Baby Farts

Babies are gassy, fussy creatures. Did you know the majority of babies pass gas 13-21 times a day? Did you know most adults fart 5-15 times per day? Come on, admit it. You’ve passed a few SBDs in your day. Our digestive tracts are sensitive and impacted by what and how we eat. Before you reach for the baby gas drops and probiotics or trying major elimination diets, though, try these things first:
⭐️ TUMMY TIME. This puts baby on their belly which helps stimulate healthy movement through the digestive tract.
⭐️ BABY WEARING. Having baby in an upright position with legs in a froggy position also helps with stimulation of good digestive movement
⭐️ SMALL FEEDS. Smaller, more frequent meals can be easier for some babies to digest than larger, less frequent meals
⭐️ DEEP LATCH. Make sure to get a deep latch every time. Shallow latches where you can hear clicking or breaking of the suction during swallowing increases air in the gut. If you see a dimple in baby’s cheek that’s an indication of a shallow latch
⭐️ TONGUE TIE REVISION. When a baby can’t move their tongue correctly or fully they swallow more air. Tongue ties are one of the major culprits of gas, reflux and colic. Having the tongue released in many cases reduces babies reflux and gas
⭐️ BURP BABY. Some times just being patient to burp the baby well can eliminate wind. After all, farts can just be butt burps
⭐️ MASSAGE. Giving baby a nice belly massage can also help soothe and relieve gas.
How many times a day does your baby fart?

LA Lactation Balls

There are some awesome pre-made lactation bars, biscuits and cookies out there. This is the recipe I used to make all the time when I was breastfeeding both my girlies. They’re quick and easy to make. I used to just make the batch in a bowl and then throw the whole, sticky mess in a large Tupperware and scoop bites out instead of actually taking time to roll it into balls 🤷🏽‍♀️ The best ingredients for supporting lactation are: oats, chia seed, flax seed, dates, walnuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and Brewers yeast. The Brewers yeast is pretty bitter, so I took it out of this recipe, but you could add it in (test out where your limit is by slowly adding it in increasing amounts).

LA Lactation Balls
1&1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder (2 scoops)
1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/2 cup nut or sunflower butter
3 Tbsp natural honey or agave
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup raisins, chocolate chips, chopped walnuts or pecans
2-4 Tbsp liquid (almond/flax/oat milk, etc)

Mix everything but the milk in a bowl. It helps to use your hands but it does get sticky. Slowly add in the milk until it forms a smooth, rollable dough, adding milk as needed. Roll into balls (or spread on the bottom of the container to be cut into squares) and put on wax paper in a Tupperware or air tight seal container. Enjoy!!

Breastfeeding Shouldn’t Hurt

Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, other than tenderness in the first few days after birth. When I see pictures of young babies breastfeeding like the one on the left, I cringe and want to reposition them. Their face is unevenly touching the breast, the head is turning away from the body, and the body is really far away from mom. In this position, as baby tries to bring their head back to midline for more comfort, they literally give mom a “titty twister”. You can see the nipple twisting with tension on the areola even in this picture. This nipple twisting also pinches the nipple like pinching a straw and slows milk flow. When mom complains of nipple pain, the first thing to look at is baby’s position. In the second picture, baby’s face is coming straight and evenly to the breast and nipple. Their chin is pressing into the breast and the nose is off the breast allowing good breathing. This allows milk to freely flow and there’s no twisting or pinching of the nipple. Baby’s body is super close to mom which is more comfortable for baby’s head and neck. If you’re experiencing any nipple discomfort while breastfeeding today, check your baby’s position and see if it makes a difference.

As baby gets older and more proficient at breastfeeding (over six months) they can often wriggle into unusual positions and not cause pain. As long as you and baby are comfortable and there’s no nipple pain, position is up to you. .
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Weaning from breastfeeding

