We Need Your Booby Trap Stories for the US Surgeon General & The Press by Jan. 18

Written by Bettina Forbes, CLC

On January 19 and 20, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin is convening a briefing and press conference to announce the Call to Action for Breastfeeding.  Best for Babes co-founders Danielle Rigg and Bettina Forbes have been invited to attend this briefing and press conference as new members of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, and have been advanced as specialists on moms, the Booby Traps they face, and how to help them achieve their personal goals.  We aim to share our point of view with the Surgeon General and the media that the key to unlocking this stubborn problem is by focusing on eradicating the cultural and institutional barriers that actively prevent moms from succeeding, not simply educating about the benefits.   We are prepared to outline our plan of shifting the pressure OFF moms and on to the Booby Traps by aligning the business, non-profit, government, celebrity and citizen sectors behind a cohesive game plan that markets breastfeeding as mainstream and rebuilds the shattered breastfeeding infrastructure.   We will share our intention to build the mother of all causes and rally the masses, whether they breastfed, or not, were breastfed or not, behind this public health crisis that affects all of us.   We will talk about our specific strategy to harness the power of moms to bring about positive, constructive change so that our daughters, sisters and friends do not have to suffer as we did.  

We need your stories and your voice.   We have specifically been advised that the media will want to hear about real moms and real stories.   If you have been booby-trapped by your physician, hospital, health care professional, health care provider, insurance company, employer, restaurant, airport, school etc. and by the lack of public acceptance of breastfeeding, now is your chance!  Please leave your story below so we can direct the media.  Our goal is to have 100 stories by Tuesday, January 18th.  If we have a thousand, we’d be even happier! There are millions of moms who have been booby-trapped from wanting to breastfeed, trying to breastfeed, or achieving their breastfeeding goals.  Read our list of Booby Traps to refresh your memory . . . and feel free to speak to booby traps that we have missed.    

All we ask is that you keep your story personal, and that only moms who gave birth or breastfed in the US participate.  Please share this page with your friends and colleagues.  It is individual stories that inspire and motivate and bring about change, and the American public  needs to hear about the profound struggles and suffering by moms and babies who are being thwarted by a gauntlet of barriers daily.   The media, the Surgeon General and key stakeholders need to hear the degree to which moms are being pressured to breastfeed but set up to fail

The floor is yours!

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282 Comments | Last revised on 01/11/2011

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282 Responses to We Need Your Booby Trap Stories for the US Surgeon General & The Press by Jan. 18

  1. Jenn says:

    After a week and a half of painful breastfeeding, crying/screaming child, visits to the pediatrican and numerous phone calls with lacation consultants I went to see a lactation consultant. She said he was tongue-tied and not sucking efficiently. So I scheduled an appointment with my pediatrician for the next day to discuss the situation. The pediatrician didn’t think the tongue tie required clipping and wanted to wait and see if he gained weight. Well because I was supplementing he was gaining weight so we could never really diagnose if the tongue tie was an issue. And since the doctor didn’t think it needed to be clipped my husband was not supportive of clipping it, which left me being the only one. Ultimately after 8 difficult weeks of pain and him screaming while I switched from breast to supplement(BM or Formula) he became more efficient on his own!! By that point my milk supply was not where it should be to feed him fully. So I worked hard at increasing it and ultimately got him to 100% painfree breastfeeding. He is 4 months old tomorrow and I am now pumping at work. It was very stressful having so many different opinions on what the issue was and no one that I could truly point to as an expert. My husband felt the doctors should be the experts but most internet articles says that pediatricians aren’t breastfeeding experts. Don’t get me wrong husband has been extremely supportive about me breastfeeding he even came to one of the lactation visits but without all the differences of opinions and articles on the internet about tongue tie both of us had no idea what the right thing to do was.

    Additionally, I still have not received any reimbursement for my lacation consultant visits from the insurance company.

  2. Stephanie says:

    My first son was born at 39 weeks. Labor was incredibly fast and came out completely naturally within 5 hours. I knew I wanted to breastfeed but didn’t really do a lot of research beforehand thinking that there would be LCs at the hospital plus it seemed like a natural thing. I did not nurse immediately after he was born like you’re supposed to because I just didn’t know you were supposed to. Then a few hours later once we got settled into the post partum room, I tried nursing. He just wouldn’t do it. Then he started throwing up meconium. So, back to the NICU he went for observation. When I was allowed to see him, he had tubes everywhere. He had swallowed meconium and was having some breathing difficulties. He ended up being there 4 days. Throughout that 4 days, I used the hospital pump that they provided for me and pumped colostrum to give to him every 3 hours. Of course, they mixed it with prepackaged Similac formula. I told them numerous times I wanted to nurse but was told that if I wanted him to leave sooner, I needed him to have the formula. They wouldn’t release him until he gained a certain amount of weight. Of course, since I didn’t research as much as I should have and just went along with what they told me because obviously I wanted him out of the hospit. It wasn’t until the 4th day that they let me actually nurse and the LC that visited us made me feel like I was a burden and she hustled through our visit. I left discouraged. I tried nursing at home for a month but he had a really bad latch so I just started pumping. After a month of pumping, my milk dried up.
    Now my second son is almost 7 months old and we are still going strong with nursing. I attribute my success to my own research and knowledge plus the motivation from the situation with my first son and me wanting to do better.

  3. Aurelia Kime says:

    I will say throughout my pregnancy, early post partum period to even 2 1/2 years later (and still nursing) I’ve had quite a few various types of “booby traps” and lack of support, even strife from various sources, more so @ times just from activily nursing a 30 month old toddler these days more then not;p But at the same time more so positive support. I won’t go & list all but I will like many on here re-tell the first week post-birth because that one week was one of the more crucial & hardest times of my breastfeeding experiences & full of “boobytraps” that I did thankfully overcome.
    I do feel after reading many of the women on here’s story that a lot of you went through a lot more heck then me,some of you made my heart hurt for you so on what you went through. But I still think any ordeal, story or opinion is needed & should be encouraged & voiced. Especially for a cause like this and which is needed of hopeful change that with enough voices of many will hopefully make some difference.
    (Due to length I posted this in my FB notes)

    Thank you Best for Babes for all that you have done, or currently doing & what you are working to achieve for the mommas & general population.

  4. Liza Wenger says:

    All new breastfeeding moms should not trap themselves in thinking any formula is the end of breastfeeding. Giving the baby a bottle and getting much needed rest can help jump start the process.
    I went to a breastfeeding class and felt pacifiers, formula, etc were going to ruin breastfeeding. After successfully breastfeeding my 2nd and 3rd, i realized i put way too much in the “zero” paci/bottle advice.

    • Bettina says:

      Liza, we agree that new moms should not despair, and that having to use formula does not have to mean the end to breastfeeding. However, the rest of your statements are not evidence-based. Giving the baby a bottle usually does NOT help jump start the process of breastfeeding, but rather the opposite; bottles, pacifiers and formula usually undermine breastfeeding unless they are administered under the care of a knowledgeable and excellent IBCLC or trained and qualified MD who uses them as a temporary measure in the process of helping to get breastfeeding back on track. Far too many health care professionals are very cavalier about bottles, pacifiers and formula–a fact that some new mothers are very well aware of and furthers their anxiety about supplementing. Unnecessary supplementation is a booby trap that often takes a lot of work to overcome, and the worst part is, many mothers blame themselves instead of the lack of education and training that should be required for all health care professionals working with expecting and new moms.

      • Beth says:

        Bettina, I respectfully disagree with you. I think that breastfeeding supporters can be one of the biggest booby traps. Saying that using a bottle or a pacifier will ruin breastfeeding is just as damaging as saying a woman should supplement. I’ve used pacifiers with all four of my children and I have successfully breastfed three of them. My first child I nursed for 2 months. I was more booby trapped by those supposed to help me. They made me so nervous that I could never relax while nursing. I was so afraid of doing something that was going to destroy the breastfeeding relationship that it was destroyed. I know that saying all of this isn’t quite as refreshing as piling on the formula companies but it’s important to recognize that even the breast feeding community makes mistakes.

        • Bettina says:

          Beth, I think we do agree with each other that some breastfeeding advocates can be a booby trap. Breastfeeding advocates that are overbearing and intimidate new mothers do a lot of damage. I can totally relate to how you felt, it was how I felt too. At the same time, I think our choice of words has to be realistic and evidence-based. No, pacifiers and formula don’t ALWAYS ruin a breastfeeding relationship, but sometimes they do, and more often than not, they interfere with establishing breastfeeding. This is based on scientific study. If using pacifiers or formula worked for you, wonderful–I used them too, by the way–but one still can’t make a generalization and say that formula or pacifiers can jump-start breastfeeding. “jump-start” and “ruin” are polar opposites when the truth is somewhere in the middle.

  5. Linda W says:

    I breast fed my son until he was a year old. I worked at a great place with many mothers and was able to take extra breaks to pump. After the company was sold I got another job. Soon after, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. Two other coworkers were pregnant as well. The owner of the company supported us in taking extra breaks to pump. One of the employees(who was a young mother herself)was very hostile about me taking these extra breaks. She would harass me while I was pumping. I would get so upset that my milk wouldn’t let down. Because of this harassment my milk supply decreased and I had to supplement with formula. My daughter weaned herself at 9 months. She has more health problems than my son. I tried talking to this employee to no avail. I was robbed of this special time with my daughter.

    • Jenna says:

      I have some co-workers who give me dirty looks when I go to pump…fortunately, I have a supportive work environment that actually has a lactation policy, and I KNOW that what I’m doing is best for my child, and that is what is most important.

      • Ron says:

        Im so sorry this happens to you…don’t you worry..your pumping out something wonderful for your baby! Funny how people don’t give dirty looks when a co-worker steps out for their 15th smoke break!

  6. Robin says:

    My OB’s office sold my name to the formula companies. I was inundated with formula ads telling me how to breastfeed, but if it “failed” I had a “safe, trusted” back up plan. Then a few weeks before my due date a huge box of formula showed up at my door. At the hospital I was given a breastfeeding bag – with formula in it… all this because my OB can’t keep my name to himself. How is this not a violation of HIPPA?

  7. Julia B. says:

    I breast fed all 4 of my children and each experience was different. I also work as a nurse on a postartum unit and work to assist new mothers and babies to breastfeed. My boobie trap came when the hospital I work for hired a lactation consultant and one of the nurse midwives did not like her visiting with her patients to assess if the breast feeding mother baby diad were working together effectively. I had a patient who was still pregnant and expressed the desire of having the lactation consultant visit with her about breastfeeding. I a very experienced nurse was told exactly what to write on a physicians order for the lactataion consultant to visit the patient the midwife objected and turned this in to my state board of nursing who said that this is practicing out side my scope of nursing because the consult was written on a physicains order sheet. The whole time the only thing I was doing was trying to promote bresatfeeding and doing as the instituion I work at has told me was ok to do.

