A Great Start to Breastfeeding (Featuring Ina May Gaskin)

Breastfeeding is often overlooked by pregnant moms as they prepare for their new babies. We often have no idea what breastfeeding really looks like until we're nursing our own child. The “Mother of Midwives” Ina May Gaskin explains how mothers can prepare themselves for an enjoyable breastfeeding experience.

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Episode Transcript

The Boob Group
“A Great Start To Breastfeeding” Featuring Ina May Gaskin

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.


[Theme Music]

Ina May Gaskin: Learning about breastfeeding and it’s components that is often overlooked by pregnant moms as they prepare for their new babies. We often have no idea what breastfeeding actually looks like. Today, Ina May Gaskin also known as the mother of midwives shares how mothers can prepare for an enjoyable breastfeeding experience. This is The Boob Group

[Theme Music/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 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. Visit our website at http://www.theboobgroup.com for more information on how you can become a part of our show. You can join our conversation by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can also send us comments or suggestions through our website or call The Boob Group hotline at 619-­‐866-­‐4775. Today, I’m joined by three fantastic panelists in the studio. Ladies, will you please introduce yourselves?

Keegan Sheridan: Hi, I’m Keegan Sheridan. I’m 35. I’m a licensed naturopathic doctor and also a Natural Food and Health expert for major cereal company. I have two children. Miles is 23 months and Ames is almost 6 months.

Val Velasquez: Hi, I’m Currier Val Velasquez. I am a former fashion stylist, now a stay-­‐at-­‐home mom. I am 26 and have two children. Olivia is 2 ½ and Mila is almost 11 months.

Christina Williams: I’m Christina Williams. I’m 33 years old. I’m in medical education and I have one daughter, Paige. She is just about 5 months.

Robin Kaplan: Thanks for joining us on the show ladies.

[Theme Music]
[Featured Segment: Ask The Experts]

Robin Kaplan: Before we get started with today’s topic, here’s a question you all had for one of our experts.

Daniel: Hi Boob Group. My name is Daniel. I’m from Manhattan. I’m currently pregnant with twins. I’m due in a few months and I’m having a tough time finding local and online resources for breastfeeding twins. Do you think that attending a regular prenatal breastfeeding class will prepare me adequately for breastfeeding my twins? Also, can you recommend ways that I can connect with other moms of twins in my community? Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Jona: Hi there, it’s Jona. Great question Daniel, I absolutely think that a regular prenatal breastfeeding class would be helpful for a mom of twins especially if these are your first babies. There are many factors that can make breastfeeding twins more complicated and look different that having an understanding of the basic mechanics can only help. It’s a great idea to supplement a class like this with some twin-specific resources. I recommend Karen Gromada’s book, Mothering Multiples. There’s also a website, http://karengromada.com for pregnancy, breastfeeding and parenting resources for parents of multiples. I also find it useful to schedule a prenatal breastfeeding complication with a local ITCLC who can address any specific questions you have and help you get content with the baby breasts and keep friends on hand for super active babies after the babies arrive. It’s also great to connect with some moms of multiples. You can join your local parents of multiple organizations for online or in-person’s support resources. Know that fun things come from more breastfeeding educated than others so if you noted the support you need there, you don’t have to look elsewhere. In some areas, there are local La Leche League or other mother-­‐to-­‐mother support groups have experienced supporting moms of multiples can be a great option for meeting other moms. There are also support groups offered at hospitals and in private practitioner center. You can contact them to see if there are other groups specific for moms of multiples or if they have links to resources in your area. There are also online forms of breastfeeding trends support on several of the online parenting communities which can be another great way of connecting and learning from other moms and that you can do that from the comfort of your pajamas or at 4 in the morning. And of course, you can check out my website, http://breastfeedingtwins.org for lessons and more information on support.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: We have a very special interview today on The Boob Group. I recently interviewed In May Gaskin, a well-­‐known and well-respected midwife who has written several books including Ina May’s guide to childbirth, Ina May’s guide to breastfeeding and Birth matters and midwife’s manifesto. Ina May was the keynote speaker at the Your Natural Baby Fair here in San Diego. Sunny Gault, the host and producer of our sister show, Preggie Pals, MC Denan introduced the speakers including In May which was a pleasure in itself. After the event, I was able to sit down with her and talk one-­‐on-­‐one about how to get breastfeeding off to a great start and here’s what she had to say.

