Episode 7: Mom Journey: My Own Journey Breastfeeding My First Baby
Jacqueline Kincer [0:01]
Hey there. Welcome back to the breastfeeding talk podcast. I’m your host Jacqueline Kincer, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Certified Specialist in orofacial myology. And I am the founder of Holistic Lactation, and I would actually like to let you know that my company, Holistic Lactation is the sponsor of this podcast. So I’m not taking any outside sponsors to get this podcast going.
And if you didn’t know, of course, I do see patients locally here in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. I also do telehealth video visits with clients online. But beyond that, I do have a series of online courses, and there’s more in the works. I’ve got one called the all about Ties masterclass. This is basically starting to finish everything most parents need to know about the tongue, lip, and buccal ties in their babies. I’ve also got a masterclass called healing food intolerances. And it’s all about if your baby is one of those colicky babies, spitting up a lot, has baby acne, diaper rashes, thrush, any of those signs that there are some food intolerances going on. This course will walk you through how to recognize those things, and what you can do to heal those things. And not put band-aids on them like reflux, medications, and things of that nature. And just so you know, it’s not really enough to just eliminate a food from your diet. Diet elimination alone does not fix food intolerances, and I go into depth on that course.
And then I have one called the mastitis mini-course, which is super great for those of you who are like, Oh, no, I have a plugged duct or I have mastitis. What the heck am I supposed to do? I don’t want to take antibiotics, or it’s really minor, but I don’t want it to get worse. The mastitis mini-course is for you. And this may even be information that you want to get ahead of time so that you’re not rushing to Amazon or the store in the midst of feeling really, really yucky.
And then the final one is secrets to making more milk, which is obviously not so secret anymore because I’ve had several students go through the course. But I go through the five easy steps to making more milk, the do’s and don’ts of milk production, and which herbs would be right based on your health history. So, not all galactagogue herbs are created equal, they are not for everyone. So it’s really important that you know which ones are correct. And also the best pumping strategies to get you the most amount of milk in the least amount of time and a lot more.
So that’s what I currently have available. If you did not know that each of these courses is currently appraised at $27 each. These are super duper accessible. If you wanted to get all four, you can actually combine them and do a little bundle. And you can get all four courses for $87.
So a lot of you guys didn’t know that I get a lot of questions on things. And these courses should answer a lot of your questions. So there we go.
But in today’s episode, I wanted to get into with you. It’s going to be me sharing my own breastfeeding journey with my son. He is now seven years old. So this journey began seven years ago. And a lot of you have asked to hear my story. Some of you may have heard me tell bits and pieces of it on some other podcast interviews that I’ve done or just on some social media posts. But instead of it being piecemeal, I’m going to tell you the story from start to finish. So let’s get into it.
Welcome to this episode where I promised you that I’m going to finally share in its entirety my journey with breastfeeding my son. Actually, I don’t have this pre-scripted out or anything like that. So if this gets too long, I might break it up into two episodes, but we will see how this goes. And we’ll do an entirely separate episode for breastfeeding my daughter, who’s about to turn four. That’s an entirely different breastfeeding journey.
So my son like I said in the intro, is seven years old now and recently turned seven. So my pregnancy with him, I did not do what I do today. For a profession, I was actually a stockbroker. And it’s so funny, I just was talking to a friend of mine and a colleague of mine right before I decided to record this episode. And he asked me, what did you do before you were a lactation consultant? And I said, stockbroker, and he said, that is the last thing that I thought you were going to tell me. And he’s like, I just can’t see you doing that. And I’m like, well, that’s rude. But no, he didn’t mean it that way, just that it’s just very different. But you know what, there’s a lot of parallels.
