#12 | Q&A: The Banned Frida Mom Ad, Weaning, Ideal Intervals Between Babies, Being High-Risk, High-Lipase Breast Milk, Eating vs. Vomiting in Labor

February 26, 2020

Let's talk about the Frida Mom ad depicting the real truth of a newly postpartum mom, which was banned from airing during the Oscars. Then, what's a mother to do when the pediatrician is suggesting weaning before mother or baby feels ready? Other questions we cover in this episode relate to feeling in control during labor even when you're high-risk; the ideal interval between babies; why some breast milk smells after it's been frozen or sitting out; and the truth about vomiting and/or eating in labor.

Tune in today to hear our thoughts and opinions on all of these great questions! And join the continued conversation on our IG page @downtobirthshow, and call us any time at 802-GET-DOWN!

The Frida Mom Ad

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If you enjoyed this episode of the Down To Birth Show, please share with your pregnant and postpartum friends!

Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. You can reach us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com or call (802) 438-3696 (802-GET-DOWN). We are always happy to hear from you and will strive to feature your questions and comments on upcoming shows.

You can sign up for online and in-person HypnoBirthing childbirth classes for pregnant couples taught by Cynthia Overgard, as well as online breastfeeding classes and weekly postpartum support groups run by Cynthia & Trisha at HypnoBirthing of Connecticut

Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!

View Episode Transcript

Did you actually watch the ad? The Freedom ad that was rejected by the Oscars?

Sure. I watched it. Yeah. What did you think?

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast.
Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

So the freedom on that what came up with thoughts Did you have like a like a tender compassion came on for me toward myself Korea so it brought me back to what those days Like, but to moms, and just how, how physically vulnerable we are.

It really was such a real, honest, accurate depiction.

Yeah, it was so well done. So for those who don't know what we're talking about, there was a freedom mom ad depicting a postpartum mom making her way in the middle of the night, from her bed to the bathroom to the toilet. There was a baby crying in the background, and they are promoting some of their postpartum products. And the ad was rejected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. So the hope was that it would be aired during the Oscars, and it was not, but it certainly made its way around social media. Why was it rejected? Trisha did we know?

Because they said that it was actually I think somewhere they said it was too authentic. Hold on. Wait.

Yes. I don't believe them if they said that. It's too hot. Like it's just too good to come on too. Honest. Well, really, I I'm afraid the truth is, it's just not sexy.

That's part of it. But it's also that it depicts women in a way that women that men don't want to view women.

That's the whole problem. And that's the whole point. And the whole reason this is controversial right now. Right? Exactly.

It's like I don't, I don't care how you wanted to pick women. This is real, and women feel seen. I mean, I'm sure there are some women who don't want this ad out there too, for whatever reason, but this is such a reality. The ad was rejected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, because they wanted to see a kinder, more gentle portrayal of postpartum what it was, I mean, real, it was kind and gentle and authentic. I don't believe that and why are they the arbiter on what postpartum moms feel is kind of gentle. It was perfectly kind and gentle.

I don't think that they want to see postpartum babies. uncomfortable and difficult.

I just they did wasn't want to look at it. Well, yeah, I think it just wasn't sexy enough.

Of course they don't want to see those big stretchy underwear, right? They don't want to see too bad. You're gonna look at it for 30 seconds. You do come on well when you're postpartum Oh, there's still wear them? Oh yeah. We when when the the CEO of the company was asked what she thinks, how they could have because they they rejected the ad and they went back to them and said you need to make some modifications and then we'll accept it. And one of those was that you need to make it kinder, more gentle portrayal of the postpartum period. And the CEO stated that in regard to what she thinks might have made the cut, she describes the ad would have been probably featuring a woman feeding Her baby through a bottle or creating like cradling her, preferably with her hair blown out, and her nails done in the nursery at night, with her partner smiling, looking at her baby who is probably male by her side.

Did I say that you're reading this? That's true. Everything you just read who was probably male? Yes. It said all that.

