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Born to be Breastfed

Health, Home & Life

Every new mother hears that breast is best. Many decide to breastfeed so their baby has the best. But soon after birth, the days are often fraught with sleep deprivation and conflicting messages from peers, family members, and health care professionals. Later, negative messages from the media and critical comments from family members and others may trigger mothers to question their decision. Feelings of inadequacy, intimidation and societal pressure to wean can cause mothers to give up breastfeeding before meeting their goals. The aim of this show is to empower parents to overcome the barriers that keep them from beginning or continuing to breastfeed. Through discussion of hospital practices, milk supply, medications, returning to work, milk storage options, and more, this show will provide an informed and supportive voice for new families and established families, so that they can take charge of their breastfeeding experience from conception through weaning.


Tempe, AZ


Every new mother hears that breast is best. Many decide to breastfeed so their baby has the best. But soon after birth, the days are often fraught with sleep deprivation and conflicting messages from peers, family members, and health care professionals. Later, negative messages from the media and critical comments from family members and others may trigger mothers to question their decision. Feelings of inadequacy, intimidation and societal pressure to wean can cause mothers to give up breastfeeding before meeting their goals. The aim of this show is to empower parents to overcome the barriers that keep them from beginning or continuing to breastfeed. Through discussion of hospital practices, milk supply, medications, returning to work, milk storage options, and more, this show will provide an informed and supportive voice for new families and established families, so that they can take charge of their breastfeeding experience from conception through weaning.




Encore Your Quick Guide to Traveling with your Breastfed Baby

Are you planning to take a trip, a visit, or a vacation? Aren’t all of those the same? No, not really! Each has some specific implications for the impact on traveling with your baby. Car, train, plane: What will work best for a breastfeeding baby, a mother who is pumping, or both? How much extra drive-time do you need to build into your car trip to reach your destination on time? You’ve got to pack, but how can you plan for diapers, feeding gear, snacks, clean-up, and pump equipment? What about a backup plan, especially if you’re in a rural neighborhood where overnight delivery of a replacement part isn’t possible? With all of the conflicting information about storing and saving, what do you need to know about transporting your milk? Then, of course, there are the little extra hassles like if you don’t have access to electrical power, potable water, or if your family criticizes you for breastfeeding your baby. Join Marie as she answers these and many more questions!


Encore Essential Oils and Breastfeeding: Stop, Look and Listen to be Safe!

Mothers who breastfeed often prefer to use natural foods and natural treatments. It’s only natural, right? But just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe; essential oils are potent. If you’re a nursing mother—or anyone else, really—there are number of questions you should raise about essential oils before you use them. Is it an herb or an essential oil? Does it matter if it’s “sage” or “clary sage”? Is it okay to ingest it if it’s okay to put it on your skin? Join Marie and her guest, certified aromatherapist, Lea Harris, as they take you on a whirlwind tour of the “essentials” of essential oils for everyone—and especially for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. You’ll discover how essential oils can help you to avoid using medications when you have a sore throat, a bee bite, or other simple ailments; some factors related to safe use—whether you’re breastfeeding or not; the difference in administration methods and dilutions, cautions for children, and much more!


Parents’ and Providers’ Guide to Telehealth and Breastfeeding

Use of telehealth services skyrocketed during the pandemic, but it won’t be decreasing any time soon. To the contrary, it’s likely that telehealth services will increase. We’ve seen that telehealth can be a more convenient alternative to on-site care. Yet, there are some special factors to be considered before offering or accepting telehealth. What about issues of privacy and security—and how can those be overcome? Can competent clinicians simply begin offering telehealth services, or do they require special training and if so—what would that be? How comfortable must each party be with this type of communication? Are there situations that still require an in-person on-site visit now that telehealth options are available? Join Marie and her guest, Melanie Silverman, RD IBCLC, owner and Chief Clinical Officer of Pacify, for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the answers to these and other questions that arise as we forge new pathways to telehealth services for ourselves or our clients.


Encore: Is Sleeping With Your Baby Safe? The Little-Known Truth

Ever since 2005, when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released their first statement on sleeping with your baby, we’ve all wondered: Is the AAP right? Do I risk having my baby die if I sleep with him? And some of us have asked the much more difficult question: Is there real data for this, and if there is, does it apply all babies, or is it okay for breastfeeding babies to sleep with their mother? Join Marie and her guest, James McKenna PhD, internationally-recognized infant sleep expert and author of over 180 peer-reviewed articles and chapters on SIDS and related topics. Unquestionably, safe sleep practices are paramount. But “safe” does not necessarily mean putting the baby to sleep in a crib. Learn how Dr. McKenna’s research sheds a light on newborn/infant sleep in terms of what’s normal, what’s safe, and what parents really do. And, gain a perspective for how parents can be empowered to make their own decisions about where to sleep.


