The Boob Group

Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction - It IS Possible!

Written by Ashley Treadwell, IBCLC

Many women wonder if they will have a full supply after having a breast reduction.  While the basic answer to this question is “we don’t know yet” - there are many factors, as well as things she can actively do, that can affect her ability to breastfeed successfully.  In this article, we will discuss what those activities are and how a mom can maximize her supply when breastfeeding after a breast reduction. We will also look at what long-term supplementation can look like, if it is necessary.

It is important to remind you that breastfeeding does not have to be an “all or nothing” endeavor!  We need to re-define what “success” means when it comes to breastfeeding after a breast reduction. Anytime a woman has a physiological factor that can affect milk supply, we always want her to understand that ANY amount of breastmilk is amazing. Whether she is able to provide 10% or 100% of what her baby needs, she is doing a fantastic job.    

It's Here! Our DIY Breastfeeding YouTube Channel

Ever wish you could actually watch a mama breastfeed her baby in a laid-back position because you couldn't picture it in your mind from the blog article you just read?  Wonder how you can tell if your pump flanges are fitting correctly? Well, look no further!

Today, we are beyond excited to annouce our newest baby, DIY Breastfeeding!  

 

What is DIY Breastfeeding?

On our DIY Breastfeeding YouTube channel, you will find 2-3 minute instructional videos about different breastfeeding topics, ranging from positions to latching to pumping and more!  Each video was recorded with one of our lactation consultants and some super cute local moms and babies.  

 

Which topics will be included on DIY Breastfeeding?

A few months ago we started collecting video topics from all of you and your ideas were AWESOME!  We are proud to say that today we are launching our channel with 10 stellar videos fitting into 5 different categories. Here are our current categories:

  • Breastfeeding While Babywearing
  • Latching
  • Breastfeeding Position
  • Pumping Strategies
  • Breastfeeding Twins

Lastly, we would like to share a HUGE amount of gratitude to our DIY Breastfeeding partner, New Mommy Media!  Without Sunny's awesome video shooting and editing expertise, these videos would look completely amateur and out of focus!  Sunny, we adore you to pieces and we cannot wait to create more videos with you!

So head on over to DIY Breastfeeding!  Let us know what you think about the videos and share your ideas for additional topics/categories you would like for us to include.

Which other topics/categories would you like to see included? 

 

How Can I Pump Enough for my Baby When I’m at Work?

Written by Ashley Treadwell, IBCLC

Going back to work can be a very stressful time for many new moms.  It’s difficult to leave your baby for the first time.  You may feel nervous about returning to a job you’ve been away from for months.  Your schedule/routine may have changed due to child-care arrangements.  Plus, if you’re anything like me, none of your work pre-pregnancy work clothes fit yet!  A concern that often adds to this stress is the fear that you may not be able to pump enough for your baby’s bottles while you’re at work. Some moms find that they are constantly playing a game of catch-up, trying to keep up with their baby’s intake while with the caregiver.  Below are some things you can do to improve your ability to keep up with your baby’s needs.

Podcast and Personal Stories about Tongue Ties and Lip Ties

Written by Robin Kaplan, M.Ed, IBCLC

Last week on The Boob Group, I had the esteemed pleasure of interviewing one of the most prominent experts on tongue ties and lip ties, Catherine Watson Genna.  Catherine has written multiple articles and books about the mechanics of the tongue while breastfeeding, as well as the breastfeeding challenges that can occur when a baby has a tongue or lip tie.  One of her earliest articles was written for the American Academy of Pediatrics, helping to bring awareness to this subject for the practitioners who babies see the most.

Click here to listen to The Boob Group's podcast episode: Tongue Ties and Lip Ties: Symptoms, Treatment, and Aftercare.

 

I’ve Had My Baby - Now What? Breastfeeding During Weeks 3-6

Welcome back to our new series, I’ve Had My Baby - Now What?  This is a guide with basic information to help you navigate the first days, weeks, and months of breastfeeding your new baby.  

