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Krista Dykes: We have Kimberly Hampton with Middle Tennessee Lactation with us today and although this is really only the second time I have seen her in about five years, she is somebody that I consider hugely important to my mom journey and my breastfeeding journey because I was having issues very shortly after having my little one.

You can go back and listen to a previous episode. I talk all about my journey, breastfeeding and some of the obstacles that we had to overcome. But it was Kimberly Hampton right here who helped us just get off to the races breastfeeding. Kimberly, I'd love it.

If you would just share a little bit more about you and middle Tennessee Lactation and how how you got into this business.

Kimberly Hampton: Sure. Well, thank you for having me. I started off as a pediatric nurse and I have been a nurse in pediatrics for about 20 years. And it's [00:01:00] actually after breastfeeding my own too, which I think a lot of lactation consultants get started that way.

They start to get passionate about breastfeeding after going through obstacles in their own journeys. So started to like do a lot of reading about breastfeeding, a lot of research. And it was actually a pediatrician that I worked with who we were just having a conversation one Saturday and I said, If I weren't doing this, I think I'd love to be a lactation consultant.

And she said, well, why don't you do it? And I was like, why don't I? I'm good to that. So I started researching and decided to pursue becoming a board certified lactation consultant.

So I started the process which included getting some volunteer hours helping breastfeeding moms. So I did that through La Leche League and started as a leader in Rutherford County and [00:02:00] learned so much about breastfeeding through that process.

I was able to see. Lots of different stages of breastfeeding from pregnancy through weaning. And so then I took my boards and became a lactation consultant and started my practice in 2014. And since then have just continued to grow and help moms all over middle Tennessee.

I have two kids, 15 and 13. So my son I did a lot of birth research and went with midwives and ended up having an emergency C section. And then with my daughter two years later, I ended up having a VBAC. And so that was nice to be able to experience both and I feel like I can empathize with moms who've been through both types of births, but I learned different things through both experiences.

Krista Dykes: What is a tip or trick or a piece of advice that you would [00:03:00] share with another mama right now,

Kimberly Hampton: I would say, line up your postpartum support because, I think sometimes if you're anything like me, we try to be super mom and I thought, , I've, I know a lot about babies. I got this. I don't really need my mom or mother in law. Me and my husband, we got this and, , if I could do anything differently, it would be. , have that support lined up, have someone there to take care of me and to cook meals.

And so it, , it could be a neighbor, a friend, a relative but it is okay to say, I'm going to need help. And then if you don't need it, it's okay to also say, I'm good. You can go home. I don't what visitors for a week or someone living with me for a week, but you aren't going to know how you're going to feel until you go through that postpartum time.

Krista Dykes: [00:04:00] What are a few of the common reasons that new moms struggle with breastfeeding both? Starting it and

Kimberly Hampton: maintaining it. Yeah. Well, I think first of all, a lack of support, especially if you aren't established with a lactation consultant during pregnancy, which I would, I'd recommend, as soon as you get home and it's day three, four, and baby won't latch. And what do I do now? And so just having that support and game plan so that these are the next steps I take and Google with any health issue, but especially with breastfeeding is not always the best go to because you could have.

For instance, nipple pain, which is very common, and it could be caused by a variety of different things, and you want someone who can get to that root cause. So, I think just knowing what is the next step I [00:05:00] take what do I do now? My baby's doing this, or my baby's not doing this when I try to feed him or her.

And. What do I do? Do I pump? That lack of support is a big one. Lack of access, in insurance companies are not often covering. Now they are more than ever. We have the Lactation Network, which I'm partnered with, and they are incredible. They cover multiple visits, home visits, office visits, telehealth.

But our state actually is only one of. Five or six states that covers Lactation care for Medicaid patients and that just started in June. So before then if you had Medicaid, which many moms in our state do, you had no access to a lactation consultant. So, you can understand how If you're denied that care, you're not going to get the support you need.

So, [00:06:00] and then I think there would be just downright bad information sometimes from well meaning friends and family or maybe someone who breastfed 30 years ago and. , we have a little bit more information now and they genuinely want to help, but maybe the advice they give isn't always the greatest.

Krista Dykes: So you've got nine months, where in that timing does it make sense to Be researching lactation consultants and like start meeting with

Kimberly Hampton: someone to be prepared.

Start researching around the second trimester and, and meeting one on one in the third trimester, and I think a lot of moms will wait until the last month, but anywhere from. I think 32 weeks and beyond is a good time. So everything's fresh on your mind. And that gives you an opportunity if you don't know which pump to order.

Perhaps, you can get help [00:07:00] with. Choosing a pump because it can be overwhelming. There's so many choices now. One other thing that we do at prenatal visits now, this is new is we measure nipples for the correct flange size. And that is something that we have not done ever. But now we're learning, okay, the flange that actually comes with your pump is usually going to be too big.

And that can make a difference on how much milk you get. So that's something that we do at the prenatal visit as well. And then we go over those specific challenges. So you could do a group class like at the hospital, but I think the benefit of a one on one would be your lactation consultant can look at your health history and if there are any red flags for say milk production issues that might occur, she can kind of help you come up with a game plan for that.

