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Looking for Support? We got you, Mama!

Posted by Latched Mama on

At Latched Mama, our team is made up of a group of moms, doulas (professionally trained childbirth and postpartum educators that empower and support mothers who are pregnant, in labor, or have recently given birth), and certified lactation counselors (CLCs, or better yet - infant feeding specialists!) that are here to help you with any question you may have about birthing, babies, boobs, or parenting! To say the least...it is our passion to connect with and empower all mamas!

Whether you’re a 1st or 5th-time mama, it can also be so hard navigating this new and exciting change in your life...it is an amazing and filled with lots of happiness, but it is also exhausting, frustrating at times, and even isolating. We've been there and can definitely relate!

No matter where you live, it takes a village to raise a child and we’re here to catch you when you feel like you’re falling. It’s our job as a community to build each other up and help you grow into the strong, confident mama you are!!

Please, reach out to us so that we can support you:

You've got this, and we've got you! You are doing great, Mama!

Breastfeeding Support

  • Breastfeeding Basics Guide
  • Back To Work Guide
  • The Next Phase Of Breastfeeding

Just because breastfeeding is natural doesn't mean it's always easy. 


After all, it's a brand new skill set that you and your baby are learning together!

But thankfully, you don’t have to navigate this sometimes challenging experience alone.


Breastfeeding support is available, and with a little time, grace, and patience, 

you can level up your latch and nurse like a pro!


Benefits For Baby

  • Breast milk is truly magical. Breast milk adapts to meet your baby’s nutritional needs (even changing from day to night!), is easily digestible, promotes good gut health, and enhances brain development. Breastfeeding can also reduce the incidence of infections, allergies, SIDS, as well as diseases such as diabetes, asthma, leukemia, and multiple sclerosis. Plus, it’s sweet and babies like it!

Benefits For Mom

  • Breastfeeding isn’t just good for your baby--it’s good for you, too. It reduces postpartum blood loss and helps your uterus shrink to its normal size faster. Breastfeeding reduces your risk of ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer. It is also virtually free, so it can be good for your family budget, too!

Getting Started

Breastfeeding is natural, but a learned skill for both you and your sweet nursling. You can encourage a good start in the first few hours and days by holding your baby skin-to-skin. 
  • This helps with early latch, improving milk supply.
  • Regulating baby’s temperature.
  • Helps mama and baby relax.
  • You may even get to watch your baby crawl toward your breast and make their first latch!  

Your first milk, colostrum, is a syrupy fluid that is packed with nutrients and antibodies for your baby’s first few days.
  • You may only produce an ounce of this “liquid gold”, but that’s all your baby needs in the beginning. After a few days, your body will make transitional milk, then finally mature milk after about a week. 

As your mama may have told you, it’s important to surround yourself with good friends. As you and your little one are learning to work together as a team, look for friends, an in-person or online support group, along with a lactation counselor to encourage and assist you with breastfeeding.

Feeding Cues

When is it time to feed your little one? They will tell you!
  • Early feeding cues can be licking/smacking lips, sucking/making sucking sounds, opening and closing their mouth, and licking or sucking on their hands, toys or anything nearby. This is the best time to nurse--before they is too hungry or worked up...babies often show these signs as they are waking up from a nap.
  • If you miss early cues, don’t worry. Keep your eye out for active cues such as fidgeting/squirming, rooting around on your chest, trying to position themselves for nursing, crying, or rapid breathing. If they are showing late hunger cues, such as moving their head back and forth or crying, make sure to calm them first, maybe with some skin-to-skin, before attempting to put him to the breast. You’ve got this, mama! (Lilah graphic--on demand)

Should you wake a sleepy newborn baby to feed?
  •  Newborns (0-2 months) are often very sleepy, but should be woken to feed at least every 2 hours during the day (that's 12 times in a 24 hour day), and at least once at night until a healthy weight gain pattern is established. You can try removing some clothing or tickling toes to wake him.

Feeding Positions

When you start to nurse your babe, make sure that you are comfortable, that she is tummy-to-tummy or chest-to-breast with her hips flexed. Her shoulders and hips should be aligned. Then, have fun trying these different positions to see which you both like!

Cross-Cradle 
  • Ideal for early breastfeeding, when you are learning.
  • Bring baby across your mid-section, tummy-to-tummy.
  • Hold baby in crook of your arm, opposite the breast you’re feeding from.
  • Support baby’s head, cradle close to your breast.
  • Sit up straight, don’t bend over or lean forward.

Cradle
  • Similar to cross-cradle, but baby’s head is supported in the crook of the arm nearest to the breast you’re feeding from.
  • May be better for mamas with carpal tunnel; reduces wrist strain.

Football/Clutch
  • Good for post-c-section mamas or mamas with larger breasts.
  • Good for tandem feeding/feeding twins.
  • Hold baby beside you, with bent elbow.
  • Cradle baby’s head in that same hand and face them toward the breast. Their back will lie on your forearm.

Side-Lying
  • Good for post-c-section or night nursing.
  • Lie on your side and face baby toward your breast.
  • Support baby with your free hand to bring them close.

Laid-Back
  • Lie in a semi-reclined position as baby lies against your body.
  • Good for oversupply or a strong let-down because baby is working against gravity and can freely move his head.

What Makes a successful breastfeeding session?

A Good Latch
The best way to make sure your baby is getting enough milk is to ensure she has a good latch. It may take several days or weeks to get the hang of it, but you two will figure it out together! 

