I Don't Need a Lactation Consultant
You may not know this about me, but I was the cockiest pregnant person on the planet. When I was pregnant with my first baby I *knew* *everything*.
Once the labor didn’t go as planned I figured that was probably the only hiccup so I ignored every suggestion for a lactation consultant. Inwardly I would think, “You think I’m some kind of moron? Obviously I’m going to be amazing at this breastfeeding thing” (told you, cocky).
Then my baby was ten days old. And I was crying all the time because my nipples were gone. He had chewed them off. His toothless gums literally chewed.them.off. They were just flat, bloody sores. Nothing left. Milk dribbled uncontrollably from them at all times.
I broke down and went to the “stupid” lactation consultant. And by stupid, I mean she was so incredible that she should wear a cape because she’s a super hero. Or maybe she could be knighted. Or sworn into sainthood. Whichever achievement she is granted would never be enough because she is better than all of them. She saved my nursing relationship and she saved my sanity.
I went into motherhood with one main thing on my mind. There was no other way to feed my baby than from my breasts. No bottles. No formula. Just breasts.
Thankfully, I had a pediatrician who also should wear a cape because regardless of my baby’s statistics, she told me one thing: Just keep nursing. You can do it. Just. Keep. Nursing.
Because of the overwhelming strength I found from my son’s pediatrician, my lactation consultant and a breastfeeding support group, I successfully nursed my first son for twelve months and one week. He weaned on his own and it was absolutely painless for both of us.
When my second baby was born, I was excited for my first son to have a brother. I was excited to experience what being a mom of two boys would be like. But honestly, I was excited to go back to my breastfeeding group. I couldn’t wait to see my lactation consultant again. I couldn’t wait to be there and support other moms who were going through all the things I went through my first time around.
I did see a lactation consultant in the hospital a few times when my second baby was born. Even though I had done this once before, a new baby was a whole new experience. Day two I had already developed a blister and I knew my LC would know how to fix it. One session later and it had healed. SUPER HERO!!!
The lactation consultants still joke with me about my “nipples getting chewed off” and when a new mom cried in group and begged for help, I shared my story with a giggle and reassured her that mom that it gets better. So much better!
I’m so thankful I eventually listened and got nursing help. My lactation consultant will be someone I remember for the rest of my life. Jill, you truly do deserve a cape.