A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

Making it through breastfeeding hurdles

By Kerinne Werts

I just want to start by saying that I am in love with your podcast. It’s so informative and raw! I know I’m a few years behind but I’m so glad I found it! I have been working in Human Resources for the last 4 years but have recently started working my way to becoming a Breastfeeding Specialist.

Here is my long story! 

 I had my son on Saturday, April 10th, 2021. Even before I was pregnant, I knew breastfeeding was something I wanted to do. I researched as much as I possibly could and I’m glad I did because I never once saw a Lactation Consultant, nor was I offered one or given any resources for one. At my 37 week check up, we found that my son stopped growing at 35 weeks due to placental insufficiency. I ended up being induced the very next day. While in the hospital, I told them that I did not plan to feed right from the breast but that I did want to pump. After delivering my son and doing skin to skin, he found my nipple all on his own and just went to town. I was amazed! The nurse came in and immediately questioned me on why he was latched, I simply said, “he did it all on his own and I’m not taking him off.”

I had a clog I was trying to get out but my son was very fussy so as you can see I multitasked lol! 
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Breastfeeding through open heart surgery

By Danilelle DuFoe

First of all, I just want to send my DEEPEST appreciation and thanks to you for your Badass Breastfeeding Podcast. I had a picture of what my breastfeeding journey would look like, and it did not turn out like I “expected” at all. Your podcast has truly helped me on my 11.5 month exclusive pumping journey. My baby- Remi Jean- needed open heart surgery in January 2022, so in my opinion, formula was NOT going to be good enough for her tiny body, as she also was diagnosed at birth with down syndrome, and sent home from the NICU with a feeding tube. I was told by multiple doctors that my milk was not enough calories for her (20kcal) and we were given a ‘free’ can of supplemental formula, which I did not continue giving her, because I knew my milk would change as she needed it. 

he scary open heart surgery photo but we made it through and she is doing great!

We attempted nursing for 6 months with all of the tools from so many professionals in my back pocket and still no luck. After her open heart surgery, she had more energy but bit me twice. The photo I included of her nursing was with a nipple shield and was truly only for the beauty of the photo, it was never this pretty for us. 

All in all, I share your podcast almost daily with multiple facebook groups including the moms in the Down Syndrome Community. I love your myth episodes, and especially the one about alcohol, because let’s be real after exclusively pumping for so long this momma needs a drink! Thank you again SOOOOO much for your positive, hilarious, AND real and raw episodes.I listen to every single one of them, and catch up on the ones from the past.  5 STARS! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

the real photo of how we had to feed her for 8 months of her life with her feeding tube- it was not pretty but it did the job

After quadruple feeding her for so long (attempt to nurse, bottle feed, tube feed the rest, and pump) Remi Jean is finally exclusively drinking from a straw cup now which she figured out at 8 months old, and we are no longer using her feeding tube! I am weaning from the pump now and weaning her onto raw cows milk as we are approaching her 1 year birthday! I am that crazy over-supplier with over 1500oz frozen, which I plan to give her throughout the next year of her life. Thank you AGAIN! 

Pumping hacks!!! These are things that worked for my 11.5 month journey!

1. Elastic nipples and wearable pumps? Absolutely not. I reccommend “Pumpin Pals” silicone flanges for elastic nipples. And to follow their directions on how to use. They are hard to get used to but as an exclusive pumper, only 1-2 days and you have it down. Worth the investment. 

2. Refrigerate pumping parts and wash only 1x daily. I recommend having 2- 3 sets always.

a beautiful nursing photo

3. Have a portable pump and always have the bag stocked with a couple sets of clean parts in a zip lock, and another zip lock for dirty. Always a cooler to keep your pumping parts in if you need to pump more while you’re out. 

4. I see alot of moms on Tiktok using what they call the “pitcher method” where they pump, wait for it to cool and then dump it all into a pitcher.. this sounds like so much work. I just filled up the bottles to the desired amount that i pumped directly into, and the left over milk I would set aside in the refrigerator and end up freezing a full bags worth. I ALWAYS kept 5 grab and go bottles in the fridge at all times so any more that i pump, i would immediately freeze. This way I could just take what I needed for bottles if we had to leave in a rush or for the night. Much easier and saved time this way.

5. Make popsicles! Babies love these!

6. Manual pump! Question for the badasses— Can you train your let down??? With a manual pump I felt like I could train my stubborn letdown by holding the pump when my let down would begin. The milk would just keep coming. Saved time for me on occasion and I really felt like it helped in the long run. 

7. “Kindred bravely” pumping bra. Hands down. I owned 2. It was perfect

8. Ask hospital for spare pumping parts if you have the same pump. (I started pumping right away when my baby was taken to the nicu without me for 24 hrs)

9. Massage gently but most importantly-HOLD!!!! Hold the spots until the milk stops and go back to that area until you emptied it, and move on. Don’t forget to hold under the breast.

