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Episode 55: Mom Journey - Working, Tongue Ties, and Breastmilk Storage w/ Lisa Myers

, , , August 31, 2021

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Jacqueline Kincer  0:39

Welcome to the Breastfeeding Talk Podcast. I have an incredible working mom of two with us today, Lisa Meyers, who is here to talk about lots of awesome things her own journey. And we’re gonna get into just all kinds of things breastmilk tongue ties, who knows, we’re going to go a lot of different places. So welcome, Lisa.


Lisa Myers  1:06

Oh, Jacqueline, that was a great introduction. Now I was excited about our conversation before now like the sky’s the limit, there are lots of opportunities. You know a bit about my struggle, and I know a lot about your podcast, and I could not be more grateful to be here with you. Because the things you share with moms and parents and the people that you bring on, are just holistic, supportive, empowering people. And it’s what moms need to hear, during one of the most challenging times in their life, I really feel that breastfeeding and, and getting good at that. And getting to your goal, whatever that might be, is is a huge challenge, like nothing I had ever encountered in my life. And so I’m just really grateful that you have created the space for moms, like on Instagram, on social and then through your podcast. So thank you very much.


Jacqueline Kincer  2:01

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s stories like yours that I want to bring to people because I think sometimes they’re on these different channels. And they feel like they’re the only one like what’s wrong with me? Why can I not figure this out? Somehow I must be this magic special unicorn that is having this problem. And why don’t other moms have it? And sometimes that is kind of the downfall of social media, right is we see, you know, some celebrity posting a beautiful photo of breastfeeding their baby on the beach, and you’re like, why can’t I have that? So we’re trying to change that conversation, for sure. And I also don’t want people to think, oh, breastfeeding is terrible. I don’t even want to try that. You know. So there’s a fine, fine line, but through the struggle, you can come out the other side and sort of, you know, maybe you don’t find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but you can definitely at least find the rainbow. So tell us a little bit about you because you have two children and things you know, wasn’t like you were just like, oh, breastfeeding is amazing. It’s easy. And I’m like this, you know, just I love breastfeeding every moment like tell us about Africans with your kids and your experience becoming a mom. Yeah,


Lisa Myers  3:16

so um, so my daughter is seven now my son was she just turned seven my son is just turning three. And I was very excited to be a mom. I am I lived out in Philadelphia at the time I went to University of Pennsylvania to the doctors there I was a geriatric pregnancies. So as I used to joke with my husband, I’m suffering from this horrible geriatric condition. And unfortunately, it’s getting worse every day. I guess I would be more pregnant. I’m like, I’m getting to be more geriatric, really pregnant. Um, but my pregnancy went really, really well. Overall, I was healthy and active right up to the end. And I was going to see the midwives and I thought it was this whole really great, joyful, blissful and enlightened experience. And that midwives would tell me everything that I needed to know because they were these wise women. And


