Pain Free Birth Podcast Episode 24: “You Don’t Have Low Milk Supply, You Have A Bad Latch” Essential Steps To Breastfeeding Success & Dyad Hot Takes with Trisha Ludwig, CNM IBCLC

Trisha, an amazing woman who has extensive knowledge, experience, and expertise with being a nurse midwife and IBCLC joins Karen on the podcast today! After virtually meeting on the Down To Birth podcast that Trisha co-hosts, Karen was eager to dive deeper into the conversation around breastfeeding and problems that can arise with each dyad. Trisha shares her unintentional, unattended birth as well as dives into the specifics of the difference between IBCLC’s and LC’s, her education & experience, as well as a lot of the problems and easy fixes that can be made to solve current problems like painful latches, low-milk supply, and even postpartum anxiety and depression! Join us as we uncover all these dyad hot takes!


Trisha Ludwig is a Yale educated Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She has experience as a homebirth midwife, is a holistic women’s gynecologic health practitioner, and has fifteen plus years working as an IBCLC (and works privately providing both in-person and virtual appointments anywhere in the world). She is also a podcaster and the co-host of the globally known birth podcast Down to Birth Show. She is a mother of three children all birthed at home.

Instagram: @trishaoludwig

Podcast Instagram: @downtobirthshow 

KAREN: Welcome back, friends. Today, I am interviewing Tricia Ludwig.

She is a Yale educated certified nurse midwife and an IBCLC. She has experience as a home birth midwife and is a holistic women’s gynecological health practitioner and has 15 plus years working as an IBCLC, both privately and in person, with virtual appointments everywhere around the world. She’s a podcaster and co host of the well known podcast, the down to birth show, which is one of my favorite birth podcasts.

And she’s also a mother of three children birthed at home. Welcome Tricia.

TRISHA: Thank you. I’m very happy to be here. So you were on our podcast on the down to birth show a while back, episode number 208. And that was wonderful to meet you there and I’m a big fan of your work, so I’m very honored to be here.

Thank you.

KAREN: Oh, yeah, that was a really fun episode to do with you guys. And so today, Trisha is going to actually be talking about breastfeeding, which is a topic we’ve not covered in depth on on this podcast, and it is such an important topic. And so I’m really excited to have your expertise here as someone who is just an expert in breastfeeding and in supporting and serving women in that postpartum period.

And even as a midwife as someone who truly understands physiological birth, because there’s, they go so hand in hand. And you also have a really cool birth story with your third, where it was unintentionally unassisted. And I’m like, I am dying to know about that. Will you share that before we get into the first meeting?

I have to know the birth story. You know me. Yeah, yeah. birth.

TRISHA: So sometimes people are like unintentionally unassisted. What does that mean? And what it means is I wasn’t planning on having my birth. Alone. I had all three of my children at home with certified nurse midwives. I was working in a midwifery practice and the midwives who I was working with were my midwives which was wonderful.

And my third birth, it just happened to be. Extremely fast. I wasn’t expecting it. My first birth was very long, 36 plus hours. My second birth was quite a bit faster at like three hours, but I didn’t have any idea that a third birth would be even Faster than that. And it just was, and I called midwife and I, it was, you know, two o’clock in the morning.

And of course you don’t want to wake anybody up unless you’re sure that it’s really time for them to come. And she was about 45, 50 minutes away. And I was just like, I’m going to just giving you the heads up that I think labor is starting. I’ve just had like a few contractions, but you know, I’m going to get things set up.

And 15 minutes later, I was. Full on, unable to speak, unable to communicate and I was kind of, the only person I was talking to was my husband and I was just saying, fill the birth tub, fill the birth tub, fill the birth tub. I need to get in the birth tub. And he started to fill the birth tub and things just it was kind of like a freight train.

Hitting me like, I’ve heard of that described

KAREN: that way with precipitous labors.

TRISHA: Yeah. You just, you can’t be anywhere, but in your body in that moment. And it’s really overwhelming. And I, I think I got about halfway into the birth tub. We got a little bit full. I was able to get the water up to about my belly and my mom was in the house and my children were in the house.

And I was hoping that my children would be there and I wanted my mom to be there. So I sent my husband out of the room, down the hall, small house. To go get my mom. And as he was coming back into the room, she hadn’t even gotten up yet. He had just woken her up as he was walking back into the room. I was receiving the baby.

And I remember the moment of like, nobody was in the room with me. I was all alone. It was 4 30 in the morning at this point. And I just have this thought, like whatever happens, It’s on you. Like, there’s nobody here to help you. You know what to do. You’ve done this before. You can do it. Just feel your baby coming.

Everything’s fine. And I, you know, I felt his head come out and my husband walked right in at the time and I was like, grab the camera. So we did actually get the last moments of his birth on video, which I cherish. We’ll have to link that. Yeah. I do. I do. I have like a one minute video of it. And Yeah, I just, I felt his head coming and and then his body came very quickly after that.

And I looked down at him and he was all wrapped up in his cord around the shoulder, around the neck. Wow. And I unraveled him and I kind of fumbled and spilled him into the water a little bit. He was fine. And I got the cord off him and I know what

KAREN: position were you in like hands and knees in the tub. I was

TRISHA: kneeling.

Kneeling. It was kneeling. Yep. Wow. And that always, that position always worked really well for me. And yeah, like I said, I wasn’t really fully immersed because we never got time to fill the tub all the way. He

KAREN: got a little mini bath.

TRISHA: He was born into the water. He wasn’t in it for long. And yeah. It was just a, it was just a beautiful moment and he was born perfectly well.

I kind of held him up to my chest and I just remember looking down at him and he wasn’t, I wasn’t sure quite yet if he was breathing. So I just put my face up against his, and then I felt that he like take his first breath and he reached his hand up and he touched my face. Yeah, it was the sweetest thing and it’s on video.

KAREN: Are you serious? Yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh. That’s great. And then picture perfect.

TRISHA: It was, it totally was. And I was just, I was, Totally in awe and I didn’t know if I was having a girl or a boy and I was really, really, really, really hoping for a boy and I just remember looking down and be like, Oh my God, it’s a boy.

And my mom walked in the room, right, as I said that, and she, you know, of course was overwhelmed with joy and the midwife, the second midwife made it. About 30 minutes after he was born and she just helped me with the birth of the placenta. I think I, I think I broke the placenta in the tub. I don’t even really remember.

And then I just, you know, climbed into my bed and the sun was coming up and that was that. And there I stayed for the next two weeks. As you should

KAREN: spoken like a true IBCLC. That’s what we’re talking about today. That’s exactly,

TRISHA: that’s exactly right. And that’s a big principle of making breastfeeding work is to set yourself up for success by giving yourself that space to rest and recover.

So I’m a huge proponent of that. I actually did not do that very well with my first two. My first was born like before Thanksgiving and I was literally baking pies. For Thanksgiving, and she was four days old. So it was up and out of the bed in the kitchen and being ridiculous. And my second, we had this crazy situation where we had to move, and she was only 10 days old.

