Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks: How to use grapes to illustrate lactating breast anatomy & milk production

It’s Tuesday! That means it’s time for some tips and tricks. Do you ever struggle in explaining lactating breast anatomy and how milk production works to your clients? Perhaps you have the definitions and explanations down pat, but you can see their tired eyes glossing over and it’s obvious they are losing interest. I’ve learned that fun, visual props not only make great conversation and keep attention, but they work as visual aids much better than words alone. Bonus points if the prop is completely unrelated to breastfeeding. Come on, who wouldn’t want to pay attention when you pull a bunch of grapes out of your lactation bag. Yup, you heard that right – GRAPES!

You may be scratching your head and wondering, what the heck to grapes have to do with breastfeeding or lactation? Not everyone has the money or access to fancy breast models (and some clients may not be able to read or understand complicated breast diagrams), so I’ve learned that keeping it basic and simple, along with using something that you probably already have laying around, is cheaper, easier, quite effective, practical and oh so fun. So let’s get to it. If you live in an area where grapes aren’t expensive and they are available, hurry and go get some. They serve as fantastic visual props to illustrate breast anatomy and how milk production works. Bear with me here. Take a quick look at this very basic diagram of a lactating breast (on  different topic, I was surprised at how many breast diagrams still existed that contained lactiferous sinus) and then the grapes. Do it a few times.

 

Are you starting to see the resemblance? Can you see how if you look closely (and use your imagination), that in a bunch of grapes, you can point out the ducts, alveoli (clusters of glandular tissue that look like small, grape-like sacs), lobules (cluster of alveoli), a lobe (cluster of lobules), ductules, adipose (fatty) tissue and so on? Get creative and have fun with it – I guarantee they’ll pay attention. Now if you happen to come up with a simple, basic, quick script, please do share – mine is still kinda rambly and dense, it’s something I’m constantly evolving.

If you want to have fun with it, bring different colors of grapes – just as all breasts come in different sizes, shapes and colors – so do grapes! Don’t forget to share, after all, a breastfeeding mother needs to eat.

Do you have a tip or trick for Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks series? If so, don’t be shy! FREEBIE Please do share – I promise to give you full credit.  You can contact me here or email me at: galactablog@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Tongue Tie Educational Video Teaching Tip

This incredibly useful, creative and educational video tip by MaryAnn O’Hara, MD, MPH is excellent for teaching lactation professionals, aspiring lactation specialists, breastfeeding peer counselors and even parents HOW to understand (and teach) tongue tie  what is is, how it can affect breastfeeding and what clipping entails. Dr. O’Hara’s approach is innovative, applicable and brilliant. I must say so myself, it’s quite fun to do as well. But I worn you, it takes a bit of practice, so practice at home in front of a mirror first!

I’d like to note that I heard about this video via Lisa Green, DNP, RN, who mentioned it during one of her lectures that was a part of ASU’s Clinical Lactation Management program.

Do you have any educational videos in mind that you’d like to share? Perhaps one that helps better illustrate a concept or another that has incredible eye-catching graphics. If it relates to lactation, contact Galactablog with your ideas! Also, check out Galactablog’s Youtube Video channel. Breastfeeding-related topics are categorized and arranged as different playlists. Again, if you’d like me to add any videos you find particularly effective, don’t be shy, let me know!

Let’s do the Flipple!

Do you have a mother who is struggling with a shallow latch? Or perhaps she has sore, cracked and/or bleeding nipples? Do you feel like you’ve gone through your bag of tricks and are running out of ideas? Check out the “flipple” technique by Wagonbird on Youtube. It takes some practice, so practice with yourself or your fake breast before encouraging others to try it. Personally, several of my clients have told me the the “flipple” has saved their breastfeeding experience. So why not give it a try?

Check out Galactablog’s Youtube “Breastfeeding Tricks” Playlist for more variations on the “flipple” technique.

Welcome to Galactablog

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Welcome to Galactablog! Have a look around, make yourself at home. There are lots of free resources: webinars and podcasts, handouts, journal articles, training modules, DYI breastfeeding tips, tricks and products, CERPs/CEUs and more. Topics relevant to lactation will be blogged about and shared – not only by myself, but also by lactation specialists and those aspiring-to-be from around the world.

guest postIf you have a special topic that you’re passionate about – consider writing a Guest Post. I’d love to feature it and of course, give you all the credit. Plus, you’ll have a free opportunity for shameless self-promotion. Send me your ideas here.

Galactablog has some fun weekly series – so keep your eyes out for ‘Freebie Friday,’ ‘Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks,’ ‘Words from the Wise‘ and ‘The Sunday Review.’

Check out Galactablog’s Pinterest Boards and YouTube Channel, both full of social-media-design-concept_1284-5151free breastfeeding-related videos for parents and professionals. All are free resources you can use to further your own lactation knowledge and to help those around you breastfeed. Galactablog is also on Twitter and Facebook, both as a ‘Community Group‘ and a closed, private group open to lactation professionals, those aspiring-to-be and breastfeeding supporters.

If you’re interested in furthering your lactation training, check out the various lactation training opportunities under the “Lactation Training” tab in the header. I’m not in any way affiliated with any of the programs, nor do I earn any money or incentives – I just want to disseminate the information out to those who need it. If you know of a program I’ve left out, please send the info my way so it can be included.

final the sunday review lactation programsGalactablog is the ONLY blog in the world to publish reviews of lactation training programs in the weekly ‘Sunday Review’ series, so for those of you who’ve taken these trainings and/or finished lactation training programs, consider writing a review so we can help others decide what program and will best fit their needs. You can use your name or go anoymous – up to you. You can find the review form here. Lactation programs ARE reading the reviews published and your review can help create change.

I look forward to working collaboratively in order to create FREE resources accessible worldwide to help not only my fellow Lacties, but to help encourage breastfeeding.

Stay tuned for more,
Tamara