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Ep 111. 5 Ways to Improve Your Breastfeeding Journey

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 This is Maureen Farrell and Heather ONeal, and this is The Milk Minute. We’re midwives and lactation professionals bringing you the most up-to-date evidence for all things lactation. So you can feel more confident about feeding your baby, body positivity, relationships, and mental health. Plus we laugh a little or a lot along the way.

So join us for another episode. Welcome to The Milk Minute Podcast, everyone. We’re back and we’re better than ever. And today we’re excited to tell you some ways that you can probably improve your life. You might have been breastfeeding or pumping recently thinking, oh my God, there is no way this could ever be better. This might be ruining my life.

And we’re here to tell you, there’s always some improvements that can be made. Absolutely. And I’m just going to say, if you know anybody who’s pregnant right now, like this is a good episode to send them, or especially if they’ve been already breastfeeding for six months and it’s like, oh yeah, I’m a pro by now.

I’ve completely changed my entire life just to incorporate breastfeeding. It’s like, well, maybe you have, but could it be better? Yeah. What if we didn’t change everything? Yeah. What if we just changed one thing and your quality of life improved drastically? Exactly. But before we do that, I do have some patrons to thank, which makes me so excited.

Thank you, patrons. So a big, thank you to Sarah Kramer and Jill Inder Stott. Was that correct? I think it’s Inderstrodt. Inderstrodt. I’m sorry, Jill. Jill. I thank you and I apologize sincerely for butchering your last name in 10 different ways just now, but we do appreciate your contribution and your support.

Yeah. In case you don’t know patrons are people that support us monetarily with a small monthly donation, sometimes not small, and they help to keep this project sustainable and keep this going. And they get access to a behind the scenes video, and early access to some episodes. And I mean, they like, they’re just in the know.

They’re kinda the cool kids club and like we’ve never been in the cool kids club before. So this is a unique experience for us. They get to see pictures of us in our pajamas, no makeup. It’s a whole vibe. So if you’d like to be a patron you can go to

Do you do you have a question for us, Heather? I do have a question. It’s a good one. Okay. I’m excited. Put your midwife hat on. Got it on. What does a midwife hat look like? Is it like a vagina hat from the rallies back in 2016? I imagine the like little caps that they wear in “call the midwife.” Oh yeah. They’re super cute, honestly. As long as it doesn’t look like a dunce hat and unless it’s like it got an Albus, Dumbledore vibe. That I could rock.

Might get in the way during a cervical exam. I feel like we just need these to be like business like. Like you can tuck your hair under it and Bobby pin it on and that bitch stays all night. Okay. So today’s question is from one of our lovely patrons, Valerie Wilson.

Valerie says, when should you seek out a medical professional for your period not returning postpartum? How long should you wait before worrying? I’m 13 months postpartum and still no period. I know it can be normal. I just thought it would have returned by now, since I supplemented with formula for the first 10 weeks and then went back to work when he was 10 weeks. So I was pumping. What the heck?

This is a little bit of a tricky one because. If you asked your doctor, they’d probably say to come in, but then the answer would probably be like, well, here’s some birth control. And that’s not really an answer. When we look at like large polls of people and when their periods return, it is all over the board.

And for a lot of people, it simply does not return until they fully wean. And that can be normal. I would say if it’s a problem for you, like if you are hoping to conceive again soon, or you keep feeling say like PMS symptoms and not menstruating and things are feeling really unbalanced, that’s a good time to ask your doctor. But if you feel really healthy and normal and you’re still breastfeeding and you just aren’t having periods, I think you’re fine.

So I actually did a poll in the Facebook group a couple of weeks ago, asking how many months post-partum people were when their period returned. What’d you like to know? I would love to. Okay. So 369 people voted, which is actually pretty amazing. And 22% said their period returned after one year. 1% said that their cycle didn’t return until post weaning, which is interesting.

15% said after six months and the rest of them are just like one to five and a half percent scattered between one month and six months. Okay. So that’s like a whole range in there and that’s probably indicative of returning to work, daycare, supplementation, all of those things kind of like throw a hitch in your breastfeeding giddy up and your ovaries start to awaken from their deep lactation slumber.

And you know, they like pop open an eyeball and your ovaries are like, just seeing if you need anything. Would you like to get pregnant again? I see that you have some free time that you’re using to work, to support your family. Would you like to get pregnant? Surprise! I wasn’t paying attention. Did you give us enough percentages to add up to a hundred?

