Category

motherhood

Three Reasons Why Working Mamas Love These Pregnancy and Postpartum Products

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, motherhood | No Comments

Are you a working mom?  Pregnant and curious about how you’ll be feeling towards the end of pregnancy?  How about navigating the return to work scenario after baby arrives? Coming from a mama who worked as a labor and delivery nurse after I had my first baby and now as a lactation consultant and mom of two – I totally get the extra stress, added pressure, and all the “what if’s?” that pop into your head! From pregnancy to postpartum and then back to work, it can be a lot to manage! Well, if you’re feeling that stress and pressure, you’re in luck.  I’ve partnered with Bravado Designs on this post to show you some of my favorite “hacks” to make the pregnancy and postpartum period a little easier. I’ll be sharing a few products that can help “take a load off” and a few tips to help manage the stress! Keep reading to get my free download “How to avoid role overload”.

Pregnant Mamas

Three reasons why pregnant mamas, especially pregnant working mamas are loving the Bravado Designs Belly and Back Multi-Zone Pregnancy Support Band!

1. Distributes Weight

The belly band has 7 targeted knit-in support zones are designed to help evenly distribute maternity weight from a growing belly to reduce stress on your back during pregnancy. This will be especially helpful if you are a working mama with a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time.

2. Belly Support

The tighter-knit panels in the belly band will provide you with lower back support and belly support during your pregnancy. he best part about this band is that It can provide amazing support for women at all different times in their pregnancy. In the picture below the girl in the first picture is 33 weeks pregnant, the first in the second picture is 21 weeks pregnant and the girl in the third picture is 38 weeks pregnant.

 

3. Comfort

The material of this belly support band is soft, seamless, and has 4-way stretch fabric that hugs your pregnant belly. The super stretchy jersey center allows your belly to continue to grow comfortably and its long length offers coverage that is great for layering. Remember to wear comfortable clothes throughout your pregnancy and especially over the belly band so it can properly do it’s job in providing the ultimate level of comfort for you and your belly! 

Pro tip: Staying active during your pregnancy helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling and will also help your ability to cope with labor. Here are some simple ideas for staying active during your pregnancy:

  • Take a walk on your lunch break.
  • Climb the stairs instead of getting taking the elevator.
  • When you’re shopping, carrying the bags and walk at a brisk pace.
  • Start taking an exercise class at the gym.
  • Go for a hike or a nature walk and enjoy the outdoors!
  • If you have other children walk them to school, if it’s not too far.
  • If you’re doing the housework, turn on some music and put some energy into it.
  • Take a break from your daily routine and dance to your favorite music!

Pumping Mamas

Three reasons why postpartum mama’s are loving the Bravado Designs Clip and Pump Hands-Free Nursing Bra Accessory

1. Get the most amount of milk out in the least amount of time

This accessory just goes on over your bra and saves you time in taking your bra off or changing bras.  Hands-on pumping requires a hands-free pumping experience. You can use your hands to massage your breasts while you’re pumping which will help you get much more milk in much less time!

2. Fast and Conveient

This clip and pump accessory attaches right to your regular Bravado Designs nursing bra. Don’t even worry about having to take time out of your day to change your bra at work. Just clip on the clip and pump bra and you’re good to go!

3. Smart Design

It’s elastic-enforced figure 8 opening holds bottles in an ideal upright position and gives you an option to pump on one side and breastfeed on the other! It also is made out of super soft, breathable material.

Pro tip: One of the most frequently asked questions is “how can I return to work and keep my milk supply up”. Here’s my best pro tip on what you can do: If possible, start preparing for returning to work before you go on maternity leave by meeting with your supervisor before you go on maternity leave and come up with a plan for when you return to work. You’ll also want to know the best time to start pumping a little extra milk (hint: it depends on how much maternity leave you have).  This can be such a hurdle for working moms I created a whole class to help. It’s called Pumping and Storing Breastmilk, and it’s like a blueprint for returning to work and breastfeeding – keeping your goals intact!  

