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When the goalposts change.

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Today we are going to hear from one of our recent clients, G, about her breastfeeding turned exclusive pumping journey, and how she navigated the emotional ups and downs of that necessary plan change. ***Shared with permission.***

"In 2021, in the middle of all the pandemic chaos, I had a little girl. As the third kiddo in our family, I was fairly confident that we were prepared and ready to meet any challenges. After all, I was a seasoned mom AND breastfeeder (3 years of experience).

Well, as often happens, life really humbled me. Our daughter was born itty bitty, and her low birthweight combined with severe tongue/lip/buchal ties made those first few days a nightmare. Not only was I dealing with postpartum infections and fatigue, but we just couldn't seem to get the hang of nursing! I had Kristi Ramey on speed dial even before the birth, but after birth we were in regular contact, trying to get my baby healthy and growing.

Even after tongue/lip tie revision, baby girl was still struggling to latch or gain.

We did all the things:

On demand nursing

Waking her to feed so she wasn't going more than 1-2 hrs without nursing

ALLLLLLL the exercises to encourage proper latch/oral function

Chiro and myofascial massage

Supplementing with milk (via a dropper due to mouth not recommend)

Every kind of breastfeeding position you can imagine

This was done while I was also pumping full time, to maintain milk supply and have plenty to supplement her in-between nursing sessions.

The Richmond Birth and Baby team were cheering me on, brainstorming with me, helping me consult with the appropriate medical providers, and, well, listening to me process and cry. I cried. A lot.

And didn't work. Breastfeeding truly did not work best for my baby. She needed more help and less work, and so we switched over to breastmilk in bottles. I became an exclusive pumping mom (something I never saw coming) and wowza. What a learning curve.

Again, Kristi and her team were with me every.single.step. They walked me through purchasing pump parts, how to safely store and prepare milk and how to maintain a daily pumping schedule in a way that was healthy for us. There is literally no way I could have navigated this on my own, and come out feeling confident and proud. Even though every goal I set wound up changing in the end, I was never treated like "too much" or like a bad mom. I was never told to "just try formula", but instead I was given facts and options (and hand holding), and then fully supported in those decisions.

I do want to note that the help setting up a personalized pumping schedule was LIFE CHANGING. I had some unique health challenges that made my needs different than a lot of other moms, and we also homeschool/have older kids at home. We had to find a good groove that allowed me to maintain my supply, maintain my relationships with the other kids, and maintain my sanity. Really appreciate the guidance I got in this area!

All in all, I am so thankful that I worked with RB&B. It made all the difference in the world. "

The reality is, sometimes despite everyone's best efforts, the goalposts will move. Your plan might need changed. Your dream might not be so dreamy. As doulas, IBCLC's, and fellow moms, we know how vital it is to have the tools AND support you need, and we will do everything in our power to give those to you. However, when it is time to pivot, we will be there too. ❤️

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