You’re listening to Parenting in the First Three Years, the place where we explore the strategies and soul of parenting from pregnancy through the first three years of life. I’m your host, Anne McKittrick. Thank you so much for joining me.

Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. Thanks so much for joining me. You know, August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and today’s episode is all about breastfeeding and pumping. You know, breastfeeding. It’s very wonderful and it also can be very confusing and frustrating and overwhelming all at the same time, especially in those first few months when everything’s just getting established.

So it’s really important that new parents get the support that they need. My guest today is exactly the kind of person that you need to explain things to you. Dr. Andrea Braden is an OB GYN, a board certified lactation consultant, the mother of five, and she is passionate about women’s health. She is a wealth of information and I know that you’re going to love hearing what she’s got to say.

So here we go. Enjoy this conversation with Dr. Andrea Brayden. Um, I’m so excited to have you on this episode with me today, Dr. Andrea Brayden. And, um, and so I’m so pleased to have you here. Thank you so much for joining me. Thank you for having me. It’s an honor to be here. I’m so excited. So I understand you’re an OBGYN and a lactation consultant and the founder and CEO of Libby, which is a lactation innovation company.

So tell me really quick, what’s lactation innovation? You know, it’s a, it’s a huge umbrella term that I came up with because I’m not just trying to tackle. Lactation with one thing or another. I will say when I first started, uh, it wasn’t just a device, but Libby is kind of a platform. It’s developed into a 360 degree solution, because as you and I probably both know, it takes more than one little tool or trick to get the breastfeeding stuff off the ground.

You really need that whole village. And so innovation company. Encompasses all of that for me. It’s it’s an app, which is preventive. It’s a device, which is to work with the app to kind of help people monitor their milk supply. And it’s medical services as well. It’s consultation with lactation consultants.

It’s complex breastfeeding medicine with people like me who do more of the. Higher acuity, breastfeeding complications, and then it’s building out that community. And so I’m really trying to build what I wish I had had with my first one 14 years ago. Right. Parents today have so many wonderful resources at hand.

And, um, I’m like you, I mean, mine was much more than 14 years ago and we just didn’t. Have all this stuff. We didn’t, our information came from our moms and our aunts and our friends and our pediatricians, but mostly from other older women. Right. Right. And times have changed too. And trends have changed.

And even, you know, the advice that we get, I will say there’s a bit of overwhelm right now. You know, we, we have so much information. We don’t really know which things to trust. And I feel that in my patient population, the real struggle is. Coming from that overwhelm, there’s a lot of anxiety and depression, perinatal mood disorders over.

Am I doing it right? I heard this and that I’m so confused and people don’t trust. Their true experiences and what they’re, they’re having, and it led me down a very scary path a long time ago where I almost quit being a doctor before I ever started because I was one of those patients that I’m trying to help.

Wow. That’s amazing. Well, I’m glad you made it through that. That’s a great story because you can help other people and you really, you know, you’ve, you’ve walked in their shoes. So that’s really amazing. Definitely. Definitely. Yeah. So in your work, what are some of the common pitfalls and misconceptions that, that you see and hear from new moms?

Do you mean specifically to breastfeeding or all, all things newborn new moms? Let’s make it specifically to breastfeeding. Okay, most common pitfalls that I see related to breastfeeding is the idea that it’s easy and it’s not going to take a lot of work. I think people have caught up when I ask people, you know, what is the 1st word that comes to mind when you hear breastfeeding?

At least my students, my medical students that I’ve taught. Everybody says it’s really hard. Um, but there’s 1 thing to say it’s hard. And then another thing to experience the difficulty that is trying to. Feed a tiny human. And I really don’t think people are well prepared for that. You know, we have all these resources, like I said, you read all the things, but you know, the focus during pregnancy is about the accessories and you know, I need to buy this pump and get this.

And there’s so much excitement and everybody’s wrapping their arms around the new mom and, and ready for this bundle of joy to come. And I find that my patients are really shocked by it’s, it’s an identity crisis, actually. Um, it’s a huge transition. There’s a word for it that I heard recently that it really feel like.

