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Breastfeeding Facts - Breastmilk IS the perfect food for your baby. Get the facts here!
Maintaining Your Milk Supply - How can you tell if your baby is getting enough milk? Here are some helpful breastfeeding tips.
Breastfeeding An Adopted Baby - How one woman induced lactation to nurse her adopted baby.
Breastfeeding My NICU Baby - A story of hope from a difficult experience.

A recent study in the British medical publication, Lancet, calculated that for every year a woman breast-feeds, it cuts her risk of breast cancer 
by 4.3 percent.
Breastfeeding Links & Resources
If you need help with breastfeeding or want information to help you get prepared and/or started then the websites at this link 
are sure to help. Click and see!
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Breastfeeding Facts
Developed by Debra Denmark Elza, RN
    Your milk is your baby's perfect food
  • Babies who are breastfed for at least 6 months have fewer health problems than babies who are artificially fed, including:
    • 3 times fewer ear infections
    • 5 times fewer urinary tract infections
    • 5 times fewer serious illnesses
    • 7 times fewer allergies
  • Because human milk is so easy to digest, breastfed babies spit up less often, and have less diarrhea and constipation.
  • For every 87 artificially fed babies who die from SIDS/crib death (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), only 3 breastfed babies die from SIDS.
  • Babies who are fed only human milk for at least 26 weeks are 6 times less likely to develop lymphoma (a type of cancer) in childhood.
  • Babies breastfed for at least one year are only half as likely to develop diabetes. 

  • Breastmilk can begin a lifetime of good health for your baby
  • As adults, people who were breastfed have:
    • less asthma
    • less diabetes
    • fewer skin problems, including dermatitis and eczema
    • fewer allergies
    • lowered risk of heart attack and stroke due to lower cholesterol levels
    • less ulcerative colitis (ulcers in the large intestine)
    • less Crohn's disease (chronic diarrhea in some families)
    • protection from certain chronic liver diseases
  • Breastmilk is brain food. Studies show that children who were breastfed have higher IQ's (by an average of 7 points) than those who were given breastmilk substitutes.

  • Breastfeeding is healthy for mom
  • Women who breastfeed lower their risk of breast cancer. Nursing for a lifetime total of:
    • 2 years lowers the risk before menopause by 40%
    • 6 years lowers the risk before menopause by 66%
    • 7 years the risk of breast cancer throughout a woman's lifetime to almost zero.
  • Breastfeeding also provides protection from cancer of the ovaries as well as osteoporosis, a thinning of the bones.

  • Affordable health care begins with breastfeeding!


Mother’s Milkmate
is designed as an alternative to the use of plastic bags for freezing, and storing breast milk. Mother's Milkmate encourages mothers to breastfeed longer and makes the experience easier, less expensive, and environmentally sensible. The product is currently being sold in the catalogs of La Leche League International, Motherwear, Ecobaby, as well as in various online catalogs. Mother’s Milkmate is also available at selected Wal-Mart stores, as part of the Lansinoh Breastfeeding collection.


Maintaining Your Milk Supply
by Kelly Frohnauer
It's easy as a breastfeeding mother to question whether you have enough milk for your baby. Unlike using a bottle, you can't see how much your baby is actually drinking while they are nursing. Newborns also cry alot making it easy to feel like you are not doing it right or that they are starving because you don't have enough milk.

Newborn babies nurse ALOT! It is perfectly normal the first couple of months to feel like all you do is nurse! These frequent, sometimes hourly, nursing sessions are important to increasing and keeping your milk supply sufficient. Avoid the temptation to give baby a bottle. It is not necessary and can do more harm than good.

During the first 3-5 days after your baby's birth, before your milk comes in, your baby will be getting your nutrient and antibody rich colostrum, sometimes called first milk. Many tests and studies have proven the importance for your child to get this essential colostrum. The colostrum also helps your baby to effectively eliminate all the meconium (baby's first poop which is black and tarry looking) and helps to create a favorable intestinal flora. 

Avoid using a supplement during this time. Not only does it delay your milk coming in but it also interrupts the intestinal flora and could stimulate allergies in your baby. Formula, whether cow's milk or soy, is harder for your baby to digest than breastmilk and can be constipating.

If you are concerned that you have a low milk supply then the following suggestions are sure to help.

