Deb's Breastfeeding Story

Deb's Breastfeeding Story

As a new mom who is experiencing everything for the first time it often helps to hear stories about other moms going through similar challenges.

Thanks to Deb for sharing her personal breastfeeding journey with us. Read on to learn what advice she offers for overcoming your hardest days, why a support system is key and how she realized breastfeeding isn't something black and white...

 

1) What was your experience breastfeeding after your baby's birth?  It was VERY difficult.  I struggled with low supply and my baby had a poor latch.  We later found out that he also had a tongue and lip tie.  
                                                                                                                                   
2) What was your biggest challenge during breastfeeding and how did you overcome it? I had issues with low supply.  I saw an AMAZING lactation consultant who helped me create a routine that worked for me.  I did a very demanding pumping schedule, used various herbal supplements and ate way too many lactation cookies!  She was also very quick to encourage me to reduce pumping sessions as things improved.  She valued sleep and encouraged me to make the best decisions for my baby and myself.                                                                                                        
3) What do you wish you had been told about breastfeeding when you were pregnant? It's silly but I thought of breastfeeding as something black or white: it worked or it didn't.  I wasn't prepared for it to "sort of kind of halfway" work.  I didn't realize it could take so much effort to get things in a good place.  I took a class that didn't touch on issues like low supply or frenectomies.  I also wish someone had explained the importance of having a good pump.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

4) Name 3 things (people/books/experts,etc) that have supported you/helped you continue to breastfeed to reach your goals.

1) A supportive partner.  I absolutely could not have made this work without my wife.  She was SO supportive and encouraging without putting any pressure on me.  I had a pretty traumatic emergency c-section and she spoke up and made sure baby was put to breast as soon as possible.  I was unable to hold him securely and one of my few memories in the OR is her holding him upside-down while he nursed.  She was also the first person to bring me a glass of water or a snack while I was stuck under the baby!  

2) My lactation consultant.  Her support and guidance were truly a gift.  My sweet boy is still breastfeeding at 10 months and counting; I still can't believe I can say that!  She was encouraging, supportive and knowledgable.  She made sure to help me reach my breastfeeding goals.  I wrongly assumed a lactation consultant would shame and / or judge me for supplementing with formula but there was zero judgement.  

3) An excellent pediatric dentist.  Sounds strange, but it was actually a dentist that released my son's tongue and lip ties.  It wasn't an instant fix but pretty quickly it made a big difference in his ability to feed.  

                                                                                                                                   

5) Did you instantly bond with your baby? Yes!  I am so grateful that I did; I know that's not the case for everyone.  

                                                                                                                                   
6) Breastfeeding is hard enough, did you ever feel like functional clothing is an obstacle as well? Yes!  I kept putting off buying nice nursing bras and shirts worrying things wouldn't ever really work.  I am so glad I finally did and can't believe I waited so long.  I would definitely recommend nursing mamas buy at least 1 nice bra and a few nursing specific shirts/dresses.  It makes life a lot easier and you deserve it. 
                                                                                                                                     
7) Any advice to new moms?  Get sleep when you can and don't feel guilty about it.  Sleep makes for a happier and more patient parent.  The cliche about filling your cup before you fill others' is so true as a new mom.  Also, join a gym with childcare if the budget allows.  Some days you'll go for the workout and others you'll go for the childcare. 

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