Krista Dykes: Does La Leche League

Kimberly Hampton: still exist? It is. It does. [00:08:00] Okay. Yeah. And then you mentioned free

Krista Dykes: community breastfeeding support groups.

Kimberly Hampton: tell us a little bit about the

Krista Dykes: differences

Kimberly Hampton: between La Leche League

Krista Dykes: and your community breastfeeding support groups

Kimberly Hampton: La Leche League is more mom to mom support. So they're not going to be able to. Go over any medical issues or give medical advice. However you will learn like what is the normal course of breastfeeding, which I think is great because there are going to be those moms who really don't have any medical issues.

They just need to know. Yeah, all babies do this, and this is completely normal. This is to be expected, and that's where just making those friendships and having that peer support is great. But if you're having a more in depth issue, say maybe you're concerned about tongue or lip ties, or you [00:09:00] want to have your baby weighed, that would be a good time to come to a support group led by an IBCLC.

Who can go into more of the medical aspect of breastfeeding, which I would say, , most of my patients need an IBCLC. There are a few that, , they just need a little bit of cheerleading and, , they just need to hear you're doing great. Your baby looks good. Your baby's gaining weight.

And that's okay, too. That's a valid reason. If you just need that reassurance but I would say a lot of a lot of people do experience medical issues and need that more in depth support. So all across, , the Tennessee and the U. S., there are both peer led groups and medical led groups by an IBCLC.

Whatever your need is, they're out there. Tell us what IBCLC stands for, please. Yes, so it stands for [00:10:00] International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Perfect. Okay, so we use

Krista Dykes: the nipple shield to help my daughter get started with breastfeeding. Again, that was something I had never heard of,

Kimberly Hampton: didn't know such a

Krista Dykes: device existed.

I called it the little silicone sombrero.

Kimberly Hampton: Can you share a little bit about,

Krista Dykes: for listeners who may not know what nipple shield is or does, can you explain that?

Kimberly Hampton: Nipple shields in my training, , it's been about 11 years now. The course I took was very anti nipple shield. And so when I started I thought, okay, my goal is is if you're using a nipple shield, we've got to get off of it as soon as possible. And now that I've been in practice for almost 10 years, I realize they have a really helpful place in the breastfeeding journey.

And sometimes they are really needed. And that is one [00:11:00] product that's always going to be in my lactation bag because there are going to be those babies that are, say, premature or born at 34, 35 weeks who, , they're healthy their lungs are developed, but their feeding skills are just not there yet.

And so it can be a really good tool. The other thing would be if a baby has a tongue or lip tie and they can't lift their tongue well to latch on, the shield can help them to be able to nurse. And then from the mom's standpoint, if she's having just. excruciating nipple pain. , we want to get to the root cause of why she has pain, but we don't want to interrupt breastfeeding in the meantime unless we absolutely have to.

And so it's a good tool to enable her to keep going and not have to say, let's stop and for a week and let your nipples heal. It can just kind of protect that damaged nipple. And then, so, some other, you asked some other things that I would recommend. , [00:12:00] any sort of nipple cream that has calendula in it is really good.

So like Mother Love or Earth Mama, like those organic olive oil based nipple creams are good. We've kind of lanolin as much because some women a reaction. It's, , it's made from sheep. And so we, we don't necessarily want to put an allergen on the skin. So olive oil based creams are a little bit better.

There are also a few studies that show lanolin can increase. The risk for infection. So I typically will just tell moms use the mother love. And then I don't know if you have heard of this new product, but it's called Silverette's Nursing Cups. And they're little silver cups.

So silver has some healing properties for the skin. So if you didn't want to use like any sort of cream at all, [00:13:00] you could just use these little silver cups and wear them between feedings and it can heal your skin. So I see a lot of my patients are using those now as well. Never heard of that, but

Krista Dykes: definitely going to look into it and we'll link to it in the show notes for sure.

Kimberly Hampton: are there

Krista Dykes: any go to products that every breastfeeding mom needs to get started on the right foot?

Kimberly Hampton: I'd say the first thing would be a good quality pump. That is the one thing that you do not want to get home and have a non latching baby. And not have a pump that is good quality.

And I think most, , most moms do, but , I still do encounter a few women who are like, , no, we're not really going to pump or do bottles. We're just going to nurse. I don't really need to get that right now. And then they're sending dad to Target or Walmart at, , 2 a. m. to get a hand pump or even an electric pump.

So definitely researcher pumps. I usually [00:14:00] recommend Spectra or Motif, by the way. But Spectra is the one over the years that consistently, if you could ask like, In every home that you've went in, every consult, what is the one pump that you've seen consistently good results with? It would be a spectra. So I recommend that to all my expecting moms.

One thing that I see a lot of confusion about is bottles, which bottle to choose. You definitely want to have bottles ready to go. Again, if you get home and your baby isn't latching and you need another option but there's a lot of bottles on the market that are marketed for breastfed babies.

And that does not necessarily mean that they aren't the best, even though the marketing claim may say that they are. They may even look like a breast. But actually we found that the worst bottles are ones that are shaped like a breast. So when choosing a bottle, you want to choose [00:15:00] one to have on hand that is gradually sloped, almost like mountain shaped rather than breast shaped.

