There is SO much information about breastfeeding out there, but there are also SO many myths. Today Katie and I are sharing some of our least favorite myths, because I think they can hurt your breastfeeding journey.
Today’s guest is Katie Clark, The Breastfeeding Mama
Katie Clark is a proud mother of three little boys who happens to love all things breastfeeding. Through her own breastfeeding journeys, she has discovered the joy that comes from helping other mothers meet their breastfeeding goals. She is a Certified Lactation Educator, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, and IBCLC-in-training and has run various online breastfeeding groups since 2015. She enjoys providing realistic and entertaining information about breastfeeding to help new parents make the best decisions for their family.
Katie offers virtual lactation consults and various online, on demand classes, including The Breastfeeding Mama Academy, which offers continuous support from pregnancy through weaning.
Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples — one of the BEST things you can do is prepare in advance of your delivery day, and The Online Prenatal Class is the one for you!
In this episode
What you can do before baby is born to talk about breastfeeding concerns (and see if there are any anatomy issues)
If colostrum means you’ll have a good milk supply
How your breasts make milk
How you can’t troubleshoot every problem in advance
How to find a good lactation consultant
Other things that might interest you
Katie’s other episodes:
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other pregnancy podcasts:
[00:00:00.130] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on episode 127, we’re talking about myths, but not like Zeus. We’re talking about breastfeeding myths. I bet Zeus would have loved breastfeeding myths. Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:23.250] – Hilary Erickson
Hi, I’m Hilary. Erickson. Really? Head behind the Pulling Curls podcast where we untangle pregnancy, parenting, home and even travel. We know there’s no right answer for every family, but hopefully we can spark some ideas that will work for yours. Life tangled, just like my hair.
[00:00:46.030] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, before we get started, remember that you can subscribe. You might have found this on my website or somewhere else. Just go ahead to your favorite podcast player. I know you have one. Could it be Spotify or Stitcher or Apple podcast and just hit subscribe and huge bonus when you’re there, just leave a review. Like, just what did you like about this episode? And it totally helps me talk to more people, so be sure to subscribe.
[00:01:09.770] – Hilary Erickson
Today’s guest, I think it’s her fourth time on the podcast. She is the breastfeeding Mama on Instagram and TikTok. You might also know her from the website, Clark’s Condensed. I want to introduce my friend Katie Clark.
[00:01:23.930] – Hilary Erickson
Do you feel prepared for your delivery? In just three short hours, you can be prepared for the competent, collaborative delivery you want. You’ll know what to expect and how to talk with your health care team. And there are no boring lessons in this class. I’ll use humor, stories from my 20 years in the delivery room to engage both of you. I love how Alyssa told me that she found herself laughing at things that used to sound scary. Most of all, you guys are going to be on the same page from bump to bassinett. Join the online prenatal class for couples today. You can save 15% with coupon code untangled. You can find the link in the show notes.
[00:01:58.770] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, Katie, welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Hi.
[00:02:01.660] – Katie Clark
Thank you for having me again.
[00:02:03.080] – Hilary Erickson
I know this is time number three, I think.
[00:02:05.360] – Katie Clark
[00:02:05.840] – Hilary Erickson
[00:02:06.280] – Katie Clark
Yes, I think for the third one, I always enjoy coming on here.
[00:02:10.710] – Hilary Erickson
Four. Because I think we did while you were pregnant, and then we did it after you had your baby, and then we did a breastfeeding one.
[00:02:18.050] – Katie Clark
Yeah, I think that’s right. Well, I’m practically a co-host at this point.
[00:02:21.930] – Hilary Erickson
Katie and Hilary show. Okay, I’m so excited to talk about this because I had 100% drunk. The breastfeeding myth before I had my first baby, I was just like, it will work. Clearly, there will never be a problem because that’s what I’ve been taught in nursing school. Stupid nursing school, which now I realized that most of what I learned in nursing school was also a myth. So let’s jump into breastfeeding. So what’s your first myth?
