Jack Newman is one of the best supporters of breastfeeding! I have had the opportunity to hear him speak several times and love the fact that he has a great online video to help those who forget what they may have learned in a class or heaven forbid did not attend a class prior to their baby being born. Click on the link to view a fabulous video that will ensure a great latch for sure!


…I had a delightful call today from a young lady who made nursing bibs. These are similar I am sure to the “hooter hiders” who due to poor name marketing changed to http://www.bebeaulait.com/. I told her politely that I did not want to sell anything like that because I felt it made a statement of shame in regards to breastfeeding- not just discretion but that the statement was that the mom should be hiding her breasts to nurse.

She asked some great questions regarding moms who were concerned about nursing publicly and felt they wanted discretion. I do sell mobeleez nursing bonnets for nursing discreetly- but it does not seem the same to me…does not scream- I am hiding my breasts and I am breastfeeding like I feel the bibs do. I encourage women to nurse in public- not in a nasty, germ filled bathroom- and to wear clothing that encourages ease at getting the baby latched on without flashing their breasts. (Although in our state you can flash all you want when nursing in any public place- you do not have to be discreet. We worked hard to make sure the law did not say that since it is so discretionary in what someone feels is discreet.) But… (more…)

There is a misconception that early breastfeeding should hurt and cause cracked and bleeding nipples. IT IS A MISCONCEPTION! A good latch should cause this to never happen. Now one time latching wrong can cause a bit of soreness- but once it is corrected it will diminish greatly. Engorgement is not the same thing.

Engorgement is not only a huge supply of milk- after all your breasts do not know if you have had twins or triplets… but the blood supply increase and the swelling of tissues also adds to the engorgement issues. So for engorgement I encourage nurse often and on demand- but also massage your breasts before nursing- get out any spots that may be considering getting clogged. And fill a large mixing bowl- a metal one is perfect- fill it with very warm water… pour in a handful of salt- table salt, epson or sea salt- mix it with your hand. If the water is too hot for your hand it is too hot- but it needs to be very, very warm. Lean over the counter and put one breast in the water. Massage in a downward motion and soon the water is filled with milk.

This will help with not only engorgement but if you did have a poor latch- it helps heal any sore spots. You can do this several times a day- each breast. And the swollen tissues will appreciate an ice pack on them between nursings.

Okay now latch… I have an acronym BREASTS that I devised to help you with this:

B…bring the baby to the breast
– make sure you are not leaning over- but instead you are leaning back and getting comfy and then you are bringing the baby to you… what came first the baby or the breasts? Never lean over to latch the baby on!

R…remember to velcro the baby on
– belly button toward your belly. You should wear the baby like a bra- feet and legs are tucked into you as well. If you can see the baby’s belly button you are not turning her into you enough.

E…eat a big mac! Point the nipple of the the breast toward the baby’s nose intially. You can stroke the nipple between the nose and the upper lip or across the lip to initially get the baby interested- but for latch purposes have the baby climb up the mountain- like you do when you are eating a big mac sandwich. The baby climbs up the nipple with the bottom lip flanged out- this puts the nipple in the safe spot of the roof of the baby’s mouth- and puts it in deeply so it does not rock back and forth thus creating a blister.

A…allow the baby to open wide… don’t try to finagle the nipple into a small mouth. Babies are imitators- so open your mouth wide- say “open” and then allow the baby to imitate you with a wide open mouth. Then bring them in quickly to latch.

S…support the neck not the head. When you hold onto the baby’s head you are not allowing the head to tilt back- and thus causing the nipple to be driven into the tongue rather than in the safe spot of the roof of the mouth. Create a little neck brace for the baby with either the crook of your arm or with your hand- do not touch the head at all.

T…too late if the baby is crying! It is so much harder to latch a baby on when they are distressed. The first sign they want to nurse is mouthing like a little bird- smacking their lips. Then they begin to mouth their hands. Lastly they cry- so watch for the early signs so as to not have to calm them down before you can nurse them. If they wake with a poopie diaper- nurse one side- then change them and then top them off on the second breast.

S…see the nose not the chin. If the baby is tucked in close- then you should have their head tilted up- tucking the chin in tightly to the breast but allowing the nose to have access to breathing easily. Keep the head tilted back and the body tucked in tightly. Some soreness comes from a baby sliding off to only the nipple and then beginning to vigorously nurse again but this time the nipple is not in the safe spot.

So enjoy the early weeks with your baby while you both learn how to nurse properly. It is well worth the time spent to get the latch correct every time. Plan to spend the first several weeks doing little more than rocking, cuddling, soothing and nursing your new baby. It is well worth if for a lifetime!

Marsha, a nurse and international certified lactation consultant wrote the following article and I wanted to share it- the italics are mine.

