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August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and we are happy to share stories from some of our staff and clients about their personal breastfeeding journey. Keep watch as we add more journey stories.

CYNTHIA’S JOURNEY

Breastfeeding was not a piece of cake, and neither was my delivery with my firstborn. All I knew was I wanted a healthy baby, and to offer him the very best. I delivered via C-section a 9 lb 1 oz healthy baby boy. His mouth size was that of a 1-month-old, but I still ran into some issues due to poor latch, If it had not been for WIC at the time, I would probably have given up. Faith would have it, I would work as a degreed nutritionist for the WIC program when my son was four months, and the rest is history. I became a peer counselor at WIC and gained my certified lactation educator certificate. I encountered a milk production issue around five months; he was drinking 6 oz at each feeding.

Cynthia and her daughter

Cynthia and her daughter.

It was hard to keep up, so I talked to my supervisor about my situation. I needed more than 15 minutes to pump (yep, that’s right, I would pump in 15 minutes). Luckily, breastfeeding laws have changed. The laws plus communication with your employer is vital. I was able to breastfed until he was three years. Soon after, I had my second baby, a girl. She was my tiny baby, weighing in at 7 lbs 13 oz. I had her via successful VBAC (Vaginal Delivery After a Cesarean Section). I had a doula who was my support and taught me how to manage my contractions. My daughter was my lazy feeder. She would much rather sleep, and because my let down was fast, she would choke and clamp down on my nipple (ouch). I remember nursing on all fours (like a cow) to make sure she didn’t hurt me. Plus, I had to pump every 2 hrs because I returned to work at six weeks postpartum. I almost gave up right before she finally got the hang of breastfeeding. Finally! I was relieved. We successfully breastfed until she was three years and four months.

My third child was a boy. He weighed 8 lbs 8 oz at birth. By then, I just knew what to do. I was working for WIC at the time and did not experience any hurdles or problems. I was at the beginning of completing my dietetic internship when my son had just turned one and still breastfeeding like a champ, I was no longer pumping, and I found out I was pregnant with my fourth baby. So I breastfed my 1-year-old during the pregnancy (it was painful at times, my breasts were tender plus I am sure my breast milk was saltier, the poor baby would drink water right after he nursed). My fourth was another baby girl. She was born at the end of my internship. I was ecstatic with our new arrival. She weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and latched on beautifully. But I had a 22-month-old at this time still nursing- so I tandem breastfed both my newborn and the 22-month-old. I was over the moon! We take turns nursing now. My toddler knows baby nurses first. For napping I put baby to sleep early and then the toddler. I would not change a thing. But then again, “I am here because I knew I had all support and breast milk my babies needed at that specific moment in time”, says the mom who is still learning!