Encore: Do Toxins In Common Foods Pass Into Breastmilk?

It’s just food. Or just a beverage. You don’t need to worry about whether it will affect your milk or your baby, right? Or, maybe you should worry? Heck, maybe you’re already worried, but perhaps there’s nothing to worry about! Get answers about safety, side effects, allergies and more as Marie interviews her guest, Philip O. Anderson, PharmD, FASHP, FCSHP, the author of the National Library of Medicine’s LactMed database. They’ll talk about the research to substantiate answers to questions about food and beverages that you probably consume on a regular basis, as well as some foods you might never have heard of. Listen as Marie asks Dr. Anderson about the effects of coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, alcohol, garlic, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, fava beans, turtle meat, and more! Are you curious about food allergies, maternal vaccinations while breastfeeding, food poisoning, botulism and breastfeeding? Get the information you need on those topics, too!


Breastfeeding Alone or All Mixed Up?

Exclusive breastfeeding has been the “gold standard” for many years now. But for some families, combination feeding, either by choice or necessity, occurs. Parents aren’t always informed that some breastfeeding is better than no breastfeeding or that there are some interim solutions that might work to bring you back to exclusive breastfeeding. If you’re feeling confused, conflicted, guilty, grieving, or shamed for the way you feed your baby, this show is for you. Join Marie and her guest, Lucy Ruddle, IBCLC, as they look at the issues and provide some answers.


Encore What You Never Knew About Vitamin D During Pregnancy

Okay, so it’s just a vitamin. And hey, we’re all in good health, so consuming a little more or a little less vitamin D in a day won’t make much difference to us or to our fetuses or infants, right? And if we’re a little short on Vitamin D, we can just get a little extra sunshine on our shoulders, right? Wrong. Join Marie and her guest, Dr. Carol Wagner, as they discuss several well-researched but lesser-known facts about the critical role of Vitamin D during pregnancy and lactation—more than any other time in a woman’s life cycle. You’ll learn the astonishing findings from Dr. Wagner’s research, the dangers of getting too little or too much vitamin D, and factors that can impact vitamin D status. And, you’ll understand why some studies suggest that Vitamin D plays a minimal role in achieving optimal health while some studies say otherwise. You’ll also get some real-life advice on natural sources of vitamin D, and find out a relatively simple way to reveal your own vitamin D status.


Premature Twins: Do Hospitals Support or Sabotage Breastfeeding?

Imagine having twins and wanting to breastfeed. Now, imagine having those twins born at 29 weeks gestation. You know your tiny, fragile little girls need you and your milk. Thankfully, you have an abundant supply of milk within two days. You’re thinking you’ve already cleared the big hurdle. But oh, there are other hurdles to jump, too. Well, yes, you can hold the babies skin-to-skin, but …Yes, you can do other things, but …Then, there are certain rules about what and when the babies will be “allowed” to go to breast. And just the minute you think the babies are meeting the criteria for those “rules,” well, no, um, maybe later. All of the questions about cow’s milk-based formula, bottles, frequency, how to hold them, and much more start surfacing. Join Marie and guest Brie Merhar as Brie tells her story and explains how she advocated for her now 3-month old babies so that they’ve yet to have a drop of formula since they were born.


Preeclampsia: What You Need to Know Now

May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month. Only a small percentage of women develop preeclampsia during pregnancy, but it can and does happen. According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, preeclampsia remains a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the leading indicator of preeclampsia. What is this condition, and can it be avoided, minimized, or cured? Join Marie and her guest, Carla Sandy, M.D., as they talk about this potentially life-threatening disorder to both mom and her baby. You’ll want to know the risk factors for hypertension. Is it possible to have this condition without knowing it? Who is at highest risk, and how can they and other women take steps to avoid developing it or at least reduce their risk? What questions should you ask if you have preeclampsia and want to breastfeed – and what about medications? Get answers to these and other questions!


Breastfeeding and the Working Mother: Making it Work!

