This is the second post from Jenn, (she also wrote the NIP post.) She will be the main blogger at Nursing Mothers Welcome. Jenn will be speaking to you about her personal breastfeeding journey and about news and events that relate to the mission of Nursing Mothers Welcome.
Our Mission is to have breastfeeding become more accepted and respected world wide by showing images of discrete breastfeeding so that future generations grow up knowing that breastfeeding can be done anytime and anywhere.
It was the week before Mother’s day 2012. I had a positive pregnancy test. I could hardly believe it. “This might actually happen for us after all,” I thought as I ran to show my husband of 7 years. After a few much-needed confirmations from bloodwork to early sonograms, we were on our way to parenthood, due January 15, 2013. It took us over three years to have a successful pregnancy. As the baby and I grew, my husband and I would talk about our plans for the future and how we would raise this child. The thing at the top of my mind was breastfeeding. I would think how wonderful it would be if I could breastfeed successfully. Whenever people would ask me if I plan to breastfeed I would reply that I would at least try but there was this seed of doubt in my mind about it. I only knew what my mother told me of her experience with breastfeeding me and my sister. I found in my baby book that my mother kept at day 3 after I was born she started me on formula. She told me that she could not breastfeed. She was so afraid I was not getting enough so she fed me a formula that way she knew I was at least getting fed. I assumed that maybe it was something inherited that I would most likely fail at breastfeeding too. I did not take into consideration that my mother may not have had a whole lot of positive breastfeeding support and encouragement at that time. I was looking at an article in the journal of nutrition called The Resurgence of Breastfeeding at the End of the Second Millenium by Anne L.Wright and Richard J. Schanler. They cited from studies conducted in 1972 (in the era when I was born) showed that initiation to breastfeeding was on its way up to around 55%, however mothers that continued to breastfeed into the 6 months mark dipped to a low of around 23%.http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/2/421S.short#sec-1Numbers are showing now that with more support and education regarding the benefits of breastmilk in 2009 the CDC surveys show that 76.9% of mothers initiated breastfeeding and at the 6 month mark 47.2% had continued to breastfeed. My husband was my first and most important line of support. He reminded me not to set myself up for failure before I even started. If I am to succeed I need to think positive right now so as my pregnancy went on I began to proudly state that, Yes I AM going to breastfeed this child. I believe in the importance of breastfeeding to give my child her best start. I learned that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of diarrhea, asthma and ear infections as well as reduce the risk for obesity and diabetes. Even more, I was surprised to learn about the benefits breastfeeding has for the mother too! Breastfeeding enhances mood, helps you to bond with your baby, it burns 500 calories a day and reduces a mother’s risk for certain types of breast cancer because breastfeeding brings a woman’s breast into full maturity. I was armed and ready to go! Once my baby, Francesca Rose, made her appearance four days early on January 11, the hospital encouraged me to have her latch on as soon as possible. There was a lactation consultant available, the nurses helped us and the hospital encourages the mothers to have the babies room in. My doula, who was a successful mother of 3 breastfed babies, came to check on us once we were home. She was a huge influence in my life as I had watched her start her own family before we even got started. She offered me some wonderful advice so as to not feel so overwhelmed. She said the job of feeding the baby is a top priority and it will take a lot out of me, so do like the baby does- Sleep, eat, feed, change a diaper and nothing else matters. Stay on the couch and let my husband take care of me and the menial household chores. Whenever I was unsure of something or just needed encouragement I had a number of resources to turn to for help from doulas, and other mom’s, to my husband, lactation consultants, and the web. It really does take a village, ya know, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. I cannot say enough about having a doula or a lactation consultant to turn to. Included is a link to Doulas of the Hudson Valley http://www.doulasofthehudsonvalley.com/our-doulas.html and breastfeeding resources from the Breastfeeding Initiative of Ulster County http://breastfeedingulstercounty.wordpress.com/ucbf-resources/lactation-consultant/