Breastfeeding Expectations: The 8th Month

We continue our series, Breastfeeding Expectations, where we follow three breastfeeding moms through the children’s first year of life. At eight months, how do you deal with a distracted baby? Does a constantly distracted baby mean the baby is weaning herself from the breast? Plus, the challenges of pumping in the workplace. Do you feel boobytrapped?

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The Boob Group
“Breastfeeding Expectations: The Eight Month”

[00:00:00]

[Music]

Robin Kaplan: A mother’s breastfeeding experience changes drastically over time, starting from her child’s birth throughout the months of her baby’s life. Today, we continue our conversation in our series called “Breastfeeding Expectations.” Over twelve months, we’ll follow three new moms along their breastfeeding journeys, learning how they cope with breastfeeding challenges and settle into a breastfeeding rhythm with their babies. This is The Boob Group, Episode 43.

[Intro]

Robin Kaplan: Welcome to The Boob Group, broadcasting from The Birth Education Center of San Diego. I’m your host Robin Kaplan, I’m also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center. At The Boob Group, we’re your online support group for all things related to breastfeeding. Have you signed up for our newsletter yet? This is one of the best ways to stay informed about our new episodes, giveaways and blog posts. Also, if you sign up today you will be entered into our giveaway for a free month membership to our Boob Group Club, which gives you access to all of our archived episodes. Now it’s time for me to introduce our lovely moms, who we will be following now for the next five months. Ladies, would you please introduce yourselves?

Jennifer Oliver: I’m Jennifer Oliver, I am thirty-four. I work in arts education, and I have two kids: Fiona is three and Bryson is now eight months.

Cherri Christiansen: Hi, I’m Cherri, I’m thirty-one. I work in consumer research, and I have one daughter, her name is Cali and she’ll be eight months next week.

Anney Hall: And hi, I’m Anney Hall. I am thirty-six years old, I am an architect, and I just have Ellie, who is almost nine months.

Robin Kaplan: Oh my gosh, your kids are so old! [Laughter]

Anney Hall: It’s crazy.

Robin Kaplan: I know! Well welcome back to the show, ladies.

[Music]

Robin Kaplan: Let’s kick off today’s episode with some unbelievable breastfeeding stories making headlines around the internet. All of these stories are posted on The Boob Group Pinterest board if you’d like to check them out.

The article I picked out today I thought was kind of apropos for you moms just because you are also working breastfeeding moms as well. So the article that came out on Valentine’s Day-so a little bit ago-the title is called “Working Moms Don’t Have a Fair Shot at Breastfeeding.” And so this is kind of in response to-there was an article a couple of days prior saying that the CDC came out in saying that more mom are breastfeeding and that the stats have really gone up. But the problem is that they may initiating more often, but carrying through with long term-kind of like what we’re talking about today-hopefully up to a year if that’s the mom’s goal; that they’re kind of being sabotaged when they go back to work.

So this woman, Michelle Zip, who wrote the article, said that she doesn’t believe the campaigns in recent years will help those numbers go up for long-term breastfeeding, and that’s because of the major challenges most working moms face when it comes to pumping. “This isn’t about mothers failing at breastfeeding; this is about our country failing moms when it comes to maternity leave.”

So we know that most other countries in the entire world have much better maternity leave for their mothers. So, I just wanted to get your take on this, what do you think? Cherri, you’re shaking your head-you’re nodding your head, I should say.

Cherri Christiansen: Don’t even get me started. I feel like-and I feel that these are kind of two separate issues-and I feel that she’s making the point that they are related, but the one part about us not having long enough leave I think is completely true. I mean, so many women in other countries where they have-you know, Canada for example is not that far away, and they have twelve months of maternity leave. So if you already plan to breastfeed for a year, you can do it and never have to pump at work.

I feel very fortunate because I do have a somewhat supportive work environment; where we have a large number of employees and so I have a dedicated space, and I have privacy-do I have the time to go and do it? No. I’ve now-you know I was the last one out of the three of us to go back to work, so I was the-I got to learn from everyone else’s wisdom although I know some of you guys have unique work situations. [Laughs]

But I-it’s hard! It’s really, really hard, and I think you have to be very, very determined. But one of the things that I’m learning more and more is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. And I think that so many people think that going back to work means you have to stop breastfeeding-and while it would be great if everyone was able to pump-I think that if you can’t pump and you decide that you want to give the baby formula while you’re at work, it doesn’t mean that that’s it, now baby’s on formula completely. Because you can nurse before you go to work, you can nurse when you come home, you can nurse in the evening if there’s night feedings-so obviously all nursing would be great, but I think that if you can’t pump, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Robin Kaplan: That’s such a good point. Absolutely. Anney, what’s your response to the article?

