Spilling the Milk: Breastfeeding Chats

Morgan - From Doula to Entrepreneur | If You Give a New Mom a Lactation Cookie

October 24, 2023 Emily Stone, Empowered Bumps & Boobs Season 2 Episode 10
Spilling the Milk: Breastfeeding Chats
Morgan - From Doula to Entrepreneur | If You Give a New Mom a Lactation Cookie
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wonder what a doula does and how lactation cookies can provide essential nourishment for new mothers? Tune in for an enlightening conversation with Morgan Everts, a doula, childbirth educator, and the founder of the Postpartum Pantry. Discover how her second pregnancy inspired her journey into the world of doula work and childbirth education and how she found her purpose in supporting new mothers.
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SPECIAL OFFER: Check out all of the great products Morgan describes at
 The Postpartum Pantry and Enter SPILLINGTHEMILK at checkout for 20% off!
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Morgan and I explore the crucial support system new moms need during the postpartum period that includes a nutritious diet, adequate hydration, and emotional support. We also discuss the significance of community circles for new parents and the lovely idea of offering nutritious snacks or drinks as gifts at baby showers. 

We also dive into:

  • Morgan's entrepreneurial journey and the birth of her company, the Postpartum Pantry.  
  • The power of emotional regulation in breastfeeding and how techniques like Hypnobirthing can assist both parents and babies during labor, birth, breastfeeding and beyond. 
  • The importance of prioritizing mental health in birthing and breastfeeding parents 

    Listen in for a nourishing discussion as deliciously packed as the lactation cookies from the Postpartum Pantry!

Want more education and support around breastfeeding? Check out our signature course & community, Empowered Breastfeeding Bootcamp, and sign up for a free preview!

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Podcast artwork by Staci Oswald aka my favorite designer EVER + mom of 2 bundles of boy energy

Speaker 1:

Today, my guest is Morgan Everts. She is a doula and a childbirth educator and she's the owner of the postpartum pantry, which I recommend following on Instagram and Facebook. Right now it's the dot postpartum pantry and she sells all sorts of goodies for the postpartum time. My favorite probably is that she sells lactation cookie mix and frozen cookie dough bites, meaning you can just take one out of the freezer, pop it in the oven. You've got fresh baked lactation cookies, I think, and she has other products as well, but those are the ones that that caught my eye. I encourage you to check out her site. We'll link everything in the show notes for you, but really, please enjoy the conversation where she shares with us her passion for supporting new moms and all the experience that she brings, and the story of how she ended up starting this company. Please enjoy. Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got involved in being a doula and then how you started your company.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely so. My doula journey actually began in my second pregnancy, I think. In my first pregnancy and postpartum experience I was reading so much and taking it all in and I was like, well, this is just what you know we do when we're pregnant. But I think it was a little more than that. I think I didn't even realize at that point. Actually, this feels exciting to me and I want to take in as much information as I can, not just for me, but really to learn about you know how this is affecting you know how, how pregnancies and birth is so much a part of our world and our culture, yet it's so hidden. I felt like there were, it was such a mystery, the whole experience was such a mystery which felt like such a disservice to you know, not only women, but just families everywhere. You know that this is is a hidden part of our culture. So I wanted to learn as much as I could, to not only educate myself, but see how I could support and educate other families on. This is a normal process of life and here's how we can make it an empowering and positive experience. And so in my second pregnancy, I went through doula training and then, shortly after my daughter was born, I started volunteering as a doula, which was a really cool experience to be able to support people who were sort of in the moment. So they're at the hospital, they might not even know what a doula is, but their labor is, you know, particularly challenging for one reason or another and they're like, hey, I could use some more support. And so a volunteer doula is paged in, and so it was really exciting and really fun and I think in the first, in my first birth, I was like, oh yeah, this is. I had one of those moments that was sort of overwhelming, like, oh, this is what I meant to be doing. Like you know, it felt so right and it felt like this is one of the purposes, you know, of my life, this is what I should be doing with my life. It felt really good and so from that moment on I knew that doula work was definitely gonna always be a part of my life. So to this day, I still volunteer, but I do mostly private. So one or two clients a month. I really I like both. I like getting to support people who might not be able to afford a doula or might not know what a doula is. But I also really like when I get private clients, because I get that rapport with them and I get to see them sort of in the pregnancy of course, in the birth and then postpartum as well, so sort of that full circle experience. So I adore that. And then I am also a childbirth educator, so that sort of came about during the whole doula process was realizing you know how much again still that we just don't know about what is happening physiologically and and physically and emotionally and how we can. You know there's it's hard to prepare for birth, and so childbirth education isn't like, hey, here's how you birth and here's what it's gonna look like, but it's saying here's all the ways that it can go and here's how we can you know for partners, how partners can support you, how we can support ourselves as birthing people, and also how to especially when you know in a hospital birth, how to make sure that we're having informed consent, that we feel empowered in this process and not that this birth is happening to us, but that we're making decisions and we feel a part of that. So we can feel that this is empowering and positive. Yeah, so anyway, long story short, that's a little bit about my birth work experience and, throughout all of that, my own experience, my experience as a doula and a childbirth educator really seeing the lack of support out there for the fourth trimester. You know. We're seeing so often prenatally, which is great and I love that, but then it sort of feels like once we have the baby, we're off on our own and we have to hire support or seek out support, and that feels really overwhelming. And lactation cookies were something that I sort of were making for fun, for myself, for my friends who were having babies, and brewers east is a main ingredient in lactation cookies, but is not something that we all have in our pantries, so I bought it in bulk. I had a lot of brewers east so that I could make these cookies for myself and for my friends and I. It was just fun, you know. It was something that I was enjoying doing, and I think pretty shortly after, though, that I was really making these one summer. I was like I think this could be a you know a product that I could sell. I think that these are really good. I think that they're working and they're helping people, and so that is sort of the. The origin story, I guess, is it was a little organic, but also I did always know that I was gonna be an entrepreneur. So I have sort of always been looking out for, like what is that thing that's gonna? You know, help me start a business. I'm going to be my thing. I knew it wanted. I wanted it to be a product because, you know, I have a young family and so I wanted some flexibility, and so I've kind of always been like, what is that thing that I can do or make? And yeah, when I realized it was lactation cookies, that's kind of where the postpartum pantry was born, that's beautiful and I love it too.

