S1E8 Kelly’s Story | New Little Life Breastfeeding Podcast
In this week’s episode, I am joined by Kelly, a naturopathic doctor and mom of two. We discuss tongue ties, tandem nursing, and some of the science behind breastfeeding.
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Hey everyone. It’s Allison here with New Little Life. I’m an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), nurse, a doula, and a mom of three little boys. Here on the New Little Life podcast, we’ll talk with real moms about their breastfeeding experience,–the good parts and the bad– and share real and practical advice about breastfeeding. Connect with and learn from other moms and professionals to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. Welcome back to the New Little Life podcast. I have got a really fun interview for you today. But before we get started, I just wanted to remind you about our Patreon page. So if you like this content and you want to keep hearing more of it, you can support the podcast over on our Patreon. Any donation, even a small one, helps me keep this podcast going. And there’s a little bit of extra content over there for you as well. So I also wanted to say a quick thank you to all of our current patrons for their continued support. You really make this possible, and we couldn’t do this without you. So thank you so, so much. All right, today we have an interview with Dr. Kelly and Kelly is a naturopathic doctor and mom of two. She started her practice working with bioidentical hormones and has now niched into the area of microtoxin illnesses and specifically mold-related issues. So she really has a very specific practice now and some really interesting things to say. Today though, she’s going to be talking to us about her breastfeeding experience with her little ones. She’s had some experience with tongue ties, and she’s also going to talk about tandem nursing and a little bit about how immunity relates to breastfeeding. So how all those antibodies get from mom to baby and why breastfeeding and breast milk is so amazing. We had a really fun time chatting, and I think you’ll enjoy listening to her and her experience and advice. So here we go. Hey, Kelly, I’m really excited to talk with you today. We were actually just getting to know each other real quick before we started this, which I absolutely loved. And I can already tell that this is going to be a really fun interview. So thanks for being here with us today.
Of course, I can’t wait. It’s always good when you jump on with someone and you’re like, “There’s going to be good flow. It’s going to be a good one.”
No, this is going to be a good episode. I can already tell.
Good flow? Oh my gosh. I did not mean any puns intended, but as we talk about milk flow.
Alright, stick around guys. This is going to be a good one. Dr. Kelly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Just introduce yourself. Tell us about your practice, your family, your kiddos, everything like that.
Yeah. So I’m an Arizona native, born and raised here. I’ve known I wanted to be a naturopathic doctor, since I was like seven. I was a super sick little kid. My mom found my naturopathic doctor and he basically dismissed me from care after a couple of years. And he’s like, “You’re good. See you later. I really don’t want to see you anymore.” I was like, “Alright, bye! I want to be a doctor like you.” And he stops me walking out the door, dead-face. And he’s like, “You better be a naturopath. Don’t be a regular doctor.” I was like, “Okay bye.” And that’s what I did. I married my 18-year-old crush, the one who got away. We have two little kids. I have a three and a half year old and a one-year-old. And I do a little bit of everything in my practice. I started with hormones doing bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, and I was loving it. You can see a lot of quick fixes with hormones and people feel like themselves again. And as I was going into that, there were these patients where I just couldn’t get them better. And that kind of led me down the environmental medicine. When you look at the surroundings and root cause medicine, figuring out what that straw that broke the camel’s back was. And now I do a lot of mold illness. Mold is probably the biggest one, but I also do like tick-borne illnesses– Bartonella, Lyme, all of those sneaky things. And I want to get people better and change the paradigm of medicine.
Oh, I love it. Perfect. You have great goals and it sounds like you’re already doing a lot of them.
I’m trying. There’s only so many balls I can juggle at once.
Oh girl, I hear that. Especially with kids, it’s like a whole new ball game. Awesome. Well, let’s just jump into the beginning. I’d love to start by hearing about your breastfeeding experience. If you want to start at the beginning with your first. We can sure do that. You have two little ones kind of close together, but let’s start at the beginning and just see where it takes us.
Okay. So my three and a half year old. She was born two weeks before I graduated from natureopathic medical school. It was kind of just in my head. And it was that stubborn idea of “I’m just going to do this. Like I’m a naturopath. I have to breastfeed, like what other option is there?” And I knew the benefits of it, but I think it was really just like my stubbornness that made me successful because those first couple weeks were a little rough. New mom, the nipple tenderness. And I am 95% sure she had a mild tongue tie, not as severe as my second, but it was pretty painful. And I was just like, “Pull your bootstraps up. This is what you’re going to do. You’re a naturopath, feed your kid.” And she is still nursing. So I’d say that was pretty successful. We never really had any issues. Maybe like a couple: like the milk blisters, but I never really got clogged ducts. I was super fortunate that I got to stay home with her for the first nine months of her life. Like I had graduated, I was waiting for my board results to come in. So it was just her and I. We got a really good bonding time. I didn’t really worry about my milk supply. It was pretty idyllic. And then I went back to work and I pumped for a little bit probably until she was about 13 months old and I was like, “Screw it. I’m done. I hate the pump.” The sound like hurts my soul a little bit.
