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4 Best Breastfeeding Tips from an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant

Unraveling Breastfeeding Myths: Expert Tips for a Smooth Journey

While the challenges of breastfeeding a newborn are combined with major hormonal shifts, sleeplessness, recovery from childbirth, and changes in relationships, breastfeeding can be a gratifying experience. In my experience as a Toronto-based lactation consultant, good preparation, compassionate and expert support, and some beneficial breastfeeding information are what we need to get off to the best start. So here are some of my top breastfeeding tips.

Breastfeeding should not be painful!

No matter what you have heard, it would be best if you did not experience pain during your breastfeeding experience. Some sensitivity may be expected, but if you feel any sensation classified as sharp, shooting, burning or piercing, it is time to get help to work on your latch. Both the nipple and the areola can be damaged from improper latching. Most babies will have trouble latching at some point in the first few weeks, but there is a lot we can do to improve the latch of a breastfed baby to make sure that when the baby nurses, it does not hurt. You can make more milk, and it can transfer to the baby’s mouth with the right support. Please don’t listen to those who look at your latch and say it “looks great.” If you are experiencing pain, then it is NOT great. Get good help!

You can tell your baby is getting sufficient breast milk by watching what they do at the breast.

Yip – Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can only tell your baby is getting enough breast milk or that there is enough milk flow by looking at wet diapers and watching weight gain. As early as minutes old, we can tell whether our baby is getting sufficient breast milk by WATCHING what they do at the breast. If your nurse, doctor or midwife does not show you the difference between a suck and a drink and if they do not help you to increase breast milk drinking, then you know what to do. A trained breastfeeding practitioner can watch the position of your baby’s head, baby’s mouth and even the position of a nursing pillow to ensure the baby is receiving enough milk. Some babies need more milk, but others just need different breastfeeding positions to transfer more breast milk. The first few weeks can be critical to support your baby’s feeding and ensure the breastfed baby is getting enough and gets off to the right start.

Get good help to support your baby’s growth!

Your breast milk supply varies throughout the day – sometimes it is up, and sometimes it is down!

You may have heard many stories about the witching or arsenic hour. Milk supply is tied to our circadian rhythm. Prolactin levels are high in the early morning and low as the day moves to the late afternoon and evening. This means your body can stimulate production more in the early morning than in the evening. Often, this is simply a time when your baby may need to cluster feed, moving back and forth from breast to breast to get the breast milk they may more easily get in the early morning hours. Cluster feeding is normal. Nothing is wrong with your milk supply or your baby. Cluster feeding can help increase the baby’s weight to get back to birth weight more quickly. Hopefully, after some frequent feeding, usually, a baby sleeps, and the milk ducts fill up again. When a baby breastfeeds, or a mother tries to express milk, this stimulates more milk production. This can be easier in the morning than in the evening.

The most important of my breastfeeding tips: consistent advice is critical to ensure enough milk production and that your baby gets enough milk!

In my practice, I see many breastfeeding mothers who have received advice from a few nurses in the hospital, their midwife or doctor, friends, mothers, Dr. Google, and so on. When I see them at home or in the clinic for breastfeeding concerns or concerns about breast milk production, there is a great deal of confusion and exasperation. Compassionate and consistent advice is the most empowering. Please find an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) that you trust. Get good help as soon as you feel things are not going well.

I wish you the best on your breastfeeding journey. Let me know if you have any questions at all.  The Kidcrew Lactation Team can provide many more breastfeeding tips, helping to ensure you have enough breast milk, milk flow and support for both you and your baby.

The general information provided on this website is for informational purposes and is not medical advice.

Do NOT use this website for medical emergencies.

If you have a medical emergency, call a physician or qualified healthcare provider, or CALL 911 immediately. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-treatment based on anything you have seen or read on this Website. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed and qualified health provider in your jurisdiction concerning any questions you may have regarding any information obtained from this Website and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or to someone else. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Taya Griffin

Taya Griffin | International Board Certified Lactation Consultant • Taya is a Lactation Consultant in the Toronto area. She is passionate about prenatal breastfeeding education and sees mothers at home, the hospital and in a clinic setting postpartum to help them to reach their breastfeeding goals. She also teaches pre and postnatal pilates and really can’t get enough of babies! She has two daughters, whom she wishes were still babies! Alas, they are growing up too quickly!

Taya Griffin

Taya Griffin | International Board Certified Lactation Consultant • Taya is a Lactation Consultant in the Toronto area. She is passionate about prenatal breastfeeding education and sees mothers at home, the hospital and in a clinic setting postpartum to help them to reach their breastfeeding goals. She also teaches pre and postnatal pilates and really can’t get enough of babies! She has two daughters, whom she wishes were still babies! Alas, they are growing up too quickly!

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