Milk on the Job – Military Mommas

Happy Veteran’s Day, y’all! We are so grateful to the brave men and women in uniform for their service. It is a unique sacrifice to serve in the military, and especially for mothers of young children.

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Like many other jobs, the military has regulations in place to protect working Milky Mommas. Do you know your rights? Here are some resources for our Military Milky Mommas, to ensure that they’re protected when pumping at work, and even services for veteran mommas!

Thank you for your service, and keep on milkin’! ❤

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What is the deal with Infant Cereals?

“When are you going to give that baby some rice cereal?”

“He’s starving, give that baby some cereal!”

“She wouldn’t wake up so much if you’d just give her some cereal in her bottle.”

“He’s so skinny! Have you thought about giving him cereal?”

 

When you’re a parent, the pressure is on. From day one, everyone and their sister has an opinion on your choices, not the least of which is when to introduce solid foods, specifically infant cereals. What is the right time, if ever? Should it go in a bottle? How should it be prepared? What are the alternatives? There seems to be a lot of different information out there. Don’t worry! We’re here to break it down for you!

 

What's the deal with

 

Here at Milky Mommas, we’re not about to make claims like the ones above without scholarly and expert sources for each and every point. Below, you’ll find each point sourced, explained, and linked, in case you want to do your own research.

 

 

1.Rice is a leading source of inorganic arsenic. Long term exposure to arsenic is associated with higher rates of skin, bladder, and lung cancers, as well as heart disease (fda.gov).

 

“Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is a well-characterized carcinogen, and recent epidemiologic studies have linked chronic exposures to non-cancer health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, skin lesions and respiratory disorders. Greater vulnerability has been demonstrated with early life exposure for health effects including lung and bladder cancer, immunotoxicity and neurodevelopment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28065543

 

 

2.Grains are difficult for humans to digest, making rice and other infant cereals not an ideal first food.

 “In the present review, we describe how the daily consumption of wheat products and other related cereal grains could contribute to the manifestation of chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705319/

 

 

3.Studies show that introduction of infant cereals has no notable influence on sleep duration or quality of infant sleep.

“There was no statistically significant trend or a consistent tendency of one group to have a higher proportion of sleepers than the other. Therefore, feeding infants rice cereal in the bottle before bedtime does not appear to make much difference in their sleeping through the night.”

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2672785?dopt=Abstract

4.Serving babies rice cereal in a bottle is a choking hazard.

“Offering cereal in a bottle (or even on a spoon) before babies are developmentally ready can increase the likelihood of gagging and/or inhaling the thickened mixture into their lungs. Unless there’s a medical reason for giving it early, it’s not worth jumping the gun.”

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Cereal-in-a-Bottle-Solid-Food-Shortcuts-to-Avoid.aspx

 

5.Other sources of iron such as iron-rich foods are more readily absorbed and overall healthier for babies.

“We conclude that routine iron supplementation of breast-fed infants may benefit those with low Hb but may present risks for those with normal Hb.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12421836?dopt=Abstract

” Results of these studies, although requiring further verification, suggest that increased meat intake by breastfed infants >6 mo old would adequately support both iron and zinc requirements.”

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/2/358S.abstract

 

6.Introducing cereal to increase weight gain is simply a bandage, not a solution. Breast milk is more calorie and nutrient dense than infant cereals, which are primarily starch (sugar), and fortified with vitamins, which are also more readily available in breast milk.

Chart of popular baby foods (pureed and otherwise) compared to calorie and fat content of human milk:  https://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/babyfoodcalories/

On evaluating infant weight gain and how to address potential issues:
https://kellymom.com/health/growth/weight-gain_increase/

 

7.Cereals are often pushed at 4 months, but introducing foods including cereals before babies reach 6 months can cause problems such as gas and constipation, as well as increasing risk for gastrointestinal infection.

Following are just a few of the organizations that recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (notthe first 4-6 months):
World Health Organization
UNICEF
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Family Physicians
Australian National Health and Medical Research Council

https://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/delay-solids/

“Infants who are exclusively breastfed for six months experience less morbidity from gastrointestinal infection than those who are mixed breastfed as of three or four months, and no deficits have been demonstrated in growth among infants from either developing or developed countries who are exclusively breastfed for six months or longer. Moreover, the mothers of such infants have more prolonged lactational amenorrhea.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869667?dopt=Abstract

“Taken together with our previous findings, these results indicate that the advantages of exclusive breastfeeding during this interval appear to outweigh any potential disadvantages in this setting.”