And I don’t know why we always

KAREN: somehow time major life transitions with childbirth. Like, it’s, it’s not a good idea. And yet it happens like, far more often than it should, I feel like statistically, like somehow, there’s always. a giant move or like a job change or a holiday or something like that. And right in line with with birth when what we need is just to have that cocooning time.

I love what you said, though. I just want to go back to it. You just in that quick story of feel your feel your baby. You know what to do. Like you’ve done this. That’s just Like what a beautiful phrase to put you in the present moment when fear will try to take you into your head.

TRISHA: And that’s, that is exactly where I was.

I remember the fear kind of creeping in and being like, Oh my God, you’re alone. What if something happens? What if he gets stuck? What are you going to do? And then I just, I felt his head and I was like, he’s coming. It’s okay. He’s just, he’s coming. It’s all fine. It’s okay. And then the next push was just out and it was all okay.

KAREN: Yeah. And you unwrap the cord. It’s no emergency. I’ve heard another midwife say that she’s never worried when babies come fast. That’s right. You never get, you never get worried when they come fast. It’s the ones that take a long, long time that she tends to worry about. And I thought, Oh, that makes sense.

TRISHA: Yeah. The only part, the only problem sometimes when they come really fast is they can be a little slow to take that first breath.

KAREN: Yeah. Cause if they didn’t get that, pressure. Yeah. It just all, it’s

TRISHA: like a little overwhelming. So, you know, that was when I noticed you, when I kind of looked down, I was like, is he actually breathing?

I’m not sure. And I just did that little, you know, cheek on his face and a little breath in his face. And then he

KAREN: reached up his arm

TRISHA: and I knew he reached up his arm. He’s fine.

KAREN: Wow. I love that. Yeah. Cause that’s what, that’s what activates that shift. That physiological shift in a baby is feeling that air, that breath or that air on their face.

So I love that you, breathed on his face. Was that intuitive or did you know that consciously?

TRISHA: I mean, you know, I’ve taken neonatal resuscitation, so it was in my head, but I think it was in that moment more intuitive. But yeah, you seen moms do that. I’ve seen moms naturally do that. Wow. And That’s a

KAREN: beautiful, gentle way to do something before the resuscitation, you know, or the actually giving assistance breaths.

TRISHA: I always tell moms, if I’m at a birth and I’m worried that the baby is a little slow to transition to just put their mouth over theirs and gently give them their first breath because it’s, they need that little bit of positive pressure into the lungs sometimes. I mean, that’s exactly what you’re doing when you’re resuscitating them is you’re using positive pressure through a, like a handheld ventilator.

You can use your mouth just the same.

KAREN: Yeah, but I love that even before the mouth, you can just breathe on their face. Yeah, I didn’t, I didn’t have to do that. I just, yeah,

TRISHA: close to his face. So beautiful in his face.

KAREN: Yeah. And these are some of the physiological signs. I think midwives are so beautiful at understanding.

And most people don’t know that like, You know, if baby is having a hard time transitioning or in home birth settings, you know, midwives know how to handle all of these, quote unquote, emergencies, you know, that, or, or complications that may arise, and some of them may not be complications, or just maybe baby needed a little assistance, and there’s so many tools That you guys come with that, that make it safe, you know, and, and help that baby.

So that what a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah.

TRISHA: No problem. Oh my goodness. So

KAREN: tell us about breastfeeding. How did you get into breastfeeding, you know, as something you chose to pursue?

TRISHA: So I worked as a home birth midwife for a number of years, and I loved, I loved that work. I knew I was never going to be a hospital based midwife.

I did my hospital training at Yale in New Haven, and I knew I wasn’t going to be a good fit there. So I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work as a home birth midwife because my professor was A home birth midwife at Yale. And she was like, well, you’re going to come work for me when you graduate.

And so, yeah. Wow. I’m

KAREN: impressed. They had a home birth midwife teaching at Yale.

TRISHA: As yes, Yale does have that. And that’s a great asset of that program is that they do incorporate home birth education and even some clinical training into the nurse midwifery program. So yeah, that’s wonderful. So I did that for a few years and I had Two more children.

And the lifestyle was a little tough. And so I was always really fascinated with breastfeeding, like an extension of birth. It’s like the next step. And I felt that it was a really underserved area. And I, so I decided I wanted to become an IBCLC and I was very lucky to train with one of the most renowned pediatrician, IBCLCs in the country, Dr.

Christina Smiley. She was right here in Connecticut where I live. And at the time she needed some help. And so I got to work with her and train with her for a few years. And it just was a better fit for me at that time, just because I could schedule my life a little bit better with three kids and that kind of work.

And I loved it. I just loved it. I love to be with moms and babies. And Like I said, it’s just an extension of the birthing process. Wow. That’s beautiful. That’s my focus now.

KAREN: Yeah. What a, what an incredible training to have to train with someone that renowned and get that kind of experience. I’m sure people would pay, you know, so much money.

And I, I trust like experience, especially with birth and breastfeeding. I feel like experience goes so much further than like school, like training classroom, you know, education training, because it’s such an experiential thing. Tell us a bit, what’s the difference between an IBCLC and an LC or lactation consultant?

TRISHA: Basically the level of training. IBCLCs have a significant number of hours of training that they have to do and a very rigorous exam that they had to take, which I had to take, I think a year or two ago. Again, you have to re certify every 10

NONE: years.

TRISHA: And it is tough. It was a four hour exam and it’s not easy.

And I mean, it’s hard. Can you quantify

KAREN: that for us? Like how many, how long were you in school for or training for to get, and before taking that exam?

TRISHA: So you have to do about, I think, There’s different pathways. So, and I did my original training 15 years ago now. So it might be a little bit different, but it’s about 2000 hours.

Okay. I believe it’s about 2000 hours. And then the, and then the clinical exam, you don’t have to have necessarily a specific type of education to become an IBCLC. I just happened to already be a nurse midwife.

KAREN: Yeah, I’m sure that helps. But 2000 hours is quite a long time. That’s a lot of hours. Few years.

Yeah, yeah, definitely. And then for an LC, what what’s that entail? I think just because people don’t really know, they kind of think it’s all the same.

TRISHA: No, it’s definitely not. And I honestly don’t know what the requirements are for an LLC because I never went down that path. But yeah, many, many fewer hours.

KAREN: In my understanding from what I’ve heard, it’s like, you could do it in a week. You could take that class and get your else, take the little test and get the certification as LC, which is why you see a lot of like nurses or physicians or doulas have those credentials as LC because it’s, it’s, it’s a short, quick training, nothing like you’re going to school for years.

TRISHA: Right, you get some good breastfeeding basics and that’s really important for everybody to know, but the IV CLC path really delves into the more complicated situations that come up in breastfeeding. Yes. And so my practice is mainly, you know, it’s more of like a. Breastfeeding medicine type of practice where I am a healthcare practitioner with the IB CLC training and can write prescriptions if somebody has mastitis, or.

KAREN: Yeah, which stands for international board certified lactation consultant which is a much higher qualification so just to clear you know that up in case anyone is wondering. So, how does the way a woman gives birth influence the breastfeeding journey?

TRISHA: So because breastfeeding is an extension of a physiologic process that occurs in birth, the same kind of rules apply that if we are less disturbed in the process, we’re going to have more success. There’s a, there’s a whole cascade of hormones that, you know, have to work together to help birth happen in the best possible way.

And the same is true for breastfeeding. And it’s actually the same hormone. Oxytocin is the main hormone of breastfeeding. So oxytocin is that hormone of love, bonding, touch, affection. Labor contractions and it’s the milk ejecting hormone. So it gets the milk out of the breast. So without that oxytocin, we aren’t able to let our milk flow, which is why it’s so much easier for milk flow to happen when babies are feeding at the breast, then for moms who are pumping, because we love our babies and.

Not our pump. So the first thing is just that how we give birth influences those immediate hours after birth. And we want that skin to skin contact right away after birth with our baby. And we want that first latch to happen within one to two hours after birth because babies are primed. During that timeframe to latch on.

And after that timeframe passes, it’s not that they can’t or won’t latch, they are hardwired to latch. So they will continue to latch for many months. You could not have a baby latch to the breast for the first time for three months and they’ll still do it because they’re literally hardwired in their brains to latch.

They have that instinct and a reflex to do that. But Back to the first couple hours of birth. If you have a physiologic birth where the baby can be placed skin to skin with the mom right after birth, the chances of having that first latch go well are much greater. The, the baby’s going to be calmer.

Their nervous system is going to be more regulated. They are going to be warmer. Their temperature is going to be more regulated. They’re going to have less chance of having a blood sugar drop that could interfere with their ability to latch. And right after birth, they’re in this very calm state. Quiet alert state.

KAREN: Yeah. And we

TRISHA: want to take advantage of that opportunity to get the baby to latch for the first time, because of course in utero, they have been just having this steady stream of energy through the placenta. And then suddenly they’re in the external world. And the only way that they’re getting fed is at mom’s breast.

So getting that first latch is really important. And if a mom has a C section, it can still be done. But And most hospitals I think are getting better about giving moms who are intending to breastfeed, getting that skin to skin earlier on. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. And even in a physiologic birth in the hospital, sometimes mothers and babies are separated because they want to weigh the baby.

They want to examine the baby. They want to take the baby away. So mom, the mother can get some rest. All of those things can disrupt that initial latch and that initial latch sets up what happens in the next few days.

KAREN: Yeah, and you know, on the other side of that. I’ve even seen it go the other way too, where there’s like this extra pressure to get that baby to latch immediately with the nurses or, you know, the hospital lactation consultant that comes in and it’s, and it actually has the opposite effect of like, yes, I’m so glad that they are there.

paying attention to that first feed and that golden hour and skin to skin. But I’ve seen moms like actually react and go, okay, do I got to do this? Like, especially first time moms, they’re like, Oh, I have to latch. It’s all this pressure. And I just want to tell them sometimes and I have like, take a deep breath.

It’s okay. There’s no rush. Like, discover your baby. Give your, give you and your, your body and your baby a chance to discover each other. You know, and that’s the beauty of forming this new relationship, this diet, that’s going to be the basis of your, your breastfeeding relationship. And so, yeah, it’s, it’s such an organic thing.

And, and there’s the restriction of it, which creates trauma and physiological shock in baby and mom and hormones dipping. And that’s a problem. But then there’s also sometimes so much pressure put on women immediately to get it right the first time.

And we have to sometimes remember this is a very organic thing.

TRISHA: You’re absolutely right. And I always remind moms, it’s like, first of all, you need to stay in your birth zone until your birth is over. This is the first thing that I tell a mom when they do a prenatal consult with me is like your baby is born and your baby goes skin to skin with you, but breastfeeding is not the very next thing that happens.

The thing that has to happen first is you have to birth your placenta. Your birth has to be over first and yes, your, but your baby might latch on spontaneously and help you in the assistance of birthing your placenta. That doesn’t come really quickly. And that’s great. But the eagerness to have the baby go immediately to the breast the second they’re born is, that’s not ideal because one, it’s taking you out of the mindset of finishing your birth with the placenta.

And two, it is pressuring the baby a little bit who needs a little transition time. You both need transition time. Some moms don’t even want to touch their babies right after birth. You don’t even put them skin to skin with them, but they’re just not ready. Yeah, it’s like a decompression time.

KAREN: Exactly. It takes a few moments because you’re in labor land.

And your brain is literally readjusting to coming back into this present realm. And I’ve seen that a lot and especially in very primal births where no one’s instructing the mother. It’s like she has to recalibrate and come back. And then if nobody throws that baby in her chest, or hands her the baby or catches the baby if the baby’s just there, which is very primal, she almost like touches her baby slowly and discovers her baby for the first time before picking up that baby, which is, I think, so fascinating how we even the littlest things can be an interference in that process.

primal physiological process that we don’t even realize.

TRISHA: Absolutely. So usually the first latch happens in within one to two hours after birth. So that’s, you know, that’s a, that’s a good amount of time. And it’s really important that we keep the mom and baby together during that time so that there isn’t separation.

KAREN: Yeah, and those hormones are that you mentioned are so important to that baby really is alert for that first hour or two and even mom is more alert, even if she’s had like a 4050 hour labor, she’s got getting another dose of hormones, oxytocin, prolactin is coming, like you’ve even got higher adrenaline to give you that energy.

TRISHA: Yeah, she’s got a lot of adrenaline running through her system. Yeah.

KAREN: So, so it’s amazing to see women who are like, just an hour before, like, Oh my gosh, I’m so tired. Just get this baby out. And then that baby comes to her like,

you know, the power of these birth hormones, you guys are just like, I cannot, you know, I’m going to geek out on that. So,

TRISHA: well, have you witnessed a baby self attach? Have you seen moms and babies just lay there and let babies do the breast crawl and and self attach? It’s, it’s a beautiful thing.


KAREN: I haven’t seen a full breast crawl. I know about that, that they, that they can do that. But I have seen a lot of babies self attaching and I love the teaching on like the laid back breastfeeding that just takes the pressure off having to micromanage that latch and letting baby do the hard work because they’re the the physiological responses it activates in baby’s brain are so incredible the way this whole thing is designed.

But no, I have not, I have not in person witnessed that, but I think that’s amazing. Tell us about that.

TRISHA: I mean, I always encourage moms to Google, you know, the breast crawl and watch a few videos because I think it just can’t help, but. Get you extremely excited and not every baby has to do it. I don’t want any mom to feel pressure that their baby must self attach and, you know, must do the breast crawl.

But if you put a baby on a mother’s chest, they high up or down, low down on the abdomen or high up on their chest. If they’re high up in the chest, they will literally crawl down. Find their way down and it takes them a while. It can take them a few minutes. It’s gonna take them 10 minutes, give 15 minutes, and they will find their way to the breast and they will self attach.


NONE: Theyll latch on. Amazing

TRISHA: alone. If they’re down below, they will literally crawl up. They have a little stepping reflex and they kind of push on the belly. Yep. Which is good for the uterus. And they’ll crawl up and they’ll self attach. And it’s amazing.

KAREN: It’s so amazing. And even that crawling, that gentle, like, kicking on the mom’s belly, like you said, helps that placenta detach, which is like the physiological version of when a nurse comes in and, you know, in the hospital setting, they’re going to press on your uterus or your fundus really hard to make sure it’s shrinking.