I also think having a good bra and an easy way to do hands-free pumping is a must. Here are a few of my tried and true favorites:

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra

Original Nursing Bra

Are you a working mama? I would love to hear in the comments what’s helped you or what you still have questions on!

Make sure you fill out the form below to download my best tips on How to Manage Role Overload!

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Thanks for stopping by,

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

 

Does my baby need a probiotic?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Features, motherhood, Recommended Products

So many questions from all of you mamas about baby’s tummy, including,  “Should I give my baby any supplements or a probiotic?”  Today I’ve partnered with Evivo to answer that question, as well as let you know a little bit more about how baby’s gut health works!  First and foremost, remember that human milk is perfectly tailored to the needs of human babies, and it changes as babies grow and their needs change. In addition to this, it’s packed with live disease-fighting cells and other important immune factors. It really is the perfect first food for babies. New research into the infant gut microbiome is giving us even more of a glimpse into why breastmilk is so important. What is an infant microbiome? The term microbiome here refers to the microorganisms, mainly bacteria, that live in and on your baby’s body. Some of the bacteria in our microbiomes are bad and cause disease and inflammation, and some of those bacteria are good, and an essential part of a healthy immune and digestive system. As it turns out, human milk feeds both the baby AND the good bacteria in baby’s gut microbiome. (1)Would you believe that about 15% of mother’s milk is made up of an ingredient that babies can’t use? This ingredient is an amazing group of over 180 different specialized sugars, called Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs). The only organism that can utilize HMOs is an important kind of good bacteria that lives in the gut of babies, called B. infantis. HMOs help B. infantis to flourish and crowd out the bad bacteria that have been linked to a higher risk for conditions like colic, eczema, asthma, allergies, obesity, and diabetes. (2)

In the past, babies received B. infantis from their mothers during birth. However, there have been some shifts in the developed world during the past few generations that have led to a significant change in babies’ microbiomes. Cesarean sections, formula feeding, and antibiotic use have been important medical developments for many families, but they have contributed to a disruption in the transfer of important good bacteria, including B. infantis. That’s why I’m so excited about Evivo.  It’s the first and only clinically proven probiotic to help restore gut balance to the infant microbiome, and it’s designed specifically for breastfeeding babies.  In a clinical trial led by the University of California, Davis Medical Center, babies that were given Evivo showed an 80% reduction in potentially harmful bacteria such as E.coli, Clostridia, Staph, and Strep and a 79% increase in good gut bacteria. (3)  A reduction in the bad bacteria can help lower your baby’s risk of allergies, eczema, childhood obesity, and even decrease fussiness.  In combination with your breastmilk, Evivo can help lay the foundation for good health that lasts a lifetime. Using Evivo is as simple as 1-2-3. Once a day, simply take one sachet out of the fridge or freezer and pour into the included mixing bowl. Add a teaspoon of expressed breastmilk and mix with a spoon. Feed the mixture to your baby using the included syringe. (Don’t add to a bottle).  

It’s simple: Pour. Mix. Feed.Click here to get your baby started with Evivo. Use these promo codes for an exclusive offer for Lactation Link readers.

HCP310 – $10 off starter kit (4 weeks or more)

HCP320 – $20 off starter kit (8 weeks or more)

Both codes are limited to the first 500 redemptions!

You can order and check out more FAQ about Evivo here.

Thanks for coming by today!

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

This post was written in partnership with Evivo. All opinions are my own.  

[1] Smilowitz JT, Lebrilla CB, Mills DA et al. Breast milk oligosaccharides: structure-function relationships in the neonate. Annu Rev Nutr. 2014;34:143-169.

[2] Fujimura KE, Sitarik AR, Havstad S et al. Neonatal gut microbiota associates with childhood multisensitized atopy and T cell differentiation. Nat Med. 2016;22(10):1187-1191.

[3] Smilowitz JT, Moya J, Breck MA et al. Safety and tolerability of Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis EVC001 supplementation in healthy term breastfed infants: a phase I clinical trial.BMC pediatrics 2017 17:133.

