Successful Breastfeeding Blog
Evidence based advice, support, and education for modern families.
On today’s episode, we hear the wisdom and words from Autumnn Gaines, who is the subject of an iconic and powerful photo taken during a recent peaceful protest following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.
Allison got emotional today. There's so many fears about this virus in our community, in the lactation world, and especially with our private clients (Yes, we've had COVID-19 positive clients.)
You’ve probably heard teaching sign language to your baby can help lessen frustration for them (and possibly save you from some tantrums) by allowing them to communicate things to you they don’t have spoken words for just yet. This sounds amazing, right?! But teaching your baby sign language is so much more than avoiding tantrums. You might not know it now, but there’s another BIG benefit to this early communication with your little one.
Nowadays, we can do EVERYTHING online. We can buy almost anything, pay bills and other banking, earn degrees, socialize, and probably a million other things (literally sitting on my laptop doing my VIRTUAL JOB as I write this).
Now you can even get breastfeeding support online, all in the comfort of your own home. Heck, I totally did it. I took the virtual prenatal breastfeeding class before I joined the Successful Breastfeeding team and I was so glad I did. I had access to ALL the information on my phone, which I accessed multiple times while I was still in the hospital after having my son. Because let’s be real, I wasn’t going to keep paper notes or pamphlets from an in-person class close by while in the hospital, but my phone was never far away. Okay, so the battery may have died and I might have lost it a lot in the beginning but I swear it still never got that far away.
Have a baby, get your body back, look and feel sexy, and get back to having sex so you can rock being a mom and a partner all by baby’s 2-month check-up. Hahahaha…yeah, right. If you did this, I’m genuinely happy for you but also curious what kind of magic you found and how many limbs you had to sell to get it. I have a 9-month-old and I’m not rocking all of that yet.
Seriously though, how are you supposed to feel sexy when you spend the majority of your thoughts on literally everything else? And don’t get me started on the amount of time I spend already being touched by a baby all day. Adding in other human touch can sound like torture.
What do you have to do to be mother of the year? The answer may surprise you and it all lies in a simple form of self care.
You have to take care of YOU. Sleep when the baby sleeps. You can’t pour from an empty glass. You deserve a break. YOU DO YOU, BOO.....
Okay, maybe the last one isn’t said as much BUT I really like saying it and it at least kind of fits. Either way, we hear a lot of this as parents (especially on the really rough days), but what does taking care of yourself really mean? My Instagram will tell me moms take care of themselves by getting a pedicure or wearing one of those bubble face masks. I personally like to take baths, wear face masks, and buy fancy eye creams. Soooo relaxing. But is that REALLY self care?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news...... I really do. BUT I have to burst your bubble bath bubbles for a second here and give you a hard truth. That's not self care. It's nice, but it's not truly self care. Self care has another layer to it, and it's something that helps your whole self, and revitalizes you body, mind, and soul..... it's not superficial.... and as nice as face masks are they're only skin deep. Pun fully intended here.
So, if you want to know what true self care really looks like.... and to learn how you can transform your own motherhood journey to be happier, healthier, and a better mom overall.... with one really simple trick... then read on!
7/30/2019 0 Comments
Ahhhh!!!! The pain.... in the neck!!!! And back!!! and also sometimes hips..... Holy cow. Nobody warned me about the strain I'd feel in my body when I was breastfeeding. And some days I felt like I could barely move my head, or bend over. Yikes!
It seems like everyone wants to tell you how much your nipples are going to hurt, but nobody bothered to mention the pain in the neck! OMG. (Your nipples shouldn't hurt by the way.... and if that's you click HERE to see how to get a pain free latch, or snag a same day appointment with our LCs. Please don't power through a painful latch!)
So, when I found Dr. Rachel Miller I knew I absolutely had to collaborate with her. Her area of genius (and yes I mean genius!) is helping women recover their pelvic floor after birth, and making your whole body work for you when you're a mom. As a mom herself (with 5 kiddos!), she knows more than anyone how important it is to keep your body feeling well, and as a Doctor of Physical Therapy she's got the skills to make it happen, and she's sharing her secrets with us!
