Thirteen years ago, Heather became a mother to a beautiful baby boy. As a young mother she knew that breastfeeding would be the best thing for her son. She was going to give it a shot. However, with an undiagnosed severe tongue tie, he wasn’t able to get a good latch. And then he got sick and was hospitalized his very first week out of the womb. While in the hospital, Heather received bad advice on supplementing and didn’t have much support on how to keep a supply and supplement. Or how to nurse on or off of a schedule so her milk dried up. She was only able to nurse for about a month with her oldest.
Then her daughter came
Heather was determined to make it with her daughter. She was back in school getting her bachelor’s degree, so it was not going to be easy. Starting classes at only five weeks post-partum she knew she was going to have to pump to maintain a supply.
Armed with the Medela double electric Pisa pump, Heather would pump every three hours she had to be away from her daughter. As she puts it, she “became friends with her pump.” Having both classes and clinical days at the hospital, it was sometimes difficult to make sure she was able to pump. Luckily she had a very supportive clinical staff and classmates that helped make sure she kept to somewhat of a good pumping schedule. She would even pump on her way to and from class. She admits it takes a lot of batteries to keep it going this often but it is worth it.
“My daughter was my second. The biggest thing was confidence. I was determined to make it work with her. I didn't know about tongue ties or the slippery slope of supplementing with my oldest. I let her feed whenever she needed. Didn't try to schedule. I got to spend a day with a lactation consultant during clinical helping new moms latch and learned about different holds and how to get a proper latch.”
Between all the pumping and nursing on demand she didn’t seem to have any issue with supply with her daughter until about 15 months when she had to wean due to another pregnancy coupled with an illness.
“My mom, having breastfed us each for two years, was a big help. She was such a good nurser too. My husband was very supportive of breast milk being best and his confidence in me helped. I learned a lot with her. For my youngest, I didn't really need much additional support because I was already a pro.”
On to her youngest
When her youngest son came, she had already been through so much with her previous two that a lot of the difficulties didn’t seem so bad. She was ready for complications. She had learned so much from her previous two children that even when she got a clogged duct she knew what to do and didn’t even need antibiotics.
Since she had success with her daughter pumping frequently when away and nursing on demand when she was home, she has stuck with that idea. Her goal is to nurse him until he is two like her mom did for her and her siblings. So far she seems to be on the right track. He loves food more than her daughter did so it seems like he nurses less than she did at this point but he doesn’t seem ready to be finished nursing.
Heathers daughter now likes to participate in her brother nursing by talking about how he needs his “boobies milk” and even nursing her little doll next to mommy. It has somewhat become a bonding time for all three of them.
“My advice would be to remember that you are enough. Your body knows what it's doing. Believe in yourself and ask for help if you need it.”
Feel free to comment below with how you pump or how your journey is going. If you would like to share your story along with all of the beautiful ladies who already have please send me a message here. I would be happy to document your story both in words and in pictures.