So many moms can relate to that. Where the sound just like grates your teeth.
I’m about to buy a manual pump because that motor, I just can’t. It’s like bad dance music.
PTSD or something from pumping.
Just the sound, right? So I pumped until she was about 13 months old and then we would only nurse when I was home. So I had like a very gentle decrease. It wasn’t a cold-cut wean. I never had any like plugged ducts or anything after that. And then then I got pregnant again and she nursed through most of that pregnancy. There was definitely a part where I was like, “Girlfriend, Mommy’s nipples hurt. Like booboo have boo-boos, please don’t.” And she was really good. She would just snuggle. And she does this like really particular hand motion across my chest. Like she’s trying to cast a spell and it would always feel like I was going to have a letdown, but I didn’t.
Oh, that’s really cool.
I thought we were done. I was like, “All right, this new baby is going to come. She’s good. She stopped nursing. She just likes to hold them.” And then her sister came and girlfriend got jealous. I would only let her nurse like one time a day. And it was when we were home alone. Everybody had gone out for groceries or work. And I was like, I can’t do both like two days postpartum. I can’t do both of you. Just climb up here. And I had one on each side because I was terrified of her messing up my supply. And it was like this weird anxiety I had never had before. So yeah, I’ve got some pictures, tandem nursing. That was not my intention. My husband thinks it’s weird, but it’s not like I would do it in public. Like just pull my shirt up and nurse both.
Yeah. Your other one is old enough to that she’s not relying on your milk for nutrition at this point.
It was pure comfort and jealousy because the new sister. So then River came along and I brought myself to see a lactation consultant when she was four days old. I was like, “She’s nursing. I hear her swallowing. Something’s not right.” And when I compared her latch to her sister’s in the beginning, it was way more of like a pinching sensation. And I was like, “I can live with this.” Nothing was cracking. Like, I’m pretty sure I still had conditioned nipples.
Your oldest would never really stopped. Yeah.
Nice and calloused or whatever people use the word. And so I brought her in and really she has a severe tongue bugle ties and the lip tie. I was like, “Oh, so this is why it pinches.” She’s like, yeah, “If you would have been a first time, mom, you probably would have quit already.” That shed some light on the severity. We had the laser revision and that was a little rough. I had to take her by myself. And the smell really got to me and I was crying and she was crying and the lactation consultant was like, “Just nurse, just nurse, sit here. As long as you need to nurse.” Which was wonderful. And instantly her latch was better, but I didn’t realize how like intense the stretches were after the revision. And that like hurt my soul even more than the pumping sound does because they’re like, you have to stretch every four to six hours and you could tell she was sore. Sometimes I was just like, “I can’t do this to her.” I think doctors are the worst patients because I stopped the stretches too early. I was like, “Her latch is beautiful. The gas thing has calmed down. The Arnica worked.” And that’s what we were doing for pain management. And we would do like the frozen breast milk ice chips to help numb it up. But I couldn’t bring myself to do that to the little baby. Not at a week old, two weeks old. So her latch had gotten better. We did the stretches for three and a half, four weeks. And I was like, “Alright, we’re done. If it attaches, we’ll get it fixed then.”
And the stretches are meant to keep it from reattaching. Correct? .
Yeah. You put them upside down so their head is in your lap and their feet are hanging off of your knees. And you put your fingers in and pull up on their tongue. So it doesn’t reattach at the base. And I had done that one time after we had slept a good eight hours and I heard a pop and I was just like, “Oh God.” And she didn’t do anything. She didn’t really react. She had her frozen breast milk chips and she just wanted to nurse, but my mom heart couldn’t take it. So it was fixed enough where she’s a year and a week old, two weeks old now, and she’s still going strong nursing. She eats solids fine. She doesn’t really have the gas issues. So that was probably the most traumatic thing. And then between weaning my oldest off of that daily nurse session, I did get a couple plugged ducts. But I caught them early enough. I could fix it with the sunflower lecithin and extra water and the dangle feed. So it never really developed into mastitis. So I’d say I’ve been pretty lucky. Like I haven’t had crazy infections. We haven’t really dealt with candida, but I attribute that to like my diet beforehand. I’m pretty cognizant of what I consume.
