How I heard about SimpliFed
I learned about SimpliFed while watching Instagram stories when I was about 37 weeks pregnant. I was probably trying to elevate my swollen feet after a long day of unpacking at our new house (military spouse bonus points?). I knew my goal for feeding my baby was to breastfeed, and I always gave an emphatic “Yes, I want to breastfeed!” to my midwife when she asked about my feeding goals. I was applauded for my goal and told it might be difficult and to “keep working at it no matter what” once baby came. But apart from receiving my free pump, I hadn’t been given much direction about breastfeeding. So, when I came across a “free, virtual breastfeeding service” on Instagram, I decided to check it out. I soon discovered that SimpliFed is much more than just breastfeeding help.
I texted the number in the story, unsure of what to expect. Within minutes I received a text back about scheduling a call. I couldn’t tell if it was a real person or automated text back. The messages seemed personalized, but I decided a consult wouldn’t hurt. So, I scheduled an appointment!
When I got the email reminders about my appointment, I was surprised by how official everything was, especially for a free service without having to jump through any of Tricare’s referral hoops! This service was using legitimate health portals and scheduling. Now I was slightly worried I would receive a bill later on. Oh well, I hopped on the call. Immediately I was greeted by Bri: a real face, a real person, and a real mom! I was relieved and intrigued.
Bri was so helpful! She walked me through what to expect based on personal experience and her knowledge as a lactation consultant. She asked me what I knew about breastfeeding and explained more in-depth what I was clueless about. She told me about haakaa pumps (and hand expression. She explained the benefits of having colostrum on hand (-with my provider’s okay). She explained all about baby poop and how to watch for mastitis. She gave many practical and helpful things that I hadn’t thought much about.
Preparing for Delivery
Before your baby is born, it seems like all your prenatal visits are quick and direct: check your blood pressure and make sure the baby’s heart is beating. Past that, you’re on your own. And in my area, we still don’t have any classes offered due to ongoing Covid restrictions. Of course, there is so much information online and in books, but it can be overwhelming!
After my call and with approval from my midwife, I bought syringes and haakaas and began trying to self-express. It took a while initially, and I wondered if I was even doing it right. But finally, it worked! I was shocked and even a little disturbed at the fluids my body was producing, but I kept with it until I had a few drops on a teaspoon. Then I used a sterile syringe, collected it, and put it in our fridge. Before my daughter was born, I was able to do this a few times and had about a dozen syringes of colostrum saved for her just in case. Little did I know just how thankful I would be to have the colostrum and the knowledge of how to hand express. My daughter and my feeding journey were about to begin, and wow, was it a wild ride!