Lisa Myers  4:23

that was partly the case and partly not. So I ended up with a huge knot on the top of my stomach, like my daughter was a week overdue. And it turns out I have diastasis that my my muscles had separated, which I wasn’t really prepared for after pregnancy. I could not figure out why after running for miles relentlessly pushing a stroller in terrible heat. I still looked like I was six months pregnant, but that’s a different story for a different podcast. So I was in labor for 52 hours and then had an emergency C section and As you and I were able to briefly talk about before, it was a, what’s called a Baby Friendly Hospital. And that term bothers me. Because the implication is that if you aren’t following these protocols and trying to achieve these numbers for breastfeeding are somehow unfriendly toward babies or mothers, but a Baby Friendly Hospital from what I understand, and I’m sure you can explain more, the emphasis is on breastfeeding that everyone is kind of geared toward educated for supporting, and my feeling at the time slash forcing a mother to breastfeed. And so while breastfeeding was a goal of mine, I hadn’t given it much thought during that labor, I was just trying to survive, and come out the other side, come to in my hospital room with my beautiful healthy daughter beside me and look up and there’s the little dry erase board in front of me it will actually quite big and written in huge capital letters underline for my goal for the day was exclusively breastfeed. And I kinda, it was just jarring. Because at the time, my goal was to meet my daughter and live through that day, get us both to the other side of it. And breastfeeding. Sure, but I just hadn’t really thought like, that’s my goal, and no one had consulted me, certainly no one put that therapy because I told them, that was my goal. And so it was just like, oh, okay, so that’s what we’re doing. Like that is what I’m supposed to be trying to do above all else. And then I went to the breastfeeding meetings, and very nice, well intentioned women were there. And we all sat in a circle with our partners or without our partners depending and they said, you know, you are going to be able to breastfeed, every mother can breastfeed, you need to just keep at it no matter what, if it’s painful, you’re doing it wrong. But you just figure out a position that works. And we’re going to show you all the different positions. But if you need to stand on your head, and your baby breastfeeds that way, that’s the way it needs to be done. And we’re going to figure that out. Which was kind of supportive, and also a little bit overwhelming. Like no matter what you will do this. And two days into our hospital stay. Teagan is my daughter is screaming in the room just screaming and she won’t stop crying. And being a new mom and not knowing what to do or what’s going on. I said to my husband, she’s hungry. Like, I don’t have any milk. I don’t know. I don’t know why I don’t have any. But she’s hungry. And I can’t feed her and we have to help her. Like, I cannot listen to her cry like this. This is not right. And so you need to get someone and so he brought one of the nurses that was on duty in the middle of the night in and she slipped me some Similac formula like she was slipping me crack. She said, I’m not supposed to be giving this to you. You know, basically like if anyone asks, you aren’t formula feeding your baby, and you didn’t get it from me. And if it, it was so great to have her help. But what I think I needed at the time was information. And it did bring this like element of shame into the way I was feeding my daughter that I think probably a lot of moms have experienced. And from that point on, I was always supplementing breastfeeding with formula. And I think looking back because I was lucky enough to have an incredible lactation consultant, just the wisest, most beautiful woman helping me with my son. She said, Lisa, you know, I think that your milk might have been fine. It might not have come in, but you had what you needed. She probably had a headache, like, can you imagine you were in labor for 52 hours, you know, it was hard on you. And it was hard on her. She might have had a headache, like anything could have been going on. But I don’t know that she was necessarily hungry. And that’s too bad that happened. But this is a new baby and a new opportunity. And you don’t have to worry you’re not going to have milk this time. Because you didn’t have milk that time. I think you had the milk and it just didn’t work out. But let’s let’s figure this out for you with Cullen. So then fast forward those couple years. And my son, I have my son, we’re in the hospital. It’s a great a different experience. It was a scheduled C section. So I felt a lot more in control of course, but um, he was diagnosed with the lip tie and a tongue tie. But the lactation consultant at the hospital said, but it looks like he’s latching fine, so you don’t have to worry about it. Maybe see what your pediatrician thinks down the road. So I speak with my pediatrician, she says, I see what she’s saying. It’s kind of trendy this whole Lip tie a tongue tie thing. He’s gaining weight just fine. Um, you know, are you in a lot of pain? And I’ve always been I like grew up on a farm. I’m a hard worker, I went to law school at night, well, I won’t work full time in government, like I was just a, we’re gonna do this, you put your head down. You may be you suffer, but that if it was easy, everyone would do it. You know, that’s just kind of the thinking. And so I thought, Okay, well, this is the way it’s supposed to be. And this lactation consultant, Katie Dunning, who’s just the greatest woman, she came, she came and she was watching me be calling and she said, that toe curling pain that I see you’re in, she’s like, is that every time does that go away? That he point? I’m like, no, no, really doesn’t that’s there the whole time. And she’s like, Alright, we’re gonna figure this out. And so I I want to get to the conversation and get your questions and figure out how to best speak to your listeners and the moms out there. But the thing that Katie said to me that I think, made all the difference, because I exclusively breastfed Cullen for two years, and did so without pain, because we got the advice we needed. And we had his tongue tie revision with a laser with just the best pediatric dentist. But the thing that Katie said to me was, we’re gonna make this work for you, like Cullen is really important. You’re really important. But you’re also have this and if he gets one ounce a day, Lisa, you’re doing so much for him. And like, I could almost start crying talking about now. But like, it’s okay. Like, just one ounce. And you’re gonna really help him so, so filling out crying, but it was just it. It’s why it was so successful is because she cared enough about me.


Jacqueline Kincer  12:00

Yeah, yeah. That’s huge. You know? Because I think that maybe she has a similar background. To me, I came from being a la leche league leader. And, you know, I don’t know, if it was just ingrained in my head there. That approach of like, every single drop of breast milk you can give your child is the biggest gift. And like, that’s what we told everybody, you know? Because it is, it is, and you know, a lot about breast milk, actually. So now at least Yeah, your life, right. So it’s not just food, it is this living substance that is, so life giving, and really any amount is is magical. And there are moms out there who, you know, have used breast milk for things other than breastfeeding, that will tell you that it’s very much the case, right? Putting it on wounds, or in the ears for ear infections or eyes for eye infections or whatever, right? I mean, it’s just, you know, there’s, there’s so many times I hear people share stories like that. So I am so glad that you got connected to Katie, however, that magically unfolded for you. But I’m so sad about, you know, these experiences that you’ve shared to that. Really, I mean, you know, kind of put a stop to things for you the first time around, and then the second time around. Seems like it may be delayed things a bit for you. So you said with your son Cullen, you got his ties treated? What kind of a difference? Did you see that making? Because you said you were able to breastfeed him until he was two?


