Breastfeeding Support Stories

We regularly feature stories on how grandparents and other family members play a role in supporting breastfeeding moms. We want to acknowledge the support that grandparents, neighbours, and partners provide new breastfeeding moms. Do you have a story/photograph to share about how your family/friends have helped to make your breastfeeding easier? Share your breastfeeding support story by submitting it to breastfeeding@huroncounty.ca.

Nicole M’s Breastfeeding Story

One thing I learned with my first child was no one ever tells you how hard breast feeding can really be. I struggled a lot with my son with infections that we could not get cleared up. I went to the breast feeding clinics for support when finally things clicked for my son and he started to feed better, however he struggled with low birth weight until about 9 months. We managed to breast feed until 10 months. We also supplemented.

Now with my second it was starting to go bad like it did with my son, I went to my sister for support. She has a 12 month old, she gave me so much support, she helped me with different positions to try with my daughter and really made sure I was comfortable so it wasn’t hurting while feeding. She would always call me to make sure everything was going OK.

My daughter is now 3 months old and nursing is going Amazing! She is being exclusively breast fed and gaining weight at a normal rate! It makes me feel so happy knowing she is doing great and I truly believe she is a happier baby because breast feeding is going so well! I owe it all to my sister for being very supportive from day one to help us get on track!

Nicole Murray

Laura M’s Breastfeeding Story

I just wanted to take a quick moment to write in about my best friend who was the most supportive and helpful friend to me in the early days that my baby was home…

It was about day 2 or 3 when my BFF came by the house, popped in for a mere 5 minutes, and proceeded to fill my freezer with muffins, lasagna, garlic bread, pot pies and quiche. Then off she went, out to her car with another load to bring in. This time: frozen pads, regular pads, diapers, baby clothes that her son had outgrown and I could borrow for the wee time my little guy would fit in to them too, and so much more. A survival kit for MOM!! Oh, how I ADORED this. She didn’t come to see the baby or stay for an uncomfortably long time…. She simply came to tend to the things I needed most (even asked if I needed laundry or dishes done as she was bopping around the house, putting everything away for me). She simply came, helped with all the non-baby things that were stressing me… like dinner and my sore bottom…. And said she would be by to visit with the baby in a few days when things settled down.

Although I yearned for her to hold my new babe, that 5 minute visit was one visit in those early days that sticks out to me the most. It is now 13 months since my little one was a newborn and I just finished making a batch of those muffins she brought to me in those first days because every time I eat one, the warm fuzzes return of all the amazing things she did for me in that time.

My then, and my now, biggest breastfeeding supporter! J THANK YOU!!!!!

 

Tara L’s Breastfeeding Story

breastfeeding-story-Tara I didn’t grow up in Huron County, but after living here for 8 years, meeting my husband, getting married and having a baby, I now call Huron County my home!

From the beginning I was determined to breastfeed for at least the first 6 months. It was definitely hard at first – difficulty latching, 5-hour long cluster feeding sessions, constant worry that my baby wasn’t getting enough milk – I was ready to give up a number of times, but I persevered thanks to the help of the nurses at the Huron County Health Unit and a local lactation consultant.

Nurses at the Health Unit followed up with me by phone after I had my baby. They talked me through some of the challenges I was having, and reassured me that things were going well. They even offered to visit me at my home. I also visited a lactation consultant in Goderich on a few occasions, and she helped me with baby’s latch, ensured me that my baby was getting enough milk since he was gaining weight very well, and that the long cluster feeding sessions were absolutely normal. I exclusively breastfed my baby until he was 6 months old – he is now almost 8 months old, and I still breastfeed, pump breast milk, and supplement with some formula. I am happy that I was able to give my baby the benefits of breast milk, and that I ended up sticking with it after all.

Although I didn’t grow up here, and my family support isn’t nearby, I have really benefited from some of the wonderful resources that are available here in Huron County

Jennifer C’s Breastfeeding Story

Grandmother holding baby with older sibling at side.My breastfeeding journey began 14 years ago with the birth of my daughter Elizabeth. I can recall telling myself during our prenatal class that breastfeeding would be no problem. I was sure it would just happen “naturally.”

We lived in St. Catharines then and my parents made the few hour trip to our house when it was time. I had a home birth with two midwives, my husband, and my mom attending. And my dad hung out in the backyard most of the time. Elizabeth nursed very well in the hours immediately after her birth. She slept a great deal that first night though and in the morning it seemed like she had forgotten how to breastfeed.

We continued to have challenges for several weeks, and it was one of the most difficult times of my life. If it were not for the people around me, the midwives, my husband, and my mom, I would have certainly given up. I didn’t give up, and we ended up breastfeeding until she was almost two years old. It is one of my most memorable and significant achievements.

I remember my mom being my side during this difficult time, encouraging me, telling me I wasn’t a failure, drying my tears, and just being there for me through the hormonal ups and downs. She had not breastfed and I think she felt that she wasn’t much help as she didn’t know technically how to help me. But it meant a great deal just to have her there encouraging me, helping around the house, and most importantly, not telling me to just go and get some formula.

