Breastfeeding Toddlers: Night Nursing and Weaning

We're continuing our popular discussion on what it's like to breastfeed a toddler. What are some great night nursing strategies as well as ways to get your little to sleep without breastfeeding? What's the difference between producing less milk and not enough milk? Plus how to you start the weaning process if that's something you're hoping to do.

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Episode Transcript

The Boob Group
Breastfeeding Toddlers: Night Nursing and Weaning

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from 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: Breastfeeding toddlers was such a hot topic that we literally had over 10 interview questions we didn’t even have time to ask in part 1. So now it’s time for us to discuss those difficult questions that revolve around sleep time nursing and gently weaning your breastfeeding toddler if that’s something that you are looking into doing any time soon. I’m so thrilled that Andrea decided to come back to the show. Andrea J. Blanco is a private practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in Miami, Florida with Loving Start Lactation Services. Today we are discussing breastfeeding toddlers and managing that sometimes chaotic circus, part two. This is The Boob Group.

[Theme Music/Intro]

Robin Kaplan: Welcome to The Boob Group, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I’m your host, Robin Kaplan. I’m also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center. At The Boob Group we’re your online support group for all things related to breastfeeding. Have you signed up for our newsletter yet? This is one of the best ways to stay informed about our new episodes, giveaways and blog posts. Also, if you sign up today you will be entered into our giveaway for a three-month membership of our Boob Group Club, which gives you access to all of our archived episodes.

Today I’m joined by three lovely panelists in the studio. Ladies, will you please introduce yourselves?

Cinda Brown: My name is Cinda Brown and I’m 36. I’m an officer in the navy and I have one daughter and she is 16-and-a-half months.

Danielle Giambrone: I’m Danielle Giambrone. I’m 28 years old. I stay at home currently with my son who is 22 months today.

Melissa Lang Lytle: I’m Melissa Lang Lytle. I’m 41 years old, going to be 42 next month. My occupation I would say is stay-at-home-mom and also a kind of birth advocate. I work for two non-profit organizations here in San Diego. I have two children. One is two and one is four.

Robin Kaplan: Fantastic. Welcome to the show, ladies.

[Theme Music]

[Featured Segment: Breast Milk Spit-up at Work!]

Robin Kaplan: So actually for our Boob Oops today I actually have a story to share that happened to me when I was nursing my first son, Ben. So Ben was about six months old and I was back at work full time and Ben was a huge puker. He puked on me all the time. So I knew better than to wear a shirt while I was nursing him obviously while we were home. So I went in, I nursed him, I was running late for work. I picked him up like right after he was done and he puked all over me, like down my back, down my front. The problem is that I didn’t realize that he also puked in my hair. And so I went, I ran and I washed myself off with a facecloth, threw my work shirt on, went to work. And about an hour into work we’re sitting in a staff meeting – there are about 15 other people in the staff meeting – and my supposed good friend who’s sitting next to me turns to me and she goes “Oh my god, Robin, you reek!” And I just looked at her completely mortified, like “How could you say that to me? Oh my god!” And she’s like, “No, you really stink, like I can’t believe how badly you stink.” And everyone just kind of turned and looked at me and I was like bright red, I was like “Alright! My son’s a puker. He puked on me, I didn’t have time to get a shower, I was running late for work, I didn’t want to be late for this meeting. So yes, I have puke in my hair. Are you happy?” And I was like… I really wanted to punch her in the face, I was so mad! So it wasn’t necessarily flashing-a-boob type of boob oops, but it definitely was a breastfeeding oops.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Today on The Boob Group we’re discussing breastfeeding toddlers: managing that sometimes chaotic circus, part two. Our expert, Andrea Blanca, is a private practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in Miami, Florida, with Loving Start Lactation Services. I first met Andrea when she decided to be a guest writer for my blog on the Sand Diego Breastfeeding Center blog. Her toddler articles have been some of the most popular articles on my site due to her breastfeeding knowledge and her sassy storytelling. Thanks so much for joining us, Andrea, and welcome back to the show.

