Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads - 2 Reusable Gel Pad(s)
Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads were created to provide instant, cooling relief. Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads soothe and comfort sensitive skin on contact and protect the delicate nipple area to enhance breastfeeding success.
- Soothing gel cools on contact and helps relieve sore nipples
- Absorbent gel helps prevent leakage
- Unique, soft fabric backing forms protective barrier to prevent bra friction
- Reusable for up to 72 hours
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads?
The nipple area should be clean and free from breastmilk. Wipe nipple area with warm water and pat dry. Remove the plastic cover from the Soothies gel pad and place the gel side of the pad directly over the nipple so the cotton backing faces away from the body. No extra tape is needed, as the gel will be slightly tacky. Your bra will also hold Soothies in place.
I thought Lansinoh did not make a gel pad-what changed?
Lansinoh purchased the Soothies Gel Pads from the company Puronyx in January 2009. Soothies Gel Pads are a great addition to the Lansinoh product line as it provides cooling relief for sore or damaged nipples due to breastfeeding. There are some key differences between Lanolin HPA and Soothies Gel Pads in the form of treatment and soothing for sore nipples.
Has anything changed about the Soothies Gel Pads since Lansinoh acquired them?
No, the Soothies Gel Pads that Lansinoh has in its product line are exactly the same product though now they are sold by Lansinoh.
What are the similarities and differences between Lansinoh HPA Lanolin and Soothies?
With Lansinoh HPA Lanolin and Soothies Gel Pads, Lansinoh offers moms a choice of form for treating and soothing sore nipples.
Lansinoh HPA Lanolin
- Does not have to be removed prior to breastfeeding
- Pure lanolin ointment
- Can be used throughout your breastfeeding experience
- Reusable throughout breastfeeding
- Safest and purest lanolin available
- Endorsed in the US by La Leche League International
Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads
- Gently wipe or cleanse breast before breastfeeding
- Glycerin gel pad
- Total usage of gel pads should not exceed 3 weeks
- Each pad reusable for up to 72 hours
- Protects nipple area from bra friction
- Instant cooling sensation
- Not a messy cream
Do I need to wash my breasts after Soothies Gel Pads are removed to breastfeeding?
Gently wipe or cleanse your breasts prior to breastfeeding to remove any gel residue.
What should be used to wipe the breast?
A soft clean wash cloth or towel can be used to wipe the breast after using Soothies Gel Pads.
Can I use Lansinoh HPA Lanolin and Soothies together?
Both of these products promote moist wound healing so there is no need to use them together. If, however, you have used Lansinoh HPA Lanolin on your breasts throughout the day and choose to use Soothies at night (or vice versa), there is no need for concern about there being Lansinoh HPA Lanolin on your breast when you apply Soothies Gel Pads.
How often do you change Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads?
It depends on the amount of leakage that a mother is experiencing. Soothies absorbs fluid-about two times its own weight. Soothies are usable until they become saturated with fluid or become very thick and spongy. Typically, the pad is used 1-3 days.
What does it mean when the pad gets thick and spongy?
When the pad gets thick and spongy, the pad is getting 'full'. As the pad gets full, the concentration level of glycerin begins to dilute. It is important to know that Soothies will continue to be effective even after the pad has absorbed materials to over 2 to 3 times its size. The challenge at that point is the additional weight and managing the flow of milk.
How do I care for Soothies?
Check the gel side for any lint or other particles. If needed, wipe the gel side surface with a clean cloth moistened with water until the surface is smooth and shiny. Do not rinse Soothies.
My Soothies look cloudy/milky, should I use a new pair?
No, a cloudy appearance is normal and does not decrease the benefits of Soothies.
The "cloudy or milky" appearance is often due to the absorption of breastmilk. Soothies have a high moisture vapor transmission, allowing a majority of the lactation-related fluids to evaporate. The milky appearance sometimes seen in a Soothies Gel Pad is often due to the larger white milk molecules left behind in the pad.
May Soothies be stored in the refrigerator?
Yes. Keep them in a sealed bag so they will not absorb moisture from the air. They may also be kept in the freezer for additional cooling relief.
Where do I keep Soothies before breastfeeding, bathing, or using a breast pump?
Gently remove Soothies from the nipple and place on a clean surface, gel side up. Remember to always wash your hands well with soap and water before breastfeeding.
May Soothies be cut to size?
Yes. To achieve the best results, leave the clear plastic cover on Soothies while cutting with scissors.
What's in Soothies?
Soothies are composed of vegetable-based glycerin, water, and polyacrylamide (a non-toxic absorbent binding agent) all of which are nontoxic to mother and baby. Soothies is specifically formulated with 17½% water and 65% glycerin.
High (vegetable-based) glycerin and low water content help create a soothing environment in the following ways:
- Provides moisturizer to keep the skin soft and supple
- Pulls excess fluids way to prevent maceration from occurring
- Provides an immediate cooling sensation
What is the significance of using water?
Water provides a cooling sensation.
What is the significance of using glycerin?