Lisa Myers  13:43

Yeah, so um, I have, I’m so glad you asked because I have a great story about that. So, um, so I felt really guilty about having a surgery performed on my son, my tiny little infant son because I My understanding is, the sooner you can get to it, the better. And so, with my pediatrician who’s a really great woman, and I, you know, trust her in a lot of ways, but with her telling me, he’ll grow out of it. It’s kind of trendy now to get these tongue ties, like fixed, he’s gaining weight, he is fine. I mean, if you want to do it for you, if you’re in a lot of pain and so, like for so many moms, right, like we’re like, ah, like if I could just like bear this pain for my child, then I won’t have to subject them to the surgery and and more pain for them. And so, Katie said go see Dr. Self. She’s this amazing pediatric dentist near me in the Seattle area and she’s this very plain spoken woman. And I immediately knew she wasn’t going to oversell me on something like she she has enough going on. She does not need to like bring in more clients by just rolling out tongue tie revisions. And so she took a look and when column would cry, his, his tongue tie was so tight or pronounced that when he would cry, his tongue could not go past his teeth. But it was also heart shaped, right? Like it was pulled back in all in a little heart. And so she took one look at him. And she’s like, Yeah, he has a tongue and a lip tie. I don’t think the lip ties interfering. I strongly recommend you have the revision, and she always plans enough time that she’ll do the, the exam. And then if she finds that there’s indication for the revision, she can do the revision with the laser right then and there. And so she did, um, and she Khan was, I think he was probably three or four weeks at the time. And she brought him back, I think it was probably a month old, she brought him back in. So I’m out of the real because they’re trying to keep the operating room and the laser, they just, they want to keep that you know, pristine. So she brings them into the nursing room, the room where the mom waits, and then they immediately want the baby to latch because of course breast milk as a you know, antibacterial, antimicrobial, all of the healing properties of it. And then just that the dopamine release or whatever they get from being held and nursing, they want that for them to help with the pain. And I am telling you, Jacqueline, and I’d have made a better decision as a mom, I put him to my breast to nurse. And the little guy, you know, goes to lash like he always does. And I didn’t realize that he was holding on to my breast with his, with his gums, right? That was the only way he could really nurse. And he was able to like fully open his mouth and properly latch. And he’s only, you know, a month. They’re like little puppies right there. They barely have any response. And they’re kind of just like looking around without a lot of purpose. Sometimes it seems his he latched and his eyes just got so wide. And he looked up at me. And milk is spilling out of the sides of his mouth. And he was just like, What is this? Like? What is this I’m now able to do it was just so much more effortless for both Cullen and myself. And then since then, I’m taking him to see the dentist and then me going to see my dentist. I’ve heard from my adult dentist. Wow, that’s the best thing you could have done for him. I see so many patients that have tongue ties, never had them revised. He said it, you know impacts the shape of your palate, it impacts the way your teeth form it you can have all kinds of lasting conditions, you know, certainly not life threatening or hugely impactful for some people. But he said, that’s really the best thing you could have done for him. I’m so glad you bought that advice. And I’m glad it worked out. But yeah, so that was my that was my happy story about what a good decision that was. I’m so glad I did that.


Jacqueline Kincer  18:22

Oh, that’s amazing. And I love that you were able to get connected to a great provider like that. And then notice that immediate difference right after the procedure was done. So that can be so validating if you’re kind of going into it like you said with well, am I doing this for me? Am I being selfish? Sometimes moms sort of think that you know, or they’re just worried about, you know, we’re doing this big thing to the baby, what if it doesn’t change anything? And so, now there’s like proof on the other side. So yay.


Lisa Myers  18:57

Yeah, no, it was really, really great. I’m so grateful that I did that I had the advice that I got. And everyone was well intentioned, you know, even from that first lactation consultant in the hospital, though my pediatrician, it’s just you’ve said before on other shows, and I know other moms have said it, going with your gut and, and getting a second opinion or finding someone that’s willing to really listen to you that you can feel comfortable talking with because I mean, Katie would just would watch me feed him that she was like, I see. We see some terrible pain there. And I’m just wondering, like, how long do you think you could do that? Is that something you really want to do? And can we talk about how to get that to go away? So yeah, it was it was nice to have that support


Jacqueline Kincer  19:46

for sure. Oh, yeah. That’s amazing. Hugely amazing. So you had two totally different experiences with each of your children. Universe yours until he was two You’re also a working moms. So I’d love to hear about that. How did you manage continuing that breastfeeding relationship while also maintaining your career? Because I know that’s a big fear for a lot of moms if they haven’t gone back to work yet, but it’s coming up soon. Or sometimes even once they are back at work, they just feel like it’s a big struggle. So how did you make it work for you?


Lisa Myers  20:24

I am not special by any means. I went back to work, fully intending to pump and field college to the best of my ability. But I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself that if I had to supplement with formula that that was going to be the end of the world when Katie told me, even if he just gets an ounce a day, giving myself permission to just do that much, and then do what little bit more I could gave me empowered me to do it all. It was just so nice to have that perspective. I think if I would have thought to myself on that first day, especially being in that much pain, you’re going to do this for 24 months, and you’re going to do it at work, and you have to have a stash and it has to be perfect. And if you slip up and you need formula, you’ve totally failed. I think if I had gone in with that perspective, I would have never made it that far. So I went in with a very practical approach. But I had not pumped with my daughter. So I only I felt so prepared showed up to work with my pump, and all the parts and I pumped and I had I think I had something you know, awesome. So proud of myself like eight ounces like first pump session. Terrific. I’m doing so good. And I have the little plastic Medela bottles sitting on my desk, and I work in a law firm. The entire group is men. While they’re women in the office. It’s I’ve always worked in predominantly male industries. I was in politics. I was a Coxon on the men’s cruise when I was in college. And now I’m the one woman in this group of guys at my law firm and I thought, What do I do with these bottles of milk? This was not well executed. Where do I keep them safe? Also, I mean, while I’m not ashamed to be breastfeeding, it’s not necessarily what you always want to leave with. If you have a client or a male partner come into the office, there’s that awkward like, oh, wow, so that’s your milk, you are actively lactating? That is Ha, I’ll just be out here in the hall. All right, bro. So I


Jacqueline Kincer  22:47

know everyone who encounters you is also going to lactate.