Yeah. That's what she said that then the ad maybe would have been accepted.

You know, the halftime show. That was my exact thought.

So with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez in the halftime performance show in the halftime in halftime show. Exact. Okay, that was so controversial, right? Everyone was talking about it. They the women knew it would be, but I feel like this is a controversy. Our country is totally happy to, like we're totally happy with we're comfortable with Why isn't this for you? Add a controversy everyone's happy to have, why can't we still have it?

So let it all come out, show the ad and let everyone take their position, but it'll get talked about. And the one thing that will keep getting said, Is this is real. You might not like it. But this is real. I showed it to my husband and there was a little voice in my head like, Aha. You know, here I am all these years later, but I'm still happy to have that conversation and show it to him and have him take a moment and just give a little nod and reflection and acknowledgement to what it is like for a woman. I'm not a victim here. I'm not sorry. I'm grateful. I'm a woman. I'm grateful. I'm the one who, who did that. I wouldn't change our positions if we could. But I want to be seen for that chapter of our lives.

Yeah, I hear you. So did you show it to Paul? I don't think I did. No, I didn't. I have issues.

Issues clearly. No, I love to I really love to take that opportunity to just say this is what it's like. And then there's moments we have as new moms or we think, Oh my gosh, my mother did this for me. I'm pretty sure wouldn't have gotten the response I wanted.

Why feel resentful? Right. A nice day. Yes.

And if we can gyrate onstage, why can't we they always bring on these controversies. Right. And why can we see somebody walking in discomfort? wearing an oversized pair of stretchy underwear?

What is wrong with that? It's not a turn-on right.

Now what's the men want to say? I like it can't get talked about enough and yeah, cuz women are so unprepared for it too. I mean, let's let's help women understand that those first few days are going to be uncomfortable, maybe even the first week that these things are hard. first few weeks. And yeah, income Yes. Yes. Can be the first few weeks but so many women don't even know They don't know any of that. So free mom, we're on your side.

Yeah, bring on the ads, just post them on the internet. Let us do that. We'll share them. Keep it going. So we got some questions. And we did. Unfortunately, one of the voice recorded messages came in while she was on her car phone and the quality isn't great. So I think it's okay with you. Yeah, cuz she also reached out via Instagram. Do you have it? The one about weaning? I sure do. Let's go.

Hi, lovely ladies. I'm wondering if you thank you for that. Yes, we'd like to be called lovely ladies.

My dad always called me that when I was little. It's cute, lovely lady.

Okay, go wouldn't want to be a lovely lady.

Here we go. I'm wondering if you would be willing to spend some time talking about weaning my pediatrician recently recommended that I start to think about weaning Ellie when she gets to be one year old. She said that it might be in my best interest to let my body replenish itself before I think about having another baby I've seen through Instagram and other sources that there are people who nurse their babies through pregnancy. So I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on this. And if you have any personal experience to share, it's feeling incredibly emotional. And I'm also exhausted. And from Florida.

Do you think when she says she's exhausted, it's that breastfeeding itself is just exhausting her?

And I think I think she's just saying maybe that she's having a hard time processing all of this because she's overwhelmed and exhausted and overthinking it and Probably, yeah, overthinking it is the perfect way to start this conversation because overthinking weaning is the problem with weaning, right? Why is that because weaning happens. Easiest when you just let it take its own course. Forced weaning is difficult and challenging and uncomfortable. Natural weaning is easier. Natural weaning can happen at two and a half years. It can happen anywhere from it can happen anytime. Her pediatrician is recommending that she wean One year old so that she can her body can replenish and recover before getting pregnant with the next child red flag my own opinion here. Don't take breastfeeding advice from your pediatrician. I definitely would agree with you there. And I think the recommendation from the pediatrician comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says that you should breastfeed your baby from six to 12 months and then after 12 months, you can you know, add additional supplements and milk or whatever but they also the American Academy of Pediatrics as you can nurse for longer than that, if you wish.

