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Episode 90: Holidays & Breastfeeding: Avoiding Common Pitfalls with Lactation, Family & Wellness

, , , December 21, 2022

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Welcome back to the Breastfeeding Talk Podcast. I’m your host, Jacqueline Kincer. And in today’s episode, I am going to be talking about holidays and breastfeeding. So hopefully this episode is timely for you, no matter what holiday you’re celebrating, it tends to be a little crazy this time of year for a lot of people, especially once you have children. For those of you with infants, Christmas or Hanukkah or New Year’s may not be quite as exciting. As you know, those of you with toddlers, or older children, just because you know, they’re a little less aware of what’s going on, right. But it can absolutely be a magical time. I know for me, I’ve always enjoyed the holidays. But having children and seeing how much they enjoy the holidays just makes it that much more special.

So before I get into episode, I just wanted to give you some updates on things. You know, personally, for me, life has been a little bit hectic, I recently moved into a new home, it’s a project that we’ve been working on and over the past year and a half. And with home remodels comes some stress comes some unexpected delays and the need for a lot of patience. So I took a hiatus from the podcast for a few weeks, really just to get my family moved, get settled in our new home, but also just really not overwhelm myself with some things. And I would encourage you to do the same if you’re ever in a stage of life or you know, you’ve got something going on, that just adds a lot extra to your plate, it’s okay to take a step back from things, you know, it’s okay to give yourself a break and to just reprioritize and say, you know, some things right now can wait. And I can pick those up later. So for those of you that have stayed subscribed to the podcast, with a little over a month absence, I appreciate you staying loyal and true and subscribing to the episodes and still listening to the show. So yeah, and then we’ve had some transitions with our team.

So there’s some people on our team that have just had to reprioritize like I said, and when you have children, you know, your family often comes first. And so we’ve had some some shifts and who’s working here at holistic lactation. But all in all, it’s been a good thing, mutually good decisions there for everybody. And, you know, I really am excited that we have team members that have children, most of us have young children, some of us have older children, and being able to have a flexible work life balance, being able to support each other when you know someone has kids that are sick, and they can’t do something and someone else on the team can pick up the slack. So that’s been amazing. And for those of you that are ever thinking about booking appointments, or have been a patient of ours and done a consultation with our lactation consultants, you know, you’ve obviously seen how flexible we can be too, right? You know, you get sick or your child gets sick or, you know, one of our lactation consultants get sick, and we work to get you rescheduled as soon as possible or a time that works for you. And we work to be very, very accommodating for those things. So that’s our priority is just really understanding the pace of mom life. Right.

So anyways, that’s reflected here on the podcast, too. So a couple other updates for you guys as well. We’re actually going to have some new products coming out next year, you know, regarding supplements. So right now we have the advanced lactation formula, the lactation flow formula, we are seeing some awesome feedback from our customers. And you’ve got a couple of options. One is you can shop on Amazon, that’s always great, especially if you’ve got the ability to get you know, sometimes same day delivery, overnight delivery depending on where you live in relation to, you know, an Amazon fulfillment center or what have you. So that’s great. They’ve got Subscribe and Save on there. We have a virtual bundle that’s discounted on there. So you can get both products at a discounted price, which is really cool. And then we’re actually going to be relaunching our website and our online store shortly. So we’re upgrading it to have some of those same features of like auto ship and getting a discount and then bundling both products and getting a discount.

The other cool thing about if you do buy from our website is one, you do more to support a small business. So I’d encourage you, if you do like our supplements, or it’s something that you want to try and start buying then to shop at holistic So that supports us as a small business that actually supports our logistics company that we use for warehousing and shipping orders. They’re a wonderful small business in the Midwest. And we do keep our our inventory in the Midwest. So that that way, shipping times are pretty even between both the East Coast and the West Coast. So sometimes people wonder, you know, how quickly will I get my order? You know, typically in a few days, obviously, there’s no guarantees, sometimes shipping times are slower during the holidays, or things of that nature. But we work really hard to make sure that we get those things to you in a timely manner. So anyway, I’m excited for what’s going to come next year. And you know, as we get closer to launching something, I will let you guys know, here on the podcast. So yeah, I’m super excited for that, and our new website launch. So if you’re listening to this, and maybe a couple weeks from now, so this is really the the week of December 18 that this episode’s coming out, check out a holistic We’ve got a lot of, you know, great stuff on there, some blog posts, we’ve obviously got the podcast on there. So we’ve got some excellent information about like the nurture collective, or supplements, you know, connect with us on our Instagram.