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/2/262.full

http://www.naba-breastfeeding.org/images/Just%20One%20Bottle.pdf

http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pnacs461.pdf

 

 

8.Though some babies with medical conditions may benefit from thickened bottle feedings, prescribed milk thickeners are typically more appropriate.

“​​Certain diet textures are often prescribed to help infants and children with special needs eat more safely and easily. Children with dysphagia or gastroesophageal reflux, for example, may need their food to be thicker in order to swallow safely or reduce reflux.

In response to concerns over arsenic in rice, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends parents of children with these conditions use oatmeal instead of rice cereal.”

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/abdominal/Pages/Oatmeal-The-Safer-Alternative-Need-Thicker-Food.aspx

 

9.Babies who are introduced to “real” foods rather than processed
infant cereals are more likely to develop a diverse palate 
and are at a reduced risk for choking.

“Weaning style impacts on food preferences and health in early childhood. Our results suggest that infants weaned through the baby-led approach learn to regulate their food intake in a manner, which leads to a lower BMI and a preference for healthy foods like carbohydrates. This has implications for combating the well-documented rise of obesity in contemporary societies.”

http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000298

“The study contributes to the insight that exposure to food texture to learn how to handle texture is important for infants and showed that exposing children to a higher amount of larger pieces improves their chewing capability”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28449229

More on Baby-led Weaning – https://www.mamanatural.com/baby-led-weaning/

 

So what do you think? Did you get rice cereal as a baby? What are your family’s plans for solids introduction? Share with us in the comments below!

The Wonder Weeks – New Edition Review & Giveaway! {giveaway complete}

Here at Milky Mommas Inc., we LOVE The Wonder Weeks! Their best selling book is the closest thing to an instruction manual for newborn and toddler life, and the convenient smart phone app puts the information at your fingertips. The Wonder Weeks helps make sense of those previously mysterious fussy periods that every child goes through. Combining scientific research on human brain growth with practical tips for helping your child as they develop, The Wonder Weeks should have a place on the bookshelf of every new parent.
Just last month The Wonder Weeks released an updated version of their book with a brand new chapter all about baby sleep and mental leaps, and their team was kind enough to send us a copy for review. As if the book wasn’t already indispensable, this new information takes it to a new level.
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In the new chapter, child development experts break down the affects of cognitive leaps on your baby’s brain and sleep patterns. There are tips and tricks for recognizing the stages of sleep, on how to know when to sneak away from a slumbering tot for some much needed coffee, and on what to expect as your baby develops through each stage.
It was so eye opening to read the book, especially this new chapter. My toddler is going through leap 10 right now (and cutting molars- please send coffee! 😂) and the book really helped me connect the dots of what she is going through, and showed me how I can help her. Maybe most important of all, The Wonder Weeks helped me adjust my expectations for life in leap weeks. It is so challenging to care for a little person with big needs and feelings, with little to no way to communicate her needs! The Wonder Weeks eases that confusion, and offers practical steps for helping your baby with each changing stage. The book explains what new skills she may be developing, and how each one could affect her sleep, behavior, and her view of the world. The Wonder Weeks’ Information has made life easier for the whole family! Realistic expectations of baby’s behavior and development is truly one of the keys to successful parenting.
Because we love this book so much, we want YOU to get a copy of the new version! Comment here with what you love about The Wonder Weeks, and we’ll select one commenter to receive a brand new copy of the book.
Don’t want to wait for the giveaway? You can purchase your own copy of the new edition here. Don’t forget to use the Milky Mommas Amazon Smile, where a small portion of your purchase can help promote breastfeeding worldwide.

Hand Expression

Learning to hand express breast milk is a “handy” skill (pun intended!) that so many mommas never learn. It requires some practice to master, but once you do, it is a convenient method for expressing milk anytime, anywhere- no special equipment required.

Hand expression is free, all you need is a cup or bowl to express into, and your hands! It is also a cleaner method of expression than pumping, since the milk comes into contact with far fewer surfaces on its way to baby. Fewer contact points means less chance for contamination- win, win!

Check out this great video from Global Health Media for a comprehensive tutorial on how to hand express.

 

Have you hand expressed? Tell us below! ❤

 

Black Women Breastfeeding – Olivia, Nivea, and Sharnell

We have an amazing group of women in Milky Mommas, and we’re featuring a group of 3 interviews today. Olivia, Nivea, and Sharnell all chatted with us and shared their stories. Check it out!

