“Money Mistakes New Parents Make”
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KC Wilt: Before you get your hospital bills, several hundreds of dollars have been spent making sure your new baby is taken care of. New parents are culprits of watching their wallets get thinner when they expand their family with a new baby. How should parents spend and invest wisely? How do you financially plan for the future of your baby? Today, we have Kimberly Palmer, author of Generation Earn and she’ll teach us more about Money Mistakes New Parents Make and How To Avoid Them. This is Parent Savers.
KC Wilt: Welcome to Parent Savers! Broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I am your host KC Wilt. Parent Savers is all about helping new parents preserve their sanity by providing expert information on raising newborns and toddlers. I am a new parent myself. My son, Carson is 16 months old and I am joined by three new parents here in the studio.
Owen Hemsath: Hi. My name is Owen. I am a social media marketer and videographer. I’ve got two kids and one on the way. I’ve got a four-year-old and a ten-month-old, who just started walking, so all my books are on the floor and not on the bookshelf, and we’ve got another one due in July.
Jodi Roberts: Okay. I am Jodi and I’m a teacher at Escondido High School and I have a 14-month old little girl, named Tara.
Summer Jessee: Hi. I am Summer Jessee and I have three children. One of them is almost seven and a four year old and then a one-year-old. And I have a community of Natural Mommies Online. We talk about All Natural Things. I also teach private Pilates Lessons and I’m writing a book on the kind of, escaping the monotony and thinking outside the box.
KC Wilt: Wow! You guys are all busy! Busy, busy, busy.
[Featured Segments: Ask The Experts - Sibling Sleep Schedules]
KC Wilt: Before we start today’s show, here is a question for one of our experts.
Andrea: Parent Savers. My name is Andrea from San Diego, California. I have a question. I just had my second child and I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed considering that I have two kids under the age to two. My biggest issue really, is their sleep schedule. Do you have any advice on how I might get both kids on similar schedules so that I can finally get some sleep? Thanks a lot.
Dr. Johnson: Hi. This is Dr. Johnson. Andrea, it’s a great question. I think putting two kids on the same schedule though, can often be frustrating. What I’d suggest is trying to put the oldest child on a schedule first, because they need, sometimes, a little less sleep than the youngest one, so you will have a little more time to play with. And then, I think the youngest child will just follow. You do want to make sure that you’re not stimulating them in any way by what you have in their room; something that makes music or certainly, not a TV. You want to make sure that, however you put them to bed at night, you can duplicate that later in the evening if they wake up, because they will wake up, that’s just our normal sleep pattern. So, I would start off with trying to get that oldest one on a sleep schedule and hopefully, that works out for you. Thank you.
KC Wilt: Today on Parent Savers, we have Kimberly Palmer with us. She is the author of Generation Earn and a Personal Finance Columnist at US News and World Report. She helps young people master their own finances, from spending and investing, to earning and giving back. She is also a creator of Palmers Planners. It’s a series of Financially Themed Planners. And stay tuned for details on how you can win one of her Baby Financial Planners. So Kim, I’m so happy to have you here.
Kimberly Palmer: Hi KC, thanks for having me.
KC Wilt: Before we even get into this baby talk and toddler talk, what are some common mistakes we make while we are pregnant? You know, we are registering and getting ready for baby, so what are some mistakes that happen?
Kimberly Palmer: Well, the biggest mistake that new parents make; and I should say, I’m also a relatively new parent. I have a two year old, so I’ve had a little bit more experience, but I definitely remember the pregnancy phase. And the biggest mistake is probably just not realizing how expensive babies are. When you are pregnant, and you start registering for things, it’s really easy to get caught up in the all of the big things that you think you need like a crib, all of the toys that you need, clothes; and you…, people easily miss the biggest expenses of all, which is really the cost of child care or the cost of scaling back your own work hours, if you are going to be the one caring for your baby. And on average, it actually costs new parents, 12,000 dollars a year for a new baby and that includes the cost of child care, if people have child care, so that’s a huge number and it can be a little intimidating.
Owen Hemsath: Yeah.
KC Wilt: That’s huge! That’s a lot of money.
Jodi Roberts: I try to tell my teen-moms that.
