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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!

Reference
https://pumpables.co/measure/
https://spectra-baby.com.au/measuring-nipple-correct-flange-size/
https://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/article/143/breast-shield-sizing:-how-to-get-the-best-fit

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Am I a low supply mummy?

low milk supply

Am I a low supply mummy?

Are you concerned about your milk supply? It’s a common question that many new mothers grapple with. Often, there’s a worry that you’re not producing enough milk for your baby. This concern is one of the primary reasons some mothers consider stopping breastfeeding. However, there’s reassuring news: Almost all women have the capacity to produce ample milk for their baby.

Before you worry further, let’s debunk some myths and provide you with clear indicators to help you understand whether your milk supply is sufficient.

As a new mother, it’s natural to wonder if you are producing enough milk for your baby. There are several common indicators that mothers often worry about, but it’s important to know that these aren’t always reliable signs of low milk supply. Let’s address these myths and focus on what truly matters.

Common Myths About Milk Supply:

  1. Baby Taking a Full Bottle After Nursing: Babies may take more from a bottle due to its ease of feeding, not necessarily because they’re still hungry.
  2. Not Leaking Milk or Missing the Letdown Feeling: Many women don’t experience leaking or a strong letdown sensation and still produce enough milk.
  3. Feeling of Fullness or Emptiness in Breasts: This is often related to your body’s adaptation to breastfeeding and doesn’t accurately reflect your milk production.
  4. Frequency/Length of Feedings: Babies feed at different rates and intervals; this can vary widely and is not a reliable indicator of milk supply.
  5. Amount of Milk Pumped: Pump output is not always an accurate measure of how much milk you are producing.

Accurate Indicators of Adequate Milk Supply:

  1. Regular Bowel Movements: If your baby is pooping regularly. (3-6 poopy diaper), it’s a good sign they’re digesting enough milk.
  2. Consistent Urination: Multiple wet diapers a day (around 6 or more) indicate adequate hydration from milk.
  3. Contentment and Sleep Patterns: A baby who is feeding well usually appears satisfied, sleeps well, and is generally not fussy.
  4. Steady Weight Gain: Regular weight checks with your pediatrician can reassure you that your baby is growing as expected.

1. Baby’s Bowel Movements:

  • Newborn Stage: Expect at least 3-6 daily diapers with large, seedy, mustard-colored poops in 24 hours. This is a good sign your baby is getting enough milk.
  • After 2-3 Months: The frequency may decrease to one poop a day or even one every other day. This is still normal and indicates adequate milk intake.

2. Baby’s Urination:

  • Wet Diapers: Look for 6-8  diapers per day (good indication is when the indicator on the diaper changes from yellow to blue). For a sense of what to expect, a wet diaper should feel like it has about three tablespoons of water in it.
  • Color: Urine should be light yellow in color, which is a good hydration indicator.

3. Baby’s Behavior Post-Feeding:

  • Contentment: A content and ready-to-nap baby post-feeding is a good sign. It’s similar to how you feel after a satisfying meal.
  • Crying and Fussing: If your baby frequently cries or fusses after nursing, it could indicate hunger or a lower milk supply. However, remember that fussing can also be due to other reasons like colic,tummy ache, baby not feeling well etc.
  • General Activity: An active, alert, and generally healthy baby usually means everything is fine.

4. Baby’s Weight Gain:

  • Steady Increase: A consistent weight gain of around 120g to 200g per week is a clear indicator of good milk supply and adequate feeding.

What causes low supply?

increase milk supply singapore

Breastfeeding is a dynamic relationship between a mother and her baby, largely governed by the principles of supply and demand. However, sometimes this delicate balance can be disrupted, leading to issues with milk supply. Understanding the potential causes of these disruptions can help you identify and address any supply concerns you might be facing.

