Leaking Milk While Nursing + What to Do About It

Many expecting parents are worried about the logistics of feeding their baby. Will there be enough milk? Is it going to hurt? How will I know if baby is getting enough milk? The questions and concerns are never-ending, especially for first timers. It’s not very often that those planning to nurse are thinking about what to do if they have TOO MUCH milk! But, believe it or not, this is a very real issue for many lactating moms and I was one of them.

When my baby arrived I experienced the initial slow flow days of colostrum and then when my milk came in, boy did it come! Many moms deal with engorgement which is painful but relatively short-lived. My oversupply of milk didn’t slow down after a week or even a month. I was soaking entire towels on one side while my baby nursed on the other. Aside from being a laundry nightmare, soaking hand towels wasn’t very practical for going out in public.

Surprisingly, in all of my research while pregnant, I never came across information on what to do if you have too much milk or were a heaver leaker. I wish someone had told me about this when I was preparing to nurse a newborn so I wouldn’t have been so lost in those first weeks. Instead of baking and freezing “milk maker” cookies (to boost supply) while pregnant, I would have been researching must-haves for dealing with oversupply.

The product that was such a game changer for me was the Milkies Milk Saver by Fairhaven Health. The Milk Saver allows you to save breast milk that is pouring out of the non-nursing side while your baby eats. Using a breast pump is not a good idea when you have oversupply (even though it might feel good when you’re engorged) because it just stimulates your breasts to make more milk so these are also a great way to start a freezer stash for future occasions when you want baby to take a bottle. Without ever pumping, I managed to store around 6 ounces of milk each day just using the Milk Saver. The best part about this product was that it allowed me to feed my baby without soaking through numerous breast pads and my clothes in the process.

I loved the Milkies Milk Saver so much that I brought it every where with me and then with my most recent baby I discovered their Milk-Saver On-the-go travel milk saver which was much easier to manage in situations like being in a restaurant or nursing in the car etc.

I’ve since been introduced to all of the Milkies line from Fairhaven health and also highly recommend their Milk Saver trays for storing 1 ounce frozen sticks of milk that make preparing the perfect amount of milk in a bottle so much easier. They also make milk storage bags, an organizer for your freezer and other products that support lactation like balm, pads, teas and supplements! Milkies is generously offering 15% off all Milkies products with the code BirthHour15 at www.fairhavenhealth.com.

milkies milk saver

Fairhaven Health is a sponsor of The Birth Hour. As always, all opinions and recommendations are our own.

The Birth Hour’s Know Your Options Childbirth Online Course!

Comprehensive & Evidence-Based Childbirth Course from The Birth Hour

I’m so excited to announce The Birth Hour’s signature online childbirth course. Know Your Options is THE most comprehensive online childbirth course in existence! In this course, we will take you from the final weeks of pregnancy through postpartum and newborn care covering all of the evidence-based information for all types of birth, no matter what you are planning!

If you are worried about navigating today’s birth system have maybe had a bad birth experience where your power was taken away from you in the past, we want to help!

But, despite doing your research, you’re still feeling overwhelmed and unprepared and that’s OK. We have totally been there too. There is still time to prepare and we are confident that we can help you achieve an empowering birth. This is our expertise and passion!

IMAGINE WHAT YOUR BIRTH WOULD LOOK LIKE IF…

  1. You didn’t have to choose between an unmedicated birth and a hospital birth.
  2. You’re informed in every single decision you and your partner make.
    You feel empowered to speak up when it comes to how you labor and birth your baby.

Because THAT is exactly what this course will do: It gives you options so you can choose where and how to give birth based on all of the most up-to-date evidence based information available coupled with learning to trust your instincts and make decisions based on what is right for YOU.

online childbirth class

What exactly do we cover? 12 Incredible Evidence-Based Modules + Bi-Weekly Zoom Calls

Module 1: Pre-Labor

  • Intro to decision-making & advocacy in birth.
  • What is evidence-based care, intro into increasing your odds of getting family centered care.
  • Last Weeks of Pregnancy.
  • Cervical exams: what they are, what they do/don’t tell us, when they are useful and when they are not.
  • How to tell the difference between labor and false alarms.

