The Boob Group
Myths and Misconceptions: Breastfeeding Infants
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ROBIN KAPLAN: With so many myths and misconceptions out there about breastfeeding, how’s a new mom or even a seasoned mom to know what is evidenced based breastfeeding information or just completely misguided fabrication. Today we begin our new series, Breastfeeding Myths and Misconceptions with this episode focusing on infants. Since this is one of my favorite topics, I will actually be your expert for this series because I just couldn’t pass it up, this is the Boob Group, episode 68.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Welcome to the Boob Group, Broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. The Boob Group is your weekly online on-the-go support group for all things related to breastfeeding. I’m your host Robin Kaplan. I’m also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center.
Thanks to all of our loyal listeners who have joined the Boob Group club. Our members get all of our archived episodes, bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for a chance to win a membership to our club each month. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free app available in the Android marketplace and iTunes app store. We also have a new program today that we’re launching called our virtual panelist.
Throughout the month we will be posting on facebook and twitter information about upcoming episode topics and a little bit about our featured experts. This is a great way for you to post your questions you would like to ask our experts and we will do everything we can to incorporate them in to the show. And I have to say actually this show grew out of all of the questions that all of you had so, which is super awesome.
So, on our recording day, our producer MJ Fisher will be tweeting about our episodes as we are recording which will allow you to engage in the conversation, learn some awesome tidbits about the topic even before the episode was released post some extra questions for our and share your experience with our audience, all you have to do is follow our hash tag #theboobgroupvp, which stands for virtual panelist and join in on the conversation. So MJ, you want to share a little bit about what you’re doing?
MJ FISHER: Yeah, definitely. Anyone can be a part on our show you don’t have to be in the studio we’re tweeting and posting on facebook live, giving you guys info about the topic that we’re talking about and questions for you guys to answer so that you can be a part of this show. So, if you can’t make it in, you can still be a part of it and share your story
ROBIN KAPLAN: Wonderful. Thanks MJ. And we’re also joined by three lovely panelists in this studio. Ladies, will you please introduce yourselves?
KATIE JACQUET REED: I’m Katie and I’m 31 years old. I’m a full time stay-at-home mom and I work part time in the Domestic Violence Shelter. I have 2 kids, my son Logan is 2 and my daughter Arwen is 2 months
ROBIN KAPLAN: Wonderful! Thank you! And Heather?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I’m Heather, I’m 27, I work in education for an online high school and I have one son Lucas who is 2 months and he’s here in the studio, you’ll probably hear him
ROBIN KAPLAN: And Molly?
MOLLY RIFFEL: And I’m Molly, I’m 32. I’m a teacher but currently a stay-at-home mom. I have two girls, Abigail is two and Riley is four months and she’s with me in the studio as well
ROBIN KAPLAN: Well welcome to the show ladies
ROBIN KAPLAN: So here is a fantastic question from one of our listeners, this is from Elizabeth Kiethner, and her question is:
“I have a question about breast tissue growth. When you are pregnant you grow extra breast and glandular tissue. After I weaned my first baby, my breast seemed to get a bit smaller, not as small as pre pregnancy though. I am pregnant again and my breasts are now tender and seemed to be growing. When you are in between pregnancies and breastfeeding, do you lose breast tissue that needs to be re-grown or is it just additional tissue grown? Why would your breast decrease in size? Thanks!”
VERONICA TINGZON: Hi Boob group listeners, this is Veronica Tingzon, I am an IBCLC and I’m the owner of The Original Comfort Food Lactation Services in San Diego California and I’m also one of the guest experts on the Boob Group. So, Elizabeth, imagine your breast as being a vase and the vase is full of little pebbles and then you poured the water in to the pebbles and all the spaces are filled in the vase, that is what your lactating breast is like, that they’re filled with mammary glands and then once there’s actually milk in there it breaks into little bit more because all of the little crevices are filled with that actual milk that’s being made in these mammary glands, however, when you’ve weaned and your breast are not lactating more it’s like as if you already have poured out the water from the vase and only the pebbles remain.
It’s not the greatest visual because obviously he vase is a fixed figure and so that never deflates but because our breasts are soft and malleable they kind of deflate as milk starts to dry out. And then as you start becoming pregnant again and the breast milk ducts are becoming alive again they start barging production of new milk for the new baby and so, it’s like waking up those mammary glands again and they’re fuller now and so now the vase with the pebbles now have some more water in it.
I hope that answers your question Elizabeth, they decrease in size during pregnancy simply because you’re just letting all the milk out. Well, good luck with your new pregnancy and I hope the breastfeeding experience is wonderful
ROBIN KAPLAN: Today on the Boob Group we’re discussing Infant Breastfeeding Myths and Misconceptions. For the past week we have been collecting all of the misinformation and bad advice you have received since you started breastfeeding and possibly even before.
