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5 tips for nursing mamas

by Melanie Venuti • February 1st, 2016

1.) Breastfeeding can HURT…but it shouldn’t.
After your baby is born, and you and your baby are learning to breastfeed together. Sometimes it can be a little bit uncomfortable, and this is when you want to ask for help. When breastfeeding is painful, it typically means that something isn’t right with positioning, latch, engorgement, or even water retention or swelling. A Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) has knowledge and experience working in the field of maternal and child health and has specialized skills in breastfeeding management. IBCLC’s use a problem solving approach and provide evidence-based information to breastfeeding women and make appropriate recommendations as needed to ensure breastfeeding success. Breastfeeding help is available!

2.) “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.”
You can read books, take classes, and talk to friends and family to prepare for the arrival of your little one, but it’s also a great idea to take advantage of this community when your baby is born. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Send an email with questions to the instructor of your newborn care or breastfeeding class. Reach out to friends and coworkers who have children for tips. Allow family to cook, clean and do laundry so you can rest.

3.) To make milk, you have to feed your baby.
Breast milk production starts during pregnancy. At about 18-20 weeks a woman’s body starts to produce colostum, baby’s first milk. After delivery, the endocrine control system continues to drive milk production, meaning that milk starts to increase by volume at about 36 hours due to changes in hormones. After milk has come in, production works via supply and demand. The more milk the baby takes the more the mother makes. So, feed your baby early and often!

4.) Some women have TOO MUCH milk.
Oversupply is a very real situation for some women. If your baby gags, chokes or pulls off the breast during the feeding or seems to have an uncomfortable gassy tummy, or if you are feeling “full” all the time or see sprays of milk coming from the breast upon stimulation, it is possible you have an oversupply. Talk to your IBCLC for what to do.

5.) You can enjoy your much-needed cocktail.
Alcohol does pass into breastmilk, and after one drink (1 beer, glass of wine, 1 mixed cocktail) typically peaks at about 30-60 minutes after consumption. Alcohol also passes out of a mother’s milk and her system, within 2-3 hours, making it safe to resume breastfeeding. Just like blood alcohol level, of course, the more alcohol that is consumed, the longer this process takes. “An occasional celebratory single, small alcoholic drink is acceptable, but breastfeeding should be avoided for 2 hours after the drink” as stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Looking for Breastfeeding Support? Take a breastfeeding class, talk to one of our lactation consultants in the boston area or drop in to our breastfeeding group.



How does milk production work?

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