So that’s a yeast infection, right. For anyone who doesn’t know.
Candida is a yeast. So the thrush on the baby’s tongue, the white, or it can be the red, blotchy rash on the breasts. So I never really dealt with any of that crazy stuff. It was more just my poor empathetic mama heart. Couldn’t do the stretches long enough.
Tongue ties are like the whole world of their own. Did you find any like support groups or like other moms that have dealt with this to kind of navigate that? Or did you just do it on your own?
So the place that I went to was an hour and a half from my house. I’m like outside of Phoenix, I’m an hour away from Phoenix and still in Phoenix. And it’s an amazing center. I just couldn’t make that drive all the time. This is pre-Corona Virus. I don’t know what they’re doing now. I know they opened another location, but they had weekly support groups. You could come weigh your baby, nurse them, and weigh them again to make sure they’re getting enough. So they would do the weighted feeds for like free. Very, very supportive. But between my patients, living so far away, and probably my stubbornness, I was like, “Nope, I can do it on my own.” And I would just text my other naturopathic doctor mom friends. And I’m like, “Guys, what did you do?” We have like our own little group message of we’re doctors, but we’re also moms. Where do you draw the line? What do you do? So they were my support for that mostly.
Yeah. It’s a weird thing, isn’t it? Being like a medical professional and then also being a mom. I remember I saw a lactation consultant. I have three kids and every time I’ve seen multiple because I’m like, “Could you just talk to me like I’m dumb? Like, because I know I’m trained in this, but my mom brain is fried. And I just need help, but you just gotta give it to me like I’m not a medical professional.” It’s a weird paradox. Isn’t it?
They have to remove the facade and realize that you are also sleep deprived. You are also clouded by your emotions at that point. Like let’s throw in some postpartum hormones and your sleep deprivation and all of your other kids’ needs and pretend like you’re still functioning like a normal human being and you can use your medical brain. It doesn’t work. Not at all.
I’m so glad you said that. It makes me feel a little better, honestly.
It’s not you. It is everyone.
So let’s see, you are nursing both of them. I mean your little one obviously, but your three and a half year old is still kind of nursing occasionally?
Sometimes yeah. So my one-year-old, she’s a total fan of solids. She’s not talking, but she’s very communicative. And she’ll go hop, hop, hop, whenever she’s ready to eat. So she does eat three to seven meals a day and she nurses whenever she needs it. I am trying to stop pumping at work just because I’m over it. And I don’t like the sound. I don’t have a freezer stash, but I have enough for the days where I’m actually in an office away from her. Like I am today. She’s got some at home. I do a lot of telemedicine stuff, so I’m normally home. I can hop out of the office, nurse her, and run back in. My little one is still definitely nursing multiple times a day and at night. And then my oldest, it’s mostly at night. When we’re all snugly, she’s trying to wind down and she’s like, “Mama, can I have one sip of booboo milk?” I’m like, “You just asked for this in a full, complete sentence with manners, kid.” And she knows she’s getting a little too old. Cause I’ll tell her, “Your latch hurts, baby. Fix your teeth.” She’ll go, “Mom. I don’t know how. This is how I do it.” I was like, “Then change your head, like tilt to the other side.” She’s like, “Oh, okay.” So she’s definitely kind of forgetting the motion I can tell. But she’s not ready to give it up. That’s still her safe place.
Do you have, do you have any idea how long you’ll nurse her or you just going to kind of let her find her own way? Just out of curiosity.
Honestly, that answer changes on a day-to-day basis. So like last week–and this might be TMI– I finally got my first postpartum period after a year.
Good for you. Slow clap for making a whole year without that.
No, I really loved it until that like week of PMS hit and I was like, “Oh God, this is going to be hell.” So last week when it was craziness in my house, I told her, “You are done! No more.” I had to go apologize to her because she was just all up in my business and I was cramping and I wasn’t having it. And then like last night she was like, “Mom, Dad was watching a scary movie. Can I just nurse for one minute?” I was like, “Oh, of course, little baby.” And it changes. I have no idea.
What do you do when they ask so cute. I know, right?
You can’t say no. Like you see the baby still, not the crazy toddler. So I don’t want to set like a firm date, but most of the time I’m still like “Girlfriend, you’re done and it’s getting a little much.” So I’m not entirely sure. We’ll see.
Well, that’s a great answer. That’s probably where I’d be with that same scenario too. Like what am I going to say?