Let’s just say the list was quite staggering so much so that we decided to make this into a series since we could not even fit them all into one episode. So, we’re going to try to get to several of your myths today but let’s just say they’ll be at least 2 or 3 more episodes unless you keep writing in more and we’ll just keep on adding them. So if you have a breastfeeding myth or misconception you would like us to bust please post it on our facebook page or through twitter and we will add it to our ongoing list.
So, here’s our Myth #1; we’re going to try to bust: “You should rough up your nipples with a face cloth before your babies born to toughen them up before breastfeeding.” Ladies did you hear this at all from anyone?
MOLLY RIFFEL: I hear it constantly from my mom. Constantly. She did it with us, she swears that it works.
ROBIN KAPLAN: So the roughing up, my mother-in-law told me multiple times that that’s why we had breastfeeding struggles in the beginning because I had not toughen them up. So, but actually a little league came out gosh almost a decade ago saying roughing up the nipples by rubbing them with a towel is no longer recommended. So, actually it was a recommended thing for all of us for our parent’ generation.
It has been found that doing so can remove the protective substances produced by the breast during pregnancy and afterwards so instead you might want to try some gentle breast massage. The breast you know move in the way that they need to but definitely not roughing up the nipples. Alright, that’s number one busted. Number 2: “When babies lose weight in the first week, it means mom’s milk supply is low and so that she must start supplementing with formula” definitely not the case, Molly your nodding your head
MOLLY RIFFEL: I got this from the doctor, he was concerned because our first one lost quite a bit of weight, I mean, just you know it wasn’t more than 10 percent, but she lost it within the first few days we went home from the hospital and he kept saying you need to do a formula, I said nope. And I said, “Okay, we come back in two weeks and if she’s still losing weight then I will”. And within a week she was gaining weight again and I went back and said “Bye, we’re not coming to you anymore” because he forced me you know he kept telling me “You need to give her formula” and I said “Why?” well because she needs to gain weight. So my body’s doing what it should be doing, and my milk hasn’t come in yet and I think it was second day she was born, after she was born we were there and said you know let’s give it some time and let my body do what it needs to do and I fought the doctor and we came back and he went “Oh well, okay”
ROBIN KAPLAN: Well, and so you bring up a couple of good points. So, first of all, all babies lose weight after birth and that’s because colostrum that first day, the babies only getting five to seven milliliters per feeding because their tummy is so tiny and the goal of the first 24 to 48 hours is to expel all of that meconium. So, it’s just a little bit amount but that colostrums is super jam packed and is an awesome diarrhetic. So they need to have that colostrum.
Secondly, which you kind of mentioned Molly, fuller milk typically doesn’t come in until about two to five days and all depending on how long your labor was, what your epidural situation look like if you had one, if you had a cesarean, all of these things could kind of delay the time when your milk comes in so babies are going to lose weight. But the main thing is when a milk supply comes in that fuller milk supply, that’s when baby’s weight loss should plateau.
The other thing you mentioned Molly too, doctor kept saying formula, formula, formula, well supplementation doesn’t necessarily mean formula. Moms can make expressed milk, she could use donor milk, she could get milk from the milk bank if that was something that was feasible for her. But formula’s are actually the last option for getting a baby’s weight up because there are lots of other ways to do that without formula. And so, and the other thing is too, just because a baby’s not gaining weight doesn’t mean that mom’s milk supply is low.
Sometimes we’re dealing with a baby having a transferring challenge so, even though mom’s supply is great sometimes babies are having a challenge getting that milk out. So it could be because of engorgement, could be tongue tie which I know several of the moms in here have dealt with. Difficult labor, different developmental challenges, stuff like that. So, I think we just busted that one. Did anyone have, anyone to add, anything you wanted to add to that?
KATIE JACQUET REED: I just wanted to say that was my experience too with the pediatricians and even the doctors in the NICU where my daughter was born they kind of talking about how you know she was losing weight or what not and it felt very weird for me to come in and you know, the NICU doctor, “Doesn’t she have two weeks?” to get back to her birthday. But yeah so it’s interesting in the medical community that there’s not a greater understanding about this
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah, absolutely.
