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Ep. 160- How to survive your hospital stay while breastfeeding

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Welcome to the Milk Minute Podcast everyone. Hi. Welcome back. I, I know it’s only been a week, but it feels like a long time for me. Why? I have no idea. I just feel like I haven’t, I haven’t recorded an episode in a long time, but you know what? We’re here this week and this week we’re gonna talk about your hospital stay postpartum.

Yeah. I think this one is often overlooked by people because they assume like, well, the hospital is designed like a factory to just set you up with everything you need. You know, they’re just gonna send you through the filter of everything postpartum and you’ll come out with all of the things. And sometimes, yeah, like I, I, so I’ve had a couple of births recently where I was working as a doula at the hospital and it has really reiterated to me, Why your facility and your providers matter.

Yeah, and I think when I talk to people about this, they don’t always realize how serious I’m being. I’m like, this could make or break it for you in so many ways. This could determine whether or not you have a c-section. It could determine whether or not you’re breastfeeding. And it is so important to do your due diligence and like, look into this, talk to other people who had babies there.

You know, I recently had two very similar births, similar health profiles for the parents, similar ages similar labors. One, you know, ended in a C-section and a really, really tough postpartum stay. The other, it was a difficult birth, but it was a vaginal birth and a very peaceful postpartum state. Two completely different facilities.

What do you think made the biggest difference? I think it was the provider and, and really it’s like the protocols, right? Mm-hmm. One place has much stricter protocols. They’re checking in really often they’re doing more tests, even in normal circumstances, other hospitals much more like, oh yeah. Okay. If you’re not ready for us to check in, we’ll come back later.

Oh, okay. Well, you know, protocol says this, but it’s okay. We don’t have to do it. You know, like very accommodating. Mm-hmm. Maybe overly so sometimes. But that made a huge difference, right? Yeah. And I think just knowing what the protocols are so you know what to ask for and when to go, kind of like off, when to go rogue label, off label, off-road, or even when to ask for more, right?

Because some hospitals might not be screening carefully enough for you. So there’s just, there are different facilities out there to meet your needs and that can help you meet your goals. So today in this episode, I’m kind of gonna talk a little bit more about like, If you’re at a hospital that’s maybe not super supportive, this, these are good things for any hospital, but if you kind of are in that like dream team facility, you, you just might not need to be as intense about all this stuff.

But you can still listen, still might be helpful. Yep. I’m going to have a lot to say here. Yeah. Because I was a hospital labor and delivery nurse, postpartum nurse, and I’ve travel nursed as an OB nurse. I’ve seen different facilities and how they run and I’ve had some control over the situation and as a nurse, and then there’s been other times where it’s like, this is literally all I can do.

Yeah, my hands are tied, but you could, so I’ve encouraged patients to ask. Did you ever have a badge that says, ask about our AMA papers? A friend of mine wore one to work and they asked her to stop wearing it. Yeah. I will let you walk right outta here. Well, let’s do a question before we get into this, and then thanks some patrons.

Okay, awesome. Well, our question today comes from our Facebook group. It is from Sarah C, and she has a mastitis question. She says, I’m taking 800 milligrams ibuprofen every four hours as an anti-inflammatory. Do I only take it for as long as I have symptoms? Or is there a set amount of days that I need to do this?

Did she say 800 every four? Mm-hmm. That’s too much. Yeah. She said that she’s using the more recent mastitis protocol. Okay. Well hopefully she meant she’s taking 800 every eight. Yes, I hope so too. So it should be essentially a hundred milligrams an hour. So we would be taking 800 every eight hours.

Some people prefer to take 400 every four hours. Kind of either way works. What, what’s your answer to this question, Heather? Do you think she should take them after symptoms resolve or stop right then? I usually do a 72 hour. Like if you have symptoms, we know yes, there is inflammation. And what I usually tell my patients it’s pretty successful is we’re just gonna do it for 72 hours straight.

And if at any point after the first 24 hours you develop a fever or worsening symptoms, that’s probably a time we’re gonna probably have to do antibiotics. Yeah. But even with antibiotics, we would stay on the ibuprofen. Yes, so, and typically I say, even if you know you took it for 24 hours and you’re like, oh wow, I feel better.

Keep taking it. Keep taking it at least for another day. You don’t have to necessarily take that high of a dose if you don’t want to, but keep it up for a little bit longer, and again, If symptoms persist more than 24 hours, please contact your healthcare provider. Likely they’re gonna prescribe you antibiotics.

And I know it sounds like a lot, it, it sounds like a lot of ibuprofen, but here’s the thing. I’ve been to the emergency room before for what they thought was like a brain bleed. Yeah. And it was really just like muscle stuff in my neck. Fun. They gave me so much ibuprofen, enough ibuprofen that it, we could.

Anti-inflame an elephant for a year. And they were like, yep, just take this for like six weeks, 800 every eight hours. And I was like, I mean, clearly not. Mm-hmm. That’s a lot. And they’re like, yep. Well that’s what it is. You wanna get it, you know? Yeah. To not be inflamed anymore, this is gonna do it. And so that made me feel a lot better about treating an acute condition.

Mm-hmm. You know for breastfeeding. For, you know, to avoid antibiotics for sure. Yeah, absolutely. It’s a, it’s a nice tool that we can use for sure. Okay, well good luck. You’re like, she’s like over there scratching every part of her body. I’m so itchy. I dunno why. That’s okay. Sorry it’s pregnancy. I dunno.

Just scratch in myself. Well we have a lot of patrons to thank because we are starting to see folks coming to listen to Beyond the Boob and those subscribers are rolling in through Patreon and Apple. So reminder, if you want exclusive full access to Beyond the Boob, not just the occasional freebies, I’m gonna throw ya.