We’re doing some awesome content over there. If there’s something you want to hear on the podcast or Instagram channel, you know, let us know send us a DM over on Instagram at holistic lactation. And we’d love to hear from you. So without further ado, let’s talk about the holidays. You know now, you know I guess there’s still a pandemic going on. Right. And it seems like not just of COVID but RSV and the flu. And so I’ll just take a moment to talk about RSV. RSV is respiratory syncytial virus. I think I’ve said that correctly. Unfortunately, RSV is very serious in infants. The good news about RSV is generally once you’ve had it in your life, you won’t get it again, I will tell you I personally had RSV as an infant. And as a result of that I actually have asthma, really more reactive airways disease. So it’s not something that I have all the time. But whenever I do get sick with some other respiratory virus or illness, that triggers asthma for me, and it’s not fun, it was much more severe as a child and, you know, very, very rare and occasional as adult thankfully. But RSV is a serious respiratory virus that infants are very susceptible to breastfed or not. Obviously, breastfeeding has a lot of immune protection and all of that and babies who are breastfed will fare a lot better with any illness than babies who are not. But RSV is very serious. And so you know, as much as we want to be able to spend time with our families, and you know, these COVID restrictions, and all of that are gone.
And it’s been relaxed and this and that, I would really, really make it a point to not have somebody that seems to be coming down with something or isn’t fully recovered from an illness, handle your baby or get too close. Most of the time when people are holding babies, you know, your nasal passages are directed downward, you’re breathing right into that baby’s face. And so if somebody says, Oh, I just have, you know, a little a little tickle in my throat, right, make sure that it’s not because they need a sip of water, you know, and they’re actually coming down with something, I would really encourage you to be cautious. Babies end up in the NICU. They can be on, you know, breathing treatments, they can have a really, really difficult time with this. There are infants who die from RSV infections. So you probably just want to, you know, do some research on that look into RSV.

Definitely, you know, protect yourself, if you feel more comfortable with family members wearing masks when they’re holding your infant, you know, I would encourage you and empower you to, you know, set that boundary, right, this is your infant, you want to protect their health. So there’s no vaccine for RSV. And you know, even other illnesses, right, like the flu going around all all of that is, you know, very serious as well. So definitely do your part to make sure that you stay well. A lot of times breastfeeding moms don’t realize this but viral illnesses that take a toll on your body, whether it be a stomach virus COVID or the flu, usually not a cold, it doesn’t have the same effect. But these can actually impacts your milk supply to a great degree. You can also get co infections like mastitis and things of that nature as well. So, you know, it’s really, really hard on your body. It’s depleting a lot of resources when you become sick. And so a lot of moms on top of being sick are finding Oh no, all of a sudden I have less milk, I would encourage you to stay really well hydrated, get rest.

We’ve seen really great results when people have paired the advanced lactation formula with the lactation flow formula, especially with COVID On the lactation Flo formula does contain tumeric. And that’s something that’s been actually pretty well researched, that’s being been seen as beneficial for COVID. So, obviously, that’s not what our supplement is for. We’ve just heard from lots of moms out there, that they’ve just seen really great results, taking those two with, you know, getting their milk supply back, sustaining it during illness, you know, heading off things like mastitis and clogged ducts and all of that. So just take really good care of yourself is what I would encourage you to do. So if you are traveling for the holidays, you know, there’s a lot of disruption in routine and new things. And some babies do better with this than others. One thing I would encourage you is that if you are getting on an airplane, right during takeoff and landing, make sure that your baby is suckling on something, if it’s a pacifier, your finger, a bottle, the breast, whatever it is, that helps with that ear popping that can create a lot of pain and cause your baby to cry on the plane.

The other thing that I’m gonna say here is, you know, when your baby cries there is they’ve studied this, right? There’s something that happens in your brain, there’s something that gets triggered hormonally for you, where you think that your baby’s crying is the loudest thing in the world. And you are instantly trying to figure out what’s going on and calm that crying, that crying is way more obvious and apparent to you than it is other people most of the time, right, there’s always that person that gets highly offended by children. And it is what it is right? You know, you’re not going to change them. And just, you know, some people are that way. But I promise you that you are probably more upset about your baby’s crying than other people around you. A lot of the time. This happens quite often where I hear from moms, and I’ve experienced this with young children as well, where you know, you’re doing your best to calm your child and to meet their needs, and you’re kind of just, you know, completely focused on them. And, you know, some kind of stranger will say, you know, oh, you’re doing a great job, Earl, he’s so cute, or something, you know, nice along those lines, you know, there are kinds of warm, caring people out there.

