Episode 84: This Week In Breastfeeding
Anxiety, Mental Health, Support September 21, 2022
Hey, hey, welcome back to The Breastfeeding Talk Podcast. I’m your host, Jacqueline Kincer. And today I’m going to be bringing back a style of episode I haven’t done for a little while, a this week in breastfeeding episode. So we’re going to catch up on some news and some things like that, you know, for a little bit of time, I didn’t see a ton in the news about breastfeeding, that was actually new news. And just doing a recent search as to what the latest articles are out there. And just kind of knowing what’s going on. I decided that you know, there are some updates on some things. And so I would love to absolutely share those with you. All of these are going to be linked up in the show notes. So if you want to go read the full article yourself, you know, absolutely go for it. It’s there. And I just also wanted to say that I’ve been getting so much awesome feedback from you listeners about the podcast.
So if you haven’t yet, I would love for you to leave a review for the show. You can do that on Apple podcasts. I recently discovered that you can also do that on Spotify, you have to be subscribed to the podcast on Spotify, and have listened to more than one episode. So there are like some rules about that. I think that’s actually really cool. Like someone can’t just go make a negative review because you know, they’re having a bad day or whatever is going on. So I thought that was pretty cool. But I just heard from a listener about last week’s episode, which was about pumping, I would highly encourage you to listen to that episode, some of the nuances and maybe lesser known things about pumping that I shared on that episode. And Jamie says, I just wanted to let you know that I listened to your podcast on top tools for breastfeeding and decided to get a manual pump. It has been a life changer. I felt overwhelmed about having to hook up an electric pump while watching my seven-week-old. But I am now able to get a quick after feed pump sesh in with the manual. I thought they’d be useless. But it’s my most used pump now. Thank you for all you do. Well, you are welcome, Jamie, thank you so much for sharing your kind comments. And again, if anybody wants to leave a review, that helps our other listeners, people looking for information on breastfeeding, when they’re looking at podcast, find our episodes.
So in other news, it’s actually going to be a little bit of business news for you. If you don’t know yet the lactation flow formula, our newest supplement has launched. So it’s been available for sale on our site for the last few weeks. So you can go to holistic lactation.com/products. And you can order there. Also, we finally were able to get it up on Amazon, which was super cool. So you can find it on Amazon as well just like the advanced lactation formula. The cool thing is that Amazon also does what’s called a virtual bundle. So if you want to get both products in the same order, you can bundle those together, and you actually get a bigger discount. So we’ll have a link for that in the show notes, which is pretty cool. We’re in the midst of revamping our online store at holistic lactation.com. In fact, our whole website is getting an overhaul. So I don’t have a ton of other things set up in the shop at this moment. But there is a special discount code for listeners of the podcast. So if you want to buy on our website and support us as a small business, there’s a link to do that in the show notes and a discount code for you there.
So let’s get into it. One of the first articles is from September 13, 2022. And it’s from insider so insider.com their parenting section. The headline is trans and adoptive parents are breastfeeding without giving birth. It made me feel more like a mom. So I found this article really interesting as an IBCLC. This is not new information at all. I’ve done many inducing lactation appointments. I have not had the privilege of working with a trans patient yet but absolutely parents who are adopting or maybe they’re re lactating. So they stopped nursing, they stopped breastfeeding, they stopped lactating and they want to start up again. And so inducing lactation is you know, pretty well known in the world of lactation. But for a lot of parents they have not known that this is an option. So some of the cool things article highlighted. Were about like You know, women who are unable to bear children, they also talks about trans people and the various different ways that you can go about inducing lactation. So you can use medication, obviously, you would need to use pumping to get that to happen. There’s herbs you can use. In fact, we’ve definitely seen people relaxed hate using the Advanced lactation formula. And those herbs are very similar to what I’ve recommended for people who are looking to induce lactation, depending on their needs.
