Maternal Mental Health Preparation While Pregnant

Are you worried about the sleepless nights once your newborn arrives? The potential bickering that might happen with your partner and how you both will come together to raise your new baby? This episode is all about how to prepare your mental health and get on the same level as your partner before your baby arrives!

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Featured Expert

Episode Transcript

Disclaimer 0:06
Are you worried about the sleepless nights once your newborn arrives, the potential bickering that might happen with your partner and how you both will come together to raise your new baby. This episode is all about how to prepare your mental health and get on the same level as your partner before your baby arrives. Thanks for joining us. This is pretty pals. Um, is that a plus sign? Pink or blue hospital?

Or homebirth? What type of food should I be eating? I think I just paid myself. I'm pregnant. And I have to exercise what pregnancy glow. Wait, was that a contraction? Gotta make these pants

kinkle What do you mean, there's more than one. You've got the symptoms. And now you've got the support you need for a happy nine months. This is Peggy pals your pregnancy your way.

Welcome to pregnancy pals. My name is Kaile and I'll be your host today. If you haven't already, be sure to visit our website at New mommy And subscribe to our weekly newsletter, which keeps you updated on all the episodes we release each week. Another great way to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button in your podcast app. And if you're looking for a way to get even more involved with our show, then check out our online community. It's called Mighty moms. That's where we chat more about the topics discussed here on our show. And it's an easy way to learn about our recordings so you can join us live. This is a very fun episode today. I think it's going to resonate with a lot of listeners. So let's meet today's panel of guests and our expert today is Emily Mason. Emily is currently the education chair for ICA and founder of edgy Bration. I love that and is a doctoral student at the University of Arkansas. She has her master's in early childhood education, and a master's in special education. Emily, welcome to preggy Palace, this is your first time being on our show, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Emily Mason 1:57
Thank you so much for having me. I started my motherhood journey a little bit differently from everyone else. I think motherhood is very different for each person. But my first daughter was adopted through the foster care system. And I really dove into what can I do to meet her where she was at. And as I dug into this, I realized that there was not a lot of information that was out there that moms could access without this taboo or a stigma of feeling less than. And so that's why I found it edge abrasion and went back and got my master's in both early childhood and in special education to help moms along the way, and to give them that outlet that they don't know where to to go in those air in those instances. I

Disclaimer 2:59
love that. And I love your expertise, if I may say and having dealt with both instances, so the adoption system and dealing with your mental health that way and then going through pregnancy and welcoming a newborn baby I think that is so wonderful that you're willing to share your experience and help other mothers, you know in that realm.

Emily Mason 3:19
Thank you.

Disclaimer 3:20
Next we have two other guests are joining us. We also have Christie del Castillo Hagee joining us who is a board certified emergency physician and studies newborn brain injury and developmental disabilities caused by insufficient feeding she co founded the Fed is best foundation, when her own firstborn son was harmed by unsafe advice on exclusive breastfeeding from breastfeeding books, breastfeeding classes and health professionals, when she learned that these complications were happening on a daily basis to infants across the globe as a result of things commonly taught to parents. Christy, thank you for joining us. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi 3:55
Thank you, you've kind of covered quite a lot of anything past that. But thank you. Yeah, maybe. So I'm here because, again, one of the cofounders of the Fed is best foundation. And our mission is really to support parents, wherever they are, whatever they can do. And one of the things that I think is really difficult for new parents new mothers is that there's a certain expectation of what you are supposed to be. And it's this one thing, how you feed your baby, how you raise them who you are, as a parent, it seems like we're all trying to live up to one standard and it took becoming a real parent of a new parent to realize all of that all those expectations really are not within your control. So so I'm really happy to be here because I would really love to talk about how postmarked postpartum mental health is affected by parents or mothers expectations of their feeding journeys and how sometimes when that Isn't Matt that it can really impact their mental health afterwards. So really want new moms who are listening to this to understand that, that things happen and that it's maybe different from what you expected. But there are so many ways to be a really good mom. And that that's the goal. Happy Mom, Happy Baby happy family.

Disclaimer 5:20
1% I think and I'm glad you have expertise in the Fed is best campaign because I think for so many women, and myself included, I always thought, Oh, I'm gonna breastfeed my daughter. And that's what I thought the entire pregnancy. And then I have her and a lot of women struggle with breastfeeding myself included. And that was a real mental challenge for me and some of my friends and I love that we can prepare ahead of time and just give helpful information and tips and focus on the mental health aspect of mom because I know so many women are like, oh, I'll just breastfeed and then they you know, have the baby and then there's complications. So I am excited to dive into that. Lastly, we have Lynette half kin joining us who is a hospital and private practice lactation consultant, former la leche league leader and advocate for a family centered lactation and infant feeding support Lynette school throughout her 20 year vocation has been to help families breastfeed in a safe, enjoyable and sustainable way. And in some cases transition to infant formula while knowing their babies would thrive from being loved and fed. Lynette, thank you so much for joining us. If you could just give yourself a little bio and say hello.

