Saturday, August 27, 2011

Breastfeeding Technique

I  made the commitment to breastfeed for at least a year. I have made it 8 months so far and still going. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about breastfeeding and keeping up your milk supply. I recently read an article about how the World Health Organization now recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2 or older.

Breastfeeding your child will give him or her the best start in life that they could possibly get. Breast milk has the highest amount of nutrition for a growing baby, and is the most convenient way to feed your baby as well. There is proof that older babies benefit from breast milk after the age of 12 months. They continue to receive the mother's antibodies through her milk and babies who are breastfed tend to be smarter and develop faster.

Breastfeeding Problems
breastfeeding infant

Breastfeeding for some new moms can be difficult. The first few times you try may be hit and miss because your baby is sleepy or doesn't open their mouth wide enough for a correct latch. This can become a problem because an incorrect latch leads to nipple soreness and more frequent feedings because the baby is not getting enough milk for the amount of time spent nursing. They get some milk (think of it like a kink in a garden hose) but not enough and always seem hungry, even after they just fed. I had this problem myself so I speak from first-hand experience on this, once I got my baby to latch-on correctly feeding him was easy and painless. Here is a breastfeeding video tutorial of the correct latch-on technique by Lansinoh that may help you if you're having trouble. It makes all the difference in the world to have your baby in the right position and have them latched-on correctly.

The baby's lips should resemble the baby in the photo on the right. The lips should be flanged outward and cover the entire nipple and aeriola. The whole area needs to be in the baby's mouth so that the gums press down on the milk ducts releasing the milk and making it easier for the baby to feed.

Make sure you are in a comfortable position and use a breastfeeding pillow if possible. It puts the baby at just the right heigth so there is no strain on your back from leaning over. I loved my pillow and used it long after we quit nursing.

Relax and let your baby nurse for 20 to 30 minutes on each side. Watch your favorite television program (mine was always Law and Order) while your baby nurses or do something relaxing to enjoy your special cuddle time with your little one.

If you need more information or have questions about breastfeeding and nutrition, contact your local Health Department or La Leche League.

Increase Milk Supply Naturally-Steps for Encouraging More Breast Milk Production
Boost Your Breast Milk Production with These Tips

By Lisa Musser

Many nursing mothers experience decreased milk production from time to time. It is possible to get your supply back up even if it seems like your breasts are empty. If you are producing any milk at all, you have a chance to regain a nearly full supply by following a few simple steps. Many women assume that they are drying up because the breasts no longer fill up or feel full like they once did.

Why the Breast May Feel Empty

This is not an indication that your supply is low, it just means that your body has adjusted to your baby's needs and produces just the right amount. Contrary to popular belief, the breast is never truly empty. You have milk in the milk glands waiting for the body to signal its release, this is known as the let-down reflex. This is the tightening or tingling feeling in the breast when your baby starts to nurse. If your baby is not nursing enough then more milk stays in the breast and the signal to produce more is less frequent. Here are some steps to boost a lagging milk supply:

1. Nurse Your Baby as Often as Possible

This is of course the most important thing you can do to increase your milk supply. Every book you read and every article posted on the web tell will tell you to nurse more often. A newborn baby needs to nurse approximately every two hours because his little body only processes small amounts of food at a time and breast milk digests faster than formula. If you are attempting to increase milk supply naturally for an older baby you will need to follow the same steps as you did when the baby was first born. Nurse him or her as often as possible even if it is only for a few minutes you just need to stimulate the milk glands. Breastfeeding works by a process of supply and demand so to produce more milk you must nurse more often.

2. Increase Fluid Intake

Many mothers find it difficult to drink a gallon of water a day but you need fluids to make milk. An easy way to make sure you get enough liquids is to fill up a glass of water and keep it beside you all day. Fill the glass with water or juice, add some ice or a straw and just sip on it until it is empty. Once the glass is empty, fill it up again and start over. You do not need to count the glasses or wonder how any ounces you drank, just be sure to keep the glass full at all times. The important thing is to stay well hydrated to produce milk for your baby. If you are curious as to whether or not you are getting enough fluids the answer is to look at your urine output. If the urine is a clear yellow then you are getting enough liquids. However, if the urine is a darker yellow to orange color then you need to drink more liquids.

3. Make Good Use of Your Breast Pump
A breast pump is your best friend. To increase milk supply naturally you must empty the breast often. This means nursing sessions and pumping to stimulate milk production. If your baby nurses well you can pump for five minutes or so after each feeding. As babies get older they nurse less often or for shorter durations so there is still milk left in the breast that needs removing in order for your body to signal the milk glands to produce more. Here is a very important tip: the more milk that is removed from the breast the more it will make. Your breast begins producing more milk when it is empty to be there for the next feeding. If you nurse less frequently or do not remove all the milk from the breast your body will think it needs to produce less because the baby is eating less. If your baby does not take a full feeding, pump the remaining milk and store it for later use.

4. Stimulate the Let-Down Reflex
Your baby's sucking stimulates nerve endings in the nipple and areola, signaling the pituitary gland to release the hormones prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin converts the proteins and sugars in your blood to make breast milk and oxytocin causes the tiny cell structures around the glands to contract squeezing milk down into the areola. This process is essential to keeping a good milk supply. You need to stimulate this reflex as often as possible by nursing or pumping milk.

To Increase milk supply naturally:
  • Nurse as often as possible
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Pump after feedings to empty the breast
  • Stimulate the let-down reflex to signal the body to produce more milk




Sometimes being a mom again after 40 can make you feel like the oddball around younger moms.  I am a single mom who just had a baby again at 44. My three older children were grown by the time Aiden came along, there's 22 yrs age difference between them. I started this blog as a way to connect with other older moms who may be feeling like the odd man out. I am here to share my experiences and stories along with some helpful information along the way.

I will be posting stories and articles pertaining to breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing and AP parenting in addition to tips for saving money and raising happy healthy kids. You are welcome to comment on posts, and I encourage you to share them with others if you feel they may benefit them. Also feel free to share your ideas and experiences as this blog is meant to help other over 40 moms and moms-to-be.