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Steph and Dr. Elana recap the interviews with Robin Kaplan and Jill Castle about going back to work while breastfeeding and raising healthy eaters. They share how they implement boundaries and structure around meals, how they approach mealtime food battles and their take on snacking. They also share tips for talking to your employer about your rights as a nursing mama and provide strategies for reducing anxiety with this transition.
Elana Roumell 0:04
Don’t put labels on anything, don’t put meaning on anything. Don’t pressure your kid. And in all honesty, it actually is easier for us parents, you know, I just put down on the plate what we’re eating and whether she needs it or not. I just I don’t celebrate it. I don’t make a fuss if she doesn’t eat it.
Stephanie Greunke 0:23
Welcome back to the Whole Mama’s Podcast. We’re here to give you tools, resources and evidence based information so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Whether you’re trying to conceive or are navigating life with a toddler or a teenager, we’ve got you covered. I’m Stephanie Greunke, registered dietitian and program director for whole 30s whole mamas club. I’m also the co-creator of Whole Mama’s pregnancy program, and our upcoming postpartum program.
Elana Roumell 0:48
And I’m Dr. Elana Roumell, pediatric naturopathic doctor and creator of Med School for Moms, an online resource where I teach moms how to safely be a doctor mom.
Stephanie Greunke 0:57
Today we’re going to recap episode 145 and Episode 146, where we discuss going back to work while breastfeeding and raising healthy eaters. We’ll share our personal thoughts and experience navigating these topics highlight key points we don’t want you to forget and provide additional consideration so you can figure out what makes sense for you and your family. Because as we know, there’s no one size fits all when it comes to parenting. And this theme is present throughout all of our offerings at whole mamas club. We truly believe that parents know best and our goal is to simply provide resources and support to guide you. Today’s recap discusses considerations for the postpartum period. But we also have an entire program dedicated to providing you that same kind of open minded, non judgmental support throughout your pregnancy. Our whole mamas pregnancy program is your go to resource to help you make informed decisions throughout your pregnancy. We help you implement a healthy diet that supports your health and babies development. Navigate cravings and aversions offer supplements suggestions, we provide a huge list of natural solutions for common pregnancy concerns like swelling and heartburn. We offer pros, cons and considerations for newborn procedures like delayed cord clamping, we have downloadable hospital packing lists, and we have a list of things that you want to talk about with your partner before baby comes so you can be prepared. If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the information you’ve received on the internet from friends and your provider, and you want a group of loving Mamas and mamas to be who will answer your questions and concerns within minutes of posting, head over to wholemamsclub.com and click “Join programs.” And right now until September 3, we’re offering $40 off the entire program with the discount code ‘podcasts19’. And as a bonus, if you’re considering doing a September whole 30, or if you have a nutrition goal you’re working on, we’re offering two months of free Whole30 coaching from six coaches including myself. You’ll get support for preparing for your Whole30, guidance during your reintroduction and support from a psychologist and whole 30 coach to help you discover your food freedom. I can’t wait to meet you in our private group. So head over to wholemamasclub.com, click “Join now” and use code ‘podcasts19’ to purchase our pregnancy program.
All right onto the show starting with our nourish yourself segment. So Elana, what did you do today to nourish yourself?
Elana Roumell 3:23
Well, Steph, I love all your education around pregnancy stuff. So I of course have to say something about my pregnancy. I’ve enjoyed your resources so much, I remember with my pregnancy with Eviva I went through your whole program. And even though I feel like I have such a rich background, there was still so many cool tidbits to learn. So I just love what you have to offer. So thank you for everything that you’ve been doing. At this point, I’m 30 weeks pregnant, or I’m in my 30 weeks, I don’t know I have to check my schedule. Maybe I’m 31 at this point, I don’t even know. But that’s okay. Anyway, my nanny has been gone for the last month, which has been so taxing on us. And she’s from Brazil, we absolutely love her. She’s incredible. We feel so blessed with her. And she told us this like months ago that she wanted to go back and visit family. And we wanted to support her with doing that. So she took an entire month off. And it essentially was the time that I just needed to like, plan all my backup plans for childcare. So I can just keep on working and obviously still running my life. So I just wanted to mention during the nourish yourself segment that I found myself doing a lot of requesting help from friends and family this month. And it was a really interesting experience, because I could tell at times, I was hesitant because I didn’t want to burden them thinking that you know when you know they’re busy too. And so for them to help with Eviva or for them to help me with some house task is like another thing on their plate. But I came at it from a different angle. And I was so incredibly grateful that I was actually like helping them have the opportunity to help me and they really enjoyed it. So I just wanted to give you a couple examples is that one of our good friends even offered to go grocery shopping for us one week, and I was like, are you sure you can do that? Like I get a lot of groceries and she goes, honestly, I know how important meal prep Monday is to you. And I know that this could be like a big burden on you. I would be happy to go if you just send me the list. And then of course, you know, I paid her back and I was like oh my gosh, if you could do that, that would be amazing. And when she did she actually messaged me and when you know she came and brought me all the groceries she’s like, actually I had a lot of fun. Like it was really fun for me to learn what you like at this store, it was almost like a scavenger hunt. You know, like your list was so detailed. She goes, if you need me to do it next week, I’d really love to I have the extra time. And I was like, Oh my goodness. And then when the next week came about I almost hesitated to take her up because again, those thoughts came in like, am I burdening her is this going to be too much like this is like a big trip. And yet again, I had to remind myself like you know it, I can use this extra help, like, you know, I’m managing a lot, you know, I’m doing so many different things now just to get Eviva into childcare, since I don’t have my nanny. So I ended up being brave enough and saying you know what I would love to take you up on your offer. And yet again, she really enjoyed it. So I just thought that was such a cool experience for me. And I wanted to share with other moms listening, because there’s really nourishing not only to me, but it sounded like to my friend too. But if I would have just listened to those thoughts, I would have never taken advantage of that. And it would have really stressed me out even more that week.
