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Lactation Link team

Maternal mental health matters because the mother-child bond begins with mental health. It's more than postpartum depression. Links and resources via lactationlink.com

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week

By | Lactation Link team, motherhood

May 1-7 is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week and we want to share a few tips and resources to help #connectthedots because #momsmatter. Did you know Postpartum Mood Disorders is the number one complication of childbirth? It’s not just depression. It can manifest as post traumatic stress, postpartum depression, obsessive compulsive behaviors, anxiety, psychosis. And it’s not just postpartum. It can happen during pregnancy and it can happen to partners. But what we want to highlight is the hope that is waiting on the other side of these issues. With the right amount of support, moms and families can be on the road to good mental health.

We want to help create confidence in motherhood. And when you have support and education, we know you can feel confident in your choices. You know how to love your baby. The mother-child bond begins with mental health. We want you to feel taken care of so you can confidently take care of your baby!

Maternal mental health matters because the mother-child bond begins with mental health. It's more than postpartum depression. Links and resources via lactationlink.comOur message to moms this week and always is that…

  • You are not alone. Feelings of stress and anxiousness can be normal after childbirth and during pregnancy. But if anything feels off and you don’t feel like yourself, let your partner know and talk with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. The faster you get help, the faster you will feel better.
  • There is hope. For immediate support, you can call 1-800-944-4773 to talk with Postpartum Support International. Whether it’s postpartum depression, anxiety or anything that makes you feel that something is “off,” there is help and hope available!
  • We are here for you. As mothers ourselves, the Lactation Link team is here to listen and support you. Our IBCLCs have resources and providers to connect you with if you request it during an appointment. We work hard to listen and discern if a mother is going through mental health challenges and we will suggest extra support if prompted. If your goal is to continue breastfeeding during treatment, we want to help. If your goal is to wean during treatment, we can help with that too. We want to support you and your goals.
  • Partners are vital to moms’ mental health. Who is your #1 support? Is it your husband? Your partner? Your mom, a friend? Do they know the symptoms of maternal mental health challenges? They are vitally important to #connectthedots and help moms find help. Learn more from Postpartum Support International.

You matter. Help is available. You can get better. 

XOXO,

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The Lactation Link Team

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com Know the difference in lactation professionals so you can get the best support!

What is an IBCLC?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Home/Hospital Visits, Lactation Link team

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC. I’m a mom to 5 and lactation consultant with Lactation Link. I’m here today to talk about what makes an IBCLC different from other lactation professionals. I hope this answers questions you have had about IBCLCs.

What is an IBCLC?

Now that you’re pregnant, you may be focused on making informed choices for your birth– which is so important! Once that baby arrives, though, you’ll be mostly focused on feeding that sweet little one! You may be wondering who you can trust when it comes to breastfeeding support. There is breastfeeding advice out there in so many places– everywhere from your mom and sister to your nosy neighbor to online forums and social media. It can be hard to know what information and people you can depend on! So you can feel super comfortable preparing to breastfeed and meeting your breastfeeding goals, you should definitely have an IBCLC on your team! That’s a long acronym, so to get started, let’s go over that and some other professional lactation-related acronyms:

  • IBCLC: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • LLL: La Leche League (a mother-to-mother volunteer breastfeeding support organization)
  • RN: Registered Nurse (sometimes the lactation specialist at the hospital is a nurse with no other lactation training or credential)
  • CLC: Certified Lactation Counselor (Helpful in assisting with normal course of breastfeeding issues)
  • CLE: Certified Lactation Educator (Someone who is trained in teaching breastfeeding topics to others)
  • CLEC: Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (Very similar to a CLC; trained in the normal course of breastfeeding)

There are three IBCLCs and one CLEC (who is on track to become an IBCLC soon!) with Lactation Link right now, so we are overflowing with breastfeeding support and knowledge!

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Lactation Link lactation professionals: Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC; Stephanie Weight Hadfield, BS, IBCLC; Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC; Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC.

In most U.S. states (Rhode Island and Georgia excluded), the term “Lactation Consultant” is not regulated and does not require a license (1).  This means that someone can call themselves a lactation consultant, even if they aren’t an IBCLC. It also means that you’ll sometimes read on social media something like, “Make sure you see a real IBCLC!”  So what makes an IBCLC so special?  

