My Breastfeeding Journey!

Submitted on Mar 6, 2024 by  AhmazinAshley
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A Girl Like Me blogger, Ashley, and her new baby.

Time for an update! I know this update is long overdue but there are not enough hours in a day, especially when you have two kids. So, if you remember my last blog, I shared my pregnancy news and my plans to breastfeed my baby. Well, I breastfeed, it didn't last long though, but let's get into this short story.

My baby was born November 6, 2023. Breastfeeding in South Florida is NEW! I'm actually one of the first persons living with HIV to do it. May I add, all of this was possible because of the research and data The Well Project has presented. Thank you for that! My doctor made sure everyone in that hospital knew that I was going to breastfeed, and I have the support of EVERYONE.

The whole team consistently checked in with me. The Lactation Specialist, Infectious Disease Pediatrician, the Nurses, Social Worker, and OBGYN. They visited my room and reached me via phone to support me. It really felt great.

However, I did not realize that Breastfeeding was such a big responsibility. I was tired before I really got tired. The baby latched on with no problem, but I did not like the way it felt. It wasn't painful, it just felt weird, if you know what I mean. I had to supplement as well. My goal was to solely breastfeed, but we didn't make it to that point. I was pumping as well, but as he increased his milk intake, my milk supply just didn't increase. I bought lactation tea, cookies, and a berry drink mix and still did not have any increase.

I became frustrated. I tried to be patient with myself, but I was in my head too much. He was drinking 4 oz of milk per feeding and I only produced about 4 to 6 oz of milk a day. I couldn't keep up. Not to mention, I'm also dealing with Postpartum. This one night, my baby was crying, I didn't know what was wrong, and he would not go back to sleep. I laid him next to his dad while he was still crying and I went into the bathroom and had a whole breakdown. I had to pull myself together.

On our next doctor's visit, she asked if I was still breastfeeding and I told her how I felt. She totally did not pressure me to keep doing it if it was too much for me. She supported my decision to stop breastfeeding. I breastfed for about 5 to 6 weeks. I know there's a lot of great benefits of breastfeeding and I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to do so.

As a woman living with HIV and a Perinatal, it's important to have a support system when we want to breastfeed our children. There's so many things we can do now, and we have the research to show it. I know we still have a ways to go, but I'm proud of the progress we have made.

Submitted by Red40something
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I love that pic. He's beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your journey. I love that we can can share triumphs and challenges here. Babies are not easy and there is no rule book, play book, or single way to do it. I love that you made choices that consistently served your needs and mental health. You and the baby will continue to benefit from those choices. Congrats mommy! Be well and blessed and I'm holding your entire family unit  up in light!

 

Submitted by boseolotu
1

You did well sister, as a mum we also need to know that we are also very important!

Taking care of yourself and mental health is important new mothers need to know this.

Beautiful picture your baby is so cute! 
Keep shining sister!

Submitted by MariaHIVMejia
1

Hello sister Thankyou for sharing your journey I never thought I would see this in my lifetime <3 what a blessing. You are giving so many women hope 

Maria 

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