If you’re about to have a baby, you may have a lot of questions about breastfeeding your newborn, especially within the first couple of months. What are a baby’s typical sleep patterns during this time? How much weight should they be gaining? What should you know about introducing a bottle for the first time? Plus, tips for surviving the witching hour and other fussy times.
The Boob Group
New Mom Breastfeeding Manual: Weeks 3-6
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.
Robin Kaplan: So, you’ve just had your baby, congratulations. Whether you are a first time mom or this is your second or third time around, what happens during the third to sixth week after your baby is born can make an impact on your breastfeeding relationship. What are some common challenges that brace breastfeeding mothers face during weeks three through six postpartum and what can you do to maximize your breastfeeding success?
Today, we are featuring the fourth episode on our series: “The new breastfeeding mom manual.” Our episode today focuses on breastfeeding during weeks 3 through 6 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. This is The Boob Group Episode 102.
[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.
Have you visited our website recently? Each of our episodes has its own page on our website full of a huge list of extra articles and resources for you to check out. So, make sure that you check it out on one of the times that you are looking for some great new resources.
Today, I am excited to welcome three panellists in our studio today. So, ladies will you please introduce yourselves.
Miranda Harris: I’m Miranda Harris. I have a two year old boy and a two month old girl and I stay at home with them.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome, thank you.
Melissa Lang Litle: I’m Melissa Lang Litle. I am a birth doula and vice president of San Diego Birth Network. I have three boys. I have Milo with me who’s actually just turned 10 weeks old. I keep forgetting and Benjamin who’s five and Joseph who’s three.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome.
Lynnea Young: I am Lynnea Young. I have two kiddos. I have Charlotte who will be two next month. I have Sebastian with me who is also 10 weeks. I too am a stay-at-home mom now.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome and Mj, will you please introduce yourself and our Virtual Panellist Program.
Mj Fisher: I am Mj. I have an almost three year old son, still nursing and besides staying at home with him, I get to do this job which supporting mamas and I love. The Virtual Panellist Program is really awesome. I think because it’s a way for you out there to join the conversation and be part of the show even if you can’t be in the studio with us, we post the same questions that are in-studio panellists are answering.
So, it’s a way to share your experience, your opinions, or give tips. Moms are engaging and supporting each other and just empathizing. It’s nice to know sometimes that you are not alone and we may even read your comment while we record. It’s kind of a sneak preview of our show before it releases because we will post tips and info as we record.
It’s just all around just supporting each other. So, it’s awesome. Check out www.TheBoobGroup.com under the community tab for more info on the VP Program and possible perks for participation.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome. Thanks Mj.
Mj Fisher: You’re welcome.
Robin Kaplan: So, before we get started with the show; we’re going to talk about an article that’s just going around over the web and this one is just absolutely amazing. So, the title of it is: “World record for breast milk donation broken by Indiana Mothers Milk Bank Donor.”
So, Amelia Boomker of Illinois has set the Guinness World Record for Breast Milk Donation by gifting get this: “16,321 fluid ounces of milk to the Indiana Mother’s Milk Bank.” She made her donations between February 2008 and September 2013. So, her story is that: “She began pumping when her first son Danny was born with a congenital heart defect in 2005.” He was too fed for the first six months of life.
She would pump all the time. So, she even started pumping and then, after she had three more boys and so she pumped through all of them as well. So, she donated over 16,000 fluid ounces. So, ladies, what do you think about that? I mean I’m just excited when someone donates a couple of ounces.
Ashley Treadwell: I think she should make her a saint, put a day in Indiana and salute for her.
Miranda Harris: What a time commitment that is especially with the other kids. Good for her.
Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. One of the things too, she credits which is amazing which is that – she attributes some of her breast milk production success to a flexible employer that lets her pump long term on a consistent daily schedule. So, she was also working mom as well.
Melissa Lang Litle: As a donor milk recipient, I don’t feel like I can thank my donor mom as enough. So, it’s awesome.
Lynnea Young: It would be really neat to know the number of babies that she donated too. I think it somehow get like a picture of all of them together something – that would be really cool.