Exactly. She’s fiercely independent during the day. So at nighttime, when I see that snugly side of her, again, 60% is like, “Oh my gosh, come here.” And then 40% is like “Your teeth, stop.” So I really don’t know. It’ll depend on where she’s at in life and what I’m doing and who knows. If I get pregnant again and they get all tender, that might be the end for her. I don’t know. But I don’t have like “Four years old. You’re done.” My husband thought that about one. He came to me and he’s like, “She’s still a baby. Just cause she’s one. Like, are you going to keep nursing her?” And I was like, “Obviously. Did you think we were just going to go out and buy some formula? Just because she’s one?” And so he’s kind of on board with it. He’s more upset with like the tandem nursing/toddler nursing than I am. But he just wants like alone time with me, which is hard to get now.
He’s like, “She has one and she has one. Where’s mine?”
Exactly. Grow another one. So we can all be on there at the same time.
Oh my gosh. I dunno how you make it. Not feeling touched out all the time. Even with one, it’s a lot. I’m like “I need an hour to sleep with like no one touching me.”
That doesn’t happen, no. And we co-sleep because I still nurse at night and I need to use my brain during the day. So my littlest one is in the bed with us. I’d say half of the nights, the toddler comes in and she sleeps long-ways at the foot of the bed. There’s no room in the bed and she’s like a dog at the end of the bed. Sometimes she rolls off, it’s traumatic. She won’t stay in her bed though. My husband and I, we’ve had to find new ways for intimacy because anything in this like trunk region where my chest is doesn’t do anything. It’s kind of a turn off. Give me a back rub. Do something else to reconnect with me, not touch my chest.
Oh man. Everybody can kind of relate to that I think. So I would love to hear a little bit of your thoughts, especially as a naturopathic doctor, about the immunity and physiology of breastfeeding. Because I think you have a little bit of experience there. So can you just like share with us? Why is breastfeeding awesome? How does that immunity and antibodies work? Just tell us all the stuff.
I will tell you all the things. So fed is obviously best. Like if you’re using formula and you’re listening to this, this is not a knock. It’s still has vitamins. It still has fat, but breastfeeding is so unique because when a baby has a good latch and the nipple is fully in the mouth. When they suck, the negative pressure that’s been created actually takes the baby’s saliva and pulls it back into the nipple. So then mom’s immune system can then scan it for pathogens. It’s the same concept like when new moms have the urge to kiss their baby everywhere, it’s one of our primal instincts because we’re sampling for pathogens. If they had something on their face, they had been rolled in mud who knows what’s on the baby? You really don’t. When you kiss it and your saliva detects it as a mom, your body’s like, “Oh, Hey, some dirt. We’ve seen this before. Let’s roll out some antibodies.” More advanced things happen when they nurse. So the longer they can nurse, the more accurate your milk is going to be for their immune system needs. So pumping will still give immune response. It’s just more delayed.
I was just going to ask you. Moms ask me all the time, “What if I’m pumping or using a nipple shield? Am I still creating antibodies for my baby?”
Of course. So part of it is you’re living in the same environment. If the baby was exposed, chances are mom was exposed too. Unless you’re at that age where the baby’s like crawling around the pediatrician’s office, like licking door knobs and mom is not licking said doorknobs, that immune response is going to be a little bit more delayed. But mom is still in the same environment. Mom is still being exposed. So anything mom sees, she can pass on. They’ve even found the coronavirus antibodies in breast milk already. We should just spray breastmilk on 2021 preventatively and call it good.
I still have several memes about that in 2020, like “Has anyone tried just like squirting breast milk on this year to see if it fixes it?”
So the immune response changes every time. I’ve pumped both sides at the same time and they’re different colors entirely, based off of which side she nursed off of last. So like one side was nice and yellow and fatty and the other side was like green and blue and a little bit more hydration, watery. I was like, “Oh, girlfriend’s doing something. Growth spurt, whatnot.”
You probably see that even more where your tandem nursing two children. I’ve seen moms where they’ve had one breast does the one thing and the other one for the other child. So I bet you see that even more than most, where you do have two little mouths giving you some of the things.
The way we’ve nursed lately. It’s so like hit or miss. It is tandem, but it’s not like a regular tandem anymore. And that one specific time, it was just little River. Like I had nursed her on one side that morning, not the other. I went to work and pumped and that was just from her.
I will fully admit that I do not understand all the things that breast milk and that part of your body does. I’ve been studying it though, but it’s incredible. And I think there’ll be parts that we don’t know forever.
Yeah. I don’t think our science has caught up with how advanced breastmilk is, but I know that they use it in cancer therapies. You’ve got to dig. This is not mainstream stuff, but there have been cases of cancer staying in remission because a person is consuming human breast milk. And so cool. Yeah. It’s insane, the properties that it has.