A high concentration of the natural ingredient glycerin will prevent the pad from drying out even if it is left open to the air.
What is Polyacrylamide?
Polyacrylamide is an absorbent non toxic binding agent that gives the pad shape by:
- Connecting all of the components so they are consistent throughout the pad.
- Preventing the components from oozing, separating or decomposing
- Preventing the gel pad from breaking apart
I am a vegetarian-can I safely use Soothies because of the glycerin?
Yes, the ingredient glycerin is vegetable-based.
Do I need a prescription for Soothies?
No. Soothies do not require a prescription and are available through retail outlets, hospitals, and clinics.
How do Soothies work?
Soothies formula helps create a natural soothing environment by:
- providing moisturizer to keep the skin soft and supple
- pulling excess fluids away from the nipple and breast surface to prevent maceration from occurring
- providing an immediate cooling sensation
Why is absorbency important?
Absorbency is important for preventing skin maceration-a term that describes skin changes when moisture is trapped against the skin for a prolonged period. The skin will turn white or gray, softens and wrinkles (like when a bandage is wet and skin underneath wrinkles and turns white). Macerated skin is more permeable and prone to damage from friction and irritants.
Do you need a lot of water to keep Soothies from drying out?
No. Unlike other hydrogel pads, Soothies will never dry out.
Are Soothies for engorgement?
No, Soothies were designed to create a healing environment, soothe nipple pain, and enhance your breastfeeding experience.
Soothies has a cloth backing-why?
Allows the gel to stay positioned over the injured nipple tissue
- Provides a smooth barrier from clothing friction and the resulting irritation
- Does not promote the transmission of bacteria or fungus to the nipple
- Provides for easy application and prevents error in placement of pad against the skin
- Keeps moisture and fluids away from the nipple.
How do I take care of my Soothies?
Prior to each application observe the gel side for any milk build up or other particles. If noticed, clean the gel side of the pad by wiping the gel surface with a clean moist cloth until the surface in smooth and shiny. The pad does not need to be rinsed.
Will cutting the Soothies Gel Pads prolong their life?
Soothies were designed specific for the lactating mom and her nipple area. The smaller the pad, the less it will absorb due to the size. However, cutting the gel pads will not negatively alter the characteristics of the pad if it is cut.
What is the difference between hydrogels and Soothies?
Soothies primary component is glycerin, an all natural ingredient that moisturizes skin and absorbs liquid and moisture. Its secondary ingredients are water and polyacrylamide, a non-toxic binding agent that holds the components of the pad together and also draw moisture away from the breast.
Hydrogels' primary ingredient is water. Typical hydrogels on the market contain 45-96% water. The secondary ingredients in hydrogels are man-made chemicals that can provide absorption and moisturizing qualities.
How do I use Soothies?
It depends on the amount of leakage the mom is experiencing. The pads should be changed when they are saturated. Typically, the pad will last 1-3 days.
Can Soothies be heated?
No, we do not recommend heating Soothies Gel Pads.
My Soothies Gel Pad has crusty parts-should I throw it away?
If the Gel Pad becomes dirty or has crusty areas, it can be cleaned with a clean damp, not wet, cloth, as needed. This may lengthen the amount of time that the Gel Pad can be used.
Why can I only use Soothies three weeks total?
The recommended usage of any hydrogel or gel pads as a therapy should not to exceed 3 weeks total because if you are experiencing soreness or pain, you should seek the advice of a lactation consultant, breastfeeding educator, or healthcare provider.
CAUTION: Total usage of Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads (multiple pads) should not exceed three weeks. If nipple pain continues beyond one week or the nipple is cracked, bleeding, scabbed, blistered, or excessively painful, seek the advice of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant or health care provider. Keep out of reach of children.
Your baby (or babies!) has arrived and you have decided to breastfeed. The closeness shared between you and your baby during this process is magical. Good luck in your breastfeeding journey. Lansinoh's goal is to provide you with answers, support and products you need to make this a great experience for you and your baby.
What to Expect as a Breastfeeding Mom
Every baby is different! And every mom's experience with her newborn is unique. While no two babies are alike, the following typical feeding routines should let you know what to expect, help you recognize the ranges of normal, and give you guidance about when to seek help from a healthcare provider.
Breastfed Newborns Nurse A Lot
On average, your baby will awaken to breastfeed every one to three hours or feed at least 8-12 times per day. Feedings are timed from the beginning of one nursing to the beginning of the next. After your baby finishes a feeding, she'll probably be ready to nurse again within the next couple of hours.
Many new breastfeeding mothers are not prepared for the normal frequency of feedings. They assume they must not have enough milk because their baby wants to feed so often. New breastfeeding mothers often comment, "It seems like all I do is breastfeed." Many moms feel this way. This is not how breastfeeding looks forever. Most breastfed babies become more efficient at breastfeeding as they get older.