I mean, sort of, but the main thing is a quarter of them almost returned after a year. Yeah. And we didn’t like specify within there between one and two years just sometime after a year. Right. Okay. Yeah. And that’s a really significant number.

And from the other like studies I’ve read and polls that I’ve seen, they all also have a significant number of people whose periods returned after a year or after two years. It’s statistically normal, but you know, Valerie, you know, your body best. So if you feel like this is a problem for you, you know, call your doctor. And I would say before you see them just be like, what would you do in this case?

And, and if they want to like run some labs or talk about birth control or whatever, that’s all fine. But I would just ask them that before you go in. Right. And I guess it depends what your goal is. If you’re trying to get pregnant again, cause this is where I see a lot of people that are more concerned about it than others, it’s like, when is my cycle going to return?

Because we’d like to start planning to have another one. Is there something I need to do about it? The answer is no. Not really. I mean, at this point it’s kind of hit or miss. You can get some ovulation strips to see if you’re actually ovulating, but not completing the cycle.

That’s interesting. But really if you’re not trying to get pregnant and it’s just delayed return of your menses, then you can assume everything’s probably working okay. Since you literally just grew an entire human and birthed it not even, not very long ago, not long ago, it was all functioning perfectly. So give yourself a minute, you know, and don’t blame yourself.

Yeah. Well, I think that is a great note to start our episode on. Me too.

All right. It’s Maureen here and I want to tell you that I have finally set up a link so you can instantly book virtual lactation consults with me. Thank the Lord. I know Heather, it took me a long time to take the leap from in-person visits to virtual, but I did. You’re going to love it. I love doing virtual consults.

They are the best. It serves more people. I’m so glad you took the plunge. Thank you. And if you guys out there want to book some time with me, you can go to and then click on my lactation services tab. Is that H I G H L A N D? Yes. Okay. I will see you on zoom, everybody.

Today, we’re talking about five ways that you can improve your breastfeeding journey. And actually I had a very funny conversation with a friend of mine this morning about calling it a journey. And she was saying, she always thinks of Alexis from Schitt’s Creek when somebody uses that word. I’m on a journey, David.

Yeah. So anyway, come on our journey with us. All right. What’s up first? Okay. So number one is to watch your baby, not the clock.

And this isn’t just in the beginning. I mean, for the entire journey. Yes. I, I feel like the time people struggle most with this is in the first three months and then after a year. Well, maybe after nine months, but close to that year, right.

Because you know, your baby is going to be changing all the time. With that your breast milk changes all the time. So things are going to look different month to month. And so, especially in the beginning when things are getting regulated and especially around 7, 8, 9 months, when baby’s developmental priorities start to change and they’re including solids now, we can expect a lot of changes at the breast as far as schedule and time.

We got sleeping things that are happening Yeah, I would say, just watch your baby before you panic. And you’re like, oh my gosh, I know I’m starving them. Just look at them. Do they? I know they just ate for four and a half minutes, but do they look like they’re starving? Great. They’re not.

Well. And you know, I think let’s start at the beginning. Right? Cause this is when everybody starts to worry about this, especially those who have hospital births and some nurse comes in and they’re like, oh, just feed your baby every two to three hours and then they leave. And you’re like, okay. So I’m setting a timer for every two hours. 15 minutes on each breast, right.

And that’s super outdated. We do not schedule feeds for healthy babies anymore. You know, if your baby’s in the NICU or has some medical needs, especially ones that prevent them from showing you hunger cues, that’s a totally different story. But you’ve got a normal term baby, and we need to trust them to show us that they’re hungry.

And that’s really hard, but, you know, until proven otherwise we need to trust them that they can do that. Well, I think the people that struggle the most with this are people that had a rough start. You know, maybe your baby lost more than 10% of their birth weight. Maybe they were jaundice, maybe someone uninformed had you triple feeding for eight weeks and now your baby is actually fine.

But like we have to do, we have to test it. We have to see, are we over that hump or not? So, you know, if you’re feeling stress about it, work with a professional to get you through it, you know, that’s what we’re here for.

It’s not like you have to take a flying leap and with your eyes closed with tons of anxiety, you know. Do that with us, do that with a friend, do that with somebody that has experienced with kids who can reassure you that you’re not starving your baby. A good professional, like us, can also give you tools to use for self-assessing your baby, right?

Like tracking poops and pees, understanding what signs of dehydration and like lethargy look like in infants because they’re not the same as adults. And having those tools can really help you to feel more confident in paying attention to your baby and their cues rather than a schedule.

