This week on The Mommy Labor Nurse podcast we’ve got part two of our two-part episode with the lovely, Lindsey Shipley, from Lactation Link. She’s a board-certified lactation consultant and a fellow labor and delivery nurse.
Last week on the show we had so much fun chatting and demystifying some of the most common, yet lesser understood L&D terms you might come across during your pregnancy and birth. And this week we’re focusing on your top breastfeeding questions!
We dropped a box over on Instagram, and so many of you submitted excellent questions for Lindsey. It was honestly hard to choose. We tried to select questions and topics that seemed to be asked most often, so hopefully, yours is in here!
And either way, you’re about to learn a WHOLE lot about breastfeeding, with a special focus on what you can do during pregnancy to set yourself up for success. Ready to take a peek at what we talked about? Let’s go!
- I’m a first time mother, and worried my body won’t produce
- What if skin-to-skin doesn’t happen?
- How to deal with an aggressive LC at the hospital
- Do I need specialized clothing?
- What can I eat while breastfeeding?
- Can I keep baby swaddled while feeding at night?
- Wrapping up the episode
- About Lindsey Shipley, IBCLC
- About our Sponsor: Wellements
I’m a first time mother, and worried my body won’t produce
We started off this Q&A session with one of the most commonly submitted questions! In fact, we got this question so many times and in SO many different forms, that we knew this was where we had to begin.
Here were some utterances of the same concern:
“Worried I won’t have enough milk, What if I won’t be able to produce enough?, Worried it won’t work, Worried when baby first latches, I won’t have milk, My number one worry the whole time was supply, Wish I’d studied more on the latch, Due in six weeks…what do I do? Help!”
I think the underlying theme here is that breastfeeding (like birth) is a HUGE unknown for pregnant mamas. And that can cause a lot of anxiety. Lindsey is all about empowering women and setting them up with the knowledge they need to erase all of that.
A word from Lindsey for all expecting moms worried about breastfeeding
“I want to empower you by telling you that 95%-99% of women have the physiological tools and equipment to be able to produce a full milk supply. Okay. So really only 1% to 5% of women are going to have underlying conditions that make it so that breastfeeding, creating a full supply won’t work for them. That doesn’t mean that they can’t do mixed feeding and do some of the breast or use a supplemental nursing system.
So, I want to say that – not to say that it’s going to be 95% to 99% of women’s choice to breastfeed or that it will be what works best for them. But I just want to empower you that most likely your body was made to do this. So, let’s just get some really great foundation [knowledge] in place so you know what to do to make it a little easier on yourself right out of out of the gate.”
She goes on to say that breastfeeding is a learned behavior for mom and baby, and it’s going to take time for both of you to learn, but education about breastfeeding before you’re in it and the right mindset can really make all the difference.
What if skin-to-skin doesn’t happen?
In this part of the episode Lindsey dives into a topic she is clearly very passionate about – skin-to-skin care! And if you know me, you know that I also like to educate and speak on this topic. Skin-to-skin care immediately following birth has so many benefits and positive breastfeeding associations.
Lindsey mentions that skin-to-skin care is something you need to indicate on your birth plan, discuss with your provider prior to birth, and reiterate at the hospital. Fortunately, more and more hospitals are implementing skin-to-skin as a standard of care – but it’s not universal yet! So advocate for it, mama.
She also addresses that mamas who are worried about the fact that they couldn’t do skin-to-skin in the first hour after birth shouldn’t stress. It’s okay because it’s NEVER too late to start doing skin-to-skin care and reaping those amazing benefits! She specifically quotes the first 1000 minutes of life, which is over 16 hours! And beyond that, she encourages (and the research supports) skin-to-skin care for the first 3 months is so beneficial.
When you tune in, you’ll hear Lindsey quote some amazing research done by Dr. Nils Bergman on the topic of skin-to-skin care and all of the benefits. So definitely don’t miss it!
