Listen to Kristin's podcast here:
Where to Find Help for Serious Breastfeeding Challenges
Kristin used many resources to help her with her breastfeeding challenges, starting with several lactation consultants. In the podcast, she mentions that not every lactation consultant is an IBCLC and was therefor not necessarily qualified to help her with her serious breastfeeding issues. So what is the difference between a lactation consultant and an IBCLC? IBCLC is only one set of lactation qualifications, and there are many others as well. So how to know if a certain lactation professional is qualified to help you?
*Things are changing in the United States with regard to the lactation profession. At the time of this podcast release, Rhode Island and Georgia require licensure in order to practice as a lactation consultant and licensure requires the IBCLC designation; in other words anyone in these states who calls themself a lactation consultant must hold the IBCLC designation. Many more states are in the process of requiring licensure for lactation consultants.
Where to Find Donor Milk
It wasn't very long ago when the only alternative to a mother providing her own milk to her baby was commercial infant formula. Those days are clearly over! Informal peer-to-peer milk sharing is a common topic on these podcasts and one we really delved into on podcast #16. In this podcast episode, Kristen shared a couple of other sources of donor milk as well. Let's take a closer look at some of these options:
Nonprofit milk bank: Donors are screened for dangerous illnesses and medications that may be passed through the milk The milk is handled under sterile conditions, pasteurized and tested for bacterial growth. This milk is safe for very ill and preterm babies, and these babies are prioritized to receive banked milk. If milk from a nonprofit milk bank is available, it is very expensive and unlikely to be a long-term option for many families.
Informal peer-to-peer milk sharing: Donors are not formally screened nor is there any testing of the milk; however a trustworthy donor nursing her healthy baby is often screening enough for families in need of milk for their baby. No money is exchanged except to pay for supplies such as milk storage bags.
Cross-nursing: Cross-nursing is very similar to milk sharing except baby drinks the milk "straight from the tap." Rather than express her milk and provide it do the family in need to deliver to the baby via an at-breast supplementer, finger-feeder, or bottle, cross-nursing involves one parent directly nursing the child of another.
Warning: Please do not confuse any of these with for-profit milk banks, milk purchasing, and milk selling all of which have safety or ethical concerns.
Some helpful links:
Feel free to leave a voice message in the Breastfeeding Outside the Box mailbox with your questions or comments for the podcast -including your medication and herb questions for Dr.Nice. We can't wait to hear from you!
We are proud to present a series of podcasts for parents Breastfeeding Outside the Box, where we aim to support the nourishing and nurturing of babies in exceptional families - families who historically have not received the help and support they need and deserve. Our exceptional families include adoptive, intended, and foster families; gender, sexual, and racial minorities; families with special needs babies; parents who have had breast surgery; mothers with IGT or low milk production for other reasons; exclusively pumping mothers; and more.
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I'm done with all 3 podcasts and I love them! I can't wait to hear the next one. Thanks for providing such a wonderful service. For someone who doesn't know anybody who has breastfed an adopted baby, it is empowering to know that it can and has been done, and that I'm not alone. - Liz M.
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Breastfeeding Outside the Box aims to be as inclusive as possible. We are aware that the term "breastfeeding" has limitations: not all of our listeners have breasts and not all of our listeners are feeding at the breast. We are also aware that not all of our listeners identify as mothers. Therefore, we will regularly use the term "nursing" rather than "breastfeeding", and "parent" rather than "mother." While we cannot identify directly with every listener, as adoptive mothers who nursed their babies, Hope and I do understand what it is like to parent outside the box and will make every effort possible to embrace anyone interested in being a part of Breastfeeding Outside the Box. We also know that we are human with our own limitations and biases, and look forward to learning and growing with you. Please let us know how we can make you feel more welcome and supported.
Breastfeeding Outside The Box exists to provide education and information about breastfeeding options for people everywhere. Every effort has been made to provide up to date and accurate information, but this information should never be used to diagnose or treat problems you may be experiencing. Information shared in this episode is not intended to replace medical advice or care from your health care provider, and we encourage you to consult with your personal physician, pediatrician or local IBCLC before making decisions about your care or the care of your baby.