Breastfeeding

Mother holding cute baby in bandana

The Best Breast Pump Brands of 2021

Breastfeeding is a natural part of raising babies, but it doesn’t have to suck. While some mothers decide to exclusively breastfeed, others may breastfeed only occasionally or not at all, in which case they’ll need to rely on pumping to build up stores of breast milk for each feeding. That’s better than relying on formula to feed your child the nutrients they need, and a breast pump allows you to meet the needs of your growing child.

If you’re a mother that doesn’t have the time during the day to breastfeed your child, especially if they spend the day with a caretaker, a breast pump makes feeding easy because anyone can step in while you take care of whatever else you’ve got going on. A breast pump can also give you flexibility during nighttime feedings or in the afternoon if you’re unavailable for a feeding, and they can also relieve engorgement when you’re out and about.

Best Breast Pump Brands – Types

While just about any breast pump can relieve pressure and help you build up your child’s personal store of mother’s milk, pumping in 2020 has come a long way from the contraptions that have been used in years past. In general, the best breast pump brand will have many options and models for you to choose from. After all, not all breast pumping needs are singular, and sometimes one breast pump works best in a certain scenario that would be wholly inappropriate for another.

Types of breast pumps include double-electric breast pumps, single-electric breast pumps, battery-operated breast pumps and manual breast pumps, though the one that’s best for you depends on your precise need. The best double breast pump allows you to pump both breasts at the same time, allowing you to get more milk out of your pumping sessions, while the best electric breast pump may be a bad call if you’re commuting or you don’t have access to an electrical outlet. Even a manual pump may be the best option for you if price and weight is an important consideration.

Best Breast Pump Brands – Closed or Open?

After choosing a type, the next consideration is whether you want a closed-system pump or an open-system pump. Closed-system pumps separate the milk from the machine via a barrier, while open-system pumps lack this barrier, sending milk throughout the system and into the bottle. Closed systems tend to be more hygienic and easier to clean and sterilize, though they also tend to be more expensive.

Best Breast Pump Brands – What To Look For

While 2020 certainly has no shortage of breast pump options, the best breast pump brand for you depends on your specific needs. Weight, noise, access to an outlet, hands-free operation and cost are all important considerations, and just one is enough to make what looked like a good option a no-go if one of your important criteria aren’t met.

The good news is that breast pumps are often covered by insurance, so cost is manageable to a certain extent. That said, you may need an extra pump at the office or in the car, so if you’re buying your second or third pump, cost may be an important consideration.

The Best Breast Pumps

Forget about specific brands, here are the best breast pumps for various uses:

The best breast pump for working moms is the Motif Luna Battery Powered Breast Pump.

The best portable or battery-powered pump is the BabyBuddha Complete Kit.
For more breast pump suggestions, please visit our breast pump page.

Mother holding child

Does Insurance Cover Breast Pumps? An Overview

Breastfeeding is a wonderful, healthy, and bonding way to nourish your newborn, and some mothers will extend the period of breastfeeding well into infanthood. That’s mostly because of the enormous health benefits that breastfeeding provides that simply cannot be replicated with any formula, but in many cases, it’s also a wise economical decision given that synthetic formula can be quite expensive, especially over time. However, that doesn’t mean that breastfeeding is free, as there are costs involved relating to equipment. 

The central component of breastfeeding, at least as your child gets a bit older and you want to get ahead of things a bit, is the breast pump. Breast pumps can carry a bit of a cost, but a lot of new mothers out there are likely asking themselves, “Does insurance cover breast pumps?” There are several possible answers to this question, but Milk n Mamas Baby will work through this situation below by way of some recommendations of how you should proceed to find your answer.

Work Ahead

If you’re expecting and you plan on breastfeeding, it’s best to check with your insurance company before the child arrives to find out what you need to know about your coverage. Yes, this only adds to an already-long list of things to do, but the last thing you want to deal with when caring for an infant is haggling and working through red tape. Instead, contact your insurance company to find out:

  1. What types of breast pumps are covered, if any;
  2. How long breast pumps are covered;
  3. How the ordering and claim process works; and
  4. When you should make that order.

Unfortunately, dealing directly with your insurance company may not lead to the result you desire quickly, so you may need to keep digging and working

Work With a Renowned Equipment Provider

If you’d like to avoid all of this red tape as you look for your answer to the question of whether or not insurance covers breast pumps, you can work directly with a nursing equipment provider who deals with this sort of thing every day. One such provider is, of course, Milk n Mamas Baby. We provide only the best breast pumps that the market has to offer, and we work not only with insurance companies, but also with expecting and new Moms to make sure that they get the breast pumps and other equipment they need to provide their little ones with their much needed and vital nutrition. 

The answer to the question, “Does insurance cover breast pumps?” is actually a simple yes in most situations, but getting to that yes can take some work. If you have it in you to deal with insurance bureaucracy and achieve the desired result on your own, take the step recommended above. If you don’t, then all you need to do is contact Milk n Mamas Baby and we’ll take care of this process for you so you don’t have to worry. Go ahead and take a look at our product offerings, but if you have any questions about our breast pumps, how to have them covered or any of our other products or services, feel free to contact us at any time.

Breastfeeding in the Hospital

Breastfeeding in the Hospital: What to Expect

Are you a soon-to-be mom as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown? We say that with a wry grin, but it’s a proven tale that when a big storm comes through, a lockdown usually results in a baby boom, even on a small scale. Fortunately, except for visitation restrictions due to the pandemic, nothing has changed about how mothers bring their newborns into the world, and hospital protocol is business as usual.

If you’re a new mom — or it’s been a few years since your last — you might be wondering how those first 24 hours of breastfeeding actually works. We’ve put together a brief timeline to help ease your mind and help new mothers plan for breastfeeding in the hospital.

Skin-to-skin contact helps increase the milk supply

Hospitals in the United States have been practicing skin-to-skin contact as soon after birth as possible since the 1980s. For a healthy, full term infant, the baby will be placed on the mother’s chest and covered with a blanket. This practice has many benefits.

Skin-to-skin holding or kangaroo care is a wonderful way to welcome your baby into the world. Because the skin is the largest sensory organ in the body, the mother’s body keeps the baby warm, and often, that baby will have the suckling instinct right away. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby can help to increase the milk supply because it stimulates prolactin and oxytocin. Both of these hormones help your body to make and release breast milk.

For babies who are born prematurely or are sick at birth and have to be moved to Intensive Care, they may experience a delay, but skin-to-skin contact is still an integral part of the first 24 hours of breastfeeding. The infant’s mere presence on the mother’s body helps to initiate regular milk production, which requires regular pumping.

How often should I be pumping in the hospital?

It’s ideal that babies start nursing right away. But for the mom that’s separated from her baby, hospitals generally provide her with a hospital grade breast pump and give her instructions on how to pump. Experts recommend a minimum of eight times in 24 hours to pump in order to facilitate the establishment of a milk supply.

That’s a lot of pumping! And likely leaves some moms feeling like a veritable breastfeeding shop, but it’s imperative that the pumping schedule be kept up, both to relieve discomfort in the mother’s breasts and, more important, to help her baby be as healthy as possible. Of course, if a full term infant is born without issue, the baby will start nursing right away. But for mothers with sick babies, it’s extremely important that they keep to the breast pumping schedule.

Hospital grade breast pump rentals

Not all mothers will have their breast pump selected and ordered before the baby comes, especially if her baby arrives early. But hospitals maintain good quality basic breast pumps for moms to rent while convalescing. In most cases, a lactation specialist will walk a mom through the process of learning how to use the pump and even how to select her own personal pump to take home.

Just about every insurance company now provides every mom with a breast pump, and hospital personnel will help facilitate acquisitioning a breast pump for every mother. At many hospitals, they keep several brands of breast pump on hand, like the Spectra and Medela personal pumps, to show new mothers so they can make the best choice for their body and lifestyle.

Most insurance companies, including Aetna, UPMC, and TRICARE, cover a variety of pump brands, pumping essentials, and general breast pump supplies, which can be applied for and obtained through our website. When possible, we recommend ordering your breast pump sooner than later so you’re better prepared when your baby arrives.

Making the best breast pump selection

Every mother is different, and which breast pump best serves you will depend on a number of factors. We are always on hand to answer questions. But rest assured, during those first few pivotal hours, your hospital staff will be there to help you through the transition from pregnancy to birth.

6 Tips for Weaning Your Breastfeeding Baby

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after birth and a combination of breastfeeding and solids until your baby is one. Some moms may choose to extend breastfeeding for longer while others may be ready to wean earlier. When to stop breastfeeding is a personal choice and one that may cause both sadness and relief. Try these tips to help ease the transition.

1) Let baby lead the way

You’ll have more success and less stress if you allow your little one to lead the process. In most cases, the transition will happen naturally as baby begins to become more interested in her new food options and more easily distracted. 

2) Don’t rush it

In the case of an injury or serious illness, weaning may be necessarily abrupt. However, the ideal is to allow the process to unfold gradually, easing baby into her new reality. This may take days, weeks, or months. Allowing for a slower transition will ease baby’s anxieties and also help to prevent engorgement as your breasts will gradually decrease milk production.

3) Make time for cuddling

Breastfeeding isn’t just about nourishment. It’s also a form of comfort and bonding, which can make giving up the breast an emotional experience for both mama and baby. To ease that aspect of the process, be sure to spend lots of time snuggling with baby to reassure her that mama’s still around when she needs extra affection.

4) Avoid weaning during stressful times

While sometimes stressful situations make weaning necessary, this is usually when babies (and even some mamas) are most in need of the comfort and routine of a nursing schedule. If you’re returning to work – a time that can be stressful to both mama and baby, maintain early morning and nighttime feedings. These tend to be the most stressful times of the day, and breastfeeding stimulates the release of oxytocin and prolactin, which create a sense of calm and peace.

5) Make the most of distractions

Distraction is a practical tool throughout every stage of parenting. Refusing to breastfeed will often cause your little one to become hyper-focused on nursing. Instead, offer an alternative like expressed milk in a bottle or cup or a new food. 

6) Pump for comfort

As you wean your little one, your breasts may become engorged and feel uncomfortable. Remember that an empty breast will produce more milk, so it’s a good idea to pump just enough to relieve the engorgement until your body adjust to the new levels of production.

Milk N Mamas Baby carries the highest-quality breast pumps on the market

Our 100% insurance and Tricare-covered Medela breast pumps are designed with a two-phase expression technology that feels more natural and improves the productivity of pumping sessions for nursing moms. They’re portable, easy-to-use, and robust enough to handle heavy pumping schedules until you’re ready to wean. Contact our customer care specialists today to learn more or order online in three easy steps.

How Often Should I Breastfeed My Newborn?

A Tale of Two Grandmothers: or, is breast milk better than rocket fuel?

Both my mother and my mother-in-law were convinced my son would starve to death before he was a month old. 

“He’s nursing all the time,” my mother-in-law would say, anxiously leaning over my shoulder to examine him. “He’s clearly not getting enough milk.”

“Sweetheart,” my mom would say gently, “You know, your breasts are so small. I don’t think he’s getting enough.”

I was doubtful myself. This was my first baby, and so I had nothing to compare the experience to. It did feel like I was a perpetual-milk-making machine. Maybe I wasn’t producing enough milk. Darn those A cups!

When I took my son to the pediatrician, I raised my concerns to the jolly Cajun doctor. “Oh, pshaw, sweetheart,” he laughed. “Them mamas from the fifties, they think ain’t nothing good enough for their grandbabies unless it’s got rocket fuel in it.”

