When I was just starting out on my breastfeeding journey, I ended up in rough shape just a few days in. I had no idea why my nipples were cracked and bleeding, but I knew I couldn’t go on that way and I was determined to find a solution.
While it was a great, positive mindset and I’m happy I didn’t give up, my search for a solution wasn’t easy. During my unpaid maternity leave, I was stretching every dollar for essentials. Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of time and money trying to troubleshoot a solution on my own.
*Nipple cream for the pain
*A Manual Breast Pump to relieve engorgement
*Disposable Breast Pads to catch the drips
*Bottles and Pacifiers to give me a break
And all of it was a waste and actually NOT AT ALL WHAT WE NEEDED! Great. Here's what those products ended up doing for me....... They wasted my time. They wasted my energy. And I was still in a really rough place with breastfeeding.
Successful Breastfeeding can mean so many things. Everyone's journey is SO different, and everyone's definition of success is different too.
This is the first of a new series of posts. I want to celebrate successful breastfeeding stories. I want to share with all of you that no matter how long you breastfeed, how much, which way, or the path it took you to get there we are ALL successful and beautiful mothers. So, please enjoy Sue and Amelia's Successful Breastfeeding Story.
"My name is Sue and my daughter's name is Amelia. We recently celebrated her 1st birthday. We also celebrated an entire year of breastfeeding!! This is something I am very proud of. It was not an easy journey, but it was a journey I am so glad we took.
Before Amelia was born, I didn't really think much about breastfeeding other than knew I wanted to. I had read a few things here and there. But nothing that prepared me for what was going to happen.
As soon as Amelia was born we did skin to skin. After sometime, we tried nursing. Amelia latched right away! I was relieved and thought, "Well that was easy!"
Two days later I was in so much pain! I was engorged. I felt liked my nipples were on fire! I was so frustrated because feeding my baby hurt so much!! My wonderful husband helped keep me focused. When I wanted to quit he encouraged me to keep it up and told me I was doing a great job. I turned to a friend of mine for advise and she put me in contact with Kelly. After just one consultation with her, I felt a million times better. The information, tips and encouragement she gave me helped so much! It was great getting random text or phone calls from Kelly just to check on Amelia and I. It was nice to know she really cared and took the time out of her day to see if I needed anything.
Every time I would feed Amelia, things got easier and easier. Her and I were learning how to breast feed together. Pretty soon those middle of the night, half asleep, only one eye open feedings got easier. Finally we got the hang of things and it was great. I was so proud to the fact that I was providing exactly what my little one needed. Amelia's pediatrician made a comment about how perfect her growth was and told me what a great job I was doing.
When Amelia was 3 months old, I returned to work part time. This ment I would be pumping at work. I was nervous about this at first. I was worried about losing my supply. To maintain it, I would pump at the times I knew she was eating at home. Eventually I ended up over producing and had a large amount of frozen breast milk. At that time I dropped one of my pump sessions. Unfortunately, one day I went to put more milk in the freezer and found my entire frozen supply dethawed and warm. About 600 ounces.... Gone. I was so worried that I wasn't going to be able to rebuild a frozen supply for while I was working. But our bodies are amazing and I was able too. My new frozen supply was no where near 600 ounces, but I learned that I didn't need that much.
Ever since that event, things have been smooth sailing. Its funny to think how many times I changed my goal as far as how long I would breast feed for. First goal was till she got teeth, then it was till she was 6 months, and then a year... But here we are a little over a year still breastfeeding about 2 times a day. Amelia is in perfect health, smart, active, and such a happy baby and I believe breastfeeding had so much to do with that.
I have 2 pieces of advise for new moms who are considering breastfeeding.
1. Educate yourself about breastfeeding. Take a class! Have a lactation consultant like Kelly. Be prepared and well informed.
2. Have an amazing support system. There might be times where you want to give up and you will need those people to lift you up and cheer you on. Believe in yourself because you are amazing."
Would you like to submit your own Successful Breastfeeding Story? I would LOVE to feature you. Please submit your stories and a couple of pictures to Kelly@successfulbreastfeeding.org
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE