Biological Nurturing and Laid-Back Breastfeeding

Mothers have breastfed their babies since the beginning of time- otherwise, the human race wouldn't have survived. So, why does it seem that more and more women are having trouble? Are we missing something our babies are trying to tell us? Today we're learning all about biological nurturing, which encourages your own breastfeeding instincts.

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Episode Transcript

The Boob Group
Biological Nurturing Breastfeeding


Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: With so many mothers having latching challenges in any breastfeeding much sooner than initially intended. Maybe we, as mothers and breastfeeding educators, are missing something that our babies are trying to tell us. How would we have survived as a species for this long if our ancestors had as many breastfeeding challenges what we are faced with today? And what are our babies trying to tell us? I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to introduce you to Suzanne Colson, a midwife nurse and co-founder of the Nurturing Project from Kent, England. Today we are discussing biological nurturing and breastfeeding. This is the Boob Group, Episode 36.

[Theme Music/Intro]

Robin Kaplan: Welcome to the Boob Group broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. I am your host Robin Kaplan. I am also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Centre. At the Boob Group, we’re your online support group for all things related to breastfeeding.

Did you know we have a Boob Group Club? All Boob Group Club members will get access to all of our archived episodes plus bonus interviews, transcripts and special discounts and giveaways from our partners. Plus, you can interact with all of these great contents through the web or through our free Boob Group App available in the Apple and Amazon market place.
Today I am joined by three lovely panellists. We’ll start with you Norene, since you’ve been here quite a bit and we just love having you. Will you please introduce yourself?

Norene Ybarra: Thank you, Robin. I am Norene Ybarra, a stay-at-home mom to Rex Edward, who is 20 months today.

Robin Kaplan: Fantastic!

Christine Stewart: I am Christine Stewart and I work with Robin, I mean Norene, I have a master’s in public health and I’m an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I have three children, the youngest is five months old Molly, then I have a son Isaac who is four and a daughter six, Eden.

Laura De La Torre: My name is Laura De La Torre and I’m a new mother to Theodore William and he’s three months old.
Robin Kaplan: Well, ladies thank you for coming and welcome to the show.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Before we start our show here is Joanna Rose Steinberg offering tips for breastfeeding multiple babies.

Joanna Rose Steinberg: Hi Boob Group, this is Joanna Rose Steinberg, editor of I’m a mom of twins and a Board Certified Lactation Consultant in the Seattle area. Today, we’re going to talk about managing breastfeeding without a helper or a second set of hands. In the early days, we hope you have some extra help around the house. Your partner, mom or postpartum doula can help position babies for breastfeeding and can help us burping, rocking and of course diaper changes. But chances are, at some point, you’ll need to manage both babies by yourself. Here are some tips.

Make yourself a nursing nest. Bring together everything you might need for a long stretch of sitting with nursing babies. Have snacks, water, your phone, the TV remote and anything else you might need nearby. Make your nursing nest comfortable as you will be mainly taking up residence from the couch, in bed or even on the floor with lots of pillows for support. Keep some place where you will be comfortable and have plenty of room to spread out. Create safe spaces to rest babies while you’re getting settled for breastfeeding. When they are younger and not yet rolling, placing them in the middle of the bed on the back corner if it helps briefly may be sufficient. As they get older, you may want to use instant lounger pillows or bouncy chairs to hold the babies as you get settled with your breasting pillow and again when you’re finished. Both help keep the babies a bit upright after feeding which may be helpful for some babies with gas or reflux. If possible, make the transition gradual. This may mean your partner starts out back to work part time for a few days before going back to a regular schedule. Or that your mom comes by in the afternoon still lend a hand for a while. It’s helpful to know you have back up coming when you feel overwhelmed. Once you’ve managed the bumps for a little while, you’ll have the confidence to handle larger stretches. For more tips and personal breastfeeding stories, please visit and keep listening to the Boob Group for more twin tips.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Today on the Boob Group we’re discussing biological nurturing and breastfeeding. Our experts Suzanne Colson is a midwife nurse and co-founder of the Nurturing Project in organization disseminating biological nurture information. Thanks so much for joining us Suzanne and welcome to the show.

