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Twins Born at 27 Weeks {A Mother’s Story of the NICU and Coping}

Twins Born at 27 Weeks {A Mother’s Story of the NICU and Coping}

My twin boys were due August 28, 2012. They were born June 1, 2012, 13 weeks early.

I had a doctor appointment that morning. I was so excited because it was an ultrasound appointment and I was going to get to see my little boogers. I met with the doctor after the appointment and he kept me a little longer because he was afraid that I had twin to twin transfusion. They tried to hook me up to heart rate monitors but said I wasn’t far enough along for them to work…. So he sent me on my way and made an appointment for the following week.

By now it was 10:30AM and I was supposed to be at work at 8:30AM. I grabbed my lunch on the way but I wasn’t able to eat on the way because I had to update my husband, my mom, and my mother-in-law. I worked the drive-thru so I was busy all day long and I ate in between customers. I didn’t get to sit down much, we were just really busy. I was lucky and got off at 5:00PM because I had to work Saturday. I went to the bathroom before I left and noticed something wasn’t right. I called my husband and he said that once I talked to the doctor to let him know and if he needed to he would be on his way.

My mom came because mother’s just worry too much. And we had to wait on the doctor. I couldn’t tell you what we were talking about but I just looked up at her and said my water broke. Her first comment was “Are you sure you didn’t pee your pants?” I laughed then and I still laugh now. I wasn’t able to call Jason because once I told the nurses my water broke all hell broke loose. So I text messaged Jason that my water broke. That’s not something that you want to text by the way, and he followed it with a phone call. I wouldn’t let him drive so I called his parents and I wouldn’t talk to his dad because I didn’t want anybody to be upset or rush or anything like that. So I told his mom to calmly go pick up Jason and we worked out arrangements for Jager (our dog) and that everything was okay.

The plan was to make it to Roanoke Memorial and stop labor. That didn’t happen. By the time we got there it was too late to stop it. We were prepped and I was taken in for an emergency cesarean. At 11:13PM Parker Lewis cried out. At 11:15 p.m. Jacoby Lee cried out as well. I didn’t get to see Jacoby but I was able to kiss Parker on his way out of the room. It wasn’t until the next day that I was actually able to see them both up close and touch them.

The next day everything was put into perspective. I received a call that Jacoby needed to be intubated. He was tired and wasn’t strong enough to breathe on his own. I finally was able to go see them and they were so small. Granted, they were big for 27 weekers, Parker was 2lbs 13oz and Jacoby was 3lbs 2oz, but still so tiny. It’s amazing that they were still able to function. We were informed that we may be qualified for the Ronald McDonald house, since we were an hour away from home. Which meant that Daddy would go back to work and I would stay. Here our new family was, and we were going to have to be separated for who knows how long. We had to take a class on how to handle and take care of our preemies. It was all so overwhelming at first. But with the right nurses, we started feeling like we could handle it. They showed us, comforted us, and became our friends. They took care of our boys, but they also took care of us.

Jacoby was able to come off the ventilator in less then 24 hours but any intubation causes damage to the lungs. He struggled with coming off his CPAP and ended up coming home on oxygen. Parker was able to come off his CPAP quickly only to go back on a few days later. He did this twice and the third time was able to stay off it. He developed an infection in his belly but with some antibiotics and stopping his food we were able to clear it up easily. They both had PDA’s (an artery in the heart that closes closer to 40 weeks) but with the proper medicines they closed on their own, not needing surgery.

 We were finally able to come home July 31, 2012, one day shy of 2 months in the hospital. Both boys came home on heart monitors and Jacoby came home on oxygen. I won’t lie, I won’t sugar coat it. It was hard. My mom stayed with me during the day for the first week and my mother-in-law stayed the second week. After that, I was on my own until after my husband or my mom got off from work. I breastfed at first, but I had to also had to supplement because they needed more calories.  It seemed like all I got done was feeding and changing diapers. So I would pump before time for them to eat and I just mixed it in with the formula. It made life a little easier but pumping for a year was hard. I kept with it though, I knew they needed the breast milk. In September, they both had to have hernia’s repaired. After that, they both were able to get rid of the heart monitors and Jacoby came off his oxygen! I finally didn’t have babies on a leash!

