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Episode 18: Mothers Deserve Better! Getting the Support You Need

, , May 14, 2020

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Jacqueline Kincer  00:38

Welcome back to the Breastfeeding Talk podcast. I’m your host, Jacqueline Kincer. And I am super excited for today’s episode. Oh my goodness, I am fired up. Today if you did not know it is National Women’s Health Week. Now if you’re in other countries besides the US, you’ll be like what’s that?

 

Well, here in the US it’s a week where we basically celebrate the lack of care for women’s health. And what is interesting to me about this is I’m actually going to Google this right now because the description of this is very interesting. If you go to the CDC website, they say National Women’s Health Week begins on Mother’s Day each year, it’s a reminder for women to take care of themselves and make their health a priority. That’s really interesting. It’s a reminder for women to take care of themselves. Well, I want to talk about that. Because I do think that there’s more that we can do to take care of ourselves. That being said, also don’t feel like it’s completely our fault. And so here’s what I mean by that.

 

 

The reason why women still don’t make as much money as men still don’t have, in a lot of ways, good health outcomes, why there’s still women dying in childbirth. Why there’s a lot of postpartum depression, postnatal depletion, postpartum anxiety, even postpartum psychosis, why there’s not getting enough sleep, stress-related diseases, all these things is not because necessarily women aren’t taking good care of themselves. But let’s look at why women aren’t taking good care of themselves.

 

Well, because they’re asked to do it all in a lot of ways, right? We don’t ask men to be pregnant, to give birth to then take care of that child and lose sleep and then go back to work full time. And we don’t ask those things. We don’t ask them to take care of the household. And right now, I think what’s important to find out and to look at is everything going on in the middle of this COVID pandemic, who has the child’s care fallen on? So if schools are canceled and kids are supposed to be staying at home now? Who’s taking care of those kids?

 

Well, it defaults to the women. And I did a poll on my Instagram stories yesterday. And it asked, How many of you are the primary caregiver in your home? More than half of the people who responded were the primary caregiver in their home. And so when you’re the primary caregiver, there’s also some sort of expectation that you’re supposed to work full time and earn the same wage and all this stuff. Well, how are we supposed to be taking care of our physical and mental health? Where’s the time for that? Right?

 

So it’s a nice thing to preach about and say, Well, women should take better care of themselves. And we’re gonna have this week on Mother’s Day to focus on it. How about we just do better to take care of women? Can I get an amen out there? I hope there’s a raucous applause happening right now. Because my job is to take care of women, to make sure that they are well taken care of, so that they can take care of their babies.

 

So I’m going to rewrite what’s happening for National Women’s Health Week. And I’m going to tell you, that we need to bring awareness, education, support so that women can be well taken care of, and that they can be supported in taking care of themselves. So that’s my message to you for this special week. By the way, I hope that you did have a really good Mother’s Day. I hope that you were not overburdened by doing all the things that you normally do on a daily basis. I hope that you found some time to relax,  some time to celebrate the amazing gift it is to be a mom. Now, I know sometimes we get inundated with these memes about motherhood, right? Especially during the pandemic. Oh my goodness, the memes!

 

Now the memes. I do think it’s always a good thing to have humor, right? Laughter is the best medicine. But on the other hand, I think that we can go a little bit overboard and start to create negativity around the conversation about motherhood. And I think there’s some very real concerns and very real fears. And this is maybe going to be a little bit polarizing. But, I want to just take this week in this podcast episode to highlight a few things.

 

One is that if it’s National Women’s Health Week, why are we doing things to compromise women’s health, especially during this pandemic? Now, you may be wondering, what am I saying here? Well, I work with pregnant women and newly postpartum women. And I can tell you, that now most hospitals now are allowing, you know, the husbands in while the women, the woman is giving birth, I’m assuming they’re allowing nonmarital partners in as well. But I don’t know, specifically about but I’m making that assumption.

 

But I have had clients who have had some complications during their pregnancy, preterm labor, miscarriages, and other complications going on during their pregnancies, even one whose baby tested positive, through amniocentesis for the chromosomal disorder, and for her to go to these appointments, for women who are in the hospital undergoing treatments and monitoring. These sorts of things, they are there alone, their partners, their husbands, they are not allowed in with them. And I can’t think of anything more harmful to women’s health, than to not have the person that is closest to them in their life, perhaps the person that they created this child with, not there by their side.

 

And I can tell you from firsthand experience with my own grandparents, with my experience working with women who have been in the hospital, that the care in the hospital, a lot of the time, is completely subpar. And I’m not here to say that hospitals are bad places, not trying to disparage. I have a ton of colleagues, doctors, nurses in all different areas not related to maternal or infant health, that work in the hospital, and they’re great. They’re wonderful people, they do amazing work. But there are a large number of people who work in these settings, who don’t do amazing work, who don’t feed the patients, right? Who don’t give the vitamins that they’re supposed to be giving, who don’t give the correct medications, who make mistakes all the time. And I can tell you those mistakes when you are the patient who’s in the hospital, if you are unconscious, you have zero say over the care you’re getting and if you don’t have someone there to advocate for you to be that patient advocate. And even though there is a patient advocate, department hospital, you as the patient have to contact them. If you’re in a weakened state, if you’re very stressed out, you may not be thinking clearly, you may not realize that those resources are available to you, things of that nature.

