Category Archives: Milk Supply Info

Lactation Education & Advice

Breastfeeding Diet

Two Kinds of Breastfeeding Diets

There are many health benefits to breastfeedingThere are two kinds of breastfeeding diets: one is a diet in the sense of a “weight-loss” diet. The other is a diet in the sense of “what kinds of foods can help with breastfeeding – both milk quality and milk quantity.” We’ll talk about both kinds of diets in this article.

Rule #1 of a Breastfeeding Diet

It is possible to diet to lose weight and successfully breastfeed at the same time, however it can be very tricky because breast milk is produced by the food (calories) you eat. If you limit your calories too much your body won’t have the raw materials available to create milk and your milk supply could suffer or even shut down.

The guidance you’ll often hear from medical professionals is that pregnant women should consume about 300 additional calories beyond what they typically consume for growth of the fetus/baby. What surprises a lot of breastfeeding women looking to diet is that the same medical professionals recommend that breastfeeding moms consume 500 additional calories for the production of breast milk!

Too aggressive of exercise or breastfeeding dieting can negatively affect milk productionWhat that means is that if you’re looking for a breastfeeding diet that’ll help shed that extra pregnancy weight, look for a diet that is based on calorie intake and exercise (as opposed to a diet that restricts certain food groups, such as a low carb diet or paleo diet). Find your daily calorie target. For most women this is between 1200 and 1800 calories. Add to that target 500 calories for breastfeeding. While you’ll be eating 500 more calories per day than what your diet plan calls for, these breastfeeding calories magically get converted into breast milk to feed your baby, so they don’t really count. Hit your daily calorie target and exercise sensibly and the weight will drop off and you’ll be able to breastfeed successfully.

Very aggressive dieting or exercise can and usually will have a negative impact on your breast milk production. If you notice your milk supply is not as high as you want it to be, ease up on the exercise or add in a bit more calories. Finally don’t begin any breastfeeding diet until your milk supply and your breastfeeding relationship is well established.

A Breastfeeding Diet That Makes More Breast Milk

If you’re less concerned about a weight loss diet and instead are looking for a breastfeeding diet that helps breast milk production, this is the section for you.

breastfeeding diets must include certain ingredientsEating is so common, so everyday, that we often forget how important it is. What we eat and drink and when we eat or drink is the major determiner for how much we weigh, how healthy we are and how much energy we have. It contributes to what diseases we get or avoid and how long we’ll live. Given all that, it’s not much of a surprise that what we eat can increase or decrease our milk supply.

There are certain foods that seem to really help increase milk supply. They are: Oats (oatmeal), brewer’s yeast and fenugreek powder. The more of these three you can weave into your diet, the bigger the boost to your milk supply. Try searching online for recipes. Or better yet you can get 39 milk-boosting recipes in the book Milk Up!, which is included as a free gift with an order of Lactiful Supply Max (an herbal supplement that boosts breast milk production). Here’s a yummy recipe from the Milk Up! book:

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Lactation Cookies

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal, soaked in 8 tsp of water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 stick (1?2 cup) of butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
  • 1½  cups peanut butter
  • 4 cups oatmeal
  • ¾ cup plain M&M’s
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In large bowl, use mixer to combine first nine ingredients – eggs through peanut butter.
  3. Add oatmeal, candy, and chocolate chips and mix thoroughly.
  4. If dough is too sticky add another 1/2 cup oatmeal.
  5. Scoop large tablespoon-sized balls and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. If using two racks, switch top to bottom and bottom to top about halfway through. 

What If Your Breastfeeding Diet Needs A Breast Milk Production Boost?

Often the fastest results can be achieved with a herbal breast milk booster. One observational study found that Lactiful Supply Max increased the breast milk production in 75% of the women who tried it regardless of the breastfeeding diet they were following, or not. You can learn more about Lactiful Supply Max and how it works here.

When To Start On Baby Food?