Lynnette Hafken 6:30
So I started this journey before I became a mother and I knew I was going to breastfeed. My mother breastfed my sister and I over a year, she got help from La Leche League. And so I knew I was going to do it. And I did. But it didn't happen the way I had expected. And basically, I have three kids, and none of them happen the way I expected. And I feel like because of my experience, I have a special insight into the fear that new mothers feel when they give birth. And they've been told all these things like I cried when I first had to give formula. I'm talking about myself, I cried when I first had to give formula to my 35 weaker, because I was so scared that I was contaminated in her gut. Because I had heard so many things about about that. I guess this is maybe getting off track of a bio bonus. Okay.

Disclaimer 7:33
Yeah, you're fine.

Lynnette Hafken 7:34
I mean, it's just been a very long evolution. Like, before I was pregnant, I knew everything, then I knew nothing. And then gradually I started learning that breastfeeding is great. I loved it. But there are many other ways to feed and love your baby. And they're all just wonderful.

Disclaimer 7:59
Exactly. I love that. And I love that we're going to dive into that especially. And I wish I listened to this episode that we're recording now when I was I think this is so important because we're going to talk about so many topics about how to prepare and get in such a good mindspace before the baby arrives. So I'll also be sharing some of my own breastfeeding experiences, postpartum experiences with hormonal shifts, I mean, it's a huge hormonal shift after you give birth, and so it's good to prepare ahead of time. But first, let's take a quick break. And when we return, we will dive into today's topic.

Today we're discussing my parents mental health should be part of the conversation and takeaway points for tired parents needing the big picture. I know the early days and weeks feel like a blur. And I wish I would have prepared a little bit more before giving birth. For example, I was so prepared on labor and contractions. And when labor is going to start for myself, I did not even imagine, wow, I need to prepare for my mental health after my daughter was born. And so let's dive into it. So first question, I have a couple of bullet point questions for everyone. But first question is for Emily, can you please explain postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety? And what are some signs and symptoms that, you know, maybe pregnant mothers should look out for ahead of time and kind of have on their radar,

Emily Mason 9:24
postpartum anxiety is experienced by about 80% of women after birth, and it's the excessive worrying the dread the racing thoughts. I really kind of put that as my every day. Um, I feel like the anxieties of our life are just heightened after we have our babies and so when you start to feel those worrying, those dread feelings, those racing thoughts, taking a moment to identify what well first you just had a baby. So your hormones are all over the place. And then realizing that this is not a forever piece, this is usually on average 10 to 14 days of the anxiety for most moms, with the depression piece that's going a little bit longer, the more severe feelings, you have these on average weeks to months, with 5% of the population actually experiencing postpartum depression for the first three years after a baby is born. And realizing I think as we prepare that, if you have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, mental health, prior to having your baby, you are at a heightened risk of experiencing those feelings after your baby's born. So I always encourage people to have those open and honest conversations with their health care providers with their postpartum doulas with their tribe of people that are going to be surrounding them, because they they will happen, more likely than not if you have been diagnosed. The Mayo Clinic has actually come out with some other information like genetics. So if you have a family history of depression, anxiety that puts you in that heightened risk if you've had a difficult birth premies, or you had planned to have a natural birth, and you ended up having a C section that puts you in a heightened category. Multiples breastfeeding complications and even gestational diabetes will put you in that heightened category of just being more aware that you may be feeling these, these feelings and you need to reach out and get some help if you are starting to feel those those feelings.

Disclaimer 11:53
How interesting and quick follow up question. It's kind of a two parter. Do women only experienced postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety? Or the birthing parent? Or can the partner husband, boyfriend, whatever it may be? Can they also experience some sort of postpartum depression?

Emily Mason 12:10
Absolutely. So it looks different for each individual. And I tell people, it's going to come out differently for every person. So my biggest piece that I look for as a postpartum doula coming in working with families, is seeing those big shifts with dads I see. Or the partner, I see a lot of financial worry, that's where it tends to come out of making sure. Are we going to have enough money to do this? And I see they they pinpoint that a lot of times, but absolutely. The partners, even family members, if a lot of my families have have mothers that are living with them, they can start to feel shifts in some of those feelings, because they are so close to the families, and the day to day.

Disclaimer 13:09
How interesting. And I can only imagine, at least in my case, breastfeeding was a big part of my journey. And also the financial journey here. I thought when I was pregnant, oh, I'll just breastfeed because it's free, is it but isn't really free? What are some options for parents to kind of prepare for breastfeeding?

