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Episode 91: New Year's Resolutions for Breastfeeding Moms

December 28, 2022

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Welcome back to the Breastfeeding Talk podcast. I’m your host, Jacqueline Kincer. And I am coming to you in the year 2023. I’m sure I’ll be writing the dates incorrectly for many months to come. Is anybody else the type of person that does that I don’t know if it’s Mom Brain or just you get in the habit 365 days, you’ve been right in the same year, and then all of a sudden you got to switch. So anyway, that’s kind of funny. I hope that you’ve enjoyed a wonderful holiday, hopefully had some great family time. Hopefully not too crazy. Maybe you got some time to slow down. Maybe you traveled, who knows, hopefully you’re feeling a little more settled here in the new year.

And I wanted to really make this actually a new year episode, and just talk about a few things. One is that it’s a common tradition to make New Year’s resolutions. And if you’re the type of person that either traditionally does that, or is thinking about doing it this year, I think that’s wonderful, New Year New you are a new starter, or just trying to create some new habits or things. So whatever stage of motherhood that you’re in or life that you’re in, you know, there may be different goals or things that you’re looking to do or be or accomplish. And I would encourage you to not think that that’s silly. Sometimes I find that there’s a bit of a backlash, where people sort of roll their eyes and go, Oh, yeah, New Year’s resolution, like you’re not really going to stick with it. But why not? Why not? Why can’t you stick with it. And you don’t have to wait until the new year, obviously.

But it’s a common time where people just reset things and think about what they want for themselves in the upcoming year. So I’ll be keeping this in the context of motherhood and postpartum and breastfeeding. But one of the things that we’re talking about on social media over on our Instagram page, which if you’re not following us, definitely do that. It’s at holistic lactation, all one word, no underscores no fancy characters there. But one of the things that we’re talking about is this idea of just, you know, what breastfeeding looks like? And how do we define it? And what does it mean? And what does it mean to be a breastfeeding mom? And how do you not let breastfeeding necessarily define you or the type of mom that you are? And I think that there’s this shift that we’ve experienced, and that we’re seeing, you know, as a whole in just online and the community of mothers that are out there right now that we don’t really want to encourage you to define yourself through the ways that you feed your child, you know, yes, this can be a short period in your child’s life. It can be a really intense period for you though, because if you’re breastfeeding, it’s something that you’re doing multiple times a day, whether that means nursing, or pumping.

And it’s really one of those initial experiences after giving birth, that is at the forefront of your mind, no matter how you’re feeding your baby. But one of the things that we’re really trying to encourage moms to think about is that, you know, breastfeeding is wonderful, and it is so much more than food. It’s so much more than nutrition, and so much more than just a simple choice that you make of breast milk versus formula. But at the same time, we don’t want to necessarily put breastfeeding on a pedestal, we don’t want to make it this thing that is this grand, like, just huge, you know, thing that everyone should aspire to do? Like, I don’t think that that’s fair. I don’t feel like that really serves a lot of moms. And I also don’t think that it’s necessarily healthy. Right? This is where for people who find breastfeeding comes easily to them, and they’re very successful at it, you know, get that sort of sink to mommy attitude right of, well, everyone should breastfeed. It’s not that hard. I did it. And so can you.

