Food Issues

Food Issues

S7:E4: Breastfeeding Problems, Trauma, and Postpartum Mental Health

August 09, 2022

We all know “breast is best,” but that doesn’t mean breastfeeding always comes naturally or is easy. Many moms struggle with pain, low milk supply, and other breastfeeding problems and often don’t have the support they need. In this episode, I sat down with Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, a health psychologist, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and author of Breastfeeding Doesn’t Need to Suck. She is also the owner and editor-in-chief of Praeclarus Press. 

Kathleen and I talk about the most common breastfeeding problems, why our breasts actually have a storage capacity, why moms quit breastfeeding, and where they can turn for help and support. We also talk about how complex trauma and mental health issues can come into play for breastfeeding moms, why the healthcare system—and society—often fails moms, and what all new moms need to know. 


2:03 Let’s talk about your story!

3:30 What is the biggest challenge for breastfeeding moms today? 

9:00 Who should moms see to get help?

12:16 What should moms know about the effects of trauma on pregnancy, labor/delivery, postpartum health, and breastfeeding?

16:05 For moms who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, should they see a therapist to tease out these issues?

17:13 What is lacking when it comes to healthcare and support after moms give birth?23:26 What are the most common reasons moms quit breastfeeding? 

23:41 How can women determine if they have a low milk supply?

27:28 Does nipple pain always have to do with an incorrect latch?

29:30 Can you talk about research that shows moms who have epidurals are less likely to exclusively breastfeed?

30:14 What are tips for moms dealing with breastfeeding problems?


Kathleen mentions this article in the journal Clinical Lactation which found that breastfeeding moms get more sleep than moms who supplement with formula. 

Kathleen talks about Dr. Jack Newman

Kathleen mentions this 2008 study in JAMA Pediatrics which found that pediatricians are less likely to believe breastfeeding works. 

Kathleen mentions Tina Smillie.

Kathleen mentions Survivor Moms’ Companion

Julie mentions the book Mother Hunger, by Kelly McDaniel. 

Purchase a copy of Kathleen’s book, Breastfeeding Doesn’t Need to Suck

Learn more about Kathleen on her website.

Follow Kathleen on Facebook and Twitter.


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