomfortable, unhappy or thirsty, he or she may turn to you for breast milk.

This works well because breast milk contains powerful antibodies which fight illnesses, reduce pain, and soothes your baby from any discomfort he/she may be feeling. Although cluster feeding may occur at any period when your child is teething, it is most common in the first three months of life.

3. Breastfeeding Soothes Your Baby

In addition to the perfect nutrient package that comes with breast milk, it contains certain hormones which develop your baby’s response to day and night changes. At night, babies cluster feed to spur the sleep process, making it easier and more comfortable for them.

baby suckling her breast

4. Milk Flows Slower At Night

Like many other body processes, milk flow tapers at night. As a result, your baby may need to nurse longer to get satisfied. Furthermore, babies feed more at night as they prepare for long hours of sleep at night-time.

When Does Cluster Feeding Start?

For most babies, cluster feeding occurs in the third and sixth weeks of life. In this period, babies experience the first of the numerous growth spurts that characterize childhood. As a result, there is a need to increase breast milk supply in order to fill the ever hungry (and growing) bellies.

To know when a cluster feeding session is imminent, you can watch out for the road signs we mentioned earlier. Furthermore, if your child begins to smack their lips, reach for your breasts or positions him/herself to nurse, you may be in for a cluster session.

What’s The Duration of Cluster Feeding?

We understand the physical and emotional strain most moms go through during cluster feeding. However, the marathon feeding sessions may be really important as your little one develops. Stay strong, Mama!

The good news is: Cluster feeding rarely extends beyond two days.

In fact, if you continue to observe the signs of cluster feeding for more than seven days, please consult your pediatrician. This may mean that your child is not getting enough calories.

Effects of Cluster Feeding

Although scientists are yet to understand why babies cluster feed, many studies have pointed out the effects of cluster feeding for both the mother and the child.

Some of the positive effects of cluster feeding include:

  • Improves sleep quality, especially after a cluster feeding session
  • Promote emotional and hormonal regulation
  • Increase skin-to-skin time between mother and child
  • Improve breast milk, and nutrient, supply

On the other hand, the negative effects of cluster feeding include:

  • Increased risk of nipple soreness
  • Physical and emotional exhaustion
  • Time constraints
  • May lead to breast engorgement ‘after’ cluster feeding ends.

Tips on Managing Cluster Feeding

Breastfeeding is designed to be a beautiful period of bonding for you and your little one. In addition, breastfeeding lays the foundation of a strong and healthy life for your little one. However, it is not always an easy ride, especially in the periods of cluster feeding.

Although cluster feeding is normal and brief, it may be a stressful period for the entire family. To make the process easier for you, here are some tips on how to effectively manage cluster feeding:

1.    Understand & Accept the Process

While cluster feeding, your baby would nurse a lot. In fact, it may even be more than you ever imagined. The first step to managing this new reality is to accept it.

Accept that cluster feeding is normal and your baby is very healthy. Although, some friends or family members may ask why your little one seems to be eating so much, you can reassure them by explaining any of the possible causes mentioned earlier in this article.

Furthermore, we recommend that you accept the demands of this period and try to make the best use of your time while at it.

While nursing during a cluster feeding session, you can:

  • Spend this time talking with your partner or friends
  • Read a book
  • Enjoy the one-on-one bonding time with your baby
  • Binge-watch your favorite TV series
  • Listen to a podcast about breastfeeding
  • Learn more about breastfeeding and motherhood at www.edieandamy.com

2. Stay Hydrated

Water is really important for breastfeeding moms. As you cluster feed, keep a large bottle of water close and remember to take regular drinks from it.

water ina glass cup

In addition to easing your stress, water would boost your breast milk supply and help your baby get the best out of every gulp.

3.    Get Help

As you cluster feed your baby, it may be really difficult to accomplish many other tasks. Therefore, it is advisable to let others help out with these assignments. For example, your partner can help out with cooking or making dinner while you supply your baby with all he/she needs for a healthy life.

In addition, please do not hesitate to request for help. This does not make you weak or incapable as a mother. Your family and friends are here to support you and help you through the process.

4.    Set Up A Nursing Area

Since you’d spend a lot of time nursing, make sure you set up a really comfortable nursing area. You can achieve this by placing pillows to support your baby and your back. For some additional comfort, wear a pair of cozy pajamas and a suitable nursing bra that would not irritate your nipples.

mum breast feeding child on a couch

Click here to find out more about the perfect nursing bra for you.

5. Switch Positions Often

The nursing position you select while cluster feeding is really important. For most moms, sitting on a couch with the baby in their arms may be really uncomfortable.

If you’re in this group, no worries!

You can attempt to nurse in the side-lying or laid-back position. Placing pillows in the right position may also allow some arm movement while nursing.

mom laying down and breastfeeding

6. Treat Nipple Problems

A common drawback of cluster feeding for most moms is the resulting nipple soreness or irritation. Thankfully, you don’t have to endure the pain.

As you breastfeed, apply a nipple cream, or even a few drops of breast milk on your nipples before and after nursing for extra moisture and protection.

ice cream like nipple

Furthermore, if you consider the entire process of breastfeeding to be too painful, check your latch position or consult your lactation consultant.

7. Treat Yourself Too

We understand the natural instinct to focus on your baby’s needs. However, breastfeeding is a two-way street.

Do not forget about you!

The fact is: It is difficult to match the increased demands on your body if you’re tired, hungry, or frustrated. As you cluster feed, remember to eat well, take healthy snacks, lots of water and sleep whenever your baby sleeps.

Also, whenever you can, do something for you. You can take naps, short walks or perform some quick exercise routines between nursing sessions.

8. Strap Your Baby

Babies love contact. In fact, it soothes them.

As you cluster feed, it may be helpful to keep your child close. To achieve this, you can use a sling or baby carrier which is designed to help you nurse on the go.

Another advantage of keeping your baby close during this period is that you’re present whenever he or she gets hungry again.

child on mum chest

That way, everyone stays happy always.

9. Be Patient

All babies have ‘fussy moments’ where it seems like nothing (except food) would soothe them. This is particularly heightened during cluster feeding. Although it may seem like an endless period of multiple nursing sessions, it would be over in a little while.

For now, just take it easy on yourself. Soft pedal a little. Receive help. In fact, ask for it. Furthermore, remember to be patient with your baby if he/she gets really fussy, cluster feeding is simply a response to growth and development.

10. Speak With a Professional

Consult a lactation consultant or pediatrician if you’re really struggling with breastfeeding or cluster feeding. Remember that these professionals are here to hold your hand and make this journey easier for everyone involved.

You can also click here to find out more about how to make breastfeeding easy for you and your little one.

A Final Note from Edie & Amy

Although it can be quite exhausting, cluster feeding is normal, temporary, and important. In a little while, your child would be moving on to other important phases like crawling and teething.

Remember, if your baby remains really fussy even after nursing, consult your pediatrician. Also, if you find breastfeeding to be really difficult, speak with your lactation consultant.

With the explanations and management tips above, we’re sure that everything is going to work out fine for you and your baby.