Some possible causes of a low milk supply:

  • Limiting your nursing - Don't worry about following a schedule! Your baby will digest your breastmilk quickly since it is the perfect food and easy for him to digest. This means that he will be wanting to nurse often. During times of growth spurts he will seem to nurse non-stop!
  • Starting solids too soon - A good rule of thumb is to start solids when your child begins to reach for food. This is usually around 4-6 months old. Giving your baby solids before then can increase his chance of developing food allergies.
  • Fatigue - You need your rest! Nap when baby naps. Your bodies immune system weakens when you get fatigued, thus increasing the chance for a breast infection. Plus your body has just spent the last 9 months growing a baby and needs time to recuperate and adjust to the new hormonal changes. So get your rest!
  • Poor diet - You are still eating for two! Your calorie intake should increase another 200 - 300 calories above what you were consuming while pregnant. Your baby is taking your vitamin and mineral stores via your breastmilk so adding extra nutrients are for your benefit and future health.
  • Taking certain over-the-counter drugs - Certain over the counter medicines, like anti-histamines, contain chemicals that can decrease and/or dry up your milk. Remember, all drugs will pass through your breastmilk so your baby will also be taking them. If you get sick, consult a good herb book (some suggestions can be found on our Herbal Health page). Healing ourselves with natural remedies is better for our health as it increases our bodies own ability to resist disease. Make sure the herbs you choose are not contraindicated for breastfeeding. For more information on Herbal Health click here).
  • Taking birth control pills - Birth Control pills cause a hormonal imbalance in your body. They will interfere with your bodies production of Prolactin, the hormone that is necessary for creating breastmilk. Some studies have shown that nursing your baby on demand, both night and day, is an effective form of birth control. For more information read Breastfeeding & Natural Child Spacing by Sheila Kippley. Also check the links on our Pregnancy & Birth links & resources page for a Fertility Awareness link and the Couple To Couple League.

Ways to help increase your milk supply:

  • Nurse often and for longer periods of time - In order to have the supply, you need to have the demand.  The more your breasts are stimulated by your baby's sucking the more your body gets the message to produce milk. Let your baby nurse as often and as long as they need.  Grab a book to read and just plan to spend lots of time sitting and nursing. These first few months of your baby's life go by WAY too fast. Enjoy them! You are giving your baby the best start possible by nurturing him with your breastmilk. (Read important breastfeeding facts)
  • Avoid giving your baby a pacifier - I am touching a sensitive issue here, but like I mentioned above, your breasts need your baby's sucking action to stimulate milk production. So the more your baby sucks on a pacifier the less stimulation your breasts get!
  • Offer both breasts at each feeding - When your baby starts to slow down while at the first breast, or when you don't hear him gulping anymore, take him off, burp him, then offer him the other breast. 
  • Cuddle! - Cuddle, snuggle and gaze into your baby's eyes. Feel the love you have for your baby. Let those motherly hormones flow! This helps tremendously with the let-down reflex that stimulates milk flow.
  • Keep yourself well rested and well fed - Stress and over exertion can interfere with your hormonal balance which in turn can interfere with your milk producing hormones. Also, your calorie needs increase while breastfeeding. (see above
  • Drink plenty of fluids - Each time you get ready to nurse grab yourself a tall glass of water or juice. Drink at least 2 quarts of water each day.
  • Use herbs that promote breastmilk - Fenugreek, Milk Thistle, Fennel, Chaste Tree are herbs known to be helpful in increasing breastmilk. Taken in a tea form can also add to your daily fluid requirements. (For fresh, organic herbal tinctures click here)

Here are some signs you can watch for to help assure you that your baby is indeed getting enough milk:

  • Having more that 5 wet diapers per day - If you use cloth, that is!  Disposable diapers are deceptive because the chemical gel absorbs a tremendous amount of urine, sometimes making it hard to tell if your baby has even peed at all! Cloth diapers are healthier for your baby, they are more economical and better for the environment.  You can find links to several wonderful websites that are Mom Owned that sell cloth diapers and accessories plus tons of information about using cloth diapers on our Baby Links and Resources page.
  • Hear your baby gulping - This means he is definitely getting some milk. Some women feel the let down reflex within a few minutes after baby begins sucking. You will then be able to hear your baby gulping the milk which will be anywhere from 3-5 minutes or more. 
  • Gaining weight - If your baby is gaining weight then you can be sure they are getting enough milk.

Breastfeeding your baby is one of the most rewarding experiences a new mother can experience. I hope these suggestions will make yours as carefree as possible.

For a complete list of tips on increasing your milk supply including nutritional and pumping info that has been compiled by many different nursing mothers, check here: Forums
©2002 - Kelly is a WAHM of 5 children. She has been involved in Midwifery for the past 15 years and has attended many homebirths. Using natural remedies and herbs has been a way of life for her and her family for over 22 years now.

