We continue our series, Breastfeeding Expectations, where we follow three breastfeeding moms through the children’s first year of life. At nine months, what does their breastfeeding relationship look like? What is reverse cycling and how is it impacting one of our panelists? Plus, the challenge of keeping up your milk supply and maintaining a full-time job.
The Boob Group
Breastfeeding Expectations: The 9th Month
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Robin Kaplan: A mother’s breastfeeding experience changes drastically overtime, starting from her child’s birth throughout the month of her baby’s life. Today we continue our conversation in our series called Breastfeeding Expectations. Over 12 months we’re following three new mothers along their breast feeding journeys, learning how they cope with breastfeeding challenges and settle in to the breastfeeding rhythm with their babies. This is the Boob Group, Episode 47.
Robin Kaplan: Welcome to The Boob Group, broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. I am your host Robin Kaplan. I am also a 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.
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Now, it’s time for me to introduce our lovely new moms who we will be following for only three more months, I can’t believe it. So, Anney you want to get started?
Anney: Sure, I’m Anney, I am 36 years old, what else am I supposed to tell you about?
Robin Kaplan: Yeah, how old your baby is?
Anney: I am an architect, and Ele is 10 months old-ish.
Robin Kaplan: Jen?
Jennifer Oliver: I’m Jennifer Oliver, I’m 34. I worked in arts education administration, I have two kids, Fiona is three and Bryson is eight months.
Robin Kaplan: And Cherri would you like to introduce yourself?
Cherri: Yeah, hi! I’m Cherrie I’m 32 as of two hours ago.
Robin Kaplan: Happy Birthday!
Cherri: 32 and two hours old and I have one daughter, her name is Cali and she’s going to be nine months in just a couple of days.
Robin Kaplan: Awesome! And we have an extra special guest in the studio today. We have one of my favorite colleagues in San Diego, this is Dawn Dickerson. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of Mamas and Milk which is an all service lactation and prenatal, postpartum yoga, you name it, Dawn does it. But we brought Dawn in because Dawn is nursing her now, how old is your son?
Dawn Dickerson: Two and a half.
Robin Kaplan: Two and a half and so Dawn is our cheerleader for today to help us get through this next couple of months to get through to your goals if not for longer as you can see Dawn is managing it even for longer.
Dawn Dickerson: Yeah.
Robin Kaplan: So, we will be right back.
Robin Kaplan: Before we get started here is a question from one of our listeners.
Samantha: Hi! This is Samantha calling from Rhode Island and I have a question for the Boob Group. My question involved my two month old new born. I did a really good job when my son, was first born of pumping in addition to feeding him directly to store up extra milk, so I could freeze in, I always have it on hand, just in case I wasn’t around, if my son needed to eat.
Well, we just have some friends coming to town and I didn’t realize this was the time but apparently all of my extra surplus milk was used while they were in town. And I went to look into the freezer and I have one bag left. And we’re kind of freaking out about that because right now I’m really just producing enough for my son. I haven’t pumped at least in probably a month or so.
So, the question to you is, is there a quick and easy way to increase your milk supply in this type of situation, if I want to just basically replenish the extra milk that I had in my freezer? I’ve heard about herbal toast that you can get and instead of all natural to increase your milk supply, I also know that frequent pumping does increase your milk supply, I just don’t know how quickly all these takes effects and like I said I really to stock up my supplies as quickly as possible. So, if you have any ideas, I would love to hear them, thanks so much, bye-bye.
Veronica Tingzon: Hi Boob Group listeners, this is Veronica Tingzon, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of the Original Comfort Food and Lactation Services in San Diego, California. Well, your question is a very common question and there really is no magic call that just going to give you instant milk that’s going to help you restore the supply that you have build up initially. Really honestly pumping is going to do it. You can take some herb like fenugreek or blessed thistle and concoctions of herbs that might contain shatavari or go through with fenugreek and mix it with blessed thistle and also sometimes the schanis helps out, you can do teas and tincture. You can even eat food that are high in lactogenic properties like meal oats and alfalfa, all of those things have great and wonderful and they really do help for this up that well established milk supply. But they are not going to make you really produce a whole heck of a lot more, not to worry, you’re going to be pumping and pumping and pumping, droves and droves and droves of milk.
