Here I was always thinking that breast feeding would be this easy natural process. Little did I know it was going to be so much more complicated and involved. Today, I'm three weeks in and I think the thing that keeps me sane and persistent is the confidence and encouragement my friends at Lactation Link have provided!
I'm definitely a planner by nature. So when I was pregnant, I tried my best to arm myself with as much knowledge as I could, because when it comes to this particular topic, no matter how much knowledge you have you never really can prepare for how it's going to go.
I attended one of Lactation Link's classes, where I learned things I never really thought about. The class was intimate, maybe 8-10 pregnant women, as well as a few of the members of the Lactation Link team. Lindsey, a certified lactation specialist and registered nurse, taught the class and took the time (over three hours!!) to answer every question we had. I also had the chance to chat with Kristin who is part of the team and a mother of five, so that in and of itself pretty much makes her an expert! I also found out that Lactation Link's specialists make in-home and in-hospital visits. They took our due dates down in the class so we could give a loose idea of when a consult may be needed. It was such an open and relaxed experience and I left knowing I had a support team if needed. That was a huge relief.
When the moment of truth arrived, Athena was nursing like a champ when we were in the hospital and I thought this might be easy enough after all. But once we went home she was put on the Bilirubin lights to treat her jaundice and all of a sudden she decided to quit latching. This pretty much broke my heart and was the source of many tears until I sent a text message to Lactation Link where they quickly scheduled a time to come over to our house and help assess the situation.
Kristen came to our home and helped us figure out what the problem was. And while Athena was still not latching, Kristen assured me that since she has done it so well once before she could do it again! What a relief!
She gave us lots of suggestions that we are still using today and quite honestly, every day still comes with new problems. But now I have solutions to help me cope instead of fall apart and quit. Really, I think the lack of support some women have is what leads them to quit. It really is an experience that can wear on you, hurt your feelings (which seems so silly considering the person that hurts your feelings is a tiny helpless baby) and generally just make you feel like a failure, leading to quitting all together.
I'm so glad I had all the support I did from Lactation Link and know that I still have it now. I love knowing that I can send an email to Kristen and give her an update on the situation and she responds quickly with encouragement and kindness.
If you are saying to yourself that this is all great for me, since I live in Utah where Lactation Link is located, but you don't, fear not! There is still lots to offer from Lactation Link no matter where you live. They offer video/ email/ phone consults where ever you may live!! They also offer a collection of online video classes, which I used as well while I was still pregnant, that contained 3 videos that prepare you for all the ups and downs of nursing. Also their Instagram feed is full of great help since it features open question strands with solid medical advice from the Lactation Link team who truly know their stuff.
So if you are a new mama or just preparing for the roller coaster ride that is breastfeeding and you need someone to have your back in the nursing game, Lactation Link has got you covered!
And if you are looking for a brand to literally have you covered, Audrey and Olive is my new favorite shop for nursing wear. Their pieces remind me of a cross between Free People and Zara only all nursing and maternity friendly. Quite honestly, it would even work for ladies who just really dig the comfy flowy vibe which has become my favorite since pregnancy. Right now the entire site is on sale till the end of today so check it out quick!
Top: Audrey and Olive c/o // Jeans: Topshop // Hat: Urban Outfitters (similar) // Shoes: Coach
Athena's blanket: Target