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Stephanie Weight Hadfield, IBCLC teaching at a Lactation Link class.

To become an IBCLC, one must pass seven college-level health science classes, six other health science classes like CPR and medical terminology, 90 hours of lactation-specific education, and complete 1000 hours of hands-on clinical experience with breastfeeding mothers and babies.  That’s alot of boobie talk!  After all that is completed, the candidate qualifies to sit for the IBLCE exam.  This is a 4-hour, 175-question exam. After completing the requirements and passing the exam, one becomes an IBCLC!  It is then required to re-certify every 5 years with continuing education credits and/or re-taking the exam (2).  There is no other lactation education or support credential that requires so much preparation and knowledge!

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Lactation Link IBCLCs and educators at a Lactation Link class.

To briefly compare training, a CLC and CLEC are the nearest to an IBCLC in requirements to qualify.  To earn either certification, one must take a 45-hour lactation education course and an exam on that material.  No clinical experience component or other health education is necessary (3, 4).  The clinical experience backgrounds that IBCLCs have is a staggering difference between other breastfeeding certifications and is the gold standard for assessing and managing breastfeeding issues.  Wouldn’t you rather have someone who has seen hundreds of moms and babies with many different issues be the one who helps you?

This is why you might notice that on Lactation Link’s website & instagram page, we proudly refer to ourselves as IBCLCs instead of just saying lactation consultants.  A lot of time, work, effort, studying, and passion went into earning the IBCLC credential and we are proud that we’ve obtained the highest certification available for breastfeeding support and can better serve moms like you!  

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Lactation Link’s IBCLCs offer e-consults, in-person consults, online video classes, and in-person classes.  Each of us qualified to become an IBCLC with different backgrounds (including RN experience; doula and birth experience; Women, Infants, and Children counseling; La Leche League community support, and many different classes and conferences full of education).  This amazing spectrum of knowledge makes us fully qualified to offer these services to moms who want the best information out there so they can succeed in meeting their goals.

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

In fact, research proves this to be true!  One research summary found that after reviewing all available studies regarding the outcomes of using IBCLCs, mothers who had higher breastfeeding initiation rates, a longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding, a longer duration of any breastfeeding, higher breastfeeding rates for all infant age groups, AND better maternal and infant health outcomes as compared to those who didn’t seek out IBCLC support (5).

IBCLC FAQ’s

  • Do you need to be a nurse to be an IBCLC? No.  Some IBCLCs are also Registered Nurses or Registered Dieticians but there are other pathways to becoming IBCLC.  
  • Are all lactation nurses in the hospital IBCLCs? Some are, some aren’t.  Some of the ‘lactation specialists’ rounding for the hospital don’t have any extra credential or training other than their experience in the hospital.  This varies a lot by hospital and region.  One of the reasons we offer hospital visits at Lactation Link is so you have the opportunity to get all the support you need and want after birth, no matter how much education, knowledge, or time the hospital lactation nurse has.
  • How long does it take to become an IBCLC? This varies a lot, but it generally takes 2-5 years to complete all the qualifications.  Other breastfeeding credentials generally take anywhere from 1 week to 6 months to complete.

Now that you know that an IBCLC is the gold standard in breastfeeding support, how can you get in touch with one?  Our video classes are a great place to start.  They are so comprehensive and reasonably priced, the cost savings is huge.  First, you have to consider that, on average, formula can cost $3000 over the course of baby’s first year.  We can also help with in-person or online consultations.  You can actually use your Health Savings Account card to book in-person and e-consults with us!  Some moms have even had success in having the cost of the breastfeeding classes or their consults reimbursed by their insurance companies (we can provide an itemized receipt for you to submit for possible (not guaranteed) reimbursement).

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Hopefully, you’re feeling a little more comfortable about navigating the waters of breastfeeding support when you’re looking for help with your breastfeeding questions.  We help moms all over the world, so if you need some help don’t hesitate to schedule an e-consult or in-person consult with us! Also, remember that not all breastfeeding courses are developed and peer-reviewed by IBCLCs, so if you’re looking for breastfeeding education to prepare yourself for your new baby or heading back to work, you can feel confident that our on-demand video classes are full of research-based information!  You can start learning in your first trimester and always refer back to the info because the classes don’t expire!

Want to work with Lactation Link?