It will help you pump a little bit more than normal and that’s pretty much about it. If does help, it does help, don’t get me wrong. Truly the best advice I can give you is really pump. And find a way to pump at about the same time every day. So, for example, let’s say your baby eats at 6:00 o’clock in the morning everyday and is done around 6:30. Well, at 6:30 go ahead and pump and try to be consistent around that same time because then your body will notice you’re producing more milk at 6:30 every day. And start letting down a little bit more for that time.
I also need to kind of ask the question, well, why do you want all these stored up milk for? Are you going back to work? In your message, you said that you’re doing it, you’re storing up the milk so that you can have somebody else feed the baby every once in a while. Are you a stay-at-home mom? Or are you going back to work? Do you really need to have that much stored up milk that is stressing you out like this? If you’re going to be staying at home, you don’t really need it that much. I mean, if you just pump fresh and walk away that’s fine. So, you’re having just a few bags of stored milk is fine as well. If you’re doing predominant or that predominant amount of work, but if you’re going back to work, I’ll be assuming you are going to want to help some stored up milk. And then like I said just get to it, start pumping, one, two maybe even three times a day and try to keep it around the same time frame. I hope that does answer your question. I’m not discouraging you from taking the herb, but I actually love the herb. I think they’re wonderful. But really the good old fashioned way is to just pump more. And you’ll see a result from that and then as the herb on top of that and it will just beef it up that much more. Good luck and I hope this answer your question thanks, bye-bye.
Robin Kaplan: Okay, so today on the boob group we’re discussing with Anney, Jen and Cherri’s breastfeeding experiences have been like during their babies’ ninth month. So ladies, what is it like to breastfeed in eight to nine month old baby and what does your breastfeeding relationship look like right now? Anney, you want to start?
Anney: Sure, it’s good.
Robin Kaplan: What’s it look like?
Anney: All right, what does it looks like? Right now, it looks like we breastfeed every time I see her because I’m gone full time. So, I’m pumping once or twice during the day and my pumping is – the afternoon pumping is starting to get – I don’t have time for it or I am just sort of getting a little bit lazy and I can just fill it out later which means then I’m pumping at 11 or 12 o’clock at night. And waiting to do that and then pumping in the morning right before, right after I feed her again. So, I’m not really helping myself by skipping that after ---
Robin Kaplan: You’re not getting any extra time?
Anney: No, exactly. So, that’s the struggle where I am, is just making sure I have enough for her. But she’s getting enough, she not malnourish. So, the solid is going really well and the milk supply that I have and that balance is fine. So, it’s just more of maybe figuring out my balance.
Robin Kaplan: Yeah, how about you, Jen?
Jennifer Oliver: Yeah, I was just thinking I have a similar issue in that. I work only a five hour shift, but I definitely find that sometimes I’m doing such a great job and I pump twice in that five hours and then other times I don’t pump at all because I’m just going from side to side. So, that’s probably where in the most challenge we have actually turn to formula. I do not have enough in my supply, this is something we just sort of casually adopted and it sort of just like, I don’t really talk about it and nobody really tells me about how much they use. And I’m perfectly okay with that.
And then his breastfeeding, he’s been sick lately so he’s been breastfeeding a lot and teething. So he’s been breastfeeding a lot. I’m not producing much because unfortunately before that he kind of was not really breastfeeding that much. He would kind of – I think I talked about it during our Boob Group but he would sort of breastfeed for a little bit my supply would come down and then he will get distracted and he would be looking around and he would not really be that interested in latching back on. And so, we really worked on that but he just wasn’t as interested. So, now that he’s really latching on a lot because he’s been sick. I don’t have that much to provide so.
Robin Kaplan: Well, he might actually be fed up little bit.
