Breastfeeding Truly Takes a Village!

A few months ago, we sent out a Call for Breastfeeding Stories.  Our desire was to flood the Internet with beautiful breastfeeding stories of triumph, overcoming challenges and struggles, and positive outcomes, regardless of the total amount of milk a mom was producing.  We are thrilled to share these stories with you, our readers, and hope that they offer support and inspiration for you, wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey. 

Thank you to all of the mothers who submitted their stories!  If after you read these memoirs you are inspired to submit your story, feel free to send it to RobinKaplan@sdbfc.com.    

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This Breastfeeding Memoir is from Natalie.

Before my son was even born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed him. I attended multiple classes on breastfeeding, stocked up on nursing pads, nipple butter, and felt as prepared as I could be prior to his arrival. After a precipitous labor/delivery, he ended up being born in front of the hospital! One benefit was that I got to hold him immediately, so we had lots of skin to skin time which was emphasized in the classes. We tried breastfeeding within one hour of his birth, and he immediately latched! We had a lactation consultant visit at the hospital, and she said everything looked great! I even scheduled my first lactation appointment at SD Breastfeeding Center when my son was 4 days old. We weren't having issues, but I quickly learned that breastfeeding my son was way different than the practice doll we used in the class! During that visit, I learned my son had lip and tongue ties. Nobody else evaluated him for these, but being tongue tied myself it didn't come as much of a surprise. Fortunately, he was transferring well and the ties did not seem to be interfering with his feeding.

Fast forward 2 weeks, and my son was not at his birth weight. He was feeding for over an hour, falling asleep, and seemed very irritable and unhappy. As a new mom, I assumed this was normal. I pushed on for another week and then decided to schedule another visit with the LC for an evaluation. There, I did a weighted feed and learned that he wasn't transferring effectively. The LC explained how he was being restricted by his lip and tongue ties, and this could potentially decrease my supply. She recommended I consider a release of his ties, so I immediately called a provider and had them addressed the next day.

I read how many mothers noticed instant results and symptom relief post release. I didn't notice immediate results, but was confident that things would improve over the next few weeks. When they didn't, I followed up with Melanie, our LC. She assessed him and noticed that he still seemed restricted, wasn't transferring adequately, and recommended we take him for body work. Due to his poor weight gain (6 oz in 2 weeks) she taught me how to use my breast pump and implement an SNS (supplemental nursing system). She also recommended a galactagogue supplement. Things weren't moving in the direction I wanted, but I was committed to do everything I could to continue breastfeeding.

At this point, I was feeling very defeated and inadequate. I felt like I was doing everything I could, and was so sad that my little baby was not growing at the rate he should. My pregnancy and delivery were so natural and without issue that I naively thought breastfeeding would follow. I called my sister in law, who happens to be a breastfeeding mother.  She immediately came over with galactagogue-rich foods and tea, and even pumped for my son while I built up my supply!

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After additional LC visits, support groups, and the implementation of bodywork, I made the decision to have a second release for my son. Even though we are still post op and performing stretches, I already am seeing results. My son is happier, and I no longer have to use the SNS system. I have a nice freezer stash of my milk, and he is thriving with weight gain. He's not even three months old, so I don't know how this journey will end. I do know, however, that I'll do everything I can to preserve our nursing relationship. Without the help of multiple providers, I'm not sure where we would be. "It takes a village" is such an appropriate phrase for this season of my life. I am so thankful to live in a community that has SO much support for breastfeeding mothers.

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Help Us Make A Difference on Giving Tuesday!

Happy #GivingTuesday!

 

Breastfeeding is not always easy!  Having personally experienced breastfeeding challenges with both of my kids, I know firsthand how critical breastfeeding support is for a mom in those first few weeks after her baby is born.  Critical, both physically and emotionally.

No mother should struggle with feeding her baby.  That is why I give. - Robin

No mother should struggle with feeding her baby.  That is why I give. - Robin

Join me in helping local low-income women gain access to critical breastfeeding support on this #GivingTuesday.

Wondering how to do this?

We are asking you to help us #SupportSDMoms by donating your weekly coffee money!  It’s that simple!  If everyone on this email list donated $10-$20 today, the amount they would spend at a coffee shop this week, we would be able to raise over $40,000 on #GivingTuesday.  

Can you help us reach this goal?

All you have to do is click on this Paypal link to donate this week’s coffee allowance and help bring affordable breastfeeding support to hundreds of local low-income moms.

