Establishing Breastfeeding to Maintain Milk Supply
Many new mothers worry about breastfeeding their babies. Wondering if you’ll produce enough milk, if your baby will latch on, or if you’ll be able to keep up with your growing bundle of joy’s demands can be a struggle.
Establishing breastfeeding to maintain adequate milk supply can be crucial in making sure you're able to produce enough milk over the course of this journey. It is also beneficial for your baby, who will get all of the nutritious colostrum and have improved digestion and bowel function. Starting early can lead to success down the road and make breastfeeding a beautiful experience for both you and your baby.
Our shop is full of the supplies you need for breastfeeding and pumping success. Items like storage milk pouches, breast milk pump machines, and little milk bottles are made with you and baby in mind, at a great affordable price.
Today, we’re going to give you some helpful tips on how to establish breastfeeding, as well as how to increase milk production through pumping with the help of some of our own products!
How to establish a good supply:
The Cleveland Clinic provides a few helpful tips on how to establish a good milk supply from the beginning.
Nurse your baby.
For the first two to four weeks, try to focus solely on nursing your baby. Not only does this stimulate your breasts to produce more milk, but it also provides your baby with colostrum, or the highly nutritious first milk.
Now, of course, if it is recommended by your healthcare provider to pump, do so! We recommend our breast milk pump machine and milk pouches for moms who are pumping early on.
Try to feed every three hours or on-demand.
The more you feed and empty out your breasts, the more milk you will produce! While every two to three hours is an excellent goal to aim for, look for signs from your baby that they're ready to eat. These could include lip-smacking, searching for your breast, crying, etc.
The average number of feedings per day for newborns is between eight and 12! As long as your baby is happy and healthy, and you’re within the guidelines of your healthcare provider, you’re doing a good job!
Practice skin-to-skin often.
Especially during the first few weeks, skin-to-skin is a vital way of bonding with your baby. Not only does it make breastfeeding better, but it also stimulates brain development for your little one!
Babies who get ample skin-to-skin contact are often calmer than those kept in a swaddle, making the entire nursing process easier.
Even if you have to pump, skin-to-skin is still essential while feeding. Our little milk bottles are an excellent and affordable way to give your baby all of the nutrients they need.
You don't have to stop your baby from nursing and alternate in the middle of a feeding. However, alternating breasts every other feeding (or if they're still hungry after draining the first) is an excellent way to keep both breasts stimulated and producing enough milk.
How to increase your milk production while pumping.
Little Martin’s Drawer has an extensive line of breastfeeding and pumping products to make the experience more comfortable for you and your baby! Here are a few tips to help increase your milk production while pumping.
Pump as often as you can.
Cluster pumping, or pumping every five minutes, is great for repeated stimulation. As we said earlier, the more you feed, the more you will hopefully produce! Your breasts will stop producing milk when they’re full, so pumping often allows for greater milk production.
If you can’t pump more often, extend each pumping session by ten or so minutes.
Pumping after nursing if your breasts still feel full is also a good idea! You can use our milk extractor and store this extra milk in our milk pouches for sale. Our pumps are comfortable, quiet, and discreet and come with a rechargeable battery for easy pumping on the go!
Set daily reminders to pump.
Pack our breast milk pump machine in your bag and set daily reminders to pump throughout the day! Our milk extractors are small and travel-friendly, making them perfect for carrying with you on the go. Use our storage milk pouches to keep your milk safe in the freezer until time for feeding.
It can be easy to forget to pump when you get busy, so setting reminders on your phone will help keep you in your routine.
Make sure your equipment is clean.
Your equipment, especially the tubing, can become full of condensation and get clogged. To make sure your milk extractor is working at its fullest, regularly inspect and clean the pump and all of its parts. Clean and disinfect often to get the most out of each session!
We hope you find these tips and tricks useful for your breastfeeding and pumpkin journey! No matter what, follow your instincts. No one knows yourself and your baby like you do. And make sure to always follow the advice of your health care provider!
Check out our shop at Little Martin’s Drawer for all of your little milk bottles, breast milk pump machine, and milk storage pouch needs.
Remember, you’re doing a great job.