There are also people who are just complete jerks, and you gotta roll with the punches sometimes. But definitely, if you haven’t heard during takeoff or landing of a flight, you know, providing that ability for your baby to suckle on something can be really helpful with any pain that’s caused by their ears popping or kind of getting stuck and not popping. So as that jaw moves of that, as that swallowing happens, you know, just like chewing gum on a plane does that for you, having your baby stuck on something is really, really helpful. If your flight gets delayed, right. That’s, that’s a big deal. You know, we’ve got some other podcast episodes as well on traveling and things of that nature. You know, if you’re pumping and offering bottles, if you have formula with you, you know, you can get you know, boiling water from you know, an airport coffee shop or something like that, if you need to, you know, heat up any milk or mixed formula or something like that. So, restaurants, coffee shops within, you know, they’re able to accommodate that with some hot boiling water for you going through TSA with breast milk, you know, there’s, it’s a mixed bag, it depends on who’s working that day, it depends on the airport, I hate to tell you, there’s very little consistency with this, but there’s no limit to the amount of breast milk that you can bring through the TSA guidelines, we’ll have those linked up in the show notes for you.

But please review those before traveling, so you know exactly how to prepare and package any stored breast milk that you have, or any infant formula, and know your rights before you go into that TSA line. If you have not done that, which you know, you’re busy mom, right? Just, you know, pull it up on your phone, just, you know, simply Google TSA, you know, breast milk or baby formula guidelines, and it’ll, you know, come right up. And you can have that discussion, hopefully you won’t have to, you know, I really do wish that they were better trained and better educated. Sometimes these are even contract positions. So, you know, they don’t necessarily deal with this a whole lot out of everybody that comes through the line, but just possibly be prepared. If you’re traveling internationally, you’re going to want to look up the guidelines in whatever country you’re going to as well. But if you’re leaving from the United States, right, and just make sure you’re looking at those TSA guidelines, know your rights, maybe even print them out, if that’s something that you think would benefit you and just have those available, know them really well. And also just, you know, looking into your airlines policy, right. You know, regarding anything, you know, if somebody tries to come to you a flight attendant and say, you know, you’re crying babies of disturbance, you know, it’s like, well, what do you want me to do about it?

All of those kinds of things, but if you do have family coming over to your home, if you’re going to visit family somewhere, you know, a big thing is obviously they want to hold the baby, right? They want to engage with the baby, they’re excited to see you and this is, you know, a lot more stimulation.

Typically, noise can be a different environment, different people all of that that your baby’s being exposed to, which is wonderful, right? But it also can disrupt things like sleep routines and feeding routines. Sometimes you know, well meaning family right they will I’m holding the baby, they want to be the one to calm and shush the baby and, and get the baby to fall asleep. And you’re over here like, Oh, hey, my boobs are pretty full, and the baby’s hungry, and it’s been like three hours they need to eat. So sometimes those conversations can be uncomfortable, depending on how your family members react to or feel about breastfeeding. Sometimes there’s pressure to, you know, have a bottle, or something like that, I would just say, to think about these scenarios ahead of time, you know, if it’s, you know, a specific person, right, you’re like, Oh, my mother in law, she’s not very supportive of breastfeeding. You know, ask your partner to be that person that backs you up. So you don’t have to advocate for yourself, you know, simply just say, Oh, it’s time to feed the baby. And, you know, take your child and go and feed the baby, if it’s going into another room to just, you know, decrease that that noise and light and overstimulation or avoid some sort of negative comments from family like you do you, right. But I would definitely ask your partner or if you have another family member that you feel like you can lean on who can advocate for you and say, Yep, she’s going to feed the baby right now, you do not need to explain anything, you don’t need to talk about the fact that you’re breastfeeding. If you feel like there’s going to be some sort of negativity or lots of questions that you don’t really want to field.