[00:02:47.700] – Katie Clark
There’s so many myths. I would say the first one. I’ll start with some that are kind of more common during pregnancy where people this is the biggest one is that you should toughen up your nipples before you give birth. I think that’s one that’s been passed down through generations from your mom and your grandma, but it’s really not a good idea, and that actually can cause more harm than good. If you’re in there scrubbing your nipples and putting all these ointments and stuff on there, your body is going to prepare your nipples with your hormones.
[00:03:14.640] – Katie Clark
So that’s probably one of the biggest ones. I hear people say, what can I do? Do I need to testing up my nipples before the baby’s born? The only way you’re going to do that is actually breastfeeding and pumping.
[00:03:22.850] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. I wondered after breastfeeding didn’t work with Conner. I wondered if that was part of my problem. Like, maybe there was something I should do to my nipples in advance. I think if you had an issue last time, you can talk to them about, like, if you had fibrous breast tissue, you could see a lactation consultant. I think there were a couple of people that said there was something I could do. But again, I was coming from a place of, like, I had a severe problem. What could I do next time?
[00:03:47.030] – Katie Clark
No, that’s so hard when it’s your first baby, too. You don’t know anything. You’re just like, Well, the baby’s supposed to breastfeed. You don’t know what to look for. And I think that’s where a lot of times, like, a prenatal consult can be really helpful, especially for a brand new mom. So you can kind of go over and do, like, a breast exam and talk about any concerns you might have, because that is the point where if you do have an issue coming up that you may not know about, that, you should definitely you can prepare because there are things that you can do in the future.
[00:04:12.680] – Katie Clark
Just like, there’s, like, vitamins or blood tests and things you can do. But yeah, as far as, like, toughening up your nipples and things that’s really not something that would help in any situation.
[00:04:21.610] – Hilary Erickson
Just get out the steel wool, get your SOS hat out.
[00:04:25.770] – Katie Clark
Exactly. Another one I hear often is that if you have colostrum leaking during pregnancy, that it means you’re going to have a great supply. And then if you don’t have colostrum leaking, then you’re not going to have any milk supply. And I’ve seen the opposite. To be true for so many people where people are like, oh, I was leaking colostrum, but then I wasn’t able to produce any milk. And then there’s people on the flip side that are like, I didn’t produce any colostrum from during pregnancy, and I thought for sure I wasn’t going to be able to breastfeed.
[00:04:51.230] – Katie Clark
And then they ended up having a great supply. So I think that’s one thing people are like, oh, I see milk or I don’t see milk before, and they kind of freak out about that and think one way or the other, that breastfeeding is going to be super successful or not, and that’s really not true at all.
[00:05:06.250] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, totally got colostrum complete breastfeeding loser. So we’ll just break that mess right here. Yeah. Didn’t matter at all.
[00:05:13.560] – Katie Clark
And I think another one that goes in hand in hand with that is that if you are leaking colostrum, like, if you pump before you give birth, then you’re going to be able to increase your supply. And there’s really nothing you can do to increase your supply before you give birth, just because your milk doesn’t start to come in in larger volumes until the placenta is delivered. So anything you’re doing before you give birth, that’s not really going to be super beneficial for your supply after birth, you can get some colostrum and collect it for you if you want to give it to the baby after you give birth.
[00:05:41.590] – Katie Clark
But it’s not going to make you have an amazing supply if you’re pumping. And that can also put you into preterm labor. So definitely not ideal to pump even if you see milk.
[00:05:51.190] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And you would be collecting it in such small amounts. I don’t know how you would freeze. It seems like a little bit of a nightmare. And like Katie said, you don’t want to pump until you’re at least, like, 37 weeks, for sure, because nipple stimulation could start contractions. And for all of you who are now, like, 37 weeks and rubbing your nipples, it doesn’t often put you into labor. It might bump you into labor, kind of like them stripping your membranes, but it’s not going to, like, probably somebody touched your boob along the way, and it didn’t throw you to labor.
