We’re back with part 2 of my interview with Leisel Teen from Mommy Labor Nurse. She's an expert in the field of labor and delivery and we've had around many times before sharing her expertise in different areas but today she's not only sharing her expertise, she's also sharing her personal experience as she just had her second son not too long ago. Actually it was only two months before this interview took place. So if you missed part 1, go back and watch that one first and come back we'll be here waiting for you, there's just a lot of good stuff in that first part of the episode as well.
Today we're talking all about breastfeeding and pumping. She's going to share her honest reviews of some different pumps she's tried and tell us exactly what she liked and didn't like about each one. This has been something that you guys have asked about for a long time and so when she started reviewing them on Instagram, I was like can we talk about this at MomTalks so she's going to share all of her opinions and thoughts on those different pumps that she has tried so far. And finally, I had you guys reach out and send me your questions you had for Liesel and so we're going to end the episode with her answering all of your questions
Christa: Let's kind of jump into breastfeeding and pumping, I know you've shared a lot on your stories about it too. How it's a little bit different this time around and you've also done this cool thing in your stories where you're testing out new pumps and kind of sharing your feedback. What do you want to share about that and like your like different pumps that you found, like your favorite, I know audiences are in our Facebook group has always been asking about pumps and like; which one should I get? So what are your takes on this? I know it's a big question.
Liesel: I would say pumping, as a first time mom, if you're like first starting off pumping. It is a huge learning curve, like there's so many different kinds of pumps and there's a lot of different settings, and everybody kind of has different settings. And there's just a lot that you have to know. I just remember when I first started pumping with Walter, with my first one and a few months after that I felt like I knew so much more because just learn things as you go. You're googling stuff, you're reading stuff about pumping, and how to do this and how to do that. But now, the second time around, I’m like gosh! I feel like I know even more, it's like I still didn't know everything I needed to know that first time and I feel like I’m still learning stuff I’ll see something on a page and I’m like oh! I didn't know that about this flange size. You have to know this and what and this is important, this isn't important, so I do want to preface with that. If you're a first-time mom and you're first beginning with pumping, it can be very overwhelming at first because there's just so much to learn and just so many different types of pumps. If you get kind of an odd pump, there might not be great, not great reviews but there might not be reviews out there to read about it. If you get one of the more popular pumps like a Medela or a Spectra, they're a little bit easier to learn because they're more popular, there's more resources out there. I would definitely start off by saying that that it's a huge learning curve and it's okay! It's just you can't learn everything you need to know about pumping until you begin pumping yourself and you're actually in it. It's like you can't really learn stuff until you're like putting your hands on things and actually doing it. So far I have tested a Spectra, I’ve tested a Willow, I’m testing the Elvie right now. The willow and the Elvie are those wearable ones, they're like battery powered and they just stick in your bra. I’ve tested a Motif and so far my favorite one is the Motif. I will say that one. I feel like the suction is perfect for me and I feel like I get milk out the quickest out of all of them and the convenience is nice because it is battery powered. So that's definitely my favorite one, the Willow and the Elvie. So far, I like the Willow better than the Elvie. I’m using the Elvie right now and I’m not a huge fan. Spoiler alert! But I’m going to probably give them a bad review unless the next few days I really get the hang of it and I’m really like starting to really like it but the Willow I definitely prefer over the Elvie. If you go that route, a lot of people love Spectra and I have nothing really bad to say about the Spectra except the one that I have is not battery powered and it has to be plugged in, so that's a bummer because I do like the battery powered option. I do so far have to test a Medela, so I’m gonna test a Medela Pump In Style. I think I have a pumpkin style, a baby Buddha, and a bella baby. So the bella baby and the baby Buddha and I might even get more too because you guys send me requests all the time. You're like, can you review this one? There's so dang many of them. I’m happy to do as many as you guys want me to but the last two that baby Buddha and the bella baby I think I’m saying those right. They're like battery powered ones too but they're wearable so you can like clip them on your shirt and then they still hook up to flanges so you have to wear flanges. It's not like the Willow and the Elvie where you just stick them in your bra but they are wearable. So I’m interested to see how those work. So far, definitely my favorite one is the Motif, I will say that you can't go wrong with the Spectra though Spectre is great. I have a feeling I’m gonna like the Spectra a whole lot more. The Spectra and the Motif a whole lot more than the Medela because I did use the Medela a little bit. This is a different pump but I used the Medela a little bit with Walter, with my first one and I wasn't a huge fan at that point but I’m interested to try it again. But I will say on on a closing note with pumping, one of the most important things that I found this time around I didn't even realize the importance of it the first time is flange size and making sure that you have the right flanges. I’ve seen that all the time but I’ve always thought that I had the right flanges but it turns out I was using a too big of a size and when I actually went on, there's a little printable ruler that you can print off on your computer and fold it up and like measure your nipple. I actually did that and then I started, I saw, I was like, oh I’m actually this size instead of this size and I used smaller flanges. I got more milk out and it was more comfortable. So that is critical to make sure your flange side, I would say before you even start doing anything I wouldn't measure your nipples while you're pregnant because sometimes your nipples can change size but before you really start your pumping journey, measure those nipples and make sure you're educated about flange size and make sure what flange size you are because that can make a huge difference.