Kimberly Palmer: Yeah? It’s huge; it’s really sort of intimidating. And that number is for people, for middle income Americans and so for people who are earning between about 50,000 and 70,000 dollars a year. Of course it varies. Not everybody has to spend that much. And that’s a big point that I try to make; that you of course, you don’t have to buy a lot of the things that we think that we need. But the biggest expense is really the cost of caring for your baby.
KC Wilt: So are those things, like what..., what do we need then? You know? Are there things that we can get by without, that we should spend..., get used on some stuff, but..., how do we know?
Kimberly Palmer: Yes, there are. And actually, one mistake and I must say, I made myself, is buying multiple types of things. So I think I had three different cribs at one point because I needed a travel crib and a crib that was going to go right next to my bed and then a crib for the baby’s room
KC Wilt: True, yeah!
Kimberly Palmer: And then I think four different baby carriers because I wanted to try them all and I liked some for different things, like for going for walks, versus walking around the house.
Owen Hemsath: Yeah!
Kimberly Palmer: So, you don’t need all different kinds of all of those things. It’s tempting, because baby stuff is so cute and so adorable, but you can usually slim things down and borrow from friends and other people. A lot of this stuff is fine to use used.
Owen Hemsath: I think I could definitely relate to that, because we borrowed a lot of things but we borrowed a lot of redundant products, like we had you know, a pack and play for the trunk of the car, you know, and then we had a pack and play for the house and that stuff adds up.
Kimberly Palmer: Oh yeah.
Jodi Roberts: Right, so what are some ways that we could avoid this overspending and maybe simplify?
Kimberly Palmer: Well one of the best things you can do is to plug into a community of parents in your local area. So a lot of..., it’s easy to find new mom groups or new parent groups in your neighborhood and that way, you can see, if other people, if their child is just growing out of things like an exersaucer, some kind of toy that’s easy to pass down, clothes. You can share and borrow. My neighborhood has a list serve and we all sort of pass things to each other and that works really well for just eliminating all of the clutter build up in addition to saving money. And then also shop and use. There are some things that you don’t want to buy used, and one of those, for example: some things change so quickly with their safety standards, like car seats and you don’t know for sure, if your car-seat was in an accident and it had damage that you can’t even see. So some things like that where safety is paramount, you want to buy new. But for a lot of things, you can buy used and go shopping at second hand stores and save a ton of money that way.
KC Wilt: Well, I guess you know, they’ve got the drop-down cribs that you are no longer allowed use, but..., I don’t know.
Kimberly Palmer: Yeah. You....
Owen Hemsath: And, but none of use them here.
Jodi Roberts: We don’t have them in our houses at all.
KC Wilt: I mean, I have my drop-down, but I don’t even think it dropped down even once, because, it just didn’t work. It just stayed up. Well, yeah, I’m abiding by the regulations....
Owen Hemsath: Right. Just duct tape it shut, I think it will be fine.
KC Wilt: I know, duct tape is fine, right? Safety of child first.
Kimberly Palmer: I heard of so many parents that do that. Personally, I got so paranoid because that..., that alert came out right when my daughter was born, that we are not supposed to be using these drop-side cribs anymore, and of course, we had one...
KC Wilt: Well, of course!
Kimberly Palmer: ...passed down from a neighbor and so, I think we just ended up just getting a cheap, it was like a 100 dollar one at IKEA or something, and it wasn’t drop-side. So, but so you didn’t…, we didn’t have a ton of money to replace it. But that’s very stressful, we see these recalls all of the time and it’s not always clear what to do.
KC Wilt: Yeah. Well, IKEA is the place. I mean, you can get some great…, I mean…, I don’t know, people go back and forth on the quality of IKEA, but if only they sold car seats.
Owen Hemsath: But I really…, what you said Kim, really resonates with me, in terms of forming…., getting to be a part of a group. We are definitely a part of a church community that shares. We make note of things. “Hey, I’ve got this saucer. I’ve got this crib”. Even if there’s not someone we know that’s pregnant. They might know someone who’s pregnant. So we have a pack and play that we borrowed from a friend and then, when we were done with it, we put it back into the pile, so to speak, and that was tremendously you know, cost effective for us.
Summer Jessee: I think, one the biggest mistakes I made, looking back on it, is trying to buy everything new. And so, now, I love the baby-swap-meet so much, because I look at, like “Oh! Why do I have to spend 20 dollars on clothes that I can buy for a dollar?”
Owen Hemsath: Right.