He went on to assure me that near constant feeding in a newborn isn’t unnatural at all. In fact, breastfed babies do nurse nearly non-stop. Unlike formula, a one-size-fits-all food source, breast milk adapts itself to the precise needs of a baby. The grandmothers were comparing breastfeeding with formula-feeding, but formula takes much longer for babies to digest, which is why formula-fed infants don’t eat as often. 

Vindicated, I kept on doing what I’d been doing all along, feeding my little one whenever he seemed hungry. Sure enough, he’d doubled his birth weight before a month was out, and by six months, he was so heavy I wondered if my breast milk might have dark matter in it.

What does on-demand nursing look like in a newborn?

When you first bring baby home, your milk supply is still being established. Nursing on-demand is the best way to kickstart production, and your baby helps out by nursing every 1½ to 3 hours during the first month. Because her tummy is so small, she needs to eat at least every 4 hours. Yes, this definitely counts as round-the-clock nursing, but no, it’s not a problem. It’s perfectly normal. 

How do I know when my baby is hungry?

It’s going to be a while before you and your newborn speak the same language, which can make it difficult to know when she’s hungry. However, she will give you signs if you know what you’re looking for.

Your baby may be hungry if she begins:

  • Opening her mouth
  • Sucking on her fist 
  • Pursing her lips
  • Rooting or nuzzling
  • Sticking out her tongue
  • Crying*

*A word about crying

By the time baby is crying, she’s way past hungry. She’s hangry, which means it’ll be more difficult to calm her down enough to get her to nurse. You’ve probably experienced her frustration yourself when you wait too long to eat lunch. 

You’re doing a great job, mom!

Breastfeeding isn’t easy work. It can be exhausting, and when the people around you don’t fully  understand it, you may feel isolated and underappreciated. I’m here to tell you, moms, that you’re doing a great job. Trust yourself. Trust your baby. In a year, you’ll be looking back on this time as a fond memory. 

Magical Mammaries? How Do My Breasts Know What My Baby Needs?

If you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby, you probably already know all of the advantages of the biological elixir that is breast milk. It’s linked to improved immune responses, higher IQs, lower rates of obesity…the list goes on. 

What you may not know is that breast milk changes on a daily basis to provide your baby (no one else’s) the precise dose of nutritional and immunological ingredients she needs at the exact moment she needs it. I know. I know. It sounds crazy, right? How could breast milk possibly have insight into a baby’s biological needs? It doesn’t even have a college degree!

Need scientific evidence that breast milk has some nearly magical properties?

Exhibit A

When you first begin a nursing session, your breast produces a thin foremilk that quenches your baby’s thirst before transforming into a creamier, fat-rich hindmilk that eases her hunger. 

Exhibit B

When your baby is sick, the concentration of some immunofactors in your breast milk increase…even if you’re not sick.

Exhibit C

When your baby’s saliva interacts with your breast milk, the chemical reaction results in hydrogen peroxide which inhibits the growth of certain nasty pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella spp.

How do my breasts know so much about what my baby needs?

If you’re like most new moms, it’s probably comforting to know that at least one part of your body knows what’s going on. No wonder people covet the breast! But your mammary glands can’t take all the credit. Believe it or not, your baby is probably passing secret messages via your nipples. Who knew breastfeeding was so full of mystery and intrigue?

Evidence seems to suggest that retrograde milk flow (fancy science jargon for baby backwash) delivers information to your immune system about baby’s nutritional and immunological needs. If your nursing baby is sick, pathogens will be mixed in with that saliva, delivering those into your nipple duct system as well. Immune molecules in your mammaries and your milk respond to these pathogens and protect your baby, whose own immune system is still developing.

Relax, mama. Your body really is a wonderland!

John Mayer probably had something else entirely on his mind when he crooned, “Your body is a wonderland.” But he was right on more levels than probably even he knew. Your magical body is capable of melting the fat in your derriere into breast milk and then transforming your breast milk hourly to meet the needs of a new human. That’s pretty incredible. So relax. There’s nothing to worry about. Your body knows exactly what it’s doing. 

