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Your Breasts…Why They’re The 8th Wonder of The World

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(With Kelly Emery, Lactation Consultant, mom of 2)  Breasts are revered all over the world. And for good reason. Watch this interview & you’ll understand why. They’re ‘oh so much’ more than eye candy.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Kelly Emery teaches you details on how they’re so incredibly valuable for your baby & all the downright fascinating things your breasts automatically do, bringing better health to your baby. Like when you’re nursing- did you know your body automatically adjusts the nutrient content of the milk  if someone sneezes on you? Seriously, we couldn’t make this stuff up.

YourBabyBooty.com Breastfeeding wonder of the worldKelly also gives us an inside tour of your milk factory breast so you understand exactly how your breast milk is made & distributed to that peanut of cuteness. Knowing how your breasts work, how your breast milk is made & why your a-m-a-z-i-n-g body automatically adjusts to your baby’s needs will give you a little extra motivation, confidence & perseverance when breastfeeding gets tough. And maybe even more helpful…you’ll learn to relax once you hear how your body was made to do this…You can do it! 

You’ll Also Learn:

  1. How & why your nipples are like self-cleaning ovens (watch out Kenmore!)
  2. How & why your milk’s content changes, and meets your growing baby’s needs.
  3. What colostrum is & why it’s scientifically known as the ultimate super food for the human body.
  4. Plus, learn why you shouldn’t worry when your newborn doesn’t nurse for very long. Relax mama. 

Who is Kelly Emery?

Kelly Emery has been helping mamas for the past 17 years with their breastfeeding needs. As a mom of 2, Kelly realized that lots of new moms needed some help when it came to whipping out the breast & feeding their babies. So she become a registered nurse to help moms in need. That was 10 years ago. Since then, she started Baby Beloved, providing breastfeeding support, encouragement & information in a non-threatening way. Kelly is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant & lives in Grand Rapids, MI.

Watch the Interview (download the MP3)

 

 

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Transcript

Kelly Emery- Why your Breasts are the 8th Wonder of the World

Sarah Blight:               …Sarah Blight with your Baby Booty Interviews where we chat with real people who have real experiences so that you can have real takeaways to start you off on your journey to mama land.

 

                                    Well have you ever thought that maybe your breasts should be the eighth wonder of the world? Well tonight to discuss with us the amazing anatomy of your breast is Kelly Emery. She is a registered nurse and international board certified lactation consultant. She’s the owner of Baby Beloved here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s a wonderful resource boutique for expectants moms to get support as they try to navigate the whole breastfeeding journey. She offers a lot of encouragement and support and they have some really cute baby stuff too that you can purchase or register for. Kelly has been helping mamas with lactation needs for 17 years and she has two kids of her own. So thank you so much, Kelly, for joining us today.

 

Kelly Emery:                Thank you, Sarah, for having me.

 

Sarah Blight:               So can you explain to us the basic parts that are involved in the anatomy of the breast?

 

Kelly Emery:                Sure. The breast I kind of think of them like trees whenever I start to explain it because it’s a great visual. I find that whenever I’m out in nature, especially now in Michigan when all the leaves are falling, that’s kind of the autumn like when people are starting to wean to me. I don’t know why.

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                When you’re first going through puberty and just becoming a woman, you get these breast buds and everything starts proliferating and kind of getting ready for later on in life when you have a baby. So that’s kind of a dormant stage, nothing is really happening then. And then when you get pregnant, things really kick in and around 16 weeks, when you’re pregnant about 16 weeks your breasts really start developing the buds, I guess, inside to start making milk and they really start making colostrum, which is the first milk at that point.

 

Sarah Blight:               Wow.

 

Kelly Emery:                So that I think is kind of springtime like when the buds are starting to come out on the trees.

 

Sarah Blight:               Very cool.