Well, in nature, like, The baby actually does that naturally.

TRISHA: Completely. It’s nature’s bundle massage. Yeah.

KAREN: Yes. Yes. So that’s so incredible. I know I’ve seen videos of it and it’s just so beautiful to witness.

TRISHA: And colostrum, which is the baby’s first food, which is a very Really, very, very important that that is a baby’s first food smells like amniotic

KAREN: fluid.

Yeah. So they’re naturally familiar smell, which helps drive

TRISHA: them to the nipple.

You’ve had children, so you know how addictive that smell of a newborn baby is, right? And that’s, that is, that’s, that’s on purpose, right? It’s on purpose that nature designed babies to be so delicious smelling so that we would keep them close.

So keeping babies in close proximity is one of the most important things you can do for successful breastfeeding. So we want to remove as many barriers to that as possible. We want to remove as many interventions as possible. We want to remove the clothing. We want to remove the swaddle. We want to remove the hat.

We just want to keep the baby in skin to skin contact with mom and they don’t have to self attach. All the time. That’s not, that’s not the goal. It is to learn skill. Babies are hardwired to do it. Their instinct is to get to the breast and to latch on, but they’re not perfect at it.

We do actually have to help them a little bit and every mother and baby. It’s a unique diet. So it’s really important to understand that it is not a one size fits all for everybody. There’s no perfect right way to do it. But because we live in a society where breastfeeding is not the norm, it hasn’t been for so long.

It isn’t something that mothers just naturally know how to do. And it can feel really defeating because we think like this is supposed to be the most natural thing, but why is it so difficult? Why are so many women so challenged with breastfeeding? If it’s such a natural thing, shouldn’t it just like come super easily and shouldn’t it just happen?

And am I not good at it? Is there something wrong with me? Yeah. There’s something wrong with my milk or my milk

KAREN: supply.

TRISHA: Yeah. I’ve heard people say so much.

KAREN: Yeah. There’s, I’ve heard people say it’s the most natural thing that doesn’t come naturally.

TRISHA: Yeah. It’s the most unnatural, natural thing. But that’s because we haven’t seen it.

Yeah. You know, historically, in other cultures and villages around the world, every mother and baby was breastfeeding in plain sight all the time in front of people. Anybody in, you know, women and girls, young girls were just growing up watching it. So they understood what it looked like. They understood what was normal.

They understood, they watched the little movements that their mom would make if something wasn’t right.

NONE: They watched

TRISHA: like the frequency of it. They, they watched how babies moved. Like we don’t have any of that in our brains because mostly we have grown up seeing. Bobble feeding. And it’s very similar to what has happened in birth.

We’ve all grown up seeing birth be scary, painful, screaming, uncomfortable,

The other thing that is a big challenge with breastfeeding is that mothers don’t always realize how, how much of a right brain activity it is. Also, the same as birth, if we are too logical about it, too intellectual about it, too in our left brains about it, too much trying to manage it and control it, it doesn’t work very well.

Learning our baby’s language is essential to breastfeeding success. And learning our baby’s language requires us to be. Out of the left side of the brain into the right side of the brain, learning their cues. Their cues are their language, a clock or a schedule will never tell us how to feed our baby.


KAREN: hundred percent. It’s yeah. What are some of the most common problems you see? Mothers struggle with with breastfeeding.

TRISHA: Well, latch number one, which is the foundation of it all. If, if latch is uncomfortable or painful then breastfeeding is not working effectively. And I think that we have learned that breastfeeding is supposed to be uncomfortable, that it’s normal for it to be painful.

And it actually isn’t pain. Is your body’s way of telling you that the latch isn’t right and our nipples are actually designed to be exquisitely sensitive on purpose. And even more so when we become pregnant, the sensitivity gets really intense. You don’t even want them to be touched. And that’s because when a baby latches on, if they latch onto the nipple, they’re not feeding effectively.

NONE: Right?

TRISHA: If they latch onto the nipple, they are nipple feeding. And if they’re nipple feeding, they’re not removing milk. And if they’re not removing milk, not only are they not getting what they need, but they are not allowing the mother’s body to get the right message about how much milk she needs to make.

So a baby’s latch. Is the foundation. And if we expect it to be painful, or we expect our nipples to toughen up, then we’re probably not breastfeeding correctly.

KAREN: Yes. Right. Yeah.


TRISHA: Latch is probably the number one problem that I see. So

KAREN: other than pain, what are some signs of a bad latch or is that the main sign or symptom is experiencing pain during breastfeeding indicating a bad latch?

TRISHA: Yeah. Pain is definitely the number one indicator. If you have a pain free latch, you probably have a good latch, but occasionally you do have a. Pain free latch, but, but also still a very shallow latch. And that may mean that the baby is not effectively removing milk. So then there are some other parameters of course, that you want to keep track of, like a baby’s weight gain and their output to know that they are effectively removing milk.

KAREN: Or if they’re gulping or like swallowing air, you know, that’s another indication sometimes that could be a symptom of a bad latch.

TRISHA: Definitely or symptom of oral restriction or oral dysfunction. Part of the problem with latch is also that because we have been conditioned to watch bottle feeding, we have this idea that we need to put a nipple in the baby’s mouth to feed and latch effective latch is actually the opposite of that.

You want to bring the baby onto the breast and not put the nipple in the baby’s mouth. And the tendency also is to sort of just take our baby and Push their face right into the breast or push their mouth right onto the breast. And that also can create a really shallow and centered latch that results in pain.

The more effective way to latch a baby is to actually line your baby’s nose up to your nipple.

NONE: And if

TRISHA: you target the baby’s nose to the nipple, then they actually have to stretch their mouth open a little wider. So we needed a nice wide mouth. And then a firm snug of the baby onto the breast so that the nipple lands far enough back in the baby’s mouth that the nipple is not being compressed between the upper and lower gum, or even the hard palate.

The nipple really wants to get back far enough that it’s kind of touching the soft palate. And that’s why it’s called breastfeeding and not nipple feeding, because it actually has nothing to do with the nipple. The nipple is just the outlet. That the milk comes through the milk is in the breast. And if the baby isn’t effectively latched onto the breast, they are not effectively stimulating the letdown.

The milk is not going to be removed. And again, that’s why pain is your greatest indicator. Yeah,

KAREN: so true. Yeah. That baby should actually be. Nursing, like their lips on the breast tissue, not even the areola, the whole areola should be in that baby’s mouth. In most cases,

TRISHA: everybody’s anatomy is a little bit different.

So some areolas are very large and there’s no way a baby’s getting all the areola in the mouth. But in any woman, no matter the size of their nipple or areola, you want it to be off center. Which means that on the baby’s nose side, you’re going to see more areola. And on the chin side, you’re going to see almost none.

KAREN: Oh, interesting.

TRISHA: The bottom jaw does all the work of breastfeeding.

KAREN: Yeah.

TRISHA: So if that jaw is rubbing up against the nipple, if it’s too close to the nipple, that’s where you’re going to feel the pain. Yeah. And because it’s also does the work of getting the milk out, you want it working on that breast tissue.