Now we do have to say in the case that you have a baby that literally just does not come off the breast or is feeding like an hour at a time, don’t limit their feeds, but do seek some help. Because that usually tells us they’re having some kind of problem getting enough milk and they’re compensating for that by feeding longer.

So don’t cut their feeds because those longer feeds are helping them. Right. But do like talk to lactation, talk to OT and kind of try to figure out how you can help your baby then be more efficient at feeding. Right. And, you know, in addition to watching the baby, not the clock, we’re watching you, too. Watch yourself.

If you’re losing your mind because your baby is nursing for 40 minutes at a clip every hour. And the minute you take them off the breasts, they are crying and fussy, and they look stressed with a furrowed brow, and you feel your anxiety creeping up, that’s time to call somebody. You know, trust her. Trust your intuition.

I think one of the things that’s the hardest for us this day and age being parents is that we have so much information accessible to us all the time with the internet, that we have this crazy pressure to do everything right. And there’s like eight right ways to do everything. So we start to not trust our intuition as much.

Yeah. And I don’t know about you, but I think a lot of us were raised in a way that really made us doubt our intuition. Like a lot of the messaging I got as a kid in the nineties and the early aughts. Now we get to call that, anyway. What did you just say? The early aughts. The 00s. Oh, I have not heard that, but I like it.

Yeah, it’s cute. It feels cuter than saying 20 years ago. Anyway, a lot of the messaging I got there was to be a people pleaser and not to pay attention to myself and my feelings and my intuition, and instead to try and help other people feel better. And a lot of us millennial parents are in that situation where we’re trying to sort through all that shit in order to be healthy humans now.

So, you know, I get it. We’re there with you. And it’s something we’re all trying to work through, but don’t, don’t put yourself aside if your mental health is really suffering here. Yeah. And don’t be afraid of the answer either, you know, because it could be better. It could be one easy thing where we’re like, oh, you know, this is the problem.

And then your problem is fixed and we just saved you three months of stress and anxiety. So, you know, trust your baby if they are medically well and trust yourself, if you feel like something’s not right.

Well, number two is to find a way to simplify your life. Maybe you can stop pumping and use a haakaa, which is like one part to clean instead of dozens. Maybe you don’t need to pump. Maybe you can breastfeed while carrying baby in a carrier so you can like move while you’re feeding. Right.

Maybe we need to outsource something that’s bothering you. Like maybe you can invest in a housekeeper. I know not everybody is able to do that, but you might be able to ask a friend. Be like, instead of making me a casserole, would you mind coming over and just putting my laundry away? It’s really bothering me.

You know, have a really honest conversation with your partner about new ways to divvy up the household responsibilities and make sure you say, you know, this doesn’t have to be forever. Maybe you actually like cleaning the house. Like I have a friend like this who loves cleaning the house. And she is so frustrated by the fact that she can’t clean the house and feed the baby at the same time.

And so her and her husband had to have a conversation about the fact that like, this is a temporary arrangement. I will allow you to clean the house and try very hard not to criticize you when you mop incorrectly. And I’m just going to be thankful for it. And in three months or so, when I come out of this breastfeeding cloud, I’m going to get back to doing this and we’re going to make a new plan.

Yeah. You know, what I had to do was shift my mindset about the house being clean and just be like, you know what? The rooms take turns. And today the playroom gets to be clean and tomorrow it’s the kitchen and our upstairs kind of feels like one room to me cause we were not up there as much. So like then it’s the upstairs after.

And then like, you know, I have like a monthly reset where like everybody leaves the house and I clean it all. Like having that kind of mindset shift really helped simplify it for me. Cause then I was like, okay, today we’re probably just going to spend the day in this room and I’m going to clean as we go.

And I’m not going to worry about the rest of it. Right. Just simplifying, I would say like less things. And also, you know, I think there’s a reason why everyone’s obsessed with those minimalist people on Instagram. It’s just because our life has so much crap. You know, if your, if your issue is like, there’s just stuff everywhere, just get rid of the stuff. Maybe if you’re not

ready to throw it out or sort it just put it in totes or bags and just shove all of it in the basement and deal with it in a year. We call those doom boxes. Doom boxes. Where just like all the things you can’t find a place for you just put it in a box and put it somewhere you don’t look at. That’s what they’re called in my house.

