Tuesday’s Tips & Tricks: DIY Versions of the ‘Happy Knappy’ (Breast Milk Poop Diaper) for Non-Knitters

 

If you remember reading about the ‘Happy Knappy’ Knitted Breastfed Baby Poop Diaper here on Galactablog awhile back, I promised an easy DIY version for those of you who don’t knit. In fact, I have more than 1 option to share, so let’s get started!

I want to emphasize that the ‘Happy Knappy’ is a teaching tool meant to show the breastfeeding families you’re working with what to expect with typical changes in breast milk poop (formula poop will look different). I’ve received many frantic calls from parents worrying themselves sick because their babe’s poop is turning green or is starting to resemble grainy mustard.  This is a great visual aid to show new and expecting parents what’s normal and what to expect. But it’s important to keep in mind that this is just 1 way for to gauge if their babe is getting enough milk, it should not be considered the only indicator. Big picture matters here folks. 

Option 1: Find someone you know who knits. It could be your grandma, neighbor, the crazy cat lady down the street, really, don’t be shy, just ASK! It can be a great way to meet someone new and if you’re like me, you’ll get to hear all about their own breastfeeding experience when you ask for the favor. Really, who would turn down the opportunity to knit some poop? Lucky for me, my awesome neighbor Patricia didn’t have the heart to say no (and she was excited to help in my efforts to promote breastfeeding).

We did an easier version of the original knitted ‘Happy Knappy.’ Instead  of knitting the white diaper AND all of the fun colored circles of poop, we found some super soft furry white fabric, cut it out into a diaper-like shape and then Patricia kindly knitted me some poop. We used double stick velcro to attach the poop to the diaper. According to her, the little poop circles were super easy and quick to knit – I think it took me longer running around the souqs and durham (dollar) stores here in the UAE trying to find poop-colored yarn than it did for her to knit it. Whatever the case, I’m extremely grateful.

Option 2: Use Fabric. I used the same soft fluffy white fabric as above since I already had it (but you could easily use a white dish towel, white bath towel, cut up an old white t-shirt, even a white sock) and then I dug in my fabric bin for colors that resembled poop. Low and behold, I had options!  Lots of options for poop. Who knew?! So I cut little circles using various shades of satin, velvet, linen and cotton fabric I had laying around and used double stick velcro to attach (you could also use tape, glue, sticky tack, etc.).  I must admit that the hoarder in me was secretly thrilled that I had enough fabric scraps to be selective of my poop options.

1. Foam Poop Circles

Option 3: Use foam, felt or even paper. Again I used the same white fabric but like I said above, use your imagination – you can use anything that’s white. If it’s used and a bit dirty, that’s okay, it will only make your diaper look more real. For the poop circles, I used colored foam (but you could use paper, felt, anything colored really that’s easy to cut). I did 2 examples of the foam poop – the 1st, I used just basic primary colors: black, green, 2 shades of brown and yellow.

For the 2nd version, I used a crayon to color over the foam in an attempt to make the poop look more realistic and authentic. Had I had more energy, I would’ve busted out my watercolors or acrylic paints and really went to town. But that’s for another day. I’m a bit pooped out at the moment.

2. Foam Poop Circles with Crayon Detailing On Top

Do you have a tip or trick that you think should be featured on Galactablog? If so, don’t be shy. Please share with me! You can contact me here.

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.

 

Tuesdays Tips & Tricks: Knitted Breastfed Baby Poop Diaper (a.k.a. ‘Happy Knappy’) as a Teaching Tool

Photo courtesy of Philippa Pearson-Glaze, IBCLC (2017) from the website: breastfeeding.support

Do you knit? If not, perhaps you have a friend, neighbor, relative or co-worker that knits? It is definitely worth asking around (and being willing to bribe) if you do not – or perhaps using this as a perfect excuse to learn yourself – because this adorable knitted diaper demonstrating what normal breastfed baby poop looks like for the first 5 days (and in weeks 1-6 postpartum) is a great, effective teaching tool – not only for prenatal breastfeeding classes but also for home and hospital consultations you may be doing soon after birth.

I’m sure many of you have received frantic phone calls from scared, worried parents telling you their baby’s poop is black, green and/or yellow. A visual teaching aid like the ‘Happy Knappy’ not only teaches parents what to expect (and what’s normal) with regards to the color, consistency and size of an exclusively breastfed baby’s poop, but it also is an indicator if babe is getting enough milk or not, babe’s general health and how breastfeeding is going.  See Philippa Pearson-Glaze’s article, “Breastfed Baby Poop” for more detail on what exclusively breastfed baby poop should look like and how to use the ‘Happy Knappy’ as a teaching tool.

Wondering how to knit the ‘Happy Knappy’? La Leche League International has a FREE pattern here.

(courtesy of Alison Blenkinsop, 2014)

Don’t knit yourself? And you don’t know anyone who knits? Have no fear – next Tuesday’s ‘Tips & Tricks’ will feature DIY options that do NOT require any knitting whatsoever. Stay tuned.

Do you have musical talent? Want to make your clients giggle and give them a fun way to remember what normal breastfed baby poop looks like? Try singing the song, “The Five Days of Feeding” while you are demonstrating your ‘Happy Knappy.’

“The Five Days of Feeding” Song

Sung to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

On the first day of feeding, your babe will give to you a wee and a sticky black poo.

On the second day of feeding, 
your babe will give to you
two little wees and a less sticky, thinner dark poo.