Suzanne Colson: Thank you very much. I’m absolutely thrilled to be with you this evening.

Robin Kaplan: Exactly. We are calling Suzanne, she’s is in Paris. So, Suzanne, I just have to tell you when I first saw you speaking about biological nurturing about a year and a half ago at ELCA, it absolutely changed the way that I provided help to moms who are breastfeeding. Because it just – it totally resonated with me and it just made so much sense like I can’t believe we’ve been missing this. And so, I’m just so excited to have you on the show. Would you please explain to our panelist as well as our listeners what exactly is biological nurturing?

Suzanne Colson: Well, biological nurturing is a collective term for positions, states and behaviors. And importantly, a biological nurturing or BN as I often call it, is a non-prescriptive approach to breastfeeding, that brings to light mother knowledge and gives research evidence and explanation for some things mother have always known. The aim is to increase mother’s enjoyment of breastfeeding and be and can be straight after birth or as a rescue strategy when things are not going right. It is easy to do with leaning comfortably back, and laying your baby on top of your body, so that every part of the front of the baby faces and closely touches yours. And when I say every part of the front of the baby, I mean to include the baby sides and calves and feet tops and even the soles of the baby’s feet.

Robin Kaplan: And how is this different from skin to skin that we hear so much about as well as laid back breastfeeding?

Suzanne Colson: Well, that’s a really good question. Because a lot of people are confused about the difference between biological and skin to skin contact. Now, sometimes skin to skin contact is biological nurturing and sometimes it isn’t. And the main difference is in the number of active components or what some people would call ingredients of the two approaches. Now, biological nurturing has six active ingredients. It’s about mother-baby position, so there’s two ingredients. The mother lies back and the baby lies on top. But it’s also about behavioral state, the baby’s behavior state or level of arousal and the baby reflexes, so that’s two more ingredients. And biological nurturing also includes inborn mothering and breastfeeding behaviors as well as the maternal hormonal state, what I like to call an oxytocic maternal complexion.

Now, when we’re talking about skin to skin contact as it officially define, it’s primarily about state of dress and as such there are two active ingredients. First and foremost, mother and baby are naked or almost naked, mother’s in naked from the waist up and babies can be wearing a nappy. But importantly, there has to be direct dental or tummy to tummy, skin to skin contact between the mother and the baby. Now, that skin to skin contact definition means that the mother can be in any position and she’s often pictured lying flat on her back, lying on the side or sitting upright. In other word, in those positions, described as the correct breastfeeding positions prior to the publication of my research. Now, none of those positions is a biological nurturing position.

In biological nurturing, there is always the degree of maternal body slope. And this is not vertical but it’s a gentle kind of maternal body slope that supports the baby in what I called a physiological baby body tilt. Now, there is strong argument to suggest that the degree of baby body tilt is especially important for the baby’s well being. For example, to protect the baby’s breathing, as babies are adapting to life outside the womb.

Robin Kaplan: The way that I describe this to most to the moms who I worked with is, thinking about how they would reclined on a couch with their feet up on a coffee table in front of them and so they’re relax, they’re somewhat reclined but they’re able to support their baby on their torso, so the baby doesn’t feel like here, she’s going to fall off the mom’s chest essentially. Do you think that – I’m trying to create a visual for our listeners obviously since -- I mean they could go your website and see you’ve many, many photos on the biological nurturing website to see these images, but do you think that’s a good way to describe it?

Suzanne Colson: I do. And I think another good way to describe it would be to suggest that if any kind of a position you would used when you’re watching television.

Robin Kaplan: Exactly, exactly.