7 Tips on How to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding

Are you a new mom? Have you heard that breastfeeding would simply ‘dissolve’ all the extra weight that comes with pregnancy? Does it seem like you’re not losing any weight while breastfeeding? Is the process more difficult than you’d have imagined?

a woman standing on a weight checker

This article is just for you!

Although most women agree that breastfeeding offers many amazing benefits, including weight loss, everything varies from person to person. For some moms, the weight loss is rapid and obvious. For others, it just may take a little longer than imagined.

This post would provide easy and reliable tips on how to lose weight while breastfeeding, as well as guide you on your postpartum weight loss journey as you breastfeed your little one.

Does Breastfeeding Boost Weight Loss?

Yes.

Medical research shows that breastfeeding can improve weight loss after childbirth, however, the amount of weight loss varies for each person. In fact, for some people the weight loss journey may be a little slower than what was anticipated.

The relationship between weight loss and breastfeeding totally depends on the calories burnt while nursing your little one.

A mom breastfeeding a baby

In fact, a combination of these two factors explains why breastfeeding mothers tend to consistently lose baby weight faster than women who don’t:

  • Calorie Loss
  • Regulated Diet

Studies show that mothers who breastfeed exclusively burn an average of 500 additional calories daily. To provide some context, this is equal to:

  • Performing 55 minutes of medium-intensity exercise, e.g. Yoga or Walking
  • Cutting out a large snack (or big burger) from your daily diet
  • Skipping a small meal

In addition, lactation consultants advice moms to increase the consumption of vegetables, lean-proteins, fiber, and fruits while nursing. This highly regulated diet may also contribute to the weight loss most women experience while breastfeeding.

Statistically, breastfeeding women are 6% more likely to return to their pre-pregnancy weight (or even experience a dip) than non-breastfeeding mothers.

Other studies even show that breastfeeding may have beneficial long-term effects on body weight by reducing overall body fat percentages in breastfeeding moms for up to five years after childbirth.

Finally, most researchers agree that the duration and frequency of breastfeeding affects the quantity and rate of weight loss after childbirth.

How Fast Can I Lose Pregnancy Weight While Breastfeeding?

The following factors will affect how fast baby weight can be lost after pregnancy:

  • Diet
  • Body Metabolism
  • Exercise
  • Amount of weight gained during pregnancy

Remember, we mentioned earlier that everything varies from person to person. Depending on how much weight was gained during pregnancy, it may take about six to nine months (or a year in some cases) to lose baby weight.

Interestingly, some women never get to lose all of it.

It is important to note that there is a rapid drop in weight immediately after childbirth. This occurs as a result of:

  • The removal of your baby
  • Expulsion of the placenta
  • Removal of the amniotic fluid

Again, the amount of weight lost varies based on the baby’s weight and the level of fluid retention in pregnancy.

Following this initial (and rapid) weight loss, you’d need to apply certain strategies to lose more of that stubborn baby weight.

To help you through this process, we’ve compiled 7 easy tips on how to lose weight while breastfeeding.

Read on to find out!

7 Tips on How to Lose Weight While Breastfeeding

1. Increase Quality

The first step on your postpartum weight loss journey is to increase the quality of your meals. Go for foods that provide the following in the right quantity and best quality:

  • Proteins
  • Fiber
  • Vegetables
  • Healthy Fats (e.g. Coconut oil, Avocado oil, and Olive Oil)
  • Fruits
  • Whole Grain

In addition to increasing the quality of your breast milk supply, these meals would regulate your calorie intake and body-fat production.

To ensure that you’re getting the best quality from every meal while breastfeeding, we recommend that you avoid any of the following empty-calorie foods:

  • Pasta
  • White bread
  • Junk food
  • Baked food
  • Cookies

Consuming quality food options would improve your energy levels, sleep quality, mood and boost your ability to lose weight while breastfeeding. Furthermore, healthy food options would keep your appetite in check and provide all the energy you need to care for your little one.

2. Lower the Carbs

Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you consume would also boost weight loss while breastfeeding. However, it is important to supplement this reduction with lots of fruits, protein, and veggies.

The goal should be to consume a minimum of 1,800 calories daily. This can be achieved by following a well-designed and efficient diet plan. Finally, always consult your doctor or lactation consultant before starting any new diet after childbirth.

3. Count Your Calories

To maintain your optimal body weight while breastfeeding, and keep up milk production, you need to consume at least 1,800 calories daily. Effective weight loss only occurs by creating a healthy calorie deficit, and this is a delicate process for breastfeeding moms.

A drastic cut in calories can leave you constantly tired and hungry, while a mild cut may not produce the weight loss you’ve imagined. Due to the physical strain of breastfeeding, it is normal to feel hungry or even tired after nursing. However, tracking your calories would prevent overeating and keep you on course for an effective weight loss journey.

If you exercise often, remember to increase your calorie intake whenever you workout.

4. Stay Hydrated

Water is really important for nursing moms.

water in a glass cup

In addition to improving your breast milk supply, it also assists in weight loss. We advise that you drink about 12 cups of water each day.

This would detoxify your body regularly and also flush out any water weight. Also, remember to avoid sugary drinks when trying to lose baby weight, because they contain a lot of empty calories.

For most moms, the best way to stay hydrated while breastfeeding is to have a large water bottle handy at all times (even when nursing your precious one).

5. Exercise Moderately

With your doctor’s approval, you can gradually ease back into certain safe exercise routines. We recommend focusing on postpartum-friendly workouts like yoga or walks with your baby. If you love a classic ‘stroll in the park’, here are the 10 best jogging strollers for you.

Mom planking in front of a child

You can begin by working out for about 30 minutes daily and about 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. Also, it is important to feed your baby before working out to avoid breast engorgement.

6. Don’t Skip Meals

Although you’re trying to lose weight, skipping meals is bad for you.

Why?

Skipping meals may reduce your body’s metabolic rate, thereby reducing energy levels and making it difficult to care for your little one.

Also, consuming too little calories may cause your weight loss to peak or even stop. If you’re too busy to eat regularly, consider taking healthy snacks (or fruits) after breastfeeding your baby to replace lost calories.

7. Rest Regularly

We understand that it can be difficult to find quality time to rest when you’ve just had a baby. However, sleep deprivation may increase hunger, cravings, and stress levels.

woman breastfeeding a child

Attempt to get as much sleep as you can. It works.

Sleep can help your body recover faster and even boost weight loss as you breastfeed. You can try to recover lost sleep by planning a few 30-minute naps for yourself while your baby sleeps, especially after a nursing session.

Regular rest is also important as you return to postpartum exercising. This is because your muscles also need to rest and recover after workout sessions.

Why Do Some Moms Not Lose Weight While Breastfeeding?

Sadly, weight loss while breastfeeding is not equally easy for all new moms.

Here are some of the reasons why some women do not lose weight while breastfeeding:

  • Increased Appetite: It is a known fact that breastfeeding tends to increase hunger. Studies show that some women tend to eat more while nursing. When this is not combined with regular exercise as in Tip #5 above, it results in a weight gain rather than weight loss.
  • Sleep Deprivation: As we mentioned in Tip #7, sleep is really important on your postpartum weight loss journey. However, motherhood comes with irregular and interrupted periods of sleep, as you try to meet your baby’s needs.
  • Sedentary Living: It is important to remember that breastfeeding keeps you in one position for long periods. Women who live a sedentary life after childbirth tend to find it more difficult to shed postpartum weight than people who lead active lives.