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi 13:27
I think as far as mothers who are planning on breastfeeding, it's really important to try to prepare yourself. And of course, I'm going to give a plug for our book, which is that is best book already available on Amazon can't help it sorry, but But I mean, our resource as well as our online resources, it's going to be tied to the book, you know, really tries to prepare parents how did not only talk about how not only learn about the mechanics of breastfeeding and positioning and milk maintenance, but also managing expectations. So this is, you know, I'm gonna talk a little bit about how I went just like you, I feel like everyone in the room had the same pregnancy expectation, which is you read the books, you learn how to parent and how to breastfeed and do all those things. And that's how it's gonna happen as soon as they pop out. And so, a really big piece of humble pie to all new moms out there is that you're going to eat some a little piece of advice, because you're gonna eat some Humble Pie once you get there. So. So while it's really important to be prepared to feed your baby, know that sometimes things don't go exactly as planned. So for instance, two things with related to breastfeeding is sometimes colostrum is just not enough to feed a baby. Okay? And the reason why that's the case, okay, you're gonna hear lots of things about on the internet. If you looked up colostrum, it's all your baby needs, needs and in real life, that's not the case. If you You don't have enough colostrum if you are, you know, older moms C section pushin mom all sorts of reasons, even if you're a regular healthy term, baby, delivering mom, there are some times when colostrum is just not enough. And that that happened to me. And being prepared knowing that, you know, what, if your baby needs a little bit of formula for the first couple of days, until your milk comes in, and and know that that's not abnormal, or a failure, or anything that you're doing wrong, know that if that happens, it's okay. Because we have been doing that for millennia. In fact, you know, if you look at the data from breastfeeding moms all across the globe, very commonly, during that pre Lacta Genesis period before your milk comes in period, have to supplement. So just knowing that number one that what if your baby needs a supplement, in the first days of life, you haven't failed. Number two, sometimes the milk comes in really late, and your baby needs supplementation because of that. And so no, that's something that's really common too. And you're not failing if you have to supplement until the milk does come in. And then number three, we live all moms, all birthing parents exist on a spectrum of milk producing ability, okay, and so we're very commonly given the expectation that all moms nearly all moms can produce all their baby needs from birth to six months. As long as you're doing it, right, you're trying hard enough, you're getting the right lactation support. In real life, that's not true. In real life only, even with the billions that have been put in towards promoting exclusive breastfeeding less than 50% across the globe are breastfed exclusively breastfeeding at six months. And so you're not rare and you're not doing it wrong. If you for some reason, find out that you're not producing enough or things aren't working out, or you are there are other reasons outside of lactation, that that makes it necessary to feed formula are either partially or, or exclusively so. And how that relates to, to mental health, I can tell you, from my own experience, and other moms experience about talking about her fit infant feeding is related to mental health is that is that when I so so I had twins for my second pregnancy. And with my firstborn, I was able to kind of persist and get to that exclusive breastfeeding status by triple feeding and doing everything I could to get to that status. And with my twins is a totally different story. I had twins, I had plenty of milk at the beginning. But then I couldn't keep up. I couldn't keep up keep up with her need, I can keep up as a parent and my mental health slowly but surely declined over the next couple of weeks until my milk was just gone, dried up, I'd pump all day long. And I'd produce only one ounce a day. And and that's when I realized that not only was I not succeeding, but I was not spending any time with my kids. And I was clinically depressed. I had experienced depression before. And I said I'm not going to do this anymore. I'm going to be there for my kids, I'm going to hold my babies, the way which I hadn't gotten to do in days because I was plugged up. I mean, I was attached to a pump. And coming to that point, you realize, what am I doing? You know, my plan, everything I'm doing is not achieving the outcome that I want, which is to be happy for my children to be happy and nourish and held and for me to you know, that's that's when you realize sometimes and with a lot of moms are discovering this only after they give birth is that sometimes your plan is not achieving what you want, you know, your plan, perhaps some moms are wanting exclusively breastfeed and their child is failing to thrive. And then they realize only months afterwards that happened. And then the guilt that happens after that is is immense. And and you know, if even if you have plenty of milk and breastfeeding is working out, but the experience and the demand is taking a toll on your mental health, then that's also not a plan that's working out because your baby needs you more than your breast milk. And so, um, gosh, I'm sorry, I'm just talking.

Disclaimer 19:37
I don't know. No, these are great. This is great. And this kind of segues to my next question for Lynette but I guess as a private practice lactation consultant, I mean, I'm sure you work with parents all the time. What are some common similarities you see, or you can point out obviously, your expertise is breastfeeding. But what are some common things you see out when you kind of noticed a mother might have have postpartum depression over feeding struggles and let's talk even about the tiredness of having a newborn. But what are some common themes you see with women who eventually do get diagnosed or you suspect might have postpartum depression slash anxiety? Well,