Summer Jessee: And I’m just trying to impart this knowledge on some of my friends that are going through it and just starting out and are buying everything new and I’m like “Why? I have that, I’m not using it for another three years or so…”
Jodi Roberts: And they grow out of it so fast!
Summer Jessee: So much more quickly than you anticipate. You go, “Oh, this will be good for a year!” No, it’s like three months.
Owen Hemsath: Yeah.
KC Wilt: Well, and its funny because I was telling someone the other day like when you register for a wedding, you have those things for your life, most likely, for a wedding; but when you register for a baby, it really has the shelf-life of six months, some of it…, so….
Owen Hemsath: That’s why we registered for things that we didn’t get at our wedding…., with our baby.
KC Wilt: Nice! “I’d like some China with that…..”
Jodi Roberts: So what are some of the most common money mistakes parents make in their first few years of their child’s life?
Kimberly Palmer: Another big one is not saving enough in advance of having your baby. Of course, saving is a luxury that not all of us have, but if you can possibly put money away, ahead of time, to help, first off-set, some of the big costs, because there are going to be some things you end up needing to buy or paying someone for child care or just taking time out of work yourself, if that’s something you want to do, so…. Building up that baby’s flush fund in advance can be really helpful and alleviate some of that stress, the financial stress that comes later. So, I actually, usually encourage people; if you are going to have one person in the family stop working, or take a long break to care for the baby, to practice living on just one salary, before you do that. So you don’t have those two big changes at once. So that way, you can sort of get a sense of what it’s going to feel like and what you need to cut back on, if anything and if you are going to, both people are going to keep working and you have two salaries and you expect that and you are going to have be paying for childcare, then practice putting that amount of money away, ahead of time too. So, while you are pregnant, put away 1000 dollars or if you live in DC like me and I’m sure it’s the same for you, it’s more like 2000 dollars a month for infant care, so start practicing putting that away and that will help you in two ways. First, you get used to your new baby budget and then secondly, you have that fund, sort of flush fund that makes things a little less stressful. Because, there is hospital bills at first, there’s other kinds of health care bills that come up for yourself and for your baby, so just to have a cushion so you don’t have to have the financial stress on top of all of the other stresses that come with having a baby, and pre-deprivation, everything that can make things go more smoothly.
KC Wilt: So do you start that like when you are trying to get pregnant? Or…?
Kimberly Palmer: Yeah, if you can. You can start as soon as possible. But, since most people, of course, most babies, we don’t know exactly when they are coming, so, as soon, if you just can start, as soon as you know you have a date, you know, you are probably going to have a baby or aim to have a baby, start putting money away the earlier you start, then the easier it is to build up that fund.
Summer Jessee: How much are you suggesting? I know you said about the same amount as childcare costs before hand, but, when…, after you have the kid, about how much money do you recommend putting away each month?
Kimberly Palmer: So it really depends on your goals. A lot of people, and I definitely experienced this, right? When you have your baby, you will…., I also happened to buy a house at the same time, so we had all these new costs….
KC Wilt: Of course! Everyone does!
Kimberly Palmer: I know, buy a new car too and there’s all these big costs that suddenly go up that are associated with having babies. If you have that kind of sort of financial shock in your life, it can be almost impossible to save, right after you have the baby, so I’m not saying, you have to be saving right after you have the baby with all these other stresses, but as a general rule of thumb, when you are anticipating your baby, since the average, we know is 12,000 dollars a year, save up 1000 dollars a month ahead of time, if possible. And then, after you have your baby, you have to re-adjust your budget and see what you can save for your future big goals and a lot of people like to start saving for College as soon as possible. But that, of course is a luxury for a lot of people and I don’t know how people manage that, but you know, you have to think about your own family goals and what you are trying to reach for and what you are willing to cut back on.
Owen Hemsath: So, from like a middle class perspective or general perspective, what are some of the areas where we should be spending and investing and what are some of the areas where we could maybe be a little more frugal?