Factors That Can Affect Milk Supply:

  1. Supplementing with Formula or Other Liquids: Breastfeeding works on a supply-and-demand basis. Supplementing with formula, juice, or water can reduce the demand signal to your body, leading to decreased milk production.
  2. Bottle Preference: Babies may find it easier to get milk from a bottle due to the different sucking mechanism required. This can lead to a preference for the bottle over the breast, affecting the baby’s ability to nurse effectively and impacting milk supply. Try pace bottle feeding to reduce the risk of bottle preference.
  3. Use of Pacifiers: While pacifiers can be soothing, they can also affect your baby’s latch and reduce the time spent breastfeeding, potentially leading to a drop in milk supply.
  4. Nipple Shields: While helpful in some situations, nipple shields can sometimes reduce nipple stimulation or interfere with milk transfer, impacting the supply-demand cycle.
  5. Returning to Work: The separation from the baby and the stress of re-entering the workforce can challenge a mother’s ability to maintain milk supply. Planning and strategies for pumping at work can help.
  6. Scheduled Feedings: Sticking to a strict feeding schedule can disrupt the natural supply and demand cycle, potentially leading to decreased milk supply.
  7. Sleepy Baby: In the first few weeks, some babies may be too sleepy to nurse frequently or effectively, necessitating more proactive feeding to establish milk supply.
  8. Cutting Short Nursing Sessions: Ending feedings before the baby naturally stops can disrupt milk production. The latter part of a feeding is rich in fat, which is important for the baby’s weight gain and satiety.
  9. Offering Only One Breast Per Feeding: While this can be fine once milk supply is established, offering both breasts can be beneficial if you’re working to increase supply.
  10. Baby’s Health or Anatomical Issues: Conditions like jaundice, tongue-tie, etc., can hinder effective milk removal, impacting supply.
  11. Maternal Health and Factors: Various factors like uncontrolled anemia, hypothyroidism, previous breast surgeries, hormonal imbalances (e.g., PCOS), certain medications, and smoking can affect milk supply.

Breastfeeding success often hinges on understanding and optimizing your milk supply.
Remember the golden rule: the more your baby drinks, the more you produce.

Here’s how you can encourage a healthy milk supply:

1. Correct Latching and Positioning:

  • A good latch ensures efficient, pain-free milk transfer from breast to baby. If you’re experiencing pain or your baby isn’t swallowing well, the issue might be with the latch or position.
  • Consult a IBCLC for help with latching. They can provide personalized guidance and support.

2. Hands-On Techniques:

  • Before nursing, apply warmth to your breasts, shoulders, and upper back to encourage milk letdown and flow.
  • Breast massage and compressions can also stimulate milk production.

3. Demand Feeding:

  • Consider demand feeding, where you nurse your baby whenever they show signs of hunger, regardless of frequency or duration.
  • Skin-to-skin contact during these sessions sends a signal to your body to produce more milk.

4. Using a Quality Breast Pump:

  • Pumping after feedings, or as often as possible, helps to “empty” your breasts, signaling your body to increase milk production. Remember, breasts are never truly empty as they constantly produce milk.

5. Hydration and Relaxation:

  • Stay hydrated by keeping water nearby during breastfeeding sessions.
  • Drinking lactation tea can also help you relax and potentially boost milk supply.

6. Power Pumping:

  • Mimicking cluster feeding through power pumping sessions can encourage your body to produce more milk.

7. Rest and Stress Management:

  • Adequate rest is crucial. If possible, have your partner or support person care for your baby while you take a break or nap.
  • Minimize stress, as it can negatively impact milk production.

8. Galactagogues:

  • Your doctor might recommend medications like metoclopramide or domperidone to increase prolactin levels and milk supply.
    1. Rolled Oats: High in fiber and iron, oats are often recommended for nursing mothers. Iron deficiency has been linked to decreased milk supply, making oats an excellent dietary choice.
    2. Brewer’s Yeast: A nutritional powerhouse, brewer’s yeast is rich in B-vitamins, protein, and essential minerals like selenium and chromium. These nutrients are not only vital for overall health but are also believed to aid in milk production.
    3. Flaxseed: Flaxseeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for a baby’s brain development. They also contain phytoestrogens that might help in boosting milk supply.