Lisa Myers  22:51

Right? Exactly. And I’m not saying I’m like, trying to hide it. But I’m also not necessarily leading with that in every conversation, right? So. So I thought, Oh, where do I put this milk. So I didn’t had brought anything with me, I have an hour long commute to get home. So I ended up figuring out okay, I thought I put it in the communal fridge in the lunch room. So I tuck the little bottles of milk into my suit pockets. And then I go to the fridge and I go to put them in the fridge. And there’s everybody’s you know, sandwiches and soups and takeout from the restaurant. And I thought that’s not good. And so then I went into Office services, I got a little paper bag, and I put it in there. And then I hurried home, you know, scared that my milk was going to spoil and shoved it in the fridge that I have to do something else tomorrow. And I got to the office, I looked and looked to look for something to transport my milk. And because I knew I was going to have to travel for work. And I had this commute. And I just wanted something convenient where I could pump and then just have it with me, you know, close to me and be able to like run for home at any given moment because I was always racing to catch my ride home. And so I thought, Ah, I’ll get the breast milk bottle to cool breast milk thing. So I go onto the internet and I look at it’s not there. And I finding all of these coolers and I had seen the coolers but I thought no under no circumstances I do not have enough space in my life or on my frantic run to and from work every day for a nother bag. And then you have to freeze the chemical freeze pack and then all the plastic and I thought nope, not that I’m not doing that. I need the breast milk bottle that can chill and I don’t have to like remember the free stuff for and my friend who was a labor and employment attorney can work to different departments. She was like, Lisa, I don’t understand what you’re doing by the cooler. said no, there must be something else this is insane. Like there’s so much there’s so many other options in every other way. Like this is crazy. She said no this Is it I am buying you a cooler, I am tired of watching you look for something else, I’m buying you the cooler. So still my little black, you know Canvas, the dealer cooler that everyone knows so well with the flu chemical freeze back, that is a gift for my friend Helen. And um, that was the day I decided I was going to create series chill, which we can get into more some other time. But it’s a breast milk chilling thermos, it’s like a Hydroflask or a Yeti. But it’s two chambers, and you can chill up to 24 ounces of breast milk, it keeps it cold for 20 hours. And if you need more time, all you have to do is add ice. And I just, I knew that the world had better options for everyone else. And so why not moms, and it just bothered me to no end that coolers after all the innovation that we had seen with pumps, and you know, like hands free bras, and you name it not to mention all the innovation for men in the world and like this, this has to change. So and since then I have been following breast milk research. I am a huge fan of Dr. Townsend, I’ve mentioned to you before, I think he would be an amazing guest on your podcast. But he has


Jacqueline Kincer  26:17

neck does because it’d be so cool.


Lisa Myers  26:21

Yeah, he is. So he is at Vanderbilt University. He’s a biochemist, just a genius. And he is determined to share with the world how our full breasts. There’s this, this old thinking out there that it’s frail. And we have to be so careful and delicate with it. And it must be chilled to just this temperature and never combined warm with chill because you’re going to increase the bacteria. But that’s ignoring everything that we now know about breast milk, which is that it’s antibacterial, it’s anti microbial, it has the most incredible live cells that are actively working to keep it healthy for your baby and to populate your baby’s gut with everything that baby needs to be healthy and overcome so many diseases. I mean, it’s just it’s, I feel like it’s doing women and parents a real disservice to to continue to approach breast milk like it’s frail and not recognize how powerful it is. And so I think that’s why Dr. Townsend’s work is so important. And Dr. Stellwagen, she’s amazing. She started the University of San Diego milk bank. And she has done phenomenal research in the area. She’s known as Dr. Milk wagon, because this is like this is her thing. But she sits on the American Board of Pediatrics, breast feeding department and she’s she heads it up and she’s just she’s just the neatest woman. So they’re really great scientists out there. The amount of research that’s been done in the last five years on breast milk surpasses everything that’s pretty much for done in the last 100. So we’re we’re at a really exciting time. And I’m just so excited to learn more every day and have someone like you sharing real information with moms, rather than just old rules that were convenient for whoever said them, you know, 2530 years ago, but aren’t actually based on science. Oh, so


Jacqueline Kincer  28:26

true. So true. You know, I remember even it might have been about four years ago or so that there was some research I forget the doctors names involved. But out of the University of North Carolina about how much longer breast milk is good for than we initially thought, at room temperature in the fridge all the things right. And then I think it was last year or time flies maybe the year before. I don’t know. 2020 is like a wormhole. So recently, where the CDC had a updated, quote, unquote, its guidelines for storing breast milk. And I was really disappointed by what they put in there because it just is way too short. So how these moms are just throwing out their milk. I mean, did you find because you you said, you know, when you were early on in this pumping journey and working, you’re trying to rush home or you know, whatever, were you ending up throwing out some breast milk because you thought it’s not good anymore?


Lisa Myers  29:23

Yeah, yeah, I threw out Oh, I missed that thrown out. And I did not produce enough. So when I say and maybe some moms will take issue with this and I don’t want to deceive anyone. When I say I explicitly breastfed my son. I he had probably files a formula. Maybe more when I would go on trips because I was never I never really made enough to create a stash or maybe I wasn’t disciplined about it enough. I really admire moms that are able to build that stash and that is a goal of theirs and I think it is such a beautiful thing. I think there is. There’s a dangerous obsession with the freezer like building a stash for the sake of like having this hoard kind of how we get fixated on a scale and our way rather than what’s healthy, and how fit we feel. But anyway, that’s, that’s I digress. But my dad,


Jacqueline Kincer  30:21

like, it seems like the moms who have stashes it’s like, it’s like, well, first of all, they don’t need it most of the time. But second of all, seems like they’re sort of validating their worth as a mother because they have 200 ounces or something. And it’s like, well, yeah, but what about moms like you who don’t have that stash? Are you now less of a mom? No, not at all?


