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Season 4 Episode 1: Holding space for your feeding troubles and triumphs, with Lo Nigrosh, IBCLC

Tanya Tringali

Are you pregnant or a new parent looking to ensure a better postpartum experience? Or are you a birth worker looking to improve your postpartum care skills? Check out thriving after birth, an online self paced course by me, midwife and educator Tanya Tringali. It's 10 and a half hours of video content featuring experts in lactation, mental health, pelvic floor health, pediatric sleep issues. You also get worksheets in a workbook as well as options to have a one on one session with me. Sign up and mother went maternity.com/thriving and let's improve postpartum care together.


Hey, everyone, I'm your midwife Tanya Tringali. Welcome to the mother wit podcast, a show about the issues we healthcare consumers and providers face every day as we interact with the medical system. We'll talk about its blind spots, shortcomings, and share strategies we can use to feel seen and heard no matter which side of the table we sit on.


We are kicking off the season with a fellow birth worker and podcast host lo Nyah Grosh, the owner of Quabbin birth services, she's a doula childbirth educator, Certified Lactation counselor, and host of milk making minutes, a show that explores breastfeeding struggles and triumphs through the lens of systemic and cultural barriers. She's also a mother of two who struggled to meet her own breastfeeding goals. She seeked quality help, which made all the difference. She lives and serves the people of Central Massachusetts. So many of us who get into birth work and advocacy do so after a trying and or exhilarating experience. This was certainly my story. And I suspect it's part of Lowe's as well. So with that said, Welcome, lo I'm so excited to have you and learn more about you and from you. Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be here.


All right. So tell us a little bit more about yourself. I know I just gave you a a decent intro, but I'm sure there's other details that you'd like to share with our listeners.


Lo

Yeah, so um, I thought I was really prepared going into birth, I took a 12 week Bradley education course I dragged my partner there, he went willingly. But you know, it was 12 weeks long, two hours a night. And we, you know, I read all the books, I felt really prepared and then just got knocked off my feet by not only birth, but really lactation is where I really got thrown a curve. And even now that I'm a lactation professional, that's really where I put most of my energy these days, I just sat for the IBCLC exam. So I'm just waiting.


Tanya Tringali

Yay!


Lo

That's where I put most of my energy when it comes to birth work these days.I look back on my story. And I still really don't know what happened. I ended up breastfeeding my son for over three and a half years and it and it hurt the whole time, the pain never went away. And even though I saw many very trusted professionals,we never could figure it out. And so just like you said, even though, you know, some people come to this work through an experience of bliss. And then there are others of us who come to this experience, thinking what happened? Why is it so hard, and that was really my experience, too. I suffered so much. And I had this experience feeling like I often could not talk about my struggles, because when I did I was met with either unsolicited advice, like I just wanted to get it off my chest. I just wanted to say how much I was struggling and I didn't want unsolicited advice. Or I had people telling me, why are you putting yourself through this? Why don't you just change your plan? And that's not what I wanted to do. And when I meet with clients, I tried to figure out what is it that you want to do? Let's let's get you there. And if somebody is really looking for the permission, so to speak, to change their plan, then let's get you there. But that's not what I wanted. And often, that's what people were pushing me to do.


Tanya Tringali

You know, you just made me think of an analogy. It's something that I do a lot and working with people is like try to frame one thing in the context of something I think people can understand. And I just thought of a new one. You just made me think about breastfeeding. Similarly to how I think about the use of an epidural. There are ways in which people come to you and talk to you about what they think they know or what they think they want. So a common thing people will say when you say, what kind of birth experience are you hoping for? So many people will say something like, well, I want to see where I get, I want to see how much I can do on my own. But I'm not like opposed to an epidural. That's a very common stance. And I just realized that many people approach breastfeeding from a similar place, and that I talk to people about their breastfeeding goals kind of in a similar strategic way, as I talked to people about their approach to birth, because saying those things, although that may be 100%, where that person will land, to me often says, I don't have all the information I need yet. So I'm a little undecided. And I'm playing in this middle ground because it feels safe.


Lo

Exactly, yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And so the way I approach it is I just want people to be informed about whatever decision they're making and know where it's going to lead. And as long as they know, okay, this is where it's going to lead, potentially, then great. Let's get you know, let's help you take the next right step.


Tanya Tringali

Absolutely. And on that note, one of the things I say to people all the time is, I never want you to look back and say to me, if I had only known x, y, z. So that's why we're traveling these paths. Now, I'm not trying to convince you of anything, I'm not trying to make you want something you don't want, I don't have an agenda. It's not my body, it's not my baby. But I want you to hear what we know, I want you to know where the science isn't so great. And we can take it with a grain of salt, like all of those things. And that's so much about the trust building that I think is missing from health care. But I digress, and we're going to talk about that later.

