pumping Tag

baby constantly crying after breastfeeding

Why does my baby constantly cry after breastfeeding time?

Am I breastfeeding wrong, is my baby colicky, or is it something else?

Some babies are mild-mannered and generally seem pleased with the world they find themselves in. Other babies, not so much. It’s not that they’re bad-tempered, but they do appear to have strong feelings about things. You’d think that a full belly would leave a newborn in a state of bliss, and many babies do pass out with a milk-drunk grin on their faces. However, some babies launch into crying jags as soon as they’ve finished breastfeeding. That leaves frustrated moms asking questions like:

  • Am I breastfeeding my newborn wrong?
  • Am I producing enough milk to satisfy my baby?
  • Is my baby colicky?

Or even:

  • Is this baby trying to drive me crazy?

It’s a reasonable suspicion. A crying baby can certainly put everyone in the house on edge, and over time, chronic criers can leave moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, and even neighbors feeling helpless.

So what’s behind all those tears? Pediatricians recognize a few specific reasons your newborn may be inclined to tears after breastfeeding:

  • Gas,
  • Acid Reflux, and
  • Food sensitivities and allergies.

We’ll look at each more closely below, but let’s begin with the more generic explanation for a chronic crier: colic.

Colic

To say that colic is causing a baby to cry isn’t very helpful to moms because colic is a catchall term that loosely translates to “chronic crying on the part of a newborn.” In other words, baby is crying all the time because baby’s a chronic crier. Not very useful, right?

However, there is a clue about your crying baby in the Latin root of the word: colon. In other words, if you have a colicky newborn, you have a baby who is probably suffering from pain in their abdomen. Let’s look at some of the reasons your newborn may be experiencing abdominal pain after breastfeeding.

Gas

We’ve all been there. Gas pain is not for sissies. You and I both have decades of experience with gas under our belt, so we know the feeling when it comes over us. It’s not so painful or scary because we’re used to it. Your poor baby is having their first experience of it, and it’s probably both painful and scary. Gas pain is more common among bottle-fed babies as they tend to swallow more air. However, even breastfed babies swallow some air during feeding time, so they still need a good burping after each feeding.

If you suspect gas might be the culprit, try this after baby’s next feeding:

  • Hold baby upright after feeding to burp.
  • Pat gently from the base of the back upward to work out gas bubbles.

Acid Reflux

This is another ailment that most adults have experienced but newborns have not. Imagine feeling acid reflux for the first time and not knowing what’s causing the pain. You’d be crying, too. You and I know that acid reflux is what happens when the contents of your stomach are pushed into your esophagus. To your baby, it just feels like they’ve swallowed fired.

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as its more serious form is called, causes spitting up in addition to crying, and it’s not uncommon in babies younger than one-year old. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, nearly 8 in 10 infants have daily acid reflux by the age of 2 months. However, by they time they’re 12 to 14 months old, most children have outgrown GERD symptoms.

If you suspect acid reflux might be causing baby serious or chronic pain, talk with baby’s pediatrician about the symptoms as GERD can have more serious side effects like:

  • Weight loss and
  • Esophagitis

GERD can also lead to complications beyond the esophagus, such as:

  • Coughing and wheezing,
  • Laryngitis, and

Food sensitivities and allergies

About one in 100 exclusively breastfed babies develop allergic reactions to food proteins in their mother’s milk, according to research conducted by The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. The most frequent culprit is cow’s milk protein found in human breastmilk when mom has been indulging in dairy products. It’s important to note that this allergy occurs more frequently in infants consuming cow’s milk-based formula, which contains far more of the offending protein, than in breastmilk, where these proteins only show up in trace amounts. Occasionally, babies have allergies to eggs, nuts, peanuts, soy, or wheat as well. If an allergy is the cause of your baby’s suffering, they may also have signs of blood in their stool. In that case, head straight to the pediatrician.

If you suspect food allergies may be causing your baby pain and grief, let your doctor know and try these strategies for determining the guilty allergen:

  • Keep a food diary to determine if there may be a connection between your diet and baby’s crying.
  • If you find a food that seems connected, try an elimination diet (after talking with your doctor) to see if the change improves baby’s mood. Eliminate only one food at a time so you’ll know exactly which culprit is the offender.

How do I know if my newborn’s crying means they’re hungry?

Feeding a crying baby is often the go to for a tired, frustrated mom, but if one of the above issues is the problem, more breastmilk won’t help. So how do you know if baby’s crying because they’re hungry? Look for these additional signs:

  • Baby is moving fists to mouth or sucking on hand,
  • Baby is alert and active,
  • Baby is nuzzling or seeking your breast,
  • Baby is smacking lips or opening and closing mouth.