Suzanne Colson: But you don’t want to suggest that mothers lie flat on their backs. And that’s what I’m trying to come away from, because when you think about it, when a mother lie flat on her back, when she puts her baby on top of her body, then the baby is lying flat and pruned. And this, unfortunately, is the way that many mothers are a portrait in skin to skin contact. Now, when you think about it, a baby lying flat and pruned, that’s not a good position to initiate respiration. And a mother will have great difficulty raising her head to see what her baby is doing. And it’s important that mother’s are able to look at their babies comfortably when they’re breastfeeding.

Robin Kaplan: Which should be very challenging if they’re lying flat on their back, that’s a lot of stress on the neck they were looking at, so –

Suzanne Colson: That’s exactly right. And so, that’s why, I define a difference between biological nurturing and skin to skin contact. You know, if the interaction and the way that all those fixed ingredients interrelate, that helps to release the behaviors and everything that helps mothers and babies get started with breastfeeding. So, it’s not just being laid back or just being in skin to skin contact. The fact is, the mother isn’t comfortable in skin to skin contact if there are people in the room that she doesn’t like or if she’s cold or feeling uncomfortable for any reason being naked. Then, skin to skin contact is likely not going to be helping her get started with breastfeeding.

Robin Kaplan: That’s a great point. Suzanne, I know you mentioned that babies – in the articles that I have read at least, that babies have 20 primitive neonatal reflexes. And this would obviously be a component that we’re feeding into with biological nurturing and so can you explain why these are so important?

Suzanne Colson: Prior to my research, I think it was documented in the main stream literature everywhere that babies have three reflexes, stimulating breastfeeding and everybody knows about the routine in sucking and swallowing, I mean even if you have somebody on the street they would probably be able to name them. And, in my research we observe 20 reflexes. Therefore, reconfiguring some 17 of them in feeding context and that was both breast and bottle feeding. Now, the reflex system itself range from head riding and lifting, the hand and mouth, the finger fraction and extension to arms and leg, cycling and crawling and finger grasping and grasping with the toes and babinski toe fan and all of these appeared to have a feeding function. But first and foremost, that function would be helping the baby become an active agent in feeding. And that means that mothers don’t have to be routinely shown how relax the baby are because when the babies are active agent they often do that themselves. And when they don’t then mothers participated helped. So, mothers are also active agents.

Robin Kaplan: So, if babies have these primitive reflexes and they’re activated when they’re in these very comfortable positions for both mom and baby. Why have we been taught to sit upright and used holds like football and cross cradle when these goes completely against all these thing that you’re describing, do you think? What’s your philosophy on that, or opinion?

Suzanne Colson: Well, it’s a hard question to answer and they’re probably lots of reasons. But first of all, the people who have taught upright position probably never thought about the role that gravity might play in infant’s feeding. So that they didn’t realize that these positions could actually make the reflexes act this breastfeeding barriers. I actually think my study is the first to examine the law of gravity plays in infant feeding. So that’s one plausible reason.

Now, of course children and adult also sit upright to eat and it was probably just natural to suggest that upright breastfeeding was the correct way. But when you think about it, that’s just extrapolating our own eating posture to the new born. And we need to be careful not to personify the baby like that. Human babies are very different from children and adult. For example, for at least the first nine months that human babies is a quadruplet and that would suggest that maybe feeding on the baby is coming like some of our mammalian cousins do, would be more species specific than being held with close pressure applied on the babies back and head and neck as it’s necessary when mothers sit upright.

Now, I have one third explanation for this and that is that it became very important to teach correct positioning and attachment probably in the 1980s. And that is probably associated with the need for consistency of advice and health professionals were looking for a way to show mothers how to breastfeed within a standardized intervention. And unfortunately, they did this by standardizing the mother’s and baby’s position. But I would suggest that as in any reproductive infant, you can’t really standardized the position and that’s why I always tell mothers who are about 80 biological nurturing mother positions and 360 baby positions because the breast is round. Now, what we need to be saying perhaps is that mothers and babies discovered to the hits and miss of the experience, the positions that worked. And they discovered this by doing it. So, that’s why I don’t really teach correct positioning and attachment.