10. Wipe out the nipples when you shower with a washcloth. The pump doesn’t clean out your nipples like the baby does, you will get clogs in your nipple. 

That’s a lot, but these things saved me! If you start to lose your supply, pump more often and longer.  No tricks but this works. 

Emily’s breastfeeding story

By Emily McRoberts

My breastfeeding journey started with my 26 weeker in the NICU in December of 2017. My son Graham lived for 19 days and I was able to pump exclusively for him while he was alive. After he passed I was able to donate my extra 500 ounces of milk to The Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes (Huge shout of to them for all their grief support!).

My husband and I were fortunate enough to get pregnant again and our daughter Paige was born at 36 weeks via c-section (scheduled due to my emergent c-section with my son) in October 2019. Being early she struggled to latch properly and was sleepy so I started pumping in the hospital and doing expressed milk syringe feeds and paced bottle feeds. We did use one bottle of donor milk since the IBCLC was concerned about a 12% weight loss which obviously was due to the fluids I was given in the OR. I struggled to get her to latch and thankfully I had selected a breastfeeding friendly Ped who sent me to her CLC. We continued the paced feeds for a week before I was able to use a nipple shield to bring my daughter to the breast. I’m so thankful for finding your Badass Breastfeeding Podcast around this time because I was crying and throwing it across the room. I successfully weaned her of the shield and we haven’t looked back since.

Fast forward to present day and my almost 3 year old is still nursing and the only supplementing I’ve ever used was that one bottle of donor milk during her first two days of life. I don’t think I could have done it without not only listening to the podcast and following both of you on instagram but also the support you have provided in DMs. The knowledge and confidence I’ve gained from you two has been so helpful and I plan to let her nurse until she wants to stop. 

Breastfeeding and Survival

By Victoria Galloway

I became a mom at 16 years old and breastfed for 8.5 months, when working and going to school, despite very little support and a ton of stigma and judgement!

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2,700+ days of consecutive breastfeeding

By Badass Sandra

Like so many, I began my breast-feeding journey unsure of what I could do. Unable to fathom exactly what my body was capable of.  I had been unsuccessful with my previous children due to the classic “I didn’t make enough milk” myth, lack of support and just overall ignorance on the subject. I was determined to be successful on my third attempt.

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Brooke’s journey from exclusive pumping to breastfeeding

By Brooke Ashlynn Ritter

I have a 6 month old little girl and she is exclusively nursed. I own my own sewing business and I listen to you guys (Abby and Dianne at the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast) basically every single time I’m up late nights sewing my little heart out. I am so proud to be a nursing momma! My son who is now 2 1/2 had many issues nursing when he was born (he was born at 37 weeks due to ICP) and so I ended up exclusively pumping for him for 18 MONTHS. It was so hard and I still have no idea how I pulled that off! I can not tell you how relieved and overjoyed I am to be able to nurse my daughter and NEVER PUMP! I am a work from home mom so my daughter is always with me and so I never have to pump. In fact, if I never have to pump again I think I would be okay.

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Maternity and Nursing Bras By Cake Maternity

Different Types of Maternity and Nursing Bras

Bra shopping can be a minefield at the best of times. Everyone remembers their first bra experience, whether you were professionally fitted as a tween or just grabbed whatever size off the rack that “looked” right. No doubt you’ve had to do it countless times since then, but now that you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, things are about to get a whole lot more complicated. What bra do I need for what stage? Can you still wear wires? What even is a flexi-wire and when can I wear them?

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Ask A Lactation Consultant: Fussy At The Breast

“My 4 month old baby is fussy while nursing. Do you think I’m not making enough milk?”

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Ask A Lactation Consultant: Fat Content In Breast Milk

“My doctor told me that I do not have enough fat in my breastmilk now that my son is 1 year old and that I should give him cow’s milk. Do I really have to do this?” 

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Ask A Lactation Consultant: Vitamin D For A Breastfeeding Baby

“Does my breastfed baby need vitamin D? My pediatrician says I should give my 4-month-old a vitamin D supplement. What should I do?”

The short answer is yes.  However, there is a lot more to it.  Parents sometimes assume that they will need to supplement their baby with additional Vitamin D because human milk is deficient in Vitamin D.  This is usually what they are told.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The truth is human milk does have Vitamin D, but it is rarely enough for both the parent and the baby.  There are many variables to consider about this as well.  The most efficient way we get Vitamin D is from the sun.  Was your baby born during winter months(not that we recommend having your newborn out in the sun anyway)?  Do you live in a colder climate?  Do you or your baby have darker skin color?  All of these things can affect how much Vitamin D you and your baby are exposed to.  If you are breast/chest feeding and you are deficient in Vitamin D, the chances are good your baby is as well. 

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