6 Months Is The Current Guideline

The current guideline on when to start your baby on baby food is around six months of age. (Before that, baby should be exclusively on breast milk or formula.) However this is a guideline and each baby is unique, so here are the things to watch for to see when is the best time to start your baby on baby food.

Signs That Baby Is Ready For Baby Food

Your baby will indicate to you when he or she is ready to start trying other foods than breast milk or formula. Here are some signs babies give when they’re ready:

  • baby-starting-on-foodHave at least one tooth – a baby who has at least one tooth tends to be more ready for food than toothless babies.
  • Wants to be included in meal time – if you set baby some place other than the table for mealtime and baby acts fussy until you bring her to the table, it’s a good sign she may be ready to try food.
  • Baby is interested in food – if your baby intently watches other people eating it’s a good sign to start on baby food.
  • Baby mimics eating food while at the dinner table – if baby is opening his mouth and pretending to chew while watching other people eat, it’s a good sign to start on baby food.

Some babies may be ready for food as early as 4 months, while others may not have interest until well after 6 or 7 months, but it’s important for the parents to watch for the signs that baby is ready and when the signs are seen consistently, start on baby food. Parents who ignore the signs may unintentionally put baby off food and have a more difficult transition.

What Baby Foods Are Good To Start With?

A simple way to start with baby food is to mash up a small section of banana and start with small spoonfuls of that. Applesauce is another good early first food. You can also get small jars of ready to go baby food and these are marked with some indication of how complex the food is. Start with a stage 1 food.

Many babies have a tongue reflex that automatically wants to kick out any object or food that gets in their mouth, so you’ll often see this when you start with baby food. Don’t take it as an indication that baby does not like the taste or does not want to eat, it’s simply a built-in response and baby needs time to learn how to control his tongue and mouth to move the food back and swallow. To help baby learn, take the baby spoon with baby food on it and after putting it in baby’s mouth, scrape the food off on baby’s upper lip. This gives baby the best chance to get the food back in her mouth.

Baby Starting On Baby Foods Affect Breast Milk Production

Once baby gets the hang of eating baby foods and begins to get more and more of her calories from solid food, you may notice your breast milk production decreasing.This is a normal step in the weaning process but many moms continue to breastfeed for months after baby starts on baby food. If your milk supply drops dramatically, try Lactiful Supply Max to boost it back up. Click for more articles about how to increase milk supply

How To Store Breast Milk

Welcome to our “How to store breast milk” guide! The first question to ask is how long do you need to store breast milk? Longer than 8 days or 8 days or less?

How To Store Breast Milk For 8 Days Or Less

Storing breast milk for short term use (8 days or less) is as simple as putting it in the refrigerator. Well, almost. Here’s the details:

  • breast milk storage pump bottlesAfter you finish pumping, place the breast milk in the refrigerator. There’s no need to let the breast milk cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge, however if the milk sits out for short time (no more than a couple hours) the freshness shouldn’t be affected.
  • Bag the milk. Or not. There are several manufacturers of breast milk storage bags. A quick web or amazon search will show you the options. However if you have extra pumping bottles or you will not need the pumping bottles before the breast milk is used, it’s perfectly fine to just store your pump bottles in the fridge. This also saves on washing.
  • Label the stored breast milk with the date. Most breast milk storage bags have a place where you can write the date or make notes. If you’re leaving your milk in the pump bottles, write down the date on masking tape and put that on the bottle.
  • Set a expiration reminder. If you’re not certain that you will be able to use the breast milk before it expires, set a reminder in your calendar for a week from now saying that the milk should be used or frozen today.