Olivia’s Story

Breastfeeding is a monumental experience that all women should be able to be apart of. I have two kids and I breastfed my first child until my maternity leave was over. Being in the military, it made it difficult to pump in privacy when all that separated myself and a bunch of men was a curtain. It almost made me feel embarrassed that I was doing so and I ended up stopping immediately after. Now with my daughter, I have been breastfeeding for 5 months.

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Most of the women in my family did not breastfeed. It was never really discussed nor stressed about the importance. I wanted to breastfeed my children because of the benefits and nutrients that you provide them as well as the bond that can’t be broken.

While breastfeeding now, I have had struggles with my supply to where I have had to supplement formula unfortunately. My biggest supporters are my family and especially my husband!  The most important thing that any breastfeeding mom should know is that no matter how long you attempted to breastfeed, you still accomplished something and benefit your child in a way! Never give up and continue to be great and do what we are intended to do with pride!

 

Nivea’s Story

I gave birth to a 1lb 11oz preemie due to HELLP syndrome. I had to pump due to her size and her being unable to latch. I pumped exclusively for 15 months and worked full time as a teacher for 9 of those months. I have since given birth to a healthy baby girl and have been able to nurse normally.

No one breastfed in my family. The biggest challenge is keeping up while teaching. My biggest supporters were all of my family. No one was negative. My favorite experience is watching my 2nd child successfully latch on right after birth. It was great since I wasn’t able to have that experience with my first.

 

Sharnell’s Story

As a FTM of twins my breastfeeding journey started off great but ended up taking a drop when I returned back to work. I thought I would quit at 6 months, then 12 months came and went. Now, at 18 months pp I’m still going.

My mom, my aunts and several cousins breastfed. Being a mom of twins, I felt breastfeeding would be the best cost effective way and hearing about all the benefits for both mom and baby influenced my decision.My biggest supporters would have to be my children’s father, my cousin, and all my breastfeeding friends. They are always empowering me to keep going and even after I had to supplement.  

One of my biggest BF challenges that I overcame was having to return to work when my girls were 2 months old and due to stress and lack of support in the workplace I began suffering from low milk supply. Breastfeeding Twins alone is just an amazing experience, but as they get older they will create their own way of nursing.

Always trust yourself and your body. Do your own research and most of all be the best advocate for yourself.

Black Women Breastfeeding – Raven’s Story

Raven is on the Milky Mommas Admin Team, and she is the most incredible momma. She is beyond smart, her smile is infectious, and she has a deep love for helping mommas breastfeed. Check out her interview below!

What has your breastfeeding journey been like?

My breastfeeding journey has been great for the most part.  I was lucky enough to have a lot of support from friends and family, and my employer was supportive of me pumping.

Did the women in your family breastfeed?

Yes, just about every woman in my immediate family at least attempted to breastfeed.  However, I am the only person that exclusively breastfed and never gave formula.

What made you want to breastfeed?

I wanted to breastfeed because biologically, it just makes sense.  There are so many benefits for both mom and baby, and I didn’t want to spend the money on formula.

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What is the biggest bf challenge you’ve overcome?

The biggest challenge I had starting out was a bad latch on my right breast, which ended up causing a crack at the base of my nipple.  I dreaded nursing her on that side to the point I would cry hysterically before a nursing session.  I ended up seeing an LC who works at the pediatrician’s office and she showed me that I was latching baby incorrectly.  I also went to see the IBCLCs (for free) at the hospital where I gave birth and they told me what to do to heal the crack.  Once that was done, the next biggest issue was having a small storage capacity, which meant nursing every 2 hrs around the clock. Ugh.

Who are your biggest supporters?

My biggest supporter is my boyfriend.  He used to hold my hand while I nursed my LO on that cracked nipple.  He washed by pump parts and prepared baby’s bottles for daycare.  He has always been there for me and supported all my decisions regarding breastfeeding.

Tell us your favorite story about an experience with breastfeeding.

I don’t know that I have a favorite breastfeeding experience.  It has all been pretty normal.  I do love toddler nursing though, and hearing my Lo talk about breastfeeding because it is so normal to her.  The other day she told me that one day when she gets older, she will have milk in her boobs.

Is there anything else you’d like to share or encourage other moms?

Breastfeeding takes a lot of work and dedication.  Even though it’s “natural”, it is not always easy.  If you want to breastfeed your unborn child, build a support system now, educate yourself now.  Don’t wait until baby is born. Facebook groups (like Milky Mommas), LLL meetings and even the hospital where you might deliver baby are places to look to for support. Sometimes all you need is one person in your corner to help you get through.  Take things one day at a time, because every day can bring a new challenge.