Anney: Yeah, maybe. That might be happening or he might go back to his ways again once he is starting to feel better and I’m really okay with it either way. So, he’s eating solid, he’s doing really well. Eating solids he eats three days, I mean three times a day and super happy about it, he loves his solids. So, we’re doing good.
Robin Kaplan: Cool! How about you, Cherri?
Cherri: Things are going well for us. We still haven’t introduced solid food for Cali -- hello Cali. Enjoys her milk. But yeah, we’re doing pretty well and actually I do – I have one little update to share with since the last time we spoke which actually randomly, I was just telling Dawn about last night that I finally went out and bought new nipples for the bottles that we were using, we had a great bottle that she took right away at the beginning. But the nipple is for zero to three months and I had never ever changed it. And as our Cali been only just enough to get by diet while I’m at work taking at just a couple ounces from the bottle, some days not even picking more than three or five ounces. And I skip ahead and I got a fast-flow nipple that was for six months plus I think and she’s picking so much more milk during the day from that month on.
Robin Kaplan: No way. So that because your flow is always been fast?
Cherri: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I think I can handle one of the bottle to be too be easy and that was the nipple we gave her when she was four weeks old and I just never change it. So it’s great to see that she’s taking more from the bottle, some days she’s taking up to 10 ounces which is really fantastic and I’m really glad about that. But the flip side of that is I was kind of hoping that her increased intakes during the day would equal and decrease nursing at night and I am not seeing that yet. So, it’s only been about a week or two with this nipple. So, it’s brand new and maybe we’ll feed in shifts but she still wants to nurse the moment I walk in the door till the moments I leave the following morning and multiple times during the night. And even this morning I woke up really early to head out on vacation today so, I was up at 5:30 which I’m usually not up. But usually up while nursing then and she couldn’t go more than 20 minutes in the bed without me. You know until she realized that I wasn’t there and ‘where is my milk?’ And then she wake up and kind of pulled over to me because she could come and have some milk. So, maybe that will still change but I’m glad that at least she’s getting more during the day I don’t have to worry about that as much.
Robin Kaplan: Absolutely, reduces a little bit of stress on your end that’s for sure.
Cherri: Yeah, yeah.
Robin Kaplan: Great! So ladies, what has been the easiest part of breastfeeding right now and what would say is your most challenging part? How about you, Anney?
Anney: I think the easiest has to do with the fact that she goes from bottle to nipple just so easily and always has been. So, I feel like that’s such a blessing, I don’t have to worry about her being with other people and taking milk from them and so that really has been easy. I think the most challenging for me is just the discomfort I’ve always had on the right side and now it’s something different, which I have to talk to you about that. Or I can talk about it today. But I’ve just had the vasospasm issue and now I think I have a cut which I don’t if it’s because of her top two teeth, which is awesome. But the right one is always been the one that filled up more and provided more and so that’s the one she really wants. And so that she goes after it, so that’s my challenge right now.
Robin Kaplan: How about you, Jen?
Jennifer Oliver: I was just trying to think of something that I haven’t already said. I think that in terms of what’s working or what’s easy, breastfeeding is pretty – it’s pretty easy. I almost always have a letdown, sometimes the weight before the let down and keeping him interested until the let down happens sometimes gets a little frustrating for him and I just have to keep talking to myself, it’s coming, it’s coming. So, that gets a little bit hard but I think as a whole, I feel like it’s all working pretty well. I think the only thing that I’m working with right now, I just discovered this, which is I have a little lump. So, and it’s actually closer to my armpit and my boob, it’s kind of in between. I just discovered this and now I’m kind of trying not to get too excited about it and just make an appointment and go to the doctor. But, that’s sort of my challenge right now as I am kind of aware of that.
Robin Kaplan: Yeah, definitely. We touch our breast a lot more.
Jennifer Oliver: Yes.
Robin Kaplan: Either of that when you’re a lactation consultant, I’m well aware of what’s going on in my breast at all times and when they get nods and when they don’t and stuff like that. How about you Cherri, what’s the easiest part and what’s the most challenging right now?