When baby is full, you’ll see these signs:

  • Baby releases your nipple,
  • Baby begins chewing on nipple or playing rather than feeding,
  • Baby relaxes, opening fists.

Share the joy (and frustration) of breastfeeding with a partner.

Whatever the cause of your newborn’s tears, a colicky baby can cause frustration, depression, and exhaustion – as if new moms aren’t tired enough. If you’ve got a baby who seems to cry all the time, don’t be afraid to ask for more help from your partner, family, or friends. Pumping breast milk gives the people who want to help you a chance to take over some of your baby’s feeding sessions, which will give you a chance to rest, and you’ll need it if your baby is a chronic crier.

Need help choosing a breast pump? Milk N Mamas baby is owned and operated by women who have experienced the joys and the challenges of breastfeeding, including colicky babies. We have more than two decades of experience in the medical device supply industry, and our company’s history is rooted in activism on behalf of nursing moms. We’re here to help in whatever way we can, from deciding on a breast pump that meets your needs to filing your claim. Call today to speak with one of our representatives.

Elvie Stride Double Electric Breast Pump

How breast pumps revolutionized breastfeeding

When was the first breast pump patented?

For most of human history, breastfeeding was the only way to nourish a new baby. Even breast pumps are older than you might think. The first pump was patented in 1854, and it was generally used as an aid for mothers with inverted nipples or for infants who were too frail for breastfeeding. It wasn’t comfortable, but it was a lifesaver for families who needed it.

Do all moms pump?

According to the 2005–2007 Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS II), nearly 9 in 10 breastfeeding mothers had successfully expressed milk at some point during the baby’s first year. Many of those moms used a breast pump regularly. In some cases, they fed their infants exclusively pumped milk.

How are today’s breast pumps different?

Breast pumps have improved steadily over the years, becoming more comfortable as they became more commonplace. Today, pumps come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and suctions. While hospital strength double electric breast pumps are still better used at home, many new pumps are silent, discreet, and portable. Women can even pump in their nursing bras without cords or bags to draw attention.

What are the benefits of breast pumps?

Breast pumps aren’t always necessary, but they offer a lot of benefits. If you’re a military mom or a mom who has to return to work early, a breast pump makes sure your baby doesn’t miss out on all of the nutrients only found in breast milk. If you experience frequent engorgement, pumping offers relief. On the flip side, regular pumping can help to keep your milk supply up if you’re worried about your production. It’s also great to have on hand if you have to give up breastfeeding suddenly and need to slowly back down your supply.

Are there other revolutions in the history of pumping?

Definitely. Our company’s history is rooted in revolutionary ideas where pumping is concerned. Our founder Krisi LaMont lobbied on behalf of nursing moms for insurance to cover breastfeeding equipment before the ACA required it. Our women-lead team continues to advocate for mamas and babies every day, one mother at a time.

What are the most revolutionary breast pumps?

In terms of space age technology, the Elvie Stride probably wins out. You can pump directly into your bra using an app on your phone. However, pumps like the Spectra S1 are truly revolutionary in their ability to help mothers who may require hospital strength suction. The most revolutionary pump for any mom, though, is the one she feels comfortable with. Need help finding your breast pump? We’re here for you. Give us a call or email today.

Mother is feeding newborn baby. A woman feeds a newborn with modified milk from a bottle.

Create the perfect pumping and breastfeeding schedule for you

Whether you’re returning to work or planning for a night out with the girls, pumping offers breastfeeding moms a little bit of freedom. That being said, you may feel some stress when you think about the logistics of it all. For example, how do you fit pumping into your already full schedule? Don’t worry, mama. We’ve got some ideas to help you seamlessly integrate pumping into your day.

Add pumping to your regular on demand breastfeeding schedule

If you’re able, continue to breastfeed your baby according to their usual schedule. For most babies, that’s about every two to three hours, though that may vary at different times of the day and as baby grows. To get the most out of those normal feeding sessions, pump the breast that baby is not nursing. That allows you to meet your newborn’s demands while also collecting milk for storage.

Use a newborn’s nursing schedule as your guide

If you’re unable to breastfeed on demand due to work, travel, latching difficulties, or other challenges, use your newborn’s nursing schedule to plan out your pumping sessions. As previously mentioned, that’s probably a pumping session every two to three hours during the early months. As baby grows (or if situations don’t allow for that frequency), every three to four hours will suffice.

Try cluster pumping

When they’re going through growth spurts, babies tend to “cluster pump.” That means that they nurse more frequently in shorter bursts. You can mimic this feeding style by breaking up a twenty-minute pumping session into three ten-minute pumping sessions with a five-minute break between each expression.

