Archive for January, 2011

Help! Baby Won’t Take a Bottle!

January 20, 2011

A mother writes, “I have to go back to work soon and my 3-month-old baby won’t take a bottle. What can I do? Help!”

Congratulations on exclusively breastfeeding your daughter! It can be challenging to transition back to the workplace, so it’s great that you are being thoughtful about helping your baby learn another way to receive your milk. Let me assure you it is perfectly normal for a 3 month old baby to initially refuse a bottle. It is a foreign object to her. Why should she suck on a silicone nipple? Remember she doesn’t know that it is common for babies to bottle-feed in our culture.

Some professionals maintain that if you give your baby a bottle every day from birth that she will happily take a bottle throughout her baby-hood. This is not necessarily true. Even if she had been given a daily bottle since she was born, she may still refuse at about 3 months. This is the age when babies start taking more control of their world!

My best advice to you is to take it slowly, make it fun, be creative, and give her control. Babies are naturally curious and use their mouths to explore. If she sees the bottle as just another play-thing, she will be more accepting. Try other liquids. Make it surprising, novel and interesting. I sometimes use water or very diluted apple juice when introducing a bottle. Or use breast milk—but very cold. Some babies will only take a bottle if they are distracted with TV, toys or going for a walk. Try making the bottle very UNlike the breast, and you may be more successful. (My first baby would only take a bottle facing away from the caregiver.)

There is no rule that says she has to drink from a bottle, anyway. Most babies do very well with a cup or a spoon. Your daughter may really enjoy drinking from a cup (“sippy” regular) like a “big girl.” Experiment and see what works best for you and your baby.  If you need help, your lactation consultant may be able to provide some guidance. Best of luck!


Breastfeed Twins? Yes!

January 12, 2011

If you’re expecting twins, you may be wondering…Is it possible to breastfeed twins? Can my body make enough milk for two babies? Can I really nourish my babies without using formula? The answers are yes, yes and yes!

Your Dr., your doula and your childbirth educator may all have told you, “Most women can’t make enough milk for 2 babies.” Don’t believe them! If your body is equipped to breastfeed one baby, it is highly likely that you will have sufficient milk for 2.

Arnie and Ashley

Last week I met with the parents of these 2 babies to help them with breastfeeding. They told me I was the first professional to say that they could expect to fully breastfeed their twins. They attended a prenatal twins class and the instructor told them “…hardly anyone is able to breastfeed twins without supplementing…” Immediately after giving birth, the nurses in the hospital told the mom, “you are going to have to supplement. They will starve if you only breastfeed.” The next day the pediatrician saw them in the hospital and told the mom, “Your milk isn’t in yet. You need to supplement.” Their doula who considers herself an expert on twins said, “I have never seen a mom 100 percent breastfeed twins.” Well, guess what! After some guidance and adjustments to their routine, these babies are now breastfeeding with no supplementation.

You body is made to breastfeed! It expects to breastfeed. And when you are carrying twins, your body knows you have twins and transmits the information to your breasts. Before you even give birth, your breasts are gearing up for double duty! In fact, research shows that moms of twins produce more than twice as much milk as moms of singletons. Now that’s preparation!

Remember the concept of supply and demand. The more your babies breastfeed, the more milk you produce. If your babies can’t breastfeed immediately after birth (or if one baby can’t breastfeed), use a hospital-grade pump to encourage and maintain milk production.

Will breastfeeding twins be challenging? Of course! Having twins is not easy. You will be learning about 2 babies at once and learning about breastfeeding at the same time. Without a doubt, there will be a steep learning curve. Once you and the babies have figured it out, however, breastfeeding two will be as easy as breastfeeding one!

Breastfeeding and Work: Jane’s Story

January 9, 2011

Jane contacted me because she had returned to work and she was worried about her milk production. Her baby, Ernie, was 3 months old and she’d just started working 3 days/week. We set up a phone consultation and she shared the following:

  • Away from her baby 8:30 a.m. To 4:00 p.m.
  • Pumps twice a day at the office for about 25 minutes each time.
  • Tries to pump at home so she can increase her supply as her baby grows.
  • Leaving 4 bottles of milk at the day care each day.
  • Ernie drinks 2-3 bottles at day care.
  • Feels rested and Ernie is thriving.
  • Eating milkmakers cookies for milk production.

