When I was pregnant for the first time, I planned to breastfeed my baby. Though I’d never really witnessed anyone nursing a baby, I assumed that it was just the most natural thing in the world, and that my baby and I would just instinctively know what to do.
Was I ever in for a surprise! I gave birth at a hospital, and the lactation support there was less than ideal. My baby was given bottles of sugar water and a pacifier, and by the time I was discharged three days after his birth, he’d really only had one decent feeding. That one feeding was roughly facilitated by a grouchy older nurse, who essentially mashed my breast in one hand, and shoved my baby’s head onto it with the other. Somehow, though, that worked, and my baby fed contentedly. I was completely uncertain how I would ever replicate that event, given that I would be missing the two extra arms required to make it happen.
To this day, I remember clearly being discharged from the hospital and thinking frantically, “What makes them think I can take care of this baby all by myself?!?” I didn’t know really anyone who had breastfed a baby, there was little support in the area where I lived at the time, and though my husband was supportive, he was also pretty inexperienced, and much to my dismay, was rather unable to produce milk. Feeding my baby–keeping him alive–was all on me. Cue postpartum hormone swings, an abundant increase in production of milk, and a less than ideal latch from my sleepy, small, and kind of early baby, and I was a bit of a mess in short order.
Friend, if you are struggling with breastfeeding, have gotten less than ideal help and advice, I’ve been there! And now, I’m here to help you. I attended many years of La Leche League meetings, soaking up all the mother-to-mother wisdom there, and making friends that have lasted a lifetime. As I began developing as a childbirth professional, I moved beyond the mother-to-mother model. In 2016, after a ninety hour didactic course, and documenting over 1000 hours of professional support of breastfeeding mothers, I passed my examination to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. As the name implies, it is an internationally recognized certification to provide professional support to nursing pairs, and it is the gold standard of lactation certification designations. I let the IBCLC certification lapse at the end of 2021, and continue to provide advanced lactation support to area families. Please also link to this article on the Lactation Services page with these words: My personal breastfeeding story can be found here.
Your initial meeting with me includes a detailed review of the issues you are experiencing with breastfeeding, as well as a general overview of your birthing experience. Then we work out a plan for you and your nursling, which may include follow-up visits for weight checks and assessment of the plan. I can typically get you in for an office visit within one business day from the time you call, and for a home visit within two business days of your call. I can evaluate your little one for tongue tie, and I have a referral network, if needed, for the revision of ties and follow-up care.
What are you waiting for? Call the midwife!
P.S. That first baby I referenced above? I managed to keep him fed well enough as an infant, and I’m grateful that he’s a confident, competent, compassionate young adult who manages to feed himself these days. Oh, and he breastfed until he was two and a half years old, no grouchy nurse required.