Stephanie Greunke 6:31
That is so sweet that she did that for you. And I love that you were able to take in the fact that she told you that it was fun for her. And it was a scavenger hunt. And she got a lot out of it too. So it was a win win for both of you. And, you know, I wish we all had friends like that. And you know, it’s not a bad thing to add, maybe ask a friend or if you are a friend of a mama to be like Elana yourself, and you know that they could use that to offer it for them. But also know that there are services, like, you know, instacart that are out there or whole foods, grocery delivery, I know I sent you flowers and some chocolate from Whole Foods. And so you can do that for friends, too. If you don’t have the time to run errands, or if you just want to support, you can absolutely do that.
Elana Roumell 7:11
Yeah, Steph I totally agree. And first of all, I do think I was so incredibly privileged. She’s such an angel for me in that time. But you know, as I’m approaching having this second baby, I’m actually doing a lot more research into which of those grocery shopping delivery services I’m going to do, because I know I’m going to need that help. And I can’t just count on friends to always be grocery shopping for me, that was really kind of a special time because she knew that I needed extra support. So I’m really excited that we have that these days, you know, as busy as we are, there are also just such great luxuries and convenient type of companies now that have really helped us, you know, eat healthy and provide food for our family in a very practical way. So yes, definitely, if you don’t have a friend offering or if you don’t feel like you want to ask, just go ahead and do those kind of delivery services. I completely agree.
Stephanie Greunke 8:02
Oh, very cool. Well, so I actually at the time of the recording, I just got back from the Whole30 coach summit in Park City, Utah, which is so much fun. And I really needed that this weekend, I really needed that connection. And so there was about 100 of us coaches, all just people who really want to make this world a better place and help support healthy eating even from you know, making it as inclusive as possible with a budget Whole30, to helping specific populations, those with eating disorders or those that are really having a hard time navigating their food freedom. And just really my cup was so full this weekend and loved being there. But I also missed my babies. And so this morning, I decided to have a slower morning with them instead of waking up and immediately rushing them out the door to school, we spent an extra hour together just you know waking up a little bit later and have like having a slow breakfast. And then I took them in and it just warmed my heart. So I’m very grateful that I had that opportunity with them this morning.
Elana Roumell 9:04
That’s really sweet. And I have to say I’m kind of secretly jealous, I would love to join you some time to go to Park City and do that coaches summit. It just sounds so neat. I’m so excited that you get to do that every year. I just feel like Whole30 supports the coaches so much. And even now, you know, with your intro, you were mentioning how you guys are offering coaching for whole 30 participants. I mean, it’s such a huge, I would say like luxury, I feel like for people to have when you can get that one on one time with someone who’s been there and done that. I just love whole 30 coaches, they’re just great. We’ve done some interviews with Whole30 coaches, so they’re in our archived episodes, I just I think they’re such phenomenal people.
Stephanie Greunke 9:44
They are and a lot of them offer free services, too. If you just kind of go on the Whole30 website and you look at the coaches and see what services they are a lot of them have full time jobs, but they just want to do this as a passion project. And so if you’re looking for that kind of support, but you don’t have the budget for it there, there definitely are coaches that can support you.
Elana Roumell 10:03
Great, thanks for reminders. Where do they go to find that?
Stephanie Greunke 10:07
Yep. So they go to whole30.com, and then there’s a tab that they can click for coaches.
Elana Roumell 10:12
Great. That’s wonderful, because I like to send patients there too. So thanks for that.
Stephanie Greunke 10:15
Yeah, absolutely. Alright, so let’s get on to the podcast recap, because we have a lot to talk about, I really loved these last couple episodes that you’ve had. And this, the most recent one was with Jill Castle, and Jill is an RD. And she has been in the field of pediatric nutrition for over a decade. And her goal is to help families feel more empowered feeding their kids. And in the podcast with her, you talked about her love with limits approach which I absolutely loved. And the goal of this is to set up a food system for your child that helps them grow to their full potential. And you do this by setting up parameters in the home that are nourishing, you have structures for meals and snacks boundaries about when the kitchen is open and where they eat. And you offer reasonable choices. So they have autonomy and choice. And I know you’re very into structure and scheduling. So is this something that you implement in your home with your two year old Eviva? And if you do, what does it look like for you?