Module 2: Planned Cesarean

  • Gentle or Family Centered Cesarean. What is it?
  • Questions to ask your doctor to make sure you’re on the same page (includes free download).
  • Video of Gentle Cesarean.

Module 3: Early Labor

  • Overview of labor, divided into stages and phases. Normal variations of length of each stage.
  • Early Labor Coping Strategies.
  • Spontaneous labor: When to call your provider

Module 4: Induction

  • Why might your labor be induced?
  • How is labor induced?
  • What are some risks of induction, and how can you improve your odds of your induction ending in a vaginal birth?
  • Risks of induction/cascade of intervention.

Module 5: Active Labor
​​​​​​online childbirth course

  • How can you cope with active labor?
  • When should you leave for your birth location (or ask the midwife to come)?
  • What should you pack, whom should you invite to be there, and how will you make your wishes known in labor?
  • Typical interventions upon arrival at birth location.
  • ​​Coping strategies.

Module 6: Transition

  • How will you cope with the most intense phase of labor?
  • What pain medication options do you have?
  • Why might you need a cesarean during labor, and how can you reduce your risk of needing one?

Module 7: Pushing

  • How can you reduce your risk of tearing?
  • What breathing techniques and positioning are helpful in pushing?
  • What happens if your baby needs help getting out?
  • How can you best advocate for your preferences during labor?

Module 8: Baby’s First Day

  • What interventions might be offered to your baby in the first hours of life?
  • Immediate newborn procedures.
  • Hep B & Circumcision.
  • What is going on with the birthing person before and after the birth of the placenta?
  • How can you get off to the best start with nursing?

online childbirth education

Module 9: Postpartum Recovery

  • What are the signs that a parent may be experiencing mood & anxiety disorders?
  • What are the essentials to have on hand for recovery after birth?
    How can you plan ahead and make those first few weeks after birth easier on yourself?
  • Giving yourself time to heal and knowing when to call for help.

Module 10: Establishing Nursing

  • How to establish a robust milk supply.
  • Positioning and latching theory.
  • What tips and tricks can you try to make nursing as comfortable as possible?
  • What signs can you look for to know when things are going well or when you need to call for help?

Module 11: Bottle Feeding

  • What if nursing doesn’t work, or you don’t want to do it at all?
  • Choosing a formula and Safe formula preparation.
  • What is the best way to bottle feed?
  • How do you choose which bottles to use?
  • How and how much to feed.
  • What is paced bottle feeding?

Module 12: Newborn Care Basics

  • Why might your baby cry, and how can you calm them?
  • How do you decide where your baby will sleep?
  • How do you get your baby to sleep?!?
  • Newborn hygiene: diapering, bathing, dressing, nail trimming, snot sucking, etc.

PLUS Bigger-than-a-Bonus: Beyond the Latch: pumping, bottle feeding, going back to paid work + keeping your baby fed

pumped milk
Then, we’ve got you covered when you’re going back to work with an additional six module Beyond the Latch Course that you will get completely free as part of enrollment in the Know Your Options Childbirth Course!

This is an additional 6 Module Course designed to take the guesswork, worry, and stress out of maintaining your nursing relationship with your baby when you return to paid work.

We will help you:

  • Identify specific strategies for pumping, storing, thawing, and feeding human milk.
  • Troubleshoot ways to boost milk production.
  • Guide you in making plans with your employer, your baby’s caregiver, and your family.
  • Get organized with sample schedules and checklists.

Lifetime Access + MORE Bonuses!

Oh, and you get lifetime access to everything! I’ve actually already had a few mamas who are still in the trying to conceive phase sign up because they wanted to be sure to get in on the course while they can!

Course Workbook

You’ll also get a thirty page Course Planner and Note-Taking Guide that you can print out to keep you and your partner on track throughout the course. All of the key takeaways from each lesson are included with space to jot down any questions you have along the way and make note of any essential info you want to remember down the road!

Bonus Downloads

More than a dozen bonus downloads to help save you time along the way and get organized before going into labor—with everything from a hospital bag checklist to printouts for your fridge of who/when to call when in labor! After baby arrives, you’ll have even more invaluable bonuses as you prepare to soak up the 4th trimester with your new baby.