On the third day of feeding, 
your babe will give to you
three little wees, two little burpsand a big greeny-browny soft poo.

On the fourth day of feeding, 
your babe will give to you four little wees, three little farts, two little burps and a nice runny toffee-brown poo.

On the fifth day of feeding, 
your babe will give to you five bi-ig wees;
four little farts, three big burps, two overflows, and a large golden mustard-seed poo!

(Song from Alison Blenkinsop’s 2008 book Fit to Bust: A Comic Treasure Chest, chapter 5.)

Do you have a tip or trick that you think should be featured on Galactablog? If so, don’t be shy. Please share with me! You can contact me here.

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!

Guest Post: DIY Mouth for a Soft Baby Doll by Tova Ovits

DIY Mouth for a Soft Baby Doll

Guest post by Tova Ovits, IBCLC at FirstLatch.com

The First Latch teaches prenatal Breastfeeding 101 classes at a local birthing center that provided expensive plastic dolls with awkwardly twisted legs and necks. The rigid dolls were not helpful for demonstrating breastfeeding positions, and were more useful for demonstrating the need to get therapy for torticollis. When I saw a YouTube video of IKEA dolls that were weighted, I had to hack my own dolls and figured out how to add an open mouth and tongue. The new mouth opens widely enough to demonstrate a nipple tilt or breast sandwich with a crocheted demo breast.

IKEA hack for TT doll

IKEA’s LEKKAMRAT soft Caucasian, Asian, and black dolls cost about $10 each. Their arms and legs rotate at the shoulder and thigh, allowing the “baby” to hug mom’s breast. Because I hacked the dolls in the springtime and stretchy one-size-fits-all winter gloves weren’t available, I used 2 fingers of a stretchy shower glove from the dollar store for each mouth and tongue.

Step 1: Cut 2 fingers off the stretchy glove and place one finger inside the other, with the fingertip sticking out and the cut end inside the other fingertip. The inner finger is the tongue inside the outer finger’s mouth. The cut edges of the outer finger will be folded in to create the new lips.

Step 2: Carefully cut open the doll’s embroidered mouth. Cut a little bit more than the width of the mouth, to allow it to open wider. Use your finger to separate the top and bottom of the mouth and press the embroidered lips into the hole to support the new mouth.

Step 3: Insert the new mouth & tongue (tucked glove fingers) into the hole you created. Use your finger to push it in deeply, making sure that the tongue (glove fingertip) lies flat inside the mouth (cut edge of the glove finger). Extend the edges of the new mouth to cover the outer edges of the doll’s embroidered lips.

Step 4: Fold the edges of the glove against the doll’s face, so the cut end doesn’t unravel, and sew the folded edge along the outer edge of the doll’s (embroidered) lips. Tack the corners of the new lips upward, to create a smile. Sew a philtrum into the top lip by tacking down the top center.

Step 5 (optional): To demonstrate tongue tie, tie a knot at the end of your thread and insert your sewing needle from the doll’s chin into the doll’s mouth, then tack the tongue down through the chin. Pull the knot down, so the thread has room to let the tongue elevate and extend, and knot the other end of the thread. The knots let you pull the tongue back down; hold them tightly to show how a tie keeps the tongue from moving properly.

To weight the doll after completing the mouth, carefully open the seams along the neck/back and arms and legs. I used florist sand (from IKEA) in some of my dolls, and organic cedar chips (kitty litter!) in others. I put the weight material into zip top snack bags or sandwich bags and carefully stuffed the bags into the holes in the doll, then sewed the seams shut. They weigh between 2 and 4 pounds when stuffed. I carry a lightweight doll in my bag for home visits (only the head is weighted, to allow the doll to “look up” to latch). We give heavier dolls to give the pregnant couples in our Breastfeeding 101 classes. You can make your doll as heavy as you want by adding more or less weighting material. 


ikea dolls

Tova, this is an absolutely brilliant, affordable, easy option that is helpful and useful in so many ways. Thank you so much for your willingness to share with us. You have no idea how many breastfeeding families around the world will be helped due to your creativity. Do you have a helpful, DYI solution that you’ve “MacGyvered” or hacked to make a product that can help breastfeeding families? If so, don’t be shy! Please share it with Galactablog!

DIY Pumping Bras

Living in Lebanon, access to affordable and quality maternity and nursing clothing (and accessories) is almost an impossible feat. Often when we finally find it, it’s expensive or not well-made and we’re not even sure it will last a few washings. Even in the States and around the world, many can’t afford the $40+ a pumping bra can cost. Well, no worries – you can make your own for FREE with just a little bit of time, imagination and an old bra (or in one case, rubber bands). Here are videos demonstrating 3 different ways to make a DYI pumping bra. If you know of other ways, please do share!

1) Using an old sports bra

2) Using a regular bra (offers more support for those who are bigger chested)

3) A nifty rubber band trick using your breast pump

 All 3 videos DYI Pumping Bra are featured here on Galactablog’s Youtube Channel which makes it easy to share and view. Check it out and subscribe so you don’t miss a video.

Interested in DYI options? You can make your own nursing tanks and tops as well! Easy peasy. See Galactablog’s YouTube DYI Nursing Tops channel for more DYI how-to-videos and Galactablog’s “DYI Breastfeeding Hacks” Pinterest Board for more ideas.

Welcome to Galactablog

Hello-Welcome-Picture

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