nursing tips from a lactation specialist

We’re excited to have Lindsey Shipley, Registered Nurse, IBCLC, certified lactation specialist here sharing her tips for breastfeeding!  For any expectant local mamas out there Lindsey holds monthly classes to help you prepare before and and trouble shoot any issues during and after! We also have Lindsey on our Facebook page today for a “Ask a Lactation Specialist” — head here to ask any questions!

The Breastfeeding Journey

All moms have been there. The excitement of getting the positive pregnancy test, ultrasound of your baby, finding out the gender, and registering at your favorite baby store. You go through the mood swings, the weight gain, the aches, and finally you’re in labor and they place your baby on your chest. Then comes that startling thought, “What now?”
Just as pregnancy is an exploration of emotions and life-altering changes, the preference one faces in feeding their infant can be a very intimate one. I’m excited to be featured on small fry blog today and offer a few of my insights into our choices as Moms, particularly how we will feed our newborns. I’m an advocate of breastfeeding, but I think it’s important to be prepared on your options, regardless of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. As a lactation specialist, my role is to support and facilitate the choices mothers make in how they want to feed their newborns. Education in regards to nutrition for your infant is vital.



Ok, now let’s set straight a few “myths”, or pieces of advice I’ve overheard from moms to expectant mothers about feeding their new baby.
“You’ll figure it out.”
The moms that give this advice are probably among the lucky few that breastfeeding came easily for both them and their infant. Or the newborn difficulties are just far enough in their rear-view mirror for them to adequately remember their own struggles.
“Just ask a nurse at the hospital”. Most first-time mothers are surprised to learn that not the doctor, but their nurse is the one providing most of the care and support during labor. For most busy hospitals, the L&D nurses may not have time to help you latch your newborn.
“Make sure to see the lactation specialist right after delivery” This sounds perfect! It is a great decision to be seen by a specialist to ensure things are going well. Even if this is your intention, if you wait until your baby is born and the delivery is outside regular hours, there will not be a specialist on hand.

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As a lactation specialist, I’ve found these 3 tips to be the most beneficial for mothers as they begin their breastfeeding journey:
1) Take a prenatal breastfeeding class.
I would recommend planning to take a breastfeeding class in addition to a prenatal class. Make sure the course is taught by an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant). This credential ensures the professional is up-to-date on the latest research and interventions. I would recommend a refresher course whether it’s your fourth baby or first, as unforeseen problems can occur. A recent client sent me this message after delivering baby #3, “Wish I would have gone to one of your classes. I am STRUGGLING with breastfeeding.” I’d also recommend taking the class earlier rather than later in the pregnancy. I’ve had several clients put it off and then get too busy at the end or deliver 3 weeks early.

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2) Develop a support system. Make sure you have 2 people you can count on for support, encouragement, and questions. These people should know your preferences and goals with delivery and feeding so they can provide the best support possible. This is imperative not only for your feeding choice, but as a Mom in general. Ask these people up front if they can be there for you. It could be your Mom, sister, neighbor, best friend, lactation specialist, or someone you met in your prenatal classes.
3) Don’t panic!
Most moms are distraught and hopeless if their baby doesn’t latch on within 5 minutes and have milk spilling from their baby’s mouth. While I feel it is important to put your baby to breast within the first hour of life, if the first feed doesn’t go as you had hoped, don’t give up! Remember what you learned in your breastfeeding course, call a specialist, and draw strength from your support system.
Just as your pregnancy was a process, so is breastfeeding!



Thanks to Lindsey for all these awesome tips! After the jump you’ll find real life experiences from readers with nursing. None are easy or wrinkle-free but we found lots of great tips and things to consider and try when breastfeeding. All three of us nursed exclusively with our kids and we learned a ton!

*Lindsey Shipley, Registered Nurse, IBCLC, is a certified lactation specialist. Lindsey provides in-home lactation consulting services before and after baby is born. She also holds breastfeeding courses once a month in Highland, UT — sign up here! Follow her on instagram @lactationlink for course dates and info. Email


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best of bottle feeding

We’re so thrilled with the response to yesterday’s post! Largely, everyone was so respectful and we’re grateful to those who submitted and those who commented their stories. We will be covering nursing tomorrow, but before we do, we wanted to share the best aids and products from around the web for your bottle fed angel!

best of bottle feeding

1. Baby Brezza Formula Maker: Basically the coffee maker of formula. It makes bottles of your choice of ounces, mixes them bubble free, heats them to the ideal 98.6 degrees, detatches for easy cleaning, and works with all size bottles. Cool is an understatement!

2. Zoli Formula Dispenser: This is a great way to carry formula on the go. Pre-measured and sealed for freshness. Use it for snacks too when the bottle goes bye-bye!

3. Aden + Anais Burpy Bib: This doubles as a burp cloth and a bib! Perfect for feeding and burping sessions.

4. Comotomo Baby Bottle: We’ve shared this a bundle of times because it’s so cool! The base is flexible, the neck is wide and easiest to clean, and it’s recommended for babies who are breastfeeding and bottle feeding simultaneously since it mimics the breast best!

5. Munchkin 4 piece Cleaning Brush Set: This multi-size set is awesome for getting those pesky cracks and corners clean!

6. Boon Bottle Warmer: Bottle warmers are such a nice short cut for all bottle or pumped, and this one is sleek and countertop worthy!

7. OrganicKidz Newborn Stainless Steel Bottle Set: This set has so many awesome features, we’ll try to cover them all. Stainless steel – antibacterial and indesctrucible and thermal, keeps bottles warm for six hours! Air-vents – no bubbles. The lids are 2 oz measuring cups. The drying rack doesn’t allow mold. They convert to sippys and then water bottles so you can use them for literally ever.

