Right now, I am teaching breastfeeding classes, seeing private lactation clients, training women to become lactation educators, and actually breastfeeding a newborn…so needless to say my life is boobs and milk!
For me, the subject has two completely different sides. When I am teaching and working with clients, I am the educator that shares scientifically-proven, by-the-book knowledge. When I am in the presence of my mom friends, I am inclined to give less formal answers—sometimes adding in my own experiences—while still always speaking accurately with the most up-to-date information. For example, one group gets “microbiome” and the other gets “good bacteria from the birth canal”. Being both a professional and a participant makes me reflect on my work and life and how they are separate yet, currently, so connected. Breastfeeding is something I am so passionate about and I love that I get to share it on so many levels…so why are my approaches to sharing so drastically different? Am I cheating the moms with my basic answers to their important questions? YES!
I realized that this was true when I was reading a post in a moms group on Facebook about increasing milk supply. I responded, in the middle of many responses about oatmeal cookies, fenugreek and blue Gatorade, with a few sentences about demand and supply and power pumping. The only likes I got were from other professionals. Not one mom. I felt like the person posting wanted a quick and easy fix, when there is no such thing. She got many answers that may or may not help, all of which were drinks, snacks, or other single ingredients that could easily be purchased at the store. No real thought or work involved. If the remedies didn’t work, would she seek further assistance or just give up? This isn’t the first time I have witnessed this type of exchange, but this is the first time it bothered me to the point that it made me really think of how I can change things. The only way is education!
Being in the throws of breastfeeding a newborn might make it easier to get the information out to new moms because I can ask the questions and honestly answer them too.
1. Where are moms searching for information?
2. What are the most common questions?
3. Who is answering their questions?
We are in a time when most women are using their phones to Google questions and issues (while they are feeding their babies!), so I can utilize that platform to their advantage. Social media, watch out! The first step in my “educate the mamas” journey is to create a Facebook group dedicated to breastfeeding women and hopefully start some good discussions. As the word spreads, local moms will realize they have a place to get accurate information fast. Hopefully, in turn, they will be able to answer breastfeeding questions in other groups with more in-depth explanations and science-based information. Win-win! Maybe I will even spark some interest for the CLE™ training and increase the Certified Lactation Educators in the area. Then, it becomes a win-win-win!
CPD, CLD, CCCE, Postpartum Doula & Lactation Educator Faculty
Jodi Krentzman is first and foremost, a mother to her amazing 3 year old daughter. Giving birth was a life changing experience for her and was ultimately what made her decide to get involved in pregnancy and birth as a career. She felt compelled to educate women on the options and choices they have for their births to try and make each and every experience the very best it can be. Her priority as a Postpartum Doula is to support new mothers and families emotionally and physically and to educate them on the care of their precious newborn. Jodi is a certified Postpartum Doula and Postpartum Doula Trainer for CAPPA. She is also a trained Labor Doula and Childbirth Educator (CAPPA), currently working on both certifications.