MAM has been one of our absolute FAVORITE brands when raising our babies, so I was SUPER excited and honored when they asked me to partner up with them to do a Q&A for our combined audiences.
As a Mama of 3 girls (including twins) and a Labor and Delivery RN of eight years, they reached out to me to answer questions related to breastfeeding, bottle feeding, pacifiers, and safe sleep. (Not going to lie, I was crazy excited to work with such an awesome and large company!)
If you are already a mom or an expectant mama, chances are you have heard of MAM. It is no exaggeration when I tell you that the MAM pacifiers were the ONLY pacis my twins would take. AND the MAM bottles were the ONLY bottle my “bottle-hating” third child would take (see above) 🙂 ! MAM literally saved me as a mom. Now, I am so excited to return the favor and answer questions for all of you!
Before we start I want to mention: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy? Grab my free hospital bag checklist by clicking HERE! (I’ll cover everything you need [and DON’T need] for yourself, your support person, and baby).
Both MAM and myself posted on social media asking for questions from our audience and here were the questions:
- “How often should I be pumping with a newborn? Afraid of causing oversupply but we’re also having to supplement to bring up her weight. And how often to pump for when I go back to work? I work 12 hour shifts (RN).” – @analise.weldon21 (US IG)
Great question, this comes up in the hospital all the time. You don’t necessarily want to start pumping too early because of risk of over-supply. However, if you ARE trying to increase your newborn’s weight gain by supplementing with expressed breast milk and boosting your supply; one of the best things to do is to always start with baby on the breast. Then 3-4 times a day, finish your feed with a 10-15 minute pumping session.
IF you’re worried about weight gain and have been advised by your doctor to do that. If you’re not worried about weight gain, then I don’t recommend you start pumping until your supply is established (takes a few weeks, when your breasts no longer feel engorged between feeds and it becomes obvious to you when they are full and when they are empty).
As for pumping to build up a freezer stash for returning to work: remember wait until your supply is established to begin pumping if you can. Once established, just sneak in 1-2 twenty minute pumping sessions a day (whenever you can). I usually liked to pump after my morning feed when my supply was the highest, and maybe 2 hours after the baby went to bed right before I go to bed once they start sleeping a little longer stretches at night. You will figure out what works best for you!
Lastly, as for how often you should pump when at work. Ideally you will mimic your baby’s feeding pattern. The best schedule would be to pump every three hours at work if at all possible.
- “I am so nervous about safe sleep. How can parents overcome their own anxiety? I still stay up all night holding her and she’s almost three months. Our baby doesn’t like to be put down either. How can you get a baby used to their sleep space?” – @awater4 (US IG)
First let me say, this is completely normal to feel this way. And I’m super proud of you for even asking or bringing up the anxiety you’re feeling. It is VERY normal, this is all very new and all of the sudden you have a tiny human you have to feed and keep alive and well. It’s A LOT! That feeling IS going to get better with time. It will become the new normal as you get more used to caring for your newborn.
But, one thing you can do to help overcome that anxiety is to know that you have a very safe sleep environment for baby. Baby should be sleeping on their back, in a crib or bassinet in your bedroom. Baby should be swaddled, no loose blankets or stuffed animals. Basically nothing else in the crib except maybe their pacifier. You know my girls LOVED the MAM Pacifier. If your baby uses a pacifier than that is ok. Other than that, just the baby, swaddled, on their back, in their bassinet or crib. Remember, once baby is rolling over you have to stop using the swaddle to make sure they are safe.
If you know you have a safe sleep environment for baby then just know your limit when it comes to holding them. Sometimes it might be safer for you to put them down in their crib for a bit rather than you continuing to hold them if you feel like you might fall asleep while holding them. You are doing great and the best you can! Way to go Mama!
- “Is there any special diet to follow for breastfeeding mom’s???” – @rashmirawat4735 (US IG)
There is not really a specific diet you need to follow. However, the best thing you can do is eat a variety of nutrients so baby gets a variety of nutrients. Baby really does eat what you eat. Also, you should increase your caloric intake and majorly increase your water intake. The water is SO SO important. You have to have that water to make the breastmilk so drink MORE than you think you need. AT LEAST half your body weight in ounces each day but more than that would be even better. If you are trying to boost your supply you can eat foods high in oats and just eating frequently throughout the day is really going to help!
- “If you give a baby a pacifier right after birth, will the baby refuse to breastfeed?” – Stephanie Wagner (CA FB)
Of course I can’t guarantee that if you give your baby a pacifier it will not cause nipple confusion. However, the best thing you can do is get the baby on the breast right away after birth. You want to do skin to skin and definitely start with breastfeeding first (if that is your goal) before you introduce a pacifier or bottle.
If baby has a strong latch and does not appear to have any issues with breastfeeding, then chances are baby will have no issues switching between a pacifier and the breast. I switched back and forth with the twins all the time with no issue. They will learn quickly that the breast is for food and the pacifier is just for soothing.
- “I’m having a tough time getting my 4 month old to sleep without being swaddled. Any tips?” – Krista Cunday (CA FB)
4 months is when babies often show signs of rolling so it makes total sense why you would be transitioning out of the swaddle. As soon as baby shows ANY signs of rolling over is when you should start moving away from the swaddle. The best thing I can recommend is one of those swaddle transition blankets that have Velcro around the torso area. You can start by letting them have one arm out and then two.