So I would just think about it ahead of time and kind of plan on you know, who’s going to be there? What are their possible reactions to things, if you’re the type of person, you know that that worries about this and just navigating those social things in relation to breastfeeding? Right? If you need to store breast milk in someone else’s fridge, you know, ask them ahead of time, hey, just can you carve out a little space in your freezer or your fridge for me to leave this breast milk or, you know, where where is the best place in your home for me to pump if you could have that set up, please with a door that locks, you know, obviously, not a restroom, hopefully a spare bedroom or something of that nature, or, you know, an office room, something like that. So, I would just encourage you to just kind of think this through, it’s nothing you necessarily have to write out, right. But I do hear a lot of times from moms that they’re often surprised that they’ve gotten a clogged duct or their milk supply is dwindling, because with these family interactions, the baby’s less focused on feeding, other people are less focused on recognizing the baby’s cues, or making sure that they’re fed, you know, a little more regularly, regularly or more frequently. And so sometimes these things happen. So a few days after the holidays, or if you’re noticing something is changing, keeping your baby close to you, you know, offering some extra nursing time, maybe baby wearing, even doing some skin to skin, that’s usually all that’s needed to bring your milk production back to normal, or to clear a clogged duct or something like that, right. So just keep that in mind, you know, babywearing, while you’re at these holiday gatherings with family, that can be a really great way if you’re finding somebody is being a little too possessive with your baby, to just keep your baby close or have them nap, you know, contact nap on you.

And you know, still you can enjoy the festivities and all of that. The other thing that can happen sometimes is that babies can go through nursing strikes, sometimes people think this is what’s called Holiday weaning. But a nursing strike does not mean that your baby is meaning. So if you’re not familiar with this, a nursing strike is essentially just a pause and your baby willing to nurse. So if you’re exclusively pumping, or your combo feeding or something like that, you know, a nursing strike may not be applicable to you if you’re not nursing at the breast. But for those of you that are nursing your babies out the breast, you know nursing strike is really just a refusal to latch. And this can happen, it’s temporary, the things that you want to do to get your baby back to the breast or one, definitely don’t freak out, you might or take a moment to freak out and then kind of you know, come back to center, just you know, understand that this is really nothing that anybody’s done wrong unnecessarily, your baby is just, you know, kind of going through some different patterns.

And if feeding has been kind of delayed or you know, prolonged or something like that, your baby has just kind of decided to you know, go on strike. And it’s not something that’s personal, right, so I don’t want you to take it personally, it’s really hard for a lot of moms to not take this personally, but skin to skin babywearing, you know, often offering the bottle first and then trying to get your baby to latch either, you know, halfway through the feeding or towards the end of the feeding, so that they know the breast is a place of comfort, it’s a safe place to go. The last thing that I would ever encourage you to do is to try and force your baby to latch or they’re screaming and crying. They’re frustrated, you’re frustrated and you’re trying to get your baby to latch. That is a recipe for creating a full on breast aversion where your baby is very, very difficult to come back to the breast. So the other thing you can also try is that, you know after a baby wakes up from a nap, or overnight or overnight sleep or something and as they’re just waking up. They’re still kind of groggy, they’re not fully awake yet or you may have a baby that goes zero to 60 But that’s a really great time to try and latch your baby like it’s reset their nervous system Their brain is in a very calm place most of the time, you’re in a much more calm place. And it’s much easier to try to get your baby to latch in those times. If it’s going on past a few days, or you’ve reached the point where it’s so weak and it’s still going on. Realistically, I would encourage you to book an appointment with a skilled ibclc. We do this virtually, with our clients all of the time, there is a unique path depending on the mom and baby to get a baby back to the breast part time or full time depending on what your goals are.

And we can absolutely help you with this. A nursing strike does not mean your baby is ready to wean. Very rarely is a baby going to self wean beats before the age of two, but definitely not before the age of one. So if that’s happening, it’s a nursing strike, it’s not a sign that your baby is looking to wean. The other thing that I’ve already touched on, but just want to remind you about and spend a little more time talking about is that breast milk and breastfeeding are very protective against illness. Also, if your baby is nursing, or just the act of suckling and feeding as well, those are things that are very calming, and help reset your baby’s nervous system. And just reminder that breast milk is a living tissue, it is full of immune cells, whether it’s antibodies, immunoglobulins, stem cells, anti cancer cells, and anything that your baby’s been exposed to, and then exposes your body to that or you’ve been exposed to it. And your breast milk adapts it starts making those antibodies in this is an incredible fact by the way, your body, your breasts will start making antibodies in your breast milk as soon as 20 minutes after being exposed to a virus.

