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Breastfeeding tips- boosting supply etc.

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#1 lexwithbub


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Posted 06 May 2005 - 03:14 PM

I thought i'd start a thread on breastfeeding, especially with so many new bubbas, and lots more to come, most of us who breastfeed will have concerns and questions at some point.

having fed Morgan for 17 months, weaning at about four months pregnant, and now feeding Hamish, i have done a LOT of research into all sorts of Breastfeeding problems over the last two years, so thought I would share some with you all.

Feel free to add yours.

The number one concern for most mums is...

LOW SUPPLY... so my first post i will share some ideas to boost supply.

Firstly quite often we percieve that we have low supply, but generally don't, if bub is gaining well we probably don't need to worry. But we do worry anyway, so doing some of the thigs listed below may at least help to put our minds at ease!

First make sure there is no medical reason for low supply... ie medications such as anti-histamines (pseudoephedrine) and blood pressure medications, also caffeine can affect milk production. And make sure that you are drinking anough fluids, while drinking extra won't make more milk, being dehydrated can slow production down.

After that it is likely to be a supply and demand thing (always with the 'supply and demand' rolleyes.gif ) Keep in mind that it is a combination of bub SUCKING and the milk being drained that keeps your supply going. That is why it is difficult to keep supply up when pumping.

*Check bub's attachment, as poor attachment can lead to nipple problems and frustration on both you and bub's part. Once they are attaching well, they will get more milk at each feed.

*Feed bub whenever they want it... try not to restrict the length of frequency of feeds, particularly on the first 3 months, while the breastfeeding relationship is still being established. (this will help particularly if you are expressing during the day)

*Avoid comp feeds as much as possible. if you do, try and use ebm rather that formula

*Get comfortable... being tense (or cold) will affect your let down reflex. i always feed with a blanket over us.

*Empty the first side before offering the other... always offer the second side even if bub doesn't always take it.

After doing those there are other things that YOU can do to help..

*When you have a shower let the warm water run over your breasts while you massage them... they will probably leak/spray everywhere, and you might get a let down or three. but it will get those good hormones moving.

*massage and/or warm your breasts before feeding.

*Rest whenever you can... our bodies make more milk while we are asleep or resting. Supply is often at a low in the afternoon, so having an afternoon nap can really help. Another reason to try and 'sleep when the baby does'.

*Express whever you are unable to feed.

*Have a 'baby and me' day... (I LOVE this one!)
Spend a day in bed with bub... ideally you should have someone to bring meals to you, you should go topless, and bub should be in nappy only, so you can get lots of skin to skin contact. Feed bub whenever they show an interest in feeding. Get plenty of rest... doze, relax, take it easy. Hold bub close to you. when bub breaths on you, or when you smell your bub it stimulates the milk producing hormones (just like getting a letdown in the supermarket when you hear another baby cry) just as when bub smells you it encourages them to feed more.

this 'baby and me' day is along the lines of the 'kangaroo care' done with premmie babies.

Having the support of your hubby will help too.

Then there are medicinal ways to boost supply... dont' know much about them... i know some of the chickies here have used things like fenugreek...

Also educate yourself as much as possible... visit the Australian breastfeeding Association (ABA) website, or the La Leche League (LLL) website which both have lots of info, the LLL site has info on every possible breastfeeding problem!

You may also consider talking to an ABA consultant, although some people find them to be too single minded in their approach ie you must breastfeed at all costs, And remember they are NOT lactation consultants, but they can offer some great support.

Speak to your communtiy nurse who can refer you to a lactation consultant. See your GP if you believe you need medication or if you think one of your regular meds is affecting supply.

ALSO... keep in mind that feeding bub is a TEAM thing... that includes you, hubby, bub and any other kids. you have to do what is best for ALL concerned, so if switching to formula is what is needed for bub's health and your own sanity, than that is the RIGHT decision.

And remember we are here at I-Do to offer our support when you need it!

Well that's my first bit. I hope others can add their own pieces of wisdom!.

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#2 helenaposs


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Posted 06 May 2005 - 04:43 PM

I will share my advice re: cracked nipples.

