Logo
Logo
GoldiLacts-Lactation-image
Lactation Consultants
GoldiLacts Lactation
IBCLC, CBS, PPD, Breastfeeding & Postpartum Support


GoldiLacts-Lactation-image
Lactation Consultants
GoldiLacts Lactation
IBCLC, CBS, PPD, Breastfeeding & Postpartum Support


“"Candice James & Candice Nicole are two best friends and mamas (she/hers) who decided to turn their own breastfeeding and postpartum stories into a mission to help birthing parents everywhere. Both Candices hold BAs in psychology with an emphasis on child development and family dynamics. Candice James is an IBCLC and Candice Nicole is a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist and Lactation Educator as well as Certified Postpartum Support Specialist."“
- GoldiLacts Lactation
My Mission

For EVERY birthing and breastfeeding parent to feel comfortable in the skin of their new breastfeeding body, feel empowered in their own personal choice to feed their baby in ways that work best for their family (formula included!). We want all parents, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, family dynamic, or route to childbirth, to feel as though they have received compassionate, non-judgmental care throughout their postpartum journey.

Checked In
Recent Posts
Tip
Foremilk vs. Hindmilk: What is the difference?
You may have heard the terms foremilk and hindmilk when it comes to describing breastmilk. They are BOTH breastmilk, both necessary and both amazing! Breastmilk changes throughout a feeding. The breastmilk at the beginning of a feed when breasts are fuller, is known as foremilk. It has a more watery look and is higher in lactose. As a feed goes on and breasts drain, milk transitions to what is known as hindmilk. This milk looks more creamy and is typically higher in fats. While these two types of breastmilk have different terms and nutritional components, they are simply: breastmilk! Breastmilk is tailor made for your baby! Feeding your baby on demand and pumping a set schedule, allows your body to calibrate the mix of fore and hind milk to your baby's needs. Many get concerned about an imbalance of breastmilk components, but a true foremilk/hindmilk imbalance is RARE, and most often happens to parents with extreme oversupply. Signs of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance are consistent bright green frothy foamy poop, frequent short feeds, fussiness after feeds, gas and more and are most common in parents with oversupply. If you feel you may have a true foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, contact a lactation professional so they can confirm and strategize with you!


Tip
Spit Up Is Normal (Most of The Time)
Disclaimer: If you are concerned about the amount of times or how much your baby spits up after each feeding, always contact your pediatrician for medical advice. Almost every GoldiLacts parent asks about “spit up.” Many babies dribble (or spit up a little) a bit after feeding. In most cases this is normal, especially in the first 3-6 months of your baby’s life! Here’s why: -The upper body and the muscles needed to hold food down are still strengthening. Babies have an internal calculation system that lets them know when they may have eaten more than they needed in that moment or something is just not sitting right. Their body cues to burp, toot, urinate, poop, or spit up to expel the excess! -During the first 6-8 weeks, milk supply is regulating. Sometimes they may get a bit too much if parent has an oversupply, and they simply dribble out what they do not need. -It could also be that they are being moved too quickly after feeding. Imagine eating a huge double cheeseburger and going on a roller coaster immediately after. You would spit up too! We recommend allowing babies to relax in the feeding position for a few moments when finished, then holding them in an upright position for 15 minutes. -Sometimes parents are concerned that babies spit up all of their feeding. This is why it is so important to feed baby on demand. If for some reason they spit up a majority of their intake, they will simply give hunger cues very soon for another feeding! Remember that frequent nursing and stimulation at the breast is great for your milk supply, and your body is responding to baby’s unique and individual needs. There is no need to rush back to feeding immediately after a spit up, but always be sure to honor a baby's hunger cues. -Babies are on an entirely liquid diet while their bodies are constantly being moved and manipulated by their caregivers. Their digestive systems aren’t fully formed until much later and they don’t have a lot of room to manage the movement of these liquids while digesting. You may notice that your baby spits up more in the early months after feeding in certain breastfeeding or bottle feeding positions due to a heavy flow of milk, or that spit up amounts spike somewhere around 4-6 months while their body is preparing to digest solid foods. Once their food does become more solid, and they become more mobile and able to utilize more body control, you should notice a few things. The amount of spit up decreases, poops become more solid, and your baby who can now crawl and cruise doesn’t have as many issues with regurgitation. -There are some babies who struggle with intestinal issues like GERD, leaky gut syndrome, reflux/silent reflux, or other medical indications that clue doctors that there is something else needing attention. This is why it is always important to consult your pediatrician! Some behaviors that may indicate your baby needs special attention include: Extreme fussiness directly after or during feeds Red faced cries, body tension, tight fists, arching back Projectile and repeated vomiting Spitting up green, yellow, red or any other color that does not resemble freshly transferred milk Slow or inadequate weight gain Choking on vomit or showing any other signs of major distress, such as dehydration, blue lips and/face, and lethargy are emergent needs. Contact your doctor or local hospital , and if you are in doubt that you can contact one soon enough to manage these symptoms, call 911! Most often pediatricians will call your baby’s spit up normal as long as they are gaining weight, meeting developmental milestones, and most importantly are not in distress. Remember to stay calm and watch your baby’s behavior. Trust your instinct and know that these phases are temporary! Your baby is growing and developing more and more each day! Soon they will be able to hold everything they take in…and pretty soon you’ll be eating all THEIR leftovers!