Help Baby Sleep Through the Night with a Nursing Schedule

Nighttime feedings can leave moms feeling exhausted and depressed, and research shows that frequent night waking can also result in the early termination of lactation in breast-fed infants. But how can you convince baby to get with the program and sleep through the night? For many families, a nursing schedule helps. 

The following tips for developing a nursing schedule to help baby ease into a full night of sleep come from a study conducted at the University of Illinois. The objective of the study was to investigate whether exclusively breast-fed infants could be taught to sleep through the night, from 12:00 AM to 5:00 AM during the first eight weeks of life. Thirteen sets of parents followed the routine below while thirteen acted as a control. Of the thirteen treatment parents, 100% reported that infants were sleeping through the night after eight weeks. 

Differentiate night and day

Babies aren’t born with the same understanding of time as adults. Anytime is a good time for eating as far as a newborn is concerned. To help her begin to recognize that nighttime is for sleeping, maximize environmental differences between day and night. During the day, be sure to get baby outside where she can experience natural light. When she’s inside, let her have the full daytime experience: noises, activity, normal speaking voices, and playful interactions. In the evening, keep lights low and minimize noises. Use a hushed voice and keep interactions mellow and calm. 

Top off baby’s milk supply 

In the study conducted at the University of Illinois, parents were told to offer baby a focal feed between 10 PM and 12 AM so that she goes to sleep with a fully belly. If baby is asleep at the time you’ve adopted for this top off session, wake her up long enough to nurse. This will help her sleep for a longer stretch of time. Over time, your baby will recognize this feeding as “last call.”

Wean baby by offering alternatives

It’s going to take some time for the new schedule to take, so you’ll want to gradually lengthen the intervals between middle-of-the-night nursing sessions. To reinforce the idea that nighttime is for sleeping, when baby wakes substitute feeding with other caretaking behaviors such as re-swaddling, changing her diaper, or rocking her. 

What to expect and when to expect it

The treatment parents in the University of Illinois study reported that their infants were sleeping for significantly longer episodes at night by three weeks. By eight weeks, 100% of the treatment infants were sleeping through the night compared with 23% of the infants who were not introduced to the nursing schedule. 

While the infants with the nursing schedule did sleep through nighttime feedings after eight weeks, their milk intake over a 24-hours period didn’t differ from the infants who nursed throughout the night. Instead, the treatment infants compensated for the longer nighttime interval by consuming more milk in the early morning. 

There you have it. With a little planning, a nursing schedule can help parents and babies get a better night sleep. If you try out the schedule, leave a comment below and let us know how it worked for you!

Why is one of my breasts producing more milk than the other?

We humans aren’t perfect. Let’s start there. I’m not speaking in a grand sense. Obviously, we’re flawed in a lot of ways, but more important to the question at hand: we’re not symmetrical. By eighteen months, many babies are already showing a preference for one hand over the other. Very few of us are ambidextrous. Most of us also have one foot that’s a little bigger than the other. In fact, the human body is by and large asymmetrical, so it should come as no surprise that one of your breasts may produce more milk than the other.

In most cases, uneven milk production is a result of this natural asymmetry. One breast may have more milk-producing tissue, larger milk ducts, or a more forceful letdown response. However, milk production is directly linked to milk consumption, so if your baby favors one breast over the other, the preferred breast will produce more milk. 

As long as your baby is developing normally, and you’re not physically uncomfortable as a result of the imbalance, there’s really no reason to worry about it. If you’d like to try to even things out a bit, though, try these tips.

Lead with the low-producing breast

Remember, an empty breast produces more milk, so start with the low-producing breast when you nurse your baby and encourage him to empty it completely before moving the the more productive breast. The more you nurse with the low-producing breast, the more milk it will produce. 

Use your breast pump to increase your supply

Again, the more frequently you empty your breasts, the more milk they’ll produce. Use your breast pump to completely empty breasts after a feeding and to express milk from your low-producing breast between feedings.