Yeah, what's the point of their recommended if they're saying nurse for at least 12 months green longer if you wish, but to say we now stop nursing your baby that gives a woman a lot of anxiety because the baby is saying I don't want to stop breastfeeding it. We're assuming that because that's the situation and I think what happens is that because the the recommendation is to nurse your baby until 12 months, then somehow it becomes the conclusion that you should start to wean your baby at 12 months which is really they don't go together. That's not that's not The case net when you say natural weaning happens between 12 and 18 months, do you mean the beginning of weaning happen? Yes. So weaning is a long process. weaning means the very first time that you introduce supplemental food or milk. That is the very first step of weaning. But that may begin at seven months or six months, when you give the baby the first bite of solid food. That does not mean you stop breastfeeding. And that process can go on from six months to two years or three years. Most of kids naturally do wean between 12 months and two years of age because they become so interested in other things that they, they naturally start to breastfeed less because other things have picked up their interests, eating solid food playing with toys, and then because they're breastfeeding last year, milk supply goes down. And it's just this process that works together. And that's fine, and I don't think anyone should feel pressured to wean at any specific point. But what if she's having another baby and the milk you hear that this is the milk for your toddler. And now the baby will need new milk. What is the advice there with a woman planning just bred breastfeed right through your pregnancy? You can, you can many children actually will wean themselves, regardless of the age when you become pregnant because the milk changes. You go back to producing colostrum when they're used to full, full fat breast milk. And they when that note changes, sometimes they just decide that they don't want to do it anymore. And then what if the toddler keeps breastfeeding in the early weeks or months of that baby? I've had many women who have nursed their toddlers while they have an infant. And the rule of thumb there is just that the newborn gets first right to the breast. So my suggestion is that she should allow natural weaning and not worry about any definitive timeframe and she can absolutely get pregnant while still nursing and she can nurse right through her pregnancy. I think it's also really important. I want to clarify that if you're going back to work, or you're away from your child that's not forced weaning that. That's cutting back feeding. It is a part of weaning. When I'm saying what I'm talking about forced weaning. weaning means that when you get a specific day that somebody says that's it, no more breast done, this relationship is over. That's not good for the mom or the baby is not good for the mother's breast either. Because it didn't happen in line with supply and demand. Right. So you could you're at risk for mastitis. So and I hope that that was helpful and we'd love to hear from you what happens and enjoy conceiving - have good sex.

Trisha, we got another question that I think piggybacks fairly well off the last one. And here's what it says. I have a question regarding second and subsequent pregnancies. Most people Publication say to wait 18 months before attempting to get pregnant again. So I'm looking for your opinions on the matter. For background info. I'm over 35 My child is four months old. When is it quote, safe to start trying to conceive? Again?

I think the consensus is correct, that most publications and even if you Google it, you will get the number 18 months as being sort of the average safe, quote, safe time to wait between having children. There's not a lot of research on this, but there is actually some and I will tell you that there is some new research out there that says that the window of time is shorter than that, that you can act that actually waiting only 12 months between pregnancies is safe.

What does any of this mean because I never thought it wasn't safe at all. If your body is it's really there are some risks to having shorter intervals between babies are in There is an increased risk for the baby and some for the mom and a few cases, the World Health Organization does recommend you wait 12 to 24 months between pregnancies. If you if you just look at how natural child spacing works, meaning child spacing without the use of birth control 12 to 18 months is the interval. There are some additional risks to the mom and baby with shorter intervals of pregnancy. So short intervals three to six months, that is not generally recommended. At least waiting 12 to 18 months is the recommendation.

So for these women who get their periods back really quickly, even if they're still breastfeeding, that's not your own body's way of saying you're good to go.

Well, in the case of a woman who is exclusively breastfeeding, and lactation, a amenorrhea is an effective way of preventing pregnancy for the first six to 12 months. What's lactation, amen Aria, not having that hearing. breastfeeding. Yes, exactly. But that requires on demand breastfeeding without any use of pacifiers or bottles or pumping.