Tips to make breastfeeding more comfortable
Some mothers have never felt any type of pain during breastfeeding; however, most of them experience intense soreness and nipple pain during the first few months of breastfeeding. New mums usually experience transient soreness leading to intense, excruciating pain. If your nipples are not damaged with cracks or blisters, the following breastfeeding tips can help you ease pain and discomfort.
Mastasis or a plugged milk duct can also cause immense pain during breastfeeding. Massage your painful breast and nipple with the vibrator to ease off the pain and pass the clog. If you want to use a lotion or soothing cream, begin by gently placing your fingers around the breast and massage inwards in a circular motion. Each rub on the breast should last for at least a couple of seconds.
Find a comfortable position.
It is essential to be in a comfortable position before you begin to feed your baby. Choose a couch or a sofa with support for your arms and back. Use plenty of pillows to keep your back straight and remain in a comfortable position by bringing the baby towards your breast rather than bending towards him/her. Hunching can cause more discomfort and uneasiness.
When you are breastfeeding, the breasts naturally feel more massive, and you need to support them to avoid a painful session. Once you are in a comfortable position, and your baby is ready to feed, use the palm of your hand to cup your breast. Put the four fingers beneath the breast and the thumb above it. This position is called as the hamburger hold. It not only supports the breast but also allows the baby to latch correctly without causing much pain.
Some moms who cannot bear the discomfort may opt to stop breastfeeding. However, you can continue by pumping the milk out and bottle-feeding it to the baby. In this way, you can seek relief from sore nipples and discomfort and still feed your baby with the best nutrients.
You can use manual Milk extractors or breast milk pump machines to avoid latching, which is quite painful if the nipples are sore.
Mother milk pumps make the whole process comfortable and practical for quick feeding sessions. If you don't feel like putting a lot of effort into manual extraction, pumping machines are easy to use and work quickly.
Reposition without unlatching
If you are trying to reposition your baby to avoid painful breastfeeding, try not to unlatch and reposition by breaking the suction so that relatching will not damage the nipple. Use your fingers to unlatch the nipples while they are still inside your baby's mouth.
Short and frequent feeds
Many mothers find frequent feeding more comfortable than extended ones. It will give you enough time to relax and allow your breast to recover from each feeding session with less strain on the nipples. Frequent feeding also reduces the chances of engorged breasts, which is one of the major causes of painful breasts.
Go for a comfortable nursing bra.
If you are wearing bras that have underwires or those that cannot provide enough support to your breast, it could also lead to painful breastfeeding sessions. Nursing bras not only gives you the ease of access but also provide a lot of support to the sore nipples. Always opt for soft and wireless bras that can be used comfortably at night as well.
Rest and relax
If your nipples are sore and you are uncomfortable to breastfeed, go for a rest period and let them Heal. You can pump the milk and feed it to your baby to prevent engorgement or clogging.
The expressed milk can be used within a few hours, and you can rest for that time. However, make sure to choose the nipples of the bottle, which can mimic the breasts' function and consistency. If you go for the harder and the more extended nipples on the little milk bottles, it will be challenging to get your baby back on the breast once you are feeling well.
Unclog the ducts
Clogged ducts can be a significant cause of pain and discomfort to your breasts. It usually occurs if the mother is breastfeeding for pumping in infrequent patterns. It can clog one or more milk ducts, which will eventually cause pain and uncomfortable breastfeeding. To avoid this, make sure to drain or pump after set periods or massage the affected area enormously to decrease the pain and discomfort.
Change your breastfeeding position.
Sometimes the best way to seek relief from pain and discomfort is in changing positions. Try experimenting with different breastfeeding positions and find the one that is most comfortable for your baby and yourself. Most mothers find the cradle position to be the most comfortable where the mother will sit down and support the baby show the lower arm. You can try other positions such as on the pillow, babysitting, knave, and sling etc.
McClellan, H. L., Hepworth, A. R., Garbin, C. P., Rowan, M. K., Deacon, J., Hartmann, P. E., & Geddes, D. T. (2012). Nipple pain during breastfeeding with or without visible trauma. Journal of Human Lactation, 28(4), 511-521.
Brimdyr, K., Blair, A., Cadwell, K., & Turner-Maffei, C. (2003). The relationship between positioning, the breastfeeding dynamic, the latching process and pain in breastfeeding mothers with sore nipples. Breastfeeding review, 11(2), 5.