Speaker 1:

I know it's hard to say there are specific ingredients that are galactagogs and really support a milk supply, but even just a one-handed nutritionally dense snack of any kind, I think, is the nursing mom's best friend, and so you can also have ingredients in it that support milk supply. What a great snack I have.

Speaker 2:

Totally yeah. When anyone who is breastfeeding, they probably feel a little depleted. Baby is going to take what they need, even if that means taking it from us, and so that's why hydration is super important. Keeping a nutrient-dense diet is super important and keeping up with your supplements and vitamins so that you don't feel depleted. And I think that oftentimes when we do feel depleted or hungry, we make not necessarily bad decisions, but we make the easiest decision Whatever is available, even if it's our toddler snacks, we tear open and back so we can eat really quickly. So I really wanted to come up with a brand that had products that were nutrient-dense whole foods. These are real foods that are not made with synthetic ingredients or dyes, that were specifically formulated for the fourth trimester. So not just a nutrient-dense snack, but ones that had milk-boosting benefits. Or even if you're not nursing, you're still a parent, you're still going to be depleted, and so protein, energy, iron, omega-3 fatty acids all super important to keeping your diet. So the lactation cookies have that. And then last summer I created what's called a go-go bite and that's a great snack for anyone. So it's sort of like a peanut butter energy ball. So it has peanut butter, oats, dates, flaxseed, chia seeds, all that sort of good stuff. It's an incredible snack, and I myself I'm 2 and 1 half years postpartum I always have go-go bites on me. They're either in the car or in my kitchen, because I don't know about you, but when hunger hits me, I need food now. I can't wait for my next meal, and so go-go bites kind of hold me over before I can really sit down and make myself a good meal. It's a great snack.

Speaker 1:

Well, now I'm hungry, but yes, I am really infested when I've been on my game. If I can bulk, make something like that like an energy bite, it's just so helpful to have on hand. So I totally, it's so helpful but not always doable.