Miranda Harris: Yes, such a positive story. I kept hearing about more moms that are doing it and reaching out to one another and using the benefits of breast milk. I think it’s wonderful.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome. Well, way to go Amelia. That is amazing. All right, so today on The Boob Group, we’re discussing: Breastfeeding during weeks 3 through 6 of baby’s life.” Our expert Ashley Treadwell is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with the San Diego Breastfeeding Centre. Thanks for joining us again Ashley and welcome back to the show.
Ashley Treadwell: Thank you for having me.
Robin Kaplan: Sure. So, Ashley I love to start out each of these episodes of the series talking about: “What a mom can expect during this time period?” So, what does normal breastfeeding look-like when babies between 3 and 6weeks and how often does a baby feed him for typically how long?”
Ashley Treadwell: By six weeks, most moms and babies should have found their groove. But, I always tell moms that it’s not expected and especially at three weeks. At three weeks, it often looks like it did at week 1 and week 2 and people are still figuring things out. As they get closer to 6 weeks, it’s common for babies to still need to feed every 2 to 3 hours.
Some of them at that early stage may become a little more efficient and maybe able to stretch out that time in between but don’t worry if yours isn’t. Feedings shouldn’t take quite as long as they did in the really early days because babies have a lot of practice; mom’s milk volume has increased.
So, in one of the beginning, it may have been 45 minutes to an hour, an hour of looking 30 minutes is probably a decent amount of time. But, always I tell moms to make sure you watch the baby and not the clock because all babies are different.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome. What are typical sleep patterns now that babies days and nights are hopefully not so mixed up anymore?
Ashley Treadwell: Hopefully, they’re not mixed up. At this time, babies start to have more awake times during the day. So, moms may find that there’s more time to interact with them. Whereas the two to three week old babies are often sleeping in between feedings as they get closer to six weeks, they may be awake more.
At night, it’s common for babies at this age and for a quite a while to still eat throughout the night. So, the sleeping through the night doesn’t happen for a while for any babies. So, it’s common for them to wake up even still every 2 to 3 hours to eat. Some babies might start to do a longer stretch, 3 to 4 hours they usually do it at the first part of the evening.
So, while the four hours isn’t very useful to you because it’s from 7 to 11; it’s still four hours of sleep and then I’ll go back and do every 2 to 3 hours. At this point too, night time feedings are usually very calm and so, it’s often easy for babies to wake, feed and then go right back to sleep.
Robin Kaplan: Whereas in the beginning, they wake up and they want to party all night long. Ashley, what does a baby’s typical weight gain look at this age? What are the best ways to ensure the baby’s getting enough since most families probably don’t see their paediatrician or their midwife until – they may not see their midwife again but their paediatrician until their baby’s two months old?
Ashley Treadwell: Sure. So, weight gain at this point looks like it did at the beginning. We’re looking for a baby to gain 4 to 7 ounces a week which works up to about a quarter pound to a half pound per week. This goes on into about month four and that’s when that’s starts to slow down and we don’t expect quite that weight gain. We wouldn’t want them to gain weight at that level for a long time.
As far as knowing how much that the baby or being able to feel comfortable that your baby is getting enough. There are a few ways to do that. The first is: “Output.” Pees and poops as long as the baby is having plenty of dirty diapers and what diapers a baby who’s meeting their milestones. A baby who seems satisfied after feeding will go for an hour, 2 or 3.
Always want to remind moms that there is that cluster feeding period of time in the evening where the baby is going to want to eat every 20 minutes and it doesn’t mean that your supply is low. It’s just in a room baby the behaviour.
Another really good resource for women are support groups – San Diego has a million free support groups available where there will always be a scale. So, moms can come and they can track the baby’s weight when they’re not seeing their paediatrician.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome. All right, ladies in the studio. So, did you noticed that your baby’s patterns become a little bit more predictable once they hit this kind of 3 to 6 weeks and took your baby’s night time feedings got a little bit easier. How about you Melissa, do you want to start?
Melissa Lang Litle: You know with each baby, it’s such a different relationship. So, I forgot all about like what do you call: “The witching hour” or the time at dusk when I feel like the cluster feeding became: “Yes, this is happening.” But around I’d say week 3 or week 4. We started to get in our groove again.