Yeah. And helping that’s what helps trigger the letdowns, which stimulates out of the

KAREN: breast. Yeah. So,

TRISHA: so latch is probably the biggest problem I see. And then the second biggest problem is either lack of milk supply or perceived lack of milk supply.

KAREN: Yeah. Let’s talk about that. What really contributes to that?

So many things. There are a lot. That can be a very multifaceted approach.

TRISHA: Yes. Most of all, I think it, the, the biggest contributors that people don’t get off to a good enough start to build their milk supply to the full capacity. So they’re already starting many steps behind and kind of trying to play catch up.

Ketchup. And that usually is a result of not enough breastfeeding in the first few days. Our milk kind of comes in the way it’s going to come in. But if we are not latching the baby well and often enough in the first few days, We’re going to have less milk overall. So more stimulation early on means more milk later.


KAREN: reason to protect that

TRISHA: postpartum, exactly, exactly in the hospital environment isn’t great for that because there’s a lot of disruption there. You might be just getting ready to feed your baby and suddenly somebody comes in and they want to take your blood pressure or they want to check on the baby.

And if you’re going to feed your baby, they recommended 10 to 14 times. in 24 hours. That is a lot.

NONE: Yeah. So

TRISHA: any disruption that’s happening multiple times a day, how are you going to get enough feedings in?

KAREN: It’s very difficult. Either that, or you’re just never going to sleep because of the interruptions and the breastfeeding.

That’s right.

TRISHA: That’s right. Which is also why you have to get, you have to have the mindset of There’s no more day and night for a while. There’s no more day and night. You sleep when your baby sleeps and it’s around the clock. Yeah. And that’s why those first two weeks are so critical to be, you know, set aside so you can set yourself up.

So that’s possible. If you stay in bed, it’s possible to just drift off for a 15 or 20 minute nap. If you’re downstairs in the kitchen and you had to go back up to the bedroom, you’re not going to do it.

KAREN: Yeah. Let’s speak into that just a bit. There’s so much fear around co sleeping and from the medical community.

What’s your take on that? Yeah.

TRISHA: Well, I think that again, we can go back to nature. Mammals sleep with their babies, mothers around the world instinctively, intuitively sleep with their babies, and we have been taught to fear it. And so we are so afraid that if we do it and something, God forbid, something happens, we will never forgive ourselves.

NONE: Yeah.

TRISHA: Right. So how that’s a big fear to overcome because we’ve been told that it will be our fault when I believe that the biological norm is actually to sleep with your baby. And I don’t know how any woman can breastfeed exclusively and not end up sleeping close to their baby because I can’t imagine how you can get up and feed your baby four times a night if they’re across the room or in another room,

NONE: it’s

TRISHA: much harder.

And I know moms, they do do it and I give them major credit because. That is, it’s really difficult, but I do believe there are ways that you can safely co sleep with your baby. And I do know that there is research that suggests that mothers who are exclusively breastfeeding and co sleeping safely, there are some guidelines and parameters for that.

Those babies are the most protected against SIDS.

KAREN: Yeah. They are the

TRISHA: least likely. to experience a SIDS episode.

KAREN: Yep, I’ve heard, I’ve read that too. When you remove those risk factors, like you said, to do it safely of, you know, no alcohol, no substances, no pets, no lots of bedding, don’t do it on a couch, like safe, a lot of it comes down to having a safe sleep environment.

When you have those, it’s very, very low, you know, risk of SIDS. of SIDS, all those high SIDS, you know, cases they’re talking about, in most of those situations, there was something else going on. There was like, either mom was, you know, very obese, or there was drugs, or under the influence of something, or it was an unsafe sleep environment.

And so they don’t always cite those. Environments or those causes when they’re listing off the scary, fearful tactics of SIDS. But it’s important to go a little deeper in that research if that’s something you’re considering.

TRISHA: Absolutely. And one of the big fears that moms have is, well, what if I roll over on my baby?

Yeah. I’m a, I’m a, you know I sleep, I move a lot when I sleep and yeah, I think that’s a fear of every mom, but I always remind them that like, when’s the last time you rolled off the side of your bed? Absolutely. You sleep right next to the edge of your bed and you roll around. You never roll off.

That’s a really good point. We actually are aware of what’s happening while we’re sleeping. We’re not as like out of it as we think. We do have awareness and the hormone prolactin, which is a hormone that is extremely elevated when we’re breastfeeding. It’s the hormone that allows us to make milk actually is a hormone of heightened awareness.

It’s the reason it’s a one of the reasons behind the anxiety that postpartum moms feel because we’re so sensitive and aware. It’s like the mom who can hear a feather hit the floor downstairs in the kitchen when she’s sleeping upstairs in the bedroom

NONE: because

TRISHA: that hormone makes her brain so attentive and alert.

So she is so attuned to her baby.

KAREN: Wow, that makes a lot of sense and and then you’ve got the oxytocin that helps relax you and keep you calm but if you’re not I imagine if you’re not getting that oxytocin release if breastfeeding is a struggle or You had to go to a formula for whatever reason like you’ve still got the anxiety perhaps but not the relaxation hormone You don’t

TRISHA: have the balancing.

Exactly. It is it’s a it’s a balancing act or if you’re in pain While you’re breastfeeding, now you have cortisol

KAREN: and

TRISHA: hyperlactin, that’s a recipe for postpartum anxiety.

KAREN: Yeah. It’s so fascinating that there is this physiological blueprint. And I talk about this in my postpartum bliss course that just like birth has a physiological blueprint, so does the postpartum.

And when we don’t understand it and we don’t support our hormones, then. You get these situations like high cortisol, not enough oxytocin or, you know, creates these environments where it’s more likely to experience postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression and we’re seeing now, especially these surges of like epidemics of postpartum depression and anxiety and postpartum depression.

Breastfeeding issues, latch issues, you know, and there’s obviously multiple layers to this, but moms are really struggling in the postpartum for, for many reasons. And our society does not understand it. And there’s such a lack of support to really help these moms in, in ways that. can really benefit them.

So man, your work is so important,

TRISHA: right? Yeah, it really is. Mothers who are successfully breastfeeding have the lowest rates of postpartum depression. Mothers who are challenged with breastfeeding and not getting the right help, which is not easy to find.

NONE: Yeah. And

TRISHA: it costs a lot. You know, it’s I’m fortunate to be you know, a credentialed healthcare provider, so I can bill insurance for my services, but a lot of lactation consultants are, you know, hundreds of dollars a visit out of the realm of reality for people.

And so breastfeeding that isn’t going well in a mom who wants to breastfeed those mothers are at higher risk. Yeah,

KAREN: that totally makes sense. What are some. tips of what mothers can do to help support breastfeeding this season.

TRISHA: Well, it starts with those first two weeks, making sure that you are well supported at home so that you have literally nothing to do other than feed your baby, feed yourself with somebody else’s actually feeding you, you’re just eating and sleeping.

So two weeks of full time support. You don’t water a plant. You don’t walk a pet. You don’t cook a meal. You don’t grocery shop. You don’t run an errand. You are literally in bed with your baby as much as possible. I know that staying in bed is not possible for everybody. Some people, it just drives them crazy and you know, they, they really, really struggle with it.