How To Store Breast Milk For Longer Than 8 Days

Banking up a freezer stash of breast milk is common for many moms who will be returning to work or school but still want to provide all the benefits of breast milk to their baby. Here’s how to store breast milk properly and keep organized:

  • Pump MembraneStore an amount of breast milk that makes sense. Usually this is three to five ounces, but try to anticipate what quantity will be most helpful to your baby sitter. If that amount is 4 ounces, there’s no point in storing a one ounce bag of breast milk. Instead if you pump less than your target amount, put the pump bottles, flanges and tubes in the fridge. The next time you go to pump, simply use your equipment from the fridge and add to the breast milk you previously produced.
  • Once you have pumped your target amount – even if that’s over two or more pumping sessions – pour the breast milk into a breast milk storage bag and note today’s date on the bag and place it in the freezer.
  • If you have pumped more milk that your target storage amount, you can either:
    1. Store a larger bag (5 oz instead of 4 oz). or
    2. You can make a 4 ounce bag and freeze that and put the remaining ounce in a new bag that you can keep in the fridge and add to later.
  • To keep organized, put the breast milk storage bags for a given month all in a gallon sized ziplock freezer bag. This way you’ll have a “March” bag, an “April” bag and so on. It’s much easier to find the milk you want when it’s organized this way.
  • You can store breast milk in a refrigerator freezer for about 4 months and a deep freezer will get you a full 12 months of storage. See the breast milk storage guidelines below or click the image to print your own copy.

how to store breast milk - methods and times

Printable copy of the Breast Milk Storage Guidelines 

Baby Sleeping Through The Night?

Why It Could Spell Disaster To Your Breast Milk Production

baby sleeping through the nightNewborns, especially breastfed newborns, typically wake every 3 hours to feed. It doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, newborns wake up frequently. After a few tiring weeks of this moms begin looking for ways to help their babies sleep longer stretches through the night with the goal being to have baby consistently sleep through the night.

Most sleep deprived moms dream of a baby who is a good sleeper. A baby who can be put down for bed and sleep through the night. But as terrific as a good night’s sleep is, there’s a danger looming for breastfeeding mothers: a baby that sleeps through the night can cause big trouble for breast milk production. Here’s how:

Why Does A Baby Sleeping Through The Night Affect Breast Milk Production?

The body has a feedback mechanism that lets it know when it is producing too much milk. There’s a specific type of whey protein called “feedback inhibitor of lactation” or FIL for short. Concentrations of FIL increase the more milk is allowed to build up in the breast and a breast that is painfully engorged contains very high levels of FIL. The body’s response to high levels of FIL is to cut back on production of breast milk.

When baby sleeps through the night (and mom sleeps through the night too) mom’s breasts continue to fill to the point of engorgement and when that happens high levels of FIL begin to signal the body to cut breast milk production. This is the reason some women with a large oversupply of milk can quickly swing to an undersupply of milk.

Will Baby Sleeping Through The Night Affect Your Breast Milk Production?

mother and baby sleeping through the nightSome breastfeeding moms have good sleepers and both mom and baby get a full night’s rest and it doesn’t affect mom’s milk supply while other moms can face serious production issues after just one uninterrupted night. What’s the difference?

Generally speaking, if a mom has had good milk production and in the morning is not waking with painfully engorged breasts then it’s likely that she will continue to have good milk production. On the other hand if a mom has struggled with lower milk production and/or is waking with painfully engorged breasts then her milk production may be in danger.

If Your Milk Production Is In Danger Here’s What You Can Do

The simplest solution, though not the most restful one, is to set an alarm in the middle of that long stretch of sleep – about 4 hours have you go to bed – and get up and pump both breasts for 10 to 15 minutes. This prevents the milk from building up too much causing the release of FIL which leads to lower milk production.

If baby is going to bed more than a couple of hours before you, consider waking up baby for a breastfeeding session right before you go to bed. Starting the night with empty breasts will help avoid FIL build up.

Finally if your milk supply has been affected by a baby sleeping through the night (or any other reason) you should consider an herbal supplement such as Lactiful Supply Max. These all-natural herbal tablets were shown in the 2012 study to increase breast milk production in 75% of the women who tried them. See more about Lactiful hereClick for more articles about how to increase milk supply

Breastfeeding On One Breast

Breastfeeding On One Breast Defined

Breastfeeding on one breast means that during a typical breastfeeding session the mother typically only breastfeeds on one breast. This happens because of inexperience, conscious choice, or because of a physical limitation such as surgery on the breast.

Implications Of Breastfeeding On One Breast

help-milk-supplyBreastfeeding on only one breast at a time typically results in lower breast milk production. This is caused when milk is left in the breast for extended periods of time. Essentially when breast milk is not removed frequently, the breasts release signals that tell the body that it is overproducing milk and that production should be cut back.

If this is not what the mother intends, she should be sure to breastfeed on both sides during each breastfeeding session and to alternate which breast she starts with each session. For example:

  • Session one, start with left breast, finish with the right
  • Session two, start with right breast, finish with the left
  • Session three, start with left breast, finish with the right
  • Etc

This is considered “normal” breastfeeding and helps stabilize milk production.

Breastfeeding On One Breast As A Means To Decrease Milk Production

Mothers faced with an over production of breast milk can use breastfeeding on one breast as a way to safely and naturally reduce milk production. To do this the mother should only breastfeed on one breast during each session. Like this:

  • Session one, only breastfeed on the left
  • Session two, only breastfeed on the right
  • Session three, only breastfeed on the left
  • Etc

breastfeeding on one breast The breast that is not breastfed on will likely become engorged and uncomfortable but it is important not to express milk either by hand or with a pump. Wait until the next breastfeeding session to remove any milk. If you find that there is too much milk for baby, causing him to choke, sputter or have other difficulties breastfeeding, you may wish to pumping for a few minutes prior to the breastfeeding session to reduce the pressure in the breast.

Breastfeeding on one breast will allow the milk to remain in the opposite breast for a long enough time to send signals that milk production should be reduced. It’s important to carefully monitor your milk production however since it is easy to swing from a state of over-production to under-production and getting the milk production back up is far more difficult than getting it to diminish.

How To Increase Milk Production When You Can Only Breastfeed On One Breast

If you can only breastfeed on one breast it is possible to successfully exclusively breastfeed your baby, however it is a difficult challenge for many moms. Here’s some things you can do to boost your breast milk production when you can only breastfeed on one breast:

  • Be sure to pump after each breastfeeding session – it’s important to remove every last drop of milk each breastfeeding session. Once the milk has stopped flowing into the pump bottle, continue to pump for 5 additional minutes. This signals your body to increase milk production.
  • Go no longer than 3 hours from the start of one breastfeeding session to the start of the next breastfeeding session. At night you can go 4 hours. This may mean you’ll have to wake baby to breastfeed but it is important because frequently removing breast milk will signal your body to increase milk production.
  • Considering taking an herbal supplement that boosts breast milk production. An observational study found that Lactiful Supply Max increase breast milk production in 75% of the moms who tried it. You can learn more about Lactiful here. Click for more articles about how to increase milk supply

Breast Feeding And Milk Supply

Introduction To Breast Feeding And Milk Supply

Breast feeding and milk supply are connected in a profound way. How you breast feed affects your milk supply and your milk supply will affect how you breast feed. It’s this “two-way street” aspect of breast feeding that many new moms struggle to understand and that’s what we’ll be talking about in this article.

The Law Of Supply And Demand

help-milk-supplyThe law of supply and demand is an economic “law” that basically says that when there is a lot of supply of something it’s price will be lower and when something is rare the price will be higher. Gasoline prices fluctuate up and down due to the law of supply and demand. Ideally supply and demand should be roughly equal.

The same process is at work with breast feeding and milk supply. When there’s a lot of demand for the milk – meaning baby is breast feeding often - the body will work to produce more milk. The body’s goal is to match the amount of milk that’s being removed with the amount of milk that’s being created.

Breast Feeding Factors That Affect Milk Supply

There are many breast feeding factors that can affect milk supply. Let’s look at both increasing supply and decreasing supply.

Breast Feeding Factors That Decrease Milk Supply

  • Poor latch – this leads to poor milk withdrawal and damaged nipples which cause milk to be stored for a long time which leads the body to think it’s over producing and should decrease milk supply
  • Breast feeding on only one breast per breast feeding session. (This causes the breast that wasn’t breast fed on to go a long time before being drained – the longer milk stays in a breast the more likely the body will think it is over producing in that breast and begin to shut down milk supply there.)
  • Going more than 4-6 hours between breast feeding sessions. Even during the night.
  • Not completely removing the milk. This can be caused by a sleepy baby or a mom who is switching breasts before the first breast is empty.

Breast Feeding Factors That Increase Milk Supply

  • Breast feeding on both sides every breast feeding session.
  • Pumping both breasts immediately following a breast feeding session. When trying to increase breast milk supply it’s best to pump both breasts, following a breast feeding session until no more milk is flowing, then continue to pump for an additional 5 minutes. This additional pumping time, when the breasts are already empty, signals the body that the demand for the milk is higher than the current supply. The body should respond with increase milk supply.
  • Breast feeding every 3 hours – as measured from the start of one breast feeding session to the start of the next one.
  • Being sure to breastfeed at least once during the long stretch at night.

Other Things That Can Increase Milk Supply

  • Staying well hydrated.
  • Eating a sufficient amount of healthy calories each day – typically 500 additional calories are needed each day to produce breast milk. Dieting too hard and too early after giving birth can affect milk supply.
  • Taking an herbal supplement that increases breast milk supply. A recent study has shown Lactiful Supply Max to increase milk supply in 75% of women struggling with making enough milk. The average increase was 14.8 ounces of additional breast milk per mom per day. Read more about Lactiful Supply max hereClick for more articles about how to increase milk supply

Fenugreek and Milk Supply

What Is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek is an herb, just like more familiar herbs such as parsley or basil or dill. In the kitchen, it is most often used in seasoning traditional Indian dishes. Outside of the kitchen it is the most popular herb that is believed to increase breast milk supply.

How Does Fenugreek Affect Milk Supply?

Little cook

There is a legend about a goat farmer who accidentally mixed fenugreek with the hay he gave his goats. He was stunned when the goats began producing far more milk than they ever had before. He did some experiments and found that it was the fenugreek that increased their milk production.

Today fenugreek is the most widely known herb for increasing milk supply. It’s widely available as generic fenugreek in grocery stores as well as in milk supply boosting supplements in liquid, tablet and capsule forms.

weightlifter

Fenugreek can affect milk supply by helping the body to produce more milk, but in order for it to be most effective, fenugreek must be part of a larger process. The closest analogy is that of a bodybuilder. She goes to the gym often. She lifts weights and does cardio. She eats a high protein diet. Fenugreek for a breastfeeding mom is like a protein smoothie for a bodybuilder. It’s an important part, but if having a protein smoothie was the only thing the bodybuilder ever did, well she wouldn’t be a bodybuilder.

Fenugreek and milk supply have the same relationship. Fenugreek is an important part, but it’s far from the entire story.

Side Effects Of Fenugreek

The side effects of fenugreek tend to be mild. Most moms complain of gastrointestinal discomfort, such as upset stomach, indigestion, belly aches and diarrhea. Typically these symptoms decrease and stop altogether once the body gets used to processing the herb.

Some moms also notice that they begin to smell like maple syrup. This odor can present itself in both sweat and urine.

Finally, breastfed babies can also experience gastrointestinal discomfort of gas, fussiness, and diarrhea.

Fenugreek Quality And It’s Affect On Milk Supply

Fenugreek is a fragile food item and it’s growth, harvesting, drying, packaging and age can have a huge effect on its ability to affect milk supply. Here’s a quick look at how mass produced, low priced, generic fenugreek is brought to market:

Growth: Fenugreek is an “unimportant” crop so it can be grown on poorer soil or off season from “important” crops such as rice, beans and corn. It is artificially fertilized and mass sprayed with pesticides. Compare that to growth in fenugreek’s proper growing season, using organic farming methods.