Here are some things to check:
  • Baby’s nose opposite your nipple to start
  • Baby’ mouth wide open (140 degree angle) and head tilted back
  • Baby’s bottom lip and tongue reach the breast first. The nipple fills the upper half of her mouth
  • Asymmetrical latch with more of the lower part of the breast drawn in
  • Tip of nose and chin touch the breast during feeding
  • Top and bottom lip is sealed around breast and lips are flanged out
  • Rounded cheek line (not like she is sucking through a straw)
  • Baby’s jaw moving in a rocking motion rather than a chomping/biting motion
  • Her arms are free to encircle or even massage your breast
  • If things don’t feel right, simply place your pinky finger in the corner of her mouth to break the seal and start again.

A Satisfied Baby
  • You will know when your nursling is done eating when he removes himself from the breast and his hands and body are relaxed. Such a sweet moment!
  • Also, look for an average weight gain of about 5-7 oz/week, 3+ wet diapers and 3+ loose, yellow stools/day after day 4. 

A Comfortable Mama
  • Sit in a comfortable position and relax!
  • Be careful not to lean over, adding stress to your back...because the amount of nursing you will do in the first few weeks will feel like a new workout routine to your body.
  • While you may notice some nipple soreness or cracking in the beginning, breastfeeding should not be painful, and your nipples should look the same before and after a feeding. Think of it like this...your nipples are learning this new action that is performing over and over again. When you do something repetitively, your body feels sore before healing or getting used to the activity. Like writing a long story that makes your fingers cramp up or doing the same workout every day. Your body is getting used to this new 'job' it is performing. 
  • Plus, breastfeeding releases oxytocin, the “love hormone” so you will still feel very tired, but relaxed!

Am I making enough milk?

  • While this is a common concern, on average, your baby only drinks 67% of the milk your body makes. Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for about 10-12 nursing sessions within a 24 hour period. You CAN’T nurse too much, but you CAN nurse too little.
  • Maybe you’ve heard that milk production operates based on supply and demand? To ensure ample milk production, the key is to remove more milk from the breast with short, frequent feeds so that less milk accumulates in the breast between feedings. Milk production slows when milk accumulates in the breast and speeds up when the breast is emptied.

How much milk does my baby need?

  • Since breast milk digests quickly and babies’ bellies are tiny, breastfed babies eat small, frequent meals. By one month old, most babies are satisfied with 25-35 ounces of milk over a 24 hour period.Your body is amazing and it will adjust to your baby’s needs!
  • Every baby’s feeding pattern is unique and changes as they grow. Nursing several times over a short period or cluster feeding is normal and most commonly occurs in the evenings.  Be flexible, don’t watch the clock, but watch for your nursling’s feeding cues instead.
  • You may find that your baby’s feeding pattern changes and suddenly he wants to nurse longer and more frequently for a few days. This is called a growth spurt and often seems to happen around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months.  He is doing exactly what he’s supposed to do to meet his growing needs--smart baby!

Does breastfeeding hurt?

  • Nipple pain or cracking can be normal in the early days of breastfeeding. Pain that is normal will last no longer than 30 seconds into a feeding, and should subside within the first week of breastfeeding. There should be no physical damage to the nipples and they should never be flattened, creased, or pinched.
  • The first thing to do when experiencing nipple soreness is to check your latch to make sure an improper latch is not the cause.
  • One of the best ways to treat sore nipples is with your own breast milk! The healing properties of breastmilk go a long way. Rub a little on your nipples and allow them to air dry. Try not to use any manufactured products--remember, whatever is on your nipples will end up in your baby’s mouth! Make sure to change your breast pads often to keep your nipples dry.

How do I deal with engorgement?

  • It is normal for your breasts to feel larger, heavy, warm, and uncomfortable when your milk comes in. This typically occurs 2-5 days after birth and is commonly known as engorgement. In the early days, you may make more milk than your baby needs. You may leak and feel very “full.” It won’t last forever and your supply will adjust!
  • One way to relieve the pain that comes from engorgement in the early days is by applying reverse compression. Using two fingers, apply pressure at the base of your areola and apply pressure back toward the chest wall. This will pull some of the milk away from the sensitive nipple/areola area and relieve some pressure!
  • Another method that may be helpful is to get into the shower and face the water, allowing the warm water to hit your breasts. Once the milk starts to leak from your breasts, hop out of the shower and nurse your baby! Also, some mamas feel that a cold compress is helpful in reducing swelling and pain.


What are clogged milk ducts?

Sometimes mamas occasionally get a clogged duct that can feel like a small lump that is hot, tender, or reddened at the site. Even if it’s painful, do NOT decrease nursing from that breast! Milk removal will be key to resolving the clog. Try to nurse at least every two hours. Make sure your bra isn’t too tight so that your milk can flow freely. Use a warm compress before nursing, and massage the clogged area gently to loosen it. A nice hot shower, with the warm water hitting your breasts will help! Allow the water to hit your breasts until the milk starts flowing, then nurse your baby immediately. Try to begin nursing on the affected breast first, as baby’s suction will be stronger on the first side and more likely to effectively clear the clog.

What is mastitis?

Mastitis symptoms can be very similar to those of a clogged duct, but usually are more intense. There may be noticeable red streaks across the affected breast, and you may run a fever of 101.3 or greater. You may experience body aches and chills, similar to the flu. If you think you have mastitis, rest and fluids are key. Nurse as often as possible! Be sure to contact your healthcare provider, as mastitis can sometimes require antibiotics.

How do I increase my milk production?

