Is there anything more motherly than breastfeeding? For the entire history of the human race, moms have been feeding their babies some of the most nutritious fluids known to man. Breastmilk helps babies grow up to be strong, intelligent, and healthy. But even though it's part of our evolution, it's still something that moms struggle to perfect. Sometimes, even the best moms in the world need a little help when it comes to breastfeeding, and there's no fault in that. This is where lactation specialists come in.
These professionals are specially trained to help moms with all their breastfeeding needs. Not every mom enlists the help of these healthcare professionals. Some might not need to. But there have been more than a few moms out there who are left with no choice. Their breastfeeding journey isn't going as planned, and they need a little help and advice.
Mom might be surprised when they hear the useful tricks and tips that lactation specialists can share. Many moms out there have experienced amazing results after getting help from these experts. They might learn about new breastfeeding positions, or ways to keep milk supply up. Moms have a lot to learn from lactation specialists!
20 One Lactation Specialist Spotted Something That No One Else Saw
Moms might get all kinds of amazing advice and tips from lactation specialists. One such mom realized that the area the baby latches onto was too short, and the milk supply was dropping. But one one would have noticed that if she didn't get the help of a lactation specialist!
"Turns out one mom had short [nips], her baby boy couldn't suck them into the back of his mouth, so he wasn't getting much milk and her supply was dropping. No one else noticed or thought anything was wrong, even with the troubles she was describing. If it hurts to nurse, go see a lactation consultant immediately! Not a nurse, doctor or midwife, a certified [...] nursing expert."
19 One Lactation Specialist Recommended Nursing Pads, And It Made Such A Difference
Lactation specialists might also make recommendations for certain products. One mom went to a specialist, and she recommended nursing pads, as well as ice. It worked wonders, and it make such a difference for her breastfeeding journey!
"After my milk came in, [I was] so full that my daughter couldn't latch. I assumed that it was the fullness that was issue, so I was hand-expressing a lot before feedings, trying to fix it. I finally talked to a lactation consultant and she knew right away that the fullness wasn't the problem, my breast tissue was just incredibly swollen! She told me to freeze some nursing pads and ice [the area] for a day, and it was like a miracle! Breastfeeding went from being a nightmare to being sweet and relaxing."
18 One Specialist Told A Mom To Stop Nursing As Much
Sometimes, the least obvious tips are the most useful ones. This mom didn't realize it, but she was actually nursing too much. She never would have realized if she didn't get the advice of a lactation specialist. This specialist told her to nurse less, and pump more.
"I was on a three hour schedule where I would feed one baby, then the next, then pumped while we supplemented. This routine was excruciating and did not allow [the area] to heal and recover properly and just made my pain worse and worse. The LC we saw was absolutely amazing! She helped us with our latches, positions, etc and gave me tons of tips, tricks, and products to help alleviate the pain I was having. She also advocated for me to limit the amount of time I spend nursing and to even exclusively pump for a while in order to let myself heal."
17 One Lactation Specialist Told A Mom That Supplements Are Not Proven
There's a huge trend right now of breastfeeding supplements. Some of these things are natural herbs and extracts, such as fenugreek. A lot of moms have been using them for many years, and there's a long history of supplements in human culture. But one mom never realized that these supplements were not always proven effective for every mom - until she got the advice of a lactation specialist.
"As far as supplements for increasing supply.. she was very informative. Basically, she told us that MOST things recommended are only based on anecdotal evidence and not necessarily going to work for everyone. I tried fenugreek but it made me sick."
16 Power Pumping Is A Thing
Some moms might not even be aware of something called "power pumping." But if you visit a lactation specialist, that might be one of the things they recommend. In the case of one mom, this tactic made a huge difference in her breastfeeding journey, and she was very thankful of the specialist's advice.
"She advocated to 'power pump' (where you pump for 15-20 mins, then rest for 10 mins, pump again for 10 mins, rest for 10 mins, then pump again for 10 mins). I absolutely feel that power pumping helped to increase my supply. I tried to do this every day or every other day during weeks 4-10ish. My supply continued to grow through about 12-14 weeks, and although I was never able to exclusively breastfeed, I am SO glad I worked so hard to give them as much milk as possible."
