Breastfeeding Expectations: The 5th Month

We’re continuing our year long series where we follow three women on their breastfeeding journeys. How are our moms feeling now that their babies are five months old? Have they established routines to help them through the day? What’s there experience been after returning to work? And have they been able to successfully manage all this while maintaining their milk supply and storage?

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The Boob Group
Breastfeeding Expectations: The Fifth Month

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

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 on our series called “Breastfeeding Expectations”. Over these 12 months, we will be following three new mothers 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 31.

[Theme Song/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 a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center. At The Boob Group, we are your online support group for all things related to breastfeeding. Have you joined our Boob Group Club yet? This is an exclusive membership club available to all of our listeners. It gives you access to all of our archived episodes, written transcripts of the shows, plus a monthly newsletter with special giveaways, discounts and much more. You can access all this great information through the web or through our new Boob Group App. For more information, visit our website, http://www.theboobgroup.com and click on the membership link at the top of the page. Now it’s time for me to introduce our lovely moms who we’ll be following for now, the next seven months. Ladies, would you please introduce yourselves?

Jennifer Oliver: Jennifer Oliver. I am 34 years old; I work for a non-profit in Arts Education. I have two kids, Fiona is two and 10 months and Bryson is 4 months. I think that’s it.

[Laughter]

Anney Hall: I’m Anney Hall. I am 36 years old. I am a partner in an architecture firm. I am an architect and my daughter Elly is now 5 months old.
Cherri Christiansen: Hi, I’m Cherri Christiansen, I am 31 and I work in Consumer Research and I have one daughter. She is four months old and her name is Cali.

[Theme Music]
[Featured Segments: News Headlines - Breastfeeding and Social Media]

Robin Kaplan: We are going to kick off today’s episode with some…, with a breastfeeding article, I actually just found. Every couple of months, I get The Journal Of Human Lactation and I just found that this was a really great article I wanted to highlight and it’s called “Establishing an Online and Social Media Presence for your IBCLC Practice”, so International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Practice, so the article is about how we have these dominant social media platforms and the four ones they mentioned were Facebook, Twitter, Blogging as well as Pintrest, and saying that that’s where moms are really hanging out right now, and so is actually recommending for Lactation Consultants to have more of an online social media presence. So, I just wanted to kind of throw it out there to you…, do you guys use the web for finding breastfeeding information or parenting information and do you find it helpful? So…. Jen, you want to start us off? Do you…, do you look at the web ever? [Laughs] I know you are not on Facebook all of the time….

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, I was just trying to think of…, I…., I…. I occasion Facebook, but I have to say, but I have to say that I use it a lot for my non-profit work for social networking in that that way. I do probably, if I’m looking for assistance or information, I’d probably search the web the most and in which case, I think I just do a Google search on a question like, overproduction or something like that and then I’ll just filter through what comes out. So, I think what’s probably where…, where I seek out the most information.

Robin Kaplan: How are you Anney?

Anney Hall: Yeah, I would say the same thing, that I very minimally am on Facebook or any other type of social network itself, but when I’ve had a question, I’ve gone online and gone to your website actually….

Robin Kaplan: Oh my baby…, my blog. [Laughs]

Anney Hall: And your blog…. And, but same thing…, I’ve had a question, I type it in and then I search through peoples answers and I’ve also gone to ones you’ve suggested as well, so…

Robin Kaplan: Okay, cool. How about you Cherri?