[00:06:22.590] – Katie Clark
Exactly and I think that’s kind of another myth, too, because there’s a lot of things they don’t do. Nipple stimulation don’t do anything like that, but it’s really going to be a lot more intense nipple stimulation. And like you said, it’s more. If you’re already on the process of going into labor, it might kind of push you there. So your risk of preterm labor might not be the best idea. And then with the collecting colostrum, it’s like you do just get drops at a time. And sometimes you can’t freeze those in medical syringes.
[00:06:46.380] – Katie Clark
They do recommend that, especially for moms that have gestational diabetes or that their babies are going to be really small or really large. You can harvest it, but it’s going to be small amount. So don’t think you’re going to be getting ounces and ounces of colostrum if you decide to harvest it.
[00:06:59.350] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. That seems like a lot of work for very little payoff. There’s much better things to do with your time.
[00:07:06.450] – Katie Clark
Yes, I completely agree. I’m kind of speaking on the same line of claustrum. That kind of leads into another myth is that you don’t have any milk in your baby’s born because a lot of people are like, oh, well, your milk doesn’t come in until day three or four or whatever. So I need to supplement before my milk comes in. And in some situations you might not have colostrum. Your milk might be slower to come in or you might not have larger volumes. But colostrum is milk.
[00:07:31.870] – Katie Clark
It’s breast milk. It’s just the first stages of breast milk, and we often call it the first, I guess the first milk. And so if you are producing colostrum and your baby is drinking that, that is often sufficient for the first couple of days. And I just say often just because there are situations where the baby is going to be nursing, nursing and they’re not getting anything. And it just kind of goes downhill from there. But you do have milk. It’s just that it transitions to the mature milk.
[00:07:55.120] – Katie Clark
For some people, it’s day three or four, some it’s 24 hours often when you have more babies, it’s sooner. But you don’t have to feel like you don’t have milk until like, the fifth day and your baby’s starving in most situations.
[00:08:06.950] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And the beauty of it that is like the entire time your baby is growing, your milk is changing the whole time. It’s just not as noticeable because cholesterol looks kind of like I don’t know. What do you call it, like, kind of yellow.
[00:08:20.500] – Katie Clark
Yeah. I would say that’s probably a good description of it. It’s really yellow. It’s very thick. And actually, if you are needing to pump right after you give birth or anything like that, hand expression can be a lot easier because the pump doesn’t always draw out the cholesterol as effectively as hand expression. But it’s very thick. It’s in small quantities, but it’s really nutrient rich. It’s what your baby needs because their stomachs are small in those first couple of days. And the amount they need really increases pretty quickly.
[00:08:47.110] – Katie Clark
But by the time that that starts to happen, usually your milk has come in, and there are things you can do to help your milk kind of come in faster. So that’s one thing when people are like, what can I do to prepare or increase my milk supply? Well, not a lot before, but within those 1st, 24 to 48 hours, they found if you like hand expressed right after your baby nurses within the first hour, they saw a substantial increase in your milk at six weeks.
[00:09:08.830] – Katie Clark
And it was just that first hour, 2 hours, two, three and four. They didn’t see a big difference. But doing that and lots of skin to skin and whatnot that can really help with bringing your milk supply in more quickly.
[00:09:18.800] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So when we say milk supply probably a lot of the first time I’m out there like, very confused. Like the dairy truck come then.
[00:09:25.550] – Katie Clark
So when your milk comes in.
[00:09:27.120] – Hilary Erickson
It changes from that transparent ish texture to what you would more picture as milk. It’s more white. And then your boobs get really full and firm and sometimes painful. So that’s what people are going to when they say, oh, has your milk come in yet? You’re going to have that sensation, which I’ve never had. So I’m just explaining this, like I would explain a prostate exam literally, no idea.
[00:09:48.890] – Katie Clark
No, it’s super important to know that, too, because the milk and it’s not just sitting there either. You will have some milk that kind of is available at any time. But the milk starts to be produced with stimulation. So you have those milk lamps. That when your body is saying, I need to make milk. It starts to make and produce milk while your baby’s nursing. So it’s a blood product. It’s made. It’s not just always sitting there, either, because I think sometimes like, oh, my milk came in and the milk is just going to be just sitting there all the time in your breasts.