  • Before you worry about increasing your milk supply, make sure that it is needed. Many mamas feel that their supply is low, when in reality they are doing just fine! If your baby is growing normally and gaining weight well, then you do not have an issue with supply. Feeling like your breasts are “empty,” the way your baby acts in between feedings, and not feeling a let-down are not reasons to be concerned about supply. Also, the amount of milk you pump is not equal to the amount of milk your little nursling can express. Don’t panic if your pumping sessions are less than stellar!
  • If your baby is not having an adequate number of wet and dirty diapers, or if their growth is not what it should be, you may need to work on increasing your supply. You should stay in close contact with your pediatrician and you may want to contact a certified lactation consultant. 
  • Milk supply operates on the principle of supply and demand, so generally the more often you put baby to breast, the more milk you will make! You cannot increase your milk production by drinking more fluids or eating certain foods. Make sure your little one’s latch is good, that they are removing milk efficiently, and allow them to nurse as often as possible. Offer both breasts at each feeding, allowing your baby to finish with the first breast, then offering the second. The more stimulation, the better! Adding a pumping session between feedings for extra stimulation can also be very helpful, but try not to stress out about it.
  • Power pumping can be a good option to jump-start an increase in supply. To try this method, pump 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off, until you reach a total of 20 minutes pumping on both sides. Repeat this 1-2 times a day for 2-3 days and you should see a bump in supply!


When should I introduce a bottle or pacifier?

  • It is up to you whether you introduce a pacifier or bottle, but it isn’t recommended until breastfeeding is well established, generally after 3-4 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding.
  • When introducing the bottle, feed based on cues rather than a schedule, and paced bottle feeding is recommended. This is similar to the breastfeeding experience because it mimics your let-down patterns, encourages the baby to be in charge of the feeding, and lengthens the time of the feeding to allow your babe to recognize satiety. There are several great paced bottle feeding videos on YouTube.

Pumping, Cleaning and Breastmilk Storage

After breastfeeding is well established, you may decide to introduce a breast pump to your routine. Some mamas never use a pump and some use one every day--this is up to you and your situation! 

Here are some reasons that you might decide to pump your breastmilk:
  • You must leave your baby for work or travel or an extended period of time.
  • You’re trying to build or rebuild your milk supply.
  • You’re having a medical procedure that requires you to take medication that’s unsafe for your baby (you can maintain your milk supply while on the medication, but in this case you wouldn’t save the milk.)
  • Or, it simply works better for you and your family.

*Electric double breast pumps are efficient and effective and are often available through your health insurance. 

You might want to try these ideas to help your milk flow more freely:
  • Find a private space that is free from distractions.
  • Before pumping, wash your hands and then gently massage your breasts from chest toward areola to simulate the sensation of a let-down.
  • Develop a pumping ritual to relax you such as listening to music or having a cup of tea.
  • Imagine nursing your baby or look at pictures of your little one and visualize your milk flowing.

You may not realize it, but there are several different sizes of breast shields or flanges. Proper fit is important for comfort and efficiency. Flanges that are too small or too large can cause discomfort, a milk bleb, low milk expression, redness, or plugged ducts.

Some pumps offer varying levels of suction. Only use enough suction to help milk flow well. Too much suction can cause tissue damage or nipple soreness. Faster and stronger is not always better in this case!



You may not realize it, but there are several different sizes of breast shields or flanges. Proper fit is important for comfort and efficiency. Flanges that are too small or too large can cause discomfort, a milk bleb, low milk expression, redness, or plugged ducts.
  • Some pumps offer varying levels of suction. Only use enough suction to help milk flow well. Too much suction can cause tissue damage or nipple soreness. Faster and stronger is not always better in this case!

CLEANING GUIDELINES

Cleaning by Hand:
  • After each session, disassemble and inspect the parts of your pump.
  • Rinse any parts that come in contact with breastmilk, and place them in a wash basin (preferably one that is only used for pump parts and bottles!) with hot, soapy water. 
  • Scrub the parts according to the manufacturer’s guidelines (check your instruction manual!), then rinse under running water or in a separate wash basin. 
  • Lay them on a clean, unused dish towel or a paper towel to dry. Do not rub or pat them dry. 
  • Make sure to clean your wash basin so that it is ready for the next time you pump!

Clean in the Dishwasher:
  • If your pump parts are dishwasher-safe, make sure to disassemble the parts and place small parts in a basket or mesh laundry bag before putting them in the dishwasher. 
  • Use hot water and a heated drying cycle, or the “sanitize” setting on the dishwasher. This will help make sure to kill as many germs as possible! 
  • If your parts are not completely dry when you remove them from the dishwasher, place them on a clean towel or paper towel and allow them to air dry completely before putting them away.

Just because breastfeeding is natural doesn't mean it's always easy. 


After all, it's a brand new skill set that you and your baby are learning together!

But thankfully, you don’t have to navigate this sometimes challenging experience alone.


Breastfeeding support is available, and with a little time, grace, and patience, 

you can level up your latch and nurse like a pro!


Benefits For Baby

  • Breast milk is truly magical. Breast milk adapts to meet your baby’s nutritional needs (even changing from day to night!), is easily digestible, promotes good gut health, and enhances brain development. Breastfeeding can also reduce the incidence of infections, allergies, SIDS, as well as diseases such as diabetes, asthma, leukemia, and multiple sclerosis. Plus, it’s sweet and babies like it!

Benefits For Mom

  • Breastfeeding isn’t just good for your baby--it’s good for you, too. It reduces postpartum blood loss and helps your uterus shrink to its normal size faster. Breastfeeding reduces your risk of ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer. It is also virtually free, so it can be good for your family budget, too!

Getting Started

Breastfeeding is natural, but a learned skill for both you and your sweet nursling. You can encourage a good start in the first few hours and days by holding your baby skin-to-skin. 
  • This helps with early latch, improving milk supply.
  • Regulating baby’s temperature.
  • Helps mama and baby relax.
  • You may even get to watch your baby crawl toward your breast and make their first latch!  