Speaker 2:

As a new parent, Like, we don't always have time to make bulk food or make snacks, and that's why I wanted to create again a brand that did all that work for you. So I take a lot of the guests and the stress out of it by making these products so that you don't have to and making it as easy to access as possible, which is why I wanted it to be an e-commerce business. I didn't want it to just be a Vermont in store, Although I am in a lot of Vermont retail stores. I also wanted to be able to offer to ship this nationwide so that it can be accessible to anyone.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think what an awesome gift too. I know everyone wants to support new moms. It's not always clear how, and especially if you live apart from someone, but if you can mail them healthy snacks, like you, are supporting the mom, her nutrition, which then translates to baby's nutrition their partner's less stressed because mom's less stressed.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I always say get something that makes postpartum feel good, not the nursery look good, and that's a really key thing to remember when you're thinking of going to a baby shower or you're friends pregnant and you want to get them something, and it's so fun to shop in the cute baby stores and get a cute baby hat or a onesie or a blanket, but that's what everybody is going to do. Get something for the parents. Don't forget about them, because I can tell you all the people that brought me food postpartum. I remember them. Those were the gifts that brought me, brought tears to my eyes. I had enough baby blankets. But I remember those who and it doesn't have to be a meal, just snacks or food, or bring over a coconut water when you go visit, help her stay hydrated Just little things like that makes the parent feel seen, because I think postpartum can feel like a really lonely time and this is something that, historically, centuries ago, we used to do this in community, like we would parent together in circles, because that's how we live. But now, especially since COVID, we're all pretty secluded and you have to seek out those support groups and not all of us have those, and so thinking of visiting families and bringing them something to make them feel seen and supported is going to be so helpful, because a big part of healing in the fourth trimester is that oxytocin is that feel good hormone, and we get that when we feel cared for. So thinking about how we can care for others and honestly, that is something that came out of the postpartum pantry. That was really exciting and sweet, but not one of the original concepts For me. I was thinking of OK, people are going to be preparing the nest, what kind of foods can I make that they can store in their freezer or store in our pantry, Like I was really thinking about people buying these products while they were pregnant to prepare for the fourth trimester, and then I started putting up tables at farmer's markets and I would talk to a lot of people and they'd be like, oh, I'm well beyond the postpartum years and I would be like, well, what about a baby shower? You headed to a baby shower and they were like, actually, yeah, and so slowly, through these farmer's markets, I was realizing, wow, this is really becoming a gift and I love that because I feel like it's helping me spread the word, like, hey, sure, get something cute, but also throw in something for mom, grow something in for the birthing family, because it's going to make them feel good and supported. And that's really what this is about, and so that's been. A really sweet surprise of the business is that it's really become a great gift and it's actually where we've steered. A lot of our marketing is baby shower gifts and things like that, because it's actually helping to reach more families and so just marketing to family saying here, by this now, multiple people are buying it for their friends and family who are new families or expecting families, and that feels really exciting.

Speaker 1:

I think that touches on the fact that, especially when you're pregnant with your first baby, you don't know what you don't know and you don't really know what you're going to need. But if you are an experienced parent and you have a friend or family member who's pregnant, you know that gifting them something like this nutritious food for the fourth trimester is a really loving, useful gift, and so I do the same thing. So my empowered breastfeeding boot camp. It's an online course in community. I just had someone gifted at a baby shower because she's been through it and she knows what of the most common things you can do is support a new mom in her breastfeeding journey. So I'm similarly starting to go down the gift route.

Speaker 2:

So I love that. It's sort of like it helps us be able to sort of educate society, not just the families who are expecting and looking for this. It's sort of like now we're helping to educate the friends, the neighbors and the in-laws. Can you imagine if, like your mother-in-law gifted you lactation support, whether that's with an LC coming to the house or a boot camp online course? I mean that's incredible. Not only is that going to be a super helpful resource, but again, just feeling good and feeling supported by your community, that's amazing. I love that.