I tell this to moms a lot, but like the fact that your adult immune system can make quality antibodies for this brand new little life that their immune system is so brand new is huge. So even if you just nurse for a week or even just that colostrum at the beginning. Your immune system is giving them antibodies they could never create on their own.
Their little immune systems can’t even start working for those first couple months of life. Like that’s mom and baby. It’s that relationship.
Most babies don’t get even their first vaccine, if you choose to vaccinate your kids, until two months. So that first two months, everything they’re getting is from the mother. So do you remember if you took any preparation stuff before your first one? Like any courses or did you just know what you were doing? And it just happened for you?
I’m going to go back to the stubborn thing and I didn’t do anything. The most I remembered was from an obstetrics course I took in medical school, probably two years prior. And of course, like I was like, “Oh, I’m not going into OB.” So did it really stay in my brain? Maybe. Like I could get by, I know the answers. But some of those technical things, not so much. I would not trust myself in a delivery room as a midwife, no way. But we had done the class. I understood the physiology of it. I knew I wanted to, I just let it happen. I took her lead and I think part of it helped when my oldest was born, she had jaundice. So they were like, keep her naked by a window. So we just did a lot of skin-to-skin. And any time she cried, I was like, “Oh, you need a boob? Nope? Okay. Now what?” So it was kind of always like my first go-to to see if she was hungry and kind of encourage that milk production and that bond. And then from there, I’ve always taken her lead. I will say Rowan– my oldest– is still probably boob-oriented. If she fell down at a park and started crying and I like busted out a boob, she one hundred percent would still be focused on it. Whereas my youngest, boob is not the answer for everything. And she knows it. And if I try to offer it, she like pushes me away. Whereas Rowan never did that. So I think Rowan being that extra clingy little baby, really habitualized that instinct like, “Oh, do you need milk? Do you need a breast? Here you go. No? All right. Let’s move on.”
Oh, interesting. So you stubbornly, like “I’m doing this.”
Every time. Every time there was a line of people, whatnot. “You need a boob here? Nope? Okay. Let’s try a diaper. Let’s try burping.” Like it was just the top of my checklist every time. I have friends and they’re like, “Oh, what app did you use to like calculate?” I was like, “What app? I just offered it every time.” “How did you know what side?” I literally felt them. Which one was full? Which one was not? I really just trusted that instinct to go.
I love that. This is a two-part question, but I would love to know the hardest part of breastfeeding for you and then also the best part. So let’s start with the sad day stuff. So maybe the hardest or most difficult part of breastfeeding? And then we’ll jump to the best part for you.
Got it. The most difficult, hands-down, is those first few months when they’re like nursing around the clock. And my husband didn’t really get a lot of time off work. My youngest was born over the holidays. He couldn’t take time off. It was like blacked out. They gave him an extra long weekend when she was born and that was it. It’s watching them sleep at night and being like, “You and your useless nipples, I want to hurt you.” And just feeling so alone at night in those long nights. They’re ingrained in my brain. And then somehow I blinked and she’s a year old and you sleep and things are okay. But like that isolation you feel, especially if you’re solely breastfeeding and you’re letting your partner sleep. I have other friends where they would pump and make their partners feed pumped milk at night. And I was like, “Oh girl, you do it.” But if you’re doing it by yourself and you’re letting partners sleep or whatever your situation is, that feeling alone at night was probably the hardest. Yeah.
There’s nothing better than a sunrise from a long night. That brings so much hope and joy for me because some of those nights are long. I can totally relate to that.
Just seeing the sun, you’re like, “Alright, he’s going to be up. I can nap. New day, new energy.” I think the darkness, it makes it seem so much longer. You have no concept of time. We’re in our houses. You don’t know where the moon is in the sky. There might not even be a moon. You’re just waiting for the sunrise.
I agree. So what was the best part of breastfeeding for you? What’s your favorite thing about the process?
Alright. They don’t do it anymore, but when they’re still really little and the milk hits when they’re suckling and then they just unlatch and smile and the milk like rolls out of their mouth.
Or squirts them in the face or milk showers. That happened to me the other day. I have three boys. So, but they’re very well-versed in breasts and breast milk. That happened the other day with their brother. And they thought that was the funniest thing in the whole world. They’re like, “Do it again, squirt him again!” And I’m like, “I didn’t mean to do this.” And their dad was like, “Oh my gosh, just stop.” Oh, they thought it was hilarious. Yeah.
No, it’s the milk drunk smiles for me are probably the best. Now that River’s older, when they’re nursing and they don’t unlatch, she doesn’t unlatch anymore. She knows it’s good. And their eyes roll back in their head. That just satisfaction. “This is what I needed. Thank you, mom.”