You can sign up on, or you can sign up directly on Apple Podcasts. If you enjoy hearing about me scratch myself. Yes. You’re really gonna love, where else does Heather scratch herself? Tune in next week to Beyond the Boob. Oh yeah. We’re tracking my pregnancy on a new podcast and it’s been pretty fun.

And a lot of stuff that’s not in your what to expect when you’re expecting book. So come over and join us and shout out to the following patrons who have recently joined us. Amy McInnis, Amelia Fountain. Amy Bisogni, Bisogni. Bisogni. Michele Gregory, Molly, Sarah Werning and Imane. Thank you guys so much.

We are just, so happy to see all these new patrons. We really like, appreciate this influx of support and, you know, we kind of went out on a limb. We’re like, whatever, new podcast out of the blue, have fun. I was like, maybe no one will care. Maybe no one will care. But we’ll just have fun. We’re meeting anyway for prenatals, you know, and turns out other people do want too much information about Heather’s vulva, so, yeah.

Oh, and also I need to do a shout out to Allie and her bible group in Texas that listened to the podcast and apparently they all get together with their babies and their bibles and they talk about it. And I just wanna let you know we appreciate that and we find that absolutely very funny. Absolutely.

We love it. We love that. We love you right back. Wonderful. Well let’s take a little break and then we’ll hop right into our episode.

Have you guys ever been listening to our show and thought to yourself, man, I really wanna work one-on-one with Maureen. I do every day that I sit here, podcasting across from you. Well lucky for you and everybody at home. I offer both in-person and virtual support through my business.

And in my business, Highland Birth Support, I’m dedicated to mentoring you guys through your childbearing year. So that could start with fertility all the way through pregnancy, childbirth. Postpartum. I offer home birth, midwifery services, doula services, lactation support, herbal support, anything you guys need. You even do miscarriage support.

Absolutely. I do. That’s one of the biggest things that is so hard to find, and I think that your people that are local to you are so incredibly lucky to have this service. Thank you. And I just feel really happy to serve everybody and I’m so happy I can expand my services virtually as well. Yeah.

Telehealth for lactation has been. Really important through the pandemic, and I think we just about got it perfected at this point. So if you guys wanna work with me, head over to highland birth and check out what I can offer you. That’s H I G H L A N D, birth

Welcome back, everybody. Let’s talk about staying in the hospital after you’ve had a baby. A k a. The worst hotel ever. Prison. Just kidding. Even the nicest hospitals are really just like really bad hotels. Mm. Honestly. Your neighbors are loud. A k a, the nurses wake you up every two hours. You know, like maybe there’s like not good water pressure.

The beds suck. Like yeah. Your husband who’s six foot one is curled up on a polyester couch that is too short for him. Mm-hmm. And the food is just terrible. To be honest and you’re not allowed to leave, not my idea of a good vacation. So in order to make it not only survivable, but so that you leave happy, healthy, and breastfeeding, let’s talk about some of the stuff we can do.

Do you wanna start with packing for the hospital stay, Heather? Oh, sure. You know it’s better to pack your own bag instead of asking your partner to drive home, to get you some things after, because my husband brought me sexy bras and underwear. Here’s your thong like for your postpartum pack. I said, friend, I asked you for some bras.

I didn’t. He’s like, oh, these are bras. And I was like, When was the last time you saw me wear that bra? Yeah, that’s not a breastfeed. What do you think is happening here? My tits are like twice the size that they were at the point. I think the lace will entice your baby to breastfeed. Oh my God. I was like, thanks.

I also don’t wanna blood stain these, you know. Lace underwear. Yeah. I don’t know. I, you know, and I usually tell folks, for the mo, for most people, you’ll just need to have this packed by 37 weeks. If you are higher risk, you should pack this earlier just in case you have a risk of preterm labor. Because Yeah, put it in your car every time you go to your prenatal appointment.

Cuz they might be like, we’re sending you right over. Yeah. And it nothing sucks more than not only having all of your like birth plans dashed, but then also having none of your creature comforts when you are unexpectedly in the hospital. So I always tell people, just assume they have nothing to make you comfortable at the hospital.

It’s not true. They’ll have some stuff, but honestly, you just like, They don’t always have what you need. No. Right. So just assume they have none of it and then you’ll always have it. Yeah. Pack too much. It’s fine. Yeah. Pack your own pillow and pack your own pillow. And here’s my hot tip. Pack a colored pillowcase.

Mm-hmm. Because when you and an extra, when you inevitably get blood or breast milk or something on your pillowcase and you need to change it, you do not wanna change it into one of the hospitals. Mm-hmm. White pillowcases, cuz then your nice pillow is gonna get lost. Yep. So definitely like a bright purple one or something that you’re gonna recognize and something washable though, not like a fuzzy pillow.

Yeah. Mm-hmm. Oh yeah. On that note, if you have a blanket that you like to sleep with, you know bring, bring that too. Bring something comfortable to wear, like a bathrobe that you can just put on and off if you need to have, you know, your stitches looked at or something, you know, but you can slip it on quick to go to the bathroom, bring slippers, flip flops.

I hate walking around barefoot in hospital rooms. Mm-hmm. I think it’s gross. And also I would recommend like a nice washable flip flop. Yeah. Because when you stand up, blood does come out of you, and especially when you’ve been sitting for a while, the blood can pull, you’ll stand up and you’ll be in your fuzzy slippers.

And then now we’ve got trunks. Yeah. Just like Nike slides or something. You know, like the, the shoes you do, like don’t usually, you’re not usually seen in like those are good hospital shoes. Yeah. I have some like $20 tivas. Yeah. That have been through a lot. You know, that’s probably what you’re looking for those, yeah.