It's challenging, back to you and your journey, because I think we want to dig a little bit deeper here. I am super fascinated by the fact that you even with all your education at this point, you're looking back on a three and a half year breastfeeding journey, and you still don't have answers, and I'm just wondering how that feels.


Lo

You know, I have, I've come to terms with it. It's, it's really weird to know that it helps it helps me approach my clients with this sense of sometimes we really just don't know, I think often people start to mistrust start to get a mistrust of lactation professionals in particular, because they know their bodies best, I truly believe that every person is an expert of their own body. And when they start coming to a lactation professional who acts like they know the other person bodies, the other person's body better. And, and the person who is producing the milk is saying, but that's not my experience. That's not what's happening with me, I'm telling you, that's not what's happening with me. It builds a mistrust of the profession. Because I was doing all the right things. I was doing all the right things. I got four tongue tie procedures with my son, one under general anesthesia, the pain never went away for me. I was one of those people who produce just the right amount of milk when I was with my son. But when I had to be separated from him, I could not produce enough with a pump. So we did have to supplement. And, you know, in looking back, I still you know, maybe I wasn't using the right Falange sizes, knowing now knowing what I know now, you know, there's a few things that I can look at to say, yeah, maybe there are a few things that I could have done differently. Butwe never figured it out. And so I'm not going to tell anybody who comes to me that we can 100% solve every lactation mystery. Yeah, because we can't, there are just some mysteries that we're not going to solve. And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we live in a culture that does not support feeding babies human milk. And there are so many missteps along the way. We don't see it around us all the time, everywhere. And so it's really a lost art culturally, and we have lost it culturally. And that means those of us who are trying to feed human milk to our babies struggle more. And I don't think it has always been this way for humans. But it is this way for humans now. And it's not supported culturally. It's not supported by the medical profession. And so it has become more difficult for us to feed our babies and those lactation professionals who are saying, It's not difficult, it shouldn't be difficult. It's just not true. It's difficult for so many people. And so we need to approach people with care. When they're saying it's difficult. Yeah, and what your it is.


Tanya

And what you're getting at is absolutism. And that's kind of the death of us, right? Whether we're talking about breastfeeding, or pelvic health. Another analogy coming to mind right now is people pelvic health professionals will say, postpartum sex should never hurt, I actually take a different approach to that and say, it should not be unbearable, you should not be holding your breath, you should not be gripping, and like working your way through it. But if there's some discomfort, but then every single time after it improves, I consider that normal because I've seen enough people go through that trajectory and ended up fine, ballpark by the time they have their fourth sexual experience, let's say. And again, we're talking broad strokes here. But breastfeeding is similar, right? We have a learning curve, the undermining that you talk about though the like, the part where we're saying somebody is saying, I know your body better than you. One of the things I talk about a lot, and I know you'll agree with me here, or I don't know, but I assume assume this starts right away, right after birth, the labor and delivery nurse, the midwife that whoever's involved, who watches that initial latch and tells you that it's fine.


Lo

Well, it's one of my biggest pet peeves. I hear time and time again, on the milk making minutes. So on my podcast, people essentially share their experiences of baby feeding. And time and time again, I hear people tell me that somebody, they told me it was fine. They told me the latch was fine. And so I just believed them. Right? And then that that makes my work with people slower, because they're saying to me, oh, no, someone was there, Tanya, someone put their eyes on me. And they said, it was fine. You can't really see me because we're virtual Wink, wink. And I'm like, but actually, all your words are telling me that we have something that we need to address here. And there's a little undoing that it takes. And by then we've sometimes wasted some time added some days of pain. Now, with that said, I'm also not here saying that I think first latch must be perfect or should be perfect. But we have to just continue to tweak and continue to experiment. And that's another thing that's lacking from the system. We just put quick eyes on people and go Yeah, yeah, it's fine. That person thinks they were well assessed. They were not.


Tanya Tringali

Right. I have said on my podcast multiple times, lactation professionals, if you're listening to this, just stop telling people that it looks fine. Instead, we should ask the person, how does that feel? How does that feel to you? What are you noticing? And and because then you walk away either feeling this doesn't it? This isn't fine, or this is fine, according to what somebody else has said. And you take away that person's expertise. Instead of building up that person's expertise of I am the I am the person, the parent here, this is my baby. And instead of building up a sense of I can learn how to be the feeder of this baby. And I can start to get a sense of what this should feel like and start to notice what feels good and what doesn't feel good.