GoldiLactsLactation-image
GoldiLacts Lactation
IBCLC, CBS, PPD, Breastfeeding & Postpartum Support
Overshare
Latching, Loving, Skin to Skin, and More
Breastfeeding, especially in the early weeks postpartum, provides not only nutritional benefits but it also initiates a deeply personal and unique bond between the breastfeeding parent and their baby. Breastmilk is tailored specifically to your baby’s needs and changes in composition for each feeding, around the clock, as your baby develops. The hormonal communication between you and your baby is designed specifically by the two of you, your “dyad”, made up of two beautifully unique beings who have come together and formed this attachment. However, breastfeeding is not the only way you can bond deeply with your baby. Along with ByHeart, we at GoldiLacts believe that we do not raise beautiful humans because we feed them at the breast or on our chest; we are raise beautiful humans through the way we love. When you feed your baby that bottle while holding them close and making eye contact, you can be as deeply bonded to that child as any breast/chest feeding parent - especially if bottle feeding is done skin to skin! Skin to skin, especially during the gold hour after birth, initiates the flow of colostrum which is imperative for a strong start to breastfeeding relationship. Equally if not MORE important, though, skin to skin initiates the flow of oxytocin. Better known as “the love hormone”, oxytocin is responsible for connection and a yearning to nurture. This is so much more than a cuddle. When a baby is skin to skin, specifically with the birthing parent, oxytocin & prolactin are flowing, baby is warm, heartbeats & temperatures are regulating, the smells of one another’s goodness are being exchanged as they are soaking each other in, maybe some kisses for babe so the microbiome can be balanced with the exchange of good bacterias. When skin to skin with your babe, you can also guarantee there is easy access to the breast. Partners: please remember that latching isn’t the only way to love your baby! You are instrumental in providing the birthing parent with an environment where they feel supported by also taking time to bond with your baby through skin to skin contact, feeding baby bottles, swaddling, rocking, soothing, burping, diaper changing, and playing! Latching IS loving, but loving can happen in so many other ways as well. We can help you build an environment that fosters the bond you wish to have with your little one. We can help you navigate a relationship with your baby that helps you feel bonded, regardless of what feeding looks like. We are all in this together. With Love, The Candices of GoldiLacts
#bonding.#latching.#skintoskin.#lactation.#breastfeeding.#bottlefeeding
Tip
Spicy Foods and Breast Milk Debunked
We have all heard that we should stay away from certain foods while breastfeeding. For those of us who use spice as a staple in our diet, it can be heartbreaking to hear “Stay away from spicy foods! It will upset the baby!” We are here to debunk this myth and tell you to eat what you want! While the taste of your breast milk is affected by the foods you eat, it is actually BEST to consume an array of flavors and spices, including the hottest of the hot. In fact, a breastfeeding parents’ consumption of a rainbow of flavors can actually inspire children to have a wider interest in different foods when introducing solids in the toddler years and beyond. It’s also important to note that eating spicy foods does not make breastmilk “spicy” or change the temperature of your milk in any way. This theory is also true during pregnancy! Foods consumed during pregnancy change the taste and smell of amniotic fluid! This means that at birth your baby is already used to what you consider to be your normal diet. Of course, if you do notice that babe is fussy or gassy after you chomp on a chili pepper, then avoid them. Otherwise, it’s okay to get spicy y'all!