Earplugs and an eye mask. Ooh. Can I give a shout out? Yes. Non-sponsored. I just ordered some Loop earplugs. You like them? I do. I do like them. And you can actually, so Abigail got them because she gets really overstimulated just by loud, noisy places. Mm-hmm. And you can actually buy earplugs to just reduce the Yeah. The sound. So when you’re functioning in life.

Yeah, my psychologist actually brought me in like three different levels of them with like ear replacement. She was like, why don’t you try them out during our appointment and if you like them, you can order them. And now, you know, because I was like, I won’t order them.

Cause I don’t know if they’ll work. Yeah. Well I, I like them so far. I really bought them for hotel stays. Yeah. But I’m definitely gonna probably have to use them at the hospital. Yeah. Just kidding. I’m not going to the hospital. No, absolutely. But any kind of earplugs, because here’s the thing. Even if you have the time where nobody’s interrupting you to sleep, hospitals are loud.

They’re so loud. It’s a 24 hour service. There’s, yeah, there’s always somebody up and doing something there, especially in postpartum, like you might hear people in labor, you might have machines beeping in your room that no nurse can figure out how to make shut up, because that happens. Their phones, it’s not their fault.

The nurse’s phones that just ring constantly. Yeah. Although I did work at a really beautiful hospital in Matthews, North Carolina where they had iPhones for every nurse. Wow. And you could log in and then you text each other to decrease the sound. I love that. And it was so much more peaceful. It was wonderful.

Yeah, so it really important though to protect your rest postpartum, cuz that’s gonna just give you a better chance to succeed. I like to bring a white noise thing, so like an app on your phone or even like a hatch machine or something. Mm-hmm. Because you know, some people sleep better with white noise.

Babies do too. You might even need it during labor to just like drown out the like beeping and the heartbeat and like, you know, there’s a lot going on that can be really overstimulating in labor. And it’s actually nice to have your own light too, because there’s kind of all or nothing for hospital room lights.

Mm-hmm. It’s either here is the force of 10,000 suns or it’s dark with like a couple random machines with tiny blinking lights. Or the one that does dim only has one working light bulb. Yeah, so like I, and I was actually at a birth recently where someone brought like a, I don’t know, it was maybe like a diffuser that had a light on it.

Mm-hmm. And it was so nice cuz like, you know, the bathroom lights are like the worst lights in the universe. Yes. And they wanted to be in the shower but not be under like 8,000 fluorescent lights and turn that on. And I was like, oh my gosh, that’s so nice in here now. Yeah, that does actually sound wonderful.

It was really beautiful. And it’s just, it’s nice to use that at night if you have to change diapers. Like you don’t have to fully wake up, you know? Mm-hmm. You can also bring on that note of a diffuser. You can bring a little bit of peppermint oil. Yeah. In case you have trouble peeing after birth. Yes.

And you can actually put a little drop of the peppermint oil in the toilet. Mm-hmm. And there’s something about the, just the fresh cool waft of peppermint up. Your hoo-ha. It tickles. It makes it come right out the right areas and helps you relax. It really is nice. Phone chargers. Don’t forget your phone charger.

It’s your only lifeline to the outside world to have your phone. And then don’t forget to pack it again before you leave. Yes, because it will disappear forever. Yes, it will. Snacks. Bring snacks to feed an army, but really just you and your husband, or especially if you’re going in for an induction. Yes. It could be days.

Guys inductions are like four days and that’s okay. It’s okay. Don’t be sad if you hear that it, sometimes they’re not. But like really plan for it to be, especially if you’re like a 37 week induction. Yes. You’ll only be there for a while. Yeah. And pack nourishing snacks. Yes, we can have the Cheetos, but also pack, like trail mix and like, you know, energy bars with whole food ingredients like those.

And I like fruit. Squeezies. Mm-hmm. Not the squeezies, the fruit tape. Yeah. What are the fruit Leather? Fruit. Leather. Fruit tape. Yeah, stuff like that where, you know, maybe it’s not what you’re craving, but you know, it’s gonna give you calories that matter for your body when you need them. And you need them postpartum too.

And a lot of folks don’t want to eat full meals postpartum, or you order your meal and it takes two hours to get there. Mm-hmm. Yay. So make sure you have things to eat because you need to replenish your nutrient stores after you had a baby and you need to make some milk. Yep. I agree with all of that.

And also bring your prenatal colostrum if you’ve expressed it. Mm-hmm. Unless you live right next to the hospital, in which case, just keep it in your freezer and have your partner go get it if, if you need it. But you can bring it. And a lot of the hospitals now have milk rooms where you can mm-hmm.

Have them store your colostrum for you and they’ll put labels on it, you know? You know what I don’t get? Mm-hmm. Is why hospital rooms don’t have mini fridges. Can I? Just like some do, but they usually save them for the antepartum patients. I know, but I haven’t, honestly, I haven’t seen any in the postpartum rooms I’ve been in recently, but I’m like, not only could that be useful for milk, but also like, come on, like we need, like we need to keep our food there that we wanna eat later when the cafeteria is closed.

Like Yeah, that would be great. And also with like a little freezer area. Yes. It would be so nice. Very nice. One day one of these days. Okay, so breastfeeding accessories, they’re gonna have things like breast pads and ice packs and whatever. They are not gonna provide you with a haakaa. So if you want to use one of those, some will.

Oh, they will? Some will. That’s new. U H C will do it. Ah they don’t at Ruby. No, but I, I think. So this is a fight. Lactation consultants at hospitals are fighting everywhere. So props to you all for trying to get the supplies that you need. Mm-hmm. And explain to administrators what the hell it is. Why?

