Breastfeeding and Work–Alice’s Story

Multi-tasking!

Multi-tasking!

Alice came to me concerned about how she was going to keep breastfeeding once she returned to her full-time career. In her workplace, there is no such thing as 9-5. Everyone is expected to put in long days. I talked to her about asking for what she needed and setting some limits. We also talked about creative ways to meet her baby’s needs. She took my suggestions and ran with them—developing her own, unique style. Many thanks to Alice for sharing how she has managed to maintain her breastfeeding relationship and continue her fast-paced work life.

Christian is a big, healthy boy who is now enjoying solid foods in addition to mommy’s milk. Here is her success story: Continue reading

What is a Phone Consultation?

IMG_2024A phone consultation is a great way to get some expert help at about half the cost of a home visit. It’s appropriate for a wide variety of situations. I commonly provide phone consultations for return-to-work planning, milk supply problems, breastfeeding management concerns and sleep issues. Phone consultations work best when breastfeeding is going ok (or has in the past) but there are other issues that need to be addressed.

You caught my daughter’s posterior tongue tie over the phone & with emailed pictures when other health care professionals completely overlooked it! It’s now being corrected next week! I’m really excited to see how this improves her breastfeeding! *THANK YOU*

What can you expect from a phone consultation?

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Breastfeeding Through the Holidays

Relaxing with Baby

Back in the day, before I was an IBCLC, I spent hours on the phone as a La Leche League Leader, listening to and trying to help breastfeeding mothers. My co-leaders and I were very active with 2 well-attended group meetings per month. It was not unusual for me to talk on the phone with several mothers each day of the week. After a year or 2 of this work, I began to notice a trend. During major holidays, almost all of the calls were about plugged ducts, mastitis and milk supply.

I discussed this with more experienced leaders. “Yep,” they agreed, “those breastfeeding problems happen more during major life events—especially holidays!” It was such a recognizable phenomenon, we were able to predict the types of calls we could expect based on the time of year. Toward the end of November, we started preparing for the flood of plugged ducts and mastitis calls. Continue reading

IUD’s and Milk Supply

Cross cradleAbout 6 weeks to 2 months postpartum, your health care provider will bring up the subject of birth control. Even though sex may be the farthest thing from your mind! Your doctor has your mental and physical health in mind when he talks to you about a birth control method. It can be devastating emotionally and physically to get pregnant again before you are ready.

There are many birth control methods that are compatible with breastfeeding and have absolutely zero risk of harming milk production. Condoms and other barrier methods are safe and effective when used appropriately. But these methods are considered “risky” to many doctors because they rely on patient compliance and errors can occur. More and more doctors, therefore, are encouraging new mothers to use an IUD for birth control.

There is a relatively new IUD on the market, that definitely can create problems for breastfeeding individuals. It’s called Mirena. The Mirena IUD releases small amounts of synthetic progesterone over time. Progesterone is the hormone that keeps you from lactating during pregnancy. It follows that progesterone, even a small amount, could cause a reduction in milk supply for a breastfeeding mother. Continue reading

Breast Engorgement and Cabbage Leaves?

Let’s be honest. Overly full, engorged breasts are uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful. Fortunately, under normal circumstances true engorgement can be prevented with frequent breastfeeding in the first few days/weeks after the birth of your baby. Some breast fullness and tenderness is to be expected in the first week postpartum as your breasts prepare to provide nourishment for your baby or babies. It may feel like you have enough milk to feed the entire neighborhood, but keep in mind that much of the swelling you are experiencing is simply that—swelling. It’s not just milk “coming in” that is making your breasts feel so full. After the birth of your baby; water, blood and lymphatic fluid rush to your breasts in preparation for breastfeeding. With adequate breastfeeding, the discomfort usually passes in a day or 2. Many mothers don’t experience anything but mild fullness.

Currently, however, many mothers in the U.S. experience births that are anything but “normal.” Epidural anesthesia requires that mother receive an IV of fluids. Inducing labor with pitocin requires extra fluid. C-sections require IV’s. If a mother receives any extra fluids via IV, she will continue to retain the fluid for some time even after the birth of her baby. That extra fluid often results in swollen ankles, fingers and even breasts! Continue reading