All You Need To Breastfeed Your Baby

All You Need To Breastfeed Your Baby

First Coast Doulas knows that all you need to breastfeed your baby begins with you!

all you need to breastfeed your baby labor coach Jacksonville

I see it literally every day. Well-meaning people giving bad advice on breastfeeding that leads to mothers spending unnecessary money and time on “things” to help them breastfeed their babies. These ideas are well meaning, but bad.  They also create a false hope that if they buy and do all these things they will be able to breastfeed. Sometimes mothers choose to switch to formula when they could have otherwise accomplished their goals of breastfeeding their infant.

That’s not to say choosing formula is a bad thing. It isn’t. There’s no right or wrong way to feed your baby, just different ways. We all feed with loving intention and to me that’s a win. As a postpartum Doula if it appears our clients are struggling with breastfeeding, I always ask first, “Do you want to continue to breastfeed?” There is a fine line between encouraging and pushing, and we always remain supportive!

So here is a quick list of bad, but well-meaning advice along with a list of good ideas, links, videos, and resources.

Well-Meaning, Bad Advice;

  • Buy a breast pump to see how much milk you’re making. Pumping, while helpful in some situations, is not a good indicator of how much milk your baby is getting while nursing. Your baby transfers milk much more effectively than any pump. A better indicator is wet and dirty diapers and just being in tune with your baby.
  • Feed your baby as soon as they cry. Nope. You want to avoid waiting until they cry when possible. Crying is the last cue that your baby wants to breastfeed. Look for other cues, like, smacking their lips, putting their hand to their mouth, and opening their mouth and moving their head back and forth. Most of the time if you baby is awake in those first couple of weeks they will want to suckle at the breast. This is your baby’s genius way of ensuring he has a milk supply to nourish him.
  • Feed you baby for ___ minutes on each side every ____ hours. Wrong! Feed your baby for as long as your baby is suckling on the breast. When they stop, stroke their cheek and if they start to suckle again keep them there until they no longer respond to the stroking. Then offer the other side if they show cues again. Many of our clients breathe a sigh of relief when we tell them, you don’t have to focus on the clock, focus on your baby. Babies need to suckle at the breast a lot in those early weeks to establish their supply. It’s a supply and demand concept, the more your baby demands by sucking, the more your breast supplies the milk needed.
  • Buy nipple shields and cream now because breastfeeding hurts. WOAH! No way, breastfeeding doesn’t have to be painful. If it is it’s most likely because baby doesn’t have a correct/deep latch. Knowing how to get a good latch is key. There is an excellent video below that demonstrates breastfeeding, what a proper latch looks like, how to get that latch, and also shows a variety of cultures and different size breasts and nipples, all perfect for breastfeeding.
  • In addition to the things I already listed I can’t leave out special teas, supplements, cookies, etc. As a rule you don’t NEED any of these things to breastfeed your baby. There are exceptions to all rules, but as a rule you don’t need to run out and stock up on these things. They can be costly and create doubt.

Good Advice to Consider;

  • Familiarize yourself with what breastfeeding looks like. Watch other moms breastfeed their babies. Ask a friend, family member, or co-worker you know who breastfeeds if they would let you sit with them while they feed their baby. The United States has gotten so far away from feeding babies from the breasts that many people have never seen this done. That is changing, but it’s still stigmatized or seen as taboo. Don’t be afraid, many are more than happy to help out another woman who wants to feed her baby with her breasts.
  • Find a breastfeeding support group in your area, like La Leche League, there may be more than one, Jacksonville has several.
  • Stay skin to skin with your baby as much as possible in the first six weeks of life, NOT just when feeding your baby. This may mean that some visitors may need to postpone their visits or expect to see your breasts. Here’s some science behind skin to skin.
  • Get the contact information to one or two International Board Certified Lactation Consultants in the area that come recommended. If you need that recommendation don’t hesitate to contact us! Contact them and ask questions like, Are you available around my due date? Do you make house calls? How do you feel about x, y, and z?

First Coast Doulas wants you to know that you’re equipped with exactly what you need to feed your baby without any equipment to buy or books to read, period. That’s the bottom line. Women have been feeding their babies from their breasts since the beginning of time.

Remember breastfeeding is more than just a way to feed your baby. It’s bonding, comfort, nourishment, and so much more!