 

You may have a hard time advocating for yourself, especially if you’re worried about the health of your child, is your child going to live or die? This may be a real concern of yours. And then you don’t want to necessarily question their care, getting you to assume these people are experts, they know what they’re doing. Right? And maybe they’re doing a great job, but maybe they’re not. And so when you don’t have another person physically present with you,  to ask the questions to say, hey, you know, I noticed that you haven’t brought any food in 15 hours? Like was there a reason for that? Or like, should we be feeding the patient?

 

If you don’t have someone there physically in person with you, oftentimes your care is going to be very poor. So in light of National Women’s Health Week, I have to say that it’s terrifying to me that women are being left alone, to go through very, very scary scenarios. Like worrying about their pregnancies and their birth and things like that, without someone there to be an advocate for them, without someone there to even provide emotional support. And, while nurses hand through a glove to yours, may be comforting in the moment, I’m pretty sure that your partner that you’ve created this new life in your body with to have their hands there with you would be a lot more comforting.

 

And so don’t even get me started on on doulas and stuff like that, which, you know, there’s a ton of evidence behind doulas and how they absolutely decrease poor you know, birth outcomes and, you know, advocates, you know, help the patient advocate for themselves and, and things like that. So, I just really wanted to bring attention to that because, again, when we need life saving treatment, when we need emergency medicine, when we need intensive care, when we need all these things. It’s there for us, but it isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, unfortunately. So I just want to take a moment to highlight that. So we’re asked to take better care of ourselves as women, but if we don’t even know how to do that, if we don’t know what resources are available to us, then how are we supposed to do that? So that’s what I want to talk to you about in this episode. In some ways, I do think that the argument has swung too far, that all we need to do more for women, we need to have more freedom. And yes, but also women are completely capable of doing things for themselves. We just need to enable that for them.

 

We need to empower you, well, how do we empower you to take better care of yourself? Not by going rah, rah, and cheering and creating a bunch of motivation stuff for you. But by educating you. By educating you on what’s available to you, by educating you on what’s common versus normal, what’s expected and what’s not, what’s a sign of a problem and what’s not.

 

And so this is what I feel like is my main job, this is kind of the undertone of the podcast. If you go back and listen through the episodes, there’s a lot of education on what’s normal and what’s not. Your mind may have been blown by some of the things you heard. Some of these things you may have heard before, and it confirmed something for you. But what I’m trying to share, and get out there is actionable information where you can make a good decision for yourself, because, quite honestly, you’re the best person to make a decision about your health. Because you know your body, you live in it, you feel what it’s like to be in this body. And even if we’re talking about your baby, you grew that baby inside of your body. Now you’re feeding it from your breast, hopefully. Maybe you’re pumping or whatever, but you’ve got a connection to this baby that no one else has. And so you’re really the best person to take care of it. Now, is there medical help out there when you need it? Yes, of course, there is. Some things we need to involve other people in. But a lot of the anxiety I see, a lot of the failure when it comes to breastfeeding is because of lack of proper information.

 

And so I want to just paint a few examples for you. Like when I get questions from women, that they just think breastfeeding is over, right? But they’re like, Well, maybe I’ll just reach out and ask one last time. And they’re kind of expecting me to confirm things like I got a message on Instagram the other day from a woman who was asking about her 12-month-old who had bit her during nursing, and then she reacted, and now the child won’t latch. And she said, Well, does this mean he’s weaning? And I told her no, no, that doesn’t mean he’s meaning. Absolutely not. It’s not normal for kids to self weaned before age two. So she didn’t know that information. And she was saying she was so heartbroken.

 

And what do I do? I’m like, Well, you know, here’s a couple things. But we might need to set up an appointment. Every situation is different. There’s some things you can do. A lot of this is parenting stuff, but maybe there’s some other things. So if those things don’t work, give it time. But that’s called a nursing strike. This may go on for a week for nine days. Usually, it doesn’t go on a lot longer than that, but it can. And if it does, you want to get help. So now she knows what’s normal. Now she knows at what point she needs to get help. And she knows if the baby goes back to the breast or the child in this case, goes back to the breast.

 

Then, she waited it out. And she had the right information. But she was like, Oh my gosh, this is so helpful. Because I thought maybe this was just a sign of weaning, this was the end. No, it doesn’t have to be the end. But if you don’t know that, if you don’t have the information that you need,  thankfully, she asked the right question, how many moms are out there, assuming that their child weaned? I’ve heard this, believe me, I’ve been to the park with other parents. And they’re like, Oh, what do you do? I’m like, Oh, I’m a lactation consultant. And they’re like, oh, yeah, you know what I breastfed. And then my kid, you know, he, one day just decided to stop nursing when he was like, 11 months, and I never went back. And you know, I’m like, Okay, I hear you. And your story is real. And I believe you.