But then, my babies have those growth spurts. So, I really do love the fact that you’re saying: “Watch the baby not the clock” because that’s really work for us. In fact, several times my mid-wife would ask me: “How’s your feeding? How long have you been feeding?” I have no idea. We’re just feeding. So, that makes me happy.
Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. How about you Lynnea?
Lynnea Young: Predictable, no. I mean my almost two year old still not predictable with how often she’ll want to nurse. But, nights are easier. I think it’s more like you said: “Getting into your groove.”
We have the positions that are more comfortable to astound by about that point and it will go back to sleep a little quicker and that makes your day better when your nights go a little smoother.
Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. How about you Miranda?
Miranda Harris: I wouldn’t necessarily say predictable because I feel like the first six weeks is like a constant growth spurt. But, it was definitely easier at that point.
Robin Kaplan: How about your nights, any easier during the night?
Miranda Harris: Well with my first, it took me a long time to figure out how the nursing down. With her, like from the very first – I didn’t have to get up unless I was changing a diaper.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome.
Miranda Harris: But around like a month, I think she stopped pooping at night. So, I don’t have to change diapers anymore.
Robin Kaplan: So, your nights have gotten fantastic, very cool. All right, Ashley if breastfeeding is going well, is now a good aid to introduce a bottle our parents are interested and if they are, how does mom get milk for this first bottle?
Ashley Treadwell: It is. This is actually the perfect time to introduce a bottle. We usually recommend once that two-week growth spurt is done. So, somewhere between 3 and 5 weeks is a good time to introduce a bottle. I’d tell moms to pick one time of day to pump so that they can gather up enough milk to have a bottle.
Morning time is usually the easiest. We’re most full in the morning and often if partner works a typical job then their home in the morning so you have an extra set of hands. So, tell mom to start pumping after feeding for 10 to 15 minutes and start putting that milk away. It may take three or four days to build up a whole bottle. A bottle at that stage would probably need to be three to three ounces.
Robin Kaplan: So, now that mom actually has two to three ounces in a bottle, who should give the baby the bottle? What tips do you have for offering a bottle to a breastfed baby?
Ashley Treadwell: It’s usually best for it to be somebody other than mom. Most babies’ associate breastfeeding with mom and so, they’re more likely to refuse a bottle. I tell my moms that it has to be dad and it has to be at 2 AM. So, first it has to be. It’s so funny how many of them look at me and go: “Okay.” I’m not going to tell them: “I’m kidding.”
So, some tips for offering the bottle. We usually recommend that somebody other than mom what’s really important especially in these early days is to slow down the bottle feeding. We want the bottle-feeding to mimic a breastfeeding session as much as possible. Bottles are often much faster than breastfeeding and women don’t or babies don’t have to work as much at them. So, we want to mimic the breastfeeding session by slowing it down.
I usually tell my moms to: “Mimic the let-down.” So, let the babies suck on an empty nipple for 30, 45 seconds because at the breast, they have to do that before the milk starts flowing. Anytime a baby gets a bottle, moms should pump to replace that feeding. We want your breasts to think that the feeding came from you.
We recommend for those that first bottle or two to not pump until you have the all clear from dad as Robin has found out. Sometimes the baby’s may not take the bottle the first time and so with you, hand the bottle over and go back and pump and then come back out and the baby won’t take it. You have a hungry baby and empty breasts.
Then, we do recommend that after that, the mom pumps every time baby gets a bottle.
Robin Kaplan: Cool and what are your recommendations for frequency of offering a bottle. Does this differ between moms who are staying at home compared to moms who might return to work later?
Ashley Treadwell: I don’t think it differs really. I think if you want the baby to have a bottle whether it’s because you’re going back to work or whether it’s a stay-at-home mom who may want to get out of the house from time-to-time. I think it’s important to keep the bottle as part of a regular routine.
What a lot of parents will do is: “Between weeks 3 and week 5, they introduce the bottle and baby takes the bottle.” They say: “Great.” Then, mom is home whether she’s on maternity leave or she’s an at home mom and they don’t really need bottles and then moms were turning into work – somewhere around week 9 or 10; they say: “We should probably start giving the baby bottles again and then the baby at that point has forgotten what a bottle is.”