Pushing In Labor; Don’t Push Me!

Pushing In Labor; Don’t Push Me!

pushing in labor jacksonville doula

There she was, growing physically tired after hours in labor.

She was ten centimeters dilated and soon to enter the second stage of labor, pushing. As I wiped her forehead and held her straw to her lips she sipped and then asked me, “Did we lock the back gate before we left the house?” Then she asked, “Will I know when to push?” I reassured her that her body would do it when it was ready, she would know, but if I noticed she was ready before she realized that I was there to help her remember to follow her body’s cues just as she wanted. She asked, “Is this the lull we talked about at our prenatal visit?” I shook my head, and she smiled, and closed her eyes.

***

It’s not uncommon for women to experience a lull during labor and sometimes they even get to enjoy it!

When a lull happens this is a chance for the woman to rest, doze off, or just regain her bearings, but often times the lull is missed. A lull can seem strange to a laboring woman, a place of in between where they aren’t quite sure what to do. It can last five minutes and up to a few hours depending on baby’s positioning, typically not more than about five to sixty minutes.

Sometimes this lull is missed out on when people are directing and encouraging a woman to push when she doesn’t feel quite ready to push yet.

This directed pushing is known as purple pushing. It’s perfectly fine to push with direction and encouragement if that is what the woman wants, but it isn’t necessarily necessary, at least not most of the time. Women can feel “pushy” before ten centimeters dilated and also not feel the need to push once she is complete at ten, both are variations of normal. The female body is designed to birth, and get this, she can actually birth without anyone directing her most of the time.

Now, I say all of that to says this; labor is hard work, no doubt women work very hard pushing in labor and to labor their babies down, but their bodies use instincts and do the work without needing to be told what to do, and most of the time it actually works quite well without their minds over-thinking it.

***

While my client rested peacefully on her knees with her chest on a pillow and her husband stroking her back they prepped the room and called the attending obstetrician so he would be there for the delivery.

She opened her eyes and looked up at her husband and I and said, “I’m not ready, no purple pushing,” she reminded us firmly.

I smiled at her and told her good job listening to her body. Her husband spoke to the nurses and explained that she was listening to her body, and she doesn’t want to be coached to push unless medically necessary.

The nurse said, “She’s complete at ten, we need to get the baby out.” Her husband smiled and said, “We understand, noone wants our baby out more than us, but if it’s not a medical emergency she wants to wait and listen to her body.”

The nurse agreed that there wasn’t a medical need and was accommodating to her patients, my clients.

I was focusing on my client and making a soothing sound that has helped many of my clients stay peacefully in their lull until they were ready to emerge. I remained alert to what my client’s husband was doing, saying, and how he was reacting to the nurse, his wife, and the room filling up as they prep for the birth of their baby.

About ten or twelve minutes past from the time my client’s nurse checked her cervix and gave her the green light to push and the time I felt my client’s body curl inward as my hands were on her back and shoulder blade.

I could hear my client gently grunting through quiet moans.

I signaled her husband to come close at this point, as they had previously expressed the desire for him to remain at her head during pushing. She wanted him to say a prayer during this stage of labor to help her have strength. He was her rock. He looked nervous as he stood in front of me; his eyes told a very beautiful story of a man becoming a father.

I took his hands and placed them on hers, he knelt down and she grabbed his hands. She then lifted her head with eyes wide and said, “This is it!” He looked up at me as though he was thinking, this is it what do I do?

I know that look all too well, and so I leaned in close to them and said, “You made this baby together, you have spent months preparing for this, together you can do anything!

Keep listening to your body. Keep encouraging her.”

He nodded and half smiled at me, and then she was pushing.

There we were less than an hour later, a strong woman who listened to her body, a supportive husband who encouraged his wife, trusted her, and kept her space safe. A doctor and his nurse who respected their patients wishes and were happy to do so. And a Doula who was honored to guide this couple through the most memorable, most challenging day of their lives together.

As her doctors waited patiently for the third stage of labor, delivery of the placenta, my client announces to all of us, “I did it! I did it without anyone having to tell me. I listened to my body and my body did this!”

And just like that a mother, a father, and a baby were born!

 

 

 

This story was shared with permission from my clients. Names, dates, and information that could jeopardize my client’s privacy were left out intentionally.