Andrea J. Blanco: Thank you for having me back, Robin.

Robin Kaplan: So in our last episode on breastfeeding toddlers we talked about the frequency of toddler breastfeeding and using breastfeeding as a fantastic breastfeeding tool. Yet we also had a lot of questions from our Facebook page about sleep time and weaning, so we thought it would be really helpful to have an entire episode just about those topics. Before we get to those topics thought I have an additional question for you. Andrea, in your blog articles on my website you talk about the difference between having less milk and not having enough milk. Can you tell us what this is all about?

Andrea J. Blanco: Sure. So this goes back to the basic breastfeeding law of supply and demand. In the first few months of a baby’s life the mother’s body id adjusting by making enough milk to meet the needs of her growing baby. Ideally sometime after the six-month mark the baby then starts on solids and the weaning process begins. Now that doesn’t mean that the baby will wean anytime soon. It just means that now the body begins to readjust its milk production to reflect the baby’s getting some of his nutritional needs elsewhere. This process continues and the amount a mother needs to produce by the time the baby becomes a toddler is dependent on how often that toddler is nursing and how much other foods he’s eating day today. Throw into the equation that some mothers may be returning to work or if they’re already working, they’ve opted to start pumping while at work. Or the toddler may be sleeping longer stretches or the mother has a return of her mensies and has seen a related drop in production due to that. These things can affect milk supply.

However, in most instances, if the mom is still offering the breast freely then the toddler is still dictating supply. For instance, today the toddler might not want avocado pieces and blueberries for lunch. She may want to nurse on mama’s nip. And the next day she may decide she wants to stuff her mouth full of cheese crackers for half hour. It’s up to her, she is dictating the supply.

This is especially challenging for moms who pump regularly because they’ve been used to get a certain amount for so long and then slowly the amount decreases. Concerns over low milk supply at this age are generally easily explained and usually a matter of adjusting expectations for the mom regarding her toddler’s needs.

Robin Kaplan: Fantastic, thank you. You just nailed that question. (Laughs) Andrea, another question from one of our Facebook followers. Teresa asked: “How can I get my toddler to sleep without nursing first?” because a lot a lot of these little ones they love momma right before they go to bed. And so she was having a tough time helping her baby go to sleep especially if she wasn’t home. So any ideas?

Andrea J. Blanco: Yeah. So my first reaction to this question is that regardless of the child’s age is why does a mother want her child to stop nursing to sleep? Often times I think that we as mothers have a problem with this because we’re told it’s problematic and not necessarily because we really believe it to be so.

Having said that, it was my experience with both my kids that around the 16 months mark each of them stopped falling asleep at the breast. It’s not that I didn’t try to nurse them to sleep. It’s that they would nurse and nurse and nurse and not fall asleep and then want to play after. And that was extremely overwhelming for me as a mom. However, it was also a good sign that he was ready to transition off falling asleep at the breast to some other sort of ritual that helped soothe to sleep.

Some things to try are back stroking, hair tousling – any light rhythmic touch. You can process this shift for the child by explaining in easy to understand terms, something like “We’re going to drink booby for a little while and then mommy is going to stroke your hair to sleep.” Don’t give into the temptation of foregoing the routine when it doesn’t work for the first couple of times. As with anything you do with this age group, consistency is so important. And reevaluating the plan as you and the toddler goes along. This is the age where testing limits begin and setting those limits in gentle easy-to-understand terms is important for them and for you. And it’s a wonderful question, Teresa.

Robin Kaplan: Thank you. Ladies, do you still nurse your toddlers to sleep? And if not, when was that transition and how did that go for you?
Cinda, do you mind starting?

Cinda Brown: Sure. I absolutely do still nurse her to sleep and for example last night I wasn’t home to that and I came home to a big disaster.

