Overcoming "Booby Traps"

Posted on July 28 2015

Did you miss our Facebook chat with Best For Babes Foundation? We had a great conversation about overcoming Booby Traps, the obstacles that exist that make breastfeeding difficult, or impossible, for over 2 million mamas each year. See below for a re-cap! Or read the full discussion here. Thank you to Bettina for lending her expertise! 

M = MobyWrap B = Best For Babes C = Community

M: What exactly are 'booby traps' and how do we recognize them?

C: Booby trap: am I making enough milk for baby?

B: Yes, that's a big one! Too many doctors and health care providers are taught to measure because for decades, they measured formula. Only way to tell if there is enough input is if there is enough output!!

C: Booby trap: My doctor says my baby weighs too much/little and that I need to supplement with formula/start feeding solids.

C: Booby trap: No breastfeeding support in hospitals after delivery.

B: Did you know that too many pediatricians never learned the basics of lactation care and management in med school?? Always good to get a second (or first!) opinion from an IBCLC.

C: I've had a doctor tell me my child was getting too fat from my milk and that I needed to fill her up with rice cereal so she'd nurse less. Switched that doctor.

B: Way to go Alisha Wiliams! That doc is a big BOOBY TRAP!!

C: Tips for weaning off of a nipple shield?

B: Sandwich hold is great, also lots of skin to skin. . . get in bed with baby for a day or two with no pjs top on you, just diapers on baby! Skin to skin stimulates nursing instinct.

C: What's the best way to prepare for nursing a second child? My first is a toddler, and I was thinking about pumping so she could feed her sister, but I don't want to mess up my supply.

B: There are wonderful books for toddlers that help them understand breastfeeding. Your daughter may want to snuggle with you while you nurse and watch the baby and hold hands.  Here's one of my fave books.

C: Finding a place to pump! I've had to become very creative! Also just learning to laugh it off when despite your note on the door, someone walks in!

B: I commend you for laughing it off! Still we need to advocate so that every workplace has a private, locked! place to pump. Check out this great toolkit for your employer:http://mchb.hrsa.gov/pregnancyandbeyond/breastfeeding/

C: Finding a place to nurse that isn't completely gross.

B: That's getting better with more acceptance of breastfeeding in public, so that anywhere that mama would eat, a baby can eat! We also love that Mamava lactation stations are cropping up at airports and ballparks.

C: Positioning was a challenge a few different times with my first. I just read about breastfeeding while mama is in a reclined position and it makes so much sense! Let gravity help with baby latching!

B: Yes! Here's a great article about natural breastfeeding positions. 

C: My son had an upper lip tie that was never corrected, I overproduced like crazy and was always engorged, and overall things were really difficult until about 4-6 months when he could finally get a good latch. People knowing that overproduction isn't a good thing is important to me.

B: You are so right! It wasn't until years later (after co-founding BfB) that I realized I had an overactive letdown. This is why we push for more education for health care providers and for difficult cases to be assessed by and IBCLC.  Also, I believe every baby should be assessed for lip or tongue tie by a qualified IBCLC if there are breastfeeding issues.

C: Self weaning?? What sign does baby/toddler show?

B: Most important thing is to not mistake a nursing strike at 9 or ten months for self-weaning! Most babies do not self-wean naturally before 1 year, after that it is a mutual journey/decision with mom and baby.

C: Any tips for nursing the baby while wearing? Positions that are comfortable?

B: The picture for this chat shows a great position!! Some mamas can nurse easily in a MobyWrap, some like to sit down, loosen the wrap, and adjust as needed. We love that the Moby® Wrap is so flexible and comfy! makes a great blankie and cover if needed.

C: At what point can you introduce a bottle or paci without nipple confusion?

B: Wait at least 3 - 4 weeks, some IBCLC urge strongly to wait until the 6 week growth spurt is over.

C: Being afraid to breastfeed in public. When my oldest was born 21 years ago, either it was more acceptable than now, or I was just oblivious. I didn't know that anyone could ever be offended by a mom feeding her baby. With all the news about it now, I get a little nervous breastfeeding my youngest in public. I just have to think about the fact that I've never been given a hard time for it through eight babies over 21 years of time.

B: People are just more willing to express their opinions on everything now...we've heard more stories of moms being given a "thumbs up" than a hard time. Usually there is more approval and support than not.

C: My sister is expecting her second child in September. She had a really tough time nursing her first baby. Do lactation cookies work well? What other foods can help her produce more milk or what things can she do to increase her supply?

B: Often the 2nd is a completely different experience, and she may end up having a very easy time! Best strategy is to take a class, join a Breastfeeding USA or La Leche League USA group, and interview IBCLCs and have numbers on speed dial.

C: Is there anything additional you have to do if you pump and breastfeed to keep your supply up/ increasing as baby needs grow?

B: Be flexible! If you notice your supply dipping, nurse or pump a bit more often. Don't skip a pumping session or feeding without being aware that it can affect your supply. It is very individual!

C: How to best deal with a very distracted nurser who also wants to sit up and nurse.

B: Sometimes it can be helpful to go into a dark quiet room to re-establish good nursing habits.

C: The leaking! Always having to be prepared with a spare shirt.

B: There is a great product for leaking while pumping or nursing.

C: Really dislike having to use a shield with my little one..but it's the only way he latches on because he's so small....anyone else use one?? How long?

B: Nipple shields can be helpful, but we have found that too many nurses or health care professionals hand them out like candy without assessing the breastfeeding issues and resolving them. I suggest you see an IBCLC immediately. Many small babies--even preemies--can nurse effectively, better to get to root issue.

Thank you again to Bettina, co-founder of Best For Babes Foundation, for joining us in our Facebook chat! Stay tuned for more monthly chats with expert guests! 

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