Cherri Christiansen: I think maybe I’m the opposite, because I use Facebook for everything and I do search online for things, especially at the beginning when I was having all the issues with Reinhardts and the Vasospasms, I did…, because I hadn’t…, hadn’t been able to find answers to Facebook, but I’m a part of so many different groups on Facebook: moms groups, breastfeeding support groups and stuff like that, that I’ve kind of feel like that’s sort of my “go-to” network of people. Maybe it’s because I kind of established a little bit of a rapport with some of these people, they are not just like random strangers posting something on the internet. So, yes, I use Facebook a lot. I barely have time for it though, it’s quick and easy on my phone, so I definitely don’t have time for Pintrest and Twitter and all of those other things, but Facebook’s definitely helpful.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, and I’ve noticed, especially just with theSan Diego Breastfeeding Facebook page, my goodness, the amount of questions that are posted on there, some of them are actually are looking for more clinical advice and the moms will get on there and say, “Well, this is what you could do, but you really should see a Lactation Consultant,” and then other things are just like, “What are you doing at this stage?”Or “My child’s four months old, they are not taking the bottle and what should I do?” And then the mom’s just come out and the next thing you know, there’s 20 comments with just all different ideas. And so, I love the mom-to-mom interactions that are going on it and so, and even with our Facebook page with The Boob Group, we are getting a lot more questions, which is really cool, because then we can ask the rest of our listeners what their ideas are as well. So, it’s not just expert advice, but it’s mom-to-mom advice which is often very expert as well, so…, okay, well thanks for sharing your ideas ladies and we’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Today on The Boob Group, we are discussing what Anney, Jen and Cherri’s breastfeeding experiences have been like during their baby’s fifth month. So, ladies, for all of those mommas out there who have brand new babies who might be listening to us talk about, now what life is like with babies a little bit older, what is life like now for your babies in this fifth month and how is…, how do you, how would you compare it to what life was like when you first brought home your little ones? Anney, what do you think? I see you pondering over there.

Anney Hall: I would say, that now it’s less about survival for her, because I think in the beginning, with being a brand new mom, it was, “Is she alive? Is she going to be okay? I’m I…, I’m I…., is she going to die? Is she breathing? How do I do this? Are my boobs okay? I’m going to breast…, going to create enough milk?” And now, it’s a balance with work and life. So, the transition is, she’s a little bit more easier from the stand-point of what I expect to happen and what’s hard is the juggle.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, between everything.

Anney Hall: Yeah.

Robin Kaplan: Between life in general, not just taking care of your infant.

Anney Hall: Right. Yes. Right, so now it’s, it’s life’s added back into it and now, okay…, how much is she drinking? And what…, I’m I pumping enough during the day…, that’s the struggle. It’s busy.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. It’s…, it’s hard to be a mom and especially a working mom too. It’s just busy.

Anney Hall: Yeah, I’m just…, I’m not done until I lay down, right? And that’s what every mom says.

Cherri Christiansen: I lay down and I’m definitely not done…

[Laughter]

Robin Kaplan: Okay…, what’s going with your Jen?

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, I was just thinking about…., I think breastfeeding is sort of very regular and very easy at this stage for me. Again, this is my second, so it started off a little bit easier but, he’s just got more mass to him, so when I grab him and move him around, it’s like this cuddly little like…, I don’t know, it’s just…, it’s…, they are so fragile at the beginning and it’s…, you are being so cautious about how you hold their head and how you breastfeed with him and now I just kind of bounce him around and use my shoulders and my elbows in ways that I probably didn’t at the beginning. He’s actually here on the floor, so if I come in and out it’s because I’m looking over at him. But it’s…, he’s getting a little bit more independent too, so he’s playing on his own more right now and the time between feedings feels like it’s stretching out a little bit longer. He is eating more in mass, and so…, and I’m actually not sure I’m quite producing enough, so, this is kind of my question about, I’m kind of looking forward to when I introduce solids, because, then I don’t have to worry about the fact that I’m not producing quite as much and I think that has a lot to do with my work/pump situation. I know it has a lot to do with my work/pump situation, so…, so yeah, that’s probably what we are experiencing the most right now, and he’s just so…, happy and I don’t know, the word that comes to me all the time, is he’s so much “easier” than my first, so this is just so…, it feels fun right now.

Robin Kaplan: Cool. How about you Cherri?

Cherri Christiansen: I think that there are a lot of things that are easier and then a lot of things that are harder because there’s continuously new things happening and so, just as you kind of get used to the rhythm of things you know in the first month or two, then something new happens, then…., and so definitely, it’s…, and it’s probably like for the rest of my life!

[Laughter]

Robin Kaplan: Well, new parenting….