Robin Kaplan: Oh, no! (Laughs)

Cinda Brown: I haven’t tried to not do it because it works for us and that’s how I get her to sleep.

Andrea J. Blanco: How old was that panelist’s baby? I’m sorry.

Cinda Brown: She’s 16-an-a-half months right now.

Andrea J. Blanco: Yup.

Robin Kaplan: She’s still little.

Cinda Brown: She’s not little. She’s very big. (Laughs)

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, absolutely. How about you, Danielle?

Danielle Giambrone: Yes. We still nurse to sleep bedtimes and naps pretty much every time. If I happen to be at work – I only work a few days a month – but if I happen to be at work my husband gets him to sleep by just holding him and kind of rocking him to sleep and I think also they play and play and play until he’s exhausted. Occasionally he’ll fall asleep like in the car seat if we’re out and about too. So it’s not necessary. If I wanted to stop nursing him to sleep I probably could. But it works and we enjoy it and so we’ll just keep going.

Robin Kaplan: Which is clearly the key, I think that point you said, that both it works and you enjoy it.

Danielle Giambrone: Right.

Robin Kaplan: … and so why would you stop?

Danielle Giambrone: Especially with a toddler, they’re so busy. It’s just a nice time to kind of wind down and reestablish the bond that maybe you had more of when they were tiny.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. How about you, Melissa?

Melissa Lang Lytle: I have a two-year-old… almost three-year-old. And we just recently started working on ending nursing to sleep, both for naps and night time. So I night-weaned and worked on it there and then we’ve been working on the nap. But I pushed all the way through past two of nursing him sleep. He just loved it. And I loved it. And it was a down time for both of us and we… bed share is what made it really easy. So it’s something that I just recently worked through doing.

Robin Kaplan: Now how… what steps did you do? What worked for you to start that weaning process to go to sleep?
Melissa Lang Lytle: I just knew that it was about pattern and about rhythm and we would nurse before – well this is before I night-weaned – but as far as naps go we would nurse before and then go upstairs together and either read a book or he would just lay down on his tummy and I would rub his back or rub his bum.

Robin Kaplan: Kind of like Andrea was just describing.

Melissa Lang Lytle: Exactly.

Robin Kaplan: Perfect. Ok, thank you. Andrea, for those who bed-share, some have asked how to keep their toddlers from nursing throughout the night. And Melissa was just describing that she actually went through this process with the night-weaning. What recommendations do you have for that?

Andrea J. Blanco: So first let me just say that it is possible to night-wean and bed-share. And again, it’s completely normal for toddlers to be waking up at night. And the frequency of night waking varies greatly from child to child and also the age is key. I mean just amongst our panelists you have a variation of 16 months to almost 36 months. With the toddler age group of 12 to 36 months, there’s such a huge range and this is one of the situations where a 12-month-old may not be as ready as a 20-month-old to take the steps even if mom and dad might be.

Separation anxiety is at its peak during these months, so with my clients, we try to work around the issues that they’re having before the 18th-month mark so long as we can, although that’s not always the ideal situation. It’s important to try and narrow down why the toddler is waking. Is this normal behavior or did they suddenly change their pattern and have begun night-waking or night-waking more frequently. If it’s a change in pattern then I would hold off, because that’s indication that something else is going on, whether it be that the toddler is on the cusp of a huge developmental milestone, like learning to talk or teething or fighting illness or trying to find quality time with the parent who has recently returned to work.

Some things to try being mindful of your child’s age and ability to understand and communicate are introducing a sipping cup with water. So you start off by offering water at night before or right after nursing, so that the child starts to link those two events. And then when the child wakes you offer the water first. Then at that point, you would try some of that light rhythmic touch that we talked about earlier to get the baby back to sleep. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, then nurse for a few minutes until he’s back to sleep and repeat again at the next waking.

