Welcome to the place where you can easily access TONS of FREE Breastfeeding information and GAIN valuable insight on best tips, how-to’s and “ need to know” about all things breastfeeding related.Guest speaker Tu-Hien Le and the Perfect Latch
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“When the lactation consultant was with me I was able to get her to nurse and latch on and that was okay, but it was only one feeding out of like 12 or 10 in the day so the other feedings I was like, I don’t know I can’t get this too work, the baby is crying.. I am tired from delivering and from being a new mom and this is stressful.”
Episode 70 Tu-Hien Le Tu-Hien Le had difficulty with early breastfeeding and quickly realized she was going to need to exclusively pump (EP) for her daughter Ariana. Pumping turned out to be quite painful for her. This motivated Tu-Hien Le to develop a product that would make pumping comfortable for moms.
Tu-Hien Le is the Founder and CEO of BeauGen, a company that strives to bring mom-inspired innovation to life. After living and working in cities around the world, her life was turned upside down after becoming a mother. Tu-Hien was determined to breastfeed but quickly found out that it was not as easy as it seemed. She has built a company with her husband, which has brought her family closer. They spend most parts of the day working on their business and taking care of their daughter as a team. Partners in business and partners in life.
Tu-Hien grew up in Florida. After she graduated college she worked in the high pressure, high paced jobs in the Financial Industry. She worked in New York City and San Francisco and a few years in Hong Kong. She eventually made her way back home to Florida, where she now lives with her husband Chris and her daughter Ariana. She tells us that while it sounds so cliche, the biggest change in her life happened when she gave birth to her daughter Ariana.
How did she currently come to do the work she is now doing:
Her job was so different than the world she is in now. She worked in big corporate jobs working at a desk, doing what her bosses told her what to do. She was a good student and wanted to perform well for her bosses. After 8 years she realized that this work really just did not suit her. After giving birth to her daughter, she discovered what she could do to really have an impact in womens lives and their babies lives. She began to learn what she is really good at, which is talking to people, finding a team which works towards a common goal. Her husband joined her and teamed up to develop a product that helps pumping moms have a more comfortable pumping experience.
What did her mother say about breastfeeding her?
When she was pregnant, the fact that she wanted to breastfeed was a secondary thought. She felt it was going to magically happen. Her mother said that she did breastfeed her and never talked to her about pumping or any issues with breastfeeding. Both her mother and mother in law were matter of fact about it.
When she tried to breastfeed, it was not nearly as easy as she assumed it was. She began to feel that perhaps she she should have paid more attention to it. When she was struggling, she realized that breastfeeding was a lot more difficult than pregnancy and birth. We talked about how there is so much going on during pregnancy and looking forward to the birth, that she now realizes that not enough emphasis is put on after the birth. She laughs now when she realizes how much time she spent looking and hsoppoing for baby stuff, strollers, etc.
Where did she give birth?
She lived on the same block where her maternity hospital was. So, she and her husband walked to the hospital in between her contractions. She had to stop and take some deep breathes in between contractions. We laughed at how other people really did not pay her any attention. She did not stand out in the crowd at all as she walked down the block to the hospital. She gave birth and talks about how she did not establish the nursing relationship right away by spending time skin to skin. It was a holiday and there was no LC on staff and so she felt like she did not have the right help. She had lots of questions, her daughter was crying, but she had concerns about if her baby was getting enough milk. The nurses were not incredibly helpful and since they were told that her baby was hungry and they were assuming she was not getting enough milk, they suggested she offer her baby formula in the first 12 hours. Tu-Hein realizes now that she did not have good enough education to know her tights and even know if she should or should not give formula. She trusted that they knew what they were doing.
We talked about how it is totally understandable how new parents are very reliant on hospital staff to guide them in the early days of feeding. If they suggest formula, they are going to say okay. The next day, she did have help from the hospital lactation consultant. When she was with her, she was able to get her baby to latch. But when the LC was not with her, she was frustrated because she just could not get the baby to latch on. She decided to pump and bottlefeed and thought she would figure it out as she goes. Once discharged, she was not able to help her baby achieve a good latch and feel comfortable and confident with breastfeeding. She was home for a few days and had 3 home visits with the Lactation Consultant. When the LC was with her, it seemed to work and she could get her to latch on. Once the LC left, she was just not able achieve this on her own. Both Tu-Hein and her baby were both frustrated and after a week she decided to exclusively pump and bottlefeed.
It was a very emotional time for her as she felt like something was wrong with her. This was her baby and she was not able to figure it out. Tu-Hein did what a lot of moms do.. they internalize it and struggle as to why they can’t figure it all out. Her husband was a huge support and did whatever he did to be helpful.