So it was really cool to see an article talking about this lesser known thing that is possible, you could literally have never been pregnant in your entire life. And you can lactate, how cool is that? So it’s hard. I won’t say it’s easy. There’s, you know, depending on your health history, and all of that, just like it would be if you gave birth and we’re lactating naturally, you know, things can can be, you know, difficult, they can be easier. For some, it just sort of depends. I will say I was really disappointed to see that they really highlighted sort of the medication route in the article, and made it sound like that was the only option. So they started to talk about the Newman Goldfarb protocol, which was developed by Dr. Jack Newman. And Lenore Goldfarb. They’re in Canada. This is, gosh, I think in the early 2000s. And it’s a combination of using birth control pills, and then also Domperidone, which is very, very difficult to get in the United States to actually induce lactation. And they talked about herbs, I was really disappointed to hear that they only mentioned Blessed Thistle and fenugreek to herbs that I would virtually never recommend. They’re just not very effective for lactation fenugreek is highly problematic for the majority of moms. And so then they said, there’s very little research on their effectiveness. Yes, that’s true. But there are other herbs, with research showing how effective they are.
So I was kind of bummed to just see that not because we have supplements or anything like that. But as a lactation consultant, I’ve commonly recommended herbs, and I see how well they work depending on someone’s circumstances. So anyways, they also did bring up a really cool point, though, in this article that was related to mental health, and how inducing lactation can help with the trauma of infertility. There is something to be said about kind of the subheading in this article about breastfeeding, making someone feel more like a mom. Right. So someone who’s gone through infertility. Commonly, there are moms who feel like they are you know, less than that they are not meant to be moms or there’s something you know, really wrong with their body, and inducing lactation and being able to breastfeed their babies that may be born through adoption or surrogacy or you know, other fertility treatments, this can really bring back some trust and confidence in their bodies, it can really heal a lot of the trauma and grieving that they’ve gone through with their infertility struggles. So I thought that that was really cool. They did touch on trans parents feeling like this would affirm their gender identity. So obviously, breastfeeding is a very female thing to do. And for people who have transitioned to being female, you know, this comes as a way for them to sort of validate their feelings about their gender. So that was interesting as well.
But I liked that they talked about the challenges, you know, it’s not, it’s not easy, it’s very difficult to make a full milk supply. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ve never had history of lactation or pregnancy or anything like that. And so you know, there’s just different ways to go about making it happen. So I was excited to see a pretty well balanced article on this and just highlighting the fact that inducing lactation, relaxation, these things are possible. And if it’s something you want to do, this is not a DIY thing, you definitely need to be working with an IBCLC. Also, most likely your OB or primary care physician very, very closely to come up with a plan because if you don’t know what you’re doing, if you’re just thinking, I’m just going to try and pump and see what happens. I’m just going to buy a supplement and see what happens. It’s not going to work out very well for you. You may not have the right expectations going into it. And so you really need someone who is experienced with this knows what the timeline timeline is and sort of knows what to expect and can evaluate your health history, your goals, all of that.
So anyway, great article there. The second one we share with you is about Kylie Jenner it’s from Entertainment Tonight and the headline is Kylie Jenner laughs off breastfeeding mishap I’m lactating. So I recently started watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians they have had all of the old seasons on Hulu. I’ve never watched the show. I’ve never really known much about the Kardashians, other than what I’ve just seen in passing from memes and whatnot. So I thought, I’m just gonna give this a shot, I’m gonna see what this show is all about. So I started in season one, gotta say definitely different than what I expected in a good way. And so I’m still early on and my viewing of it, so I have not caught up with the Kardashians. But apparently, Kylie Jenner is a 25 year old mom. And you guys might know this because you keep up with this stuff, but I have not. I’m catching up. And she posted a Tik Tok where she was in her car, talking about a new Kylie Cosmetics launch. And she was leaking. And she said, Oh, looks like I’m lactating and pointed to this milk stain on her shirt. So anyway, I thought that was kind of cute. You know, apparently, she’s been open about her postpartum struggles and how hard postpartum is and just sort of being that relatable mom.