Hill, P. D., & Humenick, S. S. (1993). Nipple pain during breastfeeding: The first two weeks and beyond. The Journal of Perinatal Education, 2(2), 21-35.
Britto, J. J. (2004). U.S. Patent No. 6,673,036. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Managing Blocked Milk Ducts and Treating Mastitis
Blocked milk ducts are a common subject that many breastfeeding women have faced for millennia.
No doubt breastfeeding has its benefits, but it does come with some challenges and difficulties as well. Blocked milk ducts, milk blebs, and Mastitis are among such breastfeeding trails.
This condition occurs due to the obstruction in milk ducts.
The milk starts to gather up behind the blockage. Eventually, lumps are formed due to the accumulation of pressure inside the duct. These lumps are often quite painful and reddened.
Let's have a closer look at the causes behind clogged milk ducts so that new Mummies can have a better idea.
Causes of blocked milk ducts
- Breast Puffiness.Breast engorgements or puffiness often occurs when Mummies don’t breastfeed their babies enough. In such situations, the breast milk accumulates in the breast and sabot the milk ducts.
Breast puffins can also happen when your neonate starts to sleep through the night and don't feed.
- Blisters. Blisters or blebs are the worst. They choke up the milk duct openings causing the milk to jam up and trapped in the narrow passages. These passages let the milk flow from where it is produced inside the breast towards the nipple.
- Extra compression on the breast. Sometimes the only problem is the bra. Yes, you have read it right. The extra pressure on the breast due to bra can also lead to clogged milk ducts. This is because of the underwire in the bra or wearing a bra that is way too tight. They cause pressure on the breast tissue and cause clogged milk ducts.
Avoid wearing or carrying anything which can cause a burden on the breast to prevent such complications.
- Weariness or fatigue leads to the blockage of milk ducts as well. Not to forget dehydration. Stay hydrated to ward off fatigue and plugged milk ducts.
- Exercise: Stop doing the upper body exercises right away. We all know practice is good for our health and provide incalculable benefits, but sometimes it goes the other way around. Vigorous exercising can result in plugged ducts also.
- Detaching your baby too early from breastfeeding will affect not only the health of your baby but also yours in the form of plugged milk ducts.
Tips to unblock the blocked ducts.
You will get a plethora of tips for the unblocking of clogged ducts. But do you think they are authentic, or will they work? Don't worry; we have got your back.
Ahead you will get some real tips to unblock the clogged ducts.
Let’s get started
- Use Milk Pumping machines. Using the milk pumping machine is a skill worth having. You might get difficulty, especially if you aren’t used to it and using it for the very first time in your life. Just be patient and let the milk extractor do its magic.
- Drain your breast completely. The problem of plugged milk ducts arises the moment mommies wean off their babies, or the babies stop feeding when there still is milk inside breasts. This left-over milk causes the clogging of milk ducts. The best and effective way is to use a milk extractor. The milk pumping machine helps in draining the milk completely from your breast. You will get a variety of milk extractors The fun part is electric milk pumps come in various colors like blue (for baby boys) and pink (for baby girls).
- Use a heating pad. Apart from using electric milk pumps, you can also use the heating pads. Get your hand on warm pads and apply it for at least 25 minutes. If you are unable to find these pads, take a shower with warm water. It will also unclog the ducts.
- Switch positions while breastfeeding. You are using electric milk pumps very well. But there is another tip that will help you drain the breast's milk, which is switching positions while breastfeeding. Ensure that while feeding, the baby's nose or chin points towards the clogged milk duct. In this way, the milk will release, and in due course, the duct will be drained off completely.
- Massage. Massaging the duct will also help. If you want significant results, try massaging during warm showers. Massage the clog by starting above and pushing downward and external the nipple.
- Avoid popping the clog. Pinching or popping isn’t a possible treatment in any way. Doing so will enhance the complications and nothing else. Instead of popping the clog, use a breast milk pump machine because these gears surely know better than you to unclog the ducts.
- Use double mother milk pumps.If your baby isn't stuck to feeding on a single breast and often changes sites, use the double breast pumps. This double breast milk pump machine removes the blockage from both breasts. It will drain the breast thoroughly that your little one otherwise won't be able to do.