Try not to focus much attention on the clock. Instead, follow your baby's cues about how often she needs to nurse. If she was just fed an hour ago and is acting hungry again, respond to her signals and offer your breast. Feeding frequently during these first weeks is the principal way your milk supply becomes adjusted to meet your baby's requirements. This is known as the "breastfeeding law of supply and demand." Remember that empty breasts make milk, so it's important to continue breastfeeding frequently to make milk.
Your Breasts Seem to be Taking on a Life of Their Own
Your body is experiencing a lot during this time and as your breasts continue to produce milk, they may seem like they are changing by the hour. In the early months of nursing, you may experience leaking. Nursing pads, like Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads, help prevent embarrassing leaks. Your breasts may also swell and become engorged, and your nipples can become sensitive and sore. If your nipples do become sore or cracked, Lansinoh HPA Lanolin or Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads can be applied to soothe and protect your nipples.
Engorgement, or swollen breasts, is a temporary condition that begins about the third day postpartum. Nursing frequently during this period is the best way to alleviate engorgement. Breastfeeding while engorged can be difficult since the baby can have a hard time properly latching on, but don't let this discourage you. If your breasts do become engorged and you get flat nipples, try Lansinoh LatchAssist. LatchAssist is a simple tool to help your nipples temporarily stand out, making it easier for your baby to establish a good latch. Your nipple needs to touch the roof of your babies mouth to stimulate the baby to latch on, suck and swallow. Other things to try:
- Take hot showers to help soften your breasts
- Express some of the milk either by hand expression or with a breast pump. Express just enough to soften the breast so the baby can properly latch onto the breast
- Use ice packs after nursing to help keep the swelling down and relieve the pain. Bags of frozen peas wrapped in a cold washcloth work well
Breastfeeding 101: Is baby hungry?
As you care for your newborn, you'll develop a bond, and start to understand "what's normal" and what's not, with your baby. Eating properly is a big part of this, which will be covered in Breastfeeding 101.
It won't be long before you identify and understand the different sounds and gestures your baby makes. Babies generally need at least 10 to 12 feedings in a 24-hour period. But remember that each baby is different, and looking for feeding cues is the most important part of feeding your baby properly.
When the baby is hungry, signs to look for include: putting hands to mouth; sucking sounds; the tongue coming out and licking things; head moving around in search of the breast, also known as rooting; and fussiness. Crying is a late stage sign of hunger.
While feeding, you also might wonder if your baby is getting enough milk. Often, people in your life who are not supportive of breastfeeding will attribute any kind of fussiness or crying to your baby being hungry. But don't get drawn in by this breastfeeding myth. While there is no way of knowing just how much milk the baby is getting from the breast, continuous weight gain and alertness is an indication that the baby is getting enough.
Diapers are another good indicator that your baby is being properly nourished. Wet diapers indicate good hydration, while poop diapers indicate enough calories. By day four, moms and dads should be changing at least four poop diapers, and four to five wet diapers each day. By day seven, the amount of wet diapers will increase to 6 to 8 wet diapers a day.
Familiarize yourself with how a disposable diaper feels both wet and dry so you can feel a little more secure with recognizing a wet ultra-absorbent diaper. Don't be alarmed by the appearance of baby's poop, as it will change during the first few days from black and tarry to green to yellow and can look seedy. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your pediatrician or lactation counselor.
Pumping is a way for a breastfeeding mom to express her milk so she can leave it behind for her baby when they have to be apart whether for work or the occasional errand. Pumping is also a way that a breastfeeding mom can keep up her milk supply if she is away from her baby. While feeding directly at the breast is the ideal way to feed a baby, according to a Lansinoh™ survey conducted in 2005, 94 percent of first-time mothers plan to pump their milk because of being apart from their breastfed baby and to keep up their supply during these absences. Here's some information to get you started:
When Do I Pump?
If you are pumping to have extra milk on hand for occasional use, the best time to pump is in the morning, after your first morning feeding. Milk supply is most abundant in the early hours of the morning, so take advantage of this time to pump after baby's first feeding in the morning.
If you are going back to work, you will need to have more milk on hand. To build a supply of milk prior to going back to work, pump daily in the morning and put it directly into the freezer. Then when you go back to work, pump at work at the times when your baby would be feeding. Store the milk safely at work and bring home whatever milk you've pumped during the workday and add to your freezer stash. See Pumping at Work for more tips on establishing a routine when you go back to work. Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags and Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bottles can be used for safe and convenient milk storage.
How Do I Pump?
The process of pumping is simple but it does take some getting used to.
- Wash your hands before using the pump.
- The most important part of successful pumping is the let-down reflex. This is when your milk begins to flow freely. Thinking of or looking at a photo of your baby while pumping can help.
- Center the nipple in the flanges (the cone-like parts that go on the breast). Make sure the breast completely fills the breast flange so that a vacuum is formed and no air escapes. The nipple tunnel should tilt slightly downward to allow milk to flow naturally toward the bottle.
