Tuesday’s Tips: Helpful Counseling Tips for Medications, Herbs & Galactagogues from Dr. Frank Nice


As a lactation specialist or one aspiring-to-be, you may find yourself getting asked questions regarding the safety of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs by your breastfeeding clients. Or maybe it’s not medications, but the safety of herbs or the use of Galactagogues.


As lactation professionals (and those aspiring to be), it’s essential we stay within the scope of our training and certification. Diagnosing and prescribing prescription and OTC medications, herbs and galactagogues are outside the scope of practice for IBCLCs (and other lactation specialists) – unless of course, you’re also a licensed health care provider who has the ability to diagnose and prescribe medication. What we CAN do as lactation specialists is to counsel our breastfeeding clients and provide them with evidence-based resources so that they can make an informed decision that is best for themselves and their family.


In the Middle East where I used to live and practice, it was not common practice to question your physician’s recommendations, ask questions, or even to begin an open dialogue about potential alternatives, risks and benefits, etc. To question your doctor was a big no-no and it was something that just wasn’t done.

But because my client’s (and their infant’s) health and well-being come first, I encouraged every single one to bring every single evidence-based resources to their health care provider – to ask questions, demand answers and to begin an open dialogue. Yes, I admit I probably committed a few cultural faux pas, but it was worth it.

I found this not only enabled those I worked with to make informed decisions that worked best for them and their families, but it EMPOWERED them as well. The cherry on top was that it also educated health care professionals on lactation issues, which was often desperately lacking. Due to this approach, I was able to establish working relationships with local health care providers and to network. It was a win-win.


Dr. Frank Nice, RPh, DPA, CPHP

You may be wondering where to start when counseling your breastfeeding families on prescription and OTC drugs, herbs and galactagogues. How do you go about it? What approach would you take? What questions should you be asking and answering? Well, thanks for Dr. Frank Nice over at Nice Breastfeeding, he’s got all of this covered.

He has shared a wealth of information in order to help you help your breastfeeding families. Best of all, it’s all FREE and immediately accessble – just click here for practical, relevant counseling tips that you can begin applying with soon as the situation arises.

This link is divided into 3 sections: 1) About Mom, 2) About Baby, 3) Useful PDFs (on several topics including but not limited to Domperidone, Galactalogues and Herbs, and Recreational Drugs). These are free, downloadable and are perfect resources to share with your breastfeeding families.

And don’t forget to encourage your clients to share these handouts with their health care providers – not only will this create an open dialogue of how to best approach their situation and meet their needs, but it will also help to educate health care providers as well.

There is also a helpful ‘Patient Resources’ section with  Useful Links that you can share with your expecting and breastfeeding clients. Again, these are free!


Dr. Frank Nice, RPh, DPA, CPHP,  founder of Nice Breastfeeding, has over 40+ experience specializing in medications and  breastfeeding. He has also authored 2 books: Nonprescription Drugs for the Breastfeeding Mother, 2nd Edition (2011) and The Galactogogue Recipe Book (2017).


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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.

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