Mastitis for the Holidays

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December 18, 2020

What is mastitis and what do I do if I happen to get it?!

This is Maureen Ferrall and Heather O’Neal and this is The Milk Minute, an inclusive evidence-based podcast hosted by midwives and lactation professionals. That’s us. Here to talk to you about all things, lactation and boobs, body positivity, mental health, all the Milky topics. Join us for another episode.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to our special holiday episode of The Milk Minute Podcast. Today, we are going to talk about mastitis, which if you didn’t know, increases around the holidays every single year. And we are also going to talk about self-care because those two pretty much go hand in hand. But first up, it’s our Milk Minute Alcove Award of the Week. And then we are going to field to holiday related listener question before we move into the meat of the show, because you don’t want to miss this.

And now for The Milk Minute Alcove Awards, we are going to shout out an award to our friend, April.anApril’s an all around bad-ass who just hit her one year of breastfeeding twins. Yeah. Twins, you guys. She actually did it and I couldn’t be more proud. And she posted in the group that she’s made it a year and that the community is the reason why.

And it made me cry. It really did make Maureen cry. She is so full of hormones right now. I mean puppy commercials make me cry too now, but it was a much more emotional crying for April. Yeah. I mean, because we’ve been there, it’s hard. It is so hard. And you defied the odds with twins and you did it. You made it a whole year of breastfeeding two humans. I mean, you’re a fucking rock star, so good for you April. So proud of you. We’re going to award you the double time award because you did everything double time this year, and we’re giving you two double high-fives. We’re super proud of you.

Let’s take just a minute to thank our sponsor¬†Liquid IV. Heather, I want to tell you a little bit about this because I was skeptical at first, but when I really looked at it, Liquid IV offers highly effective functional hydration products that make you feel better, faster. Well, I mean, I guess my question is how does that differ from sports drinks?

This is way different. These guys function on premium ingredients and optimal flavor without all of the additives and sugars. Oh, okay. So you’re saying that you can balance your body and your hydration, get your vitamins and not pack your body full of sugar? Okay. Okay. Exactly. They work with a world-class team to create cutting edge functional beverages where science meets taste and the company focuses on giving back to the communities they work with and on sustainability. So click the link in the show notes¬†and enter the promo code MILKMINUTE10 to get your first batch of a Liquid IV.

This question is from Elizabeth. And she says that she’s got a big family trip coming up, where they are driving a long distance to go see family for the holidays. And they are staying for an extended period of time. And she is concerned about her mother-in-law being overbearing when it comes to holding the baby and feeding the baby. And she always pressures her to bottle feed when she’s with her. So she wants to know how she can survive the holidays with that amount of pressure surrounding her feeding method.

Yeah. Well, first I’m going to say that we’re going to address a lot of that in this episode. So listen up, but I also want to say, give yourself some grace with this trip. With your car ride just automatically plan to stop every two hours. Even if you don’t have to great, you can be like, fuck yeah. Expectations exceeded. Yep. And with your mother-in-law, you know, I think our, our big thing is going to be boundaries honey. Decide, think, take that 12 hour car ride and decide what is important to you.

You could accidentally forget your breast pump, wink, wink, and be like, Oh gosh, can’t believe I left that at home. I guess we’re going to just have to breastfeed the whole time we’re here. Oh, well, and if she, I mean, if she’s going to go out to Target and buy you another $300 breast pump, I mean, that’d be a bit much, but yeah.

I mean, be creative in your solutions is going to be my suggestion. You know, if you’re the kind of person who can just say no and make boundaries, do that. But if you’re like, Oh God, I can’t do confrontation. I can’t do that. Be creative. Oh, looks like it’s a dirty diaper. Got to go change that and feed this baby. And oh, baby’s not hungry. It’s nap time. And, you know, ask your partner to help you because you should not have to be the only one saying, no, I’m not giving my baby a bottle. Yes, especially if it’s a mother-in-law situation, but most of all, listen up because this episode is going to be your manual to surviving the holidays without mastitis.