Go Here For All The Details and Sign Up Today!

*Close Captions are provided for each module

Finally a Non-Alcoholic Wine You Can Actually Enjoy During Pregnancy

You’ve found out you’re pregnant and after the initial excitement (and sometimes shock!) wears off you start to wonder about all of the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of pregnancy. Some of those ‘don’ts’ like soft cheese, lunch meat, and caffeine may have you a little perplexed but one thing that most people know for sure is that you have to be very careful about alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

While giving up alcohol for nine months is a small price to pay to ensure a healthy start for your baby, it can be hard when you’re used to enjoying a glass of wine at the end of a long day or to mark a special occasion with friends.

We’ve tried quite a few non-alcoholic imitations here at The Birth Hour but have never felt confident recommending them because well, they just didn’t taste very good. This is where Surely comes in. Surely non-alcoholic wines actually taste like wine and they are delicious! Surely is made from natural ingredients and is low sugar and low calorie (30-45 calories per glass) which may be important to anyone who needs to monitor their blood glucose levels during pregnancy as well. Surely wines are also gluten-free and vegan friendly if those are important to you.

But the most standout feature of Surely is just how good it is and how much it tastes like real wine! It tastes like real wine because it is! Rather than bottle a poor wine imitation, Surely partnered with the finest winemakers in Northern California to make wine. Then, they use a dealcoholization process that removes the alcohol.

surely-non-alcoholic-wine

Surely spent nearly a year working with the best craft winemakers in California to make non-alcoholic wine that tastes amazing. They source grapes from premium California regions and carefully remove the alcohol to retain the natural aroma and flavor of the wine.

In addition to enjoying a glass of wine on the couch with your feet up at the end of the day, we especially love this option for special celebrations during your pregnancy. It would be so fun to have an assortment of Surely wines at your baby shower or take a bottle of sparkling rose on your babymoon to celebrate!

surely-non-alcoholic-wine-options

Birth Hour readers get 20% off + free shipping on all Surely products. Hurry, this is a limited-time deal that ends in 48 hours! Use code BIRTHHOUR at checkout to get your discount.

If you’re still skeptical, Surely offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all orders. If you don’t love it, they’ll refund you no questions asked. We can’t wait for you to try Surely wines and let us know what you think! Cheers!

Hospital Induction, Miscarriage, and Empowering Birth Center Water Birth

Kelly shares her birth stories in episodes 639 and 640. Kelly’s birth journey began with her first pregnancy, which despite the long bout of nausea, was smooth and low-risk. She had a hospital induction at 40+3, and delivered her daughter after 36 exhausting hours of labor with the aid of an epidural.

A few years later and after a miscarriage at 8 weeks, she got pregnant with her second daughter. Though this pregnancy, like her first, was relatively smooth and low-risk, it was anxiety-inducing after her recent loss. However, after a lot of prayer, she felt at peace and eventual excitement for the new baby.

After the birth experience with her first daughter, which was long and not particularly empowering, Kelly knew she wanted something different this time around. After researching and listening to various birth stories, she decided she wanted a birth center birth. Her second daughter came as a result of spontaneous labor with her water breaking at 40+3. After laboring for 13 hours, though only 3 hours were active labor, Kelly got the water birth she’d dreamed of, and the empowering birth experience she’d wanted this second birth to be.

sibling at birth center

Postpartum Story

Kelly came back on the podcast to share her postpartum journey in episode 671 and had some great tips for listeners on how to incorporate your partner and the big sibling in bonding with a new baby.

Kelly’s baby’s eye shortly after birth. It ended up being a clogged tear duct.
Big sister “diaper bag” full of supplies for the baby!

Kelly Batchelder Bio

Kelly is 37 and lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband Steven of 11 years and their two daughters, Estella (age 4) and Pearl (1 month). She teaches English at Kennesaw State University for her professional gig, and teaches group fitness at a local gym for her personal gig. While both of those jobs bring her joy, the most fulfilling parts of her life are being a wife and mother. You can connect with Kelly via Instagram @kellybatchelder

Resources

Ergobaby

Today’s episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet. Check out Ergobaby’s Embrace in Soft Air Mesh that we discussed on the podcast!