Robin Kaplan: Hi did is Robin Kaplan from The Boob Group and I’m here interviewing Ina May about her perspective on breastfeeding. So, Ina May, I have couple of questions for you. The first one is, what kind of mother do you tell during pregnancy to prepare herself best for breastfeeding.

Ina May Gaskin: Be around women who breastfed. Just hang around them, observe them, hold their babies when they need to go to the bathroom or whatever. Get familiar with babies and find out what interesting, fascinating creatures they are.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely, during my breastfeeding classes, I teach prenatal breastfeeding classes and that’s one of the things that I’ve gained from my moms and my support groups as they said they wished they would have gone to support groups, the breastfeeding support groups while they were pregnant. That way they could see mothers, they call it in-­‐the-­‐natural habitat to see what it looks like, how they breastfeed because most of the women that we see in public are covered, you know, it’s not necessarily acceptable to breastfeed out in the open in The United States and so they said the breastfeeding support group is one of the first places that they actually saw what it looked like to see a woman breastfeed.

Ina May Gaskin: Right, I think it’s really important to do that and I, urges, I was in the airport in Texas that had a plague place for kids at the airport finally, a place for kids to hop around and play and where they can, you know, throw their little bodies around and have fun while waiting for the airplane. Now, the next thing is where is the breastfeeding place? Where the women can collect together to do that and where somebody else who’s pregnant might be able to walk in there. Let’s have them in shopping malls. Let’s have them near parks. Let’s make the restaurants understand, oh yes, some people don’t want to be around breastfeeding moms but, you know, let’s have the parent’s place, you know, where the kids are. So, let’s create these areas of sanctuary for breastfeeding moms and those that don’t want to see them can go to the other places because it’s a human need to see this physiological activity and we cannot confine breastfeeding moms to their homes.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely, I love that idea. Thank you for mentioning that. What kind of mother do you during labor and birth to ensure getting breastfeeding off to a great start?

Ina May Gaskin: Well, the best thing is to not have medication if possible and to rely on the hormones that the body secretes and the optimal settings for birth. Then, nature kind of does the rest in most cases and sometimes we need a little help with somebody who’s knowledgeable. I think the best thing is that the baby stays with the mother. The baby doesn’t leave the mother and there’s no need for quick chord cutting and clamping. So, we let that go till the pulsation stops at least and then keep the baby with the mother. We don’t have to do all these weighing and measuring and stuff like that. The baby is not gonna lose any significant amount of weight. It certainly isn’t gonna grow taller. [Laughs] So, the needs of the institution are less important than the needs of that individual mother-­‐ baby pair. Then what we like to do is when the baby starts to exhibit the signs and just ready for breastfeeding and this shouldn’t be hurried up, you know. The baby is out, looking around, his attention is not in the mouth, it’s just not the time to cram the breasts and the mouth expects anything to happen. But, when we do see those signs then, without putting our hands on the mom, we kind of, gently guide her to what would help. Lot of babies will just latch while mom is in a lying down position. But, it depends on, you know, the shape and often breast size and you know, what the nipples are like, you know. If she needs to sit up a bit, then we help her with that and we suggest, you know, we watch and suggest to her what’s gonna make that first latch to get the baby’s first ever result in a good latch. If you succeed in doing that, the baby learns. And so, sometimes you have the baby that doesn’t open the mouth very much and so then how do we get the baby’s mouth to open more and I ask mom to open her mouth. And they imitate because they do mimic and they do know what’s going on. So, give the baby some credit for smart and give them the help they needed.

Sometimes baby almost get to, just need that lower lip pulled so that it keeps the mom from developing sore nipples. And then, I’m saying to the mom it’s not supposed to hurt. So, if it’s curling your toes and you’re just gonna bare, that’s going to hurt you and it’s really, I think, moms, I think, during pregnancy, it’s really wise that they can learn manual expression so that they can learn the skill of expressing a few drops of colostrum. I think it’s very important for them to know going in, that colostrum comes in very small amounts and that’s physiological, this baby is not meant to eat on days 1 and 2. Any significant amount, a few drops are very important medicine and you know, enough for the baby. Then, it’s also good for her to know how to disconnect without the baby gumming her nipples. So she needs to know how to depress the portion of her breasts and break the suction so that she can seize the nipple out and then the baby will be surprised and then we try to coax the baby to open the mouth again. Again, help get that good latch and it helps to bring the baby’s dad over to have a look and so if she’s got large, fluffy breasts that he can know what that lower lip is doing. We need to teach the family how to help by bringing her water, bringing her the things she needs because she’s gonna be sitting there a lot of the time and to know that this is the way that it is to be. That’s why I like that first 10 days, her in her nest. Let Facebook do that showing the baby to everybody else and when she feels this motherly protected instincts about not letting, want everybody to hold the baby, obey that. Everybody can wait.