Let’s take a minute to thank our sponsor,¬†Taking Cara Babies, sleep courses. Tell me about that, Heather. Oh, it’s awesome. I took it. Everybody needs to take it. Cara owns a company called Taking Cara Babies. She was a NICU nurse and her husband’s a pediatrician and she solves your problem of how to get your baby to sleep through the night and to nap and get on a good nap schedule while being breastfeeding friendly. I mean, you think it’s not possible, but it actually is. And she basically gives you permission to do these evidence-based, research-based things to get your baby to sleep better through the night without hurting your milk supply. Sounds great. So tell me, how do our listeners get there? Go to the show notes, click the link and sign up and that’s it. Go do it and enjoy your night’s sleep. Good night.

Happy holidays!¬† Today we wanted to talk about the Christmas present that nobody fucking asked for: mastitis. I was like, we already announced your pregnancy. Yeah. Well, in case you’re wondering what the heck does mastitis have to do with the holidays, a lot. We’re here to tell you we get calls all the time around the holidays from people that have gone to many, many parties, their schedules have changed and all of a sudden their breasts are just acting like a fool and they’ve got fevers and they feel like absolute dog shit. Yeah. And let me just sum this up for you. If you’re like, hm, what is mastitis? Now I’m scared. That’s that’s a reasonable feeling because mastitis is a breast infection and it sucks. It super sucks, and it happens quickly and then progresses quickly.

Right? So usually this is triggered by an interruption in feeding schedules or a clogged duct or something that’s stopping milk flow. How we see this progress is typically we’ll have a little bit of pain or soreness from a clog, or, you know, baby’s feeding schedule will change for whatever reason. And then very suddenly we have the breastfeeding parent go from feeling a little bit cruddy to suddenly feeling like they have a full-blown flu.

Fever, body aches, chills, all kinds of stuff. And usually that’s accompanied by redness and swelling on the breast. Um, sometimes both breasts, often just one. Sometimes it’s the whole breast, or sometimes we see this really characteristic, like pizza wedge shape. That’s pretty strange and it’s really hot to the touch and super tender.

Yeah. And what most people tend to do when that happens is avoid feeding on that breast. And that is the absolute worst thing you could possibly do. Right. It’s going to make that infection worse and it’s, it’s just going to cause your body to stop making milk there. So we do sometimes see that mastitis leads to a decrease in milk production when we stop expressing milk. Yes. And so we’re going to give you a couple tips to handle that mastitis right now, but the actual show that we’re doing today is five steps to surviving the holidays and preventing mastitis.

But we don’t want to leave you hanging. So if you do end up with mastitis at any point in time, holiday or no holiday, you are going to feed on that breast. You are going to call your provider and probably get antibiotics. And, and you know what, it is always fucking 11:00 PM when somebody realizes they’re getting mastitis and they’re not always able to get meds till the next morning.

So we have kind of a couple of things that you can do in the meantime, you know, and usually it’s not bad enough that you need to go to the ER, but don’t rule that out as an option because sometimes you feel that bad. But usually we’re going to do kind of our same protocol for clogged ducts. We’re going to do lots of expression, whether it’s with the pump or baby. We’re going to do warm compresses and breast massage.

And if you can’t tolerate the breast massage, you can always do like some kind of vibration externally on the area. So like even your electric toothbrush is good or your actual vibrator. Or your actual vibrator would be fine. Yes. Or, you know, my, uh, my friend’s mom has this giant back massager called The Thumper and she’s, yeah, and she is like super, very reserved. And the other day her husband was thumping himself and she yells from the kitchen, “hey Terry, when you’re done there, would you mind coming in here and thumping me?” And I lost my mind. Anyways, you can use your Thumper on your, on your breast to get that. Uh, what that does, it kind of breaks up the chunks of fat that have congealed in your duct and behind that congealed fat is the bacteria that is feeding off of your sugary milk.

