11 Things I learned from my Lactation Consultant about breastfeeding!
At first, I was very hesitant to make an appointment with a lactation consultant. I thought to myself that everything was going well so why do I need a consultation? & to be honest, I wish I did one way earlier. I waited until Jayden was 4 months old. But it is definitely better later than never. Here is what I learned!
Flange size matters
1. I had no idea how important this until I tried out a million different flanges. I am not joking when I say I probably spent wayyyyy too much money just on flanges. But you can’t return them! When picking out a flange, you want to make sure your nipple is centered and it is the only thing moving back and forth while pumping. You do not want your areola being stretched into the suction so be careful for that. But you also don’t want your nipple to be sliding against the sides where it can cause friction and will definitely make your nipples hurt like they are going to fall off. Not even kidding. So many brands make 24mm which is the standard. Many brands also offer a larger size of 27mm and a smaller size of 21mm. Well guess what?! I found out I’m a 15mm. Isn’t that crazy? I was mind blow but here are the ones I use and love! They come in so many different sizes!
Massage during pumping
2. The difference it makes when you massage your breasts during a pumping session is mind blowing. Once I started to massage them, I was able to pump another oz! It may definitely be different for each woman but just try it!
Positions that you can do during breastfeeding
3. When I was in the hospital, they showed me two positions and it felt very forced. Looking back on it, I wish our breastfeeding journey started differently but I am thankful that I have gotten this far with my baby boy and breastfeeding. I didn’t imagine getting to 9 months! But our favorite position together is laying side by side. There is also the cradle hold and the football hold. If your baby seems fussy overall, try just hanging your boob over their mouth and let it hang. I know it sounds super weird haha but try it!
4. At first I was like what would that even do, why try? Until I tried it and he latched all on his own the second time around. If it doesn’t happen for you on the first try, it’s okay! Please don’t be hard on yourself. Give it a few more tries and be patient. To learn how to do a rebirth water bath, check out my youtube video down above. Then go to description box to get the link! It explains it so well!
The way your baby was born matters
5. I didn’t know that the way your baby is born is super important. That is one of the first questions my IBCLC asked me. So the way they are born can affect your breastfeeding relationship. Once Jayden got to 4 months he really did not want to latch. He would cry at the breast and just not want to eat. I felt so defeated and I cried about it so many times. But then my lactation consultant told me to try a water bath with him to create a rebirth.
Make the boob a happy place
6. You do not want to force your babies head or your boob in their mouth. Make sure you are making the boob a happy place where they want to be. It should always be paired with positive reinforcement so they want to keep coming back.
Nipple shape of a bottle matters
7. This one blew my mind. Just do me a favor and do a google search of what are the best bottles for breastfed babies vs what are the best bottle for breastfed babies according to an IBCLC. I had to change my bottles right after I discovered this. You want to make sure the nipple of the bottle gradually gets thinner.
Bottle paced feeding
8. Bottle paced feeding is really important for breastfed babies. When a baby feeds at the boob, the proper motion of the tongue and sucking is what leads a let down. Some woman can feel the let down and others cannot. I can and it feels like pins and needles to me. When the letdown happens, more milk comes out for the baby but they need to suck in order for it to occur. It takes up to 2 minutes for a letdown to happen so imagine sucking for 2 minutes and not much milk coming out. That is where bottle paced feeding comes in to teach them to take their time and to continue sucking in order to get milk. I feel like this would have helped Jayden a lot if I started this the moment I gave him his first bottle. But it was a little too late for me.
Movement of baby’s tongue during sucking
9. If you have no idea if your baby is latched on correctly and if they are properly taking out milk from your boobs, I would highly recommend for you to make an appointment with an IBCLC. When I learned how the baby’s tongue should move, I was fascinated.
10. This became a life saver to me! Not only did it help me feel less stressed but because it calmed me down, it let my letdown come faster too. Faster let down equals a less fussy baby. I’m all for it!
Post natal supplement
11. I was still taking my prenatal vitamins until I realized they didn’t have everything needed for postpartum. So I decided to take these that are great for both pre and post pregnancy. Great for postpartum but also great if you would like to prepare for baby #2 some time in the near future.
Talk to you soon!