For more information about labor patterns, lulls, and baby positioning check out Labor Patterns Spinning Babies.

First Coast Doulas In The News

First Coast Doulas In The News

 

First Coast Doulas in the news today. We talk about what we do as professional Doulas, the services we offer new families, and the support group and gathering we founded and host each month, The First Coast Mom’s Hang Out!

Watch the Video Here “First Coast Doulas In the News”

 

What is a Doula?

In short a Doula is someone who provides emotional, informational, and physical support to women and their families during pregnancy, into birth, and through the first year postpartum. First Coast Doulas are knowledgeable on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum related topics. We provide non-medical, non-clinical support. We are your personal trail guides through birth and postpartum We provide completely non-judgmental, rock solid support at a time when things are up in the air and ever changing. Assisting women with resources and helping them create a game plan that ensures they feel completely supported and validated through their entire birth and postpartum experience.

How common are Doulas?

Less than 5% of women are utilizing Doulas for their birth, but that number is growing as families begin to understand the benefits that last a lifetime. First Coast Doulas are working hard to elevate the role of Doulas. We offer a professional service that stands out in Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, and the surrounding areas.

What if women have a plan, but it falls to the wayside?

We wrote a fantastic blog post that paints a nice picture, you can read it here. Our clients know that our support doesn’t end if their birth plan “falls apart”. We support all births from “all natural” un-medicated births to planned and emergency cesareans, home births attended by licensed midwives and hospitals births. Your providers are there to focus on healthy baby, healthy patient, and we are there with the sole purpose of helping our clients have a happy baby, happy self, and happy partner. First Coast Doulas don’t have a hidden agenda, we understand wholeheartedly that it’s your birth and parenting journey. You’ll never feel pressured or that your voice has been taken away. It will always be your decision, your way, and you’ll be supported 100% through all of that.

What’s the difference between a midwife and a Doula?

This is a very common question and the short answer is that Doulas provide non-clinical, non-medical support. We help you get information, better understand informed consent, provide comfort measures and tips and techniques in labor and birth. First Coast Doulas explains the process to you and your partner as you go through it. Even if you take a great childbirth class and are the top students, it’s not unheard of for couples forget bits and pieces that you learned and with us you won’t feel lost when it happens because we’re there to walk and talk through it with you both. Midwives are there to ensure healthy baby, healthy mom. They are the ones recording fetal heart tones, doing cervical checks, and recording your blood pressure. They catch or deliver your babies while professional Doulas do not. Professional Doulas do not take your voice or become your advocate, we really work hard to work as a cohesive team in your birth space. We also don’t take the place of a family or your partner, we fill a role that is as unique as you are.

What is the First Coast Mom’s Hang Out?

First Coast Mom’s Hang Out was founded by Elizabeth Luke and Heather Horrell in June of 2015. It’s a gathering for moms in and around the Jacksonville area to have a safe space to share their birth, adoption, trying to conceive, loss, and mothering beginnings. This monthly discussion group is the place to connect with other pregnant/new moms and to chat with the area’s professional Doulas for support. This event is hosted at various locations throughout Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach. This is First Coast Doulas small way of giving back to the community. Come on out, connect with other moms, find solutions for problems you might have, empathize, commiserate, and share your struggles in a non-judgmental space. We look forward to meeting you!

 

first coast doulas ikn the news

Evidence For Doulas

First Coast Doulas In The News

Myth- A Healthy Baby and A Healthy Mom Are All That’s Important

I know you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it, “A healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important!”

A Healthy Baby and A Healthy Mom Are All That's Important

 

Well I am here to tell you, that’s a load of crap! Yep, I said it and I mean it!

Now, I do agree that the safety of a mother and her baby are first and foremost, but to say that a healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important is terrible.

Did you know that 25-34% of mothers report that the birth of their baby was traumatic.

To shade the way a mother feels about her own personal journey is disrespectful, rude, and terribly warped. Is it done intentionally? Most of the time no, not at all. Most of the time it’s done by well-meaning loved ones and friends who just want to make mom feel better, they just want to “fix” the situation.

However, by saying, “A healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important”, you are saying her feelings and thoughts about her birth are invalid, null and void. Women don’t need to be fixed. They need to be heard, validated, empathize with, and they need time, space, encouragement, and support to heal.