Elana Roumell 11:10
Okay, I love this question stuff, because it was so interesting to me. First of all, I also loved Jill and I love the information. And ironically, even though I am so structured, I don’t find myself to be as structured when it comes to like her eating schedule. But as I really think about it more and more, I think what I’m just not structured about is I really don’t pressure her. So I kind of just go with my schedule, and I just kind of take the lead the path of least resistance like she’s gonna, she’s gonna eat, if she doesn’t eat, she doesn’t eat. And you know, Jill and I talked a lot about that. And we go into that in more detail about, you know, really not pressuring the kids to eat. But I would just say that Eviva’s meals just revolve around the times I eat, or the times we have family meals. And then I just know that I’m always carrying snacks for her because she will want snacks in between. But what I loved what Jill said is, you don’t want them just to graze all day, otherwise, they won’t be hungry for meals. So I’m going to give you a little sneak peek into like what our schedule looks like, just because I do kind of have more of a structured eating schedule, at least for me. But I wouldn’t say that I push it on Eviva. So she’s just not hungry for lunch, well, then fine. She’s just not going to eat it. But I know I’m sure she would then eat dinner because she didn’t eat a big lunch. But let me go ahead and I’ll give you a quick sneak peek into what that looks like in our house. So the minute we wake up, I’d be like Eviva wants to eat like she doesn’t like to wait. And I personally don’t want to go downstairs and feed her it’s I like to take my time in the morning. I like to you know, shower, go the bathroom, you know, just like take my time and I’m not like hungry immediately. So what I always do is I pack a little cup of nuts the night before, and I leave it by my nightstand. So literally the moment she wakes up and she just tells me she’s hungry. She can just play in my room while I get ready. And she’s just snacking on either cashews or macadamia nuts. Those are like my go to’s. I don’t, those are just the choices that I like. And that’s what she eats. And so right away, she’s already getting a good amount of fat in the morning and a little bit of protein. Then as we go downstairs and I’m ready to eat breakfast, I sit down and I make myself breakfast. And I just give her what I eat. I’ll give her some choices. But similar to what Jill said is, I don’t like give her all of the choices. I kind of give her one or two choices of even doing a smoothie or do you want eggs, sauerkraut and blueberries today, you know, as an example. And sometimes she’ll say oh smoothie, and I’m like, Okay, well then that’s what I’ll eat. And I almost kind of help let her direct what I’m going to eat because in the morning, I just kind of create as I go, I don’t have as many meal preps, as I usually do for lunches and dinners. So we’ll sit down and whether she eats it or not, is up to her I eat and she sees that I eat and she sits there with me. Then as a snack for a mid morning, you know, I grab a bunch of different things that I’ve a variety of whether they’re coconut wraps, or epic bars, or she loves celery and hummus or any type of fruit. And I just kind of grab them as we go for the day. And then for lunches, we do always eat lunch at 1pm that’s very structured in our family. It’s just the time that my husband usually gets home from his morning work routine, because he’s a trainer. So he’s up really early. So he does a lot of his work during the morning. And then some days were able to eat together some days, I’m already at work. And so it just depends on where we are, I usually pack my husband a lunch. So if he’s watching Eviva, he’ll feed Eviva, if I’m watching Eviva I’ll feed Eviva or if my nanny is watching her she’ll feed her, and so it’s usually around one right before her nap. And she naps and then again another snack in the afternoon. And then dinner, we always sit together around seven or 730, which I wish was earlier. But that just happens to be our work schedule. And that’s when Aviva eats with us. And so she’ll either eat or not. And then at night, before we go to bed, I again fill my little cup up with either cashews or macadamia nuts. And once in a while she wants some before bed, and sometimes she doesn’t. And then we all go to sleep. So that’s kind of like a sneak peek into our schedule. But again, there are many days that she just doesn’t eat a breakfast, or there are many days she doesn’t eat lunch at all. And she just wants to keep on playing. And I just don’t make it mean anything. And I just let her go. Because I know the next day she’ll just be even more hungry. Does that make sense? I know it’s kind of scheduled, but it’s not scheduled.
Stephanie Greunke 15:18
Well, that’s like exactly how we do as I’ve just like, yeah, it’s I mean, we with most things in life, I have the theme of having structured flexibility. So I think this is something I’ve adapted as a parent, it’s like you can have a structure, but they will often switch it up on you. And so we’re very similar Leo, almost every single day gets up wanting breakfast right away, while Otto needs a minute to really wake up. So we kind of do the same thing where I’ll have a couple of breakfast options for them. Usually it’s eggs, like you talked about and sauerkraut and maybe a little piece of fruit. We also do smoothies. And then we might even do like a grain free waffle or coconut or non dairy yogurt with granola on top of it. So that’s kind of like the the breakfast options that they have. But usually I’ll put it on the table for them and Leo will eat it and Otto maybe he will maybe he won’t. But I often. I mean I I do like to have him eat before he goes to school because I know that when he goes to school, he’s going to get very carbohydrate based meal. And they offer him either oatmeal or a gluten free cereal. And we have amount of dairy and a gluten free plan. And that’s really the choices that he gets. And so I know that since he’ll only get carbs, I want to send them off with protein and fat. And so that’s kind of our routine is I really try to get that that meal before he leaves for school. And then lunch. If they’re home on the weekends. We often have it at noon. I think my kids get up a lot earlier before yours and they go to bed a lot earlier. So yeah, we do lunch at like noon, and they go to bed about one. So at home. If we’re at home on weekends, we all eat together if they’re at school, they will usually get the USDA guided food plate. And they also have a snack when they wake up from school or from from nap at school around 2pm. Same thing here if when they wake up from their nap on the weekends, we usually give them a snack. And then we do dinner on 530 or six, we do a very protein, fat and veggie heavy dinner again, because they’re getting a lot of carbohydrates during the school day, we want to kind of front load and back load those meals with protein, fat and veggie heavy options. And then after dinner, sometimes they’ll want a snack, sometimes they won’t. We often do like a movie night on the weekends where we’ll make homemade popcorn with like organic corn and coconut oil. Or you know, I had to laugh because we do a lot of cashews and macadamia nuts in our house too. And so for like the after dinner snack, we really try to make it either be leftovers from dinner or something that’s not hyper palatable and really processed. And why we do that is just like what Jill said, if they know that they’re going to get a snack after dinner, that’s something they really like or something hyper palatable, they might skip out on dinner, or lead to food battles at that time. So we make it so that it’s something that they enjoy, but also is really nourishing,
Elana Roumell 18:19
I love it, we really are pretty similar. I think the only difference Yes, the timing, of course, I just I got I don’t know how I got lucky. Eviva, she just loves to sleep in. So that’s been really nice for us. But it’s true, she goes to bed later. But the other thing is, because your kids are in school and they are eating there, I like how you’re strategizing. Well, the foods that they’re getting here are just going to offset the nutrients that they are even the macro nutrients that they’re not getting at school. And so I kind of like your strategy in that way. And I think this is why it’s very individualized for each child and for each family is it just depends on their situation, you know, with me, I have a nanny, so she only feeds her the foods that that’s in my refridgerator, you know, she’s aware of it. And I just have to, I taught her that anytime you’re going to give her a carbohydrate, I would like you to also give her a fat and protein and the nannies like really? And I was like, yeah, you should do it too. You know, there’s like a learning lesson for everyone. But for you, I can see why you don’t really have as much control at school with that. So if you know they’re getting the carbs, you might as well load them up on those good healthy fats and proteins in the morning. And then at night and veggies. I think that’s great.
