Troubleshooting the boob: childcare considerations for the nursing family

When I have babies, I lose my ability to solve problems. Happy babies = brainless mommy. Maybe they suck the sense out of me through my boobs. It was this mental disconnect between me and almost any sort of problem during my first daughter’s infancy that made me realize just how much help a sleep-deprived new mom needs; we literally need help just LogoColorTextBelowto think.

You know, in traditional societies, that’s fine. It takes a village, and that’s not just a saying. Other cultures have older generations, sisters, cousins and even older children to lend the kind of help we’re dreaming of while we cook dinner and study for those night classes, baby on hip. Even if we have help, it’s seldom enough. Throw breastfeeding into the mommy/daddy/grandma/babysitter mix and all of a sudden mommy is having nightmares of grandma sneaking baby a bottle of formula. “He was EXCLUSIVELY breastfed! I can’t have my silver boob badge for EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding now!” She wakes up screaming, heart pounding, ready to ban grandma from the house forever.

I’ve been there. As a matter of fact, it was such an important thing to me to have support and respect for the breastfeeding relationship with my second daughter that I planned a four-hour certification class called “Working With the Breastfeeding Family.” No, I’m serious.

The class is based on the idea that you have to be at least moderately educated on the subject of breastfeeding to be solidly helpful to a new breastfeeding mom. It starts with a basic history of infant feeding in the United States and why our understanding and perception of breastfeeding has been constantly changing. Once we explain these things and help caregivers understand that you really are fighting an uphill battle as a nursing mom, they’re much more enthusiastic about learning how to help.

The class also covers how to handle frozen breast milk, how to deal with pacifiers and bottles when baby prefers the real thing, and most importantly: troubleshooting the boob. We couldn’t cram an entire IBLC course into the time we have, but we do really get into the things that can go wrong, frustrate you and confuse you about breastfeeding. The point of this is for you to have someone nearby who can remind you, when you’re too tired to think and shaking your head at a baby who is clearly hungry but refuses to nurse, that problems are meant to be solved. That you can try some teething tablets or burp the baby, and maybe that will help. Or better yet, they can give the baby teething tablets and do the burping!

I still wake up in the middle of the night with a screaming child, whom I feel like I’ve just fed, and say to my husband, “Honey, she is going to scream herself hoarse if you don’t pick her up. I believe I’ve lost function of my arms due to lack of sleep.” And he gently reminds me it’s been about two hours since she’s eaten, not two minutes.

So that’s why I think every mom who is breastfeeding needs to have someone close to them take this class!

What are your experiences with breastfeeding and caregivers?

In addition to offering classes like the one outlined above, Natural Nannies NOLA is thrilled to bring back “drop in” nanny services. For $20/hour (that is the “all in” cost; Natural Nannies pays the sitter directly), Natural Nannies NOLA will send a bio with a summary of the nanny’s experience, education and child care philosophies. All sitters are screened, CPR first aid certified, background checked, reference checked, interviewed and trained. Today they are offering a $50 gift card (2.5 free hours) to use towards hourly fees for this service. Important notes: $20 includes up to 3 children. Natural Nannies NOLA needs 48 hours notice for these services and is only currently available in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.

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About Natural Nannies NOLA

DSC_7711With over 14 years of industry experience between them, Kristen (pictured, left) and Sharon are pretty sure they can help you find a solution to your child care needs! What if you could skip the daycare waiting lists and hire a nanny? The benefits of hiring a professional nanny are many: a high level of education and professionalism, personalized care, care inside of your home, extremely low caregiver to child ratios, controlled environment, and a personal relationship with your child’s caregiver. What’s even better than a nanny?  A nanny for the same price as daycare! Natural Nannies NOLA is the only agency offering personalized nanny share services in the area.


  1. We haven’t had the luxury of having a babysitter here! My best girlfriend and I would always swap watching each others children back home. I actually sit other people’s children through sittercity so I imagine I would use them as a resource over here on the Northshore. My hesitation is not knowing the person!

  2. I’ve only used a sitter twice. It was my child’s daycare teacher but he doesn’t go there anymore and she doesn’t work there anymore…so we are looking for someone new 🙂

  3. THis sounds like such a great service. As a newcomer to the area, I am dumbfounded as to what I was going to do for a sitter, but as hard as it will be to leave the little man. It seems to be a little easier to think about knowing that there is an option like this.

  4. I like to try to swap with other parents with kids similar ages. Makes it easier on the pocketbook, but also easier on the sitter because kids can play and stay entertained.


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