 

Kelly Emery:                And then after your baby is born and your placenta is delivered, there’s a huge hormonal shift that tells your body okay we’re done being pregnant, we need to kick this back to motion. So that’s kind of like summertime when all of the leaves, you know, the buds turn into the fruits and the fruit in the trees. So really you know, a couple of days for your first baby it’s about three to five days, second baby it’s about two to four days when your supply really ramps up.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                And so things go into full gear then.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                And then you lactate and you lactate and you lactate and then when you start to wean, you leave more milk in the breast and eventually it’s like autumn in the fall the leaves start to fall off and then in wintertime you’re totally done, nothing is making until you get pregnant again and you start the cycle all over again.

 

Sarah Blight:               And the madness starts over.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yes.

 

Sarah Blight:               So what is happening when you’re very first pregnant? You mentioned at 16 weeks kind of the milk factory starts kicking in. Is there anything that’s happening kind of before that in your breasts?

 

Kelly Emery:                Well sometimes that’s the first thing that a woman notices is that my breasts are sore or my nipples get really sore. You know, they say that. Before they even take a pregnancy test, they can sometimes tell. So sometimes some women notice that or that their breasts are getting larger. There’s just a lot going on right and then a lot of blood flow is getting to the breast.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                You might notice blue veins start to –

 

Sarah Blight:               Yes.

 

Kelly Emery:                — pop on your breasts. It’s just breast milk is made from blood and so you need a good blood supply to your breasts. So mother nature kind of diverts a lot of blood that way. Another thing is some women notice their areolas, which is the brown part around the nipple start to get darker.

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                And they start to get larger sometimes and then there are little bumps on them that are called Montgomery glands and they start to get more pronounced at that time too while you’re pregnant.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay. That’s all good points because I know when I was pregnant with my first son and I started having the veins popping out and stuff, I was like what’s going on, what’s happening and this is normal.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               So I’m sure a lot of women kind of wonder that is it normal and it is.

 

Kelly Emery:                It’s very normal.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                A good sign.

 

Sarah Blight:               So colostrum and you referred a little bit to it, I think could be probably called like the ultimate super baby food for a newborn. Can you tell us what it is and why it is so amazing as a first food for newborns?

 

[0:05:04]

Kelly Emery:                Yes, totally. It is. They call it, they refer to it all the time as liquid gold and it really is and even if a mom is not planning on breastfeeding even for very long, even if the baby just breastfeeds for a few days and gets that colostrum that is an amazing gift to your baby just that. So it’s kind of a super food. It’s, gosh, how can I explain it. It’s thick and it’s not as thin and volume wise it’s smaller than, it’s more concentrated than your later milk will be.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                But it’s a small amount, it’s kind of orangey or yellowish, has a lot of beta carotene in it and a lot of extra antioxidants in it for the baby’s health. So it’s not even too much of a food really. I mean it has food components in it.

 

Sarah Blight:               Right.

 

Kelly Emery:                But it’s really kind of the baby’s first immunization I would say.

 

Sarah Blight:               Oh, wow. Yeah. So you said that a woman starts producing colostrum at 16 weeks.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yes.

 

Sarah Blight:               I know for me after I had my son, you know, I’ve always had been pretty flat chested and I kind of wondered are my breasts up to this challenge of, you know, like sustaining the life of my kid.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               So I think that I’m probably like most women was a little bit surprised when right after he was born, sure enough there’s colostrum. But I think I would have been a lot more surprised if I had been told that I really had started making that at 16 weeks.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               That is really amazing.

 

Kelly Emery:                Uh-hum.

 

Sarah Blight:               How long then? You mentioned milk comes in at varying times so the colostrum only lasts a couple of days, right or a few days.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. If you were pumping it or if you’re hand expressing, you have tendency to transition go from so orangey, yellowish, to white probably closer to ten days, you know, it’s just kind of gradually moves into more whitish sort of milk.

 

Sarah Blight:               Right.

 

Kelly Emery:                But the colostrum stays—in the beginning, it’s a very small amount. It’s about the size of a teaspoon is the volume.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                Like it’s 5 milliliters.