We take that away by saying that looks good. So I was listening to an episode of your podcast where you had a mental health professional on who was talking about her breastfeeding journey and how she missed her own postpartum depression. First of all, that was fascinating. But that's not the part I'm going for here. Just reminding you which episode it is. And anyway, in the story, the best part for me was when she one day and I don't think she said how far along postpartum she was, which was something I was like desperate to know, one day, she finally tried sideline nursing and nursed painlessly. And that was like, so magical. And I think that's another thing memo that people don't get is. There's just all that trial and error. And that's why I talk about experimentation. So much. So whether I'm in my like personal trainer mode, because I do a lot of fitness specific stuff. I always use the word experiment, because I want to lower the pressure. This isn't forever. Whatever's happening right now is just right now, it's like it's just one contraction. It's the same thing. We're going to try something different on the next one. Right. But they have to know that they have a team of people committed to that experimental work that it takes, right?


Lo

Yeah, and that's why I've always said you know, the analogy you bring up using analogies The analogy that I have used when it comes to feeding babies iscooking. Soyou know we have lost feeding babies from our bodies as an art culturally, and I always use the analogy of cooking, if we grow up cooking with our families in the kitchen, from the time we're itty bitty, we pick things up that we don't even know we're picking up, like we notice when somebody stirs the pot just a little bit, or throws in a little salt, or does a little taste test. And we notice when to turn up the heat a little bit, or when to turn it down, or when to add a little spice of this. And it's the same with feeding our babies. So that sideline example that you just gave, if we were around people feeding their babies from their bodies, all the time, from the time we were itty bitty, we just saw it everywhere, we would have seen 1000 people feeding their babies and sideline position, in laid back position in all sorts of weird positions that people do adjusting their breasts in various ways. From the time we were at BT, and we would have picked up on those things without even knowing we were picking up on it. But because we don't see it. And often, most of us who are feeding a baby from our body are doing it for the first time. Without ever having seen another person do it up close and personal. We don't pick up on it. It's like going off to college and moving into your own apartment and never having cooked an egg.


Tanya Tringali

Yeah. I love it. I love analogies. That's a good one.


Lo

Yeah, and so that's why it feels harder. That's why it feels harder now because it really is harder. Yeah. And and we are not in our villages, we don't have a huge network of support the vast majority of us. And that's really challenging.


Tanya Tringali

So even if we, I'm sure there's some people listening that are like, I don't know, if the humans changed that much. I'm not sure I'm buying that one. Okay, so let's assume everything is the same. If everything is the same, and we have a village, there are still other people around who might breastfeed your baby for you and give you a break, or whatever the case may be, right? And so regardless of how much or how little or how whatever we've changed or not, there were other systems in place that served similar purposes to the things we do now, which is like, Oh, you need a break, we have to give some formula you can't pump or whatever it is, there were other ways to approach these things that involve community. At the very least, they weren't saying why are you feeding your baby here? That's disgusting. Okay, so I understand a bit more about who you are and your background, and we are clearly very well aligned, because we just dove right in. But tell me a little bit about how your experience led you into birth work. Yeah, so um, I had seen a lactation professional in the hospital. I went there a few times. And then I went to an IBCLC, a private practice IBCLC a couple of times.And the first time I walked into actually quite a few times, maybe 12 times or so. And the second time first or second time I walked into her office, I said, How do you become an IBCLC?


Lo

I was in the field of education for about 10 years. And so I was still on my maternity leave. I went back to education for quite a few years after I had my first child. But she told me and I was like, Man, that seems like it's a lot of work to become an IBCLC. But I knew that second time that first or second time that I walked into the private practice IBCLC office that I was going to become one. It just took me a while. So that was about nine years ago. But I had known a doula. So I took the doula training first I was I had also become kind of interested in birth work. And I thought that was a quicker pathway. And so I took the doula training first, and I was doing birth work for a while, but it's I don't live in an area where I have lots of help where I can just rush off and have somebody to take care of my children. And so it was a little bit hard to find childcare really hard to find childcare. And so I was doing some birth work, but not a lot. And then I got my CLC and I got hired by a locally owned, pump, distributor and insurance covered pump distributor, and it's a small woman owned company.She just one full time employee, and then she hires CLCs, who also bring their children to work. And we provided lactation counseling to anyone who got a pump from us. And so we would get prescriptions from local OBGYN, OBGYN and midwifery offices. And then we would call those patients and we would help them select their insurance covered breast pump, and then provide lactation counseling in addition to the breast pump. And we also did in home deliveries if people chose that. And so we could bring the pump to them, help them set up answer any questions they had about both milk supply and the use of the breast pump. And so I did that for about four years until this last May. And then I knew I was gearing up to take the ibclc exam. And so I decided to branch out on my own open my own practice, which I'm slowly doing now as I wait to get my results. And in March, I started my podcast as well to kind of supplement my, my private practice. Very cool. Your story is really great. I love it. Yeah, yeah. And the, you know, getting to work for the insurance covered breast pump supplier was pretty amazing. I live in Massachusetts, so almost everybody has health care. And I speak Spanish. I was a bilingual educator for most of my time as a teacher, and so that was really great, because I picked up you know, I had not really learned Spanish language lactation counseling when I got my CLC. But then I became she she had two native Spanish speakers who were lactation counselors in the eastern part of our state, but I was the person who answered the phones for any Spanish language needs. And then I did in home deliveries for people who needed Spanish lactation counseling for the Eastern for the western part of the state. So that was really great, too. I got to learn Spanish language lactation counseling, in addition to the English clients that I did. So that was really neat.


