Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nursing Bras for Large Breasts: DD DDD G H I J K L & M!

     It is amazing how many moms are having trouble finding nursing bras in their size in the store.  That's why online shopping was invented!  The average maternity boutique may carry up to a DDD/F cup, but after that you are out of luck.  We thought you could benefit from our over 20 years experience fitting nursing moms with larger bust sizes.  Here are a list of bras that come in your cup size:
Bravado 1013 Original Custom Nursing Bra will fit cup sizes up to J and K.
Bravado Essential Embrace Nursing Bra will fit up to L and M.
Elila 1613 Nursing Bra will fit up to I and J cup.
Bravado 131 Sublime Nursing Bra says it fits up to JK, but it runs small so really H and I.
Bravado Essential Nursing Tank 710 says it fits up to FG, but it is generous so still try it if you are an H.  Bravado now offers larger band sizes up to 44.
Bravado Bliss Nursing Bra 125 fits up to an HI and runs pretty true to size.
Most come in just white, but the Bravado Custom and the Elila come in butterscotch or nude.
     For sleep bras in F or larger cup size try the Bravado Original Double Plus Nursing Bra which has no hooks to dig into your back while sleeping.

Bravado now offers, the Bravado Essential Embrace Nursing Bra which is made with patent-pending Bravado Dynatex fabric which combines premium cotton & luxurious microfiber all in one breathable and seamless fabric that provides added comfort and support.  Bravado bra size up to 32J, 34M, 36M, 38M, 40I, 42I and 44G.  A great addition to styles for curvy moms.
I hope this makes shopping easier for the bustier among you. 

Bountiful Breastfeeding,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Breast Milk Supply

Your body makes milk on a supply and demand basis. We don't need ounce markers on the side of our breasts, to know the baby is getting enough. When your baby is first born, his wet diapers should increase daily. On day one, he should have at least one, day two, he should have two, up until day six. After six days of age, they have six to eight pale wet diapers daily and three to four "cottage cheese and mustard" stools. Other ways we can tell the baby is getting enough milk is that he makes quiet swallowing sounds at the breast. The breast feel full before the feeding and softer afterward. The baby seems satisfied after twenty minutes of swallowing. Babies may loose 7-10% of their birth weight, but begin regaining at day 6 and gain 5-7 ounces per week on the average until 6 months of age. The stools can change at 4-6 weeks of age. Make sure you are drinking to thirst and still taking your prenatal vitamins. If you want a boost increasing milk supply, Fenugreek is safe and effective. It increases milk supply in about 48 hours, but make sure you are taking a quality herb in the appropriate dosage. offers Fenugreek in glass bottles to retain potency.  If you are an average size mom, you should take three 600-626 mg capsules, three times daily so 9 per day.  Plus size moms can take up to 5 per dosage for a total of 15 per day.  Make sure you are not getting loose stools and check milk supply after 3 days by nursing the first session in the morning and then double pumping with a good quality double pump like the Ameda Purely Yours for 15 minutes.  You should be yielding 2.5 oz per lb of baby's body weight per day.  To calculate if you are making the appropriate amount take your baby's weight for example 8 lb multiply by 2.5 which in this case would equal 20 oz per day.  Then devide by 8 times per day for a baby under 6 months.  This means from both breasts you should be making 2.5 oz for an 8 lb baby.  Here is a link to a page where you will find to an easy to read milk intake feeding supply chart.

The following are excellent articles to read on Fenugreek.
Fenugreek: One Remedy for Milk Production by Kathleen Huggins, RN, MS
Fenugreek: Overlooked but not Forgotten by Rima Jensen, MD

Happy Nursing,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Every Ounce Counts!

Recently, I was asked to be the guest speaker for a breastfeeding reception at our local WIC clinic. August is always an exciting time to be in the business of breastfeeding because the first week is officially World Breastfeeding Week. Many cities and government agencies promote breastfeeding during this week and I am honored to be a part of the celebration in Granbury, TX.