Robin Kaplan: I like to tell moms that I think the reason nature has intended us to sit down for over to 30-­‐40 minutes for each feeding session because it’s the only way that women actually stay seated and actually relax and allow other people to come and help take care of her and her baby because that’s the way it was supposed to be. We weren’t supposed to be the hostess of everyone in the town to come and see our baby those first couple days and I think that’s what really gets women off to a difficult, they are faced with a difficult challenge of allowing their human process to take place because they’re doing too much and so I tell them there’s a reason that we’re supposed to sit down and nurse our children for these extended periods of time in the beginning because it’s nature’s way of telling you sit down and stop doing so much and bond with your baby and learn the new wants of your baby.

Ina May Gaskin: That’s true and I would say that’s a really good time and already in late pregnancy I mean, you’re already backing off the caffeine. We consume huge amounts of caffeine. Never so much, you know, has any people that I’m aware of consumed and so, we have to think about that and go, “is that really good for us to do so much to overdo”, I mean, have this huge, you know, I mean a cup size, so much has such a big effect on the body and it runs a life force too hard, I think. So, I think that a new mom really, probably could do without that and take wearing off during, certainly during pregnancy and then, you know, get back to what zero is because when you listen to the body’s signals that’s what you have to do if you want to maintain good health and surely that’s part of the job of being the mother is not only to do that for the baby but to maintain your own because that’s also for the baby, it’s for all the kids.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely, one last question for you. What are some of the important things to remember in the first days of breastfeeding which you recommend for a mom?

Ina May Gaskin: The baby’s poop will change color dramatically so, its’ gonna be black and tarry and first and then it gets, it moves into the browns and may be a little green phase going on and then want to gets to yellow. Now you’re getting to where the baby is really getting a lot food. There is a, your baby is not gonna starve, right, easily because the baby comes equipped with a lot of glycogen stored in the vital organs. That makes the baby not actually ready to eat at first and what they’re doing the first two days, they’re clearing out the meconium which is not the baby, alright. That was sort of the packing material that keeps the intestines from sticking together, right. And so, the colostrum is kind of a lacks if that helps get that out and especially babies whose mothers have had epidurals and have been loaded up with IV fluids, a lot of that extra fluid is gonna be coming out of the baby and that again is not the baby. So please don’t freak out when somebody tells you the baby has lost so many ounces while in the hospital. This is nothing to freak out about.

But, what you want to do is to have the baby as close to your body as possible, skin to skin contact is ideal for as much of the day is possible. Just holding the baby, being with the baby and you know, put your, you know, don’t be texting, you know, that’s, those play things don’t belong in your hands while the baby should be there. So, maximize your communication with the baby until you really get your nervous systems in the kind of, contact they should be and then you’ll have a better entry into breastfeeding and it can be a true joy as well as a time saver and a built-­‐in relaxation and meditation for you. That can slow down the pace. Modern life keeps going faster, faster, faster and if the woman doesn’t slow it down, I don’t see how anybody else in the family would have the power to do that. So, that’s the, you know, you’re kind of the fly wheel of the family I’d say and so we have to not keep up with that pace and it’s not a matter of going out and showing everybody what you did. Let somebody put a photo up on Facebook and let that do the talking.

Robin Kaplan: That’s terrific advice. Thank you, it was such a pleasure to meet you.

Ina May Gaskin: Good to meet you.

Robin Kaplan: That concludes our interview with Ina May Gaskin. We now know more about Ina May’s suggestions for breastfeeding mothers as well as how mothers can be proactive in creating a positive breastfeeding experience for themselves and their babies. When we return, we will hear from our panelists about what they did to get breastfeeding off to a great start.