MOLLY RIFFEL: Well for my second one she was in the NICU as well and she didn’t gain weight like she was at the steady she was at something 6 pounds, she was born a 5 1 and went up to six pounds was there for like 3 or 4 weeks and for her she needs to have a heart surgery so we need to book her up so they did give us formula to put her on. But I need, you know I’m going to have to pick your brain about what else to put her on because I said No, for the longest time.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Sometimes for babies who have really-really early premature babies like Riley was, so we’re talking cygnet like eight weeks early they’ll use a human milk fortifier and so that, all it does was just up the calories a little bit, so that can be helpful too and that’s always an option, it just depends on the type of formula and stuff like that which clearly we have to talk about some other time but that’s a really good point. Okay, so, myth #3, time to bust this one, “Breastfeeding is going to be painful for the first two weeks, just deal with it”. Well, the fortunate thing is we actually just talked with Nancy Mohrbacher about latching struggles but before we get to that answer, I want to ask you ladies, is this something that you heard that breastfeeding was going to be painful for the first two weeks
MOLLY RIFFEL: I actually never heard it. No. Everybody I talked to said that you know, no problems, baby latched on right away, so when I experienced problems with my first one, I was like, what’s wrong with me, something’s wrong because everybody else has assumed I’ll be great. My mom breastfed me and my sister and I, we’re twins, no problems, my sister-in-law, everybody kept saying “Oh it’s no big deal”. And I’m sitting here going, it hurts, something’s wrong, but there’s something wrong with me because, you know
ROBIN KAPLAN: Mother guilt had already set in. How about you Heather did you hear this one at all?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Yeah, I definitely heard it and I think there’s a little bit of confusion on my end because I didn’t understand that it was okay if it hurt that first minute when he first latched and you know I felt like he had to stretch my nipple you know way across the room. I felt like he was pulling it you know clear across the house. And that was okay and so everybody had said you know although it’s going to be painful and so I was like okay this is okay and but then I didn’t realize that you know first time people when they hear that they think that means it’s going to, the whole process is going to be painful. And that’s where the, where their concern would be, but luckily we didn’t have that
ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s good
KATIE JACQUET REED: I was told by extended family that they would be really really painful and what not, in spite of the tongue tie I had the shield and so I actually never felt pain unless they were latching without the shield so, but I was told by some lactation consultants in the hospital that because I was faired skin it would hurt more. Do you know if that’s true?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I heard that too, I did
ROBIN KAPLAN: There’s another myth. And I have heard that as well but I think it just depends on how sensitive you are I mean I have moms I worked with who have very-very sensitive nipples even prior to getting pregnant and so they said that they felt more tenderness last for longer even under kiddos had a pretty decent latches and everything.
I have other moms who said they didn’t have a lot of nipple tenderness at any point and so they actually felt that even though their kiddos like they have some damage in their nipples and they’re like, “This isn’t so bad” and I’m like “Oh goodness, that’s got to hurt” and they said so there are women who have different sensitivities but I haven’t seen any research yet that says you know women with fair skin I mean think about that entire continent or the entire, all those countries in Scandinavia they have very-very long breastfeeding you know durations so I somehow don’t think that that’s necessarily the case but I’m glad you brought that up.
But to bust this myths so, we just had Nancy Mohrbacher on the show for our last episode which was about latching struggles and what she spoke about was that, it’s very normal for breastfeeding to be, for it to, honestly it hurt but just pinch a little bit almost in the beginning for the first week or two just for the first minute or two and that’s just because babies are figuring out how to breastfeed.
Once the milk starts to flow a little bit they tend to relax their jaw a little bit so rather than having the blanket statement that breastfeeding’s going to hurt the first two weeks I actually always like to tell the men and women in my class when they come and take the breastfeeding class together explaining that yes it’s going to be tender I mean this is the most stimulation that this one part of your body has probably ever gotten in a 24 hour period so they’re going to be a little tender but it shouldn’t hurt and it shouldn’t be cracking and that’s your body’s way of telling you, you probably have someone take a look out of that.
So, okay, myth #4: “Newborns need to feed for forty minutes every time spending twenty minutes on each breast per feeding”. Did anyone hear this in the hospital or in the birth center? Katie did you hear this at all?
KATIE JACQUET REED: I did, well all variations of it just having different times, 15 on one side 15 on the other or let them go as long as they want on the first or I’m sorry the last. Yeah so I’m not sure where that comes from
ROBIN KAPLAN: I don’t either that’s why we’re going to bust it up. How about you Heather
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Yeah I did hear that and that was part of my concern early on when I felt like he wasn’t feeding long enough, you know he’d get up in the middle of the night and I could tell you he was so hungry and I was so tired. So, you know I’m like okay we got it, we’re going to be in this for the long home we’re going to sit here you know 15 minutes each side and he would latch for you know a couple of minutes and then he seemed fine and I felt like “Well you didn’t eat long enough” and you know he was slightly jaundiced and so we’re worried about him gaining weight.
So I’m like “you need to eat more, you need to eat more” you know I’m kind of worried about it and I don’t know why that number has come out why I hear it over and over again I keep hearing 15 minutes, 15 minutes and in my case I mean he usually keep eating like under 10 minutes like he was just in and out and a lot of it just flow but, yeah, it’s weird
ROBIN KAPLAN: Exactly, how about you Molly?
MOLLY RIFFEL: I heard it but my first one she’d latch on for as long as you let her stay on each side so I had to literally take her off from each side. So yeah I heard it but it was, you know more of you know, take her off, don’t let her let fill that long
ROBIN KAPLAN: Exactly, and Katie you mentioned, you know, where did this number come from? I have no idea, I have no idea where these parameters came from and so you know you think about adults eat a very different amount at dinner than we do at breakfast but why is that we put these parameters around our infants saying they must feed for either 15 on each side or 20 on each side. So, you know and 40 minutes of sleeping at the breast is not going to get you know, you’re going to get more of 10 minutes of active sucking and 40 minutes of baby just snoozing the entire time.