Another significant fact about mother milk pumps is that you can carry them anywhere with you. Also, the breast milk pump machines come with a rechargeable battery. So, if you are traveling, you can quickly recharge and use them.
Still, if the signs and symptoms of clogged milk ducts persist, consult your doctor right away because long-term lockage in milk ducts will lead to Mastitis.
Mastitis, treatment, and diagnosis.
When the blocked milk ducts are left untreated, followed by severe redness, that’s when you have Mastitis.
Biologically speaking, it is an inflammation of the breast tissue that usually entails infection. This redness causes breast pain, swelling, and warmth. Many women experience chills and fever alongside.
The typical victims of this condition are breastfeeding women. But the chances are that it occurs in men and also in women before breastfeeding.
There are many causes of Mastitis, but the most common ones have blocked milk ducts and bacterial infections.
- Bacteria is present all over our body. During breastfeeding, it comes straight from the mouth of your little one.
These bacteria then make their way toward the milk duct through a crack in the nipple's skin or another milk duct opening.
The motionless milk in the breast is a treat for bacteria as it feeds on it and grow its generation in such an environment.
- Blocked milk ducts. Ensure that the milk duct is emptied after breastfeeding. But sometimes your little one can't drain the ducts thoroughly. That is when the blockage of ducts happens and causes the milk to back up, causing infection.
Your doctor will do a physical examination after knowing the signs and symptoms.
Breast milk culture is usually taken from the patient. This method of diagnosing Mastitis helps the medic in finding out the best antibiotic medicine for the patient.
Often time mastitis is confused with a rare form of breast cancer that is the inflammatory breast cancer. To avoid any misperceptions, patients are suggested ultrasound or mammogram.
If the redness still is present after treatment, a biopsy is done.
Usually, Mastitis is treated through antibiotics and pain relievers.
- To eliminate the infection, a 10-13 days course of antibiotics required. Many patients left the system halfway. It is essential to take the medications through the prescribed time to eliminate the infection and suppress its chances of relapse.
Consult your doctor if the Mastitis is still there after medication.
- Pain relief medicines. Mastitis is followed by pain and redness. To lessen the problem, your medic will prescribe you medicines such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen.
The positive news is that you can breastfeed while having Mastitis. Breastfeeding is the best way to eradicate the infection. Many women stop feeding their babies because they fear that the disease will be transferred to the baby, which is the wrong concept. Doing so will only worsen the condition. That's it.
You can follow the following breastfeeding techniques to breastfeed your little one;
- Ensure that your baby grips on correctly. This technique might b challenging to follow, especially when you have a puffy breast.
- Extracting a little amount of milk by hand will also help beforehand.
- Ensure the breast evacuates while feeding. If you experience any difficulty in draining the breast, use mother milk pumps, or apply a warm pad to your breast before breastfeeding.
- Massaging is another way to treat Mastitis and blocked milk ducts.
- Try to breastfeed your little one from the infected side. This will help because when your neonate is famished, he/she will suck more strongly.
- Change your breastfeeding positions often.
- Prevent yourself from extended overfilling of breasts with milk before breastfeeding.
- After you are done breastfeeding your baby, apply small ice packs to your breast.
- Wear a bra that is not too tight but is supportive.
- Rest as much as you possibly can
- Finally, don't overthink Mastitis and blocked duct because as long as you have this blog post, there is nothing to worry about.
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Plugged milk ducts.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Clogged milk ducts.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding Your Baby
With all the customary affiliations attached to the lactation of your child with your own milk, either by your breasts or through a milk pumping machine, the benefits of breastfeeding are beyond measure. Keep on reading to find out some highlighted benefits of breastfeeding your baby.
- Gives Overall Better Nutrition
Mother’s milk is filled with nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are going to provide the baby with all the nutritional resources it needs to develop into a physically and mentally healthy individual. Scientific studies have revealed that those individuals who were breastfed in their early stages of life have a considerably lower prevalence rate of stunting, wasting, and other nutritional disorders in their lives. Especially, the colostrum – first output of lactation – is exemplary in nutrition provision for the child and therefore, must be given to the newborn with no doubts.
