Babies and Moms: Birth and Beyond – Breastfeeding Tips
Why this podcast?
Another new podcast this week! Well, it’s clearly not new because Babies and Moms: Birth and Beyond started broadcasting in March 2007 and aired the last episode in November 2013.
But, it’s new to me and that means it’s also new to this blog.
This podcast reminds me a little of Pea in the Podcast in that it is a small group of women, in this case, three, at ease and chatting with each other. Each of the hosts is a mother with very different experiences and I think many women will find someone or something they can connect with.
The first episode I listened to was about what new mums need and the first few minutes were taken up discussing a giant jar of Nutella someone had found at the supermarket. It was funny but it went on a bit long and I was impatient for them to get into the topic.
On the other hand, it was kind of nice to just listen to them talking and laughing and you felt like you somehow got to know them a bit.
Babies and Moms covers more baby and child rearing topics than it does pregnancy and birth but there are definitely some birth related topics in there too.
How does it look?
Episodes were released every week and are between twenty and thirty-five minutes long with a few lasting over an hour.
The podcast ran for over six years so there are A LOT of episodes to choose from.
Episodes often cover more than one topic so I’m going to give you a few episode titles as an idea:
Signing and Homemade Baby Food
Exercise with Baby and TV Watching
Family Dinner, Overscheduling and Getting Dinner on the Table
Colic, Reading with Kids and Family Night
Make Believe with Kids
Mattresses and SIDS
Preemies and What we Learn from Them
Having a Baby After 40
Why this episode?
I think we all know how beneficial breastfeeding is, for both mother and baby but somehow we still tend to think that it should just come naturally. That it should be easy from the get go.
Often though, it’s not.
Breastfeeding is a learning process for both mum and baby and I love the idea of an episode with some handy tips to help the process along.
Who should listen to this episode?
Anyone who is expecting a baby and planning to breastfeed.
Maybe even those who don’t think breastfeeding is for them. If you have tried before a struggled or just think it seems like a huge hassle this information might just make it seem like it’s worth a shot.
Board Certified Lactation Consultant Diane Francis is the guest on this episode and she begins by going into some of the newly discovered benefits of breastfeeding.
I’ll just mention three here but they are all pretty mind blowing.
– A study showed that four months of full breastfeeding would decrease the rate of hospitalisation of babies in the first year of life by 56%
– 21% of deaths of babies in the U.S. aged 12 months and under could be prevented if babies received ANY AMOUNT of breast milk.
– There is a substance in breast milk that is lethal to 40 different types of tumor cells. This may well be why children who are breastfed have lower rates of lymphoma and leukemia up until 15 years of age.
And, of course, breastfeeding is free.
In short, breastfeeding makes a lot of sense.
Most problems, Diane states, happen within the first few weeks.
So, how can new mums make it through those potential problems?
I like that Diane talks about actual low supply versus perceived low supply.
It can be very hard to trust our bodies to make enough milk to nourish our babies but, generally, they can.
If a mum is really not making enough milk then she may need some professional support to help her get there.
Areas that might need looking into include:
– Glandular tissue – does the mum have enough?
– Oral problems in the baby eg tongue tie or problems with the palette.
– Was the baby premature? A baby’s sucking ability is not fully formed until about 38 weeks.
– Stress. You need to be pretty relaxed for your milk to flow.
Some things to check are:
– Positioning – a baby in a poor position simply cannot nurse effectively.
– Latch – a baby needs a good amount of the aureole as well as the nipple in their mouth to be able to feed.
– It could also just be that it’s very early days and having a baby latched on every hour or two for three or four days makes you sore. You should not, Diane points out, have cracked or bleeding nipples and the soreness should not last for more than a minute or so at the start of the feed.
A little soreness can be a part of early breastfeeding but should lessen with time.
Look for problems
-After let down, is my baby having to suck more than a couple of times before they swallow? If they are sucking five or six times before swallowing you may just be being used as a human pacifier.
– Too much milk. Can this be a problem? Yep. Babies whose mothers have a very high milk supply can end up with a lot of the thinner, foremilk and may be too full to get to the rich, high fat hindmilk. More frequent feeding could help here.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
Everyone is different and what works for someone else may not work for you. We have to learn to trust our bodies but, Diane says, we also have to learn to trust our babies.
Assuming your baby is full-term they will probably know when and how much they need to eat.
To wrap up
This episode is not a neat and tidy list of tips which is what I expected. It’s more of a conversation between the hosts and the expert and it was something I really enjoyed listening to.
If you are expecting, hopefully, parts of this episode will stay with you so that if once your baby arrives, you encounter breastfeeding issues, you know that there are multiple possibilities for why this is and that so many of them are fixable.
If you are struggling with breastfeeding right now I hope that this episode will give you some ideas on potential reasons as well as underlining that you are not alone.
Similar episodes on this topic
Pea in the Podcast – Breastfeeding: Tips, Hints and Advice To Make it Work for You
Birthful – Breastfeeding Preparation
Pregnancy Podcast – Breastfeeding
All About Breastfeeding Podcast
Emily Wills is a doula based in Stockholm. She believes that birth can be a beautiful and empowering experience and started this blog as a way of sharing some really great podcasts. She is also a mother of three and an enthusiastic runner.