They have come a long way, and they have hit their milestones pretty close to when they should have. We had a developmental doctor’s appointment a couple weeks ago, and they said they were all caught up and advanced in some areas! It felt so good to hear something so positive!

It was a long 2 months but I actually enjoyed the experience. I knew when I went into labor that they were going to be fine. Call it mother’s intuition, but I just knew. I’m so glad for the experience because I wouldn’t know all the things that I know now without the in NICU.

Stacy's Twin Story

I’m so thankful for these two and I love them dearly. It is hard to believe but today is there due date. They should have been a year old, but they are almost 15 months! They are our miracle babies! We love our Parker Lewis and Jacoby Lee!

Stacy's 27 week Twins Story

Stacys Twin Story 2

*The first picture is Parker playing with bubbles. The second picture is Jacoby and the third picture is the first time I was able  to hold both of them. They were seven days old. Jacoby is on the left and Parker is on the right.

Beautiful Breastfeeding while Pregnant Moment

Beautiful Breastfeeding while Pregnant Moment

Yes, it was removed from Facebook, but really we just want to share this gorgeous picture of a mother breastfeeding her child while pregnant with another. This is real life folks. #peaceloveboobs #normalizebreastfeeding.

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I had my first breastfeeding image removed from my personal FB page today.  This photo is so special to me because of 2 things, first, my son whom I never thought I would be able to breastfeed is 2.5 years old and going strong and second, because I am 26 weeks pregnant with my 4th son and am thrilled to have kept nursing through this pregnancy and really look forward to the amazing bond my kids will have through tandem nursing.  {Whitney Hempsey}

A Midwife-Assisted Cesarean for Breech Rainbow Twins Complete with Skin to Skin

A Midwife-Assisted Cesarean for Breech Rainbow Twins Complete with Skin to Skin

After a year of trying to conceive without success I saw a doctor and was diagnosed with PCOS. A year later I conceived with our first round of fertility injections and IUI. We were beyond excited…we ordered a crib the same day I got the call about my blood test! Sadly, I miscarried at 6 weeks. But our little one will never be forgotten and even has a name in our hearts even though we will never know the sex of the baby.

Two more rounds of injections and IUI brought us the delight of another pregnancy. This time it was twins! It was both a surprise and a wish come true. We had talked about how we would love to have twins if it were to happen. I had a rather uneventful pregnancy; no morning sickness or other early symptoms. In fact, the only discomforts were Braxton Hicks that started in my second trimester and lots of round ligament pain in my 3rd trimester.

We planned on an un-medicated natural birth in a hospital with a midwife, using the Bradley method. As time drew near it became apparent that my girls were still BOTH breech as they had been the entire pregnancy. I tried inversion techniques from SpinningBabies.com and saw a chiropractor for the Webster technique but nothing seemed to help. We scheduled a cesarean section. I was saddened to not be able to birth them naturally but decided there must be a reason and trusted God to keep us safe.

I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario. Our midwife accompanied us to the operating room and held my hand until my husband could be there. I was so grateful for her presence; she must have sensed my fear. She had gotten prior permission to let us do skin-to-skin in the operating room. Skin-to-skin was very important to me and seemed to ease the disappointment of not getting a natural birth. It’s one small thing I could do for my babies since it seemed so much was no longer an option.

I planned on nursing but couldn’t seem to get established so I decided to pump. Pumping was a constant struggle for me to maintain supply and I seemed to always have a blocked duct, but I persevered for 9 months.

In looking back, there are things I would change if I got to do it over again, but I realize that we did the best we could with where we were and the knowledge we had. I’m at peace with that.

Kristina's fraternal twin girls photo 1 Kristina's fraternal twin girls photo 2

Kristinas' fraternal twin girls photo 3

I Am Strong Because I am Doing What I Feel is Right {An Extended Breastfeeding Journey}

I Am Strong Because I am Doing What I Feel is Right {An Extended Breastfeeding Journey}

I had my first baby when I was 24 years old. From the moment I got pregnant I had made the decision that I wasn’t going to breastfeed. My reasons were selfish, but when my son was 2 months old, I regretted that decision and I suddenly felt so heartbroken that I did not nurse him. I made a promise to myself that I would breastfeed my next baby and this is why I am strong.

I am strong because I am not afraid to admit that I made a decision I now regret.

I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl 5 years later on September 16, 2011. I nursed her just a few moments after she was born and that was the beginning of the journey we are still on today. I am strong because even on my toughest days with sore and swollen nipples, I refused to give up.

The first month was so hard. I spent hours staying up all night nursing and trying to comfort my baby, but she would just scream and scream. I hit a breaking point one morning when she had been up crying for close to 7 hours and my husband found me sobbing and exhausted on the couch. I knew there was something wrong, but several doctors said she was fine. I am strong because I ignored those doctors and got a second opinion. My daughter was diagnosed with reflux at 4 weeks and we finally had an answer so we could make her feel better.

I unfortunately had to go back to work at 9 weeks and I pumped three times a day to try to keep up with her demand. I remember I cried the first time I had to pump at work. The sound of the machine pumping my milk could not compare to the soft sounds my baby makes while nursing. I am strong because I struggled with my supply those first weeks back to work and had to battle through blocked milk ducts, but I never gave up.

I continued pumping for my daughter for 11 months at work. I had always wanted to donate my milk so even after I no longer needed to pump for my daughter, I still continued pumping for 2 more months to build up a stash to donate. I am strong because I was able to donate 100 ounces of my milk to a mom who could not breastfeed and that was truly such a huge blessing.

My breastfeeding goal was originally 12 months, but as my daughter was approaching her first birthday, I became very sad at the thought of having to forcefully wean her. I had already been dealing with the typical question from others, “how much longer are you going to breastfeed?” I felt like I had a lot pressure to wean my child. There were days that she would still nurse like a newborn and other days, it was only when she was sleepy or hurt. It was obvious that she still needed to be nursed. I am strong because I continued to breastfeed past my goal of 12 months, despite the criticism I got from others.

Since my daughter was just an infant, I had wanted professional breastfeeding photos. She is my last baby after all and I wanted to remember this journey. A local photographer was having a mini session for World Breastfeeding Week and I decided I was going to finally get my pictures. These are the pictures that I am sharing with you

today. I am strong because I am still breastfeeding 23 months later and will continue to until my daughter decides to wean.

I am strong because I am doing what I feel is best for my child.

Jennifer's I Am Strong Post, Extended Breastfeeding

Jennifer's I am Strong post, extended breastfeeding

Twins Born Naturally in a Hospital {One Breech} and Breastfeeding Twins!

Twins Born Naturally in a Hospital {One Breech} and Breastfeeding Twins!

I am a mom of 3. I got pregnant with my twins while on the 5 year IUD. When I found out I was pregnant, I already had a baby girl that just turned 1. Finding out I was pregnant was a shock and at 11 weeks finding out I was having twins was a bigger surprise. I had to change midwives because I had my first child with a midwife at home and she wasn’t able to attend high-risk pregnancies. I went to midwives 45 minutes from where I lived to get the care I wanted. Every month after I had an ultra sound. At 20 weeks, I found out they were both boys.

I was always tired and ran out of energy quickly. I had morning sickness the entire time. The smell of toothpaste, eggs, body odor and BBQ sauce always made me sick. I woke up late took a nap and went to bed early! My ribs were popped out of place about 8 times during 30 weeks to 37 weeks. I had to keep my chest wrapped. At 34 weeks Baby B was still not turned. I started having troubles moving, lost my balance often, and couldn’t sleep more than 45 minutes with out waking up and having to stand up and move. At 37 weeks 2 days, I had my last check up I was dilated to 3 1/2 centimeters and both babies turned vertex!

I went home and took a nap, enjoyed my daughter and cleaned up a little. At 8:12PM, I started with painful back labor. When I got to the hospital at 9:35, I was dilated to 9 ½ centimeters. I continued to stand (counting the seconds in my contractions being 20 seconds apart) while they checked me and hooked me up to the monitors. I had to deliver in the operating room in case of any problems! I had my best friend with me, my midwife and 7 other people in the room. I gave birth to my son Landon Jackson at 10:13PM naturally. After Baby A was out baby B turned sideways, My midwife tried to turn him manually and instead of him turning down he became breech. About, 13 minutes later at 10:26PM, I gave birth to my second son, breech. I was able to breastfeed both of my twins for about 45 minutes after birth. My first night in the hospital was spent trying to get my bleeding under control. Around 4:00AM, I received 6 shots and a nurse pushing on my belly until the bleeding finally slowed down.