Related: How to Make a Birth Plan
How to deal with an aggressive LC at the hospital
Lindsey shares the experiences of some of the women from the Lactation Link community in dealing with kind of aggressive or almost abrasive LCs during their postpartum hospital stay. This is a tough topic and something I hear a lot about too.
I think that most LCs are well-intentioned when they come in, but their teaching style may not vibe with yours. Most often we hear about LCs who might be very blunt and hands-on which can feel really frustrating and unexpected for a lot of new moms.
Lindsey really drives home the messaging that you should be very assertive if you are uncomfortable, ask the LC to please ask before touching your body, and that by learning about breastfeeding ahead of time, you will feel more confident to stand up for yourself and be assertive with this “expert” that’s putting you in an uncomfortable position.
Related: The Hospital Stay After Birth
Do I need specialized clothing?
This was a really common question we got on Instagram, so we made sure to include it! You’ll hear us chat about how there are so many wonderful nursing-friendly brands out there, but you shouldn’t feel like you HAVE to buy special breastfeeding clothes.
Usually, mamas can use what they already have in their wardrobe, and if you just invest in a few great nursing bras you will be all set!
Related: Breastfeeding Essentials
What can I eat while breastfeeding?
Lindsey says that this is a super frequently asked question, and she knows that this comes from a place of moms just wanting to do what’s best for their babies. But her bottom line is that she doesn’t want moms driving themselves crazy about their diet.
She says that for the majority of women, eating your normal diet is going to be totally fine and baby is not going to be affected by what they’re eating! And she reminds you that breastfeeding takes a lot of energy, so aim to eat an extra 300 calories per day.
Related: Breastfeeding Nutrition
Can I keep baby swaddled while feeding at night?
Lindsey says that this is another super common question, and she actually advises against this! Here’s what she had to say:
“And the reason why I would say no to this for a couple reasons. Number one is baby, even like from the very beginning, is going to use those newborn reflexes to learn how to latch. Part of that is using their hands. And they’re going to find their landmarks on your breast area, they are going to pick up on texture. Then as they get a little bit better at it, and my little guy did this with one of his hands, they might start to grab your breast like a sandwich! That helps them – it’s kind of part of their little survival tools.
And so it can be tempting to swaddle the arms down, because sometimes the arms do get in the way, right? Because baby is trying to feel and it’s like, can you just get those hands down because so we can get latched, right? I understand that. But it’s like kind of putting yourself in the straitjacket and then trying to eat your lunch, you know? So, it’s not so comfy. Yeah, so try to stay away from swaddling.”
Wrapping up the episode
At the end of the episode, I ask Lindsey to share her top 3 tips related to breastfeeding for all the expecting and new moms out there! Tune in to hear ALL the details, but here’s the short version:
- Skin-to-skin, and not just right after birth, you can use it ALL the time
- Feeding frequency is HUGE, feed a lot – and skin to skin can really help with this
- Don’t panic – trust the process. You can do this!
About Lindsey Shipley, IBCLC
Lindsey Shipley is an RN, Childbirth Educator, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, cancer survivor, and mom of 3. After being a labor and delivery RN for 5 years, Lindsey saw too many moms feel scared and unsure when it came to breastfeeding. She overheard lots of differing opinions and conversations on “the right way” or “the best way” to breastfeed. It’s no wonder moms can feel overwhelmed and unsure. Lindsey set out to change all that with Lactation Link!
When her second baby was six weeks old, she was diagnosed with cancer and went through two years of treatment. With education and support, she was able to reach her own breastfeeding goals despite facing that challenge. That experience made her passionate about creating a breastfeeding resource families knew they could trust when they experienced challenges of their own. Through the Lactation Link online classes and support forum, she has created reliable, research-based information that is also easily accessible.
She is based in Utah, but her customer base is everywhere because of her online classes and e-consults.
You can connect with her:
- On Instagram: @lactationlink
- Over at her website: Lactation Link
- In her FREE webinar: 3 Secrets to Creating a Great Milk Supply
About our Sponsor: Wellements
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