I understand that lactation consults can be unaffordable for some mamas, so I’m hoping my experience with my consultation can help shed some guidance and assist those mamas who are struggling with their breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding — it’s HARD WORK, and I wished I’d known then what I know now.
I never went to a breastfeeding class, I just thought it happened naturally. Nursing became a 24-hour job for me. After countless days of crying, a hungry baby, sore and bleeding nipples and engorged breasts, I finally picked up the phone to make an appointment to see a lactation consultant. I had no idea what to expect, instead, I just thought it would be a normal 30 minutes consultation with a professional. What I instead received, was worth its weight in gold. She sat down with me and went through everything I should know about breastfeeding. She was never judging or all-knowing, just a helping hand with a wealth of knowledge. Here’s what went down at my lactation consultation.
It’s okay to ask for help, don’t be embarrassed.
My consultant was a lovely consultant who I immediately felt safe with. Her energy was endearing and motherly, so I instantly felt safe with her. She greeted me with open arms and a warm smile, she sat me down, made sure I was very comfortable, got out her pen and paper and proceeded to ask me questions about my history, my birth, the current medications I was currently on, my diet, what my concern was and how I was genuinely feeling. Through my sobbing and tears, I talked her through my birth (the guilt of a failed induction with 2 labors, Oliver stuck in my pelvis which led to a C section), how Oliver kept crying all the time, how he hadn’t gained weight since his birth and how he always fell asleep at my breast after a few minutes.
After we finished our mini counseling session and half a box of tissues, she then asked me to nurse Oliver in front of her so she could see what I was doing wrong. I had no idea she was going to ask me to do this, so was highly unprepared and very embarrassed about getting my breasts out to feed him. I’m a very modest person, so baring all made me feel a little uneasy. Displaying yourself as a first-time mother in front of an expert is a daunting task. But as the feeding session did continue, I remembered she was there to help me and not judge. After all, she was a mum too and we were both women. She then proceeded to help correct everything that I was doing, in the sweetest way.
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Recovering well 😊 I honestly don’t remember much from my labour and C section — just staring at Baby Chalmers little face has made it all a painless memory. I’m recovering well taking gentle baby steps every, single, day. I literally feel like I’ve had to learn to walk again from the C section. Honestly, nights are the hardest at the moment with getting in and out of bed, and Baby Chalmers seems to have his nights and days around the wrong way 😓 , but we’re working on that 😊. My milk has finally come in which I’m over the moon about. I’m learning so much as I go, and to be honest, being a mamma is just the most rewarding thing in the world. I can’t explain the love that I feel for him. #momlife
I was shown how to massage my breasts to get every last drop out into Oliver’s mouth.
I was then asked to express/ pump my breasts, of which I then embarrassingly stuck my breasts into my portable Nuk Pump Flange that I hesitantly pulled from my bag. As I held the pump in place on my breast, she looked at me, puzzled, then asked if I had a pumping bra. I was like, what is that?
Before our feeding session, she weighed him, then after she weighed him again to check how many MLS he had eaten in that feed, and it worked out that it was almost 60 mls with both breasts (my right producing more than my left)! I was amazed at how much milk my breasts produced in one feeding session. Previously, I was only getting 15mls out.
My lactation consultant ran through everything that helped increase breast milk supply, including lactation teas, postpartum foods, supplements, and herbs. I ended up buying Liquid Gold with her and then followed up the next day buying some lactation teas at my local grocery store.
I didn’t need to even follow up. Straight away I started to expel double the amount of milk that I was previously nursing with Oliver from seeing her.
Lactation consultants can be pricey, but they are worth their weight in gold. My insurance company even reimbursed me. But I know for some mamas out there, they don’t have this service, so I’m hoping with the experience, learnings, and advice I’ve been given from my lactation consultant, that I can at least help share the breastfeeding advice I’ve been given to help mamas out there in need. I know the difficulty of breastfeeding is something we can all speak to. If I can help any struggling mother out there, I will. Just remember, every baby and every mama is different. I hope, that with the strategies from my lactation consultant, that breastfeeding or formula feeding continues to be the life-changing experience that mothers everywhere should experience.
While you’re here, check out Bianca Cheah’s beautiful and life-changing birth story.