[00:10:15.670] – Katie Clark
And that’s why some people kind of get worried when their milk supply regulates, because at that point, usually you don’t have as much milk just waiting to come out or whatever, because your body learns that it wants to make milk when it’s being told to make milk.
[00:10:29.010] – Hilary Erickson
If that makes sense, right? Because no one would keep having babies if you were constantly having painful boobs. And what makes it painful is there milk in the mammary gland?
[00:10:38.730] – Katie Clark
Sometimes if you are really engorged, it’s because you have milk that’s just sitting there and there’s just a lot of it in the glands that’s just kind of waiting in the breast. So there are some in the glands that kind of just sitting there and it’s just full and it starts to swell and it can cause irritation and things like that. So sometimes we talk about clog ducts, and that’s when the milk has not been removed from those glands that’s just kind of sitting there more or less, and it starts to be inflamed.
[00:11:02.490] – Katie Clark
And sometimes you’ll get those big lumps for clogs. But it’s not really the milk isn’t making that big. It’s not like a big cog of milk that’s like a big quarter size or whatever. It’s actually the inflammation. The milk clog isn’t that big. It’s just the inflammation that’s causing that pain. So a lot of times, if you’re not the first 24 hours or so, having engorgement is pretty typical. But after that, if you are really just like, super and paying your baby’s not nursing and it’s just like, rock hard, that’s not super normal.
[00:11:29.680] – Katie Clark
So the first 24 hours having that fullness is 24 to 48 hours. But if you’re continually having engorgement and people think that they need to be engaged, I’m not a gorgeous anymore. My milk go away. Engorgement isn’t the goal and feeding on demand and regularly emptying their breasts. That can actually help. And people are like, oh, if I let my breasts, if I don’t nurse as frequently, then I won’t be as engorged. But it’s actually often the opposite that the more you nurse, the less encouraged you’re going to be.
[00:11:55.200] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, it regulates. And people do worry. Although I would say that Engorgement was probably my goal when I was, like, 16, I’m sure.
[00:12:02.880] – Katie Clark
Yes. One thing kind of on the same line. Another myth is just that your breasts are empty after feeding, like, people are like, oh, I have to wait or that you need to wait for your breasts to fill up. I hear that all the time. They’re like, oh, I breastfed my baby and now, but they’re still hungry, like, an hour later. But my breast haven’t filled up. And at any point, your baby takes about six, can take 70% of the available milk in your breast. And then there should be more milk.
[00:12:26.430] – Katie Clark
But as I talked about earlier, as your baby suckling at the breast or you’re pumping, that tells your body the milk factory to make more milk. So your breasts aren’t ever truly empty. Sometimes babies that are more used to, like, a fast flow, or they’re getting a bottle and things like that. It’s just kind of not being paste fed and whatnot that can make it. So your baby’s like, oh, well, I want the fast flow where it just comes in my mouth right away, so they may get fussier in those situations.
[00:12:51.270] – Katie Clark
But it’s not necessarily because you don’t have milk. And of course, there are situations where you don’t have milk, like, with you, you are feeding your baby around the clock, and your breasts weren’t making the milk that they needed to. And so in those situations that can happen. But if you’re making milk and it’s regularly being produced, your breasts aren’t empty. It’s like you turn on a hose. When you’re outside, you kind of turn it on. It starts to trickle and it starts to come out.
[00:13:14.000] – Katie Clark
The longer it’s on. So the longer you the nurse, the more the milk is going to start coming out. And it’s better to nurse more frequently because that encourages your body to make more milk. If you are having a long period of time between your nursing, that tells your body, oh, I don’t need to make milk. So the production slows down and it’s fatty or milk too, the more frequently that you nurse.
[00:13:31.900] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So it’s just a big old factory in there, guys, it is. Then it shuts down. You don’t even use that ever again.