Her first pediatric visit showed that her baby had lost almost 10% which means she is not getting enough. Her pediatrician did not really ask her much about breastfeeding and just assumed she could not pump enough milk. He suggested that she begin to supplement her breastfeeding and breastmilk with formula feeding. Just like most parents would have done, she followed exactly what her pediatrician said because, of course, she did not want her baby to lose anymore weight and she just wanted her daughter to be okay.
By 1 week old, she was making enough milk for her baby and was about 1 feeding behind her daughters needs. She realized later that she could probably have made enough milk for her baby she just did not have good info on pumping and supply. She got a Medela pump through her insurance company based on Amazon reviews. She got most of her information from her family members, sister and cousins. They showed her how to set it up and how many minutes to pump. She realized afterwards that not everybody pumps the same amount in the same time and that as women we are all different. Noone who was helping her were exclusively pumping and she realizes this now, but did not know it then. She realizes that she probably struggled with supply because she did not have the right flange fit, did not pump long enough or frequently enough. We talked about the learning curve regarding exclusively breastfeeding. It took her a few months to reach a full supply and she wound up having a freezer supply. She pumped for 8 months and then used the rest of her freezer stash to give her breastmilk for another few weeks.
Exclusively pumping experience:
I used the flanges provided by the pump company. I remember going to sleep at night and my nipples were in so much pain. My husband gave me ice to stop the pain it was so bad. and my friends were like: try smaller flange sizes and maybe this will help. She also used lanolin for a lubricant and said she found out later that is not something she should have been doing. She describes her nipple pain as throbbing and the whole time she was pumping she was feeling pain. She would cringe at the feeling of her shirt on her nipples. She wore a sports bra to decrease her pain. Pumping many times a day and causing herself pain each time she pumped was very difficult. She remembers every time her alarm went off she just said how much she hated to pump. She would often wish that her husband could pump. She did whatever she could to distract herself from the pain when she pumped. Being tethered to this pump 8 times a day for 10-15 minutes was just awful. She kept going because she knew it was the best for her baby and felt that all the pumping was worth it.
We talked about holding your baby and keeping her close while they are being bottlefed. She worked hard to be present while she bottlefed her.
The last time she pumped:
Weaning was an emotional thing. She wanted to quit every single day and yet made it 8 months. Now she made it 6 months, then 7 months, then 8 months. As much as she wanted to some stop pumping, she also found it very difficult to actually decide when the absolute last time she pumped would be. She had the full support of her husband who encouraged her to quite when she was ready. She started spacing her pumps further and further apart, finally down to 2 pumps a day, and towards the end she was not producing enough Her body was fin with the gradual weaning. She was not prepared for the emotions surrounding weaning from the pump. Just one more thing she had not planned for in her new mommy life. The hormonal shift, along with the decrease in milk volume can be pretty intense. tu-Hein joined a lot of mothers exclusively pumping group and found a lot of support and knowledge from this group.
Difficulty in pumping and how this led to the product she has developed:
My nipples were always swollen, in pain and cracked. In the forums, she shared info with moms that had nipples that were cracked and bleeding. She started to think about all these moms who were pumping in pain. In discussing this problem with her husband, together they decided to develop a product that would help mothers pump in comfort. They developed the solution. It is called the Perfect Latch which she describes as a nipple cushion, It is very soft and stretchy and works with all different flanges from all different companies. We wanted to make it so easy for them to use so they don’t have to make too many choices. This is just one nipple cushion to be used with any flange.
The typical flange is a hard plastic breast shield that you put to your breast. This is what your nipple gets pulled into and how your milk is expressed. When you nipples rub against this hard plastic over and over again it gets really uncomfortable. The Perfect Latch is a soft nipple cushion insert that you put into the hard flange. When you are pumping it protects your skin, your sensitive nipple from the hard plastic and it creates a friction barrier between your skin and plastic Moms has said that it feels like you are pumping into a cloud. The material is really soft and stretchy and the cushion moves with your nipple. It is very important to still use the correct flange size. If you are in between sizes, it helps with the sizing as it to add cushion to get a better fit. Made out of soft plastic material, FDA regulated and made in the USA. adds comfort helps with your fit and adds compression to the area where you can’t typically reach when you are pumping.
introducing BeauGen’s universal fit soft and stretchy nipple cushion moms can use while they pump for much more added comfort. The nipple cushions can fit into flange sizes 19mm-36mm and are compatible with most breast pumps. BeauGen is committed to helping moms find success and get the most out of their pump sessions using their product.
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