My babies born at 37 weeks on November 11, 2009 weighed 5lbs 9oz and 5lbs 12oz were healthy. Our second night in the hospital was spent trying to get the blood sugar level under control. Since I didn’t want to formula feed, I wouldn’t allow the nurses to take them into the nursery and bottle feed them. I had no sleep that night for every 45 minutes, I had a nurse coming in and switching babies and testing their levels. On the third day when everything was under control I was able to leave the hospital. I didn’t go back to work until my boys were 9 months old and I was able to EBF until 9 months. I had to start giving one boy a bottle while I breast fed the other. I switched kids each time for every feeding! My twins are now almost 3 and have been fully potty trained since 26 months. I couldn’t be any more proud of my amazing 3 kids! Everyday I learn something from them as I teach them! I have numerous blessings from God and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jessica's Natural hospital twin birth 1 Jessica's Natural hospital twin birth 2

Jessica's natural hospital twin birth 3

Facebook Removes Post about Breastfeeding {Discrimination on Women and Families}

Facebook Removes Post about Breastfeeding {Discrimination on Women and Families}

This picture and story were shared on Birth Without Fear Facebook and received a lot of love. Unfortunately it was reported and removed by Facebook, even though it does not violate their Terms of Service.

tweet facebook

It is a beautiful story of a mother helping another mother.

{Stacy} I am currently working on my certification to be a birth doula. My third attended birth ended in a c-section after 24 hours of laboring and being diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome. I could not attend the surgery as the hospital only allowed one support person, which obviously went to Dad. I was so bummed I had to miss out on it, but I’m glad everyone was safe. Danielle was truly the bravest woman I had met with how she handled all of her obstacles related to the birth of her previous baby girl.

Three weeks after the birth, I received a message from her mom in a panic saying that I had to call her ASAP.

That morning Danielle had passed out and had a seizure. She was in the ER and needed a test done to check for a blood clot in her lungs. The problem was that the test would restrict her from nursing for 24 hours.

Under no circumstances was Danielle planning on giving her daughter formula. She told the doctors and nurses that she would not consent to the test until she had donor milk lined up. [Insert shocked hospital staff responses here.]

This was where I came in. Her mom asked me if I could round up any donor milk for her and help ease Danielle’s mind.

I still nurse my 15 month old son, so I had some frozen donor milk that I could bring to the hospital. I also gathered up a group of women on facebook who were willing to donate milk for whatever length of time she needed.

I dropped my kids off with a sitter and came to the hospital with my grocery bag full of frozen milk. I wasn’t sure if I had enough, so I offered to nurse her 3 week old since I was going to hang out and help with the baby anyway. She appreciated the offer and gladly accepted. I nursed the baby on and off for about 8 hours, leaving only 16 hours she needed to cover with the donor milk I brought.

She thankfully did not have a clot. I feel so blessed to be a part of such an intimate moment with a mother and her child, especially after missing the birth. I am so glad I was able to help ease her mind and support her in any way she needed!

This is me acting as a postpartum doula/wet nurse.

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Here I am nursing my 15 month old.

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Milk! {A Story of Oversupply}

Milk! {A Story of Oversupply}

This is my third BWF post about breastfeeding. Previously, I wrote about an ad campaign depicting it as sexy and about how my husband supported me through nursing our son; today I’m sharing the things I learned from having an oversupply of milk. I wrote this story in December 2012 and have since birthed our second sweet little one. Once again, I make far too much milk – but this time I’ve found a family who can make use of it. If you have experience with oversupply and donating or receiving milk, please consider sharing it in the comments. I would love to hear other women’s experiences in giving this beautiful (and sticky, and somehow-always-spills-a-little-on-your-bra) gift.