For me the fighting or denying the breast until everyone was awake was counterproductive to what I was trying to do, so my stopping point was a little bit before the crying escalated. And again, be patient and consistent over and over. With my first, I tried at 19 months and it failed miserably. So I stopped, it was very clear he wasn’t ready. I let it go completely and then I tried again at 20 months. And it worked like a charm. No problem, with very little tears. The only difference between those two months really was his readiness and me being aware of his readiness.

Another trick to try is to infuse their day with conversations about the things that go to sleep. So: the sun sleeps, the rooster sleeps, the dog sleeps, the baby sleeps. You know, things like that and then emphasizing all of that throughout the day and then when he night-wakes. Something like “the sun isn’t awake yet, honey. The booby’s still sleeping.” Or then go to the library and check-out a bunch of books that have to do with things going to sleep and talk about it over and over and over. Neither of these ideas is meant to be quick as they are intended to be slow-paced gentle approaches to reaching the mom’s goal, but they are effective.

Robin Kaplan: Fantastic. Ladies, how often do your toddlers nurse through the night? And, Melissa, I would love to know when you started night-weaning and… you had mentioned kind of how you did it as well, but maybe if you have a few more tips… So actually we’ll start with you, Melissa. So when did you start night-weaning and how long did the process take?

Melissa Lang Lytle: Well we just started about four months ago. So what I started doing first was start talking about it with my toddler. Something that was really important to me that I noticed about him was that he needed to understand it first and we just really worked through talking about it so that he started to get it in his consciousness before it actually started to happen.

And then what worked for us is we went out and picked out a special toy that he wanted and so… he used to bring it to bed, which is kind of funny, because he decided to pick a rainbow of pens. (Laughs) So he used to like bring his pens to bed in a plastic case. I was really hoping he’d pick a stuffed animal or something really cuddly and soft that reminded him of mama, but no. He picked pens, which I think is fabulous. But I think starting to talk about it the first couple of nights were rough and we just worked through it. I talked a lot about him like Andrea mentioned, I used the water and did the rhythmic rubbing like I did with the naps. So what worked for us was just consistency and me still being there and nurturing him when it was really hard for him to transition those first couples of nights. But really by the end of the week, we were rocking it.

Robin Kaplan: Cool. How about you, Danielle? How often does your baby feed through the night at this point?

Danielle Giambrone: Uhm probably… regularly in general maybe two times… maybe once or twice. Not very much. Mostly he sleeps the first stretch of the night pretty well and then more nursing… so probably both… I would say not that much through the beginning of the night and then towards the end maybe once around four o’clock in the morning and then once more around six and then he sleeps and wakes up. But of course, teeth coming in or not feeling good or kind of out of sorts, then it’s a lot more. And then usually I know that the next day we’re going to have a long day and extra cuddles and things like that. Like the other night: he wasn’t sleeping really well. When he woke up he told me that his back was hurting, so I went to the chiropractor and then got it all straightened out and then he was fine. So I realized there is a reason. It’s so nice that still nursing a toddler that they are able to communicate with you. Because then you can understand and help them a little bit better than you used to. So… you know… a lot of love and understanding on those long nights.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. How about you, Cinda?

Cinda Brown: I think Lily’s still nursing probably four or five times a night or more. I’m not really sure because it’s gotten to a point where I’m totally out of it and still sleeping and she just rolls over – she’s big enough now, she can latch on by herself, which is fabulous. It’s all hands-off, I don’t have to do it. We put her to bed fairly early, probably around 6 o’clock, because she gets up around six in the morning. And so from that point I know the clock’s ticking and I have about two hours before she wakes up and I have to go in there. So it’s right around probably two hours or so. That’s what I’m guessing.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. And it works out ok for you because you are able to sleep through a lot of it, it sounds like.

Cinda Brown: For the most part. Unless she’s… like we said here she’s teething or something like that. Then it’s a little bit harder.

Robin Kaplan: It’s a long night. But it would be a long night even if they weren’t nursing, so… You should have a tool.