So like if somebody sneezed on you, literally 20 minutes later, those antibodies to whatever was in that sneeze can be given to your baby. So this is huge, like I would really encourage you to just remember that and important incredible fact, right? So if you’re pumping, those antibodies go into your milk, if you’re nursing those antibodies go into your milk, it’s incredible. The other cool thing is that no matter what type of illness, you know, let’s say your baby does get sick, right? Breast milk not only meets their needs in terms of immune benefits, but also it’s chock full of electrolytes. Just other you know probiotics. Nutritionally, it’s the one thing that generally is something that they can keep down a little better if they have a stomach virus and they’re vomiting. If they have diarrhea, right, you can keep them from getting dehydrated and becoming seriously ill. So there is absolutely a ton of protection and giving your baby breast milk. And I just wanted you to know that cool fact about Wow, 20 minutes, right? So also, if you happen to get sick, it’s okay to take most medications, there are some that you may want to avoid when you are lactating.

You know most medications really don’t get any sort of meaningful amounts or sometimes any amount into breast milk, because it has to cross from the blood into the alveoli. But it all has to do with molecular weight. So oftentimes there’s a lot of pharmaceuticals out there, the neck molecular weight is just too big, it’s not going to pass through those cell walls. And even if it does, it’s usually something like less than 1%. So generally speaking, you know, you can look this up, you can use the laptop med database, just Google LACT med or E lac, Tanzania, you can contact the infant risk Center, you can ask a pharmacist, there’s all kinds of options. Unfortunately, a lot of doctors are not very knowledgeable about this right? You may have heard things like you know, you want to avoid Benadryl as an anti histamine. Benadryl is overall problematic and really not recommended. Even in cases of acute sudden onset of allergy. There are other antihistamines that are much more effective without side effects like that, right? Anything that is also a decongestant that’s focused on drying up fluids in your body is generally not good for your milk supply.

So things like Sudafed, potentially mucin X, those sorts of things, those are not great for you to take while you’re lactating. They can dry up your supply to really the point that it never comes back. So I would urge you to be really, really cautious with those kinds of medications, cough medicines, you know, other things of that nature, those really aren’t problematic. So just keep that in mind. But I would just, you know, anything that you take, you know, kind of do a cost benefit analysis, you know, if you’re very, very ill, right, if that medication is something that’s really going to help you but potentially can impact breastfeeding, you know, have that discussion with your physician who prescribed that to you or recommended it to you. And just make sure that you know, you’re on the on the same page there. Make sure that you know, there’s an understanding of your breastfeeding goals, right and and also your own health goals. So we never want you to sacrifice your health. I see too many moms that just avoid taking medications because they’re unsure of how they’re going to affect breastfeeding. This information is publicly available free resources out there so there’s no reason for you to not be able to access information on these medications. You know, whatever research is has been done on these. It’s available out there again, look at LACMA I looked at you look at ELAC, Tanzania, if you’re really unsure, or it’s multiple medications that you’re looking at the infant risk Center has a hotline, they have a website, you can go on there and get more information as well. So don’t sacrifice your health Don’t be a martyr.

And then for those of you who like to use natural alternatives for things, a couple things for you to avoid would be anything like oregano, bass, so I’ve seen people take oregano oil capsules, oregano oil is very similar to Sage, where it can cause a very fast rapid, and and huge decrease in your milk production, mint and parsley or other things as well. So don’t worry about peppermint and candy canes, though, like candy canes, candy, peppermint mocha at Starbucks, like that kind of peppermint is flavoring. It’s not the same as actually having something like mint tea or ingesting large amounts of mint leaves or something like that. So I don’t know why people think that they can’t have anything peppermint flavored, you absolutely can. But I would just be cautious, you know, keep an eye on it. If you’re sucking on a lot of peppermint mints, or something like that around the holidays, you know, just pay attention, you know, is that impacting your milk supply or not partially can decrease supply, it’s not quite as strong unless you’re eating a lot of it, sage and stuffing as some flavoring is probably not going to affect your milk supply. But if you’re someone who has low milk supply, or if you’re just enough for, you know, maybe you just want to avoid eating large amounts of that. But I would definitely avoid large amounts of like oregano oil, something that’s really concentrated, anything like that would be great for you to avoid just so it doesn’t impact your milk supply. So that’s just something else to keep in mind.

