Posted on

Breast shield: Choosing the right one for you

Did you know that breast shields ( flanges) come in different sizes? Many mummy experience inefficient pumping session, and the reason is usually because of wrong breast shield size. Many breast pumps ship with size 27mm or 28mm in Singapore; however, that doesn’t mean that everyone will fit that size (we don’t all wear the same sized shoes, after all). There are breast shields on the market ranging in size from 15mm to 36mm!

Follow this simple guide to determine your breast shield size but first thing first

Pump for 5 minutes, and then measure

It’s a common misunderstanding to measure your nipple before you start pumping, but you actually have to measure the nipple after you pump. The reason is simple. The nipple swells while pumping, and since the rate of swelling varies between women, it’s important to take this swollen measurement to select a comfortable shield size. Grab the shield that came with your pump, assemble it to the milk collection kit and then pump on a low setting for 5 minutes, so the nipple swells. You might even express milk while doing this (if this is your first time pumping, be sure to use the lowest vacuum setting to avoid any pain or discomfort).

Measure the diameter of the nipple at the base of the nipple

After your nipple has swollen, measure the diameter of the nipple at the base of the nipple. Be careful not to include any areola in the measurement. Gently lay a ruler onto the areola next to the base of the nipple so the measurement lines are visible when looking straight at the breast. This can be tricky so some women find that doing it in front of a mirror or using a smart phone in selfie mode is helpful.

Select a shield size 2-3mm larger than your nipple diameter

To allow the nipple to move freely within the flange while pumping and to avoid any pain or discomfort (or worse – blisters!) from rubbing, select a shield size that is 2-3mm larger than the diameter of your nipple. For example, if your nipple measures at 18mm, you would want to try the 20mm shield. It’s important not to go too large either because excess areola can be drawn into the flange, causing discomfort, pain, or even constriction of milk flow.

Signs your breast shield may be too small

  • Painful rubbing of nipple in flange.
  • Nipple not moving freely inside of flange.
  • Redness of the nipple.
  • Whiteness of the nipple and/or a white ring around the base of the nipple.
  • Little milk is being expressed.
  • General discomfort while pumping.

Signs your breast shield may be too large

  • Excess areola is drawn into the flange or even up and around the nipple. Note that a small amount of areola may enter the flange for some women; however, it should never be uncomfortable or painful.
  • Sensation of pulling and/or pulling pain.
  • Nipple is pulled to the end of the flange.
  • Shield falls from the breast while pumping.
  • Little milk is being expressed.
  • General discomfort while pumping.

Size that is just nice

  • A properly sized breast shield should be very comfortable.
  • You should barely be able to feel it while pumping.
  • Just a gentle tugging sensation on the nipple and nowhere else.
  • You should not see any excess areola being drawn into the flange
  • Should not feel a pulling sensation or pain while using your breast pump.
  • After your pumping session, your nipple should be free of any redness or whiteness.
  • Pumping should be pain-free

Additional factors impacting breast shield size

breast shield

Although the above instructions provide a good indication of the size of breast shield you will need, there are few things to consider:

  • Every woman’s body responds differently to pumping. It is possible your measurements before pumping might change during pumping, therefore we suggest taking measurements of the swollen nipple 5 minutes after pumping.
  • Your measurements might be different throughout the day. For example, you might be fuller in the morning after going a few hours without pumping and/or feeding at night, warranting a larger size. You might also be smaller in the evening after consistent pumping or feeding throughout the day.
  • You might be larger at the beginning of a pumping session, and smaller after some milk has been expressed.
  • Your measurements might change after your milk supply is well-established (about 10 weeks postpartum).
  • One breast may need a different sized breast shield than the other.

However, you should not follow this guideline blindly because the info graphic merely relies on nipple diameter only. In addition to nipple diameter, you should also consider the following factors:

  • Check how your nipple moves while pumping.

The nipple should move freely and it should not rub the side wall of the flange. You may see a little bit of areola gets pulled, but not the whole areola. And your nipple should not hit the back wall of the breast shield.

  • Comfort

Even if you think you already choose the best breast shield size, but you feel uncomfortable / painful while pumping, that means something is not right. Try to size up or down. Nipple redness / or sore feeling after pumping is also an alarm that you may need to choose different breast shield size.

  • Effectiveness of pumping

If you feel you breast is not emptied after pumping, you may suspect that you don’t use the correct breast shield size (note: various factors can affect this, breast shield size is just one of possible reason).

  • Breast tissue / elasticity

Some women has a very elastic tissue so that the skin will get pulled easier. In this case, it is possible that pumping makes nipple get elongated so much until it hits the back wall of the flange. For this case, using breast shield with longer ‘tunnel’, or using smaller insert in bigger breast shield may help.

SLB Nipple Ruler

Simply print it out, fold along the line, and carefully cut out the circles.

The nipple ruler works on both US Letter and A4 paper sizes. Make sure you select “full size” or “100%” in your print menu (don’t “scale to fit”). You can also print it on larger sizes like US Legal or A7, but you might have to trim off the extra

Nipple ruler
Flange size

At the end of your pumping session, use the circles to measure the diameter of your nipple at the base. You should select a size that is snug, but not constricting, around your nipple.

Here’s another Nipple Ruler we found from MayMom

breast shield

If you have more questions or need further help with breast shield sizing, reach out to a Certified Lactation Consultant. In the long run, it’s worth taking the time to determine the breast shield size that’s right for you. You’ll benefit by maximising your pumping sessions so you can get back to what matters most – the little one you’re pumping for!


Posted on

Am I a low supply mummy?

low milk supply

Am I a low supply mummy?

Am i a low supply mummy? I don’t think I’m producing much milk. Should I worry? This is the most common questions that many new mummies worry about. Most mummies are worried that their body isn’t making enough milk and thus, this is one of the most common reason given for giving up breastfeeding. However, the good news is that nearly all women are capable of making plenty of milk for their baby.

But first, let us show you some myth to determine if your milk supply is enough.

