Today I’m so excited to have Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC and founder of Lactation Link here to answer some of the most common breastfeeding questions! Breastfeeding has been one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of motherhood for me… from the instant relief that I felt when Piper latched in the delivery room, to the painful engorgement and tears I shed those first few days at home… to my restricted diet 9 months and counting due to Piper’s GI sensitivity. It’s been such a ride and now I get sad as I snuggle Piper up under a blanket for our morning feed knowing that our days nursing like this are numbered. I know that so many mothers (all of my mama friends!!!) have had challenges with breastfeeding in some way and so today I’m so thrilled to have a chat with Lindsey about this topic that is near and dear. I only wish I knew about Lindsey’s wealth of knowledge and resources while I was pregnant — I would have felt much more confident heading home I think!
Tell us about Lactation Link — when, how and why you started your business and what you offer moms!
Hi Caitlin, thanks for having me! I started Lactation Link a little over a year ago. I’ve been helping Moms breastfeed for many years as a labor and delivery RN, but saw such a need for convenient and reliable information, so Lactation Link was born! It started with me as the voice of research-based tips on instagram (@lactationlink) and its grown into a daily support circle of over 27,ooo women supporting each other and sharing their experiences! I love offering the daily tips, interacting and answering questions on IG. We also have a website (www.lactationlink.com) where I offer blog tips on motherhood, my favorite products for breastfeeding, and where you can access my breastfeeding video classes on-demand. These video classes are a perfect way to get prepared and boost your confidence so after delivery you can focus on soaking it all in! My mission statement for Lactation Link is “Creating Confident Moms”, I’m not here to tell you what’s best in your situation, I’m here to give you all your options so you can be confident with your choices!
When should women start educating themselves about breastfeeding with your videos?
Anytime after 12 weeks in pregnancy is a great time to start the video classes. They never expire and come with a notes outline that will become your “breastfeeding bible”. You can also take the classes after delivery for immediate assistance!
People hear a lot of myths about breastfeeding — what is one of the most common myths you hear as a lactation consultant that’s not true?
That it is going to be painful! Pain is typically a sign that something is wrong. In my video classes I go over what to look for and how a good latch should feel as opposed to a bad latch.
If it hurts, get help to correct the issue, it’s not “suppose to hurt”!
How do you recommend a first time mother prepare for breastfeeding before giving birth?
- Take some breastfeeding classes
- Find a support group (find mine here)
- Trust yourself! Mama knows best.
What books do you suggest all moms read?
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin and colleagues is a must-read! Also, my “Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success” is a great place to get started!
Are there any tools new mom’s should have on hand to make breastfeeding easier?
One of the great things about breastfeeding is it requires very little equipment! A few things that can be useful are a good nursing pillow (my favorite is the Ergobaby nursing pillow) and a good nipple cream. I also think a good nursing bra that fits well can be really convenient!
How can a mom increase her milk production if her supply starts to dip?
So many Moms mistake a dip in supply for an increase in baby’s needs! The best thing you can do during these times is trust your body, put your feet up, and feed, feed, feed! Frequent, short sessions of hand expression can work wonders as well!
What food/snacks do you recommend for breastfeeding moms — and is there anything we should avoid?
Snacks you can eat with one hand are so helpful! Green smoothies, oatmeal energy bites, homemade trail mix, and pre-cut fruit in baggies to name a few! I have a ton of snack ideas on my Pinterest page. Make sure to always keep a snack and water in your diaper bag. This will help you keep your sanity when the hunger strikes from being a breastfeeding mama. As far as your food choices, just be sensible. Eating a variety of foods and maintaining a “colorful” diet will help introduce your baby’s palate to lots of different tastes! If you feel a certain food is irritating your baby, start a food journal to track the reactions before eliminating it.
What should a woman do if nursing hurts? Is this normal the first few weeks?
Get help! Turn to your support circle and get evaluated by an IBCLC-certified lactation specialist. So many of my clients will tell me, “I wish I’d talked with you sooner!” With so much information out there, it can be confusing! Knowing you have an IBCLC in your corner can be so reassuring.