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Will massage help if my baby has gas?

Here’s a question from Tammy S. in Halifax, N.S.:

Q: My baby is 8 weeks old, and seems troubled with painful gas attacks. He draws his knees up and gets red in the face and cries as if he’s in pain. It’s worst in the evenings. I’ve tried eliminating dairy from my diet (he’s breastfeeding) but that doesn’t seem to help. I’ve heard that massage can be helpful but I don’t know how to do it.

A: It’s very common for babies at your son’s stage of development to have colic, Tammy. It’s always a good idea to have them examined by a doctor, but usually it’s not an illness – just a symptom that occurs as their digestive system matures. Massage can indeed be helpful in helping them to pass the uncomfortable gas. You can try this method: First, rub his abdomen from ribcage to diaper, one hand after the other, for a count of 15. Then, take his legs and bend them to his belly and hold for a count of 15. Next, rub his belly in a clockwise motion for 15 seconds (it’s important to rub clockwise, as this follows the direction of the bowel and helps the gas to be moved out). Last, bend his legs to his belly again for 15 seconds. It’s recommended that you repeat this massage session three times a day. Many find that this technique helps them to soil their diaper as you do it, so do it with them lying on a diaper or you may get a surprise! :)

Originally posted 2015-02-24 14:44:50.

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Am I Losing My Milk Supply?

Here’s a question from Hillary D. in Hamilton, ON:

Q: My son is now just over 3 months old. He’s been nursing well every 4 hours, but this week he’s been fussy and only settles when I feed him, and that has been every 2 hours instead of every 4. My neighbour said the same thing happened to her, and that it means I’m losing my milk supply! Is this true? Help!

A: No worries, Hillary – it sounds like your son is experiencing a very normal growth spurt! All you need to do is feed him on demand. Your body will respond by making more milk – it’s a perfect “supply-and-demand” system! After a few days, your supply will increase to meet his demand, and you will settle back into a longer spacing between feedings. For now, feed on demand and get lots of nutritious food and fluids yourself!

Originally posted 2014-07-30 13:33:53.

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I’m Engorged, and It Hurts!

Here’s another question we get frequently…

Q: My baby was born on Friday, and this morning (Monday) I woke up with the feeling that Dolly Parton had taken over my body! My breasts are huge and so sore – is this normal? What can I do? I’m so full that my baby has a hard time latching on.

A: What you’re experiencing, Angie, is very normal. On the third or fourth day after birth, your milk production begins in earnest and the breasts become swollen with milk, and also from increased blood flow and lymph fluids. The best way to spell relief is B-A-B-Y! Be sure to nurse the baby at least every two hours, and gently massage your breast as the baby is feeding. The frequent feeding will help your body to establish the proper supply and demand ratio. Before each feeding, apply a warm moist compress for a couple of minutes to start the milk flowing. If the breast is so full that it is difficult for baby to latch, hand express some milk until the areola (the dark area around the nipple) will soften enough to allow the baby to latch on. If you use a pump to do this, be sure to pump only until the areola is softened – too much pumping will give your body the wrong message and will tell it to increase your milk supply! In between feedings, you can wet and wring out a cloth (a tea towel is a good size), fold it into thirds, and freeze in your freezer. Laying this frozen cloth across your swollen breasts provides wonderful relief! You can also try the midwife’s trick of using a cabbage leaf inside your bra on each breast. The tanic acid in the cabbage (not lettuce!) helps to relieve swelling without decreasing your milk supply. Using these techniques, most engorgement will subside in about 48 hours. Wearing a good supportive nursing bra day and night (no underwires!) will be helpful during engorgement, too.

Originally posted 2016-11-07 18:12:49.

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Do breastfed babies grow into adults with higher IQ?

Here’s a question from Asha in Brampton, ON:

Q: Someone told me that breastfeeding makes babies more intelligent – can that be true?

EinsteinA: Yes, Asha, we’ve known for a long time that the fat in breastmilk is perfect for the development of the human brain (which, incidentally, is comprised of about 60% fat!). Research is now showing that children who were breastfed for at least 6 months grow into adults who score close to four points higher on IQ tests, attend school for a year longer and made 15% more money at age 30! These were the findings of a recent study of nearly 6,000 babies. Interestingly enough, the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Bernardo Lessa Horta from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil noted that “What is unique about this study is the fact that, in the population we studied, breastfeeding was not more common among highly educated, high-income women, but was evenly distributed by social class.”

One more great reason to breastfeed your baby!

Nancy Lahn RN
Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2015-04-14 15:58:57.