  8. Jesica says:

    The hospital I was in sent in ladies to watch you BF like once or twice a day. They never thought anything of the fact that I couldn’t get my little guy to feed. Knowing what they know, you’d think they would assume there was an issue. When I asked how much/how often he should be eating, I just got a “Oh, it varies” and that was it! How was I to know if he was getting enough or not???

    Well, the day of checkout, I finally got my little guy latched and eating well. The Dr came in and told me to take my time, and he was ready when I was. Not even 10 minutes later, the nurse came in and said that the Dr was only in to check me out and he wanted to go home!!! SO I had to unlatch my baby (I shouldn’t have, looking back, but in that state, I wasn’t thinking!) and go check out.

    After that, things got worse and worse with breastfeeding. He wouldn’t eat well, he lost so much weight. He went from 8lbs 1 oz to 6lbs 12 oz. I thought he was going to die. I desperately wanted to breastfeed, so I hadn’t given him a drop of formula. I was so persistent with trying to feed him. He’s cry, I’d cry. It was a mess.

    I went in for a weigh in, and when they told me he was down to 6 lbs, I almost died on the spot. I felt like the worst mother ever. The nurse called the Dr and he told me to ‘Just give the kid a bottle’ and that was all he said.

    I went home and bawled while we made formula. I felt evil giving it to him. He drank an oz and passed out for like 5 HOURS!

    Oddly enough the lactation consultant called me after I had just given the formula and I bawled to her like we had been friends for years.

    I worked my BUTT off to get my kid on the boob. I was almost up all night, finger feeding. I was in pain from trying to fix my nipples, so he could BF.

    Eventually we got it, but if I had been any weaker of a person…just one ounce less the motivation or let the exhaustion overcome me, I wouldn’t have persisted!

    Even the head lactation consultant of the province told me LC that I would likely not BF my child, because my ‘issue’ with my nipples. But I showed them and nursed my son for 2 strong years!

  9. Correen says:

    I was able to exclusively breastfeed both of my children for a year a piece despite a few obstacles. My daughter wasn’t interested in nursing until my milk came in. Needless to say while we were in the hospital she barely nursed. The first night after several tries of nursing, my daughter not latching for more than a few minutes and the nurse yelling at how I was starving my child I relented and gave her a bottle of formula. Fortunatly, she never had another bottle of formula and I was able to sucessfully nurse her from then on. But if I had that nurse any more than a few hours that first night I probably wouldn’t have been able to nurse her.

    I got mastitis a lot while nursing my son. After many visits to my OB for prescriptions she told me I ahd to completly stop nursing. I had to cut him off cold turkey. My OB did not know how to treat frequent mastitis. I researched it on my own and didn’t quit until he was 1.

    My finaly booby trap was returning to work. Finding the time and a place to pump was hard. I am a teacher so it’s not like I could get up and walk out of my classroom at certain times. I was very lucky to have principals that were willing to work my schedule around when I would pump. But if I didn’t have that I would never have been able to continue nursing.

  10. Kathy says:

    My state booby-traps women. I live in Mississippi, which has the lowest rate of breastfeeding initiation and of exclusive breastfeeding at either 3 or 6 months, the second-lowest rate of breastfeeding at 6 months, and the lowest rate of breastfeeding at 12 months [CDC Breastfeeding Report Card 2010. Maybe the fact that we have no “baby friendly hospitals” has something to do with it. Just over half of all women in my state initiate breastfeeding (which may be more of a cultural thing), however almost 40% of these “breastfeeding infants” receive formula. Something is broken, with figures like these!

    However, there are options. Although there are no hospitals that are “baby friendly” (and some may even actively or ignorantly undermine breastfeeding, considering the dismal figures), I did have my baby at a baby-friendly place: my home.

    Although we have no “baby friendly” hospitals, midwives are very mother-friendly and baby-friendly — in fact, as a Board Member of MS Friends of Midwives, I helped to come up with the slogan, “Midwives: Mother-friendly, Baby-friendly,” and encouraged its acceptance, with breastfeeding in mind. These breastfeeding statistics (or others very similar) were released about the time our group was organizing and formulating a slogan, and were very much on my mind as one of the many reasons to have a home birth, and to keep home-birth midwifery legal in our state.

    It’s sad that mothers in our state — and indeed in many other parts of the country — are needlessly separated from their babies at birth, sometimes for hours. This undoubtedly interferes with successful breastfeeding, as babies are born with reflexes that help ensure successful breastfeeding, but when mothers are left with empty arms, yearning for their babies, the natural process is upset, and successful breastfeeding is “booby trapped.”

    It doesn’t have to be this way, though. All across the country, women are taking responsibility for their births — whether this means giving birth outside of the hospital, or choosing good hospitals and/or hospital-based care providers, who will support and encourage them in breastfeeding, even routinely putting babies skin-to-skin on moms at birth, and leaving them undisturbed for the first hour. These things can happen. Back in the 60s and 70s, women started demanding that their husbands be allowed into the rooms when they gave birth; hospitals complied. Later, women started demanding that they not be flat on their backs to give birth; now you see most hospitals set up with beds that can support women in sitting or semi-sitting positions, others that have squat bars, and other “alternative” (i.e., normal/natural positions). When women’s confidence is sabotaged subtly or overtly, during pregnancy, labor, and birth, what does that do to her confidence in breastfeeding? When babies are taken away from their mothers, at the time when nature intended them to be cuddled at the breast, what message does that send, to both mother and baby? How does that booby trap successful breastfeeding?

    Women can take back their birth-right of having their babies with them even in the hospital, nursing them from birth, with no routine separation. But we have to let hospitals know. Women choose home-birth for many different reasons; but no woman should have to choose a home birth, merely to ensure that her baby is placed on her belly, instead of taken to a warmer; and that her baby is nourished at her breast, instead of routinely given sugar-water or formula; or that she gets to hold and get to know this new little person, instead of being separated for hours so mom can “rest.” It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. And we can change it!

    • Hilary H. says:

      I totally agree! I had a baby Nov 2010 in a hospital in Jackson and I do not believe it was baby friendly. After my baby was born, she was taken to the nursery for 4 hours. There were no IBCLC’s on staff, only “OB Educators” that told me my baby’s latch was fine (it wasnt, but thats ok we’re going strong now). When my baby wouldnt stop crying, the nurses told me to “just give her a bottle.” And to top it all off, I was sent home with a 48 pack of Similac bottles, “just in case.” I really wish this state would step it up in terms of their breastfeeding support!

  11. Heather says:

    My first booby trap came in the hospital. I had an emergency induction due to low amniotic fluid so I gave birth in the triage area. I got to hold my baby for a while after giving birth. Then they took her away to clean her up while I was moved into a regular room. So far, no problem.

    Then, 30 minutes after she was brought back to me, they took her away again. They claimed she was jaundiced. (My husband refuses to believe them.) We were told she had to be under the lamps, but that she would be brought to us for 30 minute feedings every 3 hours.

    After they took her my nurse explained to me that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. You see, my new baby needed formula to help her expel the bilirubin or she might get sicker. But I could get a pump to use so that when she was better I could breastfeed if I chose.

    Our nurse showed us how to use the formula bottles, discarding certain nipples saying, “Mary doesn’t like these nipples. (Her name was Mary.) They were the medical professionals so we trusted them. Despite the fact that both of us had been jaundiced as infants, had had no treatment, and have been healthy enough so far.

    Later the head nurse came in and asked us how we were doing. We explained that we were upset because we wanted to breastfeed, but were unable to. She got an expression on her face that indicated this was not the first problem she’d had with Mary. She said I could breastfeed, I just needed to formula feed as well. She told me some techniques to make it less likely that we’d have problems with our baby rejecting the breast in favor of the bottle. Including using the “breastfeeding” nipples for the bottle. The very ones Mary had discarded as inferior.

    While that came as a relief, we still didn’t get to see our baby. We were told we could visit her in the nursery. I walked down there as soon as I could. After a 22 hour labor I got to stand by a box and watch my naked, blindfolded baby scream. There were no chairs and I could just fit my hand inside to touch her. So much for rest and minimizing stress to help my milk come in.

    She was brought to us 24 hours after she was born. Coincidentally, it was 10 minutes after my husband walked out of our room with purpose when I broke down sobbing about wanting my baby. The lactation consultant didn’t work on the weekend and the nurses, though they tried, were not really able to help.

    We went home with a box of formula hoping to figure out how to breastfeed on our own. We almost didn’t make it. It took our determination, a very good friend who tracked down a lactation consultant, the coordinator at that organization who gave us another number of someone who would be available that week, $140 for the appointment/follow-up and pump rental and the encouragement of the mommy support group I belonged to for us to make it as a breastfeeding family.

  12. mollie says:

    with my first I had many boobytraps in the first few days of her life. I was induced at 37 weeks due to PIH. I was given drugs that made me and my baby sleepy and not interested in BFing. I had a terrible nurse for the first night. My baby was taken from me at about 10 pm. I asked her to be returned ASAP. I fell asleep and woke up in a panic that my baby was not returned to me at 4 am. I am SURE she was given formula while out of my care. When my baby was returned to me I tried to BF and was able to a little but noticed that my arm was swelling and painful. I called in the nurse because I was worried that my IV came out. The nurse took our baby gave her to her daddy and gave him a bottle of formula to feed her. my nurse left us telling me most likely my IV was fine. 10 mins later I had her back in replacing my IV because it was not fine. The next day my daughter started photo therapy because of her billiruben levels and we were again instructed to feed her formula. they pushed really hard for me to feed her 2 oz despite her spitting up almost all of it if she had that much. after 3 days in the hospital we were released but still instructed to feed her formula every other feeding because of her billi levels. I was pumping my BM. when my milk came in I had no idea what was normal i would pump 6-8 oz in 15 mins. when I called a LC to see what was normal she said to keep pumping that amount. eventually we were able to to only BFing and I suffer through an over supply problem for months(many women I know would kill to have that problem but it is a problem and very painful). I am glad that I was able overcome boobytraps and feed my baby the way I wanted.

  13. Michelle says:

    When I gave birth to my first child (an almost 9lb daughter!) – I had no idea “how” to breastfeed but I knew I would be able to figure it out along the way…

    In the hospital, almost right after getting situated in our room after the delivery, the nurse asked if I’d like her to take the baby for a while. I said no – I hadn’t nursed her yet (I tried in the delivery room but she wasn’t interested really, so I felt like I didn’t want to push it – I was starving so I wanted to eat and try again right away)

    Cammie (my new tiny bundle in the plastic box next to my bed now..) was getting a little restless and the nurse, on her way out, made sure to make it VERY obvious if I wanted some sleep, she’d take Cammie to the nursery and I could “rest.”