So if you need to go outside and get a little fresh air, fine. Or you need to go down the stairs one time a day. Fine. But you kind of always going back to the bed and doing that skin to skin with your baby and then learning to let go. Of the scheduling, you know, it’s really common to want to quickly get your baby on a feeding and sleeping schedule, because this is a way that we can kind of keep everything under control.

It’s a huge transition when we bring a baby into our world and everything is flipped upside down and we want to kind of try to reorganize it and get it back into the normal routine as quickly as possible. And that just does not work for breastfeeding. Especially

KAREN: in the newborn phase,

TRISHA: the first six weeks, the first 40 days, the first two weeks, especially the first two weeks, literally set up your success for the entire duration of your breastfeeding relationship, which may be six months.

It may be a year, maybe two years, it may be four years.


TRISHA: it’s this huge investment time.

KAREN: Yeah.

TRISHA: And it’s really hard work in the beginning. The work level is way up here. It’s a learning

KAREN: curve. Yep. It only gets easier from here. Like the beginning is the hardest.

TRISHA: If you look at a graph of the work of breastfeeding, It’s like, it starts way high and it slowly comes down, comes down, comes down, comes down.

And then it levels off and it’s low for like the remainder of your breastfeeding relationship outside of something difficult happening, like a mastitis. If you look at the work of bottle feeding, formula feeding or pumping and bottle feeding your breast milk, it starts off midway on the effort level.

And it remains midway on the effort level all the way through. It never changes. It never gets easier. It’s always the same level of effort.

KAREN: Yeah.

TRISHA: Breastfeeding is hard in the beginning, and then it drops down to almost nothing. That totally

KAREN: makes sense. Totally. Because I honestly look at formula feeding moms, not with judgment, but out of like, That seems honestly like more work.

Someone who’s breastfed three babies. Yes, that initial, those first few weeks are hard, especially with the first baby. Like, high learning curve, exactly like what you’re saying. But then, and I tell my clients this, like, you’re just, all you gotta do is whip out that boob and that baby just No problem. You don’t even have to think about it.

You’re going to do it at the restaurant, you’re going to do it wherever you feel safe and comfortable. Like, you just whip open your shirt, the boob solves everything and it’s like second nature and you don’t even think about it. And it’s so much easier because it’s always there, always ready, always available.

It’s already warmed up, like perfect temperature. You don’t have to wake up. Always clean, you know, and the perfect food and, you know. Protective of baby in every in every possible way. And so, yeah, that’s so that’s a really cool visual to think of.

TRISHA: Yeah, think of it like a bad stock chart. Not what you want it to look like.

So Yeah. So I think if, if, if mothers think that breastfeeding is the work that it takes in those first few weeks, and it goes a little bit beyond the first two weeks, the first two weeks are the hardest, but week three and four are still pretty tough. By the time you get to six to eight weeks, it’s really starting to get easier.


TRISHA: if you think that that’s what breastfeeding is, for the long haul, you’re not going to want to do it. Nobody’s going to want to do it. That’s it’s so taxing. You have to understand that it is an investment and it pays these huge dividends later. If you put the time in, in those first couple of weeks, but if you try to control it early on, you let scheduling become part of it.

It won’t work a hundred percent. The reason that mothers don’t have enough milk most of the time is because they didn’t do enough breastfeeding early on.


TRISHA: so they’re in that cycle of. Not having enough milk. So they top off the baby with supplemental milk or formula, and then they’re pumping to try to increase their milk supply.

And that doesn’t always work because there’s so many challenges with pumping. And it can work very well if you get the right support and it is a great, great tool, but it does, it’s not as easy as good breastfeeding. And so then they’re in that triple feeding rat race that is impossible to maintain.

They can do it for a few weeks and then they’re like, I give up. This is too hard. Yeah. And I don’t blame them. It is too hard. It’s not meant to be like that.

KAREN: Right. Yeah. Because not only are they doing the work of breastfeeding, they’re also doing the work of pumping or formula feeding. So it’s like you’re doubling the work.

You’re tripling it. Yeah. Tripling it just to get by just like, and it’s like the amount of time it’s not just like wake up, like latch baby, go back to sleep, but now you’re having to wake up clean bottles or mix the formula, put on the breast pump. Like. Where, where do you sleep? Like, of course, it’s not sustainable, and I’m incredibly in awe of women that do that for any extended period of time and you’re right, and it speaks again to that physiological process that I think so many moms don’t quite understand is that dip in milk supply doesn’t mean, well, your body’s not producing enough milk, but as soon as you introduce formula, it tells your brain When babies make less.

Yes. So this is what’s normal. This is what baby needs. I’m going to downregulate milk production. So the more you actually reach for formula, the less and less milk your body makes. It’s instinctual to know when the demand is placed, this is what I produce.

TRISHA: Right. And then women are led to believe that their body couldn’t make enough milk.

And I have to say that is so rarely the case. There are some cases. Of that, where that’s actually true with some underlying medical conditions and things, but it’s not common. It is almost always a result of insufficient demand to the breast. So not getting the baby there enough and or Bad latch for whatever reason.

And there could be so many reasons for that.

KAREN: Right. Cause why are we not put, why is the body not receiving the demand? Why is the breast not being drained? Why, what is preventing that baby from getting the milk supply? Usually, like you said, latch issue. So if you’re not getting the demand and your milk supply drops, it doesn’t mean your body is.

not able to produce the milk. In many cases, like you said, it’s like a, the baby’s latch or some other, it actually

TRISHA: means your, your body’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s down regulating because that’s the message you’re giving it. And if it didn’t down regulate, you’d end up with a huge case of mastitis and that could really harm you.

And nature doesn’t want you to have that because before the advent of antibiotics, that could have killed you. So you You don’t want that. I mean, we can treat it now and manage it now, but that’s your body is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. If it’s not getting the stimulation, it’s going to downregulate the milk supply.

So schedules are the other reason that that happens because if we don’t feed a baby on demand on their cues, With their indications that it’s time to feed and when it’s time to end the feed, our body doesn’t get the message to make the right amount of milk for that particular baby.

Every mother and baby are a unique diet and they communicate with each other. So nobody can tell you that you should feed your baby for 15 minutes on each breast. And that’s going to work. That might work for some woman somewhere. But it is not going to work for every woman. You have to feed on demand, you have to feed on cue, and you have to feed without schedules and rules.

KAREN: So good. So good. And, and I’m, as you’re saying this, I’m thinking, I think that also contributes that anxiety, that pressure to conform to societal standards and like establish this routine nap schedule and get baby sleeping through the night That pressure creates anxiety in mom, which is also going to downregulate your breastfeeding hormones. It’s also going to potentially make that breastfeeding journey harder when we feel this pressure to meet these standards and then try to put baby on a standard or schedule. that they’re not biologically suited for at all.

And so, you know, you’ve got your hormonal hormones coming into play that you can potentially also decrease that milk supply. And it’s a lot like birth, like they’re, I feel like motherhood, birth, motherhood, breastfeeding, All of it is such a lesson in surrender and letting go of control.

