I met Michelle several weeks ago at Mom and Me Yoga, and I'm so glad I did. Her precious boy is just a few months older than Lucy, which makes her my go-to for all kinds of questions. Michelle also has recently started teaching classes on Baby Led Weaning at Enso Prenatal in Colorado Springs. If you're interested in baby-led weaning and have a little one (ideally between the ages of 3-6 months), you should go to her next class...which is at the end of the month! Michelle and Remy are a beautiful pair. As a mama who also struggled with infertility, I found her story to touch a tender place in my heart. I hope you enjoy her words and these photographs.
What does breastfeeding mean to you?
After years of infertility and a transferred home birth turned c-section, breastfeeding was a way for me to feel like my body was functioning the way it should. Sure, my son got tons of benefits, but I needed to breastfeed to feel like my body wasn't broken.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding challenge?
My son was unable to latch when first born, so I triple fed him (tried to breastfeed him, pumped, then fed him the expressed milk via a finger feeder). Figuring out how to get him on the breast was a huge challenge. He never received a bottle because I feared he would have nipple confusion on top of all the other issues we had. The finger feeder/supplemental nursing system was a pain in the butt, but I am so thankful for it. We had his first successful latch at 7 weeks old, and he was fully breastfeeding by 3 months.
What do you love most about breastfeeding?
Despite our initial difficulties, my son has only had breast milk (mine and donor milk in the hospital) until we started solids at 6 months and watching him grow knowing that fact just amazes me every day. I love that I can provide all the nourishment my child needs for his first six months of life.
Who, or what, has offered you the most support on this journey?
I would not be breastfeeding today if not for a long list of people supporting us. My husband was a HUGE support. We both took Kari Kwinn's Breastfeeding Basics class, and that helped us realize we had a problem latch in the hospital; the two lactation consultants we saw in the hospital weren't terribly helpful. Laura Tefertiller's Birth's Journey birth prep class also helped us know where to turn for help. Dotti Kirkpatrick, our midwife, referred us to Cathy Janoka, THE lactation consultant to see in the Springs, when she realized my son's weight was dropping quickly during her home visits after we were discharged from the hospital. Cathy worked with us for hours and hours trying to help my son latch. We saw Dr. John Davis at Atlas Chiropractic shortly after our son was born for his first adjustment. And Adrienne Arnold at ABC Chiropractic also treated our son with cranial sacral therapy in effort to help him breastfeed. We believe all these people helped our son be able to breastfeed. Them and one stubborn mama!
What advice would you give to moms who want to embark on this journey?
No mama is an island - you can embark on this journey alone, but it's so much better surrounded by support. I don't know where we'd be without our support system. The women at La Leche League were such a big support for me - even if all I needed was a pat on the back and a 'good job, mama'. Also, the first place in public that I finger fed my son was at Kari Kwinn's Mom & Me Yoga. I felt so comfortable with all my new mama friends I met in Prenatal Yoga and Kari. We have met the most amazing women at Enso Prenatal in Colorado Springs and recommend it to all pregnant women and new mamas.