Other Important Benefits of Breastfeeding

Asides postpartum weight loss, breastfeeding also offers many benefits for you and your little one.

This includes:

  • Supplies the perfect nutrition package for your baby
  • Protects your child from harmful diseases
  • Enhances brain development and mental capacity
  • Promotes uterine contraction
  • Reduces the risk of postpartum depression
  • Saves money
woman breastfeeding child in a shirt

A Final Note from Edie & Amy

Our final tip is that you don’t stop breastfeeding.

Remember that your postpartum weight loss journey is unique, and absolutely different from anyone else’s. Take it one day at a time, follow the tips above and we’re confident that everything would work out fine.

You are not alone, Mama!

11 Interesting Facts About Breastfeeding

The choice of how to supply her baby with the nutrients necessary for proper development is important for every new mom. Although this is a personal decision, breastfeeding has so many exceptional benefits for both you and your baby. In this article, we’d walk you through 11 interesting facts about breastfeeding and why it is an option worth trying.

Why Is Breast Milk Important?

It would interest you to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends six months of exclusive breastfeeding for every child. In fact, the Academy advises moms to continue breastfeeding for the first year, irrespective of the introduction of solid foods.

Breast milk supplies babies with the perfect nutrition package. It has the right amount of nutrients, vitamins, and even water that every child needs in the early stages of life. In addition to this, breast milk is readily available and can be digested easily.

breastfeeding mom

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that breastfeeding continues until a child is about two years of age because the advantages of this process extend even up to that period. It is important to note that these recommendations are well founded in facts, and in this article, we’d let you know all about those facts.

Read on to find out 11 interesting (and medical) facts about breastfeeding.

Interesting Breastfeeding Facts for Babies

1. Breastfeeding Supplies the Perfect Nutrition Package.

Do you know breast milk contains every single thing your little one needs for the first six months of life? And in the right proportions too? In fact, the constituents of breast milk even change to suit your baby’s needs in the various developmental stages.

Averagely, each ml of breast milk contains:

  • 87% Water
  • 7%  Lactose (milk)
  • 4% Fat
  • 1% Protein

In the first few days after childbirth, your breast would produce a thick and yellowish fluid called colostrum. This colostrum is quite rich in protein (much more than the 1% present in average breast milk), sugar, and other beneficial compounds. Colostrum helps kick start your baby’s digestive tract and immune system.

2. Breast Milk Contains Immune Boosting Properties

Breastfeeding supplies your baby with essential antibodies which boost his/her immune system. Every day, babies (and adults too) are exposed to harmful viruses and bacteria in the environment. Effective breastfeeding provides the compounds necessary to fight off these harmful agents in the earliest months of life.

Facts about breastfeeding

Colostrum, the type of breast milk produced right after birth, contains high amounts of Immunoglobulin (A) which is an essential part of your baby’s immune system. Furthermore, when a breastfeeding mom is exposed to viruses or bacteria, her body produces antibodies that fight off any possible infection. Eventually, these antibodies go into the breast milk and are passed to her baby via breastfeeding.

Amazing, right?

3. Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk of Childhood Diseases

For this, exclusive breastfeeding is crucial. Exclusive breastfeeding simply means that a baby only receives breast milk for at least the first six months of life.

The antibodies present in breast milk would greatly reduce the risk of various childhood diseases and infections like:

In addition to the antibodies supplied by breast milk, it also contains substances that naturally soothe your baby, preventing uneasiness or discomfort.

4. It Helps Children Reach the Healthy Baby Weight

The average birth weight for healthy term babies is around 7.5 pounds (3.5kg). Although this figure varies in the first few weeks of life, breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and even prevents obesity in children.

Breast-fed babies possess high amounts of helpful intestinal bacteria, which improves fat storage, utilization, and distribution. In fact, such babies have more blood leptin (the hormone which regulates appetite and fat distribution) than infants who received only formula.

In addition, babies set the pace during breastfeeding. Therefore, they are able to self-regulate their food intake. This helps breastfed babies develop healthy appetites and eating patterns.

5. Breastfeeding Can Make Your Baby Smarter

Do you want your baby to ace every test? Or get acceptance letters from all Ivy League schools? You should consider breastfeeding. Medical studies suggest that breastfeeding aids brain development and eventually makes babies smarter.

According to most researchers, the relationship between breastfeeding and intelligence may be associated with the close physical and eye contact, as well as the intimacy involved in breastfeeding.

6. Breastfeeding Aids Taste Development

As breastfeeding progresses, the composition of breast milk changes to suit your baby’s needs per time. Interestingly, this also includes changes in taste. Breastfeeding exposes your child to different tastes and flavors, which improves his/her ability to recognize and appreciate various tastes.

7. Breast Milk Is Always Ready

For babies, there is no ready-to-eat meal better than breast milk. It would interest you to note that it is always at the right temperature and ready to serve at any time of the day. Furthermore, breast milk needs no further preparation before consumption by your little one.

Breastfeeding relaxes you too

Interesting Breastfeeding Facts for Moms

Remember, breastfeeding is a two-way process; from a mom to her little one. Therefore, we’ve compiled a number of interesting facts about breastfeeding for moms.

8. Breastfeeding Can Help You Lose Weight

This one is quite common. Although some women gain weight while nursing, others may drop some of that post-pregnancy weight while breastfeeding. Usually, this results from the calories burnt during the process.

9. Breastfeeding Soothes You

While breastfeeding, the body produces certain hormones like oxytocin and prolactin, which reduce stress and enhance positive feelings. Furthermore, breastfeeding reduces the risk of postpartum depression, which is alarmingly common in today’s society.

10. It Also Reduces the Risk of diseases in Moms

Interestingly, breastfeeding provides long-term protection against breast cancer, ovarian cancer, hypertension and arthritis in most women.

Breastfeeding keeps you healthy

In fact, multiple studies have revealed that women who breastfeed have a lower risk for the following conditions:

  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Depression
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Endometrosis

11. Breastfeeding Is Cost Efficient

Our last interesting fact about breastfeeding is fairly straightforward: It Is Cheaper.

In fact, breastfeeding is 100% free. Apart from any external expenses (like a lactation consultant’s fees or the cost of a breastfeeding support group), breastfeeding comes at no cost to the family.

A Final Note from Edie & Amy

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both the mother and her child. In fact, these benefits are expressed in how many reputable health organizations recommend breastfeeding for as long as possible.

Remember that breast milk is naturally designed to provide your child with everything he/she needs to grow well, fight off diseases and become a smart adult. As a plus, there are also many benefits of breastfeeding for you as a mom.

As usual, we’re always here to guide you through the process, Mama!

How To Fix Latching Problems While Breastfeeding

Effective breastfeeding is important for proper development, good health, and general well-being of babies. While this memorable experience can be easy and fun, it may take a little while to settle into the routine of it, as some women and their babies initially struggle with breastfeeding, especially due to latching problems.