But what if she gets her period back? Does that mean she's good to go?

No, that means that she Yes, it means that her. She's ovulating again.

But doesn't mean she should use birth control and make sure she doesn't get pregnant again too soon, even if she wants another baby as soon as possible.

I think that would be her personal choice. But the what the research says is that 12 to 18 months is the optimal spacing between pregnancies for optimal health and lowest risks to mom and baby. There is a slight increased risk for mothers and babies when the interval between pregnancies is shorter than that. Okay. But if you know I wouldn't, I wouldn't. I don't want to put fear in any woman's mind if she gets pregnant at six or nine months after having a baby. But if you have the choice, and it works for you, and it works for your life, I think that The issue becomes more significant for women who are older. And they want to shorten the interval between having babies so that they're because we do know that every year woman gets older, certain risks to go up in pregnancy. So for that woman, maybe airing more, you know, toward the 12 month end of the spectrum as opposed to the 18 months.

When you said certain risks increased, my first thought was including multiples, like absolutely so risk that that I'll find let's go for number three and have one more and then you get twin and then you get three.

We have a great story coming up about that soon we do we have a triplet story coming up. And it's outstanding. You can't wait to share that one.

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Cynthia, what's your take on this one? It's a short question. I'm ready. Probably a long answer. Oh. How do you feel in control when you're a high risk? pregnancy?

I think it's the same answer that I would tell anyone. If you want to feel in control, it's an end Control. You want to feel it's getting to a place of trust and the step that has to precede that. is hiring a provider with whom you can relinquish. So the work begins in pregnancy. I have to interject with an interesting anecdote. I had a client many years ago. And after class, she hung out and she wanted to talk with me privately and whatever she said she had a question and said, because I'm high risk, I said, Would you mind telling me why you're high risk? And she said, for two reasons. One, I'm old. That was it. That's a quote. And I'll tell you the second one in a moment, asked her how old she was. And she said 33 Why is that? Oh, my gosh, her providers told her she was old. I just was like, that is not supported even by the people who go crazy loving to tell women their old 33 I just have never encountered so she looked anxiety ridden and worried about her age. It's two years below the technical.

Ama Oh, I had another friend who told her that. I have another friend who was pregnant through a beautiful healthy, thriving pregnant at 37. And she said her doctor, she ended up leaving him. Her doctor called it a geriatric pregnancy.

You agree? Yes. Yes. It's awful. It's horrible.

It's ludicrous. It's horrible. It's utterly ludicrous, geriatric pregnancy-- it's just ridiculous. And not to mention that depending on how you take care of yourself, you can't put all people at the same age in one bucket. And so there was that. And then the second reason she was high risk is that she had done the Down syndrome screening. And her original results were something like one in 20. So she did another test to verify that the baby didn't have Down syndrome, but and then her providers used it as the second reason to call her high risk. And I said, I'm not understanding something what how Does that make you high risk? And then her response to me was because my baby almost had Down's syndrome. Her baby literally, certifiably didn't have Down syndrome. I know that it's it's, that's, I'm just wondering where that is that what the doctor center, you're putting his head down? That's exactly right and say they marked her as high risk because of her age 33. And because her baby, quote, almost had Down syndrome, and it worked. It worked, because that's how scared we are. That's how much anxiety we're going to feel. That's all it takes. So the first question I always have is, what kind of high risk are we talking about here. But either way, it comes down to a provider that you trust. The irony of being in control is being able to relinquish to your own body and the own mechanism of birth. And it's just the same as you tell anyone else learn about evidence based birthing practices, the very things that will result in a safer birth for you like either And labor, if your body is commanding you to eat, absolutely staying hydrated during labor, regardless of whether you feel thirsty, staying hydrated, being in a position that's safe for birth, and all of the other things that we've covered in, let's say, the episode on evidence based birth. But this is the path to feeling in control. And it isn't different and shouldn't be any different for a woman who's quote, high risk, or legitimately high risk or not. It's the same formula.