Encompasses the experience, and it’s the birth of a mother matrices, and I don’t think there’s enough talk about what happens when you go from being this completely unique person who’s worked on their identity to, oh, my gosh, I am supposed to take care of this child and. I, you know, there’s a lot of fear and mistrust of what, you know, um, I know for me personally, and also seeing it in my patients, there’s this, am I doing it right?

Is this baby going to die on my watch? You know, like, how will I ever forgive myself? How do I switch my focus, which has always been on my career to. making milk and sustaining another life. Oh, and for six months, Oh wait, two years and beyond for best benefit. And you can really see it in the data, right?

The CDC has a breastfeeding report card that shows that over 80% of American women start out breastfeeding and only 25% make it to the recommended time of six months exclusive. There is a huge. gap. And so the best way I’ve found to explain it to people is, it’s kind of like learning to ride a bike. If you say, okay, well, everybody has two legs and we’re going to give everybody bikes and you know, for the best optimum health, you need to ride your bike, you know, for two years and beyond, um, go get them.

And everybody’s like, yeah, I have my new bike and you know, I’ve got my two legs and I’m going to ride a bike. And the. The part that nobody expects is oh, you have to learn to ride a bike. You can’t just jump on it and go. Um, maybe not. Everybody has the same bike. Maybe not. Everybody has working legs, you know, and we’re assuming that everybody is starting with perfect athletic Olympian legs and the top line bite.

Um, and that if we give them all helmets and little horns, they’re going to be great. People are starting all over the place. So obviously people who have ridden bikes before or who have breastfed before, they get the hang of it a little quicker. It’s not as scary, but for the first time, people, you know, their breasts have not been used in that way before.

They have never had the pressure of having to sustain life with their bodies. Um, and personally as an OBGYN, and perhaps this is my bias and my lens. I don’t think there’s enough focus on. the person making the milk. There’s so much focus on, you know, you have to make this amount of milk and you have to exclusively breastfeed and this baby is going to suffer and be dehydrated.

But nobody’s looking at the sleep deprivation, the, you know, one in five risk of postpartum depression that we see, which by the way, is more common than diabetes and pregnancy, which we screen everybody for. And, you know, the. The lack of sleep and how most people aren’t used to that lack of sleep, you know, and functioning with that.

And that has a lot of impacts on their mood and, and the milk they make, you know, not eating enough, not drinking enough, the changes in your partner dynamics, the changes in your household. I mean, it is so big and, you know. That, that’s the big piece that I, I’m passionate about because I was shocked. And as an OBGYN, I’m like, I shouldn’t be shocked.

I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t be so surprised at this, but I was, and I find that it doesn’t matter. It’s the great equalizer. Everybody experiences this. And I don’t think I know one person who felt like they did it really smoothly the first go around. Right. Yeah, I can certainly relate to that. And, you know, I think that one of the differences now is that so many.

New parents are a little isolated. You know, they may not have their family around them, or they may not want people in their home for the first number of weeks. And, and so you are, you know, oftentimes very alone in this thing that you just described, which is a really huge transition. 100%, you know, I, I’ve said this since the beginning of my journey as well that, you know, I don’t have a village and I have a really close knit family, but I was living really far away, which is kind of the American way.

Right? I was after my career and I’d move thousands of miles away to pursue my dream career. If the internet, you know, we didn’t have all these Facebook groups back then, though, that’s been a big game changer, but especially with COVID, I mean, the isolation, the fear of illness, people are isolated. Their partners may not have any knowledge of how to support somebody.

You know, for me, the focus people came to visit, but then they all wanted to feed the baby. They all wanted to give the baby a bottle and I was like, why are you being so selfish? Why are you trying to hide in your room and bond with your baby? And I’m like, I’m literally trying to make milk happen and I don’t know how.

And if I let you feed the baby, then my milk doesn’t happen. Like, how am I supposed to? And then by the way, I’m also trying to be like perfect hostess and make everybody meals at my house and take care of laundry because I want to look perfect. Like I’ve got this under control. So, and this is uniquely. I, I don’t know much about other countries, but I know enough to know that there are several other countries where this is not the case you are not, you know, I mean, I’ve had patients who are kept at home for like 40 days, you know, and, and their families kind of their, their village of moms and aunts and grandmas, they come and, you know, descend upon them and do the laundry and the cooking and feed the mom and support the mom in different ways.