What Is Latching All About?

For breastfeeding to be effective, your baby has to ‘latch’ properly to your nipples. This refers to the position or grip a baby’s mouth has on his/her mom’s nipple during breastfeeding. A proper latch would help him/her get the best out of every meal in the most comfortable position possible.

The Right Latch

With the right latch to the breast during breastfeeding sessions, your baby can receive breast milk easily and in the right quantity. Getting the right latch is really important for you and your baby as it helps him/her get all the nutrients needed to grow strong and healthy. In addition, the right latch makes breastfeeding easy and enjoyable for you as a mom.

latching problems

While breastfeeding, your baby should have a large portion of the lower part of your areola (the dark skin around your nipple) in his/her mouth. Furthermore, your nipple should lie against the roof of his/her mouth, cupped slightly underneath by the tongue.

What Are The Signs of A Good Latch?

Whenever you breastfeed, make sure that:

  • Your baby’s chin touches your breast throughout the process
  • He/she is breathing properly
  • The latch is not painful or overly uncomfortable
  • His/her mouth is wide open and a large portion of your areola, and not just your nipple, is in his/her mouth.

If all these boxes are ticked during nursing sessions, then you and your little one have no latching problems.

Latching Problems

One of the major issues associated with breastfeeding is one of latching. Although many babies latch properly immediately after birth, certain children may require some time and effort to overcome latching problems during nursing. In this period, the baby may not get enough milk while the mother can develop painful breast conditions like breast engorgement.

This results from a number of factors which include:

  • Premature birth
  • Flat or Inverted Nipples
  • Wrong Positioning
  • Underlying Medical Conditions (Jaundice, Down Syndrome and Tongue Tie)

How to Fix Latching Problems

Breastfeeding problems often come with a lot of questions, anxiety and concerns for parents. Therefore, we have compiled the following tips that are guaranteed to help you fix latching problems while breastfeeding.

1. Change Your Position

While breastfeeding, try out different positions until you find out what works perfectly for you and your baby. In the right position, your baby’s chin should touch your breasts with his/her mouth open wide and covering most of your areola.

In order to feed effectively, your baby needs to feel comfortable and supported in every way. Make sure you’re not pushing his/her head or holding it firmly. You can slightly adjust his/her head, neck or back in order to find the right position to get a good latch.

2. Use a Nipple Shield

Nipple shields are thin, cap shaped structures placed directly above the nipple to protect it during nursing. In addition to protecting your nipple, a nipple shield provides a firm stimulus for your baby’s mouth. This stimulus would reach the roof of his/her mouth and eventually enhance the process of latching.

Nipple Shield

Furthermore, a nipple shield provides a large surface for latching, which is especially important for women with tiny nipples.

3. Pump Out Some Milk

If your baby still has problems with latching on the third or fourth day of life, you should get a good breast pump. With a pump, you can produce all the milk your child needs to stay nourished and healthy, even if he/she is not latching properly.

4. Have Some Skin Time

Another effective way to fix latching problems while breastfeeding is to spend at least two hours daily on ‘skin time’. This process is designed to make your child become more familiar with your skin.

To achieve this, strip your baby down to his/her nappies and lie baby down on your bare chest. This would seriously boost the hormones responsible for breastfeeding and also allow your little one to become more comfortable around you and your breasts.

In addition, effective skin time keeps your baby calm and sated during breastfeeding as a fussy child is more likely to encounter latching problems than a calm and compliant one.

5. Draw Out Your Nipples

If your nipples are flat or inverted, attempt to draw them out using a Nipple Everter, which is a small structure designed to draw out flat nipples and help your baby latch on effectively. Furthermore, you can try Nipple Formers which fit perfectly inside a nursing bra and applies the gentle pressure needed to draw out your nipples for effective breastfeeding.

6. Get Help

If you have tried all the tips above and your baby is still not latching or feeding well, please consult your lactation consultant or pediatrician. This is really important because it may mean that he/she is not getting enough breast milk to stay healthy and grow well.

Remember, you are not alone. Support is essential to an effective breastfeeding journey. We strongly recommend that you call your pediatrician immediately if:

  • Your baby does not latch on to your nipple in most feeding sessions
  • Baby’s lips and mouth are always dry
  • Your baby’s bowel movements are really low. That is, he/she is not having the normal amount of wet or dirty diapers (less than two stools daily in the first two weeks of life).
  • The soft spot at the top of your baby’s head begins to sink into their skull

Furthermore, getting professional help with latching problems would boost your confidence and assist your child to find the right position during breastfeeding. In cases where the latching problem is associated with other medical conditions (like a tongue tie), a referral may be made to the right professional for treatment.  

How to Get the Right Latch

In this section, we’ve compiled a few steps that are guaranteed to make the latch-on process easy for you and your baby.

1. Help your baby open his/her mouth

This is quite simple. What you have to do is hold your child close with your nipple at the same level as his/her nose. Next, allow your nipple touch his/her upper lip to encourage him/her to open his/her mouth wide. Always remember that the wider the mouth is, the easier it is to get the right latch.

2. Assess your latching position

Before you start nursing your child, make sure his/her head, neck, and spine are in a straight line and not twisted in any way. Furthermore, your baby’s chin should be directed upwards towards your nipple and not downwards to his/her chest. In addition, your comfort is important too; you can use pillows or cushions to support your back, neck, or arms while nursing.  

3. Bring your child to your breast

Immediately your baby has opened his/her mouth wide, guide him/her onto your breast, with the nipple aimed towards the top of his/her mouth. Remember, baby’s chin must touch your breast first during nursing sessions.

4. Keep Your Baby Close

As much as you can, keep your baby close to you, with his/her chin in contact with your breasts. Thankfully, this does not affect breathing in any way. This is really important because it allows your child to become more comfortable with your skin.

5. Watch Out for the Signs

While your baby feeds, keep an eye out for the signs of a good latch. The latch should not be uncomfortable or painful. In fact, all you should feel is a slight tugging sensation.

Also, you should watch your baby; after the initial rapid sucks to stimulate milk flow, he/she would begin to suck deeply and slowly with some pauses in between. This is usually an indicator that he/she is getting enough milk.

Furthermore, you’re expected to observe notable jaw movements and hear sucking and swallowing sounds from your baby while breastfeeding. Another important sign to watch out for is your baby’s bowel movement during breastfeeding.

In Conclusion

Problems associated with latching may impair the effectiveness of breastfeeding, cause anxiety, pain, or early weaning in most cases. However, with the tips above, most latching problems can be fixed.

We understand that breastfeeding is not always as straightforward as most people imagine. It is usually a period of learning for both mother and child.

Finally, we advise that you remain patient, cheerful, and willing to learn from us, your lactation consultant and other health care professionals. With this, we are certain that you would overcome any current problems and have a beautiful breastfeeding journey.

Effective Breastfeeding: 21 Tips For You

One of the first activities for every new mom is to supply her baby with his/her first meal. Generally, this involves an important process known as breastfeeding. Although most women consider breastfeeding to be a natural and enjoyable process, it is by no means an easy one.