Today we’d like to talk about weeks 3 through 6 of your baby’s life, and what breastfeeding looks like.  What can you expect for normal behavior from your new baby, and when do you know there’s a problem that you should seek professional help for?

Was it Something I Ate? Food Sensitivities in the Breastfed Baby

Witten by Lindsey Hurd, MS, RD, LDN, IBCLC, and Owner of Angel Food Lactation & Nutrition, LLC

From a gassy gut to red inflamed skin, breastfeeding moms often question the influence of their diet on behavior and symptoms in their little one. There’s no denying the influx of food sensitivities and allergies in children and adults, but what about the smallest members of our society? In my practice, I see many families who have infants showing signs of food intolerance, often times leading to symptoms such as eczema, bloody stools, sleeplessness, reflux, digestive discomfort from gassiness, abdominal pressure, and the infamous mucus-filled stool. “Is it something I ate?” mom asks. “Is it a virus or bacterial infection?” “Where did this come from? She was fine a week ago!” The world of food sensitivities is vast and perplexing, yet we are beginning to find our way as we learn more and more from our families each day. Over the next few months, I will be sharing a little insight into theories of why we are seeing this influx, how babies receive components of mom’s diet in her milk, and what we can do about it. 

Does Your Baby Have a Tongue or Lip Tie?

Painful, cracked, compressed-after-breastfeeding nipples.  Baby not gaining weight well.  Constant breastfeeding sessions that seem to take over an hour.  Excessive baby fussiness and gas.  These are some of the many signs that your child may have a tongue and/or lip tie.  So, what is a tongue and lip tie and how do they affect breastfeeding? What are ways to fix them and improve breastfeeding?

With several fantastic articles already written on this subject, we are going to give brief answers to these questions and link to our favorite comprehensive resources.  Also, over the next month, we will be sharing stories from breastfeeding mothers whose babies had tongue and/or lip ties.

Help a Mama Out: Tips for Talking with your Boss about Pumping

'Help a Mama Out' Topic of the Week:

Tips for Talking with Your Boss about Pumping

What's your best tip for discussing your pumping rights/schedule with your boss? 

Shelly Hovies Rogers: Be assertive with your rights, but be flexible and willing to work with your boss and coworkers.  I found my workplace to be quite accommodating to me when I nicely, but matter of fact, told them what I needed.  Also, although I didn’t have to quote the state law, I familiarized myself with it, just in case I needed to use it. 

Kelly Reyes: Before I left for maternity leave, I discussed my need to pump with my boss and then HR, just to make sure we were all on the same page.  When I had issues with the way the ‘wellness room’ schedule was being managed, my boss went to bat for me and fixed the problem that day! 

Marie Bishop: My best advice is to know the law and stand up for yourself and your baby.  In states, such as California, it is required by law that your employer provides a non-restroom space that is private for you to pump.

Meggin Dueckman: We just talked about it!  We’re all pretty close at work, so it was no problem.  I was the first of our staff to want/need to pump at work.  Mind you, here in Canada we get a year of maternity leave, so it’s not as common for people to want to pump as frequently when they return to work.  I only pumped 1 times a day at work, more for my own comfort!

Jamie Howell Swope: As a teacher at a school, it wasn’t an easy process, but I went in knowing the law and advised my principal ahead of time why I wanted to meet with her.  That way she had time to think about how to make it work, too.

Kat Picson Berling: I was really lucky in that 2 of my coworkers were pumping moms, so they had paved the way.  I told my boss that I was going to take 2 pumping breaks at x and y time and I will be in this office and it will take 15 minutes.  He was fine with it.  I’m not going to lie…. Because I had a cubicle at work, it was sometimes difficult to find a place to pump.  Even our HR coordinator wasn’t sympathetic for me.  Just make sure to know the law. 