Lynnette Hafken 20:14
first of all, I like to give people the Eaton Burg postnatal depression scale to just kind of screen them and see if, you know, they may, might need to reach out to a mental health professional since it's so common. And of course, the people I'm seeing are seeing me because they have breastfeeding problems. So I think it's important to really make that part of your intake information when you're meeting a new client. I wanted to just get back to something Christie said about the early days when colostrum sometimes isn't enough. You know, I obviously completely support the idea of exclusive breastfeeding, and I really wanted to do it, I did it. But you know, not everybody is going to have enough colostrum, that's just a biological fact. And so having a plan B, even if you want to exclusively breastfeed, and that's your plan, having a plan B to what you will do, if you find that your baby isn't getting enough, is so critical. Because when I have to tell a new mother that her baby is showing signs of dehydration, or has lost too much weight, that it's indescribably painful, and that never leaves you those mothers will feel that anguish for the rest of their lives, you know, maybe not every single day. But when they look back, you know, knowing that their baby essentially was hungry and thirsty for days. I mean, I just can't say enough about how painful that is. And I think that is something that you can prevent a lot of mental health issues, I would assume by you know, having that plan B so that you don't need to go through that. And your baby doesn't need to go through that. I really get into how the mom is feeling about how everything about what's happened and like what her plan was what, you know, happened that derail debt, how she felt about that, what support she has, has she gotten enough sleep, that is huge and want to talk about that for hours. But usually, at some point during the discussion, she'll start crying or get choked up. And then, you know, we can really talk through a good solution for her and her baby, whether it is preserving exclusive breastfeeding for her because that is totally doable if the milk supply is there, and she really wants to continue full exclusive breastfeeding, that is doable. And we make an individualized plan that involves the whole family support system. It's not all on the mother. And so I mean, I guess it's just an organic process. Like I don't have like a list of signs, I just, you know, kind of gauge the mother's emotional state, like read the room, ask the other people in the family, what they have noticed, and how much sleep everyone's gotten, not just the mom, but everyone. And that can be very illuminating. Because when the mother's gotten no more than an hour of unbroken sleep in the last 24 hours, and everybody else has gotten like six hours of unbroken on it. That's a huge thing that needs to be addressed.

Disclaimer 23:46
I love that's the great segue to our next question. I'm going to toss it back over to Emily. But let's talk about newborn exhaustion that I'll say this when I was pregnant, so many people were like, oh, make sure you get enough sleep. Now. When the baby comes. They're not going to be sleeping in that. I don't know what it was about that but it just grinded my gears. I was already not sleeping well being, you know, eight, nine months pregnant. And then when people were telling me that's like it can't be worse than pregnancy. In my case, it was not for everyone's but for my case, I did not have a sleeper, which is okay. But Emily anyway, talk a little bit about sleep deprivation and how to prepare a little bit beforehand. Yeah,

Emily Mason 24:29
I you know, I wish there was a magic answer that we could just say, this is what you should do and it would it would work. So it's different for every person. I think setting reasonable expectations is part of the process I work with with my moms, that there's the superhero status that we all feel the need to live up to. And I explained you know you were a superhero already you carried an entire life inside of you and and you have that baby, we, it's okay to drop the cape for a little bit and take care of you. And those expectations are those set by society. And what I'm working on doing is kind of de stigmatizing and breaking down some of those expectations. And bringing in that support system making sure that people know you can reach out to a postpartum doula, you can reach out to a friend, a confidant, families that have you know, kids that are around the same age or even five years older, to come in and help with those day to day transitions, it's okay to ask for help. A lot of my work has been working with moms to help them realize that the, there's not a light switch that goes off at six weeks, and now you know, go back to work and pick up your life and everything's going to be great. So my goal, and what I founded with my organization, is that we help moms through the first 1000 days. So we work with families through the first 1000 days to ensure that we're really building on the backside reasonable expectations. And we're helping you transition through each one of these new phases in life. So it doesn't just stop when the newborn sleep exhaustion is over. Because then you're into toddler sleep exhaustion, and setting up those reasonable expectations. Moving forward, I think is important. And then sleeping when you can, creating spaces to allow people to come in and help you I am very much a person that I enjoy my space, I enjoy how I do things. And giving somebody access to my home was very, very difficult for me. But I knew it was something I needed to do in order to protect my mental health. And give myself some time to take an hour and sleep and not feel guilty about taking that hour. So just managing those expectations and having those check ins frequently with your support system and let them know what what you need. As well as if you have that support system around you such as your postpartum doula. Tell them, you know, keep me keep me in line. Check me sometimes that I'm trying to be a superhero. And I have to tell some of my moms, Hey, I see you, you're doing great. But I need you to give me the cake for a minute and you take you take a break.

