I have had the opportunity to witness first hand how birth impacts early breastfeeding. Observing mothers in hospitals, birthing centers and at homebirths has been quite eye opening to me. I have attended these births as a friend, as a birth doula and as a lactation consultant. I have witnessed first hand, many of the situations that Mary talks about in her book. Today, I would like to highlight one very important area that I feel we are still lacking in and that doesn't get enough attention
Jennifer Gaskill is a former teacher now works in instructional design. She lives with her husband and beautiful 10-month-old baby boy in Florida She is also an aspiring blogger of One Working Mommy, where she writes about new mom life and what's it like to be a full-time working mom. She recently weaned after 9 months of breastfeeding 6 of which were spent exclusively pumping.
Kristine Keller, BS, IBCLC owns a private practice in Austin, TX and it is called Operation Lactation. She has been an IBCLC since 2010. Kristine is married with 2 mostly breastmilk fed boys. She tells us that she had a miserable time breastfeeding. It was hard for her and her two babies. She became an IBCLC to help others prevent the same struggles that she endured. Kristine left her employment in aviation to pursue a career in lactation. She now teaches prenatal classes and provides in home postpartum consultations.
Christine wonders why we are so afraid to be vulnerable. It seems moms need permission to have a different breastfeeding experience. While we don't think they need our permission, it seems that moms have such guilt that having an experienced lactation consultant tell them that it there situation is difficult. It is okay if things are not going as planned. This is hard. And it is okay if you aren't exclusively breastfeeding.
We are talking about how interventions that happen during your birth can directly or indirectly affect breastfeeding in the early days. We are talking about the choices that are made during your labor and birth
Joanna Wilder RN, BSN, LM, CPM has been practicing “good birth” for 25 years. As a nurse Joanna started out in an inner city Phoenix hospital in 1990. Three years gave her a good foundation in Labor and Delivery, Nursery and Postpartum. Next, she helped create Bethany Birth Center. For fourteen years, she had the privilege to work as a nurse in the birth center, led a unique childbirth education program, and served as a community liaison orienting women to birth choices in AZ. This birth center closed in 2007. In November 2006, she began to work toward her licensure as a midwife. In May 2010, she was licensed as a midwife in AZ and completed her national certification or CPM in April of 2011. Joanna has been involved in grass roots community development in inner city Phoenix for 25 years. She works with a teen mom program in “the neighborhood”, and also with a breastfeeding grant program bringing support to Hispanic moms. She is passionate about helping women learn to trust their bodies. One of her passions, birthed from her own story, is walking with women as they heal from childhood sexual abuse. Joanna believes that the birth space is “holy ground”. Breastfeeding creates a powerful space for attachment and bonding to occur, and for mothers to reclaim their bodies, and their stories.