15 Why Moms Should Be Collecting Splatters Of Milk
Some moms might have wondered about this in the past. What are you supposed to do with those little splatters of milk? Should you collect them? Well, one mom asked a lactation specialist that very same question, and her advice was to save every last drop.
"To collect the splatters of milk, you could get a medicine syringe and pull them up into the syringe and then put the collected droplets into the bottles. That's what's done when moms of preemies are expressing only tiny drops of colostrum, and it's very important to a preemie to get those immunities, even if only drops."
14 How To Deal With A Biting Baby
One of the most common issues with breastfeeding is a baby who bites while nursing. Some moms might think that this is an unavoidable problem, and that they simply have to brave through the problem. But if moms visit a lactation specialist, these professionals might have advice and tips to stop this from happening (or at least make it less troublesome).
"If she bites or you think she's about to, take her off [...] but keep her close to you, then try again; try not to react too much, other than taking her off [...] anytime she either bites or gets ready to bite; keep her distracted with some toys or a fun necklace that you wear that she can play with while waiting for the milk to flow."
13 Lactation Specialists Can Share The Best Nursing Positions
Another common topic in the world of breastfeeding is positions. Sometimes it's a little tricky to figure out which position works best for you and your baby. But this is exactly the sort of thing that a lactation specialist can help with. One mom found out some amazing positions with the help of a lactation specialist, including uphill feeding.
"My baby is pretty big for their age and I was not supporting him enough. I got the position right and we made the best latch ever. We also tried another variant on uphill feeding that worked great. Now baby's better able to deal with the flow in this better position. JOY! The LC was so good. Nonjudgmental, supportive and very practically helpful."
12 Why Calories Are So Important When Nursing
But lactation specialist aren't just concerned about positions and breastfeeding methods. They're actually pretty well trained to deal with all kinds of things, including diet. One lactation specialist explains how important it is to get enough calories when you're breastfeeding.
"In my experience, I've seen the biggest issues arise when a mom suddenly and drastically reduces calories. If you're eating a lot (3000 or more) and suddenly drop to 1800, then that's when we run into trouble. Never ever should a nursing mom drop below 1500 and an exclusively breastfeeding mom should be even more cautious - 1800 is my happy place floor for mamas."
11 One Specialist Says That Moms Should Try Out Different Positions
Let's go back to the topic of positions. Sometimes, there's no clear cut answer for which position is the best for breastfeeding. In the end, it's all about trying out different things and seeing what works best for you. One lactation specialist admits that the best option is sometimes to just try out different things and see what works. You might even find yourself inventing your very own unique position!
"I honestly think there is too much emphasis on trying to master a specific position with a specific name. The best nursing position for a mom is one where she is comfortable, not hunched over, and her baby is super close. We are all different sizes and shapes, so there is no one size fits all."
10 What To Do If Baby Is Too Tired To Nurse
Another common issue that breastfeeding moms face is when a baby is too tired to nurse. This can be a little frustrating, especially when you're dealing with things like engorgement and keeping your supply up. It's an issue that lactation specialists are trained to deal with, and one of these professionals explains exactly what do if you find yourself in this particular position.
"It is very important if baby is too sleepy to nurse that the milk is removed by either hand expressing or pumping. Not only will it relieve any engorgement, but it will also keep your supply up."
9 How To Avoid Soreness
While some moms might be lucky enough to go through breastfeeding without any kind of discomfort, a lot of other moms aren't so fortunate. Soreness might not sound like a huge deal, but it can stop moms from breastfeeding properly. There's no reason why breastfeeding has to be more painful than it needs to be. And lactation specialists have some great advice on how to deal with soreness.
"Many moms let babies lay on the breastfeeding pillows and hang from their [chest], causing sore [skin]. The mouth needs to be open very wide for effective and comfortable nursing, and a good latch and position can help you avoid sore and chapped [skin]."