Deciding to wean your child is a choice only you can make. Some people make it for medical reasons. Some make it because they have to go back to work. Some make it because they simply are done with nursing. Whatever the reason, it is that person’s and that person’s alone.
If you decide to wean, here are some tips for gentle weaning:
⭐️ Start at a time when your baby has already naturally started to wean, i.e. only a quick snack before nap? Try cutting that out first. Waking up at 2am just to pacify to sleep? Maybe that one would be a good one to cut out first.
⭐️ Offer water in an open cup as an alternative.
Don’t offer, don’t refuse
⭐️ Wear clothing that makes accessing the breast/chest more difficult.
⭐️ Distract child with favorite activities or offer alternatives like a favorite snack
⭐️ Change your routine
⭐️ Postpone: “Let’s wait until after dinner” “After we play with the blocks”
⭐️ Shortening the length of feeding or strategically distracting baby when they want to nurse can help
⭐️ Talk to your baby and let them know how you are feeling, why you need to wean, and that you understand their feelings. Older children (2 years and up) can be part of the process by talking to them about what is happening.
⭐️ Be consistent – this is a hard one but it can be even more confusing to your baby if you allow them to nurse one time and not the next.
⭐️ Offer lots of cuddles, hugs, kisses. For some babies, this is a hard time. Your breast/chest is more than just food but also a great source of comfort. Showing them you are still a source of that comfort despite not nursing is incredibly important.

There will be tears, mostly likely from both of you. Some children decide on their own that they are done but it often doesn’t make it any easier for parents. Know that if you feel like it is time to wean then you are making the right decision. Also be prepared that some may experience mood changes and feelings of depression when weaning as your oxytocin and other hormones are dropping to stop milk production.

Tips for weaning under one:
Sometimes, it is necessary to wean a baby under one. Physical and mental health of the birthing person, medical situations, or a number of valid reasons can be the cause for needing to wean under one.
👍🏼 Aim for slow and steady to ensure breast/chest health and you/your baby’s emotional readiness
👍🏼Prepare for potential “booby blues”. Hormones shifts during weaning can make you feel a whole range of emotions.
👍🏼If you’re ready to wean but your baby isn’t, the process may be two steps forward one step back as you dance and compromise with your baby.

Weaning from the bottle

When we know better, we do better. In my generation, pediatricians generally recommended weaning babies from their bottles by two years of age. Today professional organizations recommend weaning 100% off the bottle by no later than 14 months unless there is a medical reason to continue the bottle. Many of my feeding specialist colleagues recommend bottle weaning by 12 months.

Reasons to wean the bottle around a year:
Contributes to tooth decay
⭐️ May impact speech and feeding skills with prolonged use
⭐️ May contribute to how the face, teeth, palate and other oral structures are formed (or misformed)
⭐️ Prolongs an immature suck pattern in the mouth beyond when developmentally appropriate

This does not mean you need to wean from the breast at one. The muscles and way the muscles are used with breast vs bottle are completely different.
In fact:
⭐️ Breastfeeding promotes good formation of the face, palate and teeth
⭐️ Does not increase the risk of dental decay
⭐️ Introduces baby to a wide variety of flavors which makes them more prone to trying those same foods in their solid forms

Naturally Weaning Breast Milk

Natural weaning is the biological process of gradually decreasing milk supply as baby gets older. This process starts around 7-9 months as baby takes more solid foods and progresses toward sleeping longer stretches at night. It ends when baby finally weans (which may not be until 2-3 years old!!). Natural weaning doesn’t mean that you need to wean baby from the breast. Decreasing milk supply doesn’t mean you’re at risk of losing your supply, either. Your breast is designed to match the stage of development your baby is in.

Milk supply iss highest from month 1-6 when baby is going through multiple growth spurts. They need to double their birth weight by 6 months. Milk is also the only food in their diet. Therefore, your milk supply is supposed to be at its highest to meet their nutritional needs. From 6-12 months, weight gain slows but their need for milk volume needs remain stable. It is natural as baby transitions from a full milk diet to a milk+solids diet to then a solids+milk diet that breast milk supply will shift along with it. Your milk supply varies compared to baby’s solids intake and there is a wide range of normal based on your individual baby. Some babies love solids and eat them in large quantities many times a day. Other babies continue on a mostly milk diet until almost 1 year. At 12 months, milk finally takes a back seat to solids, but still fills in nutritional gaps and acts like medicine against illness. From 12 months on there continues to be a wide range of normal for milk supply depending on your child’s eating and feeding habits. Some babies continue to nurse occasionally over night while others seem to become boob barnacles again and would happily stay on the breast all day, every day.

So what does this mean? If you’re exclusively breastfeeding you may not notice anything. You can continue to bring baby to breast for as long and often as baby wants. You may notice baby spacing out feedings or not nursing as long. They may want the breast more when teething or going through growth spurts or developmental leaps. They have days with little interest in the breast.