I talked to Jane about a strategy to help with her milk production. But first I pointed out that she was pumping more milk than Ernie was drinking! I also assured her that Ernie’s milk intake is not going to increase much in the next few months. Breast milk is very efficient. Six month olds generally drink about the same amount as 3 month olds. This was good news!

My suggestions included:

  • Breastfeed baby when dropping off and picking up at day care.
  • Pump 3x/day for 15 minutes or so. (less tiring and stressful)
  • Leave 3 bottles at day care each day instead of 4.
  • Eliminate pumping when at home.
  • Try eating milkmakers while pumping to help with the let down reflex.

Jane was relieved to learn that she was meeting her baby’s needs. She was also thrilled that she did not have to pump extra at home to keep up with Ernie’s growth. In addition, even though she lives 3000 miles away, she has a lactation consultant that can help her if she encounters difficulties in the future.

Are you returning to work soon?  Wondering how to pump enough milk for your baby, get all your work done AND get a decent amount of sleep?  You don’t have to live in Seattle to receive expert guidance from a lactation consultant. I am available for phone consultations for moms anywhere. You may reach me at  Send me an email and I’ll call you the same day to set up a “meeting.”  I will help you develop a customized plan for meeting your baby’s needs while you’re at work or school.

Breastfeeding and Obesity

January 4, 2011

You probably already know that childhood obesity has become a serious problem in the United States.  But did you know that formula feeding increases the risk that a child will develop obesity later in life? Breastfeeding your baby significantly decreases the chances that he will become overweight as an adult.  The Centers for Disease control and Prevention have reported:  “…for each month of exclusive breastfeeding, up to 9 months, the risk of obesity is decreased by 4%.”  In other words, the longer your baby breastfeeds, the less risk of obesity!

Every mother has her own personal reasons for choosing to breastfeed.  Maybe it’s because she is concerned about allergies. Perhaps she knows that formula feeding increases the risk of ear infections or other illness.   Whatever your reasons for breastfeeding, now you have one more.

So keep breastfeeding!   Every month brings new benefits!

For the complete press release:

Breastfeeding and Fertility

January 4, 2011

New mothers are often concerned about getting pregnant again before they are ready. With good reason! To address that concern, health care providers often counsel new mothers to begin a birth control method 6 weeks after the birth of a new baby. But if that mother is breastfeeding, an invasive birth control method may not be necessary.

Breastfeeding has many benefits to mothers—one of which is a delay in the return of fertility. Many mothers enjoy a year or more without periods after the birth of their babies. Breastfeeding as a birth control method is referred to as the lactational ammenorrhea method or LAM. When a mother is using LAM, any artificial method of birth control can be considered a back- up method. LAM is over 98% effective* when ALL of the following conditions are met:

Your baby 6 months old or younger. Although you may remain infertile long after 6 months, the reliability of this method decreases with the age of the baby—probably because of the introduction of solid foods and the fact that your baby is sleeping longer stretches at night.

Your periods have not returned.

Your baby has nothing by mouth except the breast. In other words, the baby is not supplemented with other foods or formula and is not using a pacifier for long periods.

Your baby is breastfeeding at least every 3 hours during the day and at least every 6 hours at night. There IS a benefit to waking at night with your baby! If your baby is up frequently during the night, you’re protected from another pregnancy!

We all know mothers who got pregnant while they were breastfeeding. We also know plenty of women who have become pregnant while using oral contraceptives. Both methods are 98% effective or more when used correctly. No birth control method can be 100% reliable if it is used incorrectly.

It is important to discuss birth control options with your partner and your doctor. Some common birth control methods (those using hormones) can decrease milk supply. It is a subject that has not been well researched, so your health care providers may not be aware of the risk. Your lactation consultant or La Leche League Leader can help you sort out your choices that are compatible with breastfeeding.

*Please note: It is unknown whether pumping your milk for your baby provides the same protection as exclusive breastfeeding.

This Blog is HOT!

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,600 times in 2010. That’s about 11 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 37 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 9 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 13mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was June 30th with 166 views. The most popular post that day was Welcome!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for sleeping baby, girls breastfeeding boys, kids breastfeeding, breastfeeding kids, and “renee beebe”.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Welcome! February 2010


Never Wake a Sleeping Baby? June 2010


Claire’s Story June 2010


Cross Cradle Latch with Claire June 2010


It’s Not Supposed to Hurt March 2010

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