[Theme Music]

Robin Kaplan: So, welcome back. Ladies, after listening to Ina May’s advice about how to get breastfeeding off to a great start, what tips really resonated with you?

Keegan Sheridan: I just wanna say, I love Ina May and I was so excited to listen to this interview. It was kind of cool just to hear her voice because I’ve read two of her few books. I think the thing that has resonated with me the most about Ina May was how she kept coming back to this, this meeting to, to an end and to now to a lot of the stuff that’s going around both from a pacing perspective in our lives, not texting, I’m totally guilty of texting while in there, that was kind of resonated for me, that she’s such a powerful woman and I think her power comes in her simplicity and that’s the message that she has to share with all of us is that we know how to do it. We were made to do it and if you just trust yourself, that’s when you can be successful. So it was a total treat to listen to that.

Val Velasquez I agree and it definitely resonated with me especially because I felt that exclusively breastfeeding my first and with my second, I was forced to be on the couch because I had a very hard C-­‐section recovery and I actually feel that was a blessing because I literally lived on the couch for a week and the baby lived on my breasts and I feel that, that is what may help to succeed the second time around. It was just me and her and we made it happen and we made it happen by doing nothing. So….

Robin Kaplan: That’s awesome.

Christina Williams: I really appreciated her thoughts on keeping everyone away for a little bit, taking that time for yourself and the baby. I didn’t do that very well and in much respect I should have put my foot down and kept that time to ourselves.

Robin Kaplan: yeah, that definitely resonated with me as well ‘coz the first time around. My oldest son was the first grandchild out of the entire family and so everyone wanted to see him and I played hostess for those first couple weeks and we got off to a really rough start, not just for parenting but bonding and parenting and so the second time around, we made some pretty significant changes in how we allowed people to come over and meet the baby and it was more, I felt respectful of our family and our bonding time and just getting to know each other and I felt it went so much more smoothly and I still had my breastfeeding challenges with my second one. It wasn’t that, that was all fixed but, I felt like I got to know him so much better because I listened to my intuition which is I think Ina May really recommends and I agree with you Keegan and the simplicity when I was interviewing her, just like, you’re so dead on like, she just, she gets it and that’s why she is this powerful woman who is really creating change, you know, for all of us new moms.

Keegan Sheridan: Yeah, she rocks.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, she totally does. So ladies, how, you know, Ina May talks about how she recommends preparing for breastfeeding, you know, being around a babies and being around pregnant moms and moms who are breastfeeding and things like that. How did you prepare for breastfeeding while you were pregnant?

Val Velasquez: Well, I mean going back again to Ina May and the simplicity of it, I realized the second time around that I didn’t need anything really. You know, all I needed was just the education of you know, you don’t need a pacifier, you don’t need a bottle. You definitely do not need formula. So, it really helped me to just read a book for proper latching techniques and just go into it with just this idea of all I need is the baby and me and just the will to do it and I feel that is what I needed to prepare is just we’re gonna make it. We don’t need the vows and whistles and we did it.

Robin Kaplan: Just trusting in yourself and….

Val Velasquez: Yes.

Robin Kaplan: It’s perfect.

Keegan Sheridan: Yeah, I read books. Ina May’s book was a big one for me. But, I read some others as well, took class and I even took a refresher class with you Robin before I had my second baby too just to make sure all of the little details that may have faded in the haze of those first few weeks were fresh for me. But, I think one thing that I was able to do with both babies but certainly with the second baby having had the experience of doing it before was just to have a lot of patience and not feel rushed to make anything happen at all. Ina May talks about this and you certainly would see this in any book that you read that the baby really doesn’t need any calories at the beginning and I think that, at least for me was very, it gave me permission to not try and force things because all you want is to make sure your baby is okay. And if you know that your baby was kind of built to be self-­‐sufficient for a while, then you can just let them do whatever they’re gonna do and so it was almost fun the second time around to kind of see him rooting on my chest looking for my breasts and allowing that process to take 20 or 30 minutes for him to get there wasn’t, it wasn’t a big deal in kind of letting him kind of figure it out. His latch wasn’t great at first but, it also wasn’t hurting me. So, I just went with that and he did as he was doing it more and more he got better and better and pretty soon, he had a great latch and it was done.

