Breastfeeding 101: Life-Inspired Lessons
As NFLWC’s Clinical Resource Coordinator, LPN, and Certified Lactation Counselor, I host breastfeeding classes every 3rd Monday of each month in our OB lobby to give expectant moms the knowledge and confidence they’ll need to nourish their new babies.
This is my story, and why I am passionate about educating patients.
As an OBGYN nurse, I thought I had all the knowledge I needed to have a successful pregnancy. What I did not anticipate is that pregnancy is totally unpredictable and truly different for every woman.
Like all parents, I wanted the best for my baby, so I planned to breastfeed. I didn’t know much about breastfeeding at the time, but I knew that it was the best food for my son. After he was born, he began losing too much weight and became jaundiced. I needed to start pumping in addition to nursing and give him the extra milk in a bottle.
The week we went home, my son continued struggling with weight gain and jaundice. At our pediatrician’s recommendation, I began to supplement with formula. This was a huge disappointment. What’s more, I did not know that supplementing with formula would decrease my milk supply. After four frustrating months, I gave up on breastfeeding.
Fast-forward three years… I was pregnant with baby #2 and decided to learn everything I could about breastfeeding so that I was successful. I researched and took a breastfeeding class. By then, TMH had started working toward their Baby Friendly initiative and I volunteered for a study that a nurse practitioner student was doing on skin-to-skin contact for caesarean patients. Things were looking better this time!
When my sweet baby girl arrived, the nursing team looked her over; my husband cut the cord, and they placed her on my chest while the doctors finished up. She only moved from my chest long enough for me to move from the operating table to the stretcher, and then I had her again. She latched on and began nursing before we ever left the recovery room!
All of the nurses were so helpful with breastfeeding, and a lactation consultant came to see me in the hospital to make sure I was doing well.
When we visited her pediatrician a week later, she had begun to show signs of jaundice and we were sent for lab work. Once again, I was told to supplement with formula. Once again, I was devastated. This time, however, I had more knowledge and resources on my side. I called my lactation consultant, who instructed me to feed my baby as usual, pump, and then give her the extra pumped milk. I did… and guess what? It worked!
I breastfed exclusively until she was six months old; then we introduced solid foods. I continued to breastfeed through the first year. She still nurses at nighttime.
Being a nurse, it is my job to care for and educate patients. From my personal experiences, I realized maybe we were not giving our patients the full education they needed to be successful. I believe that everyone wants what is best for themselves and their baby, and it is my goal to give our patients the resources to achieve that. It is your choice to have a natural birth or an epidural, to breastfeed or formula feed – but I want you know everything there is to know about that choice so that you go into it with a clear head ready to take it on!
-- Libbie Stroud
To register for Libbie's class, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Classes are for NFLWC patients and the $30 fee covers the expectant mother plus one guest. One class is often sufficient, but you are welcome to join us for more!