Another option is the blankets that zip baby up and go over their hands but they are still able to move their arms inside the blanket. So if they were to roll over, they have enough movement to be able to get their arms out in front of them and lift their head up, however their hands are still covered so they feel a little bit contained and are less bothered by that startle reflex.
However, if baby is starting to roll and none of this is working, the best advice I can give you is to just bite the bullet and put them to bed without a swaddle at all. It will be rough for a couple of days (all of these rough transitions can feel like the end of the world when you’re in the midst of it) but before you know it, it will be over and baby will be back to sleeping!
- “Do you think it’s necessary to hold off a bit on introducing a bottle or pacifier when breastfeeding a newborn?” – (April Sorensen IG)
We’ve covered this with pacifiers above, but let’s talk about the bottle part! If breastfeeding is your goal, you definitely want to start with that! Get baby skin to skin after birth, initiate breastfeeding as soon as baby shows interest. Ideally, you will want to hold off on the bottle until breastfeeding is established and you get into your rhythm. Likely you won’t need any bottles in the hospital (unless your doctor recommends supplementing of course) and it is best to wait to introduce them until about 2 weeks of age.
HOWEVER, you don’t want to wait too long because then baby could totally refuse the bottle. I actually had this problem with my third daughter. We introduced the bottle with expressed breast milk at about 2 or 3 weeks old, and she did great!
BUT, I was so worried about having enough milk when I returned to work that I didn’t want to “waste” it by continuing to practice the bottle. So then when I tried to get her to take the bottle again like two weeks before I had to go back to work, she wanted NOTHING to do with that.
We tried EVERY BOTTLE UNDER THE SUN! Finally, after much persuasion, she FINALLY took the MAM bottle! I am not kidding, it was the only one she would take!
So my best advice: introduce the bottle at around 2 weeks of age and then continue to give a bottle about once a week so baby remembers and you can avoid that little situation I was in!
- “I think my newborn has a tongue tie because he can’t keep a paci in for very long.” – @little.mama.shark (IG)
Great question, let me start with this: some babies are just going to refuse to take a pacifier. My twins were addicted to their MAM pacifiers, however, my youngest daughter absolutely refused to take one. She actually DID have a tongue tie! We got it corrected with a pediatric dentist because we were having some issues with latch.
If your baby is having any problems with feeding, or it’s been recommended by you pediatrician or a lactation consultant, you might want to consider getting the tongue tie revised. If not then I wouldn’t worry about it. But even if you get it revised, they still might not take a pacifier. All I can say is to keep trying. And if they refuse, I feel your pain Mama!
- “Tongue tie was recently revised- how to increase my supply without being a slave to my pump?” – @mamaharmsen
I remember doing everything I could to increase supply after we had my daughters tongue tie revised. We had a poor latch with the tongue tie so after it was fixed we had to play catch up a bit.
Some of the best ways to do this is to increase food and water intake (water water water! SO important). Also increase foods that contain oats. Cereal, oatmeal, and even lactation cookies! My FAVORITE lactation cookie recipe can be found HERE (not my recipe, just one I love).
Lastly, whenever you can sneak in an extra pumping session, it really will help. Breastfeeding is ALL about supply and demand. If you can pump for maybe 10-15 minutes once or twice a day following a feed, you will be telling your body you need more milk. Try not to stress, you got this, Mama!
- “I am not really prepared to my son leave the breastfeeding. He is now 2 years old and everyday I wake up with scare that he won’t need more milk from me. I don’t know if this is normal but I know that someday is going to happen. For me breastfeeding is my time with my baby. To be with him. How can I prepare for that moment emotionally?” – @Maria_d_colon (IG)
First let me say, props to you for bringing this up and asking how you can cope with this! Let me go off on a little tangent and mention if any of you are struggling with anxiety or depression, those feelings can be very heightened with all of the hormones that accompany postpartum and breastfeeding. Make sure to reach out to your OBGYN and they can DEFINITELY help. This is much more common than most people think and I know that’s not what Maria asked but I had to mention it! 😉
Back to Maria’s question, I think the best way you can prepare emotionally is shift your focus onto the perks that you will have after you stop breastfeeding. Think about all of the free time you’ll have and flexibility with your wardrobe, etc, when you are finished.
Another tip is to remember that even when you finish breastfeeding, it absolutely does NOT mean your baby doesn’t need you. They will just need you in different ways. These next few years are going to be SO fun and exciting as your little one grows.
You will still have one on one time with your baby. Focus on nap time, snuggle time, reading books, whatever is special to you and your little one. And your baby is going to need you in a whole new way! They will be learning to talk from you, learning to walk, and run, and jump and do literally everything.
Baby will have plenty of other needs besides just the breastmilk, just try to shift your focus onto the positive because your little one will always be your baby, and is ALWAYS going to need you!
That wraps up the questions. This was so much fun for me and I sincerely hope it was helpful for y’all! A special thanks to MAM for working with me on this post! You can check out everything MAM related on their Amazon Brand Store linked HERE.
If you have any other questions you can always reach out to me anytime on Instagram at @DeliveringMotherhood or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you are an expecting Mama, don’t forget to grab my FREE hospital bag checklist by clicking HERE!