In Canada, we celebrate National Breastfeeding Week this year from Sept 29-Oct 5. Theme: Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding.
Read some Parents' stories to help empower & enable other families to continue on their breastfeeding, chest feeding, and human milk feeding journeys.
Stay at Home Mom
My name is Jessica Knott. I’m 32 years old, born and raised in Temiskaming Shores. A community that I’m proud to be a part of and hold dearly to my heart. I taught elementary school for 6 years and when it was time for me to go back to work, (after an extended maternity leave) I just couldn’t find it in me to stick with my career and I knew what I wanted most was to be with my daughter. I’m thankful for my wonderful breastfeeding journey because it led me to the decision of becoming a stay at home mom.
The beginning of my journey was rough... weak latch, baby was slowly gaining weight, long nursing sessions. However, my husband, my family, friends and the Timiskaming Health Unit lactation consultant supported and helped me through that rough patch.
I am thankful for the La Leche League organization where through meetings, I met amazing moms who shared their stories of struggle and success. I had not planned to breastfeed past infancy...These mother’s motivated me to continue my journey. I’m proud to say that I have breastfed my eldest for almost 4 years and that I’m still going strong with my 1 year old.
I’m grateful for the programming and staff at the Early On Child and Family Centre and also at Temiskaming Brighter Futures. They are both wonderful centres where I spend most of my days with my daughters. They give us the opportunity to create a community of strong women who love and support each other through their breastfeeding and motherhood journey.
I hope that through my story, I can send strength and encouragement to mothers who are, or plan on breastfeeding. My wish for all of us is to feel comfortable and supported through our decisions, whether it be to formula feed or breastfeed. I want to be a voice in helping normalize extended and public breastfeeding.
Story from a NICU Mom
In December 2018, we found out we were expecting. Upon announcing our pregnancy, one question that was frequently asked by family & friends was “are you going to breastfeed?” I knew I wanted to try and breastfeed for as long as I possibly could (there are just so many benefits for both mom & babe)! The ladies in Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) were amazing in sharing their knowledge and resources with me during my pregnancy. In June, our little man decided to surprise us by coming 8 weeks early. This meant we would be staying in the NICU until my due date. I worried whether or not I would be able to breastfeed my little one. I reached out to THU and found out that I could rent a hospital grade pump. How cool is that?! I didn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a pump. They also explained to me how to increase my milk supply since I was a few weeks away from being able to physically breastfeed. This meant I would have to pump every 3-4 hours and hand express at the end of each pumping session. Fast forward to 3 months post-partum, I noticed my milk supply was decreasing. I reached out to THU’s lactation consultant and together we came up with a plan to increase my volume. Although this journey hasn’t been easy, it has been worth every moment.
Local Mom of Three
I chose to Breastfeed because I wanted to provide my baby with the best nutrition possible from the start, I wanted that mother/baby bond everyone talks about and let’s face it, save loads on money!
Like most new moms, it was not an easy skill to grasp.. took lots of coaching with the help of my Midwife to get things started. With time I came to realize that I was making so much milk.. maybe even too much! And No, I wasn’t pumping! after a few calls to our lactation consultants, they really helped me with different tips to make things more comfortable and easier for me to latch my baby.
My obstacle was not a short supply but an oversupply. I could not breastfeed my baby in public as I would leak 5 oz of milk on the opposite side and if I did not catch it then I would be left shirt soaked! No one wants to see that in public.. :/
Although my journey was different than most I am grateful to have been able to stock up my milk supply (with minimal effort) to feed my baby when I was away! Now after 3 beautiful healthy babies, all who successfully breastfed, I feel more confident and would recommend utilizing all support at our disposal to help us with this amazing experience!
Mommy of 3 <3
Maman avec difficultés avec l'allaitement
J’ai eu la chance de profiter des services de santé en tant que maman avec des difficultés avec l’allaitement avec ma première fille. Ce fut un trajet initialement difficile, cependant avec l’appui des gens dans la région, ce fut un succès! Il est parfois difficile de demander de l’aide, cependant j’étais persistante à allaiter. Je reconnais les bienfaits de l’allaitement et c’est ce que je voulais pour mon enfant. Ce qui m’a le plus aidé quant aux ressources communautaires, sont les services que j’ai reçus en français. Une barrière linguistique peut vraiment nuire aux services reçus. J’aimerais que les familles francophones sachent qu’ils y a de l’appui francophone dans la région et que vous n’êtes pas seuls. Continuez à fournir le liquide d’or à votre enfant!
Mother of two who encourages parents to seek help to empower their breastfeeding journey
My breastfeeding journey:
First things first, I want to give a big round of applause to all the Mothers who breastfed. Whether it was for the duration of 1 day or 2 years, you should be SO proud of yourself. To any woman who breastfed for any period of time, you should be proud because you chose at some point in your child's life to give them the liquid gold.
At first I thought my journey would be easy. My son latched on right away after birth, I was proud! I did it - I will be able to breastfeed him. But it was way more than that... After being sent home after the delivery of my son it was a whole new learning experience. My breast got extremely engorged. If you pick a rock from outside, that's the same density my breast was. Finally this passed! Fast forward a few weeks later, my breastfeeding journey was back on track… Until one morning my son had neon green poops. I knew this wasn't normal... he went from mustard to neon. Something must not be right? We're using the nipple shield what could be wrong? It was then that I met with our local breastfeeding lactation consultant. She asked me plenty of questions but most of all validating that it was okay to be worried. See this whole breastfeeding journey isn't just about feeding your child and a matter of succeeding or failing. It's about learning! Learning how to ask for help. Learning how to reach out and to listen to the experts. Learning how to push yourself and teaching yourself to stay motivated. There were a lot of milestones and I did it! I breastfed my son until he was 15 months old and now I'm breastfeeding my son, 4 months strong.
What I tell other moms it's not a competition of who fed longest or who had the most frozen milk? You are strong no matter what. In my experience I didn't learn a lot about breastfeeding till it was my time to do so - but I truly believe that the only reason I succeeded was because I sought help. I reach out to other mothers in the community and ask their stories. I reach out to our local Lactation Consultants. My support system grew with time and helped me realized I was doing much better than I ever imagined. I am doing GREAT. I cherish my body! I am proud of myself for breastfeeding.