When I was pregnant with my first I always said that I would be more sad if I couldn’t breastfeed than if I couldn’t birth naturally. (and birth has been a MAJOR passion of mine) I have always been a huge supporter of breastfeeding and knew that I would breastfeed my kids. To me the benefits outweighed everything, but I had never been exposed to breastfeeding. None of my family or friends had breastfed long term around me. However, I researched so much I knew that I could do it. Then Charlie was born.
She has always been my little spitfire and defied EVERYTHING I have wanted for her. She takes after me that way and I absolutely love her for it. She latched twice the entire time we were in the hospital and where I delivered there were no lactation services. After being home for a few days, my milk came in and we seemed to be doing better. I was wrong. Finally at 6 weeks we went to the closest lactation consultant 45 minutes away. We did a weighted feed and she transferred maybe an ounce each time. She recommended I nurse with a nipple shield and then pump after every feed around the clock for a week. After a week and no improvements, we were told that we needed to start supplementing with formula. I was crushed and confused why I couldn’t do this. I started researching and found a formula to start supplementing with. I was pumping every two hours during the day and every three at night to keep up with most of what she ate and then supplemented the couple of ounces she needed. Halfway through our first container of formula we got an email for a formula recall. The container we had tested positive for cronobacter. I vowed I would do anything to not use formula again. So, I posted on a local moms Facebook group in search of donor breastmilk. A flood of generosity came pouring in. We received donor milk from 5 women and Charlie was able to be on breastmilk until she was 13 months old. I will never be able to repay what those women did for us.
Fast forward to having my second baby. Minutes after birth he latched on and kind of never left! He gained weight fast and furious and I was pumping 10 ounces even after feeding him. The difference this time around? I had support and encouragement. We had a supportive group of midwives and a pretty great pediatrician all in favor of keeping us going. I knew what to expect this time and was ready for the battle. Every time we have hit a bump in the road, I reach out for help! I knew that this was something I needed to bring to our community. I want other moms to have support and guidance in their journey as well. Not to just throw a nipple shield at them and say, “Let’s start formula!”. As a doula and a breastfeeding mom, I want to see more options and support groups for area women. Becoming a CLC could do just that.