So, What's in your Latch book, Robin?

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Since we announced the release of my new book, Latch: A Handbook to Breastfeeding with Confidence at Every Stage, many of our readers have asked what they can expect to find in the book.  Well, let me tell you!

First we start off with how to prepare for breastfeeding.  Most of us spend months preparing for the birth of our child, but don't give much thought about what happens after our baby is born.  So, this book starts off with the basics of how milk production works, all about latching, as well as how to put together your Dream Team of Support for once your little one is earth side.

Then, we move into what to expect during those first two weeks after birth, which we know can feel the most overwhelming.  Hormones aplenty coupled with learning the new task of taking care of your newborn (and yourself!) can sometimes knock down our self esteem and make us second guess everything that we are doing.  This chapter will give you the tools to know what's normal (and not), what to expect, the multitude of breastfeeding positions out there, and where to go if you feel like you need more support and guidance.

The next chapter looks at the ways your breastfeeding journey can change and morph during  the next 2.5 months.  Babies begin to feed more effectively and efficiently.  Parents begin to gain back confidence when they see that their dedication is starting to show positive results.  Plus, you begin to get into a rhythm with your baby, which feels more predictable (aka magical!)  There still may be a few bumps along the path, which this chapter will help you solve, but things should continue to get easier and easier.  Now is the time when families begin to offer bottles, become friends with their pumps, start breastfeeding in public, and feel more comfortable with breastfeeding in general. 

The last three chapters look at going back to work strategies, typical infant sleep patterns and behaviors, introducing solids, and eventually weaning.  

My favorite part of the book is the personal stories from other breastfeeding moms.  There is such a sense of comfort when hearing that someone has gone what you have gone through.  That's why we seek out these connections in local groups and/or online.  We need to feel heard and that others have experienced what we are experiencing.  Plus, the determination and courage that these families share is awe-inspiring!

So, now is your chance to get a sneak peek of the book!  Check out some common myths and misconceptions about breastfeeding, straight from Latch!  You will have to buy the book to read the rest!  

Thanks for all of your support and please enjoy this first view of Latch!

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Robin Wrote a Breastfeeding Book!

One thing that many people don’t know about me is that I have always had a passion for writing.  Before becoming a lactation consultant, I wrote curriculum for local museums and websites and wrote two unpublished children’s books.  So when I was approached to write this breastfeeding book I knew that there was no way I could pass up this amazing opportunity.

Supporting new families through their breastfeeding journeys has truly been my calling.  I love my job and the adrenaline rush I feel when I have empowered a family and helped them to meet their breastfeeding goals.  There is so much more to breastfeeding than just latching a baby to a breast.  There are nuances, both simple and challenging, that help make this process enjoyable and seamless.  We, as lactation consultants, have the honor to facilitate this breastfeeding process, when needed, and this book is just one step in that journey.  Latch: A Handbook to Breastfeeding with Confidence at Every Stage provides families with the supportive and educational basics they need while breastfeeding their children, from pregnancy to weaning.


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Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some content you will find in Latch.  This book is a great baby shower gift, for even the most seasoned-breastfeeding parent, as well as something you will want to buy even if you have already started breastfeeding.  Latch is already available for presale on Amazon at: and can be in your hands as early as March 13, 2018!

Thank you for following along and I look forward to sharing more details about Latch over the next few weeks!

Iron Rich Foods for Infants and Toddlers

By Rachel Rothman, MS, RD, CLEC

Rachel is a pediatric dietitian and mom to an infant and toddler.  She is the instructor of the “Introduction to Solids”and “Effective Strategies for Toddler and Family Feeding” at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center.  Join us for the next Introduction to Solids class on February 17th at 10:00am.  More information and registration can be found here.

At your baby’s 4 or 6 month checkup, your doctor may discuss starting your baby on solid foods.  It is an exciting time – up until this point your baby has been taking in all of his nutrition from breast milk or formula, and you get to shape his palate with new flavors and textures over the next 6 months and beyond.  Your doctor may have talked to you about introducing iron rich foods early on.  This is because iron stores in your baby typically start to become depleted around 6 months of age.  I typically recommend families wait until 6 months of age to start solids (although I have heard pediatricians recommend between 4-6 months). 