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I love her encouragement to educate yourself before baby comes. Thats so important! What is the best thing you learned about breastfeeding, before baby came or since? Leave us a comment below, and check out the blog for upcoming interviews! 

Black Women Breastfeed – Marquita’s Story

Marquita is seriously super woman. In this interview, she discusses her challenges with going through Grad School and nursing her son, and she is the epitome of the modern woman, juggling all of the things at once. She’s so inspiring! Check out her story below.

What has your breastfeeding journey been like?

My breastfeeding journey has been amazing thus far. I have a great support system. I have experienced a clogged duct, chapped nipples, and Graduate school all while nursing my LO. Although I initially set a goal of a year, I decided to allow my LO to self wean (wish me luck lol)!!

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Did the women in your family breastfeed?

The women in my family did not breastfeed. My mother tried to breastfeed me but she didn’t have the support needed to continue her journey. Sadly, formula was pushed on her at the hospital soon after she gave birth.

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What made you want to breastfeed?

I use to be extremely ignorant and judgmental of nursing mothers. I changed my whole outlook on breastfeeding once my best friend, Andrea, had her daughter. The connection that they shared was inspiring. I knew then that I would breastfeed my child when the time came. Andrea taught me a lot about breastfeeding and gave me the strength I needed to succeed.

What is the biggest bf challenge you’ve overcome?

The biggest breastfeeding challenge I have overcome is the extremely sore, chapped nipples. I would cringe every time my LO would latch on during the first few weeks. I always say, if you make it past the month, it becomes a breeze!

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Who are your biggest supporters?

My mother is by far my biggest supporter. She knows how important breastfeeding is to me. She never questions me and loves to learn new things. When I nurse uncovered in public, she stands by me with so much pride. I seriously wouldn’t have made it this far without her support.

Tell us your favorite story about an experience with breastfeeding.

My favorite experience would be the time I nursed my son, uncovered while presenting my Graduate School Project. It was so liberating! I felt I did my part to normalize breastfeeding. No one made me feel uncomfortable, no one told me to cover up. I was met with warm smiles and overwhelming support.

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Is there anything else you’d like to share or encourage other moms?

I had my LO during my last year of Graduate School. The tears, and sleepless nights were all worth it. To look down and see my LO looking back melts my heart. I want other mothers out there to know that You CAN do it!!! Don’t give up!!!

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Isn’t she amazing? I love that she nursed while she presented her Grad project! You go momma! What is the most interesting spot you’ve breastfed? Leave us a comment below, and check in soon for more interviews.

Black Women Breastfeeding – Tay’s Story

Get out your tissues, y’all. Tay’s story is a roller coaster of heart ache and healing. We are so grateful that she has opened up with us here today.  Check out her interview below!

Please note, this post has a *trigger warning* for still birth. 

What has your breastfeeding journey been like?

7 years ago next month on September 21st I was 21 years old giving birth to my first baby. My daughter, Ileana Victoria. At this point in my life almost everything had gone wrong, but when she was born I promised her I’d do everything for her. She latched on right away after birth and changed my life. I grew through our breastfeeding journey together. My life now had a purpose; to give her the best life I could. She nursed and we bonded through liquid love for just over 2 years and then she had cups and bottles of breastmilk whenever she asked until she was 3.

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Before she even forgot the taste of breastmilk I was pregnant with our 2nd baby girl, Esperanza Valencia. Ileana was 4 and so excited to have a baby sister but the cards weren’t dealt in our favor. During a routine ultrasound the doctors noticed she our sweet Espy was collecting fluid behind her neck. That’s a sign for many chromosomal disorders like Trisomy 13, Down syndrome and what our baby was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome. TS is a rare chromosomal disorder that happens randomly to 1 in 2500 baby girls. Sadly these beautiful babies only have a 2% chance of surviving birth and a 1% chance of surviving past a few short years after birth. On 4/8/15 God chose to bring her to heaven. I always tell myself she was too perfect for earth and that’s why she was stillborn. 3 days later my milk came in. I was grieving and depressed. On one hand having breasts full of milk with no baby was a cruel reminder of our loss, but on the other hand I knew I wanted to somehow give our little girls life a purpose.