- Develops a Deeper Bond between the Mother and Child
Psychologically speaking, the contact between the mother and the child during breastfeeding forms a strong foundation of motherhood. The child feels closer to their mother, and the mother forms a strong sense of love and compassion for her baby, which is vital for the nourishment of her child. There's nothing more natural and effective than bringing the two closer than breastfeeding in that relation. Therefore, many psychologists suggest mothers dealing with Postpartum Depression and Baby Blues to do breastfeeding as it helps in improving the relationship between the two and releases more oxytocin in the process, which is vital for fighting signs of depression.
- Helps Build Immunity
The mother’s milk is filled with antibodies that are essential for the prevention against a number of viral and bacterial diseases. As newborns do not come with any in-built immunity with them, the mother’s milk comes as a great opportunity to develop that natural resistance against a plethora of contagious diseases – something to which young babies are highly susceptible. For that matter, breastfeeding either directly or through a milk pumping machine like an electric milk pump can be helpful for the newborn child. Moreover, the vast amount of iron and vitamin A in the milk of the mother is sufficient for the baby's daily requirement for the nutrients and helps in developing a strong immunity against different diseases.
- Helps in Providing Sufficient Warmth
You can help your baby get the right temperature support through making skin contact while you breastfeed. The mother's own body temperature is sufficient to provide enough warmth. A baby needs to feel comfortable and be protected against catching a cold, especially in the winter season. It is advised to all new mothers to have optimum skin-to-skin contact with the baby, especially in the first six months of the baby's life, so that the child can get the optimum temperature support from another human contact. This stabilizes the child's own body temperature, which is vital for survival.
- Saves Money
No substitute for breast milk is cheaper than the breast milk itself. Be it a cow's milk, buffalo's milk, goat milk, or supplemental milk from the market; there will always be a financial liability attached to the products. There is no such stress when it comes to breast milk and breastfeeding. Simply initiate the latching process through adjusting the baby's mouth, and within a short time, your baby will learn how to suck the milk out of your nipples. If you find it difficult to initiate the process naturally or there is an issue that makes it hard for you to breastfeed your baby, you can always use an electric milk pump to resolve the problem.
- Improves Mother’s Health
If you think that breastfeeding is only beneficial for your child's health, then think again as science proves to breastfeed to be healthy for the mother as well. When you are breastfeeding your child, your natural hormone system remains in balance, and there is no issue related to clogged lymph ducts. What is being produced is getting cycled well by nature which puts your body working in a balanced path. Any disturbance in that cycle will disturb your inner biology as well, resulting in a number of problems like mood swings and engorged painful breasts. However, these issues are solvable if you find out other ways to extract your breast milk.
Ways to Extract Mother’s Milk
If by any reason, you are unable to directly breastfeed your baby, you can still choose to give your child your milk, so your health, as well as your baby's health, do not go compromised.
- Double Pump Extractor
The discreet and quiet double pump extractor from Little Martin’s Drawer comes with a wireless technology and BPA-free nipples that allow you to breastfeed safely and comfortably.
- Single Pump Extractor
The Single Pump Extractor from Little Martin’s Drawer is an innovative product that is ideal for working moms and moms with biological issues unable to breastfeed their babies directly. The wireless system and quiet performance add to the functionality of the milk extractor. It also functions to improve milk flow to the breasts, which is equally helpful for the baby and the mother.
- Milk Bottle
With the help of little milk bottles from Little Martin’s Drawer (each 150ml), one can store her breast milk extracted through the milk extractor easily in a safe utensil. The nipples rightly mimic the natural nipples of the mother with their silicone nature and therefore provide an easy transition between the two.
- Storage Bags
Made from durable and leak-proof plastic, these storage bags from Little Martin’s Drawer are pre-sterilized and are ready for use. You won’t have to make any extra preparations when you are pumping out your milk through an electric milk pump this way. The double zipper seal in the milk pouch for sale enables safe and leak-proof storage in both freezer and refrigerators.
Breastfeeding is one of the most sacred gifts of nature, and therefore it must be cherished by all mothers of newborns as it comes with a lot of benefits.
- Krause and Mahan's Food & the Nutrition Care Process, 15th Edition
Common Breastfeeding Problems and Solutions
Breastfeeding is meant to be a pleasurable, fulfilling experience for both a mother and her baby, but it can sometimes become uncomfortable or painful due to a number of common problems new mothers, or even those with experience, run into.