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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Considering Weaning at 4 Months? What You Should Know

It is no surprise that breastfeeding is sometimes a difficult and frustrating journey. Despite what some might say, breastfeeding doesn't come easy. As a general rule, once a new mother gets past the 6 weeks mark things can be smooth sailing. However, some moms find themselves revisiting the idea of weaning at 4 months. Four months is a common breastfeeding hurdle. With the right information you can prepare for what's to come and rest assured you and your baby can get past this. Why You Might Consider Weaning at 4 Months, and What You Should Know   The 4 Month Sleep Regression It is no secret that as humans we need sleep to … [Read more...]

The Benefits of Ecological Breastfeeding for Child Spacing

Conception and child spacing are frustrations for nearly every woman I know. It doesn't matter where they are in their journey toward (or away from) motherhood. I'm so thankful that coming across the idea of "ecological breastfeeding" a decade ago dispelled some of the anxiety of my childbearing years! When I became fed up with hormonal contraceptives and decided to track my cycles and use Fertility Awareness instead, my brain immediately calculated for the most extreme scenario. Roughly 24 years of fertility left, with a baby born every two years = 12 BABIES! Oh my! That's assuming I had no multiples, miscarriages, or children … [Read more...]

Why is my breastfed baby smaller than formula fed babies?

Women's bodies are amazing when it comes to growing infants. We create tiny human beings within our own bodies, are capable of immeasurable strength to birth them, and we can nourish a growing infant with milk from our own breasts. Our breast milk typically has everything our babies need. Then why is it that a breastfed baby is sometimes smaller than formula fed babies? Why is My Breastfed Baby Smaller than Formula Fed Babies? Normal Weight Loss and Gain Babies lose weight immediately following their birth. They then have ten days to gain that weight back. Weight gain is expected to slowly increase as babies grow. Typically, … [Read more...]

Myth Busters: Nipples Need to be “Toughened Up” Before Birth for Breastfeeding

It's shocking to me to hear that doctors and well-meaning relatives still sometimes recommend doing specific things to toughen or rough up nipples before birth to prepare for breastfeeding! Not only is that not evidence-based medical advice, it has potential to be harmful. Myth Busters: Nipples Need to be Toughened Up Before Birth for Breastfeeding Your grandmother or mother may have told you that it's best practice to rub your nipples with a wash cloth to get them used to the friction they will be experiencing. People sometimes suggest that it's helpful for building up callouses. Or it might acclimate the sensitive tissue. However, … [Read more...]

Myth Busters: Breastfeeding Will Take Over Your Life

Mamas, have you ever felt like breastfeeding was going to take over your life? Sometimes it seems like baby wants to eat constantly. Or you have to stop what you're doing to nurse so often you never get anything done. Or baby insists on only eating in quiet, dim places, so you can't go anywhere when there's the slightest chance they might get hungry. Does being a breastfeeding mom mean you have to give up everything--or what feels like everything--until your baby weans? It definitely does not! Far from being something that might take over your life, breastfeeding can become a precious part of your life: your new life as a … [Read more...]

Myth Busters: Breastfeeding After the First Year Doesn’t Have any Benefits

A common misconception about breast milk is that it has no significant value after the first year of a baby's life. This couldn't be further from the truth! Not only does breast milk still provide a considerable portion of babies' nutritional and caloric needs after their first birthday, extended breastfeeding provides other benefits as well that make it a healthy choice for mom and baby. Breastfeeding After the First Year: Nutritional Benefits Even for babies who are learning to eat "table food," breast milk still provides many of their nutritional needs. According to Dewey (2001), cited by Kelly Bonyata, In the second year (12-23 … [Read more...]

Myth Busters: Dad and Grandma Can’t Bond with Baby Unless You Use Bottles

Feeding a baby is a very bonding experience. Whether a baby is fed by breast or bottle, feeding involves closeness, touching, and eye contact. Because of these benefits, many parents worry that exclusively breastfed babies won't be adequately bonded to caregivers in their life other than their mothers. Fortunately this need not be a concern! Fathers, grandmothers, and other caregivers involved in baby's life can bond beautifully with the baby, despite not giving bottles. So without further ado, here are some ideas to help others bond with baby without feeding! Ways for Others to Bond with Baby Diaper duty! Though it is probably the … [Read more...]

Myth Busters: Pain During Breastfeeding? You Must Be Doing Something Wrong!

I sat in my bedroom cradling my four-day-old baby. She screamed and cried and rooted and tried to suck her hands. I was crying, too. This was my first breastfed baby and my nipples were in so much pain I couldn't bear to latch her again. The lactation consultant had reassured me I was latching her correctly, so I couldn't understand why I was in so much pain. Through tears I called her again, and got some great advice that allowed me to continue breastfeeding. I ended up with a prescription cream and I pumped for a day or two until I could handle latching her on to my breast again. Since that time, I have breastfed three other children. … [Read more...]

Overactive Letdown: 6 Strategies to Help

In the first few weeks after my son was born (and after I dealt with engorgement from my milk coming in) I started noticing that my baby was coughing and choking every time he started to nurse, and he would frequently unlatch and fuss before resuming nursing. For a while I didn't know what the problem was, but after doing a little reading I realized we were dealing with overactive letdown. It took some time, and trial-and-error, but the two of us together have learned how to manage it and he nurses just fine now. If you've noticed that your baby gets frustrated when he or she starts to nurse, if they unlatch and your milk comes … [Read more...]

Why Use Infant Formula – When Breastfeeding No Longer Works

My first child was formula fed. I remember feeling so down on myself because I was not breastfeeding him. I vowed to myself to make breastfeeding work with my next baby, and I did it. I nursed her for two years. She only had a very small amount of formula during her first week when I was in so much pain I could not nurse her. My third child? He never had a single drop of formula. I thought I was some sort of breastfeeding rock star. Then, my fourth baby was born. Breastfeeding went wonderfully with him, too, until I got pregnant again only five months postpartum. If you're wondering to yourself, "Why use infant formula?" I have a few … [Read more...]