Yeah. And why, and now it’s cheaper to use a haakaa than to get a whole Medela symphony expression pack. My God. Yeah. And so a lot of places are giving people two haakaas cool. To put on each side. Yeah. Hell yeah. When they’re separated from baby. That’s awesome. Which is like okay. Mm-hmm. You know, I think it’s awesome, but it’s also kind of like, I mean, it’s not always necessary, but I, I mean, you guys already know, we think that those kind of like gentle suction expression tools are super useful, especially when we just need a tiny bit of milk.

Yeah. And it can be a great way to start milk expression if pumping isn’t working out right for you in the, in the beginning days. Yeah. I mean, we’ll try anything to get some sticky colostrum out of there in the beginning. Yeah. And I do recommend, you know, if you’re planning to exclusively pump or mostly pump that you bring the pump you wanna use to the hospital.

You don’t have to use it there, but it’s a good opportunity to like have an lc come help you with it. Mm-hmm To make sure it works. Cuz what I’ve seen a lot, especially when we have longer hospital stays and NICU issues, you know, we have someone who gets really used to the Medela Symphony in the hospital.

They come home and they cannot make their pump work for them. That symphony is kind of special. It is, and I, and I know why we use it and we should. It’s just like there, I think bringing your pump with you can help kind of transition if you need to. It can. I, I do. And there’s no research on this, you guys.

None. But you know, I think that the Medela symphony, yes. It’s really, really good quality and it’s particularly good for initiating milk supply for sure. Yeah. And they have that preemie setting on it. Mm-hmm. Which kind of mimics how a premature baby would suckle, which is really great if you’ve got a baby in the nicu.

So, if. If we’re going in for an early induction or we definitely know we’re gonna have a NICU baby. I will often ask people to purchase the flange sizes mm-hmm. For them that match the model. Mm-hmm. Even if they have a spectra at home, because one thing they definitely are not gonna have is your size flange.

Most likely. Yeah. At the hospital, or you know, if you’re planning to pump with the hospital, pump, get a P, get a flange insert. That fits, that can go in there. Mm-hmm. Yeah, that’s a good point. Mm-hmm. That’s a really good point. And then also the LLCs there could hopefully tell you if they fit, but what I’ve seen more than anything is people use the Medela symphony with a flan size.

That’s way too big. Like a 30. Yeah, I mean like huge ones. Why huge. And then they go home and they try to use the flange size that I recommend with their. Spectra and of course it’s like apples and oranges. Yeah. And you have to transition down. Then it’s, it’s like a frustrating thing. I’ve had to go through this with a couple people where it, you can’t just switch right to the normal size and we have to like switch down a little bit and down a little bit, and then we finally get there.

It’s great, but it’s just like, and it’s worth it to get there. Yes. Because. We don’t wanna have faso spasms and like nerve stretching from using a flan. That’s way too big. Yeah. Sigh. Big, deep sigh. Bring all your stuff. Yeah. That’s what we’re saying. Bring your flanges. Bring your flanges. Yeah. And whatever.

If, if it stays in the car, it stays in the car. Like you’d rather have it there though, than at home. Especially for those of you who live further from the hospital also bring a wet bag. Yeah. Because. All the stuff that you use for breastfeeding. Mm-hmm. So maybe you’re using a nipple shield or a latch assists, or maybe you’re doing an SNS or something.

You know what’s really gross, just putting that on the mm-hmm. Side table at the hospital. Assume every surface at the hospital’s gross. Just baseline. Just even though it’s cleaned. Just assume it’s not, and also it’ll get knocked off. Yeah. And once it’s knocked off on the floor, she done, you know? Mm-hmm.

Like we can’t reuse that sns, it’s been on the floor. Friends. Yeah. So if you have a wet bag on your nightstand that you can just shove everything in until you can clean it, that’s going to secure it. Even pacifiers, I don’t really recommend pacifiers in the first two weeks, but they can be really useful too if you need it because your baby’s jaundice or whatever the heck.

Mm-hmm. Keep it in your wet bag when they’re not using it so it doesn’t fall on the floor. Okay, cool. I think that, I think that does it for our packing list. Okay. Okay, next on my list of most important things is to eat. I love eating. Yeah. Apparently some people don’t postpartum though. And you know, I know things are stacked against you.

You don’t just have like a fridge you can raid whenever you feel hungry. So my best advice is even if you don’t feel hungry, order meals, order them before you’re hungry. Cuz they can take like two hours to get there. Yeah. And eat them even if they’re gross. Because if you’re not eating, your body is going to stay in crisis mode postpartum cuz it’s like, oh my God, you either just had a baby or a baby and surgery and you’re not gonna progress.

To healing and making milk. Yeah, we like stable blood sugar and culturally there’s all kinds of practices that people have put into place for centuries where people bring you food, postpartum, specific special food, and it’s part of the culture. And in America we’re like, well, you can have. Mac and cheese chicken tenders, you can have some beef orone and you’re like, wait, a what?

So, you know, think about what you could possibly eat that’s gonna stabilize your blood sugar and not maybe make it worse. Yes, absolutely. Okay. Visitors. Ugh. Is it like a clown car where they just keep coming? Usually I am big on boundaries. I know some people don’t feel this way. Some people really want to be surrounded by their family.

They feel taken care of and loved, and I’m not against that. However, breastfeeding, if you have constant interruptions to your postpartum in addition to the ones the staff are doing, You will not be caring for your baby as responsively as you would without those distractions. Well, they’re gonna let you sleep through early feeding cues, right?

And the reason I say to people a lot is don’t play pass the baby. Cause babies love being held and rocked. And they will sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep. If Grandma’s holding the baby and she’s like, well, I’m gonna really try to keep it to sleep. And grandpa’s gonna grab the baby, and your sister’s gonna grab the baby and they’re gonna go walk the hall so you can sleep and you sleep for five hours.

And then you have a baby who’s up all night fussing because they didn’t. And your boobs are huge because it’s all backed up in there. And that’s how we get in. En en encouraged, engaged, encouraged engorged. Yes. So if you want visitors, that’s okay. Keep those visits brief and they’re not there to hold the baby.