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As deep into the darkness of depression that I was I chose to pump and donate the liquid love our Espy left behind. Through Milky Mommas, Inc., this amazing group, I found mamas with special and amazing babies with unique stories of their own to donate my Espy’s gift to. On top of that, my oldest daughter Ileana was super excited to be able to have her milkies too! She was having cups full daily as well!! Being able to provide liquid life for a few sweet babies and bond with my now only living child through a new and unique breastfeeding journey was what brought me out of the darkness and helped me to find myself again after so much grief.

Soon after, we were pregnant again with our rainbow baby! My hands on boy Soren Ero. He is my blessing. My rainbow after such a devastating storm. He was born on 6/22/16 and self latched as soon as he was laid on my chest! It was such an amazing thing. His big sister, Ileana, was in the room and I could feel my sweet angel, Esperanza’s, presence as well. Our breastfeeding journey has been going strong ever since!! He is now a 14 months old and still breastfeeding on demand. We cosleep, cloth diaper, and enjoy every millisecond of our amazing bond through breastfeeding. My oldest, Ileana, is also in on the journey at almost 7 years old and still enjoying her cups of milk just like her baby brother. Breastfeeding is our sacred bond. It’s like our invisible umbilical cord;it keeps us connected! Our journey is life and I don’t see it ending anytime soon.

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Did the women in your family breastfeed?

I am a biracial 1st generation American. My paternal family is from El Salvador so all of the women on my father’s side breastfed because that’s the norm in 3rd world countries. My maternal family is Black, White and Native. breastfeeding was common with the older women but not so much with the younger generations. My cousin and I are the only ones from our generation who breastfed and I’m the only one who advocates for extended breastfeeding

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What made you want to breastfeed?

I wanted the best for my babies. I was young when I started having kids and hadn’t accomplished much in life. I’m still working on getting a college degree, I’ve had jobs in many fields in the meantime and I don’t have the best example of being a mother since mine wasn’t exactly around until I was in high school. I knew breastfeeding was the one thing I could do for my kids that would take hard work but was already perfect in every way. No degree or salary required. Just love and dedication to the most perfect things, my kids, my greatest accomplishments.

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What is the biggest bf challenge you’ve overcome?

I would have to say pumping and providing breastmilk for babies after I lost my own child was the hardest challenge I personally have had to overcome. Aside from that, my battle with “nip-lash” daily from my active boy trying to nurse and check out the world at the same time is definitely in 2nd place! Lol

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Who are your biggest supporters?

My biggest supporter is my husband. Intentionally because he wants the best for our son and he wants him to be a happy baby and unintentionally (and half lazy lol) because he will let me know any time day or night, awake or asleep, even if I’m busy doing HW or cooking that our baby boy is hungry and hand him over. He doesn’t care if we’re at home or in public our baby will have his milkies on demand and even faster if dada can help it!

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Tell us your favorite story about an experience with breastfeeding.

When I was a baby and growing up, I spent a lot of time with my Abuela (my father’s mother) because my dad was a single dad and had to work. All my life she sang this song to me in Spanish when I was being fed, when I was sick and going to bed each night. The song has a few lines but the main one goes “Los pollitos dicen pio pio pio cuando tienen amber y cuando tienen frío….”

It means the baby chicks say peep peep peep when they’re hungry and when they’re cold. It’s just a cute little kids song. But it reminds me of her and the comfort I felt in her arms as a kid and even to this day. I have been singing that same song to my babies since they were growing in my belly. Well a few weeks ago I was nursing my boy and singing the song. I said “los pollitos dicen” and he unlatched and said “pio pio pio” right on cue! I almost cried. It was so cute and I was so amazed and in love because I felt like he feels that same love and comfort when he hears that song just like I did as a baby.

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Is there anything else you’d like to share or encourage other moms?

My words of encouragement for other mamas are just to remember we are created for this! We are love in human form. Made to be the comfort and life source for a tiny helpless version of ourselves. Whether you’re nursing or receiving milk donations, no matter how long the journey is YOU DID IT!! You did the best you could for your small ones and that’s all that matters. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel any less or ashamed in any way for ANY aspect of your journey. Focus on the love because LOVE IS POWER!

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Love. Is. Power. What an amazing statement. I love this momma’s resilient spirit. Rainbow mommas, donor mommas, you are incredible! Have you donated breastmilk, or received donor milk? Leave us a comment below, and be sure to check back for more interviews later!

Black Women Breastfeeding – Jas’s Story

Jas is so encouraging and sweet! I love her positive attitude, and her love for breastfeeding, even through the hard times, is so apparent! Check out her inspiring interview below.

What has your breastfeeding journey been like?