Cherri: No, I don’t know if I would have said this if I had gone before Anney, but Anney kind of make me think about the transition from bottles to boobs and having heard her said I think that’s probably something I can also be very grateful for that we hope that it’s going well, she takes the bottle, just straight from my husband. And in one or two situations where I’ve needed to give her a bottle like if we were driving in a car in a long road trip and she wakes up and I can’t feed her in the cars as much as you don’t climb over the car seat and do that. She will also take it from me, which I know a lot people struggle to get the baby take a bottle, let alone from themselves. So, that’s been really great. And we’re doing okay, I think yeah, we were struggling a little bit with her being really pinchy and scratchy and bitey. We have our days, some days it’s not a problem and other days we’re kind of come back again.
I think, I’d say the hard part right now is she just cut her first tooth on the top and, so yes I know Cali’s kind of being the lagger in our little group here in terms of peace. And the first two came in on the bottom and I didn’t really have to worry about those so much because I didn’t -- I wouldn’t feel those. So, now that the top one come in and I definitely noticed her kind of grab and hold of my nipple and using it to rub against her gums like I’m some kind of teething toy. But she has cease up by the way she have reason using me for that. But yes, I just had a like a little bit of apprehension. She hasn’t really bit me yet, she hasn’t cut me or anything like that. But obviously this is just of kind of like a new era for me to be moving into. So, I’m excited and cautious to see how this changes our relationship, if it does.
Robin Kaplan: Dawn, you’re shaking your head, nodding your head in agreement here, what type of advice do you have for us?
Dawn Dickerson: Yeah, well both of my kids but more so my second, my two and half year old, every time he was going through teething he always change his latch and pretty much always gave me a little like scrape or something. And I think the best thing to remember is that, it does pass because even though it seems like they’re teething forever. And to really pay attention to that positioning I feel like hugging him in the shoulder and making sure they are nice and tight to your body. I know as we progress in our breastfeeding relationships the longer we do it, the easier that’s what I’m just latch on themselves and you don’t even worry about it, I mean they will start doing acrobatics where spinning around and all that, like yeah, it’s fine.
But really reminding them that the position, the positioning is important and then also for you. So, back to those first stages remember, hugging the shoulders and tipping that forehead back, digging the bottom chin in can really help relief pressure from the top teeth coming in. Because that’s usually – once they get past nine months and they do first, do a little nip or bite and you may get clear that that is not an acceptable to treat mama and then they do that a little bit. That isn’t necessarily the – as you want to get pass the first or second or third time they do that. And then it’s more just that the upper teeth resting on the breast. And so, if you can really pay attention to that positioning it can be really, really helpful.
Robin Kaplan: Cool! All right, well --
Cherri: That’s a good reminder for me because I know that I kind of been one where my goal, we can breastfeed anyhow and I’d definitely hold her differently. And sometimes she just crawling over to me and grabbing on when I’m not even holding her, so that’s definitely a good reminder for me to may be pay more attention to that.
Dawn Dickerson: Right, right. And I still – like a two and a half still have to remind him, I mean, that hurts, ouch! And he said, ‘I’ll be careful mama, I’ll be careful mama.’ I said ‘yeah, you have to be careful, because it hurts.’
Robin Kaplan: All right, when we comeback Anney, Jen and Cherri will be discussing keeping up their milk supply and how to keep going to meet their goal of breastfeeding for a year. We’ll be right back.
Robin Kaplan: So, we’re back with Anney, Jen and Cherri and Dawn, discussing how to keep up milk supply and what it looks like breastfeeding their eight to nine month olds. So, Anney you had mention that you have to work pretty hard to keep your milk supply while being back at work full time. And I know this is really, really common for a lots of working moms. What are you doing ladies to keep up your supplies since all three of you are back at work? Anney, what are you doing?
