Archive for February, 2011

Breastfeeding Requires Swallowing!

February 24, 2011

This video (though a bit blurry!) illustrates audible swallows by a newborn.  The regular, rhythmic “kuh” sound is produced with each swallow.  Notice the baby’s jaw drop right before the sound.  The position of the baby is perfect and he is getting an excellent meal!


Breast Milk Storage Guidelines

February 13, 2011

Your milk is a living thing! It is rich in antibodies that are constantly killing off nasty bacteria. For that reason, it is very stable and remains nutritious and safe even after it’s been expressed.

You may find a wide spectrum of guidelines written about the safety of breast milk at various temperatures. It can be confusing to try to figure out which source is correct. Why is there so much variability? The simple answer is that research is conducted in controlled situations and different populations have different needs. For example, pumped milk will last longer in a refrigerator that is never opened. A hospital environment with fragile, premature babies requires that milk be handled much more carefully than a home environment with a healthy baby.

What follows is a middle-of-the-road approach that considers the research as well as the less than perfect conditions that are found in our homes. The guidelines below assume that your baby full term and healthy.

Room temperature: 4 hours or until the next feeding. (No need to warm it up!)

Refrigerator: 5 days

Freezer: 3 months

Deep Freeze: 6 months

Whenever possible use fresh, refrigerated milk. Just as a freshly picked apple is more nutritious than an apple that’s been in cold storage for 3 months; your milk is most nutritious immediately after it’s been expressed. In addition, freezing destroys some of the live cells in your milk. So, if possible, store your precious milk in the fridge, leaving the frozen stash for emergencies.

Are you having a hard time creating a system for storing your milk for your return to work?  I can help! Call or email for a personalized phone consultation.

Breastfeeding Help Long Distance

February 5, 2011

This young mother called me at the urging of a friend who already knew and trusted me. Breastfeeding was very important to Marissa, but she didn’t know how she could go on with so much pain. Normally, I would have seen this mom and baby in person. She lives in another city, however, and she felt most comfortable working with me. I gave her guidance over the phone several times over the course of a few weeks. Since her baby was gaining weight and she had a great milk supply, she just needed some minor adjustments to make breastfeeding comfortable.

Here is a portion of her story:

After a few weeks of breastfeeding, I felt defeated. My nipples were cracked and bleeding. Each nursing was becoming more painful, and I was beginning to dread feeding my baby. After every feeding my son would spit up blood. I was beginning to accept this as my breastfeeding fate when I decided to call Renee. On the phone, she was able to describe in detail the way my son should be properly latching on. While we were talking, I could hold him in the positions she was describing to me, and get a complete visual understanding of how to get him to latch on properly. She also recommended that I visit her blog and watch a video of a baby getting a good latch. Within a day or two my nipples were healing, nursing was no longer painful, and I was able to finally enjoy these beautiful moments with my son.

Five months later, Marissa and her baby are still happily breastfeeding!

Note: Lactation help in person is optimal for helping mom and baby breastfeed. It is often necessary in order to complete an accurate assessment. If Marissa’s pain had not quickly resolved after our phone conversation, I would have recommended lactation consultant in her area who could have helped her face to face.

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.”

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