Tanya Tringali

That sounds like a really fun kind of entryway job into all the things that you've started working on sense. And it's also a really great segue into my next question for you, which is, you know, now that I get your personal journey a bit, I want you to speak a little bit about how you became more acutely aware of the the systemic and cultural barriers that exist to breastfeeding in the United States, as you understand them.


Lo

Oh, man, well, some just through my own experience, as a person who was trying to work and feed my babies simultaneously. And then I think working for the pump supplier, and hearing so many people's stories of wanting to feed human milk to their babies, and being thrust into work so early. And not having a choice and wanting to provide milk and struggling so much to do so. Or sometimes we would hear from people and they would have already given birth. And they were now back home. And they weren't even offered a breast pump at the hospital. And often those people would be native Spanish speakers, so they weren't even. They weren't even offered lactation counseling at the hospital. And it was just assumed that they were not going to breastfeed. So those stories always broke my heart that just because they were a native Spanish speaker, there was a bias that they did not want lactation counseling, or they did not want a breast pump that was offered free through insurance. You know, there was no skin off of anybody's back to be able to provide that for them.


Tanya Tringali

Wow.


Lo

So, and then in just talking to friends and clients over the years, when you hear when you hear people's stories, when you tell somebody that you're a birth worker, when you tell somebody that you're a doula, or that you are a lactation counselor, they start to tell you their stories of birth and breastfeeding. And I heard so many people take on the guilt of feeling like they failed.I tried to breastfeed my babies but I never produced enough milk. I tried to breastfeed my babies butit was just too hard. I tried to breastfeed my babies but for formula was just so much easier. And you could hear you hear the shame in the stories, you hear people feeling guilty for whatever choice they felt they needed to make at that time. And when you hear, even on the milk making minutes, when I hear people tell their stories, I had somebody tell a story. Her name is Chelsea, and she had a blissful first breastfeeding experience. And then she had a second baby. And he was born with a congenital heart defect that required multiple surgeries. It was a very stressful time, he will need multiple surgeries moving forward. And she felt so guilty about not being able to continue breastfeeding her baby coded. And I was able to explain to her right there on the podcast, the hormones of milk supply. And how, of course, of course, you weren't able to get milk out at that time. And here's why. Here's what was going on hormonally. And guess how many antibodies are present in one teaspoon of breast milk? And look what you provided for him for those months that you did provide breast milk for him. And right there on the podcast. She was like, Oh, my gosh, I didn't know that. That is amazing. And so to be able to change the narrative and say, I did as much as I could for as long as I could. And it was not my fault. And I was able to say to her, somebody should have come to you and said, What do you need in this moment? Do you want to keep providing breast milk? Because the problem was, every time she walked out of the room, her her son's levels would hurt his heart would his heart rate would drop, and he would get super stressed out. And so she felt like she couldn't leave the pump. And so and she wasn't in the mindset to, to like, troubleshoot that. And so you know, and nobody else was saying, Do you need to pump right here next to him? Do you want me to hold your baby while you go pump like, you know, so there was nobody offered her lactation counseling. So like, the system failed her right. And that's an extreme example. But what I tried to help people understand is that you did not fail. You did the best job you could, given the information you had.


Tanya Tringali

It might be an extreme example, but it really is a good one in that it highlights the layers of failure.


Hey, everyone, it's me, Tanya, your host here at the mother wit podcast. You know, I sometimes invite my clients on the show to talk about their birth stories and postpartum experiences. But I want to tell you a little bit more about what those clients and I actually do together. I started mother wit to help people in the perinatal period achieve their health and wellness goals. That means whether you're hoping to conceive and struggling with high blood pressure, or high blood sugar, or you're having trouble managing anxiety or depression in the postpartum period, or maybe you just need support and advocacy between prenatal or postpartum visits, I can help get a discount on your first consultation with me at Motherwitmaternity.com using the code first console 10% off. That's one 0% symbol, all one word. I'm looking forward to working with you, and maybe having you on the show too.