 

Sarah Blight:               Right.

 

Kelly Emery:                5 to 7 milliliters.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                And it’s a small amount so your baby starts to get used to it and it also goes down kind of like that Pepto Bismol commercial, it goes down. The baby is like right after delivery the very first feeding, it goes down and it kind of makes like a barrier and the baby has got intestinal walls and so it’s the baby’s protected from germs getting in, microorganisms, bad microorganisms getting in to harm the baby. So when it does go in like that, it’s a small amount and it’s very concentrated but it’s kind of sticky and it’s sticking to the inside of the baby’s gut if you will.

 

Sarah Blight:               That is amazing.

 

Kelly Emery:                And then it gets less sticky later and it just changes. But I would say you’d see it more around day 7, 8, 9, 10, something like that.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay. Okay. That is fascinating. I mean I think it’s so amazing how our breasts produce just the thing that our baby needs at that moment and I want to get to that in just a second about how the milk does change over the course of breastfeeding your baby.

 

Kelly Emery:                Uh-hum.

 

Sarah Blight:               What about for those people who have premature babies? Do your breasts know to just kick it into high gear? What’s going on with that?

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. That’s even more amazing and doctors and nurses in the NICU are really, really – even if you weren’t planning on breastfeeding, if you happen to have a premature infant, they would really encourage it because they’ve done so many studies and they see so clearly how babies, premature babies especially if they’re given breast milk, their mortality rate is so much lower.

 

Sarah Blight:               Wow.

 

Kelly Emery:                You know, they survive so much better. And we don’t know completely all the mechanisms of how this is happening, but we do know that something kicks in tells the baby or the mom her milk to be higher in antimicrobial agents like secretory IgA and like lactoferrins and things that are going to protect that baby against very life threatening diseases so.

 

Sarah Blight:               Because –

 

Kelly Emery:                [0:09:24] [Indiscernible] think about it and that’s the thing –

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                — is even if we deliver prematurely that milk is still perfect for that baby.

 

Sarah Blight:               That is a wonderful inducement to just let your body do its thing I think in that, you know–

 

Kelly Emery:                Just trust the process.

 

Sarah Blight:               Trust the process, absolutely.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               How long is the typical I guess breastfeeding session for a newborn?

 

Kelly Emery:                Uh-hum. That’s a really good question because in my practice I get a lot of people who say well I thought I was only supposed to be ten minutes this side, ten minutes that side, you know, and some babies maybe ten minutes that side and ten minutes that side they’re done. But typically in new newborn, they’re so sleepy and sometimes they have jaundice which makes them a little sleepy too so they’re not as efficient as getting the job done. You could be sitting there for 45 minutes and it’s not 45 minutes of swallowing.

 

[0:10:22]

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                But it may be suckle, suckle, oh, you know, and just fall asleep in mom’s arms and then yeah, yeah, yeah, wake up and do it again. So typically when I ask a mom, when a mom says she’s been breastfeeding for an hour, when I watch her feeding, it’s not an hour of swallowing.

 

Sarah Blight:               Right.

 

Kelly Emery:                It’s a lot of just cuddling with mom and they have a strong suck need to so sometimes with just suckling and sometimes they’re swallowing so when I work with a mom, I try to really get her in tune with what sucking is versus swallowing. So she could tell.

 

Sarah Blight:               And does that have anything to do with – you mentioned that colostrum is really syrupy and it pretty much just coats the inside of the baby, which is protecting them.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               But also how big are their stomachs when they’re newborns?

 

Kelly Emery:                Just like a marble.

 

Sarah Blight:               A marble.