Your first milk, colostrum, is a syrupy fluid that is packed with nutrients and antibodies for your baby’s first few days.
  • You may only produce an ounce of this “liquid gold”, but that’s all your baby needs in the beginning. After a few days, your body will make transitional milk, then finally mature milk after about a week. 

As your mama may have told you, it’s important to surround yourself with good friends. As you and your little one are learning to work together as a team, look for friends, an in-person or online support group, along with a lactation counselor to encourage and assist you with breastfeeding.

Feeding Cues

When is it time to feed your little one? They will tell you!
  • Early feeding cues can be licking/smacking lips, sucking/making sucking sounds, opening and closing their mouth, and licking or sucking on their hands, toys or anything nearby. This is the best time to nurse--before they is too hungry or worked up...babies often show these signs as they are waking up from a nap.
  • If you miss early cues, don’t worry. Keep your eye out for active cues such as fidgeting/squirming, rooting around on your chest, trying to position themselves for nursing, crying, or rapid breathing. If they are showing late hunger cues, such as moving their head back and forth or crying, make sure to calm them first, maybe with some skin-to-skin, before attempting to put him to the breast. You’ve got this, mama! (Lilah graphic--on demand)

Should you wake a sleepy newborn baby to feed?
  •  Newborns (0-2 months) are often very sleepy, but should be woken to feed at least every 2 hours during the day (that's 12 times in a 24 hour day), and at least once at night until a healthy weight gain pattern is established. You can try removing some clothing or tickling toes to wake him.

Feeding Positions

When you start to nurse your babe, make sure that you are comfortable, that she is tummy-to-tummy or chest-to-breast with her hips flexed. Her shoulders and hips should be aligned. Then, have fun trying these different positions to see which you both like!

Cross-Cradle 
  • Ideal for early breastfeeding, when you are learning.
  • Bring baby across your mid-section, tummy-to-tummy.
  • Hold baby in crook of your arm, opposite the breast you’re feeding from.
  • Support baby’s head, cradle close to your breast.
  • Sit up straight, don’t bend over or lean forward.

Cradle
  • Similar to cross-cradle, but baby’s head is supported in the crook of the arm nearest to the breast you’re feeding from.
  • May be better for mamas with carpal tunnel; reduces wrist strain.

Football/Clutch
  • Good for post-c-section mamas or mamas with larger breasts.
  • Good for tandem feeding/feeding twins.
  • Hold baby beside you, with bent elbow.
  • Cradle baby’s head in that same hand and face them toward the breast. Their back will lie on your forearm.

Side-Lying
  • Good for post-c-section or night nursing.
  • Lie on your side and face baby toward your breast.
  • Support baby with your free hand to bring them close.

Laid-Back
  • Lie in a semi-reclined position as baby lies against your body.
  • Good for oversupply or a strong let-down because baby is working against gravity and can freely move his head.

What Makes a successful breastfeeding session?

A Good Latch
The best way to make sure your baby is getting enough milk is to ensure she has a good latch. It may take several days or weeks to get the hang of it, but you two will figure it out together! 

Here are some things to check:
  • Baby’s nose opposite your nipple to start
  • Baby’ mouth wide open (140 degree angle) and head tilted back
  • Baby’s bottom lip and tongue reach the breast first. The nipple fills the upper half of her mouth
  • Asymmetrical latch with more of the lower part of the breast drawn in
  • Tip of nose and chin touch the breast during feeding
  • Top and bottom lip is sealed around breast and lips are flanged out
  • Rounded cheek line (not like she is sucking through a straw)
  • Baby’s jaw moving in a rocking motion rather than a chomping/biting motion
  • Her arms are free to encircle or even massage your breast
  • If things don’t feel right, simply place your pinky finger in the corner of her mouth to break the seal and start again.

A Satisfied Baby
  • You will know when your nursling is done eating when he removes himself from the breast and his hands and body are relaxed. Such a sweet moment!
  • Also, look for an average weight gain of about 5-7 oz/week, 3+ wet diapers and 3+ loose, yellow stools/day after day 4. 

A Comfortable Mama
  • Sit in a comfortable position and relax!
  • Be careful not to lean over, adding stress to your back...because the amount of nursing you will do in the first few weeks will feel like a new workout routine to your body.
  • While you may notice some nipple soreness or cracking in the beginning, breastfeeding should not be painful, and your nipples should look the same before and after a feeding. Think of it like this...your nipples are learning this new action that is performing over and over again. When you do something repetitively, your body feels sore before healing or getting used to the activity. Like writing a long story that makes your fingers cramp up or doing the same workout every day. Your body is getting used to this new 'job' it is performing. 
  • Plus, breastfeeding releases oxytocin, the “love hormone” so you will still feel very tired, but relaxed!

Am I making enough milk?

  • While this is a common concern, on average, your baby only drinks 67% of the milk your body makes. Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for about 10-12 nursing sessions within a 24 hour period. You CAN’T nurse too much, but you CAN nurse too little.
  • Maybe you’ve heard that milk production operates based on supply and demand? To ensure ample milk production, the key is to remove more milk from the breast with short, frequent feeds so that less milk accumulates in the breast between feedings. Milk production slows when milk accumulates in the breast and speeds up when the breast is emptied.

How much milk does my baby need?

  • Since breast milk digests quickly and babies’ bellies are tiny, breastfed babies eat small, frequent meals. By one month old, most babies are satisfied with 25-35 ounces of milk over a 24 hour period.Your body is amazing and it will adjust to your baby’s needs!
  • Every baby’s feeding pattern is unique and changes as they grow. Nursing several times over a short period or cluster feeding is normal and most commonly occurs in the evenings.  Be flexible, don’t watch the clock, but watch for your nursling’s feeding cues instead.
  • You may find that your baby’s feeding pattern changes and suddenly he wants to nurse longer and more frequently for a few days. This is called a growth spurt and often seems to happen around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months.  He is doing exactly what he’s supposed to do to meet his growing needs--smart baby!