Stephanie Greunke 19:26
Yeah, absolutely. And I find that they crave the fat. I mean, they come home and they want an extra scoop of butter or avocado or Mayo or whatever dressing that we have. I mean, they’re just craving it. So it really speaks to the fact that they know what they need.
Elana Roumell 19:39
Oh, yeah, I wanted to actually also add about the macadamia nuts and the cashews, especially at night, I talked a lot to different dentists about this is not as often now, but when she was a little bit younger Eviva really wanted to eat even after she brushed her teeth. And I was a little bit worried about obviously plaque buildup and you know, the her suseptability to cavities because of it, but but the dentist would say is, as long as it’s not a sugar rich food, it should be okay, choose something that’s just higher in fat. And so that’s when I just knew the cashews and macadamia nuts would be great. Because even if she did end up wanting to snack on some of them after brushing the teeth, and then I would obviously I would have her swish some her mouth out with water. I felt like you know, it’s okay that we’ve are you know, she can’t brush her teeth now. I mean, we’re already in bed. So I just wanted to add that as another caveat of why we chose that food.
Stephanie Greunke 20:31
Yeah, no, that’s great. One thing that she mentioned that I found really interesting was talking about the conversations that happen around the dinner table. And so much of that mealtime conversation is focused on what our kids are, or are not eating. And this can create food anxiety, or a disturbed relationship with food, maybe resistance to sit down at meals or weight gain since they’re overriding their hunger cues, because we’re forcing them to eat so and she recommends that instead of pressuring them to eat meals and talking about the food the whole time, we focus on showing them how to eat by role modeling healthy behaviors. And we tell them that if they don’t want to eat, it’s okay. And this makes them feel like they have a say in their relationship with food. And I know on Instagram, you posted a picture of Eviva eating a salad. And you thought this was really cool and special, because it proves that you know if that modeling really works. She sees you and Anthony eating a big salad every day, and eventually that led her to want to try it and enjoy it with you. So I’m curious, you know, when she was talking about the fact that mealtime conversations are so focused around food and what’s happening with them eating or not eating? Do you find that to be true at your house?
Elana Roumell 21:41
Oh, completely. And I love that you reminded me of that picture that was like that felt so good to me. Now, I do want to also mention she does not eat salads every day. So I can still give her a salad and she’s not interested. And then some days she is, which is why I don’t make meaning around Oh, my child love salads, like I don’t even know say that because there’s a day she’ll eat it. And there’s a day she’s not going to eat it. So it’s kind of both ways where I won’t pressure her to do it. But when she does it, I get excited simply because I just think it’s so cool. But I really try my best not to like outwardly offer my excitement, because I don’t want her to also think that I’m disappointed with her if she doesn’t eat it. So it kind of goes both ways in our house. So another example of this is I’ve I mean, I can’t even believe it. But she’ll eat like three lamb chops, like more than I can even eat in a sitting like our lambchops are pretty hefty. And I’ll just look at her and I’m like, Oh my god, she’s still going. And I look at my husband like, Oh, my goodness. And my husband’s like, yeah, she’s Greek because my husband’s half Greek. So he thinks it’s like the coolest thing. Anyway, so I just, he’ll say like, Oh my god, she’s an amazing eater. And I have to also tell him, like Anthony, none of that, you know, like, she’s just eating, you know, this is what she’s doing, we got to keep it to ourselves, because I’m so glad she enjoys it, it is actually the most reliable food that I know she will go for, whereas there’s other days that someday she’ll eat the sardines. And someday she won’t eat sardines. So it’s not as reliable. So again, I love this philosophy is just don’t put labels on anything, don’t put meaning on anything, don’t pressure your kid. And in all honesty, it actually is easier for us parents, you know, I just put down on the plate what we’re eating and whether she eats it or not, I just I don’t celebrate it. And I don’t make a fuss if she doesn’t eat it. So she gets to choose. And I think that autonomy is so powerful for kids who are really building their independence and developing their- they want that, they want their autonomy they want to be able to choose. And then in our house, at least with this one child, we never have a fight over it. And so I really enjoyed that. And I really believe that does go along with Jill’s philosophy a lot. And I believe you do the same in your house, is that right, Steph?