- On average, a pumping session will usually last about 20 minutes but this can vary from mom to mom. Remember, successful pumping is a learned art. Early practice sessions may be shorter or longer than stated here and may result in only a small amount of milk collected. Milk is produced on a supply and demand basis. So, if you are trying to build a supply of milk before you go to work add a pumping session to your schedule each day, preferably after you feed your baby in the morning. Continue to pump that same time each day. Don't worry if you only get a small amount the first time because you are telling your body to make more milk for the next day. Each day you may see more milk and your supply will build.
- Store the milk
It is important to store your breastmilk in a place that is sanitary and safe. If you are pumping and storing your breastmilk at work in a common refrigerator, make sure you label it with your name or put it in a bag so it is not mistaken for regular milk.
If you have any questions about proper storage of breastmilk, talk to your pediatrician, International Certified Lactation Consultant or follow the guidelines below from La Leche League International.
What Type of Container to Use
Refrigerated or frozen milk may be stored in:
- Hard-sided plastic or glass containers with well-fitting tops.
- BPA Free containers, like Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bottles.
- Freezer milk bags that are designed for storing breastmilk, like Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags.
Other storage tips:
- Containers should not be filled to the top - leave an inch of space to allow the milk to expand as it freezes.
- Disposable bottle liners are not recommended. With these, the risk of contamination is greater. These types of bags tend to be less durable and tend to leak, and some types of plastic that is used to make these bags may destroy nutrients in milk.
- Mark the date on the storage container. Include your baby's name on the label if your baby is in a day care setting.
- Keep frozen milk in the middle of the freezer away from the sides where the temperature can fluctuate as you do not want milk to partially thaw as thawed milk cannot be refrozen.
How to Warm the Breastmilk
- Thaw and/or heat under warm, running water.
- Do not bring temperature of milk to boiling point.
- Gently swirl milk before testing the temperature. Swirling will also redistribute the cream into the milk. (It is normal for stored milk to separate into a cream and milk layer.) Do not shake vigorously as it could damage some of the live components of breastmilk.
- Do not use a microwave oven to heat breastmilk.
- Previously frozen milk that has been thawed can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- It should not be refrozen.
Has Your Frozen Breastmilk Gone Bad?
In very rare cases, some mothers who have meticulously expressed and frozen their milk for later use have discovered to their dismay that all their frozen milk has turned rancid. This happens when a mother produces milk that is high in lipase, the enzyme that breaks down the fat in milk. Depending upon the level of lipase in her milk, some mothers notice this rancid smell after their milk has cooled in the refrigerator; others, notice it only after the milk has been frozen for a while. Thankfully this doesn't happen often, and this can be prevented if the lipase is detected before the milk is frozen.
It is suggested that every mother who is planning to freeze her milk should freeze some test batches of milk and thaw it out after a week or so to be sure it has not become rancid. If it smells rancid, she may need to scald the milk before freezing in the future to deactivate the lipase in her milk. For more information, please see the Breastfeeding Answer Book published by La Leche League International.
Breastmilk is all your baby needs until at least six months of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and many other health organizations recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or other foods) for the first 6 months. But after your baby is 6 months, you may want to start exploring solids.
Why start your baby on solid foods?
- Because there comes a time when breastmilk no longer supplies all your baby's nutritional needs. A full term baby will start requiring iron from other sources by 6 to 9 months of age.
- Because some babies not started on solids by a certain age (9-12 months) may have great difficulty accepting solid foods.
- Because it is a developmental milestone that your child passes when he or she starts solid foods. At a certain point, a baby will want to eat solids.
When to start solid foods
The best time to start solids is when the baby is showing interest in starting, though most experts agree that exclusively feeding breastmilk until at least 6 months is preferred and ideal for baby's health and nutrition. By 6 months of age, some babies will be reaching and trying to grab food that parents have on their plates. This may not be the best indicator of a baby's readiness for solids because your baby is grabbing at everything! Look for your baby's ability to sit up and the loss of the reflex to push food out of their mouths with their tongue. Go by the baby's cues.
A breastfed baby digests solid foods better and earlier than an artificially fed baby because breastmilk contains enzymes which help digest fats, proteins and starch. Breastfed babies also have had a wide variety of tastes in their lives, since the flavors of many foods the mother eats will pass into her milk. Breastfed babies thus accept solids more readily than artificially fed babies.
How should solids be introduced?
When your baby is starting to take solids at about 6 months of age, it really doesn't matter what foods are introduced first. It is better to avoid highly spiced or highly allergenic foods at first (e.g. egg white, strawberries), but if the baby reaches for the potato on your plate, make sure it is not too hot, mash it up, and let him have the potato. There is no need to go in any specific order, and there is no need for the baby to eat only one food for a certain period of time. Some exclusively breastfed babies dislike infant cereal when it is introduced at 6 months of age. There is no need for concern and no need to persist if the baby doesn't want the cereal. There is nothing magic or necessary about infant cereal.
Offer the baby foods that he is interested in. Allow the baby to enjoy food and do not worry about exactly how much he actually takes at first. More than anything, the introduction to solid foods is a photo opportunity! Much of it may end up in his hair and on the floor anyhow. There is no need either that foods be pureed if the baby is 6 months of age or older. Simple mashing with a fork is all that is necessary at first. You also do not have to be exceedingly careful about how much the baby takes.