Does breastfeeding hurt?

  • Nipple pain or cracking can be normal in the early days of breastfeeding. Pain that is normal will last no longer than 30 seconds into a feeding, and should subside within the first week of breastfeeding. There should be no physical damage to the nipples and they should never be flattened, creased, or pinched.
  • The first thing to do when experiencing nipple soreness is to check your latch to make sure an improper latch is not the cause.
  • One of the best ways to treat sore nipples is with your own breast milk! The healing properties of breastmilk go a long way. Rub a little on your nipples and allow them to air dry. Try not to use any manufactured products--remember, whatever is on your nipples will end up in your baby’s mouth! Make sure to change your breast pads often to keep your nipples dry.

How do I deal with engorgement?

  • It is normal for your breasts to feel larger, heavy, warm, and uncomfortable when your milk comes in. This typically occurs 2-5 days after birth and is commonly known as engorgement. In the early days, you may make more milk than your baby needs. You may leak and feel very “full.” It won’t last forever and your supply will adjust!
  • One way to relieve the pain that comes from engorgement in the early days is by applying reverse compression. Using two fingers, apply pressure at the base of your areola and apply pressure back toward the chest wall. This will pull some of the milk away from the sensitive nipple/areola area and relieve some pressure!
  • Another method that may be helpful is to get into the shower and face the water, allowing the warm water to hit your breasts. Once the milk starts to leak from your breasts, hop out of the shower and nurse your baby! Also, some mamas feel that a cold compress is helpful in reducing swelling and pain.


What are clogged milk ducts?

Sometimes mamas occasionally get a clogged duct that can feel like a small lump that is hot, tender, or reddened at the site. Even if it’s painful, do NOT decrease nursing from that breast! Milk removal will be key to resolving the clog. Try to nurse at least every two hours. Make sure your bra isn’t too tight so that your milk can flow freely. Use a warm compress before nursing, and massage the clogged area gently to loosen it. A nice hot shower, with the warm water hitting your breasts will help! Allow the water to hit your breasts until the milk starts flowing, then nurse your baby immediately. Try to begin nursing on the affected breast first, as baby’s suction will be stronger on the first side and more likely to effectively clear the clog.

What is mastitis?

Mastitis symptoms can be very similar to those of a clogged duct, but usually are more intense. There may be noticeable red streaks across the affected breast, and you may run a fever of 101.3 or greater. You may experience body aches and chills, similar to the flu. If you think you have mastitis, rest and fluids are key. Nurse as often as possible! Be sure to contact your healthcare provider, as mastitis can sometimes require antibiotics.

How do I increase my milk production?

  • Before you worry about increasing your milk supply, make sure that it is needed. Many mamas feel that their supply is low, when in reality they are doing just fine! If your baby is growing normally and gaining weight well, then you do not have an issue with supply. Feeling like your breasts are “empty,” the way your baby acts in between feedings, and not feeling a let-down are not reasons to be concerned about supply. Also, the amount of milk you pump is not equal to the amount of milk your little nursling can express. Don’t panic if your pumping sessions are less than stellar!
  • If your baby is not having an adequate number of wet and dirty diapers, or if their growth is not what it should be, you may need to work on increasing your supply. You should stay in close contact with your pediatrician and you may want to contact a certified lactation consultant. 
  • Milk supply operates on the principle of supply and demand, so generally the more often you put baby to breast, the more milk you will make! You cannot increase your milk production by drinking more fluids or eating certain foods. Make sure your little one’s latch is good, that they are removing milk efficiently, and allow them to nurse as often as possible. Offer both breasts at each feeding, allowing your baby to finish with the first breast, then offering the second. The more stimulation, the better! Adding a pumping session between feedings for extra stimulation can also be very helpful, but try not to stress out about it.
  • Power pumping can be a good option to jump-start an increase in supply. To try this method, pump 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off, until you reach a total of 20 minutes pumping on both sides. Repeat this 1-2 times a day for 2-3 days and you should see a bump in supply!


When should I introduce a bottle or pacifier?

  • It is up to you whether you introduce a pacifier or bottle, but it isn’t recommended until breastfeeding is well established, generally after 3-4 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding.
  • When introducing the bottle, feed based on cues rather than a schedule, and paced bottle feeding is recommended. This is similar to the breastfeeding experience because it mimics your let-down patterns, encourages the baby to be in charge of the feeding, and lengthens the time of the feeding to allow your babe to recognize satiety. There are several great paced bottle feeding videos on YouTube.

Pumping, Cleaning and Breastmilk Storage

After breastfeeding is well established, you may decide to introduce a breast pump to your routine. Some mamas never use a pump and some use one every day--this is up to you and your situation! 

Here are some reasons that you might decide to pump your breastmilk:
  • You must leave your baby for work or travel or an extended period of time.
  • You’re trying to build or rebuild your milk supply.
  • You’re having a medical procedure that requires you to take medication that’s unsafe for your baby (you can maintain your milk supply while on the medication, but in this case you wouldn’t save the milk.)
  • Or, it simply works better for you and your family.

*Electric double breast pumps are efficient and effective and are often available through your health insurance. 

You might want to try these ideas to help your milk flow more freely:
  • Find a private space that is free from distractions.
  • Before pumping, wash your hands and then gently massage your breasts from chest toward areola to simulate the sensation of a let-down.
  • Develop a pumping ritual to relax you such as listening to music or having a cup of tea.
  • Imagine nursing your baby or look at pictures of your little one and visualize your milk flowing.