Unknown Speaker

We hope you're enjoying the mother whip podcast. If you are, please rate us and leave a review in iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you're listening to your podcast. Thanks so much. Now back to the show,


Tanya Tringali

Right? Because we can break this apart. And in a way for better or for worse. We can remove blame from any particular individual. For example, the bedside NICU nurse probably had so much on her plate that she couldn't make that thought, right. So every time we isolate and look at an individual, we can give them an out because that's the system failing us as health care providers. Right? This is at the root of all burnout and everything else that you know I often talk about on the show. Yeah, it's really disappointing and so we can talk about the systemic failures for our clients. But we can't do that in a vacuum and not talk about the systemic failures for health care providers that take the best of us and speak to us up and spit us out.


Lo

Right. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Even starting with she knew that her son was going to have this diagnosis in utero. Yeah. And so that counseling could have started early on. She had had this blissful breastfeeding experience early on. And I asked her, Did anyone ask you, you know how you wanted to feed your baby? And she said, Yes. And I told them, I wanted to breastfeed, but then there was no counseling about what that would look like, from even from the beginning. And unfortunately, health care, most health care providers really aren't educated about breastfeeding. And that's really where it needs to start.


Tanya Tringali

Yeah, yeah. And it takes a really proactive person with significant resources to seek out prenatal breastfeeding support. So we can scream from the mountaintops that there's a role for breastfeeding support prenatally, but most people don't get it, don't get the memo can't afford it. All sorts of things.


Lo

Right, exactly. Right.


Tanya Tringali

So in your mind, what is there anything that you think an individual besides the great example from the beginning of the show where we said, stop telling people that it looks fine, that one aside? Because that's a great one and it like kind of trumps all in a certain sense in my mind, but is there anything else that you see as individuals, regardless of your role in health care, whether it's doulas, midwives, labor and delivery nurses, NICU nurses, everybody, that is there something that we could be doing differently, that's just one, one step for the individual that could make a change that might have ripple effects. In terms of the positive effect on the system.


Lo

I think it's really important for anyone who works with parents in the perinatal period, to have a really good relationship with a couple of lactation professionals. Like a really good relationship, where you can call them on the phone and text them and ask questions. And lactation professionals should also have really good relationships with, you know, a couple of pediatricians and a couple of OB GYN and a couple of midwives. Like we need to have a network of people who are outside of our individual scope that we trust, and we can ask questions of, but I feel like lactation professionals, you know, we have vast knowledge about a lot of areas when it comes to baby feeding, not just, you know, sticking a breast in a baby's mouth. And I feel like we're really underutilized sometimes in in situations where a parent is really struggling to feed their baby. And, and so a trusted lactation professional who you know, is going to really serve a family in a non judgmental way who you can send somebody to, if they're really struggling either mental health wise, you know, maybe somebody just needs to hear from a lactation professional. Hey, you did the best job you could. Given your situation. Let's figure out how to make you feel really good about all the work you did. Because I'm a lactation professional. And, you know, I understand how much you wanted this. But here's what the situation is looking like physiologically, and hormonal II.


Tanya Tringali

So on that note, can you expand a little bit on how a person who does not plan to breastfeed whether it's that they planned to exclusively pump or pump to some extent, or even exclusively formula feed? What is the role of lactation specialists in this population? Because I think they don't know that they can utilize you or they're afraid to because they're afraid they're gonna get shamed for their choices?


Lo

Yeah, actually, I just was on. I just got to be on a on a podcast that explores infant and child loss. And I talked about how to deal with milk when in that situation, and and unfortunately, this is an area where people get very little guidance, and often people are left to their own devices and yes, so in a situation in which you don't plan to use your milk if you have delivered a baby, or you only plan to use your milk for a little while if you have delivered a baby and the placenta has been delivered milk is coming, whether you want it to or not. And so a lactation professional really can help guide you to slowly allow that milk to, to wean off making milk so that you do that in a safe way. So that the engagement does not get out of control and so that you do not end up with infections, because what can happen is if you try to cold turkey it or just bind your body, or try to just ignore the problem, you could end up with infections or abscesses and make the problem worse.


Tanya Tringali

Do you see that happen? And people who have never put a baby or a pump to their breast?


Lo

Um, yeah, you can, you can see that happen. Sometimes that works out. Okay. That's the advice that people use, that's the advice that medical professionals use to give is just like, you know, wear a tight sports bra and and just ignore it, ignore it, but it can lead to built up milk, because so it's coming.


Tanya Tringali

I actually asked that for, as I said, at the beginning, I wanted to learn from you as well. That is the only situation in which I tell people something along those lines, including Motrin and cold packs, and all the things to try to make them feel better is when they have zero intention of putting anything to their breast, because as far as I know, now, of course, we don't know everything, right, unless you are a solo midwife, and you get every single phone call, you don't know what you miss. And generally speaking, if you're on call for 24 hours, and you're in a group practice, you're off for a day, then you're in the office, you might not know. So I can sit here and say, to my knowledge, I haven't had someone get a breast infection if they haven't breastfed a little bit or pumped a little bit and gotten any damage. But again, I'm probably not in a position to get the phone call at the right time because of that. So that's why I was curious. Because it almost I guess another voice in my mind is saying, Am I sending a message I don't intend to send if I were to tell somebody who didn't want to breastfeed that they should kind of do a slow wean. Because Are they are they hearing a bias that I don't intend? I guess is what I'm saying.