As I was preparing, I researched the WIC theme, "Every Ounce Counts". What a great slogan! I encourage you to check out the WIC website because their campaign rivals those of major companies. Not only do they have great pictures of babies and what they might be when they grow up, but a song that can only be an encouragement to any nursing mother. The WIC ads include babies that want to grow up to be firefighters and doctors because breastmilk makes you stronger and smarter, which is very true! Breastfed babies develop better with fewer health problems and their IQ scores and performance in school is markedly better than their formula-fed counterparts. The next thing that came to my mind, was the composition of breast milk and how many moms are fooled into thinking that their milk isn't good enough or that the time they breastfeed isn't important. Collostrum comes in teaspoons, not ounces and yet it is the baby's first immunization against the world's diseases. Moms are also fooled into thinking that a bottle of formula occasionally doesn't affect anything, but supplementing even once per day before the age of 3-4 months, can cause early weaning. Babies who are breastfed just three months already have a reduced risk of juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and even childhood cancer!  The breast milk made the difference and the longer you nurse, the better. Babies who are breastfed for four months are less likely to be hospitalized for respiratory illness.

Those are some great benefits of breastmilk, but lets look at the flip-side. Diarrheal disease is four times more likely in formula-fed infants and formula-feeding increases risk of childhood obesity by 20-30%. Those are some statistics you can't argue with. And did you know that breastfed babies have fewer cavities than their artificially fed counterparts?

So many moms are discouraged from breastfeeding because they think their milk is not good enough or they
think that after a certain age, the benefits are gone. Nutritional content of breastmilk is consistent from mother
to mother even in third world countries. Between the ages of 12-24 months, toddlers can still get about 15 oz per day from nursing. These 15 oz provide the following RDA: 29% of energy, 43% protein, 36% calcium, 75% vitamin A, 76% folate, 94% vitamin B12, and 60% of Vit C. That is a lot more nutrition than they can get from chicken nuggets!

So moms, take heart. Every ounce does count and not just for your baby, but for you too. Not only does making breastmilk burn calories, but if you nurse for a total of 2 years, even if that is 3 babies for 8 months each, your reduce your risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer. Do remember, whether you nurse for 2 weeks or 2 years, any breast milk is good for your baby.

My Dad always had a saying, plan your work and work your plan. Most moms plan how to feed their baby, so there are a few things that are need to know. First, supplementing early causes early weaning. Moms who think they can nurse and feed formula early on, loose their milk supply. To keep up milk supply, partial weaning which is what we call it when moms choose to nurse at home, but not at work, can be accomplished only after your milk supply is well established. This happens when your baby is 4 months old. Full milk supply is best achieved when moms do not supplement solids until the baby is 6 months old and even then after the nursing, not before. Next, watch for growth spurts. Babies are supposed to act like they are hungry all the time at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. This is normal, don't schedule them, just use it or loose it!

For more answers to breastfeeding questions, check out our Q & A:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Formula Feeding: Increasing the Risk of Ear Infection

A 2009 study by the Agency for Healthcare Reasearch and Quality (AHRQ) pooled odds for infants receiving any formula use in the first 3 months suggested they were twice as likely to get an ear infection as infants who received only breast milk.   Most mothers know that breastmilk is the gold standard, but have been fooled into believing that formula is a close second.  The summary of this study found at the link above is one more proof that formula puts infants at risk.  Other studies show that premature infants who are breastfed have 8-10 point higher IQ scores than their artificially fed counterparts.  Give your baby a gift that lasts a lifetime...breastfeed!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Induced Lactation: Protocols for Adoptive Breastfeeding Mothers

Motivation as in anything is extremely important in breastfeeding and even more important is tenacity when inducing lactation.  The success rate for the following protocols according to Nemba in the 1994 Journal of Trop Pediatrics was 89%.  In this study 33 of the 37 women nursed their babies for 9 months or longer.
These mothers began with a 100 mg single priming dose of medrozyprogesterone (Depo Provera).  After 7 days, they began 25 mg of chlorpromazine 4 times daily or 10 mg of metoclopromide (Reglan) 4 times daily until adequate lactation was established.  Frequent pumping before infant's arrival and/or frequent suckling afterward is encouraged.  A supplemental feeding device is necessary until adequate lactation is established.  Inducing lactation is a gift of time and love!
Breastfeeding an adoptive baby is more than about breastmilk.  It is about bonding.  Skin to skin contact is essential.  Use a lactation aide to feed donor milk or formula at each feeding.  This is essential for stimulation of the milk production, bonding and success.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Engorgement: Bowling Ball Breasts

