Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Breastfeeding Issues in the Pioneer Valley

When I was pregnant, I had every intention to breastfeed. And, when Ruby was born I did breastfeed. And I still do. BUT...

In between Ruby's birth and today, there's been a lot of drama surrounding all that breastfeeding.
Hysteria is the only word that truly reflects what my husband and I went through that first week of Ruby's life. The baby was losing too much weight and the doctor was freaking us out about it BIG TIME (we've since switched pediatricians). We were new parents who were worried and terrified about our daughter's health.

It was hell.

I wanted my daughter to grow and be healthy, which is why I wanted to breastfeed her! I wanted her to get the benefits of breast milk, I wanted to do whatever I could that was natural for her and me, as well as the bonding... I didn't understand what was going wrong!

Luckily, we were directed to Mary Carey of Pioneer Valley Lactation Consulting. I called her on a Thursday afternoon and she was at our house the next morning.

Mary was SO kind and friendly, and in about a minute of seeing Ruby and talking with us she was able to offer answers and solutions about our issues, which were with latching AND low supply.

Mary's visits (and follow up calls) were so amazing and helpful. I truly believe that, had I not met with her, I would have given up on breastfeeding, which would have absolutely broken my heart. But she gave me such great information and tips, and was just so supportive of everything, including what we eventually found to be the best way to feed Ruby. Her overall approach was also so relaxed and calming, and that made such a difference when we were initially so terrified.
I recommend Pioneer Valley Lactation Consulting to anyone in Western Massachusetts who is looking for breastfeeding education, regardless of whether or not you are having any issues.

Ultimately, nothing we tried - not power pumping, prescription drugs, oatmeal, fenugreek or More Milk Plus - could get me to make enough milk for my baby. They all helped up my supply a bit, but never to the point where I didn't have to supplement with formula. Now I breastfeed and supplement with Earth's Best formula.

I know now that not every woman can breastfeed, no matter how badly they want to or try. I also think that time hooked to a pump can be more detrimental to bonding with your baby than giving them a bottle of formula. I think the day I returned the rented pump to the hospital was the day I started building a relaxed and wonderful relationship with my daughter.


  1. Mary called to check on my the day after leaving the hospital with my son last month. She was so nice! :) Breastfeeding is what nature intended, but it does NOT always come naturally. Good for you for trying your hardest! Ruby is so lucky to have you for a mama!

  2. I am happy to read your story. Thanks its great! DENISE