The star of Teen Mom 2 has posted several pictures of her son Lincoln happily nursing. What you may not know is that the Booby Traps kept Kailyn from nursing her son Isaac, and now she is determined to help other moms avoid the barriers she encountered, so they can be successful with their first baby! When we met Kailyn at our Delaware Miracle Milk™ Stroll in May, we were so impressed with the depth of knowledge she had acquired about breastfeeding, and her passion for helping to get that information into the hands of young expecting moms. Here is her story, in her own words. We are so proud to name Kailyn Lowry as a Best for Babes Champion for Moms and to have her cheering on the participants of our nationwide personal fitness challenge #WGYBB as they sweat for the love of moms & babies and raise funds and awareness of the Booby Traps! You can join her at bit.ly/wgybb
“Before I had Isaac, all I knew about breastfeeding was that it was great for the baby. I knew the women in my family breastfed their kids but that was the extent of it. I thought that any mom could just do it and it would come naturally with no issues. Unfortunately, when I was pregnant and when I had just delivered, nobody told me what was common or normal, nobody helped with latch issues. Initially, I was so exhausted from not being able to get him to latch on properly, and I didn’t know how to get help. I was sore and didn’t have a good outlook on breastfeeding anymore. I felt defeated. Because of a lack of education and a lack of support for breastfeeding, I gave up and my milk dried up. I didn’t know that babies’ tummies are so small and that getting just a few ounces of milk per feed in the first month was normal, or that there were different ways to help teach the baby to latch on correctly!
The second time around, I was older and had a different group of friends and much better support. I had two friends who just had babies and were nursing so that was a big game changer. I knew I had people around me who I could talk to and get real advice from right when I needed it. The hospital I delivered at was completely hands on and had a huge positive impact on my wanting to nurse, so I figured I’d give it another shot. (Bayhealth Kent General Hospital has achieved the prestigious Baby-Friendly (BFHI) designation, shown to increase breastfeeding rates.) In the beginning, Lincoln didn’t want to latch on so we used a nipple shield for a while. Then I faced supply issues but both things were able to be worked on. What I learned was that these are not signs that a mother can’t breastfeed. We just have to find ways around them. I love nursing this time and even when I have hit obstacles, emotionally I wasn’t /am not ready to be done nursing. I credit my success to the breastfeeding support group at the hospital. Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Amanda Cullen (pictured above on right, Amanda is a member of the Delaware Breastfeeding Coalition) helped me a lot and was always just a text or call away. Having a Facebook support group for anytime I needed it and and having educated people around me also made a big difference.
I think the biggest barrier to breastfeeding for young moms like me is a lack of education and a lack of resources that we can relate to. Every young mom I speak to says they weren’t producing enough milk, or my baby wouldn’t latch, but we know there are usually ways to get through these things. When I had Isaac, I wish I had known that more often than not, you ARE producing enough milk, you just don’t know it. There are tools and ways to correct latch issues. If you feel like your milk is drying up or baby isn’t getting enough then speak to a lactation consultant (find one here). Educating yourself and learning about possible issues and seeing what resources are near you for breastfeeding before you give birth could be very beneficial.
I am incredibly glad that I got the right help for breastfeeding this time around. The bond that I share with Lincoln is indescribable. Even during our most trying times breastfeeding, when I wanted to the throw in the towel, I just couldn’t give it up. We weren’t ready. I love nursing and I wouldn’t give up this experience for anything.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of this. I know a lot of young moms follow my story and I really want them to know that breastfeeding can be incredibly rewarding!”
We think Kailyn Lowryn is a natural for helping to educate and inspire new moms! We think she would make a great Breastfeeding USA counselor or even an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)! Did you relate to her struggles? What helped you to overcome any barriers?