And also they always come on day two. That’s the worst day for them to come. Because you have to plan for second night syndrome. Mm-hmm. Where the baby is gonna be up all night. Yeah. And you’re gonna naturally have a deficit of milk for a reason. Yeah. Because your baby needs to nurse and every time your baby nurses, it’s building more receptors on your glandular tissue.

Mm-hmm. And then, On day three, you’re usually rewarded with your milk coming in. Right. But if you keep missing those on night two. Yeah. So if it’s someone you can’t breastfeed in front of, they can wait to visit. Mm-hmm. Till things are a little more stable or have them come on day one. Yeah. Day one is better.

Baby sleepy. Yeah. You know they have enough brown fat on their bodies to make it 24 hours with no food. We still want to be stimulating your breasts, but day two and three is more important. More important for sure. Okay, this one is kind of tricky and maybe you’ll have more insight since you’ve worked in a hospital.

I encourage people to request clustered care and now you it. It’s more complicated than just going to your nurse and saying, I’d like clustered care please. You actually have to kind of organize it. Like usually what this requires is someone comes in for a check, mom, vitals, baby vitals, whatever. You can say, Hey, when is the next time that you’re gonna come back?

And they say, in four hours at. Three o’clock and you’re like, okay, great. An hour later, somebody else comes in. You ask them, when is the next time you’re gonna come back? They say, oh, in four hours. At four o’clock. And you say, actually, can you come back at three o’clock instead? Because that’s when the other nurse is coming back.

And I, I would really prefer clustered care. So you kind of have to organize it like that, where you’re keeping the timetable because those nurses are super busy and they’re just following their schedule. But if you do that, you’re going to get more peace and more sleep maybe. Hopefully, I mean other people that are also gonna come in.

The financial people. Yeah. From the hospital peds. Mm-hmm. The first are gonna send in the peds resident. Yep. And then the whole peds team is gonna round. Yep. If it’s a teaching hospital and then the OB resident’s gonna round and then the attending will round. And then we also have the photographer. If you have a newborn photographer at the hospital, Hey, is now a good time?

Yeah. And so you know, oh wait, and the birth certificate people, we gotta get the birth certifi people in and janitorial services and food services. So I always say if I’m there, like as a doula or a breastfeeding support person in someone’s in, I always say, when are you gonna come back next? And I try to help them do that.

As many visits as you can, cluster better, you can’t do them all. And when you really need to get sleep, I encourage you to have your partner or friend or your visitor sit in a chair outside your door. Outside. And when somebody comes by, you can say, Hey, mom is sleeping right now. What do you need? Mm-hmm.

And if they say, oh, I’m just here to clean up, or whatever, you can say, why don’t you come back later? I’ll do it. Right. If it’s the peds team or something, they’re probably not gonna wanna wait, but you can, you can say, Hey, they’re sleeping right now. Is it possible for you to come back later? Mm-hmm. And even if it’s just one person you deter, like, thank God.

Yeah. I mean, gosh, it’s. Torturous trying to heal from birth and be interrupted. It’s actually a form of torture to not let somebody sleep. Somebody sleep deprived. Yeah. And then all night long, like I had a nice room right outside the nurse’s station and they just yuck it up all night and I get it right, and they have to stay awake and they ha they, I’m happy for that other job, but I’m like, oh my God.

I was like, Bombarded all day with people. Mm-hmm. And then at night we have this situation. Mm-hmm. But let me add something to that. Okay. So if your hospital has a lactation team, ask the nurse the minute you get there what Lactation’s protocol is. Yeah. For when they see people. Because a lot of them don’t see you in the first 24 hours.

They just don’t. They might come in and give you a packet of information and be like, oh, well it comes to you tomorrow. Right. And then they will come around usually on day two, but by then your nipples might be really sore. Mm-hmm. We might be in a different situation. So if you’re in the first 24 hours and you know that they’re not about to pop in at any moment, ask your nurse to page them and say, I know this is outside of protocol, but I would really like them to check the latch to make sure we’re in a good spot.

I, you know, especially if the postpartum nurse mentioned something about a tongue tie or Yeah. That you’re a setup for jaundice or something like that. I would be requesting to see lactation quickly just for a little triage in the first 24 hours. Absolutely. And you know, I often, lactation is just kind of flying by the seat of their pants.

Seeing people whenever they have time, which I totally get, they have a hundred people to see and sometimes it works better if they come by and like, maybe baby sleeping. Maybe you’re not ready for them. If you make a time, you’re like, how about you come back at two? And then they’re like, oh, oh yeah, I can do that.

We’ll make sure baby’s awake and ready to go. Right. Right. So that it’s planned out, which is not always possible, but sometimes you say that and Lactations like, oh, right. I, I could schedule things. I’ve just seen so many people that are like, yeah lactations at the hospital, but I never saw them one time.

Yeah. They came in when I was sleeping, they left a packet mm-hmm. On the table and I never saw them again. Yeah. And I’m like, oh god. Right. It’s really frustrating. Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think let’s take a really quick break and then we’ll come back with my last couple bits. Okay. Whoop, whoop.

Let’s take a quick break to thank our sponsor, Aeroflow. Aeroflow is your one-stop shop to get the most popular breast pumps and accessories through your insurance. Yeah, so don’t let your insurance go to waste. Why don’t you let Aeroflow do all the dirty work for you? You never have to call your insurance when you use Aeroflow, and they remind you when you’re eligible for free replacement parts.

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Go ahead and check out the link to Aeroflow in our show notes and order your pump through them.

