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“This knowledge has completely turned my experience of motherhood around. it has empowered me not only for milk supply but to prevent colic and to quickly emilorate colic and it led to me being a happy mom to sleep and rest and enjoy my baby and not have concerns. I just felt so empowered. That is when I decided I have to begin this project already when she is a baby. If I wait until she is a toddler like I did when I had my third baby, I will forget again..”
Episode 84 Hilary Jacobson is certified as a Swiss holistic breastfeeding consultant, (CHHUSI), she co-founded an online group for struggling breastfeeding mothers, (MOBI), and in 2004 she published her first book, Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide with Lactogenic Food and Herbs, which has become a reference book for countless lactation specialists around the world, and a comforting voice of support and information for mothers. She has packed her knowledge and insights into her recently published second book, Healing Breastfeeding Grief: How Mothers Feel and Heal when breastfeeding does not go as hoped.
Background History: Hilary was born in the 50’s in Southern California. Her father was a scientist and her mother a poet. When she was 19 she moved to Switzerland to study music.
First Breastfeeding experience: She says she was terrified of becoming a mother. When she was 27 years old she went to Israel with her fiancée and worked in the Baby House. This experience helped her work through any fears she had about motherhood. With this reassurance she began to look forward to having a baby and breastfeeding. La Leche League was popular in Switzerland. She read their book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Sheila Kitzinger and other childbirth and breastfeeding books to help prepare her for birth and breastfeeding.
Hilary had a breech vaginal birth in the hospital. She enjoyed 10 days of home care with a midwife. Hilary felt well cared for with the midwife checking in with her. Her baby was looked at and she received breastfeeding help. Hilary shares more of her story in detail which goes through what she now knows to be risk factors associated with low milk supply. She struggled for 3 months and describes it as being a horrific experience.
Rivella and Low Milk Supply and lactogenic foods
With her second baby, breastfeeding went better and perhaps it was because her new baby was calmer at the breast than her first baby. Hilary tells such an interesting story about experiencing the effects of drinking a soft drink. Her supply increased that same day and she realized that there must have been something in the soft drink that increased her supply. She discovered that there are some ingredients, such as mineral rich whey and herbs such as fennel, anise and fenugreek that help increase supply. Along with the drink and changes she made in her diet, she had a good supply with her second baby.
With her fourth baby, her little girl she decided that she needed to find a way to share the knowledge she had gained over the years about breastfeeding and building a good milk supply. She began to go to the library and A Swiss medical library and just began to reading on subjects she knew nothing about at the time.
She carried her grief for about 12 years, until 1997 until her first article on lactogenic foods and herbs was published. At that point, she realized she succeeded in putting together a body of information that was interesting enough for an academic journal to publish a body. She felt like she began to process her grief and turn it into something good and she was no longer a victim.
Letting the public know about her work
She began getting the message out to the community that she had knowledge to help moms with low milk supply.
La Leche League was not a place she could go to, to talk about herbs. She began to contact midwives and lactation consultants and let them know how she could help moms. LLL has changed and you can now talk about herbs in the group.
Help for pregnant and postpartums moms:
Listen to this whole interview so you can hear detailed information on how Hilary helps mothers in lactation. She has a holistic view toward the mother/baby relationship and ties it into how we feed our babies. Hilary talks about the hardships that some mothers go through when not making enough milk and the decisions they make about pumping or milk sharing.
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