One of the biggest concerns I hear new mothers talking about is losing weight and getting back in shape. When can they start?  How long to wait until they can get back in the gym? Will diet, exercise or supplements impact milk at all?

It seems like in our society, there is a lot of focus on how quickly a new mother can get back into her pre-pregnancy jeans.   Maybe it’s the pressure we put on ourselves, or maybe we are feeling pressure around us.  Social media has a way of making some feel inadequate, and it is really easy to make comparisons.

I fell into this rabbit hole myself, after my first child was born.  I couldn’t wait to get back out and run, have that time to myself, get back into being who I was before I became a mom.   I did this way too quickly.  Looking back, I wish I had just enjoyed the time with my baby.  Looking forward, this is what I tell new mothers – try NOT to put that pressure on yourself.   Take as long as you need to recover, and don’t feel pressure to be in the shape you were in before you grew a human being.  Your body needs time to recuperate, before you start making demands all over again.

This week on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, Dianne and Abby talk about exercise, how it impacts breastfeeding (or does it?) and how society looks at fitness after birth. Get the up to date info on some famous breastfeeding mothers who have gone through it as well.






U.S. News Story

Who knew that breastfeeding could be so newsworthy?

As a lactation consultant, it is part of my life to keep up with the most recent articles, research and controversies that happen in the breastfeeding world.  However, I don’t think it is common knowledge for the rest of the humans I know to look for breastfeeding news.  So when it hits big, it’s big.

That’s what happened last week, when the New York Times (and other news panels from around the globe) reported that the US was not in support of the WHA Infant and Young Child Feeding guidelines regarding breastfeeding.   Actually, saying that the US was not in support is putting it mildly.   According to the report, it was downright threatening.

This is really nothing new. This has been going on for decades, but for the last several years breastfeeding has really made a positive comeback.  Support for breastfeeding mothers in hospitals, workplaces and at home has grown. New and amazing research is surfacing all the time to highlight the many benefits for mother, baby and the environment. What’s not to like?  Organizations all over the world have recognized that breastfeeding saves the lives of thousands of mothers and babies a year.  This is why the WHA has breastfeeding as part of the IYCF guidelines.  To NOT recognize breastfeeding would be a sham.

This week on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, Dianne and Abby talk about the latest turn in the breastfeeding current events, and discuss some of the background on how all of this started so many years ago.  Check it out!



Becoming a Breastfeeding Advocate


When I was young, if you had asked me what I was going to do with my life, lactation consultant would not be my response.  I can guarantee it.  Maybe teacher or social worker.  I used to always say that I wanted to help women who are struggling in areas of life that I had found myself struggling in.  Looking at it this way, I guess I kind of did what I had intended.  I just never thought it would be as a lactation consultant.

If you listen to the podcast, you know that I came across this profession by default.  Completely on accident.  I went with it, fostered it, nourished and supported it.  This is where I am meant to be in life.  I think this is the background for many who find themselves in this profession.  It can be difficult though, life as an advocate for something you are passionate about.  Not everyone feels as strongly about your passion.

I get a lot of questions about becoming a lactation consultant.  It’s not an easy path, but most things worthwhile are not easy.  For those who do not want to become an IBCLC, breastfeeding mothers absolutely need the reinforcement of other women, mothers, and families who can support them through their breastfeeding journey.  Not sure what to do or where to start?  Put together a Facebook support group, get some breastfeeding specific education, shadow an IBCLC.  Tell a breastfeeding mother how amazing she is.

This week on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, Dianne and Abby talk about breastfeeding advocacy and becoming an IBCLC.  If you are interested in getting more involved, you won’t want to miss this!






I get questions about supplements.  All. The. Time.  Let’s face it, we are living in a society right now where there is a lot of excitement surrounding supplements of all kinds.  I think we have all fallen into this at one time or another…be it protein shakes, or energy drinks, or, yes, even milk supply supplements.

So what’s the truth? Do breastfeeding supplements work or don’t they?  Well, it’s really not a “yes” or “no” answer.  If you ever listen to the podcast, you already know that I have to ask tons of questions to get to the answer.  Bottom line, there is not a lot of research to support that random supplements, cookies, herbals, foods…that any of this stuff will help a truly lacking milk supply.   What will help??  The first thing we do is look at how the baby is feeding, how often the baby is feeding, and what is really happening behind the scenes.

I have heard things go both ways.  I have had moms tell me that they really, truly believe that the supplements helped their milk supply.  I have also had others tell me that they do not believe it helped even a little bit. Basically, we need to figure out if there is a supply issue, if it’s not a supply issue, or what is really going on here.

