I [Morgan, Admin for Lactation Care with Elizabeth] attended my first Milk Party this month. It was such a joy to see moms and babies, all in different stages, hanging out together. For moms that are new to the area, new to motherhood, experienced mamas on baby #3 – this was a warm, welcoming and relaxed space to bounce ideas off each other and hear about other’s experiences.
This isn’t just a large group play-date or mom group. In the midst of casual conversation and relaxed nursing, a team of experts milled about evaluating nursing and developmental concerns. Next, they rotated through everyone, putting hands on heads and in mouths to address these issues.
Glove on, Elizabeth had her hands in an adorable baby mouth. Katie had hands on heads and even broke out her skull models, adult and baby, to explain and demonstrate what she was doing. Amanda had her hands on a squishy baby face, doing nasal massage on a perpetually congested baby, who was breathing free and clear when she left. Ashley sat side by side to put hands on support pillows used to adjust nursing positions for moms across the room. Both Elizabeth and Ashley discussed pre- and post- tongue tie topics with those at the party.
Some babies were tiny, some babies had graduated from our care, but came back for advice on eating solids or taking a bottle. Moms told birth stories (or traumas), shared feeding/sleeping/diaper adventures and doted on each other and their kids.
While I didn’t have skin in the game, per se, as my youngest [who had Elizabeth’s hands on her as a baby] is almost 4 years old, I could appreciate the moment. I wish I could have participated in something like a Milk Party when in the exhausting early months of infant-hood. Even on baby #3, I needed encouragement, breastfeeding help and always the support of a village. What better village to build for yourself than one with other moms AND experts in lactation, bodies, trauma healing, child development, postpartum care, or language development?
One place we see our clients is called Oasis. Last night definitely seemed to fit the namesake as it was a respite from chaos and allowed dedicated focus on mom and baby under specialized and supportive care.
Featured professionals: Elizabeth Stapleton, IBCLC, RN and Ashley Kester, IBCLC, RN with Lactation Care with Elizabeth; Amanda Chastain, MA, CCC-SLP with The Speech Network; Katie Stewart, LMT, RCST, CLC with Integral Integrity.