Val Velasquez: I think that is especially important in a hospital setting or it was for me because unlike my birth center and home birthing friends, I had nurses down my throat all day, you know, weighing her and trying to see you know, how she was nursing and things like that and the second time around I went into it knowing okay, she doesn’t need, she’s not gonna get a bottle’s worth of milk. She doesn’t need a bottle’s worth of milk so I don’t need to supplement. I don’t need to worry about her gaining. I know she’s gonna lose. I think knowing what to expect makes a world of difference because you don’t pressure yourself or the baby into doing things that you don’t even need to do.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah you do have a couple of days where to kind of play around with like, Ina May said that it was just the calories is not as important as getting rid about Meconium which is why there is colostrum, you know, and to cloak their gut and so, you are absolutely correct is that they don’t need a full bottle and so knowing that, just knowing that they’re getting this theory minimal amount but the quality of it is so intense that it kind of just allows you to kind of sit back and say okay do what you need to do. What were you gonna say?

Christina Williams: I did a lot of reading. I read a ton of books, internet, I went to a breastfeeding course Robin. I thought I had it made. I thought I knew exactly what to expect and what was going to happen and well, I knew what was supposed to happen and it wasn’t falling into place the way I expected. It was very frustrating for me. I didn’t receive the kind of lactation support in the hospital that I should have and my daughter had a tummy tie that was not like known until about a week after she was born and so, I was facing a lot of struggles because of that. And once that was repaired, things got a lot better and if I would have known that in the beginning and would do something about that, I think it would have been a lot easier.

Robin Kaplan: Another quick thing I thought of right now and has also helped me is knowing your failures. You know, I know first time moms can’t really rely on this one but second-time moms certainly can is you know, I know that I have flat nipples. So, I got one of those little Medela shields 4 and I know that they’re not super recommended if you don’t need it and I definitely would not use it unless it was my last resort but, it was my last resort and we’re still exclusively breastfeeding for almost a year and I really think that little thing for that, in my special case though. Ladies, did you happen to go to a support group while you were pregnant?

Christina Williams: I didn’t and you recommended to me that I should and I should have listened to you.

Robin Kaplan: Think it would have been helpful?

Christina Williams: Yes, absolutely.

Robin Kaplan: How come?

Christina Williams: Just seeing everybody breastfeed, seeing everybody feel comfortable doing it and watching technique, I felt very awkward holding my daughter. I felt like I was doing it wrong. Just physically, I thought I held her wrong and I did have it wrong and it would have been helpful to see that.

Val Velasquez: I should have, I went to your class when Mila, as soon as I was able to walk. I went and I wish I have gone before but, I didn’t.

Robin Kaplan: Keegan, how about you? Did you go to a support group while you were pregnant?

Keegan Sheridan: Just to see if people are seeing, no. I didn’t and I wish I did. It makes total sense. No one brought it up to me, you know. It still seems too obvious afterward. But, I think especially in our country where breastfeeding is not, you mentioned this when you were interviewing her, Ina May that we cover ourselves, that we do it hiding or we don’t do it public at all so, you don’t see women nursing. It seems ludicrous to me, now that I’m a nursing woman but, it’s one of those things, it’s like you’re brought into the fold once you have a baby and this whole new world is open to you. That was completely out of the picture before you had children. So, no, I’m sad about that but, no.

Robin Kaplan: You could share it with your friends. [Laughs] Like it or not, they’re gonna see it. So, Ina May recommends spending at least those first 10 days or longer without visitors that you and your baby can become and sink with one another. What do you think about this advice?

Val Velasquez: I completely agree with it. However, there’s also the other side of it is visitors are, can definitely be more of a problem in the beginning because they distract you from bonding and all that. However, support is different because like I said I was healing. My husband is a full-time student and works and I had a two-year-old then. So, it was crucial for me to have help so I could just be in the sink with the baby. If without that, I don’t know how I would have survived.

Keegan Sheridan: That’s a really good point. I feel like there has to be a balance. Sometimes moms have to know that they will need help in the beginning especially if you have other small children and if you’re healing. However, it also has to be number one priority to just sit and nurse and just enjoy your baby, really, just that tiny little new born head smell is [Laughs]….could bottle it up and sell it. [Laughs]

Robin Kaplan: How about you Christina?