Be relaxed, feed the baby at your mealtimes, and as he becomes a more accomplished eater of solid foods, offer a greater variety of foods at any one time.
- The best source of iron for the baby 6 months of age or older is meat or beans (lentils, for example, are very nutritious and are a good source of iron). Infant cereal has iron, but it is poorly absorbed and may cause the baby to be constipated.
- There is no reason to introduce vegetables before fruit. Breastmilk is far sweeter than fruit, so there is no reason to believe that the baby will take vegetables better by delaying the introduction of fruit.
- Respect your baby's likes and dislikes. There is no essential food (except breastmilk). If your baby does not like a certain food, do not force it. If you think it is important for him, wait a few weeks and offer it again.
- At about 9 months of age, babies become somewhat assertive in displaying their individuality. Your baby may not want you to put a spoon into his mouth. He very likely will take it out of your hand and put it into his mouth himself, often upside down, so that the food falls on his lap. Respect his attempts at self sufficiency and encourage his learning. Make eating fun!
When it comes to breastfeeding, some may assume that dad plays no role or has little influence on the feeding process. However, while mom is physically responsible for breastfeeding, dad's behavior can either support or undermine the success of breastfeeding.
In fact, a study in Pediatrics focused on whether support from the dad can help breastfeeding moms. Of the husbands who were taught how to help manage common breastfeeding problems, one quarter of the mothers in the study were still breastfeeding exclusively or predominately when their babies were six months old, compared with 15 percent of women whose partner attended a class on general health and nutrition.
Top 10 Tips for Dads
There are many things that dads can do to build their own relationship with their baby (and mom too):
- Remember that the only thing Dads can't do is breastfeed. Dads can soothe a crying baby, change diapers, carry the baby and play-all of which can be very rewarding for the baby, fun and satisfying for dad, and a great help to mom.
- Whenever possible, get up with the baby and bring the baby to mom for feedings-especially those in the middle of the night!
- Take a walk with the baby and suggest your partner relax, nap or do something for herself like take a relaxing bath.
- After the baby has been fed, offer to rock, burp or sing the baby back to sleep.
- One of the best ways to keep baby happy is to keep mom happy. Help pick up around the house or run errands so mom can concentrate on breastfeeding and the baby. Continue helping to keep your relationship balanced, too, since the birth of a baby can be overwhelming to many couples.
- Guard your partner against well-meaning but intrusive visitors who come bearing unsolicited advice. Many friends and relatives suddenly become experts about breastfeeding and parenting when a new baby arrives. Although these 'words of wisdom' may come with good intentions, they can sometimes be hurtful or even harmful.
- When there are other children involved, a new baby can shake things up a bit. If possible, take a short leave to help with the older children during the first few weeks after the baby is born. Go to the playground or schedule other outside activities so your partner can focus on the baby and rest.
- It's important to spend time together with your new baby, as well as alone as a couple when the baby is sleeping.
- Keep an eye on mom for signs of postpartum depression. This is the most critical job dad takes on after the new baby arrives. If you notice your partner is restless or irritable, feeling sad, depressed or crying a lot, lacks energy, is experiencing headaches, chest pains, heart palpitations, numbness, or hyperventilation (fast and shallow breathing), talk with her and seek the advice of a medical professional.
- While feeding can be a special time to bond, it's important not to pressure mom to express her milk or supplement with formula so you can help feed the baby before she's ready. It's important for her and the baby to have breastfeeding firmly established (4 weeks or so) before introducing a bottle. Doing this too early could affect her supply and could possibly derail breastfeeding success.
Adding a new baby to the mix is always going to stir your life up a bit, even if it's not your first baby. Give yourself a break if you need it and always keep the lines of communication open with your partner. Fathers of breastfed infants soon learn the many unique and meaningful ways, apart from feeding, that they can bond with their new baby and partner.
Debunking Breastfeeding Myths
Here are the facts about some common breastfeeding misconceptions:
Myth: Breastfeeding is painful
Fact: Breastfeeding should not be painful; but in the early weeks, along with swelling and engorgement, nipples can become sensitive and sore. Proper positioning of mother and baby is important as is proper latch-on to the breast. If your nipples do become sore or cracked, Lansinoh HPA Lanolin can be applied to help soothe, heal and protect the nipple, and Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads can provide cooling relief upon contact for sore, tender nipples.
Myth: If I have sore nipples the most effective solution is to use expressed breastmilk
Fact: A new independent 2010 study concludes that HPA™ Lanolin, combined with breastfeeding education, is more effective than expressed breastmilk, combined with breastfeeding education, in reducing nipple pain and promoting healing of nipple trauma (Abou-Dakn et al). The full study can be viewed free online.
If you have additional questions about breastfeeding, contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, or speak to your obstetrician or pediatrician.