——

I gave birth to my first child in a Québecois birthing centre. As soon as that slippery mass of a baby (otherwise known as a ‘bony octopus‘) fell onto the bed before me, I tugged down my bra so that I could hold him against my bare breast. I had watched breastfeeding videos and taken two prenatal classes. I had read books and I had the assistance of my midwives nearby. And I had an unshakable (unreasonable!) confidence that things would go right.

Sweet Baby James latched on within the first fifteen minutes of his life and after 22 months it feels like he hasn’t let go since.

We had some early trouble with “the nursing relationship” as they call it. Only a day after the birth, my milk came in with a vengeance, inflating my breasts to painful proportions and scaring my husband. I asked my mother – who had come to visit to help out in the early weeks – if breasts such engorged would eventually shrink back to a normal size, or if I was destined to look like Pamela Anderson for the foreseeable future. “I don’t think they do, no…” she said.

Fortunately, she was wrong.
I needed the relief of cold cabbage leaves in my bra (a highly effective old wives’ remedy which made me smell like a slavic peasant’s kitchen) for only a few days.

I got a few small blisters on my nipples. In order to nurse without causing pain to the mother, infants must manage to get the nipple into the very backs of their mouths. This is often a problem for newborn and preterm babies, whose suckling is not powerful enough to pull the nipple back. Sweet Baby James was a big baby (almost nine pounds at birth) but I still had trouble getting him to latch on correctly. I tried the tactics I had learned: tickling his cheek and chin to get him to open his mouth wide, squeezing my breast, “like a hamburger” to make it easier for him… But it still hurt.

One day, I just gave up. I let him latch on like he wanted to, without any assistance from me.
To my great surprise, it didn’t hurt. He had latched on perfectly and was sucking contentedly.
I learned an important lesson in parenting: your baby is smarter than you.

I was fortunate to never have to worry that I had enough milk. Because my milk came in so soon and so strong, our baby gained back his birth weight within a few days. He nursed almost constantly and I, despite the admonishments of some older women, was happy to let him. I didn’t mind being a “human pacifier” because it felt right to me. And it gave some relief to my engorged breasts, full of milk.

So much milk. So, so, so much milk.

Milk. Milkity milk-milk… milk!

My ‘let down’ reflex came when I was nursing Sweet Baby James, when I was about to nurse Sweet Baby James, or when I was even just thinking about nursing Sweet Baby James. My milk let down when I heard other babies cry or saw other babies nurse. It let down when I was walking down the street minding my own business, or eating yoghourt in the kitchen. It let down when I cried, when I exercised, when I had sex, when I took a bath, and as soon as my nipple touched the breast pump.

I had never done so much laundry.

milky nighty

I can’t quite put into words the humbling experience of having an oversupply of milk. My body was marching to the beat of its own drummer, leaking as it went. The let-down hurt; spending money on nursing pads was annoying; and the whole thing was slightly embarrassing. There is something obscene about leaning over a sidewalk gutter so that the milk spraying out of you in seven strong jets, arcing three feet into the air, will flow onto the street and not your t-shirt. People look at you funny. There is something strange about having your bath water turn white before your eyes. And while my husband was game about it, the presence of ‘the spray’ during sex was far from a turn-on.

But our baby was healthy and gaining well. In fact, he was huge – he was busting out of his 6-month clothes by four weeks (he hearts NY because that’s where his parents met).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

By three months he was the size of a one year-old: pounds of chub exclusively composed of calories derived from my body. It felt good to know that I could nourish my child in this way. I didn’t take it for granted anymore: most of my new-mama friends wanted to breastfeed but had complications during birth and were having trouble.

Anna had received an emergency C-section and, despite taking Domperidone (which, I learned, is nothing like Dom Perignon) to increase her production, began to formula-feed within a week or two. Jenny, despite having successfully nursed two previous infants, had trouble keeping up her milk supply for an unknown reason. And Tamara was not able to take her baby home from the hospital for weeks after he was born. She was so beautifully committed to nursing him that she “slept” in the hospital, waking up every few hours to nurse and hold him before the nurses would put him back under the heat lamp.