Lisa Myers  30:41

Yeah, yeah. So and, and for some women who overproduced it’s like, you know, you always want what you don’t have like women who I feel for them, because oh my gosh, they have to pump just to be able to get through a day comfortably. So that’s like a whole other thing that I didn’t have to deal with. I dealt with other stuff. But yeah, so I probably threw away, I would say easily throw away gallons of breast milk, because it was grids of ounces, for sure. Because I would take work trips. And if that chemical freeze pack isn’t perfectly frozen, TSA makes you throw it away, because it’s potentially a bomb, right? They can’t test the insides. So they they want it frozen, or at least so ice crystals. And anyone any mom who’s traveled can tell you, no mini fridge is freezing that thing. I mean, it will get it cold, it will not get it frozen. And so Oh, especially when I traveled, I don’t know that it was the five hour flight or whatever it took me to get home that would have almost certainly been saved even without it being chilled at all. And then yeah, the combining warm to chilled I know lots of moms that throw away ounces, because they’re like, well, it’s not really, by the time you do, I wash all of the bottles, and I get it to a fridge and I chill it and then I combine it, it’s not really worth it. And then they throw it away. And they’re not they don’t have tons of breast milk, they they’re throwing away ounces that their babies would have otherwise drank. Because they feel like it’s not safe, or it’s too hard that extra step. And maybe to some moms who aren’t in it yet, or other moms who have a lot of support. That sounds silly or it’s hard to understand. But when you’re trying to survive each day, and you’re just trying you’re you’re you are completely sleep deprived, you’re worried about work deadlines, and your baby’s health and how messy the houses and how you’re, you know, there’s distance between you and your partner, or whatever else. It’s like, one more thing, like one more bottle to wash one more chemical freeze pack to remember to put in the freezer night for sometimes to do but you’re like, um, you know what I’m tapping out like, or I’m throwing this away, and that sucks, and it doesn’t feel good. But like, this is what I need to do right now to survive and fine. And what bothers me, I can’t help but get on my soapbox about this is some of these rules are just so arbitrary. And they just felt safe to some person that they didn’t apply to decades ago, like some possibly older white man that was trying to err on the side of caution. And he knew how you should treat a broad chicken breast. And so he just applied that logic to breast milk. And there is they could not be more different. dead animal flesh is very different than live cells in breast milk and what our breast milk does for our babies, and as you said, like in other applications is just astounding. And so yeah, so I know, hundreds of ounces are being thrown out every day because I have participated in that. And I’ve spoken to the moms that have as well. And it’s a shame. So I’m hoping


Jacqueline Kincer  34:04

it’s so sad. It’s i I’ve done it too, I will never forget. The first time I left my daughter it was like a little over 24 hours. And I you know, I really had a hard time pumping to have extra. So I kind of got to the end of it. And like theoretically, it should have been enough. But I was like no, I think I like I think she eats more than the average baby. So I went to two friends and I got some of their milk to have on hand just in case which thank God I did because she did go through my milk and she would have been a very unhappy baby. And so you know, I pumped whatever and then I brought that milk home but I didn’t have a good system for cooling it. So by the time I got home and I was just going to breastfeed her I wasn’t going to bottle feed her now that I was back at this milk that I was like, I don’t know, it’s been in my suitcase and the plane temperatures I know it’s cold up there on the air and then it comes down and I don’t know if this is any good, you know, so I just kind of throw it out which was So sad. Then the next time I went on a trip, I think I was gone for, like, you know, maybe two days or two and a half or something. I think I was presenting at a conference. And I obviously had a pump to maintain my supply the whole time I was there. And I tried to find like someone locally, you know, that would accept the milk as a donation that was looking for it, you know, I tapped into all the little local milk sharing groups. Nobody is really willing and like free breast milk, a lot of ounces. I mean, someone wants it, right? I’m a frigging lactation consultant, you know, the milk is good. You know? Yes, me take my milk. And nobody would take it. So I remember and you know, I had little mini fridge, like you’re saying, right? I mean, that stuff never freezes in there. And I remember at the end, I like held out like, I was like, I even asked, though, tell, will you save this in like your kitchen freezer, and someone can pick it up later. And they agreed to do it. And wow, or anyone who said they would come pick it up. So I’m checking out of my hotel, and I opened up all those bags and poured it down the drain. Because I was like, there is no point in me taking this all home, not knowing how well it’s going to really be taken care of, or God forbid they throw my suitcase around, or what ends, you know, how hole pops in the like, yeah, I don’t know, right? So I poured it all down the drain, and I was an ibclc. So it just killed me. So anyways, I get it. I wish I had a series chill or five at the time, because I would not have had to deal with that. And then I know there’s programs where, you know, you can get a box, and then you can ship it back home or whatever. No, that’s expensive. And that takes a lot of logistics stuff too. And like you said, I mean, my goodness, all these clean dishes and my dishwasher for two days, because I just can’t deal with unloading it. These moms who have so much going on and for them to go through all this, you know, sort of extra length to do what they’re being asked to do. It’s a lot. You know, you buddy got time for that. So no, no, you’re lovely. You explained, I actually would love for you to say explain a little bit more what the series chill is because I didn’t know about it until somehow you popped up on Instagram. And I was like, What is this? And at first I was like, oh, it just looks like a you know, like you said like a like a Yeti or whatever. Water Bottle, right? And I was like, oh, yeah, those are great for installation. Whatever. No, it’s not just that like, what is it? Because you said you put ice in it? I think a lot of people would be like you put ice in the milk does not water it down. No, you don’t put ice in the milk. So tell us how that works. Because I think it’s important for parents to understand what their options are. Because yeah, like you said, the cooler thing does not always work great.