Yeah, I think I would just add to that, that, really trying to get an understanding of the higher the reason you're high risk and understanding as much as you can about the condition of your pregnancy or the potential risk during your labor, maybe trying to find some people who have had a similar diagnosis, whatever it is. So if she's Group B strep, positive, and is going to get antibiotics periodically throughout her labor, intravenous antibiotics, I can understand that a lot of women feel a little bit rocked by that If you need to be induced, let's say or if you need antibiotics, and you know, you need some kind of intervention, you learn to use your mind in a way that welcomes it. So the first question always that I would have anyone ask is, do I agree with this diagnosis? Do I agree I have, let's say preeclampsia, and therefore should be induced to believe it's safer to be induced now than to wait any longer? And in the case of preeclampsia, it typically is, do I agree that I have Group B strep? And do I want the antibiotics according to protocol? If the answer is yes, if you yourself are saying I agree with this diagnosis, and I agree with the protocol. Now you need to relinquish to the very intervention you never wanted in the first place. Well, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to go through it resisting it, feeling afraid of it? Or do you say this is what I want? I know I have this diagnosis. And I agree with it. I agree with this protocol. Thank God, I'm not doing this 500 years ago, and you use your mind so if it pitocin let's say the one You didn't want for your birth, and now you realize you need to relinquish to it. Why don't you turn that liquid in your mind, create a visualization around it, turn that into liquid love. Turn it into whatever you have to do. You picture your baby receiving it and smiling in utero receiving it and saying thank you, because this is the right time for me to come, whatever you have to do. And it sounds so funny, doesn't it? I had a client who visualized it as blue mist, because blue is inherently calming to humans, right and equal color is calming to us. She envisioned it all as a mist going through her, whatever works for you. That's how you use your mind to stay calm and in control. It always does start with agreeing with the diagnosis, agreeing with the protocol, and then relinquishing with gratitude to the intervention that you are receiving. Because you just said it yourself, you agree that you need it. So that's, that's those are my thoughts. I hope that's helpful.

Trisha, we have another Breastfeeding one. Yes, this is about this question is about frozen milk.

Dear Trisha and Cynthia. Recently, I thought out milk from my freezer. And when I tried to feed it to my baby, she refused it. She's never done this before. So I smelled the milk thinking it had gone bad, and it definitely smelled off. When I looked this up online, I found that it may not actually be bad, but that my milk might have high lipase. Can you help me understand what this means and if there's anything that I can do about it, Sarah from Wisconsin, so it is definitely possible that you have milk would highlight pace. lipase is an enzyme that is normally present, and milk and it's very beneficial. But women who have a higher concentration of it can actually have this effect on their milk when it's stored. So it's not harmful. To have this The milk is still as beneficial as any other milk. It's just that because this ends IgM is more present and more active, it changes the flavor of the milk. And it does create this sort of metallic or soapy smell and taste. Some babies have no problem with it. Other babies refuse to drink it. It's only an issue if you're storing your milk. So the longer the milk is sitting, the more time the lipase enzyme has to break down. And the more metallic or off tasting the milk will become, once again is not harmful, you can still feed the baby the milk. There are some techniques to prevent this from happening. And it's only an issue if you are pumping and storing milk. If you're breastfeeding your baby from the breast. It's not an issue at all. So are you saying that some women don't have lipase in their milk at all? No, all women have it. It's just that some women have a higher concentration of it and highlight paste milk tends to have this effect if it's been sitting and stored even if it's frozen. So the remedy for it is that When you if you if you do determine that you have highlight paste milk, you pump your milk, you actually bring it to scalding temperature, you heat it heat it what you're never supposed to do with breast milk you in this case however, in this case, the heated breast milk is still better than any alternative, right? If your baby will drink it with the different flavor or the different tastes or different smell, then offer it that way. But if they refuse it and you just don't want to use your milk, it's just insane. Yes, absolutely. Except that you have heated it which destroys know that if you heat it, you kill the enzymes in it. Some of the living cells in it like without too much. That's exactly why it prevents the milk from turning to that metallic or soapy taste, Those are the enzymes.

