I love being an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). I'm so proud of the work that I do, and I really believe it makes a difference in the lives of the parents that I work with. One of my favorite things about this work is that I get so many good questions from our clients, and also from just random people who are curious about what I do. Seriously, if I'm at the grocery store in Harwich wearing my Rising Tide Women T-shirt, I get stopped and asked questions. If you know me, you know I'm a talker, so I'm always happy to chat about babies and breasts and birth and postpartum support.
Some of the breastfeeding questions I get asked the most are:
- How do I know if my baby is drinking enough milk?
- Should I still breastfeed if I'm sick?
- How can I increase my milk supply?
- My baby is cluster feeding! Is that normal?!
- What do I need to do to prepare for breastfeeding when my baby is born?
So if you check out the video below, I'll answer all those questions for you!
Have more questions? Put them in the comments and we'll talk about them in a future blog post or video!
Liz Libby is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, a Certified Lactation Counselor, and a CAPPA-certified childbirth educator. She lives in Brewster, MA with her three wild boys, canine sidekick, and her partner. Find her at email@example.com.
We put out the call a bit ago in our free facebook community, the Rising Tide Women Sisterhood , to see what was on everyone's mind when it came to breastfeeding.
We answered a whole spate of them in our 7th episode of our Wednesday morning Rising Tide Doula Jam on our facebook page, and I'm sharing them so you can get the info, too!
Unlearning. I’ve been fixated on the word since I first heard it, but it’s been hanging out in my mind heavily for the past few days.
We must unlearn the negativity about birth
We must unlearn the conditioning telling us that our bodies are not worthy of love
We must unlearn to doubt our instincts
We must unlearn that breastfeeding is impossible
We must unlearn that worry is what makes good parents.
It is our mission here at Rising Tide Women to help anyone who wants to unlearn about pregnancy, birth, lactation, and postpartum life. Families today are saturated with information and stories, and are left floundering trying to make sense of it all.
Our role is to help families peel back the layers and get a solid understanding of realistic expectations.
This morning, I took E in the shower with me to give him a good steam, since we were both congested and half-frozen from getting the two big kids off to school in this ridiculous weather (side note: anytime they start busting out the phrase 'polar vortex' in the forecast, you can just count me out. We need legislation against this kind of weather.) And as I was washing my hair, watching my sturdy little person jump in the water and fill up any cup he could find only to dump it out again a moment later, I just had to scoop him up and kiss his little belly. This kid has the best, belly-est belly laugh of any toddler I've ever met and if you really get him going, he starts squealing in delight. I just can't get enough of it. And as I was kissing his little round toddler belly, I just had to notice his bellybutton.
Integrity is a word that gets tossed around a lot these days. I hear it a lot, but I wanted to find the actual definition, so here it is from Merriam-Webster: "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness."
So what does that mean in the birth world? Is that us? What does morality have to do with supporting new parents?
Part of our work is to help expectant folks prepare themselves for becoming parents. And it's a delicate thing, you know, because... it can't be done. I mean, I think we do an excellent job, but the process is always necessarily incomplete. Because the thing about parenthood is this: you can't prepare for it. Trying to prepare someone for parenthood is like trying to prepare a rock for sitting at the bottom of a riverbed for a hundred years.
The stone has been sitting happily on the riverbank for a long time now, enjoying the sun and the insects and the fresh air and the sound of the water rushing past. And the stone says, "listen. I can do this.
In my kitchen here in Brewster, there's a jar. It seems pretty utilitarian, but it has a secret: it's magic. This magic jar is always there for me when I need it. It's perpetually full of good-quality ground coffee so that whenever I want to brew a fresh cup, it's easy. The jar sits right next to our coffee maker, nestled in next to the sugar dish, always prepared to help me out with a soothing cup of hot coffee.
Now, you might think this post is about coffee, and while I could wax poetic about it all day, what I actually want to talk about is the magic of having that jar always full.
Birth is powerFULL. We all know that. It has the strength to make us quiver and shake just by thinking of it, it has the energy to bring us to our knees, it has the intensity that provokes self-doubt, and it has the sneaky magic of reminding us just how strong we really are. Birth. We won't let you scare us. Bring it.
As your resident Rising Tide Women's Whole Life Wellness certified labor doula, witnessing birth is what I get to do. It's actually my job. Some may think I'm nuts, but that may stem from the negativity and bad rap that birth gets. Let's face it, many pregnant people (not all!) dread labor and birth, no matter how prepared they may feel. And you know what? That's totally cool with us. We understand!
What new parent wouldn't want a relaxing soak or a dreamy hour to snooze? Many new parents can only imagine this being real, and many believe they aren't deserving of such a postpartum reality. It's hard to believe, I know. If you ask any new mother about treating themselves to some downtime, most likely there will be a hint of guilt in their answer. Okay. If they aren't comfortable taking a tub (or, maybe there isn't one where they live!) or napping, how ELSE can we give new parents hands on support? How can we change the drained, overwhelmed, and exhausted face of postpartum or life with a newborn?