And I, I just feel like somehow that tradition, you know, It’s not here or has been lost. And, and there really is something to taking care of the person who just birthed the baby. Agreed. And I’ll just say this right now. If you’re listening and you know someone who’s just had a baby start a meal train for him.

That is something that people can do from a distance. But if you are nearby, you can just go drop food off and you might think they can make a meal, but there’s nothing like having somebody bring you a meal in the evening after. A long day of caring for that baby. And, and I just think it’s one of the simple and easy ways that we can serve and love on new families.

Could not agree more food is, is the way it’s easy, you know, and like you said, you can drop it off. Um, you can have it delivered. You don’t even have to go. So if they’re feeling strange about having people over it, it’s fine. It’s easy and it’s always useful. Always. Yeah. What are some of the, um, you know, I hear people talk a lot about milk supply.

So would you just address that a little bit first? Sure. Yeah. That’s, um, that’s the pinnacle of what I’m trying to, um, help people with. So milk supply, what does that mean? The big mystery, I think, is how much does a baby need? And that’s the question I get a lot, you know, how do I know with a bottle? It’s pretty simple, right?

If you’re giving formula or, you know, donor milk or any other type of supplement. You can measure it. You can see it. You know your baby is getting enough. When it comes to breastfeeding, uh, you can’t tell and you’re having to go off signals, other signals. And if only they were invisible, you would be able to solve this problem, but they’re not.

So, uh, when people worry about their milk supply, they’re worried about, you know, starving the babies. I tell people it’s like the mama bear comes out and you’re just like, Oh, how am I going to feed this child? And how do I know it’s getting enough? There’s a lot of loss of confidence about it. And again, if you have formula, it’s very obvious.

You, you have very clear guidelines of this is how much you give at this age with human milk, there are a lot of other factors that go into it. There’s, you know, your milk capacity could be different, um, based on your size and your body habitus, or maybe you have other illnesses or maybe you’ve had surgery.

There’s a lot that goes into your ability. To make a full milk supply. But what, what does that mean? A full milk supply at its very basic definition is enough milk from your body to not have to give supplemental food. And the way we measure that is growth of the baby, wet and poopy diapers. You know, that’s, that’s pretty much it.

You, you look for signs of hunger. Now that’s the other confusing piece though, right? So when you have a new baby. Who has a new mouth and you have a new function here going on at your breasts. It is really hard to figure out if you’re doing this right. If the baby is crying because they can’t figure out the eating, or if they’re crying because they have a wet diaper, or they’re crying because they’re not sleeping well, or they’re crying because it’s colic, or trying to…

Figure out how to communicate with your baby and learn those signals is very challenging, especially with that first baby and nine times out of 10 people think the baby’s hungry. And I think that’s the biggest misconception when it comes to milk supply, because that lack of confidence and that that piece right there, that fear that you’re not feeding your baby enough and the, the listening to the crying can be very overwhelming if you.

I haven’t slept. If it’s been going on for hours and hours and you don’t have help and you don’t have your village, like if you don’t get a break, a lot of people be like, let me just try this. Let me just try to give something else. It must be me. It must be my milk supply. Maybe my baby is starving and it doesn’t matter.

You’re, you’re not thinking about the diapers. You’re not thinking about, Oh, did I eat enough? Did I sleep enough? You know, you’re like, something’s wrong with me and my baby is starving and that’s why my baby’s not crying. And so the. Easiest thing, and formula companies historically have made this intentionally, the easiest solution is try this formula.

Try giving extra food, even if you don’t need it. Even if by all the definitions, your baby is gaining weight, has lots of wet diapers. And your breasts are full, you know, you have every reason to believe you have enough milk supply. The giving the extra bottle calms the baby almost every time it works.

And so it perpetuates that myth of, Oh my gosh, I’ve been starving my baby this whole time. And then there’s the guilt and the shame and then what happens. So that’s called perceived insufficient milk supply. You think that the reason your baby is crying, which is probably one of those crazy million growth spurts babies get in those first 12 weeks of life.