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Induced Lactation-Adoptive Breastfeeding
by Kay Green
I have the wonderful privilege of breastfeeding my adopted daughter Haley. We began this journey when she was 18 hours old. It is a day I will always remember looking into the eyes of this precious angel as her birth mom sat there and watched us. She later told a social worker that it helped her so much to see Haley and I bond at that moment.

When we began that day I was producing 3 or 4 ounces a day. By the time she was 6 months old I had achieved a full supply of breastmilk for her. Her doctor told me that even 2 ounces a day would greatly benefit her over formula alone. She would receive my antibodies. Today she is a healthy happy walking nursing  1 year old.

I have so many who wonder about the details of adoptive breastfeeding/induced lactation I thought I would give you all a mini course in it. It has been going on for many centuries. In bible days it was called wet nursing. In 3rd world countries women will induce lactate to care for orphans. Here we do it for adopted children. WHY? Why not? It is better for the babies. They receive antibodies, better nutrients and enzymes, bonding and much more. It is a wonderful way to bond with a newly adopted child. Many have successfully nursed an older adopted child too. I know of several who have gotten 6-9 month old's to nurse after being adopted.

Pregnancy is not necessary for breastfeeding. Prolactin (a hormone) is. Pregnancy does change the breast tissue so helps but is not necessary. Many adoptive moms who have never been pregnant have produced 30-100% of the breastmilk their child needs. Pumping, sucking, herbs  and drugs all help raise the prolactin level.

I started by pumping every 3-4 hours with a Hospital grade breast pump (Medela Lactina double pump). The light weight pumps available at most stores will not do the job of Induced Lactation. The Lactina is $700-900 to buy so I rented it for 3 months.

I also started taking herbs: 9 Fenugreek (an Indian spice that makes your sweat smell like maple syrup),  6 Blessed Thistle (NOT Milk Thistle), 6 Marshmallow Root (make the milk thicker and higher in calorie). I also drank Mothers Milk Tea and lots of water. Eating oatmeal. pineapple, and Henry Weinhart's Rootbeer will also help.

I got milk drops 10 days after starting the pumping/herbs routine. By 4 weeks I was getting enough to freeze an ounce a day. By the time she was born I was freezing 2-3 ounces a day.

When she was born I nursed first, 10 minutes each side, switching sides 4 times (YES 45 minutes of nursing) then I would give her 1-2 OZ of formula or donated breastmilk in a Lact-aid supplementer.  The Lactaid allows the formula to go thru a tiny tube at my breast so she got my milk and formula at the same time. This also stimulated me to produce more milk. I chose to nurse first without the supplementer because I wanted her to nurse both with and without the supplementer. She was always willing to nurse 45 minutes without the supplementer so I would often times offer the extra 1-2 OZ in a bottle.

There are two drugs available that many choose to help with milk supply. DOMPERIDONE is one.  It is not available in the USA. It is available in Mexico $102 a month, Canada $50 a month and New Zealand $25 a month. It is used for stomach/digestion problems with a side effect of my milk production. You need to take it the whole time you nurse or your supply will probably drop. 

RAGLAN is the other drug. It is available very inexpensively from your local doctor. It is also used for stomach issues. You take it for only 4 weeks. I chose not to take either drug since I had nursed 3 bio children before (even if 12 years earlier).

I have many more adoptive nursing links and information on my web page at 

I hope this answers your questions and you can tell a friend about the wonders of adoptive breastfeeding! Spread the word! I would also be happy to talk with others interested in adoption and adoptive breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding an adopted child is a great way to give them better nutrition and antibodies but it is an even better way to bond with them. I know I have a special connection with my nursing angel Haley. She loves her mama's milk!
Written by Kay Green, author, Christian homeschool WAHM mom to 4 kids ages 1-18 yrs. Currently running and

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Breastfeeding my NICU Baby
By Brandie Valenzuela

I would never have imagined that my baby would be taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) shortly after his birth. While he was born a little early, 37 weeks and 3 days to be exact, we had a perfect pregnancy - no problems at all. I went into labor on November 24, 2000, and at 9:44pm, I gave birth to Matthew William through a cesarean section. My husband and I were just overjoyed at finally being able to meet our newest little blessing!

Shortly after Matthew's birth, he had to be taken to the NICU because of difficulty breathing. It was around 1am that the neonatologist, explained to me what was wrong with my baby, and asked me to sign several consent forms for procedures such as a blood transfusion and a chest tube. At this point, I still thought that Matthew might be able to room in with me -- and that I would be able to breastfeed him soon. The next morning, I was told that this would not be happening, and that Matthew would have to be in the NICU for approximately 3 - 7 days.