What’s it like to be the breastfeeding mother of three small children when you’re also a criminal defense attorney? How do you pump at a 200-year-old courthouse that doesn’t have an electrical outlet in a private place? And since by definition an attorney represents someone else, how does that affect your ability to take a break, the time you need to show up for work, and even the clothes you wear? Can you take several months of maternity leave if you are self-employed? Is it okay to put your children in daycare, or does that make you a second-class parent? How does the COVID pandemic play into all of that? Join Marie and her guest, Caitlin Aarab, JD, as they talk about these and other issues that any young professional woman faces. Be sure to listen to Caitlin’s final insight on how breastfeeding families can get through it all and make it all work.


Encore Are You Inclusive of the LGBTQIA Community? Think Again.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Join in celebrating with all who protect, promote, and support breastfeeding throughout the globe! Yet, as you celebrate, recognize that there’s work to be done. This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme calls us to focus on gender-equitable strategies for breastfeeding families everywhere. So how can we do that? Join Marie and her guest, Stephanie Brown, IBCLC for a lively discussion that addresses how clinical professionals exhibit helpful and unhelpful actions for the LGBTQIA community. Begin to become aware of how your attitude, your language, and even your clinical environment can undermine rather than empower parents, beware of how “othering” can creep into your messages, recognize how issues such as continuity of care and consent and body autonomy impact care. And, get Marie’s free handout at to help you take actions to facilitate gender-equitable parental social protection.


Winning a Scholarship to a 90-Hour Lactation Education Course

Aimee Sing started out like so many others. She was hoping to complete a 90-hour lactation education course and learned about the annual Felix Biancuzzo Scholarship. Aimee envisioned hundreds of people applying, and having her application get lost in the shuffle. Yet, she realized that she stood no chance unless she applied. Join Marie and her guest, Aimee Sing, PhD, as they talk about her journey to becoming an IBCLC. In this episode, Aimee shares her realization that she wanted to move down a new career path, and how she needed her IBCLC certification in order to carry out her mission to improve breastfeeding and birthing support for women. Amy talks about the depth and breadth of what she now knows is not just meeting the requirements for the IBLCE exam, but also, building a strong foundation for her future practice in direct care and global advocacy.


7 Strategies to Reduce Stress for Your Upcoming Lactation Exam

The mere thought of taking a comprehensive, career-critical exam like the IBLCE™ exam makes most people feel stressed, whether they’ve taken the exam before, or if they are a first-time test-taker. You might be wondering: What are the three main causes of test anxiety? What do the studies say about the relationship of the test-taker’s stress and their score? What do studies say about the relationship between decision-making and exam performance? Join Marie for this special episode where she describes seven strategies that are aligned with the science, her personal experience, and the experience of other test-takers over the past several years. And, if you haven’t already discovered this, Marie reveals how — for a very limited time — you can get access to her expertise for free! Don’t miss the unusual episode!


Encore What You Need To Know About A New Baby Weight Tracking Tool

No doubt, you’ve heard someone say that babies lose weight after birth but need to surpass their birth weight by 7 days, or 2 weeks, or 3 weeks. Similarly, you’ve probably heard that babies who have a 10% weight loss in the first few days require formula supplementation. But is this “decaphobia” justified? Join Marie and her guest, clinical pediatrician and expert researcher Dr. Ian Paul, who says that these numbers and assumptions have been based on anecdote, not evidence. Dr. Paul has given us the NEWT, i.e., the nomogram which represents the new and evidence-based standard to understand newborn weight loss. Whether you are a parent or a provider, you’ll learn the who-what-where-when-why of the NEWT, the research from 160,000 babies that propelled its inception, how it compares with expert recommendations, how weight loss in babies born by vaginal compares to cesarean birth, and how 36-weekers compare to 37-weekers. Don’t miss this exciting episode!


Encore Breastfeeding After Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse affects more women than you may think. Some estimates suggest that it has happened to 20 to 25 percent (or more) of U.S. women. You’ve probably met these women. Survivors of sexual abuse come from all walks of life and all socioeconomic backgrounds, and the effects have a profound and life-long impact. For breastfeeding mothers, their supporters, and their health care providers, this raises a multitude of questions. How can sexual abuse impact breastfeeding? How can family, other mothers, and health care providers help? What can any of us do to be helpful and supportive of mothers who want to breastfeed after such trauma? Listen as Marie and her guest, Elizabeth Johnson, talk about how to have the conversation, and how to help. If you’ve wondered about “touching”, triggers, flashbacks, and more, this show will help you to develop a clearer perspective.