Because you gave. Supplemental feed. And maybe it’s your own milk that you’ve pumped. Um, it calms the baby. And then now you think that that’s the reason. And what happens is you don’t get the signal to your body. You’re not putting the baby to breast. You’re not pumping. And a lot of those cases to replace that meal and the supply and the demand gets messed up.

So the baby is continuing to eat and your body is thinking that you don’t need to make that meal anymore because now you’ve given food from somewhere else and it only takes a few days for the body to downregulate that milk supply. I’m like, Oh, you know what? Like, Oh, we got, we got 2 meals taken care of.

I don’t need to make that anymore. So perceived insufficient milk supply can very quickly become. Real insufficient milk supply. And that’s kind of the slippery slope. People have a hard time getting that back. So, and, and I’m not here to say that that’s wrong. Some, there is a time and a place to supplement feeds.

And one of them is sleep. Honestly, one of the best things you can do for your body to help make milk is to rest and sleep. And giving formula or supplemental milk is not the end of the world. And then a lot of times people need it. The trick is to make sure your body. Knows that that happened to pump one extra time.

And it doesn’t even have to be the exact same time. Like if, if your baby eats eight times a day as a newborn, and usually that signals go in your body and you’re feeding directly, then nothing to do. But if, if say at night you let mom, you know, or, or partner come in and give one of those bottles. You sleep for a block of time, and then when you wake up, make sure you pump an extra time on top of the feeds.

Just make sure that total by the end of the day, in those early days, is the same as what the baby is taking in. And that way you don’t have that mismatch and your supply goes down while the baby’s needs stay the same. Mm hmm. That makes such great sense. You know, one of the things I think about, especially with a brand newborn, is that they come into the world having experienced constant feeding, right?

They don’t have to get hungry. And so they themselves are learning how to interpret their own body’s hunger cues and how to communicate that hunger. And then also. How to, how to make the milk come out of that breast. I mean, it’s a lot of work for that little jaw to make that happen. And then if they have the bottle, it’s so much easier to get the milk out.

And so I think that kind of confusion is a part of the mystery of those. Yeah, I mean, there, there’ve been studies, you know, that have been done about artificial nipples and pacifiers and things like that. And it is confusing, you know, because back. In 2009, when I had my first baby, I was like, Oh, pacifiers are evil.

I’m not supposed to use that in bottles or there’s nipple confusion. And, you know, the studies have debunked that piece a little bit as far as nipple confusion being the cause of things. But what we do know is it’s the, the way the milk is coming out and you’re right about a new mouth. Like these babies have these new mouths and they got to figure out how to get them around there.

And, and we’ll see more difficulty with. You know, early term babies like 37 38 week babies. They haven’t gotten that skill set down so they may struggle more with the latch and with just how do I get the milk out? So that’s 1 piece of it. But the other pieces, if you do give a bottle and you need to.

Lactation consultant once described it to me as like beer bonging your baby. I just can’t get that image out of my head. You are, you know, a lot of you’ll see in movies and everything. You turn that bottle way up or my mom is notorious for this. I love you, mom. But she would turn that bottle way up and like you finish every drop of this thing.

And It’s too much, right? Like it, it’s not the way the baby feeds from a human. And, you know, we do, we teach something for breastfeeding moms and chest feeding, lactating humans, that paste bottle feeding is better if you’re doing that, because it’s not the nipple, it’s how the milk is coming into the baby.

And you want to hold the bottle more horizontal so that, you know, and don’t worry about the air. The air is not a problem. What goes in must come out. And, you know, it’s not a colicky thing that’s also been debunked. If you’re not, you know. tossing all the milk back at one time, they can handle that volume and they’ll stop when they’re full.

And they’re not going to start this vicious cycle of eating too much every time. And then what you were alluding to as well is, you know, when you are feeding directly from the chest or breast, it’s a two phase thing. So there’s this thing called a letdown reflex. And some people feel it. Some people don’t.

But I think of it like a hand on a water balloon, so you might have a little milk dripping out and you know, you hear the stories of like a woman hears a baby cry and all of a sudden the milk starts pouring out. That’s the milk ejection reflex. That’s the letdown reflex. But it has to happen to let the floodgates open.