SLB Bakes: Enhancing Your Milk Supply Through Galactagogues
In the realm of breastfeeding, diet plays a pivotal role in milk production. This is where SLB Bakes comes into the picture, offering a delicious and practical solution for mothers looking to naturally boost their milk supply.

What are Galactagogues? Galactagogues are foods, herbs, or medications that are believed to help increase breast milk production. They have been used traditionally in various cultures and are gaining popularity among new mothers for their potential lactation benefits.

SLB Bakes’ Special Ingredients: Our range of SLB Bakes products incorporates key galactagogue ingredients known for their potential to enhance milk supply. These include:

We understand that variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to food. Our SLB Bakes series offers a range of options to cater to different tastes and preferences. From hearty cookies to fluffy muffins and versatile pancake mixes, each product is designed to be both nutritious and delicious.

When Supplementing is Necessary: If you’ve tried these strategies and still struggle to meet your baby’s needs ( and this should always be advised by a Dr), supplementing might be necessary. Remember to always offer the breast first to maintain your supply. Even small amounts of breast milk can provide significant health benefits.

Remember: You are not a failure if you need to supplement. Breastfeeding is about more than just nutrition; it’s about the bond you share with your baby. Supplementing is just another way to nurture and care for your little one.

Embrace the journey, and know that every step you take is about providing the best care for your baby.

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Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

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

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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.
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Breastfeeding Newborns

Everything you need to know about breastfeeding your newborn, in one article! This article is organised into weeks, to make it easier for new mummies!

The First Week

How often should the baby be nursing?

Frequent nursing encourages a good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for nursing at least 8 – 12 times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T nurse too often–you CAN nurse too little.

Go on-demand feeding. Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)–don’t wait until the baby is crying. Allow the baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy at first–wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing.

Is the baby getting enough milk?

Weight gain: Normal newborns may lose up to 7% of birth weight in the first few days. After mom’s milk comes in, if you are breastfeeding your newborn, they should gain about 170 g/week. Take baby for a weight check at the end of the first week or the beginning of the second week. Consult with the baby’s doctor if the baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: In the early days, the baby typically has one dirty diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). After day 4, stools should be yellow and the baby should have at least 3-4 stools daily that are the size of about2.5 cm or larger. Some babies stool every time they nurse, or even more often–this is normal, too. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy.

Wet diapers: In the early days, the baby typically has one wet diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). Once mom’s milk comes in, expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet.

Breast changes

Your milk should start to “come in” (increase in quantity and change from colostrum to mature milk) between days 2 and 5. To minimize engorgement: nurse often, don’t skip feedings (even at night), ensure good latch/positioning, and let your baby finish the first breast before offering the other side.

Call your doctor if your baby has:

  • no wet or dirty diapers
  • dark coloured urine after day 3 (should be pale yellow to clear)
  • dark coloured stools after day 4 (should be mustard yellow, with no meconium)
  • fewer wet/soiled diapers or nurses less frequently than the goals listed here
  •  or if you have symptoms of mastitis (sore breast with fever, chills, flu-like aching)

Supplement

Get Singapore Lactation Bakes’s Cookies 1-2 weeks in advance and put them in your hospital bag. Skin to skin and latch baby immediately after birth and you may start having the lactation cookies. 10-12 cookies per day promote more letdowns or fuller breasts. Pump or latch baby immediately when you feel the let downs or fuller breast to encourage more milk production.

Weeks Two through Six

How often should the baby be nursing?

Frequent nursing in the early weeks is important for establishing a good milk supply. You should be breastfeeding your newborn                  8 – 12+ times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T nurse too often—you CAN nurse too little.

Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth) and don’t wait until the baby is crying. Allow the baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy, wake the baby to nurse every 2 hours during the day or 4 hours during the night if the baby doesn’t wake up to nurse. Once the baby has established a good weight gain pattern, you can stop waking the baby and nurse on the baby’s cues alone.

