5 Real Breastfeeding Questions Answered by an Expert
I spoke to Rachel O’Brien, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, to get answers to these questions and more. O’Brien is in Sudbury, Massachusetts and travels with his family back home to help them with their breastfeeding journey. With her Master of Arts in Lactation Studies, she is definitely an expert in all things breastfeeding. You can follow him on Facebook for more information and be sure to check out his blog as well. However, before heeding her advice, O’Brien always recommends reaching out to the IBCLC for any breastfeeding support, including pumping, combination feeding, and weaning.
1 painful infusion
I can only get a quarter of an ounce on each side before the pump starts to hurt and it doesn’t seem to have milk in it. How can I increase it? I want to be able to pump and will do so very soon.
Don’t worry, uncle. O’Brien says you’re getting ahead of yourself. “If you’re exclusively breastfeeding your newborn, you’re less likely to get a lot of milk when pumping.” “If you’re pumping while you’re away from your baby, a pumping session takes the place of one feeding.” He recommends not stressing about it because most people who are exclusively breastfed are unable to pump much. She suggests getting some help if you’re in pain. “Pumping shouldn’t hurt,” O’Brien says. “If you have pain while pumping, stop and get help.”
2 bottles back to the breast
I started breastfeeding my daughter from day one. It got really heavy so I started offering the formula as a supplement. Needless to say, the supplement became her only source as I became lazy and started “make it a bottle” instead of just pumping or holding it. He has only been fed formula for two to three weeks. I still have milk and she will pick her up, but I feel really guilty for not breastfeeding her. Too late? I pumped and only took out half an ounce. Did you run out of supplies to bring it back?
No, it’s not too late. “If you continue to latch on to the breast and you’re still making milk, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to increase milk supply again,” O’Brien says. As much as your daughter can, and you may want to include her in your pumping sessions, too. You can work with IBCLC to safely and effectively increase your milk supply. Remember that frequent weaning is important for adequate milk production. O’Brien also notes that breastfed babies digest their milk quickly, so they often need to feed every two to three hours in the first months.
3 drying milk
I don’t breastfeed because of medication. I was wondering when I would be completely dry and when the enlightenment would decline. My son is 3 weeks old and I am too tired to change his shirt and bra because of the wetness. What can I do to help it dry faster?
“When you first give birth to a baby, your milk production is governed by your hormones,” explains O’Brien. “When milk isn’t being released from your breasts, it tells your body to stop producing milk, so you’re really on the right track.” She suggests trying cold compresses, such as a bag of frozen peas or corn wrapped in a dish towel, to help speed up the process. “You could also consider taking stronger mints, such as Altoids or sage, as both have been shown to reduce milk supply,” she says. “You can also talk to your doctor about taking a decongestant, such as Sudafed (pseudoephedrine), which has been shown to significantly reduce milk production in some people.”
Increase in supply 4 days after being away from the child
I am the mother of a 15 day old baby girl. This past weekend, I had bad mastitis, a pelvic infection from birth, and sepsis. I had to be away from my baby for three days while I was in the hospital. When I was away from her, my milk supply became very low. I tried to keep the blood pumping, but I was so freaked out and so nervous about being away from my daughter, I couldn’t put it all together. How can I get my supply back so I don’t lose it and have enough for it in the meantime?
It’s a rough turn of events and it’s no wonder that it has affected your milk supply. “Mastitis and the time a baby spends away from the baby can reduce milk production,” O’Brien says. He recommends contacting your local IBCLC to help increase your supply. IBCLC can also determine the cause of mastitis. “You can have IBCLC pumps every day after feeding sessions to help stimulate milk production,” O’Brien says.
slept 5 kids
I have a one month old baby and I’m breastfeeding. I’m having a hard time falling asleep while having dinner with her, then waking up 10 minutes later and wanting more milk. Any suggestions?
O’Brien has a trick for you – milk delivery. “When you notice that her sucking has slowed down and she has started to drift off, use your hand to express a few extra bits of milk into her mouth,” she says. “Giving milk by mouth often reminds him that he is eating and wakes him up enough to start feeding again. If it comes back, bring in more milk. Repeat as needed.”