Speaker 1:

I think just more and more people using the phrase fourth trimester is helpful. Anyway, hope you'd have some fun to donate that. Even when I was pregnant, I don't remember people talking about it like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it helps to extend this idea because we think of the first and the second and the third trimester as being pregnant and typically, when we're pregnant and we're expecting, we're doing all this research about like, what should I be eating, should I be working out, what should I be doing to make sure that this is going to be a healthy baby and I can have a healthy experience. And then, by calling it the fourth trimester, we're extending that time because really, these babies to you know, human babies were born very immature, right Like they're born really still meeting so much of us. And so, if we're going to be doing a lot of feeding, we're going to be doing a lot of skin to skin contact. Probably a lot of you know naps baby naps are going to be honest. So we still need to look at ourselves as fully a part of this experience. How can we be supporting ourselves, like prioritizing our sleep, prioritizing our nutrition, our mental and emotional well-being, because we, this fourth trimester, these first few weeks I would say, you know, 12 weeks after baby is born really full on and they require a lot of us and I think if we can have those supports in place, that fourth trimester is going to be a much better experience and certainly just starting off calling it that, I think, helps people to see it as still such an important time to prioritize our health and well-being as parents.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm with you and I'm really hopeful for the next generation, like when our kids are having kids. Hopefully this becomes the norm and it's almost cyclical, like you know, if you go back generations it was the norm to for like the whole village to support the new mom. I was just speaking to someone who reminded me even like teenage girls would be part of the support team to go around the new mom. So then when she was having a baby, this was not her first exposure to breastfeeding, to postpartum, it was just like a normal part of life, whereas I think most of us probably didn't have that firsthand experience. And so maybe you're just learning on the job, all the stuff, yeah exactly Exactly.

Speaker 2:

That's why I love seeing young doulas, especially at the volunteer program that I'm a part of here in Vermont. There's a lot of med students or just college students that are interested in women's health and I love seeing that because I think it's really beautiful and it's creating a generation of women who are going to be aware of this and supportive. And seeing them go through that doula training and see them support it makes me really excited for the future of birthing families.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's so true. Actually, I had a volunteer doula my first and third birth, and the first one she was fantastic, yeah, and I had gone through hypno birthing classes. So I sort of thought like I got this and I mostly did. But the doula was like a secret ingredient and thank goodness I got her, Because with volunteer doula there's only so many on call at a time. If another birthing mom sort of uses up that doula, you don't have her. So I was fortunate to know what I wanted. And then with my second I hired a doula but the baby came so quickly she couldn't even get to the hospital in time. But how you were saying like you build a rapport, I think a really valuable thing with her was we talked beforehand about my fears about how did the birthing go and what would I love to see go differently the second time. And then postpartum, she gifted me some postpartum doula hours in place of the birth doula hours that we didn't really need. Oh perfect, yeah, Just to have like a baby expert taking care of your newborns in NAP and someone who, like, comes in with like three different ring slings and just like knows what she's doing and also takes care of your toddler. Oh my gosh, so that's another thing you can gift to someone is like doula services, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Like the village, yes, oh, and the big fan of Be Her Village. I think it's so wonderful, it's such a great idea because, yeah, gifting support, that's just one of the best things I think you can do for a new family supporting them through their pregnancy, through their birth and through the fourth trimester and, honestly, all through the years of parenting. Right Like, as parents, we always need that community support. But when we're going through it for the first time, it can feel really overwhelming. And having someone by your side whether that's hired help from a doula or a volunteer or even just a friend or a family member who you feel comfortable with and has experience in this, having someone in the room with you that this is normal to them, right Like, I've seen countless births. So when I see the contraction, you know the partner will look at me almost a little fearful, like are these normal noises? Is this a normal amount of pain? And for them to see me looking at this and watching it unfold, that this is normal, this is safe, this is healthy, this is what the body was designed to do, and I think that helps them feel less fear, both in the birth and then again in the postpartum or the fourth trimester period. It's super overwhelming to be taking care of this newborn baby that cannot tell you what they need, so you have to figure this all out. It's a lot of decision making, right, as parents were sort of always like do I need to feed them, do I need to change them, should I put them down for a nap, should I wake them up? And having someone around who has that experience, who knows sort of what is a normal newborn look like and feel like and what do they do and how do they act, and sort of to help give you those tips and tricks so that we don't feel like we have to be doing this all on our own. And it's going to be a real game changer.

Speaker 1:

It's very assuring. You are like the flight attendant on the flight, like flight attendants, call me okay.