We are looking for IBCLCs to join our team around the country! E-mail melissa@lactationlink.com for more information!

What is an IBCLC? via lactationlink.com

Lactation Link professionals: Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC; Stephanie Weight Hadfield, BS, IBCLC; Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC; Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC.

 

Have you signed up for our free email breastfeeding course?

I think you’ll find it really helpful. Click the image below for more info.

Join our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

Sources

  1. Herbert, D. (2016, April 29). Georgia achieves licensure. Retrieved from https://uslca.org/georgia-achieves-licensure
  2. “Preparing for IBCLC Certification.” IBLCE. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2017. <http://iblce.org/certify/preparing-for-ibclc-certification/>.
  3. Baker, G. (n.d.) Lactation educator counselor. Retrieved from http://breastfeeding-education.com/home/clec-2/
  4. “Lactation Counselor Training Course.” Healthy Children Project. N.p., (2017). Web 23 Feb. 2017. <http://www.healthychildren.cc/clc.htm>
  5. Patel, S., & Patel, S. (2015). The effectiveness of lactation consultants and lactation counselors on breastfeeding outcomes. Journal of human lactation 32(3), pp. 530-41.

Is My Baby’s Poop Normal?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Lactation Link team

Is my breastfed baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, an IBCLC and mom of 5. I’m here today to talk about your breastfed baby’s poop!

Before you become a parent, you have no idea how much you’ll think about and analyze poop – trust me!  You and your partner will know just how far you’ve come when you can spend ten minutes discussing diaper frequency and appearance. 

I always ask about baby’s stooling habits because it can be a great way to know...

In fact, in every consultation I ask about baby’s stooling habits because it can be a great way to know how baby is thriving. In Breastfeeding Basics, there is lots of detail about what to expect in baby’s first poops, but today we are going to be talking about poops for infants, rather than newborns. 

Is my baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

The Rainbow of Poop Colors

Yellow or orangey-yellow is usually what breastfed babies’ poop is colored once mature milk comes in around 10-14 days, but sometimes it is watery, sometimes it is seedy or full of curds, sometimes it seems super thin, and sometimes it’s more like toothpaste.  The texture varies from baby to baby but can also vary from diaper to diaper in the same baby.  Some moms ask us how they would know if their baby had diarrhea since their regular poop is so liquidy.  Diarrhea is not common in the exclusively breastfed baby but if they get it, it’s generally VERY watery, comes VERY often, is usually green or almost neon can be mucousy, and almost always has a VERY foul odor (much worse than the mild smell of a breastfed baby’s poop– which is one awesome benefit of breastfeeding!).

What if baby’s poop is green?  Or kind of brown?  Well, you can breathe easy knowing that generally this is just a variation of normal.  What if you see blood?  Usually it’s nothing dangerous or scary, but it can point to an anal fissure that will probably heal on its own (these are very common!) or allergies.  Be sure to call your baby’s healthcare provider if you are concerned about anything you see.  Babies often push hard to poop, but this isn’t typically a concern.  They’re trying to figure out what is actually necessary to get their business done! 

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Baby Pooping Frequency

Moms will sometimes be getting into their groove with nursing and then at 6 or 8 weeks suddenly baby is only pooping every third day.  That sounds terribly uncomfortable to our adult bowels, but the exclusively breastfed baby is very rarely truly constipated.  True constipation is hard, pellet-like stool and warrants a call to the pediatrician in a breastfed baby.  If baby is passing soft, yellow stool after a long hiatus from pooping, you can rest easy– but get out your big box of wipes because this often means there will be a LOT of poop when it does come! It’s worth noting that pooping infrequently (less than once a day) at under a month old could mean inadequate milk intake, so you should check in with us to make sure baby is nursing well, but it is not a reason to panic.

Is my baby's poop normal? via lactationlink.com

If you feel like you’re up to your ears in dirty diapers, try to remind yourself that it’s an awesome problem because it means baby is drinking lots of milk to grow and thrive.  If you’re worried about your baby’s pooping habits, reach out to us for help.  If you’re pregnant or you’re still not sure what’s normal, check out our online breastfeeding video classes which also go over important things to know about poop, as well a LOT more about breastfeeding! 

Have you signed up for our Confident Breastfeeding Course yet? It’s a good intro to the online breastfeeding classes. Click the image below to download.

