“Breastfeeding Outside the Box”

Alyssa Schnell and Hope Lien are providing information and community for adoptive breastfeeding, relactation, chestfeeding by trans dads, shared breastfeeding in two-mama families, and other less common nursing situations. I just listened to the three podcasts they have produced so far (as of January 2016). They were enjoyable to listen to and had stories of adoptive breastfeeding, relactation, and induced lactation. One of the hosts is the author of the book  Breastfeeding Without Birthing – a great source of information for non-birth parents that want to nurse their babies.


Mothers Milk Alliance

I wanted to do a shout out for our local, awesome, and maybe unique milk sharing organization. The Mothers Milk Alliance makes safe, affordable donor milk available to Madison-area families. 

Mothers’ Milk Alliance was born in 2007 from the meeting of two mothers: one with extra breastmilk and one with low milk supply. Both dilemmas are common and have occurred throughout time. 
One timeless solution has been milk sharing. Shared breastmilk can optimize infant health and nutrition, while profoundly strengthening social bonds and community resilience. But many mothers do not know another breastfeeding woman or do not feel comfortable asking for such intimate help. Moreover, mothers want basic assurance that milk from another woman is safe. Their healthcare practitioners want this too. 
Mothers’ Milk Alliance is an informed choice model of human milk sharing that facilitates donor lab testing, safety education and health screening, and accessibility to local infants up to 6 months of age. Donor milk is free.

If you’ve got extra milk to share, want to make a financial donation, or have a little one in need (note that they prioritize babies under 3 months), contact them. 

Additional note (February 2016): “Private Arrangement Milk Sharing (PAMS)” is the topic of this American Academy of Nursing position paper. It’s good reading if you’re thinking about milk sharing for yourself or anyone else.

Want to read more about lactation?

I realize not everyone is interested in all things science. But just in case you are, there are some great places to visit on the Internet if you want to learn about the science of lactation. These sites are written in (pretty much) non-academic language so that the information is accessible. Have fun reading!




Splash Milk Science Update


Postpartum depression – dads can have a rough time too

Having a new baby is exciting and really hard. Moms aren’t the only ones that might have the baby blues:

Yes, men do get postpartum depression. It’s a fact that most people – and even many health professionals – don’t know. As a result, most men with postpartum depression suffer in isolation. With PostpartumMen, these dads are no longer alone.

This postpartum men.com site has resources, including an online forum for dads that are feeling anxious, down, angry – any of those stressful feelings that come with depression.

Also, while I’m talking about the emotional stress of parenting a new baby, I should mention that Happy Bambino (where I have my drop-in breastfeeding clinic) has a new resource for parents as they look for healthy ways to get through the mental and emotional challenges of a growing family: happybambino.com/LunaCounseling.aspx

Breastfeeding education for doctors in training

I have the pleasure of spending time with first year residents from the family practice program in Madison. They join me at my Happy Bambino drop in clinic during a week of their newborn rotation. So this article from the Journal of Human Lactation caught my eye: Educating Pediatric Residents about Breastfeeding: Evaluation of 3 Time-Efficient Teaching Strategies

In the study pediatric residents were asked to either shadow an IBCLC for an hour, watch a 25 minute DVD, or observe a prenatal breastfeeding class. The authors concluded:

All 3 teaching methods were time-efficient and produced important gains in knowledge and confidence, with residents in the IBCLC group demonstrating greatest improvement in knowledge and a higher rating of their teaching method. Our study provides support for 3 methods of teaching residents breastfeeding management and demonstrates that IBCLCs are well-received as interprofessional educators.