Moms who pump (either exclusively or because of work) report overflowing milk in the early weeks, often able to pump 4-6 or even 8-10 ounces in a morning pump session. By 4 months supply regulates and mom gets about 3-5 ounces per pump in place of a feeding. By 9 or 10 months it can feel like your trying to wring out a wet rag to get even 2-4 ounces a pump session. As long as baby has unrestricted access to the breast when your not working and you still have a regular pump routine in place no intervention is usually needed. Every journey is supposed to look different because it is your unique journey.

Mastitis may be caused by your posture

Did you know mastitis may be related to your posture?!?

Fluid dynamics is the science of how fluids are supposed to move in our bodies. All of the fluids in our bodies are supposed to be free-flowing and unobstructed for optimal health. Milk is a fluid that flows through ever narrowing ducts and pores. Lymph is a fluid throughout your body (and breasts) that helps transport waste from cells and tissues in your body to help flush it from your system. It also helps reabsorb milk that doesn’t get emptied to a pump or baby. Anything that increases resistance of the movement of this fluid can increase the likelihood of getting a plugged duct or mastitis in the breast. Increased resistance can be caused by:
⭐️ Breast implants or history of breast surgery causing scar tissue in the breast
⭐️ Sleeping in the same posture especially on your side where you put pressure on the breast for extended periods of time at night
⭐️ Tight fitting clothing or bras that constrict movement of milk and lymph between feedings
⭐️ Shoulder injuries from sports where there is inflammation or scar tissue
⭐️ Neck injuries or issues with neck mobility
Tension in your body
⭐️ Not moving the body enough/sitting for prolonged periods of time in the same position
⭐️ Increased overall inflammation in the body such as from infection or excessive fluids from IVs used during labor and delivery
⭐️ Having very large, heavy breasts which act more like an appendage where milk and fluid can fill the lower quadrant of the breast and have difficulties moving out again

What can you do?
❤️ Shake your breasts!! Get that fluid moving by massaging and shaking the breasts.
❤️ Lean over and dangle your breasts to reduce pressure on them and help them free flow
❤️ Practicing yoga can actually work as well, especially as you do poses like downward dog where you’re changing the orientation of the fluid in your breast related to gravity.
❤️ Avoid restrictive clothing and bras
❤️ Get a massage!! Having hands on the body helps get the fluid inside moving in the right direction
❤️ See my video for lymphatic drainage massage

Sudden drop in milk supply/Baby fussy at the breast

Did you know that many of us will notice a supply drop right before our period is going to start and lasts through the period? This is caused by hormone shifts in your body. During this time, as supply dips, the milk flow slows and the milk can taste saltier than normal. Some babies become frustrated with this change. They may grab the nipple with their mouth and shake their head back and forth. Pop on and off the breast. Knead or beat the breast with their hands or become extra fussy at the breast. They may even cluster feed and act as if they’re still hungry. They’re trying all the strategies to get your milk to flow how they prefer. This is a temporary dip but can be surprising the first time it happens. Remember: this dip can happen once or twice before you actually have a period as your hormones are shifting back into baby making mode. If your baby is older than 6 months and eating lots of solids, you may not notice a difference. The strongest behaviors are seen under 6 months when babies need an exclusive milk diet. You may also notice the dip if you’re a pumper.
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What can you do about it? Knowing it can happen is the first step. Stay well hydrated and eat quality nutrition. Many find adding in a calcium/magnesium supplement (1000mg of calcium/500mg magnesium per day split into 3-4 “doses”) can help combat the drop. Others find adding in lactation specific herbs or supportive foods help. Iron rich foods like dark leafy greens and red meat and milk making foods like oatmeal, almonds and fennel can really help. Keep offering the breast or pumping frequently. It will get better and your supply will come back up as soon as your hormones shift again after your period. It usually only lasts a few days.
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When did your period come back? Did you notice a supply dip?

Sudden drop in milk supply/Baby fussy at the breast

Did you know that many of us will notice a supply drop right before our period is going to start and lasts through the period? This is caused by hormone shifts in your body. During this time, as supply dips, the milk flow slows and the milk can taste saltier than normal. Some babies become frustrated with this change. They may grab the nipple with their mouth and shake their head back and forth. Pop on and off the breast. Knead or beat the breast with their hands or become extra fussy at the breast. They may even cluster feed and act as if they’re still hungry. They’re trying all the strategies to get your milk to flow how they prefer. This is a temporary dip but can be surprising the first time it happens. Remember: this dip can happen once or twice before you actually have a period as your hormones are shifting back into baby making mode. If your baby is older than 6 months and eating lots of solids, you may not notice a difference. The strongest behaviors are seen under 6 months when babies need an exclusive milk diet. You may also notice the dip if you’re a pumper.
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What can you do about it? Knowing it can happen is the first step. Stay well hydrated and eat quality nutrition. Many find adding in a calcium/magnesium supplement (1000mg of calcium/500mg magnesium per day split into 3-4 “doses”) can help combat the drop. Others find adding in lactation specific herbs or supportive foods help. Iron rich foods like dark leafy greens and red meat and milk making foods like oatmeal, almonds and fennel can really help. Keep offering the breast or pumping frequently. It will get better and your supply will come back up as soon as your hormones shift again after your period. It usually only lasts a few days.
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When did your period come back? Did you notice a supply dip?