Cherri Christiansen: A couple, I don’t know when this happened, I think it’s probably the last show, but I put her down on the bench, ran to the bathroom, when I came back and she wasn’t where I had left her and she was on her stomach! And I was like, “[Sharp intake of breath]What?! Like, when did that happen?!” That was like the end of an era because all of a sudden, my husband and I realized that we could no longer just leave the room for one minute, because that, like not even 10 seconds now, she’s rolling around. So…, but I think breastfeeding is definitely gotten easier and I think what’s harder is that it’s a struggle to read her cues so much more, now that she’s so much more mobile, now that everything’s going in her mouth all the time, that’s not always hunger, but at the same time, I just feed her. You know, I think it’s been a while or if it looks like she might be hungry, and usually she is, so, the one thing that hasn’t changed though is…, you know, I know Jennifer was talking about the duration between feedings getting longer and I feel like I’m still nursing her round the clock and a couple of times at night too. So….

Robin Kaplan: Wow. That kind of gets to my next question.So, what does your breastfeeding routine look like now with your kids and I obviously it looks a little bit different when you are work and then when you are back at home, so, Cherri, you were saying that…

Cherri Christiansen: Yeah. She…,

Robin Kaplan: [Laughs] … that Cali is still eating a lot?

Cherri Christiansen: She’s…, you know the thing is, she’s always been kind of the speed-nurser, really efficient, she’s never really been on for very long, so it’s hard to tell is she just nursing for a minute or two? Is she really taking in a couple of ounces, because she can do the same in the same amount of time and so it just depends, but I still feel like she…, you know, we co-sleep and she wakes up a couple of times at night and I can kind of roll her over and latch her on, without me waking up fully and without her waking up fully, and I’m kind of getting to a point where I’m wondering, is she really hungry or is she just stirring and now she wants my boobs for comfort…, but I have noticed that she’s not as hungry in the mornings, so I think she’s definitely, you know, getting nutrition at night, because normally, the first thing in the morning, I knew I had to nurse her, and now, we don’t have to do that right away. So, but it’s still every two to three hours, I would say, I think I probably still nurse her at least 10 times a day.

Robin Kaplan: Okay. How about you Anney?

Anney Hall: You bring up a good point Cherri, because I’m just noticing that Elly’s not so hungry the first thing in the morning, which is what has been the case, that she would wake up and just be, you know ravenous and now she’s not, so that brings actually a really good point, so maybe I should just stop feeding her in the middle of the night.

[Laughter]

Cherri Christiansen: Ohhh…, because that’s easy!

[Laughter]

Cherri Christiansen: How often do you nurse her at night?

Anney Hall: I say that, but it’s not going to happen.

Cherri Christiansen: No. God! You want to go back to sleep?

Anney Hall: What?

Cherri Christiansen: Do you want to go back to sleep in the middle of the night?

Anney Hall: Of course!

Cherri Christiansen: Yeah.

Anney Hall: Yeah. Okay, so Elly, yeah, she sleeps…, she eats like once in the middle of the night.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah.

Anney Hall: She…, so she eats about five times during the day and so I’ll feed her in the morning and then she has a bottle warmed at work and then she eats once or twice before she goes down for the night and then she’ll wake up once and then every once in a while, depending on you know, something’s going on, so I think, lately, she’s been up maybe a little bit.., she schedule is a little shifty because of teething. So…

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. That brings up a really good point, is that…, and we’ll get to you Jen, about what your routine is like, but babies, I even noticed it in my own kiddo’s baby book that you know, three months, you know they are waking up like once or twice a night and then, all of a sudden, like four or five months, I’m look at and they are waking up like three times again. And it’s also because that, neurologically, they are going through so many changes, you know, they are getting ready to start sitting up, they are getting ready to start feeding, eating solids and things like that and teething, throw that into the net and forget about it, so babies, really, they start waking up more often and they are also very aware if either you are in the room, so then therefore, “Oh mom’s going to comfort me, or they are very aware that mom or dad isn’t in the room and so, they are going to be like “Hello! Like, I’m here but I don’t really know to self-soothe yet, and so can you come in and help me”, and so, they just have a hard time kind of transitioning into the next sleep cycle because when they wake up, they are like, “Oh, I…, no-one’s here!” So, very, very common for babies to really start reverting in their sleep habits right around four or five months, which it sounds like you guys are kind of like looking into, but obviously, it does get better. [Laughs] Jen, what’s your routine looking like?