Foods, you know, unless you have a diagnosed food allergy. And I’m not talking about what is commonly perceived as a food intolerance. That’s like a whole separate issue. And I had a podcast episode with Dr. Dave’s Ducasse on this. Very, very informative. So if you’re concerned about dairy and all these other things, you know, I would really ask you to listen to that episode with Dr. Stewart is because he clarifies what is an allergy, what’s an intolerance, all of that. He’s just an amazing preeminent doctor in the field of infant and child allergy. And he’s incredible, he shared a wealth of knowledge with us on that episode. But you do not need to avoid any particular foods. You don’t need to avoid cruciferous vegetables, eating broccoli or cabbage or cauliflower is not going to make your baby gassy. Okay, that gas from your intestinal tract does not pass into your blood and go into your breast milk. If you had air in your bloodstream, you could die like that drinking carbonated beverages, you know that air doesn’t go into your bloodstream again, you would die. So it’s not going to make your baby gassy or anything like that. Some babies, you know, they’re getting your breast milk you’re eating maybe foods you don’t normally eat. Yeah, they might get some gas. Yeah, they might be fussy. It doesn’t mean that there’s a food allergy, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid eating this food or anything like that. So I really don’t want people to overreact or be overly cautious when it’s really unnecessary. If your family has a history of an allergy to a specific food, chances are, it’s probably not showing up at a holiday meatal meal.

But ideally, you don’t want to avoid any foods without a true medical reason or need to avoid them. Because the more that you sensitize your baby to things through your breast milk, right, the more that you eat something like peanuts, if that’s something that’s safe for you to eat, and those proteins go into your milk and into your baby, the less likely they are to be allergic to those things later on in life. So early exposure to things you know, during pregnancy, there was exposure of different foods and their proteins to your infant. And if you’re breastfeeding, same thing is happening, right? So we want to, we want to desensitize your baby by getting them exposed to a wide variety of foods we want to have you have the broadest most diverse diet possible. That’s great for your health. It’s great for your baby’s health. All right, now I’m going to touch on a common question, which is alcohol and breastfeeding. It is totally fine for you to have a drink and breastfeed totally fine. Now, this is a personal choice. Some of you may not feel comfortable with this at all. And I would say just you know, be really solid in your in your decision. That’s totally fine. Like you do not have to drink. You know, I think as a society, there’s this thing that scene is like, if you don’t consume alcohol, people think you’re either like recovering from addiction or something is very different about you. You know, it’s becoming more and more common for people to not have alcohol. I really barely drink. I don’t really enjoy it. It’s not something that I’m into anymore. I don’t know that I really was ever into it per se, but I don’t like the way it makes me feel. So you know, on occasion, yeah, if you want to. Absolutely, you’re welcome to have some alcohol.

So here’s the deal with it right? Your blood alcohol level is going to be the same as your milk alcohol level. So breast milk is made from blood, that alcohol level is going to match. So let’s say you drink a beer that has 3% alcohol in it, and your blood alcohol level is like point 02 Whew, okay, your baby, if they drink milk that is has that alcohol on it is only consuming point zero 2% alcohol, they’re not consuming a 3% alcohol beer that you consumed. So keep that in mind, right? A really great thing to know as well is that like the best way to have the alcohol and try to, you know, breastfeed or pump, right is that you have that drink while you’re nursing or while you’re pumping, that will your baby’s good to go for a couple of hours, you get to enjoy the drink, by the time it wears off, your baby’s ready to feed again, and you can pump that milk or you can nurse your baby, and it’s pretty much going to be free of milk, or worse, it’s going to be free of alcohol. So that’s something to keep in mind. So if you want to have that drink, and you want your baby to get the least exposure to alcohol, start having that drink while you’re pumping, or while your baby is nursing, please do not pump and dump. That is the dumbest thing I think I’ve ever heard. Once the milk metabolizes out of your bloodstream, it’s also metabolizing out of your milk. It’s not like your breasts just fill up with milk. And whatever’s in there stays in there. That’s not how breast milk production works. In fact, that’s like a whole other problematic belief that people have that is completely, you know, deserving of its own podcast episode, because it’s not just about alcohol content, it’s about milk production in general. But that being said, one thing that I would really, really encourage you to remember is, as you sober up as that buzz fades away, that is directly correlated to how much alcohol is in your milk. It’s the same, it’s no different. It’s dynamic. So if you pump a breast full of milk that has alcohol in it, as your breast is refilling, if you still have alcohol in your blood, there’s still alcohol in your milk.