"Mom pain" and "Nursing Neck" are real..... but we've got these super easy hacks to help you quickly relieve the discomfort from carrying around your babies, and nursing all day. So.... let's get into it!
Did you know that the birth you have matters when it comes to breastfeeding? There are certain interventions that can affect breastfeeding and your milk supply. Some common interventions that can affect your ability to breastfeed are IV fluids, epidural, Pitocin, and cesarean births.
Sometimes birth interventions are necessary, and if that's the case, that doesn't mean you can't breastfeed. It just means we may need to alter the way you approach those first feedings and the early postpartum period so you can have the best breastfeeding experience despite your birthing circumstances.
Knowing is half the battle. As a lactation expert, one of the fist things I would say to you during a virtual breastfeeding support session is,"tell me about your birth." I can get clues about what's going on based on your birth experience, and then use that knowledge to make a plan of action that will work for you, your baby, and your circumstances.
In this post we cover different birthing scenarios, and how you can still have Your Best Start to Breastfeeding, no matter your birthing outcomes.
5/31/2019 0 Comments
There's one really great way to level up and become an extraordinary first time dad, and it's simple: focus on bonding with your baby. But, how do you do that exactly? Well, in this post we break it down for you, and share the perfect tool to help you do it.
In our practice as lactation consultants we have the honor of supporting families with our prenatal class and have been given insights from the perspective of countless dads, and partners about their views of becoming a new parent. What we see commonly: the partner feels left out of the whole pregnancy experience, and can feel disconnected from the process.
And that makes sense I suppose. I mean, all the appointments and classes are about mom and baby. Not about dad. So it would seem their role is secondary to their partner and baby. That is not how we feel. We feel very strongly that partners need to be fully included in the prenatal experience, and have a crucial role in the breastfeeding relationship as well. Being an extraordinary first time dad/partner comes down to one very simple thing- Bonding.
But how do you bond with your breastfed baby? Do you give your baby a bottle and give your partner a break from breastfeeding? (Well... if you've read our top tips you know we don't recommend this.) Do you play with baby? Read to baby? Massage baby? Often partners are discouraged from bonding with their babies because newborns are very mom obsessed, and usually are happiest at the breast. Nobody wants to hold a screaming baby.
But, bonding with your baby can be easy if you have a few skills, and there's one crucial bonding method that is tried and true, and will set you up for success!
For those of you who are exclusively pumping, I absolutely applaud you. You deserve all the brownie points, and all the brownies. In my opinion, exclusive pumping (EP) is more challenging than nursing a baby at the breast. At least, emotionally, and sometimes physically too.
It's harder to establish and maintain a milk supply when you EP, challenging to pump and care for a baby, and often comes with a slew of emotions around not nursing baby at the breast. These are just to name a few.
That being said, there are countless women who are not afraid of that challenge and take on the EP journey with stride (and a whole lot of support!) And to those of you in it, I tip my LC hat to you (and my mama hat, and my friend hat, and my stranger hat) because I see the struggle EP mamas face in my practice, and I want you to know I see how hard you're working. No matter what anyone says to you or thinks, you're just as much a breastfeeding mom as any other breastfeeding mom.
With that said, I also wanted to provide you, brave EP mama, with more than just recognition. In today's post, I have some gold for you (liquid gold if you will). We are going to cover the topic of Exclusive Pumping, as I chat with an EP expert and share all of her best tips and a few of mine too.
I'm Kelly Maher Carvell, Successful Breastfeeding LLC's founder, and lactation expert. I've made it my personal mission to reach as many parents as possible (like you!) to prepare you for your Successful Breastfeeding Journey. Thank you for allowing me and my team to support you. Before you leave the blog grab one of my FREEBIES like my Prenatal Success Kit or the Pump More Milk for Your Stash Guide. You've got this and I'm here to help!
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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