Koin our free confident breastfeeding course

Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

is it okay for my baby to use a pacifier? via lactation link

Is it okay to give my baby a pacifier?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Lactation Link team

Hi! I’m Kristin Gourley, an IBCLC here at Lactation Link and a mom of 5. I’m here today to answer some questions about pacifier use. Enjoy!

Pacifiers are so common in our culture and many moms, grandmas, and others find them to be helpful for soothing babies.  So why “Is it bad if I give my baby a pacifier?” a common question asked in our community of moms and at consults?

Is it really bad to give your baby a pacifier? A lactation consultant's answer is...

I certainly don’t think they should be avoided at all costs, but there are some things that moms should consider before using one. 

should i give my breastfed baby a pacifier? get the answer from an IBCLC at lactationlink.comWait to start pacifier-use

In general, it’s best to wait until breastfeeding is well-established before introducing a pacifier.  This means baby is nursing well, waking to feed on his own, and gaining weight consistently, while mom is not in pain or experiencing nipple damage.  

The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends considering giving a pacifier at nap time and bedtime after breastfeeeding is firmly established (1) as one way to help prevent SIDS. The evidence is unclear why a pacifier is protective, but it is something to consider.

is it okay for my baby to use a pacifier? via lactation link

Use pacifier in-between feedings, not to replace them

Another important factor to consider is ensuring that the pacifier doesn’t soothe baby too well.  Most babies need to wake at least once at night for many months as well as nurse every couple of hours during the day. Babies release sleepy hormones just from sucking, whether or not their bellies get full, so pushing off a feeding by using a pacifier can cause baby to not eat often enough or get enough milk.

is it okay for my baby to use a pacifier? via lactation link

Breastfeeding came first

On the flip side, many moms find that their baby is not interested in a pacifier!  Breastfeeding is a womb-like environment close to mom and offers warm milk and the promise of a full belly, so some babies will not take any substitute.  It can be hard for mom to feel like she is being used like a pacifier, but try to remember that the breast came first. A pacifier is a replacement for the breast when baby wants to suck continuously.

If you have any concerns about your baby’s pacifier use or any concern about breastfeeding, our video classes are a great resource, especially all troubleshooting included in Breastfeeding Basics 102. You can also reach out to us for an in-person  or e-consult for personalized help!

We’d also love for you to be a part of our Confident Breastfeeding Course. Click the image below for more information.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

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Sources

(1) The American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016). SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. (Pediatrics. Vol. 138 no. 5) Retrieved from: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/10/20/peds.2016-2938

Should I wake my baby to breastfeed?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Lactation Link team

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Hi mamas! I’m Lacey Parr, a certified lactation educator counselor and mom of 3. One our most commonly asked questions at Lactation Link is whether or not you should wake your baby to feed if they begin to sleep in longer intervals. Mamas and babies need good rest! My hope is that learning when to wake a sleeping baby or when to let them sleep will help bring you some more confidence.

While most babies will need to feed frequently throughout the night for several months, some will begin to sleep longer intervals. It is important to...

Should I wake my baby to breastfeed?

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{Undercover Mama nursing dress} Use code LLINK for 20% off!

Before 2 weeks

Before baby turns two weeks old and regains their birth weight, it is important to keep waking baby to feed. Babies at this age need to be fed around the clock every 2-3 hours or 8-12+ times in 24 hours. A newborn’s stomach can only hold a few teaspoons and must eat frequently to satisfy their hunger. This time is also crucial in establishing your milk supply, so frequent breastfeeding is key. Keep feeding on baby’s cues, whenever they are, and throughout the night.

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After 2 weeks

While most babies will need to feed frequently throughout the night for several months, some will begin to sleep longer intervals. After baby regains his/her birth weight (around 10-14 days of life), it is normally safe to allow baby to sleep longer intervals (1). Some moms like to wake at this time to pump or hand express to relieve any pressure they might feel in their breasts. This can be a good time to start saving milk to return to work or school. But other moms take this time to get more sleep. Do whatever works for you and your family! If your breasts do feel full and you need to express, but you worry about having to wake every night to relieve that pressure, know that this will not last forever! Try expressing just long enough to relieve the pressure and your breasts will adjust. Any experiences with this? Share in the comments.