Robin Kaplan: That’s fantastic. I’d loved to open this conversation up to our panelist. Ladies, where you taught different breastfeeding positions such as football holding, cradle hold in your breastfeeding classes or by midwives or hospital staff and did you find that these positions were difficult or were there things that Suzanne is describing actually occurring anyway even while you were doing these more prescribed positions. What do you think, Norene?

Norene Ybarra: When I was in a hospital one of the nurses was amazing, noticed that Rex wasn’t feeding on one my breast and so she suggest that – it appears as if he prefers one side like lying on his right side. So, she suggested whatever the football or cross cradle to make sure that mama’s boobs were even. And what was nice was that she was an experience mother and breast feeder where she listened and notice that, whereas, me, a new mom would have notice that and probably would have walked around with lopsided boobs and made it more complicated. And so what was really nice is at the get-go, without telling me pay attention and listen, she taught me to pay attention and listen. And I was taught that like breastfeeding can be a challenging thing so you know listen as much as possible and I did that and so without being biologically nurturing, I was like okay, let’s pay attention because there is two people involved here.

And I notice like how I dealt with that breastfeeding is it made a lot easier for me whereas, other people had challenges with breastfeeding they were like, I did this, this, and this and this and this and I was like well, you know, what’s going with the baby and what does the baby like or do because they’re like, I really want to try this hold and I’m like, but your child doesn’t like that hold and so learning -- being taught to listen either way was really, really helpful because then, I believe my son had less issues with breastfeeding because I’m just kind of doing my best to pay attention rather than okay, now we’re going to do it this way and whatever.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. How about you, Christine?

Christine Stewart: Both all my births were with midwives and then at home because so I wasn’t seen by a lactation consultant. I had known a lot of these beforehand because I was lactation educator before I had my first. But I found that actually being left on my own was kind of a good thing because I wasn’t asking for advice or help but I just did what felt comfortable. And I found that, that worked the best sometimes when there is little to no intervention. And I was in my bed and my husband is behind me and I was in that laid back really comfortable position and we just stayed like that and it’s really nice just to have that.

Robin Kaplan: Very good. All right, how about you, Laura?

Laura De La Torre: Well, when I think back to when Theo actually was born, I actually kind of was in that laid back position on my living room floor and that is how we attempted to first latch him. He, in particular, was resistant to latching at all and he was screaming so, for you know, a good 10-15 minutes while we’re trying to establish that relationship that was the position we actually were established it with. After that things evolved into more cradle, try football and cross cradle.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, but in the beginning?

Laura De La Torre: In the very beginning actually was that just by virtue of how –

Robin Kaplan: Of the position you were in, yeah, how everything went down.

Laura De La Torre: Yeah.

Robin Kaplan: Suzanne, what do you think about the comments that the panelist said, do they surprised you at all?
Suzanne Colson: No, I think that they show a lovely range of experience and a lot of it through they that I – I kind of like what -- is it Norene? Is that, did I understand her name ---

Robin Kaplan: Yes, yes.

Suzanne Colson: -- said about paying attention and listening, I mean I guess that I would want to be paying attention and listening to the baby because I think that the baby kind of is the instruction book.

Norene Ybarra: Absolutely.

Suzanne Colson: I kind of took it as that being the lesson that she had learnt from the nurse that was helping her and I think that that’s really important and focusing on the baby and taking his individual cues and his messages. I heard from Laura, I think at the end that she said that it was may be the baby was crying when you were trying to latch the baby on for the first time?

Laura De La Torre: When he was born, yeah, when he was born he came out screaming actually more so, and he continue to scream for about the first hour or so, after he was born a couple of hours.

