Why I called a lactation consultant
I called Mimi when my daughter was 2 days old because although she had an effective latch, it was very painful to my nipples and I wanted some advice on how I could ease into this breastfeeding relationship more easily without always feeling irritated every time she nursed. It felt like a tight pinching each time she latched, which led me to tense up.
What I got from my visit with LEIF
Mimi came to my home when my daughter was 2 days old. She sat in the bed with me and was so gentle with me and my newborn. I appreciated how she was soft with her touch, yet very confident. She asked my permission to express colostrum from my breast, and that was impactful to me because although I knew that it was there, I had yet to see it. Seeing just how thick colostrum is helped me to understand why my baby would be pulling so hard on my nipple. Of course, that stage was quickly over and my milk came in the next day.
Mimi also set the baby up on my belly to demonstrate how she instinctively knows how to move towards my breast herself. This helped to reinforce that the baby and I have it in us to know what to do, and that we can trust that.
When my nipples were still sore a few weeks later, Mimi came back to work with us. She showedus various positions to try to maximize comfort. She gave us a lot of information about breastfeeding relationships in general. It’s easy to end up feeling guilt or ashamed that I can’t breastfeed easily and “naturally” without discomfort, but Mimi’s care and knowledge helped me to feel supported.
When my daughter was about 10 months old, I suddenly had a decrease in milk supply from stress I was going through and Mimi again coached me on the phone. I had thought that my milk would not come back and I had to suddenly be done with breastfeeding, but Mimi was able to set my mind at ease about it, which led to my supply increasing again back to normal! She showed me that my let down was affected by my mind state and supply was affected by my stress-level far more than I had realized, and asked me to use visualization techniques while I nursed my baby (picturing a flowing river of milk). Within only a day or two, I was back on track.
Where my breastfeeding journey led us
I am still nursing my 15 month old daughter. She was exclusively breastfed until about 7 months when we added solids. She’s a really chunky baby, and has been since she was born, so although it was challenging at first and can be really exhausting, I have had a sense of pride that my milk has been keeping her fat and happy!
I am so grateful that I have been able to breastfeed this whole time, and that I’ve had Mimi’s genuine care and support throughout this journey.