Nipple vasospasm: That tingling isn’t thrush

Has your nipple looked waxy or dull white after feeding or pumping? That’s because the blood vessels have gone into spasm and are not letting blood through. Vasospasm occurs when there is exposure to cold, an abrupt temperature drop, vibration, or repetitive motion in the affected area. The arteries go into spasm and stop letting blood through. There is a disorder called Reynauds that make peoples experience this in their fingers and toes on a more routine basis. When it happens in the nipple it really HURTS. Some say it feels like fire or ice. Others describe it as a pinchy, slicing feeling, or pins and needles. The nipple often turns pale and become painful right after the baby unlatches. It often gets misdiagnosed as thrush but will not respond to medications. So if you’ve been on multiple rounds of medications for thrush and it’s not working, you may actually be having vasospasm.

It can simply be caused by a bad latch, but can have several other culprits. For people prone to vasospasm, the repetitive action of feeding or pumping in combination with the abrupt drop in temperature when baby unlatches or the pump stops is enough to trigger the spasm.

The two main ways to help: massage and heat.

🤲🏼Gently massaging, rubbing, or pinching the nipple helps. Immediately cover your nipples with your shirt/bra/nursing pad, then gently rub or massage them through the fabric.

🌞Heat is important because of science: evaporation is a cooling process. When liquid turns to gas, it uses heat energy from its surroundings to transition. When milk and saliva evaporate off your nipple, the skin and surface tissue cool rapidly, causing the vasospasm.

🌞To slow evaporation, place heat on your nipple as soon as baby unlatches. Use dry heat like a lavender pillow, microwaveable rice/barley/flax pack, hand warmer/Hot Hands (like you use in snowy climates for skiing), or a heating pad can help. Leave heat on for a few minutes until the pain subsides.
🌚Avoid anything wet on the nipple as this promotes evaporation.
🌝Wear wool nursing pads between feedings

VASOSPASM TREATMENT.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of good quality research about treating breastfeeding nipple vasospasm no. Much of what we know is taken from other vasospasm research, or applied from anecdotal evidence. You should always consult your primary health care provider before making any changes to your health, such as adding a supplement, taking medications, or making big lifestyle changes. At a basic level:
🌻Watch for a deep latch every time
🌻Have baby assessed for tongue tie
🌻Check your flange size. If you’re maxing our the suction on the pump, your flange is too big. When too much areola is drawn into the tunnel, the areola swells shut around the nipple and causes the spasm. Using too small a flange does the same: cuts off blood flow to the nipple tip.

Other tips to reducing vasospasm:
🌸Avoid nicotine and medications that cause vasoconstriction (such as pseudoephedrine, beta blockers).
🌸Limit or avoid caffeine
🌸Some research indicates hormonal birth control pills increase the risk of vasospasm.
🌸The main supplement that seems to help with vasospasm is vitamin B6. Dr Jack Newman suggests 100 mg of B6 twice day, as part of a B vitamin complex. If your B vitamin contains 50 mg of B6, you’d take two of them, twice a day. If it contains 25 mg of B6, you’d take four of them twice a day.
🌸Calcium plays an important role in blood vessel dilation. Magnesium helps in calcium regulation. Supplementing with cal/mag often helps with vasospasm.
🌸Being active helps prevent their vasospasm. An active lifestyle can keeps blood circulating through your body.
🌸The internet is full of conflicting opinions on if ibuprofen is a vasoconstrictor or vasodilator. Regardless, it sometimes turns up to treat/prevent vasospasm. If you have regular vasospasm, the risks of longterm ibuprofen use most likely outweigh the potential decrease in vasospasm. It may be OK for occasional vasospasm. Discuss regular ibuprofen use with a healthcare provider.
🌸For chronic, painful vasospasm that does not respond to breast-feeding help, some doctors may prescribe a short course of a blood medication called Nifedipine.