The path a woman takes through pregnancy, labor, and birth are a journey so unique that it can never be duplicated again.

Yes, she may have more pregnancies, more labors, and more births, but no two are ever the same, even ones that are very similar. Whether it be her plan to have a homebirth, medicated hospital birth, VBAC, or cesarean, the journey is important and how she feels about her journey is even more important!

The end result, baby in arms is not all that it’s about, the journey that is taken to get there is of importance too. The way a woman feels about her pregnancy, labor, and birth shape her into who she is, how she feels about herself, and how she will parent her children. The same applies for the father. He knows the safety of his baby and his partner is the most important thing, but tell that to the father whose wife is suffering with postpartum depression or psychosis. Tell that to the father that works all day and comes home to a wife who is weeping in the closet, or full of anxiety about something being wrong with their baby.

First Coast Doulas knows how important the journey is, it’s why we do what we do!

We support women and their partners in pregnancy, labor, birth, and even into the first year after delivering their babies because we know this is a journey not a race. We know the foundation is being built for their parenting journey and we want them to have the confidence, love, light, and laughter they desire to make the journey a positive one.

So, please before the next time you tell a woman or her partner, a healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important, stop and think for a moment. It may be awkward, you may draw a blank on what to say that is o.k., sometimes saying nothing and just being there is what they need.

 

 

Here’s a great blog by Sam McCulloch that is along similar lines of this one if you are interested in reading it.

How Do I Become A Professional Doula

Would you like to know the answer the question;

How Do I Become A Professional Doula?

Do you have questions about what a Doula does?

Did you know there is more than one type of Doula?

Come to this Doula 101 event to learn more, get answers to your questions,

and find out how Doula work can work for you!

R.S.V.P. is preferred, but not required!

Contact us at via email at firstcoastdoulas@gmail.com or facebook to R.S.V.P.

 and get the answer to the question, how do I become a professional doula!!

This blog gives a great break down of two different paths to becoming a Doula

how do I become a doula

Defend Against Postpartum Depression! We Share How!

First Coast Doulas shares how to defend against postpartum depression in this blog post. Tell us what you think, leave us a comment.

defend against postpartum depression jacksonville
Time is more valuable than money, money can be replaced, time cannot!

Have you experienced baby blues or postpartum depression before? Are you at an increased risk to develop postpartum depression? Are you just concerned about the risk since you’ve heard so many moms have it? Then you are not alone!

Women all over the country worry, struggle, and do battle against postpartum mood issues. Families suffer silently for fear of someone taking their baby. They worry they’ll be locked up in a mental facility if they reach out to their doctor for help. It’s supposed to be the happiest time in a family’s life, but instead, for many it’s a dark, scary time. A time that cannot be described or understood unless you’ve been in the pits of darkness to experience it first-hand.

What if I told you there is hope for those struggling in silence? The good news; there is a way to defend against postpartum depression and other postpartum mood issues. Your first line of defense is your postpartum Doula! Your second line of defense is professional Placenta Encapsulation!

Your postpartum Doula, in comparison is like Fort Knox against intruders. Same concept of building up your immune system to combat against illness when something is going around. Like every other option out there, there is no guarantee with a postpartum Doula, or placenta encapsulation, but the odds are in your favor!

Having a professional postpartum Doula is a great way the best way to help you defend against postpartum depression. Your postpartum Doula helps you form a plan for a happier, brighter postpartum! She will discuss with you your families unique needs, describe ways that she can be helpful to you during this time, be open ears, an our heart, and helpful hands. There to listen, and validate your concerns and feelings, and to help you find real solutions to what life throws your way.

Placenta Encapsulation is beneficial to our clients in many ways. Encapsulating with First Coast Doulas means you have a professional encapsulation specialist in your home who is also a professional, certified birth Doula and postpartum Doula. What does that mean for you?! Well, having a professional with this combination of training, experience, and knowledge in your home shortly after you give birth is very unique, and nearly impossible to find here in and around the Jacksonville, Florida area. You have this unique individual in your home for up to three hours, two days in a row to talk and share with, to get expert advice from, and to pick her brain for ideas. You can just relax, sleep, or snuggle your baby while she encapsulates for you if that is preferred, you don’t have to entertain or feel obligated to do anything because we’re providing a professional service, we don’t expect or prefer to be waited on or entertained. It’s a definite win for new families!

