The ‘Lazy’ Feeder

Every baby’s feeding duration/frequency/length of baby’s feeds is different and there are many variations of normal.  Many baby’s are described as ‘lazy feeders’ – when this is associated with unmanageable (sleepy/long/frequent) feeding or slow weight gain, it’s well worth looking into. There are many reasons why a baby’s feeding pattern may appear to be lazy.  The reasons are many and varied, but they all need a very thorough assessment by someone who has the time to take a full history and WATCH a full feed – from start to finish even if it takes an hour.  As an LC, this is what I do.  I listen to the mum and what she is seeing and feeling, I look at the baby and the pattern of weight gain, I listen and assess for swallowing and watch for tiny clues to tell me what is going on. When I’m assessing a mum and her bubba who is ‘lazy’, here’s some of the things I consider Is there a medical condition which is making this bubba lethargic – this could be severe jaundice or under-nutrition, a cardiac condition etc.  If this is a possibility, it’s time to seek medical attention while putting in a plan to support feeding Is this bubba having short feeds because he is getting a lot of milk in a short amount of time Is this bubba waiting patiently for his mum’s let-down which is inhibited – such as those effected by breast reduction Is this bubba premature and just not strong enough to do full breastfeeding yet Is this bubba falling asleep at the breast and taking a long time to feed because the milk is flowing really slowly or supply is low The lazy feeder is fine if mum and bub are happy, healthy and bubba is gaining weight – if this isn’t the case, they need to be assessed properly and a close eye kept on them. If you are concerned about your baby’s feeding, pattern of weight gain or finding breastfeeding unmanageable, please consider a consultation for a thorough assessment.     Photo...
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Breast Refusal

When a baby refuses to go to the breast or goes to the breast very briefly before coming off crying it can be a very distressing time for everyone.  They may refuse one or both breasts. There can be many underlying reasons why a baby does not want to go to the breast.  Some of them are – Milk flow – too fast or too slow Milk supply – over supply or low supply Physical issues with baby or mum Difficulties attaching Baby is unwell Introduction of a bottle Baby is becoming distracted (often around 4 months) Hormonal changes with the mother Lots of other reasons No matter what the cause of breast refusal, it can be a challenging time.  If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to try to find a cause for the breast refusal and correct it if possible.  For most babies, this is a temporary stage that they can move through with help.  In the meantime, supporting  your supply and making sure your baby is getting adequate nutrition will be a very high priority.  Accessing professional support and information to help you through a time like this can be invaluable.  There are many strategies to help overcome this situation, so if you want to discuss your issues with breast refusal or arrange a consultation, please contact me.   Image by Louisa...
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My Facebook Page

As an LC, I try to keep in sync with expectant and new parents, and what they need from my services.  During a consultation I often need to convey large amounts of information.  It can be very daunting for new parents to take all this in.  For this reason, I set up an easily accessible platform for this information – a facebook page to provide my clients (and anyone interested) with some information on breastfeeding and gentle parenting.  The aim of the page is to give people evidence-base information on infant sleep breastfeeding information expressing tips breastmilk science supportive organisations and services resources which may be helpful to a breastfeeding mother, her baby and family This page is much broader than my website, so please feel free to have a look around the page, comment and ‘like’ the page if it appeals to you.  Look for me under ‘Stacey Revie – Lactation Consultant’...
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Weaning?

Weaning can be a joyous celebration of an amazing breastfeeding achievement for some and for others it can be a time of great distress and emotional turmoil.  There are lots of factors which influence how you feel about weaning.  One of them is what breastfeeding goals you set yourself.  If you’ve reached those goals – whether it’s to feed for 3 weeks or just to enjoy breastfeeding – will have a big influence on how you feel about weaning. Technically, weaning is the introduction of anything other than breastmilk into a baby’s diet.  This may be when you start solids or start to introduce a breastmilk substitute.  Most people understand weaning as the process of stopping breastfeeding. The decision to wean may be initiated by the baby, the mother or a mixture of the two.  If the baby is less than 12 months old and seems to be weaning, it may be that s/he is going through a period of breast refusal.  This can be a very distressing time for both the breastfeeding mother and her baby.  There are many techniques which can be used to encourage a baby to go back to breastfeeding, and support your supply in the meantime. If the baby is older than 12 months and starts the weaning process themselves, it may come as a shock to the mother and she may be distressed that her baby has initiated weaning before she is ready.  During these times, it can be helpful to discuss breastfeeding goals and strategies, to either support the weaning process or ways to encourage the baby back to the breast. If the mother is initiating weaning her baby, for whatever reason or age, it can be helpful to discuss the likely progress of this process and ways to reduce the risks both to your baby and to the mother.  A slow and gentle process can help the baby to adjust to the lack of breastmilk and let the mother’s supply dwindle naturally.  Very rarely, there is an immediate need to wean the baby off the breast, and in these cases much management may be needed to help the transition. In all cases of weaning – if you’re not ready to wean, but feel unable to continue – getting the right information and support can often help you to overcome the hurdle and continue to breastfeed until you feel the time to wean is right for both of you.  Please...
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Asthma and Breastfeeding