And it’s moving into your lymphatic system and it circulates through your whole body, which is why you generally feel like dog shit everywhere. And it is safe to continue feeding baby because that bacteria just gets broken down in their gut. It’s not dangerous in that way, but it’s dangerous for you because if it’s in your milk, it’s also going to be able to get into your bloodstream. And like Heather said, your lymph and it’s going to be systemic for you. So with mastitis, we see systemic symptoms instead of localized symptoms. Yes.

Let’s take a minute to thank our sponsor¬†Aeroflow. Oh, tell me more about that. You know, do you ever wake up in the morning and you’re like, I would love to call my insurance company today. Literally never once have I thought that, okay. So, people at Aeroflow knew this. Right. Good. And they decided that it would be in everybody’s best interest if they developed a business where they contacted your insurance company to order your breast pump for you. This sounds good. So you literally never have to call your insurance company to work out getting a breast pump, which is fantastic, because no one ever wants to do that crap when they’re postpartum. And the other cool part is they will text you and let you know when it’s time for you to replace your pumping parts and when your insurance will pay for new ones.

So maybe, you know, your pump parts are fine for now, but if insurance is going to cover a new set, great! I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m not really combing through my insurance benefits information postpartum to see when I qualify for replacement. Uh, no, not at all. Right. So we’re going to go ahead and put a link in the show notes for Aeroflow. And when you click that link, it’s super easy. You just put in all of your insurance information and then somebody from Aeroflow contacts you directly, and you have like a real person that you talk with. And then they do all the dirty work for you. It’s fantastic. I couldn’t recommend it enough, please.

Just do yourself a favor and get your pump through¬†Aeroflow. It’s going to save you so much time and trouble. Right? And they have all the top brand name pumps, replacement parts, and accessories. You know, they’ve got cooling gel pads. They’ve got those pumping bras, all the stuff you need. One place. Yep. One place. So, um, I guess the only thing left to say about that is you’re welcome. Yeah, you’re welcome.

So let’s get into our five steps to surviving the holidays and preventing mastitis. Maureen hit us with number one. Alrighty, Heather, we are going to start with supporting your immune system. What? I know that didn’t sound fun. I’m so busy shopping and preparing the house and making Wassail. I do not make Wassail for the holidays. But seriously, if you can get healthy and stay healthy through this holiday season and really build some resiliency in your body, you’re going to be able to tolerate some of this stress and changes.

¬†You know, and I understand that right now, a lot of us are dealing with rising COVID numbers. Your holiday season is probably not going to be conventional for you, but, I can pretty much guarantee it’s still going to be stressful. Cause maybe you’re trying to organize six different zoom meetings with your family instead of seeing them. And you’re like, Mmm. Maybe I don’t want everyone to see my boob on zoom. Yeah. Or like your grandma’s yelling at you like Barbara, why did you turn your camera off? Barbara, turn your camera back on. And you’re like, listen, granny, I’m breastfeeding. What? Yeah.

So anyway, you know, we just, we just want to build that health before all this shit happens. So let’s, let’s think of some ways to do that. You know, a lot of you guys already know about taking things like zinc or vitamin C. Go ahead and do that. That’s breastfeeding, safe. Yep. It’s breastfeeding, safe. And also your diet tends to change around the holidays and we start eating a lot more garbage, so you know what, eat it. That’s great. But life is about balance. So, you know, if you know that you’re going to be eating like crap later on in the day, get yourself a really good breakfast.

Take your multivitamin. Take your multivitamin. Schedule weekly chiropractic appointments or acupuncture appointments or massages or whatever. You know, we just, some people celebrate many holidays at this point. It just starts with Thanksgiving. And you know, maybe you have this multicultural family and you’re going to do Hanukkah and Christmas and who knows what else?

And then New Year’s. And it’s just one thing after the other. It’s a lot of cooking. It’s a lot of stress. It’s a lot of expectations, even just in your immediate family. So we’re going to work on stress reduction and maintaining that throughout your holiday season. Let’s do some breathing techniques. You know, here’s what I want you to do in the morning when you’re like, fuck, I have to put the stupid turkey in the oven and somehow fit 10 other things in there.