It’s totally unfamiliar. They lose their suck reflect. So, they’re no longer going to suck on anything that you put in their mouth. Now, you have a panic mom who’s going back to work in a few weeks who’s baby won’t take a bottle. So, I think it’s good to keep it as a regular routine either once a day, once every other day.
It’s a nice time for dad to be involved. I know a lot of dads really look forward to the bottles because they get to be involved in the feeding. So, it can be a really nice routine. I think moms should also take that time to maybe do something for themselves because it’s important to work that into your routine as well.
Robin Kaplan: Cool. Ladies, did you offer your baby a bottle during this time period and if so, how did it go? Lynnea, how about you?
Lynnea Young: I did and with my first – not so well. She’s a big fan of the bottle and we didn’t push it. I was really worried. I hadn’t breastfed before so I was worried. I didn’t know if I pushed it. If it would become a routine because we are successful breastfeeding her, I wasn’t as worried with him and he seemed to take one a lot easier.
I never had an extra pumping but we didn’t have any rejection issues with the bottle with him. He doesn’t take one very often but it’s nice if I sleep in and he starts fussing for food. But, he doesn’t have to wake me up and bring him in.
Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. How about you Melissa?
Melissa Lang Litle: We didn’t. I didn’t do it at all. There’s a time that I’m really proud of myself and happy for what decisions we’ve made and there’s of course all those times where I wish I would have introduce the bottle. But, I feel lucky enough that I’m with all of my babies at all the times of feeding on demand is just really more or less a relationship that we’ve created.
Robin Kaplan: Very cool.
Melissa Lang Litle: I’ve had the luxury of being able to do that as well.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome. How about you Miranda?
Miranda Harris: I still haven’t given her a bottle and I’ve only pumped like once so far. I had a lot of nipple confusion and latch issues with my first. So, there’s been really careful and I don’t really plan to use bottles at all.
Robin Kaplan: Okay, all right. Ladies, well thank you. All right, when we come back Ashley will discuss: “Tips for surviving the witching hour, symptoms of Colic and how to venture out into the realm of nursing in public.” We’ll be right back.
Robin Kaplan: Well, welcome back to the show. We’re here with Ashley Treadwell an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with the San Diego Breastfeeding Centre and we are talking about: “Breastfeeding your baby between weeks 3 and 6.”
So, Ashley I definitely remember the witching hour starting from my boys between weeks 3 and 4. What is witching hour and how would you describe it and how do babies typically act during this fun time?
Ashley Treadwell: The witching hour – we also call it: “The Unhappy Hour.” I’ll tell you: “My kids are 3 and 6 years old and we still have the witching hour.” The hours from 4 to 7 are miserable.
Robin Kaplan: So, what babies do during this time is: “They want to eat frequently. They’re really fussy. They cry a lot and my 3 and 6 year old do the same thing.”
Melissa Lang Litle: Well there’s [inaudible] syndrome.
Robin Kaplan: Yes.
Ashley Treadwell: So, even older adults that same time period – to me,
Robin Kaplan: We’re all grumpy.
Miranda Harris: I think we just deal with it as adults.
Ashley Treadwell: Exactly. I think that’s exactly what the witching hour is actually is that: “As we get older, we learn how to sort of shut ourselves down from over stimulation and babies often can’t. They are completely over simulative from their days and they have no way to shut down. They’re super fussy. They want to eat frequently but then, it only seems like they don’t want to eat.
So, moms will say: “Well, the baby went on and they fed for five minutes and then they came off and then 10 minutes later, they were acting hungry again.” The best thing that you can do is keep putting the baby back to breast.
Some reasons for this I think are the over stimulation. Our supply is the lowest in the afternoon. It doesn’t mean that it’s too low but it is low from feeding all day. So, babies often have to nurse more frequently to get as much as they need. There’s always some thought that they maybe tanking up on some calories so that they can then give you that 3 or 4 hours of sleep.