Christina Williams: I think that’s great. My house has a revolving door by any means but it was more than I could handle. My daughter was born few days before Christmas and I got sucked into the whole family coming over and all the expectations around a major holiday and I should have just ignored Christmas for the year and called it done because it would have been really helpful to just have that downtime without the gifts and the shopping and making sure this person has this and the card is signed and it’s over with this person and you know, it was really hectic and I didn’t need that.

Keegan Sheridan: Well, when I was in school getting my naturopathic degree, there was a lot of emphasis on the concept of a fourth trimester and so I had learned about that in my studies and my friends who were also naturopaths and had children before me had really talked about how true that really was, that first 12 weeks. So, I went into both of my births with a total plan around with this fourth trimester. This fourth trimester was going to be like, and I was militant about not having people in my home and visiting and it’s a memory that I really cherish because it was just me and my husband figuring out how to take care of a baby and I’m sure it was ridiculous. I’m glad there weren’t people to see it.

Robin Kaplan: No judgment, right? [Laughs]

Keegan Sheridan: ...because we never had any experience with kids before we had one. But, I’m really glad that we did that ‘cause it was like this little, it was like a cocoon. It was this really special experience that I got to have and it’s nice. Your home is just quiet and soft and full of warm, free things and you just get to nuzzle for a few weeks and it was great.

Robin Kaplan: Absolutely, but I do, I’m very appreciative that you mentioned Val just how important, it’s finding that balance of what you’re comfortable with too and so, it’s, I’d like to say as well, like, don’t be the murderer. If someone comes over and they want to bring you diner and they want to do your laundry, let them do it because that means more time for you and your baby to sit there and nuzzle on one another. So….

Keegan Sheridan: And I think it’s different. It’s not like, it sounds like it, Val in your case, it wasn’t that, that people coming over and wanting to hold your baby and take that bond, wanting time away. They were taking care of the rest of your life which is different and yeah, with my second, that was definitely the case. I mean, I stayed in my bedroom but, there were people coming in and out all day long to bring over food or just drop it outside the front door or whatever. So, that was definitely happening. I just wasn’t seeing it which was bliss.

Robin Kaplan: So, what tips would you share with pregnant friends now, for getting breastfeeding off to a great start kind of based on your experiences as well as kind of picking from some of the philosophies that Ina made sure today?

Keegan Sheridan: Well, you know, I had two very different birth experiences so, I will say that one of my recommendations is what Ina May says if you can have a natural birth and get the support team in place to support you and have that happen, that natural birth so, no medications. I do think that, that makes a difference. I mean, for me it was the difference between, you know, I had a C-­‐Section with my first and a natural, unmedicated birth with my second and that second birth, the baby went right on my chest. He was on my chest when they cut the chord. He was there on my chest until I put him in a car seat to leave the hospital and I think that, that really set things up in a much better way than with my first where we were separated for a very long time, almost 24 hours. And, he ended up and he had a good nurse so it ended up being okay but, you know, I was guilty about that first 24 hours and what didn’t he get from me and all of that stuff. So, yeah, I think if you know, getting that support team in place to support what you want to have happened, to help the chances of it happening is really helpful ‘cause it causes a positive chain reaction that has an impact on breastfeeding.

Val Velasquez: Going off on what she said which is also what I’ve told, you know, my best friend recently had a baby and she had it naturally and the minute we found out that she was pregnant, I was like, you know, find out what you want to have your baby and just try to not do it at a hospital because I mean, not that I have anything against hospitals but I had two C-­‐sections and with the second one, I waited and waited and finally we had to do it again. But, I went into it saying to the doctors and nurses in, you know what, in a crazy mom-­‐o-­‐line way, you know, as soon as you can give her to me, please give her to me. I want to nurse her. I probably said that 30 times and I have this awesome picture of me nursing her when I was still kind of, woozy and you know, an hour after she was born which for a C-­‐Section is really soon and that was so awesome to be in the recovery room still with my little hat on, nursing her and that is probably my biggest advice is no matter how you birth, hopefully it’s in a peaceful, un-­‐medicated way. But, you don’t still fight to have that baby with you as soon as you can because it’s exactly a positive chain of events will likely follow.

Robin Kaplan: Yeah, being your own advocate and being proactive, you have to be especially at a hospital. How about you Christina?