 

Kelly Emery:                I wish I had a marble here to show you but, yeah, it’s just a marble and it’s 5 to 7 ccs or milliliters, which is about a teaspoon.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                So you know, by the time they’re day, 3 it’s going to be more like a shooter marble and so that’s 30 milliliters.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                So it’s like an ounce.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                And then by –

 

Sarah Blight:               So –

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               So I was just going to say so I think a lot of women stress that, you know, on day 1 or day 2 baby is, you know, –

 

Kelly Emery:                Oh, yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               — isn’t really eating much but really it doesn’t sound like baby really needs to eat that much to get the benefit of all of this super nutrients that they’re ingesting from the colostrum.

 

Kelly Emery:                Very good point. At the first like day 1, 2, 3, it’s more about practicing, getting their stomach kind of used to food and practice and it’s like – and colostrum I kind of think of it like dish soap. You know, it’s concentrated dish soap versus the regular dish soap so you don’t need as much–

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                — in the first few days.

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. I wouldn’t stress too much. You know, you count the baby’s wet and poopy diapers and they weigh the baby and everything to make sure that they’re getting what they need, but typically it’s all they need is the colostrum.

 

Sarah Blight:               The super food. Kind of going back to where you’re talking about a couple of minutes ago, should mamas kind of start stressing if baby is really too sleep to nurse and what – is there anything they can do about it?

 

Kelly Emery:                Uh-hum if it’s a full term baby. You know, if it’s a premature baby, they have to be watched a little more closely because they usually don’t have a lot of body fat to lose. It’s normal to lose, you know, maybe 7% all the way up to 10% I guess then they start really – you know, the doctors start getting concerned but –

 

Sarah Blight:               And why do they lose weight? What is that attributed to?

 

Kelly Emery:                Oh, sometimes they’re just born with a lot of extra fluid and they’re kind of overhydrated when they’re born.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                You know, it’s not a big deal at all. It’s pretty normal.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                In just about I would say 99% of babies. I’m just pulling that out of my head.

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                But most of the babies I see lose a little something –

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                — and it’s okay.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                And you know, what I find too sometimes there are scale variances too –

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                — you go to the hospital and you go to your doctor’s office and it’s –

 

Sarah Blight:               That’s true.

 

Kelly Emery:                — a little different too so.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                What I tell moms to do and the nurses will tell you this too is to watch for the wet and poopy diapers because what goes in has to come.

 

Sarah Blight:               Right.

 

Kelly Emery:                So that’s the only objective data we have is if they’re having poopy diapers and unless grandma is slipping them a bottle somewhere, you know, that’s got to be you.

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah, yeah. And so to keep them awake when they’re kind of dozing and they’re –

 

Kelly Emery:                Yes.

 

Sarah Blight:               — not so interested, how do you do that?

 

Kelly Emery:                Typically I strip them down, just to their diaper and then get them skin to skin with mom.

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                When they’re skin to skin with mom and they can feel her and smell her and touch her and she’s rubbing their back, you know, usually they start to come around and start sticking out their tongue and kind of bobbing over, you know, or trying to latch on. So the first, first line of defense is to strip the baby down and if it’s cold you know you put the baby next to you. You can always put a blanket over the both of you if you think you’re warm but typically the baby stays the same temperature that the mom is.

 

Sarah Blight:               Cool. That is so neat. Okay. So let’s get into like the milk factory is in full-scale production mode. The milk has come in. I always wondered when I was getting ready to have my son, how will I know when I my milk comes in and everyone is like, oh you’ll know. I have to say that is true. [Laughs] You do know. It comes in and it comes out very easily, you know, unlike colostrum, which is definitely syrupy.

 

[0:15:05]

Kelly Emery:                Yeah, right.

 

Sarah Blight:               But what is going on inside the breast kind of during this transition of colostrum to milk? What’s happening on the inside? If we could take a tour of our breast from the inside, what would we see happening?

 

Kelly Emery:                Oh, my gosh, well you see more fat, you know, more fat and less protein.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                Kind of transitions as the baby gets older. The first thing that you would see if you looked deep inside is there’s – it’s like a grape, you know?

