After a couple of months of breastfeeding, you are going to want to store your breast milk for your baby. Whether you are going back to work or you simply want to have some time of rest, pumping is your answer. Pumping milk is not all easy. I’m sure you will have many questions about it. One of the most common questions is “How much milk should I be pumping?”
How much milk to pump depends on how long you’ll be away from your baby. When you are going back to work, you will have less time to nurse the baby. Even then, you can still give him what he needs. If you are away from your baby for a whole day, make sure you have enough supply to feed your baby.
You can pump milk as early as a week before you are expected to be away. That way, you can prepare and gauge how long it takes to fill a bottle.
Exclusive breastfeeding means that the child is not taking in anything other than breastmilk. This affects how much breast milk is pumped because the mother who is exclusively breastfeeding produces more than those who are giving formula.
A mother who is only breastfeeding can expect to yield about 45 to 60mL if she is pumping between regular feedings. If she pumps after a missed feeding, she can expect to pump a full feeding which is about 90-120mL.
Although you can pump more milk and store it, you also need to remember that it's still best to give fresh milk. Refrigeration or freezing can preserve the milk and keep it edible for a period. However, research says that the longer your store milk in refrigerator or freezer, the greater the loss of vitamin C.
Expressed milk is another name for collected breast milk. You can express milk in different ways: hand expression, manual pump, or electric breast pump. To help you choose, let's go over the typical pros and cons.
This method might take some getting used to, but it’s convenient and needs less preparation. This method is the cheapest because you will only need a clean container to catch and store the milk. It also saves you the time from sterilizing pumping equipment.
With a manual pump, the suction is more consistent. It’s cheaper than an electric pump, it quiet and it’s more compact for taking around. It might be difficult to get a pumping rhythm and making a rhythm will tire your hands.
An electric pump is ideal if you’re going to pump regularly. It’s faster but more expensive. It will require more preparation than the other methods but the rhythm of pumping is more consistent. While you're pumping, you have the freedom to do something else because your hands will be free.
You can do your research and that will help you. But you should know that testing the methods is the best way to find out which way is perfect for you. Reviews are subjective. A manual pump might be more comfortable than an electric pump, but it could be different for another mother. In the end, your comfort and preference are what matters. It will take some time of getting used to so give your choice a chance as well.
If exclusive breastfeeding is going well the first couple of weeks, your milk production will dramatically increase. But using a pump is different than having the baby suck the milk out.
Expect small amounts in the first couple of pumps. Your yield will gradually increase as time goes on and the more you get used to it. Even with good milk production and a good pump, you might find pumping tricky. It takes some time to be proficient at pumping so don’t be too hard on yourself.
Do not gauge how much you pumped with how much you produce. The “down flow” of milk might not be the same. When you are pumping, it might help to think of your baby. When you hear your child cry, milk naturally lets down. So when you are away at work or elsewhere, imagining you baby when you are pumping might be helpful.
You can store breastmilk in a clean glass bottle or safe plastic bottles with tight lids. As soon as you finished pumping, store it in batches that are ready for feeding. Remember to store in a way that won't go to waste. Since you cannot refreeze breast milk after you have thawed it, make sure that you feed what you thaw. You also need to know how to scald breast milk to make it last longer.
Refrigerated breast milk is good for as long as five to eight days. Frozen milk is good for three to six months. To guide you, label your containers with the date of collection. Use the dates to guide you as to which batch to feed first or last.
Ideally, you should be exclusively breastfeeding your baby from birth to about six months. The breastmilk contains the essential nutrients your baby needs for optimal growth, health and development.
Breastfeeding will benefit you and your child's health while offering an opportunity for the both of you to bond. Latching your child on your breast to feed is more ideal than a bottle of expressed milk.
However, the choice is still yours. It’s your preference that matters. Just remember that there is no shame in breastfeeding in public. If you are shy, you can use nursing covers to breastfeed in public. Before you start pumping, consult your doctor.
Let me guess:
You’ve checked different sites about reasons your newborn sleeps with mouth open, and you saw the same reason: mouth breathing.
And when these sites say mouth breathing, the usual reason that follows is clogged nose.
However, you are certain that your baby’s nose is not clogged at all. You’ve checked it and cleaned it. You also made sure the temperature and humidity are optimal. Hence, you are confident it is not clogged nose, so she’s not mouth breathing.
But why does she still sleep with mouth open?
Not all airways problems are about colds and stuffy noses. Hence, if your little one has no colds whatsoever, there could be a deeper issue.
Registered dental hygienist Sarah Hornsby says it could be asthma, enlarged tonsils, deviated septum, and other concerns affecting the airways.
