The holidays are very stressful times with a newborn.
Becky Ramsdell is a Peoria, Arizona woman who is now a mom of two after going through 10 years of infertility and failed adoptions in the process of building their family. She had struggles with breastfeeding both of her babies but was ultimately able to work through those struggles and nurse each of them for their first year. She went back to work when each of them was 3 months old, so there was a lot of pumping and milk freezing involved. Now she loves to share her story of hope and encouragement with other moms who are facing similar challenges with establishing nursing with their babies
Having worked with moms during 20 something holiday seasons, I have a pretty good idea about how stressful this time of year can be for you. On the one hand, when you realized you were going to give birth around holiday time, you had daydreams of how wonderful it would be to spend your baby’s first holiday season with friends and family. This evokes all warm and fuzzy feelings and excitement. This is absolutely true, it can be warm and fuzzy and so exciting. It also has a strong tendency to be anywhere between just a little bit stressful to kind of sort but doable stress and all the way to: this is so stressful I just can’t wait for all of this to be over.
Lori talks about the fact that breastfeeding should not be painful. She talks about this a lot in her daily work. It is her working mantra: If breastfeeding is hurting on Day 1, something is not right. If breastfeeding is hurting on Day 2, something is not right. And if breastfeeding is hurting on Day 3, something is definitely not right and I urge you to seek professional help right away. This is her daily mantra to mothers, she says it many times a week. Lori has it on her website. What Lori really would like to do is put it on every billboard, along every highway, in every town. What Lori would like to do is put this mantra on her back car window shield. She would like for this to be handed out to every mother in every childbirth education and breastfeeding class. When you enter the halls of the maternity unit or your birthing center or on the literature that your OBs and midwives give you, it would be great if this was in big bold letters: “Breastfeeding is not suppose to hurt“. Her family hears her say this ad nauseum and she knows they are bored of hearing her say it. The BIG problem is, that 30 years later, Lori continues to meet with moms on a regular basis and it continues to astound her how frequently mothers are given the wrong information. Download this episode to hear the full show.
All infants in need deserve to have human milk. Our most smallest and sickest of babies need to have donor milk to help them get the best start in life. Donor milk will help dramatically reduce the risk of succumbing to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which is a really bad infection that causes their gut to slough off and die. Premies are more susceptible to this then full term babies. The reason donor milk is often needed for these babies is because their moms have not gone through the full 40 weeks gestation. This time period allows their mammary glands to prepare for milk production. Between the early birth and the stress associated with it, some moms just don't have milk available for their baby - just yet.
Come along with me for this ride on the colostrum train and you are going to see exactly why we get so excited about this life giving substance that is all part of human milk that newborns receive. By the time we are done here today, you are going to be as equally excited about colostrum and its benefits to newborns. You will understand why physicians are doing whatever they possible can to ensure that all newborns received colostrum, and in particular our most vulnerable sick and/or premature newborns have colostrum.
Julie Bouchet-Horwitz is a nurse practitioner and international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). She is the founder and Executive Director of The New York Milk Bank and has a private practice specializing in breastfeeding in Irvington, NY. She formed a team of 5 women who over 3 years developed the New York Milk Bank which officially opened its doors two weeks ago in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York . The New York Milk Bank will provide safely pasteurized donor human milk to premature and sick babies in hospitals and in the community throughout New York State and beyond.
Most mothers whose hormones are in the proper balance and who have normal breast development during puberty and pregnancy, will make plenty of milk for their baby. Despite all their best efforts, there will be some mothers who will struggle with supply. I find that most mothers I work with, who struggle with supply, well they actually have one or more potential risk factors for low supply, however, they were just not made aware of it. There are some very real factors that can put you at risk for not making enough milk and some you can know ahead of time and others take you by surprise.