Ways to determine if you are a low supply mummy

  • baby taking full bottle after nursing session 
  • did not of leaking milk/ not having letdown feeling
  • feeling full / empty with your breast
  • the frequency / length of feedings
  • how much milk you pumped

These are NOT reliable indicator of to which if you have enough milk.

So, what are the correct signs? Our general thump of rule is as long as baby is pooping, peeing , sleeping well, not fussy and gaining weight means baby is getting enough. There are plenty of definitive signs that’ll let you know whether your baby is getting enough milk and if you are producing enough to meet baby’s demand.

Ways to determine if baby is getting enough milk

  • Your baby’s pooping. If you’re changing at least five diapers daily filled with large, seedy, mustard coloured poops, your baby’s getting enough milk. From around two to three months old, the rate would drop to one poop a day, or even one every other day, your baby is getting enough milk too.
  • Your baby’s peeing and its light in yellow color. If your baby has 6-8 very wet cloth diapers or 5-6 wet disposable diapers and 2-5 bowel movements per day (after the baby is three days old). To feel what a wet diaper is like, pour three tablespoons of water into a clean diaper.
  • Your baby’s content after feedings. Just like how you feel after a full meal, content and ready to nap. If your baby’s crying and fussing a lot after a full nursing, it could mean he’s still hungry (and/or that you’ve got a poor milk supply). Keep in mind, however, that he could be fussing for reasons unrelated to hunger etc colic. In general, if your baby’s active, alert, and healthy overall, your fine.
  • Your baby’s gaining weight. There’s no surer sign of good milk supply than a baby who’s putting on the weight. A weight gain of 120g to 200g on average per week indicates he’s getting enough milk.

What causes low supply?

increase milk supply singaporeIn a breastfeeding relationship, mom’s body responds to baby’s demand. The supply and demand equilibrium between the mummy and baby can break down sometimes, causing a supply issue.  The situation can be compounded by:

  1. Supplementing. Nursing is a supply & demand process. Milk is produced as your baby nurses, and the amount that she nurses lets your body know how much milk is required. Every bottle (of formula, juice or water) that your baby gets means that your body gets the signal to produce that much less milk.
  2. Bottle preference. A bottle requires a different type of sucking than nursing, and it is easier for your baby to extract milk from a bottle. As a result, giving a bottle can either cause your baby to have problems sucking properly at the breast, or can result in baby preferring the constant faster flow of the bottle.
  3. Pacifiers. Pacifiers can affect baby’s latch. They can also significantly reduce the amount of time your baby spends at the breast, which may cause your milk supply to drop.
  4. Nipple shields can be a useful tool in some cases, but hey can also reduce the stimulation to your nipple or interfere with milk transfer, which can interfere with the supply-demand cycle.
  5. Returning to work. Being separated from their baby for long periods of time, as well as the stress associated with re-entering the work force can make it difficult for moms to maintain their supply. The article Returning to Work has information about how to deal with these challenges.
  6. Scheduled feedings interfere with the supply & demand cycle of milk production and can lead to a reduced supply, sometimes several months later rather than immediately. Nurse your baby whenever she is hungry.
  7. Sleepy baby. For the first few weeks, some babies are very sleepy and only ask to nurse infrequently and for short periods. Until baby wakes up and begins to breastfeed well, nurse baby at least every two hours during the day and at least every 4 hours at night to establish your milk supply.
  8. Cutting short the length of nursings. Stopping a feeding before your baby ends the feeding herself can interfere with the supply-demand cycle. Also, your milk increases in fat content later into a feeding, which helps baby gain weight and last longer between feedings.
  9. Offering only one breast per feeding. This is fine if your milk supply is well-established and your baby is gaining weight well. If you’re trying to increase your milk supply, let baby finish the first side, then offer the second side.
  10. Health or anatomical problems with baby (including, jaundice, tongue-tie, etc.) can prevent baby from removing milk adequately from the breast, thus decreasing milk supply.
  11. Mom’s health (uncontrolled anemia or hypothyroidism, retained placenta, postpartum hemorrhage…), previous breast surgery/injury, hormonal problems (e.g.PCOS), anatomical problems, medications she is taking (hormonal birth control,sudafed…), or smoking also have the potential to affect milk supply.

Identifying and targeting your problem areas can help you bring your supply back up to baby’s demand.

Boosting Your Milk Supply

Here’s the golden rule you got to remember: Baby drinks more, you produce more. 

  1. Getting into the right position. A good latch will ensure that all your milk gets from your breast to your baby effciently and pain-free. Your pain and baby’s lack of swallows indicate a problem and the first suspect is latch or position. A lactation consultant can help you check and see if your latching correctly. Check out how to latch here.
  2. Go hands-onEncourage milk letdown and flow by applying warmth to your breasts, shoulders and upper back before nursing. Breast massage and compressions also help.
  3. Demand Feeding Many mummies find success with demand feeding. You can either nurse-in with your baby to bed with you; nurse and cuddle all day long! Have your partner bring you food, drinks, snacks and allow you to relax so you can bond with your baby. Latch at the slightest signal of baby wanting to nurse regardless how long and how frequent it might takes The extra nursing and the the skin-to-skin contact tells your body to make more milk.
  4. Use good pump. Use a high quality pump after each feeding (or as often as possible). This helps “empty your breasts” completely, sending the signal out for more milk production. (Do note that you cannot “empty your breast’ as your breast is constantly producing milk, pump as much as you can is good enough.)
  5. H2O Yeah! Stay hydrated.Keep a bottle of water near the area you breastfeed and drink while your baby does. A warm cup of  lactation tea will help you relax, and produce even more milk, which makes for more pleasant and effective nursing sessions. 
  6. Power pumping . The powe pumping sessions work like a charm as it mimics cluster feeding thus encourages your body to make more milk.
  7. Pumping between feedings as often as you can can help to build up your supply even more
  8. Rest Rest Rest and more rest, while this is not easy, have your partner take care of your baby for a few hours and have a good sleep works wonders. If you your exhausted, how do you produce milk?
  9. Do NOT be stress. STRESS IS NO1 MILK KILLER


Despite your best efforts, sometimes your supply still needs a boost.