Speaker 2:

Exactly then, and in fact that's actually an analogy that I use. Often. Not the flight attendant one, but same on an airplane, you know when the flight attendant says put on your oxygen mask first before you help others and that never resonated more than through early parenthood and even still now as a parent. Like, if I am not taken care of, if my basic needs aren't met, where, like if I'm not eating or not sleeping, I'm not gonna be able to take care of my kids as best I could if I prioritized my you know basic needs being met. So, like, make sure to take care of yourself, because once we take care of ourselves, we're gonna better be able to take care of others and to take care of our kids. Um, and kind of bring it back to the postpartum pantry and the creation of the brand and thinking of what products were necessary. I thought about, like, my ideal doula experience as a client. So like I would love them to like bring me food, I'd love them to draw me a sitz path. I would love a massage right like all of these things and I'm like, okay, I love being a postpartum doula which I was for a while, um, but I can't especially with my own children like, realistically, I can't be a postpartum doula for everybody as much as I would like to. So can I create a product that Feels like you have a postpartum doula? So I created a sitz path, I created a tea, I created a body oil, I created the simplest lactation cookie possible, so it's a frozen dough. I sell both of them next so you could, if you'd like to bake, you could totally bake your own. But I also have a cookie dough and it's preformed, so it's sort of like someone baked this for you, right? You just take them out of your freezer, you put them on your tray, you bake them for 12 minutes and you have some warm cookies. Um, and so that was. There's a lot of, and when I'm thinking of other products to add to the collection, I'm like what would a postpartum doula do? What would a postpartum doula make for this experience, and how can I package this up and make it a product so that everybody feels a little bit like they have a postpartum doula?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh, I love that. That's really helpful. It was my the doula that I hired the private doula After my birth. She delivered a care package and the sits bath, like sachet, was like changing Also, just the permission and the idea to take a sits bath. I think she even said, like you could have baby in there with you if you wanted. I don't think I did, but I was like, oh yeah, that's possible, you know. And then, um, the whole put your oxygen mask thing on. I'm getting more and more interested in as much as parents Learn emotional regulation. This is how children learn emotional regulation and that starts for me in my mind, that starts with breastfeeding, because it's so, it's so easy to get worked up, to get into like a fight or flight, to be panicking. They're crying, like it's very emotionally unregulated and so, um, I always say with hypnobirthing, some of the techniques you learn there for birth, you can also use postpartum to get yourself to a place of calm and when you are Regulated, it, you know, baby feels that, and so I'm still just thinking through the power of that, because then it does like I now have a Pre-teen and like, as much as I can stay emotionally regulated, my preteen can be a better position Exactly.

Speaker 2:

It benefits everybody. Yeah, I know I say that a lot, especially when talking about the fourth trimester and breastfeeding journeys. Um, mental health above all else. You know, if any of this, if you have breastfeeding goals and they are feeling so hard and stressful, to me, we need to take a step back and prioritize the breastfeeding parents mental health, because if we don't do that, then we're not gonna, we're not gonna make breast milk. If we're stressed and we're sad and we're overwhelmed, um, we're gonna have all those stress hormones and that's gonna be hard. You know those are take, they take over the oxytocin. So how can we sort of suppress those stress hormones so that we can produce milk? And if we need to take a pause on our breastfeeding journey so that we can support our mental health and then work with a IBCLC to get back into it, um, maybe that's what we need to do, but we really do need to prioritize the birthing person, the breastfeeding person's mental health, um, so that they can have a positive and empowering experience.

Speaker 1:

And I think it's helpful that you even put a little science behind it. Like no, if you're making these kinds of stress hormones, like it is blocking the hormones that would make them milk. We're not just making this up like we should try to relax. That'll make things easier.

Speaker 2:

Like no, there's actually science behind this exactly, exactly.

