Breastfeeding on the beach.

Breastfeeding on the beach.

Summer is here and with it, the nice warm weather and you want to be outside enjoying it!  Here are some tips for staying cool while breastfeeding in the summer heat.

  • Choose your location: Find a nice shaded area under a tree, awning or umbrella.  Areas in the shade are much cooler than sitting in the hot sun.  If the shade is still too hot, you may want to find a nearby location with air conditioning where you and baby can cool off while nursing.  You can always go and buy yourself a cool drink and sit in a café or restaurant to stay cool while you nurse.  In Canada and most of the United States you are protected by law and can breastfeed in any location you are (legally) allowed to be; so if you are in a comfortable place to nurse- go for it!
  • Create your own breeze: You can make your own folded fan or purchase one to provide you and baby with a breeze.  Many dollar stores have little paper fans available as well as battery operated fans which provide a small breeze without so much arm movement.
  • Avoid the HOT afternoon sun: If possible avoid the hottest part of the day between 1-4pm.  This may be a good time for you and baby to nap indoors.
  • Sweaty skin to skin: Skin to skin is great for Mom and Baby, but in the heat it may become uncomfortable for both of you.  Placing a thin layer between you and baby may make you both more comfortable: a thin cotton or even dry fit material.  This may help keep you cooler, or at least less sticky-sweaty.
  • Avoid the cover: Wearing a nursing cover can be hot for Mom and Baby indoors, outside in the heat it may be intolerable!  You can use different clothing options if you are concerned about what is showing while nursing or choose a thin nursing cover made of breathable material.  If you have a muslin cotton blanket these can be great as a cover, and the moving air can flows right through it.
  • WATER!: It is important for a nursing Mother to stay hydrated especially in the heat, so don’t forget to bring drinks for you. A breastfeeding baby does not need any additional water.  Breastmilk is over 85% water and keeps baby hydrated while providing all of their essential nutrients.  Water will fill their tummy up without providing nutrition.  Your breastmilk is all they need.

By: Katie Wickham BScN RN, IBCLC

Babies First Lactation and Education


Dressed to Deliver Questions and Answers

Question #1 How to increase supply?

The best way to increase supply is frequent, effective removal of milk from the breast.  When concerned about milk supply I cannot stress enough the importance of checking in with a Lactation Consultant.  They can do a complete assessment on Mom and Baby to see if there is something that needs improving; often a Mom will feel like she has low milk supply due to normal changes during breastfeeding (supply regulation, cluster feeding, fussy evenings, growth spurts etc).  Baby may need a better position or latch, they may have a tongue tie or lip tie that is restricting their movement and suction, or maybe the baby has been put on a schedule or timed feeds.   Frequent removal of milk from the breast is key in establishing supply or increasing it.  Our breasts have a protein in them that signal our brains when our breast is full of milk to slow down production.  So if the milk is not removed frequently our brain gets the signal that the milk is not wanted and slows down production.  Increasing removal of milk from the breast is often all that is needed to boost supply.

Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation

Supplementing leads to less stimulation and removal of milk from your breast, which will drop supply.  So if supplementing, ensure you are supported by a Lactation Consultant.

Are you eating enough?  Often a Mom will forget to care for herself in those early weeks or maybe she is watching what see eats.  Not eating enough can drop supply.  So be careful you are not cutting out too many calories.  Ideally do not drop below 1800 calories per day.  Ensure you stay hydrated by drinking to thirst.

Have you started a new medication that may be contributing to lower supply?  Many of the birth control options offered to new Moms are safe to take while nursing but may have the negative impact of decreasing supply.

Some foods that have shown to be beneficial for breast milk supply are: Fennel, oatmeal, carrot, beets, yams, alfalfa, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, healthy fats, non- alcoholic beer, garlic, ginger, oats, brewers yeast, green papaya, red raspberry leaf tea, goat’s rue.

There are herbs that can increase milk supply.  Two of the most commonly recommended herbs are Fennugreek and Blessed Thistle.  You can read more about them here:

In Canada one of the commonly prescribed medications to increase milk supply is Domperidone.  I recommend trying the above methods first.  You can read more about this medication here:

Eating the supply increasing foods, taking the herbs and/or prescription medication will not work to increase supply if you are not frequently and effectively removing milk from the breast.

Question #2 Teething and Breastfeeding

There were a few questions on teething discomfort.  I have a blog specifically on this subject.  It should answer all the questions on teething related breastfeeding problems.

Question #3 How can I have a better experience with breastfeeding my second time around? 

My biggest recommendation is to consult with a Lactation Consultant prior to delivery to discuss what happened last time and suggestions for your new little one.  Here is my blog on “Putting your best breast forward.”  I hope the tips in there are helpful.

Question #4 What do I do when the Dr. says we need to supplement with formula?

Doctors vary greatly in their knowledge and support of breastfeeding.  I strongly encourage you to seek help from a Lactation Consultant.  They can assess the situation and help improve the milk intake at the breast.  If supplementing is necessary it is important that the Mom is pumping to tell her body to make more milk and that you are supplementing safe amounts and not over feeding.  Supplementing, if needed, should be short term if the goal is to return to just breast.  A LC can help you return to exclusive breastfeeding and help with weight gain.  Here is my blog which touches on supplementing.

Question #5 How can I get my baby who spent 3 weeks in the NICU to transition from bottle feeding to breastfeeding?