  1. Food.Here is a list of galactagogues that we have compiled that might give you an idea what to get your hands on.
  2. Medications.Your doctor might also prescribe certain medications to help with lactation. Metaclopamide, domperidone, and the antipsychotics, sulpiride and chlorpromazine work by blocking dopamine receptors. This would results in higher prolactin levels and can increase milk supply.
  3.  Singapore Lactation Bakes’ BAKES. We recommend our very own lactation bakes series. They come in cookies, muffins and even pancake mix. Our bakes contains some key ingredients that can help BOOST your breast milk supply. The key ingredients to our bakes are Rolled Oats, Brewer’s Yeast, and Flax Seed and yes there are options to add other herbs that were known to boost milk supplies that you can consider adding to. Read more informations about our lactation bakes here.

When Supplementing is Necessary

You’ve tried everything but your supply still doesn’t meet your baby’s demand, it might be necessary to supplement.

Here’s the golden rule is: offer breast first! Always empty your breasts before offering more nutrition. Even the tiniest amount of breast milk has a huge variety of health benefits and not forgetting nursing more encourages your brain to produce more ( remember the latch more produce more rule?)

The most important thing to understand is this: You are not a failure. A healthy breastfeeding relationship is more than just nutrition nor the milk! You do not need to be full breastfeeding to be a full time mom. It’s about the beautiful bond between your precious little one and you. Supplementing is just another way to enjoy time with your baby.


  1. Poor milk supply
  2. Increasing Low Milk Supply Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC

  3. Increasing your milk supply Increasing Your Milk Supply by Anne Smith, IBCLC

Posted on

Heightened Phase 2: 5 Gifts ideas for new mums that they’ll actually use

heightened phase 2

5 Gifts ideas for new mums that they’ll actually use during Heightened Phase 2 of covid in Singapore. Of course, all mothers want the same thing: rest. But since we can’t wrap that up and give it to her as a present, we’ll have to settle for the next best thing.

We’ve compiled a list of gift ideas that new mothers will love; whether it is skincare to do an at-home spa, or yummy treats to feast on, or adorable clothes for her and the baby, we’ve got it all here on this list! No matter if it’s her first baby, or baby no. 3, she is sure to appreciate and love all these gifts. Especially with covid-19 around and a second wave in Singapore, she may not feel safe shopping around for herself, so you can be sure that she will appreciate new things.

  1. Ksisters skincare line

ksisters skin care new mum

We’d all love to head to the spa and get some facials done, especially in this stressful period. Unfortunately, the government just announced the closure of all facilities that require your mask to be off, so we have to settle for the next best thing. Ksisters is your one-stop shop for everything feminine related – skincare, makeup, clothes for mama and baby, jewelry, even other lifestyle goods! She can easily do an at-home spa day with their amazing skincare products. With their wide range of goods, we’re sure that mum will appreciate anything on this website.

2. Singapore Lactation Bakes complete New Mom Gift Hamper

new mum gift set

It’s a common worry for any mummy wishing to breastfeed their child to worry about their milk supply. But not to fret, SLB’s gift hamper comes with everything a new mum needs! Lactation cookies and their other lactation bakes all help to increase your milk supply through the use of superfoods, and the gift set also comes with a nursing cover, soft toys and even a teething toy! If you know that mum is worrying about her milk supply, be sure to get these for her to ease her worry. She’ll also get to enjoy the yummy cookies, brownies… drool

3. Oeteo newborn gift set

new mum gift set

Oeteo, a local supplier of baby clothes, has some of the cutest baby clothes we’ve ever seen. With covid rampaging around, it’s best for mum to stay at home to keep herself safe. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to shop for baby clothes, so you can help her out by doing the shopping for her! Oeteo’s newborn gift set is perfect for mum since it comes with all the clothes, blankets, mittens that she’ll ever need!

4. Hegen PCTO™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Hegen milk bottle new mum

This gift set is curated perfectly for newborn babies, making it easy and efficient for mum to breastfeed! Hegen’s innovative, all-in-one express, store and feed system allows mums to use the same container for everything by simply switching out the attachment, so there’s no wastage. All the attachments mum will ever need are included in this gift set, so it’s perfect for her! Their patent pending one-handed closing system is perfect for mums who only have one free hand from holding the baby!

5. Jump Eat Cry’s Nursing line

jump eat cry new mum

If mum is a fashionista, look no further than Jump Eat Cry! They have a nursing and maternity line, easily accommodating both nursing needs and a growing belly. Many people associate nursing clothes with un-fashionable articles of clothing, but these are trendy while still being functional! If you know the baby’s gender, you can even buy a matching set for mum and baby, so they can wear matching clothes and look adorable together. And make sure to purchase their gift packaging so it looks extra special!


All these gifts are great for mums, but at the end of the day the most important thing is that you stay by mum’s side and give her reassurance and encouragement! Make sure she knows that you’re there for her. Motherhood is amazing and incredible, but also frustrating and tiring. She will most definitely appreciate your support if you do!

Posted on

SLB Eating Guide and Storage Guide

SLB Eating Guide: SLB Eating instruction and Storage Guide

Thank you mummies for having SLB here with you in your marvellous breastfeeding journey! Now that you have the bakes with you, let us SLB eating guide you on how to have the bakes, the SLB eating instructions, how the bakes are suppose to help and things to take note of when you are having our bakes! Feel free to copy and save the above infographic so that you could do reference at any point of time.

How our Lactation cookies works?

Breastfeeding is nature’s gift to mothers: It’s all-natural and free, and it provides a host of benefits to you and your baby’s overall health. However, it’s often a concern for new mothers that their milk supply isn’t enough. Your milk supply may indeed temporarily diminish if you’re not feeding your little one often enough for a variety of reasons.

Remember that milk supply works the same way as economics: there’s a law of supply and demand. With breastfeeding, the more you nurse, the more milk you produce given the proper positioning and latch. Unfortunately for a number of mothers, their milk supply may still be low. Enter galactagogues, the most popular and most convenient being lactation cookies.