Add a morning pumping session

Many women tend to have fuller breasts in the morning, so try adding a session an hour before or after your baby’s morning nursing session. By the evening, most of us are tired and stressed, which inhibits the hormones that trigger the letdown effect, so adding an evening session is usually out of the question.

Recruit help and hold them to it

If you’ve got a partner in this thing called parenting, find ways to help them help you. Pumping does involve some assembly and maintenance, so ask your partner to take over that part so that you’re not solely responsible for the work involved in breastfeeding and pumping. Encourage your partner to take over some of the feeding sessions as well, using all that milk you’ve stored. You can add another pumping session while your partner cuddles and feeds baby.

Try a hands-free pumping bra to make sessions more productive

Okay, first, remember that you do not have to be productive all the time, mama. As a woman creating milk from her body, you’re doing work even when you’re doing nothing. However, we all know that even the most self-care-oriented mama often has a full to do list. A hands-free pumping bra paired with a lightweight, portable pump like the Evie or the BabyBuddha makes it a little easier to fit another pumping session into your schedule.

Find the right pump for your situation

A comfortable breast pump is critical to a successful pumping session. If you’re not sure which breast pump is right for you, get in touch with your friends at Milk N Mamas Baby. We can help you choose a pump that maximizes both your comfort and your breastmilk production.

top tips for breastfeeding and pumping

Top 7 tips for combining breastfeeding and pumping

Pumping offers a number of benefits to breastfeeding mamas. Most nursing moms experience engorgement at some point. Pumping almost instantly relieves the pressure of engorged breasts. Worried about your breastmilk supply? Pumping stimulates milk production and allows you to store away milk for a future feeding – maybe even netting you a day at the spa (or work if that’s your thing). Pumping also allows your partner and other family members and caregivers to feed your little one, and you can even donate your extra milk to moms who aren’t able to breastfeed.

Use the following tips to help you make the most of your pumping sessions without interfering with those special skin-to-skin feedings.

#1 Breastfeed on demand when possible

Pumping will never replace the special bonding that happens when you nurse your baby, and on demand nursing actually boosts production during your pumping sessions. So go ahead and enjoy breastfeeding as your schedule allows.

#2 Pump frequently

Because breastmilk works by supply and demand, more pumping sessions means more breastmilk. Therefore, it’s a good idea to schedule 15─20 minute pumping sessions every three to four hours. Make the most of those sessions by double pumping.

#3 Avoid formula feedings

Formula is harder for infants to digest, which means it stays in their systems longer. That, in turn, means babies who are formula fed are hungry less frequently. Babies who aren’t hungry don’t breastfeed as often, and that interferes with the whole chain of supply and demand. In other words, the less your baby feeds, the less milk your body makes. If formula is a must, make sure to pump during formula feeding sessions to keep your milk supply up.

#4 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Your breasts naturally produce breastmilk from water, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in your body. Therefore, less water in your body means less breastmilk when baby is hungry. Besides that, water is good for you, mama! Hydration is a struggle we all face, even when we’re not breastfeeding, but it’s especially important to hydrate when you’re drinking for two.

#5 Avoid dehydrating foods and drinks

Even if you drink an abundance of juice, milk, water, and other hydrating fluids, you’ll undo the good work if you’re also consuming foods and drinks that dehydrate you. High salt snacks and high sugar beverages are two culprits that contribute to dehydration. Meats also tend to dehydrate as do fried foods. And of course, alcohol, coffee, and tea can lead to dehydration, which may interfere with breastmilk production.

#6 Try meditation

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to increase relaxation, which can in turn boost breastmilk production by more than 60%! It also turns your pumping session into a self-care session, which will make you even more relaxed during those precious breastfeeding sessions.

#7 Choose your breast pump wisely

A comfortable breast pump is important to maintaining your pumping practice and will help to boost your milk supply. Conversely, an uncomfortable pump could cause you to throw in the towel early if the discomfort is too distracting. If you’re not sure which breast pump is right for you, get in touch with your friends at Milk N Mamas Baby. We can help you choose a pump that maximizes both your comfort and your breastmilk production.

How does suction intensity affect my milk supply?

How does suction intensity affect my milk supply?

How is breast pump suction measured?

If you check the product description of your favorite breast pump, you’ll see the suction documented as mmHG, or millimeters of mercury. The more mmHG, the more intense the suction. At Milk N Mamas Baby, we carry breast pumps with a range of suction intensity, from the Medela at a maximum strength of 240 mmHG to the BabyBuddha at a whopping 320 mmHG of maximum strength. In between, are Luna at 280 mmHG and Spectra at a maximum strength of 270 mmHG.