Anney Hall: Well, I think it’s twofold like Cherri was saying; in Europe and other countries it’s just a different culture, different mentality-and it’s not the way the US works. So it would be amazing if we had twelve months to just dedicate to that first year, and I would definitely be ready to go back to work!
[Laughter] And pumping wouldn’t be an issue. I think it is the challenge of-no matter what-no matter what has changed about the focus of breastfeeding or whatever, there’s still the challenge of the mom having to pump during the day. It’s not the issue of breastfeeding, it’s just pumping. It’s having time-

Cherri Christiansen: Who’s got the time?

Jennifer Oliver: Who’s got the time?

Cherri Christiansen: And it’s awkward, too- because even though I have this great space, you know they’re doing these things because the law tells them they have to do these things. They’re not really doing all these things because they’re really worried about my breastfeeding relationship. So when I’m in a meeting that is going on forever; and I’ve been sitting there for two hours and it was supposed to end an hour ago-and I have another meeting that starts right after this-and so I can either leave this one early or go to the next one late. And of course, no one in the room knows that I’m pumping. I just have to get up and walk out; and so I’ve found that that’s something that I have to do. So it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable, and I don’t want people to think poorly of me because I just got up and walked out of that meeting, or I’m arriving to every meeting fifteen minutes late.

The good news is, on a positive note-just my own personal experience-we have about six different nursing rooms in my building, and sometimes I will literally be running around the building with my pump trying to find one that’s open because you get to one, and there’s someone in there, and then I run up another flight of stairs-so that’s how I’m getting my exercise. [Laughter] Even though it’s really irritating and frustrating to me, it makes me really peppy to know that there other women in my workplace; even if I don’t know who they are and I haven’t met them before.

Robin Kaplan: You guys should set up an Outlook Calendar for reserving the rooms.

Jennifer Oliver: I was just thinking-in regards to Cherri’s last statement-I was thinking about productivity. And I was thinking about, you know, I’m struggling so much with just trying to get my job done; and trying to appear, and I say appear [Laughter], like I have everything together and I’m just as productive as I’ve always been. And so for me I think that pumping, that adds that extra layer of difficulty. Besides the fact that I’m getting little texts about my daughter or my son, or the fact that I’m thinking about them or uploading pictures on my computer-besides all of that [Laughter] I also need to go take time out to pump. So, sometimes I just-you know I-sometimes I just go through a good chunk of time where I just don’t pump because I need to get stuff done, I’ve got to go get to a meeting and I’ve got to go do a site visit; and it’s too hard to do it in the car, and I don’t have time to set it up, and these things are running through my head.

But I think, what Cherri was just saying before, which is that it’s not all or nothing. You know, I have the days where I feel like, “Oh, wow. I did a really great job today. I pumped enough.” And then I have the days where I completely failed. I just went to Sacramento and came back-I was gone for eight hours-I pumped once. So, I mean-I think that-fortunately if I can just sort of have good days and bad days and sort of be overlapping them, then it won’t change my flow. That’s the only thing that I get concerned about.

[Music]

Robin Kaplan: Today on The Boob Group we’re discussing Anney, Cherri, and Jen’s breastfeeding experiences, and what they’ve been like during their babies’ eight month of life. So ladies, I always love to open to open this up and do a little check in and ask: What does breastfeeding look like when you are breastfeeding an almost eight month old or an eight month old? And what’s going on with all that? So Jen, jump in.

Jennifer Oliver: I have Bryson, he’s sitting on my lap and he’s like “uh, uh, uh, uh,” and I’m trying to get the boob out-I’m pulling it out-and I finally get it out and he latches on and he goes “Hehhhhhhhhhh….” And he throws his body back and he looks outside sideways and he’s no longer breastfeeding. He has his eyes trailing his sister, and then I have to go “Bryson, Bryson! Focus! Focus Bryson, we’re eating now.” [Laughter] And that’s what it looks like for me.

Robin Kaplan: Nice, so “distracted” would be a word that would describe that?