But you do not have to remove the alcohol filled milk for it to be devoid of alcohol, right, you can leave that milk in your breast as it metabolizes out of your bloodstream and metabolizes out of your milk as well. So, I would also caution you that there is there is no truth, by the way that drinking a dark beer or certain types of alcohol is helpful for your milk supply. The only potential beneficial effects are if you truly drink something that was you know, really free of chemicals and artificial flavorings and was truly based on like, you know, hops, barley, that wheat, even something like that, right. So those would be a specific type of beer. And maybe it relaxes you. So you get a little more oxytocin flowing. And you know, your letdown is faster or comes more easily or something like that. But alcohol can be dehydrating and actually can inhibit oxytocin release and inhibit your letdown, it can slow milk production, it can also lead to poor weight gain, and poor motor development to your baby if they’re exposed to too much alcohol or have it too frequently. So occasional moderate drinking is not considered harmful for breastfed babies. But if there’s more than occasional happening, if there are large amounts happening, it can absolutely cause problems, not just with your baby yourself, right, but also your milk production. So just you know, timeline speaking, I kind of talked about, you know, when to time it and whatnot, alcohol and breast milk generally peaks about 30 to 60 minutes after you’ve had the alcohol, you know, if you have had food with it, as well, you know that that can be you know, very, as much as 90 minutes. So, just keep in mind, you know, about two to three hours to fully eliminate that alcohol from your body. You know, in an average sized woman, you know, that’s kind of the timeline that you want to keep in mind.

So, anyway, all of that to say that, I do hope that you have a wonderful holiday, I do help that you feel a little bit more prepared for navigating breastfeeding, nursing, pumping, lactation, eating foods, celebrating holidays, hopefully, you know, you can maybe be the one who sort of sets the tone, right, or maybe you have a family that’s very supportive of breastfeeding. You know, you don’t have to cover unless that’s something you want to do. Right, you can nurse your baby, wherever you see fit. And, you know, hopefully, if that’s something that your family or friends or whoever you’re spending time with, is supportive of. And again, just try to think about having someone that you kind of, you know, preempt and talk to you about advocating for you, kind of standing up for you if there becomes some criticism from your family or a lack of understanding, and just, you know, really normalized breastfeeding, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. You don’t have to go hide away in another room unless that’s something that you feel would be best for you and your baby. So all those things just to say, Keep on breastfeeding. Enjoy the holidays. Hopefully this is a time for you to relax. If this is like you know a first holiday that you’re celebrating with your baby. Enjoy that get lots of wonderful photos. And I hope that everybody stays healthy and happy this holiday season. Make sure you stay subscribed subscribed to the podcast because we’ve got some incredible episodes and interviews coming your way in 2023. And I’m really excited to share those with you. And also if you’re enjoying the podcast, please leave us a review over on Apple podcasts. We really get to enjoy reading that feedback when you Leave that for us. It’s awesome to see how maybe an individual episode or the podcast as a whole has made an impact on your life and then share these episodes. If you have a friend who you know, is breastfeeding. And they’re going to be having a holiday gathering, share this episode with them, pass this along, send it their way, there may be a little nugget of information here that helps them navigate the holidays and breastfeeding. So thanks for being a listener. I’ll talk to you on the next episode.

In this episode, Jacqueline shares her tips and tricks to get through the holiday season while breastfeeding. We all know the holidays can be stressful, especially with a breastfeeding newborn. Toss into the mix the pandemic and the RSV and Flu outbreak, this can leave a mom feeling very lost.

This episode has tips and tricks that, as a busy mom, you may not think of this holiday season. Jacqueline gives good language to use to navigate social settings in terms of breastfeeding, as well as how to implement your boundaries around your newborn. She talks about why holiday food won’t hurt your newborn and why you should never pump and dump.


In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • How to know your rights when flying with breastmilk
  • How to navigate social situations during the holidays
  • Why foods and alcohol are okay during the holidays


A glance at this episode:

  • [4:08] Jacqueline shares some new product updates
  • [6:39] What is RSV and how it’s circulating
  • [10:26] Flying through the holidays and keeping your infant comfortable
  • [14:32] How to handle friends and family that wants to hold the newborn
  • [18:02] What to do if your baby goes on a nursing strike during the holidays
  • [20:48] The calming and protective elements of breastmilk
  • [22:03] Medications that are safe if you get sick while lactating
  • [26:40] Why holiday foods won’t affect your breastmilk
  • [28:52] Alcohol and breastfeeding


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