Lisa Myers  37:40

Yeah, yeah. Well, and I wanted again, back to women being proud and empowered. I, my mom used to say to me, Lisa, always make sure you invest in good workout clothes, because having ill fitting or really unflattering clothes that make you feel bad will just be one more reason for you not to work out, right. So I I’ve always kind of like just kind of like applied that to a lot of things in life. And I feel the same way about breast milk and breastfeeding. And I used to see, you know, the really cool support that goes on in communities like yours, where women get the little badges for six to six months, I made it to 13 months, I thought I wouldn’t make it past three. But here I am at 18 You know? And I thought Yes, like, why do we have to have all of these plastic pieces and like grow skeevy canvas bags, that you can’t wait to burn when you are done with breastfeeding that you’re just in during this time. Like, again, putting your head down. And yeah, it’s a burden. And yeah, it’s painful. And sure it might be ugly, but like I’m just doing it and I’m doing it for as long as I can and then I’ll be done with it. I thought why not have something really beautiful. That is yours for the rest of your life. That helps you that is there’s a help to you during this time. And then you have it and use it and you’re so proud of what you accomplished during those months or years. And so it’s a two chambered system. It’s it has it’s all stainless steel, dishwasher safe. The outer chamber if you put it in a crazy dishwasher, it will discolor but all the other parts are dishwasher safe. They’re compatible with all major breast pumps. So you hook your breast pump directly to the stainless steel containers. And there is a three ounce cup for one side that converts and also becomes a baby bottle so you can feed the baby on the go as well. And then there’s a 12 ounce chamber so you could store up to 24 ounces and chill it you put the ice either in the inner chamber or in the outer chamber depending on how much capacity you need. So there’s either 12 ounces 24 ounces of capacity or 34 if you already have your belt chilled, but I wanted something that was beautiful and versatile and gave moms choices. And so you don’t have to remember to freeze something the night before, you just put ice in on the go either in the beginning of your day, because you want to ice later, or ice wherever you end up. But when you go through security in an airport, all you do is let them run the test strip over milk like they always would. But you’ve dumped out your you know, your outer chamber with ice and water. And then you walk straight through security. And you walk up to any you know, soda fountain, or Starbucks or bar, you get a scoop of ice and you’re back in business for 20 hours. And if you need more time, you add more ice, but it’s super subtle. So back to my story about my little, you know, lineup of all of the milk I had created that morning. It’s a bottle that you can have sitting out in plain sight. And people think oh, nice water bottle hydrated, good for her. Um, and it doesn’t you can either say, oh, no, this is my cool breast milk chiller, let me tell you about all the things I’ve been accomplishing as a mom, and a lawyer or a flight attendant or a truck driver or whatever, or you could not talk about it. It’s your choice. And it’s your cool, nifty secret. And I just, I wanted moms to have choices, and I get that series show might not be the right choice for everyone. But I know it was a help to me. And what keeps me going because it’s not always easy. My husband’s deployed, I have two little kids, I’m working full time. And I am not a rock star. Definitely not a rock star every day. I think I rock star moments. Um, what keeps me going are the moms that that we’ve been able to help that that I have helped that are, you know, fighter pilots, or like I said, truck drivers or stay at home moms who are over producers and have to pump in the middle of the night. And hat can leave it sitting on their nightstand and not have to get up there. Like the fact that I can roll over and go back to bed and know my milk is safe is a really big deal. And it goes back to that point we were talking about if you can just eliminate one of the barriers, if you could just offer women a little bit of power and a little bit of beauty to celebrate what they’re doing. I think it might go a long way. And moms deserve all the support they can get. And I can give them that’s for sure.


Jacqueline Kincer  42:25

Oh, I love that. And and if you don’t mind, I was going to just share a couple examples of it of it to not not your product, but how people kind of you know, hacked and created things without you know, before you came along. That I was mentioning, I was gone, you know for a trip one time and my husband’s taking care my daughter, and he had I will give him so much. He’s an engineer, so he just like MacGyver this right. But he got a little cooler, and he put ice in it. And he put the breast milk in that because you know, she would just not sleep if someone left, right. So she was like, he was sleeping in bed with our daughter to keep her asleep. But then he didn’t want to have to like go to the fridge to get the milk and warm up like it was gonna take too long, she was gonna be too upset, and he’s tired and whatever. So he had like the cooler with the milk. And then he had put hot water in a stainless steel thermos. And then he would put take the bottle of breast milk and put it in that warm water like a bottle warmer. And then he would like have the bottle ready to like feed her. So he figured this all out on his own, like years ago, you know, or I was really good friends with a woman in my mom’s group who nannied for a little boy whose mom, you know, produced tons of milk. And you know, so the nanny would have to feed the breast milk with the baby and she was like, I’m not sitting at home all day, like we would go to the library together or playdates or weather park or whatever. And every where she went, she would have to like, you know, ask for ice or whatever. And she kind of like made a system like you have but it was so much bigger and bulkier and you know, just not really sustainable. I think it was like a thermos for like food, not beverages or something. So it was bigger, and she could put the ice around like the, you know, a little Nadella bottle of breast milk. So you finally hit something that’s just so much easier and it helps so many people that are caring for babies, not just the moms because I think we end up like feeling stuck at home right exclusively pumping moms who are like, every time I leave the house, I have to bring the breast milk and all the stuff and it’s just too much you know, I have to I have to pack the cooler I have to whatever and they just feel trapped at home for like the first year of their baby’s lives. So you’re giving them not just the breast milk but sounds like freedom to and I’m just envisioning this based on things I’ve I’ve heard and seen of people trying to use the breast milk and not even just store it. Yeah,