Anney: Well, so right now, it’s a good day. I’m pumping at work and then still pumping twice. And then – Ele’s raising her arms in excitement. And then when I get home I usually pump at 11 or 12 at night. If I’m really low which is right around my period then I usually tried to pump after I feed her at 5 or 6. I’ll be drinking some fenugreek tea or eating oatmeal because I heard that was a good one and then just trying to stay hydrated. And then when I’m at work and I’m freaking out that I only had an ounce into the bottle I just take deep breathe, I don’t know. And then a few days passed and it’s back to normal. Right now, I don’t have any milk in freezer so I don’t have a reserve and I’ve kind of just okay, here we go.
Jennifer Oliver: And maybe you’d join my club.
Anney: That’s right, that’s right. And so that’s what I’ve been doing and I feel like the challenges right now it’s all mental in my head that I’m almost done and so I’m getting a little more used to the idea of just not having enough. And I would like to just keep going. And like if I – I don’t want to be me, that’s the reason that I am – that this is all ending. I mean, I’d like to help it if I can.
Robin Kaplan: One thing I want to mention too is you can take calcium and magnesium during like when you start to ovulate through when you actually start to get your period because that can really help regulate that dip, that temporary dip, that sometimes happen. So, I have an article on my website about that and so we’ll post that in the link section on this episode’s page. So, that way if anyone is wondering what’s the dosage, the recommended dosages for that, so that way it doesn’t temporally dip. Well, we’ll have that online. Jen, how about you? What are you doing to keep up your supply while back at work?
Jennifer Oliver: I’m not.
Robin Kaplan: That’s okay. You must really be doing something.
Jennifer Oliver: I’m doing something. No, I’m really not trying that hard to be totally honest. I’ve definitely have had - the supply has been an issue for a while now and I’ve sort of accepted that it’s an issue. And not an issue in the sense that it’s something I have to do about it, it’s an issue in the sense if there has to be a formula sort of kept in the house for those situations and I’m just okay with it.
I feel like with two I’m just still trying to figure out the balance and I’m not sleeping that well and because both of them have been sick at different times and they’re just both not sleeping that well. So, I am sort of just allowing myself to not have to stress about it and just to let it be. I had a reflection just recently where I was thinking nursing, feeding on my first and how much she needed to nurse, how much she loved nursing and it was this sort of really nice experience where she would come to me to nurse and then she would settle in this way that was like she didn’t want to leave, like this was her spot that she wanted to be at. And my second Bryson doesn’t have that, it doesn’t feel the same. It doesn’t feel like he’s settling in, it feels like he’s just trying to get what he needs and then move on. It doesn’t feel like it’s bringing him this comfort that he needs, that with Fiona, and Fiona still, she put her hand in my armpits and she just kind of wiggles her fingers around in there and has to do this on a regular basis all throughout the day. And we have a similar issue when she has nails. She has, ‘mommy, mommy, I’ll be careful, I’ll be careful mommy. I’ll be really gentle,’ that’s how she says it. And Bryson just – he doesn’t have the same need, he sort of seems like he’s got this inner confidence and he’s really comfortable so, even though the breastfeeding is still very important to me and I’ll keep it up as long as I possibly can. I don’t feel like he’s going to be missing out if the supply stops and it ends.
Robin Kaplan: How about you, Cherri?
Cherri: I think Cali sounds like Fiona, I think she – I mean we haven’t started solid yet so, we’ll see what happens when you do and how they changes, but she definitely wants to keep going and I’m very grateful that I’m not really doing anything different now to keep my supply up then I was doing before. I kind of got myself into a bit of – sort of routine and regiment where having no huge giganmous bowl of whole growth oat balls and steel cut oats for breakfast in the morning, trying to drink as much water as I can, I used to take fenugreek everyday and then I kind of just eat a little bit of sushi if I didn’t made a difference and I’m kind of really been blessed with not having – I think blessed now because most of the down side of the oversupply have gone away.
