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Ep. 79- Alcove Baby Update- Lyra is 6-months!

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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 back to the Milk Minute. Yeah, we’re here. Yeah. Today we’re just going to have some fun and we’re going to talk about my baby and my boobs. I need to know what’s going on with Maureen. We’ve actually been saving this conversation for this very purpose. We’ve both been super busy lately and I need to check in and see how my pals doing six months out.

She informed me that the six months was encroaching because she sent me a cute little picture of a chubby baby sitting yesterday and said, she’s going to start food soon. And I was like, what? How is our alcove baby this big? She’s big. I know I’m not bringing her as much so you’re not seeing like her little fat rolls just get bigger and bigger.

I want to kiss her right behind her chubby little kneecaps. Yeah. Well, her and her cute little birthmark on her back is almost gone. Oh, it was that like really puffy one. Little strawberry mark. Like I pointed out to my husband the other day and he was like, when did that happen? I don’t know. And she looks more and more like you all the time.

Yeah, we’re pretty cute. But first let me just like bring in a question. Yeah. Let’s start with a question. So this one comes from one of our patrons, Alex Cordeal, and she asked, does eating peppermint decrease milk supply because I miss mints. Oh man. Okay. I, I do know of a lactation consultant that, that tells people before they even leave the hospital that they need to give up peppermint gum, and peppermints and all kinds of stuff to maintain their supply.

I don’t know why that is. She says just to be safe, but I feel like that just sets off the party with a very weird vibe, not evidence-based at all. Sets people up to be like, well, just to be safe how about I don’t have broccoli, garlic, onions, spicy food, chocolate, coffee. Yeah. Any of that fun stuff. Right. So here’s the real answer.

So we have a lot of anecdotal evidence that large amounts of peppermint can help to dry up milk. It’s a drying herb. So when we talk about plants energetically, and we talk about whether they’re hot or cold or dry or wet, you know, this is more of like a traditional Chinese medicine approach to things.

This would be a dry herb and when you take pharmaceutical doses of it, you will feel that in your body. That you have less saliva, that you, you know, you just feel dryer. And so sometimes we talk about it as a supportive herb for weaning. When we’re weaning quickly and we’re trying to dry milk up, but, but it’s not the first herb we pick.

No, no. And like candy canes, peppermint, like breath mints, gum. They all have like this minuscule amount of mint in them. If it’s even real. It’s like flavored mint. Also spearmint is not drying. Spearmint is a wet plant. So funny. Yeah. They’re actually really different plants. Like peppermint is hot and dry spearmint is cool and wet.

And so, but they have a similar effect on the GI tract. So when we use them in herbalism, you know, if we have somebody who say, has a lot of nausea and vomiting and it makes them feel really hot, we’re going to go with spearmint. You know, versus if they feel cool and clammy, when they vomit, we’re going to go with peppermint. Right.

We, we want to like balance that out. Yeah. And also, don’t you think these companies that make these candies and products would be held to a much higher liability standard if they were truly medicinal in any way, shape or form? Exactly. And when we use these in like medicinal doses, I mean, I’m talking like an entire pot of strong tea or really strong extraction that we’re using, not like a drop of essential oil in a giant batch of gum.

Yeah, whatever it, yeah, if it’s real. If it’s real, sometimes you look and you’re like, artificial flavoring. Guess what? No mint in there. Anyway, it’s fine. Each your mints, Alex, everybody else chew your gum even drink a cup of peppermint tea. It’s fine. Yeah, you’re really going to be okay. Just like you know, the mother’s milk tea isn’t your end all be all to increasing your supply, neither is peppermint for drying up your supply. So there you have it.

Do you know what I really need Heather? Hmm. So many things, but I’m guessing a drink of water? Yeah. But water gets a little boring. That’s true. It does. So I like to add just a little Liquid IV now and then. Oh man. I love Liquid IV because it’s gluten free, soy free, dairy free, non-GMO and made in the USA.

Yeah. And it’s a great tasting daily electrolyte drink mix that utilizes this like cool technology that delivers hydration to your bloodstream faster and more efficiently than just water. Plus it just kind of makes you a little bit happy. And I add a little bit of fizz to mine. I don’t know about you, but I actually add a little bit of Perrier to mine and I make it a little fancy sometimes when I’m feeling it. I like this and they don’t just have a hydration multiplier.

They’ve got a sleep mix too, which I love. And one for energy, which does not make you shaky and wacky and weird like coffee does. It just kind of gives you that extra edge that you need in your life. So if you’d like to order Liquid IV, you can use promo code MILKMINUTE for 25% off your order and free shipping. That’s and enter promo code MILKMINUTE for 25% off and free shipping.

All right. Let’s get into the episode. Okay. All right, boo. Okay. So my baby, who had just gave birth to like a week ago is going to be six months on October 11th. Oh my gosh. Which is like now. Our baby. Our baby is growing up so fast. She is. And I just went from, at the beginning of five months being like, oh, she can’t sit up at all.

I don’t know if we’re going to start solids at like six months to being like, oh, like literally just overnight one day, like a week or two ago, you know, I like sit her down and she just sat. She’s been working on her core, whether you know it or not. And I was just like, and I kind of froze and started counting, you know?

Cause she’d usually make it to like five seconds and then she just sat. She’s been doing her Jillian Michaels toddler core workouts behind your back. I know. And so then I was like, okay, check that off the, are you ready for food? Oh my gosh, knowing everything you know, though, are you still feeling that feeling that you get of like slight grief? That you’re moving away from EBF and to, and to a solid food situation?