If you are experiencing difficulty with breast pain or latch-on 3 to 5 days postpartum, it is probably due to engorgement. Your breasts can feel as hard as bowling balls making it difficult for your baby to get a good latch.  Most of the time severe engorgement can be prevented by nursing the baby immediately upon delivery and putting the baby to breast every 2-3 hours.  If your baby is sleepy or there is a delay in breastfeeding, engorment can set in heavily.  Advil is safe for breastfeeding and contains an anti-inflammatory that may reduce some swelling and discomfort. Your best friend during this time is a hot compress. Turn the tap water and let it run until hot. Take two disposable baby diaper and swipe it under the tap three or four times. Mold the diapers around your breast. Repeat this procedure before each feeding. Commercial hot packs are also available, but the diapers work just as well so you may want to save your money for a good breast pump. If the areola is still too hard for the baby to grasp, use a quality breast pump for three to five minutes before latching the baby on. If the baby goes to sleep before emptying the breast, finish pumping afterward. Take heart! Engorgement only lasts for 48-72 hours.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Milk Intake: Your Breastfed Baby at 12-36 months

As a Lactation Consultant, my main clients are mothers whose babies are under 12 months of age, so when looking for information for my daughter-in-law, I found it hard to find anything on milk intake for babies older than 12 months.  After doing some research, I have come to the following conclusion that I thought I would share with all moms.

Babies who are 12-24 months of age and weigh 20 lbs or more should take in 16-20 oz of milk; more if they are underweight. Normal weight gain during this period is 2 oz per week. A typical schedule would be nursing or feeding expressed milk 4 x daily, feeding solids 3 x daily with one or two healthy snacks in between. If you are weaning to cows milk, it should be whole milk unless advised otherwise by your pediatrician.  For toddlers 2-3 years or age, typical milk intake is 3 servings or nursings per day. After 24 months, most pediatricians recommend switching to 2% milk if you have weaned from breast milk. Toddlers 24-36 months should gain approximately 1 oz per week and eat 3 meals per day with one healthy snack.

Between the ages of 12-24 months, toddlers can still get about 15 oz per day from nursing. These 15 oz provide the following RDA: 29% of energy, 43% protein, 36% calcium, 75% vitamin A, 76% folate, 94% vitamin B12, and 60% of Vit C so if you are pressured to wean before you or your baby is ready, stand your ground, even if it is in the snow!

Happy Nurturing,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weaning: Gradual & Partial

There are many considerations when deciding to wean your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least one year. If you choose to wean before one year, first make sure your baby tolerates other foods well. Next absolutely, positively, do not wean cold turkey. Before you wean, consider your alternatives such as pumping at work or partial weaning. Partial weaning works well when a baby is older than 4 months. Moms can choose to use formula during the day while at work and still nurse in the morning and at night. This only works after milk supply is well established which is why you should wait until at least 4 months of age before employing this method and always follow the same schedule seven days per week. You cannot put the baby to the breast in the middle of the day, if you have weaned that feeding. Whether you choose to partially wean of fully wean, drop one feeding every three to five days. For example, if you are nursing 8 times per day, drop one feeding in the middle of the day, substitute formula, and continue that schedule for at least three days. At the end of the three days, if your breast have no plugged ducts or pain, you can drop a second feeding. If you feel discomfort, wait until the 5th day to drop another feeding. You continue dropping on feeding every 3-5 days until all feeding are dropped. After the last feeding is stopped, you may need to nurse or pump one or both breast a final time within the next week to make yourself comfortable. One pumping or nursing in a 24 hour period will not increase your milk supply and helps to alleviate any discomfort. This method is slow, but pain free. Sudden weaning can lead to clogged milk ducts, breast infections and even breast abscess. Both you and baby will be happy with gradual weaning.

Don't be misled by advice that tell you to bind yourself.  If you need to expedite weaning, cold cabbage leaves in your bra replaced every hour can help, but make sure you listen to your body and if it is talking to you by means of pain, you are weaning too quickly and you will need to nurse or express milk if you are feeling lumps.  If you have chills, fever or flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away.

Best wishes for painless weaning,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Recently I have had several moms who started on formula switching to breastmilk due to baby's lack of formula tollerence.  Fortunately, re-lactating is an option, but these moms may not have had to go through this struggle if they were given the information on breastfeeding in the first place.