Lisa Myers  44:45

yeah. Are it’s so great that you say that because our slogan like very early on. So I came up with this idea and filed the provisional patent by myself. Three months when call Mr. mentor at my first day back to work. People are like when did you have the idea? I’m like, I can tell you exact day, I could almost point to the email where I was at in the day where I was like, this is not going to work and that our slogan is free, the moms save the milk. That’s like, the whole idea is that we are empowering women to lead incredible lives while achieving their parenting and breastfeeding goals. That is, that is my mission. That is what I want to do, no matter how that shows up. I really love the research that’s happening. And I want to support that in any way I can. And Dr. Townsend is taking donations. So I don’t know if anyone is listening to the podcast, would like to send milk to Dr. Townsend and his group at Vanderbilt. So they can it’s all you know, it’s all HIPAA protected, it gets sent to a doctor, it’s all anonymous. So there’s nothing that gets associated back to a person but they can reach out to you. Or info at series chill, which is C as in cat, e r e s, CH AI L dot l And, and I’ll pass that information on to Dr. Townsend. But yeah, i i It’s definitely about allowing women to get back out there in the world or back to their lives and still meet their their goals as parents, because sometimes it seems like those things are mutually exclusive. And you have to choose. And that might be the case in some instances, but it doesn’t have to be the case in all instances. So yeah, I’m done with I’m done with that craziness. I whatever way I can help by Will.


Jacqueline Kincer  46:32

I love that. And I think sometimes, many of the times, the best solutions for breastfeeding things come from someone struggle with it. So like you said, with both your children, what you’ve gone through what you’ve experienced. And and you like you said, I remember that, you know, the exact email I was out when I came up with this idea, because yeah, you there was a gap in the market, there was a problem that needed to be solved, right. I mean, one of the reasons I became an ibclc was because I never got the help that I needed, despite, you know, having some people that, you know, I thought would be helpful, like the pediatrician or the midwife or what you know, they just didn’t know, right? So I was like, man, somebody’s got to do something about this. And then after looking around for a while, and I was like, Well, okay, maybe that’s someone’s me.


Lisa Myers  47:23

That is, it turns out it is you and now you are here showing up for all of us.


Jacqueline Kincer  47:27

Right? Yeah. And you too. And so you’re still an attorney, and you have created this product. And I just think that’s incredible. You know, just because if you know, just to kind of maybe follow up on this note, you nursed your son till he was two. Was that something that like, once you maybe got to taste treated? Or because of your experience with your first did you have that goal of nursing two years? I know you kind of said, if it was on day one, you thought I’d be doing this for next 24 months? No. But like, did you just kind of see how it went day by day? Or did you say I want to go as long as I can? What was that? Like?


Lisa Myers  48:10

I think like for I think it’s pretty common with a lot of moms, I think that 24 months probably seems daunting. I mean, because especially when you have a teeny tiny baby, and you just get out of the hospital, or you just have the home birth and you clean everything up that um, that just seems so far out there. Um, I think the saying that rings so true for so many of us is the days are long, but the years are short. And so I am pretty sure I I know, 24 months was not my goal. I think we actually went to 25, too, because at that point, you’re just going so long, and the only way I was able to wean con was he went away with my parents. Um, and then when he came back and like that, nope. And he’s like, check this thing. Now. He always says Check, check, and he starts to stick his hand like, no, no checking. There’s no point checking. Yeah, so I just took it day by day. I think that’s the best way to say it is day by day. And then we just got there. And it felt it felt really good. I felt like I had that it was the right time. I didn’t wean him because he was too and that was necessary. It just it was like, No, I think you need to be a little bit more independent. I also am trying to do a lot of things and you have lots of places you can get nutrition and it doesn’t just have to be me anymore. So yeah, I think it just 25 months just happens. It just you just live it until the journey kind of seems to naturally come to an end or at least it worked out that way for us.


Jacqueline Kincer  49:56

Yeah, yeah. I love that. I think most of them The time these Well, I like to call it normal term breastfeeding journeys. And up unintentionally, you know, I really, really good friend of mine, our daughters are best friends. They’re five. Her daughter very recently means at five and a half. And it was, you know, very occasional sporadic and it just kind of naturally unfolded. And so I actually just talked to my friend about this last weekend. And I said, because they’ve gone on some trips. And I said always like, is she like, Finally, like weaned? And she was like, oh, yeah, I didn’t tell you like, yeah, she nursed for the last time, like a few weeks ago. And she was like, I don’t know, if I could have had the heart to end it myself. Because I would have felt like I was, you know, depriving her something. And she’s like, but she just decided and she’s, you know, like, she’s done. And I’m like, Wow, that’s amazing. And I was like, would you want to come on my podcast, and talk about it. And she was like, why it’s not anything special. Like, maybe not to you, because you’ve lived it for the last five years, it’s just become such a part of your life, you don’t even think twice about it. But I’m like, there’s a lot of people out there who would just can’t conceive of that, you know. So I think that’s so beautiful, the way things worked out for you this for your second child, and you and my heart goes out to you for your just how much you gave to both journeys. And going through the tongue tie process is not easy, as you explained, so thank you for sharing that with us, too.