Suzanne Colson: I think that can be difficult when babies are screaming so, I’d like to get them to go to sleep. And not really pay that much attention to get them latch if they’re screaming but just to calm them down, get them to go to sleep because babies will latch on in their sleep beautifully well in biological nurturing position. And if they’re really too sleepy for that, then you can kind of help them do that. But so, position isn’t the beyond and on and that’s what I am trying to say is that depending on the situation, that it’s probably a good idea to try to examine all those active ingredients of biological nurturing and behavior, the baby’s behavioral state is really, really important. And then of course, what Christine is that it? Is that your name Christine? What you said it’s just going to doing what feels comfortable and natural that just sounds wonderful to me.

Robin Kaplan: I think to all of us. All right, wonderful when we come back, Suzanne will discuss how the infants and mothers emotional states can affect latching success. So, we’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: All right, well, we’re back with Suzanne Colson, she is a midwife nurse and co-founder of the nurturing project and organization disseminating biological nurturing information. And she’s calling in from Paris, France. And we’re talking about biological nurturing. So Suzanne, many of us have seen a baby who seems to be refusing the breast, they are fighting the breast and like he or she can’t get comfortable. How can biological nurturing helps this baby?

Suzanne Colson: Well, oftentimes babies are refusing and fighting the breast when mothers are sitting upright. So, if the mother is sitting upright then, I guess you have to kind of look at her and see if she’s holding her baby applying pressure along the baby’s back or sometimes that pressure extends into a strong grip on to the baby’s neck or even holding the baby’s head. Because if she’s doing that, it’s likely that the baby is fighting that because that can be uncomfortable for babies and also that the position that she’s in is not allowing the reflexes to go with gravity.

So, it’s always important to make a positional assessment and oftentimes just changing the degree of the maternal body slope will help. Now, why does that happen? And that’s important for any of us helping mothers to know. When you’re sitting straight upright, if you kind of do that, like right now as we’re talking and then you look down you’ll see that you don’t have a lot of body space between the breastbone or the sternal notch and the pubic bone. Because upright sitting, especially if you’re sitting both upright, the closest your mid waist down. And as soon as you start to lie back you open your body and giving the baby much more space. Now, when you’re sitting upright, the baby generally lies across the body at right angle through the mother’s body and across the mother’s body. And as soon as mothers start leaning backward then babies can start moving into a more oblique lie or a longitudinal lie. And this is not a vertical lie, the longitudinality of it is up and down but verticality is always with the base.

And so, these were the kinds of things which you can be looking for when a baby is refusing the breast. And another very, very important thing to be looking for is that the baby goes to sleep. Now the baby will go to sleep because they go in and out of sleep and awake state so rapidly much, much more quickly than children or adults do. If all of a sudden I fall asleep even though it’s past 10:00 a.m. or 10:00 p.m. here in Paris, you would be surprised. But if you were talking with the baby you won’t be at all surprised if the baby fell asleep. And so what you want to do is hold the baby in sleep state and then the baby will start chewing or I like to call this chew invitation to breastfeeding. They exist in the sleep state and then it’s very, very easy because of sleep state dampened down the reflex response, this strength of the reflex response. Then it’s easy to help the baby latch if there’s latching problems or to adjust the baby’s latch if there’s sore nipple or if it’s a sleepy baby and you can’t get the baby to latch then actually just put your breast in the baby’s mouth. So, generally speaking and again, it won’t always be like that. But generally speaking when mothers are experiencing latching difficulties time and again it’s usually because the degree of their body slope is not going with gravity.

Robin Kaplan: Okay. And I know that, I see this all the time in my practice and I know Christine does this well but you have the baby who is frantically shaking his head, mom you’ve probably have had this happen to you. The breast is in the baby’s mouth, nipple and everything ready to go and the baby is just sitting there going back and forth, left to right like he’s desperately trying to latch and but doesn’t know what to do with the breast in his mouth. How can biological nurturing help this baby?

