New Mom Breastfeeding Manual: 2-6 Months

New moms can sometimes feel overwhelmed when it comes to breastfeeding their babies. We’re continuing our series on focused on empowering and educating moms with a look at what typically happens during first 2-6 months postpartum. How often are babies typically feeding during this time? How common are distractions and how can you overcome them? Plus, great tips on pumping, nursing in public and breastfeeding throughout the night.

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The Boob Group
New Mom Breastfeeding Manual: 2-6 Months

[00:00:00]

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: So you’ve just had your baby, Congratulations! And whether you are a first time mom or this is your second or third time around, what happens during months two through six after your baby is born can make an impact on your breastfeeding relationship.

What are some common challenges that breastfeeding mothers face during months two to six postpartum? And what can a mom do to maximize her breast feeding success? Today we are featuring the fifth episode in our series The New Breastfeeding Mom Manual. Our episode for today focuses on breastfeeding during months two through six. And I’m thrilled to welcome back Ashley Treadwell to the show.

Ashley is a private practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in San Diego California and this is The Boob Group.

[Theme Music/Intro]

ROBIN KAPLAN: Welcome to The Boob Group broadcasting from the birth education centre of San Diego. The Boob Group is your weekly online on the go support group for all things related to breastfeeding. I’m your host Robin Kaplan.

I’m also an International Board Certified Lactation consultant and owner of the San Diego breastfeeding centre. Check out our facebook page to join our conversations, ask questions of our experts and offer judgement free tips to other breastfeeding mommas. And I’d like to introduce Sunny really quickly to talk about some announcements for The Boob Group.

SUNNY GAULT: Hey everyone, so we have some really exciting things that are going to be happening with The Boob Group in the coming months. You know when we started as The Boob Group which believe it or not was a couple of years ago now I can’t believe it’s been that long. I’ve always said, you know, we want to meet moms where they’re at.

So wherever moms are getting their information specifically about breastfeeding, we want to be that for them. And so, we’ve had a lot of people reach out to us, want to be part of our conversations but they don’t live in San Diego so as you guys know we started our virtual panellist program and we’re kind of extending that program a little bit. Interacting and creating more opportunities for you guys to be involved in the show. But maybe not so much in the format that you’re used to.

So, The Boob Group is expanding, we are doing some different things and enhancing the way we communicate with our listeners. And so, if you guys want more information on that, I suggest that you subscribe to our newsletter for The Boob Group, you can go to our website and subscribe and get all the latest updates on what we’re up to. So look for all that stuff coming up here in the next few months.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. Thanks Sunny.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Well we have three lovely panellists in this studio. Ladies, will you please introduce yourselves, let’s start with Stephanie.

STEPHANIE PERSINGER: Hi, I’m Stephanie. I am twenty seven. I’m a home maker and I have two kids. Both still breastfeeding. My son is three and my daughter is five months.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. How about you Lara?

LARA KOHLER: My name is Lara, I’m twenty four. I’m a stay at home mom. I’ve got one kid. A little boy and he is six months old, almost seven.

ROBIN KAPLAN: My goodness. And Kiara..

KIARA EDWARDS: I’m Kiara. I’m twenty six. I’m a stay at home mom and I have a six months old baby girl.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. Well thanks ladies. Welcome to the show. MJ you want to introduce yourself and talk a little bit about the virtual panellist program?

MJ FISHER: Yes I do. I’m MJ. I am a stay at home mom to Jason. Who’s going to be three, very soon. And our virtual panellist program is really for anyone who is not able to make in to the studio. So a lot of you are not local to San Diego, a lot of you are not even in our country. But it’s a way for you to join the conversation because we’re posting the same questions that we’re asking our in studio panellist.

So it’s a way for you to share your experience, your tips, your opinions and a lot of moms were reading other mom’s comments and questions and answering them and helping each other out. So it’s a really cool extension of our show, because we’re helping you guys and you guys are helping each other.

We may even read your comment while we record and just for participating you are entered to win a one month subscription to The Boob Group Club so check out www.theboobgroup.com under the community tab for more information on the VP program.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright. Thanks MJ

MJ FISHER: You’re welcome.