Tip
Side Lying: Our Fave Breastfeeding Position!
For most breastfeeding parents, complaints about back, neck, and shoulder pain come with the territory. We're taught the football position when we’re in the hospital, which allows hospital staff to easily navigate where baby’s head and nostrils are placed, as well as helping us hold babies who are the smallest they will ever be! It's inspiring, so once we get home in our own natural habitats, we start to experiment with the positions we have read about or seen online. But without much guidance those positions can leave us feeling sore, tight, and painfully tense. That's why we love teaching our clients the side lying position! This position helps remind our bodies to rest while breastfeeding. Feet up, pressure off our lower body, shoulder and neck supported by the bed/couch and comfy pillows. It gives us a great view of how we are latching babe and allows us to easily manipulate the breast tissue rather than baby’s head. Side lying can also provide us with an awesome bonding opportunity once we are done feeding since babe can look directly into our eyes! Rather than to assume the ONLY time we should be skin to skin with our babies is when we are feeding them, side lying position helps us train our own bodies to adjust to having the baby with us outside of our bodies after being inside of us for so long. We are carrier mammals, meant to have our babies close to us and attached to us somehow well into their formative years. Side lying gives us an opportunity to rest with them, sleep with them, wake with them, bond with them, smell them, snuggle them…AND feed them! Better still, sometimes that can happen all at the same time! Some quick guidelines for getting into this awesome position: Lay belly button to belly button so baby is tilting their head to look up at the breast. Wedge your pillow between your head and neck with your arm underneath the pillow. This will prevent you from rolling into baby should you doze off while feeding! Make sure their body is turned completely towards your body as they lay facing you to prevent them from having to look to the side to latch. Drag your nipple down from their nose into their mouth to help them grab onto as much breast tissue surrounding the areola as possible, but don’t focus on getting the entire areola into their mouth (this theory is near impossible ergonomically and can become extremely frustrating for both of you!) Roll your body towards them to help them grasp onto the nipple instead of pulling their head towards you. If you’re concerned about baby’s breathing you can prop your breast up by rolling a burp cloth and placing it underneath the breast in a way that provides them with an additional air pocket to help their breathing! The placement is something you’ll need to experiment with since every baby and breast come in different shapes and sizes. Always try to focus on positioning your body first so you can feel in alignment physically, mentally, and emotionally in order to pass all that feel-good energy down to your baby. If your posture is off, your energy will be too and babies feel everything!


Tip
Colostrum: Nature’s Superfood!
Colostrum is the breastmilk that is available right after birth. Often times, people think they have to wait a few days for their milk to "come in", but the truth is, it is already there! The sticky golden liquid that comes in TINY amounts is packed full of nutrition. Early administration of colostrum and the amazing immunological building blocks it provides for your newborn is so important! In fact, we encourage parents to celebrate the few days awaiting their transitional milk because the more colostrum the better! We have said a million times in our practice that if the ONLY breastfeeding you have done with your precious babe is in the first three to five days when colostrum is most present you have provided them with an amazing foundation for a strong immune system! Colostrum is rich in Vitamin K and nutrients containing tons of antibodies, minerals, and proteins that assist the immune system in fighting infection and bacteria. Proteins found in colostrum binds viruses and infection in the gut, allowing them to pass through and be eliminated along with meconium and other things the baby doesn’t need. It also acts as a laxative to push out meconium to support jaundice levels. Lactoferrin is also richly present in colostrum. Lactoferrin is a protein that aids in your baby’s immune response to viruses and bacteria. This protein is always present in breastmilk, but with colostrum you’re getting the highest lactoferrin content and those building blocks are stacked on a super solid foundation. High concentration of IgA helps the immune system develop. positive growth and development. This is why frequent placement at the breast for as much colostrum-rich breastfeeding in the hours following birth is so important! All babies lose some weight after delivery due to no longer being attached to the placenta which provides nourishment around the clock. When you provide your baby with as much colostrum immediately following delivery, you are providing them with a ton of opportunities to gain back that weight they need to be released from the hospital and get moving on to a successful breastfeeding journey! Colostrum ain’t called “liquid gold” for nothing! It also may be beneficial for older babies and even adults! Colostrum from cow's milk has been turned into powder form used as a supplement. If you are able to provide colostrum to your newborn let us just say…you are killing this parenting game!


