Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

IMMB Staff share their breastfeeding stories. 

Carissa Hawkins, Communication Coordinator

I have lot of thoughts on breastfeeding. Mostly though, breastfeeding has opened doors for me that I could never have anticipated when I was pregnant and expounding my thoughts and fears about using my breasts for something other then pure pleasure.

I had an easy pregnancy and an easy comfortable birth, except for the whole miconium stained waters that challenged my immediate plans for skin to skin. Instead, Berkeley was taken away immediately by the NICU team to be sucked and cleaned up. Eventually, she was brought back to me and there began our breastfeeding, snuggling relationship.

Berkeley was born in the very early hours of a Sunday- Mothers' Day. I asked for an IBCLC, there were none in sight. I was having some pain when Berkeley latched and the eventual IBCLC who visited us, promptly gave me a nipple shield. The next few IBCLC's who treated us, helped me feel confident that I didn't need that nipple shield. They taught my husband how to look for a good latch. They boosted my confidence.

Of course, everything changed when we got home and my milk came    in. I didn't have any other tools aside from that nipple shield to help  my sweet girl latch well enough to transfer milk well. We eventually  weaned off the nipple shield after a few weeks but looking back I'm  almost confident, I could have done with out it all along. Instead, I  wish that first IBCLC has looked into Berkeley's mouth for a lip or  tongue tie.

I'm still nursing and after all this time -27 months- and I'm pretty sure my girl has some ties that were creating that initial pain, we have just learned how to deal.

I never could have anticipated how important breastfeeding has become to my parenting and my life. I found this job because I breastfeed, pumped when I returned to work and donated my excess.

Andrea Tischner, Pasteurization Tech

When I was pregnant with my son I made the decision to breastfeed.  At that time it was solely because it seemed natural and most economical.  After Cameron was born at 35 weeks weighing in at a mere 4 lbs. 2 oz. it went from natural and economical to necessity both in my mind and heart.

My precious gift from God not only deserved but needed the most valuable nutrition available to him—mommy’s milk.

For such a tiny baby he surpassed all expectations from doctors and nurses and was able to go home with us just days after birth despite being only 3 lbs. 14 oz.  Developmentally he was always ahead of the expected milestones with complete disregard for adjusted age.  He simply never knew that he was premature and so small.

However, by six months old he had suffered through bouts of reflux, numerous sinus infections, recurring bronchitis, and asthmatic symptoms.  Cameron is now almost three, and I have no doubt that our 19 months of breastfeeding played a vital role in combating his health issues.  He outgrew the reflux and rarely needs his asthma medications because it is so well managed.  His successes with breastfeeding and overcoming the odds that were stacked so high against him have always been an inspiration to our family, friends, and medical staff.