Harvesting: Machine harvested which collects dead, dying and immature plants as well as mature plants verses hand picking on the best plants.

Drying: Mass drying at high temperatures with other types of herbs verses drying only fenugreek at the temperature that maintains the highest nutritional value.

Packaging: Cheapest packaging available verses more expensive opaque packaging which protects fenugreek from damaging light.

Age: Generic fenugreek is often exposed to months or years of 24 hour light sitting on the shelves at a local grocery store verses temperature and light controlled storage and prompt farm to customer delivery.

Is Fenugreek Alone Enough To Increase Milk Supply?

breast-milk-pumpAs you can see a mom who tries mass produced, generic fenugreek without doing or taking anything else often doesn’t see much if any increase in milk supply. It’s like our bodybuilder from above who doesn’t ever go to the gym and only takes the cheapest, protein smoothie she can find and then wonders why she doesn’t look amazing.

To be effective at increasing milk supply fenugreek must be:

  • A high quality fenugreek – because cheap fenugreek may not have enough strength to be effective.
  • Must be combined with other milk supply enhancing herbs – a successful bodybuilder will not just drink protein smoothies – instead her entire diet is focused on her goal. In the same way fenugreek must be combined with other milk enhancing herbs, such as goat’s rue and marshmallow root for maximum effectiveness. For instance, the herbal supplement Lactiful Supply Max has a 8 milk-boosting ingredients, including fenugreek.
  • Must be part of a pumping and breastfeeding regimen that lets the body know that it needs to increase milk supply. If we were talking about a bodybuilder, this is the part where she goes to the gym. By exercising, she changes her body and in the same way, increased pumping and breastfeeding tell the breastfeeding mother’s body to increase milk supply. Orders of Lactiful Supply Max also include a step-by-step process to help moms communicate to their bodies that milk supply needs to be increased.

In conclusion, while a few moms will see benefit from just taking fenugreek, most moms will need to make fenugreek a part of a much larger effort to increase milk supply. For more information on Lactiful Supply Max and increasing milk supply see the 30 second introduction to LactifulClick for more articles about how to increase milk supply

What is Nipple Confusion?

Definition of Nipple Confusion

Nipple Confusion means a baby is having difficulty latching correctly to the breast after being exposed to artificial nipples, such as those found on baby bottles or pacifiers.

What Age Is Nipple Confusion Most Common?

Nipple Confusion is most common in breastfed babies that are given artificial nipples in the first 6 weeks, but can occur in babies 3 months old or older. The older a baby is and the more he has figured out breastfeeding, meaning the baby (and the mother) know what a good latch feels like, less likely baby will become confused by the introduction of an artificial nipple.

Why Does Nipple Confusion Occur?

Nipple Confusion occurs because human nipples and artificial nipples are fundamentally different.

  • They have a different feel
  • They are shaped differently
  • They release milk (from the breast), formula (from a bottle) or nothing (from a pacifier) in different ways
  • They require different tongue placement

So when a newborn or young baby who isn’t yet a breastfeeding pro is introduced to a either a bottle nipple or a pacifier or both, the baby must learn a new way to hold the nipple in the mouth and new tongue placement. The more frequently the nipples are switched, the longer it takes for baby to get used to any of them and the more “confused” and frustrated baby will become.

The Effects of Nipple Confusion

Nipple confusion is caused by introducing baby to artificial nipplesBreastfeeding can be a real challenge with getting the right hold, supporting baby in the right way, getting a perfect latch, and encouraging baby to trigger let downs. When a baby is introduced to artificial nipples too early, and begins to suffer Nipple Confusion the baby may forget how to latch correctly or may have become too lazy (from the easy flow of a bottle) or too tired (from hours of sucking on a pacifier) to breastfeed effectively.

When this happens baby often begins to reject the breast by refusing to latch correctly or maintain the latch or by being very fussy at the breast. When this begins to happen many parents reintroduce the pacifier to calm the baby or give the baby a bottle for nutrition. This leads to poor milk removal from the breast which begins the breast shut down process. Once on this path most babies become exclusively formula fed.