    –I didn’t let Cammie out of my sight (only because I’m not a huge researcher… I didn’t read a lot of “what COULD happen..” or “how to have a baby..” — I just wanted to go in with my intuition and solve problems along the way.) I tried to nurse her again, she latched perfectly, and we were in business!

    Though I nursed her hourly for the next few days, by day 4 my milk still hadn’t come in… Cammie was screaming and I had a house full of company (I live about 3 hours from my HUGE and close-knit extended family who ALL came to visit the DAY we got home from the hospital, then stayed overnight at my house because of the drive.)

    My aunt (who was the head nurse of Labor & Delivery in my hometown hospital) suggested I cup feed her a tiny bit of formula because my milk hadn’t come in yet.

    I broke down, sobbing… I was exhaused, there were 10 people in my house BESIDES my husband and my new baby… this was not at all the way I thought it would go “bringing home baby” – I felt like a huge failure, I guess because my milk hadn’t come in, like somehow maybe that was my fault. I didn’t want to “cup feed” formula, I didn’t think she needed it – but I didn’t want her crying to bother all of our guests. (Sidenote: I wasn’t too sure of the nursing in front of everyone thing, so I would retreat to my room to uncomfortably sit on my bed and try to figure out how to get her latched and let us both relax..)

    I was most definitely booby trapped by my aunt, a registered nurse — I know she was just trying to help… my cousin (who had a 2 week old daughter at the time) also reassured me that “a little formula never hurt..” —

    LUCKILY my daughter’s pediatrician was AMAZING. She reassured me that colostrum was enough, I didn’t need to supplement, I was doing a good job – there was nothing to worry about. RIGHT after talking to her I felt so confident and at peace – knowing I was doing just fine.

    It took 5 (almost 6) days for my milk to come in and I had a very positive nursing experience… It has impacted my life in a way that so many people will never understand. It’s almost impossible for me to think of a different way to comfort a crying, crabby, or unsettled baby (especially one that isn’t my own) – nursing was just always my go-to solution!

  14. Alex says:

    I am proud to say I come from a long line of Breastfed and Breastfeeding mothers. I myself was breastfed till the age of 3. Because of this I knew I was going to breastfeed ever since I knew I wanted to someday be a mother.
    The delivery of my first daughter last March turned out to be quite traumatic for everyone involved. MY baby ended up being in the ICU for a week and I can’t begin to tell you how my heart broke when they told me they wanted to give her formula so they could see how she is eating. Then they kept asking me if my milk was in as if they knew nothing about the first milk (Colostrum)!!! I was confused but just want nothing more than to take my precious baby home like it should be. They didn’t even try to help me figure out a way my baby could get my milk. Then when I was finally able to try breastfeeding we told the nurse we would like them to stop with the bottles and she said they can’t with a high and mighty attitude, like it was really up to her! Now that I know better I will never let this happen again. I felt like I knew more than the Dr and nurses from labor to the ICU but for some reason I let them do what they said was best. It was complete torture.
    I was only given the greatest relief when there was one nurse who had 5 children, all breastfed. She was able to help me get rid of the nipple shield the LC gave me for one side by slipping it away while my baby was feeding. It was a wondrous moment! WE WERE ON A ROLL!!!!
    I feel what mothers really need to be successful are more breastfeeding mothers around them from childhood and more women to talk to about it as they prepare and get started with their own babies. There must be a change in our society where breastfeeding is embraced, encouraged, and FULLY accepted! The benefits and joy of it are insurmountable!!!!
    I am proud to say we are still going strong at 10 months and counting!

  15. Cindy B says:

    Subtle booby traps.

    It started with my son’s natural, un-medicated birth in a hospital at 43 weeks by his estimated due date. He was 10lbs 1oz and very healthy and an appetite to match. It quickly became apparent that I could not make enough milk to match his growth or appetite needs. So I supplemented using an SNS (supplemental nursing system). Though I was told that I was likely not eating and drinking enough ~ so I did so but only ended up gaining weight. Thankfully my husband was very supportive and I had a lay midwife who was somewhat encouraging.

    At 4 weeks old it definitely seemed as though, even with the SNS, my sweet baby wasn’t getting enough. He still wasn’t gaining much weight, though not losing much either but now his periods of wakefulness seemed to have dissipated to non-existent. I was worried. My lay midwife lived in another city over an hour away and she was less encouraging, not being able to provide any additional advice and no longer willing to drive back and forth to offer support. He seemed sleepy all the time. I knew babies slept a lot but this was a baby who cooed and seemed to talk as babies do in the delivery room, to everyone’s surprise. I was growing more worried.

    So at 4.5 weeks old I gave in and his daddy gave him his first bottle. I had my little interactive, cooing baby back. I did not give up nursing though, I took all the herbs and teas to try to produce more milk and used the SNS and pumped and all the things I could find to do. I gave up the SNS at about 3 months. I never made enough for him but I ended up nursing him a couple times a day until he was two and a half years old.

    The other booby trap I tried hard to resist was nursing him past a year. Even people who supported me and thought it was a good, healthful thing to do started to question it when they learned that I was still nursing him after 18 months. I believe that is another thing that we need to adjust is our thinking about when women should stop nursing infants and toddlers. It may not be something that all women can do but it is healthy for the children who’s mothers are able to nurse for extended periods of time.

  16. Adelina says:

    I was a young mother when I gave birth to my first son. I didn’t know what I was doing and relied heavily on the knowledge of the staff at the hospital. I knew I wanted to breastfeed but I thought that it would just happen naturally the first time I put my son to my breast and I didnt anticipate having any problems. Soon after he was born they took him for “testing” and didn’t bring him back for hours. When he finally came back he wouldn’t nurse and I was told that he had been fed sugar water. Once we left the hospital we were told to supplement because my son had high bilyruben levels. Over the next 4 days we increasingly supplemented as per our pediatricians request. Finally my mom made an appt for me with our family friend and LC. She weighed my son before and after feeding and assured me he was actually getting enough to eat from me. I went on to nurse him without formula until one year of age.
    With my second son I was so much more knowledgeable, I was totally prepared to face boobytraps. When this son was born it was in a different hospital that was “pro-breastfeeding.” I was giving the opportunity to have him stay in my room and he wasn’t taken away for any testing. He also had high bilirubin levels and I was stunned to hear my midwife tell me to supplement with formula. I knew he was eating until full from my breast so I said okay I’ll give him the formula after a feeding. When the nurse came back she wanted to know why I’d only given him half an ounce. I said he was full, she then proceeded take my baby and force feed him another ounce and a half with much struggle. I was shocked that this pro breastfeeding hospital would do this. They sent me home with a package of similac and, well, it’s still sitting in my cupboard untouched. I felt like I was being sabotaged. I had been too scared the first time to question anything the doctor said, this time I knew I was right and that I was making enough milk to flush out the bilirubin from his liver, he was having 4-5 large stools a day! I’ve been nursing this one 12+ mos(8 mos ebf) and no sign of stopping.

  17. rachelle says:

    With the birth of our first child at our local hospital, we knew we would be breastfeeding. There was no convincing me. I read up on the amazing and natural way a baby will crawl to its mothers milk on its own within minutes of birth. Of course, if it’s actually given the chance. And if the mom and the baby are not so drugged and out of it that they remember to do this. I had the classic hospital birth: induced 10 days after my “due date” (which come to find out 5 years later was actually 5 days before the ultrasound determined “due date”) “Cascading Effects” ensued, thankfully I didn’t end up having to get the emergency c-section the nurse called for as she ran screaming from my room at 2am. I was utterly dismayed by the response of the nursing staff after we had shared our plans to breastfeed and keep our baby in the room with us. I felt no support whatsoever from the nursing staff, but rather had to fight every half hour over the evidence based FACT that no, my baby does not NEED a bottle. Every nurse gave me her own version of what I SHOULD be doing, most of which I knew were not based at all on evidence based best practice research. My breasts were inappropriately grabbed shoved into my child mouth, without first asking my consent. Like everything else in a hospital birth, breastfeeding was to be done on the time frame convenient to the hospital staff, not what was best for me and my baby. All this was done in a drug-induced haze, but we did it. My one meeting with the Lactation Consultant told me what I already knew – “You’re baby is a great feeder! She’s latched right on, look at her go!” Thankfully I did not need more visits from the Lactation Consultant, because my insurance would not cover that. Despite our rocky beginning, we are one of only 13.3% of families exclusively breastfeeding, according to the CDC’s 2010 Breastfeeding Report Card. When we were pregnant with our second child, we had a much better experience thanks to our midwife. We began care at our local clinic with the Family Practice physician we had been seeing. Shortly after this visit, we began receiving full cans of formula in the mail from Abbott Pharmaceuticals, as well as frequent mailings of coupons from formula/pharmaceutical companies. I know I did not share my name with the formula companies, and did not sign up for anything that would let anyone know I was pregnant, except my local clinic. When I tried to contact Abbott to demand they stop sending me formula, the only form I could find had to be submitted under the agreement they could sell my information and use it as they please. In addition to ensuring families are getting the evidence based, consistent information on breastfeeding, formula/drug company advertising needs to be further regulated. Formula feeding needs to be seen as a last resort – NOT THE NORM. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me, “So when will you start giving her formula?” What? Why would I if I don’t have to? That’s not to say my children have never had formula – I work out of the home full-time. They have had formula, but they would have had a lot more had I not been dead set determined and had the support of my partner AND my employer. While Federal Law protects my right to express breastmilk when I need to, in practice this is not an easy thing to do. I was lucky enough to get an electric double breastpump from WIC when my first child was born. I can pump 2 bottles in 15 minutes, thanks to the double pump. Today, I’d have to shell out $300 for one, and I couldn’t use Flex Spending Account monies for it, as the IRS doesn’t believe it qualifies as a medical expense. “You’re STILL doing that?” people say when they see the international symbol for breastfeeding on my door that I made to let people know I am unavailable. Yes, my baby still likes to eat for some reason, even though she is four months old…strange. Thankfully my partner was able to support us on his income alone and I took the full 12 weeks FMLA allows off. I still am unclear as to what would happen if I need to take more time off, say to care for my mother, since I am her legal guardian. While I took as much time off as I could, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to transition back to work and breastfeed at 6 weeks, like most mothers. My employer has made this easier for me by allowing me flextime, allowing me to bring my baby to work, and being supportive in knowing I am doing what is best for my own and my child’s health. This flexibility and support help me and my child be sick less now, and in the future. I know not all women have this flexibility and support, and I can’t imagine what I would have to do if I was still working in a gas station and not a college educated professional.

