Over supply, clogged ducts and mastitis did not break the breastfeeding commitment
As a healthcare worker during Covid, Rae was focused on the health of her second baby. She was determined, yet flexible in her feeding plans, which helped her adjust when she needed to return to work. Though many moms face the problem of under supply, Rae had to face the difficulties that come with over supply. She stayed the course, even when her son straight up refused to continue nursing. Her ultimate goal was to nurse for as long as possible to pass along Covid immunity after receiving her vaccine. Pediatric Dietician and Bobbie Medical Advisor, Tiffani Ghere, helps us break down the value of breast milk, even when used as a supplement to baby formula.
Tiff: I usually advise moms to take things week-by-week as there are so many changes that happen right after birth. I remind them that ANY colostrum or breast milk that is provided benefits the baby. The first 2 weeks are significant because of the immune and growth factors that colostrum delivers.
My first latch I did in the first hour, but I was barely alive.Rae
Tiff: There are three stages of milk:
Colostrum: 2-5 days after birth to seal the gut and prime it for more complex feeds; antibodies; immunoglobulins, peptides, growth factors1
Transitional milk: day 10-14 (combo of BM + colostrum)
Mature breast milk: 2-4 weeks
The biggest thing I regretted from my first baby was not having a lactation consultant.Rae
Tiff: Lactation consultants are significantly valuable in hospitals. Breastfeeding is a hands-on experience and moms definitely need an extra set of hands when learning to breastfeed. It’s a learning process for both mom and baby, and new moms need lots of positive feedback and encouragement. Although many postpartum nurses will assist a mom with BF, LC’s are trained experts who follow evidence-based best practices and are able to take the time to provide education and troubleshoot when needed. They can ensure proper latching and different holding positions that can mitigate other problems down the road.
Managing the oversupply is not easy.Rae
Tiff: Rae faced an oversupply of breastmilk. This occurs when the mother makes more breast milk than the baby needs. This can be uncomfortable for mom, as she does not fully empty her breasts, and can be more prone to plugged ducts, excessive leaking, and painful letdown or nipples. Plugged ducts can lead to mastitis and moms should alert their OB if they are experiencing symptoms.
I decided to pump exclusively so that I could pass along immunity.Rae
Tiff: This mom did a great job by being flexible, yet committed, and creating plans that worked for her and her baby. She surrounded herself with support systems both at home and at work and followed the advice of her medical team when needed.
To support you through your feeding journey (and to drown out the sound of the pump), we’re bringing parents a first of its kind guided meditation with our partners at Mindful Mamas. If Rae’s story resonates with you, we suggest listening to ‘Pumping At Work’. Open the app below: Click Guided > Feeding Baby > Pumping At Work. This content is brought to you free by the team at Bobbie through November 30th, 2021.