Disclaimer 27:53
I love all of this advice. And I know at some other, you know, helpful tips that were given to me and some of my friends was sleep when the baby sleeps, and I definitely did that. Thankfully, my baby wasn't I know some babies sleep during the day and they're up all night. I didn't have that. But when she would take her naps during the day, I would be sleeping there right next to her. She'd be in her little bassinet and I would be right next to her sleeping. Yes, because I noticed the days where I did not take a nap with her. I could just feel my body and and my mental health decreasing because here you have this new baby and you're trying to cater to them and then but you're not catering to yourself. And so even like you mentioned Emily giving that extra hour to just hand the baby off to whether it's your mom or your dad or your husband, your partner. Definitely is helpful for mental health. We have covered a lot I love all of this. We will take a quick break right now and when we come back, we will dive more into the topics

Welcome back to preggy pals, we are continuing with our top list of Mental Health Awareness how to prepare when you have your baby inside as you get ready to give birth to your baby and just tips and tricks for all of the new mom struggles that you might face whether that's breastfeeding exhaustion. I we were talking actually in the break about postpartum doulas to share my story really quick. I hired a doula. My husband's in the military. So we have TRICARE and with that hiring a doula came with hiring, you know, the same postpartum doula. And so I was so lucky to have the postpartum help because being a military wife, I'm not close to family at all. And so it was really nice. She showed up three times when my daughter after my daughter was born for a good long stay. It was like two to three hours each visit and it was every two weeks up until six weeks and it was so helpful. Emily, my question for you is how can having a postpartum doula benefit the mother's experience for postpartum and is that something that you recommend, you know women looking into as they prepare for their birth?

Emily Mason 30:08
Absolutely. I as somebody who is a postpartum doula trains postpartum doulas, I had my own postpartum doula when I had my youngest. And I thought, I've got this under control. I, I've trained people, I know the ins and outs of it. But when you're so close to the emotion, I think that you can't see what is actually happening around you. And so I definitely had my postpartum doula come in. And she came in and helped me in the areas that I specifically need needed help. And that's the piece that I feel is important for new moms to understand is that there is a new wave of postpartum doulas coming into the sector. And it is not just dealing with your physical well being but also your mental health and your mental well being so you can do anything and have your postpartum doula do anything from meal preps with you each week to overnight stays to going to doctor's appointments with you and taking notes. And I know Wrestlin, a three week old on a changing table and there's explosive diapers happening. I needed a second person there to take notes for me, and then we could debrief in the car because I was so overwhelmed with the information coming in that that was one area that I knew that I needed her in. And so our postpartum doulas are coming in anywhere, like you said for six weeks. Mine come in for the first three years, and really help in the day to day transitions. And help you realize and figure out the ins and outs and then as you prepare maybe for a second or third child, how to integrate Big Brothers Big Sisters into those conversations, how to manage and juggle being a family of three to a family of four, those pieces that we don't always get to highlight and talk about where there's a big shift for brothers and sisters to and we see a lot of behaviors arise. Your postpartum doula can come in and help you integrate i i like to specialize and go in and help families with connecting moms and dads, spouses partners with how to connect after having a baby. Because intimacy looks completely different for moms a lot that can be you know, don't touch me. After having the baby and dad is trying to figure out what did I do wrong? Helping to explain that intimacy factor that intimacy is going to look different for a little while. How can you still connect those are all pieces that postpartum doulas can really come in and give you that foundational piece to set the good foundation for your newborn, but also keep that foundation solid for the rest of your family.

Disclaimer 33:31
I think that is so helpful. And that kind of segues into my next question for Christy is basically what a postpartum doula is, is from what I'm gathering is just extra help extra help for mom, for baby for family. And I think that is so important for the early newborn phases. And also, I love Emily that you've been said that it's for the first couple years of life. But Christie, I guess my question for you is how why is it so important to have resources, whether it's a postpartum doula or maybe your mother in law, your mother, your father, but why is that so important? And I love the saying it takes a village to raise a family to raise a baby because that's so true in this situation.

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi 34:10
It's absolutely true. I think a lot of parents I mean, there are people who've used doulas, but I think a lot more people use their family members so mothers, their mothers, their mother in law and grandmas, and all the people that you have in your life who are especially those who've been moms, they get it and they can help you get through those days. I think it's really important to take stock and what you need to be a happy person so some people for me, my sleep only happens at night. I'm not good at sleeping when baby sleeps. So if I had to do it all over again, I would have spent a focus my energies, either getting family or childcare providers to take care of nannies day care of my children at night, if I had known how little sleep I could get during the day, I would have hired someone to take care of my children at night. So having those resources up, up and ready to go before you give birth is really important number to know that you are important. I think once we give birth, something about our hormones make us feel that it is all on us. We have to do all of this and create this perfect environment for this child, or they're going to break. And so I think we need to remember that we need to refuel. So whether it's having an hour or two, at the end of the night, when the kids go to bed to be by yourself to watch Netflix, to our union an hour during the day to like, exercise or do whatever it is that you that makes you feel happy. Make time for that. Put that in the schedule, make it as important as you know, as taking care of your kid are whatever 100 Mommy things that you're expected to do. Those that's really important. And then keep checking in with yourself or have other people check in with you. So that you can pick up what when, what so others can pick up when you aren't picking it up. Because it is very difficult to recognize when depression is starting to set in. Because all you're doing is like is go go go I need to do this be changed feed go to sleep. It's it's oh gosh, I hate to give that expectation to first moms but it's relentless. And when you and when you have it, what is your second kid and you have a kind of a small first child Holy moly. You didn't know what your parenting could be like until you have you have more than one kid. So. So just heads up. I think it's really important to have other care providers, but also other moms who really get what the responsibility is makes you feel more comfortable with with having guidance to to help with their baby, but know knowing your child is safe and that you can actually fall asleep and trust this person completely. So I think that helps.