So really, you know what I recommend is aiming for you know a good 20-40 minutes or whatever of act of sucking that allowing that variation. And then I always say, you know, it’s not that 20 minutes is magical or else this one breast is going to be completely empty in 20 minute. So you’d better go the other side by then instead just try to think of equal love to both breast over 24 hour period so you know definitely offer both sides just because in the beginning we’re doing everything we can to really increase our supply and maximize our production.
So we want as much breast stimulation as possible, but a lot of babies, we got a little choker in here, but we do have, but a lot of babies will just feed mostly on one side and then so take dinner on one side then dessert on the other and that’s totally fine as well but the main thing is just watch your baby, if you’re baby is snoozing thru the entire feeding then it doesn’t matter how long they’re on there, they’re not doing a good job. And as effect of job I guess I should say as they could be if they were actually really actively sucking.
So, just trying and keep your baby awake I think is the most helpful and then making sure both breast get the same amount of stimulation throughout 24 hour period. Okay, myth #5: “Your baby should feed every 2-3 hours, if they feed more frequently, they aren’t getting enough”. Molly it sounds like you had your little kiddo like to eat non-stop so were you getting all the time that she wasn’t getting enough?
MOLLY RIFFEL: All the time! From the doctors, from my mom, from everybody who was around you know, my girlfriends who had gone thru the same thing “Oh mine eats every 3 hours”, you know, you’re just not producing enough
ROBIN KAPLAN: And how were you producing?
MOLLY RIFFEL: She was getting it done, she gets 6, 8 ounces, no problem, yeah, she had no problem
ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you other ladies, Heather did you hear this one at all?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Every 2 to 3 hours yeah especially once he had been evaluated for having slight jaundice and he had lost he’d actually reached that full 10 percent and then he lost initially. So then it was you know the pressure, okay, every hour and a half you need to wake him up so he can eat every 2 hours and then initially that was probably the good recommendation while he was jaundiced. But then it’s stuck and I felt like “Oh my gosh, he’s gone 2 hours” and then he’s not awake, I need to get him up, you know, even now I think it somewhat the opposite that where now he eats fairly often, sometimes every one to two hours and people are saying “Oh well, he’s two months old, he needs to be spreading it out, you’re letting him eat too often” and I’m always like “Well he sleeps longer at night” so, I’ll take it and every baby’s different, that’s the main thing that I think people don’t take any consideration with this one
ROBIN KAPLAN: Exactly, how about you Katie?
KATIE JACQUET REED: Yeah I was told that as well. But for me when my son would have really extended nursing sessions it was an indication that there was something off with this tongue tie because he would stay abreast, fall asleep because he got tired but then when I put him down, he’d wake up because he wasn’t satisfied so it can be in my situation when it was an indication that something was off
ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely and you know I want to get back to really quickly what Heather said when we’re talking about different situations and actually Katie as well that there’s either a tongue tie we’re dealing with jaundice then we do actually need some medical parameters actually. So you need to wake your baby up a little bit more frequently we need to check on your supply and all that kind of stuff and make sure that everything’s going okay. But then once those, when the things gets resolved like you said Heather a lot of moms don’t realize that those parameters can be lifted.
So just because a baby’s eating a little bit more than frequently doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not getting enough so babies don’t tell time, they just know when they’re hungry and so it’s our job to just feed them. And so my recommendation is actually the aim for even more times than the 24 hour period because and the exactly of what you’re kind of describing Heather he cluster feeds during the day and then takes a nice chunk at night. And I agree with you, I’d rather feed during daylight hours and actually sleep more at night and so typical baby behavior is actually feeding almost 12 or more times in a 24 hour period and that’s because their tummies are small.
So they need frequent smaller feedings and especially babies who have reflex and tummy issues. They feed more frequently because it hurts if they get too much on their belly and so it doesn’t mean that your baby’s not getting enough most of the time unless there’s you know, unless there’s a weight issue going on then yes. But for the most part eating more frequently is actually very normal infant behavior which allows for cluster feeding and allows for growth spurts and if any of you’ve all been through your first and second growth spurts you know around two weeks and around six weeks our babies are just non-stop hungry bears and that’s their job to just boost up your supply, so definitely not an indication that your baby’s not getting enough
So, okay well we’re going to take a quick break and when we come back we’ll be discussing lots of other things like putting formula rice cereal on the bottle to help your babies sleep a little bit longer as well as not letting your baby use you as a pacifier. We’ll be right back
ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay so we’re back and we are talking about infant breastfeeding myths and misconceptions. One of the most popular myths that we had posted on our facebook page was that all breastfed babies need iron supplements. This one’s a little bit controversial but I did do a lot of research so that way I can make sure that the information was as correct as possible. Ladies, have your pediatricians recommended that you’re exclusively breastfed babies needed iron supplements? Anyone heard this? Okay so, Katie she’d nodding her head yes. Okay that was a recommendation for your older child as well?
