If you are in at least one breastfeeding support group (outside of the Successful Breastfeeding one, of course), then I have no doubt you’ve run into mothers swearing some dark ale or pink colored drink will dramatically increase your supply.
While a dark ale, a pink drink, Body Armour, or simply drinking more water will not actually increase your supply of milk is already talked about on our blog (this blog explains why), the question still remains: Why do all these women swear it works?! There’s no way all these women can be wrong about their supply increasing, can they?!
If you find yourself asking these same questions then YOU ARE IN LUCK because we have some answers for you. You’re about to hear from not one, but TWO lactation experts, who can explain why all those women swear by all the fancy drinks.
"When a child loses a parent they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses their partner they are widowed. When parents lose their child there is no word to describe them...simply that they are still parents" - President Ronald Reagan
October 15th marks a sad day for many parents as it's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Although the whole month is dedicated to pregnancy and infant loss awareness thanks to President Ronald Reagan. Statistically it is thought that ¼ pregnancies ends in miscarriage. While this may seem like an odd and sobering topic for a lactation blog, for many grieving parents, lactation is still a process they have to go through, even if their pregnancy ended without a living baby.
Loss after 16 weeks may still trigger Lactogenesis - the hormonal process of making milk. This can be shocking for a parent dealing with the unexpected loss of a pregnancy. They don't have their baby. Why should they have milk? We help these parents navigate the confusing and often emotionally painful process, letting them know their options and supporting them in whichever they choose.
My baby has a confirmed allergy to dairy (cow’s milk protein) and not a single one of his pediatricians caught it. Even after cutting out dairy for weeks and noticing an accidental intake of it would cause my son’s symptoms to return 12-24 hours later, one of his doctors said, “Oh, sounds like he might have a dairy allergy or intolerance.” MIGHT! HA!
At first, his symptoms were concerning but repeated trips to his doctor’s office left me with instructions to just keep putting lotion on him because it was normal and he would outgrow it. I believed them, although I often felt like they didn’t care, but what else was I to do? Surely his PEDIATRICIANS should know how to treat my son. I knew these doctors. I knew they were very smart people and well-educated physicians. I was also a first-time mom so who was I to question to their judgement?
Now I’m over 6 months into my dairy free diet, my son is symptom free and happy, and I’ve learned that too many physicians will blame a sneeze on a dairy allergy before they recognize a baby who actually has one.
“I’m losing my milk supply and I don’t know what to do!”
I hear this anguished cry from breastfeeding parents constantly. I hear it in the clinic. I see it in Facebook support groups. I hear it from private clients when we’re doing support sessions. Perceived low milk supply is the biggest reason people give up on breastfeeding. Notice I said perceived, not true low milk supply. A VERY small percentage of mothers are biologically unable to produce enough breastmilk to feed their baby (most studies say less than 5%). Now, that doesn’t mean that low milk supply can’t develop. There are some very real things that can sabotage you and lead to true low supply. So what happens then? I usually cringe as person after person spouts the same ridiculous advice - “Drink more water!” “Try coconut water!” “Body Armour drinks”. “Starbucks Pink Drink!” “Lactation teas and cookies.” “Gatorade, but it has to be blue.” Let’s look at milk production, and then examine the effect some of these fad suggestions might have.
Working with breastfeeding moms, I get asked all the time about new products and gadgets marketed to make their lives easier. I wholeheartedly believe you are all you need for your baby, but I don't mind trying out items to review and share my opinion.
Recently, I tried out TWO new products- the Beaugen Inserts and Lacteck BabyMotion Flanges. Both companies sent me these items to review and give my honest opinion. These products have two very different methods for similar problems pumping mothers experience. *I am not receiving any compensation or endorsement from either of these companies.
Are you considering starting solid foods for your little one? It can be an exciting time to see your baby meet such a big milestone and the prospect of someone else being able to feed your baby can be thrilling, too. Not to mention, you'll get to see your kid cover their adorable face with food and get some adorable pictures along the way. Many families can get really eager to start solids, but how do you know when it's your baby who is ready for solids and not just your in-laws who are more than ready to give the baby full meals? It's a lot to work through and everyone has a different opinion - your mom, best friend, doctor, and that mom's group you're in are giving you conflicting advice. Thankfully there's some solid evidence to guide you through this decision and we've got you covered.
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.
Going back to work after having a baby is filled with a ton of emotions, especially for all you breastfeeding teachers who are nervous about how and where you are going to pump at work!
I was actually a teacher for a year and a half. I taught a phlebotomy course at a local school and it was seriously the most exhausting job I’ve ever had. I no longer work there, but I learned to have the utmost respect for teachers because holy wow, y’all put in some serious work. It saddens me that you work SO HARD and you run into some of the biggest barriers to pumping at work compared to other professions. All too often, I hear of teachers not being provided with an adequate space in overcrowded schools or not being given enough time to adequately pump. Breaks are few and far between, it can be difficult to get someone to get your class, and when do you even have time to pee with all that?!
To all the pumping teachers out there, this post for you. I reached out to our Facebook community and asked REAL teachers to give me allllll the tips and tricks.
You've heard it before. Everyone has. "Breast is Best." But what does that really mean? Best for babies? Moms? Better for their physical and mental well being, of course. But what about the environment? Breastfeeding is very green! Society at large? Surely the global economy can't benefit from your breastfeeding relationship, right? Think again! A study completed in 2017 showed that if just 50% of the world's infants were exclusively breastfed for 6 months, it would save 300 billion (yes, billion with a B) dollars and 520,000 children's lives. Those are some big numbers. For every $1 invested in supporting breastfeeding mothers, that dollar generates $35 dollars in economic returns. Talk about a good return!
What does that mean for you personally?
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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