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pregnant Archives - Lactation Link

How to create a community of support for breastfeeding

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, Classes, community breastfeeding support

Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, IBCLC and mom to 5. I am here today to talk about creating a community around you to feel supported in breastfeeding.

It’s a cruel joke that motherhood, when you are constantly surrounded by children, can be very lonely!  This can be especially true for breastfeeding mothers when their families or friends don’t know how to support their choice to breastfeed.  

An IBCLC shares tips on how to create a community of support to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. || Top 10 tips for breastfeeding…

When I had my first baby, I didn’t have any friends who had breastfed before and didn’t really have any support aside from my husband, who wasn’t exactly knowledgeable about breastfeeding!  My son and I were lucky enough to meet our breastfeeding goals, but if I had taken a breastfeeding class prenatally, I might have avoided some rough experiences and spent less time Googling and questioning!  I might also have made some friends.

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One of the benefits of attending Lactation Link’s in-person breastfeeding class is that you get to meet other moms!  We encourage moms to trade contact information or social media handles to help bridge that loneliness gap that can come during pregnancy and once baby arrives. We still have some openings in our next class, sign up before they sell out!

Even those who do not take our in-person class can benefit from our online breastfeeding classes as well as our support network on Instagram

Click through to learn how I found a community of support. Read More

Infant Loss Awareness Month

By | Breastfeeding, motherhood

This month during Infant Loss Awareness month, we wish to show love and compassion for the women and families who have had the heart-wrenching experience of infant loss.  We send our love and light to all of you who have experienced this – in all of its forms. We see you, we love you. With the personal stories that are shared today, we hope you feel some solidarity and support in your experience.


Emily’s Story

14812900_10154735455613274_1764331127_oMiscarriage is hard. For me, miscarrying the first time vs the fourth time was just as hard. I question over and over again if I did something wrong that caused it, or if there was something I could go back and change to keep it from happening. To help me cope with miscarrying, I found myself reading blog posts and forums about other women’s experiences with miscarriage. I also found that journaling about my experience and feelings was really therapeutic and it also helped for when someone wanted to talk about it, I had already tried to make sense of my over-abundance of emotions on paper.
After I miscarried my first, a family friend who was an OBGYN said to me, “Oh don’t worry about it, 1 in 4 women miscarry.” His words were far from helpful and they brought me to tears as I stood in front of him. What I’ve learned from what he said is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Seek out others who have had similar experiences and connect over this very raw and fragile event. There is strength in numbers and I have made many beautiful friendships as I’ve been willing to open up and reach out to others who have miscarried.
~Emily Manning

Roman’s story

kelley and family

Last year I gave birth to a baby boy named Roman with a very rare and terminal lung disease. For the first 2 weeks of his life he was so fragile the doctors wouldn’t let us hold him. Even too much physical touch could send him into distress. So for two weeks we sat and watched and waited and prayed for a miracle. And I pumped. I pumped and I pumped and I pumped.  I pumped so much the nurses nicknamed me “Bessy”. Almost every other motherly duty had been taken from me, and the one thing I could still do for my child was to provide him with the nourishment of my breastmilk, even if the only way he could receive it was through a feeding tube. Roman eventually did grow stronger and soon we were able to hold and snuggle with him, even though he could never tolerate nursing.  At 3 months of age Roman took a turn for the worse. The stress of seeing him decline definitely affected my milk supply. I was only pumping 1/10 of what I used to. There were days the doctor would have “the talk” with us and I didn’t want to pump at all. Soon my milk was almost completely dried up, but by this time Roman’s disease had progressed enough that we knew it would soon be time to let him go. The best advice I received while in the NICU was, “If you want to be there for your child, then you first must take care of yourself.” As mothers we often put everyone else’s needs before our own and we simply forget how important our own physical, emotional, and mental well- being is. During the last few days of Roman’s life I was so grateful that I could spend that precious time with him without the stress of pumping and feeling engorged. Roman passed away in my arms just 1 day shy of turning 4 months old.  Losing a child is awful, but trials do make you stronger and I’m proud to be able to look back at the strength I’ve gained through this experience. ~Kelley Airapetov

Nathan’s story 

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My Nathan was 3 days shy of six months and exclusively breastfed when we lost him to SIDS. His big appetite had created an abundant milk supply so it was only a matter of hours when aching breasts joined my aching heart over the sudden loss of my sweet baby. So what do you do when your milk is suddenly not necessary? The frequent feeling of breast fullness is a constant reminder of your loss. I did become uncomfortably engorged pretty quickly, but my milk supply dwindled with time.  I did hand express in the shower just enough to make the pressure bearable and avoid mastitis. Within 10 days my milk was pretty much gone.  If you are dealing with an established milk supply, I suggest to not bind your chest, because it will be painful and can trap milk and cause mastitis. Just wearing a supportive bra and leaving your breasts alone as much as possibly might be all you need. 