How do you know the airways are affected?
The normal breath rate for babies is 60 breaths per minute. Beyond that, along with the problem signs listed below, your baby could be having any of the listed issue above. According to WebMD, these are the signs:
Talk to your doctor about it. If she’s having cyanosis, take her to the nearest hospital.
The babies I know--including mine--suck their finger a lot. That’s not something to be worried about, but Hornsby says overtime, “the oral and facial muscles will develop around this habit.”
Thus, even though your baby no longer does it, your newborn may still sleep with mouth open.
This medical condition is about not just the speech difficulty but also the restricted lingual frenulum. Others call it the tethered tongue.
This condition generally restricts the tongue’s movement because the lingual frenulum (a tight band of tissue) attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth.
About 3% of children are affected by this say researchers William V. Stenberg Jr. And Alexander Alcaraz. Generally, this is nothing to worry about, but if it affects feeding, talk to your doctor about it.
Yes. There are risks if you let your newborn sleep with mouth open. More often than not, you baby will be mouth breathing when her mouth is open, and that’s not a good practice.
Dr. Artour Rakhimov, an alternative health educator enumerates the following reasons mouth breathing should not be encouraged:
It’s not only Dr. Rakhimov that discourages mouth breathing. Several studies concluded that mouth breathing is indeed not beneficial.Aside from the fact that it promotes drooling and snoring, it may also lead to nasal obstruction, nocturnal sleep problems, and irritability during the day concludes one study.
Each case of newborn sleeping with mouth open needs a different approach, but here are some experts’ suggestions:
If you suspect an airway obstruction, talk to your doctor about it.
If your baby is having a hard time breathing, checked via the breathing rate and/or turning blue, call 911.
If she has a tied tongue, and she’s not feeding properly, ask your doctor for the best solution.
If the above points do not apply, start with monitoring your child for open mouth resting posture. Check if it happens only at night or during the day as well. If it’s only at night, it could be an indication of some illness such as allergies or asthma.
Close your baby’s mouth whenever you can. Co-sleeping will be very helpful in this case.
If she keeps on opening it, ask a myofunctional therapist what can be done. Myofunctional therapy is what sleep specialists use to improve breathing problems during sleep.
Before you chalk it all up to breathing problems, though, it’s good to know your newborn’s breathing patterns.
According to Healthline, here are what’s normal:
Newborns may create noise while breathing too, so be sure to understand what each of them means. Healthline enumerates the following:
When newborn sleeps with mouth open, it’s not only because of mucus due to common cold. There could be other underlying, not to mention more serious, problems such as asthma, enlarged tonsils, or deviated septum.
Whatever the cause is, sleeping with mouth open is not a good practice for both children and adults. Hence, you should ask your doctor how to correct it as early as now.
So one of my readers asked me what I think about a baby sleeping in swing overnight because it’s the only place where she can sleep soundly.
She said, let’s call her Tiffany, she got this awesome swing as a gift for her baby, and the little one loves it. She falls asleep in it quickly--ten minutes tops--and soundly too.
Tiffany also mentioned that she tried bassinets, a co-sleeper, cribs, driving around the block, but all these would take about an hour to put her to sleep. And it’s not only that.
She gets startled easily, and when she wakes up, it’s back to square one all over again. With the swing, however, it’s different.
More and more moms are asking whether the old wives’ tale that says beer increases milk supply is correct. The answer is yes and no.
It turns out that drinking beer is like a two-edged sword. The beer that your grandmother used to drink a few centuries ago is not the same factory-made beer that you can buy nowadays.
In the past, a beer concoction is made by hand, but now, it is mass-made in a facility somewhere offsite. The quality of beers nowadays has more alcohol and less flavor and even lesser grains. They do not compare to the older craft beers, they won’t function just as good.
Our little one’s sleep pattern changes as she grows up, but it’s necessary to know when exactly the changes occur so we know how to adjust.
I remember not knowing the answer to when do babies go to one nap; hence, when my kids started giving up their nap times, I panicked.
I didn’t know that by a certain age, they eat and sleep less because they become more active, and it’s exactly what their body needs to develop.
And because I don’t want you to be anxious like me, I gathered some tips from three experts, outlined below.
Would you believe there is no exact answer to this very important question? If you are panicky like me (and this is according to my husband, BTW), you were probably anxious whenever your baby would sleep for a looooong time.
When my daughter was an infant, I remember I would check on her very often because I would be done with several chores and she would still be asleep. I would also repeatedly ask my husband if the baby was still breathing. (He would roll his eyes at me, but he would still check, though).