Myth: Alternating between the breast and bottle does not cause nipple confusion
Fact: Early on, switching your baby between a bottle and breast may cause nipple confusion or nipple preference. In a very short time baby could learn to prefer bottle feeding to breastfeeding because she has not had the opportunity to establish the correct mouth movements for proper breastfeeding. Try to avoid using bottles and pacifiers for the first four weeks of your baby's life to have an opportunity to establish your milk supply and nursing routine.
Myth: If my baby is nursing every hour, I can't be producing enough milk
Fact: Often cited as a main reason for not breastfeeding, only about 1% of women are unable to produce enough breastmilk for their babies. Breastmilk production works on supply and demand so more nursing or pumping can actually increase your milk. It's absolutely normal for your baby to nurse very frequently at certain times of the day because breastmilk is easier to digest and sometimes baby will cluster feed. This is a good thing because cluster feeding often will lead to longer stretches of sleep. Often babies will increase their frequency of feedings because of a growth spurt, usually around six weeks and then three, six and nine months of age. If you are separated from your baby, it is important to pump as often as the baby would nurse so your body continues to produce milk.
Myth: Breastfeeding mothers must use both breasts at each feeding
Fact: It's not as important that the baby feeds from both breasts at every feeding, but rather that he finishes the first breast and gets the hindmilk. The foremilk at the beginning of a feed quenches the baby's thirst and hydrates him, while the thicker hindmilk at the end of the feed is full of protein and fat to help the baby grow. If only one breast is used at a feeding, make sure that the next feeding begins with the other breast, in order to keep producing plenty of milk.
Myth: You can't continue to breastfeed after you return to work
Fact: It is possible, and very common, for women to breastfeed and work full or part time, but it does take a little planning and commitment. Since your body is programmed to produce milk, you will need to make arrangements to either pump while at work or go home to breastfeed at regular intervals throughout the day.
Breastfeeding successfully while working may sometimes be a challenge, but with the support of your employer, using an efficient breast pump and finding a proper storage area for your expressed milk, it can be done.
The important thing is to remember why you started breastfeeding in the first place and keep it in mind through the challenging times.
Invest in a Quality Electric Breast Pump: An electric breast pump is important to keep up your milk supply and pump enough milk for your baby to have while you are at work. Look for a pump that optimizes cycle rate because they are more efficient and easier on your nipples. Double electric pumps, like the Lansinoh Affinity Double Electric Breast Pump, allow a mother to pump both breasts at the same time.
Stock Up: If possible, you should start pumping and freezing your milk about a month before returning to work. It is important to store your milk in containers specially designed for breastmilk storage such as Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags and Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bottles-both BPA Free!
Talk with Your Employer: It is important to talk to your employer about your pumping schedule and work out a designated area that is clean, sanitary and private where you can pump-and not in a bathroom if at all possible. If possible, have this conversation prior to leaving on maternity leave so you have one less thing to worry about when you return to work. Maintain a positive attitude about coming back to work so that your employer knows how much you value your job and want to be at work, but also continue to breastfeed.
If you meet resistance from your employer, you can point out the many benefits of breastfeeding for the employer, such as reduced absenteeism because the baby is less likely to be sick because of breastmilk's protective benefits. Or you can use one of these great United States Breastfeeding Committee Publications to aid in your conversation.
Myth: Breastfeeding shortchanges dad from bonding with the baby
Fact: Sometimes dads of breastfed babies feel left out and worry that only the mother will bond with the baby. Non-feeding activities such as holding the baby, dressing, bathing and changing the baby are ideal for the dad of a breastfeeding baby so they can feel a close connection with the baby too. When a baby is extra fussy and breastfeeding does not seem to be the answer to baby's distress, there is nothing more welcoming than "daddy's touch".
Myth: Prior to delivery, expecting mothers should rub rough terry cloths on their nipples to "toughen them up"
Fact: Nipples do not need to be toughened up. This act can indeed cause nipple soreness as it can cause trauma on already tender, expanded skin. If anything, nipples need to remain supple. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin can be applied before delivery to help keep nipples soft and supple.
If you have additional questions about breastfeeding, contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, or speak to your obstetrician or pediatrician.
Ask The Experts
Below are answers to some common questions about breastfeeding from Barbara Haney-Cocca, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Gina Ciagne, Certified Lactation Counselor.
What tips do I need to nurse twins/multiples?
The main concern for moms of multiples who want to breastfeed is whether they will have enough milk. Fortunately, mothers who breastfeed twins, triplets and even more babies can most often produce enough milk for their infants, but it takes some planning and a lot of support.
One important tip is to remember to look at each child as an individual. Sometimes one baby will be more efficient at getting more milk than another, perhaps due to the fact that one baby is a more mellow nurser or not as vigorous at getting milk. Allow this baby plenty of time at the breast and use breast compressions to push milk into the baby's mouth to remind them to suck and swallow when they are being "sleepy" at the breast.
With multiples it is important to carefully track the babies' intake by watching weights and diaper counts. You will more than likely need to write this down to keep track.
Multiples are often born early and may have challenges coordinating their sucking and swallowing. It is important to contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to help you with these special circumstances.
