The Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping or Donor Milk Journey

The Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping or Donor Milk Journey

July 16, 2016 13 By Lead Mama

How Did Your Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping or Donor Milk Go?

What Was It Like For You?

Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping and the decision to use Donor Milk for all moms you would think would be the same exact story. But it isn’t, we may have similarities or maybe the same problem but our feelings and what we do with both feeling and the entire process can be so very different!

#HumanMilkIsNormal and #HumanMilkIsOk

breastfeeding experiences and pumping breastmilk situations are unique.

                                                                Every Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping and Use Of Donor Milk Situation Is Different

What Is This Post About?

  • Mama’s will share their breastfeeding, milk pumping or donor milk use experiences, not all turn out the way you think. 
  • Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping and Donor Milk Inspiration and Motivation
  • Tips and Tricks Mama’s have used to help them, it might help you too!
  • Mama’s will share what breastfeeding, milk pumping or donor milk has done to them, for them and what it taught them.

Whatever Breastfeeding, Milk Pumping or Donor Milk Use was like for you even if it was a one time thing is such a unique story. We would love to hear it. Many other mama’s really need to hear it from you. It can be that crucial and critical for them. please tell us about it here so we can add it to this post. Or use the conversation box below to tell us about it.

Mama’s come here to try and sort things out, see if it would be something they can do. Papa’s need and want to know too. Most times they do not have any idea or education about it. But they need some help, encouragement and most importantly support!

Some of us just are not lucky enough to have in person help, support or anything for that matter. 

Open up your hands and ask them how you can help them. 

Show them what it was like for you, what you did, what your thoughts and feelings were. Your thoughts. feelings and what you have gone through are all valid and accepted. If you tried and for some reason could not go on, that is OK! 

What This Post Is Not!

  • This is not meant to single you out if you chose not to breastfeed, pump out your milk or use donor milk
  • This post is not singling you out because breastfeeding, milk pumping or the use of donor milk didn’t work out for you or your baby
  • This is not intended, assume or imply that you are a bad parent because you chose not to give breast-milk to your child
  • This is not to remind you of any failure that you are feeling guilty about or to shame you
  • This in not to call you out and tell you that you are killing your child for not giving breast-milk to your child

If you chose to not give your child breast-milk in any form or if it just didn’t happen or if there were some type of medical issue, please know that this is OK and you need to come to terms with these decisions or situations and most importantly – 

#humanmilkisright #humanmilkisok

#humanmilkisnormal and #humanmilkisok

Acknowledge And Own Them, Become Confident In Your Decisions!

Never be ashamed for trying and not being able to go through with something. At least you tried, especially if you tried with everything in you and exhausted all possible techniques, methods and strategies.

I mean if what you call trying is you thought about it or you put babies lips to your nipples and that was that… that is not trying. When you actually try something out, no matter what it is you do it full heartedly. You exhaust all methods, techniques, strategies and all possible and various ways to actually try to make it work. Trying something out also doesn’t mean you tried for an entire day or a week and decided that you “tried” it and it didn’t work out. 

When you are confident with your decisions and situations, you don’t become so defensive, hurt, or feel anything different than what someone else may try to tell you to feel.

I am not going to sugarcoat breastfeeding or milk pumping at all. It isn’t all fun, smiles and all the “good” stuff. It is hard, especially if you go into it with that mindset. Everything in life is hard and the more you think about and stress about it, the harder it can become. So only you can actually decide how hard you want the process to be.

Never allow anyone to make you feel shame or guilt, only you can do this for yourself. Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. No-one can make you feel a certain way unless you are already feeling that way and get ticked off because someone pointed it out. 

But Breast Milk itself literally and factually IS the Best Milk For ALL Humans period. This is not up for debate and it it were up for debate then of course Breast Milk will win because debates are factual, or at least the normal debates that I know of are. Breast Milk being the best food for humans is not an opinion at all. It is backed by scientific evidence. Breast Milk Is Best can be tested over and the facts always will come back that Breast Milk is and will always be the best food all humans start their life with.

Yes, there is a 3% population of mothers who medically can no breastfeed. This roughly means 1:1000 so for every one-thousand moms there will be one of those moms who medically can not produce human breast-milk. These Mama’s are an exception due to their medical conditions physically preventing them from producing milk or physically preventing them from breastfeeding or milk pumping. This does not include any Mama that has any emotional or mental issue that relates to or hinders any milk production, breastfeeding or milk pumping; That is an altogether different thing than the physical capabilities.

So if you are actually part of that small population, like I am, don’t beat yourself up about it. Don’t allow yourself to be emotionally vulnerable to being bullied, bashed or guilt’ed. It isn’t your fault and you most certainly have not a thing to be apologetic to, for or about and you have not a thing to be ashamed about! Just like some women medically can not conceive, nurture a baby in the womb or have a baby vaginally, some of us for medical reasons just can’t offer our own human milk for our little ones. Just accept it and come to terms with it, the more acceptance you have with it, the better it is for you. 