And like, there’s a certain number of these that becomes unsustainable, but like, honestly, they’re pretty great. I also do what I call the depression sink. When I can’t do the dishes and I just can’t get on top of it, I take everything. I rinse it a little bit.

I put it upside down in the sink. I spray a little disinfectant on the top and I just let it go. And I’m like go with God, I’ll wash you when I can. Oh, that’s so funny. And just, you know, simplifying things like, did you register accidentally for eight different types of bottles? And now you have rings, nipples, bases, gas prevention plugs at like, just get rid of all the bottles except for one type so you never have to try to find and locate all of the little parts that go with each bottle.

This is a problem I’m having, and it’s all of your fault at home, by the way. Because I have so many breast pumps now, so I can review them for you guys. We have more episodes with reviews coming up, but I just had a day where I used to like four different ones.

And then washed them all and then tried to fit them all in the drying rack. And it was such a disaster. Oh my gosh. I can’t even imagine. That must’ve taken an hour. Yeah. Well, my husband washed most of them, but then like when I put them in the drying rack, I like group, like things together and he doesn’t. So I was trying to put them back together and I was like, I’m like, I there’s a mountain and I have to take out the Medela parts before the Spectra part, but they’re mixed in together.

Anyway, don’t do that, everybody. Don’t do it. Same with binkies, you know, just pick one, stick with one. And if you’re pregnant, listening to this, hear me now just register for one type. And if your baby doesn’t like it, they will if you just keep giving them the same exact one over and over, and that’s the only option.

Remember this baby moved in with you. You didn’t move in with the baby. Yeah. And I think like, you know, I struggled with this more the first six months. And some days I would be like, okay, it’s already a hard day and I have not even finished my coffee. So today I’m going to do, I mean, clearly I’m going to keep the kids alive.

Right. If I’m staying home with them, but I’m going to do one thing. One other thing, one goal. Maybe that’s the dishes. Maybe it’s picking up toys. Maybe my goal is to go outside and sit in the grass with my kids, like, and just take the giant to-do list we all have in our heads and be like, that is not today’s problem.

And speaking of those things like plans and goals, maybe your kids don’t have to do soccer, baseball, lacrosse and wrestling. I’m a big fan of this cause my kid does none of it. Yeah. We do one thing at a time. And you know, if you think your kid is going to be an Olympian, then obviously you need to put your resources there, but they’re not going to be an Olympian at every sport.

Just pick one, you know. One to focus on because you’re going to be a better parent, not feeling like you have to rush around everywhere. And lately I have been a big proponent of reserving my weekends, at least one weekend day to do nothing. Because guess what I do on that day? I do things still, but it’s like things for me. Like, you know, maybe I want to actually have a slow morning and then around 10:00 AM is when I start thinking about organizing one corner of my house.

And that’s like small goals. Just small. Yeah. Well, and sometimes you’re like, it’s literally the top of my dresser that’s been driving me crazy. Yeah. Because I have to look at it all the time and it takes 10 minutes, but I haven’t had 10 minutes to spare in four weeks. Give yourself one day guys, just one.

And that leads us right into number three. Oh, tell me what it is. Number three is solve the problem. Just one? So we have to figure out what actually is the problem. So breastfeeding gets blamed a lot because it’s the new kid on the block. So it’s this new activity that’s taking up a lot of time in your life, but it actually might not be the activity that’s bothering you.

Hmm. Is it breastfeeding that’s bothering you or is it something else that’s bothering you now that breastfeeding is taking up so much of your time? And this is often perpetuated by the people around us who are no longer accessing our free time because we’re breastfeeding. So, you know, like if you weren’t breastfeeding so much, we would be able to fill in the blank, you know?

So we get a lot of this pressure externally. Yeah, basically making breastfeeding the bad guy. And maybe it is. Maybe breastfeeding is absolutely destroying your life but let me pose a few examples. Maybe the problem is you are exhausted. So solve the problem. The problem is exhaustion. Find a way to schedule in some sleep for the next couple of days.

It might mean that you pumped before you go to bed and let your partner do the 11:00 PM feeding just for a couple of days. Are you like talking to me? I’m literally looking you dead into your soul. I feel like this whole list is just going to be like minor personal attacks. Like go on. I’m trying to help you. I know that, but you know, sometimes it’s hard not to feel defensive about that.

Like, you know, especially when you know that’s the help you need, but you didn’t ask. Yeah. So if you’re feeling personally attacked by this, I apologize in advance, but also maybe it is the problem that needs solving. And like, if you are, you’re probably also a Virgo, like me.

