Authored by: Sarah Coffin, Owner of Tulsa Family Doulas
Bringing Baby Home
I remember bringing home my daughter and thinking that it was ridiculous that the hospital would just let me leave with her. I had never parented anything more than 2 dogs and a cat. There wasn't much concern on how to make sure those animals stayed happy and alive. Food, water, go outside, throw the ball, and scoop the poop. Ta-da!
But, a child. Oh gosh, the overwhelming, "How am I not supposed to screw this up?" enveloped my every interaction with her. One of the biggest points of fear with her was how in the world was I going to learn how to breastfeed? I went to the breastfeeding class the hospital offered, and watched them shove a felt breast into the puppet-like mouth of a fake baby and thought that was about all there was to it.
No Example For Me
There weren't that many women around me that successfully nursed their babies. I had just quit working a full-time job and I was thrust into the new-stay-at-home mommy world of loneliness. I was sold on nursing in public but was downright panicky when it came to actually doing it, so I would retreat to solitude whenever she got hungry. And that added solitude of isolation was very difficult to bear.
Not Growing and Being Alone
Not very far behind that isolation came the numerous weight checks at the pediatrician's offices and the internal concern; what if I don't have enough milk to feed my baby? The pediatrician didn't think that it was a big deal to recommend supplementing with formula after nursing "just to see if she was still hungry," and in hopes that she could pack on the pounds. I nodded my head in obedience only to sob after she left the room. And then came the pumping, and the SNS, and the bottles, and the hospital lactation consultant visits, and more weight checks. And more tears.
I Need Help Breastfeeding
What I didn't know how say to anyone apart from my husband was, I need help breastfeeding. And I didn't even know how to say that to him beyond just crying.
The stress of the influences from everyone else about how I should feed my baby or feel about feeding her were too much to bear. I didn't know about in-home lactation consultants or postpartum doulas and I stopped nursing far sooner than I wanted. Now, the week before her 10th birthday, I still tear up when I think about how much struggling with nursing my daughter hurts a little even to this day.
If you find yourself struggling with breastfeeding, know that there is local breastfeeding support available. We have two Lactation Consultants and an International Board Certified Lactation Counselor that are ready and so excited to help you and your baby thrive with breastfeeding. They will come to your home, where you are most relaxed and comfortable, and get you on the right track for meeting your nursing goals. We also have a breastfeeding class that is scheduled every other month to help you get started well.
Contact us and we will help you get the breastfeeding support you need. You are most definitely not alone.