How to Avoid Nipple Confusion

The simplest way to avoid Nipple Confusion is to not introduce any kind of artificial nipple to the baby until breastfeeding is very well established:

  • Baby has a perfect latch
  • No nipple soreness or pain
  • Good milk supply
  • Good weight gain by baby and following a growth curve
  • Baby is at least 6 weeks old, preferably 3 months old

After these are all met it is generally considered safe to introduce an artificial nipple. If introducing a bottle nipple to give breast milk or formula, it’s best to select a size zero or newborn size so that baby doesn’t not develop flow preference. A baby with flow preference will begin to reject the breast because it doesn’t flow as fast or as easy as milk from a bottle.

How to Correct Nipple Confusion

If your baby is exhibiting signs of Nipple Confusion you are at significant risk of losing your milk supply and needing to exclusively formula feed your baby. Here’s the steps to correct nipple confusion:

  1. Stop giving all artificial nipples – if this is not possible, for instance if you are away from baby for extended periods and a bottle must be given, choose a size zero or newborn size nipple that is shaped as close to your nipple as possible and have the caregiver latch baby to the bottle in much the same way you would latch to the breast.
  2. Insist on perfect latches when you breastfeed. Be prepared that it may take up to 10 minutes of trying to get the latch right before you get a perfect latch. Just keep in mind that baby is having to relearn this skill because of the nipple confusion.
  3. Breastfeed as often as possible. Practice makes perfect.
  4. If your milk supply has begun to suffer as a result of the nipple confusion, be sure to add one to two additional breastfeeding session and one to two additional pumping sessions. Consider taking a supplement that boosts breast milk supply, such as Lactiful Supply Max.

It is possible to re-establish a good breastfeeding relationship with a baby who has nipple confusion, however it will take a lot of work and dedication. Click for more articles about how to increase milk supply

When To Stop Breast Feeding

Breast feeding is a very personal decision and choosing when to stop breast feeding is also a personal decision. Ultimately it is up to you to decide when the time is right for you and for your baby to stop breast feeding. This article provides some ideas for when to stop breast feeding.

When To Stop Breast Feeding : After Reaching Your Goal

help-milk-supplyMany breast feeding moms have a goal in mind for how long they want to breast feed for. If you have set a goal for yourself, you may not want to stop breast feeding until you’ve reached that goal.

If you have reached the goal you set for yourself, congratulations! Now that you’ve been breast feeding for a while, you may want to set another goal or if you feel ready to stop breast feeding and you feel your baby is ready to stop breast feeding as well, you can begin the weening process.

When To Stop Breast Feeding : The Surgeon General Says Don’t Stop Breastfeeding Until At Least 6 Months

Because of the amazing health benefits to baby (and thus to society) the Surgeon General of the United States recommends that all moms do not stop breast feeding until baby is at least six months old.

It’s well documented that breast fed babies do not get sick as often as formula fed babies do. All those extra trips to the doctor and hospital have a significant cost to society. Researchers estimate the United States could save $13 billion each year in unnecessary medical costs, if 90% of moms breastfed for 6 months.

When To Stop Breast Feeding : Fully Switched to Solid Food

Another idea for when to stop breast feeding is when baby is getting the vast majority of his calories from solid food. At this point baby is really just breast feeding for comfort and habit than out of nutritional need. Of course baby will continue to get health benefits associated with breast feeding but when baby is joining you at the table for every meal many mom’s feel that is a good time to begin the weening process.

When To Stop Breast Feeding :1 Year

Another milestone that marks a time when some moms choose to stop breast feeding is when baby celebrates his or her first birthday. Breast feeding for an entire year is a significant goal for many breast feeding moms and after the milestone is reached, mom feels it’s a good time to stop breast feeding.