Kimberly Palmer: Well, where you should keep on focusing and consider putting your money is your own retirement and yourself. A lot of people want to become parents. It’s so tempting just to stop making your 401K contributions, yeah, because you need more cash. You have a cash fund. That’s actually not the best idea, because you probably still want to retire someday, so if its difficult to cut back in other areas instead, you can still have your retirement accounts. Also your own emergency saving fund. This is a huge one that is so essential to new parents, but often gets lost in the shuffle. You want to have at least 3 to 6 months, possibly more savings, of expenses in your savings account, just in case something unexpected comes up. You lose your job or there’s some kind of cost you weren’t expecting and it’s not just for you, I mean it’s for your family that you have that too, in case you need to pay for something and support them, while you are going through something or a temporary unemployment streak. So having that emergency saving funds, your retirement accounts, you still put money there. The other area I always tell people not to skimp on, like I mentioned, a little bit before, is Safety. So, I’m sort of obsessed with safety as I think a lot of moms are. But child-proofing: I paid a bunch of money to get…, make sure our paint had no lead in it…. There are certain safety precautions that you want to make sure you take, so you know that your children are healthy and in a healthy environment.
KC Wilt: When we come back, we will talk about ways to break the cycle of unnecessary spending with tips to help us Save and Invest in our child’s life. We’ll be right back.
KC Wilt: This is Parent Savers and we are back with Kimberly Palmer, author of Generation Earn and Palmer Planners, helping people financial plan for their babies. So, Kim, how do we stop this unnecessary spending?
Kimberly Palmer: The first best step, is really to know where your money is going out, which isn’t always obvious to people. And people are often really surprised. For example; I try to check my credit card statement every single month. And I am often so surprised on how much I’m spending on clothes for my daughter because it’s so easy, every time the seasons change, for girls…
KC Wilt: Especially for girls.
Kimberly Palmer: …you get new everything! So really, number one, is to know where your money is going. You can either try, if you are paper and pen kind of person, write down everything you spend over the course of a month and then review it. If you are more of an online kind of a person, just review your debit or credit card statement, whatever it is that you use all the time and also, some online programs, https://www.mate.com is one of my favorites. It’s a free program that analyses everything for you, because, yeah, and it’s super helpful. And if you can even set up specific saving scores, and then it will help you, if you are getting close to your limit for a month, it will send you a text message and it’s all free and secure, so that’s one thing that I always recommend to people and also for couples who are trying to make sure to get on the same page, when they are doing their household spending, can be helpful too.
Owen Hemsath: You know one of the hardest things that we have; my wife’s paper and pen and I’m computer. I want to track you know, electronically, I want to throw it into a graph and I want to analyze it with a laser pointer, you know…, so how do you meet in the middle between you know, the two different kinds, pen and paper verses electronic?
Kimberly Palmer: Yeah, that is really tough and I have the very same situation in my marriage. Basically, you just have to sit down together. I usually, personally like going some place outside the house, making it almost like a date and talk about how you are going to do things, how you are going to combine things, because, if you stay on a different page, it can be…, I mean, if one of you is always paper and pen, one of you is always electronic. For me, it was…, I was always…, I’m a credit card person. I pay it off each month. I pay it off, but I like everything on a credit card. My husband hates using a credit card and would only use his debit card so everything would come out of our bank account and drove me crazy and so we had to have a discussion and basically decide. Of course he realized I was right!
Kimberly Palmer: And started using a credit card. So, you just have to have that conversation and decide how you are going to do it, because, number one is getting on the same page.
KC Wilt: Well, yeah, you could even just be one person’s a Starbucks and one person’s a “Hey, you could make it at home”, you know even just….
Kimberly Palmer: Right!
Owen Hemsath: Right!
KC Wilt: …if its all from the same page of where you spending your money and how come you are buying, you know, this? And I’m not spending money, you know, trying to save…, trying to figure out how to save it, when one person’s spending, you know?
Kimberly Palmer: Exactly! And when you are pregnant, it’s the perfect time to work that out because the baby brings up all the differences and brings all that out in high release because, of course, it’s a whole new member of the family that you are spending on.
KC Wilt: Well, it’s so hard though, like, we see a cute little outfit and I have a son and so like, I can resist it because I will never wear men’s clothes like yeah, you know plaid little shorts and stuff, so I can resist it. However, my husband can’t because he wants a ‘Mini Me’ and he’s just like, “Oh, that’s so cute! We have to get it for him! Oh!” or it’s like, “Oh, my son, he doesn’t feel good! I’ll buy this, I’ll buy the whole pharmacy!” Or, “Oh!...” you know, and I can’t say “Nooooo!”, to him especially if he’s sick or sad, or anything else, I’m just like “Okay! I’ll give you the world!”.
