As part of World Breastfeeding Week 2015, we're so happy to announce we're starting "Mommy Memos": a series of honest stories from real mamas navigating the first years of motherhood and the challenges they face.
Each story will feature a one-on-one with a mama and discuss her personal joys, struggles, experiences, and how she finds resolution and happiness along the way. The series will take on many forms and discuss a variety of topics related to breastfeeding - with the ultimate goal of providing love, connection, and motivation to all.
Post 1 - The joys of breastfeeding, the challenge of returning back-to-work, and advice for new mamas
An interview with Sammi O., first-time mama to baby girl Aela (11 weeks)
In our first Mommy Memos post, we interview a dear friend and new mama, Sammi, about her first few months breastfeeding and what challenges and rewards she's come across thus far. Sammi is mama to her 11 week old baby girl. She offers advice to new mamas, suggestions on how to handle a drop in milk supply, tips to express more milk, and general thoughts on breastfeeding and returning to work. Thanks Sammi for your honest story!
Mommy: Sammi O.
Mommy to: Baby girl, Aela (11 weeks)
Residences in: Lafayette, IN
Currently: nurses and pumps
LYL: What has been the most rewarding part of nursing/pumping?
Sammi: Knowing that my body is able to provide nourishment for my baby girl brings me so much joy! I look forward to seeing my daughter after work and seeing how excited she is to be able to nurse. She takes to the bottle but enjoys quality nursing time with mommy WAY more :)
LYL: What has been the most challenging part of nursing/pumping? Any set backs? How did you cope?
Sammi: The anxiety that came with returning to work twice a week, working 12 hour shifts and being away from baby for that long. I only had a supply of 120oz in my freezer and was also worried that my supply would drop from returning to work! I coped by sharing my worries and stresses with my co-workers. They in turn were extremely supportive and remind me every 2-3 hours to go PUMP to keep my supply up for baby! :) I pump just enough every day so my freezer supply never drops below 120oz and baby has more than enough to drink while I'm away.
LYL: What has been your biggest accomplishment with nursing/pumping?
Sammi: Being able to pump between 18-25oz of Breast Milk during my 12 hour shifts at the hospital!
LYL: What has been the most surprisingly part of nursing/pumping?
Sammi: How much breast milk comes pouring out of my nipples after taking a long, hot shower.
LYL: List your top 3 words associated with Breastfeeding:
Sammi: Beautiful, Natural & Soothing.
LYL: Who has been your biggest advocate/supporter?
Sammi: These two amazing ladies have inspired me & kept me motivated- My good friend Jess B. and my cousin Christie :)
LYL: What is one thing (product, brand, tip, trick, etc) that has made your nursing/pumping life easier?
Sammi: I find that I get more milk out during my pumping sessions by gently using the manual expressing motion, like massaging my breast, while my Medela Pump is at work. It increases my flow and I typically get 2-3oz from each breast this way.
LYL: Who do you go to for questions/advice for breastfeeding support?
Sammi: family member, friend, online groups (social networks i.e Facebook, twitter, forums, etc), breastfeeding counselor / lactation consultant
LYL: For those that pump, what challenges have you run into? (pump times, plugged ducts, back-to-work ) and how did you overcome them?
Sammi: I ran into the issue of my supply dropping a bit. I began drinking Red Leaf Raspberry Tea twice a day with honey, and I awakened the following morning with engorged breasts! My advice is to give that a try if you find your supply running low. Also, Coconut Oil works wonders for chafed or cracked nipples!
LYL: What advice would you give a new mama, the first week with her newborn?
Sammi: Relax, breathe and soak in this new and MIRACULOUS experience that is Motherhood! Be VERY Patient & Loving with yourself and toward baby. You will experience an array of emotions at this time, and that is totally OK. Enjoy snuggles with your sweet and delicate little one, they grow so quickly.
LYL: For mamas returning to work and plan to continue breastfeeding, what is one piece of advice you’d give them?
Sammi: Seek the support of your colleagues and your fellow mothers who are also breast feeding/pumping. If you don't have a designated Pumping room in your workplace, do NOT feel uncomfortable or bad for barricading the conference room with a chair and getting your pump on :) Work is important,yes. But making sure your baby has a good supply of your High Quality Liquid Gold is even more important!
LYL: What is one thing you wish you knew before you began your breastfeeding journey?
Sammi: Do NOT stress it! Breastfeeding may have its challenges but it can also come very naturally :)
LYL: What advice would you give a mama who is one the fence about breastfeeding?
Sammi: To just TRY it. I know plenty of mothers who said Breast Feeding was not for them at first. They then fell in love with the bond nursing gave to them and their Little One. As well as how much of an appreciation they grew to have for their bodies :) We are magnificent beings capable of amazing things!
LYL: How did you hear about 'Love Your Little'? Has it helped motivate you?
Sammi: I learned about Love Your Little from my friend, Jessica… the Founder! I don't know how I would've began my breast-feeding journey without her support. She has inspired me and I love sharing Love Your Little's beautiful and motivational designs with all the nursing mamas I know!
Thanks for sharing your story Sammi! Stay tuned to hear from more mamas in the future. Be sure to join our mailing list to hear when the next Mommy Memos story is posted!
Mommy Memos is a series of honest stories from real mamas navigating the first years of motherhood. Each story will feature a one-on-one with a mama and discuss her personal joys, struggles, experiences, and how she finds resolution and happiness along the way. Do you have a story you'd like to share? Contact us at MommyMemos@LoveYourLittle.com and tell us!