My mom supported me through two more breastfed babies, one of them still breastfeeding at 18 months. She knows how important it is to me, and she knows how challenging it can be.  She has never questioned my decision to breastfeed on demand nor to extend breastfeeding beyond one year. I think she has learned as much as I have over the years about breastfeeding and is happy to share what she has learned with any mom who might ask. Thank you Mom!

Jennifer Cox, Clinton

Shalena R’s Breastfeeding Story

image1The person who has been key to making breastfeeding our daughter (Paisley) a success is my husband, Kody. From day one, Kody has been supportive and encouraging.

At the hospital, Paisley had difficulty latching and was struggling to nurse. This was very frustrating, as it was really important to us that our baby is breastfed. I had to express colostrum/breastmilk and use tubing to feed the expressed milk to Paisley while nursing. This was awkward, difficult and exhausting. Kody always stayed with me while I was nursing and helped anyway he could. Kody encouraged me to keep trying to nurse and not give up; his kinds words and comforting nature helped me so much as I was feeling very frustrated and really overwhelmed.

Since we have been home from the hospital, nursing has become easier but there are still days when Paisley doesn’t nurse well. Kody continues to have a positive attitude and reminds me how far we have come, and reassures me that Paisley and I both doing great! His support in our choice to breastfeed has made the difficult days much easier, and his help during nursing is wonderful. Kody is always there to lend a helping hand while I’m nursing; whether it’s helping Paisley and I get comfortable, getting me a snack or drink, or getting a blanket for Paisley. He also cares for our dog so that I can focus on nursing and give my attention to Paisley. I can always count on him to make things as easy as possible for me to nurse.

We just reached month five of exclusively breastfeeding, and are excited that our first milestone of exclusively breastfeeding till six months is almost here! Kody supports my goal of breastfeeding passed twelve months of age and into toddlerhood, so we are excited to see what our future of breastfeeding holds for our family!

Thank you for holding this great contest!

Shalena Reid

Lindsay G’s Breastfeeding Story

Capture I was fortunate enough to have a variety of support persons with breastfeeding our first child this summer.

Once I was home from the hospital after some personal complications, the health unit called to check in and I explained that breast feeding was a bit of a struggle. My baby girl and I knew how to do it but she kept falling asleep or playing at the breast. They explained a lactation consultant would come visit me at home as soon as I needed. We decided to have her come on a day my midwife and doula could not. Having all these persons checking in and providing me with support and directing me towards services and resources was beyond helpful. I was able to rent a pump while also having the health care supports speaking and functioning as a team.

As a nurse, I was impressed with the ongoing care, collaboration and team work from the Doula, Midwife, Lactation Consultant and of course my mother. We would like to say thanks to those who helped us and who are in a profession of helping people!

xoxo  Lindsay & Freya

Melanie G’s Breastfeeding Story

My biggest support for breastfeeding both my babies is my husband. No matter what, he told me to keep going and that I was doing the best thing for our children. When everyone else suggested we use formula,  he stepped in and said we didn’t need it because he had me.

My husband is a wonderful support system in all aspects of my life, but I was very happy when he supported me in this journey.

Melanie Giesbrecht, Goderich

Shannon’s Breastfeeding Story

I come from a long line of confident breast-feeders. For me it was as natural as breathing. I knew nursing was the only choice for me and my family backed me up 150%.

My inlaws were all formula feeders and I was in for a bumpy road when it came to advocating for myself. My partner was as supportive as he could be with no experience or exposure to breastfeeding.  With time and patience he became a strong advocate for my nursing rights. Bumps came up again as I nursed our first son into toddlerhood, but I kept offering explanations as to why we would continue and eventually my husband had a strong understanding and appreciation. He has been such a wonderful support. Not always easy, but I am so proud of him for coming along on this journey and being so willing to learn and progress with me.

My mother in law was an unexpected support system. She didn’t seem to understand my deep desire to breastfeed and would often offer advice of weaning when times got a little rough. I made it my mission to compassionately share information with her, and to my surprise she took every bit to heart and even started researching on her own! She started to tell me how proud she is of me and how lucky she is to have me as the mother to her grandchildren. She now speaks out of my behalf in public and makes declarations of her pride.

Some support came easy, others took a bit of encouragement. I am so lucky to have the many different support systems around me. Including MILKS of Huron. Having the online community at my fingers tips is a blessing.

Shannon

Tory’s Breastfeeding Story

Good afternoon,

I have nursed both my children, and have had great, but differing experiences with both. I was extremely lucky to have both latch well on their own, and nursed my daughter until 6 months old. My son has been incredible and actually refused the bottle so we are still going strong at 9.5 months now. My husband has been my biggest support from the beginning, stating that it was the ‘natural’ thing to do and we would be doing it (as long as I was able). Whatever I needed in terms of stopping while driving to feed, or support to be able to feed comfortably he has always been there. Having your best friend to be your closest ally and supporter makes all the difference. I am hoping to have this success and amazing gift with any other children we are able to have!

Thank you.