Cinda Brown: Correct. Absolutely. Right.

Robin Kaplan: Alright. Fantastic. When we come back Andrea will discuss ways to gently wean a toddler. We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Ok and we’re back right now with Andrea Blanco, a private practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant from Miami, Florida and she works with Loving Start Lactation Services. And we are discussing breastfeeding toddlers, managing that sometimes chaotic circus part two. So, Andrea here’s a question from one of our Facebook followers. Megan asked – she said “Some days I feel like I just need a break. But I know that if I weaned then I would totally miss our breastfeeding relationship” (all their panelists are shaking their heads). “How did you get past those days when freedom was so tempting?”

Andrea J. Blanco: This is such a great question too. This may sound so simple, but understanding that those feelings are normal is for me really the most important first step. The fact that Megan is able to distinguish between needing a break and needing to wean is important too. Those are the times when you really need to surround yourself with people who get where you’re coming from. If there isn’t a toddler nursing group in Megan’s area then I really encourage her to go online. Not only did I find some support, encouragement, and most of all understanding on those days when I felt that way, but I also took away lasting friendships with wonderful women who are some of my dearest friends to this day. Do online breastfeeding mommy groups – I really, really want her to get out there into the social media world.

Robin Kaplan: Cool. How about you, ladies? What other advice do you have if you’re feeling those days when you’re looking for some freedom? How do you power through them? Cinda, How about you?

Cinda Brown: I sometimes ask her dad to take care of her. Just to give me a break to go out. Something I’ve started doing recently too is I’ll put her in the jogging stroller and I’ll go for runs. She loves it and if she’s really grabby and wants to be all over me that takes her mind off of it, because any chance to exercise gives me a little break. But it doesn’t work so well when we get back home, because then she immediately wants it. She remembers where we left off, but… Just maybe to get someone else to take care of her baby for a little while, just to give her half an hour to go do something for herself.

Robin Kaplan: Perfect. How about you, Danielle?

Danielle Giambrone: I kind of do the same thing as far as just getting out of the house. I find that… my son tells me like… he says he wants to nurse and then he’ll tell me “Couch!” And so if we are out of the home, away from the couch doing something that he likes, then he’s totally distracted and not wanting to nurse. And it’s fun for me too, it kind of gets rid of that tension. Sometimes you’re in the house and you’re just this same old, and the dishes, and the laundry and the dog or whatever. And so get out of the house, get some fresh air, do an activity, something that you and your baby both enjoy. We go to the beach a lot. So we just go there, play in the water, hang out and then come home –I’m sort of recharged – and at that point, I’m sort of exhausted from chasing him around and I want to sit down on the couch and nurse and just kind of relax. So that’s kind of what I do, I just recharge outside of the home.

Robin Kaplan: Perfect. How about you, Melissa?

Melissa Lang Lytle: I think these two panelists mentioned things that I’ve done before and I think what Andrea said is true. I feel like the acknowledgment that these feelings are natural is something we have to like allow ourselves and give ourselves permission to feel. And then after that one of the things that worked for me was… yes, getting out of the house works, but talking to two friends of mine that also nurse toddlers. And one of the things we talked about the most was this too shall pass. And knowing that this isn’t going to be forever – because sometimes that’s what it feels like. If it’s been two days in a row of like not feeling good or teething it almost feels like it’s going to be this way forever. And just to know that it does not feel really good. Because I can get through the next few days.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. Perfect. Andrea, what are some signs that a toddler is actually ready to wean?

Andrea J. Blanco: This is such a tough question because breastfeeding is a two-person relationship. But just focusing on the toddler’s end of it, I think that the most obvious sign that the mom can start to pursue weaning is toddler destructibility. So usually toddlers will start to let go of some of the nursing sessions throughout the day on their own. That’s also a good sign that mom can kind of nudge her toddler into letting go of others. Then, if the toddler is also easily distracted when he asks to nurse is probably a good indication that they’ll allow themselves to be nudged even further. And I do say nudge and not pushed, so… you know, again, just with the gentle weaning in mind,

Robin Kaplan: And – because this was definitely one of our most popular Facebook questions by far – was asking for tips for weaning a toddler who’s actually showing no signs of wanting to stop, but maybe mom was feeling like she was ready. So what advice do you have for these mommas, for this kind of gentle weaning process?

