Monday, January 3, 2011

Support is crucial. Help The Leaky B@@b.

No one told me that breastfeeding could be hard. No one told me how many "booby traps" and road blocks would be thrown at my desperate, uneducated attempts at it.

Let me tell you something...

It didn't come naturally to me, the "lactation consultants" at my disposal knew about as much as I did, and I had no breastfeeding friends or family in the area. A page like The Leaky Boob would have been an absolute godsend.
When I had Athena 3 years ago we had NO idea what we were doing. I didn't know how birthing worked. I didn't know there were things I could do to prevent my c-section. I didn't know what breastfeeding was "supposed" to be like right after birth. I was so sick from my c-section I was barely conscious, but a lovely nurse still wanted to attempt immediate breastfeeding. She had my husband desperately trying to latch a screaming infant onto my semi-conscious body. After many failed attempts all three of us were crying. She was the only one that would make such an effort.

We got up to the room and informed everyone that we would be breastfeeding, and since I was having such a hard time, they sent in one of their lactation consultants. After a few minutes of helping me, she informed me that my nipples were flat and I would more than likely have a hard time getting it down... and in came the cart stocked full of bottles of formula.

Oh my, I have such a hard time admitting my ignorance. Please bear with me.


Well, if the medical professionals are saying I can't do it, I must really not be able to, right? So Louis and I gave Athena the formula. No more help came. But you know what did come? Lots and lots of free formula.

After we got home Louis and I still felt like there must be a way to get Athena breastmilk. There HAD to be. So I kept pumping. And crying. And pumping. We kept fumbling toward what we felt was important: getting the milk out of these hoots!

One day while I was sitting in my bed, hooked up to my pump and crying to my husband, he exclaimed: "THERE'S MILK SQUIRTING OUT!!!" We did it. We didn't stop trying and we did it. From that day forward Athena got my milk for the next 2 1/2 years.

In that time I began blogging, using Twitter, and Facebook. I developed wonderful online relationships with women that have taught me so much about breastfeeding and supported me all along. Now I have a 6 month old, Zofia, who has always breastfed with ease. Who knew it could be so different? Not me. And I bet there are a lot of other women out there just like me. Women, that if they had those "friends" telling them that it will get better, giving them tips and a virtual shoulder to cry on, maybe we'd have more breastfeeding success stories.

Having such a huge social networking site describe a breastfeeding support page as "indecent" is such a huge setback for breastfeeding in the United States. Please join me in "liking" The Bring Back the Leaky Boob page on Facebook. Let's change the minds of all those that just plain don't understand the unbeatable benefits of breastfeeding babies.


Sassytimes said...

Wow! I can't believe (well, I can) that they would just cart formula in to you! Absurd.

I had a really hard time with S and the lactation consultant at St. V's was awesome. They never even mentioned formula to me at all with either baby. I think I would have went off on them.

It DOES help so much to have a wonderful support group. Luckily, I had several friends breastfeeding babies around the same time to give me tips and encourage me to keep it up.

I love how passionate you are about this.

Ky • said...

I'm appalled at the formula story, too. I'm telling you - the medical industry does what is easiest for them.

I remember being PARANOID that post-delivery of Lila some wayward, non-English speaking nurse was going to give her formula. (They're big on that down here, too.) It was noted in her chart NOT to. (You just reminded me that I need to make another note in Baby Girl's chart...)

(I liked the "bring back" page.)

Amen sista.

Written Permission said...

I have no thoughts or insights about breastfeeding, since I've never done it nor had the opportunity, but I just wanted to say: Bravo to you for sticking with it and not giving up, and bravo to your husband for being so supportive, too. Just bravos all around. :)

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