Amanda’s Breastfeeding Story

My name is Amanda Van Dieten and my daughter Isla, was born on August 11. My husband and I decided to breastfeed Isla since it’s the most natural way and all the benefits for her and myself. This being said I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

With the amazing support of my sister, my husband and lactation staff I persevered through cracked nipples, growth spurts, blocked ducts and mastitis. I believe breast feeding is one of the hardest things to do – harder than labour. You have the choice in the back of your mind while going through intense pain to quit or to keep going.

My husband was my biggest coach. From the first 30mins of Isla being born he hovered beside me through every feed. He would fetch me water, make sure I took all my medication at the right time, change Isla’s diaper, call the OB when we had a concern, take care of Isla so I could rest and ,most of all, give the best words of encouragement when I was at my breaking points.

There were a lot of tears, a lot of doubt and a lot of frustration. There were many times I thought I would quit.

Isla is 3 weeks old now. I told her that I used to be a medic but now I have the best job in the world – providing for her. This wouldn’t be the case without all the support I have received through my journey to being the best mom ever!

Thanks, Amanda and Isla

 

Sarah H’s Breastfeeding Story

women holding baby Every child is different… I never realized how true this was until my second came along.

I nursed my first without any complications and I chose to wean at 8 months. By that point I wanted my body back. Naturally, I assumed I would nurse my second, without any complications…. I was wrong.

My son arrived almost 3 weeks early, weighing 10lbs. My milk didn’t come on for another 5 days. From the start I struggled: thrush, poor latch, low milk supply to exclusive pumping. My nursing journey has been an emotional roller coaster.

At 2 months of exclusive breastfeeding my son started to lose weight. I felt like such a failure…. My supply wasn’t meeting my son’s needs so I went on medication to increase my supply. While I waited for my supply to increase I had to supplement. As a result, my son refused to latch because it was less work for him to feed from the bottle. I was heartbroken, but determined to give him my milk one way or another.  Exclusive pumping was the only way…. During this emotional time I had the support of my husband, but the person who continued to encourage me was a wonderful woman by the name of Amy. I met with Amy once a week to monitor my sons growth. Amy encouraged me to attempt nursing everyday. Everyday I tried and everyday I cried because he refused….. Until the day he turned 4 months. He latched and I cried because I was so grateful.

I remembered telling myself, ‘take this in, cherish this moment because this could be the last time you nurse this little guy’.

Amy had told me re-latching was possible and I’m so thankful she encouraged me.

My son will be 9 months in a few weeks and I’m still nursing. Without the knowledge and support from Amy, I would have given up long ago… She supported me through my ugly cries and happiest moments… I am so very grateful for everything she had given me. As I write this, I’m tearing up just thinking about how far I’ve come and the struggles that I overcame because of Amy.

She is such an amazing woman… Huron County Mommas are lucky to have her.

Amy L’s Breastfeeding Story

I was very lucky as a new mom to have a lactation consultant as a mother. She was there from the minute my babies were born, and supported me to get the first successful latches.

I had some difficulty latching with my first baby especially to my left breast; my mother helped me to overcome this with almost every feed (morning and night) for the first few days of life. My mother also showed my husband how he could help me to get my baby on the left side, so when she could not help anymore he was able to take over. I consider myself very lucky to have that amazing support in the critical first days – my babies did not lose much weight, nor did they experience any jaundice due to the constant support from my family.

My father was also a very strong advocate for breastfeeding. He believed breastmilk was best and would have done anything to make sure it was successful for me. He would also tell anyone who was breastfeeding, or needed support, that his wife would be able to help them; he was not shy about breastfeeding.

Ashley F’s Breastfeeding Story

Grandparents provide breastfeeding support - share your breastfeeding story entry. My  breastfeeding journey was a very challenging one. Our parents support is one of many reasons why I am currently successfully breastfeeding my 13 month old son today.

When we brought our son home, our freezer was full of casseroles and meals thanks to both new grandmas. Laundry, dishes and housekeeping was no longer a worry as I focused every ounce of energy on my baby and breastfeeding for the next few weeks.

It was incredible to experience the love and support I felt while my mom and mother-in-law sat with me while I breastfed. I will cherish those memories made with them as we admired the miracle of this new baby who knew exactly how to breastfeed.

I am sure it was extremely difficult for them to watch as we navigated trying to make breastfeeding work for many months facing several challenges. Both of our parents’ struggled to breastfeed their own children and in their experience it was not common to keep going if there were challenges. Our parents were eager to learn what was motivating us to keep going, and fully understand our choice to continue breastfeeding despite the challenges. They were always willing to offer their suggestions of help from their own experiences. The amount of patience it took for them to understand why we did not always utilize their recommendations of giving a soother or rushing giving him a pumped bottle of milk was very admirable. We are so thankful for the respect that they gave us towards our parenting decisions.

Grandparents provide breastfeeding support - share your breastfeeding story entry.As I continue to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, there is nothing more rewarding than to hear my mom boasting to her friends about how amazing breastmilk is.

My husband and I are very lucky to have extremely supportive parents. We were so excited when we were able to promote them to grandparents. There are not enough words of thanks to express how grateful we are for everything that they have done for us and the endless support they have provided us starting our new family. I am proud of the example that our parents have had on us to make us the successful parents that we are.