  18. AM Fontaine says:

    When my first daughter was born in 1981 I worked in a hospital on the Obstetrics (OB/GYN) floor. No maternity leave, had to use my sick & vacation time and went back just a little before 6 weeks after my c-section, but breast feeding and pumping was not made easy. No employer/supervisor support. Only able to breast feed 6 months, but I would have continued. Sad to say, but as I encouraged and assisted other new moms I cried inside because I did not receive encouragement from my own (health care) employer.

  19. Amy S says:

    I delivered my son by c-section and he latched on like a champ within an hour of being born. The first two days of nursing were fine. The third day, he really just wanted to cuddle. He wasn’t all that interested in eating. I knew I needed to feed him, but I really couldn’t get him to latch for a significant amount of time. The more the nurses tried to force him to eat the more he cried and screamed. I called in my reinforcements – my best friend and my sister (both of whom had c-sections and exclusively nursed their sons into toddlerhood and beyond). They helped me pump and feed my son with a syringe to reassure me that I was actually producing and so that I could quantify how much he was taking in. On day four, I was left alone in the hospital as my husband had a funeral to attend. My reinforcements were not yet available so, when I was faced with some feeding struggles, I called my nurse to help me. She complained that I had buzzed her, as she had other patients to attend to as well. Instead of offering me useful assistance, she said, “Wow, you’re really into this whole ‘breastfeeding’ thing, aren’t you?” I replied with an emphatic yes and explained that it was very important to me. She rolled her eyes and left the room. She returned a few moments later with a bottle of sugar water. Without my permission, she squirted it on my breasts and said “Try now.” When he still didn’t show an interest in nursing, her response was, “They make formula, ya know!” and she left me, all alone with a screaming baby, vulnerable, and completely terrified. I called my sister, and she and my mother were at the hospital within the hour to help calm me and my son and provide loving support and encouragement. I pumped and used the syringe again and was comforted that my son was getting my milk, even if it wasn’t in the most traditional way. I am happy to report that our nursing relationship thrived and 22 months later, and without a drop of formula, we are still going strong!

  20. Katie says:

    I’ve been very fortunate in that I have not had too many “booby traps” and have now been breastfeeding for just over a year. However, it’s largely due to my own determination that this has been accomplished.

    In the hospital, I allowed my son to be given some formula because *everyone* had told me that I should rest, a little formula would be fine, etc. This was done even though everyone clearly understood I was a breastfeeding mom. Upon discharge, I was given the free formula goody bag, marked for “breastfeeding moms” but containing samples of already mixed formula. In the early days, when I was desperate for sleep, we of course used these bottles. I am lucky that it did not affect my supply. As I spent more time reading about breastfeeding, I quit the formula and my son has not had any since his first month of life.

    Also in the hospital, I requested help from the lactation consultants, as breastfeeding was very painful and I had cracked, bleeding nipples. I was told this was normal, to get some gel pads and just keep going. I know now that I should have had more guidance on positioning and latch. I spent the first eight weeks of breastfeeding in a lot of pain, frustrated because it would take ten minutes sometimes to latch my hungry baby, and hunched over developing neck and backaches because I did not have the correct positioning. The “lactation consultant” also told me that it was a good idea to supplement a bit until my milk came in.

    I am most fortunate because I was financially able to take the full 12 weeks off (six of those were without pay). That directly contributed to my breastfeeding success–if I had only had six weeks, I don’t know if I would still be breastfeeding. I also have a position that allows me a private office, and a boss who is supportive of my pumping needs. These are simple things that every woman in the workforce should have, but unfortunately the work culture in our country mostly does not support families as in other countries.

    Along with the usual booby traps from the hospital and the work policies in our country, I have also met with some opposition from my pediatrician. She has encouraged to give solids before six months and also to wean to cow’s milk now that my son is a year. It’s very frustrating to have someone tell you that what you’re doing doesn’t matter when you feel that it very much does. We need more support and more education as breastfeeding mothers, and we need it now.

  21. Jenna says:

    My story:

    I delivered my daughter at 37 weeks, 2 days, via an emergency C-section (have learned since that the early term birth, combined with a traumatic labor and delivery ,created a lot of the host of issues we had…not that I learned that at the time…). My hospital prided itself on being family friendly, and encouraging BFing. Their policy is that moms have to hold their babies before leaving the OR to go to recovery, which I did with my daughter…who had already been cleaned up and swaddled. They wouldn’t allow me to do skin to skin in the OR, as I requested at the urging of a LC in a BF class I took pre-delivery. In recovery, I attempted BF for the first time…bumbling and fumbling, but we kind of sort of managed.

    My second day in the hospital, a hospital LC came into the room to talk to me. She basically spent 5 minutes with me, didn’t check anything, but I guess was able to say that she visited. That night was the first night a nurse suggested formula. My daughter was awake and crying, and our latch wasn’t going well…instead of suggesting ways to help, or offering to contact an LC to give help, she instead said, well, we have formula available if you want to do that…your baby needs to eat (my milk wasn’t even in yet). I said no thanks, and refused to send her to the “respite nursery” that was pushed on me every single night I was inpatient. While we were inpatient, we did okay with latching, and my daughter seemed to be getting something, but I wasn’t totally sure, as no one really helped me.

    The day we left the hospital, my milk came in…and everything went downhill. My daughter would no longer latch, and refused to eat. We were sent home, anyway, with no resources, on a Friday afternoon. As she came early, I wasn’t able to get my pump before she came (I get it through my work for cost, and had been planning on doing that the week she was born). My husband ended up running out and getting me a hand pump, because I was crying from the pain of the engorgement, along with my daughter not latching. I called every number I could find for the hospital, and there were NO LC’s available all weekend. I ended up pumping all weekend, and feeding my daughter via a bottle, because she had to eat, and that had to be the priority.

    Monday, first thing, I called the LC at the hospital. They couldn’t see me until Tuesday afternoon, almost 36 hours later. In the meantime, I was told to pump and bottle feed. When we finally got there…it was awful. The LC couldn’t even get my daughter to latch (which I had at least been able to do, she just pulled right off), and then berated me for the amount of liquid she WAS taking in, saying it wasn’t enough (according to her FF charts), and she was going to have failure to thrive if I didn’t up her liquids. Her advice basically was, “keep on doing what you’re doing, she’s just a stubborn baby.” She honestly seemed, to both my husband and myself, to be more interested with checking off the items on her sheet than actually HELPING me with getting my daughter on the breast. I left her office crying, and if I hadn’t been intent upon BFing, I probably would have given up that day and switched to formula.

    For 3 ½ weeks I pumped every 2-3 hours, exclusively fed my daughter every 2-3 hours, plus did skin to skin contact constantly, trying to do everything I was supposed to. We tried the breast before every feeding, and it didn’t work. I had just about given up on BFing directly from the source, and just EPing, when I was hooked up with my savior, a LC who gave a damn. She figured out that my daughter knew how to latch, but didn’t know/have the patience to wait for my letdown, so we did a SNS to give her that immediate gratification while she sucked for the letdown. Within 5 days we were off the SNS and nursing exclusively from my breast.

    I pump at work now, but when I’m home, my daughter will ONLY take the breast, and will, in fact, reject a bottle even from my husband at home, because she knows that mommy is coming eventually. We are still going strong at 5 ½ months, with no plans of ending any time soon in sight.

    I’m starting to face the “new” booby traps now…those of, your baby is hungry, you need to be feeding her solid foods by now…there’s no need to BF after 6 months…that’s just “weird” if you nurse past one year…and so on and so forth. I just smile and say we’re doing what works for us. If I didn’t have support, and knowledge, I know things would have been a lot different, and would be different even now.

  22. Jaimie says:

    Most of my booby traps weren’t TOTALLY intentional really. yes I did get the bag of formula and formula at the hospital. And the LC’s during my stay after my first daughter’s birth were short staffed, spent only 10 minutes with me, and were totally unsuccessful at helping me. But I also had a really hard recovery from a C-section after a LONG induced labor, a child who ended up in Nicu for a couple of days, and got bottles first etc. I write all of it off to lack of education. I figured “it’s natural” it will just come… but it didn’t. The breastfeeding class, wasn’t a class so much as a “here are good pumps you can get, avoid nipple confusion, and here’s a video” – it just didn’t really help much.

    my second go around was SO much different. I researched, and was knowledgeable. I hired a private LC. The hospital LC’s were SOO Much more available and helpful, and at 8 months my daughter hasn’t had a drop of formula.

    I guess what it all boils down to is education/knowledge. The “trappers” use that lack of knowledge to push their agenda, or they just don’t know any better and continue to foster the ignorance that keeps breastfeeding rates down. “It worked for me, so it should be fine for you.”

    I don’t regret giving my first DD formula. I regret the series of circumstances and the lack of education and professional support that may have helped me avoid it…

  23. Genevieve says:

    I gave birth to my son via c/s at 35w 6d. Of course, he lost some weight while at the hospital, but was born weighing 6lb, 12oz, which is pretty hefty for a preemie. I was told that if I didn’t supplement with formula, I would be sent home without him. I did supplement, but only while at the hospital. As soon as I got home with him (yes, we left together, thankfully), my milk came in and 3 years 1 month later, we’re still nursing strong with no end in sight! He’s been in the 90-98th percentile in both height and weight his entire life!

  24. K. McRae says:

    ‎27w1d (3 months preemature) my 1 lb 4 oz micropreemie. He has only had 1cc of formula in his life.. Due to a misunderstanding with the nurses. He got pumped milk via NG tube for the first 5 months. We tried using a bottle a few times (so the nurses could feed him at night…) but due to his heart and lung issues he was to weak to use one but he first latched at 5 months old (or 2 months gestational) at the second nursing it clicked and he took off like a champ. But pumping every 3 hours for those 5 months about did me in… And I never would have made it without support from The Leaky B@@b and BfB 😀
    We had to battle uninformed medical personel.. a few times
    I was told I should pump, but they wanted milk in bottles.. (I had to push to get to latch) for mathematical reasons… And they used fortifier.. turns out I make 31.5cal milk and didn’t need it! But my milk wasn’t tested until days before we went home (a 5 min test!)
    I used the American Heart Associtions stance on Breastfeeding being easier than bottle to convence them to let me nurse.
    After his open heart surgery I had to battle his team of residents who wanted to keep him on tube feeds even though his attendings and surgeon had cleared him for nursing… they ended up shoving 75cc into the stomach of 6month old (gestational). I made them remove the tube and refused to allow ity to go back in. They threatened me with “we will have to put in his chart that you refused”
    I told them to “go ahead, your not putting it back in”

    Also had pumping induced engorgement… Twice.. Once when he first came home and the second time after his open heart surgery.
    Plus I’m (still!) battling the social stigma of nursing in public.. (for shame!! Nearly suffocate your child with a heavy blanket or go hide.. *sigh*)
    I also had clogged ducts frequently while pumping (I’m sooooo glad I’m done with that machine!!!)
    10 months old and nursing strong

  25. Roberta Newell says:

    With my oldest baby, I was told to wean her when we went to the 9 mo. check up. The doctor (top in Lexington KY) told me taht she was getting “no nutritional benefits” from nursing. I knew he was wrong, but did not argue with him. I just didn’t take his advice! With my 2nd one, 9 yrs. later and after much reading and reaearch in the interim, I successfully manuevered through sore nipples and cracked nipples. I knew what was over the hill! I was the first mother to ever leave that hospital under 24 hours after birth. With the third, who had major latch on problemes I would never have been successful if I had of depended on the hospital’s help. I had to tell them not to give her any pacifiers or water bottles which would have only confused her more. I also stood up to the nursery head nurse. That was fun watching her back down!! Most new mothers don’t have the self confidence or the faith in breastfeeding that I had. I want to help those women have the success I had.