A few weeks into my grief and healing I looked for something to do with the 400 ounces of liquid gold in my freezer. At that point the only mother’s milk bank I found that was taking donations was in Colorado. I did talk to them, but the screening process and procedure were more than my broken heart could handle at the time, so all my hard work and sacrifice to feed my baby got old in my freezer and went down the drain. Fortunately, Mother’s Milk banks are on the rise, and it has become easier to donate milk since then. ~Amy Mitton


Thank you all for sharing your stories and your heart with us. We wish any parent with loss, seen and unseen, true peace.  You can view more stories and connect with other parents that have experienced loss at Still Standing Magazine and The Compassionate Friends. You can also join support groups about infant loss at Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss.  If you would like more information on donating expressed milk visit Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Friday Favs – Covered Goods

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Recommended Products

One of my favorite things to recommend in my classes and consultations is a Covered Goods multi-use nursing cover.  I’ve had so many clients tell me how much they love it!  Also Moms who didn’t have it with a previous child tell me they don’t know how they lived without it.  One client sent this to me after I recommended Covered Goods to her,

“With each baby I truly have learned that less is more when it comes to ‘baby items’.  However, I can’t count how many times over the past few months I’ve said, ‘How did I live through nursing four other kids without this!!!’ Covered Goods really should be at the top of ANY nursing moms MUST-HAVES! The material is simply perfection and the design flawless.  I’ve found it especially helpful because our family is always on the go and I’ve put it to use on the airplane, at soccer games, as a car seat cover, out at restaurants, and most recently on the beaches of Hawaii! Thanks for letting me know about it.”

mom relaxing on a beach

Jamie, the owner of Covered Goods, really hit a home run with this product.  I love when I find something that is truly beneficial for so many Moms.  This is a 4-in-1 cover that can be used for breastfeeding, as a car seat cover, a scarf, and also some Moms buy another and use it as a shopping cart cover.  The ‘Watercolor’, ‘Mismatch’, and ‘Classic Grey & Ivory Stripe’ are my current favorite prints!

covered goods breastfeeding advertisement

I recommend Covered Goods in all my classes, both in-person and online.  I have a few upcoming Breastfeeding Basics classes in Highland, UT on 10/24, 11/5, and 11/14.  My online video classes that are available at your convenience include Breastfeeding Basics, Intermediate Breastfeeding, and Pumping and Storing Breastmilk.  Anytime after 12 weeks in pregnancy is a great time to start preparing for your little one!

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

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Hope this is helpful!  Thanks for coming by today,

xo ~ Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey head shot

 

top 5 tips for dealing with engorgement

Top 5 Tips for Engorgement

By | Classes, Features, Home/Hospital Visits

Recently in my home visits, classes, and online forum, I’ve had several questions on engorgement.

@sykesbriana asked me,

“Any tips to get through the engorgement period? Mine seems to last longer than most and I’m curious if I’m missing something that can provide relief.”

Look no further, Briana…I hope this post provides some relief!

Top 5 Tips for Engorgement

1. Ensure a proper latch.  Sometimes new or expectant Moms wonder why I spend so much time going over latch in my Breastfeeding Basics class.  Having a proper latch is what ensures milk is being removed.  If you are trying to breastfeed frequently as recommended, but the latch is poor and milk isn’t being removed, it makes engorgement worse!  Also, when breastmilk stays in the breast too long (due to an improper latch), you become susceptible to something called milk stasis, which leads to the M word (mastitis).

baby being breastfed

2. Feed frequently.  Sometimes infants have difficulty latching during engorgement because the breast tissue gets pulled tightly and may even shorten the nipple temporarily.  Feeding every 2-3 hours or sooner helps release the pressure surrounding the breast and enable easier latching.

