The First Few Weeks: Jennifer’s Story

In our series, “Mom’s Story,” members of our community share snapshots of their real, personal journeys through motherhood. Every story is different. We ask all members to be respectful in their comments on these posts. Offensive or disparaging remarks will not be tolerated.

My message to new moms is that everyday gets a little bit easier.  On July 9th, I went into labor and 30 hours later William (Billy) was born.  I was so in love with this little man and also full of fear since I was now responsible for another human being.  In the delivery room he latched right on and started breastfeeding.  I had no idea what I was doing since all the info I had learned at my breastfeeding class at the hospital vanished from my brain.  I had some help from the lactation consultants at the hospital, but it was still hard.  It was painful and I was so stressed that he wasn’t nursing long enough on each side. Was he getting enough milk? Was I feeding him often enough? The worries were endless.

Once I got home, I was even more insecure and anxious.  I had gone from a full-time job where I worked 9-10 hour days to being at home with the baby.  I knew I would be breastfeeding, but I had no idea what that really entailed.  It is a 24/7 job.  The hardest job I have ever done.  I had an “oversupply” issue which some might think is great, but is actually very painful. I had no idea how to handle it, nurse comfortably and get my baby to effectively latch.  I voiced my concerns to our pediatrician and she recommended Linda.  I am so glad that I called her!

She came over the next day with all of her gear.  She took her time and showed me how to get Billy to latch and how to best position him for feeding.  She even weighed him in between nursing sessions to see how much milk he was ingesting.  My fears were laid to rest and from that day forward breastfeeding got easier each day.  I gained confidence that I could do this.  I even sent Linda some follow-up e-mails. I got a clogged duct and was walked through how to handle that and how to manage my oversupply.  I am so thankful for her support.

I think the hardest part was the sleep deprivation.  It really took its toll on me in the first month.  In the past week, Billy has been sleeping 6 hours straight at night!  I still get up to pump, but getting a longer stretch of sleep has been amazing.

Being up at all hours of the night led me to Googling a lot about breastfeeding and pumping.  There is a lot of incorrect and biased information out there.  My advice is to speak with family, friends and professionals (Linda!)  that you trust.  Ask questions and remember that you don’t have to do it alone.  I realized that everybody and every baby is different.  Billy takes 10-15 minutes max to nurse and I used to stress that it wasn’t long enough, but he is gaining weight and getting exactly what he needs.  I have learned to trust my instincts and do what is right for me and my baby.

Need more support during the tough first few weeks with a newborn? Reach out to one of the healthcare professionals on our team for more personalized care for you and your new baby.

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