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                This is way, way big. [Laughs] It’s not [0:15:40] [Indiscernible] like.

 

Sarah Blight:               [Laughs] Under one of those – what are those called, those – I want to say stethoscope but it’s not steth –

 

Kelly Emery:                Microscope.

 

Sarah Blight:               Microscope. Thank you. [Laughs]

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. If you had a microscope, this will be way blown up but it would be like the milk is made inside the cell.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                And there’s like a muscle around and so whenever the baby is nursing or if you’re pumping whenever the nipple is pulled, it releases oxytocin. Oxytocin goes up and okay and then it goes back down. The message is sent that the oxytocin makes the muscles around this cell of milk squeeze. And so it squeezes, it squirts it down toward the nipple and that’s what’s called the letdown.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                And that’s when the milk really comes out easily, more easily than even when you had colostrum. I mean it’s just kind of thick but when it’s really flowing off for the baby it’s like you’re turning the faucet up and then down again.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                And then up again and then down again. So the milk cells fill up, the muscles contract and squeeze it out and then it has to have a minute to fill up again. So sometime you’ll see baby sucking and swallowing and sucking and swallowing and sometimes it’s just suck, suck, suck, suck, swallow, suck, suck, suck, suck, swallow and then they start gulping again. So it just kind of comes in waves these letdowns that you’re having so what you would see it just this milk cell contracting and then filling back up and contracting.

 

Sarah Blight:               And that is all coming from your blood right, the milk?

 

Kelly Emery:                Uh-hum. Yeah. The milk production is coming from your blood.

 

Sarah Blight:               Right.

 

Kelly Emery:                Which is why we see all veins in your breasts, you know, –

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah, yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                — through your skin. Right, right.

 

Sarah Blight:               Because there is more blood in your body than you used to have obviously.

 

Kelly Emery:                Right, yeah. And when you’re pregnant –

 

Sarah Blight:               [0:17:26] [Indiscernible]  Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. You have a lot of blood. Yeah, a lot of weight that you get when you’re pregnant is increased blood production too so. But –

 

Sarah Blight:               And is there –

 

Kelly Emery:                — for anything

 

Sarah Blight:               Is there like is there one place from like – is there one place, one hole? I don’t know what the scientific term is. Is there one place, one hole in your nipple that the milk comes out of or are there several little ones?

 

Kelly Emery:                There are several yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay. Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. And it can vary from woman to woman but I don’t know I guess I’m going to stab at this and say maybe nine. Nine holes you know and they’re very small and they kind of come together at the end and sometimes they come together at the very last minute they’ll join in with another one and so –

 

Sarah Blight:               Merge.

 

Kelly Emery:                — it looks like it’s coming out. So if you were pumping, this is when you see it more pronounced if you were pumping the milk spreading out.

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                Because if the baby is on it, you can’t really see it.

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                But if you’re pumping you can see, oh my gosh, look at that it’s coming out in so many different holes so.

 

Sarah Blight:               Cool. Okay and so that’s I guess is coming out of the duct right? Is that what it’s technically called?

 

Kelly Emery:                Right. The milk ducts, yup and they all come kind of together at the end.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay. Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. 

 

Sarah Blight:               How does and this what I think is probably one of the most fascinating things but how does the milk change as the baby grows?

 

Kelly Emery:                Wow, you know what, it changes as the baby grows and it changes from day to day. It changes from hour to hour. It changes. It can be higher fat concentration at one part of the day and then lower at other parts, you know, if there’s…. it’s so dynamic and we don’t totally know all of the signaling that goes on between the mother and the baby and the breast and all of that.

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                But what we do know is that the mother is – the environment if the mother like say you were holding your baby and I came and coughed all over you, you would start making antibodies against my cold and then put it into the milk for the baby’s feeding to protect the baby.

 

Sarah Blight:               That is unbelievable.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               So your body is basically still communicating and working together with the baby even though the baby is no longer inside your body. There’s like this synergy going on –

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               — between you and your baby. That is unbelievable.