GoldiLactsLactation-image
GoldiLacts Lactation
IBCLC, CBS, PPD, Breastfeeding & Postpartum Support
Tip
Alcohol and Breastfeeding: Everything You Need to Know
Drinking while breastfeeding is a common topic of discussion among new parents. It's so common, in fact, that we repost this quote by well-known Canadian physician, Dr. Jack Newman, every so often for our new followers: “The alcohol content in breastmilk immediately after drinking is equivalent to a 0.0274 proof beverage. That’s like mixing 1 oz of 80 proof vodka (one shot) with 2919 oz of mixer. 2919 oz is over 70 liters. Two hours after drinking one (strong) drink the alcohol has disappeared from the sample. Completely harmless to the nursing infant... Two hours after imbibing in three drinks the milk was 0.01258 proof. That would be like adding 1 oz of 80 proof vodka to 3179 oz of mixer (over almost 80 liters). So, even though the infant has much less body weight, [any of these percentages of] alcohol in breast milk is unlikely to adversely affect the baby. Bottoms up!” With that in mind, here are some great ways to feel empowered and in control while consuming alcohol throughout your breastfeeding journey: 1. Feed or pump prior to when the party starts. Knowing baby has a full tummy of untouched breastmilk or a “clean” bottle waiting for them during the festivities is a great way to maintain a clear conscience. 2. Have a drink maximum in your mind and multiply this by two hours per drink, then wait that long to feed or pump again! Had two drinks? Wait four hours after the last drink to feed more freshly pumped milk or place baby at the breast. We never recommend pumping and dumping because, as you can see from the stats above, your breast milk is most likely still super safe! 3. Use those cool little alcohol test strips! Don’t use them if they stress you out or make you feel guilty because remember, they haven’t read the article by Dr. Newman and they couldn’t possibly know your baby. But, if they give you peace of mind and help you stop drinking BEFORE you’re doubting whether or not it’s safe to feed your baby they can be a handy tool! Just please remember the bottom line: Breastfeeding and effectively caring for your baby should be your TOP priority. You want to be as healthy as possible for yourself AND for baby. Be present for every moment so you don’t miss any!


Tip
Surviving "Newborn Fog"
Cluster feeding. Longer, more frequent crying spells. A surge in fussiness and protests to environmental changes. Less and less sleep, with the time of day becoming a blur. Energy stores totally depleted and emotions at an all time high (or maybe what feels like an extreme low). Yes, babes. This IS normal: “newborn fog” is here! Your baby––once a happy little camper who seemed to only want to eat every couple of hours and be tightly wrapped in his swaddle––is now a screaming, demanding, inconsolable (dare we say it) human being! The experience has become all too real. You might be thinking “This is NOT the same baby we brought home from the hospital!” At this time it is very common for a breastfeeding parent to feel like they can’t do anything right. The demand of cluster feeding is exhausting. You might not feel as many changes in their breasts so “that must mean I’m not making enough milk.” For bottle feeding parents, there just isn’t enough time in the day to keep everything sanitized, the uncertainty of knowing when it’s too much or not enough milk, and the mere thought of waking up to make another bottle is a nightmare. Guys, we hear you!! These stressful shifts are completely normal throughout a newborn’s first year. Yes, you heard that right....it isn’t the last time this will happen! You MUST trust yourself at this vulnerable time. You are coming into your own as a parent. You are learning to listen to your baby and follow their lead. You are feeding on demand and you are timing their feedings just right. You know what your baby needs. Please don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional if you’re doubting yourself or feel like adjustments to your feeding or soothing plans need to be made. There are NO silly questions and that’s what we’re here for! You will learn to LOVE these new milestones each time they are reached, and you will celebrate each time you notice a new ability your baby has to communicate with you about their needs and you (yes, you!) can meet every single one of them! You are enough.