At many hospitals they will suggest and perhaps even almost demand that you offer your baby formula. This is probably a great article to print off and take with you to your labor. If it is suggested, perhaps you can help to spread the truth about one bottle of formula and the problems with receiving it.
Many people don’t realize that one bottle of formula can begin a series of problems… read more below

Supplementation of the Breastfed Baby
“Just One Bottle Won’t Hurt”—or Will It?
Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC (Marshalact@aol.com)

*The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of a normal fetus is sterile

*The type of delivery has an effect on the development of the intestinal microbiota
…vaginally born infants are colonized with their mother’s bacteria
…cesarean born infants’ initial exposure is more likely to environmental microbes from the air, other infants, and the nursing staff which serves as vectors for transfer (this is one of the risks of a cesarean birth)

*Babies at highest risk of colonization by undesirable microbes or when transfer from maternal sources cannot occur are cesarean-delivered babies, preterm infants, full term infants requiring intensive care, or infants separated from their mother (again the reason why a vaginal, unmedicated (since it can lead to infant complications), non induced birth is ideal)

*Breastfed and formula-fed infants have different gut flora

*Breastfed babies have a lower gut pH (acidic environment) of approximately 5.1-5.4 throughout the first six weeks that is dominated by bifidobacteria with reduced pathogenic (disease-causing) microbes such as E coli, bacteroides, clostridia, and streptococci (the colostrum and milk of the baby’s mom provide immune building protectants]

*Babies fed formula have a high gut pH of approximately 5.9-7.3 with a variety of putrefactive bacterial species

*In infants fed breast milk and formula supplements the mean pH is approximately 5.7-6.0 during the first four weeks, falling to 5.45 by the sixth week

*When formula supplements are given to breastfed babies during the first seven days of life, the production of a strongly acidic environment is delayed and its full potential may never be reached (formula dilutes the power of the immune building characteristics of breastmilk)

*Breastfed infants who receive supplements develop gut flora and behavior like formula-fed infants

*The neonatal GI tract undergoes rapid growth and maturational change following birth

*Infants have a functionally immature and immunonaive gut at birth

*Tight junctions of the GI mucosa take many weeks to mature and close the gut to whole proteins and pathogens (so adding something foreign like formula can cause issues with digestion)

*Open junctions and immaturity play a role in the acquisition of NEC, diarrheal disease, and allergy (one of the reasons for infants to be hospitalized early in life are due to diarrheal diseases)

*sIgA from colostrum and breast milk coats the gut, passively providing immunity during the time of reduced neonatal gut immune function

*Mothers’ sIgA is antigen specific. The antibodies are targeted against pathogens in the baby’s immediate surroundings

*The mother synthesizes antibodies when she ingests, inhales, or otherwise comes in contact with a disease-causing microbe

*These antibodies ignore useful bacteria normally found in the gut and ward off disease without causing inflammation

*Infant formula should not be given to a breastfed baby before gut closure occurs

*Once dietary supplementation begins, the bacterial profile of breastfed infants resembles that of formula-fed infants in which bifidobacteria are no longer dominant and the development of obligate anaerobic bacterial populations occurs (Mackie, Sghir, Gaskins, 1999)

*Relatively small amounts of formula supplementation of breastfed infants (one supplement per 24 hours) will result in shifts from a breastfed to a formula-fed gut flora pattern (Bullen, Tearle, Stewart, 1977) (so that little bottle due to borderline low blood sugar really does make a difference!)

*The introduction of solid food to the breastfed infant causes a major perturbation in the gut ecosystem, with a rapid rise in the number of enterobacteria and enterococci, followed by a progressive colonization by bacteroides, clostridia, and anaerobic streptococci (Stark & Lee, 1982) (a solid food is anything other than colostrum or breast milk)

*With the introduction of supplementary formula, the gut flora in a breastfed baby becomes almost indistinguishable from normal adult flora within 24 hours (Gerstley, Howell, Nagel, 1932)

*If breast milk were again given exclusively, it would take 2-4 weeks for the intestinal environment to return again to a state favoring the gram-positive flora (Brown & Bosworth, 1922; Gerstley, Howell, Nagel, 1932)

*In susceptible families, breastfed babies can be sensitized to cow’s milk protein by the giving of just one bottle, (inadvertent supplementation, unnecessary supplementation, or planned supplements), in the newborn nursery during the first three days of life (Host, Husby, Osterballe, 1988; Host, 1991)

*Infants at high risk of developing atopic disease has been calculated at 37% if one parent has atopic disease, 62-85% if both parents are affected and dependant on whether the parents have similar or dissimilar clinical disease, and those infants showing elevated levels of IgE in cord blood irrespective of family history (Chandra, 2000)

*In breastfed infants at risk, hypoallergenic formulas can be used to supplement breastfeeding; solid foods should not be introduced until 6 months of age, dairy products delayed until 1 year of age, and the mother should consider eliminating peanuts, tree nuts, cow’s milk, eggs, and fish from her diet (AAP, 2000)