All the Sagittarius’s, are like, just tell me what I need to do so I can go back to doing what I was doing before. It’s like the Virgos and Taurus’s is at home that are like, oh, how do you know what I need but I didn’t ask you? But I should be better at solving this problem than you. That’s actually very accurate. And I was thinking we need to do a whole episode on like Enneagram types for breastfeeding, because like, I am a solid Enneagram eight.

I actually can’t remember. I can’t remember what I am, but I’ve taken that test so many times. So I should take it again. We should discuss, we’ll put it in Patreon. That’d be a fun one. Okay. So here’s another example of a problem that might be the problem instead of breastfeeding. So maybe the problem is that you actually feel like you aren’t focused at work.

You just hit the nail on the head, like directly again. Yeah. So in this situation, We would want you to communicate with your partner about blocking off some time so you could strictly focus on work for a few hours. For example, you could feed baby before, work that block of time, and then feed directly after.

So you could work a solid three hour block and maybe that would just make your brain feel a little bit better and be like, oh, actually I love breastfeeding. Actually now that I got that thing done, I don’t feel like such a big old POS. You know, it actually like, it feels like a relief to breastfeed after that sometimes rather than a chore.

Right. Right. Exactly. And it’s, it’s very easy as I suffer from this, I really do. Because guess what? I’m not breastfeeding anymore and I still feel this way about anything to do with my children. So if the problem is that I don’t feel focused at work because of my children, then I’m clearly mixing those two things at times that I should not be.

So blocking my time, I literally put my phone down when I go outside with my kids and I will be out there for an hour. I get back in, I have 35 text messages and I’m like, thank God I didn’t bring my phone out with me. No one has died in the past hour, you know. But I was fully focused with my kids and then I come back and I work for an hour.

I tell my husband, now I need one hour. I need to sit down. I have to chart. I have to blah, blah, blah, with my patients. And I’m not perfect at this, but this is something that has really affected my mental health positively working towards being better at boundaries in chunks. Right. And that takes practice. So if you think that when you quit breastfeeding, that’s going to get better, you are dead wrong.

Yeah. It really just like the block of time that you were breastfeeding, turns into some other thing that your children need you for. It will, because guess what? They love you so much they want all of you/ they want to climb back inside you. They want to your body, crawl back in and take all that.

My six-year-old is particularly prone to this. Like he’ll climb in bed with me and then he’ll like, he’s a giant, by the way, he’s like four foot two, and he’s six. And he’ll climb in bed and like contort his long skinny body so it like fits just on my torso and then he like, like slowly sinks into me. Oh God.

And he just like, like wants to be one with me. Well, this brings us to the next part. So maybe the problem is that you’re over touched and feeling guilty about not wanting intimacy. Okay. Heather, I feel like you just put a nanny cam in my house. And you were like, what are the problems Maureen has that I can just solve for her in this episode?

Well, you know, actually I was just thinking about me because I was like all the, all the time that I spent being mad at breastfeeding, never went away. Right. And I’m like, wait, now I’m not breastfeeding. And this is why people were like, oh, I miss breastfeeding. Like I remember when I used to breastfeed, it was so sweet.

And it’s like, you, you miss it when it’s gone, but you resent it at the time. And it’s like, how can we help you not resent it and solve a different problem? Humans are just so bad at life. I do have a couple of suggestions though, because I don’t want to just like stir the shit pot and then leave you.

Yes. You’re doing well at that. So we have to find intimacy in a different way other than being touched. And I actually found a really cool app. Stop it, stop. Cause you’re going to say Paired. And my freaking husband has made me get on this app. I hate it. No, he knows this. I mean, I’m trying, so he said it was like important to him.

And he sent me the invite and took me like a month to download it. And I finally did. And like half of the quizzes they do on there are the kind of questions that actually make me want to lose my mind. Where they’re like, you know, those multiple choice ones where it’s like six options between strongly disagree and strongly agree?

 If every multiple choice test in school had been like that, I would have had an F on everyone. But there’s no right or wrong. That’s the problem. Maureen, let it go. It’ll be fun. First of all, you skipped right over what it actually is. So people are probably like, what is she talking about? Go ahead and explain it.

I like this app, actually, it’s called Paired where you and your partner get on the app together. And then you each answer the same question every day and you can’t see their answer until you’ve answered. So like today, our question was about money and the way I answered it was definitely not at all how he answered it, but we didn’t know that before.