3. Use Hot/Cold.  One of my favorite things to recommend to Moms for use during engorgement are Lillemer breast comfort packs (use code ‘LLINK’ for 10% off).  They are infused with lavender and flax seed and can be heated or cooled!  I recommend using them for heat for 10-20 minutes before a feeding.  Some Moms have found the warmth to be pain relieving.  Before latching for a feed, throw the packs in the freezer.  After the breastfeeding session is complete, place the cooled comfort packs in your bra (use code ‘LLINK’ for 20% off) for a max of 20 minutes.  Doing this before and after every feed can relieve some discomfort.

Are you dealing with painful breast engorgement? Lactation Link's lactation consultant offers some of the best tips on how to relieve…

4. Many Moms find ibuprofen to be helpful.  Even Moms who are not sore due to delivery may consider continuing an NSAID pain-reliever like ibuprofen during engorgement.  Medications like this contain anti-inflammation agents that help reduce engorgement (an inflammatory process).

5. Hand Expression.  I teach hand expression in all my classes and personal consultations because it can be used in so many ways.  For engorgement, it can be used to help facilitate latch.  As I mentioned in tip #2 above, sometimes latch can become difficult during engorgement, due to tightly pulled skin around the nipple and areola.  You can utilize hand expression before latching to express just enough breastmilk to soften the breast tissue and latch your baby.

mom using hand expression to get breast milk

I hope you found these tips helpful!  Let me know what you think today on instagram.  I love the daily engagement and questions like this one that turn into blog post topics!  I also share exclusive tips and promos with those subscribed to my newsletter (sign up on the right side bar of this website).  If you want to read about all the services I provide, check out this post. Images by Broken Anchor Photography.

I’ve created this great 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 today,

Lindsey head shot

Lindsey, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Shipley - Lactation Consultant

Breastfeeding support made easy

By | Classes, Home/Hospital Visits, Recommended Products

When I started Lactation Link, I had a few main goals:

1. To raise awareness that, “Prenatal breastfeeding education is the single-most important factor in breastfeeding initiation and duration” (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force).

2. To make evidence-based breastfeeding education available to as many women as possible!

Making research-based, IBCLC-led classes available anytime is one step in the right direction. Last Tuesday I launched my newly designed website.  One of the newest features is the ability to access my breastfeeding classes in an on-demand viewing option.  This means you can click and watch the courses at anytime, anywhere, in your pajamas!  The classes are listed on this website under ‘Lactation Classes’ then ‘On-demand video classes’.  If using a mobile device, be sure to click the arrows for the drop-down menus to appear.  Here’s a little description of what each class offers:

Breastfeeding Basics

Topics included in this 70-minute course: benefits to mom and baby, anatomy and physiology of breastfeeding, breastmilk composition, let-down reflex, kangaroo mother care, latch, positioning, hand expression, frequency of feeding, nipple care, what to do when baby won’t latch, hunger cues, support and planning, and FAQs. Course contains photo and video demonstration. Breastfeeding Basics is helpful not only for first-time Moms but also women who have breastfed previously.

Intermediate Breastfeeding

This 60-min course is a great follow-up to Breastfeeding Basics.   For all Moms, common problems tend to arise sometime during breastfeeding. That’s why it’s important to have tools and education beyond the basics! Topics include: skin breakdown, jaundice, thrush, mastitis, tongue-tie, nipple shield, increasing milk supply, oversupply, slow weight gain, nursing strikes, biting, surgery/illness, caffeine/alcohol/med consumption, breastfeeding the older baby, introducing solids, etc. Breastfeeding Basics course content not reviewed during this class.

Pumping and Storing breastmilk (previously called ‘Returning to Work and breastfeeding’)

This 45-min course is a must for all moms wanting to learn how to maximize milk expression and the safe handling of breastmilk.  Great for mothers who are planning to return to work! Also very beneficial for those at risk for pre-term delivery, planning travel, or even for the occasional mother/baby separation time.  It discusses employer compliance, how to get your free breastpump through the ACA, pump parts, maximizing milk expression, introducing a bottle, caregiver tips, and managing our many roles as women.  It also covers when and how to start building up a “freezer stockpile” of milk. Safe handling, storage, and warming guidelines for breastmilk.  Breastfeeding Basics and Intermediate Breastfeeding course content not reviewed during this class.

