BREASTFEEDING BASICS If you are pregnant

If you are pregnant, then right now your body is ‘nesting’. It’s doing what it was meant to do: creating milk for your baby. Your newborn baby needs warmth, security, comfort and love. There are many people he/she can get these from, but only one that they want – You! You are the sight, sound, smell and touch that your little one has been sensing from the moment of creation. Once born, your baby will get all it needs from your breasts and skin to skin contact. And this is what your breasts were designed to provide.

From the beginning of time, people knew that babies were nourished (in every sense of the word) exclusively from their mothers. This can be seen from the fact that all mammals breastfeed their offspring. Recent generations have altered this view and have impaired the relationship between mothers and their newborns. With the introduction of man-made formula (around 1865 by Justus von Liebig ( and their corresponding marketing programs, women began to feel that their breasts provided inferior nutrition to what was being created in a lab. This alternative approach to newborn nutrition grew in popularity upon its inception and has thus remained stable during the last few generations. That is until recently, when adequate research began on the nutritional components of formula vs. breast milk.
While formula is an acceptable tool when used in the right context these are the key components of breastfeeding that every mother with a newborn should understand:
Latch: When a baby has its mouth properly aligned on your areola, and your nipple is towards the roof of their mouth, you have an optimal latch. A mouth full of breast tissue is what you are aiming for.
Transfer of Milk: When a baby is latched optimally, they will be able to transfer the milk efficiently by compressing your ducts, and in effect, will create more milk in your breasts. An empty breast makes milk, not a full one.
Positioning: When a baby is positioned properly in your arms, it will neither hurt your arms, nor your breast or nipple. There is no need for a breastfeeding pillow or any other accessory. Just you and your baby.
Breast milk contains every vital nutrient, vitamin and everything essential for a baby. Colostrum contains a powerful component that protects a baby’s gut from all the germs that a mother was exposed to. It is like a germ shield around your baby! Researchers are finding new components to breast milk regularly. Best part, it was tailor made by YOU for your baby! Talk about a 5 star restaurant!

For a comprehensive list of what is in formula and breast milk please go to:
Stay tuned to part 2 Labour and Delivery on my next article………………..


NIGHTTIME FEEDING You are tired. You are

You are tired. You are exhausted. All you want to do is sleep. But you can’t. Your baby is up a few times wanting to nurse. Should you sleep train or should you continue walking around with your shirt on backwards, your lipstick as eyeliner and your coffee as your total consumption of liquids for the day. You are not alone. You are feeling the same way every parent does around the world. Some feel this by week 4 and some by 1 year. I have some compelling information for you night feeding skeptics.

Most BF babies will wake to feed on a more frequent basis than a formula fed baby. This is because BM is more rapidly digested and absorbed into every part of your baby’s body, that they will need more milk. Formula is not broken down in the body so it takes longer to digest making a baby seem more satiated. Nursing a baby back to sleep helps with their hunger as well as their need for comfort and the knowledge that they are safe. IT’s like your initial communication that you are respecting your baby.
When you are feeding your baby at night, you are setting them up for an adequate amount of milk during the day. It’s like your factory works at night then goes on autopilot for the day. Some mom’s satisfy their sleep requirements by bed sharing. This way a baby can breastfeed on cue, but it is not as disruptive to the parents.
Prolactin, the hormone responsible for helping the alveolar cells in the breast to make breast milk, is released from the pituitary gland during letdown. Research has shown the level of prolactin in breast milk is higher during times of highest milk production and that the highest prolactin levels occur in the middle of the night. Conversely, prolactin levels in the breast are lowest when the breasts are the most engorged.1 This means that babies who are allowed to nurse on demand will nurse with the frequency in order to ensure the correct milk supply for its unique growing needs.
SIDS is a fear that every new parent has. When a baby is hungry, they will wake up. As we already discussed, a BF baby will wake more frequently as the milk is absorbed faster into their system. This may one of the reasons that a BF baby is at a considerably lower risk for SIDS. When a baby bedshares, the mother and baby are in a rhythm together. The mother is able to respond faster to the baby’s cues. This is the same for cosleeping3.
This post has been edited from its original form, which was posted at Breastfeeding Moms Unite!
1. The Breastfeeding Answer Book, La Leche League, 2003 ↩
2. Here are the co-sleeping guidelines from Attachment Parenting International.
3. Bedsharing refers to when mother and baby share the same surface. Cosleeping refers to when a baby is in a bassinet, crib or other surface that is adjacent or next to mothers bed



I worked with a mom over the course of 12 days with her newborn identical twins. It began 12hr’s post birth. This couple was amazing. So eager to learn anything they possibly can so that they can have their twins exclusively breastfed. Their previous child was born with such a severe tongue tie and it was not addressed early enough, so breastfeeding was not possible. She was so dedicated that she pumped for 5 months with her first. With the twins, it was all about learning latch mechanics as well as positioning and understanding the difference between when the babies were drinking vs. sucking.
One of the baby’s was having more difficulty than the other in latching. Mom was so patient and accepting of her challenges. I met with them 6 times and spoke and texted countless times. After much dedication they were breastfeeding exclusively. She learned how to tandem nurse them and became more at ease.