 

Kelly Emery:                So that’s –it’s like –

 

Sarah Blight:               I mean that is unbelievable –

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. I think that’s fascinating too. That’s one of the most fascinating things that I think is how your immune system helps your baby I mean in everything. Everything in nature is pointed toward the survival of this baby so it does make sense that we put a lot of our biology toward the protection of this newborn.

 

[0:20:12]

Sarah Blight:               Right.

 

Kelly Emery:                Because that’s our species’ survival so.

 

Sarah Blight:               That is so cool. Okay. I mean if that doesn’t point towards your breasts being one of the eighth wonder of the world, I don’t know what does because that is –

 

Kelly Emery:                I agree.

 

Sarah Blight:               That is amazing. Okay. Is it before you nurse your baby, your breast has probably been either in a t-shirt laying against your bra which may or may not be super clean or maybe a breastfeeding or one of these nursing pads. Do we need to like wash that bad boy off and get it all ready for nursing or how does that work?

 

Kelly Emery:                No. Thankfully no. Long time ago, I think I want to say in the ‘50s nurses would make you scrub your nipples or use alcohol wipes on them and just totally dry out your nipples, but thankfully you don’t have to do that anymore. The little Montgomery glands we talked about in the beginning –

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                — on your areola those brown bumps.

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                Mother nature has already taken care of that. They secrete two things. It’s an exocrine gland, which means it excretes an antimicrobial and also kind of a lubricant to keep your nipple from drying out. So your nipples are already cleaning themselves. I mean, you know, in the shower –

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                — wash yourself but you don’t have to disinfect your nipples every time you nurse not at all.

 

Sarah Blight:               So your nipples are a self-cleaning [0:21:34] [Indiscernible] as well, that’s really cool.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. [Laughs]

 

Sarah Blight:               And I did hear a tip from – I can’t remember if it was a friend or something that after you nurse to kind of rub some of the breast milk –

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               — on your areola and then kind of let it dry for a second before you put on – and I noticed that that really did work. It just kind of kept things from cracking and stuff like that.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah. Especially if you’re sore, it’s a great healing. There’s so many healing properties of breast milk. There are things called macrophage that just gobble up bacteria and there’s so many things in there that are very healing that you can put them on your nipples as well.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah, it’s a great -

 

Sarah Blight:               Since we’re kind of talking about the ducts and the areola.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               Some women get clogged ducts. What causes a clogged duct and is there anything you can do to kind of help relieve that clogging?

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah, sure. Yeah. They’re usually pretty painful and it feels like a marble underneath your breast or like a hard area in one specific spot.

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                It’s not necessarily infected.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                It’s different from mastitis. It’s not really infected, although it may get a little red or warm unless it goes into like a fever and chills and that sort of thing. So if we’re just talking about a clog, it feels like some milk just didn’t release out of there, sometimes moms get it when the baby sleeps through the night for the first time or sleeps a little longer, goes a little longer between a feeding and then moms are just kind of filling up in between. Sometimes it’s from an ill fitted bra that’s cutting into you so you don’t want one that’s too binding or tight on you. And if you have an underwire, if you’re wearing and underwire, you want to make sure the underwire if you push it on it, it’s pushing on the ribs and not into any breast tissue.

 

Sarah Blight:               Oh, good idea okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                Sometimes if it’s moms sleeping on their side or you know, putting a pillow or having something underneath there pressed up against your breast so what it does it’s kind of like stepping on a hose and the milk behind the hose clogs back up.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                Those are some of the few things and then if this does happen to you and sometimes it’s just an oversupply too. If you’re nursing your baby and then you’re pumping a ton, you’re kind of telling your body to make more than what the baby needs.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                So then you start taking away the pumping time, but your body is still in full motion and has all this extra milk and so sometimes the baby can’t drain it because you’re full. You know, you’re making too much milk. So they take what they want and then they stop but you’re still kind of full.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay.