If you’d asked me a couple of months ago I definitely would have said cursed. My supplies that I just – I feel grateful and I try and remember that it’s a good thing even when there is some negative side effects that come along with it that’s because of how many don’t have enough and so I don’t really have to do anything. I think the one thing that I do have to do is just remind myself that I’m doing all of the right things, I’m doing all the good things that are working for me, I’m going to say the right thing. So, they’re right for me, they’re working for me and for my body right now sometimes I’m tempted to change something, I should stop and I have to remind me of not to because it’s been getting really hard at work to keep up the pumping, I pumped twice a day, I’d say about 80% of the time every now and then I only pumps once. And it’s hard, it’s really hard to find the time, I been super busy and I’m tempted to just cut one of those pumping sessions out because I think, well, I have so much milk anyway, what’s difference does it make if I cut out that one session and then I think, well that may be I have so much milk because I’m continuously doing this and if I cut out that one session, what’s that going to do milk supply? Eventually my body is going to adjust then maybe I won’t have enough milk especially now that Cali’s intake is much higher. She was only taking four or five ounces a day I could definitely have cut one but now that she’s up to 10 or 11 on a day I couldn’t pump that much without pumping as many times as I did.
So, that’s something that I have to keep reminding myself then at the same time if a day goes by where I just can’t get to pump, I don’t beat myself up about it. There’s always plenty of milk with those I pumped previous days in the fridge, once or thrice a week I’ll go through see that what the next requisite and I have actually never ever get into my freezer, I don’t think I've ever taken a small bag out for myself and in fact I've just been donating that milk every time the freezer gets full. Hopefully, if I just keep doing what I’m doing and it’ll keep working.
Robin Kaplan: Cool! Hey Dawn, what steps would you recommend for keeping up a supply when going back to work and do you recommend any foods or vitamins to your mamas?
Dawn Dickerson: The number one thing that I recommend is that kind of what you all have scheduled on and that is just really taking time for yourselves and making sure that you’ve remember that you are a large part of this breastfeeding relationship and also for keeping up with the breastfeeding is honoring where you are and what your body is going through and if something is stressing you out then something needs to change.
I think the greatest impact that I’ve seen is that either the acceptance or removing the stress. Because if you’re going back to work and it’s just nothing but stress, stress, stress and trying to keep up your supply and trying to breastfeed in that, it’s no longer all that it could be for you, on you. And then you’re not going to necessarily meet your goals of however long you wanted to breastfeed.
So, being able to just settle and do that. I think keeping yourself well nursed is really just all around is really important. And if you really want to keep up your supply making sure you’re doing those pumping times sometimes during the day. It doesn’t necessarily all have to be at work because babies reverse cycle you can do what Anney is doing and pump at different times during the day and I think that you’ll all have great things that work for you. And try different, different strategies out. If something is not working then try something else.
Robin Kaplan: Cool, cool! All right ladies, so it seems like you are in this final stretch towards meeting your personal breastfeeding goals and do you think that you may go beyond your and how are you staying motivated to at least getting to that year as your goal? Cherrie, we’ll start with you on this one?
Cherri: Yeah, it’s funny because when you said it’s kind of nearing the end of reaching my goal I feel like my – I have set many goals myself along the way. I think my first goal was just like live to get through today. At the very beginning it was like a one day goal and then kind of the next, the next kind of step I took from there was I wanted to make it to six months, I’m thinking that when I was going to start solid which we never did and then the next goal which is where I’m working now is towards one year. But I’m thinking at the back of my head my personal goal was always to make it to two years and even beyond and kind of get to – even where Dawn’s at right now and have it be eventually something where Cali makes a decision or close to that kind of doing it at the same time.
And so, I feel really great about that. I think at the same time, just knowing that I’m doing everything that I can right now and trying to stay calm and just letting it go however it goes naturally is what’s working best for me. Because I found that when I was thinking about it and Dawn also kind of alluded to those in terms of just stress affecting your supply but when I stress about it, when I have any stress going on in my life and really negatively impact me and it impacts our breastfeeding relationship and it impact my supplies. And so, just really taking it day by day, so I’m going to be super excited to get to my one year plan, definitely personally I’m definitely hoping to go above and beyond and for as long as I can.