The following things are normal:

  • Frequent and/or long feedings.
  • Varying nursing patterns from day today.
  • Cluster nursing (very frequent to constant nursing) for several hours—usually evenings—each day. This may coincide with the normal “fussy time” that most babies have in the early months.
  • Growth spurts, where baby nurses more often than usual for several days and may act very fussy. Common growth spurt times in the early weeks are the first few days at home, 7 – 10 days, 2 – 3 weeks and 4 – 6 weeks.

Is the baby getting enough milk?

Weight gain: When breastfeeding your newborn, they should gain 6 ounces/week (170 grams/week). Consult with the baby’s doctor and your lactation consultant if the baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: Expect 3-4+ stools daily that are the size of about 2.5 cm or larger. Some babies stool every time or even more often when they nurse this is normal. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is yellow and loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy. After 4 – 6 weeks, some babies stool less frequently, with stools as infrequent as once every 7-10 days. As long as the baby is gaining weight well, this is normal.

Wet diapers: Expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet. After 6 weeks, wet diapers may drop to 4-5/day but the amount of urine will increase to 4-6+ tablespoons (60-90+ mL) as the baby’s bladder capacity grows.

Milk supply

Some moms worry about milk supply. As long as the baby is gaining well on mom’s milk alone, then milk supply is good. Between weight checks, a sufficient number of wet and dirty diapers will indicate that baby is getting enough milk.

Boosting Milk supply

Take cookies, muffins, herbs  (called ‘galactagogues’) to stimulate the hormones that govern their milk supply. Eat food that boosts milk will help too. You may need to do some trial and error as everyone’s body reacts differently to food.

 

Reference:

Kelly mom  https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/

 

 

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Stress less tips with naturally low milk supply

When you’re a breastfeeding mom who has a milk supply that is naturally on the lower side, the already-existing stress can escalate really quickly, and for completely justifiable reasons.

Here’s the thing about stress and breastfeeding: Stress is Number 1 Milk Killer.

Stress can make it harder to produce breastmilk, so when you’re supply is already lo. letting something like stress interfere isn’t really an option.

These tips have helped me reduce breastfeeding stress and successfully breastfeed all of my daughters, even with a naturally low breastmilk supply.

1. Set Small Goals As You Go (and Celebrate Meeting Each One)

My big picture breastfeeding goal with all of my daughters was to nurse them for one year without supplementing with formula.

But let me be honest here, real quick. On night two of being home from the hospital with a newborn, sore nipples, and a low milk supply. Nothing seems further away than that one year mark. It feels completely unattainable. Entirely hopeless.

So how do you combat that overwhelming feeling that you will be a breastfeeding mama for all eternity? Set a smaller goal and allow yourself some happiness (and maybe some kind of treat ( Like Our Lactation Cookie Cups) when you meet it.

Whether it be making it through another month, another week, another day, or another nursing session. Set small goals as you need them, one step at a time

2. Build a Freezer Stash (Even if It’s a Small One)

Building a freezer stash of extra breastmilk when you’re already struggling may seem like a completely impossible task.

I was barely able to build a freezer supply when nursing my first daughter, but with my second daughter I did it and for my Third, my freezer was bursting!

There are a few key steps and strategies that really worked for me and helped me build up a freezer supply before my maternity leave ended.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Moms

If you’re the only mom you know who has a naturally low breastmilk supply, having conversations about breastfeeding can be really stressful and disheartening.

I can’t count how many times I’ve patiently listened to other breastfeeding moms talk about how they ” how they “can’t stop leaking milk everywhere because there is just so much”, or how they “have hundreds of ml stored in the freezer” (and their baby is still a newborn), or how they are going to “donate extra milk to babies in need because they just won’t go through it fast enough”.

On one hand, I’m genuinely happy for moms who have breastfeeding experiences like those, and don’t resent them one bit. And I mean that from the very bottom of my heart. Breastfeeding isn’t easy for anyone, even those moms with naturally higher milk supplies, so those mamas are WORKING to feed those littles and build those supplies. I’m in now way trying to imply that they “have it easy”—because they don’t.

But here’s what happens when I, a mom with a naturally low milk supply, hear those stories: I start to wonder if I’m inadequate. If there’s something wrong with me. If I’m not trying hard enough. If I’m failing my baby. If I’m less of a woman than those other moms. If I’m not good enough.