I’m going to say, all right. All right. Shut your door with your kids on the other side. Look out the window, take a deep breath in. Let’s all do it together. Right? Do a collective breath, deep breath in. We’re going to hold it for four seconds. And then exhale. And I want you to do that about four times. I like square breathing, right?

Inhale for four, hold for four. Exhale for four, pause for four. Mm. I let you can do, you know, there’s a bunch of different breathing techniques that have been proven to kind of change the way your nervous system is working from fight or flight to that rest and digest. And all of them work pretty well. So I like the square one because I don’t have to for, you know, remember like, Oh, is it seven seconds in and eight seconds holding ?

I’m like four, four, four, four square. And I, and I think about the square in my mind. And I go up when I breathe in and over when I hold and down, when I breathe out and over when I hold and it’s great. So I want you to do that at least four times. This is all fours. You can’t forget it. Okay. But Hey do it with all fives. I don’t care. Yeah. And you look out that window at something that looks nice or look at the favorite thing that you have in your room. Nice plant. I have a lot of plants. My pothos is my favorite. And um, I want you to just tell yourself, like I am equal to the day that is coming. You’re equal to the day that is coming. I can do it. This day is not going to absorb me. I can do everything that I need to today. And if I don’t get it done, it didn’t need to happen. Yeah. Just do what you can do and the rest of it, let it go.

But again, this leads us right into number two, which is boundaries. Ooh, I’m going to give this one to you, Heather. Raise your hand if you are good at setting boundaries. Yeah. There’s crickets in the alcove. No one, no one. I mean, it takes practice. Let’s be honest. So if you’re the kind of person that is a circle, you know, you’re happiest when everybody else is happy too. I’m talking to you people here, you’re the problem. You are the ones that end up being the container that everybody shits in. All holiday season.

And then you end up with a serious illness in February. Once you’re finally able to breathe, your adrenal system just completely dumps. It’s like, you’re saying you’re the bed pan. You’re the, you’re the bed pan of Christmas. Yeah. So, you know what, here’s the thing, the best way I think about setting boundaries is to come up with specific goals. So setting boundaries is really ambiguous, right? Like, Oh, I need to be better at setting boundaries.

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What I mean is if your biggest concern is that Aunt Myrtle is not going to give you your baby back in time to feed your baby on the schedule that you like, that your baby is used to. Fucking Aunt Myrtle, fucking Aunt Myrtle, then that’s at the top of your priority list.

So your boundary with yourself is I am not going to let anybody else during this holiday season interrupt my baby’s feeding time. And if that means that you have to wear your baby for every Christmas party or Hanukkah party that you go to, then that’s what it is. That you don’t want to miss those early feeding cues. And you don’t want anybody to feel left out. And so if one person that’s usually, let’s be honest, it’s usually one person that is stressing you out during the holidays. There’s always that person in your family that you’re like. God, if they just didn’t come, this would be fine. But usually they come to every single thing. They’re going to be there.

Right. And so if the boundary can’t be, get rid of Aunt Myrtle, then the boundary has to be, nobody gets to hold the baby. Right. And you know, we are recording this in a pandemic. So you have absolutely every single right in the world to say, I’m going to bring the baby. We are going to participate and we are excited about it. However, nobody’s going to hold the baby. Because if you crack that door and you let one person, the Aunt Myrtle is like going to kick the door down. So just remember. Specific boundaries.

So another one, kissing the baby. So don’t let anybody kiss the baby and nobody, I don’t care if it’s COVID or not. Don’t, just don’t kiss somebody else’s baby. Don’t let other people kiss your baby. No. Yeah. And so my reasoning for that is, um, the bacteria that we end up getting in our breast, that is the cause of mastitis, can actually come from your baby. Or Aunt Myrtle kissing your baby. Well, it can.  Like your baby’s saliva gets into your areola and your body takes that bacteria in for a reason.

