Let's Cut to the Chase
Click the Links Below for Solutions:
Low Milk Supply, Sleepy Baby, Poor Weight Gain
Step 1: Feed your baby their full calorie needs (until they're in a food coma) at every feeding. If you are not sure what is normal, here is a guide.
Step 2: Keep your breasts emptied by frequent & thorough pumping in addition (or in place) of breastfeeding
Sample pumping schedule:
Step 3: Breastfeed whenever you and your baby are both up to it; if you’re pressed for time, just keep baby at breast when they’re actively swallowing.
Sore or Injured Nipples, Shallow Latch
The Three Principles of Deep Latching
1. Smush baby’s body firmly against yours (baby wiggling? not close enough). Pillows are usually for supporting your arms while you support the baby.
2. Baby’s nose lines up with your nipple, their chest snuggles into your breast, their hips are against your rib cage. Baby must be positioned so that they can tilt their head back to open their mouth as wide as possible (try opening your mouth with your head tipped forward; it doesn’t work well).
Do not put pressure on the back of their head; put your finger and thumb behind their ears for head support.
3. The nipple goes far back in the baby’s mouth. Run your tongue along the roof of your mouth (from your teeth towards your throat)—your palate is hard, smooth, and there is plenty of room up there; as you move your tongue back, there is a softer area. Right between the hard and soft area is where your nipple needs to be, both for its protection and for your baby to get more milk more easily.
Positioning and Latching (note that there is no sound):
Baby Not Latching
When a baby is not latching, it's not because you did anything wrong. To stabilize the situation until you can get more specific help, there are three things you need to do:
If you have not already tried it, a nipple shield can help*
Good, deep latch on nipple shield
*be sure to follow up with a lactation consultant to ensure proper fit, application, and plan for weaning from it.
Applying a nipple shield
Photo credit: La Leche League UK
Engorgement, Plugged Ducts, & Mastitis
Note: If you have a fever over 100.5, unbearable pain, or discoloration of your skin (may be red or purple depending on your skin color), call your OB or go to the nearest emergency room.
These conditions are largely the result of inflammation (swelling and pain). They have different causes, but similar treatments. The swelling must be reduced to allow the breasts to provide optimal milk flow. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen/paracetamol can help (ask your doctor about doses).
Do the following:
(1) Lie on your back with cold compresses around your breasts for about 10 minutes
(2) Perform lymphatic drainage on your breasts (shown below)
(3) Breastfeed your baby or pump (only as much milk as you expect baby to eat)
If your milk isn't flowing or your breast is too swollen for baby to latch, do reverse pressure softening (shown below):
Video by Newman Breastfeeding Clinic
and/or short, frequent pumping sessions (pump 5 minutes, rest 5 min, pump 5 minutes, rest 5 min, pump 5 min). Make sure the suction strength is comfortable, not too high.
Repeat the 3 steps above (cold, lymphatic drainage, breastfeed/pump) until the situation improves or you need a break.