Can I exercise and breastfeed? via lactationlink.com

Can I breastfeed if I want to exercise?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?, motherhood

After healing and resting from pregnancy and childbirth, many moms feel the need to bring some more movement into their routine. Often moms are concerned about how exercise and breastfeeding can go together. Luckily, studies have shown that moderate exercise will not affect your milk supply (1). So why do so many moms worry about exercise and breastfeeding? Lots of new moms begin exercising around 6 weeks postpartum and at the same time, baby often starts nursing more frequently. Many moms think this means they are having issues with supply, related to their exercise. But actually, 6 weeks is a normal growth spurt when baby will need to nurse more often. So feel free to start moving your body in healthy ways without any worries about supply. If you do have consistent worries about supply, please contact a lactation consultant. We have 4 lactation consultants here at Lactation Link that can help online or in-person.

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3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy to prepare for motherhood via lactationlink.com

3 of the best things you can do during pregnancy

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, motherhood

There are some things I wish I would have known as a first-time mom. From my thorough Pinterest research (snicker) I assumed that the best thing I could do for my baby was to create a beautiful nursery and buy a bunch of stuff. Spoiler alert: we didn’t use the nursery or much of the stuff. Baby slept in a pack n’ play next to our bed for most of his first year. Creating a cute nautical-themed nursery was fun, but unnecessary.

What I wish I would have done was prepare to learn how to breastfeed. I thought I would just figure it out at the hospital. The nurses were great and encouraged me but had other patients to help too. So I went home not quite knowing what to do. I devoured every book on breastfeeding at my local library and went to several lactation appointments and we eventually hit our stride. We had a wonderful breastfeeding experience for over 13 months which led to even better experiences with my second and third children. But learning how to breastfeed didn’t have to happen when I was sleep deprived and anxious about my newborn. If I would have had access to a breastfeeding class like our Breastfeeding Basics class, I know breastfeeding would have come much easier.

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How to wean via lactationlink.com

How to Wean from Breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, motherhood

Many of you have been requesting a post on how to wean. No matter how much we and our babies enjoy nursing, it will come to an end at some point! It’s up to you and your child to decide when is best. Today I wanted to share a bit more on how to wean by first discussing Child-Led Weaning and Mother-Led Weaning. I hope this post will give you some confidence in this process! As always, know your options so you can continue to create confidence in your choices as a mom!

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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,

in-person breastfeeding class with lactation link + promo codes for breastfeeding supplies. Get access to a free breastfeeding course to get you started on your breastfeeding journey.