And by the way, being a stockbroker is not like what you saw in The Wolf of Wall Street movie, okay, it’s very, at least when I did it, and how I did it, the company that I was with, it was very heart-centered, it was all about helping the clients achieve their financial goals. It really wasn’t me cold calling people up, like, Hey, you should buy this new stock. That’s not what it looks like. I’m sure there are people out there doing that. But that’s not the way I did it. It was really more overall, financial strategy and planning, and helping people to grow their money, and create wealth for their lives. And so I really, really loved it, I was actually really great at it. And I won’t get into all the details of that. I think you could probably go on my LinkedIn and read some more there.
But basically, I got pregnant when I was in this profession. And I actually got promoted when I was pregnant, which was cool, but also kind of a little bit bittersweet, just because my husband and I chatted about it. And we sort of planned on taking off about a year after our child was born. And we did find out his sex when I was pregnant. So we knew he was a boy, which was really cool. And I felt bad because I was doing really well at my job, I was leading a team, and they loved me. I was coming up for promotion, again. In fact, on my maternity leave, I met with my manager. And she basically let me know that I was getting this amazing compensation package. And I then had to break the sad news to her a couple of weeks later that I was not going to be coming back from maternity leave.
So while I was pregnant with my son, I did take a Bradley method class to prepare for childbirth, which is, if you’re not familiar, it’s a 12-week-long birth class. And it’s really, really in-depth. I think each class was probably two hours long, maybe even longer at times, and very centered on having your partner there with you for the birth. And I felt pretty prepared for labor and birth and all that fun stuff.
But even though they as part of the Bradley method, they do have you either attend a La Leche League meeting, which is a volunteer breastfeeding organization. It’s a nonprofit that’s worldwide. And I’ll get into that a little bit more in-depth here in just a moment.
So I had to attend that or a breastfeeding class. And so, the La Leche League schedule didn’t really work out for me. But I ended up signing up for a breastfeeding class. Now, this class was taught by an IBCLC. And I’m not saying anything to disparage her, but I will say that she was a lot older than me and probably had grandchildren. She worked in the hospital and not so much in a private practice setting. And so, she taught a lot of breastfeeding theory. And what I mean by that is, it’s basically a lot of the same education I got becoming a lactation consultant. You get a textbook on human lactation, the benefits of breast milk, why breast crawl is important, and birth interventions are bad. And it’s recommended by the World Health Organization that you breastfeed for two years. And that’s kind of the education that I got.
So at the time, when I was pregnant, I thought, Great, these are the things that are going to set me up for breastfeeding success. This is awesome!
But really, it was more of a class that, I would say, looking back, was about helping you decide to breastfeed or not because of the benefits of breastfeeding. I honestly didn’t really take into account when I made the decision to breastfeed when I got pregnant with my son, I just knew that I was going to breastfeed, it wasn’t a question in my mind, it wasn’t a decision that I mulled over, or had any doubts about, I just knew I would. So for, I to go to a breastfeeding class that told me the benefits of human milk. I found it incredibly fascinating, but as far as preventing diabetes, cancer, and all these other things that breastfeeding does, it didn’t really teach me how to breastfeed, if that makes sense.
So if you have taken a breastfeeding class that sounds similar to what I just described., I’d actually love to hear from you, send me a DM on Instagram. I’d love to hear from you about what you wish you would have learned Because prenatal classes are very important to me, and I love to set women up for success. And everyone who’s ever attended a prenatal class that I’ve taught has been the easiest client to work with once they do have their babies because they’ve just already got so much down I don’t have to re-explain everything. And when you’ve just had a baby, and you’ve got a new Mom Brain, it’s super hard to retain information, as you probably know.
So fast forward to the birth, I’ll kind of skip out on a lot of that birth prep stuff. If you guys want to hear it. I don’t know that it’s super relevant to this podcast. But if there’s a huge demand for me to tell my birth story, let me know, again, send me a message on Instagram at Holistic Lactation. And I can see if there’s enough interest in telling if you really want to know.
