For all the challenges of adding a second baby to your family, waiting for your milk to come in may not be one of them. Talk to second time moms and most will share the experience of milk coming in faster and less anxiety about low milk supply. For all of us that are currently, or can recall the experience of, chasing a toddler and now caring for a newborn, less anxiety about anything is a blessing.
Breastfeeding journeys can have unexpected detours. Nursing strikes, growth spurts, and illness can change your plans to exclusively breastfeed. The good news is that you can return to exclusive breastfeeding after supplementing with formula.
Depending on the amount of formula you are currently supplementing, the process of transitioning to fully breastfeeding could take 14 days or more. Before you start weaning from formula, you may want to talk to your local lactation consultant and your pediatrician for any input or special concerns they may have.
The health benefits of breastfeeding your baby are widely known. The World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. The immunity boost provided by mother’s milk leads to lower health care costs, fewer parental absences and less antibiotic use.
Motherhood is a transformative process. From the beginning of your pregnancy to the day your little one is weaned, your body is working to meet the needs of you and your growing baby.
Research shows that dads and other parenting partners heavily influence in feeding choices. Parents that attend breastfeeding classes together have higher confidence in feeding choices and are most likely to still be breastfeeding at 12 months. Mothers with partner support are more likely to start and reach their breastfeeding goals. A parenting partner’s attitude about breastfeeding is almost as predictive of breastfeeding success as the attitude of the new mother.
In 2016 I had the opportunity to travel to many places to represent Milkies and I was lucky enough to meet some amazing people. An event in Seattle during September put me in the same room as a wonderful group named Emerald City Doulas. Doulas are the unsung heroes of the delivery room, having a doula at your side during the labor process leads to lower rates of caesarian sections, reduced pain medicine use and higher satisfaction with the birth experience.
The benefits of probiotics are felt throughout the body– a stronger immune system and better nutrient absorption, among others. Probiotics show up in a range of health foods, yogurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut. None of which are appropriate for young infants (although introducing sauerkraut may result in some interesting photos on your social media feed.)
As an (Emergency Room) ER nurse and a mom of 3, I care for my own sick babies and many others. I also teach parents how to comfort and support their baby through short illnesses. My children are 10, 9 and 3 – I would consider them generally healthy. But there were many nights my usually happy babies and children would fuss through the night, and my efforts to comfort them were met with more crying (from both of us).
Worrying about your milk supply is common and many moms deal with low milk supply at some point in their breastfeeding journey. It is normal to feel short on milk when your baby is going through a growth spurt or adjusting to a new schedule (think going back to work or teething). Try not to get discouraged and be prepared to add a few new skills to your pumping and nursing routine. There are many things you can do to boost your milk production, adding a little extra effort can have a significant positive impact on your milk supply.
There is a long list of the ways breastfeeding benefits your baby’s health. It provides the perfect nutrition for a growing human body and brain with no cost or preparation. Breastfeeding protects moms, too - by lower their risk of breast cancer. Just like babies, the longer you breastfeed, the greater the benefit to your health.