Friday, December 18, 2015

Breastfeeding Pain: Good Mom Syndrome

You may have heard of good baby syndrome which is when a baby is content and doesn't ask to be fed.  (This can happen with good-natured babies who are content to play while mom tends to other siblings and not get enough feeding in by the end of the day which can lead to slow weight gain.)  But have you heard of Good Mom Syndrome?  This is the new mother who wants the very best for her baby so she is gritting her teeth and accepting the pain of a poor latch.


Normal breastfeeding should not hurt.  A good latch is one that encompasses at least an inch of the areola so that baby is latched on behind the nerve ending.  A poor latch is one where the baby is on the end of the nipple either initially or has slipped down and is causing pain.  I hate to be a lactation nerd, but I here is a diagram of the breast.

It is so important that moms have this information because you can see where the nipple and areola are in relation to the milk (lactiferous) sinuses.  In other words, the farther onto the breast your baby is latches, the less pain you have and more milk is transferred.  In other words, you are a good mother.  You want the best for your baby, but letting your baby cause you pain is not best for you or the baby.

If you already have nipple trauma and correct the latch, there may still be pain for the first 30-60 seconds, but after that it should be comfortable to nurse.  If your baby slips down during the feeding because you are not supporting the breast or the arm with which you are holding your baby tires because you are not supporting your arm with a nursing pillow or armrest, detach the latch.

The proper way to detach a latch to to take your finger and slip it into the baby's mouth past the gums so that the suction is broken.  Turn your finger slightly to release the baby's grip and then take him off.  Start your latch again.  See our breastfeeding latch blog post for proper latch techniques if you need more help with this.

If you have followed proper procedure and still have pain, this is the time to see a lactation consultant, but normal breastfeeding should not hurt.  It should be a comfortable experience for mom and baby.  The sooner your latch is corrected, the better chance you have of meeting your personal breastfeeding goals.

If you need time for one nipple to heal while you are correcting the latch, using a quality breast pump to express and syringe feed the milk to your baby is a good way of transitioning to pain-free nursing.  And as always, the right nipple cream can help healing.  We recommend Breastmilk Bandit Natural Nipple Cream made from organic extra virgin coconut oil.

Happy Nursing!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

What Moms Can Buy with Your HSA FSA and Flex Spending Account

2015 is drawing to a close.  Many of you have benefits left in your insurance accounts, especially FSA, HSA and FLEX spending accounts.  If you are breastfeeding, breast pumps and breastfeeding suplies qualify as medical expenses.  Here are some suggestions to help you use it before you loose it!

 If you hate lugging your pump around, having one at home and one at work is such a luxury.   Or if you are struggling with a manual pump, a good electric pump is a necessity, especially one like the Hygeia Enjoye LBI that has a rechargeable battery pack for travel.

Most pumps have filters or diaphragms that need to be replaced every few months and valves that need to be replaced every few weeks.  Having extra sets of breast flanges or getting additional sizes to see which one helps with optimal milk output is another way to use your allotment.

If you still need help with your baby's latch, this is a great time to use your funds.  Make sure the person you are using is a board certified lactation consultant.  To find one in your area, see the ILCA website.

The bottom line is whether you have a few dollars or quite a few left in your account, those are your benefits and you should use them.   Parts that need replaced most often on popular breast pumps are the Hygeia filter, Hygeia valve, Ameda valves, Ameda diaphragm, Spectra backflow protector, Spectra Valve, and ARDO valve.  Don't forget stock up before your medical benefits expire on December 31st.

Here is to a happy new year!