Okay. So last time I wasn’t. With Griffin I was like, yeah, food. So fun. Now I’m kind of like, oh, this is my last baby. Yeah. It’s a little sad, but not, not that sad. I’m just too tired really to feel sad about it. You’re like, I would be sad and care if I wasn’t so damn tired. If I had slept for like a couple of hours in a row ever since she was born, yeah. I’d be so sad.

Oh my gosh. But I mean, but, but like I thought this was a good topic to start with because we just had a weaning episode. And so, yeah, like I’m thinking about beginning the weaning process with my baby who I like, just had. Yeah. And after, after doing episode 76 on weaning, it really changed my perspective and I don’t even have a baby that is that’s about to wean, but it really changed my mindset about what weaning really is.

And kind of takes that pressure off of you. And it just kind of is like, Hey man, it’s just a journey. Yeah, totally. No. So, you know, now I’m like at the point where I’m like, okay, so we’re looking at this like checklist and I guess I’ll just have to decide when we start, you know, like she is just about six months old.

She can sit. She doesn’t have the pincher grasp down though, FYI. I like, I feel like she only just started intentionally grabbing things. Like moving from the pinwheel arms of no control to like, like she’ll like reach in the right direction and like mostly touch what she is going for. So she, and she definitely does not have the pincher grasp.

So I’m like, okay, we might not actually start solids like exactly at six months, because I don’t know. It’s funny. I guess I must talk about this a lot at home, Heather, because Griffin like a few weeks ago, after he watched Lyra like do that cute little, like very slow, lean, and fall from a sitting position.

You know, he was like Lyra, we’re gonna start solid food soon, but not until you can sit. That’s a choking hazard. Oh my gosh. That’s so funny. Our children, I don’t even know if they’re gonna thank us later or if they’re going to hate us, probably both. They’re going to hate us first. And then when they’re in their thirties, having their kids, they’re going to be like, thank you.

You’re like, oh right. I have this weird amount of knowledge about feeding babies in there. Oh my Lord. They’re so funny aren’t they? Not to get off topic, but when I was doing my makeup yesterday, which I don’t do every day, trust me. Heidi comes in and lifts her dress up, lifts up the toilet seat and she throws her hips forward.

And she looks at me with this weird little smile. And she goes, I have a peanut. And I said, what? She’s like, I pee through my peanut. And I was like, oh, you’re pretending to have a penis. And this is where penis envy starts, everybody. She wants to stand. She wants to stand cause it’s the coolest thing ever. And I saw the concentration on her face become so real that I really thought she was about to pee on the carpet.

And I was like, whoa. I was like, no, we’re going to, we’re going to sit. I’m sorry. I’ll get you a she-wee for your 16th birthday when you go to your first concert. Oh my gosh, Heidi. Affiliate link in the show notes. I’m kidding. Oh my goodness. Now it’s ridiculous. And Griffin is really excited cause like we’re, we’re pretty into Halloween.

Oh, yeah. I love Halloween. It’s like, I actually finally start feeling good in my body again, this time of year. Cause it’s like a cool like 70 degrees and I’m like, yeah, I’m not like super sweaty. I can put a light sweater on. I love sweaters. Like we’re gonna, we’re gonna put on hats and costumes and it’s great.

So he’s like obsessed every day. How many more days to Halloween? How many more weeks to Halloween? So he is excited that she’s like most likely going to be eating solids by then so that she can eat Halloween candy with him, which I still, like, I’ve been trying to gently make him understand that like that’s no way in hell is that going to happen? Yeah, but he’s also homeschooled. So can’t you like roll up some baby led weaning thing and tell him it’s baby candy. Yeah, I’ll figure it out. What are you going to start with? Oh, I know what, you’re not going to start with everyone. Cereal. Yeah. I don’t think we’re ever going to do that.

Okay. So we actually have already started in a way. So I usually, I started with Griffin with this and I’m doing it with Lyra is giving her what I think of as teething vegetables. So like a peeled carrot, a big honking piece of celery, a piece of a really firm piece of cucumber with no seeds in it. Just to like hold and chew and taste emotionally, she just like shoves it toward her mouth and then does this weird, like licking thing.

And it gets slippery and just like, it’s a whole thing. Keeps her busy while I cook first. But second it like, it helps her just start to understand like new flavors and like kind of helps get us through that, like tongue thrust intermediary thing, where she was like, sort of doing it, sort of not doing it.

And also the hand to mouth movement, which is cool. Yeah. And yes, this is not like the most safe thing. So don’t like, leave your child with a large piece of food unsupervised, just like you have to watch them. But you know, like I went out to lunch with our friends after the CPR class and just like gave her pieces of celery from people’s like wing plates or whatever, you know, and she sucked on it until all the goo eventually like disintegrated in the celery, anyway.

But it’s, it’s a nice way to kind of very slowly start because we do baby led weaning. So if you’re unfamiliar with that, that means we start with essentially finger foods of appropriate texture and size, and we don’t do any purees. Nice. So it’s slower and it usually takes babies a little bit longer to actually start like swallowing and chewing.

Well, it seems more natural to me. I wish I had known that. I mean, there’s so much that I didn’t know, even with Heidi, but the purees don’t make a ton of sense. You know, I always like to think about the caveman, you know, like, were they doing it? I mean they were probably chewing up food for their children like we see other mammals do.