Additionally after the one year mark, some moms begin to feel self conscious about continuing breast feeding a toddler, feeling that other people may judge her because her child is too old to breastfeed. However the choice is ultimately up to the mother. Some mothers choose to breast feed until baby is 3, 4 or even 5 years old.

When To Stop Breast Feeding : Baby Led

The last idea we’ll cover for when to stop breast feeding is promoted by attachment parenting proponents and puts the focus on the baby. The mom watches baby for signs that he or she is done with breast feeding. This can happen any time between 6 months and 3 years, but usually occurs between the first and second birthdays.

The toddler will being skipping breast feeding sessions eventually ending up with just one or two per day, usually morning and/or night. Once this happens the mom can begin distracting baby before the remaining breast feeding session with solid food, cow’s milk in a bottle, a favorite game, and so on.

We hope this article has helped you find when to stop breast feeding. If you need help with breast feeding, see our extensive library of helpful articlesClick for more articles about how to increase milk supply

Let Down Milk

breast-milk-pumpMany new moms whether breastfeeding or pumping want to know about the let down of milk. This article will cover what the let down of milk is, some things that can hinder the let down of milk, and tips on how to let down milk more easily and frequently.

Let Down of Milk Defined

The let down of milk, sometimes called a “milk letdown” or more clinically known as the “milk ejection reflex” is the process of moving the stored breast milk from the milk glands down the milk ducts out the nipple and into the breast pump flange or baby’s mouth.

The sucking sensation of either the baby or the pump travels along nerves to the mother’s brain and causes the pituitary gland to create oxytocin and prolactin. Prolactin is the lactation hormone and causes milk to be produced. Oxytocin is the let down hormone and causes the milk to be let down.

Can You Feel Milk Let Down?

help-milk-supplyWhether you can feel milk let down or not varies from woman to woman. Some women feel milk let down all through out the time when they are breastfeeding or pumping. Others feel milk let down when they first start breastfeeding, but then gradually they stop feeling milk let down. Other moms never feel a let down of milk.

The important thing to remember is that feeling milk let down is not an indicator of if milk is letting down or not. It’s also not an indicator of low milk production. Some women, even with really great milk production never feel milk let down.

Some Things That Can Hinder The Let Down of Milk

There are some things that can hinder the let down of milk. If you’re breastfeeding and find it painful, the anticipation of pain will often hinder milk let down. (Of note, breastfeeding should not be painful, most of the time painful breastfeeding is caused by an incorrect nipple latch. See our article on how to have a pain-free latch.)

If you are pumping and finding it difficult to let down milk for the pump, it may be that you’re not responding well to the machine aspect, especially if baby is somewhere else – at a sitters for instance. If that’s the case, make a let down kit of an unwashed baby clothing or blanket that smells like baby, a slideshow of your favorite photos of your baby and a recording of your baby’s sounds. Next time you’re pumping try to emotionally connect to your baby with the items from your let down kit. The more emotional you can get, the more likely you will let down milk.

Finally stress can hinder the let down of milk. If you are feeling stressed particularly while breastfeeding or pumping, find a way to relax and you will likely let down milk more easily.

How To Let Down Milk Easily And Frequently

Here are some steps you take to let down milk more easily and frequently. No matter if you are breastfeeding or pumping, being by creating a relaxing environment. Make sure where you are sitting is comfortable and you are able to relax all your muscles. If you are pumping at work or school make sure you have a private area with a door you can lock.

Before you begin breastfeeding or pumping, take a moment to relax all of your muscles. Start with your neck and shoulders and concentrate on relaxing each muscle as you work your way down your body.

If your partner is available, have him use his knuckles to gently walk down both sides of your spine while you breastfeed or pump. This sensation can get additional milk let downs.

Consider taking an all-natural herbal supplement that includes a let down enhancer. Lactiful Supply Max not only boosts milk production, but also includes an ingredient that helps generate more frequent and stronger milk let downs. See Lactiful’s ingredient page for more information.

Use these techniques and you will let down milk more easily and frequently! Click for more articles about how to increase milk supply