I read this today, about the challenges moms face when trying to get lactation services covered by insurance.
I nursed both my kids — Jack for over a year, and Viv for about 10 months — and I couldn’t have done it at all without a few things.
A really supportive husband — who spent a lot of time making dinner and doing laundry so I could sit topless on the couch with the baby. For hours.
A post-partum nurse who helped me establish a supply with Jack and deal with his weird latch — ultimately resorting to a few weeks of nursing, pumping, feeding him expressed milk with a syringe until he got big and strong enough to nurse on his own. I would never have made those steps — or stuck with them — without her advice. I didn’t even know people did that. And then when I had to do it again with Viv, it just seemed normal to me.
Friends who had been there, done that — so they could assure me over and over that cluster feeding is normal, that the baby IS getting enough milk, all the things you worry about.
Pediatricians who respected it as an excellent choice for mom and baby.
An employer who gave me time to pump every day.
And, lactation consultants. I used one at Avera and one at Sanford, and they were excellent. They answered questions on latch, clogged ducts, pumping, everything. They answered questions on Saturdays. They called back.
The only person who breastfed in my family was one of my three sisters. I didn’t have a generation of women before me, leading the way, by example, for how you do this. I had some friends. A neighbor. Philip.
And the consultants at both hospitals, who were patient and kind and really, really helpful.
It’s a service women need and deserve. And so do their babies.