Right. But they didn’t have blenders. No, they, they didn’t have like tiny little silicone trays and stress. I think we call it pre mastication. Yeah with Heidi I definitely chewed up my food and then just gave it to her. Not right in her mouth. Not directly in. Are you sure? Cause it’s cute. She loved it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean in, and honestly I will be super transparent.

I think baby led weaning is easier and I am, frankly, just kind of not here for the extra work. Yeah. Who, who has time? Yeah. When I see people that have six plus children. I’m like, you think those people stock 75 jars of baby food in their house? And like, and I also, when I see people starting with purees at like three months, which aside from the many problems I see with that, I’m also like, that is a lot of work to get a baby who’s not ready to like, actually eat any of that.

Right. Like that’s when you see it’s like, oops, spoon in, food out. Scoop it back up, spoon in, food out. If you’re not going to swallow it, don’t, don’t swallow it. Whatever. It’s sitting on your plate and you can pick it up and try again. I’m not going to do that.

Yeah, it’s a ton of work and then they end up just throwing it everywhere. Yeah. I don’t know. Yeah. So with Griffin, we accidentally started with banana cause he literally like took my banana and ate some and then intentionally started avocado. I don’t know, honestly, I like, but I was like very like planning it and like, oh, it’s a six-month birthday today.

And whatever. I dunno, I was, it was a lot. Well Lyra, I’m sure that I’m literally going to look over and be like, oh, I’m looking at your pincher grasp, here, just to have some of whatever’s on my plate. Are you, are you going to do the high allergen food introduction? Probably, but not with intention if you know what I mean?

Like I’m so sure I’m going to just give her some, you know, high allergen food thing and not think about it. And then hours later be like, wait, I fed her that today. Guess we’re fine. Okay. Cause that’s just me. Sorry. I’m not, yeah. Yeah. That’s one that we definitely want to do an episode on in the future for sure, but all the recommendations currently state that you should not avoid them. Yeah. I think with Griffin, what I did was I like when I gave him a high allergen food, I just waited a couple of days to introduce another so that I could like observe him for any weird stuff going on. And he got a couple rashes from stuff like, like strawberries and tomatoes, but I didn’t actually stop feeding those to him.

Yeah. Cause they were just some topical, like circumoral rashes. From the acid. Yeah. And I was like, all right, whatever. Like if it gets worse, I’ll stop feeding it to you. And if this is fine, it goes away in like three hours. So. You don’t want a poor little guy to miss out on tomatoes for the rest of his life.

I mean, and, and it was just like, I dunno like that. I think that the research supports more exposure. Yeah, it does. Yeah. Currently. Currently, I don’t know, tomorrow we might be like correction corner. I hope so. That would mean more research is out and then we can just be excited about it. Probably not, but yeah, I, I actually feel a little bit of relief knowing that we’re going to introduce solids because I am pumping a lot more this time and it sucks. Literally. It’s a pun, but also I hate it. Well, what are you doing in your life? I don’t think a lot of people know what keeps you so busy and why you’re pumping. Tell us. Well, I have this podcast, which I usually, I workday into and recording days into and I’m also dipping my toes back into midwifery work, doula work, lactation work. So just seeing patients, which regardless of whether it’s at my place or their place, I can’t do it with a baby. Yep. A lot of midwives do, and that’s so great, but my brain doesn’t function around my child.

As you’ve probably heard in episodes, we’ve recorded with her here. I’m like the word. I don’t know the word. I don’t know the word. There’s this whole infant here taking up 90% of my brain space. Yeah. Yeah. So I choose not to do that. But that means that I have to pump when I’m away from her, you know?

Yeah. And, oh man, we didn’t talk about this yet. So basically since I started back, I’ve been trying to cultivate this little manageable over supply where I can get like two to three extra ounces a day, because I can’t seem to quite ever pump enough when I’m actually away from her. So when I’m with her, I’m like using the haakaa and just trying to put a little bag in the freezer every day.

And then I work two or three days a week and we use that up and it kind of evens out, but I fucking got attacked by bees. Oh yeah. Oh, okay. I was like trying to save it for the podcast and then I forgot guys. So I’m telling you now. Oh, it wasn’t that long ago. It was like a month and a half ago. And by the way, clarification, when she says a slight oversupply, what she actually means is she has just over what baby requires. Most people when they think oversupply, they think a whole freezer full. Just trying to get ahead of the game for work purposes, just in case.

So we don’t want you to be shooting for an over-supply. If you need just a little bit more than required from your baby, that’s fine. But we definitely don’t want to tax your body for unnecessary reasons. Yeah, no, I’m, I’m really just like, I essentially have a balance of not extracting enough milk and then extracting a little more than she eats so that it all evens out.

But anyway, on that topic though. So I’ve been like trying to keep this really consistent so that I don’t have to stress as much when I work, you know, so that if I come home with eight ounces and she drank like fucking 14 or something, I’m like, okay, it’s fine. Like I’ll, I’ll make it work. We’ll balance it out.

But then I was putting fencing up in my field for my sheep and honestly, like, of course I was in a great mood and I was just like working all alone and Ivan was inside with the kids and it was like raining a little, but it was hot. So I was like, this is so nice. You know, I’m just like putting in fence posts and I don’t have to worry about children.

And then I walked into this kind of like Briary area and I was getting poked by thorns a little, but I was like, whatever, it’s fine. Just get this post in and move on. And then I was like, ow! Ow! That’s like, ow! Those are. Oh my God. It’s not rose thorns it’s bees. Fuck. And I looked down and my leg had like 10 yellow jackets on it stinging me.