Encourage baby to be an equal opportunity nurser

If baby shows a preference, find ways to encourage him to give the low-producing breast a little more attention. This may mean experimenting with different nursing positions and taking advantage of those moments when he’s feeling less finicky. 

Get expert answers on breastfeeding, insurance, or any other questions you have

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we understand the rewards and the challenges of breastfeeding because we’re moms. We’ve been in your position, and we understand the joy and the frustrations. We’re here to help if you’ve got questions or concerns related to breastfeeding and breast pumps. We have access to information and resources that will help you get more out of your breastfeeding experience, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How Breastfeeding Benefits Newborns and Moms

If you’ve ever wondered whether breastfeeding is worth it, the answer’s in: for sure. Not only does breastfeeding foster a strong bond between mama and baby, it offers both several unique advantages that can’t be found in formula.

Breast milk is easier to digest than infant formula

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, breast milk is “a living biological fluid with many qualities not replicable by human milk substitutes.” Among those qualities is the ability to adapt itself to the changing needs of an infant as she grows. During a single nursing session, breast milk transforms from a thinner foremilk that satisfies her thirst to a creamy hindmilk with higher fat content. 

Even when mother’s own diet is inadequate, breast milk contains the essential nutrients for her baby’s development. Naturally, since breast milk is produced specifically for the nourishment of an infant, it’s easier to digest and even includes digestive enzymes and bioactive molecules that keep your infant’s gastrointestinal tract healthy. 

While formula is designed to mimic as closely as possible breast milk, it’s impossible to replicate the components of mother’s milk. Baby’s gastrointestinal tract must adapt in order to process formula. For instance, breast milk contains higher levels of whey, which babies digest easily, than casein. Formula, on the other hand, has higher levels of casein, which takes longer for a baby to digest. Some babies also prove to be allergic to both cow’s milk protein and soy protein, which are the most prolific formulas. 

Breast milk boosts baby’s immune system

In addition to carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes and hormones, breast milk is rich in immune cells. Among these, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) have anti-infective properties against against pathogens in the infant gastrointestinal tract, including Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter. The proteins lactoferrin and lysozyme prevent the spread of potentially pathogenic bacteria, preventing illnesses in infants. 

Breast milk reduces the risk of asthma and allergies, and infants that are exclusively  breastfed for the first six months have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea. Recent studies have also suggested that breast milk protect infants from late metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. All of these perks have led one study to call breast milk “a biological fluid required for optimal infant growth and development”.

Breastfeeding is linked with higher IQ scores

Breast milk is a natural source of fatty acids such as DHA and AA, which are critical in neurodevelopment. Several studies have shown a correlation between breastfeeding and increases in verbal IQ and performance IQ as children mature, and at least one group of scientists have found a relationship between breast milk and increases in white matter growth in children’s brains. 

Breastfeeding burns calories

All that good, brain growth-inducing fat in breast milk has to come from somewhere, right? Essentially, your body is melting your own body fat to produce rich, fatty milk for your baby. For mothers who are a healthy weight before childbirth, evidence indicates that breastfeeding helps to quickly shed those pounds gained during pregnancy. A 2008 study of 30,000 Danish women found that breastfeeding was associated with lower postpartum weight retention in all categories of prepregnancy BMI and concluded that breastfeeding as recommended could “eliminate weight retention by 6 months postpartum in many women.”

Breastfeeding offers moms health benefits, too

Believe it or not, breastfeeding even makes mom healthier! One recent study indicates that breastfeeding can reduce mom’s risk of breast cancer by up to 91 percent. Another study found that women who breastfed for more than 13 months were 63 percent less likely to develop an ovarian tumor than women who breastfed for less than seven months. The longer the women breastfed, the greater the protection they received. 

What are you waiting for? Start reaping the rewards of breastfeeding now. Call Milk N Mamas Baby or fill out your breast pump order form today. 