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: So before we get started with our interview with Ashley, we wanted to talk about a headline that’s been, a breastfeeding photo that’s kind of gone viral in the past couple of weeks. And so this breastfeeding photo was of beautiful Karlesha Thurman, who brought her three month old daughter to her commencement at Long Beach State University. And a picture was snapped.

She took a picture and posted it on a facebook page of her breastfeeding her daughter in her cap and gown with the most beautiful smile on her face. And of course, most things would happen with facebook, you have a bunch of real supportive moms a bunch of supportive people and then a whole bunch of very non supportive, very judgemental people talking about this breastfeeding photo so we just want to open up to our panellist and our expert just to kind of share what they thought when they saw the photos. So, Stephanie, you want to go first?

STEPHANIE PERSINGER: I just thought she looks so happy. It’s not a big deal to me at all and I’m so proud of her for taking her baby with her there and including her little lady in that exciting moment of her life. And it’s sad that people look at it in such a negative view.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely, I mean, she graduated with a baby like (laughing)

STEPHANIE PERSINGER: Gosh I can’t imagine

MJ FISHER: A three month old baby too

ROBIN KAPLAN: A three month old, and she graduated. Like, oh my gosh that is a huge feat. So, that’s what’s coming across my mind when I see I was like, oh my gosh, what an amazing woman

MJ FISHER: I barely take a shower like a couple of days

STEPHANIE PERSINGER: First three months too, they’re the worst

ROBIN KAPLAN: I know, I know. Lara what do you think when you saw that?

LARA KOHLER: Well I think it’s an amazing photo just because like you said she did graduate and I’m in school now and not doing so good. It was like he’s a little computer monster so, I was just proud of her actually being able to graduate while breastfeeding. And I just think it’s really special that she took her daughter and actually got a photo to show later on down the year. Be like, hey you were at my graduation. And I just think it’s a really special moment for her and that baby

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely, how about you Kiara?

KIARA EDWARDS: I couldn’t figure out how to graduate before I had a baby (laughing). She is amazing and the pictures beautiful. It’s pure happiness. I don’t know how anyone could have a bad thing to say about it. Good for her

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. How about you Ash?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: I am just a huge fan of any picture that normalizes breastfeeding. Any sort of event that somebody’s at to show that your baby’s going to get hungry no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re graduating from college, whether you’re sitting at the park, whether you’re having dinner in a restaurant. If your baby’s hungry, it’s time to feed. So, anytime there’s something normalizing breastfeeding, I’m a big fan.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. Well, I hope she gets more pro-comments like we have just because we think she rocks (laughing)

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: So today on The Boob Group we’re discussing breastfeeding your baby between the age of 2 months to 6 months. So, our expert Ashley Treadwell, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with the San Diego Breastfeeding Centre, so thank you for joining us Ashley and welcome back to the show.

ASHLEY TREADWELL: Thank you. I’m happy to be here.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Sure. So, Ashley I always love to start off this new breastfeeding mom manuals just talking about what normal breastfeeding looks like for a baby during this timeframe. So, how often are baby’s feeding during, between 2 months and 6 months of age?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: So, the normal range, in this stage is it’s pretty big. It can look very differently depending on the baby. There are some babies who are kind of snackers and they’re still going to want to feed every couple of hours. While other babies may be getting better at taking more in during feedings and so they may, you know stretch them out so they’re not feeding as often.

There may be babies that have if you’re lucky, started sleeping longer at night and so they may when they used to be eating in the night, they may want to make up for that during the days, so they may sleep more or they may feed more than because of that. I think the most important thing is to understand that if your baby is still having plenty of wet and dirty diapers, if baby is gaining weight appropriately than whatever schedule your baby’s on is working just fine.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. So ladies, how often is your baby feeding at this time and has his or her schedule become more predictable at this age? Kiara, how about you?