And it was raining. So I didn’t hear like, you know, usually you hear buzzing and you’re like, Ooh, there’s some bees around and you see them flying. But at this point it was raining enough that they were not flying around and it turns out I found out later, they’re fucking hive, not even in the ground.

It was literally around the base of the rosebush that I was like, Fucking with, to try to get this fence post in. It was super weird, right? Usually I’m like in the ground or in the tree no. Like, so it’s not weird. Maybe I just don’t know anything about bees anyway. So then I ran as, as you do, when you’re being attacked by a whole hive, because more were coming out.

Right. Cause I was like still fucking with their hive and didn’t realize it, but they were like, stuck to my pants, stinging me through my pants. So I ran and got away from the hive but they were still stinging me. So then I like took off all my clothes, which like, I, you don’t want to stop running when you have that adrenaline rush, like more than anything, you just want to run and like dive in a pool of water and just hope you’re not dead, but I didn’t have that option.

So I had to stop, which was really hard. And then take off my pants, which had a bunch of yellow jackets on it. And I didn’t want to get stung on my hand or like get extra things for moving them. I don’t know. I took them off somehow got like all my clothes off. Cause I didn’t know where they were. So then I’m like running naked, screaming through my yard and I run inside.

And of course Griffin is the only one who hears what’s going on, poor kid. And he’s like, mom, are you okay? And I was like, ahh I’m getting attacked by bees. And ran upstairs past him, which poor kid. I feel bad that I didn’t like take a second to be like, I’m not dying, except I kind of was. And then I ran upstairs and ran a cold bath and jumped in and was like, okay, like, Ooh, calm this adrenaline down.

Like I have to figure out what’s happening. Ivan comes in. He was like, what happened? I was like bees all over. So many stings. I don’t know what to do and was just crying and hyperventilating. And then I started wheezing and Ivan was like, we have to do something about this. And he called Heather.

My turn. So I was grading papers on my couch and my phone rings. It’s Maureen and I pick up and it’s Ivan and my heart sank through my butt hole because that is never a good sign when one of your best friend’s husbands calls on their phone and he was like trying so hard to be calm. And he was like, he’s really good at that.

He is, he is, he was, but he sounded like a robot because you have no internet where you live. And it was like, he was like, there was a bee situation. Maureen is having a bit of a reaction. I was like, wait a minute, robot Ivan backup. What? Is she okay? And he was like, trying to figure out dosage for Benadryl. And he was like, she’s just not really in the head space right now, as you can imagine, to figure out the right dosage to save her breast milk. And I was like, oh my God. Anyway, continue. Meanwhile, I also was like, I texted him on the sly and I was like, ah, she’s going to hate you and me for this, but I’m going to need you to take some pictures of her. Don’t worry he did.

So we can use them for examples, for bee stings and such for our breastfeeding clients. Yeah. Our patrons have already seen them. I posted them on Patreon like not too long after this happened. So yeah, I don’t know. He gave me a lot of Benadryl guys, like a lot. I was like you’re really far from the hospital and she’s been stung a lot and I know you have milk in the freezer, so we’re going to need you to not die because if you took some Benadryl and then ended up at a situation, then you had to go to the hospital, I knew that you were about to get dosed to the max. You probably needed steroids, to be honest. Yeah. Well, what happened? So this happens a lot. When I, when I get stung is a localized reaction, at least like isolated to the limb, and I’ve had some pretty bad reactions before where I’m like, oh, my whole arm is swollen.

That’s crazy. But so I had about 10 stings on my legs. A couple on my butt. One on one of my arms, maybe one on my stomach. I can’t remember. It was a lot like this was excessive. Right. And then so the pain and the swelling and all that, I expected, but then I started getting systemic itching and my lymph nodes started swelling.

Like in my groin, into my armpit. So I had, Ivan go get ice packs and put them in my armpits and in my groin. Cause I was like this itching, I would literally rather have another baby than experience this itching. It’s like the kind of itching that makes you want to rip your fucking skin off. Torture.

Yeah. And then my whole face swelled up and my eyes swelled shut. And my ear swelled shut. No, that part is what freaked me out the most. Yeah, me too. I was like, when your ears swell shut, we got serious problems. Cause then I could feel like the, like my eustachian tubes closing, you know, and I was like, okay.

And then my tongue swelled and then everything stopped. What do you mean everything stopped? That was the, that was, as far as I know, it didn’t just stop, but like, that was like, as we’re like advancing in anaphylaxis and literally like the next step. And I would have been like, just call an ambulance. There’ll be here in three hours.

No, I think the nearest station is 20 minutes away. It’s not, it’s not that bad, but we did have like way other anti-histamines we could have just kept piling on too, you know, like different like Famotidine or whatever? I don’t know. That’s Pepcid. Yeah. You can, that is an anti-histamine.

Okay. And Zyrtec and yeah. Yeah. So that was it. And then like things started to get better. Thank God. Yeah. And while this was happening, I was like, just latch the baby on. She’s crying. I can’t deal with it. My tongue is swelling up. I was like, just put her on. So like, Ivan like positioned her next to me and I was like, just let her feed. If I have to go to the hospital, I don’t know.

Oh my gosh, this all just gives me so much anxiety. Yeah, and it sucked. And I stayed in bed for like three days, because then I also have Hashimoto’s, which apparently gets aggravated with other like histamine reactions. Duh, anyway, it’s an auto-immune thing. So then like the next day, every joint in my body felt like it was on fire.

