A Voice For The Community

"I am blessed. I had a wonderful and encouraging support system in my husband, family, and a few nurses who sensed my determination and frustration. I had opportunities to attend support programs and join groups of supportive women who understand. I have formed friendships and am surrounded by great people who share their knowledge. And I have learned. I have learned that every woman not only has a right to choose what is best for her and her child but to make an informed decision and receive support" Jillian, nursing mama to Jack Angelo

This is place to share the stories that come along with being a nursing mama. Wether you breast-fed your baby for 1 day or 3 years, we're not here to judge, simply to listen. Listen to what happened when you tried your best for 3 whole weeks only to be defeated. Listen to how being a mommy changed the way you looked at the world. And all the other stories, insights and moments that fall in between the complex and the truthful lessons you learned from your baby.

Read. Enjoy. Share. This is the voice of the nursing community.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gina & Khloe-End of the Road or Road Block?

I've had a lot of experiences with nursing as many of us have had but this one just happened recently which put me into tears which surprisingly hasn't happened in a few months:

At month 9 or so my sweet Khloe really started to get distracted while breastfeeding, even in quiet rooms that were familiar to her. She started to play with my nipples than actually feed off of them. I eventually got her to stop but during that time period she bite both of my nipples and now left me wounded with 2 bite size holes in my nipples. Over the next few weeks they progressively got worse and started to not heal. I reached out to my wonderful MOBBsters and went about my situation a few different ways. I consulted the lactation line at Virtua first and took their suggestions to use, but they weren't really helping.

Now 2 months later and still in pain and wounded I decided to reach out to my Dr. to see if there was something medically I could do. I suppose it was the nurse which called me back and after I explained my situation she was like well there is only one thing I can suggest and that is to stop breastfeeding. I was in complete shock and didn't even know how to respond. I was thinking to myself "is that the best someone can offer me" to give up everything that I have been working so hard to maintain for the past 11 months? It was crushing to me that it was even an option out of someones mouth for me to just give up like it was a bad habit. I cried for a little while over the disappointment over the advice I was given.

So I decided that I do not wish to give up breastfeeding and maybe my nipples won't heal until I am done and maybe it will be painful to breastfeed because my wounds won't heal but that is certainly my choice to make. I have decided to continue to breastfeed and to keep doing preventative measures to ensure no infection occurs but never again will I turn to the medical professionals about advice on breastfeeding since I clearly know how they stand.
-Gina nursing mama to Khloe, 11months


  1. Where's the support Gina? It's a good this obstacle presented itself so late in your nursing journey! You are now expereinced and confident enough to know how to handle such a recomendation. Thanks for sharing and keep us posted on how your breast feeding adventure with Khloe turns out!!

  2. Gina, you are NOT alone in your struggle to find good advice and positive breastfeeding support at your pediatrician's office. I think it is one of the MOST common complaints among nursing mamas - that their pediatrician says things that make them question their decision to nurse (or continue nursing).

    It's not all doctors, but most of them, who are ill-informed about lactation. They've probably had a maximum of two hours of lactation information in all of their schooling . . . unless they pursue more edification in the area, that's all they'll ever get. I mean, keep in mind that most OB doctors in residence haven't ever seen even one natural birth, and you can imagine how uninformed a lot of our MDs are about natural parenting instincts (including natural birthing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, attachment parenting, etc). It's not technically their fault - that's the way the system is set up. And then once they get into practice, our entire medical system is a business. It doesn't always matter what's best for the individual patient - it's about getting patients in and out, having as few liability issues as possible, and getting paid from the insurance companies. A lot of their comments that leave us feeling upset and concerned are comments that they make just because they don;t really know what to say. A lot of times they don't have an answer, so their best one is "maybe it's just time to stop breastfeeding"

    It's funny that you mention your pediatric nurse's advice on your situation - I once asked one of my pediatrician's nurses back in Texas to take down a note for the doctor about the fact that I was starting to supplement my daughter with my own hind milk in order to stimulate her weight gain. She replied "um, what kind of milk?" she had no idea what foremilk and hindmilk were - and even when I explained it to her, there was an awkward pause over the phone - almost like she didn't believe me.

    It's a sad truth that we can't rely on our doctors for relevant and useful nursing information - but thank God we have each other! La Leche League and my fellow Breastfeeding Peer Counselors at WIC supported me through all the struggles I had with my doctors' opinions of exclusively breastfeeding my daughter - other moms are always great support to have. Best of luck with your nursing relationship with Khloe! Remember that even though it's the most natural relationship ever, there will always be strange set-backs (that almost always have a solution, if you keep asking around!) - and take what medical professionals say with a grain of salt. If it sounds weird to you, do your own research, and don;t be afraid to bring your findings to their attention!

    I'm loving the idea behind this blog! Can't wait to watch it grow!

  3. Love your comment Amy...I feel like because nursing mamas get so many bad feelings or misinformation from doctors there tends to be this stigma against the medical community. I realize there is a fault somewhere, but I hate that the answer is always automatically "doctors are bad or misinformed or untrustworthy." Medicine has done and continues to do wonderful things it has also caused tragedy as well. I guess my point is, Gina, I feel so bad that you aren't getting the support you need and I don't blame you for being frustrated or turned off by the doctors, but it really is a shame that women have to have these experiences to begin with.

  4. I think Gina's story is so inspiring for the nursing mom just starting out! Really all you need is the ability to say to your Ped (or nurse) "No, I'm gonna stick with it!". Such a hard sentence to say when we are so vulnerable to being a new mom and you are talking to a "so-called" bay specialist! You are right, Jillian-medicine is a great thing, Teddy has been on a beta blocker for his hemangioma since he was 3 months and it has worked wonders! Thanks to the very smart doctors we were lucky enough to take Teddy to see, Teddy's eye sight will not be effected by his birth mark. I think woman need to be aware that nursing is a natural path that needs very little to no medicinal prescription to achieve success. Doctors are trained to prescribe medicine to match symptoms. And while it is certainly not right to blame doctors in general, it is unfortunately true that most medical staff you will encounter at your doctors visits and during phone calls do not have enough expertise to offer advise or prescriptions such as "Stop Nursing". There are certainly occasions where this natural path needs some intervention, food sensitivities and allergies andover supply and under supply do happen and it takes a good deal of effort to figure out the tricky problems that won't work themselves out naturally (meaning without assistance). You ladies are all so strong and I hope you continue to view and comment and share on this blog so that we can help more nursing mamas continue nursing!!