Some mother’s experience challenges while breastfeeding, there are many challenges that they can face while breastfeeding. When moms encounter these barriers, they are less likely to continue their journey with breastfeeding. One of the common challenges I get from moms are nipple pain, which then leads to the question, “Is my baby getting enough milk?” The challenge of nipple can pain lead to a trickle-down effect of other lactation problems, due to mom not wanting to breastfeed. Ineffective latch is the number one cause of nipple pain; a poor latch is fixable with the help from a breastfeeding expert, consistency, resources and most of all patience. Research has reported that moms based their breastfeeding plans on previous experiences, and the resolution of their problems may affect their future decisions about breastfeeding. Research also showed, that moms reported receiving conflicting advice from clinicians on how to solve problems with breastfeeding.
Over the last 6 months, I have had moms come to me for help with nipple pain; during my classes with them, many expressed not receiving the best help or care when it came to lactation support while in the hospital. This was striking to me, quite honestly it upset me a bit; especially when my teen client expressed her experience. Not only does she fit the above stated research, but to receive the same treatment twice! This can be very discouraging for a teen mom. She came to me desperate for help; she was adamant about exclusively breastfeeding her second baby. In telling me her experiences, she expressed how bad she felt having to give her first born formula, because her nipple pain was so excruciating and none of the help she received helped. She also expressed the discrimination she felt, because she was a teen mom and Hispanic.
The passion I have for lactation support sprang within me, I was determined to see her successful in exclusively breastfeeding her second baby. And, I assured her that she would be successful. I have passion for educating teens parents, especially moms how to not only breastfeed, but advocate for themselves by knowing their birthing rights. I worked with mom for about two weeks, over the course of our time together I was able to educate her on signs of effective latch, signs that baby is getting enough milk, positions comfortable for her and baby and affirmed her that she could do it.
Two weeks after working with her, we saw each other on a Christmas zoom party. She was excited to see, as well I was excited to see her. She expressed to me that she was exclusively breastfeeding her second baby; she was not experiencing any pain, she discovered what works best for her and her baby and her baby was thriving. She stated to me without my help, classes and patience; she doesn’t know where she would be in her breastfeeding journey. It warmed my heart to see her happy that she achieved the goal she set out to achieve. She triumphed over an obstacle that stood her in the face, and didn’t let it trump her.
Moral of the story here, breastfeeding can be consuming and daunting; but it takes a new dedication and consistency daily for moms to overcome those barriers they face and become victorious in their journey.
- Injoy Health- www.injoyonline.com
- The Latch, by Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman
About the Author
Shavon S. W. Johnson, MPH, CLE is the Owner & CEO of Mom’s Treasure Chest her company provides breastfeeding support and education to families during their prenatal and postpartum periods that will give them the skills and knowledge to successfully breastfeed. Mom’s Treasure Chest offers labor doula services to provide emotional, physical and informational support to support families in having the birth experience they desire.
Shavon is a Social Worker working with transitional youth and the Maternal & Child Health program coordinator where she offers birthing services, classes and resources to expectant and parenting young adults. Her goal is to educate her community through health education and promotion.