Breastfeeding with the Gia Pillow

August 1, 2013

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

world breastfeeding week

Breastfeeding can be difficult, and the theme of the 2013 World Breastfeeding Week: Close to Mothers is peer support! I know that my breastfeeding experience with Micah would be totally different without the support of my friends and family, the doctors and nurses at Mayo Clinic, and my coworkers. Dr. Brown’s made this post possible, and also wants to support breastfeeding mothers with their Gia Pillow, a great nursing pillow for moms.

Happy Baby

My Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips for you, Mom to Mom:

1) Ask the nurses for help! Most hospitals have lactation nurses who are pros and will be happy to help answer any questions you have or get baby to latch on so it’ll be less painful for you!

2) Newborns nurse frequently, about every 2-3 hours, and this is important for them! Baby will lose a bit of his birth weight initially, so he needs to eat often to regain that weight and adjust to mommy milk instead of “womb service”. Micah was up way more often than that, but some moms have to set alarms to wake themselves up every few hours to feed baby. After he gets back to birth weight, you can turn off the alarm and let baby do the waking. Babies have itty bitty stomachs and very high metabolism and they will let you know when that little tummy hits empty!

Crying Hungry

3) Nap with baby. You won’t need to nap everytime baby sleeps, and God gave me the energy to make it through each day (sometimes without naps), but sleep is important and the dishes can wait. And breastfeeding releases a hormone that makes you sleepy, so quite frequently I fell asleep while breastfeeding Micah, even in the middle of the day.

4) Use lanolin cream for sore nipples, it really helps!

5) Find a comfortable pillow and position (Check out the Gia pillow below!) and realize if baby nurses longer than 30 minutes at a time, he’s probably doing it for comfort more than hunger.

Gia Pillow

6) Drink plenty of water and eat well. If you aren’t taking in enough nutrients, you won’t make enough milk. Simple as that.

7) If you feel like you aren’t making enough milk, try expressing some (you might be making enough and baby is fussy for other reasons). If you really aren’t making enough milk, talk to a lactation consultant or your friends. There are supplements, like fenugreek, that can help. And supplementing with formula is ok: feed baby what you can via breastfeeding, then top him off with formula when you need to.

8) Your body responds to baby’s needs: if baby keeps sucking after you are empty, your body will start making more milk for the next time. If he eats at certain times of the day, your body will prepare itself to be full and ready at those times. As changes happen, your body will respond within days. So don’t worry, God made us perfectly for this important job!

Food Coma

9) If you want to store up milk for returning to work, start after baby is at least 6 weeks old, use a good pump, and don’t worry about storing up too much because you will want to pump at work too in order to keep up your body and supply.

10) Don’t give up! There are tons of moms who would love to pass on their knowledge and help, as well the La Leche League and other community resources to help you along. You can do it! Breastfeeding is work, but you can totally do it. Formula is making advances all the time but nothing will ever be better than our God-given mommy milk. Enlist your family and friends to be your peer supporters and make sure you talk to someone if you are feeling discouraged or have concerns. I couldn’t have made it this far without the support of Peter, my friends, and my parents.


Check out my personal breastfeeding experience so far.

The Dr. Brown’s Gia Pillow

Comfort is HUGE when breastfeeding. I started out using a Boppy pillow, which worked well when Micah was itty-bitty, but as he got bigger it just seemed clunky and in the way. I started using a small couch pillow so I could use more positions, and it was just easier. But with his hour (or longer) nursing sessions, my back and arms would get really tired. So, even though he nurses for 30 minutes or less now, I was really excited to receive Dr. Brown’s Gia Pillow. It’s design is just as big but less clunky, and angled perfectly for Micah to rest at a healthy angle with his feet lower than his head. It looks incredibly comfortable! Plus, with him being so wiggly now, it helps him stay on my lap even when he’s arched over backwards trying to see his daddy or the nearest kitty. He used to try to fling himself around and I’d struggle to keep him from falling to the floor, now the Gia nursing pillow does all the holding and I can focus on un-distracting him.

