I know that when it comes to preparing for a new baby, there are so many things that the mother to be has to think about. Like will she go with cloth or disposable diapers, and will she nurse or bottle feed? These decisions are not easy ones, and as the time for delivery nears, the decisions have to be made. For me, I knew that right away I would breastfeed my babies. I wanted to give my babies the best possible start in life, and I know that breast is the best. With my eldest, I did not have the tools or support, so I cut my breastfeeding journey short. Then with my boys, I found that I had learned so much from before, as well as information that I sought out. I also found that I had the support I needed in order to make the breastfeeding journey a easier and more enjoyable one for my babies and myself. I learned that for one, having a good pump for pumping milk in between feedings was a must have. I had a pump for my first experience, but I had gone with a cheap one, one that actually broke in the first week. I also learned that, yes, breasts can get sore at first, and having products on hand that can help ease any discomfort and or pain is a must have as well. After having my daughter, I thought that there was something wrong, since I was having a lot of pain. I did not realize that there were lactation consultants out there, who were very compassionate and knowledgeable. I also did not know that I could have asked for time at work to pump. Aside from those things, I also did not have the support from my daughters dad, as I did with my husband when we had our boys. When I had Robert, I voiced my concerns right away, and the lactation consultant came and not only helped me find a comfortable way to position my son for nursing, but she also told me about products that I could get once I went home that would help me. I had found love in the Lansinoh products after having my oldest son. The lanolin was a true pain saver for me. I was able to have the breastfeeding journey with my oldest son, a journey that I had wanted the first time around but was unable to achieve. So when I was pregnant with my baby, our youngest, I knew right away what products I needed to get ahead of time and also what I would add to my registry. I also find that being there for friends, who are pregnant, who are trying to decide on which route to take and sharing my own experience is helpful. Recently I had a friend who was pregnant, she was torn between the breastfeeding and bottle feeding issue. She had issues with her oldest, and it had also been 11 years, so she wanted to try again but was scared to run into the same issues. So when we went to get items for her baby shower, one thing I knew I had to do, was find the breastfeeding products that are out there to help make her choice and journey a easy one. To help with this, I was sent a great selection of breastfeeding products from Lansinoh to review. Not only was there some Lanolin in the pack, but there were also some breastfeeding pads and other products that can help sooth any pain from nursing. Like the Soothies from Lansinoh Gel Pads and the Thera-Pearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy.
Of course I see the Lanolin to be a must have for the breastfeeding mother. I found that just applying a small bit to the nipple area after a feeding, to be very beneficial and with the Lanolin from Lansinoh, you get 100% pure lanolin. With the Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads, you get safe, absorbent and reusable gel pads that provide instant cooling relief to sore nipples. I like that the fabric backing is made so you do not get any friction to already sore nipples, and they can be used for up to 72 hours! For those who experience pain in the breasts, you can find relief with the Thera-Pearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy, you get both hot and cold therapy, which can help make that breastfeeding journey the one you aim for! With the hot therapy, the gel packs can help relieve mastitis and plugged ducts, also great for using while you have the pump going. Then the cold therapy can help with engorgement, swelling and pain you might experience. I really appreciate that this is a Dr designed and lactation consultant recommended product! Then, another must have for the breastfeeding mom is the disposable nursing pads. I learned from my first breastfeeding journey, having pads that are absorbent and that can be used day and night, is the only way to go. I have had my issues with leaking, as do other breastfeeding moms, so having pads in the diaper bag and ones that you change out each feeding is ideal!
Last but definitely not least, is the Affinity Pro Double Electric Breast Pump. Finding that breast pump that does what you need it to do and also fits your lifestyle can be a challenge. So when I saw that this pump has 3 pumping styles with adjustable cycle and suction to help maximize milk production and comfort, to be very ideal. I also like how the suction mimics babies feeding, and that there is a LCD screen with a timer, so you are not having to sit and watch the clock as you pump. This pump also comes with a great carrying case, which is great for putting in the diaper bag when you are on the go. Then with the design, you can use this pump with those great hands free bras that are on the market! In all, I was once again very impressed by the products you can find from Lansinoh to help make your breastfeeding journey an enjoyable one!
Aside from the products from Lansinoh that can help with your breastfeeding journey, I also know that reaching out to a lactation consultant can be very beneficial, no matter where you are at in your journey, even if you have not yet had baby and you are wanting to know more. So to help my readers with some questions they may have when it comes to breastfeeding, the wonderful people from Lansinoh put me in contact with one of their own lactation consultants and answered some questions on common issues for me to share with my readers!