There is a lot of research out there regarding what is in breast milk vs. what is in formula. One thing the formula companies have not been able to replicate is tryptophan.
On there is one particular study ( discussing that breastfeeding mothers actually got 40-45min. more sleep per night than a formula fed mother. Sleep was measured objectively by using wrist actigraphy and subjectively using diaries. Lee’s General Sleep Disturbance Scale was used to estimate perceived sleep disturbance. I believe one of the reasons for this is that the time it takes to prepare formula, warm a bottle etc. takes more time and energy then offering the breast.
A baby isn’t born with its circadian rhythms. This can take months to develop. In the meantime, the tryptophan and melatonin that is naturally occurring in breast milk will help ease things along. You may be wondering why then your breastfed baby wakes more than a formula fed baby? Well breast milk is easily digested and absorbed into a baby’s gut. Therefore they may appear hungrier faster. In contrast, formula is like a massive steak and potatoes meal that weights you down and makes you tired. It may not be so healthy to do that on a regular basis.
Another beautiful thing about tryptophan is that it’s the primary component of serotonin. Serotonin is helpful in improving memory; prevent brain disorders as well as sleeping and relaxation issues. If sleep and relaxation is affected, it can lead to depression (
Still not convinced? Breast milk composition changes throughout the day. It is higher in tryptophan in the evening than during the day. A recent study had mothers who exclusively pumped and stored their breast milk mark down the date and time they pumped. When they were feeding their babies at night, they only fed the milk pumped after 6pm. Formula fed mothers gave their babies only special ‘night time’ formula including some additives. The research showed that evening breast milk made babies sleepier ( This study also found that if you were to give your baby night time milk during the day, the baby will most likely turn it into serotonin which will in turn change into melatonin.
Breast milk is an amazing thing. Scientists continue to discover new properties with every new study. If you would like to know what the composition of breast milk vs formula is, please check out this site . It’s amazing.


Breastfeeding is different for everybody

Breastfeeding is different for everybody. It’s a love and passion for some, and for others it’s a means of good nutrition for their baby. Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be all or nothing. For those who are dedicated, to breastfeeding exclusively, I commend you. It’s a difficult balance between family, self-care and baby care. So many times we get opinions and even judgments from those around us. What is most important is to remain strong and true to your beliefs and desires. If you and your partner have agreed to exclusively breastfeed or breast milk feed, or supplement with formula your baby than it is important that you are prepared for what you are going to tell people. Everybody has an opinion. And often people express those opinions. And more often than not, it’s those that are closest to us. Have you heard yet:
“Aren’t you going to give a bottle? You know it’s nice for the baby’s father to help to you know”
“ How do you know how much he’s getting? Don’t you think he should have some formula?”
“She’s crying all the time. Maybe you don’t have enough milk”
People have good intentions when they offer their opinions; however that path paved with good intentions can put doubt in a new mom’s mind. It’s YOUR breastfeeding relationship. Not somebody else’s. Some great reply’s to comments are:
“Her father really loves to give her a bath. It’s their special bonding time” or “Her father is amazing and singing and rocking her to sleep. That’s their special time”
“I know he’s getting what he needs because he’s relaxed after he’s finished”
“She’s crying because she’s having a growth spurt” “She’s crying because she’s tired” “She’s crying because she’s wants to be cuddled”
Remember, it’s about what is best for you and baby. You were given a special ability that nobody else has. The ability to know right from wrong and what is best for your baby.


I recently watched a webinar on the pump

I recently watched a webinar on the pumping culture. Where woman spend their days pumping and exclusively giving their baby’s pumped BM. It has become a culture. They are selling bras that you can stick the pump flanges through so you don’t have to hold the pump. I even saw and advertisement with a mom hands free pumping while playing with her baby on the floor. Why not play with her baby while BF? When did this become normal? When did the culture change? Can women be seen as beautiful and nurturing while holding their nursling? What happens if issues are addressed right away upon birth and exclusivity rates went up? Do women pump exclusively for convenience? So they can work? Fear if embarrassment of public feeding? So their husband or partner can share that responsibility? I take it to social media. I want to hear from YOU. If you were given the choice, would you exclusively BF? Would you exclusively pump? What would you do and why.