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, I was just going to…, I was going to repeat what you said. So basically, he was sleeping really well at the beginning and now he’s waking up a little bit more often at night and I breastfeed him and he goes back to sleep. I mean, he does sleep for a very long time. He sleeps for like an eight hour stint and then he’ll wake up. But then, he’ll wake up once, go back to sleep, wake up for a second time and then go back to sleep for just a short amount of time and then wake up for the day. And…, but it’s, it’s… it’s still working very well considering that our first, I felt like she never slept, so this one, I feel like he is sleeping a good amount of time. And then our routine during the day is sort of the same in the sense that when I’m at work, it’s…, I try to pump pretty regularly and seem to have a routine, but when I’m just home with him, I kind of…, I’m not really sure what the routine is. I just sort of…, when he seems like he’s ready, I feed him. So I’m not staying consistent I think, but it seems like there’s a good three hours between feedings and sometimes longer, sometimes like four hours or more, but it doesn’t feel like I’m breastfeeding him all the time.

Robin Kaplan: You know, I also notice, I hear this a lot from my moms and I even remember this as well, is that, milk kind of…, milk production kind of plateaus around four months and then…, and Sunny your shaking your head too because I know that you [Laughs] experience this as well, but, right…, though output kind of plateaus and so then, a lot of moms start feeling very insecure about what their milk supply is and are they able to meet their babies needs? And so, how…, Jen, you had started mentioning this, like you’re feeling like your supply is maybe not as high as you would like it to be, so what’s going on with that?

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, I think…, and I…, I think I remember experiencing this with my first as well, which is that, it’s really difficult to pump at work. I work in a job where I’m not just in one place all the time and I don’t have my own office and …, I actually work part-time, I work five hours in the office and then I get sort of the remaining hours outside of the office…, and so, because my work schedule is not so regular, I’m just having a really hard time remembering to pump, finding a place to pump; if I’m out of school sites, I try and pump at the car sometimes and sometimes at the school and sometimes I don’t have time and it’s become…, it starts to feel really stressful actually and there are times where I have meetings and the meeting is right during the time I would pump, and so, then I pump after the meeting, but then I need to make sure that I get home and be able to feed him, so I can’t pump…, it’s just like this. I feel like it’s this really stressful clock I’m managing and because of it, I feel like I’m actually not pumping enough at work and so when I get home, the usually is, “So, how much did he eat?” and the whole time, I’m going, “[Sharp intake of breath] I know it’s more than I pumped…, I know it’s more than I pumped…”, “Yeah, he ate about eight ounces… How much did you pump?” “About five….” [Laughs] So, I…, it’s…, because of that and it’s Monday through Friday, I’m definitely in a pattern now, where I don’t pump as much as he eats, so it seems like on the weekends, I could probably be producing a bit more, at the same time, he seems satisfied. It doesn’t seem like he’s [Sharp intake of breath]so hungry…., but, I don’t know, I’m just at a point now where I’m feeling a little bit stressed about how much I’m producing and then as well as looking forward to…, it’s not too much further until he’ll have some solids and then it will be okay again, so…

Robin Kaplan: Have you thought about pumping before you go to bed and maybe on the weekends? How do you catch up those three ounces if he’s taking eight and you are producing five?

Jennifer Oliver: Well, at the beginning, I pumped a lot because I was producing so much at night times, so…,

Robin Kaplan: So you had the surplus.

Jennifer Oliver: …,so I had this surplus. So, we’ve dove into the surplus. There’s still a little bit left, but not a lot. So, we are still covered. There’s still milk in the freezer, but I haven’t started doing extra to make up for it. And part of it too, is I don’t want to pump at night, because I really want for that to slowly move out of the routine and sleep through the night and I don’t want to be engorged at night. So…, so I’m kind of…, I haven’t found the solution.

Robin Kaplan: You probably pump before you go to bed though and it wouldn’t cause you to be engorged. So, just a thought, but we can obviously delve into that more as well. Anney, how about you? You feeling like you are keeping up and how’s your supply doing?