Encore Skin-to-Skin Contact: Neuroscience or NurtureScience of Birth?

After birth became medicalized, skin-to-skin care was assumed to be optional, irrelevant, or unimportant. But in truth, the skin-to-skin contact between the newborn, the mother and—yes, the father—is a critical component of the transition to extrauterine life for the baby, and the transformation of individuals into family units. Join Marie and her special guest, Nils Bergman, MB ChB, MPH, MD, as they discuss the “NurtureScience” to support the initiation and continuation of prolonged skin-to-skin contact. How and why does this critical period have a profound and life-long impact on the newborn? How long should skin-to-skin contact (aka kangaroo mother care) last? How do birth practices, especially skin-to-skin (or lack thereof) affect hormones, sensory stimuli, the limbic brain, and emotions? What is the effect of labor inductions? Whether you are the parent, the healthcare professional, or the “kangaroula”, you can create a transformational experience for the new family.


Marie’s Online Lactation Exam Review: Frequently-Asked Questions

Uh-oh. You see that lactation exam lurking around the corner. You’re huffing and puffing, wondering how you’re going to slog through the 105 subtopics that are fair game on that exam. It’s your first time. Or it’s your third time. Or you’ve failed before and you know that failing is a real possibility. Will Marie’s course work for you? Maybe! Marie has helped more than 5,000 IBCLCs from 6 different continents, and she can help you, too! Join Marie for answers to the most frequently-asked questions about her highly-acclaimed Online Lactation Exam Review course. Marie describes the course in terms of its content, methods (audio, video etc.), what is or isn’t required to complete it, access and availability, and how long it might take some people to complete it. Plus, Marie invites you to get your questions answered for FREE about anything related to the exam – and beyond – by signing up at


Empowerment: What does it mean?

We talk about empowerment. We talk about becoming empowered, or empowering others. And for sure, everyone has a different idea of what “empowerment” is all about. But sometimes, we need to take a step back and look at some of the underpinnings of “empowerment.” What does empowerment really mean? What does it mean to be “intentional”? How does emotional intelligence help us to get the results we want? What the heck is the “motivational triad” in our brain, and why does it matter? Is it possible that limiting beliefs are holding us back from crushing our goals of reaching our dreams? Is seeking validation a good thing, or not? Join Marie and her guest, Becca Brown, a Certified Life Coach and host of The Military Wife Podcast. Whether you’re seeking better relationships or seeking a new career, Becca helps us to gain clarity about what empowerment really means, and how to make it work for us.


Encore Baby Head Shape: Easy Innovative, Options You Need to Know Now

Plagiocephaly (flat-head syndrome) affects as many as 47% of infants. If you’ve seen babies wearing helmets, you know how common this condition is. Maybe you’re wondering: My baby has an unusual head shape; does he need a helmet? Wait! Those helmets cost thousands of dollars and the cost is seldom, if ever, covered by insurance. Can you treat plagiocephaly without a helmet? Join Marie and her guest, plagiocephaly expert Andrew Dorough, DC, as they help you to realize you’re the only one who can find the best solution if your baby has a flat or unusual head shape. Is plagiocephaly just cosmetic? Should you do nothing and believe he will outgrow it? Should you do something now or wait until later…or doesn’t it matter? Does his head shape have anything to do with his continued feeding difficulties? In this episode Marie and Dr. Dorough will help you to follow your gut, ask the right questions, consider all of the treatment options, and understand how chiropractic care can help.


Happy IBCLC Day! A Glimpse of the Journey During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected everything we do. That is especially true for healthcare professionals, those who work in hospitals, and IBCLC candidates who are sitting for the IBLCE exam. Join Marie and her guest, Melissa Bedward, MS, RNC-OB, C-EFM, to gain some insights into her journey to becoming an IBCLC; the ups and downs, the expenses and the rewards, and the subsequent real-life role of the hospital-based IBCLC as a helper, advocate, and teacher. Here’s your chance to get a complete behind-the-scenes glimpse of the IBLCE test-taking experience with home proctoring during COVID. What kind of preparation did she need for home-proctoring, and what was the 4-hour experience really like? What were some of her lessons-learned from the home proctoring experience? And, if she had it to do over again, would Melissa choose home-proctoring if on-site testing was a choice? Be sure to join Marie and Melissa for some insights that you won’t find anywhere else!