  26. Linda says:

    3 days after my scheduled c-section, my ob-gyn suggested i have the depo-vera shot for birth control. I was concerned about milk supply, but he said it would not be effected, so I agreed. None of the nurses thought it was an issue. 4 days after my injection, my baby became lethargic and didn’t have a bowel movement in days. the baby’s primary doctor who was also mine told me “just” nurse him more. She also didn’t think the depo shot was effecting my milk supply. after 2 weeks, I went to see an LC and she had a suspicion it was the depo, she she had me on a 2 hr round the clock pumping schedule. I was never able to fully regain my supply and I felt like such a failure.

  27. Donna Lewin says:

    I had an institutional booby trap. I had a relatively easy delivery with my son. However, shorty after he was born he was taken from my side because he was doing retraction breathing so we didn’t get to nurse right away. His breathing became normal quickly and I had him back within a couple of hours. We did have a very helpful LC available to us at the hospital but there was only one on the staff so I was actually pretty lucky that I got so much of her time. We left the hospital off to a pretty good start nursing. My son had a mild case of jaundice the pediatrician wasn’t concerned at the hospital but wanted to make sure we watched the bilirubin levels.

    When we visited the pediatrician for our first out of hospital visit (2 days old) he was immediately concerned that my son hadn’t gained back enough weight and advised that we start supplementing. I was reluctant to do so as I’d been pretty well educated about breastfeeding. He told me that giving my baby a bottle at that point had almost no chance of effecting his ability to nurse, but agreed to giving it 2 more days before more strongly suggesting that I supplement. We came back 2 days later with continued insufficient weight gain and continued concerns about jaundice. And I gave in began to supplement with both EBM and a very small amount of formula. I had no guidance from my pediatrician on how to make sure I was maintaining my supply while supplementing. Because I had taken a good breastfeeding class, had done reading and had a good friend who was studying to be a La Leche Leader I pumped every time my son got a bottle and if he drank all the EBM or formula we had offered and still seemed hungry I put him back on the breast. I dropped the bottle after about 1 1/2 weeks, and I think we had only used formula for about 3 days. 2 & 1/2 years later my son and I still have a satisfying nursing relationship (although I admit I am looking to wean soon). I’m not confident that if I hadn’t had a good idea of how to make sure I was maintaining and growing my supply that my story wouldn’t have ended as so many others do with the belief that I just couldn’t make enough milk.

    I’m angry that in my fragile state I was told, “well we need to see if he can weight to make sure nothing is wrong” by my pediatrician with NO recommendation of seeing an LC.

  28. Janelle says:

    I was so determined to have a natural birth with my first. But things don’t always go as planned. I ended up being induced at 37.5 weeks because my water broke and I was “failing to progress”. I went from having NO contractions to having one every minute that was nearly a minute long. I was determined not to get an epidural but caved when they offered IV drugs. The drugs only made me feel intoxicated and didn’t help at all with pain.

    After 22 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing my drugged out little guy came into the world with a dislocated jaw (he was face up with a hand in by his face) and his skull plates were nearly a 1/4 of an inch displaced. I didn’t know he was in so much pain until 6 WEEKS later! He was taken from me immediately and weighed, measured, jabbed, bathed, and swaddled. When I got him back he looked like a little baby mummy and he was asleep. And he slept for 6 hours. I tried to get him to nurse but he just couldn’t stay awake.

    Then they came to check his hearing – he screamed the whole time. Then they circumscised him (wish I had know then what I know now) and he screamed some more. And when I got him back he went to sleep without nursing.

    We were discharged on day three – no one ever checked to see if he was feeding or if he was even latching on! I got different info from every nurse and the lactation consultant just told me “Some moms just have to bottle feed.” I told her to get out!

    So I took my sleepy baby home and by day 4 he was nursing constantly and if he wasn’t nursing he was screaming. Little did I know he was not getting enough to eat – he had latch problems and I had supply problems and no one even checked into the issue itself until I found La Leche League at 3 months.

    At his 6 week appointment he had lost 14 ounces and was declared failing to thrive. The doctors were not at all interested in what the problem was – just wrote me a prescription for high calorie formula (I know now that the highest calorie formula only contains 24 calories/ounce and the average woman’s milk contains 35+). So we tried formula. Every kind of formula on the market (including $60/can hypoallergenic). And he was intolerant to all of it.

    It took me 6 months and 9 doctors to get a prescription for breastmilk from the milk bank. Insurance would not cover the cost of the milk ($3.75/ounce x 40 ounces/day) and we really struggled to provide that for him but once on banked milk he gained 3 pounds in 3 weeks!

    You could say that the medical community sabotoged my efforts to do what was best for my child. According to the WHO, a baby should be fed 1. Mama’s milk 2. Mama’s milk in a cup or bottle 3.Another Mama’s milk in cup or bottle 4. Formula. That certainly wasn’t what I was told by his doctor.

    Thanks to the people who pushed and pushed and pushed formula – our nursing relationship ended at 8 months.

    He is now almost 2 and I still mourn the loss of that relationship. I also have a 10 month old who is fully nursed (thanks to La Leche League and lots of research) and I feel a connection with him that I do not have with my 2 year old.

    I blame myself for not being educated but I blame the medical community more – these “professionals” who are supposed to know what they’re talking about. The only LC here (a rural area) never even nursed her own children! The system failed me – and my baby. And I nearly cry every time I see a mom giving her baby a bottle – did she struggle as I did? Did she feel she failed her baby as I did? Something has got to change! We have to enable these moms to succeed, not set them up to fail and then call them failures! I hope my story will make a difference for even one mom – then it will have been worth all the heartache.

    Janelle Jones

  29. Heidi says:

    So we have been extremly lucky with breastfeeding our first born. I knew I wanted to breastfeed as my mother had done so my husband and I set off to educate ourselves and make our desire to exclusively breastfeed known to our family and healthcare providers. I was not about to be talked out of feeding my son for some extra sleep. If my husband did give him a bottle of pumped milk, I was still waking up to pump. We even included feeding instructions in our birth plan in the event of a complication and asked that a lactation consultant be sent to check on us soon after he was born. Thankfully we had great support from family, our local La Leche League group and our midwife and doula. We had a natural birth in a hospital attended by our midwife and doula. Our son had some respiratory issues and could not nurse for the first 12 hours, but he did latch on immediately after birth and had a good first meal before he went to the special care nursery.

    The lactation consultant arrived soon after his birth, with a pump for me to use, showed me how to do it and gave me a bunch of bottles to pump into. We also asked his attending nurses to please call my room in the event we weren’t there and he was given the all clear to nurse. They called me at 1245am and I almost sprinted to the nursery. Since I was discharged before he was, we were spending most of our days at the hospital, but I was determined to get off to a good start. I pumped every three hours at night and whenever I was away from the hospital. I brought in the pumped milk all labled and the nursing staff fed it to our son – who never had any confusion between bottle and nipple, warm or cool milk. He’s not picky I guess. The lactation consultant made regular rounds, came in to observe a few feedings, answer questions and show me a few different ways to hold him.

    Move forward 10 months and we are still going strong! From the beginning we have just tried to follow our sons’ lead with nursing and introducing solids. We’ve nursed all over the place, beaches (my favorite), churches, airplanes, department store lounges, restaurants, on road trips, at weddings, parties, museums, my husband even brought him to my work a few times for a lunch date. No one has ever uttered a peep to me or my husband about when, where or how our son gets his meals. We’ve even gotten a few thumbs up and other positive comments.

    Bottom line, in my opinion, trust your gut, surround yourself with positive people and educate yourself. Don’t be scared to ask questions and talk about breastfeeding! There are a lot of new moms at my workplace so babies, breastfeeding, and boobs are common topics of conversation. Suprisingly, the younger people we work with are genuinely interested and we indulge all their questions without shame. “Without knowledge you have no choices”

  30. Kelly says:

    With my 3rd child the nurse told my husband that the baby was too big to be brestfed. He was large at 10lbs and 14oz but he did just fine and gained 15ounces in 7 days. THe hospital also put formula in his bassinet which I promptly gave to the local crisis pregnancy center.

  31. Monica says:

    I know this is late, but the biggest booby trap i have encountered is hospitals giving formula in the breast-feeding bag. at 2 weeks my son was eating every hour, and one night at 3am i almost gave up breastfeeding. I had that formula and realized how much easier it woukd be if i just fed him formula. well thankfully he refused the bottle and we are still breastfeeding 8 months later.
    doctors offices and hospitals should NOT be giving out free samples.

    • Kaz Glastonbury says:

      I knew that the formula sample in the bag that the hospital gave would be temptation for us. It didn’t even get in the house. I threw it away en route home.
      I absolutely agree, hospitals should NOT be giving out free samples.
      They should put a card in the bag that says ‘call this number to receive your free sample in 24 hours.’ That gives the mother a chance to reconsider her position.
      I cannot think of anything easier than breastfeeding! I cannot imagine having to get out of bed in the middle of the night, go downstairs, put the kettle on and sit there whilst a bottle heats up!

  32. Nicole says:

    My two older children were breast/formula fed till about 6 months then once I had to return to work I switched to only formula, looking back I wish I had known better, I was a young teen mother and everyone around me bottle fed. I was never taught how to properly pump, nor were there resources offered to me by my child’s pediatrician or my OB. People around me were shocked that I breastfed because I was so young, they all assumed I wanted to take the easy way out and bottle feed. Breastfeeding was a very odd thing to me at 17, I wasn’t honestly mature enough mentally to handle feeding in public I always felt I should hide, like feeding my child was taboo. I wish there were more resources available to young mothers, to explain to them that breasts are for FEEDING YOUR CHILD! That’s why we have them.
    I just had my third child 4 months ago(i’m 25 now), she is exclusively breastfed and loves to eat, we had struggles in the beginning with jaundice and her needing to be under lights in an incubator except to eat, I personally explained to EVERY nurse and doctor that came into my room that she was not to be given ANYTHING but breast milk. I even wrote it on the marker board on the room. Because of the Jaundice I struggled to keep her awake to feed had to strip her down to a diaper and even rub a wet towel on her toes to keep her awake long enough to eat anything at all. She went from 9lbs 3oz to 8lbs 4oz in 3 days. I was very discouraged and at times i wanted to give up, but we didn’t, we pulled through, she is now a healthy weight and growing like a weed.