5 Common Breastfeeding Problems and How to Overcome Them

Yes, breastfeeding offers an abundance of health benefits for both mom and baby. Yes, it’s a unique and special opportunity to bond with your newborn. Yes, mothers have been doing it for time immemorial – it’s beautiful, it’s nutritious, and it’s natural. But just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Any modern mom who’s taken on breastfeeding knows this to be true. 

1) It hurts when my baby latches onto my nipple

When you first start nursing your baby, your nipples may feel sore. As you acclimate, that pain should decrease. If, after a minute or two, the pain doesn’t diminish, try repositioning your baby. You’ll know he’s positioned correctly when both his nose and his chin touch your breast and his lips cover your nipple and lower areola. 

If your baby is positioned correctly and latching still hurts, it may be that your nipples are dry. There are several ways to treat dry, cracked nipples. Allowing a dab of healing breastmilk to air dry on your nipples after feeding will often improve the situation. If that doesn’t do the trick, try a lanolin-based cream specially made for nursing moms.

2) My breast has a hard lump and I feel feverish

If your breasts are sore and you notice a small, hard lump, your milk duct may be clogged. This is more likely to happen if you go long stretches between feedings, but nursing bras and stress can also inhibit the flow of milk. If left untreated, clogged ducts can become infected, necessitating a trip to the doctor. While this won’t harm your baby, it will definitely affect your feelings about nursing, so it’s important to address the problem quickly and not suffer in silence.

To prevent clogged ducts, try to minimize your stress and get plenty of rest. Nurse more frequently to prevent engorgement, and treat your tender breasts to a warm compress and a massage to stimulate the movement of milk. 

3) I’m afraid my baby isn’t getting enough milk

Hormones trigger milk production, but once baby has latched on, production is driven by supply-and-demand. Breastfeeding babies tend to feed more frequently than formula-fed babies, usually nursing every two to three hours during the first few weeks. Often, moms mistake frequent feedings as a sign that baby is famished, but nothing could be farther from the truth. If your baby is on target for healthy weight gain, she’s getting plenty of milk, even if she seems hungry all the time. 

If your milk supply is actually low, you’ll see tangible indicators such as stalled weight gain, fewer diaper changes, and lethargy. A variety of issues can lead to low milk supply, including a sleepy baby, supplementing with formula, and drinking alcohol, to name a few. The best way to stimulate your milk supply is to get rest, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and nurse your baby frequently. You can also pump to increase your milk supply. 

4) My baby sleeps through feedings

It’s tempting to let sleeping babies lie. However, if your baby shows signs of stalled weight gain or your breasts are engorged due to long periods between feedings, it’s time to wake her up. During the first few weeks of her life, your baby should be nursing eight to twelve times a day. 

To prevent your breasts from becoming swollen and sore, always start nursing your baby on your fuller breast. Swaddling keeps babies warm and cozy, which can leave her sleepy. Unswaddle your baby to stimulate her, and if she still dozes, tickle her feet or burp her to engage her interest. 

5) My baby isn’t latching onto my breast properly

Sometimes babies have a hard time getting the hang of breastfeeding. This may be the result of a premature or difficult birth, or the mother may have inverted or flat nipples. In some cases, it’s just a matter of both mom and baby getting used to the experience of breastfeeding. In any case, your baby won’t get as much milk if she isn’t properly latched, and you’re more likely to have sore nipples as a result. 

The first thing to remember is that your nursing sessions will be more productive if you and your baby are relaxed, so find a comfortable place to nurse your baby. Try different positions to find the one that works best for your baby. Whether you cradle your baby, lie on your side, or hold her at your side like a football, the key is to ensure her head and body are turned towards your breast with her lips at the same level as your nipple. She shouldn’t have to turn her head to reach it. Be sure that when she latches on, your nipple and the underside of your areola are covered by her lips to ensure optimal expressing.

Have you experienced any of these common breastfeeding problems? Breastfeeding should be a time for enjoying your special bond with your baby. If your experience is frustrating, don’t wait to get in touch with your doctor or a lactation consultant who can help you improve the situation.