*In susceptible families, early exposure to cow’s milk proteins can increase the risk of the infant or child developing insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) (Mayer et al, 1988; Karjalainen, et al, 1992) (yes one bottle can make the difference in a life long situation)

*Ihe avoidance of cow’s milk protein for the first several months of life may reduce the later development of IDDM or delay its onset in susceptible individuals (AAP, 1994)

*Sensitization and development of immune memory to cow’s milk protein is the initial step in the etiology of IDDM (Kostraba, et al, 1993)
…sensitization can occur with very early exposure to cow’s milk before gut cellular tight junction closure
…sensitization can occur with exposure to cow’s milk during an infection-caused gastrointestinal alteration when the mucosal barrier is compromised allowing antigens to cross and initiate immune reactions
…sensitization can occur if the presence of cow’s milk protein in the gut damages the mucosal barrier, inflames the gut, destroys binding components of cellular junctions, or other early insult with cow’s milk protein leads to sensitization (Savilahti, et al, 1993)

American Academy of Pediatrics, Work Group on Cow’s Milk Protein and Diabetes Mellitus. Infant feeding practices and their possible relationship to the etiology of diabetes mellitus. Pediatrics 1994; 94:752-754
American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition. Hypoallergenic infant formulas. Pediatrics 2000; 106:346-349
Brown EW, Bosworth AW. Studies of infant feeding VI. A bacteriological study of the feces and the food of normal babies receiving breast milk. Am J Dis Child 1922; 23:243
Bullen CL, Tearle PV, Stewart MG. The effect of humanized milks and supplemented breast feeding on the faecal flora of infants. J Med Microbiol 1977; 10:403-413
Chandra RK. Food allergy and nutrition in early life: implications for later health. Proc Nutr Soc 2000; 59:273-277
Gerstley JR, Howell KM, Nagel BR. Some factors influencing the fecal flora of infants. Am J Dis Child 1932; 43:555
Host A, Husby S, Osterballe O. A prospective study of cow’s milk allergy in exclusively breastfed infants. Acta Paediatr Scand 1988; 77:663-670
Host A. Importance of the first meal on the development of cow’s milk allergy and intolerance. Allergy Proc 1991; 10:227-232
Karjalainen J, Martin JM, Knip M, et al. A bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1992; 327:302-307
Kostraba JN, Cruickshanks KJ, Lawler-Heavner J, et al. Early exposure to cow’s milk and solid foods in infancy, genetic predisposition, and risk of IDDM. Diabetes 1993; 42:288-295
Mackie RI, Sghir A, Gaskins HR. Developmental microbial ecology of the neonatal gastrointestinal tract. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 69(Suppl):1035S-1045S
Mayer EJ, Hamman RF, Gay EC, et al. Reduced risk of IDDM among breastfed children. The Colorado IDDM Registry. Diabetes 1988; 37:1625-1632
Savilahti E, Tuomilehto J, Saukkonen TT, et al. Increased levels of cow’s milk and b-lactoglobulin antibodies in young children with newly diagnosed IDDM. Diabetes Care 1993; 16:984-989
Stark PL, Lee A. The microbial ecology of the large bowel of breastfed and formula-fed infants during the first year of life. J Med Microbiol 1982; 15:189-203

This is an article I wrote in 1997

When I give thought to this question, beyond the religious influences that have had a great deal of impact on my family, I believe it is the influence that La Leche League had on me. I became pregnant at the age of 19, just after I was married. The pregnancy was something that did not figure into my plans- a newlywed entering a sophomore year of college. After all, due to severe endometriosis, I was told children would probably not be a part of my future. But all of a sudden, I found my plans turned upside down. At one of my office visits to the OB, it was strongly suggested that I consider Breastfeeding. My family history included both my mother and maternal aunt having had breast cancer, so my doctor felt it favorable for me to breastfeed since evidence was showing the decrease of breast cancer having done so. So, since I had no friends who were pregnant and no background that would support me in this adventure, I sought out the local LLLeague group that was advertised in the brochures at his office. (more…)

I am amazed at the pressure women still feel today regarding nursing an older child. Twenty years ago it was a very hush hush thing, but somehow I thought with more time passing, it would become something that was considered more the norm. I wish people would view the breast as a natural element of comforting a child, as do many other cultures, rather than a sex object.

I guess everyone may have the fears running through their heads when they nurse a toddler. Will they go off to school still nursing?, will they ever wean?, will I make my child overly dependent on me?, will my child be normal- what we really mean is like every other child? I am not sure we come up with these questions on our own, or if these are the questions others place into our minds.

There is something very special about nursing an older child. when an infant nurses, they look very angelic. Nestled in to the breast and dozing on and off. But when there is a toddler sitting in your lap, holding a cookie with one hand and wanting to nurse with that mouth full of cookie, there is some unpleasantness. But with time and tenderness, these can be worked around with a few rules. (more…)