Mommy Katie Questions and Answers from Gina Ciagne, Lansinoh Laboratories:
How common is it for a woman to experience issues with breastfeeding in the beginning? The reason for this question is that I want my readers to understand that it does not always go well, but to not give up and to turn to a lactation consultant when they have any issues.
It is quite common, as mom and baby are adjusting to nursing, for there to be some challenges but with that said, not everyone encounters issues. It is helpful and I recommend that moms do reading ahead of time so they know what to expect and when to seek guidance and help.
What is the most common issue?
Alongside worries of breastfeeding in public, there are fears moms have about the mechanics of breastfeeding including latching baby on correctly, how it actually works to ensure a proper milk supply as well as fears about pain associated with nursing. And, while many of these are legitimate concerns, there are ways to address these situations in a way that prevents them from turning from a small addressable issue that can keep breastfeeding on track into a complex problem that can derail breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding, although one of the most natural things a mother can do, is often challenging for both mom and baby. Beyond achieving the proper timing of meals and sufficient milk flow, there’s the matter of ensuring a solid latch and a comfortable, workable angle. Difficulties in breastfeeding can be frustrating. To help new and expecting mothers with the newborn feeding process, here are some common challenges that can arise:
A Proper Latch
Biting & Teething
Sore nipples, what can be done to ease the issue?
While breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt, it is common to experience some soreness while mom and baby adjust. Newborns (and older infants) can have trouble latching on to the breast, which can make feeding painful and uncomfortable for mom. When a baby is not latched on correctly, they tend to nurse on the nipple which can cause friction and rubbing. For proper latch-on, the baby’s chin should anchor on the breast about one inch from the nipple and then the top lip should pop over the nipple. Having a proper latch will help ensure a successful and rewarding breastfeeding experience for both mom and baby. If mom does experience soreness or chafing, using ultra-purified, hypoallergenic lanolin like Lansinoh® HPA® Lanolin or Soothies® Gel Pads will offer her symptomatic relief. However, it is important to understand and address the underlying cause of the soreness, so if mom has continuing pain she should discuss it with her healthcare provider or breastfeeding counselor.
How much nursing time does a baby require, and how do you know if you are producing enough for baby?
The good news is that you don’t need to watch the clock – just your baby. Look for hunger cues such as your baby sucking their fingers or hands, making smacking noises with their mouth or rooting around looking for something to latch onto. Crying is a late sign of hunger. It is difficult to latch a crying baby, so be aware of these cues so you can address your baby’s needs before this happens.
I recommend not to time feedings but rather feed on cue and watch for when your baby acts full and stops feeding on their own. Sometimes babies nurse and then pause to take a little rest. This is normal, and it does not always mean they are ready to stop. Offer the baby your breast again to see if she still wants to nurse.
Sometimes early on when babies are still very sleepy, they get comfortable and fall asleep soon after starting to feed. This is caused by Oxytocin, the hormone responsible for let-down and providing that wonderful feeling of relaxation to you and your baby. If this happens, gently wake baby up and continue to nurse. Sometimes unlatching the baby to burp and then re-latching can rouse the baby. You can also remove some clothing so they are not too warm and cozy.
Feedings are timed from the beginning of one nursing session to the beginning of the next. For example, if you start at 3:30, your baby will probably be ready to nurse again between 4:30-6:30.
With that said, don’t focus solely on the clock. Instead, follow your baby’s cues. If they were fed an hour ago and are acting hungry again, respond and offer your breast. If they are content, wait until they start acting hungry, but don’t go beyond three hours.
What should I look for in my baby’s diapers?
Who would have thought that you’d be examining diapers so closely! But this is a great way to tell if your baby is getting enough milk and being properly nourished. Wet diapers indicate good hydration, while poopy diapers signify enough calories.
Today’s ultra-absorbent diapers make it difficult to tell when they’re wet, so get familiar with how a disposable diaper feels both wet and dry. You can also tear the diaper open – the material where the baby wets will clump together when the diaper absorbs the liquid.
Don’t be alarmed by the appearance of baby’s poop, as it will change during the first few days. It starts out black and tarry then changes to green and then to yellow, seedy and loose. After baby’s fourth day look for four poopy diapers and four wet diapers. After baby’s sixth day you want to see at least four poopy and six wet diapers.
