Over the next few weeks we will be sharing stories of triumphant breastfeeding mamas and their biggest supporters who helped them reach their personal breastfeeding goals. If you would like to share your breastfeeding story and thank your biggest breastfeeding cheerleaders, check out the details in our recent blog article.
Here is Stephanie's story.
It has truly taken a village to help me be successful in nursing both of my babies! I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but, after the birth of my first son, my passion and commitment to it were a surprise to even me. I was also caught extremely off-guard by the difficulties both of my boys encountered as we began our breastfeeding journeys together. Tongue ties, lip ties, low weight gain, low supply, poor latch, pain/cracking/bleeding, overactive letdown, and more were all hurdles we had to cross. There is absolutely NO way I could have made it to 13 months formula-free with my first son and still going strong and formula-free at 6 months with my second without these amazing people.
My husband! My passion and commitment to breastfeed my babies surprised him also, but he never questioned it and stood by me no matter what decisions I made! He became just as committed and passionate about it, knowing it was the best thing we could do for our boys. He came to appointments, helped get the baby latched on time after time, stood up for me when others questioned why I didn’t just quit, and let me cry when it all just became too much! He has truly been my rock through all of this, and I can sense his gratitude for the sacrifices I have made to give our boys this amazing gift!
My Lactation Consultants! Four different lactation consultants have come alongside my babies and me in our journey together. Every single one of them encouraged me that I could do it when the hurdles seemed insurmountable. They provided a listening, sympathetic ear when I just needed to vent or cry or talk it out. They provided help, advice, referrals, and life-changing solutions that kept us going!
My tribe of other breastfeeding Mamas! Friends I have known since childhood, friends I’ve made in recent years, and people I met through the breastfeeding process made it all possible - others who had or were experiencing some of the same challenges, some who didn’t have trouble but believed just as passionately in the benefits of breastfeeding, some who visited, some who called, and one who even created an on-line community to connect us all! There were many people in my life who didn’t understand why I didn’t give up when they saw the emotional and physical toll it was taking on me, but these other Mamas got it! They knew why I couldn’t quit, why no challenge was too big!
My virtual breastfeeding community! Although I will never meet most of these women in person, the support, advice, commiseration, and encouragement they have provided have truly been critical! To be able to jump online in the middle of the night when it just seemed like I couldn’t do it and have others on there to tell me that, yes, I could do it got me through many rough moments! They have calmed nerves, answered questions, given virtual hugs, and just been an amazing support system!
My babies! Even from the very start and even in the face of all of our challenges, my babies have always loved nursing! They didn’t quit so there was no way I could!