You may not realize it, but there are several different sizes of breast shields or flanges. Proper fit is important for comfort and efficiency. Flanges that are too small or too large can cause discomfort, a milk bleb, low milk expression, redness, or plugged ducts.

Some pumps offer varying levels of suction. Only use enough suction to help milk flow well. Too much suction can cause tissue damage or nipple soreness. Faster and stronger is not always better in this case!



You may not realize it, but there are several different sizes of breast shields or flanges. Proper fit is important for comfort and efficiency. Flanges that are too small or too large can cause discomfort, a milk bleb, low milk expression, redness, or plugged ducts.
  • Some pumps offer varying levels of suction. Only use enough suction to help milk flow well. Too much suction can cause tissue damage or nipple soreness. Faster and stronger is not always better in this case!

CLEANING GUIDELINES

Cleaning by Hand:
  • After each session, disassemble and inspect the parts of your pump.
  • Rinse any parts that come in contact with breastmilk, and place them in a wash basin (preferably one that is only used for pump parts and bottles!) with hot, soapy water. 
  • Scrub the parts according to the manufacturer’s guidelines (check your instruction manual!), then rinse under running water or in a separate wash basin. 
  • Lay them on a clean, unused dish towel or a paper towel to dry. Do not rub or pat them dry. 
  • Make sure to clean your wash basin so that it is ready for the next time you pump!

Clean in the Dishwasher:
  • If your pump parts are dishwasher-safe, make sure to disassemble the parts and place small parts in a basket or mesh laundry bag before putting them in the dishwasher. 
  • Use hot water and a heated drying cycle, or the “sanitize” setting on the dishwasher. This will help make sure to kill as many germs as possible! 
  • If your parts are not completely dry when you remove them from the dishwasher, place them on a clean towel or paper towel and allow them to air dry completely before putting them away.

Just because breastfeeding is natural doesn't mean it's always easy. 


After all, it's a brand new skill set that you and your baby are learning together!

But thankfully, you don’t have to navigate this sometimes challenging experience alone.


Breastfeeding support is available, and with a little time, grace, and patience, 

you can level up your latch and nurse like a pro!


Benefits For Baby

  • Breast milk is truly magical. Breast milk adapts to meet your baby’s nutritional needs (even changing from day to night!), is easily digestible, promotes good gut health, and enhances brain development. Breastfeeding can also reduce the incidence of infections, allergies, SIDS, as well as diseases such as diabetes, asthma, leukemia, and multiple sclerosis. Plus, it’s sweet and babies like it!

Benefits For Mom

  • Breastfeeding isn’t just good for your baby--it’s good for you, too. It reduces postpartum blood loss and helps your uterus shrink to its normal size faster. Breastfeeding reduces your risk of ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer. It is also virtually free, so it can be good for your family budget, too!

Getting Started

Breastfeeding is natural, but a learned skill for both you and your sweet nursling. You can encourage a good start in the first few hours and days by holding your baby skin-to-skin. 
  • This helps with early latch, improving milk supply.
  • Regulating baby’s temperature.
  • Helps mama and baby relax.
  • You may even get to watch your baby crawl toward your breast and make their first latch!  

Your first milk, colostrum, is a syrupy fluid that is packed with nutrients and antibodies for your baby’s first few days.
  • You may only produce an ounce of this “liquid gold”, but that’s all your baby needs in the beginning. After a few days, your body will make transitional milk, then finally mature milk after about a week. 

As your mama may have told you, it’s important to surround yourself with good friends. As you and your little one are learning to work together as a team, look for friends, an in-person or online support group, along with a lactation counselor to encourage and assist you with breastfeeding.

Feeding Cues

When is it time to feed your little one? They will tell you!
  • Early feeding cues can be licking/smacking lips, sucking/making sucking sounds, opening and closing their mouth, and licking or sucking on their hands, toys or anything nearby. This is the best time to nurse--before they is too hungry or worked up...babies often show these signs as they are waking up from a nap.
  • If you miss early cues, don’t worry. Keep your eye out for active cues such as fidgeting/squirming, rooting around on your chest, trying to position themselves for nursing, crying, or rapid breathing. If they are showing late hunger cues, such as moving their head back and forth or crying, make sure to calm them first, maybe with some skin-to-skin, before attempting to put him to the breast. You’ve got this, mama! (Lilah graphic--on demand)

Should you wake a sleepy newborn baby to feed?
  •  Newborns (0-2 months) are often very sleepy, but should be woken to feed at least every 2 hours during the day (that's 12 times in a 24 hour day), and at least once at night until a healthy weight gain pattern is established. You can try removing some clothing or tickling toes to wake him.

Feeding Positions

When you start to nurse your babe, make sure that you are comfortable, that she is tummy-to-tummy or chest-to-breast with her hips flexed. Her shoulders and hips should be aligned. Then, have fun trying these different positions to see which you both like!

Cross-Cradle 
  • Ideal for early breastfeeding, when you are learning.
  • Bring baby across your mid-section, tummy-to-tummy.
  • Hold baby in crook of your arm, opposite the breast you’re feeding from.
  • Support baby’s head, cradle close to your breast.
  • Sit up straight, don’t bend over or lean forward.

Cradle
  • Similar to cross-cradle, but baby’s head is supported in the crook of the arm nearest to the breast you’re feeding from.
  • May be better for mamas with carpal tunnel; reduces wrist strain.