 

That is what happened, you’re giving me an account of what happened. However, had you been educated that that was very likely a nursing strike. Or perhaps your milk had dried up at that point or something. But had you been educated on why the child refused the breast and that it was only a temporary thing or didn’t need to be a permanent thing maybe things would have been different. And maybe you would have made the choice to just go ahead and wean then.

 

But what happens is that the choice is made for them. Like in that example of saying, Oh, my 11-month-old just decided to stop breastfeeding. And that was it. They assumed that the choice was made for them, because they didn’t have all the information. And what I want to say here is that this is not shaming, okay, when I give you information about what’s normal in regards to the health of a breastfeeding child, and if your child doesn’t fit that mold, that’s not shaming, it’s just information.

 

Shaming is an interpretation that people make. So I don’t often address this because I don’t like to give it any attention. But I feel like the listeners of my podcast are going to be kind of a safe group where you’re not going to misinterpret this. But whenever I’ve said these things in more public forums about overall child health and things, there’s inevitably some backlash. Well maybe not everyone wants to breastfeed their kid till they’re two. I agree.

 

But if they don’t have all the information to make the decision and to know what’s normal and what’s not, how can we ever expect those women who maybe wanted to, to make it to two years? The rates of women who actually make it to two years of breastfeeding, which is what the World Health Organization recommends, are extremely low. I don’t think it’s low, because that’s what most women are choosing. Actually I think most women would like to breastfeed their child for as long as possible if they understood why it’s so beneficial. And I think you’ve maybe heard me say this before, but I don’t actually think breastfeeding is beneficial at all. Which is gonna just, you know, some people are like, Huh, what? Is this podcast called breastfeeding talk? Or what is this?

 

Yes, it is. But breastfeeding is not beneficial. It’s normal. It’s what is supposed to happen. Anything else other than breastfeeding is risky. It potentially compromises the health of the child. So I think we need to frame that as breastfeeding is the standard, right?

 

That’s what we’re biologically designed to do. We are mammals, meaning that we have mammary glands that produce milk for our children. They’re supposed to work that way where our children are supposed to drink that milk. Nothing else is meant to happen.

 

Now I don’t want to get into something like destiny and things happen and whatever. Yes. Okay, maybe your preemie child was never able to latch on the breast and that’s just their journey. And that’s what’s meant to happen.

 

Yes, but I’m just talking about, like an overall overarching, we as humans, we are meant to breastfeed, right? So we just operate from that. Anything other than that is not what is considered biologically normal or optimal. So if we reframe that conversation, again, this goes back to what I’m talking about with the National Women’s Health Week, we have to empower women with the right information. I feel like I’m just barely scratching the surface. I have so many episodes coming at you about so many topics.

 

These ideas that things that are common are normal or expected. The dysfunction that is present in our health, not just women and babies, but on so many other levels, all across the population all across the world, is something that should be sounding alarm bells. We should be in red hot alerts in the health care system on what’s going on, because I can tell you that the problems I see with breastfeeding, a lot of these things are what would be considered subclinical. And if you don’t know what that means, go back and listen to the episode I did with Samantha Scruggs, who’s a dietitian. We talked about subclinical stuff and how it shows up with hormones and gut health and all this other stuff.

 

And what I mean by that is that, if you go to a regular doctor, and you get some basic lab work done, they’re going to go, everything’s fine, you’re healthy. And then you’d be like, Yeah, but my stomach hurts all the time, or I’m tired, or my hair is falling out or, whatever, right? You’re gonna have some complaints and you don’t feel listened to, you don’t feel heard. Okay, so what’s going on?

 

Well, if you went to a functional medicine doctor, or you went to a naturopath, they dig deeper, they run some different tests. Now they pick up on some of the subclinical stuff that’s going on where they’re like, Oh, yep, your hormones are a little off, we can do something about that. So what we mean by that is that by the time it gets to the point where you’re actually having a clinical diagnosable condition, like a thyroid disorder, like PCOS, like insulin resistance, like anything like that, okay, or, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or Crohn’s disease. By the time it’s gotten to that point, there were years leading up to that, where there were all the subclinical signs that could have been course-corrected along the way without the help of pharmaceuticals. Okay, so this is what I want to bring attention to is, let’s not wait until it gets to this disastrous problem. And I’m going to talk about that in regards to infant health too.