8. Boon Grass Drying Rack: Every parent should have this one, best designed drying rack for sure.

9. Honest Company Dish Soap: Clean those bottles in a safe and chemical free way!

Anything we missed? Share below!

why i chose to bottle feed

Breast versus Bottle feeding is a long time hot topic that is sure to fire people up on both sides of the spectrum. One thing we noticed when researching for this post is how moms who decided to bottle feed largely felt and feel judged and looked down on not just occasionally but day in and day out. This is heartbreaking! Having a baby is a roller coaster of intense emotions and if this post can help spark even a little understanding and compassion in others, and allow parents to let go of some of that guilt, we will consider it a success.  As parents we’ve all had those moments when we’ve felt judged for our methods, and we all agree it’s a terrible way to feel. Wouldn’t rearing children be so much more joyful if we all had the space to do it the way our intuition and stewardship dictated? A healthy and happy baby takes on many forms, just as the route it takes to bring them to your family does. Here’s what we heard from our very own readers on why they chose bottle feeding over breast.

It is what it is. This is a phrase my mom started throwing around after she had brain surgery during my high school years. It’s become a mantra of our family. My husband and I struggled with infertility and had our little double blessings on our seventh round of IUI (shame on us–they are “unnatural”!?). I knew when we got pregnant that these boys were a gift to us–not much of our own doing. I knew that it would be a complicated pregnancy and delivery and that my visions of a calm, drug free, home birth and my reclaimed beach body were out the window. I vowed early on to just roll with it. I couldn’t control potential complications, I couldn’t control my stupid gestational diabetes, I couldn’t control my ankles swelling literally to the size of my husbands thighs, I couldn’t control my transverse trouble maker of a baby B, I couldn’t control any aspect of my C-section (which was great), I certainly couldn’t control the fact that my babies screamed incessantly for the first three months of their life. Surrendering all of this, trusting my spouse, myself, our ability to make informed decisions and, in our case, leaning into our faith might as well start now because this whole journey of parenting is a crazy uncontrollable ride. So here’s some of our dirty laundry: we never fed on demand, we bottle feed and I love it, our babies sleep with their “lovies” on their faces, we make our own baby food not cause we’re healthier than anyone, but because we can’t afford the store stuff, and sometimes my boys cry — a lot. And no, they aren’t hungry, and no, they don’t have a dirty diaper. There is a lot outside of our control, but there is more than one way to raise healthy, considerate, joy-filled and honorable little humans and while there is a lot that I don’t know, I do know for certain that they will never doubt the love we have for them — a love that is forged by much more than breastfeeding or co-sleeping or any other parenting approach or tool…” — Jessica



Find six more stories after the jump! Read more

babyganics [giveaway!]

It’s time for our third annual month of posts devoted to new mamas and those precious new babies! It couldn’t have come with better timing, as Jenna delivered her sweetest baby girl Lolly Kate just yesterday early, early morning(!!!) We are DYING for you to hear her amazing birth story, but in the meantime we wanted to kick off the month with an amazing giveaway!

We’ve been testing out Babyganics safe and organic products all year long and are loving so many items. Whether it’s their all natural sweet smelling detergent, or the all natural teething pods, flushable wipes, mineral sunscreen, or cold relief chest rub they are all safe for baby, effective and smell amazing! Babyganics

But, if there’s one thing baby needs most (besides milk and mama) it’s diapers. So Babyganics has so generously offered up six months of free diapers to one lucky winner! You can enter on behalf of a deserving family, or enter for yourself, but enter away!

See all their products here, and where you can buy both online and in store here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a new us

In January of this year my little family took a turn for the different which caused this year to be a bucket full of firsts. I’ve recently stumbled upon a couple quotes that interestingly seemed to define the last year for me perfectly. Both by M. Scott Peck. While reading The Road Less Traveled this one stopped me dead in my tracks:

Benjamin Franklin said, “Things that hurt, instruct.” Peck goes on to say “It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread, but actually to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems.” Now I’m not saying I am wise, and if this is the definition of wise, then most of us are not. Who welcomes problems with open arms?

End of 2014, Thoughts on divorce

However through 2014 I have seen problems come and go. Some much harder than others, and although I’m not happy to see them, I have found it easy to quickly see the blessings that have come to my family from each, taking them, learning from them and letting them go. I’ve seen people around me become stronger through these trials and hardships, and I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel for everyone involved. In a sense, it has taught me to embrace tribulation, because we have only come out better people.  The hardest part of these trials has been watching my little ones suffer. I have spent many hours on my knees praying for their happiness. I’ve been given strength to be strong for them, and that has helped them to stay positive, happy, innocent and full of love for life, even when that life got hard. This brings me to the second life changing quote, which says “If my parents are willing to suffer, then suffering must not be so bad, and I should be willing to suffer with myself.” Boy, did this hit me hard. Our family has most definitely suffered together this year. I have done my very best to be strong for the little ones, but they undoubtedly have seen and felt my pain. And felt very real pain themselves. I do feel, however, that pulling each other through and watching one another work through the hard times has made us quite the team. I have learned a lot of self-discipline through it all. I’ve learned the value of facing problems head on, really going through it, and the value of doing so when I see those problems and trials resolved successfully. Successfully hasn’t always meant that what we want to happen actually does. But it means that somehow we have bettered ourselves and the world around us through it.

I am wrapping up 2014 in gratitude for my family and all the people in my life. Every last one of them. Grateful for the joy and the pain and welcoming a new year and all it will bring, with big open arms and a kiss. Happy happy New Year everyone!