Stephanie Greunke 23:51
Oh, yeah, we, we like hide our emotions, for sure. You know, we try to make good food very neutral. I mean, there’ll be times where he’s like, throwing back the sauerkraut, and I just want to be so excited about it. But I also know that I don’t want him to associate like him eating something as good or him not eating something as bad, like you talked about, but, you know, I think the whole conversation around them at dinner time and having it not be the conversation focused on food is hard, because with little ones, they don’t sit at the table for very long, you know, they might just be there for a couple of minutes. And so that time, you know, you’re, you’re having them scoop things and you’re talking about food, or they want to talk about food, or they’re throwing it on the floor, or they’re complaining about it, or they’re, they’re exploring. So I think it is hard. And I think just you know, setting that realistic expectation of, okay, maybe when they’re younger, the conversation is going to be a little bit more about food and talking about it and exploring it. And then as they get a little bit older, you might get to a point where you can have other types of conversations. And one thing that we’ve started doing a little bit differently is we are we kind of do family style dining now. Whereas before I used to plate their food and then bring it to the table. And this is because I needed to cut things up in little pieces. And it just was almost easier for me to like bring full plates to the table versus having them scoop up what they wanted. And I find that a lot of our conversation around food has changed now that we’re doing family style, because if they want something, they kind of describe it themselves. And we can move on with the conversation versus I’m saying, well, I want more green beans, and then me having to go into the counter to get more to put it on their plate.
Elana Roumell 25:25
Oh, that’s very interesting Steph. I’m glad that’s working for you. I tend to plate it. But I think you’re right, it can really change the dynamic of the conversation. So that’s really great. I’m glad you shared that.
Stephanie Greunke 25:35
Yeah. And then you know, they do have more autonomy with food, too, is like they know that they get to choose more if they want to. And they don’t have to ask. And yeah, it’s been really cool changing that way. So..
Elana Roumell 25:45
That’s great. And I do want to acknowledge that I am very aware there are parents listening, that do have children that really they’re fighting with i mean, because I just see it so much in my practice. And so my heart really goes out to you because it is something we have to do multiple times a day to feed our kid. And it is it can be very stressful. And so I just wanted to give a little reminder, and maybe this is just a takeaway that I really got from the episode is really understanding that it is okay to have your child go to bed at night hungry. And I know Jill and I kind of spoke about this on the episode and it was a little bit of like a risk. I was like, I hope people aren’t going to roll their eyes to me. And even when I tell patients this, sometimes they’re surprised, but Jill really agreed with this is that kids will be hungry when they’re not eating enough. And it’s sometimes not on a day to day basis that you can measure it. Sometimes you have to kind of look at like a week snapshot. And I know every mom has had this experience where one day their child is just eating a massive amount of food. Well, another day, they’re just like barely eating anything. And children really have a great barometer of like, what they need and what they don’t need. And if we could just trust that in our kids, and really have good strict boundaries over like, you get this and you don’t get this because this is all that’s offered, I mean, I’m not going to be a short or a cook. So you get these two choices. And if you don’t want it, I’m sorry, hun, we’re just gonna have to wait to then the next meal or the next day, they will eat it at some point when they’re hungry. And even if they don’t day after day after day, that’s when you may want to seek out some additional help with maybe like occupational therapist or feeding specialist and such. So I just wanted to add that and I was just kind of curious Steph, what’s some of your final takeaways that maybe you’d like to just hone in on before we move on to Robin’s interview.
Stephanie Greunke 27:34
Yeah, I really loved when she said that, you know, thinking about creating a similar environment at mealtime as you do at bath time. So that it’s relaxing. There’s no pressure, there’s really no time limits, they just kind of get to play and you’re there with them. And, you know, while this isn’t always practical, right, there’s, it’s not always practical to have that relaxing of and like a meal because sometimes it is stressful, but having that as the goal of like, okay, we’re working towards a place where this can be more relaxed. And it’s not about food fights and trying to keep the emotions out of the game, I think is a great thing that she added to the conversation that I’m going to try to approach our meals at and help share with other parents.
Elana Roumell 28:16
Great. Yep, I love that too. I think that’s great. Well, if I guess a mom listening hasn’t listened to that episode. There’s just such great tips there. So I do encourage you to listen to it. And you never know when you want to return to visit to it. When your kids grow in different ages and stages. There’s still so many great tips and she’s got just great resources for really any age or or challenge. So she was just a great resource I thought to to Whole Mamas. So I’m glad that we had her on.
Stephanie Greunke 28:41
Oh, me too. And I also really loved Robin, you know, I know she’s your lactation consultant. And we’ve had her on the show before. And what I found really consistent between these two interviews is that both experts focus on reducing anxiety and overwhelm through structure and routine. So whereas Jill helps establish structured routine for feeding kids, Robin builds it into a plan for breastfeeding and going back to work. And I love how Robin focuses on a team approach. So she helps moms prepare themselves, their pump, their baby, their child’s caregivers, and their employer to meet their breastfeeding goals despite going back to work. And I know you have a baby on the way and you’re planning on breastfeeding again. I’d love to hear what your plans are for setting yourself up for success this time around.
Elana Roumell 29:25
Yes. So I agree. I think both of them really had that similar flavor and they love educating and, and helping proactive moms really prepare themselves for what to expect. So I mean, I think the two of us too, we create programs aligned with all of this as well. So we I mean, these people, I could talk to her all day every day. So I love it.
Stephanie Greunke 29:46
Hey, Mama, Stephanie, here, Are you overwhelmed with all the information out there regarding pregnancy and prenatal health, we get it. So I want to take a minute to share about our whole mamas pregnancy program. Our program includes over 20 videos discussing topics from nutrition to exercise, mental health, sleep conversations to have with your partner as you approach birth and so much more. Each video has suggested reading action steps and handouts to help you dive deeper into the topic and apply what you’ve learned. Our weekly pregnancy emails guide you through the program each week of your pregnancy. They’re the only weekly service that focuses on the nutrients you and your growing baby need, and provide simple recipes using that unique nutrient. You also get a short checklist of things to do each week to help you prepare for baby and take care of yourself. We want to help you spend more time enjoying your pregnancy and less time searching for answers. Want answers and support to your burning pregnancy related questions immediately from the comfort of your own home, then you’ll love our safe non judgmental community within the pregnancy program. It’s my favorite corner of the internet. And many of our members agree. To find out more visit whole mamas club.com and click on join programs.