And my like TSH and my T4 and like my whole thyroid thing just got jacked the fuck up. Like, and I just lowered the dosage of my meds because I was doing better, too. So then I was working with a low dosage of with, like all this crazy shit. So I had a conversation with my doctor and she was like, okay. So I want you to get like these three different meds and just have them with you all the time.

I’m writing you a script for epinephrin and I’m, you know, writing you a new script for, you know, more levothyroxine cause like that’s all jacked up right now. We had this great conversation about like, does epinephrin really expire? And no, it really doesn’t. And just like keep all your expired shit.

Anyway, it was good. But yeah, she said to keep Pepcid, Zyrtec and Benadryl all together. Like give them together? Well, she said to keep them in my like, allergy get together and then yeah. To like, instead of taking such a large dose of Benadryl next time, to take a smaller dose of Benadryl and then move on to one of the other ones.

So that makes sense. Yeah. So it’s cool. Anyway, I didn’t realize Pepcid was. Me either, I was like really? Sure. Hmm, man, you had me worried. Me too. But then, also, I was about to go on call for a birth and I was like, seriously, I can’t move right now. Thankfully that all worked out too. Well what happened with your supply?

Oh yeah. So Lyra cluster fed probably for like three days after that, but her poops and pees were fine, but I wasn’t getting like any extra milk and I was so mad because I was, I’ve worked so hard to get that extra milk. And now we’re like going to pull from the freezer and it’s not going to be enough and anyway.

It was fine, but it really did take me about two to three weeks after that to actually totally recover the supply I’d had before that. Yeah. But to be expected. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Because of the Benadryl, in case you didn’t know. Because of the Benadryl and probably because it jacked my thyroid up again. Right. Yeah. That whole like double whammy that you have.

Yeah. And so she cluster fed for a couple of days and then kind of just on and off the next few weeks. And I didn’t sleep. That’s when babies cluster feed usually, you know, when you’re trying to heal. How you don’t sleep, when you’re trying to heal from some kind of crazy event like that, you know, where your body’s being physically demanded, and then you just need to demand more on top of that to feed another human.

And that’s the anxiety and stress that comes with breastfeeding when you are solely responsible for keeping another human alive with your body and your body isn’t on point. Yeah. So we’re just acknowledging that. And if you are struggling with an autoimmune disorder or you’ve had a little setback because of a reaction like the one Maureen had, stick with it, understand that you are not the only one having these anxiety attacks about it and really focus on healing yourself.

Please don’t just pretend like everything is normal and go to work on Monday. Like take as much time as you need to heal to make your breastfeeding relationship more sustainable for later. Yeah. And, and that’s what I ended up doing was like, I was supposed to do home visits for a client. I paid my assistant to do them instead.

You know, I was just like, I can’t, I just like, I need to stay home and nurse and try to eat well and hydrate and get your inflammation down. Yeah, it was pretty wild how long the joint pain lasted to be honest, it was like a couple of weeks later, I was still like, Ooh, I feel achy and creaky in my joints.

Inflammation is such a crazy thing and more and more research is coming out about inflammation. And of course, all disease processes are as a result of inflammation or inflammation is tied into, and we’re going to be seeing more and more of that later on, optional part to put in here. I just had my first normal poop since my second dose of the vaccine.

That’s rough. Not saying that I don’t recommend it, obviously. I’m just saying that my body in particular, and I’m looking more into this because I want to see what is going on with me as a younger, healthy individual that reacts this way to COVID itself and then two doses of the COVID vaccine, because I also lost two pounds.

So like it’s been a month and a half of diarrhea every day. Literally. And finally, after enough massage and chiropractic and hydration, and like trying to rest and yoga and running and like a ridiculous amount of self-care, I finally took a normal shit and lost two pounds that same morning. And I was like, this is inflammation.

This is just, this is it right here. Why does my body do this? Did you report it to V-Safe? I’m going to. Keep doing it. Because it happened with the first dose of the vaccine too. So this is clearly something that my body is reacting to. So I’m wondering if I have an underlying autoimmune thing that’s being triggered.

Who knows? I don’t know. But if you guys have a reaction like that, you can report it to V-Safe which I’m going to do just because we need to learn more about it. Yeah. Even if it turns out like 0.05% of people have that reaction, like okay. But we should know. Yeah. We definitely need to know about it.

So anyway, that’s my testament to your inflammation situation. So good job bouncing back. Thanks. I’m like kind of finally feeling normal again. Yeah. I mean, you bounced back quicker than I, and I didn’t get stung by 15 yellow jackets. I will say though, I had to go back and finish that fencing project. Oh, come on.

I mean, I had, Ivan do some of it, but like I had to, you know, it meant I had to literally walk to that same spot and the day that I was going back and finishing stuff, I had to go by the same spot like eight different times. And so every time I would be like, oh, it’s adrenaline, no calm down, take a deep breath.

You just went like full submersion. I had to, I had to get that fencing up you know. I would have paid someone to do it. I don’t go there anymore. Well, Ivan destroyed the nest and it’s fine. But yeah, I don’t know. And then I actually went and listened to the wasp episode of ologies because I was having a lot of anxiety about it and feeling a lot of unnecessary hatred toward these insects that like literally probably thought I was just coming to eat all of them, you know?

And that made me feel better. What does eat them? Skunks eat a lot of them. Really? Bears eat the larva. Lots of little critters eat like their eggs and larva, but skunks eat a shit ton of yellow jackets. Thank you, skunks. I didn’t know that. They’re cute. I love them. Even though they’re stinky, they don’t actually stink that much like that often it’s just like a, they think they’re going to die so they spray.