So that's, that's the technique. You can use. This is all over the internet. You can look it up and it will tell you very specifically how to do it. You don't want to boil the milk you just heat it to scolding the need. Pull it down and you store it. I had this was the case with my milk. So I've been through it. I know.

Did it happen all three times for you?

It did. So if you think you have highlight based milk first recommendation is feed from the breast as often as possible so that you don't have to store any milk. Any stored milk that you do have, you can use the scolding technique. And if you if your baby will drink the milk as is despite the lipase content and the change in odor and taste, then offer it that way. So here is a quick question that we should answer. I don't know what to believe when it comes to having food during labor by ob gyn said women are generally vomiting throughout their labor.

Love it. Red Flag.

I wouldn't hang out with anyone who told me before any circumstance just come on. Okay. My ob gyn said women are generally vomiting throughout their labor So the last thing they would want is food.

You can't even say that without -- I'm sorry.

I can't even read this question about it did you laugh because it's such a negative summary. It's just so absurd. The last thing you would want is food. You know, your human being we like food. Okay, let's get serious. We're so the last thing they would want is food. And I'm wondering if that is because they are so nervous rather than the food making them so sick.

Just right there off the bat trying to justify and figure out why. The last thing a pregnant birthing mom wants is food when in fact it is not the last thing. There's a whole lot of things we would want less than a whole bunch. Okay. All right. So easy answer. You are going to want food you should have food and water are what will help you get through. The thing about vomiting and labor. Yes. It does often happen and it's a great thing when it does because it's a sign of transition. transition is that point between right around eight centimeters where you're moving toward full dilation and vomiting is a really helpful way of actually opening the cervix. So you will want food you should have food, it's totally okay. And don't be afraid if you do vomit and labor, is it that common but certainly not abnormal?

It's certainly a normal part of labor.

I remember someone talking about that as a possibility when I was pregnant, and it really bothered me because you normally associate vomiting with feeling awful and feeling out of control and feeling our sorrow and really for the women who do during labor they usually say they feel so much better right afterwards hundred percent totally. What we do want to say is that it is recommended to eat in labor it is evidence base to eat in labor and when you don't eat in labor, when your inclination is telling you you want to. It is associated with both prolonged life And fetal distress, and guess what? And at risk of dehydration, but guess what, number one and two reasons for serious action in the United States prolonged labor and fetal distress. So you absolutely want to eat it so streams that the doctor said this the last thing you want. I think it's the last thing the doctor wants, for some reason. But if that hospital were practicing evidence based, evidence based birth, they would be encouraging her to eat I'm sure your midwives did. My midwives did, yes, I was hungry, and you're not eating large volumes of food. We're talking about just eating and drinking small amounts throughout labor to stay hydrated, and energized.

And on that note, thank you so much to everyone for reaching out to us this week. Please remember, you cannot only contact us through email and Instagram, but you can call us at 802-438-3696. If we've already answered your question, please update us. We'd love to hear from you again.

If you enjoy our podcast please take a moment to leave us a review on Apple podcasts and share a favorite episode or two. You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @downtobirthshow or contact us and review show notes at downtobirthshow.com. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and  as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

Hey, I know that no one calls anymore but I just listened to Episode 5 amazing husband syndrome and it's so good. It's like upsetting to me how good it is like this is such a message that every Oh, so many women in my life need to hear this. So anyway, I just wanted to call let you know that it's awesome. Again, I consider myself someone who's so good at, like asking for help and knowing what I need and having a husband who sets up and being realistic about expectations and still just fit home for me. So it's great and every single person, every woman, every man should do it.

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Between episodes, connect with us on Instagram @DownToBirthShow to see behind-the-scenes production clips and join the conversation by responding to our questions and polls related to pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.

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About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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