And so when babies are using their brand new little mouths on the breast and trying to get the milk out, yeah. They usually start with like a rapid suckle, because that stimulates the nerve that opens those floodgates, puts the hand on the water balloon and lets the full volume of milk come out. And so then you’ll see, even in the babies, they’ll switch to like a longer, deeper suckling motion instead of the rapid quick suckling to get, you know, bigger swallows of milk and pumps are built the same way they when you’re trying to get the milk to come out.

They usually start on this rapid cycle to stimulate that nerve, and then you’ll feel kind of this squeeze if you feel you’re let down. And then you switch the mode to the deeper, longer suction to be more efficient and to kind of pull out milk once it’s flowing. Um, and I, I don’t think a lot of people know that, but it doesn’t happen with bottles though, you know, so you can, I didn’t know that the pumps, a lot of people don’t, they just leave it on the one.

Fascinating. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s very. It’s much more efficient if you use the let down button or change the cycle. So it’s rapid at the beginning to get the let down to happen. And then, you know, and if you have trouble getting the pump to, you know, make your milk come, try changing the settings.

Sometimes you can just turn it off. Like changing the feeling and the sensation at the nipple aerial or complex can make all the difference in getting that reflex to happen. And then the milk comes. So is there a relationship between the different type of suckle that you just described and the form milk that comes first?

Is that part of the signaling? You know, not necessarily. It’s not. They’re kind of two different things. So the suckling is more to get the reflex to happen. So it’s a neurologic piece of it that kind of opens the floodgates and lets the milk come. Then the milk that comes, like you said, there’s four milk and hind milk.

So what does that mean? I tell people it’s kind of like skim milk and heavy cream at the end. Like the first milk that comes out is usually the skim milk. And then As time goes on while you’re nursing, they get the fattier milk on the back end. And this is important because common mistake. I did it with my first is I’m like calling all my friends.

I’m like, how often does your baby stay on one side? When am I supposed to switch? Like, what do I do? And it starts this cycle, especially with people who overproduce milk. Actually, if you’ve got too much and the baby can’t handle it all, they’re only getting the four milk. So what happens if you’re only drinking skim milk, but your diet requires some heavy cream, you’re going to be hungrier.

You’re going to eat more frequently. And it perpetuates this oversupply or the switching. So to to make sure that your baby actually gets. The full content of nutrition from each feed, you want to let the baby guide the way. So if you’re direct feeding, that means put the baby on and wait until they like fall off milk drunk.

You know, they kind of, you know, fall over and open their mouths and fall asleep. Or, um, they may pop off and still root, you know, they, they do that reflex, but they’re still hungry. And that is a sign that like, okay, maybe feed from the other side now because they, they’ve kind of exhausted. what’s in that side.

It’s never really empty. There is this thing called, you know, a second letdown where you can actually, if you leave the baby on long enough, they’ll get another feed from the same breast. But in most cases, you’re going to do one side, let the baby guide it. If the baby’s full, baby pops off and acts full.

If the baby’s not full, switch to the other side and finish the feed on the other side. And then, you know, that will make sure that they’re getting four milk and hind milk. Each time they’re on one side, so interesting. Isn’t it? It is. There’s so much. We still don’t know about it too, but it’s it’s human milk is this dynamic fluid that it’s amazing how it reads the, the child, you know, and it changes content over time.

I mean, the way it changes from colostrum to like the 1st month of life, transitional milk, and then to the. The mature milk. And then after you have a toddler, how that even changes and the, you know, the concentrations of the ingredients are totally different depending on the age of the baby. Um, so it really is quite fascinating, which, which is important for exclusive pumpers, actually.

I’ll add this in. There are some people who just can’t feed directly for whatever reason, or don’t want to feed directly, which is fine. It’s just that when babies have growth spurts, it can be trickier to, to mimic that and to get your milk to change. Now, are there studies that show that it, it makes a big difference?

So far, not really, you know, so far, a lot of it, I mean, maybe there’s subtle differences. Time of day even makes a difference when you’re pumping milk. Like there’s more sleepy time hormones at night, um, to help the babies sleep. For the most part, you know, in the breastfeeding expert community, it’s we’re not seeing any harm done by pooling all the milk together if you’re an exclusive pumper, but you do want to make sure that you’re kind of pumping at the pattern that the baby’s eating and that way you’re not missing any big growth spurts and transitioning the type of milk.