Sometimes breastfeeding can be stressful, time-consuming, painful or even scary. However, we can assure you that everything is absolutely worth it in the end. We understand that you may have countless questions and concerns about how breastfeeding works and how to do it effectively.

Why Should You Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding is the process of nourishing an infant with breast milk by suckling on his/her mother’s breast. The process of breastfeeding is really important for the following reasons:

  • Nutrient Supply: Breast milk contains the perfect combination of every nutrient your child needs in the first six months of his/her life.
  • Boosts Immunity: Effective breastfeeding reduces the possibility of ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and tissue damage. This is because breast milk contains antibodies which fight off harmful organisms and keep your baby healthy always.
Breastfeeding

In this article, we have compiled 21 essential tips to make breastfeeding effective for you and your little one.

The Mom Tips

1. Relax

This is the first step to an enjoyable and effective breastfeeding journey. It is important to note that your baby can sense tension. If you’re nervous or tense, your baby may not latch properly, thereby impairing the process of breastfeeding.

Before breastfeeding, remember that this period is designed to be enjoyable. Calm down, take a deep breath and enjoy the process.

2. Use a Good Nursing Bra

A good nursing bra is really important for effective breastfeeding. A suitable nursing bra would have special hooks, bands, and straps that make your breasts really easy to access during feeding sessions. In addition to this, avoid bras with under-wire while breastfeeding.  

3. Eat Right

Remember, you’re eating for two and breastfeeding consumes a lot of energy. We recommend a well-balanced diet that contains a rich blend of vegetables, proteins and fruits to boost your breast milk production and supply.

4. Stay Hydrated

Breast milk is made up of 90% water. Every mom who hopes to get the best out of her breastfeeding journey should drink water often. Although fluid requirements vary for each person, you should take at least 6-8 glasses of water daily.

In fact, we suggest you drink a glass of water just before you begin to breastfeed when possible. In addition to keeping you hydrated, this would calm your nerves and ease any nervousness.

5. Get a Comfortable Position

Comfort is key. To get the best out of breastfeeding, it is important to find the right position. As a breastfeeding mom, you’d spend a lot of time holding your baby to your breast during feeding sessions. Doing this in an uncomfortable position would leave you with serious back, shoulder, and neck pains.

There are several positioning options for you to choose from. This includes:

  • The Cradle Hold: sitting in a reclined position with your little one nestled in your arms
  • The Lying Down Position: baby and mother lying on their sides facing each other are common.

The important thing is to make sure your body is well supported, and you are holding your baby well.

6. Watch the Signs

Ultimately, your baby’s overall health and nourishment status would show how effective his/her breastfeeding sessions really are. To ensure that your little one gets the best out of every meal, watch out for the following key signs:

  • Swallow Rate: The faster he/she swallows, the hungrier he/she is.
  • Skin Color: After an effective feeding session, a light-skinned baby should be rose-pink or slightly blushed while a dark-skinned baby would look very relaxed and comfortable.
  • Alertness: At the end of a proper breastfeeding session, your child should appear drowsy or completely asleep.

The Baby Tips

Essentially, these are just more tips for the mom. However, the following guidelines would help every baby get the best out of breastfeeding.

7. Use the Golden Hour

The first breast milk you produce right after birth is really important. This ‘first meal’ is called colostrum, which is rich in antibodies, nutrients, and essential vitamins. In addition to nourishing your child, breastfeeding in the first hour after birth (or the golden hour) promotes mother/child bonding.

8. Find the Right Latch

To get the best out of each breastfeeding session, your baby must latch (to your nipples) properly. To get a good latch, hold his/her chin down gently and open as he/she approaches to feed. Next, tickle his/her upper lip with your nipple and wait until the mouth is wide open before you guide the nipple in gently.  

9. Get the Right Position

Your baby is really smart. We assure you.

In the early stages of breastfeeding, your baby would likely find the right position for him/her. You should pay close attention to this position so you can help him/her get into it easily. The goal is that your baby should face the nipple with his/her head, neck, and body in a straight line.

With the right position, your baby is sure to get the best out of every breastfeeding session.

10. Keep an Eye Out For the Poo

A proper meal is expected to stimulate bowel movement. To monitor how effective the feeding sessions are, keep an eye on your baby’s diapers. In the first few months of life, a baby is expected to have about 8-10 bowel movements daily, however, the diapers are expected to become very wet at mealtimes.

The Nipple Tips

The most important body structure during breastfeeding is the breast. The following tips would prepare your breasts for effective breastfeeding throughout this period.

11. Watch for Changes

As you nurse your child, observe your nipples closely. We advise that you keep an eye out for any obvious change. If your nipples are sore, itchy or reddish, it may mean that your baby is not latching properly.

breastfeeding

Furthermore, you should report any lumps, consistent pain or discomfort to your doctor or lactation consultant.

12. Don’t Use Soap

Soap may leave the skin on your breasts dry and prone to irritation. While breastfeeding, we recommend that you do not apply soap on your breasts or nipples.

13. Keep Your Nipples Moisturized

Use a nipple cream regularly. In addition to moisturizing your nipples, a good nipple cream would keep them soft and pliable always.

14. Use a Cold Compress

Recent medical research show that breast engorgement serves as the leading cause of discomfort while nursing in the United States. This condition arises when the breasts produce more milk than required.

To avoid this, you can apply a cold compress after each feeding session. While using a cold compress, place a piece of cloth between your skin and the icepack. Please, do not place an icepack directly on your nipples.

15. Massage Regularly

While breastfeeding your child, remember to massage your breasts gently and regularly. This would drain the milk effectively and reduce the risk of breast engorgement.

Tips To Boost Breastmilk Supply

16. Drink Water

Again, you need to stay hydrated. Since breast milk is a fluid filled meal for your baby, one of the best ways to boost the supply is to take as much water as possible.

17. Feed on Demand

Allow your child set the pace. Right now, your baby knows his/her needs better than you do. Don’t schedule feeding sessions, we suggest that you breastfeed as often as your baby demands and milk flows.

Furthermore, let your baby determine the duration of feeding sessions. Don’t worry about how long he/she wants it, just remember to supply whenever a demand is made.

18. Switch Sides Often

Resist the urge to focus on one side. In the first few weeks of nursing, feeding from both breasts would boost breast milk production. Remember to alternate the breast you start feeding with each time. Regular feeding from only one breast would make it bigger and more productive than the other one.

19. Eat a Balanced Diet

Your meals matter too. As a nursing mom, you should eat right and eat regularly. Remember to balance your meals with a proper blend of fruits, carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins.

20. Use a Breast Pump

A breast pump is a guaranteed way to maintain breast milk supply for your baby even when you’re not physically present. Remember, the more you supply, the more you produce.

21. Get Professional Assistance

This tip is really important for women with complex problems like extremely low breast milk supply or glandular hypoplasia. In this case, a lactation consultant or breastfeeding support group would supply needed support, counsel, and medical advice.

A Final Tip

Remember the breast milk demand and supply rule?

Yes, it works.