So then it gives you something else to talk about that doesn’t involve your kids. It’s, it’s true. And it’s like, I think it works well for most people as just like a fun way to start a new conversation. I just can’t be wrong. Oh, my God. You have got to get out of your head on this one. It’s supposed to be fun.

I don’t know that I’m actually able to, like, I know that that sounds funny, but anyway, I’m waiting on an appointment with a new psychologist to do some assessments and see why my brain is like this because I, I try not to be like this and it actually causes me like physical pain.

Oh man. Well then don’t do it. So anyway, I’m trying to do this app with him, but I’m just ignoring all the questions that are like that. Like, if I can’t type out an answer, I’m like, yeah, we’re, I’m not agreeing nor disagreeing. I’m not answering because. Well, maybe the everyday thing is too stressful. They have a, they have like little games that you can play, like little challenges.

That’s a good idea. Where instead of doing every day, you can just answer 15 questions or whatever, all at once about one topic. And it can be like, if you’re still pregnant, for example, they have a whole grouping of questions that says, you know, the question block of pre-baby. So how would you like to raise your kids?

Would you like to raise your kids the same way you were raised? You know, which can bring up a lot of really important stuff. It doesn’t always mean it’s easy, but you know, like how did you, what is the one thing in your life that you appreciate the most right now? And, you know, your partner who might not actually be that good at communicating might type something super sweet about how much they appreciate you.

And it’s kind of like a nice way to get closer together and get to know each other a little better. I dig it. It’s funny because I’m the one who’s not as good at communicating and my husband is the over communicator. So he was thinking this would be like a good way to bridge the gap and I’m going to keep trying, but I think, I think I was set back in that the first couple times I tried it it was just questions like that and I wanted to throw my phone across the room.

Okay. We’ll try, try again. And, you know, if it’s not serving, you get rid of it. That’s the whole point of this episode. Anyway, this is not an episode about Paired. Yeah, this was about something else. Oh my goodness. I’m so stressed now.

I just like got flushed. Take a deep cleansing breath.

Okay. So last example of a problem. Is the actual problem that your general flow of your house is not ideal for breastfeeding? I like that. So this was a big one for me. So for example, a lot of people, in an ideal situation, have several areas of their home, where they are very comfortable breastfeeding.

Little stations if you will, satellite lactation areas. They have also several areas to change diapers that’s always stocked and ready to go. They have counter space in their kitchen for their pumping parts. Things like this, you know, they have extra bottle brushes or one special silicone sponge that is meant for the pump parts only.

Yeah. This is a big, this is a big thing that I push with people right before they have their baby. I’m like, imagine you have a fragile little baby. Any room in your house, you should be able to put them down safely, change their diaper and feed them comfortably. But they should not all be the same, especially when they get to be like three to six months old and they need some more stimulation, like, okay.

Living room has the flat mat with the mirror and the kitchen has a little swing and your bedroom has the bassinet. And so you have like variety and so does your baby. There is also, for example, the clothing situation gets out of control with the burp rags and all that stuff. Just all over the house.

So here’s my hot tip. So I would get a big, maybe not even big, actually, you know, those bags that comforters come in? Oh, those are nice like big storage cubes. Yes. I always keep something like that next to the dresser, because there are those times that you go to dress your baby and you’re like, what? This doesn’t fit. Yeah.

Okay. Put it directly in that bag while it’s clean. And just when the bag is full, you label it, three to six months, zip it up and put it in the basement. That way, those clothes don’t continuously get re-circulated. Same thing goes for throw away stuff like completely destroyed with poop, completely destroyed with spit up, not even worth washing. Put it in this area, zip it up and throw it away whenever you’re done with it, whenever it’s full.

So just to kind of keep your flow a little bit better that way, and then also make sure wherever you’re setting up your breastfeeding or pumping station has an outlet nearby for phone charging and for pumping. Yeah.

And when my daughter was little, especially when my husband was working out of town every night after the kids were both asleep, even if the baby was going to wake up in like 10 minutes, I would do the dishes and then I would reset all of the stations.

Fresh diapers, make sure there’s wipes, a bottle of water, a phone charger, you know, burp rag, whatever, in every single room. Yep. And your partner can do that too. Yeah. And if you are already three months in your breastfeeding journey and you’re like, yes, this is me, but also I don’t have time to do that now or the mental capacity.