[00:13:38.910] – Katie Clark
You can relaxate. I’ve heard about Grandmas, who they relaxate for their grandchildren, which I think is kind of crazy. But eventually you do stop using it, and you’re not going to breastfeed for the rest of your life. But it’s kind of an interesting process that some people can lactate years after they stopped breastfeeding.
[00:13:57.370] – Hilary Erickson
You always hear stories of people who just, like, leak all the time, forever and ever. So I guess their factory never shuts off.
[00:14:04.370] – Katie Clark
I know I leaked with my first and that’s another thing. Like, some people think if they’re not leaking, that’s a bad sign. But with my third baby, I had the most milk, and I was never engorged, and I never leaked. But you’ve seen Andrew? He’s a bit of a chunk. He slipped down a little bit, but he was very well fed.
[00:14:18.210] – Hilary Erickson
It was clear that I had enough milk for him. It is such a weird thing, though, right?
[00:14:24.510] – Katie Clark
[00:14:25.030] – Hilary Erickson
Hilary, circa 20 year old Hilary, like, learning about this in nursing school. And my mom didn’t breastfeed. I was just like.
[00:14:31.030] – Katie Clark
What is going on?
[00:14:32.270] – Hilary Erickson
Like, the liver was much easier to understand than breastfeeding.
[00:14:35.570] – Katie Clark
Oh, yeah. It’s such a crazy process. And that’s why I’m such a huge advocate for prenatal education. I was talking about this with my mentor the other day that I do consults with, and we were just talking about how people are just really naive when they go into it. I was the same way my son was born, and I remember people saying, oh, are you going to breastfeed? I was like, oh, I don’t know. Probably. And then they just handed them to me and I was like, okay, I guess I’ll breastfeed, but a lot of people, it’s like, they just don’t know.
[00:14:58.450] – Katie Clark
Like, I was doing a consult with a mom, and she just was like, I don’t know anything that’s going on. And she didn’t know some of the terms that I think are pretty common. But it’s just like, people don’t really talk about it. Even when you’re in nursing school, it can be kind of complicated. And you’re like, this is just kind of crazy. So that kind of leads into my last myth that even if you know everything, if you’ve taken every class you met with the lactation handbills and all these things that doesn’t guarantee success with breastfeeding.
[00:15:20.130] – Katie Clark
And I know that sounds kind of like a Downer, but I think it’s important to realize that you can know everything in the book, and it might still something might happen that’s totally out of your control. You might hemorrhage or you might have a retained placenta, and your milk supply might not come in when you want it to. And that can be really devastating, especially if you know everything. I feel like most of the lactation consultants I know say that they went into lactation consulting because they had so many problems or they had their baby.
[00:15:44.070] – Katie Clark
And they’re like, I should know everything because I’m a lactation consultant, but they still had issues. So I just don’t feel like you failed. If something goes wrong. A lot of times, we can fix things, especially if you work with someone pretty early on. But it’s just like, parenting. You never know what’s going to happen. You can read all the books and think you’re the best parent in the world, and then you still end up with a crazy child. Yeah.
[00:16:03.300] – Hilary Erickson
I have a friend who like, Knight’s baby was texting me, and I was like, oh, my gosh. You’ve had so many kids. Like, how can you have a problem now? And I think she’d actually hemorrhaged on that baby now that I think about it. But it was just, like, different and things just weren’t happening like it normally did. And I will say that by my third, like, I had been a labor nurse eight years, and I latched hundreds of babies on. And I will also say it is so much easier to latch somebody else’s baby on than your own.
[00:16:30.450] – Hilary Erickson
But I thought I’m going to get it this time. I know so many things. I know all the things I talked to lactations. No, my body was like, screw, you know, knowledge doesn’t fix everything.
[00:16:42.420] – Katie Clark
Sadly, I know. And it can make you feel like I just have to keep trying. And I’m all about if my mom wants to keep trying to breastfeed and find a way to make it work for her, then I’m all about helping support that. But then sometimes it’s okay if you’re like, okay, this isn’t working for me, or I’m done. And I want to do something different. And I think sometimes it can be a little bit easier when, you know, I’m really big on people knowing all their options and being able to make that informed decision because a lot of things are outside your control.