Anney Hall: Yeah, I had and I think I talked to you about it a little bit; I had a couple of days where I felt like I wasn’t pumping. I had pumped maybe one of two ounces and then, the next time round, at work, as I was planning to pump twice to match what she was eating at home and so maybe, I had pumped enough for one bottle. And so, I freaked out over a course of three days because I…, same thing, I had meetings and I had somewhere to go and I wasn’t…. and I…., it’s just its very stressful…, very stressful. So I took a deep breath and I had a beer…

[Laughter]

Robin Kaplan: At work?

Anney Hall: No… And then, I just started pumping at night. So…, and now I …, if I…, I don’t stress about pumping twice at work. If I don’t feel like I have the time, I pump the once, which right now, it’s enough for one side or one bottle and then when I get home, she goes down, you know, seven and eight and then I’ll pump at 10 or 11 and then if it’s not enough, I pump in the morning. So, that’s exhausting.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah.

Anney Hall: So, now that I’m going to be back full time, I’m going to be pumping as much as I can. Well, I think I’ll be pumping twice…, just…, because I think I…., yeah. But it’s still, I feel like I’m behind the ball, so I have to make up for it at other times during the day. And then I just started putting more in the freezer again too. Just so that I wouldn’t feel like I was stressed out about it. And it makes me feel nervous that I don’t know how long…, how long is this going to…, how long will I be able to do this?

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. Well, I think what…, what Jen mentioned as well is once solids start, I mean, granted in the beginning, they are kind of just tasting it, they are getting a teaspoon here and there, but right around you hit about eight months, they start actually getting a decent amount of solids and it really can reduce the stress off of mom, because baby’s getting food in other ways and then you know, you could always add a pumping session on weekends for example, so you are not going in to work, so you are not going to be pumping there, so, tossing in another pumping session, rather than doing it…, you know…, I like the night one to be honest…, I find that, that one…, because babies tend to take their longest chunk of sleep, in the first half of the night. So, then they sleep only you know like six to two or eight to two and then they wake up at four and six and stuff like that. And so if you pump before you go to bed, you’re still going to pull in any milk when they wake up. So that can be a nice little trick. And then you can always do things like, you know, take herbs to support your milk supply, you can add greens super foods to your diet, so powder like that in your water. My acupuncturist swears by it. She takes a huge like liter of water, she puts a scoop of like a green powder that she got from one of the local groceries stores and puts it and she just drinks it all day. And so, she knows that she’s getting like vital nutrients and she doesn’t have to think about what actual things she’s had to add to her sandwich for example. And so, she finds that that really helps keeps her supply up and I’ve had a lot of moms who have said the same thing too. Little things like that.

Anney Hall: I think that was another comment that I thought of was making sure that what I’m needing is the right foods and I feel like my schedule is so crazy that I’m…, I started implementing the “Super Food”, just so that I put in my cereal, just so that I make sure that I…., you know, in the morning, that at least that I have that…

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. Absolutely.

Anney Hall: …, but it is that part of the equation that’s stressful to me too, the eating the right thing.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah. We also just had a great episode that’s called “Losing Weight and Maintaining Your Milk Supply”, but it’s the same type of thing. I mean just, we had Liam Webster, who’s a nutritionist, come on here and talk about that, so keep your ears posted for that one and I’ll tell you when it’s up. Cherri, how about you? How are you feeling about your milk supply?

Cherri Christiansen: Okay. The last time that I was here, I know I had just recently been going through this vicious cycle of like seeing my supply dip a little bit when I pumped, and then feeling stressed and the stress kind of feeding into the supply and so I kind of took a deep breath and kind of tried to relaxed for a few days. I did those little tips that you told me about, doing some compression and totally found that it was helping…

Robin Kaplan: While you were pumping?

Cherri Christiansen: Yes, yes, kind of like the last five minutes or so, doing compression, doing some massage and so it was helping a lot. But I will be honest, I haven’t pumped or given her a bottle in about three weeks. So, yeah.

Robin Kaplan: [Laughs]When are you going back to work?

Cherri Christiansen: Soon. So…, yeah.

Robin Kaplan: I would start, I’d start by introducing….

Cherri Christiansen: I mean, I have a couple of hundred ounces in the freezer, but it’s probably going to get to the point that it’s going to…. Yeah.

