Love Me Some Jack Newman

I attended the 2014 CAPPA conference this year and got to hear one of my favorite speakers. I have heard him speak several time over my birth career and I never tire of hearing him speak. I love his humor, hit wit and his wisdom! So, I thought I would just give you some of his quips from the two sessions I attended this year.

jack newman

  • You can tell a baby is sucking and getting milk by watching for his suck, suck, pause and swallow action. It should be a long pause.
  • Breast compressions should occur during sucking.
  • He hates nursing shields. He said he feels they should be banned altogether. Whatever is being attempted to be fixed, there is a better way!
  • When nursing push the baby’s bum in tight.
  • Never should it be routine to just nurse the baby on one side at a time.
  • Moms have more milk in the morning than later in the day. What works in the morning may not work in the evening.
  • The amount of milk a mother produces is genetically determined- but if we leave her alone, she produces beautifully.
  • The breast crawl is super important and we need to stop helping moms latch a baby on and let the dyad figure it out without interference.
  • Problems with breastfeeding are cummulative… one thing leads to the next problem.
  • Take the multiple blankets off of the baby!
  • A baby who is too warm will be too sleepy.
  • If a mom gets rock hard engorgement, the baby is not feeding well!
  • Breastfeeding is not for only “perfect” babies.
  • When a baby is nursing from a nipple shield it is not nursing at all!
  • The nipple shield decreases milk supply because a baby is not latched on when using a nipple shield, it doesn’t stimulate milk ejection properly, but, at the same time depends on milk ejection reflexes.
  • There is no such thing as a flat nipple- it can pull out with some effort.
  • Reflux is normal, GERD is not normal. Docs are treating a normal reflux as if it is GERD.
  • Mirena IUDs, Depo and mini birth control pills can reduce milk supplies… not in all women but it is a strong possibility that women should be told about.
  • Babies don’t suck out milk- mothers transfers the milk and the baby stimulates the let down reflex.
  • We need to stop speculating on a mom’s milk supply based on what is produced from pumping.
  • The breastfed baby is the norm so we need to stop referring to formula fed babies as the norm!
  • Scales are inaccurate- you can weigh a baby on one scale and the next one shows a huge difference- quit looking at the scale- look at the baby!
  • We live in a bottle feeding culture and we assume that if the mother’s nipples don’t look like a bottle nipple, the nipples are flat.
  • Because so many women get so much IV fluid during labor, birth and even after, some women get swollen nipples and areolas that look flat.
  • A baby who feeds well will let the mother know when he’s ready to feed again.
  • The mechanization of breastfeeding will cause more and more mothers to abandon breastfeeding.
  • Babies learn to breastfeed by breastfeeding.
  • Mothers learn to breastfeed by breastfeeding.
  • The baby won’t refuse the breast.
  • There is more to breastfeeding then breastmilk.
  • Weighings mean nothing since nobody knows what the baby is really supposed to be getting from the breast.
  • We complicate breastfeeding.
  • Everyone feels like they have to fit in a box. Babies and moms are all different!
  • Throw the charts away!
  • Many physicians seem to believe that only babies on the 50th percentile or higher are normal.
  • Measuring without understand is meaningless and leads only to trouble and inappropriate interventions or lack of interventions when necessary.

I teach breastfeeding classes. I feel like just like childbirth classes where  we have to “unteach” all the junk moms and dads have come to believe or fear, it is the same in the breastfeeding class. We have complicated it so much. Give the mom her baby- -skin to skin at birth. Leave them alone to figure out how to nurse in the first hours after birth. Keep them together. Expose moms to the model of good breastfeeding by attending LLL meetings and being around women who are not all covered up! Keep the mom and baby together in the first month- without interventions and separation. Her job is to nurse the baby when the baby is awake. Don’t look at the clock. Is the baby transferring milk with those sucks and deep paused swallows? Count how often the baby nurses- not how frequently or how long. Eight to twelve nursings a day- real feeds is what is needed. Babies will do that usually on their own if interventions have not occurred to separate them. Take care of the mom so she can nurse her baby. It really is that easy for most moms and babies!