You know, that’s very tone deaf and short sighted to have that sort of perspective. On the other hand for moms that breastfeeding has been a bit more difficult for them or very, very difficult or they haven’t succeeded with it in the ways that they had hoped. You know, it can be very sort of shame inducing and guilt inducing to hear that sort of message. And so, what I would like to do is just ask you to consider breastfeeding as just this thing that, you know, our bodies are sort of, you know, meant to do right as females, and just like giving birth, right, or just like getting pregnant. But also understand that just like being pregnant, or just like giving birth, that those things can be challenging and difficult for many people. And, you know, we when we think about fertility treatments, right, and all of those issues that can go into that, not everyone can get pregnant, not everyone can get pregnant easily. Not everyone can have a healthy, happy pregnancy, a lot of people do not, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is, quote unquote, wrong with that person. Right, it just means that difficulties are very common. And we need to respect that. So it’s the same with breastfeeding, right difficulties are common, we need to respect that. Now, being pregnant can be a beautiful, wonderful, enjoyable thing for many moms. So can birth. It can not be those things for many moms, right. And we all just have different perspectives. And I would like us to one, remember that about those stages. But also remember that and apply that to breastfeeding, that breastfeeding is not the end all be all of the postpartum experience, it is not, you know, the pinnacle of new motherhood, it is just something that our bodies are usually capable of doing to some degree. And it does often come with a lot of difficulty and challenge, whether that’s the pure physical aspect of it, or the mental or emotional one, or the societal aspect of it, you know, there’s so many challenges and barriers and judgments in relation to all of the things that happen as we become mothers, whether it is pregnancy, and how you handle that, and the nursery that you set up and how you choose to give birth and where you choose to give birth, I there’s just so many judgments, you know, breastfeeding is not immune to that.

And so I would just encourage you to just think about, you know, breastfeeding with a really balanced perspective, you know, no matter how it’s going for you or for others that you might know, just keep the larger perspective in mind, which is that everyone is going to have their own unique experience, all of the things you experience are going to have different meanings to you than they will to other people. And as long as you remember that and remember that your experience, through this time in your life is unique. And it is special, and it is yours and yours alone. And you cannot prescribe that experience to other people, you cannot prescribe other people’s experiences onto your own, I think that will give you just a really solid foundation to stand on. Because I find that oftentimes, people seem to think that the way that they’re experiencing things is the way that other people experience them, or it’s the way they should experience those things. And that’s just simply not true, right, we’re all very, very different. And with that in mind, that’s where I kind of want to lead into just some affirmations, if you will, some just mindset talk, because that’s part of the podcast here. And really just coming into this new year, no matter how things are going in your life, whether it’s breastfeeding, or something else, to just remember that no matter what your experiences it are, in terms of all of this, you know, new motherhood stuff, right? That none of those things make you a good mom or a bad mom, right? Whether or not you’re able to exclusively provide breast milk to your child or whether or not you’re able to nurse versus pump.

Or if you’re using formula or you decided to, you know, stop breastfeeding short, shortly after beginning, whatever it is, none of those things have any bearing on the, you know, kind of mom that you are, right, we’re all operating with the best information that we can at the time, we’re typically coming from a place of good intention, right. So just keep that in mind, I would encourage you just to be not hard on yourself. And this comes along with other things. When you add on some extra duties to your plate like healing from birth, like making milk like pumping that milk or you know, having your baby latch and nurse and remove that milk and changing diapers and trying to get more sleep and and operating with less sleep or whatever all these you know, extra things are right a whole new mental load of, you know, things that you need to buy for your baby diapers and wipes are starting solid foods and researching and learning about how to raise a baby how to be a good parents how to be a good partner, all of these things, right? That adds a ton. And so if you find yourself getting less done, if you find yourself feeling less motivated for certain things, if you find that you just don’t have enough time to do things, or you’re not keeping up with all the things that you used to. That’s really normal. You used to have a lot more time before you became a mom and you have a lot less time now. And that is just the way it goes. And so maybe one of the activities that you might spend some time just mentally focusing on but maybe even journal Lean in some way, maybe it’s a conversation you have with a good friend, a family member, your partner, whoever it is. But maybe it’s just something where you just introspectively take some time to think about is just priorities, you know, what’s important to you in your life now, what used to be important to you, that’s maybe no longer as important to you. And just look at those things, you know, whether it’s whether it’s tasks that you do on a regular basis, whether it’s projects that you wanted to get to, or whether it’s just, you know, certain ways of life or lifestyles, right, like maybe eating out isn’t as important to you now as it used to be. So there’s different things that you can take a look at whether it’s, you know, deep cleaning your fridge, maybe that’s not as important to you now, because you just don’t have as much time.