All right. See all these things I don’t know about animals on the farm. They’re cute. They’re like little stinky cats. We don’t have skunks in the suburbs of West Virginia. I do not. You probably more than I do cause they love trash. They love trash. The only wildlife I’ve ever seen on my porch was a very upset possum.

He looked at me like I was bothering him on his porch. I mean, yeah. Sorry. He, he turned around like he walked away casually. Yes he walked away casually. He turned back one last time to give me one last stink eye and he, I swear, he rolled his eyes, his little possum eyes. And he was like, oh, this little posable, thumbs gave you a wave.

He’s like stupid ass human. Soon as you shut the door, I’m going back. It’s my porch. I was like, man, what? I mean, he might hang out on your porch every night. You don’t know. He probably does. Probably does. Yeah. I dunno, we don’t see as much because we have dogs, you know, they keep a lot of that stuff away.

No, but I was, then I was like, well, I could use a fucking skunk cause we have a lot of yellow jackets this year. I don’t know all the like old folks in the holler love to tell me that it was because it’s a dry year. I don’t know if that’s true, but I believe that the old folks in the holler know everything I’m like, yeah, dry. Yeah. The yellow jackets are bad. Dryness. Don’t know.

Well where are you at? Where are you at with your freezer stash now? So. Where were you before then you had two weeks of this trial and tribulation. And where are you now going into this solid food situation? Okay. So I think before I had about 80 ish ounces in the freezer, cause I was trying to have like a bad birth situation stash, where I had to like stay for a couple days and go to the hospital and you know, it happens every once in a while.

So I didn’t want to be unprepared. And then I probably ended up using like 10 ounces of it. Like my husband would like pull one bag when I was gone one day and another, but I’ve actually started adding to it again in the last like week. So I don’t know how much is in there. So you only used 10 ounces? I don’t really know, to be honest guys, I didn’t really count cause it stresses me out.

So I knew he had pulled like a handful of bags out of there, but they’re all pretty small bags. So I don’t really know, but I will say, I don’t want to jinx it, but I do kind of hold out hope to be able to donate some milk this time around. Cool. But you have to have a minimum of 250 ounces. Dang. To make a donation at the Mid Atlantic Mother’s Milk Bank, unless you’re a bereaved parent, which I get like.

They you know, they there’s just like they have to put a certain amount of money in baseline to get your like lab results and stuff like that and your screening done. So it has to be like worth it. Right. You know, they’re not going to go through all that and then be like, thank you for 10 ounces of milk. But if you’re a bereaved parent, they will accept any amount.

So what’s your plan though, for how you’re going to feed it? Because I think a lot of people, when they start solids, they get hung up on, do I feed first and then do solids? And then if my partner gives a bottle, is that going to screw it up even more since we’ve just introduced solids? I’m not going to overthink it is my answer.

That’s a good plan. Yeah. I mean, I’m just going to keep feeding first. When I think about it, I mean, I have a, I have a pretty boob obsessed baby right now who doesn’t have a ton of interest in other things. So I’m not really worried about it right now. I don’t think she’s going to start eating a ton of solids at once.

You know, and she pretty much will breastfeed every single opportunity I give her, you know, it’s not like a fight. Right. So I, but you know, I will plan to want to, like, when I’m thinking about it to like breastfeed first and then offer a little bit, but it’s not like an offering a meal, like when I started with Griffin and my plan this time, it’s just one thing on the plate, one stick of avocado, like, you know three little smushed blueberries. It’s not a lot of food because I’m not feeding her. So she has to go through the process of picking it up and getting it to her mouth, which is excruciatingly slow. So you just don’t like, don’t give a lot, cause they’re going to pick it up and throw it on the ground, you know?

And not on purpose, not like a mean thing the babies are doing. It’s just, it’s part of the process. I feel like that’s how it should be. Yeah. And I just, her weight gain is fine right now. I think she’s like maybe like 14 and a half pounds. You know, but she’s always been that way. Right?

Well, she’s gone up percentiles. Like when I took her to her first appointment with our doctor, she was in like the third percentile and I think she’s in the 20th now or something. So I’m just not worried. That’s another thing we have to do a whole episode on. So when do you think she found her curve?

Like two months? I think it took at least two months. Yeah. That’s kinda what I find with my patients. It’s like anybody that’s in that LGA category or SGA category when they’re born, it typically takes about two months and then they kind of normalize and they are where they’re going to be genetically.

Yeah. I mean, a friend of mine had a really large for gestational age, baby. And same, he dropped growth curves for four to six weeks. And I’m sure that freaked everybody out. Kind of, but I think we have the same doctor, so thank God. Who’s like really wonderful and like never has pressured me into a decision.

And with Griffin who didn’t catch his growth curve as early, actually. I think it took him more like four months to really get out of that under 10%. Or he wasn’t even six months. It was a long time. He was, he was pretty skinny. You know, we had conversations about supplementing and I would still be like, you know what?

I hear you, but I’m not going to do it. And she’d be like, okay, well, let’s check in then in a couple of weeks. I’d be like, okay, so, great, good. We’ll be here. I’ll come back. I don’t like, I don’t mind to come back, you know, but I’m just gonna make a different choice then you’re telling me, you know, it was fine.

And so this time. This time I showed up, I don’t know, Lyra was like eight weeks old or some shit and I show up in her office with a new baby and I’m like, look, I’ve taken her weight every week. I’m faxing you my own charts now. And she’s like, okay, whatever, you do things your own way. No we’re friends.