So I would say, you know, good for her. I like that she’s normalizing that, you know, there was actually an episode earlier on in Keeping Up With The Kardashians, where Courtney has her first child, and her sister and boyfriend, Kim and Chris, oh, my goodness, what is his last name? Oh, the athlete guy. Anyway, they are teasing her saying you’re not still nursing him are you and teasing her about sleeping, you know, with her son and her bed. He’s a year and a half old. You know, they’re not parents at that point. And so it’s very easy sometimes to, you know, think that you know what you’re going to do as a parent before you have kids. And I will say that most of the time, your expectations aren’t what you thought. And it’s a big learning curve. So good for them. I really love seeing when celebrities make a point of normalizing things that are normal for other people like postpartum struggles, like breastfeeding, like nursing longer term, like doing the things that we’re all doing behind closed doors, why does it always have to happen behind a closed door? So anyway, I thought that was cool. I’ll link that up for you. Just because, you know, I, it’s gonna lead into this other article here that I’m going to chat to you about. But there’s this whole backlash, it seems from I don’t know, I really would say it’s probably from Formula companies. And then they’ve just gotten formula-feeding moms on board with this message, and it becomes a bit of an echo chamber. But this idea from the Mommy Wars, right? Breast milk versus formula, and this narrative that exists that formula, feeding moms are shamed. You know, I do think that everybody in life gets shamed for some sort of choice they’re making, that’s just the nature of being a human and living amongst other humans.
So I don’t think there’s anything necessarily special about that people will always judge you for your choices. People are judging you for what you wear, what color your hair is, what kind of sunglasses you have. I mean, this is ridiculous. It’s not special that you’re being, you know, judged for using formula or judged for breastfeeding. So let’s just stop pretending like it is. I mean, obviously, it’s a very personal choice. It’s very hurtful. When someone judges you, it matters a lot more to you than, you know, a style choice that you’re making in your life. I’m not trying to minimize that. But this argument that seems to be happening, where it’s like, well, I’m I’m judged more formula feeding moms are shamed all the time. Breastfeeding is advocated. And, you know, here’s breastfeeding advocate saying breastfeeding moms are shamed all the time formula is seen as something that’s fine. And we can’t, we’re not allowed to say anything bad about formula. So both sides have valid points.
You’re both right. I don’t want to get into it. But there was an article here and from the conversation, and the headline is parents can feel pressured to stop breastfeeding their baby. Here’s how to cope. So this is from September 13. And this is very true. I really enjoyed this article. They had some great links to research about how parents feel pressured to feed their babies in certain ways. How there are health benefits for breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby. And one of the cool things they talked about in some of this research was that breastfeeding can help women feel more appreciative and positive about their bodies. But even so they’re still still feeling pressure to stop. And you know, it’s just usually from family people close to you people that you value their opinion you care what they think.
There was even one quote shared here that said, My in laws said that I was being selfish for breastfeeding because then no one else could feed the baby. That’s a really, really common complaint. I actually did a real On Instagram about this, about how if someone else wants to feed the baby, and they’re convinced that it’s somehow like taking a load off for you, but that’s not really true because you have to pump to get that milk to feed the babies. So it’s still, it’s still work for you. It’s not a break, you’re still doing work. And pumping is not as much fun as breastfeeding. While you know, breastfeeding isn’t always fun, right? But pumping is not fun. Okay, breastfeeding can be enjoyable. So, you know, this is very, very common to have this kind of pressure people that meanwhile, they’re trying to support you. But they’re also being a bit selfish, they don’t understand the nature of breastfeeding. They don’t understand how much extra work it might create for you, to enable them to feed the baby. So you know, I think that’s a very valid point. And then it’s just in public, right that people are staring people are saying things moms are feeling looked at. And depending on, you know, what’s going on, in your own mind, you have your own interpretation, someone might be looking at you thinking, Wow, good for you. They also might be thinking You’re disgusting. And stop doing that out here. And you don’t know what they’re thinking. But this eyes on us, as breastfeeding moms, when we’re nursing in public, it’s unpleasant. No one likes that feeling. No one likes to just be watched unless you’re really an exhibitionist. So, you know, it talked about that.