 

Now I don’t know how to prevent tongue ties or lip ties. So don’t ask me how because I don’t know, none of us know. We’re all guessing at this point. There’s a lot of doctors looking into this and seeing, you know, why is this happening? And how can we correct it? Okay, there’s some genetic component. But I also firmly believe there’s an epigenetic component. And what we can control is the way that our genes express, we can control that through nutrition, through lifestyle, through our entire exposome, our environment. So, is living the healthiest lifestyle going to prevent a tongue tight? No, not necessarily, because I’ve worked with a ton of clients who live very healthy lifestyles, and they still have tongue-tied babies. And I will tell you tongue tie was not created overnight. And I do think that it’s something that kind of happened over multiple generations, and it may take multiple generations to heal. So we have a long road to go to understand that. I think, again, we are understanding we’re just sort of scratching the surface here.

 

But when we see a baby born with a tongue tie, it’s not just a tongue tie. There’s so many other issues that go along with that, right? It’s impacting their airway. It’s impacting their ability to feed functionally, it’s impacting their posture, their body tension, their digestion, so many other things, it’s impacting their brain function. Because of all these things, the tongue is not isolated, there’s no body part that is isolated, unless you like to cut off your finger, okay? That’s like an injury that can be isolated. But any other actual problem that is arising from the body itself is never just isolated to that one body part, so compartmentalizing medicine, and having a cardiologist and a pulmonologist and all these people, I understand why, especially when it comes to surgery. But at the same time, we’ve got to go across disciplines to really figure out what’s going on. And there is a lot of that happening these days, which is really exciting and really promising.

 

When we see a baby with a tongue-tie. We know that they’re not in tip-top shape, right? That baby obviously has some genetic stuff going on. And then they’ve got other stuff that we have to work to resolve, you’re gonna have a lactation consultant involved, you’re gonna have the frenectomy provider involved, you’re gonna have the body worker involved, right? So you’re gonna have all these different people involved. And that’s just for the baby.

 

Now, what about the mother? So when you have a baby who’s got a tongue tie, that may or may not be a stressful thing for you. So now we have to look at the mom and manage her stress and manage her diet, her gut health, and her supporting her baby’s healing, and going to all these different appointments. But we can’t forget about the mom, we can’t make the focus of breastfeeding, just the baby. We got to take the focus back to the mom, too, because she’s the one who’s got to take care of the baby. And how do we enable that? Well, I always try to give my clients a care plan that’s going to set them up for success. Or they can get through this, it may be hard right now, but they’re going to get through this in the easiest, least stressful way possible. Now, I can’t promise you that it won’t be hard, I can’t promise you that there won’t be some stress involved, I can’t promise you that you’re going to get a full night’s rest. But what I can promise you is that you’re going to go through a difficult time right now. But we’re going to get the shortest paths to success, meaning within a couple of weeks, you’re gonna be rocking and rolling and pretty smooth sailing and out of this big hump, to get over that hump. And then you’re going to really enjoy breastfeeding, you’re going to enjoy your baby, your baby’s going to be happy, they’re going to be sleeping better, their going to stop spitting up, they’re going to stop being colicky, they’re gonna stopping all these things, breastfeeding is gonna stop hurting, or stop getting plugged ducts.

 

That’s what we want to do, we want to heal the situation. So you can move on and just enjoy motherhood. So that’s always my goal. That’s my goal with podcasts, that’s my goal with my online courses that I offer, that’s my goal, when I work one on one with clients is to get you the most successful outcome, so that you can deal with those other things.

 

What happens a lot of times is clients come back to me they go, hey, this probably isn’t really your area. But I thinking about working out or changing my diet or doing this or doing that, you know, I really want to take good care of myself, because now they have the time and the space and the emotional and mental energy to put forth towards that. So we can just create more optimization of their health. And then I can direct them to resources. So if you want to know about working out great. So listen to the episodes I did with Beverly Simpson and Hillary Rank, those are incredible episodes. If you want to listen to diet stuff, go listen to the episode I did with Samantha Scruggs. And go check out them because they’re the ones who are experts in that.

 

So I always feel like I’m a connector, like, I want to just connect people to the best resources that can truly, truly help them. And so I just want to kind of circle back again, National Women’s Health Week, right?

 

My specific focus here is is postpartum women. Breastfeeding women, women who maybe are pregnant, looking forward to breastfeeding and wanting to do that. And we have a long way to go, we have a long way to go in the field of lactation care. And I’m not saying this to toot my own horn or anything, but I have absolutely worked with so many clients who have worked with multiple IBCLCs, before they’ve come to work with me, and even the telehealth appointments that I do, people have found way more helpful than some of the in person ones they’ve done. Which to me isn’t something that I’m like, Oh, how exciting for me, look how great I am. No, I’m like, That’s just sad.

 

I want to do something to improve the education that lactation consultants have, especially in the hospital setting. Now they’re limited to hospital policies and things I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt. They’re working with a very, very specific group, which is the first few days of life for a baby, and the first two days postpartum for a mom. And then beyond that, they’re really not trained in supporting you like your six-month-old, right? So they just don’t have that kind of clinical experience unless they had a private practice or had one outside the hospital. So we don’t expect that they’re going to be able to help you. That’s where you need a private practice lactation consultant.