I remember when that controversial, I say controversial, it wasn’t very controversial for me but for everybody else, the Time magazine cover came out with the mom nursing her child where I think it’s was about three and I had a couple of friends who turn to me and I was pregnant at the time and they said, that’s not going to be you, is it? You’re not going be that mom nursing a three year old or four year old and at the time I said, we’ll just see whatever happens, I have no plans. But in my head I’m thinking to myself that’s totally going to be me. We’ll see, we’ll see. I’m hoping that that’s the case and I’ll probably be that if Cali’s fight to end that a lot sooner, but if it’s Cali’s decision and not me then I’ll be happy with whatever works out, I hope.
Robin Kaplan: Cool! How about you, Anney? Is your goals still a year? You’re pushing beyond and regardless how are you getting in to that goal? What keeps you motivated?
Anney: No, I think my goal for me is a year and I feel like that I have seen your ideas definitely. But again, I was thinking about this morning that it’s all in my head if I knew that I was going to stay for two then I’ll be like, okay, I’m halfway there. But that hasn’t been my goal, same thing with my sister. Both of my sister’s on the same day, the two oldest in the family said, you’re not going to be one of those moms like breastfeed until they can talk and walk and till they’re two and I look at them like, what do you care? Back off, and it doesn’t matter besides of what I wanted to do, what I want to, all of a sudden just immediately just got, well, maybe I want to be until they’re three, so back off! And it was just this step out of my decision and just let me be because – and I’m also sensitive to it because it’s a hard work. And it’s what I’m going to keep doing so obviously then I felt this like, pressure to just stop. But, yeah –so 12 months has been my goal and I think when I get there, that’s when I’ll see what happens.
Robin Kaplan: Sounds good. How about you, Jen?
Jennifer Oliver: Yeah! I was just thinking about the last thing that Anney said in terms of I, for me, I think what works really well is just to let it happen the way it happens and I trust that I’m going to do everything I need to do and I can do as mom and as someone who wants to provide support for my child. And then my children have their own little personalities and desires and I’m just going to go with it and when Bryson really is not connecting anymore and doesn’t feel like he wants to breastfeed anymore then I’ll let it go. So, I don’t really have any strong, I’d never set a goal in terms of, I want to breastfeed until this amount of time, I just want to breastfeed until it doesn’t make sense anymore. So, it still make sense even though it’s just getting a little bit, it’s totally fine and it seems to be enough so.
Robin Kaplan: Cool, that’s awesome! Dawn, I know you’ve breastfed until toddlerhood and so, what kept you going and did you feel like there were certain times that you needed a pep talk to keep going?
Dawn Dickerson: Yes. One that I have to, I mean the thing that has kept me going is that my son has severe allergies. So, he can’t have dairy or soy and so I have been on dairy free soy, free diet for two years and very strictly for two years. And for me it’s that every time he gets something that he shouldn’t have he goes through not a nursing strike but a food strike so he will refuses solid foods. And the only thing that right – I mean, he’s a very big boy, he’s got – I mean I’m not worried about his growth. So, he’s always had some food issues, so that has always been a comfort to me so that I know he’s getting what he needs. And now that we have it a little more under control, I feel that it’s good.
In terms of needing the pep talk, there are definitely times where I am sitting there with no sleep and wondering what on earth I am still doing this for. Yeah, going back and remembering my own advice that I too am a part of this relationship that’s although I really try to do what he needs and all of that I need to remember that I need to do what I need as well. And I think that is one of the things that has helped me continue at multiple times that if I’m – I’ve multiple times have said that if I’m going to continue this, it has to be more on my terms instead of all of his terms.
And I think that has been the thing that has helped me to come back to it and no, it’s such a wonderful relationship and I really do love doing it and there are times where I’m thinking, I wish that I could just have my body back. But then there are other times when I actually think about not breastfeeding anymore where I just, I’m like, oh, I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m ready for that. You know it’s harder when we think that this is our last baby and I’m not going to be breastfeeding anybody else so having not come to a close has --
Robin Kaplan: Kept you going?