Owen Hemsath: You know, I’m very much that way with educational products.
KC Wilt: Yeah, Yeah!
Owen Hemsath: Where it’s like, “This is good, this is good! He can wear a diaper. He’s going to be fine. He needs to know how to do this and do this”. You know, and the baby clothes thing hasn’t hit me so much, but we borrow a lot. We have bags and bags and bags of stuff.
Jodi Roberts: I read online the average person spends about 60 dollars per month, on just clothes.
Owen Hemsath: Wow!
Jodi Roberts: Do you recommend, yeah! And do you recommend like a maximum amount to spend on clothes, or any recommendations for clothes to minimize our spending?
Kimberly Palmer: So it’s so individual and personal for some people they can afford to spend 500 dollars on clothes a month. It doesn’t even matter. Some people it’s going to be more like 20 dollars a month or less. So what you have to do is just realize…, have a…., create your own goals and budget for yourself, that makes sense for yourself, so you know, Okay, it’s okay for me to spend 50 dollars a month on baby clothes, or whatever it is for you. And then be aware when you get to that and I have the same issue, where you know, some cute outfit catches my eye, I can’t help myself; and it’s fine if it’s once in a while, but what helps me and what I think can help new parents, is when you realize how it’s all adding up each month and so that’s why you need to review your credit card statement or however you track things, to see, “Oh wow! When I bought those two cute outfits, I’m suddenly spending 100 dollars a month and I don’t want to do that, because that’s jeopardizing the rest of my budget.” So it’s really just deciding on your own budget and then being aware, so you know how all this is adding up.
Summer Jessee: What about like when there’s holidays. You know, and there’s birthday parties and people are very tempted to go crazy with Easter baskets and Christmas morning and …., you know, how do we, not only for our own selves, you know, not to give into that materialistic mindset, but also teaching our kids, you know, how to be more simple and not feeding into that, like, they have to have things to be happy?
Owen Hemsath: Consumerism?
Summer Jessee: Yeah, the consumerism. How do we avoid the consumerism mind-set?
Kimberly Palmer: That is a great question, and actually, I just read a fascinating study on this in terms on what children remember when growing up and what matters to them. It turns it’s not the stuff at all. They don’t even necessarily remember if they got all their favorite new toys, or new clothes at Christmas or Easter. What they remember is the family traditions. So if you can establish some family traditions for birthdays and for holidays that are important to you and that you do every year, that can take on so much meaning and it helps give the presents and the gifts a little less emphasis. In my family, we always have, we hide, we do a treasure hunt for a dollar for each year old you are. So, I’m still doing it. So, when I turned 32, my dad still had 32 dollar bills around the living room. And I hunted for them.
KC Wilt: Oh, that’s so fun!
Kimberly Palmer: It’s so much fun! Yeah! It’s so fun! So, I think it’s all about establishing those traditions that you can really get into and look forward to and create memories.
Summer Jessee: That’s such great feedback. Thank you.
Owen Hemsath: How do you kee…., I mean, do you teach your children financial intelligence as well? I mean, do you have any advice for how to teach your child the value of a dollar?
Kimberly Palmer: Yes! This is one of my favorite topics. And you know, it’s shocking how early, kids start to pick up on this. So even starting around age 2 or 3, you can start to sort of realize they understand what money is. They can see that, when you go to the store, you need money. And the best thing parents can do, is to be open and to talk about their own money decisions with their children, which actually is so much harder than it sounds. Actually, parents would rather talk about drugs and sex than money, with their children.
KC Wilt: Wow!
Kimberly Palmer: So, it’s just, if you can get past that hesitation and so many parents feel awkward talking about money, because maybe they feel like they are not good with it. So …
KC Wilt: It’s a private thing.
Owen Hemsath: Sure. And you know what, the kids bragging at school.
Kimberly Palmer: Yeah. If you can push past that and have those conversations, when you are at the store, talking through how you are making decisions, how you are budgeting, if you decide to buy the less expensive option, for the example, that gives kids insight into being frugal and having some values around money.
KC Wilt: Now, you talked about earlier, a little bit spending here, you know, clothes, or whatever, but what kind of percentages, because obviously some people can’t afford 500 dollars a month and some people can afford 5 dollars a month, so what percentages should we be sticking for, for spending, for living expenses, for savings, for investing?