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Oh, you’re allowed to look good and feel good about yourself while wearing a nursing bra? Absolutely. And they offer sizes up to a 52 G. Oh, amazing. I’m so glad a company has finally realized that a DUP is not a large. Absolutely. And I, it’s so affirming to feel included in sizing and not feel like I’m asking for too much that clothing fits my body.

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Okay, so Heather, you’re pregnant, you’re gonna have a baby. Have you, you know, have you thought about a birth plan? Yeah, a little bit. I mean, I’m getting there for sure. Have you thought about a postpartum care plan? I’ve thought more about a postpartum plan than a birth plan. Good. I’m being totally honest with you.

Honestly, I think you should. So I mentioned that phrase to people and they’re like a what? It is. It’s it. You can go through the same process that you defer a birth plan for your postpartum care plan. You have choices, you have protocols to consider. You have lots of things to think about of how you want your care to be carried out in the hospital or postpartum at home, or birth center, wherever you are.

And I think the best way to use these care plans is really just making them, you don’t even have to hand it over, but the process of making it helps you to understand how you have to advocate for yourself in the postpartum. And then the choices you have to make don’t feel rushed and they don’t feel like surprises.

Mm-hmm. Right. Like do you want the baby bathed? Do you want the nurses to take them so you can sleep? Do you wanna pump and bottle feed if you have to supplement? Do you wanna use a bottle? Lots of things to think about. And if you go through all those decision trees prenatally, then when you’re exhausted and your baby’s screaming and the peds team is asking you a question, you’re not like, I’m sorry, this is all new information.

Yeah. You’re like, you know, Yes. I wanna try syringe feeding. Yeah, and you, and definitely I would recommend that. Yeah. Cup feeding, spoon feeding, syringe feeding instead of a bottle, especially if latching baby eventually is part of the plan. I will tell you that I do not plan to bathe my baby in the first 24 hours.

If my baby, for some reason is born with a bunch of hair, unlike my other two, I might wash the hair. Honestly. It just like, It kind of just ends up looking clean a couple hours later. I know. I mean, if it’s born with a bunch of curly hair and there’s like chunks stuck in it Yeah. Then maybe we’ll brush ’em out.

We’ll brush ’em out, we’ll get it, but I, there’s no, there’s no need for it. There’s no need. And also I did just have a patient prenatally ask me to review what meds the baby was gonna be getting postpartum what? So erythromycin in the eyes Oh yes, is protocol. And I let them know like, if you’re gonorrhea and chlamydia negative, you can respectfully decline.

Mm-hmm. Although Ina mcg, Gaskins always says you don’t know where a penis is unless it’s in your hand. I honestly, I don’t love a lot of what she says, but I do have to agree with that. But then again, you know, like if your baby ends up with an eye infection, You’re gonna put erythromycin in their eyes.

Mm-hmm. Anyway, so it’s like, well, you know, whatever. They’ll get the vitamin K Yeah. Injection. And that one is not optional if you plan to get your baby circumcised, yes. They will not circumcise your baby at the hospital without a vitamin K shot period. So consider that, and then they will offer. The first in the series of Hep B vaccines.

Mm-hmm. Which you can decline. You can get the first one at the pediatric visit. Yeah. Or you can defer it like so usually we wanna do, they often, they’ll do eyes and thighs, right. Shots and eyes like kind of pretty soon postpartum while you’re still like in that immediate recovery. It doesn’t have to happen Right then.

Yeah, we don’t need to quickly stab and squirt your baby with everything. No. It can also happen on your chest, even though some providers hate giving shots to your baby while you’re holding them, but you’re like, dude, like if you accidentally stick me, I’m not gonna sue you. Like, yeah, it’s kinda what you have to say, but you can decline eyes and thighs altogether.

Or you can say, Hey, can you wait a couple hours and come back and do that? I just wanna initiate breastfeeding. Yep. Yeah. Lots of options, you know, and, and I think if you’re gonna decline anything, just make sure you understand why it’s recommended first, and so therefore, what the risks of declining it are.

Just wanna make sure none of that catches you by surprise. Yeah, and the big issue with the erythromycin is they wanna give it in the first two hours. And that can really interrupt bonding. Yeah. Because when the baby first comes out, they’re like usually pretty wide-eyed. Mm-hmm. And they’re imprinting, they’re looking directly at you.

Yeah. They’re tracking your face. And so if you put like a giant squirt of this gelatinous, erythromycin in their eyes, they can’t see. So, you know when I do it at home, cuz I’m a home birth midwife, so usually I. Wait, usually, you know, the golden hour, I usually give ’em a golden two hours. I make sure breastfeeding is initiated.

We have a good latch, everyone feels good, and then after that, baby’s gonna go to sleep. So I try to catch ’em right before the nap. I do the little squirt in their eye and then they sleep with it. Yep. Sense. And that makes sense. It’s not gooping up their eyes for the next time they wanna open their eyes and like try to orient themselves.

Mm-hmm. So see that sounds like a nice compromise. Yeah. So it doesn’t even have to be all or nothing. It can be delayed. Yes, absolutely. And it’s really, that’s like only delayed by like an hour. It’s not that much. So yeah, it’s always helpful to remind your care team that you have the same goal as them.

I more than anyone else on the planet would like to have a healthy, happy baby. Absolutely. So I don’t want my baby to get Hep B. I don’t want my baby’s penis to bleed out. Yes. I don’t want them to get gonorrhea blindness. Okay. Mm-hmm. I, I too don’t want those things, but how can we work together to make sure I also get the things I do want?

Right. Absolutely. Okay. In, in that vein of getting things we want sleep. Is it about sleep? It’s about sleep. It’s about sleep. You’re like, that’s what I want right now. Yeah. You know, and we’ve touched on this before. It’s hard kind of everything in the hospital works against you getting sleep. I highly recommend you take those earplugs and I mask and you and your partner pass them off.