Anney Hall: Wow. Wait, I’m sorry, you have two hundred ounces in your freezer?

Jennifer Oliver: Two hundred?!

Cherri Christiansen: Well, I said a couple hundred.

Anney Hall: Yeah, that’s two hundred.

Cherri Christiansen: It’s probably about three…, 350 maybe in the freezer…., so yeah.

Robin Kaplan: [Laughs] The looks on your face are quite priceless right now….

[Laughter]

Jennifer Oliver: I’m pretty sure you hear me just fine!

Cherri Christiansen: Yeah, I will, but the problem is that I know I need to start using that because otherwise, we gotten one bottle, one bottle once and I this, it’s in a deep freezer so I know it can last a little bit longer, but….

Robin Kaplan: Up to 12 months.

Cherri Christiansen: Okay. Okay good.

Robin Kaplan: But I know you had mentioned also Cherri, that your work environment and finding the time to pump might be a little bit more stressful and you were mentioning that it would be hard. Where I know yours is, well actually not more stressful because you guys have a very stressful situation as well but, so you’ve had time to kind of plan ahead, just in case you are not able to pump as much as you need to.

Cherri Christiansen: Well, the thing is I’m kind of in the same place because I’ve met a lot of moms and some people had referred people that they knew to me because they, you know, they knew I had an over-supply and was I interested in donating because I had been interested in that and a now, I’m kind of having this feeling between I’m I being a little selfish but I kind of like want to hang on to it?

Robin Kaplan: No, you are not being selfish at all.

Cherri Christiansen: Because what if…, what if there is an issue? And so, I kind of feel like maybe what I’ll do is as I start feeling like maybe I’ve had some milk in there for too long or maybe my freezer’s full and I’m adding new, then maybe I’ll donate the old and, you know, keep it circulating. But what I did actually do was I actually got together with some new moms from my work recently and while I was with them, I kind of picked their brains about what they are doing and what their schedule is and some of had given me some advice about, you know, putting it on their calendars, a meeting, a private meeting and then sticking to it and just never, ever taking any meeting around that time, which I know is a little easier said than done, but they actually book each pumping session for an hour. So if a meeting runs 30 or 45 minutes late…

[Baby making noise]

Robin Kaplan: It’s okay Cali….[Laughs]

Cherri Christiansen: Cali doesn’t like me talking about going to meetings!

Robin Kaplan: She’s like, “You’re never going to work…” Yeah. That’s a fantastic idea.

Cherri Christiansen: Yeah, so and I knew that I was going to do that, but some of things are nice in theory and then it gets a little trickier, but I think if I just do that from the beginning and kind of set a standard and people know and kind of make it around lunch time or things where it’s not like, “Oh, I’m never available at nine in the morning.”

[Baby making noise]

Cherri Christiansen: I’m sorry sweet-heart. But I’m feeling a little bit better about that and also because I haven’t gone back to work and Cali will be a little bit older and you know, I live close by, so worst case scenario, she’ll come visit for lunch and I’ll nurse her at work which also sounds great but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, so if we do that even twice a week, that’s two pumping sessions I get to skip. [Laughs]

Robin Kaplan: Wow. Absolutely.

Jennifer Oliver: No, that’s huge, that’s totally huge.

Robin Kaplan: That’s so great.

Cherri Christiansen: And then I get to see her for lunch, so that will be…, that will be really great, so….

Robin Kaplan: Very cool. Alright, we will be right back and when we do come back Anney, Jen and Cherri will be discussing their thoughts on introducing solid foods and how things have been going when they return back to work. We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Alright and we’re back with Anney, Jenn and Cherri talking about breastfeeding their babies in their fifth month and so ladies, since I know Jenn and Anney you are back to work and Cherri it sounds like you just had a great meeting with some of the ladies at your work, what would be your favorite bit of advice that you could share with other moms who are about to go back to work? And I know Cherri, you just mentioned kind of blocking off a time period where it’s essentially a “meeting” time and so, you are not necessarily pumping for that hour but just you are blocking off, front and end part of that, so you actually have time to pump.