This is a condensed version of 101 Reasons to Breastfeed, written by Leslie Burby for those of us with too little time to compile one. For the full version along with explanation and references, visit

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it

Breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and baby

Breastfeeding satisfies baby's emotional needs

Breast milk provides perfect infant nutrition

Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of breast cancer

Formula feeding increases baby girls' risk of developing breast cancer in later life

Formula Feeding is associated with lower I.Q.

Breast milk is always ready and comes in a nicer package than formula does. Need we say more?

Breast milk helps pass meconium

Breast milk contains immunities to diseases and aids in the development of baby's immune system.

Breast milk is more digestible than formula

Baby's suckling helps shrink mother's uterus after childbirth

Baby's suckling helps prevent post-partum hemorrhage in mother

Nursing helps mom lose weight after baby is born

Pre-term milk is specially designed for premature infants

The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend it

Breastfeeding protects against Crohn's disease (intestinal disorder)

Formula feeding increases risk of baby developing type I (juvenile, insulin-dependent) diabetes

Breastfeeding baby helps decrease insulin requirements in diabetic mothers

Breastfeeding may help stabilize progress of maternal endometriosis

Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of developing ovarian cancer

Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of developing endometrial cancer

Formula feeding increases chances of baby developing allergies

Breast milk lowers risk of baby developing asthma

Formula feeding increases baby's risk of otitis media (ear infections)

Formula feeding may increase risk of sudden infant death syndrome (S.I.D.S.)

Breastfeeding protects baby against diarrheal infections

Breastfeeding protects baby against bacterial meningitis

Breastfeeding protects baby against respiratory infections

Formula fed babies have a higher risk of developing certain childhood cancers

Breastfeeding decreases chances of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Breastfeeding decreases child's chances of contracting Hodgkins disease

Breastfeeding protects baby against vision defects

Breastfeeding decreases chances of osteoporosis

Breast milk aids in proper intestinal development

Cows milk is an intestinal irritant

Formula-fed babies are more at risk for obesity in later life

Breastfed babies have less chance of cardiopulmonary distress while feeding

Breastfed babies have less chance of developing ulcerative colitis

Breast milk protects against hemophilus b. bacteria

Breastfed babies require shorter pre and post-surgical fasting

Breastfeeding results in less sick days for parents

Breastfeeding enhances vaccine effectiveness

Breastfed babies have less chance of developing necrotizing enterocolitis

Breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive

Breastfeeding is easier than using formula

Breast milk is free

Formula is expensive (approx $150/mo)

Formula costs the government (and taxpayers) millions of dollars

Breast milk is always the right temperature

Breast milk always has the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein

Breast milk acts like a natural tranquilizer for baby

Breastfeeding acts like a natural tranquilizer for mom

Breast milk tastes better than formula

Breastfed babies are healthier over-all

Breastfed babies are less likely to die before their third birthday

Breastfed babies require fewer doctor visits

Breastfeeding mothers spend less time and money on doctor visits

Fewer waste packaging products

No bottles to tote: Have milk will travel.

Less cow induced global greenhouse gasses

No need to refrigerate

Cows milk is designed for baby cows

Human milk is designed for baby humans

Natural pain relief for baby

Perfect food for sick baby

More sleep for mom

More sleep for baby

More sleep for dad

Less equipment to maintain and store

Less equipment to buy

Breast milk has never been recalled

Fresh breast milk is never contaminated with bacteria

No need to worry about which brand is better

No need to worry about adding contaminated water

Breastfeeding helps reduce cruelty to farm animals

Facilitates proper dental and jaw development

Breastfed babies get fewer cavities

Less money spent on corrective orthodontia

Better speech development

Less chance of baby getting eczema

Breastfed babies have great skin

Less gastrointestinal reflux (Spit-up)

Easier to clean spit-up stains

Breast milk contains no genetically engineered materials

Breast Milk contains no synthetic growth hormones

Lack of breastfeeding associated with multiple sclerosis in later life

Less chance of inguinal hernia

Better cognitive development

Better social development

Decreased risk of baby developing urinary tract infections

Suckling optimizes hand-to-eye coordination

Protects mothers against anemia (iron deficiency)

Less money spent on menstrual supplies for mom

Self confidence booster for mom

Breast milk may help combat eye infections

Breast milk may be a good natural antibiotic for wounds

No worry about latest ingredient discovered to be missing from formula

Much nicer diaper changes

Breastfed babies smell fantastic.

It's what breasts were designed for!

Happy Nurturing!