Jennifer Oliver: Yes.

Robin Kaplan: But super-excited to breastfeed, but then like “mmhmm yeah. Oooh, shiny! Shiny!” Yeah.

Jennifer Oliver: “Oh, Fiona’s making noises!”

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. Awesome, alright how about you Cherri?

Cherri Christiansen: It’s a little less violent than it was- [Laughs]

Robin Kaplan: Oh yeah, you were totally getting beat up last time.

Cherri Christiansen: I was, I was- I was getting viciously attacked. I won’t say that I’m not getting attacked anymore, but it’s getting better. I wish I could tell you what I did so that I have this word of wisdom for someone else.

Robin Kaplan: Patience.

Cherri Christiansen: It was just patience, and I tried a lot of-kind of re-directing her attention somewhere else-I bought some nursing jewelry that hasn’t even arrived yet, which I’m so frustrated about. But maybe by the time it arrives she’ll go through like-some other phase. But I have been wearing some sort of a necklace that she can kind of play with or twiddle with. But also a lot of distraction, I think she is so excited to see me-it’s so funny, she loves being at home with my husband during the day, and they have such great relationship-and she’s happy most of the time but the second I walk in the door she will not be with him. And so, sometimes I’ll take her and I’ll say “OK, you take her back so I can just quickly go and get changed and get undressed,” and she will just-you know, she wants to nurse right away.

And in a way it’s kind of nice because it makes working easier; it kind of feels like I can come home at the end of the day-and I remember reading this in books even, and I was like “Eh, I don’t know about that.” But I can come home at the end of the day and it’s like I never left and we just pick up right where I left off and she can have a full bottle that she’s in the middle of taking as I walk in, and she’s like “Pfft. Forget the bottle. I want the boobs.” So she’s still distracted but at the same time I’m enjoying it more because those moments are sort of more precious. As long as they’re not at three in the morning, but we’re always nursing at three in the morning, so we’ll talk about that later.
[Laughter]

Robin Kaplan: How about you, Anney? What does breastfeeding Ellie look like right now?

Anney Hall: Well, I have one side that’s not as great of a flow as the other-and so she definitely stays more focused on the side that flows more. So I usually start on the side that doesn’t flow so that it just keeps coming, and that’s the side that she latches on and when she finally gets on to it, she goes “Mmmmm.” [Laughter] And then she looks off to the other way, and if Jessie’s there she’s following Jessie-my husband-and she’s just looking around or she looks outside, or she’s just looks if the TVs on. So you know, everything’s very interesting, and I’m like “Ellie, no no. We’re eating right now. This is what we’re doing, let’s go,” and I rotate her body again, and then she latches on again and she just gets mad.

Cherri Christiansen: And they’re strong. They’re strong-Cali fights back when I do that body rotation and it doesn’t work very well. [Laughter] And I’m like, “How are you so strong? You’re like sixteen pounds, how are you so strong?”

Anney Hall: Then when I switch her to the other side she usually stays on a little bit longer. But it’s not as long as it used to be, so I can’t tell if the flow is just perfect and she’s getting enough, or if it’s just-I mean I know she’s getting enough, she’s chunky. [Laughter] But I’m still thinking, “Well I don’t know if it’s enough. Maybe it’s reducing. Maybe I-huh.” You know.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah definitely; well let’s talk about this distractibility, because posted this question on our Facebook page to ask what does nursing look like for other people’s babies of eight months old. And literally it was distraction, distraction, distraction. Biting, distraction, biting, biting, distraction; and just like what the heck? Essentially, like-we thought we had passed this kind of early breastfeeding issues and now there’s just a whole slew of other stuff going on. So, you know-and a lot of moms were saying, as well is “Are my babies starting to self-wean?” like, “is this the process, right around eight months?” So, I was like, “Well I don’t think that they self –wean at this age.” But I wanted to look it up just to make sure.

So, I looked it up; and self-weaning-so biologically normal self-weaning is actually between eighteen months and two years. So, what the heck is going on with babies that are about eight months old that makes moms feel that they’re self-weaning? So mostly this distractibility, seeming that they’re not super-excited about breastfeeding; but really what it comes down to is what is going on in the baby’s world that is so exciting that the breast is not? So obviously when you come home, Cherri, and Cali’s like “Oh my god! I’m so excited!” That’s obviously a different situation, you might find-especially since she’s kind of coming up on this eight to ten months, that’s when the distraction kind of rears its ugly head.