It doesn’t matter at all what you feel about it, you simply can not change facts. Now onto some crazy, beautiful, eye opening, motivational and inspiring stories!

[clicktotweet]#humanmilkisok and #humanmilkis normal I’m happy to say at least I admit it.[/clicktotweet]

Dizzy Mama Marilyn’s Breastfeeding and Milk Pumping Story

I will start with how things went for me! I have five children plus I nursed a couple of other babies not my own, so this will be a little long. I will tell you my experiences, what I went through, what I learned and tell you what I should have done differently if needed. All of my experiences are different from each-other. I may have breastfed multiple children, but let me tell you…. It was really different each time! Isn’t that nuts.

[clicktotweet]Every breastfeeding experience is unique #humanmilkisnormal [/clicktotweet]

I come from a family whom doesn’t believe in breastfeeding or human breast milk to be actually used on, in or with anything. It was never a discussion, never a possibility, not an option nor encouraged. 

In fact it disgusts them and it has even been said it is for pedophiles. As in telling me that if I breastfeed I must enjoy it sexually and that it is wrong. 

[clicktotweet]Breastfeeding Is Not Sexual! It Is Nourishment For Human Survival. #humanmilkisnormal[/clicktotweet]

Where and How Did I Find Out About Breastfeeding?

So how exactly did I even come across breastfeeding? Well, I met a super amazing person and her name is Marita. She is my second mom actually, she has opened my world to many things I was so closed and sheltered from. My very first experience with any child using these things as a form of nourishment was when Marita’s sister had her first child. I watched as this beautiful little baby was brought to her mom to feed her. I didn’t see a bottle and became confused! I’m a person of a trillion questions, so of course I said how is baby feeding I don’t see a bottle. Now that I’m thinking back to my first breastfeeding experience, I should have been embarrassed right. 

Mom showed me how she is able to feed a baby with no bottle. She showed me how baby latches on and they control the milk flow and they explained as best they could to me why one would breastfeed. Of course then I began to wonder why I was never talked to about this. In my family, we didn’t talk about these things, so I stayed silent. Marita and her awesome family taught me so much about more natural ways of living, healthier ways to eat and more.

Over the years after that and before I had my own child I learned lots from them about naturally feeding and taking care of a child, this included gentle parenting and other ways to do parenting. I truly am ever so grateful to have had that opportunity! I told them how when I have my own children that I would try to breastfeed them. They told me that when that times comes, they would be there for support and any help I needed.

Fast Forward To Breastfeeding Experience Number One

Fast forward to having my very first child. I was eighteen and a half, still in high-school, was already moved out of my mother’s home and was on my own for two years already. I told the doctors I plan to breastfeed and I was told “yay, ok good; let us know if you need help.” There was no talk about exactly how to or anything such as support groups for breastfeeding, La Leche League, milk banks, lactation consultants or breastfeeding classes!

So my oldest was born, it wasn’t the birth I had envisioned at all. Then came time for my very first flesh to flesh breastfeeding experience. It was hours after birth and they brought him to me saying, “Hey it’s time to feed baby.” They placed him in my arms and that was that.

[clicktotweet]Breastfeeding Is Taught And Is Not Instinct All The Time #humanmilkisnormal[/clicktotweet]

I was left alone to try and figure this out on my own. I said “I don’t even know where to start!” so I pushed the nurse button and said they needed to show me how to get baby to drink milk. They sent someone in to help. I was fortunate to get a person who was gentle and actually knew what they were doing.

Everything was “ok” in the hospital. They would come in and physically latch him to me. By day three, they watched as I learned to do it on my own. I was sent home with a pamphlet on just the bare basics. 

I was also sent home with some formula, for just in case. Since I didn’t have a great delivery and was still quite sick. 

The next week it just seemed like he was crying an awful lot. I didn’t even know, understand or even realize that my milk still hadn’t come in. I was told it will come in by the time I got home, just keep nursing and top off with formula. So that is what I was doing.

By week two my milk came in, I actually got a tiny bit engorged and was able to hear him swallow larger gulps of milk. So I thought ok, this is how it is done. I thought we were all good. I gave the bottles of formula because he seemed to want and need it. Plus it did give me that break I really needed. 

By week four I was still breastfeeding most feedings. I do believe it was at least two bottles per day of formula I was giving him. His need to nurse greatly increased but seemed like he was fuller after a bottle of formula was given. 

However no-one told me that for every half-ounce of formula given that my body will make an ounce less of milk! That is double than what I was giving to him in formula.

I Did Not Know Something Was Wrong

I was truly creating such an issue with each drop of formula I was giving. However I didn’t even know that. I wasn’t taught it, I didn’t even have anyone including the internet to even help me with it. I was still very sick. I could barely move. I was in severe pain and I was still battling infection on top of it. 

At three weeks old I remember asking emergency room doctors, nurses and  my babies pediatrician why he seemed to get sicker after bottles of formula. I remember asking about milk allergies at each visit, which was two to three times a week. I was told that he didn’t “look like” he had a milk allergy. To keep giving him breast as much as I could and change his formula to soy and see if it helped. 