Andrea J. Blanco: Well again, that’s important, like I just said. It’s a two-person relationship. So if one of the parties doesn’t want to continue, then that’s important. I go back to one of my earlier responses: is this something that the mother wants? Or that those around her want for her? Assuming the answer is the former, then time factors need to be considered. Is weaning something that needs to be done right away due to some sort of emergency situation? Or can the mom take her time and employ gentle weaning techniques like one of your panelists is doing? Hopefully, it will be the latter, in which case understanding that weaning is a process that will take time is really, really important. Once those questions are answered the best advice for those mommas is to congratulate themselves on an incredible job. Making it to nursing a toddler is no easy fee. And in the next episode, they have a plan that means being on the move. A sitting momma is a sitting duck. SO she needs to say to herself “this is what I’m going to do, this is when I’m going to start and this is my week’s worth of activity. Or a month’s worth of activity” to get this ball rolling.

Robin Kaplan: And what are the easiest nursing sessions to get rid of and what are kind of the last ones to let go of? I kind of already have my idea in my head of which ones I like to hold on to the most, but I’m curious what your thoughts are on this.

Andrea J. Blanco: So it was easy for me too – to answer this – by starting with the hardest. The hardest sessions to go are usually the ones that involve comfort. First thing in the morning, nap time, before bed and any injury-related nursing. Anything else can be worked on first. In the spirit of gentle weaning, a mom can try removing one session every few days or weeks, paying close attention to her toddler’s reaction to the process, and then holding back or moving forward according to the toddler’s reaction.

Robin Kaplan: Ok. Ladies, have you thought about this at all? I know your kids are still kind of young and they’re just entering some of toddlerhood. I know yours, Melissa, is just a little bit older and you’ve started this kind of gentle night weaning process. Have you thought about this at all or… what are your thoughts on this?

Cinda Brown: I haven’t thought about it at all yet. I feel like she really needs it, I still need it and the relationship works for us right now.

Robin Kaplan: Perfect. How about you, Danielle?

Danielle Giambrone: I am kind of in the same boat. I’m not looking to wean anytime soon. We’re just coming up – like I was saying earlier – on our first breastfeeding goal, which is two years. I’m really excited about meeting that goal. And then sort of we’re going to hopefully be able to do kind of toddler-led weaning at the time when he’s ready.

Robin Kaplan: Perfect. How about you, Melissa?

Melissa Lang Lytle: So my toddler showed no signs of wanting to wean. My idea – like Andrea said – is that it’s a relationship. So I explained to him why I really needed to night-wean. I really couldn’t do any kind of activities that related to my birth advocacy or doula, doula-ing. So I knew that night weaning had to go first and so we really focused on those morning feedings and the comfort feedings. In fact my four-year-old still if he falls down and hurts himself or he had the flu last week, he still wants to wean. He doesn’t get much milk like he used to, so he’s over it, but I’m very open. I want my kids to know if they… the comfort will probably be the last to go for me. And so I’m showing no signs of wanting to get rid of breastfeeding my toddler, so…

Robin Kaplan: Perfect. And I also want to say… our panelists, when they saw that we are talking about weaning, were like “wait a minute, we’re not weaning them yet.” And so… and that’s totally fine and I appreciate that you’ve come this far and you’re still like… you’re doing an amazing job, so that’s wonderful. Andrea, I do have one other question about weaning, just because this was such a popular question on Facebook, but how will a mom know that she’s ready to wean? Are there better times to start this process than others?