KIARA EDWARDS: I don’t count during the day, how often she eats. She will snack periodically. She is a sleeper though, so during the night she’ll go down about eight thirty, she’ll wake up for a snack about five, back to bed until seven, seven thirty. During the day it could be all over the place though. She might want to snack once every hour. She lately has been so distracted she wants to eat and three hours go by and then she wants to eat again. So, we’re all over the place

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay. Cool. How about you Stephanie?

STEPHANIE PERSINGER: I’m very similar all over the place. She has her older brother that I keep track of so I think he’s great at distracting her and she’ll go much longer than he did at this time without nursing. It’s kind of a relief (laughing). So, but you know, they’re always changing for a while, she barely woke up at night to nurse and lately she’s been going to sleep later and nursing more frequently. Probably because she’s so busy during the day. She has to catch up.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely, how about you Lara?

LARA KOHLER: During the day, he’s kind of predictable because he’s snaps are pretty sad so, he usually wakes up, well now it’s been around eight o’clock in the morning and then he’ll nurse two hours later. Pass out for a couple of hours. Wake up and eat and then he has another one at two. So that’s a little predictable. Finally started past, sleeping past an hour and a half two hours at night so it’s been nice

ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s good

LARA KOHLER: It’s like he still wakes up a lot to nurse and now he’s not so much nursing when he wakes up. It’s just, give me the boob, I don’t know like attachment kind of thing. Yeah, it’s not as long

ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright. Ashley how much weight does a baby supposed to gain during this period? And is it normal for it to start slowing down?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: So somewhere between 2 and 6 months, it is normal for their weight gain to slow down and I think it’s important for moms to remember this because when they’ve been watching the scale and seeing those numbers jump up and suddenly they start to slow down a lot of moms get nervous.

So, once a baby reaches their birth weight, usually around two weeks, we expect them to gain anywhere from half ounce to an ounce a day which works out to about four to seven ounces a week.

Around four months we see that cut back a little bit. And then the baby may be gaining anywhere from four to five ounces a week. And then again at six months it drops even more significantly. And then it’s only two to four ounces a week so, I think it’s important for moms to understand this that if they do see that weight gain start to slow, that it’s a normal part of breastfeeding.

ROBIN KAPLAN: So we don’t end up with thirty pound one year old

ASHLEY TREADWELL: You wouldn’t want your baby, you wouldn’t want your baby to gain weight the way they do on the first two months, three months forever

ROBIN KAPLAN: We’d break a back

ASHLEY TREADWELL: Yes

ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright. So, everyone’s pretty much mentioned distractibility. So, is it common for babies to be more distracted during this time period and what does this distractibility seemed to, when does it settle in and how can a mom keep her baby focused while breastfeeding?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: Sure. This is a huge thing. It’s somewhere between three and four months that suddenly a baby learns that there is a world that exist outside of the breasts. And so everything is more interesting than a mom’s breast. The dog, the television, if they’re the support group, the baby that’s sitting next to them, sometimes just mom is more interesting.

They’ll look up and play and want to mess with her face and her hair. And it’s super normal and again I think I talk to a lot of moms in my support groups that it’s a concern for moms because suddenly you’re worried that the baby isn’t feeding as often and how can they be getting enough. Some of those babies will start waking more at night. As one of the panellist mentioned to start feeding more at night because they’re, they may be missing some feedings during the day.

Things that a mom can do to sort of lessen the distractibility during the day, one is to remove the distractions. Find a quiet sort of dark space that you can feed the baby. Nursing in a carrier is a great way, babies are much less distracted when they’re held close to mom like that. And I think again it’s important to understand that it’s normal moms worry about their supply that what if baby isn’t needing so much during the day, is my supply going to drop? If we remember that your supply is driven by baby.

So sure, baby may not be feeding so much for a couple of days. Your supply may drop a bit, but then when baby starts feeding again, your supply is going to pick back up. So it’s a very natural give and take and your baby’s going to drive that process

ROBIN KAPLAN: And definitely as long as you’re kind of open access too so that makes it, that really can help drive their

ASHLEY TREADWELL: Absolutely and it may turn into you know a situation where the baby may just be feeding for a few minutes and then they‘re distracted to do something else and then they may come back and feed a few minutes more. So it’s not where, you know, used to be a twenty, thirty minute breastfeeding session, you know, six times a day, now it’s five to ten minutes breastfeeding sessions periodically throughout the day

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay cool. Alright ladies, so clearly you’ve noticed some distractibility, so how did you keep your baby focused during this time? Lara how about you?