And maybe in the grand scheme of things you’ve come to find out, you know, it’s okay to not do that. Right, that it doesn’t have to be done as frequently as you thought or maybe even at all. And so just take some time to sit and ponder about priorities, how have those changed, you know, usually, this is a good thing. Sometimes we we get this attachment to, you know, previous ways of being in previous times in our lives where we feel like, well, I used to do those things, so I should still be able to do them. But even as you get older, right, it’s not even just becoming a mom, it’s as you age, as you get older, as as things change, if you move or, you know, there was a pandemic, right, it’s, and that changed a lot of things about the way we live our lives and the way that we do things. Maybe this is a really good time for you to just sit down and think about, you know, what’s important to you? What’s a priority, what’s less of a priority, you can often rank things, again, you maybe want to write this down, use a number system, use, use a color coding system, maybe put like, you know, top priority, least important sort of optional things, and somewhere in the middle, regular things that are just responsibilities that have to be done. And if there’s room for you to delegate any of those things, right? Are you taking on too much of the mental and emotional load, and you’re feeling resentful, you’re feeling overburdened, maybe it’s a good time to have that conversation with your partner about, hey, you know, here’s all of the things that I have to prioritize these things need to get done. But it’s a lot. And frankly, it’s too much.

And let’s see if there’s some room on your plate to take some of these things over. Or is there someone else you can delegate these to, you know, maybe if you have the means it’s time to bring in a cleaning crew that comes in every couple of weeks, or maybe there’s a friend or a family member, you can lean on for certain things. So I would just encourage you to take some time, think about how you’ve shifted how you’ve changed over this past year. Or if you’re pregnant, you’re going to have a baby, anticipate some of these changes, think about how things are going to change for you and 2023. And just do a little exercise, do me a favor, do a little exercise, think about it, spend some time again, writing it down. Because it’s nice to take a moment to slow down. Sometimes, we need to slow down in order to be more efficient, right. In order to get more done, you might be thinking to yourself, I don’t have time to do this. Make time, make the time it doesn’t have to be today. Although today, it would be great because you’re listening to the episode right now. So it’s a top of mind for you. But make some time, carve out 30 minutes, even an hour if you can. And just take a moment again, even if it’s just mentally thinking about it. But ideally, if you can write it down or draw it out or something like that, or have that conversation where you’re going to you’re going to really ingrain it in your mind a little bit better. Right, it won’t just be a fleeting thought that you don’t come back to take that time for yourself, you know, maybe carve out 15 minutes today, and another 15 minutes tomorrow and just, you know, do it in little chunks of time. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t really you know, have the ability or like sitting down and have a dedicated focus, come back to it. Maybe even just kind of do a rough draft and come back to it the next day with a clearer mind and go back to it and move things around, shift them around. It’s up to you. Sometimes I’ve seen people do things like this, where you take like post it notes, little sticky notes. And you can put those on like a larger piece of paper or even a poster board or a wall. And you can just sort of move those things around. If you like digital things, you know, something like a kanban Kanban, board Kanban How do you say that ke N ba n Trello is like one of those apps, it’s free, you can easily create one of those I’m sure you can find, you know other free websites or apps that do that kind of style of organization where you can move things from boards, you can move them from top to bottom and just visually rank things if you’d like that. So anyway, that’s one of my things I would encourage you to do. But also just coming back to those that affirmation piece and those ideas of what it means to be a good mom and to be successful at something and all of that, you know, it’s not that I don’t want to encourage you to have, you know, the best breastfeeding experience possible and to to be able to breastfeed as long as you can and as long as beneficial, you know, for your child and all of that of course. First, absolutely I encourage those things.