Lo

I think they just have to be careful. So I would not bind.


Tanya Tringali

I mean, finding is a little excessive. Yeah.


Lo

Yeah, I would not tell anybody wear a tight sports bra or to bind because that could make the problem worse. But to use Motrin and ice packs is a really good idea. And then if it gets to the point where they're getting lumps, or plugged ducts, they can release milk, either with their hands or with a pump, just to where they feel.


Tanya Tringali

Yes, but I do tell people that now that you say it, I'm like, Okay, I do add that caveat. I often talk about it more in terms of hand expression, because I think those people that may be the ones who aren't going to right out of the gate, they're not planning to do anything but formula feed, they may not have ordered a pump up all that stuff. So by the time their milk comes in, they go home without even having access to that, but yes, I totally hear you now.


Lo

Yeah, yeah. So it's fine to not do anything, but to at least have learned some hand expression or to have a little hand pump. So that if you're starting to feel some plugs, docks, you can relieve the pressure.


Tanya Tringali

And this is why it's such a shame that in many busy hospitals. I can't say it's across the board. But there are definitely some only first time moms who have said they plan to breastfeed will get seen by the lactation consultant, and then everyone else is an afterthought, and that's just terrible. Because there's information that every single person needs, whether it's about feeding their baby or their own breast care.


Lo

Right, because the milk is coming. You do need to take care of yourself, even if it is to know you need ice and ibuprofen.


Tanya Tringali

Yeah, yeah. Right. Okay. So similarly to how I asked you if there was one thing that the birth workers and healthcare providers could do to make the system better, what is one thing that you think consumers should know and try to do or implement to make their experience in a broken system better?


Lo

Um, so I think it's hard because it I think it depends on who I'm talking to. If you have insurance, then I would say, figure out who your insurance will pay for private practice lactation care. And then utilize it


Tanya Tringali

Like Minds, man, I didn't know if I was going to stump you with that one. But that was my personal answer. You know, when somebody catches you off guard, when you ask a random unexpected question, I was like, oh, no, if I stumped her, that's where I that's where I would bring it in to see what you you add on to that was exactly it. And that's in the work that I do with people virtually, that is incredibly comprehensive and hand holding, and all of this, that's something we tackle prenatally together, like, let's figure out who's on your insurance plan, who you can use now how this all works, I give them access to my virtual people. I remind people why I love virtual lactation helps so much. It's something I've been become kind of obsessed with, because of our our unintentional, the unintentional way in which we sabotage people with our hands, right? I like I like that. I can't do that I smack my own hands and say, No, don't touch them. Just Just be patient. And it forces me to be a more patient person that I can be when I'm in the hospital, and three more people are in labor. But I really want to get that baby on the breast. Right. That's the system failing me.


Lo

Right? Yeah, right. Right. I often tell remind people that there really is. There are very few reasons that a person needs to touch your breasts when they are trying to help you let your baby because they aren't going to be there when you get home. Yeah, it's you in the baby that need to learn to do this. Yeah. Now, if you don't have insurance, or if your insurance has learned how to get out of paying if your insurance is not paying for like patient care, which is a federally mandated. It has been federally mandated that your insurance pays for lactation care. So there has got to be somebody that your insurance will pay. Sometimes they are not an IBCLC. Unfortunately, sometimes it's like a nurse practitioner or something. And you've just got to hope that they have some sort of lactation training. There are, you know, I would find an in person support group that absolutely and attend regularly. Because there is a lot of evidence based research out there that shows that people who attend in person support groups regularly build up much more efficacy, they feel way better about their baby feeding, they feel way more competent, they feel way more supported. And so there's breastfeeding USA, there's La Leche League. And if you go to one and you don't feel supported, just find another because the the tone is really set by whoever is leading them. And you know, sometimes it might just not be that you just might not just fit into that group. But find another especially if you're in you know, if you're in a rural area, you might be a little more limited. But if you're in an area where you have more than one to choose from, there's baby cafes, and then sometimes IBCLCs will host support groups that you can attend as well or hospitals will have. And sometimes it's not even the person leading the group that you benefit from. It's just being with other people that you see feeding their babies and just being surrounded by that support. There's a magic there that is hard to describe.