Dawn Dickerson: -- kept me going so, yeah.
Robin Kaplan: Cool! All right, ladies, well thank you so much for sharing your experiences breastfeeding your babies during their ninth month of life and thanks Dawn for being our guest host or guest expert as well. And if you’re one of the Boob Group Club members this interview isn’t over for you, as Anne, Jen and Cherrie will be discussing what it’s like for them to breastfeed a nine month old in public. If you would like to learn more about the Boob Group Club, check out our website at theboobgroup.com.
Robin Kaplan: Before we end today’s show here is Wendy Wright with a breastfeeding tip for the working mom.
Wendy Wright: Hi! Boob Group listeners, I’m Wendy Wright, an internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of Lactation Navigation in Palo Alto, California. I’m here to answer some of your most common questions about returning to work as a breastfeeding mother. Such as, what are the rules for milk storage? Milk storage is a difficult concept. We pumped during the day and then we need to store our milk in order for us to provide it for the next day for our infants.
Let me summarize a general guideline for milk storage. Room temperature milk can be stored for up to 10 hours at room temperature. Milk is very, very stable. If you know you’re going to be near the refrigerator, if you have refrigeration available, of course that’s a better alternative than room temperature. However, sometimes on the work site, refrigeration is not available, may be you forgot your ice pack that day, I just want you to know that it will be stable for up to ten hours so you will not have to throw it away throughout the day as you pumped. I also like to let you know that in the refrigerator, milk can be kept up to eight days. Again if we know we’re going to freeze it soon, get it in the freezer right away, but if you find a bottle of milk in your refrigerator that’s three or four days old, feel a 100% certain that you can absolutely feed that to your baby.
Room temperature 10 hours, refrigeration eight days and then in the freezer up three to four months. So, keep in mind we avoid storing our milk in the door of the freezer and try to have it back in the center where the temperature varies less and where it is colder. And again three to four months, all bags should be labeled with a sharpie, date of pumping and that way you’ll know exactly when that milk was expired.
Containers to use for milk storage can be plastic or glass, they can be hard flatted or soft flatted, well fitting tops, or the freezer milk bags are excellent offered by many different brands. It’s best to freeze milk flat in the bottom of your freezer and then you stand it up like a deck of cards and it will take a lot less space in each of your freezer or refrigerator areas. In order to warm milk, simply sauté or warm it under running water, swirl gently to combine the low fat and the high fat milk and remember never use a microwave on breast milk.
The last thing I’d like to mention is a storage schedule that you can work in to your daily pumping routing. For example, Sunday night pull milk out of the freezer and thaw it overnight for a baby to drink on Monday when you’re not together. Monday pumps milk to provide to the baby on Tuesday by simply refrigerating overnight. Tuesday’s milk that is pumped feeds the baby on Wednesday, Wednesdays milk feeds baby on Thursday, Thursday’s milk feeds baby on Friday and then Friday’s milk just brought home package and frozen, breastfeed all weekends directly from the breast. And then again Sunday night you can take your oldest milk out of your freezer and provide it for the baby on Monday morning. This way, baby is only receiving frozen milk once a week, fresh is best if at all possible and for not only rotating on refrigerator but are freezer supply. Also need to mention that once milk is thawed from the freezer, it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours and must be consume within 24 hours, otherwise it should be discarded. I hope you found that helpful, thanks so much for listening. Visit www.lactationnav.com for more great information about my business Lactation Navigation. And be sure to listen to the Boob Group for fantastic conversations about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.
Robin Kaplan: If you have a question about breastfeeding or parenting that you’d 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 and please make sure to check out our sister shows Preggie Pal for all of your pregnancy needs and Parents Savers are show for parents who have zero to three year olds. Coming up next week we’ll be discussing Breastfeeding Toddlers, Managing The Circus Part II. Thanks for listening to the Boob Group, your judgment free breastfeeding resource.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and 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 information in which areas are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
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