My friend Nora just gave me a heads-up on this article by Fleur Bickford on the Best for Babes site. There are so many unhelpful things out there about latch – so many detailed instructions about specific positions that don’t actually work for all mothers and babies. Many of these detailed instructions seem to put mothers and babies out of sync with one another – but successful breastfeeding depends on mothers and babies working together. We are learning more all the time about how babies use their hands, how they get information from touch and smell, how they will try to adjust themselves to be comfortable. Mothers can support these inborn skills to help babies succeed at breastfeeding. Fleur Bickford’s article pulls together the thoughts that many people have been having about babies’ inborn breastfeeding skills in a user-friendly way. It’s good stuff!
Holding babies skin to skin is so good for babies and mamas! Here is a website with nice online video to enjoy. The babies are adorable, the information is invaluable. http://www.mystfx.ca/InfantSkinToSkinContact/
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine just put up a post about new guidelines from the CDC for hormone birth control and breastfeeding mothers. These guidelines suggest that it is ok for breastfeeding mothers to begin some hormonal birth control methods soon after birth. The new guidelines may undermine breastfeeding success:
Clinically, breastfeeding support providers report a negative impact on breastfeeding when these methods are introduced too early, and one preliminary study found dramatically lower breastfeeding rates at 6 months among mothers who underwent early insertion of progesterone-containing IUDs, compared with insertion at 6-8 weeks postpartum.
If you’re wondering what birth control options are compatible with breastfeeding, The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has a protocol on contraception and breastfeeding. If you’d like a discussion of your options that is a little less clinical sounding (maybe a little easier to read as an overview) here is a link to a summary from La Leche League International. Two birth control methods that are totally compatible with breastfeeding (one of them depends on breastfeeding!) that many people overlook are NFP and LAM.
Going back to work while their babies are little is the reality for most mothers that I see. And while it is possible to feed a baby by cup or spoon or finger, most care providers really prefer to feed babies with bottles. So I’ve been trying to learn more about what kinds of bottles and bottle feeding methods best support breastfeeding. There isn’t a lot of good information out there. This new website, BreastandBottlefeeding.com, (and their book) is a start in the right direction. I found the book interesting and think it could be helpful to mothers that are trying to find the way to use bottles to maintain their breastfeeding relationship while they need to be away from their babies. I was disappointed at the lack of research-based information and references, though. It’s a thoughtful book but not heavily evidence-based — though that may not be the fault of the authors but just due to a lack of comprehensive research on this topic.
I have been looking forward to this book’s publication ever since I heard a conference talk by one of the authors, Lisa Marasco. This book, Making More Milk, by Lisa Marasco and Diana West is finally available for pre-orders. I’ve got my copy ordered (and I keep checking my mail hoping it’s here) — I think it’s going to be an awesome resource for mothers with low milk production and the people that want to help them. One thing that I find particularly exciting about this book is that it looks at current lactation research to try to understand the different reasons that women have trouble making enough milk for their babies. It makes so much sense to try to use interventions that address the underlying problems.
Lisa and Diana have already shared so much of their experience and research. If you want a taste of what they offer, check out their website www.lowmilksupply.org or listen to them on the Motherwear podcasts.
Take a look at these girls “breastfeeding” their dolls. They’re both holding their dolls in the way mothers hold their babies when babies self-attach (as described by Dr. Tina Smillie) — or in the “Biological Nurturing” position described by Suzanne Colson. Maybe we should be learning something from watching these girls that (almost certainly) have never been at a breastfeeding class and just hold their “babies” the way it feels right…
Note: These awesome pictures are from the La Leche League of Wisconsin Events page. LLL of WI offers great educational events every fall. I’m looking forward to hearing Marsha Walker next month. It’s not too late to register…