LARA KOHLER: I’m still figuring it out. No, when he gets really bad, he’s like me and his dad, if he is hungry he’s a monster. So, we’ll go to a quiet room and just let him nurse or I’ll find a toy or sometimes I have a necklace that I’ll put on and I let him play with that and it seems to help. Carry feeding like she says we do put more carriers a lot around the house so he’ll eat. And it’s not so bad when his dad isn’t home. I guess I’m too boring for him but when his dad is home he turns into a little monster he can be and then when dad will leave the room, go to the garage or something that usually helps

ROBIN KAPLAN: Cool. How about you Stephanie?

STEPHANIE PERSINGER: Yeah, she’s distracted all the time. It seems like I have to remind her, hey you’re probably hungry, and that’s why you’re getting cranky right now. I’ll even try to offer it to her and she says like la la la (laughing), look at brother. But I definitely do a lot of baby wearing at home all the time. And if were out at public and she can’t nurse then I just leave what I’m doing because it’s important for her to eat.

So sometimes I do have to cut, play date short, you know, that is a pressing matter to make sure she is taking in at least a little something to relax herself. But yeah, shushing, bouncing, everything to try and get her to focus on momma instead of that picture up at the top of the wall.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah totally. Oh! Something shiny. (Laughing) How about you Kiara?

KIARA EDWARDS: My baby is distracted by a car driving by, if she hears it, whips that head around. I have to take her away from her dad to kind of nurse her because if her dad is near she just wants to look at him and giggle and coo and I love it. But I have to remind her let’s eat, let’s get the job done. Constant, all day.

Night time I had a vision of all of us cuddling in bed, falling asleep together, that doesn’t work. Because she wants to roll and look at everything and hang out with her dad. But that’s fun (Laughing)

ROBIN KAPLAN: Ashley, this is often a time when mom goes back to work as well. So what tips do you have for a mom to keep up her milk supply when she does return to work?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: Sure. And that’s a big concern for moms. A lot of the moms that they work with, one of their biggest concerns is when they return to work, how they’re going to keep up with their supply? And one of the first things I think is important for moms is to do some pre-research, talk to their HR Department. First moms need to know what her rights are as afar as breastfeeding.

She needs to feel confident to know that it is her right as a breastfeeding and working mom that she is able to pump milk for her baby when she’s at work. They’re required to give her reasonable time which is somewhat subjective term that baby isn’t so definable but reasonable time and a private space. And so I think if moms know that that’s their right then they may feel a little bit more confident in talking to their HR people. Ahead of time to know where the spaces are for them to pump. And then look at some logistics.

How far away is it from your desk? What equipment will you need? Do you have some place to store the milk? The other thing would be to think about if there are things in place in work that may be barriers to her feeling like she’s going to be able to comfortably express milk. A lot of my moms, we talk a lot about culture. And culture in their job and how, you know certain cultures may affect things.

There may be, you know depending on the demographic of the people she works with and if there are parents there or not parents and so, sort of arming herself and knowing that this is her right to pump this milk for her baby. Another thing that is a big deal is talking to caregivers. I think one of the things that can be the biggest sabotage to mom’s supply is babies unintentionally being overfed by caregivers.

And it’s not, it’s not intentional, but it can sabotage mom’s supply where the baby was feeding at the breast, the baby wouldn’t be taking so much. Caregivers may be overfeeding the baby, they may not know how to bottle feed a breastfed baby. And so it’s creating this unnatural demand on mom’s supply and she’s never going to be able to keep up, and that can be really challenging.

So, Nancy Mohrbacher, who is a well-known IBCLC has a great article that she’s written, that you can actually print out and give to your caregiver that talks about the best ways to bottle feed a breastfed baby to help mom maintain her supply. They need to be pumping at least two to three hours while they’re at work. One of the biggest tips I’ll tell mom is if they have a long commute to and from work, one time that they can pump is in the car. You just get a cover, you know, and then you’re saving yourself some time

ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright sounds good. MJ, we have some virtual panellist who want to share some info?

