Breast Feeding 101

Happy MealWhen it comes to getting babies off to a healthy start, experts agree that "breast is best." Human breast milk contains all the nutrients babies need each day, plus many substances that help them grow and develop properly physically and emotionally.

Breastfeeding doesn't always come "naturally” in fact it is a dance and sometimes you need someone to teach you the steps. That's where lactation counseling comes in. Our midwives provide new moms with the information and help they need to make breastfeeding a happy and successful experience for both mother and child.

Our services include:

  • Breastfeeding Classes and support groups meeting monthly to share and discuss issues of interest.
  • Lactation specialist consultations, assessments and care plans.
  • “In Home” lactation consultations
  • A nursing mothers' support group that meets monthly to share and discuss issues of interest Lactation consulting specializing in difficult cases.Breast pump rentals and essentials.

Breast Health - Anatomy of Breasts

Each breast has 15 to 20 sections, called lobes, that are arranged like the petals of a daisy. Each lobe has many smaller lobules, which end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are all linked by thin tubes called ducts. These ducts lead to the nipple in the center of a dark area of skin called the areola. Fat fills the spaces between lobules and ducts. There are no muscles in the breast, but muscles lie under each breast and cover the ribs. Each breast also contains blood vessels and vessels that carry lymph. The lymph vessels lead to small bean-shaped organs called lymph nodes, clusters of which are found under the arm, above the collarbone, and in the chest, as well as in many other parts of the body.

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Breast Anatomy

Proper Latch-on

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Proper Latch-on Your baby has and instinct to find your nipple and latch on. Allowing your baby to take the lead with your support latching on is usually not a problem. Here are a few basics when assisting your baby. When latching the baby on, support your breast with your hand. By forming a “C” with your hand, you can hold the breast and nipple in position as your baby tries to bob to your breast. Some women find it helpful to gently massage the breast to stimulate let-down at the start of the feeding. Correct latch-on is very important to prevent nipple soreness. The baby's mouth should be open wide. Infants have a primitive reflex called the rooting reflex which causes the infant to open her mouth wide and "search" for a nipple. This reflex can be stimulated by gently touching the baby's cheek with your finger or nipple. Her lower lip also needs to be turned outward resting on her chin, her upper lip relaxed and not turned in, and her tongue visible over her bottom gum. Your nipple and most if not all of your areola should be in the baby's mouth this of course varies. Her cheeks should be plump without dimples and you should hear quiet swallowing, not smacking sounds.

How does your infant get the milk?

  • The baby's tongue draws the nipple, areola and breast tissue well back into the mouth. His tongue cups and sweeps the nipple in a wavelike manner from front to back, pressing it up against the roof of his mouth. You should see his jaw and cheek muscles moving in rhythmic motion.
  • The baby's gums must be at the back of the milk sinuses so that the milk can be squeezed out. If the baby's gums are just at the base of the nipple, the milk sinuses are closed between the baby's gums.
  • To remove your baby from your breast and prevent nipple soreness, place your finger in the corner of the baby's mouth to break the suction.