KATIE JACQUET REED: Not for my older child so different pediatricians different things
ROBIN KAPLAN: You did mention though that younger child was premature
KATIE JACQUET REED: Yes.
ROBIN KAPLAN: May I ask how premature she was?
KATIE JACQUET REED: She was 4 weeks
ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, Alright so we will be talking about that because that does play into effect. Heather, how about you?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: This is when I actually haven’t heard
ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright! How about you Molly?
MOLLY RIFFEL: I got it with Riley who is premature and my first one, no, never heard it
ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright. So, your pediatrician’s actually, they’re in the loop right there, that’s good. So, let’s talk a little bit about this. This is super controversial not only between pediatricians and our lactation consultants that actually thru the American Academy of Pediatrics section on breastfeeding is actually really controversial with them as well because apparently the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended this across the board that all breastfed babies need iron supplements.
The section on breastfeeding in the academy actually said that they never approved that to be released because they don’t agree with it and so what they pointed out was that supplementing babies exclusively breastfed babies with iron drops starting at 4 months is inconsistent with previous recommendations and that there’s really no supporting data for it. And they said that there are other ways to make sure that babies get all the iron they need but like delayed cord clamping at birth and screaming at risk infants only not just supplementing across the board.
And they said this was because breast milk iron although it’s low is more bioavailable than what would be found in iron fortified fluids and foods. And so it’s actually potentially harmful to give babies too much iron because their body doesn’t know how to break it down, so, that being said, there was also a little bit more information about this. So exclusively breastfed babies actually have enough iron in their system until they are at least six months old or triple their birth weight which a lot of babies don’t even do until they’re a year old.
Again kind of going back to that, it’s more bioavailable, it’s more readily absorbed and so babies that get iron supplements who are not iron deficient can sometimes overwhelm the protein and which is called lactoferrin causing an overgrowth of intestinal bacteria which can result in diarrhea. So, that being said there are babies who actually do need iron supplements and those are the ones that should be following these recommendations.
So, how would you know that your baby actually needs an iron supplement? Well, first thing, go and get them pricked you know go and have a little blood test and you’ll find out very quickly, but the ones that are more high risk or ones that are born prematurely, since babies get the majority of their iron stores from their mother in the last trimester of pregnancy. So, your baby’s obviously kind of fall in to because they were born at 36 weeks or below so there’s a chance that their iron levels, their stores might be a little low.
The other ones are babies whose birth weights were lower than 3,000 grams which was about six and a half pounds. They tend to have reduced iron stores at birth and appeared to need additional iron earlier on, babies born to mothers with poorly controlled diabetes can also need it. And mothers who were anemic during pregnancy sometimes have lower stores but this one had medical studies have not shown this to be a problem but it might just be worth it to have your babies checked.
So, again, something to kind of look into but it’s something you can always ask your pediatrician and say “You know what? I’m not comfortable with doing just straight across the board iron supplementation, but I’d love for you to test my baby and see if it’s appropriate for him/her”. So, busted that myth, alright, next one up “If your baby doesn’t spend 20 minutes on each breast per feeding here she won’t get enough hindmilk” Such a controversy around hindmilk. Ladies, what have you heard about foremilk, hindmilk to look in? Were you ever stressed out about it? Molly, how about you? Did you ever think about it at all?
MOLLY RIFFEL: Not really because she would breastfeed for as long as I’d let her on each side so I didn’t really, I just kind of let her go and do what she wanted to do. But I did hear that, I did hear that myth but didn’t worry about it
ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, how about you Heather?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I’ve heard a little bit, not so much in relation to my son but I have heard my friends talking about one of her, one of my friends, her son, the pediatricians said you know he was probably having, getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk and that’s what was causing some stool issues and so yeah we had talked about that a little bit but it’s not something I’ve heard
ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s good. How about you Katie?
KATIE JACQUET REED: Yeah, I was told especially because I had an oversupply that that would be an issue and that my daughter’s bowel movement, were green and then that was a reflection that she’s getting not enough hindmilk
ROBIN KAPLAN: Well, you both bring up very good points about there are symptoms of a foremilk, hindmilk imbalance. I hear a lot of moms talking about it in the support group that their babies need to stay on for a certain amount of time or else they’re not getting any hindmilk and I think that it creates unnecessary fear in them like “What if my baby doesn’t get enough hindmilk?” When they’re really are, we have to focus on, are there any symptoms?
So, that being said all breast milk has hindmilk in it and foremilk. So, as your babies starts drinking that first you know first couple gulps or whatever, the milk that’s in the beginning has a higher concentration of foremilk which is more watery because as your breast get fuller and fuller and fuller they take on more water which is the foremilk as your baby drains a little bit more they get to more of that fattier milk.
