Lisa is a mom of 2 young children. She is the host of a podcast called Fertility Friday and enjoys helping woman understand their menstrual cycles, not only for contraception and conception,, but for their overall long term health. As a Fertility Awareness Educator, she has been charting her own menstrual cycles using the Fertility Awareness Method for 15 years. She is passionate about helping women to develop body literacy, by understanding their natural cycles.
Lisa talked to me about her breastfeeding experiences, which really did take her by surprise. She admits to being judgy about other moms who quit breastfeeding because they said it hurt too much. Well, all it took was 36 hours to erase her judgemental attitude. Since she planned a home birth and enjoyed a waterbirth with her first son, with no intervention, she expected her breastfeeding experience to be as natural as her birth was. She was shocked to experience painful breastfeeding and by the time her baby was 36 hours old, she was already contemplating bottlefeeding him formula because her pain level was so high. Lisa talks about how bad things were before receiving the proper help and how much better breastfeeding became, in a relatively short period of time.
Lisa expected breastfeeding to go fairly easy for her and when it did not, it was quite emotional for her. She did not have a particular timeline as to how long she would breastfeeding, she just knew that she would. Now that here and breastfeeding was very painful, she just knew that it had to be fixed because in her mind, giving up was not an option. When her midwife saw the formula at her follow up postpartum visit, she said: What is going on? Lisa told her how painful breastfeeding was and how every time her baby cried, so would she at the thought of breastfeeding. Her baby was checked and was diagnosed with tongue tie. She now understood why she was in so much pain.
Lisa lives in Canada and has a visiting nurse come over for a few days after the birth. With the diagnosis of tongue tie she was referred to Jack Newmans clinic. At her first appointment, Dr. Newman used scissors to cut the frenulum. They had lactation consultants right there on staff to help with initial latch after the revision. Lisa said that she felt the difference immediately. Her pain was a lot less and yet it still took a few weeks for the pain and trauma to heal from the first several days of breastfeeding. It also takes babies a few days or weeks to figure out how to use their tongue properly to transfer milk.
Going through this experience really helps Lisa to understand why the next mother would stop breastfeeding. She recognizes that having the support that she had for breastfeeding and follow up care she received is largely responsible for her continuing breastfeeding and for her ability to continue. She did not understand this before she had her first baby, however, she now understands that getting help quickly for an acute breastfeeding challenge is incredibly important. Her husband is a typical guy and he sees her in pain and he wants to fix it. From his perspective he felt formula and breastmilk is the same so he did not think it was an issue to give baby formula. Lisa is grateful for knowing and understanding that it breastfeeding is not suppose to hurt and she knew she needed help to make it better VS. staying home and waiting for it to get better. Once they gave baby formula, both she and her husband could see that baby did not stool for 24 hours and this did concern her husband. It was this part of the experience that her husband could relate to and see that his baby did not respond well to the formula and was more motivated to ensure that he was breastfed.
When her baby was about 8 weeks old, Lisa realized that breastfeeding was now comfortable and very convenient. She could just take her baby with her. She could lay down and co-sleep in the early days and breastfeed her baby throughout the night without having to sit up and feed. She tells us that this was very convenient.
I asked Lisa to share with me some information about the work that she currently does as she helps woman with their fertility awareness.
Lisa shares with us that her menstrual cycle returned at about a year postpartum, with regularity. She was back to work and so she continued to breastfeed and did some pumping until he was 2 1/2 years. With her second son, her cycle returned also at about a year. She saw and noticed that she ovulated and then she got her period so it was not a surprise. Since her baby is almost a year old and she is staying home with him, she is grateful that she does not need to pump and bottlefeed him.
We had a good discussion about ecological breastfeeding and how to use this as a way of helping a woman to determine when she is able to use this method as a way of birth control while you are breastfeeding for the first 2 months postpartum and use this method as a way to identify when her fertility returns. We also Had some interesting talk about Japanese condoms and what makes them so much better.
She teaches women how to identify which days you can get pregnant and which days you can’t, so you can confidently use this as an effective method of birth control.
This method also helps women to identify the days that they can get pregnant. While using the method is not difficult, you just have to learn it, it is not just as simple as checking your cervical mucous. Part of what she does is help women to identify if there are certain things that need to look into deeper with a physician and helps you on the path to good fertility health.
Using the FAM is helpful to moms who are Breastfeeding and don’t do well on hormones and are looking for another method of birth control. You can use it as an effective method postpartum. It can be a bit tricky and this is how Lisa can help you.
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