I had always planned on breastfeeding Matthew, so when I heard that he would be in the NICU for several days, I felt that I would miss out on that early bonding with my newborn. I wanted to hold my baby, I wanted to feed my baby, I just wanted to do all those things that a new mother does for her baby. As Matthew was on a ventilator and IV's, and receiving nourishment through his IV's, I was becoming more and more depressed. 

The day after his birth, I reminded several nurses that I wanted to 
breastfeed my baby and asked them if I should be pumping. I was very concerned with making sure that I got my milk supply going and that I had the colostrum and early milk to feed my newborn when he was ready for it. The nurses agreed that I should be pumping, and they brought me a manual breastpump. I had a difficult time expressing the colostrum and I was sure to tell the staff, who told me that the hospital had an electric pump, which might work easier. I soon was able to start using the electric pump, and while it was slightly painful in the beginning, I was able to start expressing first the colostrum, and then the milk, with ease.

In the beginning, I was pumping very small amounts, but as I continued to pump every two to three hours, I was soon expressing more and more breastmilk. The hospital provided me with small plastic bottles to store and freeze the breast milk in, and explained to me to label each bottle with my name and the date and time of the pumping session. These bottles were then stored in a freezer located in the NICU.

When I was released from the hospital, and Matthew was not able to come home with me, I just cried and cried. It was an awful feeling leaving the hospital empty handed. I wanted so badly for my baby boy to be well, so that our family could begin our life with him. I almost felt like I hadn't given birth, that I wasn't a mother of a newborn. But the one thing that gave me a constant connection to Matthew, was the pumping of my breastmilk. Each time I sat down to pump, or each time I leaked onto my bra and blouse, I was reminded that I had a baby who was counting on me for not just love and care, but for the nourishment that only a mother can give. This made me really enjoy the pumping sessions, just as a mother enjoys feeding her newborn 
directly from the breast. 

On December 1, 2000, after Matthew was in the NICU for one week, he was taken off of the ventilator. This was an incredibly happy moment for my husband and I, because we knew our baby was not far from coming home. I asked the NICU nurse about when Matthew would be able to nurse. It was explained to me that he would need to take my breastmilk with a bottle at first, because they wanted to monitor the number of ounces he was drinking. I was upset by this, 
because I knew all to well about newborns refusing the breast after being offered the easy-to-suck-from bottle nipple. The nurse explained to me that he would take to the breast just fine, even if he did nurse from a bottle first, and that babies don't get nipple confusion like Le Leche League would tell you. Well, I wasn't convinced, and at this point I became very worried about the problems I might encounter once Matthew as able to breastfeed.

Less than 48 hours after the ventilator was removed, Matthew was given his first bottle of breastmilk. How well he drank the milk would play a part in how soon he would come home, so you can imagine my happiness when he had done extremely well. All the nurses were quite impressed at how much breastmilk Matthew would drink in a sitting.

Then finally the day came. We knew that Matthew would be coming home to us within the next day or so, but on the night of December 4th, 2000, I asked the doctor if I could try to nurse my now 10-day-old Matthew. She thought that was a great idea, and asked the nurse to help me find a more private area to nurse him. I followed the nurse to a quiet room, got comfortable in the recliner, and she handed me my precious baby. She asked if I needed any help getting him to latch on and I told her that I think I could do it (I had 
breastfed my last baby), and she left the room. I loosened my bra to get my breast ready and I put Matthew's head in the crook of my arm and turned his belly to mine. I lifted my shirt and brought Matthew's little mouth to my nipple, where he latched on just like a breastfeeding pro. He sucked a few times, and would stop, but would start once again. It was the greatest feeling in the world.

As I sat there feeding Matthew for the first time, tears rolled down my cheeks. At that moment, I know I was the happiest mother in the entire world. I had my baby, snuggled against me, and I was breastfeeding him. 

I am pleased to say that the next morning, our healthy Matthew was released from the hospital and we were able to take him home. Matthew has continued to nurse very well, and is becoming what we all love: an adorable, chubby, breastfed baby!

©2001 Brandie Valenzuela
Brandie is a breastfeeding, freelance writing mother. She is also the editor of the Family First Newsletter and a scrapbook artist. To find out more about Brandie's creations, visit:

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Compleat Mother Magazine

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Radical breastfeeding help, support and stories. An excellent read!


Midwifery Today, The Heart and Science of Birth

Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila Kippley