Gia Awesomeness

I wish I had the Gia Pillow when Micah was a newborn and I look forward to using it for my future babies! It is really soft and cushy, so I can rest Micah right on it or rest my arm on it. It supports him at a good angle so my arms do absolutely no work. Awesome! Dr. Brown’s sells covers for it, or it can be used without a cover. I have a super cute baby blue elephant cover for mine. And, just like a Boppy, it can double as a support for baby on the floor. It can go under Micah for some tummy time, or behind him when he’s sitting in case he tips over. It’s lightweight and portable, and still small enough to fit between the couch and end table for easy access whenever Micah’s tummy beckons.


Win a Gia nursing pillow for yourself!

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, Dr. Brown’s is giving away 5 Gia nursing pillows to Grinning Cheek to Cheek readers!

How to Enter:

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment with your own tip for nursing mothers, or a question for other nursing mamas!

Then: Fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Be sure to come back each day for extra entries!!    

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: You do not have to be a blogger to enter/win. An email address is required to enter. The winner will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter and contacted via the email registered in Rafflecopter. A reply to the winning email is required within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen. One person entering per household please. US or Canada only please.

This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on August 16th, 2013


  1. Linda Trinklein says:

    always have a glass of water next to you before you start.. I always got thirsty right as i started nursing!

  2. I just nurse on demand, never been a clock watcher.

  3. Robin Wilson says:

    Love the milk coma pic! It has been quite some time, but I daresay I used my instincts as to feeding times ~ you can count on them most of the time. My best advice is don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help! This is too important.

  4. nurse on demand the first 8 weeks!

  5. Natalie G says:

    Enlist the help of a lactation consultant.

  6. Jessica Ward says:

    Use the help available to you. After I never got my son to latch well, when my DD was born, I was paranoid. Every nurse covering me in the hospital helped, along with an excellent lactation consultant, who I have on speed dial! Knowledge is key!!!

  7. Demirio Haynes says:

    Don’t give up

  8. Lauren M says:

    I tried nursing my first born and succeeded for the first 3 months, I just couldn’t keep up with his demand. I really want to try again with my next child, due 10/16/2013. I’m hoping to far surpass my last endeavor! I think the Gia Pillow would be a great help to us!

  9. Melissa G says:

    Wondering what is the best way/time to pump to create stock for when I go back to work?

  10. Morgan Cotopolis says:

    I will be a first time mom this September! I will be traveling with baby quite a bit and heard that bring your nursing pillow on the airplane to help hold baby is a good idea. Any advice from someone who has tried? Thanks! Great giveaway!!

  11. Chelsy Mathews says:

    I would like advice on finding the best nursing bras and tops and also covers. This will be my second child but first breastfed. I have tons of friends and family that have done it so I feel confident that I will have great support.

  12. Jamie Gulino says:

    I’m breastfeeding my 3rd child. She’s 9 weeks old. It’s going pretty good so far. I just started supplementing with a small amount of formula. I want to breastfeed her till she’s a year. She’s the last baby I’m having so its vey important to me. I drink at least 100 oz. of water everyday and take fenugreek. My supply doesn’t seem to be meeting her needs. Any advice?

  13. Jennifer says:

    Invest in the best pump you can afford for when you go back to work. Most pumps are now covered by insurance too! I got a Medela pump that was covered 100% by Aetna.

  14. Emmalee Kiernan says:

    Try and nurse in a space that’s not to diatracting, as they get older it starts to make nursing in a busy area slightly tougher. As to when to pump to make stock for back to work – I personally did it right after my son nursed, started out not getting much since I was “empty” but eventually could get a decent amount & you can start your stock!

  15. Jacquelyn K says:

    Love the Moms Connection group that our hospital’s lactation consultant hosts each week! Amazing support resource as a new mom 🙂

  16. Sheena Reynolds says:

    dont give up and rest rest rest!!

  17. Keep at it. If its your first time, some times it can take time to get the hang of it.

  18. jerry lane says:

    nurse as often as you can. A pillow such as this one helps to get the baby to the right level to keep from pulling. As a mother who nursed for 6 years I feel I have faced many problems and over came them. Now I am helping with my 5th grandchild who is being breast fed. Her mom has kept up even when the baby was in NICU.