But every drop of the breast milk has some sort of concentration of the foremilk and the hindmilk, it’s just how well the breast is drained and so what you’re looking at to not worry about foremilk, hindmilk. Is your baby feeding 8 or more times in the 24 hour period? Is he/she gaining weight? You know about 4 to 7 ounces per week? Having several wet diapers, having lots of yellow pooped diapers and your breast feel softer and more pliable after your baby feeds. And that what that showing you is that babies getting plenty and they’re doing great.
When we’re worried about foremilk, hindmilk, we look at certain symptoms like what you had mentioned, green frothy poop that can often can be a sign of foremilk, hindmilk imbalance but it can also be a sign of food intolerances, it can be a sign of baby just had a vaccination and so they have a little bit of diarrhea.
Another symptom could be tons of gas and that’s because when babies get an excess of milk that their little belly can’t tolerate, the excess milk starts to ferment and so that can be causing it too. So oftentimes we’re seeing a foremilk, hindmilk imbalance with mothers like Katie had mentioned having oversupply they even have abundant milk supply and babies having a hard time getting when they take the milk and there’s a little bit of an imbalance. But for the general population to worry about this, it tends to be a little bit kind of unwarranted.
So thank you for sharing your ideas on that because you nailed it. There are times when we have to worry about it just a little bit. Okay, our next myth, “If you give your infant a little formula or rice cereal in the bottle before they go to bed, they will sleep a little longer at night”. Did anyone hear this at all? Nods, nods, nods. First of all I want to know who you heard it from, who is this person who is a generation ahead of us and or a doctor and every once in a while we hear this, and did you follow it? Katie?
KATIE JACQUET REED: I heard it from my mother-in-law for sleep. I heard it from the doctor for her reflex
ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, okay, how about you Heather?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I heard it from someone in my same generation but they had heard it from someone a little bit older, she has a baby the same age and we happen to be both texting at 3 am when we were both awake and she said “oh well you know my mom, my friend’s mom or whoever had just said maybe I should give her some rice cereal before bed so I think I’m going to try that tomorrow” and I thought, I don’t know about that but like I had to just let it go
ROBIN KAPLAN: Totally, alright, how about you Molly?
MOLLY RIFFEL: Same thing I had a friend who told me that she heard it from somebody else but also the doctor told us for Riley for the reflex. But we never tried it
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah, so two different reasons why it would be recommended and pediatricians tend to recommend it more for reflex issues rather than your baby should sleep longer at night, however, women who are generation above us, this is what our doctors actually told them to help their kiddos sleep through the night at six weeks because that’s what they thought was appropriate exactly.
So, doing a little bit of research about this, first kind of working with the it’ll help them sleep at night. There’s actually no evidence that it will help whatsoever and some babies were actually sleep worst due to the reactions of the formula or solids in their tummy because it’s uncomfortable, what causes excess gas especially if they’re under six months old. So the formula requires the baby’s digestive system to work overtime which is why some babies who are strictly formula fed will go longer but it’s not necessarily going to happen if your baby’s pretty much breastfed the rest of the time and then you give a bottle of formula right before bed, probably just going to end up with a whole bunch of tummy aches which is going to wake them up more frequently than if you just would’ve breastfed them.
As for adding feedings of the baby’s cereal in the bottle we hear this sometimes the babies with reflex it’s a choking hazard. The cereal takes away from the amount of milk in the bottle because it adds carbohydrates and dilutes the nutritional density of it and so babies might have actually get the appropriate amount of milk for the proper development and growth. And babies being given a higher concentration of calories without being able to regulate their own intake, this can cause weight problems in the future and that whole thing with the reflexes actually very-very controversial.
So there really aren’t too many studies that showed that it actually helped but rather finding a way to manage the reflex by frequent-frequent small feedings to help kind of keep it in their bellies. Now granted there are some babies, there’s always an exception to the rule, there are some babies who have very-very extensive GIRD which they should be working with a gastroenterologist and then that’s just going straight for the rice cereal in the bottle
MOLLY RIFFEL: We did the rice cereal in bottle in the hospital and she had a feeding tube through her nose and when they pulled it I think like 3 weeks after they originally put it in, it was caked with rice cereal because she was reflexing back up and causing her not to breathe and having other issues so after that we said there’s no way you’re putting rice cereal I mean because she’s still reflexing and it was just and you know since the rice cereals are in there they’re just causing it to make, form the cast it was solid hard and you could tell she’s having problems breathing and they pulled it and it was just caked
ROBIN KAPLAN: And that was in the NICU?