My breastfeeding journey started out very challenging, but now we are on cruise control. Ultimately, it has been the sweetest most rewarding bonding experience with my son.

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Did the women in your family breastfeed?

My mom breastfed me for 6 weeks and she was done! She said it was too painful. I don’t think her mother breastfed as she was a single, working mom of 5. I’m not sure about any other women in my family.

What made you want to breastfeed?

I wanted to breastfeed for a few reasons! Of course for all the benefits for mom & baby, it’s free, nighttime feedings are easy, and I was determined to succeed after “failing” with my daughter. We only breastfed for a month because it was too painful and I lacked the support I needed. I did manage to pump a little while longer for her until I went back to college.

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What is the biggest bf challenge you’ve overcome?

My biggest breastfeeding challenge that we managed to overcome is poor latching. From birth to about 10 weeks my right nipple was damaged and would bleed every feed. Around 8 weeks I took my son to an ENT and he was diagnosed with a tongue and lip tie, but they wanted to put him under general anesthesia to correct it which I was not fond of. On top of that they were not able to book us for a month or better. We went to the dentist a couple days later and had his ties cut with a laser the same day. I paid out of pocket for the procedure because I knew if I had to wait for his insurance to kick in the following month our journey would be over! I’m glad I hung in there during the rough weeks.

Who are your biggest supporters?

My biggest supporters are my husband and my mom. If ever we are out they give me the encouragement I need if I am nervous about feeding my son in public. I can’t forget about my breastfeeding peer counselor either! She came over multiple times at crazy hours to give the help I needed in the beginning. I’m so fortunate to have had her guidance. She still checks in with us to this day!

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Tell us your favorite story about an experience with breastfeeding.

My favorite experience with breastfeeding is how I feel I have evolved from an amateur to a “pro”. I used to rely heavily on my boppy and would tote it with me everywhere! I had to have the perfect set up in order to breastfeed. Now I can nurse while walking, talking, eating, or lying down! I love how I have evolved and I love how in tune I am with Jhett.

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Is there anything else you’d like to share or encourage other moms?

My piece of encouragement for other moms would be to take it a day at a time or a feeding at a time if need be. Breastfeeding is natural, but it starts out very hard. There’s no standard timeframe for when it will get easier, but it will! When I first started I heard oh the first 2 weeks are the hardest, and then it kept inching up to the first 4, 6, and/or 8 weeks. The light at the end of the tunnel will shine through and you will be so glad you stuck with it. Also, if breastfeeding is something you really want to do, do not listen to the naysayers and surround yourself with a good support system!

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Setting little short term goals is such a great tip! Inch along and then soon, you’ll be on cruise control like Jas! What are your breastfeeding goals? Share in a comment below, and be sure to check back for another interview soon! 

Black Women Breastfeeding – Kiera’s Story

Kiera is one of those Milky Mommas who just AMAZES us at every turn. Her constantly positive and encouraging attitude, and the fact that she is a pumping military momma… WOW. Check out her interview below 🙂

 

What has your breastfeeding journey been like?

My journey has been… eventful, ha! With mine I felt there were always challenges and sometimes I wondered if I would be able to get past them, but this connection.. it’s indescribable and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Did the women in your family breastfeed?

A few did, but for a short amount of time. I had two aunts that did. One who breastfed all of her children and one who breastfed her oldest daughter for 4 years.

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What made you want to breastfeed?

The fact that my body was made to be all my baby needed for his first year of life & that it is the best thing for him!

What is the biggest bf challenge you’ve overcome?

I’ve had so many.. but I think the biggest one was maintaining a supply that made what he needed and more (for milk stash).

Who are your biggest supporters?

My biggest supporters? I would say my step mom & the moms that I help daily with their journeys!

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Tell us your favorite story about an experience with breastfeeding.

The first time I left him for drill, I was so afraid that he would forget me but as soon as I came home and he latched on I could just see how much he missed me and his booboos. Nursing him when I return from duty is the BEST!

Is there anything else you’d like to share or encourage other moms?

There are going to be challenges! From the pain, the cluster feeding, introducing the bottle, nipple confusion, returning to work, maintaining supply, babysitters overfeeding, pump schedules, pumping at work, and nursing a teething baby, the list goes on!

Through all of these challenges remember why you’re doing this! If no one (else)  supports you, I do! You’re giving your little one the best thing, be proud of all you’re doing.

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I always feel so pumped when I read Kiera’s posts, and that comes through loud and clear in this interview. We just love her pride and confidence ❤ Leave us a comment below, and be sure to check back for more interviews coming up!