Cherri Christiansen: Well, and I know…, you know, I know what my work environment is like, I know everyone has you know very unique situations, but for me, my company, they like to have a lot of meetings, just a lot of meetings, all the time, and it can be really hard to get anything done when you are constantly going from one conference room to another and so, my plan is sort of like those…, if I have two one hour sessions on my calendar, even if I’m only pumping twice a day, that might be my email time, so as much as I love to think in this, you know, health room and dim the lights and sit back and pump and take like a 50 minute break, realistically, it’s going to be more feasible and more productive if I’m taking my laptop and I sit down and I can finally respond to some emails and do some work and I also think that it’s going to be a little bit easier on my co-workers and my boss, which, even if I know the law is on my side to protect me to give me these breaks, I feel like if I’m productive and people seeing emails coming from me, they are not likely object and complain that I keep disappearing, especially if I decide you know, that I’m going to do it maybe even three times a day. So, my biggest concern is that I’ve been speaking with a lot of working moms to kind of get advice and figure out how you managing to pump so many times a day and so many moms have said, “Well, my supply’s gone down, so I don’t need to pump so many times”, and in my head I think, “Maybe your supply’s gone down because you are not pumping so many times…”, “Oh, well now I can go much longer and I only need to pump once a day…, before I used to do it you know three or four times”, and I’m just thinking, I need to set myself up from the beginning, to have a really good routine and a really good system, even if I have to go in a little bit earlier to kind of make up for the time I’m away from my desk, so that I don’t find myself in that situation.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. How about you Anney? What bit of advice would you have?

Anney Hall: I felt that, as soon as I had a cover, I felt more comfortable.

Robin Kaplan: Okay.

Anney Hall: And I…, it took just the first couple of weeks of getting used to pumping outside of home and just having this whole scenario happen, so I would say that my advice would be to be patient and just let yourself go through that process because it is going to get better and then, set yourself up with some things ahead of time, to give you the best outcome, so to have a cover and, well, the cover I think was probably the biggest deal.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah.

Anney Hall: And then I do the same thing, is I end up doing my emails while I’m…., and then also to let yourself have a sense of humor about all of it. At least…, one of my business partners makes sure that I have a sense of humor about it…, so… in fact, this week I was…, I usually close the door and so they know that’s what I’m doing and I have it all covered and I’m doing email and the partner who will remain nameless…, Jenn’s husband, comes over and goes, “Oh, darn it! Anney, I need you to go through some things with me.” And I said, “Okay, well let me, just give me a second”, and so then, you know, I’m still emailing and then a few minutes later, I hear – “Anney, pinch it off!”

[Laughter]

Anney Hall: So, you know, it’s just…, really awkward.

Robin Kaplan: I’m waiting to walk by your office with like a photo of boobs and then just slap it against the window or something…

[Laughter]

Robin Kaplan: Just because you work in such a hilarious environment, like I know that probably that sounds so offensive to some women maybe who are listening to this, they are like, “That’s sexual harassment!” but the three of you are so funny, so.

Anney Hall: No, they are brothers. Yeah.

Robin Kaplan: Oh, that’s too funny. How about you Jenn?

Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, I have a similar work environment, which it’s…, I work with people that I really love and appreciate and also have a great sense of humor. So, I literally, am having meetings with my co-workers, while I’m pumping. So, I’m holding the pump and talking to them and every once in a while, one of them will look at me and say, “Really, do you think that I can focus while you are pumping?”

[Laughter]

Jennifer Oliver: So, but they are such a great group of people, so I think having a sense of humor has really helped me. I do not have a great schedule in terms of being able to really schedule my pumping sessions. I think that’s a great idea. I think if you can set it up and it works for you, I would really highly recommend it. I on the other hand, am just not able to. I’m only in the office for five hours. I have to be really efficient. I of course, I work while I’m pumping, I don’t even take a break and I move my pumping sessions in and wherever I can and a lot of times, I can’t. I have conference for three hours, it’s in the middle of the day and before it, I’ve got to prep a whole bunch of stuff, I need to meet a couple of people and then I need to get into that conference, and I’m leading it so…, you know….,

Cherri Christiansen: Can’t sneak out to go pump…

Jennifer Oliver: I can’t sneak out to go pump..

Cherri Christiansen: Yeah.