Disclaimer 37:22
Also, and I know talking from my experience, and you definitely nailed it is I felt like I had to do everything. And yes, I knew my husband was like totally capable. He is super dad. However I just wanted to I was like no, it's fine. I'll wake up and feed baby. I'll pump and rock the baby at the same time. I know I'm in the break. But I wanted to talk about this. You mentioned a little bit about pumping at night, or pumping in the day to save the bottle for at night. I was pumping around the clock. I was so worried about my milk supply. I wanted to have a good milk supply. So I had a freezer stash I had bottles in the fridge yet I still chose to forego sleep. I was just awake right and feeding my daughter that way. Can you talk a little bit and I feel like this is a really good tip that I wish I heard. What can mothers who choose to breastfeed do when they're pumping in the day to kind of get a little bit of extra sleep at night? Yeah. So

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi 38:14
okay, so one way to do that is, and this works even better for moms with that with plentiful plentiful supply or even just just enough to pump a bottle during the day, especially your highest producing time during the day, like in the morning, and having a bottle ready for nighttime. So that you can get a get a solid five hour block of sleep and, and that can be fed by partner or family member. And then you wake up for the next now that's going to be different for every person, okay, some moms have very low capacity, which means they can't go can go, they can't go very long, until they become very gorged. And unfortunately, if you become an gorged, then it can kind of send signals to reduce your milk supply. Now, I'm not saying though, that you should prioritize your milk supplies over your sleep that is completely up to you. For some moms they are needing or they are going to need that sleep that five hours of sleep every single night. And that has to be the priority to to to make sure they can not only develop health and mental health and physical health problems, but also so that they can continue to breastfeed. So it has to be sustainable, whatever you come up with. So I think that is one strategy that moms can do to to to reserve the time at night to get a block of sleep. The other the other scenario is the other scenario is let's say you're a pumping mom or you have some sort of pumping schedule. A lot of parents who have low milk supply are prescribed a triple feeding regimen. Did you do that? So Would you do that? Yes. So

Disclaimer 40:00
I did. I have PCOS. And so and I know with women with PCOS, the worry is low milk supply. Thankfully, I did not have low milk supply. However, I was just not given good advice. Honestly, I was triple feeding for probably six to eight weeks. It was showing now my daughter is a year old. A year later, I'm looking back and I'm still breastfeeding her however, I was in gorged, I was way too much milk, I was always in gorge. And that's why it was so difficult. And it hurt me so much for six weeks. And once I stopped pumping at six weeks, and I just exclusively breastfed her settle down was wonderful that everything was great. We were all sleeping more it was so yeah, I think I wish I would have saved a pump session. Right? So pumps during the day like normal and you know, do you know kind of triple feeding her giving her boob milk and then from the bottle. And then I wish I would have just you know, had my husband give her a bottle, you know if she was hungry at night. So yeah, that is something this is such a useful tip for next baby whenever, you know, just try again, I will be using this Yes, exactly.

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi 41:05
And, and just a word to triple feeding moms out there I was one of them as well. And, and you know what to do, you did it for extra long time. But know that that triple feeding is really, really hard. And for some people, many people, they can't go longer than four to seven days doing it. And because triple feeding can be around round the clock, you if you're doing every three hours pumping, then you essentially don't get any sleep for weeks and any longer than three hours. So that is really difficult. And for some it's really not recommended. Especially if you have a history of mental health problems. It is asking for an exacerbation of that mental health problem. And

Disclaimer 41:54
I remember I would like set alarm clocks. And my it's so funny. And this is a whole different topic baby sleep. But my daughter got to a point before the four month regression where she was sleeping four to five hours straight. And I would still wake up have my alarm set and you know, Midnight pump, you know, run downstairs, put it in the fridge and then go back to sleep. Yeah, it is it's a lot of work.