Tanya Tringali

Absolutely. I even tell people who are having relatively smooth breastfeeding experiences, but maybe struggling with something else be at mood or sleep or whatever to get to these groups, because I think we really undervalue how desperately we need to be around other mothers with babies that are a similar age to our own baby. So as I'm parting ways with my clients, oftentimes around 12 weeks postpartum, I jokingly and lovingly tell them that they that we have to end on the note of finding their peer support groups, or whatever that is going to look like for them. Because quite frankly, my baby's 22 And I don't need to talk about pee and poop anymore, you know. So, I mean, that's kind of where we're at. You need to be around other people who are still talking obsessively about pee and poop. So, yeah, definitely. I love it. Okay. So the last subject I really want to pick your brain about is and you probably don't know this, because it's not even out yet at the time that we're recording this but the last episode of my third season is me at a dear friend of mine, who's a Podcast Producer who comes on my show, and we talk a little bit about the way we work to improve the quality of my show and this interesting kind of barter thing we did where I help her with some health care, yada, yada. Anyway. So because we've talked about that, and then just out of sheer coincidence, you being a podcaster, as well being the first episode, and me just having recorded that I'm kind of still in this mindset of wanting to talk about podcasting, and particularly, why we do this, like, why did you start a podcast I, we've gotten the gist of why you became a birth worker, but like this extra layer is, is like, unnecessary, sometimes an extra burden. It can be wonderful fun, but what are your reasons for having taken this even greater extra step and started to talk about what you talk about on your show?


Lo

Yeah, so um, when I was planning, so I had my second child at home, I had a home birth. And when I was planning her home birth, I listened obsessively to a couple of homebirth podcasts or birth, the podcasts, the birth hour being one of them. And as I was really thinking about moving into lactation more as a, as a profession, I thought there needs to be a podcast really similar to the birth hour, but focused on breastfeeding. And I wanted to highlight for people how we could really hold space for people to talk about baby feeding. Without the judgment, that even as lactation professionals, like I'm listening to people's stories, and I'm listening to how you know, where they might have been failed, but I'm not always jumping in and saying, oh, man, your provider should have done this, or they should have done that, you know, I'm just listening. I'm just holding the space for people to tell their stories. Now I do use voiceovers and I do come in and I sometimes will say, this was a systemic failure. You know, at the end, after they're after the guest is gone, and I'm producing the podcast. I do do voiceovers that way. But I just felt like there needed to be a space for that. And then I was listening to I believe it was this podcast called the mindful mama I listened obsessively to all sorts of podcasts, true crime, you know, parenting podcasts, you know, This American Life, you name it, I listened to it. And she had, I believe it was Eve broadsky on and she was talking about the happiest parents, the happiest moms and, and how they have their unicorn space. And the unicorn space was essentially she wrote a book about it. And I think that's what it was called their unicorn space. And it was essentially moms, people, parents who reported being the happiest, they had an outlet in which they were allowed to be creative. They were allowed to be social. And they had an outlet that was just for them. And I was like, Oh my gosh, that would be my podcast. And because I've been thinking about doing this for years, and I just jumped on it. I just was like, Okay, I've been thinking about doing this for years, I haven't done it. And I this is a space I need and I don't know where it's gonna go. But I've got to do it. And it's, it's been a great outlet for me, and I love doing it. It's it's not hard for me to do it because it's enjoyable. And it gives me a social outlet. I've gotten to talk to all sorts of people that I admire. And it gives me a creative outlet. And of course, I love hearing people's breastfeeding stories. And then I love sharing with other creative people. I've gotten to meet so many other amazing podcasters too, because we do these exchanges. So it's been pretty amazing.


Tanya Tringali

Yeah, I love it. That's a lot of of how I feel, too. There are definitely parts I love less. But I unpacked that on the last episode of season three, so I won't put you through that I've already dealt with that situation. So okay, now what was it like to go from being essentially an employee or a school teacher? I understand. And you didn't have to think about running a business and figuring out how you would get paid. So how, what, what can you tell us about how you feel about having made that shift to being an entrepreneur or a female preneur or mompreneur, whichever part of that partnership speaks most to you.


Lo

Hmm, yeah, I have to fight. What's that called?impostor syndrome? A lot? Ah, Mm hmm. Yeah. Especially in this business building stage, where I'm right here in the beginning. Yeah. And luckily, I have a, I have a partner who's really supportive, and you know, because things will come up, like, I'll see jobs come up, and I'm like, maybe I should just apply for that job. And he's always like, stop, stop it. Like it takes a while to build a business, just stop it, if you put your energy into that, you won't have time to put it into your own business.


Tanya Tringali

I love that. You just said that. Because that's actually something I do with myself, I usually keep it inside my own head. And don't say it out loud. Because if I say something out loud, it's more likely to come to fruition. But in my own mind, that job posting will come up. And I will literally think, should I apply for a regular job? And then I'm like, stop at Tanya, close the page, delete the email, whatever it is.