It takes that bacteria in and it reads the bacteria and then your body makes specific antibodies to fight whatever the baby’s experiencing. Right. So if a ton of people are kissing your baby and all of this foreign bacteria is going to be introduced to your nipple. Right. Especially if you have nipple injuries like that leads to mastitis all the time, right?

Because like our mouths are just not clean. Your baby’s mouth is not going to be particularly clean. If they’re picking up tinsel off the floor and sucking on it. Oh my God, please don’t let them do that either. That’s a boundary, right? Yeah. And so the other thing is compromising. So, you know, you are absolutely allowed to say, I will do this, but I’m not comfortable with this. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. So if that means that you need a private place to pump, then that’s what you need to do. Because a lot of people are really uncomfortable in group settings, taking care of themselves the way they need to as breastfeeding parents. So if you do not have a private space to pump at the fire hall that your family has rented out, then you cannot go.

And you tell them that, you know, tell them straight out of the gate, like wherever we have this party, I would really appreciate a private space where I can go with my pump or with my baby to take care of myself. And if they don’t appreciate that, then fuck them. Yep. You know, I’m sorry, like at this point in my life, if people aren’t willing to give on stuff that is so easy to make your life better as a breastfeeding parent, I’m out. Those aren’t my people. I mean, maybe they’re technically are your DNA related people, but they don’t have to, you don’t have to be your, yeah.

So that leads us to number three. So say these people aren’t going to compromise. Have a Holly jolly Christmas and learn to say no. Yeah, we’re going to start saying no. No, you can’t feed the baby a bottle. No, the baby is not old enough to have a piece of turkey. No, not even the gravy on a spoon. Yeah, no, I need to feed my baby now. No, I’m not going to that fucking party. Yeah, no, we can’t stay another hour. Right. No,it’s baby’s nap time now. Yeah. And also, no, I don’t have to answer that question about my choices.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and it’s hard. A lot of us have been raised to basically accommodate everybody. And you know, my, my therapist has been working with me on not being so accommodating, you know. And she’s been like, Hey, you know, this is a product of, you know, feeling like you weren’t good enough as a child to now you over accommodate for everybody. Right. Wanting to be enough. Guess what? You’re enough. And you don’t have to accommodate other people.

In fact, you don’t even have to give an answer at all. Like sometimes you don’t even need to dignify the question with an answer. So if grandma who formula fed all of her healthy eight children looks at you and says, why are you still breastfeeding? He’s six months old. You can just go, Ooh, I just shrugged my shoulders and I just walked away. Just latch that baby on and look her dead in the eye. Yeah. Or just literally walk away. And if that bitch follows you and keeps harassing you about it, then that’s a reflection on her. You don’t even have to explain yourself.

I just, man, I feel like what really gets me at family gatherings is not these like really outright mean things, but like little slights, right? Like that, where someone’s like, Oh, you’re still feeding baby? You’re still breastfeeding? You look so tired. You know, he’d sleep a lot better in the middle of the night if you’d actually give him some real food. You know what? The one that gets me. Oh, he’s feeding again? Oh yeah. That’s a good one. Have another beer, Uncle John. You’re like, yes he is. And if he’d like to start a tally and have a pool on how many times the baby’s going to breastfeed while we’re here, go for it. I bet you $5. You do not tally enough times.

Yeah. And also you do not actually have to take it upon yourself to educate the whole family either, which is exhausting. If they don’t already know about breastfeeding by now, then please don’t feel like you have to be the lactation consultant at the table who has to explain all your choices. You really are only there to enjoy yourself. And if you’re not enjoying yourself, go get the fuck out of there. Yeah. Especially this season, you know? COVID cases are on the rise. I’m not going to any holiday parties. And, you know, if we were invited, I’m just going to say, Hey, no, you know, we’ll see you another time.

Yeah. This might be the one year that you get a free pass. Yeah. Yes. Seriously. Like , if somebody gives you shit for not going to a holiday party this year, And we did have somebody in the Facebook group who was asking how you keep people from holding your baby. And the answer to that is step number four, which is versatile babywearing.