Switching off on like two to three hour sleep blocks. And try your best to let your partner fully get that sleep and to have them fully let you get it. You know, it’s not gonna work every time, but if you can get like a three or four hour block that’s probably close to a REM cycle and you’re gonna feel a lot better.

Yeah. And you know, it’s, it’s a hard balance between feeding your baby often and getting enough sleep. So make sure that you’re checking in with your partner about that and you’re really honest about what’s going on, right? It’s not the end of the world if you do need to give your baby a little bit of expressed milk or something so you can sleep.

That can all be done easily. Yeah. If you had a four day induction followed by a C-section. Mm-hmm. And your body is literally clutching to life and sanity, and your baby has just nursed a bunch. Yeah. And you somehow have some prenatal colostrum left over maybe, or. You know? Yeah. You have a little bit of expressed milk.

Tell your partner, if this child wakes up in the next two hours, go ahead and give this to the baby. Rock ’em back to sleep. Mm-hmm. And I will be with you shortly. Wake me up at three hours. You know, you’re not gonna be too far outside the window, but they, you can use it as a bit of a delay tactic. Mm-hmm.

Yeah. They can do a dream feed. Yeah. Aha. Yeah. You know, and this really rolls into just talking about some general concepts around feeding baby, right? Ah, yes. Obviously our whole podcast is about this. But there are a few key points that I just wanna focus on for the one or two days postpartum that you’re in the hospital.

Or even if you’re not in the hospital, a lot of these apply to you as well. I am a big advocate for waking baby for daytime feeds. In the first two or three days postpartum, they all come out with ass backward sleep schedules. It’s fine. But if one, you know, The peds team is gonna wanna make sure your baby’s eating enough.

So if you can say, yes, I woke them every two hours and I fed them every two hours, even though they were sleepy today, that’s gonna help you get outta there and three hours overnight. Right? And two waking baby more often during the day, often defers their longer sleep cycles to the night. Not always, but it’s like it’s worth a shot, you know?

Sure. Try it. And catching early feeding cues. Right. Trying to feed, even if baby’s sleepy, sometimes they’ll have a full feed while fully asleep, cuz feeding is reflexive. If you can get your nipple to reach the roof of their mouth, they’ll probably do it. Yep, yep. Yeah. And the early feeding cues, again, we, I think we have.

Yeah, we have a whole episode on this mm-hmm. That we’ll link in the show notes, but it’s like they’re laying in the bassinet or in your arms and they’re doing the guppy mouth, where they’re just like slowly opening and closing their mouth. Right. Or turning their head side to side. Yeah. Turning their head side to side, doing the hand to mouth movements like trying to eat their fist.

And then it moves into the more active cues. Well, and also by the way, if their eyes are open, it’s time to eat. Yeah, so that’s the thing. When I talk about early Feeding hus with people with newborns, they look at me like I’m an idiot, cuz they’re like, my baby does that all the time. Yes, that is the point.

Yeah. A healthy baby will pretty much eat anytime, you know, like, yep. Those alert awake babies are almost always ready for a boob. Put a boob on it. And that’s kind of my philosophy around the newborn time is just put a boob in it, you know? As long as we’re not having two some nipple injury, just put a boob in it.

Yeah. See if that works first. It’ll work. It’ll work. And that’s gonna be very helpful when your hospital team is trying to closely track your baby’s intake, outtake, weight gain, weight loss, whatever. If you can say, oh yeah, I set an alarm and I fed them every hour and a half and, sorry I didn’t put it on your sheet, but there it is, you know.

There it is. Did my best. Yeah. You can also as a kind of. On the other side of things with output, if your hospital team is concerned about how much baby’s feeding, take one of those little bins they give you to vomit in or whatever, keep your stuff in and just use it as a diaper bin and keep all the diapers between nurse checks and put them over in the corner of the room.

And when they say, Has baby eaten, you can say Yes. And I saved their diapers. So you can see how much they’ve peed. I love that. And then if they wanna weigh it, they can do that, you know? Or they can see with their own eyes, Ooh, there’s four soaked diapers for a two day old. We’re fine. Yeah, we’re good to go.

You know? Or if you happen to get nursing students, they’d love that. Oh yeah. They get to inspect it. They could weigh it. Yeah. They’d be all about that poop and pee. Totally. And I’ve had some nurses look at me like I’m crazy for doing that, but I’m like, dude, I would rather y’all have the evidence that your baby’s eating.

Yeah, especially in the hospitals that really just have a hard time coping with exclusive breastfeeding. Yeah. Oh, we can’t see it. Right. We don’t know how much it is. Right. And I get it, like you try to chart that on, on like Epic or something and you’re like, This isn’t working, but were they actually eating or were they just licking your nipples for 30 minutes and you’re like, I don’t know.

But then once, so active feeding cues, after we get through the early feeding cues, baby, you’ll start doing like aggressive leaning towards the boob, towards the side. Yeah. And they kind of start fussing a little bit. From that point you have about. Zero to three minutes before we’re in full blown crying.

I thought you were gonna say zero to three seconds cuz that’s what it feels like. Could be zero to three seconds depending on your baby’s personality. And then we’re in the late sign of hunger, which is crying. Yeah. So the point is not to wait until they’re crying to feed them. Absolutely. And you know, I know there, especially when things are not quite normal, there are a lot of decisions you have to make.

When the peds team rounds, it feels really stressful sometimes, and especially at teaching hospitals, it just, I f, to me it feels 10 times more stressful. So I really encourage you, first of all, to use the brain acronym, which I’ll go over again. So in the case of your baby’s not feeding enough, they need formula, you can say, okay, what are the benefits of supplementing with formula b R?