MJ FISHER: Yeah, just on the pumping. Dahlia, and I’m going to, we talk all the time on facebook but you’ll vary? I think it is, she is talking about pumping, she works ten hours a day. She pumps a minimum five times a day. Pumps while she drives to and from work, goes home at lunch to feed her little one. And then they co-sleep, she’s doing everything that she can to keep her supply up. And then [inaudible], she says, I work seven thirty to four thirty and pump three times a day, nine noon and three. He gets the boob only when I’m home and occasional co-sleeping

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome.

ASHLEY TREADWELL: Can I add something’s to that?

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah, of course

ASHLEY TREADWELL: So some other things they think when mom is actually pumping at work, there are a lot of things that she can do to sort of help maximize her pumping output. I’ll tell moms to bring something that smells like baby, their blanket or an item of clothing that smells like baby, when I was actually nursing my second I took a video of her showing hunger cue signs.

She was starting to get hungry and kind of moving her hands towards her mouth and I would play that video and that would I would kind of get the let down just watching the video of the baby. Sometimes, listening to music, if moms are self-conscious about the noise, if they put the music on then they can’t hear it, may help them feel a little bit more comfortable.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Cool. The San Diego Breastfeeding Centre also has a YouTube channel with some several different videos that are very oxytocin releasing videos like FlashMobs, because I’m obsessed with flash mobs. Anything that makes me laugh that’s not super offensive I figure is a good thing to watch while you’re pumping so. Some moms find this super offensive but I don’t want to make any assumptions.

Alright, well when we come back we will be discussing nursing in public, sleep patterns and introducing solid food. So, we’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

ROBIN KAPLAN: Welcome back to the show we are talking with Ashley Treadwell about breastfeeding a baby who is two to six months old. So, Ashley many moms with babies this age talk about how difficult it is to cover up all breastfeeding in public now that their baby is more aware of his or her surroundings. What tips do you have for nursing in public with a baby this age?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: Sure. And this is a time when many moms may have grown comfortable nursing their little six week old baby who is pretty still and quiet when hanging out with the breast. And now it’s a lot of the moms described they have this baby who is birds and trees and airplanes and popping off and popping on. A lot of this I think has to do with moms comfort level.

There are a lot of moms who are very comfortable if the baby’s going to pop on and pop off. They’re fine with that. I think that’s fantastic. I also think that if moms aren’t comfortable they shouldn’t feel badly about that. So there are some things that mom can do to sort of help lessen, or I guess increase her comfort. One of the things would be the breastfeeding carrier. Oftentimes, moms’ breastfeeding in carriers, people don’t even know that’s what they’re doing.

So that’s a great option. Another thing is sort of cause and effect, babies learn pretty quickly so the baby goes on, they pull off, first time baby pulls off, we put the shirt on, feedings done. Baby turns back and says where did it go? So you offer the breast again, baby feeds for a minute or two, pulls off, you remove it. Babies learn pretty quickly, like, oh if I keep doing this then the boobs not going to be there anymore. So they’ll quickly learn and they may be better about getting the job done.

Mom can wear maybe a nursing tank with a button up shirt over it. So that if the baby is popping on and off then she’s got something that she can just sort of pull over if she’s feeling exposed.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay cool. Ladies, what tips do you have for nursing in public at this time? Kiara

KIARA EDWARDS: I am a big fan of nursing in the carrier. I can continue on with what it is I’m doing of my hands free, my girl can eat, we’re all happy

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. How about you Stephanie?

STEPHANIE PERSINGER: I think what’s really helpful for a lot of moms is to practice at home in front of a mirror. Because then they can actually see what they’re doing and what other people see while they’re breastfeeding. And you can see where you show them both and maybe trying to work out some kind of clothing way to make it work out better. But for me, I’m just, breastfeed, just do it.