That’s fine. Phone a friend, ask your best friend to come over and be like, can I sit on the couch and breastfeed while you reorganize this shit for me? Can you make other breastfeeding stations for me? Thank you. Yeah. And it probably won’t take that long. It just needs somebody to start it and needs it to be done.

So you can do this. Phone, your friend, get your stations set up. Yeah. Okay.

The next one. Number four is to invest in some breastfeeding things that actually make breastfeeding feel like luxurious for you instead of something that you suffer through as like less than human. Yeah. I am very guilty of this one.

I personally attacked myself. Never bought a pumping bra. Did not actually invest in a cooler of any kind. I used Kroger bags, like the plastic Kroger bags to throw all my pump parts in, wet or dry. And when they were wet, I just shoved paper towels in the holes of the flanges. I literally did that.

So this is actually an area I’m doing well and probably because of the podcast. Thank you. Cause I’m like, I need to try all these things for all of you guys cause I’m never breastfeeding again. Yeah. Well, let me tell you what. It was not pleasant. And I had no desire to continue breastfeeding beyond a year, especially with Theo because I had none of the gear.

And I was like, well, I’m already six months in. Why would I invest in any of this stuff now? And don’t, don’t let yourself say that. Especially for simple, small things. Like I just bought some new, cute, wet, dry bags. And I was like, oh my baby’s a year old. I may not even pump that much longer. But then I was like, no, no, no. They’re 10 bucks each. Also the amount of times I’ve used them to haul like peed or pooped on clothes home from the park is amazing.

Yeah. And also you can continue to use them for other things. Like if you use period panties or the reusable washable pads. Yeah. And like, those are the kind of things I really love. Right. It’s useful for breastfeeding. And it’s gonna keep being useful, like the Ceres Chill, because I’m going to put wine in that later.

Yeah. If you don’t know what the Ceres Chill milk storage system is, we’ll link it in the show notes and you get, we actually have a promo code you can use at checkout it’s MILKMINUTE15 for 15% off. And this thing is the bomb.

Yeah. And like, okay, if you’re getting a nursing bra, get a nice enough one that you’re going to feel comfortable in it after you’re done nursing. Cause bad news, even if it’s not comfortable and it’s ugly as shit, you’re still going to wear it for like three more years before you’re like, Hmm maybe I’m worth enough to actually buy myself new bras.

Yeah. So you’re going to wear it basically until you notice that it like doesn’t fit your body in any way. And then you’re going to wear it for like three more months. Yeah, pretty much. Or like you go to finally put on an outfit for date night or something, and you’re like, oh man, none of these old nursing bras are going to work with this shirt.

Maybe it’s time. You know, I wasn’t very good at this the first time around and for pumping, I had just like taken cheap sports bras and cut holes in them. And my son, like it was literally like three years ago that I finally bought new bras, cause I was still accidentally pulling those ones with cut holes in them, out of my drawer when I was trying to get dressed and I put them on and my nipples of just like poke out and I’d throw it back in the laundry and then it would get recycled.

Oh my God. Yes. This is what I’m talking about. You guys, you are worthy of getting the tools you need to breastfeed and pump comfortably. Yeah. So last one with that is are your nipples just a little bit over pumping at work? They’re like over it. Like, it doesn’t necessarily hurt. It’s not painful, but it’s just not something you look forward to.

Invest in a nipple cushion, like a BeauGen insert to cushion your nips and get you through your pumping session with ease. And so many of these things that will help you out so much are really less than $20. Yeah. Take the plunge. Yeah. Your nipples are worth it.

All right. Number five. Tell me. Lastly, but not least. Reevaluate your goals and your mindset about breastfeeding every day, please. Every day, at least once a month. It doesn’t have to be stressful too.

Or like, I think allow yourself to change your mind. Yeah. Is the core of this and to change your goals. And I think a lot of us in the United States have been raised under the concept that you basically like are not allowed to change your mind because that makes you like an unreliable waffle, a flip-flop. Remember all those political commercials as a kid that were like, oh, you know, like whatever democratic presidential candidate is just a waffle or a flip-flop like, I feel like I heard that every day of my life as a child.

And it basically told me I wasn’t allowed to change my mind to fit new situations. Yeah, you were born a Republican and you’re going to die a Republican and like that’s not true. No. And you know, your circumstances change drastically when you have a baby. Like raise your hand here if the minute you got pregnant, you also moved and got a new job.

Hello, literally everyone. So, and why does that happen? I do not know. I literally moved into a new house three days before I had my baby. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Or the minute you quit your job; you’re surprise pregnant. And you’re like, fuck, where’s my health insurance? I shouldn’t see a doctor until I get that.