Tip
Is It Safe To Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding?
Parenthood is the best thing ever, but it can also be the most EXHAUSTING thing ever! We are here to tell you that if you need a daily cup of coffee for a pick you up (from a breastfeeding perspective), you can drink up! We often get asked if caffeine goes through to breast milk. It does, but in very minimal amounts. When a parent consumes caffeine, it surfaces in breast milk within 15 minutes and reaches maximum concentration at one hour. Approximately only 1.5-3.2% of the caffeine consumed by parent transfers into breast milk. The recommended daily amount we typically see is 500mg which comes to about two large cups of coffee. However, what type of coffee is it? What type of consistency are the grounds? Is there some espresso up in there? So many things to consider! The recommended daily amount can also range from doctor to doctor, depending on who you ask. It’s important to examine what your normal caffeine tolerance was prior to pregnancy, the side effects in your own body, and your baby’s behavior when moving into the breastfeeding and postpartum period. Whether your favorite is coffee, tea, or soda––enjoy! As always, practice everything in moderation and observe your baby for any signs of increased irritability, prolonged periods of wakefulness, reflux-like symptoms like large amounts of spit up or fussiness at the breast, or if things just simply don’t jive for a couple days. If you notice any of this, you may need to taper off a few milligrams or look for a cool coffee replacement like green tea or mushroom powder! Every body is different and this is all trial and error. Be sure to discuss all things with your healthcare provider and get as many details as you need about baby’s or your own health as needed. That’s what they’re there for!


Tip
The Breast Milk Rainbow
Did you know that breast milk actually comes in a variety of colors? Breast milk is designed especially for its baby, and morphs and evolves from day to day (even feed to feed) based on a variety of factors including something as in depth as a shift in certain immunological or nutritional components based on babies individual need, or as simple as being influenced by the food a lactating parent eats! And, just so you know, in most cases, all colors of human milk are under the realm of normal and absolutely okay for baby to drink. Often many may worry that the color or "creaminess" of the milk indicates nutritional viability but it does not. In fact, some parents milk may always look very watery. ⁣ Breast milk may be blue or clear. Typically, this color is indicative of foremilk, or the first milk that flows at the start of a nursing or pump session. It's typically higher in lactose and can be described as watery. ⁣ It is not surprising that breast milk can be yellow. Liquid GOLD, anyone? The most common yellow milk is that of the nutrient dense magical elixir that is present right after birth called, colostrum. Certain foods and drinks, especially those rich in color like vegetables or with color additives or artificial dyes, like those in sports drinks, can influence the color of breast milk most! Carrots, leafy greens like spinach, beets, and more can inspire a rainbow of breast milk. ⁣ Sometimes breast milk can be a red or pinkish hue—coining the name "strawberry milk". It can be due to trace amounts of blood running through the ducts due to a ruptured capillary, mastitis, inflammation, or cracked and bloody nipples. In most cases this is not a cause for alarm unless it happens consistently for an extended period of time. ⁣ Breast milk can even be black or brown! It can be due to residual blood from a clogged duct, or from a particular medication or supplement taken by the lactating parent. Sometimes change in milk colors can be alarming, but it is almost always typical and okay for baby to consume. It's important to always communicate concerns with your lactation team and medical providers just in case!


Tip
Your Breast Milk's Evolution
Did you know that no two feeds or pumps of breast milk are ever the exact same? Yup, NEVER. Breast milk is constantly evolving and morphing by the minute to match baby's exact nutritional and immunological needs. There is an exchange that happens between parent and baby during each moment of connection. Connections as intricate as saliva suctioning into the nipple during feeding, and as simple as parents kissing baby's cheek, send special codes back and forth between baby and parent to ensure that breast milk is formulated specifically to baby's needs at any given moment. This happens for those that feed at the breast and those that exclusively pump! In fact, exclusive pumpers give us a glimpse at these changes when we get a peek at pumped breast milk throughout the day. Vitamins, fats, minerals, hormones, and more vary at each pump. This is why milk looks different each feed, like being watery or more creamy. Breast milk is ALWAYS different, always good, ALL of the time.