And just feeling of judgment, right that some people get very uncomfortable when moms will breastfeed in front of them. And of course, that’s their own issue. But, you know, we as humans don’t like making other people feel uncomfortable, especially when we’re doing something that really shouldn’t. So, you know, it’s really, really hard moms are up against a lot in terms of societal support depends, you know, on certain cultures as well. And, you know, they are turning to online sources of support. They talked about Facebook groups and things of that nature. You know, one of the reasons why I started the nurture collective was because Facebook groups are generally a giant, hot mess, and mostly not as supportive as they really should be in my mind. So we wanted to create a really safe community that was properly moderated run by IBCLCs, with moms who were on board and would agree to Terms and Conditions of not harassing other mothers not sharing screenshots of posts outside the group, things of that nature. So we created that safe community because, you know, if you are feeling this pressure in your social life, maybe it’s a husband who says he wants to have your body back or you know, something like that you have a place to go, you can vent about that you can share about that you can get support, you can also see that you’re not alone, right.
So anyway, I thought this article, it’s not really a news article, per se. It’s not an announcement of something that’s happening in the world. But it’s just a highlight of something that is happening on a daily basis for a lot of moms. So I really appreciate that someone took the time to write this because I think this is valuable. So I would encourage you, if you’ve felt any sort of pressure to stop breastfeeding sooner than you would like, definitely check this article out from the conversation. So now I’m going to share with you about a study. This is exciting to me, this was published September 15. So that’s yesterday at the time of this recording. And it’s titled mental health benefits of breastfeeding a literature review. So a literature review isn’t like a study in the sense that they’re looking at something new and testing that theory, right. They’re looking at existing scientific literature on a particular topic. Literature reviews are very valuable. If you’ve ever done anything in higher education, and how to, you know, write any sort of paper or anything like that, then you would have done a literature review before you actually get into the research phase.
So I do find this very valuable, what it did is really just look at, you know, mental health impacts of breastfeeding, and they talked about pregnancy. And you know, that that’s generally viewed as a time of emotional well being. But for some, it can negatively impact their mental health. And so looking at postpartum depression and its symptoms and other psychological aspects of breastfeeding, changes to things that are physiological, like mother infant interactions, sleep wake cycles, so and also early weaning, I thought that was really comprehensive that they looked at all of these different factors and how those things can play into mental health. The cool part was they really just do a great job summarizing the science. So if you want to look into maternal mental health benefits of breastfeeding, I think this is an excellent read. It’s honestly not too Whew, super scientifically worded. So if for the layperson, it’s actually pretty easy to read and understand. But they do talk about this correlation between stress responses and lactation, that there’s generally lower cortisol in lactating women. So that’s really great, right? We want to have less stress being a mom can be stressful enough.
So if you’re able to balance that, and for any mom, where breastfeeding is going well, she will tell you how relaxing breastfeeding is. Right? That moment that she just even the fact that she’s slowing down, maybe she’s sitting still with a baby. She’s nursing, she’s making that connection, there’s hormonal things at play. And it talks about those hormones. But there’s also this just mindfulness that’s happening. So there’s on both parts, you know, that limits those symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety. It’s long been known in the scientific literature, that breastfeeding is protective of postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression. So there’s that they talk about improved self efficacy. So feeling like you’re a really competent Mom, that’s something that once you get a handle on breastfeeding, once you get through the new part of it, or the difficult parts of it, and you end up keep going with it, then you do feel more confident, you bond better with your baby. So all of these things are really cool. And I would encourage you just again, to read this, I don’t want to go through every little data point. But you know, this might come as a surprise, it’s not for me, because this has always been in the scientific literature, we’ve studied this multiple times. But breastfeeding women sleep on average, 2.6 hours longer than women who bottle fed. Now, this is really, really important to note, because there is this myth out there, that using formula makes your baby sleep longer. Now, it is a fact that breastfeeding, or breast milk is easier to digest than formula.