Speaker 1:

So I am. You know we're breastfeeding focused here. You've got a lot of experiences of jewela. I am curious um, what issues do you see coming up most commonly? Or um, yeah, I guess, just with all your exposure to postpartum moms Around breastfeeding, what are the things that just keep coming up or that maybe we still need to solve for?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a great question. I think there's so much to know about breastfeeding, so it's the most natural but unnatural thing we could do. Right like it. The milk will come, the baby will latch, um, but we need to learn how to help that they, the baby needs to learn how to do it and we need support throughout that. And so I think that the problems that I see is there's really not a lot of education Out there, so we're not thinking about, because you know, I think, a lot of people that have breastfeeding as a goal, um, you know there's there is a lot of focus, I think, now on birth, and so how can I make this be a good birth experience, which is lovely and I I'm super grateful that people are thinking about this, but then we think about making it through the birth and then I think we stop. You know we take childbirth education class. I think that's becoming more and more popular, but I don't see as many breastfeeding classes. Um, and understandably so. I mean, it is really hard to. It's a hard thing to conceptualize, like when you are pregnant and you've never breastfed before. I did myself. I sat through a breastfeeding class with my husband and we were just kind of like huh, like how it does this work.

Speaker 1:

You know it was, it was the last.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's like this. She had like a crocheted boob and this Baby and I was like I don't get it. Um, it was helpful because there is a lot to know about how the milk is produced, um, and I think there's even more to know and understand about like milk storage, so how you know pumping and how long is the milk good for on the counter, in the fridge and the freezer. All of that that was super helpful. Information to sort of get ahead of time and get those infographics printed out for the refrigerator about breastfeeding. Loved all of that, um, but what I think was the most helpful was having that iBCLC come to my house. Um, so my insurance covered it. Uh, she came to my house and she was like, oh, you know, it looks like he's really not having a wide mouth latch, like let's talk about how to make it, because the latch was super painful for me, so she taught me how to make sure that he was latching right. And the second she did that I was like, oh, this is be comfortable and I didn't have this raw, uncomfortable experience. And so I think that what I don't see enough of and what I would love to see more of, is education about breastfeeding before baby arrives, and then also more support during those new and early stages. A lot of countries send new families home with a nurse. They get like 10 days of a nurse visit and that nurse can help with breastfeeding. But we here in America have to seek out that support and that's hard. But I think educating through the pregnancy of saying like, look, lactation consultants are not just for if there is a problem. They are going to be helpful just with different holding techniques, with when to introduce a bottle and when to introduce pumping, so your partner can help with feeds, like all of that. How is the latch, when you know? How many times a day should we be feeding? Should I wake them up from a nap to feed? Or is their weight good enough? There's so much to know about it and I think having those supports set up, someone to be your go to to ask questions, to come check out the latch, I think is super helpful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and everything you're mentioning kind of needs to happen within the first couple weeks, like I always refer to it as the golden period. So I do think part of the education while you're pregnant is just knowing the first part is going to be the hardest, and then the payoff is so huge If you can stick with, if you can establish your supply. This buys you the time, and now you have the option to nurse to six months or you're however long you want to. But if you don't have that support early on, your supply is very fragile at that point. Yeah, I think there's also needs to be education around. What is a supply? It's not like you have this standard supply, it's like very much supply and demand and that did not really become clear until I was doing it.

Speaker 2:

And.

Speaker 1:

I hear mom say like well, the pediatrician told us to supplement. Okay, did they also tell you as much as your supplementing? You need to be pumping, need to be doing something, because you're telling your body to make less and this is going to be like a downward spiral of supply. So we can just somehow communicate these to me. I think of them as sort of like big ideas or like overarching concepts of how breastfeeding you were. I think so many people are not exposed to these ideas.