Products to look for specific brands, , Dr. Brown's Narrow Nipple is a great one for breastfed babies. Lansinomama is another one that's great. And there's also one called the Pigeon Bottle. The pigeon nipple. It's a Japanese bottle but it is really, really great for breastfed babies and it won't interfere with your latch like a poorly shaped bottle would.

And then other than that, I think it's going to be very individual. Some moms love the, my breast friend pillow. Some moms never use a pillow at all. I would say the little rolling carts are probably what my, all of my patients like the little rolling carts where you can put your breastfeeding snacks and you can put your diapers [00:16:00] and all your products on there.

Those are helpful. And then other than that, it's going to be really individual. There are definitely products out there that I'm like, you do not need. So, for instance, lactation cookies, they're just really overpriced. And you could just get regular cookies, you don't have to buy the fancy bagged lactation cookies, unless you want them, if you like the flavor and or someone gifts them to you, that's totally fine.

But don't feel like it's the must have for being able to breastfeed.

I really liked

Krista Dykes: the tea. There was a tea that I felt like was pretty helpful. I think it was a chai tea.

Kimberly Hampton: Okay, yeah. So I did want to mention... So there's different kinds of teas. If , a mom wants like a recommendation, I would look for Moringa. It's M O R I N G A, Moringa tea. Or you [00:17:00] could do even Moringa capsules.

You have to kind of be careful with herbs. I recently took an herbal course. And one thing that a lot of people don't know is herbs can have interactions. So they can have interactions with. , say if you have a thyroid issue, certain herbs could make that worse. Or some can lower your blood sugar.

So there are many products out there that aren't something you would just want to go purchase without the guidance of a lactation consultant. But Moringa is actually one that I think almost everyone could have in their arsenal because it's not Going to interact with a lot of things It's simply a superfood like spinach or kale and they found in studies that it Increases supply by about five ounces a day.

And so it is just a really good go to supplement or tea to, to have, [00:18:00] and it also has a lot of health benefits. So even if you're not lactating and you don't need them during lactation, you can always, , you can always drink it anytime.

Krista Dykes: Is there anything we didn't cover that you think is really important for

Kimberly Hampton: moms to know about. I just think that community is so important going back to the groups. I find that a lot of my patients are very informed thanks to, , social media, but I find that a lot of them are very disconnected from community.

And so, , don't be afraid to say, let's meet at the coffee shop with our babies, or, , let's go for a 30 minute walk. Community is just so important to the new mom, whether you're breastfeeding or not. But , especially if you're breastfeeding just to hear what other moms are going through as they navigate feeding challenges and really encourage one another.


Krista Dykes: [00:19:00] valuable having that connection with a couple of other parents as well through church or just through other friends. Because it is

Kimberly Hampton: different when you have a

Krista Dykes: middle schooler versus a newborn. Those are very different milestones and stages.

My final question for you is as

Kimberly Hampton: a busy

Krista Dykes: business owner with Middle Tennessee Lactation and helping so many. Parents across the area. Plus as a mom, since you have two kiddos that are, 13 and

Kimberly Hampton: 15. Is that what you said? Mm-hmm. ? Yep. Yes, that's correct.

So busy mama. Busy business owner as well. How do you keep it all together? Well, for sure, my faith, , I would say my faith in God, my faith in Jesus I love to take like prayer walks. Because I'm a little distracted by all the alarms on my phone, all the notifications.

I like to just walk and focus, [00:20:00] and practice what I preach. I love my community, so I am a people person. I need friends. I'm forever saying, let's do a book club. Let's read this book. Let's meet and have coffee and discuss. So community and faith. Those are, those are my big two.

And exercise

Krista Dykes: Well, Kimberly tell listeners

how they can find you. If they want to book a

Kimberly Hampton: You can find my website at middletnlactation. com. And I'm also on Facebook and Instagram at Middle TN Lactation. And I would love to help you with your goals. I am right in the Middle Tennessee area, a little south of there, but I serve I serve Murfreesboro, Middle Tennessee.

So I'd love to help you. I also do virtual consults. So if any of your listeners are in need of a prenatal Consultation, I can do those [00:21:00] virtually and I do a lot of bottle refusal as well. I forgot to mention that. So if you, breastfeeding is going well, but you have a baby who won't take a bottle, I'd love to help with that as well.

Krista Dykes: So they can go to your website. To learn more and to get in touch with you and then say, if they do need

hands on. So let's say they start with you with a virtual consult. Do you have a network of.

If you have IBCLC's that if somebody's in

Pennsylvania and you're here in Tennessee, that you would be able to do some type of radius search and like make a recommendation for somebody

Kimberly Hampton: who might be in that area for that person who's many miles away.

I definitely do. And we , we all have different trainings as well. So I'm in some specific groups. So, , let's say if your baby's having. Tongue and lip tie issues, I can connect you with someone who has training in that, or if it's a maternal nutrition issue [00:22:00] or health issue that's causing low supply, I can connect you with someone who specializes in nutrition and lactation.

So, yes, we have ways of, of networking and connecting moms to professionals.


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