She knows. And then after everything, she was like, well, she’s great. And she’s healthy. So when are you coming back? Because I think based on our last experience, you’re probably not going to follow my schedule. And I was like, you’re right. I’m coming back at this date. Okay. See you then. Okay.

I’ve been trying to teach my nursing students that instead of saying “patient refused,” insert the blank to say, “patient declined.” Yeah. That’s what I chart. I was like, you cannot, when you put patient refused blank, it automatically makes them look noncompliant and unless you’ve also gone over the risks, benefits, and alternatives with them yeah, I don’t feel like you’re justified in saying patient refused.

You know, if they were refusing like life-saving care, that’s also fine. But you can say reviewed risks, benefits and alternatives, patient refusing all options. But if you’re like patient declined bed bath today or whatever it is, it’s like, that’s their prerogative, you know, like whatever. So anyway, the language is very important and it is, by the way, I just want to plug this Instagram I found called the language of birth. Fascinating stuff. All needs to be said, no pun intended. But just the way we talk about birth and the words that we use and the language that we use can change the experience and the perception of everybody involved in that care. So I just want you all to be conscious of those things as well.

Yeah, absolutely. No, I definitely make sure I’m like patient declined this, chooses this alternative treatment that they like brought up themselves. Right. You know, will follow up at this time, whatever. Exactly. And, and like, that’s what I do with my own doctor most of the time, you know, and that’s fine.

And it took like a couple months for her to get used to it. What’s she going to do? But yeah, exactly. I mean like why? I don’t know. It’s good though. I have a good relationship with her now and a healthy baby. Yeah. Two healthy children. Right. It’s great. And Lyra is doing great. Like she’s still small, but she looks like she’s made of marshmallows now.

Just like those little mini marshmallows. Yeah. No, it’s really cute. She’s like her, her like little biceps are like a bunch of jet puffs, like stacked on top. I love that. And I feel like her thighs look like they’re a little like muffin top stacked on top of each other. I wish my chub was like that when you squeezed it, it felt like marshmallow and it was just so soft.

Good. Yeah. And she’s pretty easy and I mean, she still doesn’t have a perfect latch but it’s like her whole, like lip tie stuff we talked about last time, just hasn’t been a problem. Yeah. You know, I was pretty careful about it for the first couple of weeks and flanging her lip and giving her more tummy time and lots of opportunities to like stretch and move her neck and her muscles and her tongue.

And it’s not a problem. And she pretty much like flanges it most of the time now she nurses on her own. She just had the tiniest little mouth. It was, it was like actually minuscule. I could not believe she could actually get a nipple in that mouth. It was so tiny. Yeah. And now it’s like a big old honking mouth and she makes a lot of noise out of it.

And her new sound that she makes, she purses her lips together and kind of blows a raspberry it’s like, *blowing noises* and so she looks at you and just goes, *blowing noises*. And then she really likes playing the game where I take my finger and like oh yeah, wiggle it on her lips and go bla bla bla bla bla, bla bla. So I’ll do that and then put my finger in front of her mouth and she starts making noise. Okay. Oh, well, I mean, who doesn’t like that, it’s really fun.

The way Heidi, speaking of kids that are getting older and do new tricks, she’ll be three on Christmas Eve. And that girl can snap with both hands and whistle. She can whistle now? Yes. Heidi! Oh my goodness. And she can do this. Oh my gosh. It’s so weird. I’ve never met such a coordinated two-year-old. I mean, I’m not, huh?

That’s hard. I know adults that can’t snap. And it’s funny too, because it’s not like, it’s not like it’s, she doesn’t, she is not also one of those toddlers that speaks really clearly. Like clearly she has some oral dexterity if she can do that, but it’s not like she’s a super like advanced speech. Like one of those kids who full comprehensible sentences comes out of their mouth and you’re like, who are you?

She’s kind of like an old person that goes in and out of consciousness with her language. Like one minute, she’s like, mommy, I love you. You’re my favorite girl. And it’s clear as day. And the next minute she’ll said, blahfklejafjeia. My dad always says, she sounds Icelandic. I mean sure. He’s like my little Nordic granddaughter, like kind of weird, but she does kind of sound like she doesn’t have any vowels and consonants only. I love the way she speaks, but it’s, she’s like pretty much, most toddlers at this age.

Only people who live with them understand them and everybody else you’re like, mostly just me, my husband has no clue. Are you just hallucinating those words? Drives me crazy. I’m like a translator around here. Like, can anyone please help me understand this child? I usually with kids that age, if I don’t understand them, I just pretend I do.

Yeah, because like you get, you get the gist of it, mostly from their intonation and like their mood and what they’re pointing. Like they just show you, I show you, like you’re not getting it. She’ll just grab your hand and be like, come on, mommy I show you. It’s usually a treat, spoiler alert. She was usually talking about cookies, Mom. Me too though. Actually, Ivan, after the bee attack, he started buying me like boxes of gluten-free cookies because he was like, just felt bad for me. But of course, like if you give me a box of cookies at like 10:00 PM, after the kids have gone to sleep, I’m eating the whole thing.

So then I was like, Ivan, please stop buying me boxes of cookies, even though it’s really nice and I love it. But now he’s buying them and hiding them and just giving me like two or three, which is really sweet. So like I went to work the other day and I was like, Hey, can you pack me a bag of snacks? I’m just busy and I’m late. And I look in there and there’s like a little baggy of three cookies. Oh, that’s sweet. That’s really nice. Cause I was like, dude, I’m like gaining weight again. Like please stop. I, I can’t control myself if you hand me a whole box of cookies. Yeah. Especially after a trauma like that, you’re like, I don’t deserve this. I know. I probably ate two, just to be honest.