Football/Clutch
  • Good for post-c-section mamas or mamas with larger breasts.
  • Good for tandem feeding/feeding twins.
  • Hold baby beside you, with bent elbow.
  • Cradle baby’s head in that same hand and face them toward the breast. Their back will lie on your forearm.

Side-Lying
  • Good for post-c-section or night nursing.
  • Lie on your side and face baby toward your breast.
  • Support baby with your free hand to bring them close.

Laid-Back
  • Lie in a semi-reclined position as baby lies against your body.
  • Good for oversupply or a strong let-down because baby is working against gravity and can freely move his head.

What Makes a successful breastfeeding session?

A Good Latch
The best way to make sure your baby is getting enough milk is to ensure she has a good latch. It may take several days or weeks to get the hang of it, but you two will figure it out together! 

Here are some things to check:
  • Baby’s nose opposite your nipple to start
  • Baby’ mouth wide open (140 degree angle) and head tilted back
  • Baby’s bottom lip and tongue reach the breast first. The nipple fills the upper half of her mouth
  • Asymmetrical latch with more of the lower part of the breast drawn in
  • Tip of nose and chin touch the breast during feeding
  • Top and bottom lip is sealed around breast and lips are flanged out
  • Rounded cheek line (not like she is sucking through a straw)
  • Baby’s jaw moving in a rocking motion rather than a chomping/biting motion
  • Her arms are free to encircle or even massage your breast
  • If things don’t feel right, simply place your pinky finger in the corner of her mouth to break the seal and start again.

A Satisfied Baby
  • You will know when your nursling is done eating when he removes himself from the breast and his hands and body are relaxed. Such a sweet moment!
  • Also, look for an average weight gain of about 5-7 oz/week, 3+ wet diapers and 3+ loose, yellow stools/day after day 4. 

A Comfortable Mama
  • Sit in a comfortable position and relax!
  • Be careful not to lean over, adding stress to your back...because the amount of nursing you will do in the first few weeks will feel like a new workout routine to your body.
  • While you may notice some nipple soreness or cracking in the beginning, breastfeeding should not be painful, and your nipples should look the same before and after a feeding. Think of it like this...your nipples are learning this new action that is performing over and over again. When you do something repetitively, your body feels sore before healing or getting used to the activity. Like writing a long story that makes your fingers cramp up or doing the same workout every day. Your body is getting used to this new 'job' it is performing. 
  • Plus, breastfeeding releases oxytocin, the “love hormone” so you will still feel very tired, but relaxed!

Am I making enough milk?

  • While this is a common concern, on average, your baby only drinks 67% of the milk your body makes. Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for about 10-12 nursing sessions within a 24 hour period. You CAN’T nurse too much, but you CAN nurse too little.
  • Maybe you’ve heard that milk production operates based on supply and demand? To ensure ample milk production, the key is to remove more milk from the breast with short, frequent feeds so that less milk accumulates in the breast between feedings. Milk production slows when milk accumulates in the breast and speeds up when the breast is emptied.

How much milk does my baby need?

  • Since breast milk digests quickly and babies’ bellies are tiny, breastfed babies eat small, frequent meals. By one month old, most babies are satisfied with 25-35 ounces of milk over a 24 hour period.Your body is amazing and it will adjust to your baby’s needs!
  • Every baby’s feeding pattern is unique and changes as they grow. Nursing several times over a short period or cluster feeding is normal and most commonly occurs in the evenings.  Be flexible, don’t watch the clock, but watch for your nursling’s feeding cues instead.
  • You may find that your baby’s feeding pattern changes and suddenly he wants to nurse longer and more frequently for a few days. This is called a growth spurt and often seems to happen around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months.  He is doing exactly what he’s supposed to do to meet his growing needs--smart baby!

Does breastfeeding hurt?

  • Nipple pain or cracking can be normal in the early days of breastfeeding. Pain that is normal will last no longer than 30 seconds into a feeding, and should subside within the first week of breastfeeding. There should be no physical damage to the nipples and they should never be flattened, creased, or pinched.
  • The first thing to do when experiencing nipple soreness is to check your latch to make sure an improper latch is not the cause.
  • One of the best ways to treat sore nipples is with your own breast milk! The healing properties of breastmilk go a long way. Rub a little on your nipples and allow them to air dry. Try not to use any manufactured products--remember, whatever is on your nipples will end up in your baby’s mouth! Make sure to change your breast pads often to keep your nipples dry.

How do I deal with engorgement?

  • It is normal for your breasts to feel larger, heavy, warm, and uncomfortable when your milk comes in. This typically occurs 2-5 days after birth and is commonly known as engorgement. In the early days, you may make more milk than your baby needs. You may leak and feel very “full.” It won’t last forever and your supply will adjust!
  • One way to relieve the pain that comes from engorgement in the early days is by applying reverse compression. Using two fingers, apply pressure at the base of your areola and apply pressure back toward the chest wall. This will pull some of the milk away from the sensitive nipple/areola area and relieve some pressure!
  • Another method that may be helpful is to get into the shower and face the water, allowing the warm water to hit your breasts. Once the milk starts to leak from your breasts, hop out of the shower and nurse your baby! Also, some mamas feel that a cold compress is helpful in reducing swelling and pain.


What are clogged milk ducts?

Sometimes mamas occasionally get a clogged duct that can feel like a small lump that is hot, tender, or reddened at the site. Even if it’s painful, do NOT decrease nursing from that breast! Milk removal will be key to resolving the clog. Try to nurse at least every two hours. Make sure your bra isn’t too tight so that your milk can flow freely. Use a warm compress before nursing, and massage the clogged area gently to loosen it. A nice hot shower, with the warm water hitting your breasts will help! Allow the water to hit your breasts until the milk starts flowing, then nurse your baby immediately. Try to begin nursing on the affected breast first, as baby’s suction will be stronger on the first side and more likely to effectively clear the clog.