Why are my nipples still sore? What can I do?
More often then not, sore nipples are caused by improper latch-on. If the baby does not open wide, he or she may be "slurping" in the nipple and this can be very painful. If the majority of nipple pain is at the beginning of the breastfeeding session and tends to be less painful as the feeding goes on, it is probably due to latch-on.
For proper latch-on, the baby's chin should anchor on the breast about 1 inch from the nipple and then the top lip should pop over the nipple. In other words, get the lower lip as far from the nipple as possible because the common culprit of nipple pain is the baby's tongue thrusting on the nipple. The tongue and lower jaw should be as far from the nipple as possible with as wide a mouth as possible.
If your nipples do become sore or cracked, Lansinoh™ HPA™ Lanolin can be applied to help soothe, heal, and protect sore cracked nipples. Lansinoh™ HPA™ Lanolin is ultra-pure, medical-grade lanolin, that contains no preservatives or allergenic components it does not have to be wiped off prior to breastfeeding. Please note that while Lansinoh™ HPA™ Lanolin will help soothe, heal and protect sore or cracked nipples, it is essential that you uncover the underlying cause of the soreness. If your nipples are still sore and you believe that your latch is correct, you should see a Lactation Consultant to rule out any other issues.
How much can I exercise while breastfeeding?
Exercise has not been found to affect a mother's milk supply and studies find that there is not an increase in lactic acid in breastmilk during moderate exercise. However, when exercising at maximum intensity there will be an increase in lactic acid for up to 90 minutes after terminating exercise. There have been no negative effects found for babies that take in increased lactic acid in breastmilk. Therefore, there is no reason to wait after exercising, even at maximum intensity, to breastfeed your baby.
You may wish to breastfeed just prior to exercising for comfort purposes and to wear a supportive bra. If you find that you have an increased amount of blocked ducts, you may want to cut down on upper bodywork where arms move frequently (i.e weightlifting). You should also check to make sure your bra fits properly and is not compressing the breasts.
Some babies may not like the taste of mother's sweat, so you may wish to take a shower after exercising and before feeding the baby.
Can I take birth control pills while breastfeeding?
Yes, you can take birth control pills while breastfeeding; however, you should use caution. Progesterone-only pills are called "the mini pill" and have the least effect on a woman's milk supply of all the hormone types of birth control. Although, most women do not have a problem with progesterone-only pills affecting their milk supply, there have been some women that are sensitive to any hormones and will produce significantly less milk while taking any hormones. If this is the case, talk to your doctor about finding an alternative form of birth control. As an alternative, birth control methods that do not have hormones like barrier methods or non-hormonal IUDs do not affect a mother's milk supply.
Can I drink caffeine while breastfeeding?
Most breastfeeding mothers can drink caffeine in moderation. Caffeine is approved for use in breastfeeding women by the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, you may find that your baby is fussy after you consume caffeine, and you may wish to avoid it. If this is the case, remember that most babies will outgrow this sensitivity to caffeine.
What foods should I avoid eating while breastfeeding?
Women breastfeed around the world, and they have varied diets. There are no foods that you absolutely need to avoid while breastfeeding unless you have a family history of food allergies and have been advised to avoid those foods by your healthcare provider.
If you begin to notice that your baby is unhappy (including gassiness or crankiness) when you eat certain foods, you can try to find the culprit by eliminating those items from your diet one at a time to try to find the cause of the baby's discomfort. For instance, into his or her second month, your baby may start to show sensitivities to certain foods that you are eating. One of the biggest culprits to show up as a food sensitivity for breastfed babies is mother's consumption of cow's milk/dairy products. Because it takes a few weeks to eliminate dairy from your system, you will need to stop consuming dairy that includes cow's milk for a few weeks to really tell if it is the cause.
Some babies show sensitivities to other foods besides dairy products including caffeine. Again, unless your doctor recommends avoiding certain foods, there is no reason to limit your diet while breastfeeding.
What should I do if my baby bites me?
Almost every baby will bite at least once and depending on the baby's age. There are steps you can take to gently let the baby know this can not continue. This is a learning experience for both you and the baby.
Sometimes babies realize based on a strong reaction to a bite that this isn't a wise thing to do. This is a learning experience for you too because babies that are well latched-on cannot bite. Breastfeeding draws the tongue out past the baby's lower gum line. So, if they bite down "while" breastfeeding they would also be biting their tongue.
Babies often experiment with biting when they are at the end of a breastfeeding session. Pay close attention to your baby and when they are just lying in your arms and not actively breastfeeding, gently detach them before they start teething on your nipple. If they try to teethe or bite, you can firmly say "no" and/or set them down at the appropriate place with a teething toy to make the point that breastfeeding isn't a time to teethe. If your baby has clamped down on your nipple, bring their face into your breast, smooshing their nose to your breast so that they will let go of your nipple instead of pulling their clamped jaw away from your nipple, which can cause soreness or pain.
How can I deal with my leaking breasts?