Andrea J. Blanco: So like Megan in an earlier question mentioned, being able to differentiate between having rough days and really being done with nursing is key. Discounting societal expectations unless otherwise important to the momma, even when those come from well-meaning loved ones or even healthcare professionals. My point is that this needs to be a decision that the mother makes based on her own feelings about breastfeeding. A good way to assist through some of the other stuff is by eliminating those nursing times that are most frustrating for the mom. So I with my first was working 40 hours a week two hours away from my house. And my son was waking up about every hour at night. Me dealing with the night weaning had to happen.

Once that happened I was much more able to deal with all the other times that he wanted to nurse and then for the next several months, we were able to cut back to the morning, nap and bedtimes. I actually night-weaned him twice because then his brother came along and then we needed to start all over again. But that wasn’t really having it dim for me and I find the same to be true in my clients who aren’t 100% sure they want to be done completely. Figure out what’s most frustrating for you. Find a way to eliminate that and then reevaluate. If a mom cuts back and then she’s still feeling like she’s ready to wean completely, then avoiding times like illness or big life changes for the toddler or anything else that may cause a change in the toddler’s otherwise normal routine is important. I would also avoid doing two big things at once if possible. So, for instance, weaning and changing the toddler’s sleep location or weaning and there’s a new sibling coming might be a little overwhelming for the toddler and for the rest of the family too.

Robin Kaplan: Great. Well, thank you so much Andrea and panelists for your insight into nursing toddlers. And for our Boob Group Club members, our conversation will continue after the end of this show as Andrea and her panelists will discuss what to do with an active toddler who’s constantly distracted while breastfeeding. For more information about our Boob Group Club please visit our website at

[Theme Music]


[Featured Segments: Overcoming Societal Booby Traps. Why don’t hospitals provide more breastfeeding support?]

Robin Kaplan: Before we end today’s episode here’s Laura Audelo with a tip for overcoming societal booby traps.

Laura Audelo: Hi Boob Group listeners! I’m Laura Audelo, a certified lactation educator and owner of MamaPear Design. Today we’re here to talk about how you can achieve your personal breastfeeding goals without being undermined by cultural and institutional booby traps. Only one in four hospitals provides good breastfeeding support. One of the first thoughts that all parents share when they leave the hospital with their newborn baby is “Are we really qualified to take care of this little thing? Leaving the controlled atmosphere at the hospital can be scary. Especially because breastfeeding changes so much once we’re home. Most moms’ milk doesn’t come in until then and nighttime feedings can seem a little scarier without the extra support. Our breastfeeding journey gets an important start in hospital, but the rest of the long road runs through our homes and community. Ongoing support has repeatedly been shown to increase breastfeeding success. And close to discharge support is one of the 10 steps to breastfeeding.

The CBC collects information about hospitals that aspire to the ten steps. In 2009 they reported that only 26.8% of hospitals routine providing discharge support to breastfeeding moms. And while all of the other measures improved from 2007 to 2009, post-discharge support remains unchanged since 2007. It’s been said: hospitals assume that the community will take care of breastfeeding. The community points to the hospital and moms fall through the cracks. We all have to make it our responsibility. Make sure you are prepared before you give birth with resources such as books, family and friends with helpful breastfeeding experiences to share, a list of community programs available and, of course, online help.

A special thank you to Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC, for writing the Booby Trap series for Best for Babes. Visit for more great information on how to meet your personal breastfeeding goals, and my business,, for breastfeeding support of wearable. And be sure to listen to The Boob Group for fantastic conversations about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.

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Robin Kaplan: Thanks so much to our expert, panelists and all of our listeners. If you have a question about today’s show or the topics 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 would love to hear it. So visit our website at and send us an email through the contact link. Coming up next week we have Jona Rose Feinberg discussing breastfeeding the late preterm twins. Thanks for listening to The Boon Group, your judgment-free breastfeeding resource.


This has been a New Mommy Media production. 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 in which areas are related 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 health care 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 health care provider.

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