So I wasn’t sure what was normal. Most of my friends didn’t have kids yet and my oversupply problem seemed like little to complain about to those who did. After Anna politely rebuffed my offer to donate milk, I stopped talking about my hot mess of an issue with other mothers. I turned to my own mother for help, but she remembered little from that time of her/my life. And the advice I got from midwives and lactation consultants’ websites was not tailored to me: to nurse from both sides during a feeding, to use a breast-pump for the first half of a let-down so that I could toss that milk and give my baby more of the fat-rich hindmilk he needed, and to nurse throughout the night. All of this is great advice – if you want to increase your milk production.

If you don’t, this advice sucks. Literally.

I decided to go guerrilla and follow my own instinct. Since I had read that the action of suckling (and not the emptying of the breast) is what brings on milk production, I decided to “block feed” intensively. For up to fifteen hours at a time, I would nurse only from one breast. The other would be sore, hot and swollen (I do not recommend this kind of extreme block feeding – I’m lucky I didn’t get mastitis), and when I did switch to it, I would usually have to hold Sweet Baby James at bay for the first three minutes of the let-down. It was so forceful that if I let him nurse immediately he would splutter and gag, regurgitating the milk soon after feeding.

But I always nursed him when he asked for it. We breastfed everywhere: in the bath, in the sling (even when he was dressed up as Winston Churchill for Hallowe’en –  I went as… Winston Churchill’s mother), in the car.

nursing in bath

sir winston churchill

in the car

It took one year for my milk supply to “regulate” and eighteen months before I no longer needed to wear disposable (high-absorbency, high-cost) nursing pads in my bra at all times. I started to menstruate and feel “like a woman” – and of course, I was soon pregnant again. Now five months into this pregnancy, I have watched my milk supply slowly dry up. I am only a little sad about it. My breasts feel a bit useless now, but my son finally seems interested in consuming high-protein solid foods. He still nurses daily, but mostly for comfort.

I learned so many things from becoming a mother; from this experience I learned about the emotions tied to breastfeeding in our culture. The shame that cloaks women’s bodies in all their reproductive functions was present in my shock and horror at the amount of milk my body was forcing out of me, and how unfeminine(!) it felt. The fear of not being a good mother was present in my friends’ upset at not producing enough milk to exclusively nurse their babies, and my eventual decision to stop discussing breastfeeding with them. And I learned about some of the little-discussed technical details of breastfeeding: how to increase milk supply and how to decrease it, some of the cues that can spark the let-down reflex, and the value of infant-initiated nursing.

sleeping baby

It was a radicalizing experience, one that eventually led me to writing overwrought posts for Birth Without Fear. I began to grow concerned about the lack of knowledge about breastfeeding in our culture. Sure, everybody knows “breast is best” but obviously we don’t really know how to do it. I started to wonder why so many of my friends were having trouble nursing their little ones. They were healthy, well-nourished, and deeply committed to breastfeeding. I have since discovered that Insufficient Milk Syndrome is a predominantly Western phenomenon (in middle-class Swedish women, Sjölin, Hofvander, Hillervik, 1977; low-income European-American, African-American and Hispanic women in the United States, McCan, Baydar, & Williams, 2007). The jury is out as to why this is, but probable causes include insufficient (or nonexistent) maternity leave, poverty and its accompanying stress and pour nourishment, lack of education about and exposure to breastfeeding, infant care practices that keep mother and baby separate, scheduled feeding, high rates of birth interventions, the aggressive marketing of infant formula, exposure to pesticides and endocrine disruptors, and cultural beliefs that tell mothers they can’t do it.

My experience with hyper-lactation was annoying and painful, but the experience of not having enough milk can be devastating. We need to think seriously about the practices that have brought widespread lactation failure – and occasional hyper-lactation – upon us.

Breast milk is a fantastic tool. We just need to learn how to use it.

—–

McCann, M.F., Baydar, N., & Williams, R.L. (2007). Breastfeeding attitudes and reported problems in a national sample of WIC participants. Journal of Human Lactation, 23, 4, 314–324.

Sjölin, S., Hofvander, Y., & Hillervik, C. (1977). Factors related to early termination of breast feeding: A retrospective study in Sweden. Acta Paediatrica Scandinavica, 66, 4, 505-511.

 

The Beginnings of a Beautiful Friendship {Breastfeeding Journey}

The Beginnings of a Beautiful Friendship {Breastfeeding Journey}

I wanted so badly to breastfeed. My whole pregnancy that was what I researched most. I took classes and watched videos online- all to prepared to be disappointed. My mother couldn’t breastfeed and neither could hers. I have inverted nipples and would tell myself daily you will not give up- you will give it all you have, and than some.