Our final tip is that you don’t stop breastfeeding. As you continue to nurse your baby, it’d get easier and the supply would increase. Therefore, no matter how difficult it is in the beginning, the journey would get easier.

Also, remember to speak with your doctor about any major concerns or discomfort while breastfeeding.

We hope these tips would help you nourish your little one effectively and make the breastfeeding journey smooth and memorable for you.  

10 Ways To Relieve Breast Engorgement

“Oh, it hurts!” That was Kate’s expression when the doctor tried to examine her breast. She just couldn’t understand why her breasts would cause so much pain now that she had just delivered.

First, breast pain is common and sometimes normal for women. Second, it occurs during puberty for some, especially during their menstrual cycle. In addition, most women experience this pain during lactation.

In this article, you’d find out about breast engorgement during breastfeeding; the causes, symptoms, and 10 simple ways to relieve the pain.

woman holding her breast in pain

What Is Breast Engorgement?

Breast engorgement is a breast swelling that results in a tender, painful breast. It’s a sign that the breast is painfully overfilled with milk. It usually occurs during lactation.

Engorgement During Pregnancy

Breast engorgement may happen before childbirth as the body prepares for nursing. The breast milk builds up in anticipation of a baby that’s yet to arrive, leading to breast engorgement.

woman holding part of her breast

Causes of Breast Engorgement During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, breast engorgement is caused mainly by a surge and imbalance in certain hormones. Usually, these hormones are oestrogen, progesterone and prolactin.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Engorgement

The symptoms of breast engorgement are unique to each woman. However, the general symptoms include:

  • Swelling, which may be contained to one or both breasts. It may also extend up towards the armpit
  • Oedema (retention of fluid) in the affected breast
  • Hardness or tightness of the affected breast which may lead to noticeable veins beneath the breast skin
  • Warm on touch
  • Feeling heavy or full
  • Breast may appear shiny or transparent
  • Nipple may become stretched and flattened
  • Low-grade fever
  • Lump on the affected breast.
test kit and a laptop

10 Ways to Relieve Breast Engorgement

  1. Cold cabbage leaf compresses. This helps to relieve pain. Cabbage also contains anti-inflammatory substances which help to relieve inflammation (swelling).
  2. Use a cold compress or ice packs to ease swelling. Place a towel over your breast and apply an ice pack to the area. It helps to relieve swelling.
  3. Take warm baths. If you don’t get relieved after using applying a cold compress, you can try taking a warm bath. The heat can help to ease the tension by relaxing the surrounding muscles.
  4. Drink more water. This is a good way to relieve breast engorgement. Drinking excess water during the day will help to flush out excess hormones and fluids. If you like, you can add lemon or ginger to your water because they relieve soreness and pain.
  5. Take pain medication approved by your doctor. If the pain is becoming too much, you can take a pain relief drug but ensure that your doctor prescribes it. If the pain continues, you may need to see your doctor to check your breast in order to rule out any infection.
  6. Wear a more supportive bra. You need a supportive bra to keep your breast firm and avoid it making any significant movement. You can try out an exercise bra or a maternity bra. Avoid under-wire bras because they can make you very uncomfortable.
  7. Wear loose-fitting clothes. Tight, fitted clothes may make you feel uncomfortable if you have breast soreness. Loose clothes won’t irritate you, making them a better option.
  8. Reduce contacts with your breast. Avoid touching your breast as much as possible. If your seatbelt is uncomfortable, you can adjust the straps so that it runs between your breast and not on top of one of them. The same goes for your purses and bags. Don’t allow their straps to pass over your breast. A backpack may be a better option.
  9. Try wearing a breast pad. A breast pad shields your nipples from the inside of your bra. They also help to protect your clothes in case your breast is leaking.
  10. Diet modification. Adding foods rich in vitamins and minerals can help to reduce pain in the breast during pregnancy. Reduce the quantity of salt you take because of the sodium it contains. Temporary reduction in ingested sodium helps manage breast pain. But before you make any modification to your diet, you should consult your doctor to know if a salt reduction is good for you.

Final Words

A breast infection may be mistaken for breast engorgement just because it’s happening after pregnancy. Therefore, it’s safer to report any major changes to your doctor.

Also, do not self-medicate.

tablet for breast pain

This can harm you and your baby. Finally, use the drugs prescribed by a doctor and everything is going to work out fine.

REFERENCES

Pain During Breastfeeding; Causes, Prevention & Treatment

Most new moms tire of breastfeeding in the early days of this journey; sometimes, this is due to stress, physiological changes, or even the pain experienced while feeding their little ones. In most cases, this sharp pain during breastfeeding can discourage many new moms from the all-important process of breastfeeding.

It is interesting to note that the cause of this pain varies from woman to woman, therefore, each mom should carefully check for the underlying cause; as it’s the first step to proper treatment. This article provides you with the causes, prevention, and treatment of sharp pain during breastfeeding.

Causes of Pain During Breastfeeding

  1. Breast Engorgement.

This is a condition that ensues when the breasts produce more milk than required. Essentially, it’s a situation where supply exceeds demand. As a result of this, the breast becomes overfilled and quite painful.

  1. Let-down Reflex.

Let down means the release of milk. Mothers share a very special bond with their babies. Sometimes, when a new mom hears her baby cry or just thinks about him/her, the ‘let-down’ reflex occurs, leading to a stimulation of the milk ducts.

This experience can be painful for first-time moms, especially when it’s not feeding time, as it causes the milk ducts to distend significantly.

  1. Using A Wrong Latch.

Many breastfeeding moms, especially first-time moms, take some time to learn to right position during breastfeeding. With a healthy nursing latch, deep on the breast is given, the baby will get the most milk causing no pain to his/her mom.

However, a shallow latch pressures the nipple & causes an entire world of pain. Sometimes, bruising may occur. One tip to note and remember always is that feeding a baby is breastfeeding, not nipple feeding. Ensure your baby’s lips are around most of your areola when feeding.

  1. Yeast infections

Babies can develop an oral yeast infection also known as thrush and then pass it to the mothers’ nipple during feeding, resulting in painful, sore & tender breasts. A baby with yeast infection can have any of the following symptoms: white patches on the tongue or inside of the cheeks, diaper rash, or persistent fussiness.

  1. Mastitis.

Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue, which results from delayed/improper treatment of a blocked milk duct. Whenever this occurs, breastfeeding is always painful for the affected mother.

  1. Tender Nipples

We understand that the first few days are the toughest. In this period, you may have to deal with painful, sore, or cracked nipples. However, if your baby latches on well, this pain will subside.

  1. Breast Abscess

When the infection caused by mastitis is untreated, it can lead to breast abscess. Breast abscess is a condition characterized by a pus filled boil on the breast. Breast abscesses are really uncomfortable and quite painful.

Prevention of Pain During Breastfeeding

  1. Treat Mastitis

Whenever you observe a reduction in milk production or lumps in your breasts, please consult your doctor immediately. This may result from a blocked milk duct that should be treated immediately.

  1. Get A Good Latch.

To get a good latch, hold your baby’s chin down gently and open as they approach to feed. Then tickle your baby’s upper lip with your breast and wait until their mouth is wide open before you guide them to the breast gently.