Christa: That's an awesome tip! I remember having a lactation consultant on here and she was talking about like that's like the number one thing we see when people show us their pump and it would be like the wrong size. It's crazy how that can really affect how much milk you're getting too. I’ll also put the links below to the pumps you're talking about as well and I’ll get like some different screenshots of the pumps so I know we got a couple of questions on Instagram, would you want to answer some of them? I know I just got a couple here. Jamie asks would you choose C-section for baby number two over the chance of another fourth degree tear?
Liesel: That's tough because I have had patients come in and have C-sections for that reason and wanted to completely avoid the possibility of having a fourth degree tear. I would say I can't obviously say yay or nay. It's going to depend on the situation and how your kind of feeling but I would first consult with your provider and also think about how your experience went the first time. Somebody typically when you have a fourth degree tear is the most you can tear when you have vaginal birth so it's typically the most extreme and the healing is the most extreme, it's hard road to recovery. So if you had a very difficult recovery and you are like I don't even want to think about going through that again, yeah, certainly maybe your best interest to plan a scheduled C-section but I’m not going to say that that's for something that everybody should do but I’ve had definitely have had patients come in and say I don't even want to go that route anymore I can't even think about recovering from possibly recovering from a fourth degree tear again and I think I might want to have a C-section
Christa: This person asks a three-week-old awake but happy when napping in crib. How do I get him to actually sleep there?
Liesel: First off, Liesel is not a sleep expert. I also have a baby who is not a fan of sleep. I have a SNOO which is a fancy bassinet and he loves his snoo. I’ve done a few crib naps with him and he does okay in his crib so far but he's not a huge fan. Liesel is not a sleep expert. I’m still trying to figure it out myself. I’ll give you the best tips that I use is pay attention to wake windows, so know that, so three-week old is probably not gonna stay awake for max 90 minutes at a time. Typically, they're around that hour mark though so once they wake up and typically baby will wake up. I like to follow the schedule of wake, eat, play, sleep, wake, eat, play, sleep because then they kind of know what to expect and that's kind of how we do our whole day. And I just kind of watch my child on when he starts to show me that he's getting tired and showing me sleepy cues and then timing it from knowing that his wake window is about 90 minutes, sometimes as long as two hours now. He's like two and a half months old and just knowing that okay, he woke up at 7:30 in the morning, he's probably gonna take his first nap around that nine o'clock mark, 9:30 mark. Once he's starting to show me kind of sleepy cues, I’m starting to get him down in the crib. I would give that advice even for a three week old. Learn about sleepy cues and what it actually looks like when a baby's starting to give you sleepy cues so their little eyebrows kind of really get red, their eyelids might kind of start to get red. As they're getting even more tired, they'll start to kind of rub their eyes, they'll start to kind of break eye contact with you, and then once they're really tired, they'll start to really cry and really really fuss and that's almost when people think to put them down for a nap because they're tired but you almost want to do it a little kind of before that. Because sometimes we get to the point where they're crying, crying, crying, crying, and you almost miss that wake window and they're over tired and then sometimes that does happen where they just will stay awake and they almost kind of start the cycle all over again. I would say pay attention to awake windows. I don't know exactly when you're trying you're saying that your baby's happy and he's just kind of playing in his crib so maybe you're almost putting baby down too early or maybe you're missing that wake window completely. I would say look up some stuff about wake windows and sleepy cues and educate about that and see if that might help a little bit.
Christa: How long can postpartum depression last? My son is seven months and I feel like I still have it.
Liesel: My advice on postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, any sort of mood disorders. If you feel like you have it, something's going on and you need to intervene and you need to talk to somebody about it. Whether or not it's true postpartum depression, it's probably something that you need I’m not saying that you need to everybody needs to start on medication for everything, maybe you just need a few therapy sessions, maybe it's just that you're overwhelmed with xyz, and you need to change this these factors in your life to get back on track but typically when I hear this from moms that they say my baby's kind of old. Am I still at risk for postpartum depression? I kind of feel like I might have it? Yes! Absolutely! First of all, it can hit at any point. I don't even know I mean I feel like sometimes with my three-and-a-half-year-old, I’m like what what's going on I haven't you're like it never goes away. Certainly seven months it can hit or you've had it for a long time you're just kind of starting to recognize it at seven months or eight months or 11 months or a year or a year and a half or whatever. Sometimes it does hit if you're breastfeeding and you're weaning. That can trigger some things and I’ve seen a lot of mom’s report that they have mood disorders, mood changes regarding stopping breastfeeding so maybe that's going on at this point and it's breastfeeding related, it's hormonal related. I would say that it definitely can be going on. Yes, that is valid and intervene. So the first step that I would say is talk to a provider about this. Talk to your provider first and then do you get your resources in check so if you have a therapist that you can talk to about some things, get an appointment with your therapist. If you don't have a therapist, search in your area, pretty much everything is virtual now so you can get I mean your therapist can live 3,000 miles away you can have it's not like you have to go anywhere you can just do virtual therapy. Get a therapist. I would say definitely a thing and if you feel like you have it or you feel like something's going on, then 99% of the time something, maybe not postpartum depression but something is going on and something needs to change.
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