But I planned home birth. Sort of later, my pregnancy came up to that decision. And it did not end up being at home. We started out there, but we ended up in the hospital with a number of interventions. But he still was born vaginally. And when he came out, he was put right on my chest, which was really great. And it was just a whirlwind. I mean, that moment of seeing my son for the first time was just, there are no words. It’s a wow moment. It’s a holy cow, like, wow, I’m a mom. And this little miracle is here in front of me. It’s just unbelievable.
And for me, it was, and I know a lot of moms describe it that way. I know a lot of moms that have births that don’t go the way that they were hoping don’t describe it that way. So I’m just telling you my story.
So he’s there. And I’ve got my Doula, my midwife, and the hospital midwife and my husband and nurses, and there’s just a lot of people in the room. And it just seemed very quick that everybody was just very rushing to get him latched. And I was like, Woah, Woah like, hang on a minute here. I want to like look at him. And I mean, he’ll be okay for 10 minutes, right?
Now, I don’t know exactly how much time went by because time was completely irrelevant at that point. But I remember my Doula helping me. And I remember very clearly, and if she’s listening, please know that you were helpful. You didn’t hinder anything.
But I was shown how to sandwich my breasts, which were quite large from the weight I put on during pregnancy, and then all the IV fluids that I had during labor. And I was kind of incapacitated because I was laying on my back and had a really rough birth. And so I couldn’t really get into a great position, I had to sort of just make it work.
And it just seemed like it was about getting the baby to latch but not about getting the baby to latch particularly well if that makes sense. I think the goal there was to get a good latch, but I felt this pressure to just get him latched at all costs. And he did. And of course, I just was like, I have no idea. I’ve never done this before! I have no idea what this is supposed to feel like. I don’t really feel anything. And I assume he’s getting milk. Great, cool, he’s latched! But I wasn’t shown or taught how to know if he was getting milk, to know if it was a good latch. Nobody covered those two basic things.
And so the rest of my hospital stay, I was there for a few days. We have this lactation consultant come in. She did not have a great bedside manner. She was very forceful. She basically made me feel like I was doing it wrong. And she just came in, and she said, here, let me show you, grabbed my boob, grabbed my baby, shoved my baby on there, and threw me some hydrogel pads. And that was it.
And there was no way that I could recreate that because one, she never taught me how to do it, and two, forcing a baby to get a latch that they’re physically incapable of doing ultimately leads to breastfeeding problems.
And I experienced a lot of pain even in the hospital, my nipples were bruised. I would not put those chemical-smelling hydrogel pads on my nipples. I did have my organic nipple cream with me, which was a lifesaver, by the way. And I just couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there. I had some incredibly rude nurses in couplet care. I had maybe one that was sort of nice. In fact, the rudest one thought she was just hot stuff. She actually told me that I’d be getting a survey in the mail about my hospital stay and that to remember her name and to put her name on the survey like that, I really liked her. And I was like, oh, I’m really glad you told me because now I know your name, and I wrote a letter to the hospital complaining because she was so rude to me.
But anyway, it was not a joyous experience to be in the hospital post-birth. Now, hopefully, you’ve had a different journey than that. But it was a struggle, not to mention that they give you this log to fill out every single time you feed your baby, they want to know the time you stopped and started the feeding and which breast, and I know that there are apps for that these days, but quite honestly, that is so not evidence-based in any way, shape or form. It creates stress, it interferes with my ability to trust myself in feeding my baby, and it creates zero self-efficacy. I felt like I just had to log numbers. I’m just another statistic. No one really cared to show me!
That log doesn’t tell anybody whether breastfeeding is going well or not! How long your baby was at the breast is no indication of how well your baby did at the breast. And quite frankly, I am kind of angry and upset about it, if you can’t tell. Because I think it’s absolute baloney that women are forced to fill out these sheets in order to get discharged from the hospital. It’s not helpful. What it does for the hospital is to allow themselves to inflate their breastfeeding initiation rates statistics and get baby-friendly certified, which that’s a whole other conversation, by the way. So anyway, we got the heck out of the hospital!
