Shortly after I stopped breastfeeding my daughter, I found out that I was pregnant again. I knew that breastfeeding was not an effective form of birth control but got comfortable. Shortly after finding out I was pregnant I decided to follow my passion of helping educate women about the importance of breastfeeding. This passion developed out of my own experience of breastfeeding my first two children. After months of studying I became a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist through Lactation Education Resources. After taking the course and successfully breastfeeding two other children I felt like there was nothing that I could not handle when it came to breastfeeding and its ups and downs.
In November 2016, I had my third child. Everything started out wonderfully, we delayed cord clamping and bathing, we had our golden hour and could not have had a better birth to breastfeeding transition. My first night after I had him, I had an older nurse who kept giving me outdated information. By the next morning she was worried for some reason about him not having a bowel movement and told me “if you give him formula he will poop and you don’t have to worry about him getting jaundice.”
I told her that I was breastfeeding and kept turning her offers to get formula down. She eventually was about to get off and she came in once more and told me “I brought you some formula for him, you know they make formula just as good if not better than breast milk now!” It was then that I knew I had to report her. If I weren’t someone who was educated on breastfeeding, I would have been inclined to believe her due to her being in a position of “authority”. I told the nurse on the next shift and she brought in the person in charge of the L&D nurses, I filed an official complaint. Once word got out that I was a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist nurses started coming and asking questions to ensure that they were giving their new moms accurate information.
With my third breastfeeding journey it was free of issues. He was my biggest baby and in the 99th percentile for growth from the very beginning. I had a great supply, he latched like a champ from the very beginning.
In September 2016 I employed all the information I learned through my certification and started a business to provide education for women about breastfeeding. The original premise of the business was selling lactation cookies, but I quickly realized there was a need for the information I had so I coupled my knowledge and cookie making to give the best of both worlds. After about a year in business I focused on making Loyal Lactation an education-based platform.
Having an infant gave me the insight of what moms were going through and allowed me to not only speak from evidence-based information but from my own personal experiences. I was able to breastfeed him for 22 months. It would have been much longer if it were up to him, but at that point I was exhausted from being pregnant 3 times across five years and breastfeeding three children for a total of 45 months. I was able to wean him by redirection and sleeping separately from him.
Though the third time was the easiest he was the hardest to wean. Each time presents its own set of issues. Though I am finished breastfeeding I am continuing to assist and support women to ensure they have all the support they need from beginning to the end of their breastfeeding journey. Having access to breastfeeding support greatly increases your likelihood of successfully meeting or surpassing your goals. Whether you find your support from family, a group on social media, breastfeeding professional or a combination, find your support and allow them to help you reach your goal.