Singapore Lactation Bakes’s bake contains some key ingredients that can help support your breast milk supply.

SLB cookies helps in a way in which our bakes will help with your let down sensation. Once you feel the let down at any point of time, latch or pump immediately. This way your body will respond to the need to make more milk as there are “demand”.

So say you pump 5 times a day with 20ml per pump, now with more let downs, maybe you pump 7 times a day with extra 10ml each pump. So your total output of milk would increase from 100ml to 120ml per day.  If you continue with this routine, you could then slowly wean off the cookies while maintaining the “new” output.

How long does it takes to see effect?

SLB eating guide suggests you enjoy 8-10 cookies per day and or with 1-2 muffins / brownies a day for best results. You may feel fuller/ more let downs by that evening, or it may take a few days before you notice a boost in supply. Some women may not experience an increase; each body is different and responds differently to foods.

However, SLB ‘s cookies, muffins and brownies have helped to support many mummies with milk supply and deliver on taste and nutrition to everyone. Each mother respond differently to lactation cookies. Some moms notice a significant increase in their milk supply within a few hours, while some take a 4-5 days while other could take 1-2 weeks after following the SLB eating instructions.

Can my family members / friends enjoy the lactation bakes?

Absolutely! There is no mystery estrogen in Our lactation bakes, just whole, honest ingredients. With sustained energy from oats, omega 3s from flax,  these bakes are the perfect addition to any man’s gym bag, briefcase. Bring on the daddies! It’s also great for toddlers, kids and older folks too!

Who should avoid eating lactation cookies?

Basically anyone in the family can eat the cookies! ( my 3, 5 and 8 year olds are my cookie testers!). However, Lactation bakes are not suitable for pregnant ladies but its ok to start eating them straight after birth.

We also have some Articles on breastfeeding such as how do you know if you are low supply do you have sore nipples or why your baby keeps drinking and well as some Breastfeeding Tips and pumping hacks that you could adopt to make your breastfeeding journey a little easier. Read thru our breastfeeding recipes too as we have compiled some easy recipe for you too! Lastly, Don’t forget to Eat SLB . Breastfeed. Repeat and continue to put baby to breast as often as possible, pump when necessary, stay hydrated and, most importantly, well-rested (yeah, right).  Thank you for reading our SLB eating guide. I commend you for even reading this far. ?

More questions? read our FAQ for more infos or live chat us if you have more questions ya =)

*Our bakes are not intended as a replacement for professional lactation support. Our bakes provide nutritious and valuable lactation support for nursing mothers and their little ones only when used in collaboration with best breastfeeding practices and/or while under the care of lactation professionals.

Posted on

The first golden hour and skin-to-skin

The way your baby is cared for and nurtured immediately after birth significantly impacts their transition from the womb to life outside. Our modern culture commonly separates mothers and babies for routines procedures like cleaning, weighing and measuring. This leads to babies missing the critical skin-to-skin time with their mothers, which has both short and long term consequences for both of them.

As these procedures are not necessary to maintain or enhance the wellbeing of either mother or baby, there is no reason why they cannot be delayed beyond the first critical hour. The first hour should be focused on the baby’s first breastfeed and mother-baby bonding. Unless the mother or baby requires medical assistance, hospital protocols should support this time of new beginnings for both vaginal and caesarean births.

Personally, I requested for skin-to-skin right after birth and with the newborn checks not executed till much later. I was able to bond with Jo2 and Jo3 for at least an hour before the nurses carried them for their newborn checks.

What Is An Undisturbed First Hour?

Babies are born and immediately placed tummy down on their mother’s stomach. A warm blanket should be placed over both of them to keep the mother warm. This slows the production of adrenaline in her to aid in the production of oxytocin and prolactin; both hormones necessary for bonding and breastfeeding.

At this time, the mother’s needs are simple: warmth and a quiet, calm environment. It is important to remember that she is still in labour — she still has to birth the placenta and membranes, and her uterus needs to contract down.

Here are 6 important reasons why the first hour after birth should be undisturbed:

#1: Baby-Led Initiation of Breastfeeding

These days, it’s quite common for hospital staff to want the baby to begin breastfeeding within the first hour. However, early feeding is important for both the mother and the baby. It’s essential for bonding and helps to expel the placenta quicker and more easily, which reduces the risk of postpartum haemorrhage. It’s common for caregivers to assist the baby to latch onto the nipple, which is unnecessary in most cases. When babies who have not been exposed to medications are placed skin-to-skin with their mothers and left undisturbed, they will instinctually crawl to their mother’s breast and attach themselves to the nipple. This is now known as the ‘breast crawl’ and was first observed by Swedish researchers in the 1980s. Further observation discovered that babies are born with innate instincts that assist them in finding their mother’s nipple, like all newborn mammals. I noticed that with Jo3, it took her about 30 minutes to latch on instinctively, so don’t worry if your baby doesn’t want to latch immediately.

#2: Body System Regulation

Babies who are left skin-to-skin with their mothers for the first hours immediately after birth are better able to regulate their temperature and respiration. Newborns aren’t able to adjust their body temperature as well as older children and adults since they don’t have the same insulating fat levels, after spending 9 months in an environment that is perfectly temperature controlled. If babies lose too much heat, they have to use more energy and oxygen than they can spare to try and keep their temperature stable.  An undisturbed first hour with skin-to-skin also reduces the risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels). Newborn babies can produce glucose from their body stores of energy until they are breastfeeding well and are more likely to do so when they remain skin-to-skin with their mothers.

