Making Milk Memories

While each breastfeeding journey varies, most are full of hard work, commitment, snuggles, and sacrifices. Find below one mom’s experience and development through the journey, and the beauty that came out of it.

My name is Anna and I am a wife and stay-at-home mom to three wonderful kids! I have struggled in different ways with feeding my kids. With my first baby, I felt like I needed to breastfeed and was determined to do so! Ultimately, I just wasn’t able to produce enough to sustain her and ended up needing to do formula only. The thought of breastfeeding my second baby made me break out into tears because I was so afraid of “failing”… I fed her until she was two years old. My newest baby is 5 months old and had to be bottle fed for the first two weeks. Of course it was emotional and there were a lot of tears, but I was determined to not give up and he will be 6 months old this month, breastfed. I learned so much in my breastfeeding journey… you can’t allow yourself to feel like a failure but to be proud of what you’ve accomplished so far, because every day is an achievement.

To commemorate this journey, I so badly wanted a piece of breastmilk jewelry to hold onto. Unfortunately, they are so expensive that it wasn’t something I would be able to ever have…The fact that something so sentimental was out of reach for so many people infuriated me! So after a lot research I started making jewelry for family, friends, and myself. Once I realized how much it meant to everyone and even more so that it was affordable, I branched out. I am located in Nicholasville, KY but I have shipped all over the US, Canada, and UK. 

Each piece takes around 72 hours to create. I start with collecting and preserving the breastmilk. I heat the milk to kill off any bacteria inside, mix it with a special powder, and allow it to dry for 48 hours. Once the milk is dry, I crush it into a powder and mix it with resin and any other additives to make it 100% custom to how the mom would like the stone to look. I pour it into a mold and allow it to set completely. The process is long but worth it in the end and hearing the stories and seeing the reactions is why I donate so much time into the process! My rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets are sterling silver, rose gold plated silver, and gold plated silver. I also have wood plaques and desktop pyramids I can make. My jewelry starts from $50-$85 and each piece is unique and special in its own way. I’m not running a business; I’m just a mom of three wanting to use what I’ve learned to give back to other moms, because everyone deserves something so sentimental to hold onto.

Thanks to Anna for spreading the breastfeeding love! For more information about Anna’s beautiful pieces, check out the group on Facebook called TimelessTreasures, or via email at Annajlewis95@gmail.com

Real Client, Real Experience

Received from a current client as of January 2022:

I’ve been so thrilled with my experience 
with Elizabeth (and Katie) I would be glad to sing their praises any time!

Going in, I thought a lactation consultant would just show you how to 
hold the baby properly and ensure a good latch, I didn’t know enough to 
even realize there could be more to learn.
We’ve gotten so much more 
than that; Elizabeth has been so compassionate and encouraging; in 
talking over our problems, we always feel she’s part therapist for us, lol.

We didn’t realize that appointments would include before and after weigh 
ins for the baby, which has been such a reassurance.
When breastfeeding, 
it’s kind of hair raising to not know how much food your baby is 
actually getting. Having that info was such a relief.

Having someone inspect his mouth, gauge the strength of his suck, and 
tongue action, etc, was something I didn’t realize could even be 
examined
, and knowing that he doesn’t have any problems in those 
departments was also a relief; I’d say the same if she DID find 
problems, knowing is half the battle, after all.

She’s helped put to bed many of our anxieties about handwashing, green 
diapers, spit up, and some medical misconceptions (I had been worried 
that letting him comfort nurse would stimulate my body to keep producing 
more milk, but she explained that it’s a different sucking pattern and 
my body knows to ignore that in terms of milk production). Elizabeth has 
also given my husband pointers for bottle feeding, and advice on different 
nipple styles, and even a new nipple to test drive at home. In my mind, 
I thought a lactation consultant would cover breastfeeding alone; if we 
had gone with formula or exclusive bottle feeding of breastmilk, we 
never would have even thought about seeking out a lactation consultant. 
I imagine there are others like that too, who think this type of service 
is for the breast-fed baby alone.

Sometimes just watching how Elizabeth handles the baby has been so 
helpful too. Perhaps like many first time parents, we’ve been handling 
him like glass, so to see someone handle him more freely and confidently 
helped us realize he’s stronger than we think, and we have more freedom 
in how we hold him too. She’s also taught us new ways to hold him, and 
burp him, that have brought us a lot of success compared to the standard 
techniques we were shown in the hospital. She’s also given us ways to 
help strengthen his tongue function, like tracing our finger around his 
gums, and sweeping around on his soft palate and pushing down on his tongue.

Connecting with Katie has also been wonderful; we wouldn’t have even 
been aware such services existed if we hadn’t met her by chance at our 
first appointment with Elizabeth. In the same way, Katie handles the 
baby so confidently and effortlessly that we’re reminded we can handle 
him more freely too. And many of the exercises she has done with him are 
things we’ve been able to replicate at home as well (some different 
stretches, nothing with his skull, haha). He enjoys all the new touches!

Perhaps we’re just particularly hungry for confident 
familial energy to help guide us through this time and both Elizabeth 
and Katie have that kind of warmth and positivity. We’ll be sad when 
Emmery stops breastfeeding and we no longer have an excuse to go
.”

WE couldn’t ask for a better overview that touches on some (still not all) aspects of lactation support as practiced at Lactation Care with Elizabeth. A wholistic, family approach includes much more than a latch. And seeking help from an IBCLC affords expert advice on many aspects of lactation, feeding, structure and development.

Within the safe space of lactation support, processing and healing occur, both mental and physical. We are thankful for other professionals we include in our care for clients and love to hear about the progress made outside of our office. Thanks to our client for the kind words and personal examples of her experience with breastfeeding support!

Tips to Thrive Through the Holidays

Breastfeeding during the holidays can be a challenge! We hope you can thrive, not just survive.

Keep your breastfeeding goals in mind and remember these helpful hints during this festive season:

  • YOU are the parent and you know the best way to feed your baby. If someone has something to say more than “you are doing a great job parenting your baby”, tell them you are working with an IBCLC for feeding support.
  • -Support your milk supply! It is easy for baby to get passed around and to have grandma snuggle the baby extra long, so set your phone alarm and take the baby back for feedings, even if she is asleep. Use feeding times to reconnect with your baby, get some extra snuggles, and as a good excuse to avoid people you don’t want to talk to. Pump if you miss a feeding, or even add in an extra pump session or two to boost your supply.
  • Eat, drink, and be merry! Take advantage of extra hands to get a few minutes without the baby, relax, eat food you didn’t have to fix. Make sure to hydrate with water! Sage and peppermint can affect some people’s milk supply, so eat those in moderation. If you are drinking alcohol, as long as you can drive, you can feed your baby; no need to pump and dump.
  • Rest. You still have to get up at night to feed or pump, so find time to nap or sleep in or turn in early.
  • Snuggle your baby! Feeding and snuggling skin to skin will help support your supply, keep your baby secure and attached, and give you time to rest. Let other people do the work! Keep some water and a healthy snack handy.
  • Call for help. Our main line is always available, leave a message to receive a call back. If you are struggling with latch, supply, clogs or mastitis, or any other feeding issues, a virtual visit can get you back on track. Schedule online anytime and anywhere on our site https://Lactationcarewithelizabethscheduling.as.me/.

Enjoy the holidays, knowing that you are the best parent for your baby and are doing the best you can every day!

Is our Milk Party for you? An “outsider” perspective.

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.