It is common to hear that infant fortified cereals are a good first food.  Why?  Infant cereals are typically fortified with iron and lots of other vitamins and minerals, which is why foods like rice cereal have historically been discussed as a good first food.  BUT now we know that iron fortified cereals are not the only option, and many parents skip them altogether to start on solid foods.  Another benefit of skipping these cereals is that early exposure to more tastes and flavors has been shown to increase baby’s interest in the tastes and textures of new foods in the future.  Here are some great iron rich foods to offer right from the start:


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Meats: meats can be a great food to introduce early on.  Try stewing meats or using a slow cooker to allow for a softer texture.  If you are introducing pureed foods, you may need to add a bit of water with meats to allow the food to blend or try blending with other great first foods like avocado and sweet potato.  If you are using a baby led weaning approach, try soft meatballs with minced chicken or beef.   Make chili and soup with chicken, beef, turkey and lamb. 

Lentils and beans:  I love these as dips, added to a sauce or as finger foods for a bit older baby.  Beans and lentils are super easy to make.  Mash on their own or add to a sauce.  And if you take my introduction to solids class, I always bring in a sample that’s parent and baby approved, such as my green pea hummus or lentils - you can use these interchangeably as a puree for baby or a great dip for a slightly older toddler or an adult.  

Greens: spinach, chard and kale are a few food sources of iron.  Saute them with other vegetables or combine them in a puree with meats.  As your baby learns to drink out of a straw or an open cup add greens to a fruit smoothie for some added nutrition.


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Eggs: Eggs are a good source of iron.  An egg scramble with veggies is a great way to get in some iron, and lots of vitamins and minerals.

Grains: Often overlooked, but some grains are high in iron.  Some of my favorites include teff, amaranth, quinoa and millet.  Make cereals with these grains, use in chili or stew, or make muffins or bread.

These are only a few great sources of iron.  Although breastmilk is typically thought of as a poor iron source, the iron in breastmilk is absorbed very well by baby and is still an excellent source of iron for your growing child.

And one more tip – iron is better absorbed with a source of vitamin C.  So for better absorption of iron pair an iron rich food with something like citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, apples or tomatoes.  Also- breastmilk is an excellent source of vitamin C!

And remember that providing a balance of nutrients is important – iron is one of several important nutrients once baby starts solids. 

Want to learn more?  Join me at my upcoming Introduction to Solids class at The San Diego Breastfeeding Center on February 17th.  Click here to register and for more information.

Only a few more days to reach our fundraising goal - Will You Help?

Thank you for helping us raise $1900 during our fundraising campaign!

This month we had an enormous goal… to raise $10,000.  While we didn’t meet our ultimate goal, we are so pleased with how much we raised, as this gives us a launching off point for the beginning of the year!


Our Goals for 2018:

  • We hope to double the number of breastfeeding consultations for low income families from 52 to 100.

  • We hope to continue to collaborate with Project Concern International on trainings for their home health patient navigators, as well as provide home visits for their families in City Heights.

  • We hope to collaborate with additional local nonprofits who serve pregnant and newly postpartum women to provide breastfeeding education and support.


How you can help us reach these goals:

  • Make a last minute donation so that you get the 2017 tax write off!

  • Consider making a monthly recurring donation - A recurring donation of $7 per month will cover one consultation in 2018.... that's the minimal cost of 2 Starbucks coffees per month! 

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This will be the last email you will receive from us until 2018.  Starting in January, we plan to send quarterly emails, just to keep you updated on all of our accomplishments.  We hope you will continue to follow along with us on this incredible journey.

Thank you for your support and your donations!  You are truly the heart and soul of our Foundation!