Finally, we get home I just kind of feel like a train wreck. I’m recovering from this birth and these medications. And I did that thing where I allowed family in the delivery room right after, and everybody’s holding the baby, passing on my swaddled baby. I didn’t spend that first few days skin to skin as I should have.
Now my milk came in, okay with a kind of vengeance. But I had a very abundant milk supply, perhaps even an oversupply. And I really spent a lot of time researching. I got home, and I started reading the Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding on my Kindle, which is a great book, but it didn’t give me the answers. It didn’t tell me why I was experiencing breastfeeding pain. It didn’t tell me how to fix the latch.
I tried to contact a private practice lactation consultant. She said she couldn’t see me for two weeks. And she was kind of actually really rude about it. Because what she could have done was say, Hey, I’m booked up for two weeks. But here’s another colleague that I recommend to you. I literally had no idea that there were other lactation consultants that were far closer than she was, she was like a 30-40 minute drive for me, which didn’t make any sense for me to even contact her anyway.
So not only did I not know that there were other lactation consultants, but I was like, well, in two weeks, I’ll probably have figured it out. I’m sure given two weeks, I can do better than I’m doing today. So I didn’t book the appointment with her.
And then our pediatrician that we chose for our son, she was a lactation consultant, I went in to see her. I asked about positioning and stuff. And she says, Well, you don’t need all these different positions, just that one, and he looks great. And I was like, okay, but why do my nipples hurt so bad? And my pain was just very normalized, well, it’ll go away. It’ll go away, give it like a month, it’ll go away.
Well, I gave it a month. And then I gave it a couple more weeks, and about six weeks is when I decided to go to my first La Leche League meeting. And I ventured out of the house with just me and my baby. Without my husband, without another family member to support me.
The drive there was horrendous because, of course, my son was crying in the car seat, and I pulled over probably six times on my way there. He was fine. And it was not a far drive either. So it’s probably like three miles. We made it, and it was the first time I finally felt comfortable.
I watched these other women breastfeed their babies because I had no idea what breastfeeding in public really looked like. I had left the house a few times. But it was all just very awkward. And we did not leave the house for very long. So here was a safe space in a La Leche League leader’s home where I really just got to feel supported. And one of the things I heard there that I had never heard before was that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.
But instead of me receiving that information and asking for help during the meeting, what I did is I internalized that, and I found myself getting angry. And I said, Well, in my head. I said, Well, breastfeeding does hurt, and you don’t know what it’s like, and you’re wrong. And that was my defensive attitude. Because I felt like I had tried all the things, and here I am at this meeting, and you’re telling me it’s not supposed to hurt, and it does. And I felt not heard, But that was my interpretation. And I see that now. And I see that in a lot of women. In fact, whenever I’ve posted on social media that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. There inevitably is some sort of backlash from women who say, Well, it did hurt. And I’m like, No, I’m not saying it didn’t hurt you, clearly did it hurt me too. But I’m saying it shouldn’t. It’s a sign of a problem.
But the problem with that is that there was nothing presented that could be done about it. So I didn’t really know that there was a solution to it. And I just kind of thought, this is the way things are.
Now about a week later or so, the pain sort of subsided, and I wouldn’t describe breastfeeding as painful from then on out. However, my son wasn’t a great sleeper. And by not a great sleeper, I mean, just woke up very easily, did not sleep for long stretches, he probably didn’t go to bed until 11, or midnight, most nights. And then woke up throughout the night, several times. And I just breastfed him. So my solution to everything was diaper change, breastfeeding, and maybe wearing in the carrier and walking around. And, really, that was all I needed to meet his needs. But I guess I just didn’t have any other tools in the toolbox. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And there just wasn’t the same level of support for breastfeeding seven years ago as there is today. So I felt lost, basically.