[00:17:10.870] – Katie Clark
But with the things that you do have control of, I think it’s important to be able to be given those options and not just be told. Well, good luck. That was a good try from you. Now, here’s some formula. And sometimes that is what you need to be told. But I think just being informed and knowing what decisions and what choices you have is really important. And just being aware of those signs that your baby isn’t getting enough or that they are, because often I get people messaging me and they’re like, I don’t think my baby is getting enough milk.
[00:17:35.410] – Katie Clark
They seem like they aren’t. We go through are they gaining weight? And they’re like, oh, yeah, they gain, like, £5 in a month. And I’m like, Well, they’re obviously getting milk. And so often it’s like, it’s easy to blame breastfeeding, like, oh, they’re not sleeping or they’re crying. So it must be because they’re breastfeeding. But often there’s a lot of different pieces of the puzzle. So understanding the signs that your baby is getting enough is really important, too.
[00:17:56.210] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Sometimes I see Dads a lot of time being like, I think it’s breastfeeding because that’s nothing they have any control over. So it’s not their problem.
[00:18:03.730] – Katie Clark
So it’s easy to blame it on breastfeeding. And I see that I see it with Dads. I see it with friends, I see it with doctors. And so it can be frustrating. So that’s why it’s just important to be informed as much as you can and then follow your gut. And sometimes things just don’t like you said with your friend that shows her 9th baby, and she was having problems, and that happened. I was just working with someone who had four kids and then her last one.
[00:18:26.050] – Katie Clark
She was just having so many problems. And it is frustrating when that happens when you feel like this should be working. And it doesn’t. But I think that’s probably the biggest myth of it all that if you know everything, that it’s just going to be smooth sailing, because really, sometimes people they don’t know anything and breastfeeding super easy. That was my first son. And I was like, I don’t get why people have problems. This is so easy. And then with my second, it was the complete opposite.
[00:18:47.510] – Katie Clark
So it’s just kind of luck of the draw sometimes.
[00:18:49.880] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And I like how you said there’s options, because sometimes mom’s just freaking out, baby’s crying, and I’m like, you know what? Let’s just give it out the formula. Everyone chill the heck out in this room. Baby. Mom realize there are so many options here, and then we can restart.
[00:19:07.230] – Katie Clark
Yeah. And giving 1oz of formula isn’t going, you’ll hear? I’m sure there’s people that will be, like, appalled that I would say this, but it’s not going to be the end of the world, especially maybe it’ll cut, change their gut floor or whatever. But sometimes they need that formula to keep you breastfeeding because I have seen that time and time again work, or they just need to pump and give some milk. And I’ve seen that over and over just because people sometimes just need it to calm down and get their baby to get a little bit past that initial part where they’re just freaking out and they don’t want to breastfeed because they’re just so hungry.
[00:19:37.560] – Katie Clark
And so I think just not thinking it’s the end of your breastfeeding relationship because you have to pump or you have to breastfeed. And we say things like, don’t pump until four to six weeks. But a lot of times you have to pump before that because you have to pump to make milk and give it to your baby. So I think always take advice with a grain of salt and know that your situation is going to be different than everyone.
[00:19:57.180] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And focus on, like, what is your problem? Will the baby not latch because they’re freaking out? Okay, maybe let’s just give them just a tiny little bit of something, because when the baby latch freaks out, mom freaks out, then your breasts are like, then the whole factory shuts down. Willy Wonka goes out of the factory.
[00:20:13.050] – Katie Clark
It’s so true.
[00:20:14.400] – Hilary Erickson
Or is the problem that you need sleep? Maybe dad needs to give a pumped bottle look at what your actual problem is and see how you can fix the problem. And then instead of just being like, it’s just like, blah, blah, blah. Here’s my problem. I need sleep. How do we fix that? I need 4 hours. How can we make that happen?