This week Dianne and Abby tackle this hot topic of supplements, and whether or not they are effective.  Want to hear more?  Tune in for this week’s podcast!  Find it on iTunes, Buzzsprout and now Spotify!




Discrimination and Harassment

Whenever a new mother tells me about a situation where she felt discriminated against for breastfeeding, I always figure that it will be the last time.  After all, we are in the 21stcentury now, right?  I guess I just don’t quite get it.

Let’s consider this a minute, and pardon me for stepping up onto my soapbox while we discuss.

Breastfeeding is a personal choice that is about mother and baby and nourishing and nurturing.  NOT sex.

Breastfeeding in public is typically discreet.  I have yet to meet a mother who completely undresses from the waist up to breastfeed at the mall.

Breastfeeding is legal. I won’t pretend to know the exact laws everywhere, but I do know that there are federal laws in the United States that support breastfeeding.  In New York state (where I am) breastfeeding is accepted wherever you and your baby are. No.  Matter.  What.

Certain things in life may make people uncomfortable.  That’s just how it is sometimes.  That doesn’t mean it’s ok to approach someone and tell them that what they are doing is “wrong” or that they should hide while they are doing it.  If we did that every time someone did something that made us uncomfortable, it would be chaos.  Can you imagine?   How about chewing with your mouth open?  Or crunching too loud when you eat?  Every time you see that should you approach the accused chewer and tell them that they should hide somewhere?  I don’t think that would go well (although I do know people who do this, but I don’t recommend it for everyone).

Know your breastfeeding rights where you live and wherever you travel.  And listen to the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast this week to hear more about how to advocate for yourself if this should ever happen.






I think I get as many questions about oversupply as I do about low supply.  Of course, having too much milk probably sounds like a good problem to have, huh?  Think again. Ask any mother who has struggled with oversupply and she will tell you that it is not a good problem to have.

Sometimes I think that mothers are obsessed with having too much milk.  I once had a mother contact me because she was concerned about supply being too low – she was “only” pumping 4-6 ounces at a time when at work. Needless to say she was very happy when I told her that she has a fantastic supply and it is not low by any definition.  Most babies do not eat 6 ounces when they feed at the breast, so why should you need to pump that much?  You should have what the baby needs, too much can and will cause problems.

Some women just make a lot of milk.  Other women, for whatever reason, may start pumping too soon and encourage more milk than the baby needs.  Regardless of how your supply becomes so abundant, you may need to slow it down or risk plugged ducts, mastitis and a baby who may struggle with too much milk at feeds.

There are ways to slow down supply, but the easiest thing is to not encourage too much from the start. Easy to say, right?  Sometimes you have to pump in the beginning – maybe baby doesn’t latch well or is separated from you.  In this situation pumping is a must.  Unfortunately this can alter what your body would normally produce for the baby and before you know it, you are full and uncomfortable and your baby is choking and pulling off the breast whenever the milk lets down.

Sound familiar?  Check out this week’s podcast and learn more about oversupply and some tips on how to manage it.  You will also learn about some consequences of oversupply that may have been mistaken for something else.  Don’t miss it!




Bottle Feeding

I often get calls about a baby who won’t take a bottle.  This is usually accompanied by a plea from a desperate mother who is getting ready to return to work and fears that her baby won’t eat all day.  The internet is full of helpful (or not so helpful) suggestions for parents to try.  Some work, some do not.  Ideas such as “your baby will drink from the bottle when they are hungry” don’t usually work.  Young babies are not masters of manipulation and they are not refusing because they have a different plan in mind.

On the same level, I usually hear from someone that their first baby (or second, or third…) would not take a bottle.  Ever.

So what’s a mother to do? It has been my experience that if a baby will not take a bottle and you have tried all the other little tricks such as changing bottle nipples, walking with baby while feeding, paced feeding, there is one thing left.  It’s possible that your baby can’t take the bottle.  They can’t figure out how to make it work.  This could be a coordination problem, tongue tie, suck issue…there’s several to investigate.  This can be overcome, but the best thing to do is call a lactation consultant to assess the latch and see just what your baby is doing when bottles are offered.  Is she gagging?  Pushing the nipple out?  Rolling it around on her tongue? Chewing on it?  Remember, breastfeeding is instinctive.   Breastfeeding comes easier to babies than bottle feeding,  and your baby may need a little help to figure out how to do it.

If you never need to give a bottle, then you have nothing to worry about.  However, more mothers are returning to the workforce a couple of months after having a baby and giving a bottle is an important part of that.  Do you find yourself in this situation? Then you need to check out this week’s podcast.  All about bottle feeding, and what to do if it’s not working.