February 7th baby T was born. I instructed the nurses that I didn’t want him to have a pacifier and I wanted him immediately after birth. After 17 hrs of labor I laid him on my chest and gladly welcomed the lactation consultants help. He wouldn’t latch right, and he sucked with his bottom gum, making it painfully sore. Instantly my nipples cracked, and bleed . I fed him on demand, quite frequently, and every time I wanted to cry- sometimes I would, we both did. My entire nipple was scabbed over and each time he latched my nipple would protrude it would crack open. I eventually had to stop nursing on one side , but I still would not give up.

Three weeks of this and telling myself it will get better, and it did, my baby is 2 months old this last Thursday and feel like we’re breastfeeding superstars! I knew what was best for my baby and I’m so glad I persevered.

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10 minutes old

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2 days old

breastfeed without fear

2 months old- I love when he looks up at me! Favorite bonding time! Just another reassurance I made the right choice!

-Bailey S.

Breastfeeding Week Campaign {Ashley Wright}

Breastfeeding Week Campaign {Ashley Wright}

ashwrightcover3photos

 

Ashley Wright wants young moms to know that breastfeeding a wonderful things. This is what she says about the campaign she started and why these pictures:

As much as I had envisioned the photos going viral for breastfeeding, I never thought detractors would arise in which I would need to explain my intent and photo’s purpose. As a breastfeeding advocate, I simply wanted to stop everyone in their tracks and say, “lets talk about breastfeeding!”   What better way to do that than to throw a bunch of beautiful naked women together breastfeeding their babies?!  So I thought. I remember telling the mothers, photographer, and stylists, I want to sell breastfeeding like it’s cigarettes.  I want every woman and young lady to say, “OooO I want to breastfeed my baby too!” And I want the men to encourage mothers to breastfeed.  Not only because it’s the healthiest thing to do for your child but also because its ‘THE THING’ to do for your child.

In my conquest to increase the numbers of mothers breastfeeding, I find that young mothers tend to say that breastfeeding is unattractive, only old ladies do that, my boobs are going to sag, there’s formula for that, along with it just isn’t sexy.  Yes we said it ladies and gentlemen SEXy (emphasis on the S-E-X).  In this new age, where we have taken a cultural shift to sex sells everything, women are defining their self worth with how sexy they look and feel. Is it right or wrong? Not for me to discuss at this time. Nonetheless, with seeing how large companies advertise, to get the masses to buy and set the trends, they make it sexy.  So I took note.

Now let me inform you of MY definition of sexy.  Sexy to me has never been nudity. Sexy for me is internal confidence, self-acceptance and self-awareness. Having at one point feeling unsexy and being a single mother, I found an unparalleled amount of power and confidence in nurturing my child from my bosom.  I tapped into one of the greatest superpowers of being a mom.  Then, I decided to display that behind the camera lens.

My wonderful friend Katie H. said it best, “…they are not exploiting the female form or the act of breast feeding by posing nude. Every single thing we stand for is sex, reproduction and passing on our genes. It’s what makes living things continue to exist as everything we do leads to sex. Breastfeeding is not intentionally sexual, it just is. It just IS in its essence! I realize that’s scary for some people to face but it is TRUE. That’s why you want to look away but you just can’t. For these gorgeous women to pose and have their bodies represent the organic act of providing for their children is truthful, female expression and health and beauty…”

So as you view this last picture of me feeding my daughter, take notice that there is no photo shop, no touch-ups, no editing, as I want to show you just how comfortable I am in my skin; acne scars, stretch marks and all.  Plus how far I’ll go to stand for this amazing cause. When you look at this picture and the others of mothers breastfeeding (nude or not), I want you to see confident, sexy women who bared it all for breastfeeding; who feel sexy at this very stage of life and motherhood.  Proud women, who accept where they are now and maintain confidence in the growth process to come. Courageous women in their feat to bring awareness and attention to educate and inspire others to breastfeed!

~ Ashley

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Photos by Michael Oliveri Photography

 

 

 

 

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