I found the best method of healing was a combination of the following:

* Not wearing bras (easier said than done especially depending on your breast size)
* Not using breast pads (they just keep the moisture in and you just have to tolerate a bit of leaking)
* Lots of sunlight but not getting sunburnt (have to be very sneaky doing this, I would go outside in my bathrobe and give a flash every now and then)
* After a feed bathing the crack in salted water (this helped to dry it out)
* I avoided using Lansinoh and other creams because once again they create moisture

Now after the crack still not healing although it did get better, I investigated the possibility of thrush. You are susceptible to thrush if you have a crack on your nipple. Although when I went to the Dr I didn't present with thrush like symptoms as soon as I treated my nipple with thrush cream and Ava's mouth with thrush medication the crack improved and so did the pain. To add, the reason why I thought maybe possible thrush was that my nipple was white after Ava fed on it and I got a radiating pain in my nipple and breast that occured constantly to the point that it brought tears to my eyes.

I hope this helps someone out! I know that for me it was a lot of trial and error until the problem was solved, considering I spent the whole time sure I was having problems with attachment but that wasn't the case.

My other advice is if you are having BF problems to get on top of it as soon as possible. Like Alex mentioned the ABA are really helpful. I have used their forum and rang their hotline numerous occasions.
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#3 Cristie


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Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:04 PM

Great thread Alex, maybe we can have this pinned somewhere for future reference too?
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#4 lexwithbub


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Posted 07 May 2005 - 09:45 AM

QUOTE (helenaposs @ May 6 2005, 04:43 PM)
I will share my advice re: cracked nipples.

* I avoided using Lansinoh and other creams because once again they create moisture

With hamish I had some bad grazes, and found lansinoh was like a miracle for me, so it is definitely a case by case thing... everyone is different.

It is likely that having thrush would have stopped lansinoh from working.

*Definitely DO NOT use moisturiser on your nipples! I also read that you should avoid essential oils or anything with perfume, because it won't taste nice to the baby!
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#5 naybee


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Posted 07 May 2005 - 09:01 PM

I thought I would add my tips for handling mastitis - as I am currently in the midst of my second bout!

* Always try to feed the baby off the infected breast first. This can be easier said than done, especially when you have a starving and impatient baby, and your breasts are incredibly painful. If this is too difficult, try to give your baby a little off the non-affected breast (just to calm them a bit) before offering the sore one, this will ensure they aren't as impatient with you if it takes a bit to get it right.

* A nice hot shower jet directly on the breast works wonders for pain relief.

*Massage, massage, massage - get out those lumps!

*Personal choice, but you can take paracetamol while breastfeeding and depending on the pain, you may need it! Now is not the time to be a martyr.

* New-born size nappies, placed in the freezer and then on your breasts will be like heaven! A bit cold at first, but then lovely and relieving - just make sure you do this after the feed, or it will impead your let-down.

*Some people suggest cabbage leaves from the fridge on your breasts can help, however, these can (if used frequently) reduce your supply.

*Get rest, rest and more rest. If you can, stay in bed and get someone to do all other care of the baby (nappies etc.) - even if it's only for a few hours, you will benefit.

*Don't hesitate to see your doctor - depending on the severity of the infection, you may need anti-biotics - which take about 12 hours to kick in - so if you suspect masitis and have tried all the known remedies - get down there asap.

#6 Nat_H


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Posted 09 May 2005 - 09:53 AM

I've got two things to add.

1) If your baby has started sleeping through and you're worried about the effect this has on your supply, you can either do one last pump just before you go to bed, or get up early to pump before bubs wakes up. Or you can make an effort to get up during the night to pump or even get bub up to feed. Usually if I wake up in the middle of the night I'll either pump, or preferably get Marcus up and feed him, especially if he is awake and playing between sleeps. I rarely have trouble getting him back to sleep again.

2) Something I'd never heard of until it happened to me - White Spot. If you have a blocked duct that just won't go away, chances are you might have this. It can usually be identified by a white spot on your nipple. It's caused by the calcium in your breastmilk blocking the whole in your nipple. Sometimes you're lucky, feeding off this breast first all the time, baby's sucking will remove it. Other times you may need to sterlise a needle and rub the edge of it over where the white spot is located and hand express a bit to get it out, followed by feeding the baby on this breast first. If it's a stubborn one treat as you would a normal blocked duct, as well as retrying the needle trick. Also, use gravity - lay baby on back and you hold yourself over the top.
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#7 lexwithbub


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Posted 23 July 2005 - 07:26 PM

Weaning tips -

There have been a few threads about problems with weaning, and dealing with engorgement etc.

