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Too much of a good thing?!

Here’s a question from Roxanne in Toronto, ON:

Q: My daughter is a month old now and I’m breastfeeding her – my problem is that I think I have TOO much milk! When she latches on and the milk lets down, she seems to pull away and fuss, as if it’s too much for her. I also notice that her stools are often greenish, and they irritate her skin. What can I do to help with this problem?

A: Yes, it sounds like you have an abundant milk supply, Roxanne, which is great but it can be a bit daunting for a newborn! The cause of the problem is usually a combination of an overactive letdown reflex, and an imbalance of foremilk (the more watery, sweet milk at the beginning of the feeding) to hindmilk (the milk more rich in fat at the end of the feeding). In the course of a feeding, the milk gradually changes from more watery to fat-rich. If a mother with an over-abundant milk supply feeds at both breasts, the baby may receive a higher than normal proportion of foremilk, which can result in the greenish, irritating stools. It may help to offer the baby only one breast at a feeding. One breast will supply all she needs at a feeding, and the ratio of hindmilk will be higher.

Also, you can try positioning the baby so that gravity helps to slow the milk flow rate. The fastest flow rate will be when Mom is sitting up, so try lying on your side, or on your back with your head supported with a pillow (your Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow is perfect for this!) and with baby resting on your chest. If the milk sprays with let-down, try catching it with a towel until it slows down, and then latch the baby on. Try to avoid pumping or hand expression – if you do this for comfort, limit it to a few seconds as this will encourage more milk production.

The good thing is that as your baby matures, she will regulate the flow and will become accustomed to your abundant milk supply!

Nancy Lahn RN

Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2016-11-16 13:09:43.

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Nursing too often?

Here’s a question from Jayne in Kincardine, ON:

Q: Can my son be nursing too often? He is 5 days old today, and seems to want to nurse constantly. He nurses and seems to settle, but when I put him down he starts fussing again. He’s making lots of diapers but I’m wondering why he does this – I don’t remember my first son (now 2 ½ ) doing this. I feel so worn out from running after my toddler and nursing all the time!

A: Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate, Jayne! Looking after a newborn and a toddler is challenging, especially as you’re recovering from childbirth. Your newborn is engaging in what is known as “cluster feeding”, which means he feeds frequently to signal your breasts to bring in your mature milk. This is a gradual process, and it sounds like your milk is coming in, if he is making “lots of diapers” as you say. A rule of thumb for wet diapers is to expect one on day 1, two on day 2, three on day three and so on until day 6 and onwards when you’re looking for 6-8 soaking wet diapers and multiple stools.

It may be that your fatigue in parenting both children is contributing to the baby’s fussiness. For now, be sure to let all non-essentials like cleaning and phone calls go. A great time to order in food or call in favours from friends who have offered to cook or to spend time with your toddler. Lie down to feed the baby as much as possible to increase your rest time. Hang in there – this phase won’t last long!

Nancy Lahn RN

Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2017-01-07 22:19:45.

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Is Marijuana Safe for Moms to Use When Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Here’s a question from Danielle in Thornhill:

Q: Everyone’s talking about the Canadian government’s plan to legalize marijuana use. My friends all say it’s harmless – but can it have an effect on the baby if a woman uses it while pregnant or breastfeeding?

A: So glad you asked this question, Danielle. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about marijuana (cannabis), and many people are not aware of the long-term effects on babies, children and teens/young adults. There is no known safe amount of cannabis use in pregnancy and when breastfeeding.

Cannabis smoke contains many of the same harmful chemicals (over 700 of them) found in cigarette smoke. It can reduce the oxygen supply and nutrients to the fetus, and can affect the newborn with lower birth weight, lower alertness and slower growth rate. It can also cause a decreased ability for the baby to self-soothe and make them more irritable and have sleep disturbances. As the child grows, studies have linked maternal cannabis use to poorer memory and verbal reasoning skills, hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder (ADD), learning disorders, and also depression and anxiety.

When a breastfeeding mother uses cannabis, the chemical THC (the ingredient that makes the user feel “high”) passes into the breast milk and is taken into a baby’s fat cells and brain. It can be stored for weeks, and research has shown that it can cause slower motor development in the baby.

Research has shown that a young person’s brain is continuing to develop into their mid twenties. Cannabis use has been shown to cause reduced school performance, delinquency problems, hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.

Being high while parenting can affect your interaction with your child, causing you to miss your child’s cues for hunger, their need to be comforted, or to play and learn. It can also affect your ability to judge correctly and to be alert to situations that are dangerous to your child.

So as you can see, Danielle, you are right to be concerned about cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, during the parenting years and also about the effects upon our teens and young adults who use it. Contrary to what your friends have told you, it is far from “harmless”.

Nancy Lahn RN
Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2017-07-11 18:00:45.

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Vacation Alert – July 2019

If you are wanting a Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow or ErgoGMR pillow for yourself, or someone else, over the summer months, please note that we will be closed between June 27 and July 15, 2019. You can place your order during that period, but we won’t be around to ship until July 16th at the earliest.

So place your order by June 26th to be sure you get your order in time!