[00:20:31.780] – Katie Clark
Yes, I totally agree. And I just think that’s super important. I like how you said, look for the problem and not necessarily be like, well, it’s because of breastfeeding. So I’m going to stop everything right now. And sometimes it is breastfeeding. But I think finding the problem and finding if you don’t know what the problem is, talking to someone that can help you find what that problem is, because it can be hard to troubleshoot and be like, Why is this baby not when I work with a mom.
[00:20:55.080] – Katie Clark
I go through a list of things, like, if the baby is refusing to latch, I’m like, well, let’s talk about it. Are they getting a bottle regularly or is there something else going on? Did they look tense? Do they look uncomfortable and you just have to troubleshoot. And that can be tricky, especially in those first few days after you give birth, when you’re in a total fog. Like, even with my third, I knew just everything. But my son had just as diabetes, and it was just everything felt like it was the end of the world.
[00:21:22.870] – Katie Clark
Even though I knew what I wanted to do, I felt like I just couldn’t communicate that well. So just finding someone that can help advocate for you and in those types of situations is helpful, too. Yeah.
[00:21:32.820] – Hilary Erickson
I think one of the other myths I want to address is that a lot of people think they can just do it on their own. And I will say that when you the listeners moms were breastfeeding, they did do it alone. Like, there really were not a lot of lactation consultants when I started in labor and delivery, and you kind of had to search for it. And so they found support and other moms and stuff like that. But the good news is now you can find, like, an expert that can really pinpoint your problem right away instead of asking 30 friends what they think the problem could be, and that would just be based off of their couple of people that they’ve breastfed.
[00:22:04.920] – Hilary Erickson
So definitely look into getting a lactation consult a lot of times. You can schedule them in the hospital even before you go home. Or there’s virtual ones. Or there’s so many good options. And if your insurance doesn’t cover most insurances do, is that true, Katie?
[00:22:18.400] – Katie Clark
[00:22:18.780] – Hilary Erickson
Most of them do.
[00:22:19.560] – Katie Clark
And there’s actually a great company called the Lactation Network, where they partnered with some of the major ones. And you just put your information. It’s like a breast pump. You put your information in and then they tell you, okay, this covers three lactation consultants, and they’ll give you a huge network of people that you can work with. So there’s so many great ways to get in touch with a lactation professional these days.
[00:22:40.000] – Hilary Erickson
Yes. So don’t feel like you should be troubleshooting on your own. You have some basic troubleshooting. It’s always going to be like troubleshooting a little bit. Are you drinking enough water? Are you getting a rest? Especially right after the baby is born. But once you get beyond those basics, find a professional because they’re not expensive. If for some reason your insurance doesn’t cover it, they really are not that expensive, period. You’re just paying the cash price. So I would call them and say, you want to pay a cash price.
[00:23:04.980] – Hilary Erickson
That’s going to be the difference in the price that they build your insurance. So sometimes that can be really affordable. Yes.
[00:23:09.620] – Katie Clark
I think that that’s super important. And like, if you think about it, if they can solve the problem and it prevents you from having to pay whatever amount for formula in bottles and things like that, then it will because it can be hard, like, oh, it’s like $100 or $150. That’s like, so much money. But in the long run, if it helps you, it is beneficial to do.
[00:23:27.580] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And if you’re a grandma out there or someone that’s supporting a pregnant mom, think about that would be a great option to just give them, like, you get a consult after your baby is born. That would be a great postpartum gift so that they know where they’re going. Somebody hopefully that matches them in personality. I will say that some lactation consultants, like, I’d look at their website and just make sure that they’re a good fit for you because some of them are definitely lactation Nazis that are like, oh, absolutely.
[00:23:52.130] – Hilary Erickson
You will breastfeed or die. Those are your two options.