It genuinely has nothing to do with the other moms and everything to do with how I view myself and my own insecurities (like almost everything in women-to-women competition is when you dig down to the root of it).

To combat this, remind yourself that not all breastmilk supplies are created equal. There’s no point in competing with other moms. Focus on your supply, on your baby, on your experience, and know that if you get up in the morning and feed your baby—however you choose to do it—that you are enough.

4. Know When to Walk Away From a Conversation

There are plenty of folks out there who won’t accept that having a naturally low breastmilk supply is a thing.

They will make you feel like you simply aren’t trying hard enough; that you aren’t doing enough to accomplish your breastfeeding goals. That you haven’t downed enough fenugreek, or aren’t using the right medical-grade breastpump, or aren’t nursing enough times during the day—because, in case you haven’t heard—breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand system! Is your mind completely blown right now? Probably not, because…of course you’ve heard that.

All breastfeeding moms have heard the same advice. Over and over. The breastfeeding info typically starts at your prenatal appointments and is slammed in your face at every possible opportunity pretty much until your child looks a little too old to be of breastfeeding age.

And if you are one of the lucky few who hasn’t had to endure this cycle in person, my guess would be that if you’re a breastfeeding mama with a naturally low milk supply. you found all of the same advise through your own research immediately after realising you had a naturally low milk supply.

Because that same advice is everywhere. And the truth? Most breastfeeding advice-givers don’t help the situation at all.

Yes, it’s true that breastfeeding is a supply and demand system. Yes, there are some things that can help. But it’s also true that some women start off with less milk than others, and that there are only 24 hours in a day, and you can’t nurse and/or pump during every single one of them and do the million other things that being a parent requires of you and stay sane.

If you’re having a conversation with someone who just doesn’t quite understand the low-supply struggle, don’t be afraid to politely shift or end the conversation. You have enough on your plate, mama. And, to be honest, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Never allow yourself to be overwhelmed because you feel like you do.

5. Don’t Spend Tons of Money on Breastmilk-Boosting Products

When you start your breastfeeding  journey and realise your milk supply is low, it can be tempting to throw money at every product that may be rumored to boost breastmilk supplies in hopes of upping your milk production. Don’t do this.

If you buy everything at once, and use everything at once, you’ll have absolutely no idea what is actually helping and what isn’t. This means you could end up spending a ton of cash on products that aren’t actually doing anything.

When you’re trying a breastmilk booster (always clear it with a medical professional before you do), it’s best to try one at a time. Give each product at least a week and see if you notice any change in production. If you do—great! You’ve found a booster that works for your body. If not—no worries! On to the next booster to try. Our minimum order of cookies is 600g this is about a week’s supply and it gives you a good indication to know if our bakes works for you.

Heres a list of Lactation Cookies and Lactation Muffins that has helped many mummies in their breastfeeding journey

6. Meditate Every Single Day

This sounds like complete hippy nonsense. I know. I get it. But meditation can actually boost breastmilk production because it helps reduce stress.

Stress is no friend to anyone, but breastfeeding moms have more reasons to try to keep stress at bay than most people do, because high levels of stress can actually decrease milk production.

Yep. That’s a real thing. (As if us mamas with a naturally low milk supply didn’t have enough to worry about already. *sigh*)

Meditating can be as simple as closing your eyes for 60 seconds and breathing in and out, slowly and calmly. It’s so hard for moms to find time for yourself, but out of the 1440 minutes that happen every day, you deserve to set aside at least 1 for a little meditation.

7. Don’t Obsess Over Your Baby’s Weight

When you’re breastfeeding, especially in those early months when your babe hasn’t started solid foods and is onlydrinking breastmilk, it can feel like the entire health and well-being of your baby is dependent on your ability to produce breastmilk. The weight of that responsibility is huge.

Now factor in a naturally low milk supply and the stress factor is upped by about a thousand.

It can become so easy to start obsessing over whether or not your baby is doing okay food-wise, and the easiest way for us mamas to gauge success on? How much your baby weighs and how rapidly weight gain is occurring.