MOLLY RIFFEL: That was in the NICU, and so we figured, okay any more times we hear anyone saying about putting rice cereal and then we’re going to say don’t do it
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah, absolutely
MOLLY RIFFEL: Because we had so many other complications on top of it
ROBIN KAPLAN: Oh my goodness. Well and then the other thing I mentioned too is that rice cereal, my kids are a little bit older so every ones just said that’s the first food, that’s the first food and now there’s this whole philosophy which I really like actually and it’s getting rid of white food and so rice cereals are not even necessarily a recommended first food for babies, they actually don’t need it, that you can start with fun stuff like avocadoes and vegetables and stuff like that so putting rice cereal in the bottle especially when they’re younger that it’s not really nutritionally beneficial for them in anyways so.
Alright, next myth “Infants should sleep through the night at six weeks” Well and if you go back to the baby wise method which a lot of moms do follow, it says that you should start putting your baby on a feeding schedule about every two and a half to four hours starting at a week or ten days. And so, yeah, and so really not taking into account babies developmental needs for waking up and so I wanted to throw it out there if anyone had actually heard this of babies should be sleeping through the night. And then we’ll talk about what’s developmentally appropriate. Ladies did you hear this at all?
MOLLY RIFFEL: I heard it from friends who had read baby wise and who were doing it. Because mine never slept through the night, still I’m not doing it. But yeah, I heard it from friends.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Okay, how about you guys?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I never heard that specifically but I do feel like everyone asks you “So, they’re sleeping through the night yet?” and you’re like “No, of course not” who’s baby is? So not necessarily that they said they should but you’d be like “No, but they’re doing good” and you could see on their face and they’re kind of like this “awww”
MJ FISHER: Like you’re doing something wrong or something
ROBIN KAPLAN: MJ, totally. How about you Katie?
KATIE JACQUET REED: I’ve heard, “oh your baby’s got their nights and days mixed up” frequently
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah, and that’s really common in the beginning and for the first couple of weeks because their circadian rhythm is not actually developmentally working at that point yet and so they do have their days and nights mixed up which is why the minute when you’re pregnant the minute you lay down they started having a soccer match in your belly and so and if your Sunny, both of your babies are having soccer matches.
But, so this is the deal about sleep duration, this is from The Secrets of Baby Behavior website, if you don’t know about this website it is one of the best resources out there and it’s because it’s through the University of California Davis and they actually have a lactation department and it’s a lactation and nutrition department and so they have been studying this for about a decade now they got a whole bunch of grants to work with moms to talk about and study infant behavior, sleep patterns, eating patterns, all of these kind of stuff.
So, what came out of their research was that newborns from like birth to six weeks wake frequently and erratically so what worked for you last night may not work for you this night and that’s okay. And so parents of newborns have to be really realistic prepared and ask for help if they need it because their babies are really going to be all over the place with sleeping.
By two months, most babies are sleeping longer stretches but waking 2 to 3 times during the night so, longer stretches mean I’m sure you all notice this they sleep from like 8 to 1, 8pm to 1am and then they start waking up. Every couple of months or every couple of sorry every couple of hours.
By four months many baby’s starts to sleep more like their parents so falling asleep into a deeper sleep and then sleeping for about 4 to 5 hours at once but then teething, changing routines, all that kind of stuff can wake them intermittently as well.
By six months, some babies will be sleeping for about 6 hours at a time while others are still waking more frequently and though not every night and so they’re really unpredictable and that’s okay.
So by a year old, most babies are sleeping through the night, now this is the thing though, do you want to know what sleeping through the night definition is? Six hours of continuous sleep. So, knowing that, that this is studied and this is from their research and it’s developmentally appropriate there is no way we can ask these little kiddos to sleep and if they do that’s okay.
Sometimes all moms say that at 2 months their kiddos are sleeping for about 8 hours stretches. You don’t have to wake them up, but then what they do say about 3 months, 4 months they started waking up a little bit more and it’s developmentally appropriate. So they got to do it. They got to eat and the reasons why babies wake up in the middle of the night, young babies especially to eat frequently, remember their tummies are small so they have to eat frequently they dream a lot so you’ll notice when your infant falls asleep on either eyes or moving around and their lips are smacking and they’re smiling and that’s because they fall asleep dreaming.
So, it takes about 20 minutes for them actually to fall into deep sleep until they’re about 4 months old. So, if you have your babies fall asleep on you and then 5 months later you transfer them to you know wherever they’re going to sleep they wake up, so, best advice, hold them for about 20 minutes until like the dog could bark and they don’t even move and then that’s a good time to transition them and so, in waking help keeps them safe and comfortable and it also prevents it so we want them to wake up. Okay, so, another myth, we have is that “Don’t let your baby use you as a pacifier because it will turn him into a snacker” How many of you have heard this that your baby shouldn’t be on your boob at all times. MJ you’re raising your hand. Yeah? Who told you that?