Get more breastfeeding wisdom and answers to commonly asked questions with our Confident Breastfeeding Course. Click the image below.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Lacey Parr, BS, CLEC

Sources

(1) Lauwers, J. & Swisher, A.. (2011). Breastfeeding in the early weeks. Counseling the Nursing Mother (5th ed., pp. 378). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Reasons & solutions for nipple pain

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Lactation Link team
reasons and solutions for breastfeeding nipple pain from lactationlink.com

{Motherhood Maternity cardigan}

You may have read on our Instagram that breastfeeding should not be painful. Like any physical pain, nipple pain indicates that something is not right. However, some Moms still experience pain and discomfort.  You are not alone!  Here are the most common reasons that moms I see are suffering from nipple pain and how to help.

  1. Tenderness immediately postpartum.  It can be normal to experience tenderness right after baby latches on when you first begin breastfeeding. The hormones released during and immediately after birth can cause nipple tenderness as well.
  2. Poor positioning.  If baby isn’t tummy-to-tummy with you, it can cause unnecessary pulling on your nipple or poor alignment for baby which can be very uncomfortable.  Check out our Breastfeeding Basics 101 class for a great breakdown of how to position baby for the best latch.
  3. Shallow latch.  It’s called breastfeeding instead of nipple feeding for a reason!  If baby doesn’t have enough breast tissue in his/her mouth your nipple can be pinched and even sustain damage.  Waiting for baby to open wide can be a huge lifesaver! If you feel constant nipple pinching while nursing, seek out help! A lactation consultant explains the common reasons behind breastfeeding nipple pain and solutions to remedy them. Get a promo code for a…
  4. Milk blister or bleb.  This is like a plugged duct right at the opening of a nipple pore.  It can be very painful, but warm compresses and frequent nursing are great solutions.  Some coconut oil on a cotton swab applied to the area can also help to soften the clog.
  5. Vasospasm.  This happens most to women who have experience ‘Reynaud’s Syndrome’ – a condition that causes poor circulation and your hands and feet to feel cold most of the time.  Using a warm heating pad can help alleviate that discomfort, but there are also medications that can help if needed.  If you have burning or shooting pains during and in-between feedings, you may need a personal consultation.
  6. Infection.  A bacterial or yeast infection that happens after the nipple has been wounded can cause persistent pain even if latch and positioning have corrected the original problem.  Depending on the extent of the infection, a nipple cream can help or you may need a prescription medication. It’s best to consult your healthcare provider and an IBCLC if you think you have an infection.
reasons and solutions for breastfeeding nipple pain from lactationlink.com

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For nipple pain caused by things that respond to over-the-counter creams, we recommend checking out Upspring Wellmom Organic Coconut Oil Nipple Balm.  Coconut oil has been proven to be moisturizing, antimicrobial, AND antifungal (1)– a great trifecta to protect sore nipples!  Use code LLINK for 15% on their website (this expires 12/14/16!). If you need latch or positioning help, check out our video class bundle for great instruction and tips or schedule a consult for personalized help.

Find more about preventing nipple pain in our top 10 tips!

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Kristin Gourley, BS, IBCLC

Sources

(1) Evangalista, M.T., Abad-Casintahan, F., Lopez-Villafuerte, L. (2014). The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skincapacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. International Journal of Dermatology, 53(1), 100-108.

(2) Shilling, M., Matt, L., Rubin, E., Visitacion, M.P., Haller, N.A., Grey, S.F., Woolverton, C.J. (2013). Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile. Journal of Medicinal Food, 16(12), 1079-1085.

(3) Verallo-Rowel, V.M., Dillague, K.M., Syah-Tjundawan, B.S. (2008). Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis, 19(6), 308-315.

What is on-demand breastfeeding?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Classes, Lactation Link team

Today, we have our own Kristin Gourley, IBCLC, here to answer some questions about on-demand breastfeeding. Enjoy!

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Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

On-Demand Feeding: For the Benefit of Mom and Baby
Many of us may have had a well-meaning friend or family member ask us, “Is your baby on a schedule yet?”—referring to both eating and sleeping. In our highly-scheduled and fast-paced society, it would seem that the hallmark of a “good baby” is one who is predictable!  What I’ve found by working with hundred of moms is that babies can be very unpredictable!  So what should we consider normal or expect in terms of schedule or frequency of feeding?