The number one rule with weaning is the slower you can do it, the better. Both the baby AND your breasts will thank you!

So if you know a few months in advance that you need to wean you can plan ahead and drop (or replace) feeds one at a time every few weeks. I weaned morgan by dropping one feed every month or so, until he was down to ONE SIDE each day (early morning). Of course by that tme, I was pregnant again, so my milk never actually dried up. but Morgan didn't miss it at all, and I didn't have any engorgement, or leaking problems.

Also the slower you wean, the more fatty tissue is left behind, so you are less likely to end up with "deflated balloon" boobs!

Of course, sometimes it is necessary to wean in a short period of time, particularly in the case of illness, separation from baby, or starting medication which is unsafe for breastfeeding.

In this case you should work out a plan... ie how many days do you have to wean, and how many feeds do you need to drop (and/or replace), then work out how often each feed must be dropped. Once you have started the weaning process it is important to avoid anything that will stimulate your supply.

Other tips to reduce supply and help with engorgement are...

Avoid touching your breasts, don't massage them as this just stimulates milk.
Have cool showers, and back into it so that the water never hits your breasts directly.
Tell hubby that you boobs are out of bounds wink.gif they still belong to you and bub until the milk has stopped.
Don't express unless absolutely necessary, and preferably by hand rather than a pump.
Use cabbage leaves and cool packs to reduce swelling, this also helps reduce milk production.
Wear breastpads to protect your nipples and absorb any leakage.
Take ibuprofen to ease pain and inflammation, ibuprofen can also reduce milk production.

The above tips are the ones recommended for women who choose not to breastfeed at all, so if it helps them when their milk first comes in, it will DEFINITELY help you!

A few other things to keep in mind-

It is common for there still to be some milk produced weeks, months, even years after weaning, they will often leak during sex (oxytocin), after a shower. There is no reason to worry if that is all it is.

ALTHOUGH if you are TTC your next baby, the fact that there is still some milk being produced shows there is still prolactin in your system, which can interfere with estrogen levels essential for ovulation, so it may be worth getting it checked out if you have any concerns. Although it is definitely possible to conceive while still fully breastfeeding! Don't forget the condoms! LOL!!

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#8 gogogadgetgirl


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Posted 21 September 2005 - 10:31 AM

I know of a couple of people whose babies had tongue-tie. Here is an excerpt from LLL.

"Lindsay wasn't latching on properly, but it wasn't until Lindsay was screaming that Sarah discovered the major problem. When her mouth was wide open crying, Sarah could see that Lindsay had a short frenulum. The frenulum is the membrane that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A short frenulum prevents a baby from extending the tongue to grasp and milk the breast properly. Many refer to this condition as tongue-tie."

It is rare but something to consider if you are having latch problems.

#9 helenaposs


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Posted 25 October 2005 - 11:02 AM

Here are a couple of useful breastfeeding websites:

Australian Breastfeeding Association - includes plenty of information, has it's own forum, numbers for ABA counsellors in every state

Kellymom - lots of breastfeeding information - this site has lots of different information on supply, fast/slow flow and heaps of information in relation to breastfeeding
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#10 Tatiana


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Posted 28 March 2006 - 09:27 AM


Before DD was even born I had many scarey thoughts about breast feeding.
Most of the mums that I knew, even my own mum, didnt breast feed their babies,
so it was understandable that I had little to draw from reguarding breast feeding.

After reading several books on the topic I still felt apprehesive, but I was certain of one thing. I really wanted to breastfeed our baby.

Then the big day finally arrived. Due to having a C-sec it was 2 hours after DD's birth before a midwife at the hospital showed me the breast feeding ropes.
Baby and I sat on a comfy chair. Then the midwife gently squeezed a little colostrum from my breast so it would settle on the tip of my nipple. I couldnt believe my eyes when I saw colostrum coming out of my own breast. Then with the midwifes help, I held my tiny baby to my breast. We gently encouraged her to open her mouth to attatch and we were in business.
I was feeding my own baby and I was speechless. ohmy.gif

Our little one is nearly 5 months old now and is exclusively breast fed and is a rolly polly chubba bubba.

The only regret that I have is that I didnt join a breast feeding group a couple of months before DD was born. If I had, I may have saved myself a lot of unnessessary stress.