TRISHA: It’s getting out of your left brain and into your right brain, letting that intuitive side take over and less of the controlling side.

And you know, we’ve been taught that a good baby is a baby who doesn’t need to be with their mom very much and sleeps long stretches and has these totally appropriate wake, wake Periods or wake windows or whatever people call them. It’s all nonsense. It’s all to me. It’s all nonsense. Like a baby is designed to be with their mother.


TRISHA: good baby is waking frequently to feed that there’s no such thing as a good baby, but good in quotations, like the goal is not to get them on a schedule. The goal is to learn how to communicate with them so that you can tend to their needs. Eventually the schedule will happen and it’s not even a schedule.

It’s more of a pattern or a rhythm than a schedule. Babies do fall into patterns and that’s all the schedule you need. They become a little bit predictable and then that helps you get back to life at some point so you can start having some consistency to your daily routine. But it’s never really going to be a schedule because as soon as you nailed on a schedule, I can promise you, it will change.

KAREN: They’re going to have

TRISHA: a developmental, you know, milestone and it’s going to change. So forget about the idea of a schedule, let them find a rhythm and, and support that. And if we, can feel less pressure from society to conform to that. It’s so much easier to keep our babies close and follow their leads. I mean,

I think that moms actually deep down feel guilty all the time because they want to tend to their babies in ways that they feel like they’re, they feel like it’s wrong.

KAREN: Yeah. Innately want to care. Yeah.

TRISHA: They feel like it’s wrong to wear their baby too much or feed their baby too much or hold their baby too much.

They’re going to create a spoiled child.

KAREN: Yeah, but actually, that period of time is so key and sacred even for creating that secure attachment. And I, you’re absolutely right. The society is pressuring us to Create somehow independence or like a baby that sleeps through the night or get right, get, you know, prepared for going back to work at six weeks.

And unfortunately that’s the reality many moms face. And yet we have to remember that this is the beginning of secure attachment that we’re creating for a lifetime. With, with your baby, the foundation,

TRISHA: the, the, the anxious attachment develops from the baby who is forced away from the mother too soon.

And yes, if you have to go back to work at six weeks, that’s so, so difficult, but you don’t have to prepare your baby for that. You don’t have to start training them at four weeks to be away from you. You be with them as much as you can, as much as you want to be right up until that moment that you have to go back to work.

KAREN: Yeah, so true. Tricia, what’s a good time to start thinking about a rhythm or pattern or a cycle? You know, if mom is really struggling to get enough time to sleep, and is, is there any tips you do have to help baby adjust to a healthier pattern where they’re maybe sleeping longer stretches at night and not napping as much during the day or, you know, You know, getting more calories in during the day versus at night, how do you feel about some of those tips or recommendations?

TRISHA: Well, I feel that when a mom can start to get a five hour stretch of sleep, she’s, she’s, she’s got it. Like that’s all we kind of need to get to you. You’re not probably going to get your breastfeeding baby early on to sleep seven, eight, nine hours. Like a normal night’s sleep that you’re used to that, that might not happen with at any point.

Some breastfeeding

KAREN: say goodbye to eight hour stretches for a while, ladies, I mean,

TRISHA: some, some do. I do know some breastfeeding moms whose babies sleep 10 hours at night and that’s rare, but it does happen. And then this is not early on at all. Not in the first few weeks, many weeks down the road.

KAREN: Yeah, I’m more talking about for the women who are like, my baby’s still waking up every two hours and they’re like two, three months old.

Like, at what point is it okay, safe to start thinking about some good habits to develop for developing those babies? natural cycles?

TRISHA: I think usually not before 12 weeks, but after 12 weeks, if everything is going well, your baby’s weight gain is on track and breastfeeding is generally going well and comfortable.

If you need to start kind of doing a little bit of intervening to help them break a cycle, you can.

KAREN: Yeah.

TRISHA: And what would that look like? So usually it’s like, I encourage mothers to just sort of. Skip one feed the first feed that they wake up. So if you go to bed at say 10 o’clock and your baby’s waking up at 12 and then they’re waking up again at two, maybe you try to skip that 12 o’clock feed.

And pretty much the only way that that’s going to happen if you’re an exclusively breastfeeding mom is to have. Dad or somebody else go tend to the baby and try to get them back to sleep because if you try to do it, it’s going to be a fight.

KAREN: They’re going to smell you. They’re going to know. Want the boob.

Yeah. Yes.

TRISHA: But if you can, if you can stretch it out so that now they’re going from 10 to two, that’s four hours and maybe you’re going to bed with them at nine and now you’re getting that five hour stretch. Yeah. That’s going to make a big difference. It

KAREN: does make a big difference. Yeah. What about trying to get more calories in during the day?

Does that help?

TRISHA: Well, your breasts have their own rhythm. Yeah. I mean, if you start feeding them more during the day, you could potentially get more calories in them during the day. Yes. But it varies so much from woman to woman and baby to baby that I don’t, I don’t try to push that. Yeah. But it’s more about.

I think trying to break certain habits after they’re about 12 weeks of age. Yeah, you can, they do start to develop habits are in that in a cognitive place where they can start to have a little bit of habit forming behavior and you can try to break those cycles.

KAREN: Because biologically they don’t necessarily need to be nursing every two hours at that age, right?

So it’s not like you’re, they’re going hungry, assuming they’re getting enough calories and your milk is good and all those other factors, they’re eating and pooping normally and all that.

TRISHA: As long as they’re gaining weight well, and your milk supply is good, you can start to tweak it. However, it works for your lifestyle.

KAREN: Yeah. I think that’s helpful. Cause some, I feel like there’s so many extremes in this space, especially in the online natural health space. When we see influencers and experts talking about these things, you’ve got like the two camps. It’s either the 100 percent breastfeeding, no schedules, all baby led. Co sleeping, and then you’ve got the like Mom’s Mental Health Matters 2 side, where it’s like schedules are okay, formulas okay, don’t shame moms, and they’re always getting in fights, right?

Like someone says something inflammatory and all the influencers and all the people kind of like, Try to cancel each other. And it’s like, guys, you know, there, we can have space for both. Like, yes, in the beginning, 100%, like baby led, intuitive, like skin to skin, breast is best, all of that. And then as you get that foundation, and you get grounded a little bit, like, it’s okay to develop those patterns.

And there are some things that can help that baby sleep a little longer, you know, you don’t have to be waking up every two hours for a year. And I think sometimes we can get it, we can get feel so ashamed that, oh, we’re not doing everything the most natural way possible. And you know what I mean?

TRISHA: No, I, I totally agree.

I think I, and I have myself experienced falling into that. that pattern of like baby developing some bad habits at night waking and having to intervene for, for my own sake and still preserving breastfeeding. But there are times also where it can sometimes lead to weaning. So you have to be prepared for that.

If you’re doing it too early most women’s breasts shouldn’t go more than five to six hours without being stimulated, or you can drop your milk supply. If you do start introducing formula during the day to try to top them off with. You know, extra calories, your milk supply is going to go down because you’re giving outside milk.

So you just have to kind of know how to manage it. If you want to preserve breastfeeding, but it’s, it’s not that you can’t, there are, there are ways to tweak it subtly, gently doesn’t have to be extreme.