Tip
Your Simple Guide to Combo-Feeding
Combo-feeding—a plan that involves feeding a baby a combination of breast milk and formula—is a choice that many families make for their infant. Parents can find much relief in knowing that formula can make up the difference for many reasons including, but not limited to: Baby was born prematurely and needs formula to get a good start on ensured nutrition (pumping to help establish breast milk supply may be initiated here and moving to exclusive breastfeeding later on may be the goal) A medical diagnosis of IGT, PCOS, or hypoplasia may be contributing to primary low milk supply, therefore the lactating parent needs formula to be used to ensure baby is getting adequate nutrition The breastfeeding relationship proves either to be too demanding for the lactating parent who doesn’t make enough milk for their baby Combo feeding may be more convenient and easier to manage for a lactating parent who has to be separated from their baby for scheduled or unpredictable amounts of time A working parent who simply doesn’t have the mental or emotional capacity to pump or breastfeed all the breast milk needed to sustain baby’s appetite A lactating parent who simply would like to free themselves of breastfeeding and let formula do a bit of the work! Whatever the reason for parents to adopt a combo feeding plan, there should not be any judgment placed on the lactating parent since ANY breast milk given to your baby is better than none at all! If baby has been prescribed formula for a medical reason that is temporary and the wish is to ultimately exclusively breastfeed or provide all breastmilk, parent must pump breast milk using either a medical grade pump or an electric pump that has been properly fitted with the help of a lactation professional each time formula is given. It is recommended that these pumping sessions be conducted unilaterally (both breasts) for 25 minutes. This pumping routine allows the lactating parent’s body to receive the signal to raise supply and “catch up” to the formula usage. Even if nothing comes out into those bottles the first few times you pump your breast milk - keep on pumping! It takes the body a few days to recognize the consistent demand, and then will slowly adjust to increase supply. It is important to note that if formula supplementation is recommended during the first days postpartum, it is usually temporary. The feeding plan you come home from the hospital with may change once breast milk has fully transitioned from colostrum to more copious amounts of breast milk and a supply has been established. With the help of a lactation professional who can confirm that milk has transitioned and transfer is happening at the breast, or pumping amounts are sufficient, formula can start to be replaced with breast milk either at the breast or provided by bottle or other feeding mechanism. If your plan is to combo-feed long term because it is working for your family and there is no need to try to increase milk production, there is no need to pump! Many choose to continue on with their combo-feeding plan - or must, due to diagnosed medical low milk supply- provide some breast milk and some formula daily. It is extremely important to work with a lactation consultant to ensure milk supply (in any amount is protected), there is consistency in adequate stimulation and demand to avoid clogged milk ducts and infection, and ensure that the baby is not being overfed. Many ask how much formula they should supplement when combo-feeding. This can only be answered ethically after a full lactation consultation to assess how much breastmilk is being consumed, obtaining a current weight for the baby, and assessing the parents’ long term feeding goals. Some important considerations are milk production and breastmilk/formula flow confusion. Each lactating parent's body is unique and sometimes, less stimulation (ex. Stimulating and feeding less than 60% breast milk due to formula supplementation), the body may gradually reduce supply more and more over time. Formula is about five to six times thicker than breast milk and should always be pace-fed in a bottle, dropper, or other chosen feeding mechanism. Combo-feeding can be done using a multitude of different feeding mechanisms and utilizing a plethora of different plans! Here are some examples of combo feeding plans: Nursing only for comfort, providing formula to make up the difference Hand expressing breast milk for top-off’s after providing formula bottles Breastfeeding/chestfeeding during the day, formula at night Formula while the breastfeeding parent is at work or separated from baby, breastfeeding/chestfeeding upon return Breast/chest feed for one bottle, formula for the next Pumped milk during the day, formula at night Providing pumped breast milk with an SNS or other at-the-breast supplementer while providing a bottle of formula Nursing a bit to calm the baby at the breast, bottle to provide fullness, nursing for comfort and additional stimulation to end the feeding …among others! Combo-feeding, whether a diagnosis, medical need, or a conscious choice, should ALWAYS be done in a way that is most comfortable and stress-free for each individual family. Parents and caregivers alike need to be on the same page about what works best for them and lactation professionals should be available to assist as well as work in tandem with pediatricians to effectively make any necessary adjustments along the way. Please reach out to us at www.goldilacts.com or find us on Instagram @goldilacts if a virtual support session is needed to explore the ways that you can implement a solid combo feeding routine for you and your baby!