I did ultimately end up stumbling upon some information online. That made me think that I had an oversupply. And I do think that I had a tiny bit of an oversupply, but really the issue was that he just couldn’t handle the flow. And I see this a lot with, of course, babies in my practice. But he really struggled. He would choke a lot at the breast, he would come on and off a lot. He got sprayed in the face with milk. These are things that people think are oversupplied. Most of the time, they are not most of the time, it’s an issue of tongue function.
And what I didn’t discover until my son was much older was that he had a tongue tie and a lip tie this whole time. So he could not feed functionally, he could breastfeed, and he breastfed exclusively. He never had a bottle, he never had a pacifier. But he still struggled to breastfeed well.
But I did not know again what breastfeeding well looks like. I wasn’t taught that in my prenatal class. I did not have friends around me. I didn’t have lactation supporters around me. La Leche League meeting, those babies were a lot older, some were even toddlers. So that didn’t really apply to my two-month-old. And breastfeeding photos online, those beautiful stock photos really didn’t teach me much either.
So I persevered. I just breastfed, I just did. And we made it through. I will say that, looking back, now I see! I see photos of him, and I see the blister on his upper lip. And I see his tongue coated in milk. And I see his tongue hanging out on the floor of his mouth. And I see his baby acne, and I see all these things now that I used to feel a lot of guilt about, like, oh, gosh, but you know, I just didn’t know what I didn’t know. But here’s where the shift happened for me.
I started attending these ology league meetings, I created a moms group because I didn’t really have any friends with kids. And I wanted to make some and this moms group today, I think, has like 3,500 members, which is really, really cool. And it’s all just local Phoenix moms.
So I created a bit of a community, and I decided that I wanted to become a La Leche League leader. And at nine months is when I could apply to go through that process, which took several months. And you have to go through a test and just do various things. I hosted La Leche League meetings in my home. So breastfeeding, actually, knowledge of breastfeeding became sort of a hobby for me. I was just naturally drawn to it. It’s kind of like, I didn’t choose it, it chose me. And because I always knew that something wasn’t quite right with breastfeeding. It’s like I just never really stopped searching for answers. So that led me to ultimately become a La Leche League leader. And I did that for a little over a year was really great. And in that time, I decided that I wanted to actually become an IBCLC.
So I became a lactation educator. First, I took a course through Arizona State University, which I don’t think they’re offering at the moment anymore. And I decided to teach breastfeeding classes.
So I started out with my moms group and just midwives and people that I connected with in my community there, and then just hit the ground running by going through my studies and got myself up to do clinical hours. Which was really, really exciting.
Now I know this podcast is kind of veering a different direction here, I do get a question probably every single day from someone who contacts me and says, How do I become an IBCLC? But not even that, just how do I become an IBCLC like you? What did you specifically do?
So for those of you asking, I did pathway one. I combined my hours of service as a La Leche League leader. And I didn’t just take the 500 hours that they give you, I actually did phone support, I signed up for that quite often, I attended meetings of two different chapters, I really, really did pour in the hours to help people to get those 500 hours for the year. And I also decided to fast track it, it was sort of a chance gig that I got to be a front desk assistant for a chiropractor that I knew. And she ran a breastfeeding clinic with a couple of other IBCLCs.
And I got to be invited in to observe that and through observing that we sort of had a conversation about is this a possibility that I can get some clinical hours this way? Well, I contacted IBLCE, which is my board, and I had to get approval, but they did approve me for that. So I got a little more than half of my hours from working in that office and getting my clinical hours there with a breastfeeding clinic we ran twice a week and supporting other breastfeeding patients as they came in. And then La Leche League. So that’s what I did.
It was a very unique pathway. And it was really great. And no, I’m not an RN, I wasn’t in the health sciences previously, as you heard in the intro to the podcast here. So that’s really my story. It doesn’t quite end there, though.
So breastfeeding chugged along, we started solids at six months, he seemed to be doing okay, but there were things that I thought were normal that really weren’t, where he would chew up food and spit it out because he struggled with chewing and swallowing because of the tongue-tie, which I didn’t know at the time.