8 Go All Out And Get A Proper Pump
Most breastfeeding moms will probably need the use of a pump at some stage. It's a common thing, and it definitely makes our lives easier when we're trying to keep our supply up and feed our babies in the best way possible. But as one lactation specialist admits, not all pumps are created equal. This specialist actually recommends that moms get the best pump they can lay their hands on. We're talking about a hospital grade pump here.
"If a baby isn't nearby or nursing effectively, a mom can hand express or pump. But not all pumps are created equal. A hospital-grade pump is best for increasing milk."
7 Up Your Undergarments Game
A recent Romper article actually featured the advice of a real life lactation specialist, and she had some interesting things to say. One of the most notable pieces of advice she shared had to do with bras. Some moms might not be aware of this, but bras can actually make breastfeeding a lot harder.
For example, choosing the right bra is very important. Bras that are too tight and restricting are going to affect the milk flow. Also, it's probably not a good idea to wear a bra to bed. All of these things need to be considered when a mom is breastfeeding - especially if she's having issues with milk supply.
6 Don't Time Feedings
That same Romper article also featured advice about feedings. Most of the time, it's actually a really good idea to keep organized, stick to a schedule, and stay on top of your daily routine. But as the lactation specialist explains in this article, that's not the case with breastfeeding.
In fact, it's best not to time feedings at all. Don't feel like you need to cut off the milk flow after a certain amount of time. Simply let your little one feed as much as they want. This will allow the milk to flow much more naturally, which in turn reduces engorgement and swelling.
5 Don't Skip Feedings
Another interesting piece of advice from that Romper article is not to skip feedings. Some moms might think that it's okay to simply give breastfeeding a rest when the baby is sleeping or when it's inconvenient. But as this lactation specialist admits, that can lead to some major problems. If the baby is asleep, moms should still nurse. This is because skipping feedings can result in clogged ducts. It's definitely something that all moms want to avoid, and honestly this is a really simple tip to follow.
"Don't skip feedings. The best way to avoid clogged ducts is to keep the milk moving."
4 Lots Of Tiny Feedings Are Easier
Another lactation specialist was featured on Molly Sims, and this expert had a lot of interesting things to share about breastfeeding. According to this professional, it's better to do lots of little feedings rather than just a few big ones. Remember, babies' stomachs are pretty small, and they are sensitive. With that in mind, this is amazing advice.
"Babies' tummies are tiny when they are born and they need lots of tiny feedings as opposed to fewer big feedings. Babies are also born with a strong sucking reflex, which can be confusing to new parents who think a baby should be finished nursing by a set number of minutes."
3 How To Deal With The First Few Days Of Nursing
The first few days of breastfeeding can be a major challenge. But on that Molly Sims article, the lactation specialist described in detail the best way to deal with this challenging time. This is great advice for all moms out there.
"The labor and birth process (V-birth, or cesarean birth) can often cause the [area] to change shape and size, due in part to increased fluid retention. Although this is quite normal and will resolve, the first few days of breastfeeding can be challenging. Moms and dads should plan to address any of these issues with treatment plans such as warm compresses, massage,[...] pumping and even ice treatment."
2 Not Drinking Plenty Of Fluids Can Be A Major Mistake
When you think about it, this one makes a lot of sense. As a breastfeeding mom, you're producing a lot of fluids. It only makes sense that in order to produce all that milk, you're going to need to drink a lot of water yourself. This is something that some moms might forget about, but the lactation specialist featured on Molly Sims pointed this out.
In fact, this professional recommends that breastfeeding moms drink as much water as possible. If you're struggling with keeping up an ample supply of milk, then you might want to ask yourself whether you're drinking enough water. It's one of the most common mistakes moms make.
1 Not Taking Time For Yourself Is A Mistake
Last but not least, there's one issue that a lot of breastfeeding moms struggle with. And that's simply finding free time for yourself! People often forget that milk supply can be affected by things like stress. That's why the lactation specialist featured on Molly Sims reminds us all that it's very important to take time for ourselves.
This could be as simple as taking a bath, getting some rest, or eating an amazing meal. Remember, you have to treat your body well if you want to produce enough milk. Yes, you're going to be very busy and you might even feel very stressed. But that's no excuse to neglect yourself.
Sources: reddit.com, romper.com, mollysims.com