On-Demand feeding tips and tricks!

Milk is made by supply and demand—baby demands it by nursing (or with a pump or hand expression), and then mom supplies it. If baby demands more, mom supplies more.  Baby won’t necessarily eat the same amount of times each day because the infant needs ebb and flow with growth patterns.  Somedays it may feel like baby wants to eat every hour!  We talk a lot about these ‘frequency days’ in our video breastfeeding classes – what’s normal and how to manage those times.

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As babies grow physically or go through developmental leaps, they want to nurse more because they need more at that time.  Our bodies are exceptionally good at adjusting, it’s that mother heart and mind that needs to trust the body to do its job!  Before you question, trust the process.  Think about it — do you eat at the exact same time each day?  How about the exact same amount?  Our needs change daily so it make sense that baby’s do too! So listen to those feeding cues and let baby nurse when they need to! This is how to do on-demand breastfeeding and is also the simple recipe for a healthy milk supply.

Thank you Kristin! I love that she reminded us that babies grow in spurts and their needs will change during those spurts. For more tips on how to fit breastfeeding or pumping into your life check out our breastfeeding video classes bundle. If you have concerns about helping baby through a growth spurt, Kristin and I both help moms with in-person consultations and eConsults

How did you work on-demand breastfeeding into your life? Share in the comments.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Sources

Smith, L. & Riordan, J. (2010). Postpartum care In Riordan, J. & Wambach, K., Breastfeeding and human lactation (pp. 265-7). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Mohrbacher, N. (2010). Making milk In Breastfeeding answers made simple (pp. 399-400). Amarillo, TX: Hale Publishing, L.P.

 

5 ways partners can support breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, community breastfeeding support, Lactation Link team, motherhood

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Hi mamas! I’m Lacey, a certified lactation educator and mother of 3. I am here today to talk about how partners can support a mother in her breastfeeding experience. First I want to share a little of my own experience.

Read the top 5 way partners can support a breastfeeding mother from a mom of 3 and lactation educator. Start with a breastfeeding class…

My support system starts with my partner and I am grateful he gives me the support I need to breastfeed. I was lucky that my mother-in-law breastfed all her babies and being the 2nd oldest of 6 kids, my husband was no stranger to breastfeeding. We knew that breastfeeding was what we wanted to do, even though we weren’t prepared. (Our hospital breastfeeding class was cancelled a couple weeks before my due date, they gave us movie tickets instead — yikes). The first few days were a struggle and he stood by me and encouraged me. He made sure food was made and took care of the household. He brought me books and snacks while I was helping our baby boy through those newborn marathon feeding sessions. He encouraged me to get more breastfeeding support when I had questions and concerns. I am grateful for his support, because in my vulnerable postpartum position, I needed reassurance more than anything.

5 ways partners can support breastfeeding

  1. Attend a breastfeeding class with her. The more you know, the more you can help! You can watch our video classes anytime.  Partners love our classes because they are so convenient and can be watched in the comfort of your own home.  dsc_1535
  2. Take on extra responsibilities.  Mom and baby will be spending lots of time breastfeeding.  Now plan for it. What gives her the most stress? Dishes? Cooking? Laundry? Plan to do more to help out and get creative with additional sources of help.  Consider a bi-monthly housekeeper for a few months.  Consider a meal delivery service.  Think about a diaper delivery service. 
  3. Be a cheerleader. When she is second-guessing herself and her abilities, encourage her. Help her find more resources if needed. We can help with online and in-person consultations.
  4. Baby care. Diapers/burping/babywearing/swaddling are all great things for partners to do! When baby is done feeding, you can help baby burp by holding him/her chest to chest and applying some firm upward pressure with your fingers. You can also be a diaper changing superhero! Babies thrive when being held. When baby doesn’t want to be put down and mom needs a shower, you can wear the baby in a carrier. When my baby was ready for sleep, my husband became the champion swaddler.dsc_1870dsc_1815
    {Ergobaby adapt carrier}

    {Ergobaby Adapt Carrier}

  5. Be there, whenever you can. Many Moms find it supportive when their partner will bring the baby from the bassinet to the mom each time baby wakes to feed during the night. Others really enjoy when their partner can give them a break as needed by babywearing or rocking baby.