[00:23:55.130] – Katie Clark
Oh, yeah. I have seen that. And it’s so frustrating. And I’ve seen that with some people that I’ve worked with where they like, and they get mad at other lactation consultants that are like, Well, it’s okay if you have to have formula, that’s okay if we need to do combos. That’s okay. I’ve seen some really brutal things being said and thrown around and being reported to the IBCLC people just because there are the lactation Nazi type people, and the lack of it.
[00:24:22.160] – Hilary Erickson
I guess, is what people say.
[00:24:23.290] – Katie Clark
And I think that there’s more and more lactation consultants now that are and this isn’t always true. There are some new consultants that are kind of crazy. But I think more and more we’re seeing ones that are like, okay, it’s not just breast milk or formula. There’s a lot of middle area, especially with more things coming out about low milk supply and how common it is because it’s not like 50% of moms. But I would say they say between five and 15. That is a lot of women.
[00:24:48.170] – Katie Clark
So I think a lot of more lactation professionals are realizing that it’s not just so cut and dried. But like you said, make sure it’s a good fit. Ask questions because you don’t want someone who’s going to be making you feel guilty and making you think like, this is just you’re a terrible, horrible mom.
[00:25:04.700] – Hilary Erickson
And I think that that’s important or making choices for you. They should be there just to give you the options and some ideas. They’re not telling you what to do. That’s your baby’s job to tell you what to do.
[00:25:16.530] – Katie Clark
[00:25:17.220] – Hilary Erickson
All right. There are so many breastfeeding myths. I totally recommend people get a class. Katie has her classes up on her. What is the name of the actual classes?
[00:25:26.670] – Katie Clark
I think it’s breastfeeding boot camp. That’s more of, like, an essentials class. And then I have a pumping class that I think it’s called, like, Empowered pumping. And I have some that are, like, the smaller ones that are just about preparing to breastfeed and preparing during pregnancy. So you can get those on my website. The names might change a little bit from the time of this podcast, but I also offer them with the Breastfeeding Mom Academy, which includes everything that includes all of the classes. It includes live Q and A.
[00:25:51.200] – Katie Clark
It’s really an interactive option for moms to support you from pregnancy through Weening, because often, even though there’s not a lot of recipes support in general, there’s more in the beginning, and then the older your baby gets, the less and less support there is. So my goal is to provide a place for people to get support throughout their entire breastfeeding journey.
[00:26:09.110] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So you’ll find her at the Breastfeeding Mama and I will put the link to the best class for pregnant moms. Katie will give that to me before the show goes live, and then you guys can pick that one up and get started because it is important. And I like to share, like, three little tidbits about breastfeeding and my prenatal class. It is not focused on breastfeeding, and I don’t think most prenatal classes and breastfeeding classes are usually separate because people that are prepared in delivering babies are usually not that great at breastfeeding.
[00:26:37.590] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, they might have been good breastfeeders, but you kind of have to concentrate on what you’re good at, and mine is not boobs.
[00:26:42.850] – Katie Clark
So there’s experts for everything. That’s right.
[00:26:45.230] – Hilary Erickson
All right. Thanks for coming on, Katie.
[00:26:46.630] – Katie Clark
Yes. Thank you so much.
[00:26:47.980] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. Like I said at the beginning of the episode, I had 100% drunk the “breastfeeding will go fine” juice before I had my baby. And maybe I don’t know, honestly, was I that prepared? I worked for a pediatrician, so I kind of felt like I would do all the things, but I didn’t. And I think it’s just so important to go in and getting prepared. So I 100% recommend taking a prenatal class and a breastfeeding class. Katie’s and mine mesh really well. We have very similar ideas about parenting and breastfeeding and stuff like that. So I would just totally recommend both of them. I think I have a coupon code. If you do both, I will put that in the show notes as well. Thanks again for coming on, Katie. And I hope you guys enjoyed it.
[00:27:26.900] – Hilary Erickson
Do not miss next week’s episode where my mom is coming on. We’re going to talk all about raising this curly headed little girl and how my life is different than maybe she thought thought it would be when I was a teenager.
[00:27:38.220] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. We know you have lots of options for your ears, and we are glad that you chose us. We drop episodes weekly. And until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.