But I would also just ask you to take a moment to just check in with yourself. And ask yourself, you know, if you’re struggling, like, you know, what is it that you’re really struggling with? And are there ways that you can make that better? It may be time for you to get some extra support. Do you need a group of experts and moms where you could discuss these things, you have questions, you want a place to get, you know, trusted answers to things instead of googling or, you know, kind of commenting on things on social media or in mom’s groups and not really getting the best advice or not really getting something in depth, you know, I would encourage you to find that level of support that you need. Maybe it’s a local outlets, La Leche League meeting, maybe your hospital has a support group, I often find those are very busy and chaotic. But sometimes they’re nice. Maybe it’s, you know, some other organization like breastfeeding USA, maybe it’s our program, the nurture collective, where that’s online, and you have an entire course of everything from pregnancy through each month stage by stage, starting solids, troubleshooting all the various lactation, breastfeeding problems that you can have, and then even beyond a year, and breastfeeding, your toddler tanned, Mersing, all of those things, where we cover all of that in there, as well, as you know, it’s a place to ask questions, we’ve got lactation consultants in there, we’ve got other members, some of them are quite seasons now and just love giving advice and support and help to you that’s really, really genuinely supportive, that’s in depth that, you know, isn’t just a response that tells you what to do. It’s also asking you the right questions, right? Sometimes we just don’t get asked the right questions, or we’re in our own heads, and we don’t see our own blind spots. So maybe you need extra support, maybe you’re really on the struggle bus, or you really just don’t know, and you need a very comprehensive, you know, in depth assessment of what’s going on or insight or education, maybe it’s time to book that one on one appointment with a lactation consultant, you know, maybe you’ve been putting that off, you know, who knows, right? Maybe breastfeeding is going really well for you, or you’ve, you’ve uncovered something about breastfeeding that’s helped you, you know, get to a better place, maybe there’s something that you’ve overcome, that was this huge challenge, and you’ve persevered.

And here you are, you know, six, eight months, whatever it is, you know, later that things are going really well for you. And you feel like you have this passion to help other people, maybe it’s time for you to get involved and become a volunteer, you know, seek out some groups kind of be that person that helps people find resources, maybe you collect, you know, names of people in your community or online that work virtually, that you can pass along to other moms so that they don’t have to struggle, the way that you struggled, I often find that some of our most difficult cases that we have, as clients for, you know, our appointments that we do as lactation consultants, that those people often end up becoming very passionate about becoming lactation consultants or lactation counselors or playing some other role later on. Usually, once they start the weeding process, it kind of comes up for them. And they just feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude that they were able to get where they are because they had support, and they see how valuable that is. And so a lot of times I get contacted from previous clients that will say, hey, you know, I just overcame so much and had such a great experience. And I’m wondering, how do I how do I give back? How do I make sure that other moms don’t have to work so hard to find someone like you or, you know, get the level of care that you guys give? And how do I become a lactation consultant, We love answering those questions. It’s so great to hear. When people become passionate about this, you know, that’s really why most of us became a lactation consultant. I had my struggles, I’ve shared those on the podcast, other people on my team have had their struggles.