It is my sense that marketing and media has changed the face of BF and formula. They are saying that BM is best but it doesn’t matter if it comes from the source or a bottle. But that’s not true. Facial structure of a BF baby is vastly different than that of a bottle (formula or BM) fed baby. Obesity rates of a bottle fed baby are different (formula or BM). The stigma is different too. But what’s most important? Health or what others think? I’m not saying bottle feeding is wrong. People have to work, they have premier baby’s that cannot suckle. They have received such bad Lactation support that their nipple has been destroyed. All reasons a woman chooses to bottle feed. But what about the woman that doesn’t have the above issues? What about the woman who has been pressured by society and those closest to her?

I look forward to hearing from you. Enlightening me so that I am more sensitive with my dealings of moms as a Lactation Counsellor and LLLL.




Water Carbohydrates
Corn maltodextrin Protein
Partially hydrolyzed reduced minerals whey protein concentrate (from cow’s milk) Fats
Palm olein
Soybean oil
Coconut oil
High oleic safflower oil (or sunflower oil) M. alpina oil (Fungal DHA)
C.cohnii oil (Algal ARA) Minerals
Potassium citrate Potassium phosphate Calcium chloride Tricalcium phosphate Sodium citrate Magnesium chloride Ferrous sulphate
Zinc sulphate Sodium chloride Copper sulphate Potassium iodide Manganese sulphate Sodium selenate
Sodium ascorbate Inositol
Choline bitartrate Alpha-Tocopheryl acetate Niacinamide
Calcium pantothenate Riboflavin
Vitamin A acetate Pyridoxine hydrochloride Thiamine mononitrate Folic acid
Vitamin D3
Vitamin B12
Enzyme Trypsin
Amino acid Taurine
L-Carnitine (a combination of two different amino acids) Nucleotides
Cytidine 5-monophosphate
Disodium uridine 5-monophosphate Adenosine 5-monophosphate Disodium guanosine 5-monophosphate
Soy Lecithin


Carbohydrates (energy source)
Oligosaccharides (see below) Carboxylic acid
Alpha hydroxy acid Lactic acid
Proteins (building muscles and bones) Whey protein
HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumour cells)
Many antimicrobial factors (see below) Casein
Serum albumin Non-protein nitrogens
Uric acid
Peptides (see below)
Amino Acids (the building blocks of proteins)
Alanine Arginine Aspartate Clycine Cystine Glutamate Histidine Isoleucine Leucine Lycine Methionine Phenylalanine Proline
Carnitine (amino acid compound necessary to make use of fatty acids as an energy source)
Nucleotides (chemical compounds that are the structural units of RNA and DNA) 5’-Adenosine monophosphate (5”-AMP)
3’:5’-Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (3’:5’-cyclic AMP)
5’-Cytidine monophosphate (5’-CMP)
Cytidine diphosphate choline (CDP choline) Guanosine diphosphate (UDP)
Guanosine diphosphate – mannose
3’- Uridine monophosphate (3’-UMP) 5’-Uridine monophosphate (5’-UMP) Uridine diphosphate (UDP)
Uridine diphosphate hexose (UDPH)
Uridine diphosphate-N-acetyl-hexosamine (UDPAH) Uridine diphosphoglucuronic acid (UDPGA)
Several more novel nucleotides of the UDP type
Fats Triglycerides
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (important for brain development) Arachidonic acid (AHA) (important for brain development) Linoleic acid
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Conjugated linoleic acid (Rumenic acid)
Free Fatty Acids Monounsaturated fatty acids
Oleic acid Palmitoleic acid Heptadecenoic acid
Saturated fatty acids Stearic
Palmitic acid Lauric acid Myristic acid
Phosphatidylcholine Phosphatidylethanolamine Phosphatidylinositol Lysophosphatidylcholine Lysophosphatidylethanolamine Plasmalogens
Sphingolipids Sphingomyelin
Gangliosides GM1 GM2 GM3
Glucosylceramide Glycosphingolipids Galactosylceramide Lactosylceramide Globotriaosylceramide (GB3) Globoside (GB4)
Sterols Squalene
Lanosterol Dimethylsterol Methosterol
Lathosterol Desmosterol Triacylglycerol Cholesterol 7-dehydrocholesterol Stigma-and campesterol 7-ketocholesterol Sitosterol
Vitamin D metabolites Steroid hormones
Vitamins Vitamin A
Beta carotene Vitamin B6
Vitamin B8 (Inositol) Vitamin B12 Vitamin C
Vitamin D Vitamin E
a-Tocopherol Vitamin K
Thiamine Riboflavin Niacin
Folic acid Pantothenic acid Biotin
Minerals Calcium
Sodium Potassium Iron
Zinc Chloride Phosphorus Magnesium Copper Manganese Iodine Selenium Choline Sulpher Chromium Cobalt Fluorine Nickel
Molybdenum (essential element in many enzymes)
Growth Factors (aid in the maturation of the intestinal lining) Cytokines
interleukin-1β (IL-1β) IL-2
IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10
Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) Macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF)
Platelet derived growth factors (PDGF)
Vascular endothelial growth…