When you can, and whenever you can I, I stopped being discreet a long time ago. And you know it’s sad that people still do even look in your carrier. I’ve had people approach me in public, I’m like I’m wearing my kid just don’t look in here but, people are nosy so, I also think having in that card that talks about the civil code, you know that, add a little bit of confidence, because you go like, no what I’m doing is okay, you know, don’t look at me, I’m fine, just go about your day

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely and what’s Stephanie is mentioning is in San Diego we have a little card that lists what breastfeeding and public rights women have. But I know that there are lots of different places all over the web that you can find what your state law is and even if you guys don’t have a card, if you just print that out and keep it in your bag. And so that way if anyone approaches you, you can actually show them, well I’m actually within my right. And so, I’m sorry it’s an issue for you but you can walk away, I’m within my rights here so thanks for mentioning that Stephanie. How about you Lara?

LARA KOHLER: I actually don’t have any really good tips. I’ve never been shy about it. But I can say what’s really helped me be able to nurse in public and not care is my husband. He’s been really supportive about it. And you know he’s told people, hey she’s nursing that’s her boob, that’s my kids head, get over it. And that made me feel a lot more comfortable and secure and being able to feed my kid wherever, whenever.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. Surrounding yourself with other breastfeeding moms can be used too because safety in numbers. Ashley, Julie posted this question on facebook: “Is it normal for babies at six months old to still breastfeed at night?”

ASHLEY TREADWELL: Yes. Definitely. Yes. Yes. Yes. It’s a question we get from a lot of parents. Babies, you know, well past six months may need to wake up and feed. And you know, I don’t know if I should say this and you can cut it out if I don’t but I know a lot of parents will get information from their paediatricians saying that once a baby reaches a certain age, they should be able to go four hours, five hours, six hours. The thing is that paediatrician doesn’t know that baby.

Paediatrician doesn’t know how much that baby’s taking in during feedings. Baby’s stomachs’ are still pretty small at this point. And so they may not be taking in a ton. If your baby’s waking up at night and you put them on and their gulping, that baby still needs to feed at night, that’s not comfort feeding. There are situations where if a baby was waking up extremely frequently, I mean every half hour or every hour.

Sometimes there could be something going on with the gut, that maybe baby may not be comfortable, it could be a food sensitivity. But a baby waking frequently to feed at six months is pretty normal. There are some things that mom can do to sort of alleviate the sleep and the rest that she may be missing. Co-sleeping is a great, a great way to do that if you have baby in bed with you, the sideline position, baby latches on, you close your eyes, go back to sleep.

Then you may not notice the up and down, up and down. We do have moms that aren’t always comfortable with co-sleeping, and if that’s an issue, that’s fine. We would recommend bringing the baby in bed sideline position and then set your phone alarm for thirty minutes. So that if you do fall asleep, you can wake up and then move the baby back into the bassinet.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Cool. Ladies, it sounds like you guys are, well most of you are still breastfeeding in the night and so if you are, how frequently are you doing this? Lara, how about you guys?

LARA KOHLER: I don’t know anymore, because I don’t . . . well I’ve learned to put my clock away because I always felt like I was really tired and dragging. Yeah, so I feel like I get more sleep so, I, I don’t know, I’m barely half awake when he nurses anymore. But lately, when he’s not going through a [inaudible], it’s usually three or four times a night still.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, how about you Stephanie?

STEPHANIE PERSINGER: She is making things easy on me. Because she sometimes goes for a good six hours stretch without needing to nurse, I’m like “Yes!” And my son wasn’t like that. He was the kind that would nurse like every hour and a half or two and given me hickies when he would latch on incorrectly.

But this girl she only maybe nurse once in the like, lately she’s been nursing a little more, so she’ll nurse once and then as like five o’clock approaches and they’re waking up in the sun shining shoes, up a little like one more time and that’s it.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, sounds like that was the same situation with you Kiara as well right?
KIARA EDWARDS: Correct. Yeah.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright. Cool. MJ, we have a virtual panellist?