Around nine months, I had heard the word tongue-tie for the first time. And they didn’t really know what it was. It didn’t pique my interest. I didn’t really look into it. But then I started hearing more about it. And this is when some providers in my community were starting to treat it, and things of that nature.
Ultimately, the chiropractor that I ended up working for really found my son’s lip tie. And we drove two hours to another city in my state to see a provider to treat it there. Because this was someone I was told that had a lot of experience and expertise. And so we went to go see her. And I asked three times at that appointment if he was tongue-tied. I said, if we’re here and we’re doing this, let’s do it all. And I was assured that he was not tongue-tied. But as we all know, he was. So we get the lip tie treated. He’s still nursing at 21 months old.
We get the lip tie treated. I was there to see him get the numbing injection, of course, he cried. They had a couple of hygienists there with a very large swaddle around him, trying to support him.
They ultimately got the procedure done. He nursed right after. And for the first time in my breastfeeding journey, breastfeeding actually felt comfortable, it felt good.
And it was such a huge lightbulb moment where just all these realizations came flooding into my brain. Because, like I describe, the first couple of months of breastfeeding were really painful for me, and then that pain subsided. But I never knew because I had never experienced that breastfeeding could actually feel good.
It wasn’t that it felt bad all these previous months, almost two years of breastfeeding, I wouldn’t describe that. I never felt like I was sore or uncomfortable. But now, I experienced something that I just had never experienced before that breastfeeding actually felt good.
He had so much deeper of a latch. And the craziest thing was, again, we only did the lip tie, not the tongue tie. Now I’m not telling you this story so that you think that getting a lip tie fixed and you don’t need to treat the tongue tie is the answer. That’s not true. Okay, but it does mean that lip ties play a role. Absolutely. And even at 21 months, right.
So the other thing was that he was getting so much more milk. So I remember the dentist sitting there with me, and she said, You know, I didn’t know what to expect doing this procedure for a 21-month-old, and I really haven’t had too many of them who are still nursing. I wouldn’t have expected to get him more milk I wouldn’t have expected to make a big difference. And the reason we really did the procedure was that he was getting some cavities on his teeth because of his lip tie.
So food was getting trapped there, and he was getting cavities. So that was there was a true dental reason to get it done. But the benefits of breastfeeding were great. They were amazing.
And so, we continued our breastfeeding journey past the age of three. And of course, at that time, the closer he got to age four, he was maybe nursing once a week or something like that. And I was kind of sad to end it.
But I was also pregnant with my daughter. And really the end of my breastfeeding journey there with him is that I got pregnant with my daughter, he was still nursing, I did experience huge, huge nursing aversion really, during my second trimester. Nursing him just was so just so…I don’t want to say I hated it. But the feeling I would get, I would just cringe when he was latched. I couldn’t stand it, I just wanted to run away.
And I decided that because I was so into pursuing my board certification, I was almost done. Well, I was done with my clinical hours. At that point, I was just waiting for the exam, that I would just push through, I can breastfeed, I can breastfeed through this. And I will say that’s probably one of the bigger mistakes that I made in my breastfeeding journey was pushing through it.
What I wasn’t doing was listening to my own body. And I wasn’t acknowledging that maybe there was a need for my body to wean him, and push through it, it left a very negative memory of breastfeeding the way it ended because he kind of stopped nursing around 40 weeks pregnant.
And then my daughter was born when I was 42 weeks pregnant. And he wasn’t super interested in tandem nursing when she was born. But he did here and there. And as much as I actually started to feel afraid before my daughter was born that I wouldn’t enjoy breastfeeding her because I really wasn’t enjoying breastfeeding my son at that point. And I was actually scared. I was truly, truly scared that I would not enjoy breastfeeding with her. And I would experience that same aversion. And I just didn’t know what to do about it. And I’m even getting a little emotional just talking about it. Because I didn’t know what to expect, even though I had all this education and clinical hours. This wasn’t one of those commonly talked about breastfeeding things. Not many people make it that far in their breastfeeding journey. Now a fair number of you do, which is amazing.