  1. Help Your Baby Unlatch.

While helping your baby unlatch, it’s important to break the suction before pulling him/her off. To unlatch your baby, put your finger between your breast and his/her gums gently to break the suction. Then guide your baby’s head away from your chest. Doing this right would prevent the possibility of a sore nipple or pain during breastfeeding.

  1. Adjust Your Hold

Your holding position during breastfeeding goes a long way to determine how comfortable feeding sessions are for you and your little one. To attain a healthy hold, ensure that your baby’s face is parallel to your breast and his/her tummy is in contact with your body. You can try out multiple positions and change positions to avoid getting sore.

  1. Prevent Thrush

Each time you breastfeed, you leave your nipples wet. Persistently wet nipples can lead to thrush; a yeast infection of the nipples. An infected nipple hurts a lot during breastfeeding, furthermore, this thrush can be transferred to the baby, making him/her really sick.

To prevent thrush, keep your nipples dry. Once feeding sessions are over, dry your nipple with a baby towel.

  1. Keep Your Nipples Moisturized

Nipples may crack and bleed during breastfeeding as a result of dryness. Therefore, you need to moisturize them often. Ensure you use only moisturizers that are safe for babies, since your little one would put his/her mouth directly on your nipple. Apply the cream on your nipple after feeding so that your skin can absorb it all before the next feeding session.

  1. Wear A Supportive Bra

Avoid bras with underwire while breastfeeding. Try out nursing camisole tops that can stretch more. You can also ask your doctor what bra type is best for you.

Treatment of Pain During Breastfeeding.

  1. Reduce engorgement if your breasts are engorged: The breast becomes engorged when they are too full. To express more milk from your breast, use a warm, wet towel to compress your breasts one after the other. You can also use a breast pump to express more milk and store if you want to.
  2. Apply a cold compress: A cold compress soothes sore nipples after breastfeeding. To use a cold compress, place a piece of fabric between your skin and the icepack. Please, do not place an icepack directly on your skin.
  3. Treat your nipple if it’s blocked: Blocked nipples appear as a whitish or yellowish blister on the nipple. It may go away on its own or reoccur in some cases. You can use a warm compress or massage with olive oil for relief. However, you should not pick at it as it may lead to bleeding and infection. If you have a painful and reoccurring blister on your nipple, consult your doctor immediately.
  4. Soothe sore nipples with a hydrogel pad. You can use hydrogel pads at room temperature to relieve pain from sore nipples. These pads prevent your nipples from sticking on your bra fabric.

Conclusion

Breast pain can discourage you from feeding your baby, leading to malnutrition for your baby. It is best to seek medical help as soon as you notice any pain in your breast.

References

Kirsti Kaski and Linda J. Kvist (2018). Deep breast pain during lactation: a case-control study in Sweden investigating the role of Candida albicans. International Breastfeeding Journal volume 13, Article number: 21. Accessed on 2nd March, 2021 from https://internationalbreastfeedingjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13006-018-0167-8

Jacqueline C. Kent, Elizabeth Ashton, Catherine M. Hardwick, Marnie K. Rowan, Elisa S. Chia, Kyle A. Fairclough, Lalitha L. Menon, Courtney Scott, Georgia Mather-McCaw, Katherine Navarro, and Donna T. Geddes (2015). Nipple Pain in Breastfeeding Mothers: Incidence, Causes and Treatments. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Accessed on 2nd March, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4626966/#__ffn_sectitle

Priscilla Tait (2000). Nipple Pain in Breastfeeding Women: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention Strategies. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. Accessed on 2nd March, 2021 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12412775_Nipple_Pain_in_Breastfeeding_Women_Causes_Treatment_and_Prevention_Strategies

10 Ways To Boost Breastmilk Supply

Breastfeeding your baby is a beautiful experience for every new mom. However, most babies don’t get to feed well due to inadequate milk supply. Breastmilk is composed of proteins, fat, water and other necessary minerals and vitamins essential for your baby’s growth and development.

Of course, your baby needs the best supply of milk to grow well. However, this supply may be impaired by caffeine & alcohol consumption, stress and dietary changes.

In this article, you’d find 10 amazing ways to boost your breast milk supply and an extra tip on maintaining a good health while breastfeeding.

1. Drink Enough Water

Breastmilk is made up of about 90% water. Therefore, water should be a regular part of every mom’s diet. Although, the exact quantity of fluid requirements varies for each persoin, you should take at least 6-8 glasses of water daily.

You can also supplement with other healthy liquids such as fruit juice, milk, or tea.

Dizziness, slight headache or a dry mouth may be signs that you are not taking enough water.

2. Eat A Well-Balanced Diet

Breastfeeding consumes a lot of energy. As a result of this, every nursing mother requires an average extra calorie intake of 500g daily.

Thankfully, smoothies, yoghurt, eggs, fruits and veggies can help you meet this calorie demand and boost your breastmilk

Also, your vitamin and mineral intake need to be regular and balanced. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends Calcium, vitamin D, iron, folic acid as important minerals and vitamins needed by breastfeeding moms.

3. Feed On Demand

The trick is to feed as your baby demands.

Don’t schedule your feeding. Feed as often as your milk flows and as your baby demands. This means that you feed your baby as soon as they are hungry.

Although this may be difficult for most new moms, creating a workable plan would go a long way to help out. If you really want to boost your breastmilk supply, you need to feed based on demand.

4. Let Your Baby Feed Fully On Each Side

Feeding from both breasts during each feeding in the first few weeks after birth helps to build a stronger supply of breast milk. Always remember to alternate the breast you start feeding with each time. This is because the first breast usually gets more stimulation. Starting each feeding from the same breast will make that breast bigger and more productive than the other one.

Milk production functions like a demand and supply system such that the more you empty your breast, the more milk is produced. As a result of this, when your baby feeds often and empties both breasts, they are sure to get both the fore-milk and the fatty hind-milk which is great for their development.

5. Use A Breast Pump

Using a breast pump is a good way to maintain milk supply for your child while you’re away. Remember that the more you empty your breast, the more milk your body will provide.

You can also use the breast pump to stimulate your breast after even after you are done feeding or the milk has stopped flowing. This will signal to your body that you need more milk and more will be produced.

6. Use Breast Compression

The Breast compression technique is guaranteed to help your baby feed more during breastfeeding sessions. This technique also helps to remove more milk from your breast during feeding.

Always remember, the more milk is expelled; the more milk that will be produced.

You need to note that this technique works best if your child is not feeding well or sleeps off during feeding. If your child is feeding well, you don’t need breast compression.

7. Keep Breastfeeding

Remember the breastmilk demand and supply rule? Yes, it works.

When the demand for breastmilk increases, the supply will also increase. When you breastfeed more often, your body will receive the request to produce more milk and this will boost your breastmilk supply.

8. Breastfeed For Longer Periods

The more time your baby spends breastfeeding, the more stimulation you get to produce more breast milk. Your newborn should breastfeed at least 10 minutes on each side daily.