When my baby was little, she had episodes of fussiness at night, so one of my friends suggested chamomile tea for babies because she thinks it was colic that’s causing all the crying.
I did not buy the idea right away (even though she is my trusted friend) because I want to make sure I’m not harming my little one in any way.
Instead, I did what I do best: research.
After researching, I asked my daughter’s pediatrician about it, so I’m sharing with you what I learned.
I was hanging out with my friend Melissa the other day when we came across the question “Can babies eat mushrooms?”
We were talking about food for our babies, that’s why. Her three-year old is starting to be a picky eater, so she wants to know how she can encourage her to eat more healthful foods.
We enumerated all the fruits and vegetables we know and the dishes we can prepare with them as the main ingredients. Since my daughter is big now, I pretty much had more to suggest. But, surprisingly, I had no answer to the question.
So I did what I do best--consult Google!
Here’s the surprising truth about it.
Gas pain is quite common and is the likely culprit if a baby is constantly crying and in distress. While it is a usual occurrence, there might be some days when your little one can cry inconsolably for hours. So how do you usually relieve gas in babies?
As a parent, let me share with you some insights to identify signs of gas pain and tips on how to sooth your baby when it happens.
It is natural for a baby to pass gas, they may even do it loudly. This is because babies’ gut is still in formative stage during the first months after birth. It is also the reason why they fart a lots. Here is some solutions:
Burping releases the excess pressure and air out of baby’s body.
The popular method is to hold baby upright. Have a wash cloth ready at you shoulder and position him facing you, with his mouth touching your shoulder. Gently massage baby’s back until you hear a burping sound.
You may also burp him through a seated position. Sit him on your lap and gently rub his abdomen and back.
You need to help him burp at the middle and after feeding. If baby has not burp right after feeding, lay him down for about 5 minutes and try burping him again.
Never allow baby to lie down flatly during feeding. Incline him through a pillow or a folded towel.
Check the feeding bottle to ensure that air has not accumulated at the nipple area. A few baby bottle brands has a build-in design to prevent air from mixing with the milk. Invest for a bottle or two that can do the trick, a little extra dollar is worth it.
Gently massage baby’s tummy to help lodged gas and pressure to exit his abdomen. A good massage can immediately release baby’s gas, through a fart or two.
Experiment with various gentle massage techniques, you will later see what is most effective for your little one. You may use a little baby oil to warm baby’s tummy, especially if the weather is chilly.
A warm towel placed on baby’s lower tummy will ease cramps, similar to how we are relieved by a warm compress during our menstrual periods.
You may also do it by rolling a warm water bottle atop baby’s belly. A heat pack or warm rice sock will be just as effective. Try to immerse baby in a warm bath to ease his discomfort. Baby will welcome the warmth, it will also help him to sleep.
Tighter swaddling will also help to deliver more pressure to baby’s tummy while warming him in the process. Take care to do any of these suggestions gently and watch baby for any signs of discomfort.
Babies experience more colic episodes when they are not spending enough time on their bellies. This happen if baby is seated or lying on his back the whole day.
To ease pain, some pressure brought about by lying or crawling (if he is ready) will help to push the extra air out. Stroke baby’s back while he is lying on his stomach to facilitate expel of gas.
This will also help him to relax. Remember to do tummy time at least 20 minutes after he is done with his milk, not before or immediately after feeding.
There is nothing wrong with allowing baby to lie on his tummy for hours at the crib. It might be the most comfortable position for baby so just let him be. Just be sure that there is no loose threads or large toys that can potentially suffocate or choke him.
There are some oils available at the drug store specifically indicated for abdomen massage. They relieve gas and pain brought about by diarrhea, colic and indigestion.
If you are using them on your baby for the first time, as your doctor for a go signal. Some oils might look harmless but they can be too potent for your baby’s skin.
Child-rearing takes lots of practice and patience. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of gas pain to be able to apply the correct soothing techniques.
The best way prevent gas pain is to put your baby to sleep in a quiet bedroom, with comfortable temperature and no distractions. The first months of baby’s life is the stage when he is most likely to be gassy or colicky.
Your baby needs your care and attention since the best that he can do to communicate is to cry. Give him all the rest and pampering that he need during this time. Be calm, this is just a phase.
So despite messy shirts and sleepless night, this is still a memorable time. Before your know it, your child has already grown right before your eyes.
Hiccup isn’t serious. But it is something to be understood so that we may ease baby’s discomfort. What causes this and how to relieve infant hiccups?
Moms are perplexed with baby hiccups, because they usually appear and disappear out of the blue. Baby may even start his first hiccups while still inside mom’s womb!