So, the best thing that you can do is: “Keep offering the baby the breast even if it seems like he doesn’t want it.” That will keep him the most calm.
Robin Kaplan: Okay and what other tips do you have besides latching baby back on to help your baby go through the witching hour period. If so, how can you manage this fussy time?
Ashley Treadwell: I think the best thing that I found for both of my kids was wearing them. I just found that-that time of day was I had a sling and they would both go into the sling as soon as they started showing the signs – because that even if they were crying, they were at least with me. Often times, it would put them to sleep. I found that I could get them to sort of sleep and manage through that time.
There are other things that you can do to sort of take you out of the house if maybe going for a walk or a drive suites the baby that’s a good idea. I think having your partner – if your partners’ home at this time, I think it sometimes good just to hand the baby off.
Crying can be incredibly stressful for moms and not as much as dads. So, sometimes its good dad and if or partner – if your partner has been at work, they have sort of a fresh eye, starting an evening routine at this point might be good. Bath or book is something like that.
Melissa Lang Litle: I love that you said: “Wearing your baby” because one of the things I feel like I survived is the witching hour also seem to coincide with if you have other kids or you’re making dinner.
Ashley Treadwell: It’s the busiest time of the day as well. I think especially when you have second and third children – I think sometimes that can over stimulate them as well because that’s when everybody’s coming home from school and work.
Another really good tip that a good friend of mine gave me many years ago was to: “Prep dinner at 10:00 in the morning” so that you don’t if it gets to be 5:00 in the afternoon your baby’s losing their mind. You’re not worried about how am I going to get dinner on the table. So, that can really help as well.”
Use your Crock-pot and ask for help. I think a lot of times we think that we have to bear the brunt of this time and we don’t.
Lynnea Young: Another thing too – I like to remember as well is that: “It’s very temporary.”
Robin Kaplan: Well, although we’re talking about of my seven and eight year old still witching hour. But, it’s very different. Now, I feel like: “Here’s a snack. Go out take it down a notch. But, the really intense witching time I find, less first couple of months and then the over stimulation like: “They feel like you’ve taken them to Disney Land every single day.”
Ashley Treadwell: The ceiling fan.
Robin Kaplan: The ceiling fan is really exciting. So, by the time they hit three months it tends to kind of – they actually kind of seek out that excitement to look at too and it’s not so upsetting. So, ladies how do you guys survived the witching hour period and what helped you through it? Lynnea, how about you?
Lynnea Young: I’m still struggling to survive. We’re at that time period. I think you kind of hit the nail on the head that it’s our witching hour too. So, I always seem to have the least amount of patience during that time which makes me feel awful.
But definitely like you guys said: “Wearing my babies are kind of how I survived all of the difficult parenting challenges keeps them a lot calmer and it reminds me a lot of the things that you love about being a mom.” They are right there and you get to stare at their sweet face and smell that sweet baby smell.
Robin Kaplan: Exactly. How about you Melissa?
Melissa Lang Litle: I would say the same thing. I don’t know if there are moms out there that don’t baby-wear. It’s like the best thing I could ever in terms of advice or something to share with them that I can give them. Not only you can survive the witching hour but that baby close to your breast is helping milk production. There are so many benefits to baby-wearing.
Also, if you have other little ones and you didn’t prepped dinner at 10 AM; you’re kind of scrambling to make dinner and with both hands, needing both hands that helped me survived yet and babies close to me so if he’s cluster feeding and I could feed him in a carrier and all of the things that we have to do is sometimes with multi-tasking during that time where we all like to sit down and take a breather.
Robin Kaplan: Yes, absolutely. Well go ahead Lynnea.
Lynnea Young: I do have to confess too because I feel so guilty listening to all cook dinner. I probably haven’t cooked dinner since I got pregnant with the second baby. My husband does all the cooking.
Robin Kaplan: Good for you.
Ashley Treadwell: That’s asking him for help and you did it.
Robin Kaplan: Yes, exactly. How about you Miranda?
Miranda Harris: I haven’t cooked very much either since I got pregnant. My husband is really helpful and maybe might not do things the way I wanted too but at least he’s helping. So, if he’s home in the evening usually, he would rather cook and clean than hold a crying baby that he can’t feed.
