Dr. Lum Frundi, a Larken Lineup member, is a board certified pediatrician who founded Generational Wellbeing in order to help busy moms create healthy habits for raising their children. Generational Wellbeing is a community where Dr. Lum provides online group classes and resources to help members break down patterns and identify changes to make in their lives.
Dr. Lum also takes a look at how your diet and lifestyle choices help manage and prevent chronic diseases. With a specific focus on making sustainable changes, Dr. Lum emphasizes the importance of making realistic, long-lasting shifts in your lifestyle to continue these healthy practices throughout your entire life. In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we spoke to Dr. Lum about breastfeeding tips and support for new mothers to help build these long-lasting, healthy routines.
Dr. Lum shared some of the most common concerns and questions that she gets from new mothers, as well as her best early breastfeeding tips.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
- The physical contact between mom and baby provides warmth and creates a bond between mother and child.
- Breast Milk is readily available (no prep needed).
- It is easy for the baby to digest, and has immune cells that help to decrease the risk of common childhood infections like ear infections, bronchiolitis and common colds, GI tract infections, allergic diseases like asthma and eczema.
- It is also helpful to mom to help her uterus return to pre-pregnancy size faster and reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
How often should I breastfeed?
Dr. Lum: Use the cues instead of the clock for feeding. These cues can look different for every baby– signs of hunger include lip smacking, stretching or yawning, putting hands or fist towards mouth, making a sucking motion, turning head, and opening mouth. Generally, a baby will feed 8-12 times in a day, but feeding rates change as the baby goes through growth spurts and develops their cues. As your baby’s feeding needs change, your milk supply will naturally adjust to match their hunger.
Is my baby getting enough milk? Do I need to supplement with formula in addition to breast milk?
Dr. Lum: Signs of a well fed baby can include: frequent wet and poopy diapers, milk being visible during feeding, your breasts feeling softer after feeding, your baby gaining weight, or stools changing from dark to green to yellow. If you have concerns about baby’s weight gain or questions about supplementing with formula, we recommend discussing with your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant to determine a feeding plan that’s best for you and baby.
Can you provide some advice for some health obstacles I may encounter with my body?
Dr. Lum highlighted some of the most common problems she sees in breastfeeding women.
Sore nipples: “A poor latch is usually the cause behind sore nipples. A good latch should feel comfortable, you will see little or no areola and your baby's lip should turn outwards. I recommend repositioning your baby when you notice that their latch is off and gently guiding them to a proper latch.”
Low milk supply: “After 6 weeks, it is normal to feel like your milk production rates are dropping. If you find that your baby needs more milk than you can supply, I recommend offering both breasts during feeding and to feed frequently and pump after feed if your breast is not empty and the baby is full.”
Plugged ducts: “One of the first signs of plugged ducts are sore lumps in the breast. These lumps form when your milk does not drain properly and creates a build up. Management for plugged ducts usually includes pain control with Ibuprofen, a warm compress on plugged duct site prior to breastfeeding or pumping, or a breast massage. For a massage, I recommend that you apply pressure and massage pushing plugged areas towards the nipple while the baby is feeding or while pumping.”
Fungal infection: “Hygiene is critical when breastfeeding and poor hygiene can lead to a fungal infection. Signs of a fungal infection are nipple soreness, flaky shiny or itchy nipples, or shooting pain deep in the breast during or after feed. Besides ensuring that you and your baby get treated, I recommend that you frequently change disposable nursing pads, sterilize things like pumps, pacifiers, and bottles, and clean your bras frequently.”
Mastitis: “Mastitis can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, yellowish discharge from the nipple, and tender, warm breasts. If only one of your breasts is affected, keep feeding on the other breast to maintain milk flow and create some drainage. Similar to a fungal infection, warm compresses, a good bra, and massages can help your breast recover from mastitis.”
Overall, Dr. Lum emphasized the importance of getting to know your baby and their needs and following the cues that they give you about their hunger. Learning to feed can be more than just a need for your baby, but also an opportunity to follow their development and grow together as you make a feeding plan that is right for both of you.
As you raise your little one, you have the opportunity to build your own family's approach to health and wellness. Whether this be through nutrition, movement, or sleep, Dr. Lum has built Generational Wellbeing around the goal of building these healthy patterns. You can learn more about Dr. Lum and how to join her practice by following along on her Instagram and keeping up with The Larken Lineup where we share more useful resources for parents and families.
As always, our content is not medical advice and does not serve as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your doctor and health team for medical advice.