So any parting words of advice for people whose babies are about to be six months old? I would say be patient starting solids. You do not have to start the day that they turn six months old and you don’t have to start with whole meals. Think of it as like getting them used to eating and not making them eat.

That makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. And just have fun with it, you know, like make it fun if it’s not fun, do something else. And for the people that are worried about their supply while they are feeding solids? Just breastfeed first, you know, and don’t offer a lot of food at once, right? Just slowly give your baby time to start eating and digesting because some babies really do just like take whole handfuls and swallow it.

And then their poops are all fucked up. They’re not hungry when it comes to breastfeeding. So give them tiny, age-appropriate amounts. Like a spoonful of food, you know, not a whole bowl. Because that gives them and their digestive system time to adjust. And it gives you and your milk supply time to adjust to whatever’s going on.

Yeah, that’s smart. And you’re not really replacing a meal. Right. The solid food is the supplement. Supplementing. And then over time, the scale starts to tip. And before you know it, they’re on more solids than they are breast milk and that’s okay. Usually between nine and 12 months, we see this, that kind of start to change.

So that by the time they’re a year, it’s around 50/ 50, right, right. Now at six months they’re learning how to chew and they’re just kind of getting the flavors and trying to figure out what your family’s pallet is and just motor development, mostly and social development. Yeah. Okay. So up next for me, just for the next time we do this, my goal is to do a review of all of the pumps I’ve used.

Because I, this is my last time breastfeeding. I decided to try a bunch of different pumps. Oh. Because everybody asks me like, which one is best and which one is. And I was like, I don’t know. I used this one crappy pump I had cause I couldn’t afford another. So I have a, I have a couple different ones now. If anybody has a closed system pump that they’re done with that, they like want to donate to the cause you can email us and we’ll talk about it. but yeah, I, I wanted to explore all of that because I feel like it makes me a better lactation counselor. Yeah. That’s awesome.

Because I’m not about to start pumping. Yeah. So I’ve used the Medela Pump In Style, the Spectra 9, the Spectra 1, the Elvies and the Momcozy S9. Dang. I’m excited for that. Yeah. It’s going to be great if you haven’t, if you’re like, oh, I just finished with my Bella baby and, or my Buddha, whatever Baby Buddha.

Yeah. Like there’s a zillion of these. And I tried to read the top 10 and like put them on my list of like new inbox E-bay deals. But if you want to help us out, that would be great because I want to be able to help people make the best decision with the budget they have. That’s amazing. Thanks. All right.

Well, let’s do an award. Yes. Let us.

Hey guys, Heather here with a very special message for you. I wanted to let you know that if you’ve attempted to breastfeed your baby or even once or began pumping after an unexpected postpartum complication, you’ve taken the first step to a beautiful journey. I also want to let you know that you can breastfeed no matter what kind of labor you had, no matter what kind of baby you have, no matter what kind of job you have. There is a way to breastfeed that can work for you.

The thing that I really want to get across here is that the fear of what if I don’t have what it takes to breastfeed? What if people think I can do this? What if I fail? What if I can’t do my job? What if I’m not enough? Here’s the truth. Everyone has those thoughts, but some people push through and succeed at breastfeeding anyway.

So what’s the difference? Consistent support. Yeah. Consistent support is the linchpin in the breastfeeding plan. Having support available to help you through the natural hiccups of feeding your baby is essential to decreasing that anxiety and making those doubtful voices in your head disappear.

Throughout the pandemic I’ve been accepting virtual, private lactation clients to meet people where they are, despite the crazy circumstances with COVID. At first, I honestly wasn’t sure how it would go, but as it turns out, it was better than ever. I’ve decided to continue doing virtual consults and help people all over the world.

As an IBCLC, I hold an international certification and breastfeeding is a universal language. If you find yourself needing that personal support and would like to work with me one-on-one, you can schedule at your convenience at my link in the show notes, or by going to

Let’s get you to where you want to be with breastfeeding and start asking new questions. What if I succeed? What if I can breastfeed and do my job? What if you are enough? What if it works? We got this.

This week, our award goes to Rachel B, who is a patron of ours, and she let us know that her original goal for breastfeeding was six months. Now she’s at 28 months. Oh my gosh. That was not what I thought you were going to say, which is awesome. And so I wanted to give her the above and beyond award. Oh yes.

Above and beyond. Yeah. Rachel, great job. You just blew that out of the water. You blew my mind. I was, I was waiting for like the one year, no, 28 months. Yeah. That’s like two years. That’s incredible. Good job. It’s more than two years stretch. I mean, wow. I’m impressed. Let us know if you need any advice managing that toddler dynamic because we can help.

And if you guys out there are really excited about things our patrons are doing and want to know more, you can join too. Yeah. And we got to give a shout out today to our newest patron, Christina, we are super pumped to have you. Yeah. Thank you for joining. We had a great time chatting with you at our live Q and A, and we hope that we get to continue the relationship we started.

Cause you’re great. You are great. You’re all great. You keep on being you and doing your best. And thank you so much for listening to another episode of The Milk Minute Podcast and educating yourself on breastfeeding. The way that we change this big system that isn’t set up for lactating parents is by educating ourselves and sharing with our children and friends.

If you found some value in today’s episode that we produced for you, please go to, and show us your support with a small donation which grants you access to cool, members only stuff. All right bye, guys!


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