There are many ways to wean and you get to decide how you’d like to wean for your family. I recently had a client who wanted to gradually wean her 6 month old and needed a structured plan to help navigate the process. This is by no means meant to be for everyone, but I thought some one else may find it helpful if it sounds similar to your pumping or feeding experience and you’re looking for some guidance. You can always reach out for a consultation and we can work on a plan that’s individualized to work for you!
Week four Monday to Thursday 6:30am – Breastfeed (about 15 mins) 10:00am – Pump only to relieve discomfort 3:00pm – Pump only to relieve discomfort 6:30pm – Breastfeed (5-10 mins) 9:00pm – Pump only to relieve discomfort
Week four Friday to Sunday. 6:30am – Breastfeed (about 15 mins) 11:00am – Pump only to relieve discomfort Afternoon – Pump only to relieve discomfort 6:30pm – Breastfeed (5-10 mins) 9:00pm – Pump only to relieve discomfort
Week five 6:30am breastfeed if desired Pump once or twice only to relieve comfort 6:30pm breastfeed if desired
Pacifiers are a tool, like any other tool in the parenting bag of tricks. Using the right tool at the appropriate time can be very handy. Using the wrong tool can be problematic.
Good uses for a pacifier: 🚗 When in the car and you can’t feed baby 🛀🏽 If you need a few minutes to use the bathroom or shower 😴 Baby just fed and is trying to transition to sleep. Remove once baby is asleep 👶🏼 Suck training for a premature baby or used specifically during suck training exercises under the guidance of a feeding therapist 🤮 Help with reflux (swallowing helps prevent pain and keeps food in the stomach. Babies with moderate to severe reflux often get over fed because they want to suck so often to sooth the reflux. If a baby has had a full feeding but is still wanting to suck, it can help reduce reflux and keep baby from being overfeed)
When looking for a pacifier, we want one that optimizes the same oral skills that are needed for the breast. Your nipple should go in baby’s mouth round and come out round, not pinched or flat. Look for a pacifier that is also round. This promotes the same tongue cupping baby does at the breast. An orthodontic pacifier, the one with a big bulb on top and a flat spot on the bottom, can promote a high roof of the mouth and incorrect tongue resting posture as well as have long term impacts on how teeth come in with prolonged use.
When possible, limit pacifier use so baby’s mouth is closed with the tongue resting on the roof of baby’s mouth to promote correct mouth development. There is no developmental age when baby needs to take a pacifier and it’s OK if your baby never does. They are a handy tool, but not a necessary one.
🦷 One concern when breastfeeding longer than 6 months is teeth for the fear of biting. When a baby is latched well, they physically cannot bite. The tongue covers the lower teeth while breastfeeding. Biting usually happens toward the end of the feeding as baby slides down the nipple, when falling asleep at the breast, or occasionally intentionally either from exploration, trying to change flow rate of milk, or behaviorally to Get a reaction out of you. Here’s some tips and tricks to navigate that time:
🦷 Most first bites can be combination of baby discovering they have a mouth as well as seeking comfort during teething 🦷 How you react that first time can really help to dictate baby’s reaction and if they’ll do it again. 😬Instead of yelling, overreacting or doing anything that baby may mistake for a game, unlatch, make eye contact and calmly tell baby how that hurt. Your baby will understand. Keep your tone neutral but firm 😬 If baby does it again, stop feeding. Just for a couple minutes. Try distracting them with a toy or play and then try again. 🦷 If you think baby is actively teething, give plenty of opportunity to chew on toys between feedings. Stay on top of pain management so they don’t use you as a teether 🩹Camilla and arnica are great natural pain remedies, as are products like Gum-Omile which is clove oil based. It is natural and can be used frequently and does a great job of numbing the gums 🦷 If baby shark gets to be too much, offer a bottle and see if baby will behave the next feeding 🦷 A nipple shield can protect your nipple and heal any damage if your little is ok nursing with one
Usually baby won’t intentionally bite to hurt you. Figure out when your baby is biting (usually at the end of the feeding when falling asleep or when in pain from teething) and try to unlatch before they bite. You’ve got this.
It is safe to drink coffee while breastfeeding ☕️Research says it’s safe to drink approximately 300-500mg of caffeine a day as only about 1% of caffeine reaches your breast milk. ♨️Not all coffee is created equally. That Folgers your grandparents used to make at home has about 150mg in an 8oz cup. But that exact same size from Starbucks has 250mg! A 16oz cup from Starbucks has 500mg which is the max daily recommended amount!
👼🏼Younger babies (under six months), preterm and medically challenged babies process caffeine slower in their bloodstream and they may be much more sensitive to it. If you consistently drank coffee during pregnancy you baby is already used to caffeine.