Who’s Who on the Labor and Delivery Crew

Guest post written by Maria Sorrentino-Magnuson, BSN, RN (Labor and Delivery) – Clinical Lead at Wumblekin

There’s a lot to learn during a first pregnancy – and even in the second, third, fourth and so on with the rapid evolution of culture and technology. Here at Wumblekin, we are firm believers in the importance of education, but realize the seemingly endless stream of information (and ~helpful~ tips from everyone you meet) can feel a bit overwhelming. That’s why we recommend building your care team as early on as possible; medical professionals who can give you individualized care and guidance from first trimester through the fourth.

Who all is on/or can be part of a care team? Here’s a mini-breakdown of titles and roles:

OB/GYN Doctor  

OB/GYN is a little bit like a square and a rectangle. An OB (obstetrician) is always a GYN (gynecologist), but not all GYNs are OBs. An obstetrician is a physician who specializes in labor, delivery, and postpartum care. A gynecologist is a physician who treats the female reproductive systems including STIs, menstruation, and fertility.

Education/Credentials:  Medical school; four years of residency in obstetrics and gynecology; board certification

Family Practice Doctor/Primary Care Physicians  

A Family Practice or Primary Care Doctor provides general care for any person at any age – everything from rashes and sore throats to heart conditions – and refer out to specialists when indicated. Some Family Practice Doctors even deliver babies; they attend vaginal deliveries and call in an OB/GYN physician partner if a cesarean is necessary. Some are trained to use forceps or vacuums but many are not. If you’re planning to use a Family Practice Doctor for your delivery, it’s important to ask who they consult with if a labor turns high risk. 

Education/Credentials:  Medical school; three years residency in general medicine

Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist/Perinatologists  

These specialists are trained to care for complex medical problems or complications in pregnancy, labor, or birth. If your medical history puts you in the realm of high-risk, this is the doctor you’ll want to have on hand.

Education/Credentials:  Medical school; four years of OB/GYN residency; three years of a MFM fellowship

Anesthesiologist  

Most of us are fairly familiar with anesthesiologists – they’re the doctors who put you to sleep when you got your wisdom teeth out and made sure you didn’t feel a thing when it came time to part ways with your tonsils. In textbook terms, anesthetics are medications that block sensation (pain) or awareness. During labor & delivery, anesthesiologists provide epidural pain relief and help ensure the safety of mom and baby during cesareans or other surgeries.

Education/Credentials:  Medical school; four years of residency; board certification

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist/CRNA  

Instead of an anesthesiologist, you may have a nurse anesthetist to subdue any pain sensations. CRNAs are advanced practice RNs who are licensed to administer anesthesia. They can also treat and monitor surgical patients.

Education/Credentials:  Minimum of a Master’s degree; extensive clinical training; board certification

Resident Doctor  

If you are delivering at a teaching hospital you might find yourself in the care of Resident Doctors. These are doctors in the midst of their required years of – you guessed it – residency. First year residents are often called interns (see: Grey’s Anatomy). They diagnose and treat patients under the supervision of an attending physician and their level of independence and responsibility increases with time.

Education/Credentials:  Medical school; in progress, residency

Medical Students  

Medical Students are still completing their medical school requirements. They’re often in a more observational role.  Typically, they use this time to practice interview and patient assessment skills.    

Education/Credentials:  In progress, medical school

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)  

Not all midwives carry the same title – it varies based on education and credentials. Nurse Midwives have the most rigorous requirements (see below.) They primarily train and practice in hospital settings and partner with OB/GYNs for high-risk or C-section pregnancies. As specialized nurse practitioners, CNMs not only care for women during labor & delivery, they often see and treat patients from puberty through menopause.

Education/Credentials: Master’s degree; board certification

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)  

Sometimes referred to as “direct-entry midwives”, Professional Midwives are only trained in out-of-hospital births. No college degree is required, but they must complete an apprenticeship to gain their credentials through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). CPMs are not legally recognized in all 50 states, so be sure to check your local legislation before finalizing your decision.