Elana Roumell 30:50
I would say as a proactive mom myself, I’ve actually taken months to figure out what kind of postpartum schedule I want, so that I can accommodate my child’s nursing schedule in a way that is as less- as little stress as possible. And so it was actually they my staff laughed at me. But I think it was back. I think I was like just entering my second trimester, where I already gave them my post partum like, after I was gone from maternity leave, like how I wanted my schedule to look and they’re like, Elana, this is like nine months from now. And I was like I know, but we need to know this now. And they’re like, we can’t we’re not even scheduling patients that far. Like, they literally looked at me like I was crazy. And I’m like, Yeah, but you guys, I need to know what my life is going to look like at that point. And so I was planning so far in advance, because in my industry, I have clients back to back, you know, and patients are just, but I need pumping breaks, or I need to be able to have a lot more flexibility. And I don’t have that scheduled right now. So I just think one of the things that I’ve done to be proactive is I’ve just been thinking about it for so many months prior actually executing it, that I already don’t have anxiety going into it. And so what my plan looks like is I just have many more breaks within my days in between my patients. And I’m also trying to strategize doing as many virtual consults as possible. So phone or video, which I actually do with over 50% of my patients anyway, so it’s already well designed, so that I’m not stressed out nursing, you know, my little one, and I’m giving myself the environment in this space, so that I know that I can, I hope have a successful postpartum experience, because I do remember what it was like to feel overwhelmed and anxious with Eviva. And it was as if like, I just wanted to quit my job because it would just be easier to sit at home and nurse her versus plan out how to pump, when to pump, how many ounces to pump, like it felt like another job. But once I kind of like got a strategy and a plan. I was like, Oh, I totally could do this, you know, I got this now with it being my second baby, I’ve got much more confidence in it. But something like Robin’s, either course or even just our podcast, it just knowing this ahead of time empowers you know that you can really do it. So that’s kind of what I’m up to just to answer your question to plan for baby two.
Stephanie Greunke 33:12
Yeah, I love how prepared you are, it’s just so fun to see. I mean, it’s definitely something that happens to be an afterthought for a lot of us just because we we don’t know what this whole transition is going to look like. And I think we’re so focused on the pregnancy that sometimes we just kind of assume breastfeeding will happen naturally, or we’re told that it will or, you know, it’s just one thing at a time to keep us sane. So I love that we have this interview to help kind of explore what you can do even when you’re pregnant to set yourself up for success.
Elana Roumell 33:42
Absolutely. And I do recommend it during pregnancy, I actually think doing it after you deliver is almost not that it’s too late. It’s never too late, you can always make a plan. But I actually think it could contribute to more anxiety and overwhelm and Steph I know how passionate you are about postpartum mental health. I mean, it is definitely something that you have come to learn so much about I go to you for the expertise here. And I’m sure you’ve seen in some of your clients and just moms in general experience this anxiety going back to work and and and with pumping. So what are the tips that you’d like to give to some of the moms that you work with?
Stephanie Greunke 34:16
When it comes to transitions in life, that is really what triggers anxiety for a lot of people and going back to work is a huge transition not just for pumping and breastfeeding, but your whole life is going to change. And what I like to tell the moms that I work with is that action eases anxiety. And this is true, especially if you know that you’re prone to anxiety, maybe you had postpartum anxiety in your first pregnancy. Or maybe you are currently working through anxiety with a therapist or you just are starting to be worried about that transition months and ahead of time. These resources that we provide on the podcast and the guide that Robin gave us, the free guide to going back to work which gives you action steps for pregnancy through the first couple of weeks postpartum can really help you feel more comfortable and confident in that position. And you can also talk to an IB CLC yourself and they’re often covered by insurance before baby arrives or soon after baby arrives about this transition. What is it going to look like? Can you help me get familiar with my pump? Can you help me make sure that my phalanges fit? Can you talk to me about what options I have for pumping in the car? And can you help me get this pump covered by insurance if possible. I think all of those things can really help ease the anxiety with going back to work. And also I you know being in this postpartum mental health world, and working with so many moms that have so much anxiety when it comes to breastfeeding their baby, I also let them know that they can also relieve some of that guilt and shame if they decide that it’s not right for them. I mean, as much as we hear all the benefits of breastfeeding, we also know that it can really cause anxiety and discomfort and may not be the best choice for everybody. And so if you decide that you don’t want to continue breastfeeding, maybe you’ve worked with an IB CLC, and you’ve thought about all these action steps, and it’s just not the right choice for you, you know, own that choice. And don’t feel bad about it. And maybe you’ve decided to keep breastfeeding, but you need to add some formula in to supplement the feeds. That’s okay, too. So I think the more that we can open up the conversation that there are many different ways to feed, and you need to do what is best for you, the better.