Jennifer Oliver: And then I go, you know, and then at the end, I pump. And it’s just…., it is.., that’s what it is. And so, I’m just sort of trying to, one: be comfortable with what it is and…, and let myself be okay with the fact that if, if, you know, if I’m not producing enough or if things don’t sort of line up in terms of how much he’s eating and how much he’s pumping that, it’s all going to be okay and some comfort I get from remembering my daughter and remembering that I went through something similar with her and somehow it all worked out and I don’t remember how….

Robin Kaplan: How long did you breastfeed Fiona?

Jennifer Oliver: 17 months.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, so it clearly ended up working out just fine.

Jennifer Oliver: It worked out just fine. I do know a big piece of it had to do with her going on solids eventually. I think that there is a possibility that I had to actually use some formula a couple of times. I always had a back-up for my mother-in-law, just in case there wasn’t enough in the freezer, there was formula. And I feel like we did end up having to use it a couple of times, but it wasn’t a big deal and if it obviously isn’t momentous enough that I remember it…

Robin Kaplan: [Laughs]

Jennifer Oliver: I don’t remember if we used it or not. So, that’s bringing me some comfort and I just, it’s harder than it seems. It’s harder than it seems. It’s…, you…, I mean, you project into it, exactly, you project into it, I’m going to plan all these things, I’m going to make all these things happen and then you get into it and there’s all these variables you didn’t account for. You know, your boss has an extra meeting that day or you know, for some reason, you’ve got guests coming in because you are also doing interviews. Or, you know, there’s just always all these variables and you just…, I can’t control them all. So I just have to kind of go with the flow and just let it be and again, I’m only in the office for five hours so it is a little bit less than people who are working eight, nine hour schedules so I kind of…, even if I don’t pump the entire time, somehow, it will work out.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely. Alright ladies, well we actually didn’t get to our Solid Foods topic but now that I’m actually thinking about it, your kiddos, are about, they are about a month to a month and a half off, so I think it will be perfectly appropriate to table that conversation to when we talk about you guys when we come back in another couple episodes. So, ladies, as always, thank you so much for sharing your experiences breastfeeding your babies during their fifth month of life. It’s always a pleasure and if you are one of our Boob Group Club Members, this interview isn’t over for you as we have extended this interview just for you. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Boob Group Club Member, please check out our website at http://www.theboobgroup.com.

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[Featured Segments: From Our Listeners - Thankful for Breastfeeding Experience]

Robin Kaplan: Here’s a comment from one of our listeners. This is from Debbie Hansen. “I recently listened to episode 25, Avoiding Booby Traps in the Hospital and I found it very, very interesting as I’d had a very different experience than apparently most women have. And until your show, I had not realized that this was the case. Here is some of what I experienced. Within 20 minutes, after having a caesarian, the nurses initiated breastfeeding making sure that my daughter was able to latch well. Every nurse I had day and night asked about feedings, watched me nurse and gave me tips. I was visited by a lactation consultant every day I was in the hospital and was given a cell number to call with questions. When my daughter lost over 10 percent of her birth weight, they brought me a breast pump and taught me how to use it. When she still wasn’t gaining, they offered me donor milk and when I left the hospital, they gave me a prescription for a breast-pump. Never once was the word “Formula” spoken to me. In addition to this, it was assumed that my daughter would be in our room the entire time and they never questioned me when I had her sleep with me. They encouraged skin-to-skin and suggested against giving a bath until our second day there. All of this was provided without even a slight question or suggestion on my part. I felt that I was expected to breastfeed and that they were expected to help me be successful in that. I did not realize how special of an experience I had and hope that things will soon change and that more women will have the support I was given. Thank you for your show, I love to listen. In case you are interested, I delivered at Sacred Heart Medical Center at River Bend, in Springfield, Oregon. Sincerely, Debbie Hansen.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: Thank you to all of our listeners. I hope you will visit our website, http://www.theboobgroup.com and add your stories about breastfeeding your five month old in the comment section of this episodes page. Coming up next week, we’ll be discussing How to Not Need a Lactation Consultant. Thanks for listening to The Boob Group, because mothers know breast.

[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media Production. The information material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though such information materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problems or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

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