The Lactation Link Team

3 Tips To Get You Through the Hard Days of Infertlity

By | motherhood, Uncategorized
Hello mamas! We are sharing different women’s infertility journeys each day this week for National Infertility Awareness Week.  We are so happy to have Jenica from A Slice of Style here today to share her infertility journey and 3 tips for how to get through the hard days of infertility.
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Infertility. It’s something that you don’t expect to deal with when you think of your future. You get married, and then next come the babies when you’re ready. As I get older (and wiser with experience!), I’m learning that life has little surprises, valleys and hills along the way, and they help you learn and grow so that you can deal with the next hurdles with more grace.
My husband Tyler and I started trying to conceive and after a year with no success, we saw an infertility specialist. Three IUIs and 3 rounds of IVF later, we are at the other side with the arrival of our boy/girl twins, Harris and Goldie last year on July 13th! We climbed the mountain, we fell and got bruised and bled quite a few times, but eventually made it to the top. What I learned through the process is invaluable and I really wouldn’t change the experience because I know that what I learned will help me to be happier and more grateful for my life. It will help me to cope with my future challenges better. There are several habits that I developed to help me cope with the challenges of infertility, and I would love to share those with you if you happen to find yourself on this journey. I’m sure you never planned on it.
It’s not something that you prepare to cope for, so I want to share what helped me get through it.
My first habit can really be applied to anyone, in any situation. It’s simple.
1. Don’t get offended.
You are the only person that can decide how you feel and how you let others affect you. Sometimes people don’t know what to say when you are talking about infertility, so they end up saying, well, really dumb things! One of the things I heard was, “my husband and I can get pregnant the second we start thinking about it!” For me, it was comparable to me telling them that I was struggling financially, and then having them retort with, “I am so rich!! I don’t even know what to do with all of the money that I have!” It’s kind of funny when you actually think about it. Here’s what I thought to myself when I heard someone say insensitive things: First, their intentions were not ill-willed. Those who have not experienced infertility cannot possibly understand the heartache associated with it. I know I didn’t! I had no idea what it felt like until I experienced it, and it was a lot harder than I thought. In fact, after we started fertility treatments, I remember standing in my closet and sobbing for my friends who had struggled with infertility because I finally understood what they were going through. Be patient with others. None of us are perfect, and I would want someone to be patient with me because I’m sure I have said insensitive remarks in my lifetime without the slightest awareness that I had. Another thought? Even if a comment is ill-willed, who cares! I’m not going to give someone else the control over my happiness.
2. My second habit is to decide to be happy!
I learned a lot going through my first 3 IUIs and first 2 rounds of IVF, so by the time we did IVF for the 3rd time, I gave myself a break a lot more. We only get one life, and I didn’t want to regret looking back on my 20’s wishing for the days ahead. I want to look back on my life without regrets and I don’t want to waste it because I can’t rewind time and get it back. There is something good in each day, and I chose to look for those good things. I chose to focus on what I could do without children that would be more difficult to do if I did have them. My husband and I bought dirt bikes! Yes, I’m serious. We had a lot of fun during that summer while we took a break in trying to conceive. We only get today. We only get right now. Those are adventures that I am so glad I had with my husband. Every single person in this world has trials, and it’s how we choose to live in those trials that defines how happy we are. I decided that I wasn’t going to be a miserable person, and that was that. This does not mean that you can’t allow yourself to have bad moments or even bad days. You can cry and you can get mad. But then I want you to bounce back because you have the control of your life and you will get through this. In the end, you’ll look back, like me, and realize how much you learned. It will make motherhood even sweeter. Trust me in that. It’s so much sweeter after having gone through infertility. That’s the interesting thing about trials. Only through going through them can life’s experiences be so much more joyful and appreciated.
3. My last habit is to look around you for all of the incredible kindnesses of your friends and family.
I was amazed by how many people reached out when they found out that we were struggling with infertility. If you aren’t comfortable telling many people, at least let a few close friends or family stand by your side to help you through the process and you will be so grateful at the love and support that you see around you. Going through something difficult allows your eyes to be opened to some unbelievable goodness and I was so grateful that I got to see that.  In return, I would suggest that you spread kindness to others as well. Like I said, it’s hard to remember sometimes, but every single person is going through something hard. If you focus on brightening someone else’s day, it helps you to look outside of yourself and it lifts you up in return. It’s strange that helping others really helps you. So… if you’re feeling selfish and you want to feel good, go do something for someone else!
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I’m honestly grateful for this challenge because I was stretched and pulled and found myself to be a happier, more understanding person on the other side. We all have challenges. Let’s help carry each other through them and live this one beautiful life that we have been given.
reasons to breastfeed from a mom of 5

Why should I breastfeed?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Classes, motherhood

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Hi  mamas! I’m Kristin, a Lactation Link IBCLC and mom of 5. I’m here today to share with you my top 5 reasons to breastfeed. Enjoy!

We’ve all heard that “breast is best” and you’ve probably heard a few things scattered in with that to explain why—breastfed babies are healthier, or less fussy, or more attached to their parents and more.  But why is breast really best?  Why is mom’s breast literally home for babies? Why do women even want to breastfeed?

Top 5 reasons to breastfeed from a lactation consultant and mom of 5.

