Breastfeeding mom, are you ready for a break? Are you dreaming of a night out without your baby, or a night of sleep? Are you returning to work soon?
First of all, congratulations on exclusively breastfeeding your baby! That is a huge accomplishment and you deserve a medal! But now, you may have some questions about introducing a bottle to your breastfed baby.
These tips are not meant to be rules, or make you feel guilty if you do bottle feeding a different way. They are just meant for you to pick what works for you to make bottle feeding easy and pleasant for you and your baby.
Keeping it Safe
For Babies who are Like, Nah, I Only Eat from the Breast!
If your baby is not taking a bottle, try these tips:
Keep it Fun!
Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt. A little discomfort may be normal in the early days, but toe-curling pain is not normal. Positioning errors cause about 95% of severe pain in the early weeks of breastfeeding, and often, small adjustments can make a big difference! I would love to help you breastfeed without pain. I will do a full breastfeeding assessment in your home, including a weighed feeding with my hospital-grade baby scale. If there is something else going on besides positioning, I will work with you to come up with a plan that will help you reach your breastfeeding goals while reducing your pain and keeping your baby thriving.
Call or email if breastfeeding is painful. You don't have to continue to suffer - I am available for in-home breastfeeding help usually within 24 hours of your request.
What are Plugged Ducts?
Plugged ducts occur when cells and breast milk get stuck in the milk duct and the milk does not drain properly. Plugged ducts can cause a painful, red lump on the breast behind the duct as the milk gets backed up.
What Causes Plugged Ducts?
Plugged ducts can be caused by poor milk drainage. It is important to have a lactation consultant check the baby’s latch and assess the baby for tongue tie. A poor latch or tongue tie can lead to inadequate milk drainage, which can cause a plugged duct.
A lactation consultant can also assess mom’s breast for milk blebs. Milk blebs can block the nipple pore from allowing milk to come out. If mom is using a nipple shield, experiencing oversupply or engorgement, sore or damaged nipples, thrush, she is at a higher risk for plugged ducts.
Plugged ducts can also be caused by chronic inflammation from unresolved or inadequate treatment of previous mastitis.
Moms who are interrupting or abbreviating feeds, tired, over stressed, busy, not getting enough rest or proper nutrition, experiencing illness, dehydration, or anemia, or eating too many saturated fats have a greater risk for plugged ducts.
How to Prevent and Treat Plugged Ducts
Make sure mom is getting some rest, and look for ways to reduce stress. Good hydration and nutrition – a well rounded diet with limited saturated fats – will help.
Supplements of Vitamin C and Lecithin have been shown to improve clogged ducts.
Eliminate pressure points on the breast (squeezing the breast during feeds, tight or restrictive clothing, etc.)
Use a moist, hot compress and gentle massage before feeding, and gentle pressure behind the lump during the feeding.
If you are struggling with plugged ducts or milk blebs, I can help! Click here to request an appointment. I will come to your home and help determine the cause of your breast pain and make you a customized feeding plan to help you get back to feeding in comfort.
What is a certified lactation consultant?
The Surgeon General of the United States says, “International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) is an excellent source of assistance for breastfeeding mothers. IBCLCs are health care professionals certified in lactation management. They work with mothers to solve breastfeeding problems and educate families and health care professionals about the benefits of breastfeeding.”
Indeed, IBCLCs are the foremost experts in lactation management. The IBCLC brings unmatched expertise and education in breastfeeding.
It takes many years to acquire the education and the hands-on experience to be eligible to take the IBCLC exam. The IBCLC is required to have extensive education in health care, including college level courses in biology, human anatomy and physiology, infant growth and development, clinical research, nutrition, psychology, and sociology. The candidate is also required to take courses in basic life support, medical documentation, medical terminology, professional ethics, and more. Many IBCLCs have a degree in a health care field, but a degree is not required.
The IBCLC is also required to have 90 hours of education in human lactation and breastfeeding, which have been accredited and approved by the board.
Finally, the IBCLC is required to have a minimum of 300 lactation specific clinical experience under the direct supervision of a certified IBCLC.
Click here if you want more information about the training and education required to become an IBCLC.
Why should you work with an IBCLC?
When you work with an IBCLC, you can be confident that you will receive expert care in breastfeeding management. All IBCLCs have successfully completed rigorous education and clinical hours and have passed a comprehensive certification exam. IBCLCs are required to maintain their skills and education through continuing education hours, and the exam is taken every 10 years to maintain certification.
Why should you work with Greensboro Lactation Consultants?
Greensboro Lactation brings the expertise and experience of an IBCLC to you in the comfort of your home in Greensboro. If you live outside of Greensboro, we will work with you to determine a meeting location if a local IBCLC is not available to you where you live.
Why does it cost so much?
Most parents will pay as much as they can for the safest baby furniture, car seat, toys, even laundry detergent. When you work with an IBCLC, you are working with a highly trained, experienced expert in human lactation. IBCLCs are the gold standard experts in breastfeeding. The fees for an IBCLC may seem like a lot at first glance, but the investment is well worth it.
Breastfeeding will save you $1,000 or more in your baby’s first year just in formula costs. More significantly, the families of breastfed infants save thousands in health care costs. Mothers who do not breastfeed miss work 3 times more often than mothers who breastfeed. Mothers who breastfeed their babies spend about 1/3 less on health care expenses for their babies. The expense might seem like a lot at first, but it will likely cost you less than it would cost you to give up early and switch to formula. And it's possible that your insurance will reimburse you for the cost!
The economic power of breastfeeding goes far beyond your own family. According to a 2010 study by Bartick and Reinhold, “if 90% of US families could comply with medical recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, the United States would save $13 billion per year and prevent an excess 911 deaths, nearly all of which would be in infants.” (Bartick M, Reinhold A. The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: a pediatric cost analysis. Pediatrics. 2010;125(5):e1048-56.)
Does my health insurance cover lactation support?
The cost of lactation support should be covered by your insurance company. I advise you to call your insurance client services and discuss your coverage. I will provide you with a Lactation Visit Receipt and relevant visit notes for you to file with your insurance company for possible reimbursement. I will also provide you with information to guide you in filing your claim. Information about what your insurer is required to cover for lactation support can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca29.html
More information about the recommendations and benefits of breastfeeding:
Beth Sanders, BSN, RN, IBCLC