 

But that being said, there’s a lot we can do. This is why I speak at conferences and not just lactation conferences. I speak at dental conferences and In medical conferences and all sorts of things, and teach for midwifery school. There are a lot of things that I’m trying to do, create this podcast, create advocacy and other disciplines in areas. Because until we do that, I really don’t know how we’re going to change the outcomes for breastfeeding women, we can’t just rely on them so I’ll just hire a lactation consultant. And by the way, I see a small group of women who actually know that there are private practice lactation consultants, and then they hire me.

 

They see the value in it, there’s a lot of things going on out there right now, which is that most women, most, I do mean most that give birth, have no idea unless the hospital or their doctor tells them that there are private practice IBCLCs out there, they really honestly do not know, it is not normalized yet that this would be a standard thing. I think it should be a standard as you take your baby to the pediatrician. Why aren’t we doing breastfeeding checks to make sure breastfeeding is going well? And we should certainly be doing more than one. We should be doing one obviously right after birth, if they have it in the hospital, great. Doing one, once you’re home, doing one at a month old, I would say I am three months old and around six months making sure they are orally capable of handling solid foods. And we should do one when it comes to weaning, I feel like.

 

That’s just me, and not because I want to make a ton of money off of doing that. I just think that would result in really good outcomes. So when people like the CDC say, oh, this is what women should do, or when the surgeon general says call to action, when UNICEF says, oh, we need to increase breastfeeding rates, and we have a whole task force devoted to this, then we have to actually look at what are you doing besides just talking? What are you doing, besides creating pamphlets?

 

If we’re not getting lactation care and making sure the Affordable Care Act passed here in the United States. But still, even though it was mandated that lactation counseling was supposed to be covered 100%, no cost sharing, no copay, no deductible, no coinsurance, all that kind of stuff. It’s still not happening.

 

How long ago was that act passed? Eight years later, it’s still not happening. So the policies aren’t supporting the message, which is unfortunate. And I did just want to kind of call this out. I was on the CDC website, looking up the National Women’s Health Week, and they had a link to podcasts. Now, I’m not saying my podcast needs to be linked on there. But they have these women’s health podcasts. And here’s the categories, so I’ll just read them for you. The first one is chlamydia and women. First of all, I didn’t realize that was so common, but I guess it is. And it’s something we should be screening for. Absolutely. The next one is diabetes and depression in older women. The third one is gestational diabetes. And women. I think that’s great. That they have a whole section on that, heart disease and stroke woman. That’s great! Obesity and women, oral health and women. That’s also really great. Teen pregnancy in the United States, and then workplace safety and women.

 

Did you guys see anything in there about childbirth? Nope. I didn’t! Saw gestational diabetes. That’s great. Did we see anything about postpartum or breastfeeding? No, no, unfortunately, no.

 

And so why is that considered some sort of comprehensive list of women’s health podcasts? And then why is it diabetes and depression in older women? Depression can strike women at any age. What about anxiety? What about a lot of things? And  I’m not saying, you know, well, I am kind of saying this. I mean, if you’re the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we kind of should be covering all the basis. I mean, it’s great that you’ve got National Women’s Health Week, but what does that actually doing to improve women’s health? That’s what I want to know.

 

Giving a noncomprehensive list of podcasts, it’s a start. But it’s 2020. Folks, come on! I’m going to go on a little rant here. It’s 2020. How is this acceptable? It’s acceptable, because we just put up with it. So, we’re not outraged. We’re not outraged at the lack of care that we’re getting. We’re not outraged at the fact that we weren’t told what’s available to us. We aren’t outraged that laws that were passed are still being violated by major companies. And I’m not asking you to be outraged, necessarily, I don’t know that that’s a super healthy emotion. But I think we should be agitated enough that we actually use our governments in some ways and I don’t want to get political. It’s not about parties, but we’ve elected people to represent us and they’re supposed to sort of  do our bidding in some ways, right? So why don’t we have them look into this? Hey, Senator, so and so the Affordable Care Act was passed, and I am still not getting the coverage that I was promised. And I should be. That’s what state and health insurance commissioners are for, you can escalate it up the chain, if you appeal that your claim wasn’t covered by your insurance company, and they still deny it well you go to your state insurance commissioner.

 

The problem is, is that we make people jump through hoops, you shouldn’t have to jump through hoops, you shouldn’t have to go file a special form and take time out of your day for something that should have been covered for you six months ago, who has the time? We’re wearing women out by putting all this extra labor and burden on you. The fact that you even have to think about these things is just so sad to me. So what I did want to do is come back and bring some optimism to this podcast, which is that there are resources out there available to you.

 

Unfortunately, some of this might require you to be resourceful. Meaning that you have to do some digging, you have to ask some friends, you gotta ask the right people, ask the right doctors, go online, whatever you need to do to get the help you need. What I would love to do is just make this easier for you.

 

So here’s my idea. Here’s my pitch in some ways: let’s make this easier for people. How can we get women and women’s health to be improved? Well, we can make it easy for them. Meaning that if you’re listening this podcast, you already know how to find the tools you need to support yourself.

