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  • Writer's pictureBrianne Stark

But Grandma Said Series, Part 2


I was recently with a new mom who told us behind the closed door of her lactation appointment that her mother, who was staying with her for a few weeks from out of town, had been encouraging her to not nurse her baby "for every little thing." Her infant was mere days old, the best possible time to nurse the baby as constantly as the mother is able and the baby is willing, but it was making grandma uneasy to see the little one at the breast so often. "My mom keeps telling me that the boob doesn't solve every problem...is that true? I have been reading the opposite," she asked me. I reassured her that while it is true that breastfeeding doesn't solve EVERY problem, it will solve most of the problems her days old healthy baby might have. Breastfeeding will be a comfort to baby, who is accustomed to living inside moms body. Baby will recognize moms heartbeat, warmth, and voice while being held close. So for most new babies, breastfeeding will soothe fussiness. Breastfeeding frequently will increase breast milk supply in the early days when it is so important to have a strong hormonal response sent to the brain to bring in a strong supply of milk, getting breastfeeding off to a great start. One of the big concerns in the early days of infant life is jaundice levels. Frequent breastfeeding can decrease jaundice levels by increasing the number of stools baby has, which is the primary means that baby has to excrete bilirubin, which causes jaundice, before his liver becomes effective at its job. Baby gassy? Breastfeeding can comfort him. Baby overstimulated? Breastfeeding can calm him and help him sleep. Baby cold? Breastfeeding skin to skin will regulate his body temperature. Baby losing too much weight? Breastfeeding often (at least 10-12 times per day) and on demand can help baby gain back birth weight faster. So while it is true that breastfeeding doesn't solve every problem, in the early days especially, breastfeeding aids in improving most problems a healthy baby might have. So if grandma tells you that you're latching too often and that breastfeeding doesn't fix it all, you can tell her that it likely will.

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