The following are my top five reasons why women choose to breastfeed:

  1. Nutrition: This is the food part.  Baby must be fed, of course!  Breastmilk has balanced nutrition tailored just right for your baby.  You could call it 100% organic!  
  2. Immunities: You’ve probably heard that breastmilk has lots of probiotics in it, which is true, and so important for a developing tummy!  It also has a ton of disease-fighters that can’t be found anywhere but breastmilk!  (1)
  3. Emotional: This is the emotional component that breastfeeding fulfills for both mom and baby.  We know this is true because oxytocin, the “love hormone” (the same one that is vital in labor and present during sex), is released during breastfeeding. Research also tells us that breastfeeding can be protective against postpartum depression (2). This emotional aspect is also why women who thought they’d wean at six months or one year continue to breastfeed because it brings joy to their babies and themselves.
  4. Convenience: You never leave home without your breasts, so there’s so much less “equipment” required!  Some women are worried that leaving baby may be inconvenient as they’ll have to pump, but the milk is always there and can be expressed on your timetable, though it needs to be regularly removed.  You’ll never need to run to the store in the middle of the night because you ran out of formula!  You’ll also save hours per week (shopping for formula, disposing of the cans, mixing the bottles, washing the bottles, etc)
  5. Cost savings: Did you know that formula for a year can cost $3000 or more, and even more if a special formula is necessary?  If you need a breast pump for some mother/baby separation time, click here to see how to get a free pump through your insurance.  You may also save money on healthcare because studies show that breastfed babies are generally have less sick-visits to the pediatrician, less infections, and recover from normal childhood illnesses more quickly than their formula-fed peers. (3)

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Breastfeeding is important to different women for different reasons, all of which are completely valid.  What’s important is that you are supported in the choices you make for you and your baby.  That’s our whole mission — Creating Confident Moms!  Why did you choose to breastfeed? Share in the comments.

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Now that you know why you should breastfeed, learn a few quick things on how to get started with our top ten tips.

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You can learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to help get a good latch, providing breastmilk during mother/baby separations and more with our breastfeeding video classes!  Many moms have told us how our breastfeeding classes was the best thing they bought for their baby. They are available on-demand to fit into your busy life.  If you need personal help to overcome an issue, we can meet you for an in-person or e-consult to troubleshoot!

Thanks for coming by,

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Kristin Gourley, IBCLC

Sources

(1) Vorbach, Capecchi, Penninger (2006) BioEssays. “Evolution of the mammary gland from the innate immune system?” <https://ai2-s2-pdfs.s3.amazonaws.com/767f/676444e333a47fbb7a6b9e7442c942944023.pdf>

(2) Pope, C.J., Mazmanian, D. (2016) Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression: An Overview and Methodological Recommendations for Future Research. Depression Research and Treatment. doi:  10.1155/2016/4765310. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4842365/ 

(3) Bartick, M.C., Schwarz, E.B., Green, B.D., Jegier, B.J., Reinhold, A.G., Colaizy, T.T., Bogen, D.L., Schaefer, A.J., and Steube, A.M. (2016). Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: Maternal and Pediatric Health Outcomes and Costs. Maternal and Child Nutrition, doi: 10.1111/mcn.12366. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mcn.12366/full

Riordan J and Wambach K. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 4th ed. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2010, p. 628.

Lactation Link & Big City Moms + GIVEAWAY

By | Breastfeeding, Features, motherhood

bcg-imageCalling all Boston mamas! I’m so excited to announce that Lactation Link will be attending the Big City Moms – Biggest Baby Shower Ever event in Boston on Thursday, December 8th! The event is at The Westin Boston Waterfront from 6:00-9:30pm. 

I will be a featured speaker on the panel! I’m excited to talk about how preparing to breastfeed can help create confident moms. You can buy your tickets to the event on their website.

Be sure to stop by our booth, you won’t want to miss it! We will have a giveaway valued over $1000 and growing! 