On-demand bundle

Take all 3 of my Breastfeeding courses to best prepare for baby!  Breastfeeding Basics, Intermediate Breastfeeding, and Pumping and Storing Breastmilk will help you get started, manage common problems, and allow you to continue breastfeeding for planned or unplanned times away from baby.  Best value.

FAQs about my classes 

How long do I have to watch the classes?

Once purchased, you have a week to watch!  Once you begin viewing, you can pause and return to viewing as much as you like in 72 hours.  The classes also come with a powerpoint outline to follow along and take notes.  Look here to see how to print the outline with 3 slides per page for note-taking.  These three breastfeeding classes can be purchased individually or as a bundle.

When is a good time to start taking the classes?

Anytime after 12 weeks gestation is a good time to start.  You will take notes with the provided outline and review those many times before delivery.  The classes are also beneficial for those who are postpartum.

I breastfed my other two kids for a year, which class would benefit me?

I’ve had so many Moms who have breastfed previously tell me my courses were beneficial.  It is always a good idea to refresh and many clients tell me they learned new things.  It’s also a good idea to prepare during each pregnancy because every baby is different!  I’ve done many home and hospital visits where clients tell me, “I never had these issues with my previous breastfeeding experiences, this baby is so different!”

In-person classes

Lactation class for moms

Breastfeeding Basics is offered twice a month in Highland, UT.  This interactive class is informative and fun! The live, 90-min format includes the topics: benefits to Mom and baby, anatomy and physiology of breastfeeding, breastmilk composition, let-down reflex, kangaroo mother care, latch, positioning, hand expression, frequency of feeding, nipple care, what to do when baby won’t latch, hunger cues, support and planning, and FAQs. Course contains photo, video, and hands-on demonstration. Life-sized breastfeeding dolls used by attendees. Spouses are welcome to attend. Grab bags for each attendee and also giveaways!  Seats are limited.

Home & Hospital visits

Moms talking with childrenI also offer personal consultations for my clients.  For residents of Utah, I provide home and hospital visits to get breastfeeding off to the right start and help troubleshoot any issues.  Some clients prefer a private breastfeeding class in their home. Others have taken my classes and need more specific information for: multiples, inverted nipples, inducing lactation for adoption, previous breastfeeding issues, etc. Some clients have me come to their home after delivery when they run into problems with latch, slow weight gain, milk supply, etc. Whatever your concern, let me give you the education, tools, and support to be successful breastfeeding your baby!  These appts are booked through my email and I take appts throughout the week. I also take appts in my Highland office generally Wednesday afternoons (1PM, 2PM, 3PM – book here).  You can also contact me for additional availability.

E-consults

Mom sitting at table with laptop

I also offer e-consults through email, phone, or secure video chat.  These are 25-min personal sessions.  This is a great option for evidence-based professional help wherever you are!  Email is done by sending me your bulleted list of questions after registering for an appt (my email is hipaa-compliant).  Phone is just a simple conversation.  Video-chat is done through a clickable link you’ll receive after booking.  E-consult appts on my website are Monday afternoons, but you can always contact me for additional availability.

Newsletter

Signing up for my newsletter is a great way to get all the latest happenings with Lactation Link!   You’ll be alerted to exclusive tips and promos.  Get signed up by entering your email in the right side bar of this home page.

FavoritesBaby breastfeeding

The great thing about choosing to breastfeed is it cuts down on the amount of equipment necessary to feed our babies!  So when my clients ask me what items may be helpful while breastfeeding, I only recommend things that have worked for me as a Mom and Lactation Consultant, as well as things many other breastfeeding Moms have found to work for them.  Take a look at my Favorites section (with enclosed discounts) to see if any of these items may help you.

Education & Support

As a Labor & Delivery RN, I just hated seeing Moms disappointed in their breastfeeding experience!  Many of these Moms didn’t know about the importance of prenatal breastfeeding education, they didn’t have sources of support in place, and they ended up weaning before they were ready.  With breastfeeding, its not a matter of if but when issues will arise (big or small).  The question is, will you have the tools to weather the storm!  Getting all the education you can, and having a solid source of support is so important in reaching your breastfeeding goals.  I’m here to be that source for you!  Thanks for coming by today,

Lindsey Shipley - Lactation Consultant

 

xoxo ~ Lindsey, RN, IBCLC

 

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

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