I know. It’s those little moments that keep you going, isn’t it?
It definitely is. Yeah.
Do you remember the best advice you ever received– either from a healthcare professional or another mom, a sister, anything like that? Is there anything that somebody told you that really changed your path or just clicked with you that you wanted to remember?
It’s probably from that obstetrics class. So it was taught to me by a naturopathic doctor, who’s also a midwife and she’s delivered something like 400 babies. It’s insane. She’s super renowned in Arizona. You say her name and everyone knows. But she was saying like, “Each baby is different. So the fact that we have these milestones and the fact that we have these schedules, it’s so backwards. You have to take baby’s lead every time and you can’t make them conform to your schedule.” So going into it, kind of not intending to keep a schedule. And I get it, not everybody can do that. You still have to get up and go to work. But not having that concept in my time of 15 minutes, one side then burp, then 15 minutes and other side. They don’t always want that. Sometimes they just need a little drink because it was hot out. They don’t want a full nursing session. And if you don’t do it, then they’re just going to sit there and cry because they’re thirsty. We’re in Arizona. You can’t intentionally ignore the cry, because you don’t know what that cry was. So I think she was kind of the one who put that notion in my head of when you hear the cry, offer the breast, and just go from there. If they don’t want it, they don’t want it. Unless you have a child like mine who wants boobs all the time.
And she’s like, “Yeah, I definitely want that. I don’t care what the problem is. That’s the solution.”
Yeah. She’s like, “I did want that toy, but this boob will work for now.”
Is there any advice that you would tell a new mom who’s planning to breastfeed? Maybe someone that’s never done this before and they’re like, do you have like one nugget for me? Like what’s the most important part? What’s that thing you would tell them? It’s hard to narrow it down, I know. I can see your brain going like a million things.
Most definitely. There’s not just one I have like a list.
And you already gave us a really good one of just like following your instincts, you and your baby and not watching the clock. Like that’s awesome advice.
Yeah. Aside from that, don’t put clothes on the baby after they’re born. Do the skin to skin, let it sink in. Everyone that I know is like, “Look at our cute matching outfits for Instagram. And I’m like, “Nope, we were naked. That’s why there’s no pictures of me in a diaper and her in a diaper. And those pictures don’t go anywhere.” But that initial bonding hour, don’t let people come in the room. Let it be just you and this new baby and take the lead. That being said, if it hurts at any point, speak up because it’s not supposed to hurt. And if a lactation consultant says, “Nope, it’s normal”, go see another one. That was probably the biggest one.
I feel like seeing a quality professional can solve a lot of problems. And I love what you just said. If you don’t agree with or feel comfortable with the advice you were given, go see somebody else. I love that as well, because not all providers and not all lactation consultants are the same or have the same area of expertise or knowledge.
Like I had never, ever put the same value on like a chiropractor as I would a cranial sacral therapist as I would a massage therapist, like just going in the bodywork arena. So why would I do that for a lactation consultant? The latch might look great, but if you’re still having issues and lactation consultants don’t find it, go see a chiropractor. They were just squeezed out of a really tiny canal. There’s a high chance that something’s misaligned and it just hurts to turn their head one way. I didn’t even mention that I had to do that with River. She had a preference to turn her head to one side and I thought it was the tongue tie thing. It wasn’t. She just needed a little adjustment. It didn’t solve the tongue tie, but then she would nurse on both sides. Yeah.
Did she have a little torticollis?
Nope. I caught it before that. So like her muscles hadn’t gotten too tight. I’d definitely gave her like little baby massages, but I got her adjusted. Let’s see, her tongue tie was revised on like day four or five. So she was probably adjusted on day three.
I think the chiropractor or the bodywork person has to have kind of some special training in infants, is that right?
So my chiropractor is Webster certified. So she actually adjusted me all through my pregnancy and she does moms and babies. That’s like her favorite thing to do. So definitely don’t just go to the first person that pops up on Google by your house because it is specialized training. Their vertebrae aren’t formed the way that adults are, like they’re not even closed yet. So it’s a very low impact kind of adjustment, but it’s a game changer because a tongue tie revision can’t realign a vertebrae. So they would still have a preference to nurse on one side. You didn’t fix the misalignment.
Oh, that’s interesting. It feels like a lot. I hope new moms aren’t overwhelmed by just like the amount of stuff that there is. I think maybe the best thing to do is just kind of be to know your resources. Like who are the lactation counselors in your area? Do you like your pediatrician? Are you comfortable with them and what are some of the other options too? Do you have a mom group? Like you had your little group of like-minded doctors that you chat with, which I think is super essential. Find your mom group, find a Facebook support group, if that’s all you can find. Real-life mom friends are better.