After a fairly smooth pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding presented me with the greatest challenges in my journey to motherhood. Tula had a tongue tie that caused her latch to be shallow and excruciatingly painful for me. After the revision, she had trouble re-learning how to latch with the new mobility and ended up losing nearly a whole pound one week postpartum. That's when Robin and the team at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center swooped in to the rescue. Realizing our baby had been starving, we were wrought with concern and exhaustion.  Robin was kind, supportive, and professional. She came to our home and was affordable, which was such a relief! She created a plan with us and she reassured us that we could reach our goals and get our baby healthy. Five months later and we are going strong halfway towards our goal! Robin remains an essential source of support and guidance. Having access to these invaluable services, at the incredibly reasonable price point of $25, made all the difference. -Lauren

After a fairly smooth pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding presented me with the greatest challenges in my journey to motherhood. Tula had a tongue tie that caused her latch to be shallow and excruciatingly painful for me. After the revision, she had trouble re-learning how to latch with the new mobility and ended up losing nearly a whole pound one week postpartum. That's when Robin and the team at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center swooped in to the rescue.

Realizing our baby had been starving, we were wrought with concern and exhaustion.  Robin was kind, supportive, and professional. She came to our home and was affordable, which was such a relief! She created a plan with us and she reassured us that we could reach our goals and get our baby healthy.

Five months later and we are going strong halfway towards our goal! Robin remains an essential source of support and guidance. Having access to these invaluable services, at the incredibly reasonable price point of $25, made all the difference.

-Lauren

DID YOU KNOW….

  • While 93% of moms start breastfeeding exclusively at birth in San Diego, only 56% continue doing so at 3 months, largely due to a lack of access to ongoing lactation support.

  • Lack of financial resources is reported as one of the main barriers for women to receive qualified breastfeeding support to help feed their babies.

Please join us today, on Giving Tuesday, to help more local families like Lauren's gain access to critical breastfeeding support!

To donate to the San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation, please send checks to:

San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation (3355 4th Ave., San Diego, CA 92103)

Or 

READ THIS BEFORE YOU SHOP ON AMAZON FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Did you know that you can donate to the San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation with every purchase you make through Amazon?

 

You can help low-income women gain access to critical breastfeeding support just by purchasing Amazon items online, just by shopping through smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com!

We are asking you to take 60 seconds of your time today to designate the San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation as your charitable recipient for Amazon Smile.  All you have to do is go to their website (smile.amazon.com) and choose the San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation as your Amazon Smile recipient.  Or you can click on our direct charity link (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/81-1935497) Then as you make your holiday purchases through the Amazon Smile website (as well as your staples of diapers, nipple cream, baby toys, book, etc), the SDBFC Foundation will receive 0.5% of every purchase, at no extra cost to you.  This money will go directly to paying for lactation consultations for families in need.


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My baby boy was not able to nurse so I chose to exclusively pump for him.  I was struggling with it and Robin came highly recommended to me. Our consultation was great! She really listened to my concerns and was so kind and gentle. She has supported us on our pumping journey and baby has only had breastmilk for 7 months now! Giving my baby the best nutrition was my #1 goal as a new mom and with the help of San Diego Breastfeeding Center it was possible!!! The reduced-rate consultation program they have in place made it very affordable for us. If it wasn't for this program, I'm sure we would not have made it this far. I'm so grateful to be nourishing my child and helping him be incredibly healthy!

Janis


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Amazon Smile Details:

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

To donate to the San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation directly, you can send a check to:

San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation

3355 4th Ave.

San Diego, CA 92103

Or donate through paypal.

Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction - A Memoir

A few months ago, we sent out a Call for Breastfeeding Stories.  Our desire was to flood the Internet with beautiful breastfeeding stories of triumph, overcoming challenges and struggles, and positive outcomes, regardless of the total amount of milk a mom was producing.  We are thrilled to share these stories with you, our readers, and hope that they offer support and inspiration for you, wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey. 

Thank you to all of the mothers who submitted their stories!  If after you read these memoirs you are inspired to submit your story, feel free to send it to RobinKaplan@sdbfc.com.    

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This breastfeeding memoir is from Jenna.

Ten years ago, eighteen-year-old Jenna was bouncing between San Diego and Los Angeles counties looking for a plastic surgeon. They had to be willing to do a keyhole incision and leave my nipple attached while they performed a bilateral breast reduction. I was a senior in high school and had my breast reduction surgery during spring break. 

Fast forward six years. I find out I'm pregnant the day my boyfriend gets to Djibouti, Africa, where he'll be deployed for the next 7 months. I sought out a natural birth provider in my network after reading the book, Defining your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction Surgery by Diana West. In this book, it encouraged mothers to birth as naturally as possible for the best chance at breastfeeding after a reduction and this book had become like a Bible for me, so I followed its every recommendation. After finding midwives, a doula and a baby-friendly hospital, I looked for an IBCLC and a Breastfeeding 101 class. I knew I needed to be prepared or I would succumb to all of the "boobie traps" within the first few days. My daughter was born on the much later end of normal, well past 42 weeks, was 9lbs 11oz at birth, and was born with a tongue tie and upper lip tie. I was given hell at the hospital for not wanting to give her formula, after requesting several times to be seen by the in-house IBCLC. The nurses and pediatricians said they'd never seen a mother be able to exclusively breastfeed after a reduction and feared that I wouldn't feed my baby because of my determination to nurse. 