So, when planning for your birth and thinking about enjoying your new sweet smelling baby, think outside of the box, think one step ahead, think “how do I set myself up to succeed”, think “professional postpartum Doula and professional placenta encapsulation with First Coast Doulas!”

Having a First Coast Doulas professional postpartum Doula by your side day or night for help with sleep, showers, comfort and recovery, baby soothing or care, general breastfeeding assistance, you will have the best defense available! The best defense is a good offense, with First Coast Doulas you can’t go wrong.

Get in touch with us today and start planning for your happiest birth and postpartum! If you are not in our service area of Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, Callahan, Yulee, Orange Park, Florida or Kingsland, St Mary’s, Kingsbay, Georgia, contact us anyway and we can get you in touch with the right connections in your area!

Click HERE is a great link with studies done on consuming the placenta

Here is a link to an article titled Mothers Opt for Placenta Benefits

Here is another titled Eating Your Placenta Offers Serious Health Benefits

And another titled Some Moms Swear by Consuming Babies Placenta

Stuck In My Head Sex

Stuck In My Head Sex

The first time this ever happened to me I was pregnant. There I was naked, sporting a larger than normal belly, feeling less sexy than my pre-pregnant self, not really feeling too desirable, and about to have sex.

What was happening, I was really turned on, but it wasn’t like pre-pregnancy, hot, steamy, I need you NOW kind of turned on. Weird, I thought to myself.

The first time or two this happened I chalked it up to no big deal, crazy pregnancy hormones, I was somewhat correct in that. Then I began to be more mindful of it, each time it sat there in the front of my brain. Why couldn’t I let go of my inhibitions and reach climax?

Then I realized I was overthinking it and it was frustrating.

I was experiencing what I later named, “stuck in my head sex!”

Well, this started to happen more frequently and each time I was reassured I was sexy, that everything from foreplay to intercourse felt amazing, same applied to what I was experiencing, and yet still I was struggling with stuck in my head sex. When I say, “Stuck in my head sex” I mean, you want to orgasm, it feels great, but you just can’t make it over that wall to ecstasy.

I know woman can relate because I’ve heard these challenges mentioned a time or two and when I hear it I’m like, YEAH, I get it, stuck in your own head, sex!

Like he tried all his best moves, we were in positions that worked extremely well normally yet there I was stuck in my own head not able to orgasm. That feeling of I want to orgasm, but disconnecting from my neocortex (my rational mind) to allow my Limbic system (my instinctual mind) to take over just wasn’t happening automatically.

Why not?! Why couldn’t I let go?

I feared I may be doomed to this forever! Was this some kind of karma coming back on me, LOL?

Being a professional doula and having done lots of reading and research. I know:

  • Decrease or increase in sexual drive during pregnancy is normal.
  • Sex is generally less desirable in the first and third trimester than in the second.
  • Dryness or extreme wetness can occur vaginally.
  • Gas and peeing a little during sex (and every time you do just about anything) is normal, especially in the last trimester.
  • Some women report pain during sexual intercourse while pregnant.

These things are a wide variety of normal during pregnancy and most of the time they relieve after birth, women are not doomed to this forever.

So, this feeling of, “Am I doomed” was non-sense, but I felt it therefor it was real, and valid!

It’s also true that the same hormones that are present in labor and birth are present during sex. So oxytocin is responsible for helping with orgasm and that overwhelming feeling of love, and endorphins are those hormones that help you relax and become more in the moment for birth and sex, and help to contribute to that slightly sleepy feeling after sex and birth (once that high wears off).

Those hormones help to allow your rational mind to take a back seat to your instinctual mind. When adrenaline is present in labor and birth, they can stall or stop a woman’s labor completely. Can you guess what happens in sex? You guessed it; orgasm can become hard or impossible to reach.

So, I need to let go of my rational mind, and let my instinctual mind take over, I really needed to figure this out. This stuck in my own head thing was starting to impact him too, he was worried he was losing his touch, that perhaps I wasn’t as “in” to him, and even expressing that perhaps it would be our new normal, WHAT?! No way. You know men and their egos, we love them dearly, but their egos can become affected.

sex during pregnancy jacksonville

 

So, HOW? How do let instincts take over?