And so, some of the reason is because some moms do tend to find that they’re supplies do go down, especially if they’re back at work and they’re not able to keep this kid of regimented pumping; so we’ll talk about that a little bit. But also just rapid weight loss, which is something that I notice with myself as the minute I started losing too much weight. Unintentionally, but I did have time to eat while I was pumping and working and doing all this kind of stuff, and so that did tend to drop my supply.

But also the fact that neurologically there’s so much going on that-they’re sitting up, they’re starting to crawl, they’re getting super-excited; they’re ridiculously strong like you’re seeing with Cali, and they’re determined. But not always determined to breastfeed, they’re determined to see what everything else is that’s going on, and then they’ll come back to the breastfeeding when they have time, essentially.

And then the other thing is just that they’re really loving their solids; and so when babies are really into their solids they sometimes will start taking more, and then the breastfeeding kind of gets pushed to the wayside a little bit.

And so I was looking up, also, how much solids babies should eat; and up to a year, 25% of their nutrition should be from solids-I know, you’re laughing Jen- [Laughter] we know Bryson’s a big solids guy.

Jennifer Oliver: That is not the case at our house. [Laughs]

Robin Kaplan: And again, again this is in a utopian world.

Cherri Christiansen: We’re balancing out, because Cali hasn’t had any solids, so you and I-there we go-don’t worry.

Robin Kaplan: There you go! It’s perfect, you’re balancing out. But you know-just to kind of keep a frame of reference was my point in saying this, not that you’re not doing the right thing. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m not passing judgment my dear, I promise.

Jennifer Oliver: That’s fine. I just flunked this one.

Robin Kaplan: You did not! [Laughter] You did not flunk it. So, babies should be taking about 25% of their nutrition from solids, and about 75% from breast milk. So, that being the case: how do we-that would in turn keep up mom’s supply if the baby was feeding that much. So…

We also posted a question about what do people do when their babies are becoming distracted. So what kind of things have you found? I know Cali hasn’t really hit her stride with the distraction because she was much more distracted before, but Cherri you mention like the necklace you’re wearing, how does that help with distraction?

Cherri Christiansen: Yeah. It just gives them something to focus on so that she still-her body position and her head is still in the right place but there’s something else for her to look at. I was about to show you, and then I’m like, well-no one can see me demonstrating. I’ve found that sometimes I need to turn the TV off if the TV is on; I’m guilty of that, I always have like some sort of distraction. Put my phone down; that irritates her, because then she’s like, “Oh! If you’re looking away, then I’m going to look away.” Or “Wait! What’s on your phone? Maybe I want to look at your phone.”

So sometimes if I can get it going, then it’s OK for me to then-sometimes-sneakily pick my phone back up. Or to then turn the TV on, or to do something afterwards, but to try and have a little bit more sort of quiet and focus, I’ll take her into another room when I come home-and it’s only with Nick, so I can’t imagine with Fiona for you it must be super-exciting goings on. Um, Cali will probably be distracting another baby one day, but I think the fact that it’s just Nick and she’s like, “Ugh, I’ve been with him all day. Been there, done that.” And we usually just go upstairs or go sit down somewhere, and I find that the jewelry is definitely helping a little bit, or to try and have a toy. I think we spoke about this last week, I discovered soft toys. Soft toys.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, because she was beating you with the others.

Cherri Christiansen: Yeah, I was giving her like a rattle and getting hit and smacked in the face, and it became- [Laughs] She’s so strong, and so it’s been getting a little better, and as much as I hate the fact that we still nurse throughout the night and that the recycling is continuing- I love it because she is so good. I mean, there’s no distraction, she’s not even awake-she’s just nursing-I don’t get hit in the face, I don’t get punched. I actually have bruises; I discovered bruises all over me, and I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from. Then I realized it was from her kicking me. I do bruise pretty easily, but- so at least at night she’s not, you know, she’s not distracted. So that’s the majority of my nursing her.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. How about you, Anney? What’s worked for you for keeping Ellie’s distraction level down?

Anney Hall: I think it’s all those things. It’s just finding a quiet space, and going where Jessie’s not on the phone pacing in the house. [Laughter] “Why do you have to pace right next to me while we’re breastfeeding? And why do you have to talk louder?” [Laughter] I don’t get it.