🔬It takes 15-20 minutes for coffee to hit your bloodstream and is usually completely gone by 4-7 hours. So if you’re concerned or having it for the first time after birth, either breastfeed your baby first and then have your cup of coffee or have your coffee while breastfeeding.
😿😾🙀Watch for signs of irritability, extra fussiness and inability to sleep in your baby when drinking coffee and consider cutting back if you see them. So what feels right for your body by being in tune with your body and your limits. What is right for you may not be the same as another mother.
TWIN MOMS 👩🏽🦳University of Utah researchers looked at 59,000 birth records from 1800-1979 and found that moms of twins tend to live longer than moms without twins. 👥Fraternal and identical twins are the most common types of twins. Other rare twin types include “half identical twins” (when the egg splits first and then each half is fertilized) and mirror image twins (Meaning they are exact reflections of one another. For example, if one has a freckle under the left eye, the other’s freckle will be under the right eye.). 🫂You can also have twins with two different fathers. Known as heteropaternal superfecundation, occasionally two eggs are released during ovulation and then the woman gets impregnated by two different men at the same time. About 1 to 2% of all fraternal twins have different dads 🖐🏿Identical twins don’t have identical fingerprints. 🍔When breastfeeding, you normally need to eat an extra 300-500 calories. It takes captures to make calories. Twin moms need to consume an extra 600-1000 calories per day!! Twins share a unique bond that starts in utero. 👭Twins have been shown to interact with each other as early as 14 weeks gestation during ultrasounds. 🔄When breastfeeding twins it’s important to remember to switch which breast you offer each baby. Each breast has its own flow, flavor, and milk supply. Switching which one you start with helps keep breasts balanced and gives each baby equal opportunity if there is a more robust supply on one side than the other 🏈 There are many breastfeeding positions that still work for twins. Football and koala tend to be the easiest when babies are small to get a deep latch when feeding tandem. You can also practice with one baby at a time to make sure they learn how to properly latch before attempting tandem. 🛌 There are twin breastfeeding pillows that can make positioning and feeding easier.
Information on toddler nutrition seems to assume your toddler is no longer breastfeeding. Breast milk does not magically lose nutritional value after the first birthday. In fact, the US is one of the only countries to recommend stopping breastfeeding at 1. The WHO recommends continuing until 2!
Toddler breastfeeding key points:
🤱🏾Breastfeed as often as you want. There is no “recommended number of times per day” for breastfeeding. Find what works for your routine and your family. Human milk will continue to fill nutritional gaps as toddler eats more solids 👩🏻🍼Depending on your situation, you may be able to stop pumping while at work and still maintain a good supply when you’re home with your toddler 🚰Slowly add in more water by cup during meals 🍎Offer foods BEFORE toddler breastfeeds. Human milk still had nutritional, immunological and emotional benefits 3️⃣In general, nursing 3-4 times a day will give your toddler all of the milk nutrition they need 🥛 Research shows between 12 and 24 months toddlers average 14-19 oz of human milk per day. Between 24 and 36 months typical amounts of human milk are 10-12 oz per day 🍦Your milk IS whole milk. It has a higher fat content with more bio available nutrients than whole cow’s milk. The more human milk toddler gets, the less additional fat from whole milk or other sources is needed 🐮 Cow’s milk is a convenient source of calcium, protein, fats, vitamin D, etc. – it’s not necessary in our diets 🥩 Sources of protein: meats, eggs, fish, peas & beans, tofu and other soy products, peanut & other nut butters 🐠 Sources of fats: oils like soy, safflower flax and fish; flax seed, fish & avocado 🥬Calcium sources: dark greens: broccoli, spinach, collards, kale, turnips, bok choy, parsley, tofu & other soy products, beans: chickpeas/garbanzo beans, navy beans, pinto beans, nuts & seeds: sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, nut butters, tahini, fortified orange juice 🐄 Limit cow’s milk to 2-3 cups (16-24 ounces) per day. Too much cow’s milk increases the risk for iron-deficiency anemia
Do you some time feel like baby is constantly feeding? As long as breastfeeding is pain free, baby is making 6+ wet and consistent poops and gaining weight over time, everything is going as it should!! The more baby removes milk from the breast, the higher your supply actually is!! Myth: If baby wants to feed more frequently than normal, and is super fussy, it means I don’t have enough milk or my milk is drying up. Fact: babies want to be at the breast for all kinds of reasons: hunger, thirst, boredom, comfort, pain relief, for sickness/feeling unwell, when they’re grumpy, soothing, sleep, because they’re a baby. Babies are constantly going through growth spurts and requires more food. By the time they go through multiple growth spurts it’s time to teethe. By feeding more frequently they are meeting their caloric needs while helping you increase your supply while being comforted and getting some sleep. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, sleep, hydration and food to meet this increased demand.