Chantel McComber: My advice would be to put your fears aside.  Sometimes it’s hard as a working mom to ask for things because not everyone has them.  Remember that you are doing this for your health and your baby’s health and those are two things that should always come first.

Jennifer Haak: When I discussed my date of return, I told my boss that I needed a lock installed on my office door and I explained why.

Andrea Blanco: First, know your right.  Be sure that your company falls under those rights.  Then file that information away and try *not* to use it as it can be perceived as a threat (and no one likes to be threatened.)  Second, have a plan in place.  I find that if you’re willing to have the conversation in advance, go into it as sweet as possible, and have it all planned out as to how it will work for you (with consideration given to work environment/demands/pumping law.)  Then, it is much harder for your employer to say no. 

For the United States Lactation Accommodation laws, check out Break Time for Nursing Mothers

I’ve Had My Baby - Now What?: Breastfeeding During the First Week

Welcome to our new series, I’ve Had My Baby - Now What?  This is a guide with basic information to help you navigate the first days, weeks, and months of breastfeeding your new baby.  

 

Today we would like to talk about that first week after your baby has arrived.  Breastfeeding can often seem overwhelming and  unfamiliar.  New moms often receive a *huge* amount of differing advice from many well-intentioned people, which can be incredibly confusing and discouraging.  Below is a quick guideline to what “normal” breastfeeding looks like, as well as some examples of when things aren’t going as they should and when you might want to seek help.

Help a Mama Out: Nurturing Your Breastfeeding Relationship when Back at Work

Help a Mama Out Topic of the Week: What are your favorite ways to nurture your breastfeeding relationship when you work outside the home?  

Sarah – When I was working out of the home, I pumped at the times my daughter would take a bottle.  Then, when I came home I would exclusively nurse her.  She was fine with 2 or 3 small breastmilk bottles a day, then nursed the rest of the time.  She always preferred the breast and when it came time to wean, I was nervous….but at 13 months she just did and that was that!

Alicia – Comfort nursing on the weekends and morning nursing cuddle time.  I always nurse as soon as we get home from work/daycare.

Alyssa – My favorite part of my working day (as a teacher) was when I sat down in the glider at daycare and nursed my son before taking him home for the night.  We were always so happy to see each other and it helped wipe away any headaches from the day.  Plus, I developed a friendship with his teacher and got to hear all about what he did that day, which was way better than just reading a quick note on a daily info sheet!

Jeanne – Co-sleeping helped us and a feed before I leave and ASAP when I get home.  I also pump 3-4 times at work and always demand feed when I’m home. 

Katie – We nurse in the evenings, when she wakes up in the middle of the night, and at least once more before I leave for work.  It’s funny, as soon as I pick her up after work, I think her mind lights up with ‘milk!’ because she immediately wants to nurse regardless of when her last feeding was.  I can tell that she misses that when we’re a part, as do I.

Janell – As soon as I get home, he’s on the boob.  The rest of the night, he is on the boob.  We spend all weekend with him on and off the boob.  Time consuming, but I love the connection time and it forces me to sit down and breathe with my son.

Rachel – I sit with my daughter every evening after work.  Even if she goes to sleep, we spend the entire evening and night together because we co-sleep.  I make a point to forget about all of the housework I have to do and just relax with her because I know that she won’t be little forever!

Rachelle – One of my favorite things is when I get home from work, I shower (I’m a paramedic).  After I shower, I fill the bath and my husband brings me the baby and we usually relax and nurse for 20-30 minutes.  It is my wind-down time and it is quiet with few distractions.  I love it! 

Sarah – If possible, try to arrange a mid-day nursing session.  I used a local daycare that I was able to visit at lunch and nurse, rather than pump.  It greatly helped my supply and we were able to EBF for 13 months without any supplementation.

Amanda – I asked out childcare provider not to feed our little one within 90 minutes of when I planned to pick up.  That way I could nurse as soon as I got there.