#3: Promotes Mother-Baby Attachment

Prolonged skin-to-skin after birth allows mother and baby to get to know each other. Mothers who have skin-to-skin contact after birth are more likely to feel confident and comfortable in meeting their babies’ needs than those who had none. Attachment is critical to newborn survival and mothers are hard-wired to look after their young. The number of oxytocin receptors in a woman’s brain increase during pregnancy. After birth, she is more responsive to the hormone, which promotes maternal behaviour. Oxytocin is produced in large amounts when breastfeeding and during skin-to-skin. Mothers who had early skin-to-skin with their babies are more likely to demonstrate bonding behaviours later in their child’s life, such as kissing, holding, positive speaking and so on. Skin-to-skin is becoming a reality for more c-section mothers and skin-to-skin as you have in the first few days will really promote and help with your breastfeeding journey.

#4: Improves Breastfeeding Success Rates

Breastfeeding is more successful when babies have early skin-to-skin contact. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies in the first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Creating the right conditions for the initiation of breastfeeding would help promote longer durations of breastfeeding for many women. Babies who are left to self attach usually have a better chance of proper tongue positioning when latching. This can increase long term breastfeeding as mothers experience more ease and fewer problems when latching is not an issue.

#5: Protects Against The Effects of Separation

Babies are born ready to interact with their mothers – a newborn baby who has not been exposed to excessive medication will be very alert and gaze intently into their mother’s face, recognising her smell, the sound of her voice and the touch of her skin. Remaining with their mother is key to a baby’s survival and separation can be life-threatening. Babies are born with a mammal’s primal instinct to stay within the safe habitat of their mother, where there is warmth, safety and nourishment. When babies are separated from their mother they will protest loudly, drawing their mother’s attention to their distress. Babies undergo what is literally a cold turkey withdrawal from the sensory stimulation of their mother’s body. If they are not reunited with their mother despite their protests, they will go into a despair state – essentially giving up and becoming quiet and still. This is partly a survival instinct to avoid attracting predators, and their body systems slow down to preserve energy and heat.

#6: Boost Your Baby’s Immunity

Naturally, when babies are born, they emerge from a near-sterile environment in the uterus and are seeded by their mother’s bacteria. This essentially trains the baby’s cells to understand what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. This kickstarts their immune system to fight off infections and protects them from disease in the future. Research indicates that if babies aren’t given this opportunity to be exposed to their mother’s bacteria, their immune system may not reach its full potential, increasing the future risk of disease. If you’ve had a c-section, skin-to-skin and early breastfeeding is needed to increase your baby’s exposure to bacteria.

Here are the 9 stages of the golden hour

golden hour


Why skin-to-skin is important


Immediate skin-to-skin for a minimum of one hour after birth is one of the most effective methods for promoting exclusive breastfeeding.  Babies who have early skin-to-skin are more likely to be exclusively breastfed at discharge, exclusively breastfed after discharge, and breastfed for longer durations. Here are some reasons why it’s important :
  • Keeps mother and baby together.
  • Promotes bonding between mother and baby.
  • Provides for earlier initiation of the first breastfeeding experience.
  • Reduces crying.
  • Helps the baby maintain body temperature better than a hospital warmer, as your body will alter your own temperature to warm or cool the baby to maintain a normal temperature.
  • Helps regulate the baby’s breathing and heart rate.
  • Help keep the baby’s blood sugar level stable.
  • Decreases pain for baby from any procedures done while skin-to-skin.
  • Reduces postpartum haemorrhage in mother.
  • Can reduce maternal stress and postpartum depression.
  • Increases the probability of breastfeeding as well as the length of time you will breastfeed your baby beyond the hospital time.

Skin-to-skin right after birth:

  • Mother is in a slightly reclined position.
  • The baby is placed on the mother’s abdomen, dried, and covered with a blanket until the cord is clamped.
  • Once the cord is clamped, the baby is placed chest-to-chest with the mother and remains there uninterrupted for at least one hour and preferably until the first breastfeeding is completed. This provides optimal physiological stability.
  • The Baby’s face is easily visible and uncovered, the neck is straight, knees are bent.
  • The baby may be naked or diapered.
  • Baby can be dried during the process of placing skin-to-skin then baby and mother are covered by a warmed blanket.
  • Other tests like Apgar scoring can be done while the baby is being held skin-to-skin.
  • Baby’s measurements can be delayed for up to six hours – they are not going to change dramatically in that time frame.
  • Time in a warmer will not be needed since the mother’s body will keep the baby warm.
  • Baby and mother are monitored by nursing staff during skin-to-skin.
  • Mother notices her baby’s feeding cues, like rooting or sucking on her hands and can guide baby to the breast for first feeding.
  • skin-to-skin can continue as mother and baby are moved from the labour suite to the postpartum setting with proper observation for safety.

Continued skin-to-skin:

  • Regardless of the birth setting – hospital, birth centre or home – skin-to-skin can be part of the normal care of the newborn.
  • The more that mother and baby are together, the easier it is for the mother to recognise the baby’s early feeding cues. More frequently baby will breastfeed, and a greater milk volume will be stimulated.
  • Mothers who “room-in” in the hospital will tend to practice skin-to-skin more frequently.
  • Mothers who practise skin-to-skin report greater confidence in their ability to feed and care for their babies.
  • Babies who “room-in” have more quiet sleep than those who are separated.

Remember that skin-to-skin can continue past the birth period and early postpartum.  Many mothers have found that snuggling their baby can be soothing at any time and at any age.


Belly Belly Australia

Skin-to-Skin Care

Posted on

Tips on getting a good breastfeeding latch

Breastfeeding may be the most natural way to feed your baby, but it can take time and practice for you both to get the hang of it. Understanding how a good breastfeeding latch (also known as breastfeeding attachment) should look and feel can be a huge help in getting feeding established.

There’s no right or wrong way to hold and feed your baby, and each mum and baby will find their own preferred position to feed in. What’s important is that you both feel comfortable. Knowing a few different breastfeeding positions and techniques can be helpful as your baby gets bigger and you start to go out more. Read on to find out how to get a good breastfeeding latch!

A Proper Latch

Before breastfeeding, a mother needs to get into a comfortable position as feeding may take 5 minutes to an hour. Use cushions to support the back to prevent it from getting strained. Not only will it help with the back, but it will also help the baby to latch properly. To start feeding, bring the baby towards the nipple; do not bend towards the baby, as it will result in a poor latch and will hurt in the process.

