Navigating Lactation: Answering Your Most Common Questions
Hi! It’s Bri the IBCLC. As a new parent, starting the journey of breastfeeding can be both exciting and overwhelming. Having many questions as you navigate this new experience is normal. In this blog post, I’ll talk about some of the most commonly asked lactation questions to help you gain a better understanding and feel more confident in your breastfeeding journey. Let’s go!
- What is Lactation and How Does it Work? Lactation is how your body makes and releases breast milk to nourish your baby. Amazing, right? This natural phenomenon is mainly driven by hormones and demand. The more frequently your baby feeds, the more milk your body produces. It’s a perfectly designed system of supply and demand.
- Getting a Good Latch: The Key to Comfortable Feeding- The key to successful nursing is landing a good latch. A good latch helps with milk transfer to your baby and prevents discomfort for you. How do you get a good latch? Be sure that your baby’s mouth has not only the nipple but also breast tissue (remember, it’s BREASTfeeding, not nipple feeding). Keep your baby close and aim for a wide mouth opening to get your nipple deep within your baby’s mouth.
- Dealing with Low Milk Supply Concerns- The fear of having a low milk supply is common among new parents. However, it’s important to note that many concerns about low supply are often due to misinformation. Most women can produce enough milk with the right techniques. Frequent nursing, skin-to-skin contact, and avoiding unnecessary supplementation can help stimulate milk production and maintain an adequate supply.
- Overcoming Breastfeeding Discomfort- Breastfeeding should ideally be a comfortable experience. If you’re experiencing toe curling pain, it’s important to figure out why. Painful breastfeeding can result from a shallow latch, engorgement, or even infections like thrush. Correcting latch issues, using gentle breast massage for engorgement, and seeking professional help for persistent pain are essential steps toward comfortable feeding.
- Pumping and Storing Breast Milk: Tips for Efficiency and Safety- For mothers who need to return to work or spend time away from their babies, pumping is key. To protect your milk supply while you’re gone, consider pumping as often as your baby feeds. When storing breast milk, use clean containers, label with date and time, and freeze flat to save space. Follow the 4-4-6 rule. That means you can store breastmilk for:
- 4 hours at room temperature
- 4 days in the fridge
- 6 months in a side-by-side freezer
- (12 months for deep freezers)
- Balancing Breastfeeding and Returning to Work- Balancing breastfeeding after going back to work is a common challenge. Planning ahead is key. Build up a freezer stash, talk with your employer about pumping breaks, and practice pumping while your baby is cared for by someone else. This can help both you and your baby adapt to the new routine.
Conclusion: Nurturing Confidence in Your Breastfeeding Journey Every breastfeeding journey is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Remember that seeking support and guidance when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness. By addressing these common lactation questions, I hope to empower you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate your breastfeeding journey with ease and joy.
CEO and Owner of Breezy Babies