Elana Roumell 36:39
I couldn’t agree with you more Steph. And one of the things I just wanted to add to your comment was, I was learned anxiety is the fear of the unknown. So if we are educated with what is known, and what our options are, and answers to a lot of our myths or doubts or fears, then the anxiety it is just relief simply because you no longer have fear of the unknown, because now the unknown is now known. So I just think being proactive, getting the education, hiring, the support, listening to the podcast, get, you know, downloading the checklist, all of that stuff that you do have much more time to do during the pregnancy. And again, even if you don’t have time to do it during the pregnancy, maybe you make the time after the baby’s born just to get prepared is going to help eliminate so much anxiety and overwhelm. And the only other thing I want to add is for me, I remember with Eviva, it was easily three to four weeks before I knew I was going back to seeing patients that I already started feeling anxious. It’s not just the day of that I arrived that I was anxious, I was already planning in my brain. So being able to talk to Robin during that time relieved me tremendously. And then I was ultimately able to still enjoy my maternity leave, because I knew much more what to expect. I didn’t want to like waste my energy and my time feeling anxious during my maternity leave, I just wanted to be with my baby and bond with her not get all anxious and overwhelmed, almost like wasting some time. So the education, the support is so incredibly important. And I know that this podcast that we recorded with Robin can really really support any mom in any stage.
Stephanie Greunke 38:19
Yeah, absolutely and you know, it’s important to to relay the message that a lot of medications for anxiety are compatible with breastfeeding. And if you don’t want to go the route of medication I know you talked about in the podcast like diffusing lavender essential oil, and even some supplements that can help calm anxiety are compatible with breastfeeding. So there’s a lot of things you can do. And I’m so glad that we have these resources to support our Mamas and the community. And you know what else can bring up anxiety is the conversation that needs to happen between a mama and her employer when going back to work and really taking a stand for their rights in the workplace. And this is something that you and Robin talked about. And she has a handout in our course that goes over this. And she also provided us with a few concise, powerful one liners that we can bring to our employers saying things like, you know, I am still an effective employee, even though I am pumping. And I’m required by law to take breaks, it could be short and sweet like that. And she also gave examples of when talking to your your employer letting them know that it takes a lot of time and resources to hire and train a new employee. And that by giving, you know, me these breaks in the short term, it really is like a no brainer, because I’m going to be staying with the company, I’ll be happier in the company, it is a benefit for employee retention and satisfaction. It’ll help reduce my stress and the mental load of pumping, if I know that I have these breaks. So since you’re such a powerful communicator, how would you approach this conversation with employers if you were in one of our mamas shoes?
Elana Roumell 39:52
Well, thanks for the acknowledgement. I appreciate that. That’s awesome. Um, but there’s no question I would approach it and my preface to any conversation would be is really ensuring that my employer knows the value that I bring to the company. And I think it’s very important for women to be confident in in their stance of, Hey, this is what I bring to you. And this is the value and this is why I’m an asset to you. And my request is this because this is actually what it’s going to do to my job performance. If I’m rushing and I’m worried and I’m anxious about it, my performance will suffer. And you mentioned that in you know, some of the things you just said. And I just think that for employers to kind of shift their thinking to get clear on that. It’s a no brainer for them to say yes, they can’t not say yes. Now, if they have 50 employees or more, they are actually required to say yes, but a lot of moms work for employers that may not have 50 or more. And so legally, they don’t have to provide these breaks. But there are employee breaks that actually they do, need to give you I mean, for every x hours of shift, you do need at least a 15 minute break and every states a little bit different. And the good thing is Robin does provide those resources in the show notes. So there’s links to that. So you can go ahead and see specifically what your state laws are. But I really don’t think it necessarily has to be a conversation with your employer that you’re almost like having to say, hey, the state says this, you can also be an advocate for yourself and say, yes, there are state laws. But this is what actually works best for me, I know that I need at least X amount of breaks for this amount of time for me to sufficiently provide the food that I need for my child, if that means I need to come in 15 minutes early, or if that means that you want me to have a shorter lunch break. Like, let’s go ahead and strategize. Let’s be creative. You know, don’t limit yourself with the possibilities just because you think that you have to abide by some type of rule or law. I think that we get to get creative here. And I really do recommend you talk to your lactation consultant, or maybe your partner or just a friend and get creative, you know, come up with some plans, approach your boss with the plan, and then say which one do you want to do? You know, I think a lot of employers just simply because I am an employer, myself, were very overwhelmed with a lot of options and a lot of decisions. And so when my employees come to me with a plan, and they propose something, I’m like, Oh my god, this is so nice. Now I don’t have to come up with the plan. You know, it’s like one less thing for me to do. I love when my employees are proactive. And I love when they come to me with an idea. And if it really feels like it works. And it’s a well thought out plan. I’m a yes. Right, because I want them to be happy. So that would be my recommendation is number one, come to them, remind them of the value and what you bring to them. Propose what your plan is, and why this is going to benefit not only you but also the business, and then just request that they really consider it because this is why it’s going to benefit. It’s a win win. So I just think it’s great. I mean, I’m a big, big proponent of people being their own advocate. And I think it’s a great time for women to practice this in the workplace.
Stephanie Greunke 42:57
I couldn’t agree more. I love all of that. And I also think it’s important to note that you can change that plan, if you decide that it’s not working for you, I mean, you’re going to maybe change the amount of times that you need to pump as baby gets older and you’re in the office, or maybe you don’t like the location that you are set up in or maybe you want to move to your car or whatever it is you are allowed to change your mind. And again, I think what Elana said is going to your employer, or HR with that new proposed plan, midway is totally acceptable too.