Kimberly Palmer: Well, I like to start with the savings school because I just think having an emergency fund and saving for other goals like retirement or education, is so essential to the family financial security. So, in general, on average, we probably want to be saving between 20 to 30 percent of our incomes, which sounds like so much, but that includes your retirement savings. And we of course need to be saving a lot for that, given the fact that most of us don’t have pensions anymore. So you want to start with your savings so you can make sure you have savings. And then from there, the big thing, the pretty biggest cost that people have, are transportation, housing and food. And those three things, for most people actually make up two-thirds of all of our spending. So, once you can …., you have a sense of how much money is going there, then you can filter out the secondary things, like the clothes that you want to buy, the entertainment, the …. Investing in your own career, professional expenses, household expenses and it’s really about sitting down and doing this individually, because it’s going to vary so much for each person. But if you have those buckets and you know how much you want to be going each month into those categories, you know how much for savings, then it’s easier to make those smaller daily decisions to make sure it’s lining up with those bigger goals.
Owen Hemsath: What about the investment dollar, is that something that we…., you want to look at precious metals, annuities, the market place or just your standard interest free, you know, savings account at the big bank down the street. I mean, where do we put that money?
Kimberly Palmer: Right. It’s so harder now because interest rates are so low, as you know. So first question is when you want to have this money. For really long term investments like our retirement accounts and if you have babies, college savings accounts, those can be more aggressively invested in something like an Index Fund that is going to reflect the stock market, but for anything that will have a shorter term, like of course our emergency fund and just our daily expenses, we want to have that in a safer spot. So, of course you have your normal checking account, savings account for paying your bills. For these that are longer out, I usually encourage people to look at the money market funds or short-term bond funds, since those pay a slightly higher interest rate then just your typical savings account but you can still access that money. It’s still liquid and available to you, so that way, you are also making sure its not in the stock market. You don’t suddenly lose what you need for the next year or two.
Owen Hemsath: Right.
KC Wilt: So, let’s…., you said you know, 20 to 30 percent of our income, so how, what if you make nothing? What if you are you know, qualify for every low-income housing, low income this, low income that, and your basic…, well, not even necessarily on welfare, like you’re, well we live in Southern California and I think everybody is struggling to get by, it doesn’t matter how much money you make, because, it’s just expensive to live here. How do you get to that 20 to 30 percent if you have never done it? Like, where do you start?
Kimberly Palmer: Where do you start? So, the way to start, and actually, I’ve have interviewed someone who did just this and found it so inspirational. She was sort of in a similar spot. If her paycheck was delayed, she couldn’t pay her bills. I mean she was really living paycheck to paycheck or even worse than that. And how she started saving, was just by putting…., she started with 2 percent, which I think was so little. I think she was earning under 30,000 dollars a year at that time. So she started by automating a two percent savings into a savings account and then she just slowly raised that to 3 percent, 4 percent and eventually she got to 10 percent and because her income kept growing as she got older and she was able to pick up a substantial savings account. And so, like you are saying, I mean, it’s not always possible. Saving is a luxury. Having money in the bank is a luxury. So, it’s not like everyone can always do this, but it’s something we can strive for and taking really teeny, tiny steps which aren’t overwhelming can be a way to do that.
Owen Hemsath: You know, we did kind of a back, backward way. We saved. We set a goal for a couple hundred a month which is more than we could really afford, but we kept it accessible. So, we put that money away and it’s like, did we really need to use it? And it was like, “Well, we wanted to go out to eat, but we put that money away already!” And there were other times where it was like “Hospital Bill! We are just going to have to pull that money out”, and it helped us to find equilibrium. It helped us to find a level that was best for us. After about 90 days of experimentation. And it’s just another way, another way to go about it.
Kimberly Palmer: I think the most important thing is to know what your priority is in your life are, what your values are and to make sure your own spending and habits really reflect that. So, if you are trying to reach a big goal, like say you want be working at home or making sure that you can cut back your work, so you can spend more time with your children, then you can develop a plan that sets up small steps to get there. So saving up money first, or setting up your new entrepreneurial website or blog and taking those small steps. Some people, they want to make sure they are supporting companies and all this purchasing we are doing for our babies that are green or toxin free and supporting other causes that they care about, so that’s more, if that’s important to someone, then they need to spend some time doing research on the companies, to make sure that they are connected with their values. So, it really, the first question is to ask yourself what your own goals are and what’s important to you.