And everybody’s different. I’m not saying everyone should wean during their pregnancy, some mothers don’t experience that breastfeeding aversion. But she was born, she latched soon after birth. And of course, it was enjoyable. But I thought the nursing aversion then would go away with my son. So a few days after she was born, we kind of reintroduced him to nursing. And I had a version with him still! It was like, my body just said, Nope, one baby at a time, and I would nurse her. It was great. Right after I’d nurse him, it was awful. And so that was really when he didn’t have a ton of interest in in any way. Maybe for nap time or something like that. I don’t even think he was nursing before bed. But it just kind of gradually died out over the next little while, over the next several months, really. And I was totally okay with that.
I was really kind of ready to just be nursing my daughter. And primarily, I did just nurse her, and I didn’t even nurse him every day. And that was the end of my breastfeeding journey. So would I give myself some advice now looking back? Yes! The advice I would give myself would be to listen to my body, listen to my emotions, listen to my needs. And to have asked for some more supports.
I did try to read everything I could from books that I had. And La Leche League resources and things of that nature, other lactation consultants that I knew. But ultimately, there was just so much emotion tied up in that ending of breastfeeding with my son that I didn’t want to let it go, I wanted to let himself wean. But I was so committed to letting himself lean that I wasn’t listening to my needs too.
And so if there’s a message that I could have for any mom out there, not even having to do with pregnancy, or tandem nursing or any of that, but when it comes time to wean your child, it doesn’t have to be a decision that solely your child makes. It can actually be a mutual decision. And it really turned me from this hardcore breastfeed at all costs type of person to someone who had a lot more compassion, a lot more understanding. And it really taught me a lot that enabled me to support my clients.
Because weaning should be, in a lot of ways, a celebration of all that you’ve accomplished, right? It’s like a new milestone. It’s a huge accomplishment to look back and celebrate the amount of breastfeeding or the length of time you breastfed.
But when we go through the weaning journey, and it’s either too forceful one way or the other, that you’re forcing your child before they’re ready. And then they’re very upset. Now it creates this negative ending and a bad memory. And thankfully, I will say that breastfeeding my daughter, which I’ll get into , in a subsequent episode, was a healing experience in many ways, although filled with many more challenges.
And weaning her when it came time to wean her, I recognized in my body those signs that I, even though I wasn’t pregnant with another child, was starting to experience that nursing aversion, I recognized that, and instead of choosing to suffer through it, as I did with my first, I chose a different way to end that breastfeeding journey. And I’ll tell you more about that in the episode where I describe my nursing journey with my daughter.
So there is the summary of the nursing journey with my son, my oldest. And I will say now he’s seven. And we actually had his tongue tie corrected last year at age six, he needed to be put under for some dental work to be done. And he really probably needed a lot of that dental work done because of his tongue tie.
And so, at that same time, we decided to make the decision because his speech had been impacted. We had done myofunctional therapy starting two years before that, but he was still having some issues. So we decided to get his tongue-tied treated. I was very, very fortunate to have a great dentist colleague of mine who’s absolutely the best frenectomy provider here locally, be able to partner with my son’s restorative dentist, the ones who took care of the cavities and did everything else. And they allowed her to come in there and do the procedure in the operating space at the same time. So we were super-duper blessed to have that done, his sleep was better, and his speech was better. So many things were better. And I feel like he did such a great job with recovery, not only because he was breastfed for over three years, but also because we had prepared him with myofunctional therapy, we had prepared him for the procedure. And really, now looking at it, even though he was tongue-tied all that time, he has great dental development in terms of his teeth spacing, and his palate width and things like that.