Holding your breast in a “U” shape will help the baby with good latching. It also makes it easy for the baby to latch on. Keep hands 2 inches away from the nipple. Support the neck of the baby with your hand and gently bring the baby towards the breast.

Aim your nipple towards the upper lip of the baby and not towards the centre. If the baby does not latch on the breast, try rubbing the nipple on its upper lip. This way the baby’s head will tilt back. If the baby does not open its mouth, do not force it in but instead gently rub your breast against its mouth. Squeezing a little milk out and then rubbing will also help the baby open its mouth.

Make sure that the mother and the baby are chest to chest with its nose slightly above the breast. As the baby latches on to the breast, ensure that the nipple and areola (the dark area surrounding the nipple) is in the baby’s mouth. This is considered to be a good latch!

Basic Steps for Latching Positioning

  1. Position yourself comfortably with back support, pillows supporting your arms and in your lap with your feet supported.  Whatever feels most comfortable to you!
  2. Position baby close to you with his hips flexed so that he does not have to turn his head to reach your breast. His mouth and nose should be facing your nipple (rather than having to turn his head to face your nipple).
  3. Support your breast if needed so it is not pressing on your baby’s chin. Your baby’s chin should drive into your breast.
  4. Attach or latch your baby onto your breast. Encourage him to open his mouth wide, and pull him close by supporting his back (rather than the back of his head) so that his chin drives into your breast. It helps to tickle his upper lip/nose with your nipple. This will encourage him to open his mouth wide and latch onto your breast. His nose will be touching your breast. Your hand forms a “second neck” for your baby by lightly supporting his neck (not his head).
  5. Enjoy! If you are feeling pain, detach the baby gently and try again.

As you and your baby become more experienced and comfortable with breastfeeding, you’ll find that you can alter your positions in many ways, even from feeding to feeding. As long as you’re comfortable and the baby is nursing successfully, do what works best for you.

How to help your baby latch on the breast

1: Check your latching position.

Position baby close to you

Before you start, and whichever breastfeeding position you choose, make sure your baby’s head, neck and spine are aligned, not twisted. His chin should be up, not dropped towards his chest. Make sure you feel comfortable too – you could use pillows or cushions to support your back, arms or baby.1

2: Encourage your baby to open his mouth

Hold your baby close, your nipple level with his nose. Touch your nipple gently against his upper lip to encourage him to open his mouth wide. The wider his mouth is, the easier it will be to get a good latch on.

3: Bring your baby to your breast   

Once your baby has opened his mouth wide and has brought his tongue over his bottom gum, bring him onto your breast, aiming your nipple towards the top of his mouth. Your baby’s chin should be the first thing that touches your breast. He should take a large portion of your areola into his mouth, with his bottom lip and jaw covering more of the underneath of the areola.  It’s OK if you see part of your areola isn’t inside his mouth – we all have different-sized areolae and different-sized babies! Some mums find that gently shaping their breast at the same time as bringing their baby on to feed helps. Experiment and see what works.

4: Keep your baby close during latch on

Remember mums all have different breast shapes and nipple positions, so you may not always have that ‘textbook’ latch. Whenever possible, keep your baby close to you, with his chin in contact with your breast. Newborn baby’s noses are turned up so they can breathe easily while attached to the breast. This lets them coordinate sucking and breathing with ease.

5: Look and listen

As your baby feeds, your nipple will be against the roof of his mouth, cupped gently by his tongue underneath. The latch should not feel uncomfortable – it should be more of a tugging sensation. Watch your baby – at first, he’ll do short, rapid sucks to stimulate your milk flow (let-down reflex). Once the milk starts flowing, he’ll suck more slowly and deeply with some pauses, which may indicate he’s taking in milk – a good sign! You should see his jaw moving, and may also hear sucking and swallowing as he feeds. These are all good signs, but it’s also important to check your baby is producing plenty of wet and dirty nappies and gaining weight as expected.

6: How to break your baby’s latch on the breast

If your baby’s latch is shallow or painful, or he starts chomping on your nipple or brushing the end of it with his tongue, remove him from your breast and try again. Ease your clean finger gently inside the corner of his mouth to break his suction if you need to.

How To Confirm If Your Latch Is Good?

Knowing the right breastfeeding latching tips and being aware of common latching signs can make your problems go away in no time. It will make breastfeeding a seamless and hassle-free process. Here are the signs of proper breastfeeding latching amongst babies:

  • No pain – If the breastfeeding process feels smooth and less painful, then you’ve latched your baby on properly.
  • Comfortable positioning – Put pillows behind your lower back for added support. If you’re breastfeeding your baby in bed, put some pillows below your knees for cushioning and support.
  • Nipple inside baby’s mouth – When you’re breastfeeding correctly, the entire nipple should be inside the baby’s mouth
  • Tummy-to-tummy position – Position your baby in a way that her tummy faces yours during the breastfeeding process.
  • Head and neck alignment – Make sure the baby’s neck and head align in the same direction so that there’s no discomfort faced when bringing the baby close to your nipple.
  • Breast support – Support your breast in a way that baby’s chin drives into your breast and not the other way around.
  • Close positioning – Position your baby close to your nipples so that she doesn’t have to bend or turn her head to reach your breast.
  • Mouth and nose facing nipple – Your baby’s mouth and nose should face the nipple with the nose touching the breast during the breastfeeding process.
  • A level head and bottom – Your baby’s head should be at level with the bottom of his body during the breastfeeding process.
  • Wide mouth – Encourage your baby to open his mouth wide during the breastfeeding process.

The cheeks of the baby will look full, its chin must rest on the breast, and the nose must be free and above the breast. The baby does not make any noise except for swallowing. After the feeding, there will be no change in the shape of the nipple and the baby will look satisfied, any previous irritation disappears, and the baby might even fall asleep.

There will be no movement in the lower jaw of the baby. Instead of an up and down movement, there will be circular movements in the baby’s mouth. With good latching, the baby will be relaxed. If the baby is still restless then the latch is not done properly and will have to be redone.