Suzanne Colson: Well, again it’s the same thing. It’s just assessing the mother’s position and trying to get the baby to go to sleep. You can let the baby tug on your little finger and that usually put the baby right to sleep. And then even if the nipples are in the baby’s mouth the mother can still lie back a little bit. Now, what I don’t do is I don’t think a mother -- I think that you should try lying back. I don’t make suggestions like that. Rather, I try to make mothers more comfortable and in doing so, they start lying back.

So, I don’t really tell mothers what to do and I find it when I do it usually doesn’t work as well as just may be saying to them, let’s see if we can get you all comfy and then I start placing pillows or anything that I can find under the various parts of their bodies that are not supported. And all of a sudden, I looked for that moment when their body start relaxing. And that usually been the time that the baby starts moving, you think the reflexes in to a more oblique or longitudinal position. And babies, they sleep and it’s just very easy to get them to that. I just did with a mother who had sore nipples so, she wasn’t having latching problems but she was having experiencing sore nipples and the baby just going to latch gone in his sleeping, the mother could guide all that. And the same thing with latching problems, the mother can let the baby suck on her fingers, the baby would go to sleep, generally speaking. And then she can stick her breast in.

Robin Kaplan: Okay. Panelist, ladies in our panel right now, can you recall a time when it was difficult to latch your baby on the breast and what was your baby doing and how did you response? Kind of relying on your own instincts, Christine can you think anything in particular?

Christine Stewart: I think because I have two kids running around the house it can get a little bit hairy and the baby definitely responds to the increase level of noise. So, what I do is I removed myself and we sit in a quiet room together and we have a very soft chair, we kind of sink completely into it. And that’s, that usually works really well. And I can tell that when she falls into that really light sleep face that she’s really, she’s ready to suck. But, also I have tried just keep on doing what I’m doing and I walked around the house and she will latch on because I’m doing something with my other hand. And it’s amazing what you can do with one hand.

Robin Kaplan: What about you Norene?

Norene Ybarra: More recently as he’s gone older, when he just gets distracted and so I will just keep on doing something else and all of a sudden he is obviously at the point where he’s walking around and I’m just getting dressed and he’s now standing am on two feet and he’s breastfeeding as his and I’m like okay, I guess that’s the position we’re feeding for now. So, I think it’s one of those things I get comfortable and if it doesn’t work like okay, that’s okay. Just because a lot of times that’s because I want to him, not best necessarily that he needs to. So, I’m not pushing it because a lot of time it’s like, shouldn’t you breastfeed before we leave or whatever, I’m like, yeah, it’s not his time.

Robin Kaplan: Really respecting his needs, that’s just fantastic. How about you, Laura?

Laura De La Torre: Yeah, basically the same things that they’re saying in terms of just changing things up, get up and walked around or sometimes switching sides in a particular moment or stopping altogether, it’s not happening.
Robin Kaplan: Suzanne, how do you think the mother’s hormonal state and behaviors play into biological nurturing and obviously breastfeeding can be very stressful for some moms and so, where do you recommend to reduce her stress so that way she’s in a place where she can latch her baby on as comfortably as possible?

Suzanne Colson: Right, well I think I’ll start with your second questions first. Because I think it’s important to address this idea that you have to be relaxed situation without any stress to be successful at breastfeeding. I think they got that the wrong way round. Mothers have breastfed to war and famine and all kinds of miserable life experiences. I think that the research is very clear that relaxation is the result of breastfeeding, and then you don’t have to have a low blood pressure to breastfeed but if you breastfeed it’s likely that your blood pressure is lower.

Mothers said that it feels so good to give their milk to their babies and I think that that’s what we want to be focusing on. We live in a world of stress and I think that it’s almost impossible to be completely stress-free and I’m -- with the question whether that would even be the aim. So, how can the mother to an amount of state and behaviors play into biological nurturing? Well, this is where the body support is really important and I love it when Christine said that, she kind of went to a place where it was quite and when you’re getting started with breastfeeding, I think that’s always a great idea. Later, as Norene suggested, babies are very versatile, that reflexes gets conditioned, everything seems to work when the baby gets older.

