I am a small cog in a big company cubicle farm with several hundred employees. Before I started my maternity leave, I didn’t much consider what I’d do after I returned. I had always planned to pump while my little one was at daycare, but I hadn’t considered the logistics. I was too preoccupied with how I was going to birth a human being from my loins to consider flange sizes and pumping bras. A Mothering Room (or Lactation Room), I learned, was where I’d be pumping while at work. (more…)
When my son Nolan was born, we had quite a difficult start. From jaundice to latch issues, it seemed that things were not headed in a great direction. After a rocky start with my first son as well, I was dedicated to make breastfeeding work for us. I knew that the beginning period is always an adjustment. What I didn’t know what that at 11 weeks postpartum, we would still be working through these challanges.
It all started when Nolan was having latch difficulties in the hospital that was causing me extreme pain on the left side. After only one day, I had a blister forming.I talked with nurse after nurse who assured me that his latch was “perfect” and that they did not see any problems. Even the lactation consultant came to take a look and said that his latch was fine. She suggested giving my left breast a break and pumping on that side while nursing on the right side. I didn’t want to completely stop nursing on the left, so I would alternate. Pump one time, then nurse the next. The blister did not go away. In fact, I still have a callous over the nipple because of the damage. (more…)
Have you ever woken up one day wondering what happened in your sleep because it feels like someone punched you in the boob? A bruised-feeling, tender lump (often found underneath or on the outer edge of your breast) is probably a plugged milk duct.
Unlike milk blisters which are a clogged pore on the surface of the nipple, a plugged duct is in the tissue under the skin. The area can also feel warm or look red. Red streaking across the breast and fever or flu-like symptoms can be indicative of mastitis which may require antibiotics.
Some moms are more prone to them – those with oversupply, those whose babies aren’t transferring milk effectively, or moms with “sticky” milk that clogs easily. A plugged duct itself is uncomfortable but not dangerous, but if left untreated can lead to more serious conditions like mastitis. (more…)
A local mother-baby group had set up a crèche in the military airbase to help out mothers and/or their infants by providing them with a place to rest, clean clothes, and more importantly, guidance in sustaining breastfeeding. It was a small shelter with a freezer containing donated breast milk, woven mats where the moms and their babies could sleep, toys for the toddlers, and boxes of clothes and diapers for the babies. (more…)
My daughter started out her life on a bottle, something I was determined to change. Once I got her to breast, I had absolutely no interest in giving her a bottle ever again if I didn’t have to. I took 3 months off of work originally, but after my daughter spent a month in the hospital, I felt I needed more time. There was no way I could go back so soon. I decided to take 3 more months off, unpaid. During that time I looked for a new job, and found one, part time that I felt like I could live with.
So we started working on the bottle. And she hated it. As in completely refused it at first. I tried different bottles, different people feeding her, different times of the day, really hungry, not very hungry, sleepy, wide awake. What worked one day, she refused the next. (more…)