So, usually I will just walk around with her, wear her, may be bounce on my birth ball. Go for a walk, just watch TV and feed her.
Robin Kaplan: Well, I think you’ve mentioned really it hit something on the head too was that: “I remember handing off my kids to my husband but
Ashley Treadwell: Micro managing them.
Robin Kaplan: Well, no not only that. He was the baby whisper any other time of the day and night except during witching hour. They just needed to be on me. So, those couple of hours in the carrier just letting them sleep on me even I would never even take them out you know you might want to change a diaper or something because they needed to smell me for some reason which I’m sure I didn’t smell that good.
Ashley Treadwell: It’s true.
Robin Kaplan: Okay, so Ashley – so speaking of the witching hour, a lot of times it’s confused with colic and so, what’s a difference between the two and what are some symptoms of colic and what often causes that type of fussiness?
Ashley Treadwell: So, the witching hour is normal fussiness. It happens during the day or in the evening time when babies over stimulated and tired and wants to eat more often. There’s actually a definition for colic that I think if when moms if you look at it in comparison to the witching hour, it’s very different.
Colic is defined as bouts of crying for three or more hours for more than three days a week, for more than three weeks in a row. There are times when the witching hour, you may feel like your baby’s been crying for three hours. But, I think if you timed that you might find that they’re not.
We don’t have definitive information on what causes Colic. It can be discomfort, intestinal discomfort due to food allergies or if a baby has a lip-tie or tongue-tie that can cause them some intestinal discomfort as well. But a Colicky baby is one who will seem incredibly uncomfortable more than just the crying – they have seemed uncomfortable. They may draw their legs up and I think it’s the regularity of it that really sets it apart from the witching hour.
Robin Kaplan: Okay, cool. All right, so now let’s switch over to nursing in public. I do want to mention that all of the three panellists on here in our show today are second time moms. So, you might have remembered a little bit with your first time one because I was nursing my second child. I think we were at a restaurant. He’s a week old and I was like: “Let’s do it.” But, I definitely was not that comfortable yet at a week post partum with my first.
But Ashley, what are your top five tips for nursing in public during this early time period, getting moms’ confidence up?
Ashley Treadwell: One great idea is to: “Practice at home in front of the mirror.” A lot of moms worry about sort of being discrete or not being discrete and I think if you practice in front of the mirror, you’ll see that you really are not showing that much. There’s very little bit of that’s exposed.
The nursing tanks are really nice because then, they cover everything. I know for me, what always made me more uncomfortable was pulling up my shirt and having my stomach and my back exposed as my three year old when I was doing – when they walked up and said: “Mom part of your side is sticking out. Let me put it back in for you.” I was like: “Thanks.” That’s a muffin top. So, tanks offer a lot of coverage.
Choose some place sort of semi-public and pick places like babies or us have rooms like you can go too. So, while you’re in public, you’re not actually in public. So, that can be kind of a bridge. At Nordstrom’s I know. They have the little rooms outside of their bathroom so you’re not nursing in the bathroom. They have couches and it’s kind of little seating area.
Wearing your baby and nursing can really be helpful as well because you very rarely have to expose much at all and we have a ton of baby wearers in San Diego. We have a huge support group. I know that there are moms that will be happy to teach women because I know that can seem sort of overwhelming at first trying to nurse in a carrier.
Then, breastfeeding support group is another place that can be incredibly safe and a good introduction in nursing in public because again, you’re in public but you’re surrounded by other nursing moms.
Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. Ladies, did you nurse your babies in public between ages 3 and 6 weeks and were you nervous or do you have any good tips for mamas? Miranda, how about you?
Miranda Harris: I was definitely nervous the first time around and I’ve tried using the cover but it’s really just too much trouble for me and I felt like it drew more attention to me. So, eventually I got comfortable enough and maybe I would like wear a tank top under my shirt and pull the top shirt up.
This time I am not very nervous at all. Like sometimes I nurse her and the carrier or sometimes I even like if we’re at Costco, how they have chairs on and stuff. I just sit down and nurse as well.
Robin Kaplan: Make use of the furniture aisle.