But as you’re finding your way, it’s nice to be able to kind of relax in the soft chair and sink down. And as soon as you do that and your whole body is comfortable, you’re more likely to be relaxed but you might not be, but you’re more likely to be relaxed. And all of a sudden, when you’re kind of all comfy there, mothers seem to look at their babies differently. And it’s almost as if the biological nurturing position seem to regulate the distance between mom and her baby to maximize baby gauging. And certain voice had ever, just like magic, mothers just know because the baby and his behaviors are so tuned so they’re no longer focused upon problems as much as how adorable the baby is. And I believe that, that’s the part of what helps mothers and babies gets started with breastfeeding, so I always aim in my support to help mothers get into that spot where they start focusing on the baby and noticing how absolutely adorable the baby is. And of course, I quote that of kind of an oxytocics hormonal complexion because you can see that she’s focusing on the baby, it’s written all over her face.

Robin Kaplan: Wonderful, well thank you so much Suzanne for your insight into biological nurturing and I do want to mention too, you have a whole set of webinars starting in January and is it through ELCA or USLCA, Suzanne?

Suzanne Colson: USLCA.

Robin Kaplan: Okay, so they –

Suzanne Colson: United States Lactation Consultant Association.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. So, for lactation consultants who are listening to this and want to get some extra credits towards their professional development. It’s a great resource for us to learn more about this whole process. And for our Boob Group club members, our conversation will continue after at the end of the show as Suzanne will answer another question on this topic. For more information please visit our website at

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Before we end our show here’s one our experts answering a question from one of our listeners.

Casey: Hi! My name is Casey and I’m from San Diego and I have a question for our Boob Group expert. I nurse my toddler. He is 22 months and we kind of, over the last six months or so, have developed the routine. He doesn’t nurse in public anymore. He nurses in the morning in bed with me and then I nurse him before he takes a nap, if he takes a nap that day and I nurse him tonight. So, maybe two times, three times a day. And I’m fine with that and happy with that because I still want him to be breastfed but at the same time I’m not one of those mothers who let them have it any time he asked for it. So now my question is, we’re getting to be a little bit older and lately I don’t know if it’s because I’m gone and I was traveling or what but, he’s been asking for it in the middle of the day, he will come be playing with his trains and then he will come on over he’ll asked for and I don’t know how to do it because I don’t want him to have it then, it’s kind of our thing in our bedroom but at the same time I feel like he wants it and I do believe in breastfeeding my toddler. So, I just don’t know where the line is drawn and if I might be a mean mommy by saying, no, he can’t be nursed in the day and he has to be nurse at night. How do I go about that?

Rose: Hi Casey, this is Rose Devigne-Jackiewicz, I’m a lactation consultant at Kaiser Permanente and you had a question about nursing your toddler. You kind of said a keyword that you’ve kind of been gone and traveling so I have a feeling that he’s kind of miscuing you are gone and so he’s just kind of doing more frequent checking in because you’re back. And so it’s very common for a toddler to maybe pick up nursing a few times when you’ve been gone traveling or at work. It’s just being a normal toddler thing of checking into his mom, chances are he is going to get back to your routine that you’re doing before. So, hopefully, that’s helpful, thanks so much.

Robin Kaplan: Thank you so much to our experts, panelists and to all of our listeners. If you have any questions about today’s show or the topic we discussed, please call our Boob Group hotline at 619-866-4775 and we’ll answer your question on an upcoming episode. If you have a breastfeeding topic you’d like to suggest we’d love to hear it. Simply visit our website at and send us an email through the contact link. Coming up next week we have Amber McKenna talking about supplement options for moms with a low milk supply. Thanks for listening to the Boob Group because mothers know breast.


This has been a New Mommy Media production. The Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating healthcare problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

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