Main Takeaway: Breast pump suction, or vacuum, usually falls between 220 and 350 mmHG.

Is a breast pump with a stronger suction intensity better?

Suction does play a role in milk production. A study published in Breastfeeding Medicine analyzed the effect of strength of suction on the flow rate and volume of breastmilk using an electric breast pump. Mothers participating in the study expressed breastmilk for 15 minutes using a pump set at their own maximum comfortable vacuum. Then, they expressed at softer vacuums. The study found that milk flow was greater at the maximum comfortable vacuum, and cream content was higher.

Main takeaway: Pumping at the highest intensity you’re comfortable with is likely to lead to increased milk flow and cream content.

Maximum comfortable vacuum may vary from one mother to another (or even from one feeding session to another)

It hardly needs to be said that every mother is different and, therefore, every mother’s maximum comfortable vacuum will also be different. However, your maximum comfort vacuum may change from day to day and even from feeding session to feeding session. While pumping at your maximum comfort vacuum can increase flow, pumping at an uncomfortable suction can hinder milk flow. If a suction level is set too high, it can cause breast tissue to compress, which can block the flow of milk ducts and potentially irritate them. Furthermore, if the suction level is uncomfortable, your body is less likely to produce the oxytocin that helps stimulate letdown.

Main takeaway: Increase your suction intensity until it is just slightly uncomfortable, and then back it down to find your own, personal maximum comfort vacuum.

Talk to our consultants to learn more about the breast pump most likely to meet your needs

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we know that different moms need different pumping solutions. We’ve had years of experience helping all kids of moms find the best breast pump for their circumstances. Give us a call today to learn how we can help you find a breast pump that meets your needs and your budget. Many of our pumps are 100% covered by insurance.

Will pumping help me lose weight?

What is the “ideal” weight gain during pregnancy?

It’s healthy for women to gain weight during their pregnancy. How much weight gain is normal depends on your weight pre-pregnancy. A woman with a BMI of 18.5-24.9, considered by the CDC to be “normal weight,” should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. A woman who was underweight before pregnancy should put on a little more. A woman who is overweight or obese should put on less.

Women who don’t gain enough weight many deliver an undersized baby, which can make breastfeeding more difficult. It may also put the baby at increased risk of illness and developmental delays. Gaining too much weight can lead to a larger baby, which can result in delivery complications and potential childhood obesity.

Where does the extra weight go?

About 7 to 8 pounds of your pregnancy weight gain is actual baby weight. The rest of the weight gain shows up in larger breasts and uterus, placenta and amniotic fluid, increased blood and fluid volumes, and fat stores. These fat stores, which can account for up to 8 pounds of pregnancy weight gain, are critical to breastmilk production.

Nursing and pumping both help to trim the fat

The “extra” fat that your body gains during pregnancy isn’t actually extra at all. Your body is storing up the main ingredient in healthy breastmilk. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that breastfeeding and pumping breastmilk both lead to increased weight loss after delivery. Your body is using up those fat stores to feed baby. Not only are you shedding the fat that becomes the milk, converting that fat into milk burns about 500-700 calories per day.

One study found that weight loss from one to twelve months postpartum was “significantly greater” in breastfeeding than in formula-feeding women. Another study found that breastfeeding or pumping could have long term benefits. Women who breastfed for more than 12 weeks postpartun were on average 7.5 pounds lighter ten years after their pregnancy than those who did not breastfeed.

How often should you pump?

If you’re exclusively pumping, you can expect to pump 8 to 10 times per day to start. Over time, you may be able to pump less frequently. However, more frequent pumping will lead to speedier weight loss.

Continue to eat healthy while pumping and breastfeeding

It’s normal to want to drop those pregnancy pounds, but remember that they’re the building blocks of your baby’s healthy future. Don’t rush weight loss. Allow your body a month or two to heal and to establish your milk supply. Consume at least 1800 calories/day of nutrient-rich foods while you’re producing breastmilk. By pairing a healthy diet with breastfeeding or pumping, healthy weight loss will come naturally.

Choose a comfortable, easy-to-use breast pump

Choosing a pump that fits your lifestyle and your body will make it easier to pump more frequently and over a longer period of time. At Milk N Mamas Baby, we provide moms with a wide selection of the most comfortable, innovative breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories on the market. Our in-house experts can help you identify the pump that meets your needs.

Give us a call or email us today to learn more about our breast pumps and how to get one that is 100% covered by your insurance provider.