For National Breastfeeding Month we wanted to hear stories from real moms and real professionals. I sat down with lactation consultant and owner of Blissed Out Mamas, Lisa Broderick-Cohen, to discuss all things breastfeeding. Check out her tips and info’ for getting help when nursing and pumping, and the personal journey that comes with both.
Make sure you share your stories with us too! [@motherhoodmaternity #mymomtruths] All of us at Motherhood® love being inspired from other real mamas out there. Enjoy!
- Tell us how you became a lactation consultant.
I really got into breastfeeding after I got pregnant with my daughter, now 16 years ago. I had difficulty getting her to latch and it was 5 weeks until I found our rhythm. At the time, I felt that there was very little to no support for women from hospitals, doctors or even older generations. It was truly my own experience that inspired me to pursue lactation consultancy. I found La Leche League where I have been a member and leader for over 15 years and studied at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. It took me 4 ½ years to become a lactation consultant. With my experience and years working with pregnant women and new moms, I wanted to create a safe place for everyone to meet and get answers or help. In 2015 I opened Blissed Out Mamas!
- How do you find your clients?
Mainly word of mouth. There are really great resources to finding lactation consultants. A lot of women find me through zipmilk.org. What I do want people to know is that I do accept insurance (and many other lactation consultants do too)!
- What is the first thing you do to ease new moms into breastfeeding?
Almost everyone who calls the first time is looking for help on feeding. A lot of times women are defensive and defeated, but I let them find that fear, so we can get to the root of the problem. Then we work together on a creating a goal and then reaching that goal.
- What is something you would tell a pregnant woman who may not be considering breastfeeding due to different personal reasons?
I would want to know what is exactly making them uncomfortable. In my experience, it is usually a lack of support, education on breastfeeding and past trauma. I believe, personally, that breastfeeding is a public health issue.
- Do you have any advice for milk production supply, especially for women who are returning to work and have to pump?
I like to have a back-to-work consultation to discuss meditation and relaxation techniques to reduce that underlying stress. Together we would need to be honest about how difficult that transition may be. I also encourage after work cuddle sessions with baby and a lot of them! Nursing as much as you can while you’re home helps to keep that natural supply up.
- Do you have any bra or clothing suggestions that help make nursing/pumping a little easier?
I recommend seamless/wireless styles to keep ducts from getting clogged. I love nursing camisoles; I tell all my clients to keep them in their closets. And when I was pregnant, I lived in those pants with that band that covers your whole belly! [Editor’s Note: Lisa means the Secret Fit Belly®.]
- What are the best practices for storing frozen breast milk?
Fresh pumped milk is okay at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours. It can stay in the refrigerator for 4-6 days and can remain frozen for 4-6 months.
- What are some suggestions for easing sore, aching nipples and breasts due to nursing?
Pain is common, but it needs to be addressed. If you have another common issue, like a closed duct, try a warm compress and massage to release the milk and soothe irritation. Nipple balms are not used to necessarily heal pain, but rather as a band aid to keep the nipple healthy.
- How do you help women who want to throw in the towel on breastfeeding after a couple days/weeks/months?
I let my clients know this is a safe, judge-free zone. I let them know that the goal is for baby to eat. We work on trying to preserve milk. I use empathy; I ensure her she is a good mother and that breastfeeding, or formula feeding is not an either/or. Formula can be used as a tool to help her reach her nursing goal. I encourage the bonding aspect of breastfeeding. I also let everyone know that you, as the mom, are the #1 expert on your body and your baby, so listen to your gut.
- How can our followers reach you?