Some videos to help

Here’s a video on how to get on a good latch for new mothers.


Here’s another awesome video on how to latch!

In conclusion

Remember, breastfeeding should not be painful.  A good breastfeeding latch will help keep discomfort to a minimum.  If your baby is not latched on well, problems like cracked and sore nipples can develop. Once a good position and latch are established, breastfeeding can be a wonderful, pain-free bonding experience between you and your baby.

If you are still experiencing any nipple pain, dryness or discomfort, try a nipple cream.

If you need further assistance, many hospitals have lactation consultants. Seek to work with a lactation consultant at the hospital or birthing centre in which you delivered. If you are already home, you can speak with your healthcare provider. You can also call a breastfeeding helpline or contact an independent lactation consultant. Join our breastfeeding community to ask fellow mummies for support too!

Last but not least like what Kellymom mentions

No matter what latch and positioning look like, the true measure is in the answers to these two questions:

  1. Is it effective?
  2. Is it comfortable?

Even if the latch and positioning look perfect (yes, even if a lactation consultant told you it was fine), pain (particularly after the first two weeks) and/or ineffective milk transfer indicates that something needs to change, and the first suspect is ineffective latch/positioning.
If the baby is transferring milk and gaining weight well, and mom is not hurting, then latch and positioning are – by definition – good, even if they look nothing like the “textbook” latch.

“Rules and regulations have no place in the mother-baby relationship. Each mother and baby dyad is different and what works well for one mother and baby may not work well for another mother and baby. The important thing to do is to look at the mother and baby as individuals.”– Andrea Eastman, MA, CCE, IBCLC in The Mother-Baby Dance

Posted on

Nipple Confusion and its solution

If anyone deserves a break, it’s a nursing mom! Your desire to have your little one take breast milk from a bottle every now and again so that you can get out of the house and go for a much-needed walk (or at least take a shower or a nap) is completely understandable. But are you worried that your little one won’t take to the bottle easily? Heard one too many “nipple confusion” sagas from friends and lactation specialists? Or has that theory been discounted by your paediatrician and your mother-in-law, leaving you more confused than ever?

What is nipple confusion during breastfeeding?

Nipple confusion is when babies who are used to sucking from bottles have a hard time getting back on the breast. They may have difficulty latching on and may protest the different size or texture. Nipple confusion sometimes occurs in young infants who are breastfed, given both a bottle and a pacifier within a few days of birth. Sucking on a breast, a bottle and a pacifier all require different sucking techniques. Young infants can become confused about which sucking technique to use for which kind of nipple.

A hungry infant who has difficulty sucking becomes quickly frustrated, making feeding your baby difficult and frustrating both for you and your child.  While not all young infants suffer from nipple confusion, enough do that it poses a real problem for many new parents.

Is nipple confusion real?

Most babies have no problem switching from breast to bottle and back again. Others, particularly those who take a little longer perfecting the art of suckling at the breast, do find it hard to transition from breast to bottle, and then back to the breast. This is why most experts agree that you should wait until your newborn gets the hang of breastfeeding (about three weeks) before you break out the bottle.

If breastfeeding hasn’t hit its groove by the three-week mark, wait a little longer before introducing the bottle.

Why do you need to hold off before you switch off? If you don’t wait until your baby has perfected her breastfeeding skill, there’s a risk she’ll give up breastfeeding sooner than you’d like.

Does your baby know the difference between breast and bottle?

Newborns catch on pretty quickly they don’t have to work nearly as hard to get milk from a bottle with a rubber (or silicone) nipple as from your breast. To breastfeed, your baby needs to master the fine art of taking your nipple far back into her mouth and then using her tongue to pump out the milk (which can take a minute or so before it starts flowing). With a tilted bottle, a baby has gravity on her side: She can suck with her lips and get all the milk she wants right away. So the baby suffering from nipple confusion may not be befuddled so much as opinionated. She prefers the bottle. And why wouldn’t she? It’s the quicker, easier route to a full belly.

The main reason for developing nipple confusion for bottle-feeding

The main reason for nipple confusion is just simply the fact that bottle feeding for a breastfed baby is completely different from natural breastfeeding. Regardless of what’s in the bottle, it is all about “your breast vs the bottle”, in which your baby has to suck in 2 different ways.

Additionally, the difference in:

  • Mouth muscles used while sucking from the breast are more than in the baby bottle.
  • His tongue moving differently in each situation.
  • The elasticity of breast skin vs the bottle teat.
  • The milk flow rate from the breast and the baby bottle

Nipple confusion can result at the end of breastfeeding and is a big issue.


Usually, breastfeeding mothers face the nipple confusion issue when they tend to pump/express breastmilk before returning to work or study.

Here are the measures you should take to avoid and fix nipple confusion during mixing between breast and bottle feeding.

When to introduce the bottle

Give breast-only feeding the recommended three weeks for your milk supply to get well established and for your newborn to really master the technique, and then feel free to give yourself that longed-for break.

Tips for introducing the bottle

Some babies take to bottle-feeding right away, others protest. If you’ve got a stubborn bottle feeder on your hands, be ready to offer a choice of formula, nipple sizes and style, and formula-feeding times until he decides which one he prefers. If your baby baulks at breast or bottle, here’s a game plan for handling that nipple confusion (or preference!):

What to do if your baby won’t take a bottle

Go back to square one. Revisit the basics of latching on and remind your baby how soothing breastfeeding can be by cuddling her skin-to-skin. It may require a few sessions of fumbling at the breast before she gets back on track, but it’ll be worth it!

Make it easier. Get your milk flowing (either manually or by pumping your breast milk) before your baby starts to eat, so she doesn’t have to work that hard for the milk. (Just pump enough to get things dripping; you’re not looking to fill a bottle just yet.)