Miranda Harris: Make your own nursing stations.
Robin Kaplan: Exactly, how about you Melissa?
Melissa Lang Litle: Three to six weeks, I sometimes we got to do what we got to do. Nursing in public hasn’t been a problem since the first baby because like Miranda, I kind of got comfortable and figure it out that: “This cover thing wasn’t going to work and it kept my baby hot.”
Then, I was more nervous and anxious and I didn’t want to give him that. So, we got our groove and then from the second baby on it was just like: “Here are my breasts because I got to feed my baby.”
I feel like weeks 3 and 6 is still so new that you kind of get in your groove in general; so that if you’re doing chores, it’s not as often as when they’re a little bit older.
Robin Kaplan: It’s a good point. A lot of mine is done in restaurants at that point – like I wasn’t necessarily nursing.
Lynnea Young: Especially for my second.
Robin Kaplan: For second one, yes. When you have an older kid, that baby is nursing at park all the time.
Melissa Lang Litle: You have to get out.
Robin Kaplan: Exactly. How about you Lynnea?
Lynnea Young: I think with the first one, my biggest struggle was: “The fumbling around.” Trying to get a comfortable position and that’s all so much more important with your first one is being in the right position and your both kind of still learning each other. I was really adamant that I wanted to become comfortable nursing in public because I believe everybody should be.
But, that doesn’t make it necessarily easy when it’s still you and you still kind of apprehensive of what other people are thinking and looking but wanted you guys mention the support groups. That is a really good way to get comfortable nursing around other people because you’re all there for the same reason. You’re all doing the same thing and you can kind of learn your different comfortable positions in front of people that aren’t judging you.
Robin Kaplan: Yes, absolutely. Ashley, if a baby is still having latching challenges during this time period, is it too late to fix it and if it’s not, what would be some ways to improve a baby’s latch at this age?
Ashley Treadwell: No, it’s definitely not too late. I think the most important thing is to: “Find out why the baby isn’t latching correctly.” Is it something that’s going on and in atomically if the baby is tongue-tied? Sometimes depending on labour and birth, babies can have problems latching if they have a particularly long birth.
Some things that can help a baby who’s not latching at this point – we love body work for babies either Craniosacral Therapy or Chiropractic Care can really help to work on loosening sort of all the muscles that are involved with breastfeeding.
So, the jaw, the back of the neck – they can help with the tongue. Sometimes they actually do work inside the mouth to help mom, to help baby get a better latch.
Robin Kaplan: Okay, cool. If a mom is having a challenge with her milk supply during this time period, has she missed her window for increasing her supply?
Ashley Treadwell: She hasn’t. I think what’s important for that question is: “It depends on the reason that her milk supply is low.” If it’s something in her medical history that is not able to be affected then her supply maybe what it is. But, if there are other reasons, there are definitely ways to increase your supply.
The stimulation in the early days is very important but even if it was missed, it doesn’t mean that mom can’t boost your supply later. It is important to determine why it’s low whether it’s something with the baby. If the baby isn’t efficiently demanding the milk then moms supply will respond. Also, to make sure that it isn’t something with mom.
Things you can do to boost a supply at this point, the best thing that you can do is: “Lots of time at the breast. Lots of breast stimulation.” If it is a baby that isn’t maybe being super efficient then we’ll recommend the additional stimulation with the pump. There are a lot of herbal supplements that you can take to help increase your supply. There are actually prescription medications that are available as well.
Body work for mom as well. We have acupuncture we love. We see a lot of moms who have great results with acupuncture. I think the most important thing is to: “Meet with a lactation consultant to determine what the reason for the low supply is.”
Robin Kaplan: Okay, thanks Ashley. Then, lastly our panellists, so what have you noticed have been the biggest differences between those first two weeks and now, well your babies are all even just a little bit passed the sixth week mark – but how did you notice that it just got better? Melissa, how about you?
Melissa Lang Litle: They are growing a little bit more. So, maybe their mouths are just slightly bigger and we’ve got into our rhythm. Maybe my breasts are not so engorged. So, they’re having to latch their mouth onto a hardened big breast. I think just even after my third son was born, it’s like relearning everything.