So you know, that’s not that, you know, formula can keep a baby asleep longer, because it takes longer to digest. So they’re not going to wake up feeling hungry as frequently. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the mom is getting more sleep. So they talked about a study that looked at mothers who used formula at night, and that they were suffering nearly three times the amount of sleep loss compared to exclusively breastfeeding mothers. That’s a significant difference. So if anybody has ever told you, oh, well, you know, just give formula at night, you’ll get more sleep, that’s actually not true. There’s a hormonal cycle that’s at play here. And that lack of sleep actually negatively impacts your physical health and your mental emotional health as well. That increases your risk of developing postpartum depression. So going to formula is not some sort of a solution for more sleep, it’s actually a recipe for less sleep. And it’s definitely not going to necessarily support your mental health. Now there is this narrative out there that Well, I had to stop breastfeeding for my mental health. The thing here is that if breastfeeding is so hard, if breastfeeding, is that negatively impacting your mental health, for most people, the solution is to get skilled support and help with breastfeeding. The solution is usually not to go and just give formula. Right? It’s it’s that you’re not getting support. And the idea that moms feel like that they need to do this on their own. This is just something, you know, if they can’t figure it out, then the alternative is to go to formula. You know, I can see why that happens. But I would say that there’s just a lack of awareness of the fact that there are lactation consultants out there, even there’s lactation counselors and educators so they can help on just a counseling and education level. Right.
So there’s a lot of support that’s out there, and it is definitely still under utilized. And so I would have loved if this article touched on that a little bit more. But I would also say that too. It’s just a really great summary of all of the challenges that moms face, but also how breastfeeding ultimately helps to alleviate a lot of those challenges. And they go through that evidence. So they don’t talk about early weaning and all of that. It really just honestly a pretty comprehensive article. So I’ll link that up. I found it really useful and fascinating. It was a really great refresher for me. I also think that they really nicely summarized everything and put it into you know, all one place. So the last article I’m going to share with you is from spectrum local news. This is a local news outlet in North Carolina, and they had an article The title was professionals say more patients or more parents are anxious about breastfeeding. The headline is told totally a misnomer, of course, absolute clickbait, because they basically go on in the first sentence to say that parents are becoming more anxious about breastfeeding and are seeking out assistance. And they interview a lactation consultant.
So I don’t know the parents are becoming more anxious about breastfeeding, there wasn’t anything in this article to indicate that, I would say that that’s not something we’ve experienced with our members or our clients. But we have seen across the board an increase in appointments, we’ve absolutely seen an increase in, first of all, just number of appointments, but also number of follow up appointments, you know, a lot of people don’t realize that their health insurance will cover lactation consulting, most of the time, they’ll cover it out of network, you can get reimbursed for your appointments that you’ve paid for privately. This is very, very common. It’s not always the case, it’s not 100%. But definitely something to ask your health insurance company about before you book an appointment, don’t just make the assumption that you know, someone’s not in network, and so you can’t get it covered. And so parents are really just, you know, working more with lactation consultants because of the formula shortage. That’s really a big reason why it’s still ongoing. You know, the plant in Sturgis, Michigan is still not open. So yeah, we do have a shortage, we’re going to have a shortage for, you know, at least the next couple of months, if not longer. And so parents are really thinking, you know, this is something I need to invest in, if I can’t make enough breast milk, then what am I going to do to make sure that my baby has enough food.
The cool part of this is that the more that parents go and seek out help from skilled lactation consultants, and continue breastfeeding and make this possible for them. And by breastfeeding, I mean, expressing breast milk through pumping or you know, all all forms of breastfeeding. But the less that you have to rely on formula, the more that we alleviate that shortage of formula, the more that formula is available for those babies who truly have a medical need for it. So you know, not just looking at it as a choice of just, you know, one food versus another. But really, parents are now starting to say, Hey, this is a big deal. And I’ve really, I really, you know, don’t know how to do this right away, my baby isn’t super skilled at this. And so, you know, I’ve got to look at getting some more support. So to me, this is positive, it does make it sometimes really hard. When we get booked up and somebody wants an appointment same day, one thing I would tell you, if you are thinking of working with a lactation consultant, and you’re listening to this, is that you really don’t want to wait to the last minute to try to book that appointment. Most of the time, it’s very, very difficult to get a same day appointment, let alone possibly the next day. So if you’re thinking, hey, I really would like some extra support with this, you know, contact that lactation consultant, as soon as you’re having that thought, get something scheduled, because it might be a few days until you’re actually able to see that person. So keep that in mind. We don’t operate like urgent cares. And so you know, if you do have a true medical emergency, you’ve got that option. But if you’re needing help and support with breastfeeding, you’re struggling with it, you have questions, you want to make sure everything is going well definitely plan ahead, make sure you’re giving yourself at least a few days buffer there so that you can get in to see someone in a timely manner. So especially just in light of this article, right?