What are the risks of supplementing? And if they can’t come up with the risks maybe. Yeah, they, they’re, they’re maybe not thinking clearly because they’re not big risks, but they’re, they’re small risks, right? We still need to talk about them. A what are the alternatives to formula supplementation, right.

Can you pump milk and give it to your baby? I, what’s intuition? What’s your gut telling you? Does your baby really need this? And n ask them, what happens if we wait? You know, how long can we wait on this? And then what I say to round that out is you can say, okay, thanks for having this conversation with me.

I’d like a little more time to talk to my partner about this. And we’ll page the nurse. And we’ve made a decision. Love it. Mm-hmm. Then they’re gonna be like, Ugh. Yeah, great. And that’s fine. And then you dismiss them. Okay? Because this is your room. It is your birth, it is, you’re paying for the room. And you know, you can absolutely ask for that time, even if they’re not being pushy and rude.

Sometimes you just need a minute alone to think about what’s going on and to think about what the best next step for you is. I like it. I think this is all good stuff. I think it’s all, you could write this down. Yeah. You know, just make a, a couple quick lists and a couple big things to remember. Mm-hmm.

And, and I hope this gets you through, and please remember if your place, if the place of birth does not have a lactation consultant mm-hmm. We’re available virtually. Oh yeah. We are. We are absolutely available. Virtually private LCS can come in as a visitor as well and help you out so you have options.

You have so many options. I will video chat you in your hospital bed. I’ve done it. Yep. Same. I’ve actually talked to providers for people virtually. Isn’t that fun? You’re like, can you turn the camera so they can see me? Yeah. And I’m like, Hey, we’re all working together. And it actually makes the, the team feel good.

Absolutely. They’re like, oh, this person does wanna feed their baby. They. Phone to friend. It’s like, yes. Yeah. You’re a little disembodied head in their phone. Like, do you know who I am? I’m kidding. I’m Heather freaking O’Neil through O’Neill and I’m here to get this baby latched from across the country.

All right. Well hopefully you guys feel like you have the tools you need to succeed. I think you do because we’re gonna, we’re gonna move into awards. Well, we’re gonna take a quick break and then we’re gonna come back and we’re gonna do some awards. Yeah, we are.

Do you have a baby that struggles with excessive gas, fussiness, colic, and general sleep problems? Well, I did, but then I used Evivo probiotics. Evivo is a pediatrician approved probiotic for babies that’s even used in NICU on the gentles tummies all over the United States. It is an amazing, unique product that contains a specific strain of B. infantis that we need to digest human milk oligosaccharides.

That’s actually 15% of breast milk that your baby will then be able to utilize. Whereas if you don’t have the bacteria. There’s so much extra in the gut, which is why American babies poop like 10 times a day more than babies that are colonized with B. infantis. I have personally seen this probiotic help my baby and the babies of many of my clients, and frankly, if we’re dealing with any of these symptoms, it is the first thing I go to.

And the best part is it’s not like any other probiotic that we would take when we’re sick or taking antibiotics where you take it every time you go through antibiotics for the rest of your life. If you give your baby Evivo in the first a hundred days of life, it actually colonizes in their gut and becomes a part of their immune system, which then they can pass to the next generation.

And this is how we make change. Y’all Evivo is amazing because it’s gonna safeguard your baby’s health today and give you peace of mind in the future. Check out Evivo probiotics through the link in our show notes and enter code MILKMINUTE for $10 off.

Welcome back everybody. We have a wonderful award in the Alcove today, and this one warmed my little heart. This is from Joe W, who sent us an email and said, I’m not sure if this is the right place to send this. It is, but I wanted to give a shout out to my wife Dana, who loves the podcast. She’s been so diligent with breastfeeding, overcoming many obstacles, and we’re coming up on the one year mark.

She wants to keep it up as long as possible, and I fully support her. She’s doing a wonderful job, and I’m so glad that she has the resources and support to keep up her journey. Thank you for that Joe. Any other partners out there? If you wanna nominate your breastfeeding partner, please do. Cuz it warms our little cold dead hearts.

It does. There’s hope. There is. And Dana, we wanna give you the Magnificent Mother Award cuz it sounds like honestly, you’re just the best. Yeah, you are the best. Yeah. And, and will give Joe a sticker. Yeah. Joe, you get a sticker. Thanks. Seriously, Joe, thank you for emailing that to us. We wanna celebrate your wife and we really wanna celebrate everybody else’s breastfeeding journey.

So if you guys wanna nominate yourself, your friends, your partners, you can email us directly at All right, well, before we head out today, I’m just gonna remind you that we have a new podcast all about Heather’s third pregnancy. So if you wanna have a baby with us, you should listen to Beyond the Boob.

It is available on all podcast platforms. However, it is a subscription podcast. So if you’re listening outside of Apple, you’re only gonna see a couple of free episodes. If you wanna pay for exclusive access to every single episode, you can do that through Apple Subscription podcasts or on our Patreon. minute podcast. Yep. We’re taking you week by week in my pregnancy. And Maureen, as my midwife, is giving me all the best prenatal advice that you’re probably missing in your five minute appointments every, you know, two to four weeks. Absolutely. So please join us. It, it’s, it’s a fun podcast.

A little bit of a different vibe than the Milk Minute. Like we’re a little more relaxed and a little more tmi. It’s really good. Yeah. And we would just, it would mean a lot to us if you guys subscribe to that. Yeah, we really would. And we love you and thank you for listening to another episode of The Milk Minute.

Yeah. The way that we changed this big system that just isn’t made to support breastfeeding parents is by educating ourselves. Our friends are family, and sometimes our healthcare providers. So true. If you like the show that we produced for you today, you can hit us up on Patreon or be on the boob or email us at milk minute podcast

Yeah. And you know what, everybody, you’re doing great. You are, do your best. Just do your best, mom. All right. We’ll see you next week. Bye-bye.


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