GoldiLactsLactation-image
GoldiLacts Lactation
IBCLC, CBS, PPD, Breastfeeding & Postpartum Support
Tip
Breastfeeding, Formula Feeding, or Both: The Ultimate Guide!
Formula or breast milk. It’s no secret that there are just two options for feeding an infant, and while breastfeeding may be the biological norm, it isn’t always the right choice, or completely possible, for every one. But when you’re tasked with making a choice, it can be hard to understand which is right for you. This decision is not only very personal, but one that is often accompanied by unnecessary pressure, judgment, or confusion due to a lack of education about what is best. But you should feel proud and supported regardless of your choice, because guess what? BOTH are appropriate, and BOTH are amazing! There ARE some marked differences in nutritional composition, feeding delivery, and style, which are important things to consider when making this choice. Option A: Breastfeeding In addition to the essential nutrition, breast milk includes immunological properties that evolve and morph by the HOUR to fulfill baby’s exact need. Your body and baby’s body work as a team, sending physical and hormonal signals so that your breast milk has just what your baby needs at any given stage of development. Yet, as babies age, the amount of breast milk they consume stays the same on average; typically about 1-1.5 ounces per hour.. even when they are older! Because breast milk is metabolized quickly and feedings are typically smaller in quantity, they happen more frequently, meaning that with this option, babies feed on demand and more often than formula fed babies. And, each time they are at the breast, baby consumes a different amount. This is why sometimes a newborn or infant will request to eat more often during some parts of the day, or give longer stretches between feeds during other times a day. Option B: Formula Feeding With formula, feeding amounts and schedules can be more structured, and, because formula amounts are calculated based on your baby’s age and weight, baby typically eats the same amount each time. Some parents are more comfortable with this type of structured routine because it allows for more predictability and peace of mind. Formula’s nutritional components remain the same per scoop (like breast milk, they contain all the essential nutrients baby needs!). This is why, as babies age, the amount of formula and bottle size they consume changes in order to fit baby’s development needs. Option C: You Can Choose Both! Many parents choose to “combo feed” their babies, which means providing as much breast milk as possible while also supplementing with formula. This is a great way to ensure that baby receives a consistent and thought-out amount of nutrition during any given day while also ensuring they are receiving the health benefits of breast milk at the same time. Bottom line? The decision between breast milk and formula does not need to be all or nothing! Your feeding journey is unique and it should look however you want it to. It is so important to gather information for both options and find what feels best for YOU! It is also imperative to find with a lactation consultant you trust who can support you and work in tandem with your pediatrician to create the most perfect feeding plan for your baby—formula, breast milk, or both!


Tip
Here's What Might Be Causing Your Mastitis
Milk ducts are like tree branches, reaching out in all directions throughout the breast. Some ducts are thinner than others, making them more susceptible to becoming clogged from restricted milk flow. Odds are if you have experienced a clogged milk duct (OUCH!) you want to do all in your power to avoid them in the future! A few major potential causes of clogged milk ducts are: Pump Fit Having air-tight flange pieces with fresh membranes and a strong motor is important to effectively pull and drain all ducts. This is why a hand-me-down pump that has been used for multiple journeys is not recommended. Inconsistent Breast Drainage Breasts LOVE consistency and they get used to being drained at certain times of day/night. If a drain time is missed or extended a couple of hours, it can bring on a clog. Limited Breastfeeding Time Babes and breasts have a synergetic relationship. Babies can sense when there is a clogged duct. Feeding on demand helps the baby and breasts work together to create a clog-free system. Non-Equal Breast Stimulation - It is important to start feeds on the opposite breast each time so that, over the course of the day, both breasts have been stimulated equally. The first breast babe is on tends to be stimulated more because babe is most hungry at the beginning of a feeding. If you always start on one side, the other breast gets consistent weaker stimulation, inviting clogged ducts. Other potential reasons: - Too-Tight Clothing - Sleeping With Pressure To Breast - Tight Babywearing - Baby Lip or Tongue-Ties - Shallow Latching - Squeezing In One Spot ("Sandwich Hold") - Through The Whole Feed - Oversupplying Breast Milk - Long Stretches of Sleep - Use of Nipple Shield - Nursing Stress or Pain - Breastfeeding While Cold If you feel like you get frequent clogged ducts, meeting with a lactation professional is essential.