If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, we have a ticket to give away today! Enter here. Or by clicking on the image below.

big-city-giveaway

Be sure to follow along that week on our snapchat (username: lactationlink) and Instagram stories! Hope to see you there! Can’t wait to meet my Boston mamas!

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

How to pump breastmilk as a college student

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Features, motherhood

Hi mamas! I think you are going to love today’s interview with a student mom about her experience expressing milk and being a mom on a college campus. Gabrielle Lysenko is a student at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in nursing. She is a mother of two: a 3 year old daughter and a 6 month old son. She and her husband Adam live with their two children in Utah.

Learn how one mom received the support she needed to breastfeed as a student. Read tips on how to get the support you need to pump…

How has your university supported breastfeeding and caring for your baby while you are a student?

On-campus childcare

First, they offer on-campus childcare at a highly subsidized rate. Your monthly payment is based on your income but never exceeds $9/hour which is very competitive. The children are cared for by people with childhood education degrees and the environment is very comfortable. They care for my baby the way I would by accommodating cloth diapers, feeding breast milk by bottle or breast depending on my preference, formula feeding, or offering solids. They also baby wear. These people are pros. I’ve seen them soothing three babies at a time while each one sleeps happily on their lap, chest, or snuggled into their side.

They always welcome me into the classroom for feedings or just to play with my baby in between classes.  I’ve heard them talking about how much they miss the babies over weekends and breaks as well. They truly love our children.

Lactation Rooms + Family Area
Then there’s the multiple lactation rooms on campus. They have computers, printers, private feeding cubicles with closing doors and outlets to plug in breast pumps as well as comfortable rocking chairs and tables to place homework or pumps on. There is a freezer to store pumped milk in as well. There are toys, books, and a tv with children’s shows to entertain older kids while their parents work. There are even private group study rooms in this family area should you need a more peaceful environment.

Supportive staff
But you don’t always have to go out of your way to find an environment compatible with family life. I take my son to all my anatomy TA and supplementary instruction hours. He cries sometimes and coos as babies do. Everyone giggles a bit because he usually strikes a complaint right after the TA asks a particularly difficult question, seemingly voicing all of our complaints. The TA’s and other students have told me they don’t mind at all having him in class.

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But perhaps the most surprising thing has been breastfeeding uncovered during TA hours. My son usually gets cranky and has to eat around that time, but no one has ever batted an eye. The TA’s and other students still talk to me and work out problems while my son is latched. If it ever made them uncomfortable, I never knew.  I’ve felt more comfortable having my baby with me on campus than I have in other public areas. The University of Utah as well as their students and employees are very understanding, welcoming, and accommodating.

What inspired you to go back to school?

I read an article that showed, scientifically speaking, children are more inclined to go on to get a college level degree if their mothers have one. It had always been important to me, but I was really happy being a mom. Then, as I re-embarked on my educational journey, I realized how much more there was for me. I saw what it was to be a person outside of my family. For the first time in my life, I had something that was just mine that I could be proud of. It was at that point I decided I wanted a degree I could actually use after I graduated. I wanted it all: to be a career woman and a mother. I wanted my children to see how hard I was working to accomplish something so they knew they could do it too. I also realized that having something to fulfill myself would make me a better mother. So far, that’s been absolutely true and I am beyond glad I made this decision.

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What tips do you have for other mothers of young children that are considering more education?

Make absolutely certain you have a good support system. Your whole family has to be on the same page. After that, let all other fears fall away and enjoy the journey. Learning is invigorating. Don’t deny yourself that pleasure by worrying about how much TV your kids are watching or how badly you’re eating (guilty). Your college career is a small blip in the span of your life and your children’s’ lives. They’ll be better for it and so will you.

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For more information on how to get support for expressing milk as a student, visit The Pregnant Scholar. And to find out what resources your university has for parents, visit Pregnant On Campus.

It seems that Gabrielle has found such an incredible support system that has helped her be confident in her choices. I wish you all the same! If you have been a student as a mother, what helped you the most? 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 coming by,

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Lacey Parr, CLEC