There has been much discussion in the last few years about the link between exclusive breastfeeding and asthma prevention.  Here’s an article from ScienceDaily.com discussing research supporting the view that exclusive breastfeeding duration reduces asthma-related symptoms in children. Breastfeeding May Prevent Asthma, Research Suggests ScienceDaily (July 22, 2011) — Feeding a baby on only breast milk and for up to 6 months after birth can reduce their risk of developing asthma-related symptoms in early childhood, according to new research.   The study, which is published online July 21, 2011 in the European Respiratory Journal, looked at the impact of the duration of breastfeeding and the introduction of alternative liquids or solids in addition to breast milk. The researchers, from the Generation R Study, Erasmus Medical Center in The Netherlands, used questionnaires to gather data from over 5,000 children. They ascertained in the first 12 months after birth whether the children had ever been breastfed, when breastfeeding was stopped, and whether any other milk or solids were introduced. Further questionnaires were completed when the children were aged 1, 2, 3 and 4 years to check whether they had any asthma-related symptoms. The results showed that children who had never been breastfed had an increased risk of wheezing, shortness of breath, dry cough and persistent phlegm during their first 4 years, compared to children who were breastfed for more than 6 months. The strongest links were seen with wheezing and persistent phlegm, as children were 1.4 and 1.5 times more likely to develop these symptoms if they had never been breastfed. Children who were fed other milk or solids during their first 4 months in addition to breast milk had an increased risk of wheezing, shortness of breath, dry cough and persistent phlegm during the first 4 years, compared to children who were exclusively breastfed for their first 4 months. While previous studies have shown a similar effect between breastfeeding and asthma risk, this research is the first that showed a link between the length of breastfeeding and the number of wheezing episodes. Also, this study found evidence that the first asthma-related symptoms occur earlier in life if children were breastfed for shorter lengths of time or not exclusively. Dr Agnes Sonnenschein-van der Voort, researcher at Generation R and lead author from the Erasmus Medical Center in The Netherlands, said: “The link of duration and exclusiveness of breastfeeding with asthma-related symptoms during the first...
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A Mother’s Testimonial

Here’s a testimonial that I received from a lovely mum I worked with. “I contacted Stacey after a recommendation by a relative, and my baby and I are very thankful to have utilised her services.  At 6 weeks of age my baby began crying constantly and not sleeping.  My husband and I were at the end of our tether not completely understanding why.  Stacey was quick to realise the problem had been not enough food as I had been advised to feed on one breast every 3 hours due to an oversupply of foremilk that was causing baby very painful wind.  She helped me to get back to recognising my baby’s needs rather than a set routine that obviously was not working.  I instantly had a contented baby and although looking back on it now it would have made sense to see I had a hungry baby – sticking to the advice I was given, attending to a very distressed baby and sleep deprivation had really clouded my judgment.   Stacey also reassured me my baby was getting plenty of milk after assessing a feed.  Soon after increasing the feeds, offering both breasts and relaxing with the ‘routines’ that I had read so much about in books, I had a much more relaxed baby who began sleeping through the night when she was 7 weeks old.  As Stacey had suggested she would find her own sleeping pattern with time and she did.  Stacey also helped me work out a plan for returning to work that was excellent and put my mind at ease that it is possible to carry on with breastfeeding while working.   I thank Stacey for the way she was compassionate and understanding through the whole consultation.  Stacey was also very in tune with the demands and guilt that mothers feel and was very proactive in recognising and helping deal with my emotional health issues.   Her follow-up emails were a great support.  As breastfeeding comes with many challenges and ongoing changes as baby develops I would recommend Stacey’s lactation services to any breastfeeding mum who find themselves confused by all of the advice out there that isn’t working for them.” Danielle F For more testimonials from mums, please check out my testimonials...
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