I think by weeks 3 through 6, it’s just starting to get your groove. It’s not necessarily easy because you’re working with less sleep and still fumbling a little bit and I can’t recall names or do things but I feel like: “We’re in sync.” So, that feels nice.
Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. How about you Lynnea?
Lynnea Young: Everything’s a little bit slightly more comfortable. Well, I’m technically still all milky and spray because of my let-down. But, you’re not as quite as overwhelmed with your milk coming in; like she said: “More connected with your baby.”
It becomes that nice time to sit and relax and stare at your baby rather than, worrying about how they’re latching and what they’re doing and how much they’re eating. It’s a lot sweeter I think.
Robin Kaplan: Yes, how about you Miranda?
Miranda Harris: I agree that you’re more in-synch with your baby. You kind of figure out they’re fussy times and if they just need to nurse through it and like pop on and off a bunch of times and you just keep putting them back. You know that’s just normal. There’s nothing wrong.
Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. I remember especially with my first. Right around six weeks, the first six weeks were such a blur and then he started to socially smile. It made it all worth it. Yes, like all the signals: “All right, we got this. Just all of a sudden, he recognized me. I felt like he finally recognize me as his mom and it was a game changer. So, I remember six weeks being pretty phenomenal.
Melissa Lang Litle: Yes, women’s’ in your first baby like you’re questioning everything. So, after you get passed that first couple of weeks like you’re starting to feel comfortable with the things that you’re doing and not like: “Am I doing this right? What am I doing?”
Robin Kaplan: Exactly. Although, I think I still do that all the time.
Ashley Treadwell: I was going to say: “You’ve done your questioning the whole new set of things.” Breastfeeding, you maybe feeling better about but now, it’s something else.
Robin Kaplan: Exactly, all right. Well, thank you so much Ashley and to our panellists for sharing this wonderful information about: “Breastfeeding a baby during his/her third through sixth week.”
For our Boob Group Club Members, our conversation will continue after the end of the show. As Ashley will discuss: “Tips for moms to get enough calories during this time period.” For more information about our Boob Group Club, please visit our website at www.TheBoobGroup.com .
Lara Audelo: Hi Boob Group listeners! I’m Lara Audelo a Certified Lactation Educator, the Retail Marketing Manager at Best for Babes and owner of MamaPear Designs. Today, I’m here to talk about: “How you can achieve your personal breastfeeding goals without being undermine the cultural and institutional booby traps.”
Let’s examine on whether or not your hospital provide you with enough access to an IBCLC. It’s a common complaint: “I really needed help. I asked to see a lactation consultant but she never came.” Not all breastfeeding problems require someone with training and skills of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant but many do.
Research is demonstrating that having the assistance of one makes a big difference and moms’ ability to make a breastfeeding goal. So, why do so many moms say that they waited in vain or an IBCLC’s help?
In 2010, the United States Lactation Consultant Association release guidelines for lactation consultant staffing and different hospital setting. It’s cited the paper congesting that: “71% of mothers required their systems from an IBCLC.”
Research shows that: “They were fallen short of the recommendation at hospital that one IBCLC for every 1000 deliveries.” The USLCA indicates that there’s a shortage of IBCLC for hospitals and that many hospitals have don’t even provide a holiday coverage.
That may explain why moms report asking for but not-getting to see a lactation consultant. Until the optimal staffing becomes a reality, remember that the feedback matters, if you were unsatisfied with your access to IBCLC at your hospital or in the other part of your breastfeeding care, write to your hospital.
This kind of feedback is taken very seriously and can go a long way in making a different for the moms who chose to give birth with that facility in the future. A special thank you for Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC for writing The Booby Trap Series for Best for Babes – this is BestforBabes.org.
For more great information about how to meet your personal breastfeeding goal and my business MamaPearDesigns.com for breastfeeding support of wearable. Be sure to listen to The Boob Group for fantastic conversations about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.
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
• Our show Parent Savers for moms and dads with newborns, infants and toddlers
• Twin Talks for parents of multiples.
Thanks for listening to The Boob Group, your judgement-free breastfeeding resource.
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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