So please, if you have not figured out how to babywear by now with a wrap, you do it. Invest the time to figure it out. My favorite thing, especially when I was trying to learn how to put my baby in the carrier alone, cause I used to like, wait on my husband, I’d hold him and he’d buckle me. But I literally just stood on my bed with my baby in the carrier. And I would practice like putting, cause I was like, okay, well if I drop him, at least I’m on my bed. Oh, that’s a good one. So I’d stand on my bed. Or, you know, if your ceilings are shorter, you can kneel. And that’s how I practiced putting him on my back in a carrier by myself, putting him in the front in a carrier by myself.

I’d practice new like wraps with my baby wraps. With the fabric wraps. Right. I would practice new ways of doing that on the bed. So it’s just like, you know what, if it’s a disaster and I dropped the baby, he’s going to be fine. It’s worth it. And I don’t care if it takes you all day to figure out how to do it, do it.

And then the other thing that we always tell people who say, “my baby, doesn’t like the baby wrap.” Yeah. They will. You stick them in there and you pat their butt and you bounce up and down. Give them a little boob, give them a little boob and just let them figure it out. It is in your best interest, in baby’s best interest to let them know that it’s not really their choice.

They have to. Yeah. I mean, I recommend if people are open at all to babywearing I’m like do this from the beginning. Yep. Because that’s how you get your baby used to it. You know, I literally like the first day I got out of bed after having a baby, I put my baby in a wrap. That’s so smart. And it is, that’s how he grew up.

And, you know, it took us a couple of weeks to learn how to breastfeed at all in the wrap. And part of that is like, your newborn has really poor head control and you have some engorged boobs, and you’re just like, God, my boobs are bigger than my baby’s head in this wrap in this thing. And that’s okay if that doesn’t work for you, that’s fine.

But if you can take some time to practice that in a low stress setting. So like, after you’re, when your baby’s not really hungry. Like you fed baby it’s 20 minutes later, you kind of know, like, if I whip a boob out, they’ll take it again, but they’re not going to freak out. That’s a good time to practice, you know, you’re at home.

If it doesn’t work, just take off the wrap. And get your partner to do this too, because your back is going to need a little bit of a break possibly. And you two are the only two people that should be babywearing at this party. Otherwise it defeats the whole purpose of doing it. So make sure that your partner is on board and comfortable with doing that.

And your baby is familiar with baby wearing with your partner. I think that’s so key. My husband and I kind of had an agreement with the last baby and it was unspoken, but quite present with this one. I carry this baby for quite nearly 10 months, and then he gets to carry it for about that same amount of time.

Nice. And he was a dedicated baby wearing dad, you know? And I also told him, I was like, Hey man, you know, I’m not finding a lot sexy right now, but when you baby wear, that is maybe the only sexy thing. So keep doing that, you know? Yeah. Yeah. For sure. And so what this does for you, when you go to these holiday parties, is it prevents people from just taking the baby.

Yeah. They can’t kiss the baby. They’d have to be like really in your space. I’d have to like put my face into Heather’s breasts to kiss her baby if her baby is right there. I’d let you do that, but they would have to, first of all, ask permission. Uncle Ned is probably not going to do that. So no.  Well let’s hope not. And they just, they would really have to put forth some effort to get the baby out of there. And then that would be weird. Yeah. Like people are really not just going to snatch a baby out of a carrier. They’re going to, I mean, and like I’ve done this at family parties before and family gatherings and, you know, some people who I could tell thought it was weird usually just didn’t say anything.

And I got a lot more positive responses and I thought like, Oh, that looks comfortable. That looks like a great way to carry a baby. Yeah. And also you mentioned a carrier, so if you don’t have a baby wrap, buy one. But if you are like leaving for a party tonight, while you’re listening to this, you can use your car seat.

You know, bring the baby in the car seat and get a cover for it. Yeah. That will deter people from leaning down and kissing your baby. Like God forbid, you put that thing down somewhere and you turn around and snatched up. And then baby’s, like at the cookie table with whomever, they get snatched up. You can put a note on the blanket on the outside of the carrier that says, please ask before removing my baby.