I put some real thought into what may be holding me back from letting instincts take over, from going over that wall, and came to the conclusion that I was feeling a little insecure because so much was changing inside me, and outside. It was happening so fast it was almost hard for me to accept.

So, I know you likely came here to find out what, if anything worked.

Well I had to change up some things to find what worked. Normally sex in fun places at spontaneous times was great for us, but during this time of transition it didn’t. Here’s are some things that may help;

  • Remove all expectations from yourself (time, orgasm, being able do specific things, etc.)
  • Make sure you try to empty your bladder.
  • Black out the room. (black out curtains, lights out, doors shut etc.)
  • On the opposite end maybe you could benefit from lights on, maybe you will benefit more from the visual.
  • Turn on and up some sounds like specific music, or nature sounds, etc.
  • Spend some extra time kissing and just being together.
  • Try different positions. Side lying, elevated with pillows under your bottom, and on you being on top may be more effective and enjoyable to you. Try them all!
  • Getting creative. For example before this pregnancy I was able to orgasm faster with penetrative sex, I found that sometimes with this pregnancy I enjoyed non-penetrative sex or outercourse better. That’s not to say we didn’t have intercourse, but
  • Changing my views on sex helped me tremendously:
    • Reminding myself that the end outcome is more about making a connection and growing closer to each another than it is about the physical act of orgasm.
    • I found solidarity just knowing that I am not alone in this, many women experience this same struggle during pregnancy and it’s a temporary thing.
  • If you really feel like you are reaching your breaking point you can try coming to the show alone, or to be more direct, masturbation, either alone or with an audience. There is nothing wrong with that at all!

 

DISCLAIMER- Always make sure that you have been given the go ahead from your provider to have sex during your pregnancy before attempting anything mentioned here.

Did you enjoy this blog? Let us know about it. We love to share stories and experiences! Leave us a comment here on our blog or on our facebook page and we will be sure to respond to you.

Local Musician, Aaron DeCicco’s Shares About Breastfeeding

Elizabeth sat down with Aaron DeCicco as she shares about breastfeeding. Aaron is a professional musician and music director in Northeast Florida. She can be seen behind the piano and guitar at theaters, bars, museums, and outdoor festivals. Her music is as beautiful as she is, be sure to check out her music after the interview, there’s a link at the bottom of this page!

breastfeeding jacksonville, fl

 

FC Doulas opened the interview asking Aaron, why she wanted to breastfeed?

Aaron- I wanted to breastfeed because it was a tradition with many women in my family, and because I knew of the countless benefits it would provide our baby.

 

FC Doulas~ Before trying to breastfeed did you think it would be easy or hard to breastfeed? Did you expect challenges?

Aaron~ I knew it wasn’t always an easy process, but I was willing to give it a go!

 

FC Doulas~ What challenges did you face?

Aaron~ Kat lost 13% of her birth weight while in the hospital, and they suggested that we supplement with formula since my emergency c-section was making the milk take a little longer to make its arrival. We did–but I only gave her maybe 20cc’s because my milk came in soon after. I’m very lucky to have not suffered any mastitis or clogs and my supply regulated pretty well, so much so that I can pump here and there for a bottle or a few if we need to leave baby girl with grandma or grandpa.

 

FC Doulas wrapped up the interview asking Aaron what she wants other moms to know about breastfeeding?

Aaron~It’s been such an incredible experience of bonding and closeness. Baby girl is eating food and drinking goat’s and cow’s milk here and there in preparation for her first birthday and the grand transition, but I think I will continue to nurse her in the mornings and at night before bed for as long as she wants.

There is no doubt in my mind that after this interview that Aaron is a strong, confident mother to her sweet baby girl. Great job Aaron!

Visit theaaronmarshall.com to check out Aaron’s work!

Life Began Breastfeeding Aiden

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In honor of World Breastfeeding Week I sat down with Jamie, a hard-working, bad ass mom to discuss her journey breastfeeding Aiden. Aiden is one of the most cuddliest little guys I have ever met, and I raised 3 boys myself. Jamie tells me that at the age of twenty-two, not married, still working on just her associates degree, she found herself, you guessed it PREGNANT!