Cherri Christiansen: This sounds like my house. [Laughter]

Anney Hall: Anyway, most of the time that I’m noticing it is on the weekends when I’m breastfeeding her exclusively throughout the weekend. So, I don’t know, I don’t think I do anything; in the morning it’s in her room, at night it’s in her room, and during the day it’s in the living room. And I just deal with it. I just pull her back and then I just pull her back again, and then-I don’t know; and then I try to stay away from wherever Jessie is. [Laughs]

Jennifer Oliver: I have to do that with my daughter, but she’s three.

Anney Hall: He’s on the phone. I mean, it’s not all the time but; it’s just this one time really and I just looked at him like, “You see what’s happening here? Maybe you don’t get it. No, you don’t get it, because it’s not happening to you. You’re not in charge of it.” Anyway…

Robin Kaplan: What were you going to say, Cherri?

Cherri Christiansen: I was just going to say, um-oh I don’t know I’ve just forgotten. Oh I do know, I do know-that’s what happens to me at work by the way- [Laughter] I’ve also just kind of like….I just don’t fight it that much anymore either. Like if she’s super distracted and she keeps pulling off, I’m like “Whatever, fine. You don’t want it that badly.” I don’t force it and she will either go to whatever has got her attention or she’ll turn around and come back to me if she really wants it, and she’s usually pretty focused when she’s really hungry. And so, I don’t force the issue; and I think that that’s probably- I forgot about that, but that’s probably been the most helpful thing. Just waiting for her to decide that’s she going to pay attention.

Robin Kaplan: How about you, Jen?

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, I don’t-I was just think all of the above, but then none of the above. We have a little bit of difficulty in the sense that I feel like I’m not quite producing as much as I need to be; and I’m OK with that, part of that has to do with being at work and not being with him full time. But what’s happening at home is that he-it’s almost as if he’s kind of checking out a little bit from breastfeeding right now, and I know that he’s so interested in solids and I think he’s kind of substituted solids for wanting to breastfeed. So I can’t give up on the breastfeeding with him, because what he’ll do is he’ll start and the flow will start and then he’ll stop; and the he won’t want to, and if I go with that-and it actually just continues to keep happening in that same way, and I’m already starting to produce a little bit less.

So I have to kind of force it a little bit; and I’ll go into another room, I’ll ask Fiona to try a be quiet [Laughs], I will-what else do I do? You know what, toys don’t work because then he actually just pulls himself off and wants to play with the toy. Going into the other room doesn’t completely work, because then he’s looking around trying to figure out where Fiona went- [Laughter]

Anney Hall: That’s so cute.

Jennifer Oliver: It’s really cute, but it doesn’t work that well for breastfeeding; and I can’t put something over the top of him either, because then he just wants to play with the scarf or with whatever is lying on top of him.

Robin Kaplan: Have you tried nursing him in a carrier? In the house?

Jennifer Oliver: No, I haven’t tried that. I could try that.

Robin Kaplan: It might be-I remember my sister-in-law used to nurse her kids, I don’t think she did it in the house, but she was out and about all the time once she had an older child in the home; and those babies used to nurse, and sometimes they would just get on their five minutes, but they had free access to it all the time, and so-and then they’d fall asleep in there and stuff. So that might be

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, that might be worth giving a try. Yeah.

Robin Kaplan: So it’s kind of like putting the blinders on the horse, you know? All of the sudden they’re just really like face and boob.

Cherri Christiansen: And the carrier creates like a little bit of a-

Robin Kaplan: A cocoon.

Cherri Christiansen: Because we also can’t use the blankets and scarves and things, because she doesn’t want to be covered up. But the carrier sort of creates this little bit of shield. Like you said, sort of blinders to what’s going on outside.

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, yeah.

Robin Kaplan: Just a thought.

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah. That’s something to try. I-

Robin Kaplan: Just throwing it out there [Laughter]

Jennifer Oliver: I’m letting you throw it but I’m actually nodding and thinking to myself, “I’m not going to do that.” [Laughter]

Robin Kaplan: Well maybe one of the listeners-yeah, thanks a lot! [Laughter]

Jennifer Oliver: Maybe one of the listeners will do it. Well, it’s for several reasons. One, because I don’t own a carrier like that, and two because Bryson’s actually pretty independent, he doesn’t actually want to be held and walked around the house and held a lot. He actually wants to be down on his own-on his own body-interacting with his sister. It is his most favorite thing in the world; to figure out where she is, and to try and figure out how to do whatever she is doing. So, I don’t actually think he’d be that keen on it. But…

Cherri Christiansen: Don’t tell my husband this, but we have like a hundred and one carriers. So if you change your mind, you let me know and I’ll lend you one. [Laughter] He doesn’t know how many we have.