Every lactation consultant, I’ve talked to all of my colleagues, they’re always telling me lately how busy they are. And generally, I would say we’re pretty busy at this time of the year anyway, there seems to be an influx of babies that were conceived during the holidays. So that’s generally a pretty busy time. But we’ve noticed an uptick, absolutely, with the formula shortage. And I think it’s great. I think that this goes, you know, one step further towards normalizing breastfeeding and to really normalizing support for breastfeeding. You know, I think that it’s one thing to say that, you know, breastfeeding is recommended or, you know, you should do it or that’s, that’s like a public health narrative that we often hear. But it’s another thing to say that it’s normal to get support with breastfeeding. You know, I think that’s the piece that’s really been missing for a long time. And there’s multiple avenues to do that. Right. You can work with an IBCLC, which is, you know, an international board certified lactation consultant. You can work with someone who is able to just kind of coach you and give you education. So that might be a lactation counselor or like lactation educator, you can go to WIC if you’re low and you’re in the US. They often have breastfeeding peer counselors, some offices will actually have IBCLC is they have breast pumps to rent. They have a lot of support there. There’s also La Leche League. There’s breastfeeding USA. Every state in the United States for the most part, as far as I know has a 20 For our breastfeeding hotline, you can call that they’re usually staffed by IBCLCs. So they can give you some over-the-phone triage and direct you to resources in your community. So there are a lot of different options that I would encourage you to look into. So that’s it for this week and the summary on everything that I’ve talked about here. Again, you can check the show notes, if there’s something in particular that you’re looking for and want to read more about, and I’ll see you on the next episode.
In this episode, Jacqueline shares some of the latest breastfeeding news articles. She breaks them down to relay the information and facts and then she shares her perspective about each article. These articles address things like mental health, anxiety around breastfeeding, inducing lactation, and Kylie Jenner’s lactation mishap.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- Some of the latest breastfeeding articles that are circling the web
- What avenues you have as a breastfeeding mother for support in your journey
- Why more moms are turning to breastfeeding
A glance at this episode:
- [2:56] That the newest Holistic Lactation supplement has launched and is ready for purchase
- [4:03] Jacqueline discusses a recent hot topic about transgender people lactating
- [9:40] Kylie Jenner has a lactation mishap and Jacqueline covers the story
- [12:25] Jacqueline addresses the formula vs. breastfeeding war and shares an article about taking the pressure off while feeding your baby
- [18:22] Jacqueline shares a study of mental health benefits of breastfeeding
- [24:42] Jacqueline debunks a North Carolina news article claiming that moms are more ‘anxious’ about breastfeeding
- Transgender Lactation Article
- Kylie Jenner’s Lactating Mishap
- North Carolina Article
- Mental Health Benefits of Breastfeeding Article
- Parents Feel Pressure Article
- Holistic Lactation Website
- Discount on Products Use Code ‘PODCAST15’
- Follow on Instagram
- Book an Appointment
- ? If you are truly struggling with breastmilk production, check out our Advanced Lactation Formula supplement or consider booking a Low Milk Supply Consultation or Pumping Consultation with us
- ?If you are experiencing clogged ducts, engorgement or mastitis, check out our Lactation Flow Formula supplement or consider booking a General Breastfeeding Consultation with us
- ? Looking for more trusted knowledge and a deep dive on how to know what’s what with breastfeeding and how to overcome problems? Check out our support community The Nurture Collective®
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