MJ FISHER: Actually, I probably everybody that I encountered, because they, I had no idea, you know I had a low supply issues so that was actually really good for my baby to be on the breast all the time and that’s exactly the way that he was. It was throughout the day, naps, night time I mean for the first 3 months and I thought something was wrong like I would hand them to my husband and be like and then call my midwife and say “He’s been nursing non-stop” you know and we figured out that it was low supply. I tried supplementing but still he just wanted to be on the boob and it actually was really beneficial for my supply because we’re still nursing and he’s 25 months old
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah, exactly. How about you ladies?
MOLLY RIFFEL: I got that
ROBIN KAPLAN: Pacifier?
MOLLY RIFFEL: Yeah, I mean I let her do it. I just, I didn’t really care. I’d let her do it, I enjoyed it and she’s fine. She’s perfectly fine
ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you Heather? Have you heard that you shouldn’t let him snack all the time?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I’ve heard it a little bit now that he’s getting older. He’s 2 months old and people I have said you know especially if I am like with family or in a group setting and he eats then everybody places them for a few minutes the he wants to eat again and they’re like “No way, he shouldn’t be eating again and it’s only been an hour” I’m like “Well, it’s what he wants” you know and then it comes back to the whole thing that every babies different but yeah, people will tell you they shouldn’t snack, they shouldn’t, they should have 2 hours or 3 hours and sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t
ROBIN KAPLAN: Exactly, how about you Katie?
KATIE JACQUET REED: I don’t know if this is just because my kids were tongue tied but I would let them use me as a pacifier until it started too hurt. Yeah, non nutritive sucking you know I could only take it for so long and then my nipples would blanch and all that fun stuff
ROBIN KAPLAN: Exactly! So, really good point to bring up so and like, Heather you’ve mentioned several times, every baby’s different. There can’t be these blanket statements. So, going back to that, you know you shouldn’t let your baby use you as a pacifier, there’s always that caveat. So, if your baby is comfortable and feeding on you and it’s not hurting you then rather than thinking of as your boob as a pacifier. I think we should kind of re-frame our thoughts.
Well pacifier is a boob’s you know replacement, it’s a fake boob, babies, you know they like to suck and so if it’s comfortable then why not keep them on there because breastfeeding isn’t just about feeding it’s about security, it’s about comfort and it releases oxytocins even during those non nutritive sucking times and Molly you’ve mentioned that Riley spends time there just kind of licking around just kind of getting in to a happy place there but she’s not necessarily breastfeeding right now. It’s still releasing oxytocin to help increase when you’re doing all that pumping.
And so obviously we don’t want one feeding running into the next, you know at some point, you know mom will choose and say “Okay, it’s time to cut you off a little bit but rather you know just having that statement that babies can’t use the breast as a pacifier which actually if you think about it, pacifying is to soothe, it’s to calm and so that’s not a bad thing that’s actually kind of absurd to say that they can’t use it that way.
And mom and babies should determine when babies should detach, so, in times of pain, mom needs to go to the bathroom, you know all of these things or babies been on it for about an hour and they’re not really doing anything and you know you kind of, you want to get out and go do something, then of course detach your baby but the main thing is, baby’s sitting they kind of hanging out there it’s not a bad thing. It’s totally fine as long as mom is fine with it too we shouldn’t always leave that in there.
Alright, well I just want to say thank you to our panelists, we’ve so appreciate all of your opinions and sharing how you actually have pretty much all dealt with most of these myths. So thank you for joining us in this conversation about infant breastfeeding myths and misconceptions and for our Boob Group club members our conversation will continue after the end of the show as we will discuss the myth that dads or partners are going to feel left out if they are not part of the bottle feeding duty. So for more information about our Boob Group club, please visit our website at www.theboobgroup.com
ROBIN KAPLAN: So here’s a question from one of our listeners, this is from Laurie Flower and her very brief message: “Is there a way to join the all three clubs at once?”
SUNNY GAULT: Hey Laurie! This is Sunny, I’m one of the producers for The Boob Group and thanks so much for your comment. So you want to know if you can join the all three clubs at once. This sure the answer is NO. I was sure there’s a way you could do that. The majority of our listeners are more specific as to the type of content they’re looking for and we find that they transition from one show to the next but you’re right, there’s definitely the possibility for our listeners to be interested in more than one of our shows.
So, I do have some good news for you, if you want to join more than one club, let’s say you’re already a member of the Boob Group, but you want to listen and become a member of Parent Savers as well, you can use this code, it’s SAVE50 S-A-V-E-5-0, no spaces or anything like that. If you use that code, when going through the membership process you will save 50 percent on your purchase for that second club or third club if you want to do it that way as well. So, there’s no way to sign up for all three at once but hopefully we can save you a little bit of money in the process if you’re interested in more than one of our shows. Thanks again Laurie.
ROBIN KAPLAN: This wraps up our show for today, we appreciate you listening to the Boob Group don’t forget to check out our sister show Preggie Pals, for expecting parents and our show Parents Savers, for moms and dads with newborns, infants and toddlers. Thanks for listening to the Boob Group, your judgment for your 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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