Lo

Yeah, yeah, it happens all the time. And there's this thing where I don't feel like I'm real. Because I don't feel like what I'm doing is real. Because it's not really contributing to my family right now. Because I'm in the building stage. You know. And that's hard.


Tanya Tringali

I really appreciate your honesty on this front. I, I think that's something we need to talk more about. I think I mentioned to you before we started, we were talking about something else. But this was relevant at the time that I have lots of colleagues people I distantly know, who will reach out and say, Hey, Tanya, there are parts of what you do that I think I might want to do. And I sound like such a horrible Debbie Downer. But I have to remind them that like, you can't just leave your paying job and do this. Like, it's not a thing. I still work on gazillion side jobs in order to pull this off. And that's, that's what makes this hard. That's why I had to get all the help that I got from my friend, because I needed to be faster at this. I needed this to be easier so that I could continue to love it and not let it become a burden. And that's just the podcasting piece not to mention my like tiny virtual practice, right.


Lo

Yeah. Yeah, it's, it's, it's hard. It's challenging, because I know that what I have to offer is really great. And it's hard not to just put your worth in the financial part. Yeah. And I know that will come I know, that will come and I just have to have confidence in that. Yeah. And, you know, I also I homeschool my kids. And, you know, there's that piece of like, what a woman's work is valued. As you know, my kids are nine and five, and they're around a lot. And so I do my work in fits and spurts.


Tanya Tringali

Yeah, yeah. They need a lot and they're home. You don't get that, you know, eight hours a day where they're gone. And you can focus on work. That's huge. Yeah, huge. Now, I really admire what you're doing. That's crazy. I don't think I could do it. I only ever had one kid because I was like, oh my goodness, this is a lot of work. That is a lot of work. Holy moly.


Lo

They're doing outdoor like they're at an outdoor like a nature school today. So they are pro programming a few days a week, which helps now.


Tanya Tringali

Do you have a final piece of advice for anyone in the birth arena at all? Broadly speaking, who might want to take on a piece of entrepreneurship? Is there a piece of advice you'd like to share with them because you are far from an impostor and you do have value here and your words are meaningful and important to us?


Lo

Get help. I joined a podcasting group where I get coaching and you know, I invested in that and I would not be as far along in my listenership and in my growth, if I had not done that, so it you know, it was an investment, a financial investment, but I'm really glad that I did it because anything that's worth doing. You know, we don't have to reinvent the wheel. So whatever it is that you want to do, whether it's start a business or start a podcast, you don't have to do it alone. And anything that's worth doing. Sometimes you do have to make a little investment on the on the front end to get the investment back on the back end.


Tanya Tringali

Very true. Very true. I could have used that advice. Four seasons ago. We


Lo

Yeah.


Tanya Tringali

When I was just like, I'm just gonna do it. Let's see how it goes.


Lo

On track. I said, track your numbers too, because that helps me I track my numbers every month and I see the growth. And now when I'm feeling in the middle of it when I'm like, Oh my gosh, this is so much work, but I get to the end and i Whoa, I have 15% growth this month. That's amazing. You know? Yeah, that's, it's really great to see. So track everything that you're doing.


Tanya Tringali

Awesome. Great advice. How can our listeners find you want to share your details?


Lo

Yeah, so my podcast is the milk making minutes so you can find that everywhere you find podcasts and you can find me on Instagram. I do reals and try to keep it kind of light hearted there at Lo Nigrosh. Just my name L O and NIGROSH. And I'm also on Tik Tok. I think I'm Lo Nigrosh there too. And I mostly ask kind of questions there and get people's responses. So that's kind of that's kind of been fun. I'm starting to grow there. And you can find me at QuabbinBirthServices.com.


Tanya Tringali

Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today. I mean, I suspected we would be fairly kindred but I think we proved it on this episode.


Lo

Yeah, this has been awesome. Thanks so much for having me.


Tanya Tringali

Thank you for listening to the mother whip podcast. If any of the issues we discussed today resonate with you or your experience, I'd love to hear from you. Leave me a voicemail at 917-310-0573. Or better yet, email me a voice memo at Tanya at Motherwitmaternity.com. I really want to hear what worked for you what didn't work, what support you'd wished you had, how you got through the tough times how you advocated for yourself, or especially any tips you want to share with our listeners. I want to hear all of it. And if you'd really like to work together, you can get a discount on your first consultation with me at motherwitmaternity.com using the code first console 10% off. That's one 0% symbol, all one word. Okay. That's all. That's wonderful being in community with you all. Thanks again for listening and see you next time.


Unknown Speaker

And remember, listeners, nothing we discussed on this show should ever be considered medical advice. Please speak to your local provider about anything that comes up in this show that resonates with you and your needs and your health care.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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