This real life breastfeeding story was written and shared by support group attendee Bonnie A.
Most moms that go to lactation consultants and breastfeeding support groups go because, well, something isn’t going well... I feel extraordinarily lucky that we haven’t had any issues. I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy at the end of December, and overall our breastfeeding journey has been wonderful. Not easy, but fairly uneventful. And I’d be absolutely remiss to not give credit where credit it due.
For a bit of background, I found out that I was pregnant at 25 weeks and change. That’s almost 6 months for those bad at math. I immediately knew I wanted as natural a child birth as possible, and there was no question that I’d breastfeed, as long as I was able (and for as long as I’m able). Fortunately Avalon Midwives accepted me as a new patient and quickly brought me in. That’s when I first noticed the posters for the Breastfeeding Support Group hosted by Laid Back Lactation, Wednesday afternoons at the Avalon Wellness Center. For weeks I stared at these posters, and even asked one of the midwives about it, telling her that I wanted to go at least once before the baby was born. She encouraged I go, so finally about 2 weeks before my baby was born I went. And it was just as amazing and I hoped.
I get there super early, set up an exercise ball to sit on (because at 35-ish weeks pregnant sitting on the floor was not exactly comfortable), and introduce myself to Allyson. She greets me with open arms and enthusiasm to have me with the group; I feel right at home within seconds. Fortunately for me, group was relatively small that week, and Allyson asked each person in the room to give me “one piece of advice they wish THEY received when they started their breastfeeding journey.” I still have all the notes I took that day, and they all still ring true. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Don’t beat yourself up—it won’t go as expected
- It can be hard, and it takes a lot of patience
- Ask questions and for help!
- Stay relaxed
- Nurse early and often for best milk supply
These notes became my bible. Fast forward to my labor and delivery, laying on the hospital bed with my minutes-old baby boy, and a superb midwife, doula, and nurse who helped me get a good latch, showed me different positions, and taught me the all-important sandwich technique. I get home with my bundle of joy and all is well, but I keep thinking about that support group! I referred back to my notes from that group each and every day. All I want to do is get back there ASAP. So at 12 days old, I load him up for our first big adventure! Since that week, I’ve attended almost every Wednesday group—even one via a video conference call because we got snowed out!
I am beyond thankful for the community that Allyson, Elizabeth, and Jen have created through this group. I am beyond thankful for the knowledge they share, and the space they hold to allow us to share. And most important, I am beyond thankful for the simple emotional support they, and the community at large, supply. There are tears, there are laughs, there are smiles, and there are rants. No topic is off limits, and everyone—no matter their journey—is welcome.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you!