    SDBFC’s help and support are the reason I am still able to breastfeed today. Without their assistance, I would have given up. I was hit with hurdle after hurdle with breastfeeding, and they've been by my side since my daughter was 2 days old. They've spent hours helping me whether it be home visits, office visits, emails, texts, phone calls, or the support group they run- They were always there and willing to help. I am beyond grateful for their knowledge and endless support.      -Amanda

SDBFC’s help and support are the reason I am still able to breastfeed today. Without their assistance, I would have given up. I was hit with hurdle after hurdle with breastfeeding, and they've been by my side since my daughter was 2 days old. They've spent hours helping me whether it be home visits, office visits, emails, texts, phone calls, or the support group they run- They were always there and willing to help. I am beyond grateful for their knowledge and endless support.


Please join us on these last few days of 2017 to help more local families, like Amanda's, gain access to critical breastfeeding support!

To donate to the San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation, please send checks to:

San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation (3355 4th Ave., San Diego, CA 92103)


Breastfeeding Truly Takes a Village!

A few months ago, we sent out a Call for Breastfeeding Stories.  Our desire was to flood the Internet with beautiful breastfeeding stories of triumph, overcoming challenges and struggles, and positive outcomes, regardless of the total amount of milk a mom was producing.  We are thrilled to share these stories with you, our readers, and hope that they offer support and inspiration for you, wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey. 

Thank you to all of the mothers who submitted their stories!  If after you read these memoirs you are inspired to submit your story, feel free to send it to    


This Breastfeeding Memoir is from Natalie.

Before my son was even born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed him. I attended multiple classes on breastfeeding, stocked up on nursing pads, nipple butter, and felt as prepared as I could be prior to his arrival. After a precipitous labor/delivery, he ended up being born in front of the hospital! One benefit was that I got to hold him immediately, so we had lots of skin to skin time which was emphasized in the classes. We tried breastfeeding within one hour of his birth, and he immediately latched! We had a lactation consultant visit at the hospital, and she said everything looked great! I even scheduled my first lactation appointment at SD Breastfeeding Center when my son was 4 days old. We weren't having issues, but I quickly learned that breastfeeding my son was way different than the practice doll we used in the class! During that visit, I learned my son had lip and tongue ties. Nobody else evaluated him for these, but being tongue tied myself it didn't come as much of a surprise. Fortunately, he was transferring well and the ties did not seem to be interfering with his feeding.

Fast forward 2 weeks, and my son was not at his birth weight. He was feeding for over an hour, falling asleep, and seemed very irritable and unhappy. As a new mom, I assumed this was normal. I pushed on for another week and then decided to schedule another visit with the LC for an evaluation. There, I did a weighted feed and learned that he wasn't transferring effectively. The LC explained how he was being restricted by his lip and tongue ties, and this could potentially decrease my supply. She recommended I consider a release of his ties, so I immediately called a provider and had them addressed the next day.

I read how many mothers noticed instant results and symptom relief post release. I didn't notice immediate results, but was confident that things would improve over the next few weeks. When they didn't, I followed up with Melanie, our LC. She assessed him and noticed that he still seemed restricted, wasn't transferring adequately, and recommended we take him for body work. Due to his poor weight gain (6 oz in 2 weeks) she taught me how to use my breast pump and implement an SNS (supplemental nursing system). She also recommended a galactagogue supplement. Things weren't moving in the direction I wanted, but I was committed to do everything I could to continue breastfeeding.

At this point, I was feeling very defeated and inadequate. I felt like I was doing everything I could, and was so sad that my little baby was not growing at the rate he should. My pregnancy and delivery were so natural and without issue that I naively thought breastfeeding would follow. I called my sister in law, who happens to be a breastfeeding mother.  She immediately came over with galactagogue-rich foods and tea, and even pumped for my son while I built up my supply!

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After additional LC visits, support groups, and the implementation of bodywork, I made the decision to have a second release for my son. Even though we are still post op and performing stretches, I already am seeing results. My son is happier, and I no longer have to use the SNS system. I have a nice freezer stash of my milk, and he is thriving with weight gain. He's not even three months old, so I don't know how this journey will end. I do know, however, that I'll do everything I can to preserve our nursing relationship. Without the help of multiple providers, I'm not sure where we would be. "It takes a village" is such an appropriate phrase for this season of my life. I am so thankful to live in a community that has SO much support for breastfeeding mothers.

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