What is mastitis?

Mastitis symptoms can be very similar to those of a clogged duct, but usually are more intense. There may be noticeable red streaks across the affected breast, and you may run a fever of 101.3 or greater. You may experience body aches and chills, similar to the flu. If you think you have mastitis, rest and fluids are key. Nurse as often as possible! Be sure to contact your healthcare provider, as mastitis can sometimes require antibiotics.

How do I increase my milk production?

  • Before you worry about increasing your milk supply, make sure that it is needed. Many mamas feel that their supply is low, when in reality they are doing just fine! If your baby is growing normally and gaining weight well, then you do not have an issue with supply. Feeling like your breasts are “empty,” the way your baby acts in between feedings, and not feeling a let-down are not reasons to be concerned about supply. Also, the amount of milk you pump is not equal to the amount of milk your little nursling can express. Don’t panic if your pumping sessions are less than stellar!
  • If your baby is not having an adequate number of wet and dirty diapers, or if their growth is not what it should be, you may need to work on increasing your supply. You should stay in close contact with your pediatrician and you may want to contact a certified lactation consultant. 
  • Milk supply operates on the principle of supply and demand, so generally the more often you put baby to breast, the more milk you will make! You cannot increase your milk production by drinking more fluids or eating certain foods. Make sure your little one’s latch is good, that they are removing milk efficiently, and allow them to nurse as often as possible. Offer both breasts at each feeding, allowing your baby to finish with the first breast, then offering the second. The more stimulation, the better! Adding a pumping session between feedings for extra stimulation can also be very helpful, but try not to stress out about it.
  • Power pumping can be a good option to jump-start an increase in supply. To try this method, pump 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off, until you reach a total of 20 minutes pumping on both sides. Repeat this 1-2 times a day for 2-3 days and you should see a bump in supply!


When should I introduce a bottle or pacifier?

  • It is up to you whether you introduce a pacifier or bottle, but it isn’t recommended until breastfeeding is well established, generally after 3-4 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding.
  • When introducing the bottle, feed based on cues rather than a schedule, and paced bottle feeding is recommended. This is similar to the breastfeeding experience because it mimics your let-down patterns, encourages the baby to be in charge of the feeding, and lengthens the time of the feeding to allow your babe to recognize satiety. There are several great paced bottle feeding videos on YouTube.

Pumping, Cleaning and Breastmilk Storage

After breastfeeding is well established, you may decide to introduce a breast pump to your routine. Some mamas never use a pump and some use one every day--this is up to you and your situation! 

Here are some reasons that you might decide to pump your breastmilk:
  • You must leave your baby for work or travel or an extended period of time.
  • You’re trying to build or rebuild your milk supply.
  • You’re having a medical procedure that requires you to take medication that’s unsafe for your baby (you can maintain your milk supply while on the medication, but in this case you wouldn’t save the milk.)
  • Or, it simply works better for you and your family.

*Electric double breast pumps are efficient and effective and are often available through your health insurance. 

You might want to try these ideas to help your milk flow more freely:
  • Find a private space that is free from distractions.
  • Before pumping, wash your hands and then gently massage your breasts from chest toward areola to simulate the sensation of a let-down.
  • Develop a pumping ritual to relax you such as listening to music or having a cup of tea.
  • Imagine nursing your baby or look at pictures of your little one and visualize your milk flowing.

You may not realize it, but there are several different sizes of breast shields or flanges. Proper fit is important for comfort and efficiency. Flanges that are too small or too large can cause discomfort, a milk bleb, low milk expression, redness, or plugged ducts.

Some pumps offer varying levels of suction. Only use enough suction to help milk flow well. Too much suction can cause tissue damage or nipple soreness. Faster and stronger is not always better in this case!



You may not realize it, but there are several different sizes of breast shields or flanges. Proper fit is important for comfort and efficiency. Flanges that are too small or too large can cause discomfort, a milk bleb, low milk expression, redness, or plugged ducts.
  • Some pumps offer varying levels of suction. Only use enough suction to help milk flow well. Too much suction can cause tissue damage or nipple soreness. Faster and stronger is not always better in this case!

CLEANING GUIDELINES

Cleaning by Hand:
  • After each session, disassemble and inspect the parts of your pump.
  • Rinse any parts that come in contact with breastmilk, and place them in a wash basin (preferably one that is only used for pump parts and bottles!) with hot, soapy water. 
  • Scrub the parts according to the manufacturer’s guidelines (check your instruction manual!), then rinse under running water or in a separate wash basin. 
  • Lay them on a clean, unused dish towel or a paper towel to dry. Do not rub or pat them dry. 
  • Make sure to clean your wash basin so that it is ready for the next time you pump!

Clean in the Dishwasher:
  • If your pump parts are dishwasher-safe, make sure to disassemble the parts and place small parts in a basket or mesh laundry bag before putting them in the dishwasher. 
  • Use hot water and a heated drying cycle, or the “sanitize” setting on the dishwasher. This will help make sure to kill as many germs as possible! 
  • If your parts are not completely dry when you remove them from the dishwasher, place them on a clean towel or paper towel and allow them to air dry completely before putting them away.

Shop our full selection of nursing tops, nursing dressesnursing loungewear, and accessories


At Latched Mama, our goal has always been simple: to support moms in their motherhood journey. That means that our goal is to support you and your family with our clothing and online community, along with empowering mamas locally and worldwide through education and one-on-one support. Our clothes and accessories are designed, picked, packed and shipped from our warehouse in Richmond, VA!


Learn more about Latched Mama here!

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