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How to Thrive in The Newborn Stage From an IBCLC

One of my favorite memories of being an IBCLC includes a home visit and a mom that opened the door in just her mesh panties, and a screaming baby. It was so raw, so real, so honest I just wanted to hug her!

This is how new moms spend the first week. In our mesh panties, boobs out- airing, healing, leaking and constantly feeding. You may manage to get in the hospital night gown you bought, washed once, and then live in for another week. Maybe you'll live in your robe.

We learn quickly that clean clothes are not a priority let’s be real; clothes are not a priority.

In my experience as a mother of two and an IBCLC that has been in hundreds of homes over the last seven years. These are my tips for thriving in the Newborn stage.

1. Embrace the mesh panties- throw in a a padsicle.

From personal experience ya’ll. Every post-partum mom needs a padsicle on their vulva after pushing out a baby. It’s like Lionel Richie serenading to your bruised lady-bits. You will thank me later. The mesh panties are comfortable, and you will miss them when they are gone.

2. Let others bring you food.

Meal trains can save your life- does your partner know how to cook? Mine doesn’t. You need good nutrient rich food to give you energy and bring in a robust milk supply. even has the option for gift certificates for your favorite restaurants or money to buy groceries!

3. Hire a Post-partum doula.

This can be a great gift someone can give before baby arrives! A Post-Partum Doula is a trained professional who cares for the mother and the baby. They can help with light housework, assist in finding resources if needed and are knowledgeable in breastfeeding, baby wearing and helping adjust to parenthood. They are an invaluable ally when entering the throws of becoming a parent while sleepless and exhausted.

4. Talk about Post-partum mood disorders.

According to, many women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of a post-partum mood disorder please consult with your OBGYN, Midwife or other Primary Care professional. It is important to know that you are not alone and there are helpful groups or medications.

5. Don’t worry about the messy house.

Easier said than done I know. You will most likely look back and wish you spent more time snuggling on the couch and less time vacuuming. When I come into a home for a lactation consult, I cringe when moms apologize for the state of their house. 1. It’s not even messy and 2. You just grew and birthed a human! If you can, reach out to all the people who said, “what can I do to help?” Assign someone to vacuuming, one to dishes etc.

6. Get one on one breastfeeding support early on.

An IBCLC is the considered the gold standard in lactation care. Most will come to your home or have an office location if you prefer. It is important to get help early on, especially if you are experiencing pain, your baby is not having adequate wet and soiled diapers, is very sleepy at the breast or you just feel something is not quite right. You want to protect your milk supply and the peace of mind is worth every penny!

Do you need Lactation Support? In person and Virtual Telehealth Consults available with Rachael Birkenhauer, IBCLC with Lactation Counseling Services.


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