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely I remember my first time I knew what classroom was and I knew what breast milk was, but I don't think I totally understood that I had colostrum for the first few days and then it was going to change into milk. Like I didn't really understand that and so I was home. I think it was our first or second night home and I was up awake in the middle of the night with him. And what I'm now looking back know that it was my milk coming in. But at the time I thought that I was getting the flu. I was really. I had a fever, I sort of had the sweats, I was a little shaky, I felt kind of my muscles felt a little sore and now and I was very emotional I was crying. You know now, as a childbirth educator, I warn people about the wet day. It's like baby is going to be crying, you're going to be crying, the milk's coming in and your clothes are wet and you know it's sort of everything feels wet and I was experiencing my wet day, but I didn't know what that was at the time and that felt super overwhelming, super scary. And then you had to speak to your you know those first few weeks being so the hardest and you know. But it's important to have that support because it did become so much easier. But in those first two weeks it was sort of like is this what I'm going to be doing forever, like, and because it is just kind of breastfeeding the whole time, like I didn't realize how much a part of the newborn period was going to be breastfeeding and it felt really overwhelming and challenging and scary. But I was lucky enough to have insurance that covered support. I was lucky enough to have someone tell me you need a lactation consultant. So they came to the house and I stayed in touch with them and I did some reading and I called some friends who had done it before and then it really did get easy. I mean, it got to the point where, like I was able to walk around the house and breastfeed and do other things and I didn't even realize baby was latched to me. Like it's so easy that it wasn't even, you know, a part of the experience that I would look back and be like that was a challenge and in fact I would actually say the opposite. It was because I had the support early on. I think it ended up being the easiest part of that first year for me, because it was such a great tool. I mean, when I stopped breastfeeding my kids, I was like, oh man, I miss that tool, because I used it not just for the nutritional value, I used it to soothe them when they were upset, when they were bored, when they were scared at the doctors, when they were overwhelmed and tired, I used to help them fall asleep. You know, it was a really nursing my kids was sort of one of my best parenting tools. That was comfortable and easy for me. They loved it, so it was a win-win. It's time that you have to like sit and be still and really just kind of relax, which is important for us, and we don't do that enough in parenthood. And so, because I had that support early on, I was able to establish the supply and someone taught me how to latch. I was able to have, I would say, a pretty cruisy experience, a pretty easy experience, knowing that I had such an awesome tool that I was able to do anytime, anywhere and it was right on me. I didn't have to pack anything or think about anything. I just pulled my shirt down and there we did it. And I would also say I'm lucky enough to be living in a state like Vermont where like breastfeeding in public is comfortable and common and not something that I feel like I have to hide. I know not all of us live in communities like that, but just in general, feeling like I had the support early on really helped that second part to be and feel so successful.

Speaker 1:

Yep, I couldn't agree more. I refer to it as a tool all the time, and like, and after weaning, you're like, wait, what do I do now? Or like sending the baby to a babysitter or a grandparent. I'm like, I'm so sorry, I know you can't use your boobs to suit this baby.

Speaker 2:

I don't know what you're going to do. Nothing for you.

Speaker 1:

I'm just good luck.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1:

Because there is. You know, obviously the focus is on the nutrition and you know fed is best and that whole thing. It's like, yes for calories, but there are so many benefits. It is a tool for many, many reasons. And even you saying the doctor's office, I can't imagine going through a year and a half of shots without being able to nurse right after. And luckily I had pediatricians who were very breastfeeding friendly. They would always say stay in the room as long as you need. If you want to feed them afterwards, that's totally fine.

Speaker 2:

Here's a coffee.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly. So I think having a supportive pediatrician is part of that early on support. If you have the opposite experience, it can be really hard to go against someone who's supposed to be a medical authority. But if they're not really supporting breastfeeding, that's tough.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, exactly, yeah, well said. So how many kids do you have? I have two, I have. My son just turned five and my daughter is 2 and 1 half.

Speaker 1:

Very good. And then, I guess, is there anything we didn't cover today? Or what's the best way for people to find you? If they're really intrigued, they'd love to gift your products or try them for themselves.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's a great question. So you can find me. We have a website. It is the-postpartumpantrycom, and you can also find us on Instagram, so it's at the dot postpartumpantry. We ship anywhere in the US. We have a few retail locations here in Vermont we're at some farmers markets, but probably the best way to reach us if you are not in Vermont and it's definitely going to be on our social media or our website- Awesome, and I did see something about you got to meet like the Samuel Adams guy or something. Yes, yeah, that is so. For any entrepreneurs out there, my biggest tip of advice is seek out resources to-. I was someone who did not go to business school. I always knew I was going to be an entrepreneur, but didn't really take classes. In that it just sort of started happening and unfolding and then I'm like, wait a minute, I don't know how to get access capital and I need money, but I'm not ready to apply for a loan, and so I was really looking out for resources and I was super lucky to find that Sam Adams created a boot camp. So it's called Brewing the American Dream and it's a boot camp for New England based entrepreneurs who are in the food or beverage industry, which, having lactation cookies, I was considered in the food part and yeah, so I was accepted into their sort of boot camp. There was about 20 or so of us and we learned how to scale, how to grow, and we got a $5,000 grant at the end of that. And then a few of us were selected to be able to pitch our business in front of Jim Cook, who's the founder of Sam Adams, to win an additional grant. I did not win the additional grant money, but just being a part of that process and experiencing that was super exciting, really fun, and I really learned a lot. I will say that practicing those skills was super important for one day when I am ready to apply for a loan or look for investors. To be able to have already pitched my business really helped me have a really good, solid foundation and understanding of my own business. But I think the best part for me was I was so nervous. I was like I, because I didn't go to business school and like how do I talk about numbers and my marketing strategy? I'm really nervous about this part because after you pitch, the three judges ask you questions and I was really nervous about it. And I get up there and I do my pitch and what I totally neglected to think about was that these people had no idea what lactation cookies were. This is my world. I'm a tarrant, my friends are parents, I'm a doula, I'm a child birth educated. In my head, we're all talking about lactation cookies. But these judges were like I'm sorry what? And so it was actually this really cool moment where I was like, oh, I don't need to worry about all that other stuff, I just get to educate these people and this whole crowd of people watching. What are lactation cookies? Why is nutrition important in the fourth trimester? And that was really exciting and unexpected and I think they were all very much like. Even Jim Cook said he's like I had four kids. They were all breastfed, but I had no idea the kind of nutritional value or the component of nutrition that was so important. And I think, again, just educating little by little and kind of spreading the word, then I'm like, ok, so if one of his kids is breastfeeding and he's going to bring them food now or he bring them hydrating things, and it just feels really exciting to think about all the people that are with me selling my product. A lot of it turns out to be education, especially at these farmers markets, and it feels really exciting to me to know that, even if they didn't buy anything, I just told them why it's important to have nutrient dent snacks and hydration postpartum and I really feel assured that they are going to carry that information with them when they go visit a friend or they become a parent themselves and they're a partner and they want to, they realize and they remember. Oh, I should really be making them food and making sure they always have their water by them and that feels really important to me, so that's been a fun component of this business, yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's really cool. It's kind of ironic that he went to work to make beer and then Brewer's yeast could have been really helpful for his wife.

Speaker 2:

But he maybe didn't know that I'm back how funny, I know, and he at one point was like you had me at Brewer's yeast.

Speaker 1:

And I was like that's right, you know all about it.

Speaker 2:

You know it has a lot of protein in it and it's been used for a while as a milk-fisting superfood, and so that was exciting to kind of share that knowledge with him.

Speaker 1:

That's very cool. I similarly did a pitch competition in Michigan. We have Michigan Women Forward and it's specifically for Michigan Women Entrepreneurs and it was a three-minute pitch. Ok, thank you, I got $5,000 for the business, which is very cool. Oh, thank you Also. I think, probably same as you, just being surrounded by other entrepreneurs like you, learn so much and get so inspired by what they're doing Exactly. Oh, that's great.

Speaker 2:

Supporting each other, like here's a helpful resource for me or I'm going to share your page on my social media. That's been an important part of business, I think, which I never thought of, but social media is huge, to kind of spread the word. I think that's especially Instagram. I really see that really sort of changing to less personal use and more sharing businesses and resources, which I think is a really good outlet for Instagram and I love seeing it be used like that as sort of a way to find small businesses and that feels really exciting and I think fellow entrepreneurs are super generous about because they know how helpful it would be for them, so they share. And, yeah, entrepreneurs especially women entrepreneurs we're a cool community of support.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, agree with you there.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you so much for speaking with me today, thank you. Thank you for having me. It's an honor and I'm excited and hope that this could be helpful for those who listen.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoy what we're doing here, please make sure to subscribe and recommend us to a friend. If you or someone you know really could use a lot of support and information around breastfeeding maybe in preparation for a new baby or someone who's in the thick of it right now, please head to our website empoweredbumsonboobscom and you'll find a link to try our breastfeeding bootcamp course for free. See if it's for you, see if this is the information and support that you or someone you know and love is looking for. We would love to support you in your breastfeeding journey. If you would like to be a guest on the podcast, please email emilyatempoweredbumsonboobscom. We'd love to have you on. Until next time, take care, excuse me.

Supporting New Moms With Lactation Cookies
Supporting New Moms After Birth
Importance of Emotional Regulation in Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Support and Education
Entrepreneurship and Educational Opportunities