  19. In the beginning I was pumping after each time he fed. I would feed him on one side and then pump the other. That really built up my supply. After I went back to work I was pumping at work each time he would eat, and trying to pump an ounce or so more than he would bottle to keep up my supply. Now, at 7 months, I’m having trouble pumping as much as eats so our supply is starting to dwindle, but he seems to be getting to nurse enough on the days I am home so I’m still making enough just can’t pump it all out or something.

  20. He and I flew to Arizona when he was two months old and I wore him in a baby sling during the flight, that way the sling supported him in a position where he could sleep, nurse, or look up at me. He slept the entire flight there (3 hours) and part of the flight back, otherwise seemed very content. And I liked the sling over a pillow for that since those chairs are so small and carry on luggage is so limited. I’m flying with him again in two weeks and will definitely be writing a post about how that goes!

  21. I’ve never had a problem with my supply but I have interacted with women that have, they mention the fenugreek and drinking enough, also nursing more frequently, or pumping after nursing to stimulate more milk production. And just keep at it. You can call a lactation consultant or google for more tips and ideas.

  22. Nursing bras are just like regular bras in that you have to go check out and try on different ones to find what fits you. I wear a cloth one from walmart some days, and a nicer under-wire one from Motherhood Maternity (great bra!) other days. I also had one from Target that wasn’t so nice, but I think the size was a little big. Target has some super cute nursing tops, otherwise I got a lot of my shirts from Goodwill and Savers. As far as a nursing cover, I frequently use a small blanket, I do have a cover from Udder Covers that I got for free, just paid shipping, which works great I just kept forgetting it at home.
    Udder Covers is connected with other websites and I got my codes from Destination Maternity: For a free baby sling from use the code BEMINE. You pay $11.95 for shipping, but the baby sling is
    free retail $39-$44. They also gave links to buy a free baby carrier
    cover (just pay shipping $12.95) retail $44.95 using code SEVEN and free breastfeeding cover (just pay shipping $11.95) retail $32.00 using code SEVEN.

  23. What is the best breast pump? My baby is due August 30th! This will be my second. I nursed my first for 2 months, but I had a supply problem. Hoping this one will be more successful.

  24. cabbage leaves help with discomfort

  25. find a good nursing bra, keep water with you & always have a burp cloth!

  26. Do I really have to wait until the six week mark to start storing breast milk?
    I have a medical condition which will prevent me from bf for past the first couple of months, if that. This is because the meds I will need to take are not safe while breastfeeding…To save the most milk possible, I was hoping to start pumping and storing right after baby is born… not waiting six weeks… do I really have to wait?

  27. i would say it’s always a good idea to meet with a lactation consultant

  28. If its your first time, some times it can take time to get the hang of it.

  29. I would like advice on how to breastfeed twins 🙂

  30. Nicki Z. says:

    I’m expecting our first biological child next month (we have a 20-mo old adopted daughter), so this will be my first time nursing! I will admit that I’m a bit nervous about how it will go, but have received lots of helpful advice from other mom’s – the #1 being “Don’t give up”!

  31. Rebecca K. says:

    The First Years Nursing Care Instant Relief System ($7 on amazon) was a lifesaver for me when my nipples were sore in the first weeks. They’re gel pads you stick in the fridge or freezer (I found freezer worked best), stick in the sleeve, and then put them in your bra. The cooling was amazing.

    Also, don’t get freaked out when your baby starts to cluster feed. As long as they are gaining weight, peeing, and pooping regularly, there’s no need to worry that you’re not making enough milk. Sometimes they do this to stimulate your body to produce more milk as they grow, or to get more so that they can sleep longer. It can be frustrating, but don’t give up! Give yourself the time to let them do what they need to do. It only lasts a little while, you can do it!

  32. My tip is for new moms starting to breast feed. BE PATIENT!

  33. Sherri B. says:

    I plan to breastfeed when I have children. What are some tips when it comes to breastfeeding in public, even with a cover-up?

