INTERVIEW: Conquering Breastfeeding Challenges with Calma

June 8, 2012

Have you been considering Calma as your breastfeeding solution? See what other moms are saying and learn from their experiences. We interviewed two Calma users whose babies are in different life stages and breastfeeding situations.

The first interview was with Rachel May, a mother of two. Rachel shared that after many breastfeeding challenges with her first son; she was determined to make it easier to breastfeed her second baby. With her second tongue-tied baby, Maya, she chose to try Calma. Armed with the lessons learned from her son and her success with Calma, she has been able to successfully breastfeed Maya. Keep reading to learn about our full interview with Rachel.

Medela CalmaBreastfeeding Before Calma

Both of Rachel’s children were tongue-tied, but after her first child, she was determined to have a better breastfeeding experience. Maya struggled with breastfeeding because she didn’t know how to effectively use her tongue. So, Rachel used Medela’s SpecialNeeds Feeder and other specialty feeding devices to help with breast milk feeding. These products were helpful in providing breast milk, but she still wanted more. She wanted Maya to return to feeding at breast.

Deciding to Try Calma

After having two children with special feeding needs, Rachel was familiar with many of the breast milk feeding products on the market and knew there wasn’t much out there that would help Maya return to the breast. So, she was open to anything that could help:

“There aren’t very many products out there that are really helpful in getting a baby back to the breast and a lot of people end up either quitting breastfeeding or having to make the sacrifices of just exclusively pumping when they run into problems. I was absolutely determined that that wasn’t going to be the case…I willing to try anything that would get her to where she was feeding on the breast…”

So, after some online research, the Medela Calma seemed like the best solution.

Trying Calma for the First Time

Maya struggled with the Calma bottle at first, because she was sucking too vigorously to stimulate letdown. However, after a few tries, she got the hang of it and settled into a calmer sucking pattern. Rachel made adjustments too, such as offering Calma when Maya wasn’t extremely hungry and keeping her more upright during feedings.

Breastfeeding with Calma

According to Rachel, “[Calma] has been a very important tool for getting [Maya] to stay on breast, which I feel is going to do nothing but help elongate my breastfeeding relationship with her.” There was a period of time when Maya would refuse the breast altogether and since starting to use Calma, she’s had a lot more success in getting her to take whole feedings off the breast.

In addition, Calma has also helped eliminate Maya’s struggles with reflux. Overall, Calma became a very important tool for getting Maya to successfully breastfeed.

The Value of Calma

Rachel felt that it’s easy to give up on breastfeeding the moment you encounter your first challenge. So, the more you can do prevent and eliminate these challenges, the more successful your breastfeeding experience will be. Rachel told us she’d “recommend it for any mother that’s going to go going back to work.” She continued by saying, “Every baby should have it to make sure the breastfeeding relationship continues as long as it can.”

Are you curious about Calma and how it can support your breastfeeding goals? Visit the Calma product page on our website, or watch our video to see Calma in action.

Have you tried Calma? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


13 thoughts on “INTERVIEW: Conquering Breastfeeding Challenges with Calma

  1. Debi Markoe says:

    Calma saved us while Ziah(our 5th child) struggled with feeding problems, tongue tie and failure to thrive. Thanks to Medela Symphony and Calma, Ziah is 4 months old and has not received a drop of formula and is up to a healthy weight. He is nursing like a champ now. Thanks Medela!!

  2. While I am glad that Rachel May found a way to feed her baby, I am also wondering why she did not simply have her baby’s tongue tie released.
    Breastfeeding is not the only health issue affected by tongue tie. It can also lead to difficulties with eating solid foods, because of the difficulty of moving a bolus of food to the back of the mouth, cause reflux and apnea, and later on may lead to the need for orthodontic work and speech therapy.
    You can find information about tongue ties here:

    • Hi Norma – Thanks for sharing the information. Rachel did have her babies’ tongue tie released, but still encountered some challenges breastfeeding. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with our community.

    • Hi Susan – We’re sorry to hear that your clients’ babies didn’t immediately take to Calma. We’ve found sometimes that Calma takes a little getting used to. Typically, babies suck vigorously at the beginning of a feeding to stimulate let down. With Calma, relaxed sucking, similar to the middle of a feeding, works best. Many moms found that after a few tries, babies adjust their sucking at the beginning of the feed with Calma and that Calma helped immensely with the transition from bottle to breast.

      • If babies need to “adjust their [vigorous] sucking at the beginning of the feed with Calma,” then how does that help transition them to the breast if they need the vigorous suck to stimulate let down?

  3. If babies have to adjust their suck to be LESS vigorous to adapt to a bottle, then they will not be sucking in an appropriate manner for the breast. Effectively you are admitting to what I have found with 100% of the clients I have seen who have tried this bottle — babies suck worse on the breast. So while you may have found some resilient babies who are highly adaptable (because most babies WILL eventually take the breast when mothers maintain their supply through pumping) the babies who are having significant problems that comprise my clientele will not. Furthermore, aspiration from choking is a health risk. The degree of choking I observed among my clients was severe — not mild — and much worse than with other bottles.

  4. I work in the mornings and express milk for my baby to have while we are apart. Using Calma meant she controlled how much milk she took and I didn’t have to worry about over feeding – if she didn’t want more, she wouldn’t suck, so she couldn’t be forced to finish a bottle. She is now 14 months old and has used calma since I returned to work when she was 18 weeks old. I didn’t introduce it beforehand, our nanny dipped the teat into milk and offerred it to her for the first time on my first day back at work. The first day was some calma and some cup but all went well from there.

    • Hi Kim – Thanks for sharing your story. We’re thrilled Calma has worked out so well for you and your baby.

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