Lynnette Hafken 42:14
I just wanted to jump in with a couple things. One is that I think that like when if a mother wants to exclusively breastfeed and not do pumps or bottles and she has enough milk, it is possible to increase your amount of sleep. And rest by kind of individualizing the way you do sleep. Like for example, I worked with a family where mom was exclusively breastfeeding, she was exhausted. And what we did is we had her and her her husband learn how to have him position baby on mom are in bed, and he would bring the baby monitor so that mom you know, was could sleep or rest or have her eyes closed and monitor babies. So that baby was safe. You know, Didn't mom didn't rollover anything. And so you know, and then when the feeding was over, he would take the baby and put baby back to sleep in the crib. And also another thing is just having comfortable positions for every single feeding is so critical. Like a lot of people feel like you know, we're taught that like your baby has to have be latched correctly. And it seems so complicated. And I see mom's just kind of hunching over and like being in this, these contorted positions and you just feel like trapped in a chair, you can't relax your muscles. And so just finding those comfortable positions where you can just go and relax into your pillows and that just is so great. And so I love pumps and bottles as and formula as tools to support breastfeeding and to support fetal infant feeding in general. But it is possible to protect your mental health and exclusively breastfeed you know if you have the milk capacity to do so I

Disclaimer 44:28
love that and I guess my last follow up question for for you Lynette is for the women who you know come to see you because they have breastfeeding struggles that in it of itself. I mean for me it was pain I was so in gorged all the time and I was just like this can't be natural. You know, you always hear breastfeeding is so natural and it to me it was it was not natural. My mother didn't breastfeed. My mother in law didn't so I really didn't have any support. I guess my question for you and for the mothers who are pregnant right now and think oh wait is breastfeeding not natural? You know, what are some tips and tricks that you can give that way eases their mind in those, I want to ask two part questions in the early weeks. And then as well, we talked a little bit about latching position, and then how that can change as baby gets older because you were so right. In the early weeks, I was doing the cradle. And then I was taught the football and then I was taught the football hold, you know, as my baby kind of got older, can you kind of just break that down a little bit feeding a baby and how and how it might change and how that's okay. You know, for the mother and the mental health.

Lynnette Hafken 45:32
Yeah, I think going into it or at some point, realizing that, you know, your anatomy is unique, your baby's anatomy is unique. And so no, many no one else, no book, or whatever can tell you exactly what's right. In terms of positioning yourself and your baby, you kind of have to learn together, what's most comfortable for you, your body and your actual nipple that the baby's latched on to. So, you know, take all the advice that you got with, you know, the understanding that it's something that you and your baby will work on and figure out together. And then at a certain point, you'll realize that the baby can just see your nipple and just dive in and latch on their own. And that is so cool. I remember once with one of my babies, I don't even remember who like I was leaning over the bathtub to bathe one of them. And the other one just kind of crawled under me and just lifted my shirt and latched on. totally adorable. So yeah, so just, you know, stay in touch with your baby, and you know, you're checking with your body, that's a huge thing, checking in with your body. Moms are so focused on the baby, that they forget to think to themselves, I need to relax my shoulders. And so you know, just having a reminder that, you know, it's helpful to do that. So you can just like, you know, you might want to footstool under your feet. And you didn't realize it until you actually thought about what do I need to be more comfortable. And I wanted to say something else about what we were talking about before about family on helping out. And I, I was listening to Emily, and I reminded me about that cartoon, you should have asked about the mental load. And I think that, you know, we're realizing that moms carry this huge mental load, and no one else knows about it. And, you know, we often don't ask for help. We're not used to asking for help. So what the advice that I give a lot of husbands, partners, grandparents, and whatever is just, you know, don't wait to be asked if there's dishes in the sink. You know? Anticipate what needs to be done. Don't wait for someone to ask you or ask you don't ask?

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi 48:19
Because I feel like they don't want to ask, yeah, it's so crazy. They have the biggest burden. And it's like, all I want is someone to take over and just help. And

Lynnette Hafken 48:31
yeah, but then at the same time, and I was guilty of this, you have to lay down your way.

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi 48:38
That's true, too. That's so hard. I just wanted to say one thing too, because I just want to make sure that I'm representing all our combo feeding and exclusive formula feeding families as well. And addressing their newborn expectation needs to all those things are also really important ways to feed babies. And you also need help just as much as the exclusive breastfeeding moms. Because how in person right I read it's a hard all around. And so some and and just to give some context, some moms know they want to combo feed from the start from the very first day because they had problems with it. They feel more comfortable knowing that let's say they've had problems with milk supply, they feel more comfortable that nothing's gonna happen as far as the baby not developing complications, not that getting adequately fed. That's all those are very, very valid methods to start off with. And, and and even if it's, you have no problems with milk supply, you just don't want to that's, that's totally up to you. And so having that expectation and maybe having that conversation with your obstetrician and your pediatrician and all the people, wherever you're delivering, tell them upfront, this is how I'm going to feed my baby. Please don't come in and shame me Please don't. I know what the benefits are of every single type of feed Eating and this is how I've chosen. I think having that conversation upfront might prevent unwanted comments during a very important time in your life, you know, things that might trigger depression and self, self loathing, guilt, you know, all those things. It's a very rough time for, for feeling very sensitive over comments. And so maybe laying the groundwork with the people are going to take care of you'd make sure they know what you are intending to do. And that is your choice. And that's how you confidently want to feed your baby.