  33. Amanda Spears says:

    I was 19 when my son was born, I was determined to breastfeed him. I spent 3 days in the hospital with a nurse and LC helping show me how. I got home and we struggled. He spit up, he cried, he projectile vomited, he was constipated, and he CRIED (nonstop). We went to the Dr (my OB was also his pediatrician) and she flat out told me its ok some women just cant nurse, heres some formula. He drank it and promptly threw up again. Oh well maybe he needs soy, take this and try it later. again, threw up…next day try this sensitive one…same thing. then try the prescription one. again, he threw up. He was about a month old and had spent 2 weeks nursing and now 2 weeks on 7-8 different formulas and he was STILL screaming, vomiting, constipated and LOOSING WEIGHT! (he was born 8 lbs 6 oz nd down to 7 lbs at 1 month old). I took him to an emergency room because I was so frustrated with my dr. BUT I made the mistake of going to the hospital she worked at and guess what?!? she said he was fine send me home and they did…but not until AFTER they called childrens services on me for neglect because he was so sick! After a visit from a childrens services worker and me explaining my frustration I was advised to take him elsewhere to be evaluated or they would take him from me! WHAT?! take him! ok, we went to a different hospital that specializes in children. I went through the WHOLE story with the dr. and he asked me to feed the baby so he could see what happened. formula in baby vomits. dr orders tests. Turns out my son had PYLORIC STENOSIS. He had been seen by 4 different Drs over a month long period and all they said was that MY MILK had made him sick and I should not nurse any future babies! I immediately changed my childrens pediatrician to the nice Dr from the new hospital that found my sons problem and fixed it. And I have used a midwife for all my subsequent babies. I am currently pregnant with my 10th child and still nursing my 8 month old.

  34. Beth says:

    Please help in getting the word out about the Surgeon General’s “Call to Action”. There has been little to NO media coverage of this event!!

    Thank you,
    Beth Brownstein

    Everyone Can Help Make Breastfeeding Easier, Says in “Call to Action”
    Benjamin cites health benefits, offers steps for families, clinicians and employers

  35. Paris says:

    My daughter is six months old today! We have been exclusively breast-feeding the entire six months, however it has not always been easy. When she was four months old, I returned to work as a high school teacher. While teaching is a wonderful profession, a rotating schedule has made it very difficult for me to pump at approximately the same time every day. Some days, my free period falls at 7:40am and some days in doesn’t come until 1:15pm. Breasts and milk supply do not operate on a “rotating schedule”. I have had to ask other teachers to use their free time to cover for me twenty minutes here and there so that I can run out of the room and pump. All businesses should be required to provide nursing mothers with the SAME twenty minute break time every three every day. It really changes your supply when you are not allowed to pump at the same time every day. I am hoping to make it a full year without supplementing with formula. Half way there!

  36. Sarah Floyd says:

    I delivered at the hospital I worked. The LCs were great. The first month of breastfeeding was very painful, but we made it. When I went back to work, 7 weeks after my c-section, I pumped. No one said anything as I had an office with a door. A colleague wasn’t so lucky. Her boss (at the hospital) forced her to come and tell her every single time she left her desk, which eventually reduced her to tears as she was not producing enough milk for her child.

    Only once I resigned was I told that my breastfeeding was excessive and that the hospital was instituting a time limit on how long it should take a breastfeeding mother to pump! This is at a hospital that LCs visit every new mother and is very much pro-breastfeeding when you have a baby…apparently not so much when you work there!

    Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, we haven’t had any problems making it to 13 months!

  37. Rebekah says:

    With my first I was very lucky to get the latch quickly, but he was a cryer and each time the nurses would come in to check our vitals they would offer formula. And finally one just brought it in. I was worn down and so I caved and let him have a sip to see if it would take the edge off so we could get back to learning. Thankfully it did and he showed that he preferred the boob! Hooray!!! After returning to work 8 weeks later I pumped until he was eight months and by then I was exhausted from juggling my job and breaks. Because I was only allowed my two fifteen minute breaks and lunch break to pump… Which isn’t very much time. And if it took longer I ended up working later or working from home. It was exhausting… I was beat down. So I gave up.

    With my second knowing what I did I was ready! But this time I came across a nurse who when I said I planned to breastfeed reached into my gown and grabbed my boob and tried to attach us like some odd Lego pieces. the nurses were boob nazis… It wasn’t just this one… It was each one I came across… Bossing me about how I needed to feed my daughter for twenty minutes on each side… Each time they entered the room they were on me about it. I fell asleep during one of the nursing sessions and woke up completely disoriented and panicked about how long it had been. (my husband I sent home to be with our boy who was having separation issues with us both having been gone the night before) so he got a 2am phone call from me because I was feeling so harassed and beat down. I couldn’t keep her latched for twenty minutes, I could keep her latched for five! I was panicked. When we finally got home I was scared that I wasn’t producing so I figured I use a little machinery assistance… I knocked out five ounces in three minutes… I was amazed! A little shocked, but then it dawned on me… My milk production was kind of like a body memory of mine… And my body left off where it had been with my son… (just like those pesky instant twenty pounds before the test had even dried nine months before!)

    With my third I was certain to tell everyone to back off and that I was not new to this rodeo! I was able to do what needed to be done in the way we wanted to do it, but I shouldn’t have to play defense in order to be able to breastfeed the way I want. The common theme in my stories- three different hospitals, three different medical groups is that those people we come into contact with… Those pressures put on us as we work and balance motherhood directly effect our abilities to provide care to our children. Feeding is the first thing we do for them that we are ‘judged’ on… With weighings weekly for the first month and then every three months. We are being subjected to the opinions of those we should be able to trust (granted we normally pick our pediatricians although sometimes we have to deal with whoever is assigned to us in the hospital) who don’t seem to have any sensitivity training or education. In california it is mandatory that each person who acts as a supervisor receive sexual harassment training… Why not a similar training in how to not harass the boob? Of course we couldn’t call it that… It’s not politically correct! I had to fill out a survey each time to went to a dr’s appointment about if I’d been hit lately… Why not offer me a survey of what help I want today or what information I would like to ‘rent’ (netflix style) in my room?!

  38. Trish says:

    My daughter is a year and a half. At the six month mark, I would not have told you we would make it to this point breastfeeding, but here I am, breastfeeding a toddler! We worked SO hard. Among the booby traps we encountered:
    – My mom couldn’t breastfeed (due to medication she was on for high blood pressure), so though she was supportive, she couldn’t really help
    – Poor hospital lactation consultants (rushed, dismissive, generally unavailable)
    – Nurses who kept insisting she needed formula because she wasn’t eating
    – Well-meaning but horridly zealous neighbor (who is a Certified Nurse Midwife). She declared I just had to FORCE my baby to breast feed (like she was resisting out of spite, or something), and smashed the baby’s face into my breast while she screamed. Naturally, this did not produce a good latch, but it sure upset me (not to mention the baby).
    – Tongue-tie diagnosed and corrected VERY late (@ 3 months old), too late for me to establish a full supply, but NOT TOO LATE to breastfeed at least partially.

    I never did establish a full supply, despite spending at least $1000 on pumps, private lactation consultant (who was good and very helpful), etc., none of it covered by insurance. But, I am STILL breastfeeding. My daughter loves it, and I plan to continue as long as she wants to. (I was fortunate to have a very supportive workplace with a lactation room, etc.) The moral of my story: it’s not all or nothing! You can still succeed in spite of the booby traps!

  39. Carissa says:

    My fourth daughter was born prematurely at 35 weeks. I nursed all of my first three–the first two till 15 months, and the third till 27 months!-so I knew what to expect with breastfeeding this time. What I didn’t know was the dreaded NICU booby trap! Raimie was born pink and healthy with no distress after a very short labor. Her premature birth was caused by a placenta abruption. She came out screaming. So when we kangaroo’ed for her first feeding I thought all would be great. Then she had a breath-holding spell (for a couple of seconds, she recovered on her own and her O2 sats never dipped) and the OB thought maybe she had an infection because the fluid “smelled off” so off she went to the NICU. The next 12 hours were HORRIBLE! They only let her eat every three hours and I had nurses coming in telling me to switch sides after 15 minutes! On top of that, I had to stay out and she stay in the NICU during the 2 hour shift change! This was VERY troubling to me. I worried about her crying and being hungry in those 2 hours. She was little and did get tired, and had jaundice which exasperated her sleepiness, perpetuating the NICU nurses’ beliefs that she could only nurse for 30 minutes every 3 hours. I started pumping to feed her with a SNS, and squawked to every nurse I could that, since she was breathing and holding her temp and only getting IV meds for 30 minutes twice a day, she could come to my room in between so we could bond and nurse. NOT ONE nurse agreed! They would not mention it to a doctor! So I took matters into my own hands! I talked to the doctor myself and he agreed to let her come to my room. The nursing staff watched in wonder as I proudly marched down the hall pushing my baby’s bassinet to my room. My tiny girl never left from under my shirt except to sleep and meet her sisters. She nursed as often as she wanted and got extra from the SNS when she got tired. It was easier to get milk pumped because her sister had just weaned 3 months prior. We had a rough start with weight loss but I wouldn’t be bullied into formula! I visited the breastfeeding clinic every other day in the first 3 weeks! The LC’s there were the same that helped me on the post partum floor and helped me so much! Once she got to gaining weight well, we stopped visiting so often and went in for weight checks.
    When my baby got sick and we could not figure out what was causing the respiratory distress and she was hospitalized twice in two weeks, a doctor whom I met as a breastfeeding mom at the clinic was my only ally. Everyone there was telling me I should stop breastfeeding and go to formula because she wasn’t gaining weight and she was wheezing so much–maybe she was allergic to breastmilk or aspirating, maybe I wasn’t making enough for her. We broke out the scale and planted it in my room. (The other docs and nurses thought I was a bit nutty and didn’t even know where the scale was located!) I proved she was getting plenty and argued that she couldn’t breathe and was burning calories and that explained the weight loss. When she was finally diagnosed with walking pneumonia and recovered, she gained 8 ounces the first week and another 8 oz the next 2 weeks!!