Education/Credentials: Apprenticeship (usually two years); NARM certification

Registered Nurse/RN  

Your nurse is likely to be the one you write about in your child’s baby book. The most hands-on part of the labor team, they are right by your side the whole time assessing and caring for both mom and baby, reporting any abnormal findings to the midwife or doctor – and occasionally performing the delivery if the doctor doesn’t make it on time. (Nurses are rock stars.)

Education/Credentials:  Two or four-year undergraduate degree; state license

Labor Doula/Birth Coach 

Derived from Ancient Greek, Doula translates as “someone who serves”. There to provide emotional and physical support and mitigate non-medical pain, Doula’s services range widely from one individual to the next, but include everything from warm baths, massage, and words of encouragement to placenta encapsulation, lactation support, and even birth photography – though their role stops short of clinical care.

Education/Credentials: No legal training requirement, most complete certification programs

Lactation Counselor and Lactation Consultants (IBCLC)  

Breastfeeding is hard – if you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times (and you’ll probably find yourself saying it a million times more.) Lactation Counselors and Consultants can make it a whole lot easier providing support in the areas of latch, pumping, and supply. A Lactation Counselor, the highest breastfeeding credential, can also assist in more complicated challenges like NICU admission, oral/motor dysfunction, breast abscess, mastitis, and more.

Education/Credentials – Consultants: 45-hour training course/certification

Education/Credentials – Counselors: Bachelor’s degree; 1000 field hours; 90 lactation-specific continuing education hours; board certification

An attentive care team personalized to your unique needs and wants makes a world of difference for both you and your baby. If you’re looking for guidance in establishing your own, follow us on Instagram @wumblekin and submit your questions to our weekly “Ask An L&D Nurse Anything” hosted by our team of Wumblekin Experts.  

Wumblekin

ABOUT WUMBLEKIN

Wumblekin is a curated pregnancy, birth and postpartum box company that demystifies pregnancy with evidence-based education and expert-curated products for mom and baby. Pregnant women are busy and there’s lots of noise out there. We want to help women who feel overwhelmed with pregnancy, labor and birth go from panicked to prepared. Learn more at Wumblekin.com.

What it Means to Count Baby’s Kicks

This is a guest post from Grace Greene, Count the Kicks Mississippi Ambassador, who also shared her experience in episode 512 of The Birth Hour.

My son is what Count the Kicks calls a “baby save.” He was born safely after I paid attention to his movement, noticed when something was off, and spoke up to my provider.  His birth, and what I have learned about fetal movement since then, have propelled me to become an ambassador for Count the Kicks in my home state of Mississippi. The information about why it’s important to use kick counting to monitor your baby’s well-being is too important not to spread widely to expectant parents!

What is Counting Kicks?

Count the Kicks is an evidence-based stillbirth prevention program that was started in Iowa in the early 2000s by five mothers who each walked through the heartache of losing a daughter to stillbirth or infant death. Bound together by their collective grief, they started Count the Kicks when they learned about public health research that showed a 30 percent reduction in stillbirth by teaching pregnant women how to monitor fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy. These mothers agreed that their work would be worth the effort if even one baby could be saved, but they have greatly surpassed that mark with their simple and effective campaign. Since Count the Kicks began in Iowa in 2008, their state stillbirth rate has been reduced by nearly 32% while the national stillbirth rate has remained relatively stagnant.

Stillbirth-comparison-Updated

Stillbirth and stillbirth prevention are not often talked about, even though a family is 10 times more likely to lose a baby to stillbirth than to SIDS. According to the CDC, 23,500 babies are born still in the U.S. every year. This is one in every 167 pregnancies. Racial disparities exist as well, with stillbirth occurring in one in every 94 pregnancies for Black moms, one in every 191 pregnancies for Hispanic moms, and one in every 204 pregnancies for white moms. Count the Kicks is committed to removing these racial disparities in stillbirth by working to make sure their important information about kick counting reaches all moms across the country.  

How to Count Baby’s Kicks?