MJ FISHER: Yeah, Julie Sanders says, I never stopped breastfeeding during the night. Mine is seven months now and that four months has changed from one to three times a night to half a dozen. I don’t even know at so many wake ups, I was half asleep through most of it so, kind of like Lara

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah. That’s such a great idea. I mean if you don’t have to go to work the next day and you need an alarm, it’s such a good idea to put the clock away

ASHLEY TREADWELL: When you’re not focusing, then we find ourselves looking when it was only an hour, it was only two hours. And I think she brought up a really good point too from the distractibility that if the baby is more distracted during the day and isn’t taking feedings during the day then they’re going to need to make up for it at night. And this is the time of teething, this is the time you know babies may get a little cold. So they may be waking up to nurse for different reasons. I think it’s important for moms to get up and feed the babies even at this stage

ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. So Ashley, what’s to deal with sleep progression around four months? Why does this happen?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: So the four month’s sleep progression and I know this is a big topic for a lot of moms. These are babies that may have been doing pretty well and then four months everything goes out the window. It’s a huge development all time for babies. They’re really becoming aware of their surroundings and they’re excited about it and it causes a lot of wakefulness.

Something else that happens right around four months is baby’s sleep patterns start to change a little bit more. And they start to kind of go through sleep cycles the way that adults do. And as adults you know, as we’re coming out of sort of a deep sleep cycle into a lighter one, we can put ourselves back to sleep. But baby’s often can’t do that and so they may need a little help in getting back to sleep. I think the most important thing is to remember that it’s temporary and then it may not last forever, and then you’re not doomed

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah. My seven and almost nine year old definitely still sleep through the night. And I was complaining this morning that they woke us up at seven because it’s summertime and I’m like, and someone very, very friendly reminder that the four thirty four forty five wake up and I was like oh my gosh

ASHLEY TREADWELL: Six thirty’s not so bad

ROBIN KAPLAN: Exactly. Ashley, for those babies who are getting closer to the six month age, how will parents know that their babies are getting ready for solid foods? What are the signs of readiness?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: So we definitely recommend that parents wait to introduce solids until the baby is, and I think it’s important till the baby is at least six months. Just because your baby hits that six month mark doesn’t mean that they’re automatically ready. It may take them a little bit longer.

What you should be paying attention more to are the physical signs that showed that they’re ready. The first one is that the baby can sit up unassisted well. And that’s a baby who doesn’t need to be propped out, that can sit upright in you know high chair. Doesn’t topple over.

Babies have lost their tongue reflex. Tongue thrust reflex, so that when food is put on their mouth, their reflex isn’t just to push it out. Also when babies have developed there, it’s called the pincher grasp where if you have objects on the tray they’re able to reach down and pick it up with their index and their thumb.

They’re able to pick up pieces. So once you start then that’s an indication. Also if baby is really interested in food and during meal times they’re really paying attention to the food that you’re eating. Maybe the big brother is eating, that’s a good sign as well.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay cool. Ladies have you started thinking about introducing solid foods yet? And has your paediatrician talk to you about this? How about you Kiara?

KIARA EDWARDS: We have been thinking about it. Our paediatrician told us to start around four months. Our baby is not sitting up for too long on her own. She’s a little chunky and she’ll topple on over after a minute or two. We’ve done sweet potatoes, bananas, a couple of times; we’re just not ready to go full speed for it.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright. How about you Stephanie?

STEPHANIE PERSINGER: She’s actually showing a lot of signs of being ready at five months. She sits up great on her own, she can, it’s ridiculous what she can grab off the ground. I’m very impressed with her and she watches us like hawks. But, I don’t feel like she’s ready yet. I’m not going to introduce it until it’s about six months or six months or a little later and let her take her time with it. I’m in no rush.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright

MJ FISHER: I think second time moms are often and not as quite as much of a rush as first time moms because you know that it’s really fun for like a week and you know it’s just a mess

ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah exactly. How about you Lara?