Disclaimer 50:34
I love that I love all of this, I guess I mean that we covered so much from infant sleep to postpartum depression and anxiety to breastfeeding struggles. Um, anything else you guys want to lastly mentioned before we wrap up today's show, I think it was full of great information. But again, I've said this probably a third time I wish I listened to when I was pregnant with my first but anything else

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi 50:57
as as a physician, so I just I felt like I should say something about medication. So yeah, so I just want to make sure that moms know that if they develop depression and anxiety during the postpartum period, really anytime that they're breastfeeding, if they're concerned about the medications being unsafe to take during breastfeeding, there are many medications, many options that are saved during breastfeeding, especially SSRIs. And most commonly being Zoloft. And maybe Paxil are both safe during pregnancy. Both of those have been studied and, and several other some tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline has been shown to be safe. And then everything else you should really consult with your physician who can look up looked up, look up on Lac Med, whether a medication is safe, it is important to take care of your mental health. And sometimes just talking it out is not enough. You have to take medications if you need it, do it because and don't let breastfeeding be reason for you not to take medications, because your mental health is super important for you and your baby. And then if you have to take medications that is not compatible with breastfeeding, your baby needs you more than they need your milk. That's I don't know, if that's going to ring true. Some people will hear them like Yeah, yeah, but but maybe if you get to this point, and when you're making that decision, I knew I needed to take medications, they may have been compatible with breastfeeding, which, you know, at the time that I made that decision. I wasn't sure. And so I stopped breastfeeding. And I was only producing one ounce a day anyway. So who cares? But, but take it because as you know, there's really nothing more important to a baby than their mom, I I can't overstate that. So please take care of yourself and prioritize your health. I love that.

Lynnette Hafken 52:59
This actually fits in perfectly here from what Christie said, when you're having breastfeeding problems, and you have a mental health mental health issue. Or even if you don't have a pre existing mental health issue, it's important to fit in some time, just for snuggling with your baby without worrying about feeding. You know, if someone's on this triple feeding plan, mom is hooked up to a pump all the time, or, you know, breastfeeding for 20 minutes or whatever. The whole day is just taken up with struggles about feeding. And sometimes the mom just feels like her only role is as a milk producer. And everybody else gets to cuddle the baby. And it's so important, you know, just to have the snuggles and the love and the joy that comes with holding your newborn. So, you know, i i My heart breaks when I hear about a mom going back to work and all she did for her maternity leave was try to make breastfeeding work. That's that's just so you know, so sad. You can't get that time back. I hate to be a downer. But you know, I think just my my point is that, you know, find some snuggle time. It's not all about feeding. Yeah,

Disclaimer 54:19
I loved that. And I loved the newborn Snuggles. For me, were my favorite. So it was so lovely. Like when you just are bouncing your daughter, my daughter my daughter around and then she just kind of falls asleep while I'm just you know doing little things like putting the dishes away quietly and I'm like, Oh, are you sleeping? It's time for you know mom to take a break and sit down and just enjoy the newborn snuggles and the contact naps during the day. Yeah, it definitely. It boosts you know my happy hormones and and it's such an important time to do it because you were having this huge hormonal shift and now baby is outside and you're trying to get your hormones you know somewhat back to normal and you know, don't freak up a diaper on to you And so you have all these things going on and healing from birth. It's just yeah, the newborn smuggles is definitely a great way for mom to just feel good.

Lynnette Hafken 55:09
Yeah, and actually reminds me like taking care of mom, making her feel safe and happy and cared for is going to help with breastfeeding. It's not like hook up a pump and you know, stimulate this and that. And the other thing. I

Emily Mason 55:26
absolutely agree with Lynette on that one and, and really setting reasonable expectations and then adjusting and then adjusting again, because we know that babies are constant adjustments of what they like don't like what works today is not going to work tomorrow. And then realize that these are just tiny moments in your life as tired scared, worried that you are right, in this moment, you're gonna look back, and you're going to miss those pieces. And you're going to wish that you were just more calm still and in the moment. So so just give yourself some grace and allow yourself time and give yourself that opportunity to not be perfect, just be what your baby needs you to be.

Disclaimer 56:17
I love that. I think that's a great way to end our episode. So thank you all so much for joining us today. Be sure to check out new mommy where we will have all of our podcasts episodes, plus videos and more.

Well, that wraps up our show for today. Thanks for listening. If you love party pals as much as we do, please consider checking out the amazing businesses that sponsor our show week after week. And we'd also love for you to tell another pregnant mama about this resource, which is of course absolutely free. And if you want to check out some of our other podcasts we produce such as newbies, and that's for newborns and new mamas parents savers, which is for toddler hood, the boob group which is all about breastfeeding and twin talks, then visit our website at New mommy Thanks for listening to preggy pals, your pregnancy your way

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