So breastfeeding, as long as I did actually did set him up for a lot of success. And I do see that now having worked with older kids doing myofunctional therapy and learning how to how to do that myself. So it’s a great thing. And I don’t have any regrets about not getting his tongue-tie treated sooner. I couldn’t have done something that I didn’t know about.
Now, do I wish I knew? I guess yes, there is a part of me that wishes we knew when he was younger. But I still got an amazing breastfeeding journey. I still bonded with my son in an incredible way. I did end up having mastitis once or twice with him, and I had plugged ducts a few times. And so probably I could have avoided those things. But you know what, no regrets. I look back. And I’m very grateful for that breastfeeding journey because it turned me from a stockbroker into a lactation consultant, host of this podcast, instructor, educator, author, and so many other things that who knows where my life would have gone had I never gone down that path? So I’m so incredibly grateful for that journey, I look back on it with zero regrets.
And I do believe that everything happens for a reason. So maybe it was meant to be that we waited until he was older to get his tongue tie released, perhaps it would not have worked out as well had we got it done as a baby. So you just never know.
So I have sometimes a lot of parents, or when I meet with families, sometimes it’s even the grandparents who feel this huge sense of regret because now they know their child has a tongue tie or that they have one. And they just feel so bad. And now their kid is 35 that they’re like, oh my gosh, I feel like so terrible.
My message to you is there’s nothing to feel terrible about. And it’s always still fixable, you can still get it treated. It just will be a long process, and there may be more involved in it. But no regrets. Absolutely no regrets. So I hope that was helpful for you. Maybe there’s a piece of my story that resonates with you, I would actually really love to hear from you.
So Instagram is just the best way to connect with me. If you’re listening to this episode, and you found it helpful in any way, shape, or form, I’d love for you to just take a little screenshot and share it and tag me in it or send me a DM and let’s connect.
I also if you didn’t know this, I am actually looking for other mothers out there to share their breastfeeding journeys on the podcast. If this sounds like something that you’re interested in, you can go to my website, and you can ask apply to be a guest. If you don’t know how to do that or where to find the link, you can actually just send me a DM on Instagram. It’s a great way to get a hold of me.
But I am especially looking for unique stories, especially featuring women of color, or other women like single moms, anybody who’s had a really rough time, I’d love to bring just a diversity of stories on here.
I would also love to bring wonderful, happy, no problem stories of breastfeeding on here as well because that’s just some great word medicine that we can put out there in the world for moms who are preparing to breastfeed for the first time. Or maybe even a second, third, fourth, or 10th time. So thank you so much for listening. It means a lot to me to have your support for the podcast.
And if you haven’t done so already, please, please make sure you’ve subscribed to the podcast so you get all the new episodes. Again, I will be sharing the solo episode I’m going to be recording for you about my breastfeeding journey with my daughter, which was way different in a very, very intense. So that’ll be coming up, make sure you’re subscribed.
And if you could, I would so appreciate leaving a review on iTunes because it does help the podcast get discovered by other moms who can feel supported by the information I share here as well. So I will see you in the next episode.
In this BONUS episode, I’m sharing the before, during, and after of breastfeeding my first baby. The story begins 7 years ago when I was in a completely different profession than I am today. I thought I was prepared, but looking back I know I wasn’t. I had challenges along the way and overcame them, which ultimately led to what you see today! There may be parts of my story that resonate with your own, and there may be parts that are very different. But I truly believe it is important to share our stories so we can stop living them and heal. Also–stay tuned for an upcoming episode where I share the journey of breastfeeding my second baby. It’s entirely different!!
If you enjoy this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram Stories and tag me @holisticlactation
I’ve got a special gift for all my listeners and it’s 38 powerful breastfeeding affirmations to support you on your breastfeeding journey, so go get that free audio now at https://holisticlactation.com/mantras
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- Why I wasn’t prepared to breastfeed before giving birth
- What the early days of breastfeeding looked like and how I chose to continue
- The things I discovered later on that gave me the answers I needed
- How I continued to breastfeed for over 3 years
- How my journey ended