Hmm. That’s interesting. That was my next question. You already answered it. And that was, you know, like when you pump and you just have this bottle full of breast milk in a bag and you just kind of mix it all up, then it’s all just blended together and the baby gets all of it at one time. Yeah. I mean, I would say it’s, it’s a balance, right?

That does the benefit outweigh the, you know, I don’t want to say risk, but it’s a lot to manage milk, you know, and to ask moms who are already. Exclusively pumping and it is like a full time job to then aliquot the milk and make sure that this is only used in the a. m. This is only used in the p. m. And you know, like that’s a lot of work and we just don’t have any studies to back up that.

That is the optimal way. Yes. That’s the most the closest to nature. Does it make a difference? I mean, I’ll tell you honestly, at this point with 4th baby, I just Dump it all in one container and use it the next day. The freshest milk is the best one. But, you know, I, I’ve had to figure out life hacks to make this manageable so that I can do it for the long term.

And I think that’s, that’s where those communities come in really handy, you know, asking people, how do you manage. Finding time at work. Maybe you’re not even given breaks at work. How do you manage that? How do you wash all the parts and, and, you know, like not take two hours every time you pump. It’s very time consuming, but, you know, there are a lot of good hacks out there, right?

Yeah. And technology is really doing a nice job of working with. What they need to do, you know, I mean, I meet my, my coach for, I go to this group, uh, group called camp gladiator and my coach had a baby and she would be pumping while she was leading our class. And then I, you know, I coach parents and they’re pumping while we’re talking.

And so it’s, it’s just amazing the way things have. Developed in, in that industry, I think it’s so timely and important to especially the workforce has changed a lot since these breast pumps came out. And, you know, they just weren’t meeting our needs to have to be stuck at a desk, some room and isolate yourself.

And you can’t be on a meeting. Like, it’s not realistic for people who have other responsibilities, even if it’s not traditional work outside the home, like, it’s very limiting and isolating. Yeah. Yeah. It’s really fabulous for moms and their babies. Um, here’s my next question about. Pumping and it’s, it’s effect on the system when we talk about the release of prolactin and oxytocin.

Is that affected by pumping? Yes, it’s all part of the process. So I like to think of it as building blocks of milk. You know, you need certain ingredients to be able to make milk, which is how we can actually stimulate. Adoptive moms, for example, to make milk, even though they didn’t carry the baby. There’s this whole, uh, we could probably do a whole podcast on that one.

And that is fascinating. Yes. Um, but we can, you know, if you have mature breast tissue, so gone through puberty, that, that organ can change. to be milk producing tissue, um, which happens normally during a pregnancy. Um, and that’s estrogen and progesterone, those change. And you’ll, you’ll notice, you know, breast enlargement usually happens because it’s changing the inside to be able to store and make milk after the baby’s out.

You really shift more towards oxytocin and prolactin, those two hormones to kind of make the milk and they, they work in different ways. So prolactin is kind of the major. milk supplier, if you will. It’s a brain hormone that can increase your milk supply. So if it’s low, um, if you have, you know, a a tumor that’s limiting your prolactin production, for example, or if your placenta didn’t come all the way out or something like that, that can limit that hormone and keep your milk supply a little low.

So you need prolactin. And the more you feed the baby, every time you feed, it stimulates prolactin. So it’s, it’s part of pumping also the same. It’s the same. It doesn’t matter which breast it comes from that triggers your brain to produce prolactin when you’re removing the milk. Oxytocin, also produced during direct feeding or pumping.

Oxytocin is responsible for that letdown reflex I was talking about. So, it’s also the bonding hormone, as you know, so it makes it all nice and snuggly sometimes, but when it comes to pumping, the most important thing oxytocin is doing is contracting. The inside parts of the organ to push the milk out with the milk ejection reflex.

So really important to have oxytocin as part of the process. What’s really cool is immediately after birth, you know, we, we see these hormones kicking up and oxytocin makes the uterus contract. And so I love telling people about this, that right after the baby’s born, the oxytocin going, you know, we have the golden hour, which is.