 

I bet you that there are women in your life who don’t have that same knowing that you do. So how can you help these women? How can you alleviate the burden of them having to research and go find stuff for themselves? And figure it out? Let’s not leave them to figure it out. Let’s just help them. Let’s just go hey, you know what? If you’re struggling, if you’re not, I don’t know. But I want you to have these resources. Don’t just assume that they know where to look, don’t just assume that because you found this podcast others will too. Because that’s what happens is that we get lazy, we assume oh, I found it. Is anyone else capable of doing the same thing? Nope, they’re not. And it’s not that they’re not capable. It’s just that they just don’t even know. Some people would never think to go onto iTunes and type in breastfeeding and find a podcast on breastfeeding. That would never occur to them. They may not even know that podcasts are a big thing.

 

So we can do our part. If you’re enlightened about things, you can do your part to share that with those that are not yet there. So what I’m asking for you is, and it doesn’t have to be my stuff. Please share anything that you think is going to be helpful. It can be breastfeeding-related or not.

 

But if you find this podcast helpful, share it. You have a friend who’s pregnant, share this podcast with her. You have a friend who just had a baby, share this podcast with her. Your neighbor just had a baby you don’t know so well, say hey, I don’t know if you’re breastfeeding or whatever. But I’ve got this podcast I listened to called breastfeeding talk. I think it’s incredible. Check it out. Easy peasy.

 

They don’t have to follow your recommendations. Don’t be attached to them following your advice. They will make the choice for themselves. But what you did is you created knowledge and awareness. Or if you’re like, you know what, I follow this woman Jacqueline on Instagram, she’s at Holistic Lactation, check her out. She’s got some amazing content there. You can directly message her and she’ll write you back. Great to do that! Or she does tell her the appointments. You need help with breastfeeding, you don’t live near her or things are locked down right now because of the pandemic. Do an online appointment with her. She’s so incredibly helpful. She’s got just the most amazing testimonials on her website. I know she can help you. You know, here, here’s her website, www.jacquelinekincer.com.

 

Any of that would be helpful. And again, it doesn’t have to just be my stuff. It could be anything else. And if you guys didn’t notice you share it, share this stuff. Share that I have online courses, maybe you’re listening and you’re like, Well, I didn’t know you offered all this great. Well take me up on my offers. I offer online courses. I’ve got those up on my website right now on demand. I am actually in the process of redoing those and anybody who knows the current version will get access to the updated version as well. But you want to learn about making more milk, you want to learn how to DIY that, again, it’s about giving you the information so you can make an informed decision for yourself.

 

If you want someone else to make the decision for you and guide you then hire me to do a one on one appointment with you. But if you want to just get the information, see if you can take it and run with it. Then my online courses are for you. And these are super reasonably priced. So making more milk, all about tongue tie and lip tie and buccal ties, healing food intolerances, baby acne reflux, weird diapers, all that kind of stuff. That’s all covered in that one. And then I’ve got the mastitis mini course, which is all about plugged or clogged ducts and mastitis.

 

I’ve had women take those, in fact, I haven’t even put up the testimonials for those just I haven’t had time. But I’ve gotten some amazing feedback from women. And just so happy that I’ve been able to help them at a low cost on demand access to information, share those courses. At some point in your lactating journey, or you have a friend, at some point in their lactation journey, they’re probably going to deal with a plugged or clogged duct or mastitis, at the very least, they could use that. They’re probably going to worry about their milk supply, share that course with them, and direct them to these resources. And the last thing I want to say was that, it is coming, it’s coming, coming, coming, coming very soon.

 

And I’ve been talking about this, and it’s something that I would absolutely love to see people signing up for, because I just don’t know, really anything else that’s out there like this. But I’ve got an incredible program called the nurture collective. And basically, it’s an online community for breastfeeding support. Now, a lot of people were like, oh, yeah, I’ve got a Facebook group for that, or I’ve got a really great website that has a bunch of stuff on it, or blog or whatever. That’s all well and good. But I cannot tell you how much disinformation outdated information, non-scientific or evidence-based information I see all over the internet.

 

And I know because my clients tell me, they’re like, Oh, well, I read in this breastfeeding group that’s run by a lactation person that I should do this. And I’m like, well, first of all, I never recommend that to my clients, because of XYZ. And second of all that’s just inaccurate, that isn’t going to help or that’s unsafe. And it’s unfortunate.

 

So, at best, this information is very, very outdated. If people regurgitate things, I cannot tell you. Just a little secret, by the way, just you know, an insider’s perspective, I cannot tell you how many lactation consultants train themselves via YouTube videos created by other lactation consultants.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  37:20

How many lactation consultants educate themselves and train themselves from blog posts.?And there may be valuable information in some of those sources. But I was always trained and taught since I went to elementary school to find a primary source. I was taught how to analyze my sources and know it was valid legitimate source, I was taught to always question the information and see if I could back it up somewhere else. Most people don’t do that anymore these days. So anything I would see online somewhere, I should absolutely be cross-referencing with the study.