Time it right. She should be in the mood for a meal (aka hungry) so she’s motivated to give it a try…but not so famished that she can’t get her baby brain around relearning an old trick. If she’s starving, she may not have the patience to latch on or suck hard enough to get the milk she wants—and that might lead to a full-blown frenzy of frustration, which can throw both of you off track.

Back off on the faux nipples. If the whole switching process has given your baby a bad case of nipple confusion, just stick with breastfeeding till she’s got it down solid. (This means you’ll need to put away the pacifiers too, just in case she’s gotten too fond of sucking for satisfaction with her lips.)

What to do if your baby prefers breastfeeding

Let Daddy do the feeding. Sometimes a baby is just too attached to Mom’s nipple, so hitting the bottle while Mom is so close by (yet buttoned-up) seems wrong. But it may be a different story if someone else is bringing on the bottle — whether it’s Dad, Grandma, or your best pal. But don’t worry that you’ll always need a Mommy stand-in at feeding time — once your wee one gets the hang of the bottle, she won’t care who gives it to her!

Try different nipples types. If one nipple doesn’t succeed, try, try another one. Just watch the flow rate. The milk should come out fast enough that your baby doesn’t get frustrated…but not so fast that she can’t keep up with the flow. A drop a second when you turn the bottle upside-down is just right.

Make bottle feeding as much like breastfeeding as you can. Interact with your baby. Switch arms halfway through so she has something different to look at. Burp her. But remember that while some newborns want bottle feeding to be just like breastfeeding, others take to it better if the experience is completely different. So if that’s the case with yours, try a different location or even a different position.

To avoid nipple confusion

  • No bottle introduction or pacifier during the first month
  • Avoid giving your breastfed baby a pacifier
  • Start introducing the bottle 3 weeks before work to give him a space to learn the new skill

How to fix nipple confusion?

You can do that by decreasing the gap as much as you can between breast and bottle. The whole idea of how to fix nipple confusion is to mimic the natural process of breastfeeding.

While you try to introduce the artificial nipple, do your best to decrease the difference between the natural nipple of you and the synthetic bottle nipple.

Breastfed baby breast refusal may be due to the type of bottle

The ordinary classic baby bottle has 2 huge disadvantages with regards to nipple confusion:

  1. It is light in weight
  2. It has a narrow/small bottle nipple.

And for that, it is much easier for your breastfed baby to get his milk from the regular bottle rather than your heavy, wide breast. By the time, he would prefer this small/light nipple rather than your breast. So, it is far from your heavy, wide breast nipple.

How to fix that?

Pick a wide base baby bottle that has a wide nipple to mimic the size of your breast. Also, the wide neck bottles are closer to your breast regarding their weight. And remember that your breast is like a heavy sandwich for your breastfed baby to latch on to it.

Nipple confusion makes your baby refusing the breast due to the flow rate

Breast milk ejection from the breast is a time-consuming process. This process is mediated through the lactation hormones, Oxytocin and Prolactin. Your breastfed baby may take around 2 mins to receive the breast milk during natural breastfeeding.

However, the milk comes easily and quickly in the case of bottle-feeding.

How to fix that issue?

Try to choose the slow flow rate teat to make the process slower. On the fast flow bottle nipple teat, it may make it easier for your baby to get choked.

Another way to mimic the slow milk rate of breastfeeding is to apply pauses while bottle-feeding. Don’t let your baby latch on to the bottle for the whole 10 mins of feeding, as gravity makes the milk flow faster from the bottle compared to the breast. 

So, what to do instead?

During bottle feeding, you can control the flow by making pauses every 2 minutes for 10 seconds.  These pauses will stretch the time needed to finish the milk from the bottle.

By doing that, you mimic breastfeeding sessions’ duration and flow rate. This lets your baby switch between both ways of feeding without feeling a huge difference.

Did your breastfed baby latch onto the bottle properly?

Your baby having a good latch during breastfeeding is crucial for a successful breastfeeding journey.  After latching onto your breast deeply,  he should do so on the bottle as well. A shallow latch on the bottle is a probable cause of nipple confusion.

What is the solution for a bottle shallow latch?

Simply, ensure that your baby is catching the wide base of the bottle rather than the tip. Like what happens in the normal latching process while breastfeeding, where your baby is catching the most of your areola within his mouth.

How to achieve that?

First, you should stimulate your breastfed newborn for the wide mouth opening. This could be done by raising the bottle at a higher level than his mouth.

Then hit his nose with the tip of the baby bottle tip.

Naturally, he would widen his mouth opening to catch the bottle nipple.

The second step is to pick the widest mouth opening and insert gently and deeply the bottle. You can control this process by grabbing your baby’s head using your hand.

How to balance breastfeeding and bottle-feeding

Bottle or breastfeeding doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing choice. By spacing out feedings, finding a formula baby likes almost as much as mom’s breast milk, and making sure nursing time includes lots of skin-on-skin bonding, you’ll be able to enjoy the flexibility of both.


Posted on

Carrot Cake Lactation Overnight Oats

Carrot Cake Lactation Overnight Oats

Booster : carrot, flaxseed, brewer's yeast, oats
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Breakfast
Servings 1 Serving


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk or any of your preference
  • 1/4 cup carrots shredded
  • 1 teaaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pecans crushed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut shredded
  • 1 teaspoon brewer's yeast
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon chia seed


  • Mix all ingredients together (except for the pecans and coconut) in a bowl or mason jar.
  • Add the pecans and coconut on top, cover with a lid, and set in refrigerator overnight. Enjoy in the morning!
Posted on

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

Boosters: Oats, Flaxseed, Brewer's Yeast
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Breakfast
Servings 2 people


  • 1/2 banana medium
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter creamy
  • 1/4 cup non fat greek yogurt plain
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup almond milk or any milk of your preference
  • 1 cup rolled oats gluten free
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon Brewer's Yeast


  • 1. First, mash 1/2 banana in a large bowl. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  • 2. Add in dry ingredients and mix again.
  • 3. Place in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve cold.


Feel free to double this recipe.
**It should stay good refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
**Depending on how thick you like your overnight oats, you may add a splash of almond milk before serving.