Robin Kaplan: Alright ladies. Well we’ll be right back in just a second.

[Music]

Robin Kaplan: Well, I want to jump in to one last question before we’re done; and essentially, the biting and teething, that’s one of the things that has definitely come up a lot. You all mentioned it as well as a lot of our Facebook friend mentioned it. Who has-whose babies have teeth and how has it been going with that? Have you been bitten yet? Anney?

Anney Hall: Ellie has two teeth on the bottom. Well, one and a half, I guess. And I don’t think I’ve been bitten-I have one side that hurts more than the other.

Cherri Christiansen: You would know.

Anney Hall: Yeah, I think I would know. I think that when they come in on the top is when I’m a little nervous about that.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah.

Anney Hall: Because the tongue covers up the bottom. So no, I haven’t been bitten. What’s she’s done though is she’s just-it’s part of her distraction-is in recognizing her world around her, she kind of looks back and looks at it, gets a little closer, and then her hand comes up and she kind of starts to-And I swat her.

Robin Kaplan: She smacking your breast?

Anney Hall: “This is not for play. This is food. Let’s go, this is business.” But yeah, [Laughs] so that’s what’s happening, but no biting yet. She looks at it and then she kind of like-flicks it. [Laughter] And I’m like “Don’t! That’s-“ I can’t even say the words. Just no, uh-uh. That’s part of my senioritus-these are mine, I want these back. And the whole pumping-I mean breastfeeding I absolutely love, but the pumping part is the part where I’m just done.

Cherri Christiansen: I agree.

Robin Kaplan: Jen, have you been bitten?

Jennifer Oliver: I have been bitten.

Robin Kaplan: And…?

Jennifer Oliver: Bryson’s got two bottom teeth, and he has-he is so cute, I think I talked about this last time-he bit me once, and I yelped at him; and he looked at me and his eyes got all bubbly, and he started to like get crocodile tears!

Robin Kaplan: Oh no!

Jennifer Oliver: I felt so bad. Because I-and the reason I had such a dramatic response is because well one, it hurts; but two, my first, that was actually a problem. I actually had to work with her not to bite me because she thought it was extremely funny. [Laughter] So when she would bite me, and then I would have a reaction, she would laugh. So I had to get really stern and show my “No!” face. So I looked at him and I showed my “No!” face and then he’s started crying; and I felt so horrible because he was so sad about it. But he hasn’t actually done it again so I think he’s isn’t going to.

Robin Kaplan: There you go! That works.

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, he’s pretty sensitive.

Robin Kaplan: How about you, Cherri?

Cherri Christiansen: Um, Cali has got two on the bottom that are coming through; and you know I just suddenly noticed that it looked kind of inflamed and when I put my finger in there and I run my finger over them I can feel them.

Robin Kaplan: The little bumps.

Cherri Christiansen: Yeah, I can feel them, the little grooves.

Robin Kaplan: The puppy teeth! [Laughs]

Cherri Christiansen: But how long do they take to actually come through?

Jennifer Oliver: Awhile.
Anney Hall: Yeah. It totally depends.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah.

Cherri Christiansen: Ok, because the first day that I saw them and felt them, the next night she went to bed and the next morning I was looking to like see, “Is there going to be a tooth?” [Laughter] “Is it like there?” I had no clue. But yeah, so I’m a little bit nervous. But now that you’ve mentioned the whole thing about bottom versus top teeth I’m like, “Eh, ok. Maybe I shouldn’t worry so much.” It’s just two bottom teeth. But because she was biting me so much before when there were no teeth, and it was so incredibly painful, I think that’s why I was just a little apprehensive about the teeth.

Jennifer Oliver: I’d be nervous.

Anney Hall: Well, she’s probably going to bite.

Cherri Christiansen: Yeah.

Anney Hall: Maybe you should just expect her to bite.

Cherri Christiansen: And I know part of her doing it recently-part of it’s been playing and she thinks it’s funny kind of like Fiona did-but I also think part of it, too, is it feels good to have something against her gums, and she’s just-she will use anything. So if my nipple’s the closest thing, then my nipple is what she’s using to rub against.