I know I sound like a broken record here…but seeing a Lactation consultant will help with hands on support.  Provide your little one with practice at the breast.  They often will be more patient breastfeeding if they aren’t overly hungry, so either, offer the breast before they reach their FEED ME NOW phase of hunger,  let them have part their bottle then try the breast or allow them practice time after a feed or in between feeds.  When latching make it easier on their little mouths by sandwiching your breast.  You can watch more on this technique in this video from Standford Univeristy:  (skip the first 5 minutes)  Preemies will often take the breast easier using a nipple shield- although I encourage you to consult with a lactation consultant before introducing to check sizing and recommended use.  Lots of skin to skin snuggles is beneficial for the baby and breastfeeding and for you and your milk supply.  So snuggle, snuggle, snuggle!

I hope I helped answer your questions.  Please don’t hesitate to send me a message on my Babies First Lactation and Education facebook page.  I’d be glad to explain anything further, help in person if needed or help you find support in your area.  I also offer online/phone consultations for anyone outside of my York Region area.

Thank you to Dressed to Deliver Birthing Gowns & Nursing Wraps for hosting this great contest and the breastfeeding question session tonight!  Have you entered the great contest?  Over $400.00 in prizes.

Katie Wickham RN, BScN, IBCLC



Gnawrome Giveaway

I love hearing of other Mom’s designing a business they are passionate about.  When Laila from Gnawrome contacted me to share her Organic Muslin Cotton swaddling blankets, I was very excited.

It was perfect timing as I LOVE muslin cotton and I just happen to have two of my close girlfriends give birth to new additions in the last month.  I couldn’t wait to purchase blankets for their new little ones.  I received the blankets this week and absolutely love them.



Muslin cotton is a woven fabric which makes it very lightweight and breathable.  This helps the baby to regulate its own body temperature and prevents the baby from overheating.


Due to the gauze-like texture, muslin cotton swaddling blankets have a certain degree of elasticity.  This allows the baby to have some amount of flexibility, yet still maintains a snug, cozy feeling.


An added bonus about muslin cotton is that the material gets softer and softer with each wash.

Show Gnawrome some love on their new facebook page.

Now you have a chance to win one of Gnawrome’s amazing blankets.  If you are a Canadian Resident, have ‘liked’ the Babies First Lactation and Education facebook page and ‘liked’ Gnawrome  facebook page you will qualify for the draw.

Simply enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Katie Wickham RN BScN, IBCLC

Why I love what I do…


Tonight I received a beautiful, thoughtful thank you note from a client.  I love that I get make breastfeeding easier and more enjoyable for families.  I love that I get to meet so many adorable babies.  I love that I get to work along side Mothers;  Mothers that are frustrated, hopeful, dedicated, and powerful.  When I leave a house after a consult and I can see the relief on that new families face, or I get an update saying that breastfeeding is going well, or that they have reached their goal… it is so rewarding!  So thank you to all the families that welcome me into their homes, thank you to all the sweet babies for being born, and thank you to my Amazing clients!  Thank you to the special client below for the thoughtful thank you, this quote is my favourite “Thank you for coming into my life and helping me with one of the hardest, most wonderful things I have ever done.”

“I just wanted to send you an email thanking you for all the support over the past year. ‘J’ celebrated his 1st birthday in February- and he is a healthy, breast-fed baby because of you. When I reflect back to when I was pregnant I told myself that I would breastfeed for a few months, because I thought it was going to be weird to have a baby stuck to my boob all the time. Then when I had him, and I realized how hard it was to breast feed, I told myself 4 months then I will stop…that’s if I made it that far. 

When I called you, I had had enough of breast feeding, but I wasn’t ready to give up, and then you came over and were amazing. You put everything into perspective, you gave me the guidance I needed, you were always there when I had a question/concern.

I am so happy that I was able to call upon you! Because of you, ‘J’ has been a happy breastfed baby for the past year, because of you, I haven’t dumped hundreds of dollars towards buying formula, he’s so healthy, has never really gotten sick, apart from a common cold, and if he did he would bounce back quickly. We have this amazing bond, which I will cherish forever. I am so lucky to have had this experience, and I thank you and your support. This must be a passion of yours, because that would explain the perfectionism in your work. 

Thank you for coming into my life and helping me with one of the hardest, most wonderful things I have ever done. ~Kiddy”


Katie Wickham RN BScN IBCLC

IBCLC Day 2014: Sharing Our Gratitude

IBCLC Day, I celebrated with a boob cake at work!

IBLCDaySocialMedia-Final-A This Wednesday, 5 March 2014, is IBCLC® Day!

Every day, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants help families reach their breastfeeding goals. IBCLC Day is our opportunity to honor and thank the individuals that help parents and their babies year-round.

Did an IBCLC help you reach your breastfeeding goals?

“Thanks to my IBCLC, my baby and I went from a failure to thrive babe who had not regained birth weight at 5 weeks to a full milk supply. She helped me with a plethora of support tools: SNS, formula, pumping, and domperidone. I was able to breastfeed him for two years! I will be forever thankful.”

Was your baby in the NICU or special care nursery? Did an IBCLC help you establish breastfeeding?

“My hospital IBCLC worked like crazy when my baby was in the NICU. She really advocated for me and my baby and she knew how important it was…

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Watch the Baby

How long to feed baby picture.

How long to feed baby picture.

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