LARA KOHLER: He’s actually sampling solids. We don’t really do solids all the time. But he stole his first bite at four months. I didn’t realize he could reach the table. But we’ve done mainly like apple sauce or now he’s pretty much eating what I eat. I’ll just mash it up and give him a little taste. Yep, he’s doing all the signs. He showed them all about a month ago so

ROBIN KAPLAN: Cool. Ashley, what is an appropriate amount to start off when introducing solids?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: I think the most important thing is for moms to remember the phrase that “food before one is just for fun”. So up until the baby’s a year old, the food that we’re giving them, its practices. It’s getting them used to being able to get their calories and nutrition from other’s foods, but breast milk should be the main source of their diet. So starting out its maybe one tablespoon, one time a day.

As the baby grows older and gets better they can start to introduce maybe a tablespoon, maybe a few times a day and some snacks here and there. The other thing that a lot of research has shown, you know recently the last I would say five or ten years is that often moms were encouraged to start with a grain cereal, oat cereal or rice cereal. And they’re finding that it really isn’t necessary. You can go right to fruits and vegetables, avocados are great first foods as well as bananas because they’re pretty easy to mash up and mix off for the baby.

ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright. How can a mom protect her milk supply when introducing solid?

ASHLEY TREADWELL: So long as mom follows the rule that it’s always milk before food, she shouldn’t have an issue with her supply. They should always breastfeed the baby first and then offer the solids after. We want to be sure that baby’s taking a full feedings so that they’re getting all of their calories and nutrition from the breast milk. Especially in the beginning a lot of that food isn’t going in to the baby. We can’t really think of it as food. It’s you know, it’s practice. If a mom does start to replace breastfeeding sessions with solid meals then she will notice a dip in her supply

ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay. Alright, well thank you so much Ashley and to our panellist for joining us in this conversation of breastfeeding during months two to six, it’s a pleasure having you on our show. For our boob group club members, our conversation will continue at the end of the show or after the end of the show as we will discuss how to avoid common pitfalls of decreasing your milk supply when your baby is between the age of two to six months. For more information about The boob group club, please visit our website at www.theboobgroup.com

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ROBIN KAPLAN: So here’s a question from one of our listeners, this is form Heather and this is what she wrote:

“My baby is four weeks old and ever since he was born I have nursed him. But at the hospital, they suggested to me that I should give him formula because he wouldn’t nurse for very long. Usually about fifteen minutes every four hours or longer. And that I was having a hard time waking him up. They also said that since I had caesarean, that my milk will be delayed. Now my baby is four weeks old and I still nurse him. But he nurses for an hour then he will pull off, he won’t go back on, then he cries and cries and acts like he is still hungry. So then I will give him about three ounces until he’s satisfied. When I pump, I’m only getting about two ounces out of both breasts, which is about one ounce per breast. And I pump every two hours as well and I’m on GoThrough, Milk Fistula, Fenugreek and a medicine my doctor gave me. I take these three times a day and I have never felt full. What else can I do to help make my milk completely coming? Thanks, Heather”.

ANDREA BLANCO: Hi Heather this is Andrea Blanco, I’m an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant out of South Florida.

First let me say that your baby’s very lucky to have such a dedicated mom like you who’s persistent in her efforts to breastfeed her baby and increase her supply. A few things jump out when I listen to your concerns.

The first question I have is if you’ve been able to get, to have your breastfeeding evaluated in person by a knowledgeable international board certified lactation consultant. Some things that I would look for is how effective baby is at transferring milk. Sometimes it isn’t a supply issue at all and it’s more related to baby’s inability to move the milk effectively from the breast. Which can then in turn causes a supply issues.

The second question I have is whether or not you may have other marks for low milk supply or insufficient glandular tissue. I think in general health care providers who may not understand how breastfeeding works, tend to think it is always the momma who is having the difficulty but in reality it can be the baby or at the very least the combination of both mother and baby.

I encourage you to seek out professional health from an international board certified lactation consultant in your area who can help you assess things on milk transfer and rule out any possible causes for low milk supply. Congratulations on your baby’s birth. Thanks so much

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ROBIN KAPLAN: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to The Boob Group.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Parent Savers for moms and dads with newborns, infants and toddlers
• Twin Talks, for our show with parents of multiples.

Thanks for listening to The Boob Group: “Your judgement-free breastfeeding resource.”
[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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