9. Don’t Skip Feedings

If you skip feeding or give your baby formula, you won’t allow your body to produce more milk. This is because when your baby feeds at the breast, you are sending signals to your body to produce more milk. Your supply will reduce if you fail to pump in place of that feeding. But this won’t produce as much result as breastfeeding.

10. Avoid Things That Decrease Milk Supply

Despite the fact that you’re doing all to make your breast to increase supply, some activities can decrease your breastmilk supply. Some of these include:

  • Birth control pills
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

Birth control pills, especially a method that controls estrogen in the first six weeks after birth can make it difficult to produce breastmilk. This is because estrogen suppresses the production of breastmilk.

Taking too much caffeine can also reduce the supply of breastmilk. Smoking or drinking alcohol can also interfere with the supply of breastmilk.

Avoiding these substances while breastfeeding is a sure way to boost your breastmilk supply.

An Extra tip

Stress is one critical factor that can affect your supply of breastmilk. So it is important for you to rest well as much as possible. Try and take much nap, or sleep when your baby is sleeping so that you’ll recover and gain more strength.

Excess Sweat
References

IS GUINEA CORN GOOD FOR MY BABY?

For the first few months of life, most new mothers don’t have to worry about what to feed their babies. Nature has made provision for an always available, highly nutritious meal for newborns in the form of breast milk.

Breastfeeding and Losing Baby Weight

In fact, we advise all new mums to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. However, after that the question of which solid food supplies your baby with the best nutrients may spring up.

As usual, we’re here to help out.

Firstly, What’s Guinea Corn?

Guinea corn, also known as Sorghum has been a common choice for African mothers for a very long time.It is also becoming increasingly popular in all parts of the world. This popularity isn’t strange because guinea corn is a highly nutritous cereal. It is not only highly beneficial for adults, but it is also especially good for babies.

Guinea Corn

If you are a new mother searching for the best weaning foods, you have come to the right place.

Nutritional Content Of Guinea Corn

Guinea corn is a highly nutritious grain and a natural energy inducer. It is highly rich in protein, cellulose, and other micronutrients such as:

  • magnesium
  • iron
  • vitamin-B
  • copper
  • calcium
  • potassium

Guinea corn is the real super food you need to fulfill all your babies nutritional requirements for healthy growth.

Health Benefits Of Guinea Corn:

1. Weight Booster

African mothers take pride in their newborns growing and putting on healthy weight. Guinea corn is a super food with high calorie content to support weight gain. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many Nigerian mums choose to feed their babies guinea corn once they stop breastfeeding.

Furthermore, it’s necessary for a child to be at a healthy weight for proper growth and development to occur. Babies who are underweight usually have problems with physical and mental development.

If your baby is having issues putting on weight, guinea corn will be very helpful. This super food is not only packed with nutrients, but is also high in calories that will help your baby gain weight easily.

2. Aids Digestion

The process of transitioning from consuming breast milk to eating solid foods is a gradual one. Your baby’s digestive system may take some time to adjust to the new diet and you may have to deal with some bowel inconsistencies. However, guinea corn can be easily digested by your baby’s system. In fact, it will even help improve your baby’s digestive system and get rid of common bowel problems.

3. Anti-carcinogenic Properties

Medical studies show that guinea corn can prevent cancer. This amazing grain is rich in phenolic compounds which prevent the growth of cancer cells in the colon and breast.

Still doubting this amazing grain?

Just hold on.

How to Use Guinea Corn As Baby Food

Guinea corn can be processed and eaten in different ways. Some of them include:

  • Brown Pap

This is one of the most common baby foods used to weaning babies in Nigeria. It is like our very own English version of custard. This highly nutritious meal is made from a combination of corn, millet and guinea corn. It provides your baby with the right amounts of carbohydrate, proteins, and vitamins necessary for growth.

How to make tom brown for babies

In addition, pap can even be fortified with milk, fruit purees, soyabeans, groundnuts, or even crayfish, you have a balanced diet!

  • Kunu Geida

This is also another local baby food. Kunu Geida is made from guinea corn and dried nuts. It is also highly nutritious and contains sufficient amounts of protein, fats and carbohydrates needed for your child’s growth. Feeding your child Kunu geida regularly will help him grow faster and gain weight.

In addition to this, you can also process Guinea corn into flour for baking bread, pancakes, and porridge.

In Conclusion

We advise that you breast feed your baby exclusively for at least the first 6 months of life before you consider introducing solid foods.

Guinea corn is one of the best foods you could introduce to your child first.

Finally, It is easily digestible and highly nutritious. You should try it!

REFERENCES
  • 2) Nago, Mathurin Coffi; Hounhouigan, Joseph D.; Akissoe, Noël; Zanou, Elisabeth; Mestres, Christian (June 1998). “Characterization of the Beninese traditional ogi, a fermented maize slurry: physicochemical and microbiological aspects”. International Journal of Food Science & Technology. 33 (3): 307–315. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2621.1998.00169.x.
  • Chukwu, Ogbonnaya & Abubakar, I.. (2011). Determination of Some Physicochemical Properties of Guinea Corn (Sorghum vulgare). Journal of Innovative Research in Engineering and Science. 2. 62-66.
  • Eifediyi, Kevin. (2015). Studies on the growth and yield response of guinea corn (Sorghum bicolor) to organomineral fertilizer application in Ilorin North Central Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Applied Science. Volume 33.
  • Shutterstock

Breastfeeding Struggles: Mastitis


Have you ever experienced mastitis?

It’s a situation where part of a woman’s breast becomes warm, very painful and swollen because of inflammation.

Sometimes it’s associated with fever and chills and later develop into a collection of pus (an abscess) as the body tries to contain it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Mums who stop breastfeeding abruptly due to latching issues or weaning and later develop blocked ducts or engorgement are at of mastitis. Infected nipple cracks, sores and smoking are also risk factors.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Mums who stop breastfeeding abruptly due to latching issues or weaning and later develop blocked ducts or engorgement are at of mastitis.

Dr Ijeoma Idaresit, The Edie & Amy Company


Don’t be fooled by this calm fancy write up. Mastitis can make you feel your breasts are on fire.

How can mastitis be prevented?

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1) Always drain your breasts of milk after each feed or express whenever your breasts are engorged.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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2) Avoid nipple cracks by ensuring baby has a good latch during breastfeeding ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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3) Ensure you are using the right size of breast shield (flange) in your breast pump. The wrong flange can mar your pumping experience. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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4) If you do develop a nipple cracks or blisters please keep them clean or seek medical care as soon as possible if they don’t heal within 3 days.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5) Adopt a gradual approach to weaning your baby off breast milk to reduce the risk of engorgement.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you develop mastitis ensure you keep hand expressing milk from the affected breast and applying cold gel pads.

The wrong flange can mar your pumping experience.

Dr Ijeoma Idaresit, The Edie & Amy Company
Breastfeeding struggles: mastitis

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Visit your doctor to get an examination and a prescription of painkillers and antibiotics as well. Learn more about dealing with common breastfeeding challenges here.

“A good latch prevents nipple cracks.” Ours chat with IBCLC Titi Med
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