KC Wilt: Thanks to Kimberly Palmer for helping us to make wise decisions about our money and our family. If you want to learn more about
Kimberly Palmer, simply visit https://www.parentsavers.com and look for today’s topic. If you want to win one of her baby financial planners, visit the contest page on the website, or our Face book fan page for details. We will also include Generation Earn and her Baby Financial Planner on our online store.
[Featured Segments: Breastfeeding Remedies - Plugged Milk Ducts]
KC Wilt: Before we wrap up today’s show, here are some great breastfeeding remedies for new parents.
Robin Kaplan: Hi Parent Savers. I’m Robin Kaplan, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center and the host and producer of Parent Savers sister show, The Boob Group. I am here to offer some advice on different breastfeeding remedies. Such as, how can I treat my painful plugged ducts? Have you ever woken up from a deep sleep to find an area of your breast that is tender, a little red and pretty uncomfortable? And upon further investigation, was there a lump that this pain was radiating from? How did this happen? Should you be concerned? In most cases, there is little need for concern. Most likely, it is a pesky plugged duct that with a little TLC will go away on its own within 24 to 48 hours. So what is a plugged duct? A plugged duct is an area in your breast where your milk has literally hit a road block. The milk has gotten stuck in a particular area and cannot get out. An area of your breast may feel engorged and warm to the touch. The area might feel more uncomfortable before feeding and during a let-down than after the feeding. You also will not have a high temperature which will mean that you might have mastitis. What causes a plugged duct? A plugged duct is caused by milk stasis which means that the milk is not moving out of the breast. There are many reasons that a mom might get a plugged duct. One is a poor latch, which is definitely a reason to see a lactation consultant. Or maybe a little one just slept a little longer than usual at night or skipped a feeding. And sometimes pressure from an underwire bra can actually cause an inflammation and then, sometimes moms just have low immunity caused by lack of sleep, stress as a new mom or stress of going back to work. Can you imagine that? There are quite a few ways to get rid of a plugged duct.
First. Take care of yourself and your immune system. This means, you should be getting a lot of rest, drinking lots of water and eating immunity supporting foods. Make sure you breastfeed frequently and effectively from that affected breast. You can use breast compressions while breastfeeding to help remove the blockage if it’s not too painful. Also try nursing leaning over your baby, which is called dangle feeding, so that gravity can help remove the blockage. Also, you can use warm compresses in between feeding. I recommend warm castor oil compresses wrapped around the affected breast for 20 minutes at a time. I find that castor oil can really remove those plugged ducts. And you can take a warm shower and lean forward. Use very gentle massage though, as deep massage can actually cause more inflammation. Now, sometimes, there are some moms who are more susceptible to re-occurring plugged ducts. If this is you, definitely meet with a Lactation Consultant, as there is a reason why these plugged ducts keep occurring and you will want to resolve those underlying issues. Some moms treat re-occurring plugged ducts by taking Lecithin daily. Lecithin is a food supplement that may decrease the viscosity or stickiness of your breast milk. It is inexpensive and can be found at local food stores. While it is often made out of soy, you can also find non-protein base Lecithin and the dose is typically 1200mg four times a day. But that is something you should definitely check in with a Lactation Consultant or your primary care physician. Also, consider having a therapeutic ultrasound. Jack Newman describes this process very well on his website. As always, it is important to continue working with a Lactation Consultant and your primary care physician whenever you are considering taking herbs for nutritional supplements. For more great information about different breastfeeding remedies, check out my blog, at https://www.sandeigobreastfeedingcenter.com/blog and be sure to listen to Parent Savers and The Boob Group for fantastic conversations about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.
KC Wilt: That wraps up today’s episode. There are many ways you can become a part of our show. If you have a parenting topic you’d like to suggest, or a question for our expert, Kimberly Palmer, visit our website, https://www.parentsavers.com and send us an email through the contact link, or call our Parent Savers hotline at 619-866-4775 and we’d love to hear from you. And we’ll answer your questions in an upcoming episode. Coming up next week, we have the founders of Colic Calm. They are answering our question: Can Colic Be Cured? Thanks for listening to Parent Savers, empowering new parents everywhere.
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.
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