Similar to tracking feeding times, it also helps to write down the number of wet and poopy diapers. If your baby is having less than this you need to call your pediatrician.
Second opinions – especially weight checks for your baby – can help you feel more confident about your breastfeeding and your milk supply. If you want to talk to someone, consult with a pediatrician or an International Certified Lactation Consultant for pre- and post-breastfeeding weight checks.
For moms who are going back to work, what can you suggest for them to help them continue on their breastfeeding journey?
Whether you’re just returning to work or simply need a refresher, here are some tips to make it a win-win-win: for you, your baby and your employer.
Make a connection. Every breastfeeding mother has a story about what worked for her when she returned to work. If you know other women who have pumped at work, talk to them about their experiences and solutions to any challenges they may have had. You can also connect with other mothers on breastfeeding message boards.
Find time to pump. Plan your pumping schedule to replicate your baby’s nursing times so that your body gets the necessary signals to continue producing milk. Avoid skipping sessions as this signals your body to produce less milk. It is important to explain this to your employer so they understand your need to have regularly scheduled pumping sessions.
Be flexible if possible and consider your employer’s needs as well as your own. Even if you only have a few minutes, still pump. Stimulation is more important for your body’s response than pumping time. However, a drained breast will replenish more milk so ideally pump until empty.
Set aside time if your schedule is unpredictable, or be creative about when you pump. For instance, it’s possible to read or eat lunch while pumping.
Find a private place to pump. It’s important to pump without disruption the necessary hormones are released for let-down. A lactation room is ideal, but other options are a private office or storage room that can lock. Avoid using the bathroom as it is not a sanitary place to pump.
Discuss with your employer. If you work for a company with many women of child-bearing age, you may be able to convince your employer of the need for a lactation room. See some helpful facts below to help make your case.
Know your facts. Hopefully you won’t run into any obstacles with your employer. But if you do, the following facts can help you make a convincing argument to gain their support.
A study published by the United States Breastfeeding Committee states:
Lactation programs are cost-effective, showing a $3:1 return on investment.
One-day absences to care for sick children occur more than twice as often for mothers of formula fed infants.
Breastfeeding lowers insurance claims for businesses. One study showed that for every 1,000 babies not breastfed, there were over 2,000 extra physician visits, 212 extra hospitalization days, and 609 extra prescriptions to treat just three common childhood illnesses.
By supporting lactation at work, employers can reduce turnover, lower recruitment and training costs, cut rates of absenteeism, boost morale and productivity, and reduce health care costs
The Affordable Care Act is on your side! This healthcare law stipulates that an employer must provide the time and space (specifically pointing out this should not be a bathroom) for pumping moms. For more details, you can visit The Dept of Labor website.
Here’s a handy back to work checklist: https://www.lansinoh.com/articles-videos/back-to-work-checklist
How long should a woman breastfeed for?
The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other major medical organizations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of baby’s life with no other complementary foods or liquids. Breastfeeding is recommended for a full year with complementary foods not introduced before 6 months. There is no magic time when the benefits expire. In fact, the longer a mom and baby breastfeed the more plentiful the benefits and they reduce their risk for a myriad of health and medical conditions. It Is up to each mom what works for her but it is important to know that the benefits of breastmilk and breastfeeding last a lifetime and breastmilk is specifically made for that baby by their mom so it is the perfect food for nourishment and nurturing that cannot be synthetically replicated.
What are some tools that a woman can get to help make the experience a successful one and also an enjoyable one?
It is important to read up and know what to expect when breastfeeding and it is a great idea to take a breastfeeding class before and after baby comes. Knowing what to expect can allay a lot of fears and can also be powerful in enabling mom to feel more in control. It is also a great idea to connect with other moms either on message boards or community pages so they can chat with other breastfeeding moms and they can support each other. It is important to know that even a small issue can turn complex and there are professionals who have made it their life’s work to support breastfeeding moms and babies so don’t ever suffer in silence!
Gina Ciagne, CLC
Senior Director, Healthcare and Media Relations
Gina Ciagne is a Certified Lactation Counselor and La Leche League International-trained breastfeeding peer counselor. She breastfed and pumped for her two children and has worked with and provided advice and support to thousands of breastfeeding mothers around the world for more than a decade. Ciagne is the Senior Director of Healthcare and Media Relations for Lansinoh.
This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.