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We couldn’t do what we do as moms if it weren’t for great support from our partners! I like to remind partners that the more they are a part of preparation and plans prior to birth, the easier it will be to help after! How did your partner support you? If you are a single mom, how did you find the help and support you needed? Share in the comments.

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

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Lactation Link September Class + Promo Code

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Classes, Lactation Link team

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We had such a fabulous time teaching our September in-person class in Provo, Utah! We enjoyed having so many moms there learning together and creating their support system for breastfeeding success. Here at Lactation Link, we love helping create confident moms and all the info given at our classes does just that!

From one of our attendees:

“The information I received at your class is invaluable. It has been 4 years since my last attempt at breastfeeding and this course was a great refresher and I also learned lots of new great information that makes me feel much more confident to breastfeed my next baby!”

We love hearing feedback like this! We are thrilled when we can help moms find their confidence! We had so much fun and can’t wait for our next class in January in Lehi, Utah. You can register for that class here.

Here are some highlights from class…

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These girls were so smart to bring friends! They are going to be a great support system foreach other!

We had Beka Price there taking photos, check her out for maternity and newborn photos!

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Before class, we gave out awesome grab bags from Ergobaby that each mom was able to take home. Milkful Lactation Oat Bars supplied some awesome bars for our mamas. They are the only lactation bar I recommend! They are so yummy and good for mama and baby! You can use the code LLINK for 15% off your order at Milkful if you missed the class or need to stock up again. 😉 We were also able to send our mamas home with boxes of salted caramel chocolates from Mrs. Calls. Such a great treat!

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Click through for sneak peaks at class content and info about our next in-person class! Read More

Joining the Lactation Link team

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Lactation Link team

Today I am excited to announce two new members to the Lactation Link team! Lacey Parr, CLEC and Kristin Gourley, IBCLC.  They are both lactation educators and are so passionate about providing families the research-based options and support they need as well as ‘Creating Confident Moms’.

Below is a little more about these awesome new team members, their background, and why they chose to join our team!

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Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

Hi there!  I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and I work with Lactation Link on breastfeeding education in several ways!  I help instruct during our in-person breastfeeding classes, contribute to our research-based video breastfeeding classes, and also do in-person private consultations to help moms meet their breastfeeding goals (maybe I’ll get to help you and your little one!).  I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Utah and have also earned the credentials of Certified Lactation Educator and Clinical Lactation Manager from Arizona State University.  I have been working with breastfeeding moms for over five years, in North Carolina, Georgia, and now Utah, both as an IBCLC and with La Leche League.  I am a mom of five, ranging in age from 8 months to 8 years.  My personal breastfeeding experiences have made me aware of the varied experiences of other mothers and I love empowering moms to be confident in their choices, as well as educating parents about the many benefits and facets of breastfeeding.  I love working with breastfeeding families and feel privileged to support them during such an important time as before, during, and after their little one arrives! 

Why Kristin chose to work with Lactation Link: Working for Lactation Link allows me to work with a great group of women who want to reach more mothers and give them accurate breastfeeding information so we can help create confident mothers!

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Lacey Parr, CLEC

Hi! I’m Lacey Parr, CLEC (certified lactation educator counselor) and I am the new blog manager for Lactation Link. I have a Bachelor of Science in Family Life and Human Development from Brigham Young University. My journey to lactation support started with a passion for birth. While working as a doula, I discovered a new found passion for supporting mothers breastfeed. I have worked at WIC as a breastfeeding peer counselor (where I met our founder Lindsey!) and especially loved teaching a breastfeeding class there. I am currently working towards becoming an IBCLC as well. I love helping moms feel empowered to meet their breastfeeding goals. I am a wife to a mountain man and a mother of 2 adventurous boys and 1 beautiful daughter. I enjoy books about strong women and running wild with my kids in the mountains.

Why Lacey chose to work with Lactation Link: I love working at Lactation Link because it embodies my breastfeeding support ideals: non-judgmental support and education to help moms reach their individual breastfeeding goals.

Welcome Kristin & Lacey!  It’s so great to see our team expanding — and we’d love to add more!  If you are a lactation educator or just want to be apart of supporting moms, send us an email at info@lactationlink.com!  We are looking for more IBCLCs, Lactation Link ambassadors, and guest blog contributors!      {Photography in this post by Beka Price Photography}

I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.

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Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

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