Robin Kaplan: Totally. Totally. Well a couple tips for biting would be, you know one of them is if they’re distracted. SO if they’re kind of chomping around a little bit because they’re not super involved in the breastfeeding moment; just taking them off and letting them have their space. The teething little necklaces-the amber necklaces for kind of the pain- or using some sort of like teething gel can be helpful, too; because sometimes babies bite because they’re trying to relieve the pressure in their jaw and in their gum. And so removing, and kind of helping them to relieve that pressure and then putting them on to breastfeed, it can be super helpful. And then, like you would purchase Cali-you said some nursing necklaces?

Cherri Christiansen: They’re like silicone grade-sorry, food gray silicone so that she can safely put them in her mouth. So, it just hasn’t-I bought it online it just hasn’t arrived yet.

Robin Kaplan: Well, so those can be really helpful too. So if she’s kind of biting, take her off and let her chew on that, and then-it’s kind of like babies in the beginning when they’re chewing on their hand, and when they finally stop they’re there at the restaurant, they’re ready to eat. And so same type of thing now where if she’s distracted of if she’s biting, give her that to chew on and then come back to the breast when she’s ready; and definitely as you guys get into your babies getting a little bit older, you can still have the conversation with them now- they may not understand it yet-but taking them off and ending the feeding session for that point. And then if they start looking for it again, you can re-offer it. But just-biting means no feeding; and then see what happens.

All right, ladies. Well, I just want to thank you all for hsaring your experiences breastfeeding your babies during their eighth month of life, I cannot believe that they are already eight months! And if you are one of our Boob Group Club members, this interview isn’t over for you yet, as Anney, Jen, and Cherri will be briefly discussing their favorite solid foods for their little kiddos. And if you want to learn more about The Boob Group Club, please check out our website at theboobgroup.com

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Robin Kaplan: Before we wrap things up today, here’s Denise Altman with some nursing basics for the new mom.

Denise Altman: Hey there Boob Group! My name is Denise Altman, and I’m a private practice IBCLC, otherwise known as a Registered Lactation Consultant. Private practice means I have my own business, and I specialize in prenatal education and breastfeeding support. This session is about prenatal prep to breastfeeding. Something I definitely have an opinion about.

Have you thought about taking a breastfeeding class? Perhaps you’ve been reading books or checking websites all over the internet, talking to your friends, that sort of thing. However, a breastfeeding class is a great way to prepare you for getting started. However, this is also something that you want to explore before actually signing up. A breastfeeding class may be held in a hospital, a birth center; but there also may be some offered through doulas, lactation consultants, even some maternity or baby stores. When considering a class, the first thing you need to do is find out about the content. What are they teaching? If you’re going to take this class, you already get that there are advantages and benefits to breastfeeding, why waste your time sitting in a room hearing more about that? It’s interesting, but it may not necessarily get you off to the best start.

What you really need are the nuts and bolts: the how-tos. How do know the baby’s getting enough, how to get started, what normal newborn behaviors are; along with the other things that you need to learn, such as where to find help, where to find your resources both in and out of the hospital or birth center.

In order to identify this information, it’s a good idea to talk to the class instructor themselves. Find out where they’re coming from, what they’re practice background is: If the person teaching the class is someone who just handles pump rentals and sales, and really doesn’t work with nursing mothers, this may not be the ideal choice for you. You may want a class instead that’s taught by a Registered Lactation Consultant, or other birth advocate.

Don’t discount La Leche League meetings. This is a great place to learn about breastfeeding as well see what normal breastfeeding looks like. I hope that the information in this section can help get you started on exploring your options. For additional tips on choosing a breastfeeding class, please visit my website at feedyourbaby.com, and keep listening to The Boob Group!

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Robin Kaplan: If you have any questions about breastfeeding or parenting that you would like to ask one of our experts, please call our Boob Group hotline at (619) 866-4775 and we’ll highlight it on an upcoming episode. Thank you to all of our listeners, I hope you’ll visit our website, theboobgroup.com, and add your stories about breastfeeding your eight month old in the “Comments” section of this episode’s page.

Coming up next week, we’ll be discussing breastfeeding the dairy intolerant baby.
Thanks for listening to The Boob Group: your judgment free breastfeeding resource.

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