KAREN: Yeah, I remember when I dropped the night feeding and I forget what age it was. It was probably like, gosh, I don’t even want to say probably around maybe between six months and a year, somewhere in there where it was like, okay you know what, I’m, I’m done waking up in the night.

It was probably close to a year because I know it was like we, at some point, we started giving a little bit of water just to like, break that habit. Because sometimes you’re right, they’re just in a habit of wake up. I want. I want the milk. And so, but once we, we did wean, which I started first as probably close to a year, cause I’m like, I don’t even know it’s been a while, but once we broke that, it was like, oh my gosh, I can get my life back.

And I’m still breastfeeding. Like I, I didn’t have to, to cut her off or ever, actually. I’ve never had to. Go to formula because it I feel like our bodies and our babies when you have that strong foundation and that strong diet and attachment There are going to be these changes in the cycle and you adapt and your body’s naturally adapting to things and There can be an organic transition from waking every two hours to waking every three to five hours waking once a night waking you know, not at all at night.

Maybe you’re going that long stretch once that baby’s older. And, and, but if you’re trying to control it, it’s just maddening. Like, it’s, it’s so hard. But if you’re just flexible and fluid, and you know, okay, these things normally shift around this age, or babies have a growth spur around this age, typically, and you know what, maybe now it’s time to think about dropping this nighttime feed and, and but following the cues of your body and your baby.

And not really holding it tight. Like I have to be in this camp a hundred percent or this camp.

TRISHA: Exactly. I mean, if you hold too tight to it, you definitely can interfere with breastfeeding, but if you have a well established milk supply early on, your breasts are a lot more flexible. You can, you know, if you, if you have a good, healthy milk supply and your baby has a good latch and they’re gaining weight well, and they have been all along, you can go longer stretches and your breasts, your supply won’t necessarily go down.

But that is different for different people based on breast milk storage capacity. You know, every mother’s breast is a little bit different and some can go longer than others between feedings. So yeah, it’s highly personalized.

KAREN: Yes, absolutely. Right. Yeah. And that’s, we get into that. I think danger zone a little bit when we try to give advice to women who are like, well, my baby slept through the night.

Well, I just did this. We just dropped the feeding. Oh, yours isn’t, you know, or there’s a lot of

TRISHA: compare. Don’t compare compare.

KAREN: Cause you’re right. It’s

TRISHA: so different. And don’t Google because literally every. Baby and mother is a unique combination. There is no other combination anywhere in the world that is you and your baby.

You are the only ones.

KAREN: Yeah. And even with another baby, if you struggled with breastfeeding for your first doesn’t necessarily mean you will for your second or third or fourth, like totally not. You could have a completely different relationship. I remember my first, I felt like I always had just enough milk, like there was no extra for pumping and getting out the supply.

And I was probably because of the all the anxiety I had as a first time mom and couldn’t sleep and all of that. But then with my second and third, no issues like I had. Enough more than enough and it was so much easier by the time I had those, those ones, you know, you learn a lot more things to

TRISHA: once again, similar to birth, our body is primed after the first time those oxytocin receptors in the uterus.

are primed for the second and third labors and the same in the breast. So it’s much easier to make milk the second, third, fourth, fifth time you’re breastfeeding a baby just the same way. It generally is easier to give birth the second, third, fourth, fifth time because our bodies are already have the programming.

KAREN: Yeah. And I think it’s so important to, to line up that support early on, like you said, and have a, An IBCLC that you can call for those, especially as a first time mom and especially in those first two weeks. I feel like having someone come and help me with that, even just to show me positions I didn’t know and to evaluate the latch really helped my confidence as a first time mom to know, okay, this is normal.

This is, this is, she’s getting enough milk. You know, these are some of the ways, other ways I didn’t know, like the sideline position in bed, like, Life saving position. Game changer. Game changer. Completely. Game changer. You gotta learn that one. even if you’re not co sleeping, which I didn’t with, with, with her.

It was like, Oh my gosh, I can lie down and nurse. I don’t have to like. Even during the

TRISHA: day. Yeah, during the day. I would go to bed.

KAREN: I would just do it all the time in bed. And I just realized like, I don’t need like two boppies and 10 pillows and an armchair and a breastfeed. I could just literally lie down in my bed and she’s right there at the nipple like, Look up sideline position if you haven’t done that yet.

So what’s one tip, Tricia, we’ll just end with this bit to support breastfeeding in new moms.

TRISHA: One tip, narrow it down to one tip.

KAREN: I know we talked about so much. What’s one that maybe we haven’t mentioned yet that can really help new moms?

TRISHA: Trusting yourself. Yeah. I mean, just trusting that your body is capable of this, that this is what your body is designed to do, and that you’re not going to do it perfectly. You’re not. Nobody, nobody does it perfectly. Even myself, a lactation consultant trained, it wasn’t perfect. I had plenty of troubles with my first but it, it’s a process and you build trust by listening to your baby and listening to your body.

And it literally is like, I, I sometimes use the analogy of like putting two strangers on the dance floor. Don’t know each other. They’ve never met, even though, you know, we have, we do know our babies cause we’ve been carrying them, but you know, just envision this two strangers on the dance floor. Somebody flips on the music and they’re like, dance, just, just do it.

Just make it work and make it look good. Like you’re going to stumble and you’re going to fumble and you’re going to step on each other’s toes, but you listen to the rhythm and you start to feel it. And you start to get attuned with each other. And before long you’re moving beautifully together. And you found your rhythm.

KAREN: Yes. That’s such a good analogy. That is what breastfeeding is. That is It’s finding your rhythm and getting to know this tiny human and their cues and their smells and their habits. It’s such a beautiful analogy.

TRISHA: So trust your body and trust your baby and listen to both and you’ll find your way and get help.


KAREN: help early on. Because you’re

TRISHA: not supposed

KAREN: to do it alone. Oh, it’s so true. Yes. And in this day and age, we, we, we still do need that tribe, but often we have to invest in it and pay for it and set aside a budget for it for that postpartum, but it will go so far. You’ll be so glad you did. Tricia, where can women find you if they want to learn more about you or, or work with you?

TRISHA: So down to birth show as the podcast and Instagram handle where I am easiest to reach. But you can also look me up on Google and find my phone number. I don’t even have a website, but you can just go down

KAREN: to birth show

TRISHA: down to birth show or my phone number and just, yeah, sure. Send me a text. I work virtually with women all across the country, out of the country, and I work in person locally.

KAREN: Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing with moms today. And it’s, you’ve just been a wealth of knowledge and information of, of, and encouragement and support, which is what we’re all about here at Pain Free Birth. So thank you for sharing and just being available for moms and for all the work you do in changing lives.

It’s just, it really does change lives and families and, and, and helps kids grow up with that support and attachment and man, to give moms that confidence to know they can feed their babies and that this is. They can make this work. It’s just a beautiful thing. So thank you for coming on. Thank you right back at you for all the work you do.

Oh, love it. Well, we’ll see you guys next week. Take care.

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Down To Birth Podcast Episode 208: Achieving A Pain Free Birth with Karen Welton:

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3 Keys to a Pain-Free Birth

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