Yeah. Real life. Definitely. But in times of social distancing and who knows. Are you guys like social distanced over there?
We are super locked down. Yeah. We’re in Belgium right now. And my kids are still in school, but we can have one, they call it a cuddle buddy. We can have one cuddle buddy a week. So that’s someone that you’re in closer contact with then the social distancing. So we can’t have friends over because all of our friends are like a couple.
Yeah. Or families. “Here, one of you can come over. No one else.”
People for Christmas over here were like, “Okay. So do I invite over my mom or my dad? Like, you’re going to give us one person?” That’s insane. Oh, it’s been a nightmare. And we’ve been locked down like this since November. We’re recording this the first part of January. We’ve been in and out of lockdown over here, it’s a lot stricter than the States.
That’s what I’ve heard. But I don’t know many people actually over there to ask. That’s insane.
You can’t really like travel. Currently actually we’re on lockdown. We can’t go 30 kilometers from our house. Some of those restrictions are military related, but yeah. You can travel for work, doctor, like essential groceries, stuff like that. But they don’t want people like out socializing or like traveling for fun.
In-person is definitely better. Especially if you’re not like keen to go to a lactation consultant or a chiropractor right off the bat. If you want to like show your friend and be like, “Is this normal?” And actually have a friend see. But if you’re locked down and that’s not your cuddle buddy. That’s going to be really hard.
Yeah. We do a lot of virtual stuff and texting, you know?
I’ve definitely sent like texts or Snapchats of like, “This is what a normal pump should look like. If yours doesn’t look like the nipple going in and out of the flange, get it adjusted.” I send it with a disclaimer.
Speaking of pumps, what what pump do you use? Do you like it? I mean, you hate pumps, so maybe I should say, does it work well for you?
I hate them in general. The first one I had with Rowan was an insurance pump. It was the Medela pumping style. They’ll double electric one. I hated it, hated it so much. I would get maybe an ounce and a half each side. And that’s like before feeding, that was like at work. And I had a decent flange. I don’t know if I got like a dud machine, if it just didn’t like vibe with me, I don’t know. We didn’t get along. So then this one I paid to upgrade and I got the Spectra S2 and I was like, “Oh my gosh. This is like a Cadillac of pumps.” And I actually really like it, sound aside. If I can like turn the TV up and I don’t have to hear the sound, I don’t mind it. I get good decent volumes every time.
It’s one of my favorite pumps too. The Spectra One is even better because you don’t have to be next to an outlet. But the Spectra 2 is exactly the same except you have to plug it in it.
Yeah. They just, they were like, do you want Medela or Spectra? So I didn’t even check to see like what kinds of Spectra, but I’ll take a cord for the Cadillac of pumps compared to that Medela any day.
It’s an awesome pump. Is there anything else you want to tell us? Is there any thing you would tell to a new mom just about breastfeeding in general, any last piece of information you want to share? I would just love to hear anything else you have to offer. I know I put you on the spot there.
If you think of anything specifically, please ask me because sometimes I feel like there’s too much going on in my head to like deliver it succinctly.
You have a place actually that people can connect with you if they have questions because you do a lot of like mold stuff. And I feel like that’s a really niche specialty. Are you okay if I put some contacts for you in the description so people can find you if they want to connect?
One hundred percent. Most of my stuff right now is on Instagram. I have a website, but I did it myself. So it looks like it might be spam.
You better have something though today. Like a web site.
So the website is drkellywinnett.com and then the Instagram that I have is @dr.kelly.winnett so that’s most of my stuff on there.
Yeah. That’d be great. And then people can connect with you if they want to utilize your services or maybe just chat to ask you a question from today. So that’d be great. Yeah.
As far as like any other random things, I hear a lot going around about like fenugreek. “Oh, do fenugreek. It’ll boost your supply.” As with any herbs in naturopathic medicine, there is a chance that it has the opposite reaction in your body.
I’ve seen that a lot with that specific one too. I’m glad you brought it up.
Yeah. Fenugreek does not work for everyone. It worked for me and it made me smell like maple syrup and it was very strange and like my postpartum nose couldn’t handle it. So there are other blends, but herbs. So there is no herbs to boost supply. There’s herbs to boost the cellular function of the mammary glands. They’re called galactagogues. So they help things move. The only thing to increase supply is literally nursing. It’s supply and demand. Make the milk, remove the milk, make the milk, remove the milk. So if you’re not hydrated and you’re like, “Oh, I had a Starbucks pink drink and my supply went up.” It means you’re dehydrated. So being in Arizona, I have hammered this. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse at this point. It’s hot here. Not right now, It’s like 60. It’s gorgeous. People need to drink an average about a gallon a day. Nursing moms need even more. So coffee doesn’t count. Coffee does the opposite. And honestly, as a mom, I don’t get a gallon a day. I don’t have time. If I drank that much water, I’d be in the bathroom too many times. And then I’d be cornered in the bathroom by my children. So part of it is the self-care. Like you are now using your body. First, you grew a person and now you’re feeding a person. Like you have to make sure you’re taking that time for yourself. Maybe that should have been my piece of advice. I don’t know. You’ve got to drink. You’ve got to eat. Chocolate doesn’t count. I have a really bad habit and I’m paying for it now. I’m like, “Oh, I’m breastfeeding. I can have these nachos. I’m breastfeeding. I can have this gluten-free cookie.” And I’m like, “Maybe my metabolism has slowed down.” But I will say iron deficiency is very under-diagnosed in nursing moms. Sometimes they catch it in pregnancy. I look at my own labs that they drew and I was like, “Hey, look, I’m anemic. And they didn’t tell me anything.” But iron makes women crave ice and chocolate. So if you’re sitting there and you’re like, “I need more chocolate, all of the chocolate.” It could be iron.
That your body’s asking for? I don’t know. I might disagree on that one. I think my body is legit asking for chocolate.
Oh no, I’m a good, like gimme 75% dark. And I’ll just sit there all day and pound a bar and a pantry by myself.
If I go take my prenatal vitamin first, then can I eat the chocolate and feel good about it? Like I fed both monsters there.
Yeah, exactly. Yep. That’s my new plan. Yeah. Check iron. If they’re not running the labs, find another doctor. Yeah. I think there’s this misconception that like you have to listen to your doctor, which is pretty contrary because you hired your doctor. You can fire your doctor. So if you’re like, “Hey, I’m really tired.” Hence all postpartum moms. “Hey, like my hair is falling out and I’m getting these bruises and all I want is ice and chocolate and steak.” Like you’re probably borderline anemic. I was, they didn’t even tell me. The only reason I caught it is because I knew what to look for on my labs.
And moms go in for that six week postpartum visit. And then they’re just like, “You’re good to go, bye.” And I don’t think moms know like you can go back if you’re not feeling well. Or if something isn’t right, go see somebody. You don’t have to wait for three years until your next pap smear. I mean, you should be going to the doctor every year.
Yeah. No, I know what you mean.
Don’t be afraid to go in and ask for help. If you have any signs of postpartum depression, you should also go in and talk to somebody. I mean, self-care, I think is a great note to end on. Don’t forget to take care of yourself because you are literally sustaining the life of a tiny human and you need to be okay first, you know?
Making sure all those nutrients are reined in. It is totally okay to take prenatals while you’re nursing. There’s nothing in them that baby can’t have.
That’s what I’m doing. But only because I’m too lazy to go and buy new vitamins.
I know that’s one. Get a good horse, ride it.
Got a good iron level and I’ve just got extra. I’m just going to keep doing it.
I like created my own aversion to my prenatal because I had to take like six a day. Now I see them. I’m just like, *gag* I’ve done a conglomerate of other ones that don’t smell like that. I’ve had to trick my brain a couple of times.
Well, I might have to have another interview with you in six months or so, because I felt like we could keep talking forever about this kind of stuff.
Put a list of questions and we’ll plow through them.
I would love it. So if you have people reaching out to you, keep a running list of questions, and maybe we’ll revisit some of these topics we talked about today a little bit more in depth. Because I would love to pick your brain about some of the more deep stuff of breastfeeding. But thank you so much for taking the time out of your day. I know you’re seeing patients today and you’ve got a lot going on. So I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us and share your journey. And also some other little nuggets of gold in there as well.
I’m so glad we could chat. I could talk about breastfeeding and not feel like I’m crazy because my husband’s like, “Oh your nipples work? Mine don’t.”
“Just stop talking about breastfeeding already.” And you’re like, “Fine. I’m going on a podcast to do it.”
Yeah. You don’t want to hear me talk about my nipples. Talk to someone else. I love it. I can’t wait. We’re definitely going to have to because I could talk about it all day long.
You can find all the links to connect with me and Dr. Kelly down in the show notes today. And you can see everything that I’m doing over on my website, which is newlittlelife.com. And don’t forget to leave a review on whatever platform you’re listening to. And we’ll see you guys next time. Thanks Dr. Kelly.
You’re so welcome. Bye.