 

Kelly Emery:                You can use some warm compresses on the nipple. Getting, positioning the baby so the baby’s chin is closest, kind of close to the clog. You may have to get in some interesting position.

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah. [Laughs]

 

Kelly Emery:                … get in there, they can kind of sometimes work it out for you.

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                Another thing is I have – if you’re thinking of like say this is the nipple and then this the clog, I would have the moms instead of massaging behind the clog, massage in front of it. It’s kind of like if you have a tangle in your hair, you know, as a kid you had a tangle in your hair, you wouldn’t come from here, you would kind of tease it out in front of it.

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                Does that make sense?

 

Sarah Blight:               Yes, totally.

 

[0:25:00]

Kelly Emery:                So kind of that sometimes works better than going from behind it.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay. Cool.

 

Kelly Emery:                Those are – yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               Well so I was totally laughing while you’re talking because I had a clogged duct as well when I was breastfeeding and I was literally like upside down and like had – we were in all kinds of crazy like I was like kneeling and baby was flipped around because it was like I couldn’t figure out how to get this thing unclogged and I was trying all these wacky positions and some of them –

 

Kelly Emery:                What finally did it?

 

Sarah Blight:               Well, you know what, I ended up getting mastitis and so –

 

Kelly Emery:                Whoa.

 

Sarah Blight:               Yeah. So I tried all of this stuff and then it just downward spiraled and I did – one of the times I think I did get it. I took a warm shower and –

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah, yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               — was just kind of kneading it in the shower and that seemed to work. But then it turned into mastitis and I had to get – it was pretty bad.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               But I had to get on some antibiotics.

 

Kelly Emery:                Sure. Sure.

 

Sarah Blight:               But that has always cracked me up just imagining these women, you know, with their babies trying all these different positions because you just —

 

Kelly Emery:                Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               You know, you want to get it, definitely that thing unclogged as soon as possible.

 

Kelly Emery:                Yes, yeah work that out as soon as you can. Yeah.

 

Sarah Blight:               Okay. Is there anything else that you want to tell expectant mamas about breastfeeding?

 

Kelly Emery:                I guess I would say give it some time. Take it a day at a time. Nurture a support group around you because this is very hard to do isolated in your own little house. You know, this is a time when you need all your girlfriends and sisters and aunts and anybody who’s supportive of breastfeeding.

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                You need them around you right now.

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                For encouragement, for ideas. You know, not that everyone is going to have the best ideas but some may have brilliant ideas that you didn’t think of and so it’s good to hear them and then just take what makes sense to you and nod and say thank you to the things that don’t make sense.

 

Sarah Blight:               [Laughs] Yeah.

 

Kelly Emery:                You’ll figure it out on your own but to give yourself time and patience and give the baby time and patience to figure this out too.

 

Sarah Blight:               Uh-hum.

 

Kelly Emery:                And that it’s very much a lot of this is a natural process. But it’s also very new to you, you know, and to the baby. There are instincts that are here for the baby to do this. But it’s still getting comfortable with each other and working out the kinks and giving yourself time and being gentle with yourself if things don’t go exactly as planned. Know that every day you can start fresh and –

 

Sarah Blight:               Yes.

 

Kelly Emery:                And give yourself breaks if you need to and then start again.

 

Sarah Blight:               That is great advice. Well to all the mamas who are watching, we’ve been chatting with Kelly Emery. She is a lactation expert. She helps mamas through her resource boutique called Baby Beloved. She has a website. It’s BabyBelovedInc.com. The link will be below this interview and they’re going to be offering some online classes in the next few months and some really cool consultation options as well via Skype. So thank god for technology.

 

                                    If you guys have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below this interview and we’ll make sure they get responded to. Thanks, Kelly, for sharing to us all this amazing fascinating information about the breast. It really is amazing.

 

Kelly Emery:                Thank you.