Putting the baby on the chest, you know, doing skin to skin, even starting a feed and those things increase oxytocin, which actually helps on my end of things after delivery, decrease the amount of bleeding because it also squeezes the muscle of the uterus to decrease. Postpartum hemorrhage. So there are so many benefits the way the mom and the baby work together right after delivery.

If you ever watch the videos of the breast crawl, you can see the baby’s feet actually on the uterus and massaging it for him. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s amazing how, you know, these two humans work together so naturally right after the baby comes out. Um, and so baby’s helping mom and mom’s helping baby. It’s beautiful.

Right. Sure is. Um, this might be even a silly question, but is oxytocin produced. For someone who is not the breast feeder, like if you are just giving a baby a bottle, does that happen? I don’t know. 100%. I think it is though. I mean, it’s the bonding hormone. So we see oxytocin increase with like relationships, you know, are becoming intimate.

You see some oxytocin surges there. So I would think with that bonding, it’s also released. Um, but it’s more of, you know, for bonding purposes and not so much. Or, you know, the technical squeezing the milk out piece, but I, you know, I’m not an endocrinologist. So I’d have to look that up to verify, but from what I remember, yes, oxytocin causes bonding for all humans.

Um, so I just, I’m thinking of the, you know, all of the babies that I have fed formula bottles to, you know, we, I was an infant teacher in university settings for many, many years. So I gave so many bottles and then we fostered babies and I would, I would do this whole process of. Feeding them. And that was really where our bonding took place.

And I just wonder, it’s gotta be in there somewhere. Oh yeah, it’s, I’m almost a hundred percent sure. Um, I, because I love those babies and I can remember them. Oh, me too. Very, very clearly. Each one of them . Oh, I love that. I mean, every time I pass the nursery, I’m like, well, can I go in there and snub it with the baby?

Actually, it’s one of my favorite parts of my job is like actually doing c-sections, , because I call it surgery, but a surprise. You know, we, we leave the, in most cases we leave the, if the baby’s healthy, leave the umbilical cord for a minute to give, you know, the last bit of blood. And during that minute I get to snuggle a newborn baby.

So I wipe them off and I talk to them and I hold them. And, you know, it’s, it’s just, it’s a real honor to be able to be the first one who holds a baby when they come out in this world. Yeah. What a, what a sweet, sweet moment. Well, this has just been fascinating to me. Thank you so much for answering all of these questions as we wrap it up.

Um, I would love it if you could share with our listeners, some resources that you’ve got or resources that would be available for them if they want to learn more. Absolutely. So you can find resources that I’ve written up, um, on the Libby website. So it’s Libby. com. L Y B B I E. com. Um, there’s a resources section.

You can also download our app there, um, at Libby. com or on the Apple store or, um, Android store. It’s available on both. There’s, um, It’s available for free right now, uh, and all the articles that I’ve written on milk supply, you know, my focus really is helping people learn that early milk supply piece.

Because if you start off with a good supply, you really can handle and navigate a lot of other challenges because you’re not worried about running out of milk. And so that’s where Libby comes in handy. I would say, you know, there’s kellymom. com is a really common resource that people love and use, and I use it and recommend it.

For new parents, first droplet. com developed by breastfeeding medicine, doctors, lots of great videos about how to feed preterm babies and turn babies and get your milk supply up. And that way, I would say Facebook groups are amazing. If you find that you are running into depression, anxiety, mood disorders, which are really common postpartum support, international also has amazing resources.

I think building that village, like we talked about is. Key and you’re not alone. There are lots of ways to engage, even if you don’t feel like leaving your house and, you know, lean into those social media circles, um, if you can. And yeah, those are the top ones that come to mind. That’s, that’s a lot. We will have all those links in the show notes so that you can go easily and find all those wonderful resources.

Thank you so much, Dr. Brayden, for joining me here, and this has been so insightful. Thank you. If you loved today’s episode, take a minute and subscribe to our podcast. And one last thing, I’d love to pray for you and your baby if you’d like for me to. You can email me at ask at nurturednoggins. com. Your request can be as simple as just one word.

Or it can include an explanation. Either way, you can trust that I will pray for you. It’s a quiet, simple way that I can connect with you and your family and support you in your parenting journey.