I highly recommend a breast feeding group for your support.
Enjoy your baby and good luck with your Breast Feeding.


* Just edited to add that DD is now 9 1/2 months old and still breastfeeding and started solids 2 months ago.

Also, an added benefit of breastfeeding is the incredibly fast weight loss. ohmy.gif Yes, breastfeeding burns calories!!
During my pregnancy I gained 15kg's and have lost 17kg's since. I have never been able to loose weight so effectivley without exercising and it's still coming off. I was certain that I would never shift any of the baby weight and foolishly got rid of most pre preg clothes. Oh well it's probably time for some new clothes anyway.

* Just editing to add that DD is 17months old tomorrow and is having booby in the morning and just before bed and sometime extra if she asks. Things are really coming to a gradual close. It's a bit sad. My little Chi Chi has pretty much self weaned and it will be over soon...... * or so I thought at the time.


Many months later..........
Final edit dd is now 23 months! At 18 months I stopped offering dd the breast so she could self ween. There were days when she want ed more and days she wanted less or none at all.
This was a 4 month process but a happy decision for us both. By the final months it was comfort feeding when she needed it. Then recently I noticed that she hadnt asked for "booby" in 2 weeks so I offered it to her and she said no. I even asked her if she was sure and she was sure. We were both ok with it.

Our breast feeding journey in brief:
Exclusive BF to 6 months.
6 months BF and small amount solids introduced.
12 months organic cows milk in cereal only, still on breast.
14 months 1/2 organic cows 1/2 water in bottle for 1st time, still on breast morning and night.
18 months full organic cows in bottle and breast + started self weening.
22 months final breast feed/ comfort feed.

My favourite part now is watching her role play with her toys and lift up her top and breast fed her teddy, doll, penguin, lamb.......they are all well breast fed.


#11 helenaposs


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Posted 26 October 2006 - 07:57 PM

This is off the ABA website. Here is the link which includes pictures:http://www.breastfee...bfinfo/bla.html

Baby-led attachment

Baby-led attachment is the term given to the process where your baby follows a pattern of instinctive behaviours to get to the breast. This can be for the first breastfeed or at any time when the attachment is not correct and your nipples are damaged. The process is most often described as follows:

1. Sit comfortably, whether in bed with pillows behind you and one under your knees, or on a chair with your feet on a low stool or cushion. It is helpful to be well-supported and comfortable, as you may be sitting in that position for a while. Speak to your medical adviser if pain is making it difficult for you to relax.

2. Start with a calm baby and a calm mother. Humans learn best when they are in a calm, receptive state. Your baby's instincts in response to hunger will lead her to the breast and to suckle, however it is the flow of milk she then receives that teaches her this is where milk comes from. If your baby is stressed, crying or upset, she will not be in a receptive state to be able to follow her instincts. Calm your baby by gentle rocking and cuddling, talking to your baby, making eye contact and being skin-to-skin.

Baby-led attachment - pic 1Baby-led attachment - pic 1Baby-led attachment - pic 1
3. Skin-to-skin contact is a very important part of this instinctive process, so while you are both learning, you may find it useful to remove your shirt and bra, and to remove your baby's clothes, leaving her in just a nappy. Make sure the room is warm enough to be comfortable for you both.

4. Hold your baby in a way you both find comfortable. Many mothers find that holding their baby upright on their chest, between their breasts, works best for them.

5. Your baby will start to move her head. As your baby starts to follow her instincts, she may start to 'bob' her head around on your chest. As you support her in a way that feels right to you, she will start to slide, crawl, fall or even throw herself towards one of your breasts.

6. Support your baby. As she moves towards one breast, you may find it helpful to move your baby's bottom across your body towards the other breast. You may also need to move your hand and wrist to support your baby's back and shoulders. This support to your baby's upper body gives her the stability to be able to control her head movements as she attaches.

7. Attaching to your breast. Now that your baby's head is near your nipple, she may nuzzle your breast for a little while. That is fine. As long as she is still calm, she will eventually dig her chin into your breast, reach up with an open mouth, and attach to the breast. You may find it helpful to pull baby's bottom closer to your body, or to give even more firm support to her back and shoulders at this time. This will help her to dig her chin in, keep her nose free of the breast, and get a good mouthful of breast. If she loses contact with your breast, this may interrupt the instinctive process. She may continue once in contact again, or if she does not, you may need to move her back to a more upright position between your breasts and start again.