And that’s why they’re in the roles that they are. It’s very, very common in the ibclc, lactation consultant profession to find that there were people doing other things before they got to this place. And when they realized how much more support they needed, or the level of care that they really needed beyond the basics, or maybe they were not given good care, they were given incorrect information or treatment. And so they’ve become passionate about really giving people that those, you know, correct treatments and information and education. So now they’re lactation consultants, I find that very cool. So I would just encourage you to take a moment just be a little introspective, slow down a little bit. You know, we’ve got a big year ahead of us. I don’t know what’s to come in 2023. Now there’s so many things. We’ve still got, you know, a war in Ukraine going on. We’ve got a lot of serious viral illnesses going around. If you have children in school or preschool or daycare, you have probably experienced some of that this fall in winter season. And we’ve got, you know, an unstable uncertain economy. And so that’s on the forefront of people’s minds right now. So there’s a lot to really take in, there’s a lot to think about. Life has changed a lot in these last few years. So I would just encourage you Take a moment to slow down before you dive into the new year. If you’ve already done something like this, awesome, amazing, I love that for you, I would love for you to just, you know, think about breastfeeding. If you haven’t, think about lactation, think about your your goals there. And if it’s, you know, starting solids with your baby, if it’s looking forward to leaning later this year, you know, start to plan ahead for those things, do some research, get some education, join the nurture collective our group that we have with, you know, courses in there on all of those topics and support to guide you through that and answer questions. It’s kind of, you know, month by month, you can sign up, and you don’t have to stay committed or anything like that, there’s no minimum amount of time you need to be a member. So if you just need it for a short time until you’re done with breastfeeding, hey, we’re here for you. So I’ll link that up in the show notes. It’s the nurture is the website that you’ll go to right now. If you try that link, we are in the midst of redoing our website and launching that. So depending on when you listen to this episode, it may or may not be totally live or updated just yet, but the nurture might be the other place where you go, you might not have to put subscribe after that we’re changing that. So I also wanted to just say to as kind of a end of the year beginning of a new year, that this podcast has changed a lot. And I’m really excited for some of the guests that we’re going to bring on in this next year.

We’ve got some excellent interviews lined up for later this month, and coming forward in these coming months over the next quarter as well. And I would love to hear from you if there’s something that you you know, really want us to cover on the show. Do you enjoy solo episodes? Do you enjoy guest experts? Do you enjoy other types of episodes all together? Would you like to come on and share your story, we have some cool mom journeys coming up that are going to be showcased on the on the podcast here that we’re really excited to share with you because they’re inspiring and whatnot. So we absolutely love doing a variety of different types of episodes. So we’d love to hear from you as well, because this podcast is for you. And if you love the show, we’d absolutely appreciate you leaving us a review over on Apple podcasts. That’s the best place to do it. It helps one with our ranking, but to also it does help us show up when moms are searching for episodes like these. Right? If they’re searching for information on breastfeeding, postpartum lactation, maybe its tongue tie, whatever it is. And we’ve got several episodes and we have more to come on that topic. So when you leave a review, it really lets us know one what you love about the podcast right?

But to also helps other moms be able to find the show and get this information. So I appreciate all of you, I wish you nothing but a successful year ahead. Again, come forward, follow us over on Instagram come hang out. We’ve got some amazing content that we’ve been putting out over there to really support you help you answer questions teach you new tips and tricks encourage you along the way. So that’s at holistic lactation over on Instagram. And then we’re also gonna be diving more into tick tock this year. That’s also out holistic lactation over on tick tock, very fun, but also a bit more limited of a medium in the sense that it’s really only video. The captions are shorter than allowed on Instagram and the comments. Very, very few characters allowed in the comments. So in terms of interaction, it’s a little less easy to engage with people. But if Tiktok is what you love, you could definitely follow our content over there for some great videos and all of that. So thank you so much for being a listener. Hopefully you’re subscribed to the show as well, and I will see you on the next episode.

In this episode, Jacqueline gives some practical and achievable New Year’s resolutions for breastfeeding moms. Motherhood, breastfeeding, and the holidays can all be very overwhelming. Jacqueline helps take a step back and review priorities, self-care, and support.

Are you taking on too much? These resolutions are achievable and practical for a breastfeeding mom. Jacqueline gives tips and tricks and some great holiday advice to get you motivated for 2023.


In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • How to prioritize the new year and set realistic resolutions
  • Some new year’s affirmations
  • Great tips on how to slow down and reflect before moving into the new year


A glance at this episode:

  • [2:26] The idea of breastfeeding and what it means to be a breastfeeding mom
  • [7:40] Affirmations and mindset
  • [10:15] Prioritizing in the new year
  • [12:35] Reflecting on the year
  • [14:40] Checking in with yourself
  • [19:20] Take a moment to slow down before the new year


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