If you have genuine concerns, always address them with your doctor. If your doctor has concerns and gives you advice to keep your baby healthy, always follow the advice, or seek advise from a different medical professional. (I’m not a medical professional.)

But, if your doctor has no concerns and everything seems on track—stop overly-obsessing about your baby’s weight.

Yes, if you have a naturally low milk supply, there’s a chance that your baby may not be in the 98th percentile for weight out of all the babies. That’s actually very likely to be the case. But guys? Not all babies can be in the 98th percentile because then it wouldn’t technically be a 98th percentile. It would just be “the weight that all babies weigh”, which is silly and also not a thing.

Babies come in all shapes and sizes and grow at all different rates, and that’s perfectly okay.

8. Choose Nursing Over Pumping When You Can

This one is obviously for mamas who aren’t exclusively pumping or exclusively nursing, so if that’s you, feel free to skip on over this one.

But for anyone who does a little bit of Column A and a little bit of Column B, this is one of the best de-stressers there is for all breastfeeding mamas: nurse that baby.

Being close to that little love bug that you are working so hard to feed is a great way to remind yourself of exactly why you’re going through all of this madness in the first place.

That skin-to-skin contact combined with the fantastic baby smell can work wonders for your stress levels. Plus, you’re not watching milk being slowly pumped out drop-by-drop and obsessing over how few drops there are. (Which is seriously, seriously stressful.)

I really hope the above tips helps and don’t be afraid to seek help when you really feel overwhelmed. Talk to your husbands, friends or a Lactation Counsellor if you feel that you cannot cope with the stress.

We are all here for you so relax, Eat SLB . Breastfeed . Repeat

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Lactation Spinach Muffins

Lactation Spinach Muffins

booster: Spinach
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Dish
Servings 12 Muffins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 eggs Medium
  • 150 ml milk almond/ full cream
  • 75 g butter melted
  • 1 spring onion chopped
  • 75 g baby spinach organic, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 250 g self raising flour unbleached, organic
  • 1/2 cube vegetable stock organic, low or no sodium cube
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper optional
  • 150 g cheddar cheese optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180c / 350f and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases.
  • Gently whisk the eggs in a large bowl and stir in the milk and melted butter. Mix in the grated cheese(optional), spring onion, baby spinach and diced pepper.
  • Finally, add in the flour, salt and pepper (if using) and crumble in the stock cube and mix just enough until all the ingredients have combined.
  • Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through (a skewer stuck into the middle should come out dry).
  • These muffins can be frozen once they have cooled completely. To defrost simply leave out for a few hours or overnight.
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Baked Avocado Fries

 

Baked Avocado Fries

Singapore Lactation Bakes (SLB)
SUPERFOOD: Avocado
Eggs combined with avocado are an excellent anti-aging remedy. This food combination contains vitamin C which promotes the synthesis of collagen and vitamin A, in the form of retinol and beta-carotene, which protects the skin from oxidative stress damage.
Avocados, full of healthy fats and fiber, are a great addition to your diet while breastfeeding. The fat in avocados help you and your baby absorb fat-soluble vitamins and can also be beneficial to your baby's developing brain health.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ripe avocados peeled and pitted
  • 30 g all purpose flour
  • 120 ml milk of your choice ( fresh, oat milk)
  • 15g plain instant potato flakes
  • 80g plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Cut the avocado into strips about 13mm thick. Place in shallow bowl and toss to coat with the flour.
  • Whisk milk and potato flakes in a small shallow bowl. Stir together the bread crumbs, garlic powder and salt in a separate small shallow bowl
  • Dredge the flour-dusted avocado in the milk mixture and then in the bread crumbs, pressing the avocado into the bread crumbs to coat each slice completely.
  • Place the avocado slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes or until fries are golden brown.