At 6 weeks old, my daughter was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies making even allergen-free, prescription-only formula not an option. The first six weeks I pumped after every feeding.  My husband spoon-fed, finger-fed, syringe-fed, cup-fed, & I used an SNS. At our 2 month pediatrician appointment, our doctor told me to quit trying and that what we were doing wasn't sustainable. I sought out chiropractic care, craniosacral therapy, multiple tongue tie revisions, continuous IBCLC care, breastfeeding support groups, homeopathic remedies, acupuncture, removed all allergens from my diet, quit my job, and somehow decided, breastfeeding was worth it all. From eight weeks old, we exclusively nursed through recurring tongue ties, vasospasms, low milk supply, mastitis, severe food allergies, thrush, and an abscess, for over 3 years, through a pregnancy and tandem nursing for a year and a half. Her younger sister is 28 months and we don't see an end in sight. 

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We Were Not Meant to Mother Alone

A few months ago, we sent out a Call for Breastfeeding Stories.  Our desire was to flood the Internet with beautiful breastfeeding stories of triumph, overcoming challenges and struggles, and positive outcomes, regardless of the total amount of milk a mom was producing.  We are thrilled to share these stories with you, our readers, and hope that they offer support and inspiration for you, wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey. 

Thank you to all of the mothers who submitted their stories!  If after you read these memoirs you are inspired to submit your story, feel free to send it to RobinKaplan@sdbfc.com.    

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Our first breastfeeding memoir is from Michelle.

I booked at least 2 vacations for my maternity leave, all on airplanes. I was going to wear my baby everywhere, nursing her as we went along. I had the organic breast pads purchased, all the nursing tanks, and the most breastfeeding-friendly bottles, but of course I wouldn’t need those for at least several months. I would see Mamas nursing their babes at the beach and I would find myself staring as I daydreamed about my nursling that was to come. December 2013, my sweet baby girl arrived.  She latched and we were a nursing team. 24hrs later I was told she was Coombs positive and her jaundice levels were high. She was sleepy, was losing too much weight and I needed to give her formula in a bottle. I cried lots of tears. "FORMULA? No way!", but I had no other options. Every time I fed her, and I wouldn’t let anyone else feed her.  I felt awful and felt like I was letting her down. 7 days later I was told, "your daughter is failure to thrive". Queue more tears, more formula, more guilt, and not a lot of milk being produced from me. 

Over the next month, my journey consisted of doctors’ visits, pumping 8x a day, a baby screaming at the breast due to bottle preference and low supply, tube feeding, domperidone, and yet my milk never fully came in. 5 weeks in, a friend asked me to go to a breastfeeding support group.  I went and hoped no one would notice me feeding formula to my sweet baby who wouldn't latch more than 5 minutes. Everyone noticed, yet no one judged me. 

3 months in, at the Breastfeeding Support group that I now attended weekly, a Mama who I hardly knew asked if I wanted her to pump for me, and then another offered to help, as well. This would begin my donor milk journey, and a mental shift in my head that allowed me to stop seeing what I wasn't capable of, and start enjoying the beauty that came from a community that would end up feeding both of my babes! I threw away my pumping and tube feeding schedule right along with the lies that told me I wasn't enough because I couldn't get my body to do what I needed to do to fully feed my baby. We kept nursing as much as possible until 10 months and she got half formula and half donor milk. 

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A few months later, I was pregnant with my son. After my prenatal appointment at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center, I got permission from my doctor to start hand expressing at 37 weeks to collect colostrum to give my baby in the hospital through syringe feeding at the breast to help flush any jaundice he would have since he would be Coombs positive, as well. I started to collect donor milk and I had a community that donated enough breastmilk to supply him 9 full months as I only provided him about 30% of his needs with my own supply. He was born and I had a tiny bit more milk and a lot more confidence. I knew that no matter what, a nourished baby is a loved baby. I knew now that if I needed to give formula, I wasn't less of a mother.  If I fed my baby pumped milk, donated milk, only could nurse a few times a day, used a cover, didn't use a cover, nursed for 3 months or nursed for 3 years, no matter what, I WAS ENOUGH. Even after a 6 day stay in the hospital for his Coombs, a tongue and lip tie revision, and a micro supply, we nursed for 10 months with donor milk through the SNS tube feeding at the breast. We then fed formula in a bottle and nursed as often as he wanted. He nursed until 16 months. 

Today I am working towards my IBCLC, because of the non-judgmental support I received from the San Diego Breastfeeding Center community. They didn't sprinkle magic fairy breastfeeding dust on me that fixed all issues, but they gave me a plan that was doable. They gave me tools to accomplish the goals I set for myself.  They gave me hope and they provided me with a community that was there to cheer me on. When I think about my breastfeeding journey, it is less about feeding my children, and more about the discovery that we Mamas cannot mother alone; we were never intended to do so. It takes a village to raise a baby, and for me, it took a village to feed mine. I am forever grateful. 

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