 

Is there a study to back that up? Is this in a textbook? Is there a citation for it? And go look at that, can my other colleagues validate that this actually works in real-life practice?

 

And the problem is, is that the education for lactation consultants, the training that’s required to get their board certification, there’s no metric that you have to actually create good breastfeeding outcomes. So all you really need are clinical hours, but there’s no standard as to what outcome those hours have. Meaning that, you could give advice to someone that causes them to stop breastfeeding earlier than they would have liked. And you may not even know that, they may never follow up with you. You still got credit for giving that kind of care. And I’m not saying that I’m the only good lactation consultant out there. That’s not what I’m saying. There’s, there’s so many of us that are amazing and amazing. But there’s a lot of us who are fresh and new. And we’re trying to learn as much as we can, because the training out there is woefully inadequate. And so your lactation consultants or counselor or educator may be looking at some of the same sources that you are. And you may very well feel like what’s the point in hiring lactation consultants if they don’t have any other information besides what I’ve already found online? And so that’s what I mean when I say that these online forums and places most people tend to think that there’s nothing else a lactation consultant can offer them and they very well might be correct.

 

Depends on the lactation consultant, just like doctors. I’ve literally sat next to doctors in conferences, who Google stuff right in front of me, and that’s how they make decisions about their patients. I went to a conference on tongue tie and we’re talking about vitamin K injection and whether or not that was needed before doing the procedure and and this doctor got on there. And he Googled it. And he found an article. And he showed it to me. And he was like, okay, so I don’t have to require that for my patients now. And I was like, Is that how you make decisions for your patients? Because I’m a little shocked right now, I’m a little shocked. You clicked on the one article that was ranked as the first link on Google because of SEO. And that’s how you made your decision. A little more critical thinking is what I expect. It’s what I do in my own practice.

 

So I’m sharing with this, again, not to disparage those in the medical community. But to let you know that we’re not all perfect. And so that’s why I’ve created the nurture collective, because I don’t want you to be subjected to information that’s not going to be helpful, I don’t want you to be subjected to information that is going to be harmful. I also want to empower you to think critically to make your own decisions. I want you to feel emotionally and mentally supported as you walk through this breastfeeding journey of yours. Because ultimately, it is up to you. The message of National Women’s Health Week that we need to have women take better care of themselves. That actually is what it comes down to. I really don’t think that we can depend on others to take care of us. I think that we need to be resilient, I think that we need to take this into our own hands in a lot of ways, and really be the ones who advocate for ourselves, who keep digging, who listen to our intuition and our guts, and you need support. And you don’t just need support on day one. You don’t just need support at one month postpartum, or six months, you need support throughout your entire journey.

 

Literally every acquaintance, friend, neighbor client that I’ve ever known or talked to about breastfeeding has questions about breastfeeding throughout their entire breastfeeding journey. That’s why last week’s episode was on weaning, which was a very, very popular episode. And I’m so glad so many of you found it helpful. Because there are always questions. It’s very rarely just one and done. So what I really wanted to say here is you kind of get what you paid for, right? You want to go on a free Facebook group, you want to go read a free blog, and whatever, you’re gonna get free advice. And it may not be the right advice.

 

When you work with someone one on one, well you’re going to get advice that’s tailored to you, that’s going to look at you and your baby and your exact situation and tell you not only what’s going wrong, but how to fix it, and the timeline and what to expect along the way. And all the steps needed to go forward.

 

I do think, though, that there’s an in between, I don’t think that everyone who’s breastfeeding needs a full on IBCLC. I don’t think you need that all the time. I don’t think everyone needs to hire someone one on one. But I do think that you’re going to have little niggling questions along the way, or that you need more education about what’s normal and what’s not. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve talked to someone who says, oh, breastfeeding is going great. And then they’re hanging out with their baby, we’re chatting, their baby goes to nurse and I’m watching this going, Oh, my goodness, this is a train wreck. What is happening? No one’s ever told you that’s not normal. And they’re like, Oh, I mean, I don’t say it like that, obviously, but I kind of  just go wow, you know, he’s really latching and unlatching a lot or spitting up a lot. Or he looks….his next kind of cocked to the side there. How he doing? How’s he sleeping? And when the expectation, when the bar is set so low, because we don’t have the education to know that the bar should be set higher. We think things are going well. And I don’t want to be the party pooper here and tell you that breastfeeding is not going well, even when you thought it was that’s not what I’m here to tell you. What I’m here to tell you is that if you don’t have the education to know what’s normal, and what’s not, to differentiate between what’s common and what’s normal, then potentially you’re setting yourself up for problems now or down the road. And down the road might be breastfeeding for less time than you thought. Down the road might be now your kid needs speech therapy and palate expander. And tonsil and adenoid removal.

