Friday, May 20, 2016

My Breastfeeding Experience-- Part 3: Support

This is the third of four posts about my breastfeeding journey with my second child and information on products that have worked for me (and some that haven't).
Click on the following links to read about my experiences with:

Milk Supply
Nipple Care

Breastfeeding Support

My best friend Sheryl shared that she attended several conferences on breastfeeding as part of her job as a social worker. These took place before she had her daughter Zuraya. One of the things she remembered from those gatherings was a statistic that left me stunned-- that one of the most common reasons why moms give up on breastfeeding is due to a lack of support from their partner. 

I'll be honest, my husband Paul wasn't too crazy about the idea of breastfeeding. We would argue at first because he felt we needed to supplement with formula, even after Toby had regained his birth weight. 
Other times, he was frustrated that he couldn't do much with the baby since Toby was fussy, cluster feeding and basically latched on and in my arms, ALL day & night.In a separate instance, he thought I'd go crazy since I was up all night practically, on some days. He would push to give the baby a bottle of formula to help me sleep a bit. 
These were trying times between him and I because I was extremely protective of my desire to exclusively breastfeed and I didn't care if I hadn't slept a full 8 hours. I constantly felt like he was challenging me.

This was a chart given to me by one of my lactation consultants.

It was during these moments that I turned to different support groups: my lactation consultants, my breastfeeding support group, my cousin and my bestie.

Fortunately, Paul and I had a long conversation, which actually was the reason behind this 4-part blog post. I sat him down one day and broke it down to him, explaining why breastfeeding mattered so much to me (see part 1).  H
e not only encouraged me to write about this, he recently told me he's appreciative of my willingness to breastfeed and thanked me for doing this for our baby.

But if you're in a similar situation where your partner feels like it's too much unnecessary stress, even when you're willing to do the work, and you're feeling a lack of support at home, call someone! 

Lactation consultants charge an average of $130/hour but they guide you, support you and most importantly teach you how to maximize your breastfeeding efforts.
Here in the San Fernando Valley, there is an organization called "The Pump Connection". You basically make an appointment online, indicate how soon you need someone over and they'll either take you in their offices or dispatch a certified lactation consultant to go to your house! I love this company!

Also in the San Fernando Valley, Dignity Health Northridge Medical Center, where I delivered Toby, welcomes moms to a free breastfeeding support group that meets every Thursday at 10am. It's open to all breastfeeding mommies, regardless of where you gave birth! The first time I went, I felt so good to be surrounded by other women with similar frustrations, challenges and goals. I walked out feeling more motivated to keep breastfeeding Toby!

Finally, in this day in age of technology and quick access to information, do consult the following sites for additional cyber support:

Thanks for reading and click HERE to read Part IV-- Breastfeeding Miscellaneous

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