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Do my breasts need time to “refill” after a feeding?

Here’s a question from Carly in Huntsville, ON:

Q: I’m expecting my first baby soon. I’ve heard that in order to increase your milk production, you should wait at least 3 hours after you empty the breasts at a feeding to feed your baby again to allow the milk to fill up again. Is this true?

A: Good question, Carly, but this isn’t actually the case. Research shows that since milk is being produced at all times, the breast is never actually empty. In fact most babies remove an average of 75-80% of milk at a feeding, so there is always milk remaining in the breast after a feeding.

The strategy of waiting a set amount of time to nurse your baby (under the mistaken belief that the breasts need time to “refill”) will be counterproductive to your goal to increase your milk supply. This is because milk production slows down when milk accumulates in the breast. So, the best strategy is to feed your baby frequently, thus emptying the breasts as much as possible, especially in the early days. Newborns will often “cluster feed” which means that for a period of a few hours a day they will feed almost continuously, and this is very helpful in increasing your milk supply.

Nancy Lahn RN
Deveoper of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2015-04-28 13:13:10.

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Baby Spitting Up

Here’s a question from Marian in Waterloo, ON:

Q:  My three-week-old breastfeeding baby spits up a bit of milk after just about every feeding.   Anything I can do about this?

A:  Spitting up, or reflux, is a very common problem in new babies – in fact, about half of babies have this problem to some degree.  What’s happening is that the muscular valve between the esophagus and the stomach is maturing and doesn’t always function properly, allowing the stomach contents to come back up.  Burping the baby when he finishes on each breast can help, as well as feeding in a more upright position.  If you’re using the cradle hold, position the part of your Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow that is supporting his head on top of the arm of your chair and tuck the other end under the arm under the chair arm, so his head is elevated.  You can also nurse in the laid back position, supporting your head and shoulders with your Cozy Cuddles pillow and positioning your baby on your chest elevates his head so that gravity will help him.  Also, don’t lay the baby down for 30 minutes after feeding – propping using your Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow can be helpful.

Originally posted 2017-03-14 17:02:10.

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Engorgement – hot or cold compresses?

Here’s a question from Ruth in North York, ON:

Q: I have a question – hope you can help! I just had my second baby three days ago – and I’m so uncomfortable with engorgement! It started yesterday, and my friend told me to put warm towels on my breasts and to pump to relieve the discomfort. Another friend told me today to use cold compresses. Who is right?

A: Well, Ruth, both friends ‘ advice can be helpful, when used at the right time. Engorgement is a very normal experience for new mothers – often on Day 2 or 3, or as late as Day 5, many nursing mothers feel a real difference in their breasts. Hormonal changes cause blood to rush to the area as the mature milk begins to replace the colostrum, and blood and lymph fluid causes swelling of the breast tissue. The best strategy to relieve your discomfort – your baby! Nurse frequently, every two hours or more often, so the baby can regulate the “supply and demand”. While I don’t recommend pumping in the first 6 weeks unless your baby is unable to nurse effectively (or your lactation consultant has advised this for a reason unique to your case), it can be helpful to hand- express some milk to soften the areola and make it easier for the baby to latch onto very swollen breasts. Excessive pumping or hand expression can actually make engorgement worse by encouraging increased milk production.

As for compresses, it can be helpful to apply cold compresses between feedings (try 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off and repeating this). My mother’s method was to wet a tea towel, wring it out, fold it in thirds length-wise and place it in the freezer. Applying the frozen tea towel across the breasts and under the arms felt wonderful and helped to ease the discomfort. A bag of frozen peas, wrapped in a towel, applied to each breast also works well, or the midwife’s trick of a leaf of green cabbage inside each bra cup. The tannic acid in the cabbage helps to reduce the swelling. Using the cabbage a couple of times a day is best, and it should be discontinued as soon as engorgement starts to ease, as some say that excessive use of cabbage can lower the milk supply. Warm compresses should be applied for a few minutes just before a feeding – a warm, moist washcloth works well. This will help the milk start to flow at feeding time but will not reduce swelling – in fact, if used between feedings warm compresses have the effect of increasing swelling.

Be patient, Ruth – engorgement usually lasts only about 48 hours! However, if it is not reduced using these methods, or is worse, or if you have a fever of greater than 100.5 degrees F, I recommend that you consult your Lactation Consultant or physician.

Nancy Lahn RN
Owner, Cozy Cuddles Baby Products
Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2017-02-01 12:48:20.

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Shipping Rates to Rise Slightly Nov 1, 2017

We’ve held off as long as we could, but with the increased cost of fuel being passed on by our delivery agents, we’re afraid we have to raise the shipping rates to cover our increased costs.

Therefore, effective November 1st, 2017 the new shipping rates will be:

  • Within Ontario
    • $7.00 per pillow, or pillow and cover set (previously $5)
    • $5.00 per blanket or nursing cover (previously $4)
    • $3.00 per extra pillow cover (remains the same)
  • Within Canada, but excluding Ontario
    • $14.00 per pillow, or pillow and cover set (previously $12)
    • $10.00 per blanket or nursing cover (previously $9)
    • $4.00 per extra pillow cover (previously $3)
  • Within mainland USA (no change)
    • $28.00 per pillow, or pillow and cover set
    • $23.00 per blanket or nursing cover
    • $8.00 per extra pillow cover

We apologize for these increases, but hope that you’ll still spread the word at Cozy Cuddles.