 

So how can we prevent these things? I believe it’s by giving you consistent breastfeeding support all throughout your breastfeeding journey. And that’s why I’ve created the nurture collective. And that’s why Sorry, folks, if you’re looking for it, it’s not free. Podcasts are free. If you think free is all you need. You’ve got the podcast, you’ve got my Instagram account, then great. Please consume those things, please, just take it all in and soak it all up. Because then that’s all you need.

 

There will be those of you though that need a little bit more, but you don’t quite need a one on one appointment. That’s where the nurturer collective comes in. It’s going to be a curated community, meaning that I am the one, I am the gatekeeper in some ways, who’s going to make sure that all the information that’s shared with you is evidence based, is helpful, is up to date.

 

And it’s going to be a lot of education. It’s also not going to be a ton of homework, though, I don’t want you to sit there and have to read a billion things, or spend hours and hours and hours watching videos. Now, you could do that. Okay? And that’s gonna be available too if you would like it to be, because I realize everyone has different learning styles.

 

But maybe you just need the community, maybe you just need to pop in and ask a question. Or maybe someone else asks a question that you didn’t know you needed answered, but you read it and you go, you know what, yeah, I kind of need to know that too. And then you can have a response and an answer that you know, you can trust.

 

Because to me, the biggest thing I see is that people don’t know who to trust. If you’re listening to this podcast, I can tell you that you probably already trust the things that I have to say, if you follow me on social media, if you’ve ever been a client of mine, then you trust the things I have to say, if you trust the things I have to say, then you can trust the content that’s in the nurture collective.

 

And I want it to be the knowledge, the resources and the community that you need to make breastfeeding work for you. Instead of feeling like you’re the one who’s working for breastfeeding. You shouldn’t have to work at it so hard. Now, maybe there’s a time and a place in a temporary circumstance that yes, you do have to work for it. But ultimately, that shouldn’t be the majority of your breastfeeding experience. That should be a temporary thing.

 

So what I’d really love to share with you is this special community, that’s been something I’ve created, it’s evolving. It’s constantly evolving, there’s more and more things being added to it all the time. But the way I’m opening it up right now is just to start with a support aspect. So a community with some pre done, on demand content for you. Some of that’s written, some of that’s video. But really more than anything, the community so that you can hop into the members group, it’s private, you can ask a question, you can get support right then in there.

 

Now, I can’t promise that I’m in there every single minute of every day, I do have to sleep, I have to eat have kids, right? There’s other things going on my life. But I am in there every day.

 

And what I really want to do is just to welcome you in to the Nurture Collective. This could be your hub, this is your home. And we can talk about not just breastfeeding, we can also talk about all the things related to breastfeeding, we can also talk about all the ways that breastfeeding is making some big changes in your life, all the ways that you’re trying to manage motherhood, maybe you have more than one child, maybe you’re a single mom, maybe you’re going back to work, like how do you manage all these things? How do you manage the feelings of not feeling like you’re a good mom? There’s a lot of other things that we can talk about to support you in your breastfeeding journey. And that’s what this community this collective is designed to offer you.

 

So I’m going to have all this linked up in the show notes. But basically, all you really need to do is head to the nurture collective.co It’s not.com, it’s dot co the nurture collective.co. Don’t forget the “the”  at the beginning. And you can find out more information on that.

 

But I would absolutely love to see you inside of that. I will absolutely love to see you join and be a part of this very, very special community that I’m creating and growing for you. And if you have any questions about it, feel free to hop on Instagram at Holistic Lactation, and send me a direct message. I would love to hear from you. I would love to answer any questions that you have. And I’m going to be talking more about this on social media. So if you haven’t seen my posts there, definitely go check it out.

 

So I just want to thank you guys for listening. And I do want to wish you a very Happy National Women’s Health week and just tell you that you are doing a great job.

 

I hope that this episode was more inspiring and encouraging for you than it was disheartening and pessimistic. I always feel like bringing the truth to my audience is a responsibility that I have not just as a health care provider, but as someone who’s hosting this podcast. Because these are things I wish people had told me. I wish that I had this information sooner because I could have avoided so many problems down the road had I had this information sooner. And so if you found this episode helpful, if you’re the type of person who wants to see other women in your life succeed, share the podcast, share my social media, share my courses, share my resources and share the nurturer collective.

 

Thank you so much for listening and I’ll see you on the next episode!

This week (May 10-16, 2020) is National Women’s Health Week here in the US. I’ve decided to share some of my perspective as to what’s really going on in women’s healthcare right now–specifically how it affects breastfeeding mothers and their babies. My goal in this episode is to empower you to seek out the resources you need to improve your own health. That’s easier said than done in a lot of cases! But not to fear…I’ve got some great solutions for you in today’s episode!

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • How women are underprepared for motherhood and the health challenges of birth and postpartum
  • Areas of the government and healthcare structure that need improvement and how we can change things as citizens
  • What to do if you need more support and are exhausted with trying to find it
  • Resources to support you right NOW in your breastfeeding journey

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