She tells me she was terrified. Scared of failure and crippled by the thought of being judged, Jamie was overwhelmed with fact that she was going to be “That Girl”. The girl who had a child out of wedlock. The girl who was in over her head, the girl whose life was over.

Little did she know at the time, her life was just beginning. Jamie also shares with me, that her journey into motherhood has been far from error free, just as the rest of us, she made lots of mistakes.

Now nearly 14 months postpartum, motherhood has Jamie feeling empowered, uplifted, and fulfilled.

Jamie says, “Living up to societies expectations of what a woman and/or mother should look like is no longer of concern to me. I work full time, and I’m pursuing a degree full-time for electrical engineering and yes, I AM raising my son.”

Jamie’s son, Aiden was exclusively breastfed until introducing solids just before he celebrated his first birthday.

 

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FC Doulas- Were you breastfed as a baby?

Jamie- Nope. Never even witnessed the act of breastfeeding

 

FC Doulas- Was there anyone who encouraged or discouraged you to breastfeed?

Jamie- My cousin Crystal was the foundation of my support system. She originally brought the question to my attention as to whether or not I was going to breastfeed. I hadn’t even thought about it. There hasn’t been anyone to discourage my breastfeeding directly, but I have had my fair share of butters. (Butters is a term used for people who say, “I support you BUT.” If you are truly supportive of a breastfeeding mom there are no buts!)

 

FC Doulas- In the first 2 weeks what was breastfeeding like?

Jamie- Painful, dreadful, but rewarding

 

FC Doulas- Has anyone given you a hard time about breastfeeding your baby?

Jamie- Yes, but never really to my face. I wouldn’t pay it any attention either way

 

FC Doulas- Have you ever donated milk? If so, why did you donate?

Jamie- I have, to a local mom in need. I had more than enough milk to share and was happy to supply another mama with the liquid gold for her little angel.

 

FC Doulas- How long do you think you’ll breastfeed for?

Jamie- The plan currently is to let my son self wean.

 

FC Doulas- What is your favorite thing about breastfeeding?

Jamie- The bonding experience for sure. It’s irreplaceable.

 

FC Doulas Is there anything else you’d like to share with other women reading this?

Jamie- I am anti-bully and Pro MOMS! I respect each and every mother in her own personal choice of parenting and expect the same in return. It is time for us as women and mothers to step out of the age of finger pointing and ridicule and step into the dawn of empowering and supporting one another!

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April Overcame Her Breastfeeding Challenges

Elizabeth sat down with April Langham as she shared her thoughts and personal experience breastfeeding. April is a happily married mother to seventeen month old son She experienced trials and tribulations, but her determination crushed them both!

April is an overcomer!

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FC Doulas~ Can you tell us why you wanted to breastfeed?

April- Well, I was never really around many who breastfed. So it was a choice solely made on my own. I am in my mid-thirties and know how certain foods can harm your body, especially dairy. I know that formula is based on cow’s milk or soy, full of sugars, etc. None of which I wanted in my child’s body. So, when I got pregnant, feeding formula to my son just didn’t compute to me.

FC Doulas~ Before trying to breastfeed did you think it would be easy or hard to breastfeed?

April- I thought it would’ve been easy!!!! It looks easy in the movies, in public, on YouTube! And not a single person told me it could be hard. So, I thought my son would just latch on. Boy was I wrong!

FC Doulas~ Did you expect breastfeeding challenges?

April- I did not expect challenges except with nursing in public. But I have had not a single person say anything to me about it!

FC Doulas~ What challenges did you face?

April- I had to have an “emergency” cesarean section. I was given pain medication in my spinal block. My son was very sleepy for the first few days. I was hard to keep him awake to feed. I also have very flat nipples and horrible lactation consultants. I ended up using a nipple shield the first 5 months.

FC Doulas~ How did you overcome those challenges?

April- I overcame my challenges with my determination to give my son the best chance at life I could. No matter what I had to go through. Also researching all that I can helped me TONS!

April and I wrapped up the interview with this last Q&A;

FC Doulas~ What do you want other moms to know about breastfeeding?

April- It’s hard! It consumes you entire life! It hurts! It’s weird! But it will be the most amazing thing you’ve even done in your life. You are making life in your body for your child. The most selfless gift you can give. Research all you can and never feel ashamed to ask for help!