It’s a pre-existing condition. America. So, yeah. So what I mean is like maybe when you were pregnant, you had the goal to breastfeed beyond a year of age, and now you’re six months in and also full of anxiety about feeding for another six months. Right. So if you’re feeling a lot of anxiety about that, ask yourself why.

Revisit numbers one through four above and see if any of those things are the actual problem. Or maybe you had originally planned to combo feed with formula but turns out you actually really like breastfeeding and it’s going really well and you want to keep going, but everybody else in your life like daycare and dad, other mom or grandma have been enjoying bottle feeding with formula and you no longer want to do that.

Right. Or like the opposite, right. Where you’re like, I’m going to exclusively breastfeed from my body and four months in you’re like going crazy. And what if you did just use a bottle of formula every day? What if you did? It would be fine if you did. Maybe you weaned and now you regret it and you want to relactate. Right? Give it a go.

I once again, feel like you’re slightly attacking me, but this is an interesting one. So with my son, I breastfed him until he was almost four. The long haul, but I felt like basically. The first year with him was just, every day was so hard to keep breastfeeding. And by the time I got through that, I was like, I’m never going to wean cause that was so fucking hard. You know, I just I have to breastfeed forever now.

And now with my daughter, the first year was not very hard. I knew, you know, like the problems we had, I knew how to fix. And at a year I’m like, what if we didn’t anymore? What if we just didn’t? Like, it feels like an option. How different are you as a person now than you were at 25? Yeah. And I also know now, too, especially I am one of those people who only gains weight while breastfeeding. I don’t do well in a low estrogen state.

I am larger now than I was when I was pregnant with her. But also thanks, hyperemesis. So that is kind of a weird mind fuck for me. But yeah, like the other day I was sitting there and I was just like, what if we stopped? What if we were two people instead of one? And I’m not, I don’t think I’m going to wean anytime soon, but it was actually really nice that that thought came and I didn’t immediately like attack myself for it.

Yeah. Let those thoughts come in and don’t judge them. You know, so basically what we’re saying. All of this is okay and normal and we’re just human beings and it’s okay to change your mind. And you’re not living your life trying to achieve some impossible standard of someone you follow on Instagram. You are not your best friend.

You are not your mother and you are you and you is great. Yes. I hope that you guys now suddenly feel like you can make something easier because I do. I mean, sort of. And, and if you did make one of these changes today, can you email us at and tell us your story? We would love to know how we improved your life today, or how you improved your life really.

And I think hearing those stories really helps to inspire other people, even simple things, even if you’re just like, look, I put a bag of M & Ms in every room and now when I nurse I eat M&Ms and it’s awesome. That’s a good one. Fuck yeah, it makes my day. Thank you M&Ms. Sponsored by M and M’s. Just kidding. It’s not, unless they want to. Call me.

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Who are we going to give an award to today? Listen, it’s good. Okay. I’m so excited. So today’s award goes to Kelsey Z. She’s a patron of ours. And Kelsey says, “In eight days, my son and I will make it to one year of breastfeeding. Woo hoo! I’m also taking my CLC exam next week. So I’m celebrating with the assumption that I’ll pass. Fingers crossed!”

We are so excited for you. That’s so wonderful is, and I just want to say, I see a lot of people in their breastfeeding, postpartum state who also tackle big goals. And I really think it’s because there’s something about being in this motherhood space that makes us more creative. Yeah. And I think also it makes us want to do better for ourselves because we see these kids and we’re like, oh shit, I have to be the best version of myself now.

Yeah. So I can’t just be a dirt bag anymore. Never a dirt bag. No, it’s okay. But sometimes I feel like that. Anyway, this is not about me. This is about Kelsey and how amazing she is. Kelsey, we’re going to give you the Triumphant VIP Award. Ah, hell yeah, we are. I hope you like it. Anyway. I’m really excited for you to be a CLC.

Of course you are going to pass that exam! My tip is that like you should actually study those statistics and the boring part, cause it’s on there. Don’t just look at the pictures. The only ones I got wrong. Well, thank you so much for tuning into another episode of The Milk Minute. The way that we change this big world and this crazy system that is not set up to support lactating parents is by educating ourselves and our friends and family.

If you would like to help support the show and continue our project, you can make a small monetary donation for as little as $1 a month on our Patreon at Yes, it is. Thanks everybody. Bye bye.


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