Warming Breast Milk on the Go

While you aren’t required to warm breast milk before using it, some little ones seem to prefer it au natural-like. Doing this while traveling, whether for school kid field trips or upcoming holidays, requires a little thought but is totally doable.

Frozen milk should be thawed in the refrigerator; easiest is overnight. Once you have started feeding your baby a bottle of milk, use and discard within about an hour. You can also travel with a bottle of milk using an insulated bag & ice pack, which can store it safely for 4-5 hours.

These are general tips, of course. For specific situations or questions pertaining to your child, ask your IBCLC.

Is your Lactation Consultant a Registered Nurse?

October is renewal month for Registered Nurses in Kentucky. Ashley and I both started our journeys to become IBCLCs as nurses. Why is this background helpful to us in our lactation practice and why should someone seeking lactation support want someone who is also a nurse to support them?

I graduated from Texas Woman’s University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  After graduation, I worked at Parkland Hospital in Dallas in both the Medicine Clinic and on a Medicine/infectious disease/telemetry floor.  There I took care of 7-8 total care patients every shift (yes, it was crazy.)  That was where I learned all about advocating for patients, time management, diabetes, blood pressure issues, heart disease, and wound care.  (Also about AIDS and TB.)  My next job was in home health.  This is where I discovered that I love teaching people about how to care for themselves.  I did lots of wound care (which I really do love) and again, patient advocacy and case management.  

My next position was a combination of many of the things I loved: teaching childbirth and breastfeeding classes and working in the hospital as a lactation consultant.  When we moved to Lexington, I worked on the mother/baby unit, and did lactation support on the floor and in the NICU, as well as continuing to teach breastfeeding classes outside of the hospital. What I learned during those 15+ years has been key to how I practice now, both in what I do and what I don’t do.

What skills and knowledge do I bring to every lactation visit?  Years of clinical experience, assessing moms and babies, looking at the big picture as well as the small details.  Teaching, case management, advocation.  Wound care, medications, blood pressures.  How what happens prenatally and during labor, delivery, and post partum affects families and their breastfeeding experience. 

My nursing background has been a starting platform and solid base for lactation support- caring for moms and babies, not only in feeding, but by looking at the entire picture.  It also has shown me how a solely medical approach can be detrimental to a breastfeeding relationship, and I have worked to expand my education and practice to incorporate the natural instincts of mothers and babies in their nursing relationship, learning about herbal and other alternative support, the role of mindfulness in my practice and how to support families in that, and training in bodywork.  

If you are looking for expert breastfeeding support that appreciates and understands both the medical side and expands beyond that to comprehensive care, I would love to bring all my skills and knowledge and compassion to our visits!

Why Craniosacral Therapy in Treating Mothers and Babies?

I started sending babies to craniosacral therapy about 6 years ago. I noticed that babies who had good bodywork fed better, had better overall regulation, and were less tense. Then Katie started working on me and I felt better than I ever had.

What was this magic? It is called Craniosacral Therapy. CST works with the bones, fascial tissue, and underlying fluid pulses. The therapist listens or feels for restrictions and then encouragesrelease of the tension patterns. This is done with a light touch on the bones of the head, face, neck, spine, and sacrum.

Katie started mentoring me in CST about 18 months ago and I have since completed courses in CST, both by the Upledger Institute (CST 1 and 2) and Peirsman (the baby class.)

One of my favorite things is working together with Katie on a mom baby dyad. We do some work on mom to help her relax and release tensions from the birth experience and then we put baby on mom and unwind the baby. Sometimes the baby will show what it experienced through the birth process.

This is a healing process and a reset for when birth and the time after birth didn’t go as planned or hoped for. Sometimes it makes a dramatic difference, often it is a quiet change that shows up in the next few days or weeks with a more settled baby, a more confident mom, a stronger bond.

I have really enjoyed moving into this new modality and incorporating it into my lactation practice as well providing separate CST sessions. Let us know if you’re interested in incorporating this therapy into your treatment.


Yay for 5 Years!

Five years of Lactation Care with Elizabeth in the books! And 1-2 years of those years were deemed “unprecedented” for various reasons. We are thankful to be here another year supporting and encouraging families as they progress on their breastfeeding journey (or multiple journeys for some).

It is hard to put into words what has been accomplished in 5 years. There has been much in the way of personal and professional development and change for our consultants. We have met so many parents and children. We have celebrated with newbies and graduates, shed tears, offered a shoulder to cry on or to hold a baby (someone may have even napped). We have done classes together, encouraged others through support groups, sponsored other industry professionals, and even did yoga together!

Looking at the numbers is humbling and inspires gratitude. According to our scheduling program, we have over 1000 client names (some of which have multiple babies now). We have seen tremendous growth since the first year with last year topping out at 1057 appointments that encompasses over 1000 hours. That is a lot of lactation support! This year we expanded our reach into the Richmond/Berea area through classes and appointments with Ashley. Thankfully, babies continue to be born despite current events, and we were able to maintain growth over the past two crazy years as well.

As we come upon the day to celebrate, we hope you’ll reminisce with us. We would love to see pics, before and after support, or born and weaned, or pumping, or feeding with a spoon successfully. Or just smiling faces of our wonderful clients who have made 5 years possible! More words and wisdom to come from our expert lactation consultants in the next few weeks. They continue to develop their skills, add in new approaches and options, and expand their reach in lactation support. They will be sharing about these new areas of interest and treatment soon!

Finally, YOU ARE ALL INVITED! Please come celebrate your lactation journey as we celebrate our 5th birthday. Join us at our office October 1st, 2022 from 10am – 12pm at 109 Dennis Drive in Lexington for goodies and giveaways, and hopefully just a good time!

Cranialsacral Fascial Therapy (CFT)- What is that?

Cranialsacral fascial (pronounced fash-al) therapy, also known as CFT, is a modality of bodywork that helps release fascial tension. Fascial tension can be caused from birth, injuries, poor positioning, or oral restrictions. The list is really endless!

What is fascia? From hopkinsmedicine.org, fascia is a 3 layer connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. When stressed, it tightens up. It is very dense around the brain and spinal column

CFT is an incredibly gentle practice. I use the cranialsacral system to help guide me toward fascial tension and then work with my hands to allow the body the space to release the tension. Sometimes you can see the tension and strain in the body, other times you can not.

What does this have to do with our clients? Most babies with oral restrictions also have fascial tension. By releasing the fascial tension we help free up some of the muscles of the mouth in order to provide the space for the muscles to work better. CFT is often paired with oral exercises, chiropractic adjustments, occupational therapy, and/or cranialsacral therapy. A great addition to a treatment plan, CFT is a crucial piece to address when oral restrictions are suspected.