  34. Jessica Schlecht says:

    FTM here, any tips to make the process easier if the baby is having any troubles? I don’t want to give up too soon!

  35. Tannis W says:

    I’m not till breastfeeding yet, so my question would be how do you stay awake when feeding at night?

  36. I stayed awake at night by playing games or reading books. I also fell asleep quite often, which was annoying at the time but looking back was actually nice bonding sleeping with my baby in my arms.
    Nursing in public: try to find a quite, out of the way area so baby won’t be distracted and try to pull the cover off. When we went places I generally tried to find a room designated for nursing, otherwise a place where I could sit out of the way (some places have couches in women’s bathrooms or other rooms nearby, I frequently asked staff people if there is a place (like the Twin’s baseball stadium (Target Field) has an office that they designate for nursing moms).
    Talk to your doctor if you have conflicts with medications and breastmilk, ask them to talk with a lactation consult to get advice about pumping and when to restart medications
    If baby is having trouble, try reducing the stimulation in baby’s environment (people, sounds, lights), try different positions, try expressing or pumping a little milk so baby doesn’t have to work so hard to get letdown,

  37. domenica johnson says:

    Nursing my baby is my time to shut out the rest of the world and focus of what’s truly important in life.

  38. Dianne Hall says:

    Nursing bras are a god send!

  39. VivianS (@AskViv) says:

    Lots of nursing tanks and a good nursing pillow are a must!

  40. Valerie Taylor Mabrey says:

    Just relax nature works in your favor
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  41. April Brenay says:

    Drink lots of water, and set a timer so you can keep track on how long for each side

  42. Denise Konkel says:

    Nipple shields!

  43. Theresa J says:

    My best tip is to be patient

  44. Some moms like me need to get medication from NEw Zealand in order to breastfeed. It’s called Domperidone and increases your prolactin production.

  45. Julie Ghrist says:

    tell your close family how important it is to u to nurse your baby and ask them to be the one to not let you give up.You need support to get thru

  46. I know it’s not every breastfeeding mother, but I know there’s lots out there who make rude comments regarding formula feeding mothers. No matter what the issue or reason is they choose not to breastfeed, show support and try not to pass judgement. It’s hard enough being a mother, we don’t need to bash each other into trying to figure out who’s parenting the right or wrong way.

  47. The best advise I’ve got is if at first you don’t succeed at breastfeeding try again.

  48. My tip is to try to remain calm and find a private place when you first start breastfeeding.

  49. Tiffany Postlethwait says:

    Have a support system in place – even if it’s just an email for a lactation consultant.

  50. Always try to empty out at least one side to get the richer hindmilk.

  51. A breastfeeding class really helped me to prepare and learn lots of tips and tricks from helpful instructors!

  52. tina reynolds says:

    Try out many nursing bras its worth it to find a good fit

  53. how often should you nurse?

  54. dont give up!

  55. My daughter in law was always relaxed when it came to nursing our grandson and is the same with #2 who arrived july 3rd.

  56. katherine says:

    dont fear nursing in public!

  57. pinky sade says:

    persevere and do not give up!

  58. Arthur Anderson says:

    My wife hasn’t started breastfeeding yet as she’s pregnant with our first now so she doesn’t have any advice yet.

  59. Brittney House says:

    My question is what should I look for when buying a best pump?

  60. Mihaela Day says:

    Don’t give up

  61. susan smoaks says:

    my tip: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

  62. thank you for the post and the fantastic advice!

  63. Stephanie is totally right, no bashing moms who chose to use formula. Different people use formula for different reasons. Some do it for selfish reasons, yes, but many others do it for reasons like not producing enough milk, or not being blessed with a job that lets them pump at work, or they have to be on medications that pass through the breast milk.
    Buy a pump before baby is born, you will have enough to do after baby comes along. Do lots of research and pick the best one for you.
    Nurse as often as baby is hungry. At first, that might be every hour. And there will be days of growth spurts or cluster nursing that it could be incredibly frequent. Eventually, most babies settle into an every 2-3 hour schedule, and as they grow older can go longer. Then, once they start solid food, it’s a whole new ball game and really up to each individual mom and baby

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