Elana Roumell 43:29
In fact, yes, I absolutely agree with that, especially if this is your first time doing it, you just don’t know sometimes what you need. So even having the conversation at first to say, hey, for the next three weeks, this is what I want to try, I may have to revisit this with you in three weeks, just because it’s the first time I’ve done it. So I’m just letting you know that as well. So again, preface that or maybe if this is baby number two, and you’re like, Oh, I totally know what to expect, then you just propose and say, Look, I know this is what’s going to happen in months three to five, I’m probably going to need more breaks, but by the time that the baby reaches six months, and milk supply is going to be like this, so I’m probably only going to need this amount of breaks, you know, because really, your output is going to change as your kid eats, you know, eats more solids, and then your body’s right more regulated. So just give yourself flexibility and let your boss know this. And then the last thing I would just mention is, if you do come in with a lot of anxiety and overwhelm, share that with your boss, you know, even if this is a man who’s never gone through this before, just say like, Look, I’m anxious about this, it’s important to me to provide food for my child. And it’s really important for me that I perform well in your business because I take my job seriously. So I just want you to know that I’m going to do my best to do both. And this is why I need a plan set up so that this is something that I can really win. And like Stephanie, that you said, this could change, I don’t know how this is going to change. So please bear with me. Know I’m anxious about this, I’m overwhelmed. But these breaks, and this kind of plan is going to really set me up so that the anxiety doesn’t interfere with my performance. I mean, bosses love this stuff. You know, so I just think this is such a great opportunity to be an advocate. So I’m actually kind of excited for you guys to have these conversations.
Stephanie Greunke 45:08
Yeah. And I would, we would love to hear how those conversations go to, you know, if you have anything that works well for you, or if something didn’t work well for you, we are more than happy to help you through that and walk you through that. And so is Robin. So definitely reach out to us. And I would just love to end this recap with hearing what your takeaway was from Robins episode, you know, what are you going to use personally? Or what are you going to teach your clients and your community about?
Elana Roumell 45:34
Yeah, I think the biggest one is just about their rights. You know, I think that I think very few people actually know that there are laws in place that do help protect moms from nursing. And, you know, we got so many great community questions were there were a lot of nurses that are like on 14 hour shifts that weren’t actually getting their sufficient time breaks. And that’s just not okay. You know, no employer can do that to a person or teachers or, you know, a lot of these workers who have these like longer shifts who really do need these breaks. And so I just think it was a really neat takeaway for me is to know what resources to share with my patients to really instill with them that you do have rights. And that to utilize them this is this is the time and that they’re there for us. And to continue to advocate for our own selves, whether or not you fall into the category of the 50 employees or more, it’s important to get education around that so that you know what to say to your employer when it’s time.
Stephanie Greunke 46:30
Yep, absolutely. And we will put those resources in the podcast show notes. So you can check those out over on our website, wholemamaclub.com/podcasts to see those. And my takeaway was that, I think it’s really important to make sure your phalanges fit. And this is something that I had no idea was even a thing I just thought whatever you got in your breast pump kit was what you needed to use. And we all have different nipple sizes, and they make different phalanges pieces for different nipple sizes. And if that phalange, isn’t fitting properly, you’re not going to get the amount of milk, it’s not going to be an efficient output and it’s going to likely hurt. And so I think working with a lactation consultant, or even looking at some of the free resources that are out there, I know there are YouTube videos for finding the right fit. And Medallia has a helpful guide that I use it really increase the efficiency of those pumping breaks. And you know, one thing she talked about was that if you’re pumping for more than 30 minutes, or you know really more than 15 minutes, it’s time to check in with your pump with your lactation consultant, and make sure that everything is set up so that you have an efficient and effective pump break. Good. I love it. Alright, so that is it for today’s episode. We really hope you enjoyed those interviews and that this recap helps you remember some of those key points and just see our take in our side because there’s so many different ways to approach these conversations. And don’t forget to head over to wholemamasclub.com and join our pregnancy program, especially if you’re interested in doing a September whole 30. You can use the code podcasts S 19 at checkout to join the conversation and get the comprehensive support you’re looking for to guide you during your pregnancy. If you enjoyed this interview, please help us out by sharing your podcast with your mama friends and writing us a review on iTunes. Elana and I love reading your reviews and we like knowing what you’re interested in what’s helping you so we can support you on your journey. You can also visit our website at whole mamas club.com forward slash podcast to review our show notes find past episodes and leave comments and questions for future shows. And as always, please remember that the views and ideas presented on this podcast are for informational purposes only. All information content and material presented on this podcast is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultations diagnosis and or medical treatment of our qualified physician or health care provider. Consult your provider before starting any diet supplement regimen or to determine the appropriateness of information shared on this podcast or if you have any questions regarding pediatrics, pregnancy or your prenatal treatment plan. Now go on, have a great day, and nourish and nurture yourself and your family.
- A ‘day in the life’ of feeding their kids
- How they implement boundaries and structure around meals
- Their favorite bedtime snacks
- Elana’s plan for going back to work while nursing
- How to reduce anxiety when going back to work
- Tips for having an effective conversation with your employer
- Episodes 145 and 146
- Breast shield sizing info
- Learn more about Whole Mamas Pregnancy Program and use code PODCASTS19 for $40 off your membership through Sept 1, 2019.
- Sign up for our Weekly Pregnancy Emails
- Take the Free Mini-Course at Dr. Elana’s Med School For Moms
- Schedule an appointment with Dr. Elana
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- Whole Mamas Podcast Archive
This episode's guest
The Whole Mamas podcast is led by Stephanie Greunke, a registered dietitian, and Dr. Elana Roumell, a naturopathic doctor, both trained in functional medicine and passionate about pregnancy, postpartum, and pediatrics. They invite experts on the show, answer burning questions, highlight key points, and make sure you feel empowered to take action. Find Whole Mamas and the Whole Mamas hosts on Instagram @wholemamasclub, @stephgreunke, @drelanaroumell, and at www.wholemamasclub.com.