8. When your baby is well attached to the breast, her mouth will be right over the nipple and well onto the surrounding darker area (areola), with her tongue underneath the nipple. She should have more of the 'chin-side' of areola in her mouth than the side adjacent to her nose. Her top and bottom lips will open out over the breast, with her chin pressed against the breast and her nose clear. A correctly attached baby will be able to breathe while feeding - most mothers find they do not need to hold the breast away from the baby's nose. Doing so may pull the nipple from her mouth or even block the milk ducts below. If her nose is pushing into the breast, try moving her body and legs closer to you. This will bring her chin further in towards the breast and free her nose naturally.

'Chest to chest, chin to breast' is a quick way to describe good positioning.

Your baby's body will be positioned such that her head, neck and spine are in a straight line, with her head tipped back over your hand or arm. Her body should be facing yours. She may end up being held almost horizontally under your breasts, or she may be lying more diagonally across your body, or even into your lap. As long as her back is straight, her body close to yours, and you are both comfortable, that is all that matters. Take the time to try different positions to find what best suits you both.

If you feel pain beyond the initial stretching of your nipple, your baby may not have taken a big enough mouthful of breast. You can break the suction by inserting a clean finger in the corner of her mouth, between her gums, and try again. Baby may be happy to re-attach without changing position, or you may need to bring her more upright and start the process again. Similarly if your baby becomes upset or distressed during the 'baby-led attachment' process, calm her first, and start again. This is a learning process for both of you, it is okay to take your time.

As you and your baby start to feel comfortable with breastfeeding, you will quickly learn to put your baby straight into the feeding position you have both come to enjoy.

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#12 *****030812


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Posted 02 November 2007 - 08:44 AM

The MCHN I saw yesterday mentioned Fenugreek AND Blessed Thistle.

When I went to buy some Fenugreek, the lady in the health food store tried to sell me both, saying I would get a better result if I was taking them together.

Has anyone tried them together ? I didn't end up getting both, as I wanted to stick to what the MCHN told me and she said one or the other.

The lady in the store also said, if I was going to see her as a Naturopath and was a getting a liquid form to increase my supply, she would actually put about 5 different things in it. Hmmmm.

#13 moore


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Posted 04 January 2008 - 09:52 PM

QUOTE(lexwithbub @ May 6 2005, 04:14 PM) View Post

Then there are medicinal ways to boost supply... dont' know much about them...

I had a traumatic birth which led me to having a very low supply. Plus I had high blood pressure which also contributed, lucky me rolleyes.gif

I was prescribed a drug called Motilium which is actually an anti-nausea drug, and the main side effect is increased milk production. Strange but true.

My lactation consultant put me onto it and my GP had prescribed it many times before with great success. I am just finishing off the course now and I have more milk than I ever thought possible. I actually leak and everything!! Yes, that is very exciting to me tongue.gif

My GP told me that sometimes one course can do the job but the milk supply might drop off again, in which case another course will be of great benefit.
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#14 atua


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Posted 14 April 2008 - 03:24 PM

lactation cookies

Lactation Boosting Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip & Linseed Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons linseed meal
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
1 cup (or more I use a whole packet) chocolate chips (milk or white chocolate both taste yummy)
2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast (be generous)

Preheat oven to 180c (fan forced) 200? (regular oven). Mix together 2 tbs of linseed meal and water. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well. Stir linseed mixture and add with vanilla to the butter mix. Beat until blended. Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips. Add to butter mixture. Stir in oats, then chips. Scoop or drop onto non stick baking sheet, or one lined with baking paper. Bake approximately 12 minutes.

Linseed meal can be found in the health food aisle of your supermarket or at health food stores. Brewer’s yeast can be found at health food stores. It MUST be brewer’s yeast - NO substitutions.

i've noticed a change within eating a couple of them - maybe it's in my mind i don't know but i don't really care smile.gif

otherwise lots of protein (nuts and fish are great sources = barring allergies)
blessed thistle and fenugreek
lots of fluid - i was told initially drink for thirst but have found with her growth spurt i'm left constipated at the end cause she's taking it all (there's TMI for you!)

i subed SR FLour for plain flour and baking soda in the cookies, turned out ok smile.gif

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