    I think that lack of education and lack of confidence in yourself as a mother are two huge booby traps. The more you arm yourself with knowledge, from other moms and from reading correct information, the more confidence you’ll have. You must remember that doctors are not omniscient and they are just people. They get ONE LECTURE on breastfeeding in school! (I asked my doctor friend, who was actually a resident the night she was there with us!) If you don’t have a support group near by, start one yourself! Invite every nursing mom you know! Have a “book club” discussions with breastfeeding books. Don’t go at it alone, unarmed and uneducated.

  40. tammy horton says:

    My son was born at 34 weeks and we were both in intensive care, he was faring better than i because i had developed toxemia. I didn’t get to see him for 24 hours which was torture, and once i did i found out that they had administered formula in a bottle to him. I began pumping immediately and my milk came in so fast they called me a milk machine in the NICU. The phalanges to my pump were too small so my nipples were lacerated and i was bleeding into my milk. The nurse said “oh my no one measured you?” When it was time to breast feed my son didn’t want to latch because i had numerous scabs on my nipples. It was so painful but I was determined. Seven days later he and i were released, and i was pumping and bottle feeding. I woke 45 mins prior to each feeding so i could pump and by the time he was 6 weeks old i was a zombie. My pediatrician told me that my milk was grey and all of the colostrum had already been given and there was no more that i could do for my son in regards to his immunity. He told me to stop pumping and try formula- “and besides he will let you sleep more” he said to me. This sounded great to be able to sleep, but i felt totally empty and bummed that I could not do more for him. I had tried many times to offer him my breast after they had healed but he was used to the bottle. I put him on formula and hell began. He was allergic to everything, developed colic and reflux and for the rest of the 9 months of his first year we dreaded feeding time. This time around i’m trying a midwife in a hospital in hopes that they won’t be so condescending and support my wishes to breast feed my new son. If I could say one thing to the nurses it would be to please have a heart for first time moms, its new territory for us and we have the desire to learn all we need are good teachers.

  41. Summer says:

    I have a high history of breast cancer in my family. My mother had her first incident at age 35. (I am 34 1/2) We recently moved and at my first doctor appointment I was nursing my 5 month old. My physician asked me about my history, flipped out when I told her about my mother’s breast cancer and then drilled me about why I was still nursing the baby and that I must stop and get a mammogram. (mammograms are not efficient while breastfeeding per doctor). Doc sent me to a “breast specialist” for further testing. (notice, I did not have any symptoms, this was only my first visit).
    At the “specialist”, Doc asked “when did you quit nursing the baby?” (baby was with me and my hubby) I replied “about 10 minutes ago!” He did not laugh. “Are you one of those crazy LECHE people?” he questioned. I was shocked, He was a Breast Specialist!! My sweet husband sweetly replied “yes!!” Doc responded “I cannot do anything with these ‘lumpy bumpy messes’ call me about 6 weeks after you stop nursing”. We did talk some more but after that there was not too much to say. I cannot believe a doctor would put my choices down like that. Breastfeeding is GOOD for ME too. I have enough “risk factors” for breast cancer, the least I can do is lower one by nursing all my babies, all 4 the Lord blessed us with so far.
    Breast is best. Even through the mastitis 4 times in 9 months, even through moving and starting all over in a new state. Even through sleepless nights. I love holding my baby feeding him the way God intended. Thank you to my dear husband who supports me even when doctors don’t.

  42. sofia meyen says:

    I was in the back of a seminar in a classroom (about 200 people). I breastfed in a huddled-over position, quietly, hoping no one would give me a hard time. My husband was on one side, an older woman on the other. On the third day, a man behind me apparently saw what i was doing and complained to the staff. A staff member pulled me aside on my way out. I was mortified. He said i had to nurse in the bathroom or not at all. A woman overheard some of this, thank goodness, and told me this was ridiculous. “How would YOU like to eat in a RESTROOM??” she said to the staff member. Heartened by her attitude, i looked around on the internet, and found out about a CA law that supported a woman’s right to breastfeed in any place a person was allowed to be generally. That item, combined with the Nat. Pediatrics’ Society website, gave me confidence. I printed out a few clips from the internet & gave them to the staff member the next day. “Oh, i didnt know that,” he said. If that woman had not been there to help me, i would have not returned to the seminar at all. I would have stayed home to breastfeed my baby.

  43. Renee says:

    When my daughter was 4 months old I developed mastitis, which is a painful inflammation of the breast, caused by an infection, and is accompanied with flu-like symptoms and high fever (just what a new mom needs!). I did not realize what was wrong until I was so sick that a colleague had to drive me to an emergency center for treatment. The doctor on call told me I needed to stop breastfeeding immediately, and when I protested by mentioning research I had gathered from respected medical sites that said it was OK to continue to breastfeed, he berated me by saying, “You need to stop breastfeeding. You don’t want your baby to drink infected milk and get sick, do you?”. I immediately left his office and called my daughter’s pediatrician, who clarified for me that breastfeeding actually helps get rid of mastitis quicker if you continue to breastfeed and if I stopped, my milk production would most likely come to a halt. My OB/Gyn’s office confirmed the same, and recommended I report the other physician to the AMA. General physicians really need to educate themselves on the proper care of breastfeeding moms. If I listened and adhered to the direction of the first medical professional I spoke with, my daughter and I would have missed out on continuing the tremendously rewarding experience (both nutritionally and emotional bonding) of breastfeeding.

  44. Adrian says:

    Initially my son latched within 45 minutes of being delivered via c-section and we were off to the races. I remember from the breastfeeding class I took while pregnant that I should be feeding on demand & was trying to do so. It was difficult because he was in the bassinet next to the hospital bed and I was confined to the bed due to compression socks and a catheter. I also remember from the hospital tour that “keeping baby in bed with you” was discouraged. They left me feeling that if he were not tucked tightly in my arms he would immediately slip from me, falling to the floor or suffocate immediately from contact with a sheet. He kept crying & crying & crying and being woefully inexperienced parents we took the bad advice of a nurse that he wasn’t hungry, he had gas and burped him more than fed him because that nurse also wrote on the board as a reminder to me that my goals for the day were to rest, relax, drink water and aim for nursing every 2 hours or so. At about 3am I asked another nurse if I could have the compression socks & catheter removed because they were making nursing difficult as I couldn’t reach him to safely pull him to me from the bassinet. She replied “You have 2 more hours until we can remove the compression socks and we cannot remove the catheter for 24 hours.” I cried a little & accepted this would be my fate, sucked it up & kept trying. 30 minutes later I asked her again and was again refused. Then I got a little defensive telling her if an hour was going to make a difference in a blood clot I had bigger problems and started to remove them myself. She rushed out of the room for a supervisor who agreed with me and I could move a little more freely. The catheter being removed I had to push a little harder for. At about 6 am I cried at the nurse that my child would stop screaming if I could get up get him from the bassinet. I finally got it removed at about 8 am. Around 36 hours into the hospital stay they were getting concerned that my son was loosing his birth weight too rapidly so they pushed the nursing “goal” to every 1.5 hrs, never once encouraging nursing on demand and instead showing us to sooth him we could use our pinky in place of a pacifier. Around the middle of day two (48 hours had definitely passed and we were talking about how great it would be to go home and get comfortable) after we threw caution to the wind & kept baby & figured out that husband, baby & mom (in that order) fit in bed we were getting a bit more sleep & baby was screaming a bit less I was awaken by a frantic looking doctor & in my groggy & drugged state thought she was my doctor talking about how dry his mouth was & how he had lost 9% of his birth weight and that we needed to start supplementing with formula immediately. I have to say if I was not so exhausted, drugged and fed up with being in the hospital and knew that this was my child’s doctor, not my own, I may have complied. My immediate reaction was no. Every time the word supplement came out of her mouth no came out of mine. She finally threw her hands in the air frustrated & left the room. The nurse advised he would not prefer formula to my milk and we really needed to give it a try. Again I refused. My son was born at 9 lbs 13 oz and was at the time of the supplementation advice barely below 9 lbs. I told the nurse his mouth was dry because he was screaming because another nurse told us to burp him instead of feeding him. All this time my son was nursing aggressively & latching properly with no pain to me in the slightest. I could feel his suckle & hear the swallow. I guess I must have been quite a pill because very shortly after I made my nurse leave the room in frustration they sent in the most wonderful person I experienced in the hospital. She immediately praised me for sticking to my guns and refusing the formula supplementation. She was the second lactation consultant I had seen in that 48 hours. The first was sent in sometime with the first 24 hours and was so meek and mild mannered she is barely more than a whisper of a memory to me. With this second consultant’s assistance we were able to keep the neonatologist at bay with her demanding of formula feeding and came to a compromise of syringe supplemented pumped colostrum. She also alleviated my fear that I was starving my son to death (a fear very firmly & adamantly stated and implanted by the neonatologist) that his weight drop was completely normal and not to be concerned because he was such a large child. If he had been 7 lbs and dropped to 6, we should be concerned. The colostrum pumping was also not needed and ultimately led to other issues at home of oversupply but that is another story. The hospital also gave my son a pacifier when taken for the routine testing after I requested he not be & supplemented with sugar water also contrary to my request. During our last night a very loud and demanding nurse kept coming in every hour asking if we would like them to take baby to the nursery for the night and tried to sweeten the deal by stating “we heard what a commotion you made about breastfeeding so we promise when its time for him to eat we’ll bring him to you”. While we finally got what we were aiming to do, we were absolutely institutionally booby trapped nearly the moment the possibility of breastfeeding was faltering. We are still breastfeeding strong at 8 months!

  45. I have experienced a multitude of booby traps with my two girls now 3 and a half and 15 months old. When my first daughter was born the staff at the hospital encouraged me to give her a binky the first night, then my pediatrician sent me home with formula and sugar ware and said I would know if I needed to give the baby some supplementation by her crying. On the morning of my baby’s third day she had a fever and we were instructed to take her to the emergency room. My milk had just come in and I requested a lactation consultant when we got there, but instead they encouraged me to give her formula even though I was a nursing mom. Once she was admitted to the NICU the lead doctor basically accused me of dehydrating my daughter since I was a nursing mother. They put my daughter on a glucose drip even though she wa a healthy weight and my milk was in. Finally I did see a lactation consultant and she assisted me with pumping for her initially an then with her latching on. Even with all those barriers I nursed her until she made the choice to wean at 21 month old while I was pregnant with my second child.

