Sunday, August 2, 2015

Third Time Is a Charm for Breastfeeding Mom

By Carissa Clarke, guest blogger

My name is Carissa and I would love to share my story with you. I was 19 when I delivered my first born. She was whisked away to the NICU, and my Breastfeeding relationship was never established. Without support from family or the help of a lactation consultant I went home without any hope. I pumped every two hours for each feeding that followed. Never learning how to nurse, I continued to pump and bottle feed until she was 4 months old when I finally gave in and accepted formula.

     Fast forward a few years, and I gave birth to a beautiful boy. I was determined to breastfeed him. So, I joined our local La Leche League and started attending meetings. Thanks to the help of those wonderful women, and specifically Jessica Hall, I maintained a healthy nursing relationship with my son even while I worked and pumped. About 8 months in, I received a lot of pressure from family to stop nursing and I was currently 3 months pregnant with number three. So due to the pressure, pregnancy, and being a working mom of two, I stopped nursing and resorted to donor milk to finish his first year. Thanks to my freezer stash and donor milk he finished his first year solely on breast milk. I was thankful and proud to be able to provide that.


     A few months later I finally gave birth to my third and final baby. This time I knew what my goals were, I educated myself, and I surrounded myself with lots of local support. I joined Huntsville Mommy Milk Meet-up, Rocket City Sling Swap, and Cloth Diapering in Huntsville. These local groups and the people I met thru them that shared my interests and goals helped me thrive at being the best I could be. We ignored family judgment and social pressure to stop, and we have made it to a year of breastfeeding! Although I did experience one public shaming at Our local Madison County WIC office recently, we are still thriving in our breastfeeding journey.  We still enjoy our nursing sessions and hope to reach our new goal of 18 months and beyond.



   Please remember that you and your baby have a right to nurse in public, and you should never feel ashamed. Don't let anyone pressure you into giving up on what you know is best for your child. Thanks for letting me share my story, and good luck to you and your breastfeeding journey. 

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