Lisa Myers  51:32

Yeah, yeah, no, I appreciate the opportunity. Because I similar to role in what I went through, but having the support that I needed the second time and having that perspective, on the first time, I just so I wish that I had had a podcast like yours, or a Lecce league leader or a lactation salt that could have said, this isn’t your fault. And we can, we can still do this, if this is something you want to do, you know, and then a lot more empowering, because I have, I still have a lot of guilt around not breastfeeding my daughter, and a lot of kind of, I don’t know if sorrow is too strong of a word. But yeah, it’s just too bad. It’s, it’s something that I really have to work on letting go of because it, I did the best I could for her. And she’s a very healthy little girl. And we’re very lucky. So holding on to that is not very productive. But I think it’s something that a lot of moms struggle with. And so I appreciate the opportunity to tell my story in case it it prompts conversation with other moms or gives them the information they need to be successful or make choices that are right for them whether or not that’s exclusively breastfeeding. That’s not what being a good mom is about.


Jacqueline Kincer  52:52

Hmm, yes. Oh, I just love the way you said that. And thank you also for telling us how just because you had a successful breastfeeding journey with a subsequent child, it doesn’t mean that that took away any guilt that you felt about the way the first one ended up. I think sometimes moms go into, you know, maybe an ex pregnancy kind of thinking, Okay, well, this time, I’m going to get it right. And that’s going to fix everything. Now, I won’t feel bad anymore, but that doesn’t always happen. So, you know, I know a lot of people kind of, you know, I had a bad birth experience, the first time this one’s going to be the better this is going to be the healing one. And sometimes that happens, but it doesn’t always happen. And that’s okay, too.


Lisa Myers  53:33

Yeah, yeah, I think I think going into it, knowing that you need to look after yourself and your baby, and, and listen to your own intuition. And then what more than one person has to say will get you where you want to be as far as your breastfeeding, breastfeeding and parenting goals. But staying isolated, and suffering is definitely not the way to get there. And I think that’s the message you regularly share with your listeners and with people who are part of your community. And so that’s, that’s a huge part of being successful, for sure. Oh, well. I know, we’ll start the mutual admiration society, and that all of the awesome moms that are struggling in their breastfeeding journey can join.


Jacqueline Kincer  54:24

Absolutely. You know, I love what you said too, about, like, you’re never going to get all the breastfeeding support you need in one place. I don’t promise that to anybody. Like that would be so silly. You know, um, I just don’t know. I mean, you know, that’s, and I’m not the right person for everybody. Like you said, your products on three product for everybody. And episode really isn’t about your product. It’s about like, how all of this has come to be through your journey and your experience and everything. Which is just amazing. And, you know, I would say that even though you’ve gone through the grief and struggles that you have, you’ve created something really beautiful that helps other people in the world. So, you know, your pain is not without a purpose, I guess is what I’m trying to say.


Lisa Myers  55:09

Well, thank you. That is a great way to look at it. I, I appreciate that. I


Jacqueline Kincer  55:13

will I will hold on to that, especially when I have my, my hard days. But yeah, we all do. We all do. And that’s okay. So whether it’s breastfeeding or anything else, I try to tell people breastfeed is just like the rest of life. Most days are not going to be really amazing days. If they are, that’s awesome. I’m really happy for you. But I would not set yourself up with that expectation. You may very well be disappointed so well. Thank you, Lisa. You’re incredible. I will link up like you said, your email address or any way to get in touch with Dr. Townsend for anyone who wants to participate in that your website, any other fun stuff to link up to and people can stay in touch with you find out more about your products. They’re terrific.


Lisa Myers  56:02

Thank you so much, Jacqueline.



Lisa Myers is a working mom of 2 sharing with use her journey through breastfeeding. With her daughter she made it to six months of breastfeeding and supplementing with formula. Then with her son she found out he had a tongue tie and ended up getting it treated. Lisa also shares with us what it was like to return to work. From her experiences, she learned a lot about storing breastmilk and has now created a revolutionary product for storing breastmilk.

Born in Canada, Lisa spent her childhood on a 200-acre hay and cattle farm outside Spokane, Washington, where she and her brother helped out with harvesting crops, caring for the animals and other seasonal work.

Several years later, Lisa was all grown up and running political campaigns in New Jersey and serving as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia.

Lisa got married, started a family and works for an international law firm. Like almost every mom Lisa knows, she found breastfeeding incredibly difficult for a million reasons. For her, these included working in a male-dominated sector, some long work days and travel away from her son.

She soon realized she had no way to keep her milk safely stored without awkward walks down the office hall, juggling obvious bottles of breastmilk and pump parts. And she needed a new way to travel for work: A big ol’ cooler, bottles, and ice packs simply did not fit in her big bag already full of mediation binders, exhibits, a suit, computer, and…the pump.

A typical work trip saw Lisa having to dispose of 13.5 ounces of precious breastmilk at the airport. Her market research turned up nothing that could meet a mom’s basic travel, working, and pumping needs. She got down to work inventing a solution to solve the problem simply, elegantly, and affordably. She was soon able to file for a patent and begin working with an amazing team to make Ceres Chill available to any mom in search of a better way to achieve their breastfeeding goals while continuing to be a great professional success. ​