    With my first and second child I have experienced difficulty finding a place to pump ( as I went back to work when they were 4 months old) an often would have to go out to my car. I had co-workers joke that I was going to nurse them until they were 5. But even with all that my greatest barrier came when I would go to my children’s daycare to nurse them during the day. I was asked with each hold to take them to another location for nursing. At the time both girls were 15 months old each at different daycare facilities. My first daughter was too distracted in the Ither setting and refused to nurse there. I am still in negotiation with my youngest daughters daycare because of a fathers discomfort with my nursing in the room. I wa asked to go I another room an she too would not eat there. The school told me I need to respect the fathers feelings on the matter. Apparently my feelings and my daughters comfort was not something that should be respected. I am frustrated with the challenges of nursing in public, especially in a childcare setting that should be fully accepting. I plan to advocate for women in my community an would love to do a news piece for this important effort

  46. Pamela says:

    In my case the booby trap started during labor. For my first son, the obgyn was pressuring me to induce labor when the 38 weeks came and I had not dilated a bit. At almost 40 weeks, as a first time mom, I gave up to the pressure and had an induced vaginal birth. It was a 12h carnage and I succumbed to a shot of demerol wich did not help a bit!! In any case made everything worst, making me dizzy and my baby very very sleepy. The nurses quickly showed me my son and took him to the nursery. Six hours later they took him to the my room to breastfeed. At that moment I had not done my homework, and did know anything about breastfeeding. I thought it would come naturally. Instead, since the baby was so sleepy, we had trouble latching, trouble waking him up enough time to feed, etc. After going home I was concerned the baby was not pooping, and called the ped, who told on the phone to supplement with formula. He did not check the baby, did not check the latching, and did not recomend me a lactation consultant. If it weren’t for my sister in law, who breastfed her kids, and recommended another ped/lactation educator, I would have not been able to breastfeed my son, who still breastfeeds at 3.5 y/o. With his sister, the story was quite different. I got in control of my delivery! At 41 weeks check up, I had not dilated, at the obgyn gave me the papers to schedule an induction. I went home, and decided to wait, 4 days later contractions started at 9pm, and at 6am they were less than 5 min apart. Four hours later, in the hospital, she was born, and I fought the nurses with the remaining little strength, so that they would give me my daughter to latch on while on the delivery room, and the ob/gyn had to fight for me also. She quickly grab that breast, with no latching problems and is successfully still breastfeeding at 7 month.

  47. Mindy says:

    My work was very very unsupportive of my breast pumping. I only did it on breaks and my boss talked to me about it often. He told me to pump in the bathroom. Mind you this was the only bathroom for a crew of 10 people. Aside from that UGH, unsanitary. He told me to pump in the conference room which had windows and no blinds or curtains. He said to just sit in the corner with my back turned and no one will look. I even told him I had to remove clothing at which point he stressed no one will look argument. I pumped in a storage closet. It was dusty, dingy and had no ventilation. It was summer time so it was hot. I accidentally left the door open one day before going home. He text me a picture of the opened door and told me the room was not meant to be heated or air conditioned and to keep it closed. It was an 8×10 room, so it wasn’t like it was going to break the central air unit. He even had HR call me to ask me about breast pumping and to make sure I do it on my breaks. The HR dept even told me to make sure to not let people see the milk that I pump. This company was too small to even qualify for FMLA so I took 2 weeks off with my paid vacation and an additional 2 weeks unpaid. This company was really crappy and I was disgusted at the ignorance of them telling me what to do. I even went as far to tell my boss while he was eating yogurt that I was offended that he was eating cow’s breastmilk. Our country is really pathetic when it comes to breastfeeding. I shake my head and wonder why breastfeeding tips and education are not taught in our public schools.

  48. Kari says:

    My first child was born via cesarean at thirty-seven-and-a-half weeks because my medically unnecessary but doctor-recommended induction had caused fetal distress. I didn’t see my son for THREE HOURS. That poor baby waited three hours to eat after he was surgically removed from my uterus because of stupid hospital protocol. He was rolled into my room by a battalion of nurses in a little plastic bassinet, all swaddled up in blankets and a hat, and the first thing that they said to me was, “I know you were planning to breastfeed, but most of our c-section moms formula-feed, at least at first, because breastfeeding tends to hurt their incision. Should we get you a bottle?” I declined forcefully, but they ended up having my husband feed him an ounce of formula anyway, before I was allowed to “attempt” to breastfeed, because his blood sugar was, supposedly, low. I picked up my baby, not sure what to do with him once he got near my breast, and more than a little shy at the thought of sharing my first breastfeeding session with a host of onlookers. As it turned out, though, I had no idea how to latch my baby on because I’d never actually seen anyone breastfeed. Ever. In my entire twenty-five years of existence. E-ver (that concept absolutely shocks and appalls me, now). So the host of onlookers took to helping me latch my baby on, which amounted to shoving his face into my breast until he screamed angrily, at which point his open mouth was more or less aimed at my nipple until he chomped me. “Don’t feed more than five minutes per side or it will hurt your nipples,” I was told, so I dutifully watched the clock and cut him off after five minutes, switched sides, watched the clock, and cut him off again. “He shouldn’t need to eat more than every three hours,” I was told, so I dutifully watched the clock, desperately rocking, bouncing, consoling my screaming baby until the clock told me he could eat again. Neither of us slept for the first two weeks. He, strangely, was not gaining weight, and when I asked (pretty much every feed) for help with latching him on, no one actually showed me how to do it; rather, the nurse would huff into my room, annoyed at being disturbed (again) at three in the morning, and shove his face into my breast and then aim his opened mouth at my nipple until he chomped me. On his third day of existence (if you could call it that), the doctor told me that I needed to start supplementing my breastfeeds with formula because he was jaundiced and had lost too much weight. I was almost grateful for the reprieve since even an idiot (or, in my case, an incompetent mother) could mix up a bottle of formula. So we got a pattern down: attempt to latch every three hours, dissolve into frustrated sobs (both of us), mix an ounce and a half of formula and guiltfully feed it to the desperately hungry baby, sob at another failed breastfeeding session. Did I mention that neither of us slept? On day five, I asked for a home visit from the hospital’s lactation consultant. She gave me a nipple shield and told me we were doing fine. The nipple shield helped ease the burning pain in my nipples, but it didn’t fix our latch issues. On day eleven, I poured out my hormonal soul on an internet forum, and a midwife emailed me. She emailed me step-by-step instructions for latching my baby on, and told me that I was doing a really good job, and that my body was made to breastfeed, and that very few women actually have low supply if they feed their babies on demand. She told me to watch for the chin cluck (that’s what I call those little newborn swallows), showed me how to hand express milk to bottle feed my breastmilk when he was too frustrated to latch, and what the classic signs of dehydration were so I would know what to watch for, and to ease my mind that we were doing okay. She recommended that, for the sake of all that’s holy (not to mention my sanity), I could safely bring my baby to bed with me so that we could both get a little sleep. At two weeks, my son received his last supplementation with formula. At three months, we threw away the nipple shields, and at two-and-a-half years, we finally weaned. I have had three more babies since him, all born at home, because I have learned that, if I want to breastfeed, I’m safer staying away from the hospital.

  49. Jessica says:

    Oh my goodness, the booby traps. Let’s start off chronologically and try to go from there. My first booby trap happened in pregnancy. When I was pregnant I was very sick the first trimester with the flu and I needed antibiotics, soon after I developed “pregnancy acne” which lasted my entire pregnancy. After having my son within the 1st week he had gotten thrush. My first visit to a pediatrician he looked at my son who was wailing at the breast and my bespeckled face and said you both have thrush and put us both on anti-fungals, and gave me probiotics, and told me that if it was hurting him too much to latch and eat. Pump and then syringe feed him the milk to avoid nipple confusion and continually try to get him to latch. Within a week he was gulping away furiously.

    When you are in the hospital talk to EVERYONE you can about nursing and get a lactation consultant in there. If your hospital doesn’t have one, contact your local health department. The WIC office will know who to contact and how to get someone to you before you get home. Have experience nurses help you with holds, have the lactation consultants help you with latch, have that one friend who loves babies and has had a ton bring you water and show you side lying position so you can get some rest. Listen to those with experience, and those who don’t or who are negative about it – stop letting them talk to you about it. Seriously, even listening with a filter can sabotage you.

    Never assume because your body isn’t doing every thing perfect that you can’t. My nipples were flat and inverted and didn’t want to work for nursing. My son had a shallow and “lazy latch” and would give up on eating. Utilize the tools they give you. Therashells and latch assist and having a lactation consultant teach me how to hand express till my nipples everted was a life saver. Yes I looked ridiculous having Madonna breasts, but by the time my son was two months my nipples would readily pop out when needed and I could nurse him without using a nipple shield (which he never took to.)

    Make sure you surround yourself with people who support you as a mother and as a breast feeder. I stayed my 1st month with my father and step mother and their lack of experience and constant doubt in my ability nearly ruined my ability to nurse. Stress will affect your supply single handedly more than any other factor. Don’t listen to someone who is fretting over the frequency of feedings, breast fed babies need to be fed often and much. Their tummies are not stretched out by formula and their body digests it so incredibly quickly they just want more and more. That is such a good thing. If your child starts to show signs of digestive distress don’t blow it off and say its just colic. You can save yourself a lot of trouble if you realize quickly that your child has a food allergy and cutting it from your own diet. If you live with someone who is skeptical on whether your child really has a food allergy, don’t let them near your child alone. They will test this when you are gone and you will have to deal with a screaming little one.

    If your child needs to supplement don’t feel bad, but don’t give up. The best way to supplement is with breast milk so as you are nursing your little one pump after and later try to give him the bottle. This will also build your supply. Your supply will build with the demand. If you have to use formula, pump as you are giving him that bottle. This is a time your child is feeding, tell your body it needs to provide for them. Remember that even a little breast milk goes a long way in brain development and building them their immune system.

    If you have various issues try to find products to help. Spending 30$ on something to help your nursing relationship is nothing compared to the hundreds you would spend a month on formula. These are the things that helped save my relationship:
    Inverted nipples:
    Therashells, nipple shields, latch assist, and my breast pump

    Disposable breast pads (to avoid cross contamination), nipple butter (I like earth momma angel baby), probiotics, and a doctor’s script for anti fungals

    Lack of supply:
    I took mother’s love milk plus tincture and that really boosted my supply as well as lots of oatmeal and WATER WATER WAAAAATER. breast pump

    baby, breast pump, and lots of breast pads… for after you had too much water, pumping, and tinctures 😉

    Educational sources: kellymom.com, la leche legue, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (This book should be in EVERY hospitals go home bag.) and The Breast Feeding Book by Dr. Sears (Martha’s 1st hand account are great.)

    I hope this is helpful… I now have a 6 month old trying to pull my top down so I guess its breakfast time. 🙂

    • Bettina Forbes, CLC says:

      Wow, you are amazing!! Thank you for sharing your experience 🙂 –Bettina, Co-Founder of Best for Babes

  50. Latasha Michaliszyn says:

    Someone in the beginning needs to be more knowledgeable about tongue ties. We didn’t quit because I’m stubborn but I know most people wouldn’t have waited almost two months for a solution while seeing several LC’s….I know they can’t diagnose, but maybe give info on who can from the beginning…

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