Christina Williams: You know, those things are for me as well but, additionally it really resonated that she said to learn manual expression. That would have been really helpful for me before the baby was born and also what she said about the loss of birth weight. I knew to expect a loss of birth weight but I had a medicated delivery, had some complications. I was induced for medical reasons and I didn’t realize how much of that would add weight to her that she would then lose and so the pediatricians were coming in, very concerned about her loss of weight and really in much respect, it wasn’t a considerable amount. And if I would have known a little bit more about what the medication was going to do, I think that would have helped me a lot.

Robin Kaplan: That’s a great point and the manual expression, there’s a wonderful website out there with a video. If you Google, Standford university, hand expression or manual expression, there’s about a 5-minute video on there by Dr. Jane Mortan and she shows you how to do it and I actually recommend for almost all to watch it especially moms who know that they’re gonna need a Cesarean birth for whatever medical reasons just to know how to do that because it helps bring in your supply faster and we made some studies on it. So, thank you for mentioning that as well. Ladies, thank you so much for your advice and insight into getting breastfeeding off to a great start. Again, it was an absolute pleasure to interview Ina May and I personally thank her for her time and her insight into preparing to breastfeed.

[Theme Music]
[Featured Segment: Overcoming Societal Booby Traps]

Robin Kaplan: Before we wrap things up, here’s Lara Adelo talking about ways to overcome societal booby traps.

Lara Audelo: Hi Boob Group listeners. I’m Lara Audelo, a certified lactation educator, the regional marketing manager at Best For Babes and owner of MamaPear Designs. I’m here to answer some of your most common questions about how you can achieve your personal breastfeeding goals without being undermined by cultural and institutional booby traps such as why should a newborn bath wait? Babies can make a pretty messy interest into the world but some gentle toweling off, ideally on the mom’s chest, can go a long way to moving the group. What the evidence strongly suggest, however, is that dealing with that by whisking the baby away to its first bath is dangerous in several ways. It negatively affects a baby’s body temperature and can be harmful to breastfeeding too. Why, because the baby’s instinct is to call for the breast and he or she is driven by the sense of smell in “The Impact of the Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding” Linda Smith explains, the senses of smell and touch are especially powerful triggers of infant and maternal behavior. The newborn sense of smell is especially acute in the first hours triggering breast-seeking behaviors and movements. Washing or bathing the mother or the baby will remove all factory cues to support breastfeeding and it attachment and should be avoided. We can see this behavior in the breast call. The instinctual movement of the newborn towards the breast in the first hour or so after birth and research is shown a remarkable difference in behaviors between babies who were bathed and babies who weren’t.

The sense of smell and particularly the smell of amniotic fluid on the baby and a similar smell of the mother’s breast appears to be one factor unlocking the sequence of this instinctive behavior. This is also worn out by the fact that a baby after wash, she will be less likely to do the instinctual hand and mouth movement typically seen in the first hour after birth. For these reasons, the California Department of Public Health, to name one of many health authorities, recommends it in its model of hospitals toolkit. Babies are usually most ready to breastfeed during the first hour after birth and for the normal newborn this should occur prior to such interventions such as the newborn bath, glucose sticks, footprinting and eye treatments. During the first day of life, skin-­‐to-­‐ skin time and breastfeeding should take priority over every other routine event such as infant bathing, textures and visitors. But, lots of moms feel that they have this option. Unfortunately some moms are still pressured to have their babies bathed early on. If you’re concerned your baby might be bathed in the first hours or that it might interrupt your skin-to-skin experience on your first day, you can specify your wishes in your birth plan and discuss this with your providers. A special Thank you to Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC for writing the booby trap series for Best For Babes. Visit http://www.bestforbabes.org for more great information about how to meet your personal breastfeeding goals and my website, http://www.mamapeardesigns.com for breastfeeding support at
variable and be sure to listen to The Boob Group for fantastic conversations about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.

Robin Kaplan: Thank you to all of our listeners. If you don’t already have Ina May’s book, you can purchase them through the online store on our website. If you have any questions for one of our experts, we’d love to hear it. Call the Boob Group hotline at 619-­‐866-­‐4775. Leave us a message and we’ll answer your question on an upcoming episode. Thanks for listening to the Boob Group because mothers know breasts.


This has been a New Mommy Media Production. The information materials 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.

[00:39:47] End of Audio

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