Notes

Eggs combined with avocado are an excellent anti-aging remedy. This food combination contains vitamin C which promotes the synthesis of collagen and vitamin A, in the form of retinol and beta-carotene, which protects the skin from oxidative stress damage.
Avocados, full of healthy fats and fiber, are a great addition to your diet while breastfeeding. The fat in avocados help you and your baby absorb fat-soluble vitamins and can also be beneficial to your baby's developing brain health.
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Power Pumping

increase breast milk

Power Pumping

Although mother nature had made it a point to have babies and breasts work on the principle of supply and demand, many breastfeeding moms still worry about their milk supply. Some mummies however despite their best efforts, experience issues with low supply. Period when babies is experiencing growth spurt will certainly add-on to the stress to most mummies worrying about their supply.

Pumping often does help with the increase of milk supply as they stimulate the brain to “produce more milk”  however, despite regular pumping session, many mummies make not see results as quickly as they had hoped.  There is another way of pumping that might help this group of mummies – Power Pumping.

What is Power Pumping

Power pumping is basically mimicking the frequent feeding of a baby experiencing a growth spurt.  The longer and more vigorous suckling motion during these times helps trigger the release of prolactin from the pituitary gland which will then translate it into “baby needs more milk, please produce more!” message to the brain. Power  pumping which are also sometimes called cluster pumping is a routine of  pumping in a series of 10 minute sessions – 10 minutes pumping, 10 minutes off – over the course of 1 hour, 1-3  sessions each day.

 

Power pumping

Using this routine alone or in combination with other measures to increase supply – latching/pumping more often, use of galactagogues etc may slowly build up milk supply over time.  Many mummies may find that the milk they collect at first to be very little during these sessions but their supply catches up with the baby’s demand after some time. So, how much milk you collect is not so much of an importance during such sessions.

You may not see much milk during the actual power pumping routine but that’s okay, it’s all about the supply and demand and this is stimulating your breasts to make more milk. This routine not meant to replace your normal pumping routine; rather, it’s designed to enhance your milk supply within an established routine. For example if your normal pumping routine is at 12 pm and 3pm, you can add a power pumping routine at around 1.30pm.

When can I see result

Some mummies see results as soon as the next 48 hours while others take as long as a week to see the increase in supply. Do not be dishearten if yours takes a little longer. Perseverance and determination is the key to a successful breastfeeding journey.

Tips on Power Pumping

Pumping milk can cause a lot of stress and boredom, but the good news is that you can perform Power Pumping at any time, such as when your baby is sleeping. I personally enjoy following this routine.By now all mummies who are pumping and latching will know that the main key to make the session better is to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.

Here are some tips that could help you through these routines.

  • Using a breast pump – hand expressing / manual pump is a no go as this requires 1 hour of constant pumping. Do use an electric pump as they are generally more effective, especially where the pump is designed to mimic the suction of  a baby. if you can, buy a hands free pumping bra or bra clip it will really help too.
  • Keep a stopwatch / set alarm in your phone – to keep track of the time
  • Have a cup of water nearby – Key of producing milk is drinking water isn’t it?
  • Make yourself very comfortable – sit at your favourite sofa/ couch as you will be in the same position for quite some time
  • Set yourself up with some entertainment. – My favourite method is pumping when I’m watching korean drama. I pump when the show is on and rest when commercial is on. But a book or simply using your phone might do the trick too.
  • Latch one one side pump on the other – Research shows that the best way to boost supply is to nurse at the breast often.

Pumping During Night Feeds

Another frequent questions that mummies ask is if they should pump during the night feeds. 

As prolactin levels are at the highest during night and pumping routine at night-time will help push prolactin level up, pumping around the clock is certainly good if you can do it. But another key to higher milk production is getting enough rest. Getting adequate sleep is important to your overall health and well-being.  

So, the trick is to be flexible in balancing the two. Sleep at every opportunity in the daytime, and if it is time to pump but you have a chance to take a nap and really need it, choose the nap instead of pumping.

If possible, aim to include at least one pumping session during the night in your plan. If you didn’t plan for a night-time session but happen to wake up in the middle of the night, take advantage of the opportunity. Additionally, even if nothing else is accomplished, the calming effects of oxytocin released during pumping may help you fall back asleep after you’re done.