Hiccups is a condition that happens due to sudden contractions or spasms of the diaphragm, the muscle over the stomach and underneath the lungs. But usual as it may seem, when it happens regularly and on extended time, it can get worrying.
Hiccups is happens more commonly to babies. The hiccuping episodes tend to lessen as they grow, though adults can still hiccup from time to time.
Hiccups usually occur after eating. It can be due to an irritated diaphragm and a full stomach due to both food and air intake. It sometimes happens when baby is in a rush to drink milk, gulping down lots of air while feeding.
Sometimes, we can hardly point out the reason behind hiccups. What’s important is to check if this episode lasts for no more than 10 minutes. If there is a possible medical condition behind baby’s hiccup, his hiccuping episodes are usually more frequent or longer than ten minutes.
Old parenting wisdom usually says that we must just let baby hiccup as it will just pass. But as it turns out, there are lots of remedies that we may adapt to ease and tone down baby’s hiccup, here are they:
When baby hiccups, it is a sign that baby need to burp. This is because most hiccups coincide with the end or near end of baby’s feeding session. Newborn and babies usually have a harder time passing gas and burping helps.
Try to rub baby gently by patting baby’s back while he has hiccups. Same with burping, put a little pressure on baby’s tummy by letting his tummy lean against your chest during burping. Take note to do this gently, avoid slapping baby at the back or using too much force.
If you are breastfeeding, burp baby during breast switches. Pause and burp him before you re-position him to the other breast.
You may also let baby play on his stomach while inside the crib. The added pressure at the tummy area will help to expel out excess air at the abdominal cavity, thereby reducing the cause for hiccups.
If baby’s hiccuping happen at feeding, it is a cue for you that baby must take his milk slowly(paced bottle feeding).
This is important because hurried feeding makes baby swallow more air than is necessary. A distended tummy with lots of milk and air may irritate the diaphragm, causing hiccups.
It will be helpful also to check baby’s feeding bottle angle. It must be positioned so as to reduce air intake through an upright angle.
Alternately, allow baby to sit upright during meals. A 45 degrees position at feeding time may help to reduce the incidence of hiccups.
Remember; make sure that baby is fully comfortable before you start the feeding session. Latch baby well and see to it that there is a seal around your breast during feeding. You must not be able to hear load gulping or gurgling sounds if baby is latched on properly.
After feeding, avoid over stimulating baby. Refrain from playing with baby for at least 30 minutes after his meal. Do not make baby do playtime activities such as bouncing up as this can also irritate baby’s full stomach.
In case baby is vomiting during his hiccups, try asking your doctor for advice.
If baby is already eating soft foods off the plate, try feeding him to ease his hiccups. The swallowing action can also regulate an irritation diaphragm.
Eating any type of food will do, just take note to watch baby for any signs of choking. Take note also to observe proper meal portions and timing.
If baby frequently hiccups after eating, try to decrease the volume of his food. A baby’s stomach is still developing; hence they can only tolerate so much. You may halve his plate volume, but then feed him these small amounts every two or three hours.
If there is one way to immediately relax diaphragm in a minute, it is through sucking a pacifier. Give baby something to suck to help ease or stop the progression of baby hiccups.
Read our review to get the best pacifier for your baby:
5 Best Pacifiers For Breastfed Babies: A Complete Review
Baby may sometimes hiccup after prolonged crying. This happens because he might have taken in lots of air. Comfort baby if he is crying so as to reduce incidence of baby hiccups. Sucking a pacifier may also help to soothe baby.
A soothing back massage might be just what he need to stop is long hiccup. A good back rub will help baby to relax and may stop is crying episode.
While baby is seated, use upwards motion to move your hand from baby’s lower back all the way to the shoulder. You might need to massage baby for a few minutes before his hiccup can be eased.
Gripe water from one country to another are usually made of varying set of herbs and contents, but they function just the same.
Gripe water is made for stomach discomfort and colic but it can also be effective for hiccups. Read this article to know how to pick a good gripe water for your baby.
Baby hiccups may look cute but it is something that we moms must be able to understand and decode. You must be observant and take note baby’s hiccups characteristics such as length of time, intensity and if baby looks in pain or uncomfortable.
Using your observations, you can at least deduce the reason and know how to relieve infant hiccups.
It’s OK to initially let baby hiccup on his own, for it usually stop without any intervention.
As with my other parenting advice, my best bet is using either one or a combination of remedy suggestions as outline above. Avoid old wives’ tale like cure such as startling baby or pulling his tongue, as they are not effective.
Remember, hiccups go away in its own. But most of all, one thing that you must have with you at all times is one word: patience.
Do you have other suggestions to cure baby hiccups? If yes, please share your thoughts in the comment section below!