By week six, my son was nursing wonderfully as in his latch, I was what I thought, making enough milk. He wasn’t gaining anything though, and he cried lots and sucked down those formula bottles still. 

I still didn’t know anything was wrong! I just dealt with it. I keep nursing and nursing and continued to nurse…. or so I thought. 

My sons grandmother told me about WIC, she left a case of formula for me as well. She was in Puerto Rico. I told her I was having some issues and she said that she didn’t think I could breastfeed because I wasn’t going to make milk.

She told me my breasts were way too small to produce anything. I began to think about this and really began connecting the two together. So I really began believing it. She told me I needed to eat more and drink way way more milk in order to make milk. So I increased my food intake and also drank more milk than what I was already. 

Something Was Wrong! My Breasts Are Too Small To Make Milk? What Do I Do Next?

At the time I went to WIC because by six weeks old it just seemed that something was wrong, I couldn’t figure it all out and I seemed to be giving another couple of formula bottles, so more like half formula and half breast-milk most days. The soy milk didn’t seem to make any difference.

I was then getting frustrated! Off to WIC I went, originally to see if I can get some formula. However they had a person who I was able to talk to. They showed me how to use a hand pump and see if I could get my milk back up. My primary had no clue about breastfeeding and I could only rely on WIC to help.

For the next six to eight weeks I breastfed my little boy. I was able to reduce his bottle intake as it kind of did seem like he was satisfied. He began getting sick at a few weeks old, so at this time I didn’t know really that low milk supply was even an issue. He had troubles with breathing and some other medical issues. He was throwing up lots, he wasn’t gaining weight. 

What is wrong with the milk?

I didn’t know, think or realize that he seemed a little happier when breast-milk was in his system, he wouldn’t throw up as hard or as much. I wasn’t educated on it all therefore I couldn’t even connect anything together. Plus I was sick myself, exhausted, had no help, had no real resources, and he was sick so much I just couldn’t do much.

He still was not gaining like he should and was underweight really, you can see his ribs clearly. Born at seven pounds and weighed maybe ten pounds be his third month!

I was being hounded to return to school or drop out. Dropping out was not something I wanted to do. The nearby high-school had a daycare. So my thoughts were to use formula for school and nurse him “when I can”. I didn’t even know that milk production was a demand equals supply situation. 

I made the decision to breastfeed when I can as in when he is with me and use formula when we are at school. However it really didn’t work out that way. With so many things still going on, school, him continueing to be sick all the time and myself just not getting better. Off to my primary I went.

When he was twelve weeks old, I was told by my primary that I really needed to get the depo-shot to help my own medical issues and so that is what I did. The depo-shot was given to me when my son was three and a half months old. Within that same week my entire breastfeeding journey changed.

By the third day after receiving my depo-shot my baby seemed to cry even more, he began to wear me out because he wanted to nurse more and more. I still was not informed about breastfeeding, cluster-feeding or anything. WIC was not really a breastfeeding friendly or promoting it like they do today.

They just had someone who showed you a couple of latch positions and how to use the hand pump. I got nothing when I pumped, not even a drop. This told me that I must be dried up, but when he was nursing, I can hear small swallows. I was so confused. 

Within One Week After Getting My Depo-Shot, My Milk Dried Up

I was devastated that I was no longer producing milk. My primary didn’t know anything about breastfeeding and was not an advocate for it. She just simply stated we are not sure why your milk dried up and disappeared but now we can focus on your own health. I didn’t know anything about it and I didn’t try anything else. I didn’t even know what to try out. I just knew, not a drop I was producing any longer. I was not even told or given any indication that the depo-shot was the culprit or was an issue. I just assumed I naturally dried up. 

I held my baby and cried, and cried and I could not tell him I was so sorry enough.

There I was, at eighteen with my first child already. Not only did I begin my true adulthood as a parent, but I was already failing. I cried every time I was alone or alone with him. He really wanted to nurse, so it was even harder. He fought that bottle the more I didn’t allow him access to the breast. 

We went on formula full time at three and a half months old, just fourteen weeks after coming into the world. He got sick more often, we were in the emergency room at least once a week and sometimes twice a week! We went to the clinic at least once a week on top of that. This went on for the first ten years of his life.

At the age of two, after further arguments with doctors they finally listened to me! They finally sent my son to  Gastroenterology because his system was so messed up. This is the time we learned that his reflux still was happening, he didn’t “grow out of it”, and that he is allergic to both dairy and soy!  

I was told to switch his milk back and forth from regular to soy at least six more times before his first birthday!

What I learned from this very first experience:

  • The depo-shot is most definitely not for nursing moms!
  • That I really needed to learn more if I planned on having more children.
  • The continuous switching of milks screwed up my babies system even more. 
  • Not all doctors know about, care about or advocate breast-milk as a food for humans. This is the most scariest things that still baffles me to this day… And it has been twenty years!
  • Human Milk was my sons Best Food – I just needed guidance in my diet choices, support and help all around

Stay Tuned As I update this post with each of my experiences from my other children as well as other Mama’s experiences.

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