Yep. And if they don’t like it, sorry. Yeah. Oh, she’s so overbearing. Great. Yes, I am. Maybe, but you know what? Next year you might be a lot more fun because, well probably not, you’ll have a toddler, right? Well, you might sleep through the party next year. Your toddler is going to be the fucking life of the party.

Yeah. Your toddler’s gonna show you exactly how many rice Krispie treats they can eat in one night. Oh my God, I was going to say when my son could reach the dessert table, all bets were off and I was like, yeah, you can take him now. Oh my gosh. So, you know what, here’s the things, uh, step five is what you need to advocate for.

Yes. So learning to say no to certain things, but also advocating for other things. Yeah. So, you know,  stick up for yourself and your partner. And have your partner stick up for you. You need to present a united front. Yes. So we’re going to advocate as a family, as a team. As a team, we’re going to advocate to well , these can be a little bit flexible. This is if this is important to you.

So you need to think about what are the most important aspects of my baby’s schedule that keep us all fucking sane. So if that’s naps, you’re going to advocate to stick to your nap time. If the party starts at two and nap time is two, you’re going to get there at four. Yep. And no one is going to apologize. Do not apologize for it. You are taking care of your family. Yeah.

If you are on a strict two hour pumping schedule and baby eats every two and a half hours, you’re going to stick to that. Yep. And also, you know, if you don’t feed on a schedule, but you feed whenever there’s early feeding cues, make sure you just tell people. Like, Hey, you can hold the baby, but it might be around the time that he’s going to eat soon. So be on the lookout for hand to mouth movements, or if he starts trying to bite the blanket or your shoulder, let me know. You know, because you really want to make sure. And if people are starting to get drunk and you know, they’re going to miss it, just be like, I need the baby back.

Nevermind. Go have another beer. Yeah. Nevermind. Yeah. I just really hope that none of you get mastitis for Christmas. Cause it’s like getting coal in your stocking guys . It really is. And if it does happen, we will attach a freebie to this episode in the show notes of a list of intervention. So we mentioned a few of them in the beginning.

Okay. But we know that you feel like crap, if you already have mastitis and it’s hard to think through a fever. So you can go ahead and click the link in the show notes and you can see our bulleted list of things that you can do until you can get some antibiotics on board. Just stick it next to your turkey recipe guys.

Yeah, for sure. So, you know, just remember you’re a person, not a robot and these changing schedules in the holidays and the stress and all of that really does make a difference. And don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re not less of a person because you can’t handle breastfeeding and a newborn and the holidays. We can barely handle the holidays without all of those things going on.

I can barely handle a newborn without anything else. Yeah. So give as much as you’re willing to give, up until the point where you stop enjoying yourself, because that’s what this is really all about. We just want you to enjoy the holidays, you know? Yeah, my best recommendation for this year. Just plan to stay home with your family.

Don’t plan to cook 10 courses, you know. Cook the courses that make you happy. If all you like to eat at the holidays is stuffing and cranberry sauce, well then that’s your fucking dinner folks. Who cares about the rest of it?

So just to recap, our five steps are: boosting your immune system before the holidays even get started, setting boundaries with yourself and your immediate family, learning to say “no” to things that you absolutely, hard-stop, are not willing to do, versatile babywearing, and advocating for the things that are really important to you. Okay. Those five steps are going to get you to a place in the holidays where you can actually relax and enjoy yourself and not be worried and in defense mode all the time about keeping your breastfeeding relationship going. And preventing mastitis. Yeah, we love you guys. Happy holidays. Happy holidays, you filthy animals. Thanks for listening to The Milk Minute. If you haven’t already please like, follow and review our podcast wherever you listen.

If you’d like to support our podcast, you can find us on Patreon at Patreon.com/MilkMinutePodcast. To send us feedback, personal stories, or just to chat, you can send us an email at MilkMinutePodcast@gmail.com.

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