So how does the program work? At 28 weeks (26 weeks if high-risk), all moms should download the FREE Count the Kicks app (it’s available in 12 languages on Apple and Android) or use their printable paper chart and start counting their baby’s kicks daily. Pick a time of day when the baby is normally active and time how long it takes to get to 10 movements. After a week or so, you will see a pattern of how long it takes your baby to get to 10 movements. By knowing what is normal for YOUR baby, you can quickly notice when something is off and contact your care provider to check in on your baby. I remember thinking often in previous pregnancies that I wish I could know if all was well with my baby. Thanks to the Count the Kicks campaign, moms can easily check in on their baby and will be able to quickly notice if something is off.

All expectant parents should count their baby’s kicks beginning in the third trimester. In addition to being easy, low cost, non-invasive, and a great way to bond with your baby, many moms report feeling less anxious, as they are reassured when they monitor their baby. Most importantly, it can save babies. Count the Kicks has more than 60 baby save stories on their website from moms who wrote in to share how Count the Kicks helped save their baby.

Misconceptions about Fetal Movement in Pregnancy

Some common misconceptions about fetal movement show why it’s important to track movement daily. The first misconception is that babies move less as they get closer to their due date. This is false! Babies might move differently, and moms might feel less sharp kicking and more rolling, but they will not move less as the pregnancy progresses. If you are monitoring movement at the same time each day, it should take about the same time to get to 10 movements. Babies will continue to move up to and during labor and birth and won’t run out of room the bigger they get.

count the kicks

The second misconception is that it’s not really necessary to count movements if a baby is always active. The truth is that even active babies can experience distress, sometimes quickly and without other warning signs. Tracking fetal movement daily will remove any guesswork from wondering if your normally active baby has slowed down.

The third misconception is that if you can hear a baby’s heartbeat on a home doppler, you don’t need to worry about tracking movement. This is false because a change in the baby’s heart rate is one of the last things to occur when a baby is in distress, whereas decreased movement is an early warning sign and can alert you to a problem much sooner. 

The last misconception (and information that you will find if you google fetal movement) is that a mom should feel at least 10 kicks in two hours. This common misconception is based on outdated information about fetal movement. The latest research shows that a mom should be focusing on fetal movement in general and understanding their baby’s pattern, which you will understand by using the Count the Kicks app regularly. Every baby is different, and once you know what is normal for your baby, that is the metric you should follow for determining if something is off.

Counting Baby’s Kicks & COVID-19

During this time of COVID-19 when we are all united and working towards not unnecessarily burdening our health care system, Count the Kicks is a solution to take some of the pressure off. Through the early warning system of counting kicks, there is a community of moms who are in tune with their bodies and their babies and can let providers know when something feels off. Some parents are worried about going to the hospital or contacting their care provider during COVID-19, however all expectant parents should know that it is important to speak up and check on your baby if you feel something is off. Even in a pandemic, don’t don’t delay if you are concerned about your baby.

Count the Kicks has the incredible goal of saving 7,500 babies a year in the U.S. If the rest of the country could experience a 32% decrease in stillbirths as Iowa has done in the first 10 years of the campaign, this goal would be reached. The truth about stillbirth is that there can be warning signs if moms know what to look for. When armed with this information, moms can feel confident to identify when a baby is moving normally and will be empowered to speak up for their baby if something is off. I am eternally grateful that I knew to call my provider when I noticed a decrease in fetal movement and that my concerns were taken seriously. My son truly was in distress and by acting quickly on his behalf, he was born safe and healthy.

count-the-kicks-founders

Learn More about Counting Baby’s Kicks & Download Count the Kicks App

Want to learn more? Count the Kicks has an academy for expectant parents on their website that is full of additional information about fetal movement, including videos with more information from providers and moms who have used Count the Kicks during a pregnancy. For providers they have a continuing education course, a provider academy with the latest research on stillbirth and fetal movement, information on how to implement the program in your practice, and the ability to order materials for patients.

I would encourage you to first download the app and start counting if you are pregnant, then follow Count the Kicks on all social media channels to learn more about their campaign, tell your expectant friends to download the app and start counting, and let your provider know about this important program if they have not yet implemented it in their practice. 

Knowledge is power, and I hope you feel reassured and confident about your ability to monitor your baby’s movement during pregnancy and speak up if something is off.

This was a guest post from Grace Greene, Count the Kicks Mississippi Ambassador, who also shared her experience in episode 512 of The Birth Hour.