Some women leak all the time and others never leak. Contrary to a popular myth, the amount you leak is not indicative of how much milk you have. And just because you leak a lot in the beginning, it does not mean that you will continue to leak at that same rate throughout your breastfeeding experience.
Some women leak less as their breastfeeding relationship goes on and as their bodies adjusts to making the amount of milk their babies needs. Other women continue to leak well into their breastfeeding journey. Whichever group you fall into, there are solutions! Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads are soft, discreet and highly absorbent. If you do not wish to wear nursing pads, you can also put gentle pressure with the inside of your forearms on to your nipples as this will help stop the leaking.
Why does my baby suddenly want to breastfeed constantly?
It is absolutely normal if your baby wants to nurse every couple of hours or even more frequently because breastmilk is easier to digest than formula. Babies will often increase their frequency of feedings (called "cluster feeding") because of a growth spurt, usually around six weeks and then again at three, six and nine months of age. Babies do not follow set rules when it comes to breastfeeding. In fact, breastfeeding is less a science and more of an art.
Babies can also "cluster feed" because they are getting ready to begin to sleep for longer periods of time and they may need many little meals in a row to help them have that long stretch of sleep. These very frequent feedings do not necessarily signal that this is going to be the new rule in how your baby breastfeeds because it could all change tomorrow. And, a baby that feeds very frequently or cluster feeds does not automatically signal that you do not have enough milk-sometimes babies want to have the extra feeds for the reasons we already mentioned and it is very normal.
Most often, as babies grow and their stomachs increase in size, the length between feeding sessions lengthens. There are no rules to breastfeeding, except to listen to your baby.
What is Mastitis?
Mastitis is the word used to describe an infected blocked milk duct. It is a condition that is quite uncomfortable for the nursing mother, but it does not need to signal the end of breastfeeding. You will likely have a hot red area on your breast at the site of the infection and have a fever.
If you do have mastitis, it is important to continue emptying the infected breast (and not neglecting the other side) by increasing the frequency of breastfeeding on that side or by pumping. Mastitis will not harm the baby, and the baby can be very helpful in relieving any fullness the mom may be experiencing. It is also important to call your doctor or healthcare provider as the standard method of treatment is to put the mother on antibiotics.
How do I donate my milk?
This is a wonderful act of giving for you to consider. Ideally, breastmilk comes from a baby's own mother. But if a baby has special needs, such as intolerance to formula, severe allergies, is failing to thrive on formula, is premature or has other health problems, he or she may need donated human milk not only for health, but also for survival. There are very specific steps one would take for donating their breastmilk and more information can be found at the Human Milk Bank Association of North America website.
What tips do you have to keep up milk supply after I go to work or school?
Keeping up one's milk supply is a common concern for a mom who is returning to work or school after maternity leave. In order to keep up your supply, it will be important for you to pump your milk regularly when you are apart so you can leave behind your expressed milk and keep up your supply.
There are several methods for expressing one's milk including hand expression or using a breast pump. If you are returning to work or school and will regularly be apart from your baby for hours at a time, it is important to use a high-quality and high-powered double electric breast pump like the Lansinoh Affinity Double Electric Breast Pump.
Many moms find it best to mimic the baby's feeding schedule when pumping. In order to express enough milk for you to leave for your baby and in order to maintain your milk supply, it is important to pump at least every 3-4 hours that you are away from your baby. Try not to go too long between pumping sessions as this can lead to discomfort from overfull breasts and a signal to your body that it does not need to make as much milk. Using a double electric pump allows a mom to pump both breasts at the same time, which can be important with a set amount of time for pumping.
When you and your baby are together, breastfeed as often as you can and provide lots of skin-to-skin time. Remember that the baby is most efficient at getting milk out of your breasts and "empty" breasts make more milk. If you are concerned at all about keeping up your supply, or you are experiencing a drop in your supply after you are back at work or school, don't forget that there are people who are available to help you. You can find a local International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or get in touch with a local La Leche League International Leader who can offer helpful tips in keeping up your supply.
Because milk making involves your brain, it is much easier to keep your milk supply up by feeding your baby from the breast as opposed to pumping. But once your body gets used to the pumping process, it will often adjust and you will be able to pump milk to leave when you and your baby are apart. Some moms find that thinking of their baby, looking at a picture of the baby or calling their childcare provider to check in can be very helpful in getting their milk to let down. You can also bring one of your baby's blankets as a reminder of your baby's sweet smell.
The Lansinoh family started over 25 years ago with a breastfeeding mom creating her own pure lanolin nipple cream when no other could be found. Today, their breastfeeding and baby supplies are still made by moms, for moms and they put thought, care and practicality into all of their products.
When moms choose to breastfeed, Lansinoh believe they should have the support and encouragement they need to experience all of its benefits, and ensure baby feels the same. They'll always take their mothers seriously and their needs personally, creating high-quality products moms want and can trust as they nurture their babies and develop a special bond only formed in motherhood.
That's the Lansinoh promise. They're always there for you at lansinoh.com