A person with sore, cracked nipples will do absolutely anything to bring relief to the pain and heal the damage. Sterile, medical grade manuka honey is one of the most unique and beneficial forms of honey in the world. And one of the best remedies for long standing injured nipples. Research shows that not only does honey have potent antibacterial properties which can prevent infection but it also stimulates the growth of new tissue and formation of blood cells, promoting the healing of wounds. Rich in anti-oxidants, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, manuka honey can be used between feedings to heal nipples fast. But don’t run out to Vons or Kroger yet. This is not honey you buy in the bread aisle at the grocery store. Medical grade manuka honey has been irradiated to destroy any botulism spores and is completely safe to use with nursing a newborn.
Clover or flower honey like in the cute honey bear you put in your tea is not safe for your baby. Babies under 12 months should not be given honey, because honey contains bacteria that an infant’s developing digestive system can’t handle. Eating honey can cause your baby to become ill with a condition called infant botulism. You want to look for sterile or medical grade manuka honey, like what is found in Medi-honey paste or dressings.
Have cracked nipples? Lactation Hub has the correct honey you need to heal your nipples quickly.
NO STASH NEEDED Did you know up until 2010 most people didn’t even own a breast pump? You either breastfed until you weaned or bottle fed formula. The Affordable Care Act signed in 2010 changed the game by saying insurance had to provide lactating parents a breast pump. Before that, most parents didn’t own a pump as they were quite expensive and there were only a limited amount on the market. You may have had one if your baby was in the NICU. Our mothers and grandmother certainly didn’t own a pump.
If breastfeeding is going well there is no need to have a freezer stash. Having milk in the freezer is a nice security, but if you’re usually with your baby or gone for only a short while occasionally, there is no need to have a stash. Having the right stash for your family means having enough stashed for when you’re away from your baby. If you’re gone for one feeding, you only need one feeding worth of milk. If you’re gone 2-3 feedings, you need 2-3 feedings worth of milk. If your baby is being bottle feeding while you’re away, you would pump while you’re gone to tell your body the milk is needed. That milk then becomes the stash for the next time that you’re gone. If you want to have a big stash, great!!! You can absolutely have that as an option. Just don’t feel pressured from other people’s journeys on social media to have something you may not need or use. I’ve had several moms who spent countless hours pumping and stashing only to have to donate or throw out the milk stash because they never used it and it was going to expire. I’ve also had several moms who thought you had to have a stash and were relieved to know they didn’t! Do what is best for you and your baby and not based off of anyone else. You’ve got this. Trust your body. Trust your baby. . . .
MAKING MILK The uterus doesn’t tell the breasts how many babies have come out. So the breast, when things go right, is designed to readily make milk for the first 6-8 weeks to feed however many babies have come out, in the event there are twins or triplets. Milk removals in the first 3-4 days after birth, while your milk is still colostrum, help lay down the hormone receptors needed to make milk. The more the breast is stimulated in the early days, the higher the potential for the breast to make milk. In the few weeks following birth, once milk has transitioned, a high supply ensures baby has plenty of milk while going through multiple growth spurts. Supply then gradually tapers off around 11-14 weeks (“regulates”) to just what is being regularly emptied. Many people, though, don’t see this abundant milk supply in the early days. Why does this happen?
🛑 Really long labor and delivery (24+ hour birth, 4+ hours of pushing) 🛑 Lots of fluids during labor 🛑 Maternal hemorrhage/large blood loss at birth 🛑 Inefficient milk movement in the first few days after birth (inefficient baby, not pumping when baby is supplemented, tongue tie baby) 🛑 Retained placenta 🛑 Uncontrolled diabetes or thyroid disorders 🛑 Feeding by the clock instead of on demand whenever baby is cueing 🛑 Early sleep training 🛑 Supplementing baby with a bottle and not pumping at the same time (You need to feed something, either the baby or a pump to tell your body to make that milk) 🛑 Placenta encapsulation for some (in many, placenta pills boost mood and supply. For some, it can actually decrease supply)
What can you do? ✅Get help as SOON as possible. There is a few week window where supply can be increased after birth. After that window it can be very difficult to get supply up and you’ll have a higher likelihood of needing to supplement in addition to your milk. ✅Work on position and latch to optimize the time baby is at the breast. ✅Get a quality pump and have a flange fitting ✅Have tongue and/or lip ties addressed ✅ Pump when baby is being bottle fed, even in the MOTN ✅Stay hydrated and if there was a blood loss, eating iron rich foods and quality nutrition can help as your blood supply rebounds.