"They told me I needed to start giving formula to my exclusively breastfed baby ??"

Lately, I've been hearing a common theme from my clients. They contact me frustrated and heartbroken because they were told during a well-child check that their exclusively breastfed baby was not gaining weight as is expected. And rather than referring the mother and baby to a Board Certified Lactation Consultant or "breastfeeding expert," their pediatrician/NP/or family physicianswere recommending that these exclusively breastfed infants should be started on formula supplementation. Although these babies were petite, they were gaining weight at the typical rate of an exclusively breastfed baby. After my assessment of an entire feeding in their home, and assessment of each baby's developmental milestones (which were both excellent) I determined that we could help these babies gain a slightly higher percentage of weight, without the use of artificial baby milk (formula.) With some very minor changes in how these moms feed (maybe even a fun little trick or two that I s…

"My boob is larger than her head!! How can I successfully breastfeed?"

Nursing Tips for the Large Breasted WomanWritten by Anne Smith IBCLCThe past thirty-five years of experience working with nursing mothers whose breasts came in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes, I have discovered that breastfeeding can present special challenges for the large breasted woman. Breast milk production is a function of the glandular tissue inside the breast as well as the baby’s appetite and suckling ability. The fatty tissue is what gives the breast its rounded shape and protects the internal structures from injury. The amount of fatty tissue and the size of the breast are not related to the ability to produce milk, so small breasted women are just as capable of adequate milk production as the more amply endowed. The mother with large breasts (DD or above) may find that she has to experiment a little to find positions and techniques in order to have a more successful breastfeeding experience. Here are some suggestions that I have found helpful: Find a nursing bra that re…

Some Common and Not So Common Causes of Low Milk Supply (with solutions that may be helpful)

By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC
Is your milk supply really low? First of all, is your milk supply really low? Often, mothers think that their milk supply is low when it really isn't. If your baby is gaining weight well on breast milk alone, then you do not have a problem with milk supply. It's important to note that the feel of the breast, the behavior of your baby, the frequency of nursing, the sensation of let-down, or the amount you pump are not valid ways to determine if you have enough milk for your baby. What if you're not quite sure about baby's current weight gain (perhaps baby hasn't had a weight check lately)? If baby is having an adequate number of wet and dirty diapers then the following things do NOT mean that you have a low milk supply: Your baby nurses frequently. Breastmilk is digested quickly (usually in 1.5-2 hours), so breastfed babies need to eat more often than formula-fed babies. Many babies have a strong need to suck. Also, babies often need continuou…