S1E3 Paige’s Story | New Little Life Breastfeeding Podcast

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Show Notes

Paige is a mom of 3 little boys and a passionate supporter of the VBAC Link. We talk with her in this interview about breastfeeding after c-section, life in the NICU, nipple shields, and so many mom tips and words of advice to help you work through any feelings you may be struggling with. 

I would love for you to check out a couple of resources that Paige mentions in this interview! Here’s are some links:

The VBAC Link Podcasthttps://www.thevbaclink.com/podcast/

CBAC Link Facebook Grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/cbaclink/

Resources from New Little Life

****Online Breastfeeding Course: https://newlittlelife.teachable.com/p/online-breastfeeding-class

****Support the Podcast on Patreon: www.patreon.com/newlittlelife

Let’s Connect! 

More links here: https://linktr.ee/newlittlelife

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/newlittlelife)

Episode Transcript

Allison (00:07):

Hey everyone. It’s Allison here with New Little Life. I’m an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Counselor (IBCLC), a nurse, a doula, and a mom of three little boys. Here on the New Little Life podcast, we will talk with real moms about their breastfeeding experience– the good parts and the bad– and share real and practical advice about breastfeeding. Connect with, and learn from other moms and professionals to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. Welcome back back to the New Little Life podcast. Today I have an interview for you from Paige, whom I only knew for a very short six months, thanks to military life. But we had so many fun and also some memorable moments together in our short time. It feels like we’ve been close friends for a lot longer than that. She’s a mom of three little boys and also a very accomplished musician. Paige is a passionate supporter of the VBAC Project and works on their team, helping with their podcast and moderating a related Facebook group. She’s going to talk about some really great stuff with you today, and I’ll put several of the links that she mentions down in the show notes, because you’ll definitely want to explore more of the things that she talks to you about. There are also links down there from New Little Life for a couple of things that I think might help you like the YouTube channel, an online breastfeeding course, and our Patrion page, where you can support the podcast and a couple of other things. So go ahead and check down there. Alright. I know you’re going to love page as much as I do, so let’s head over to our interview and you can meet her. Hi, Paige. I’m so happy to be talking with you today. Thank you for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate it.

Paige (01:47):

Yeah, absolutely. I’m excited to be here.

Allison (01:50):

We were just catching up a little bit before we started and we had to stop and just start the interview because I could talk to you all day. Okay, cool. Well I’m really excited to kind of hear about a lot of your breastfeeding experiences and a little bit about your birth stories too. This is going to be fun. You have three boys, just like I do, Right?

Paige (02:11):

Yeah. Yeah.

Allison (02:13):

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family. How old your little ones are, stuff like that.

Paige (02:17):

Sure. So my name is Paige and I have three boys. They are four, two and six months. I am a military spouse. My husband’s in the army. That’s how I met Allison. And we are currently stationed in Colorado Springs, out of Fort Carson. I am a musician by trade.

Allison (02:46):

A very talented musician.

Paige (02:49):

I love playing the violin and usually I teach, but since having this last baby and COVID. We just PCSed, which means we moved across the ocean. And I have not been able to get my bearings yet with teaching. So not teaching right now. Currently my new thing that I’m doing is I’m transcribing episodes for the VBAC link podcast. And I love all things birth, especially VBAC. I did not personally have a VBAC myself, but I tried twice. Really, really hard. I was very close. So I also have a big heart for the CBAC moms because I am a two-time CBAC mom. And Allison, I know her more than just as a military friend. She was kind of my last minute, on-call doula. When I into labor unexpectedly at 35 weeks with my first. Had I known what I know now I would have really utilized Allison and her doula services much, much more, and she offered them. But you know, we always have to forgive ourselves a little bit for the things we’ve didn’t know with our first babies.

Allison (04:15):

First babies are hard and I was so happy to be there. I’m so glad you called me. And if you know a doula, they’re always good friends to have, but I have such sweet memories from that experience that you let me share with you. I’ll cherish those forever.

Paige (04:26):

I think Allison, she played such a pivotal point in my journey to becoming a mom really. Because when I found out that I was going to have a C-section: my baby wasn’t tolerating labor well, he was having heart decelerations, and my water had been broken for a while. At that point, probably over 24 hours. And I was so scared of the C-section.

Allison (04:53):

It was all happening really, really fast.

Paige (04:55):

And my mantra for that birth was, I just don’t want to die. I literally thought I would not survive childbirth. So for all of that to be dumped on me so quickly, I remember you just came up to me and said, “It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay.” And you let me have that moment of grief and sorrow and sadness right before picking myself back up and being brave again. That was really pivotal for me throughout motherhood. And just being able to sit with those sad feelings and not always being brave.

Allison (05:33):

That was a really tender moment that I remember too. And thank you for sharing that because I don’t ever share tha,t because it’s part of your story, but that was a really sweet moment for me as well. And I learned a lot in that moment too, on emotions. And sometimes you do just have to sit and feel it.

Paige (05:50):

And a doctor or a midwife would never do that. That’s why you needed a doula.

Allison (05:55):

Right? They care about how you feel because the medical staff was doing their job in prepping you and that’s what they’re there for. But someone just needed to hold your heart for a second. So I was happy to be there to do that. Sweet memories. I love that.

Paige (06:17):

You’re the best.

Allison (06:18):

Okay. So while we’re just on that first birth of yours, can you tell us what it was like breastfeeding your first little baby? Especially after an early delivery of a C-section you hadn’t planned. It was just a lot. Can you tell us what breastfeeding looks like, especially in that first week, do you remember?

Paige (06:37):

Yeah, absolutely. So I remember when he was born, they wrapped him up and all I saw was just cute little baby with a hat. They took them away. And then I was taken to the postpartum room and I couldn’t go see him until I felt strong enough to go to the NICU. So he had some lung development issues as a 35-weeker. He was totally fine. But anyway, so I had to feel strong enough to go see him. And every time I even tried to sit up, I was so nauseous. I just did not feel strong enough. And I was so swollen. C-section moms know that those IV fluids are killer. I was like an Oompa Loompa. So I didn’t go see him in a wheelchair until about 36 hours after birth. But I do remember a nurse or lactation consultant came in with a hospital grade pump. So that was my first experience with breastfeeding was the pump.

Allison (07:38):

Was it that big yellow Medela one?

Paige (07:41):

Yeah. The one that wheels.

Allison (07:44):

Yeah, the symphony.

Paige (07:46):

Yeah. And I loved it. So that kind of set the standard for me, as far as breast pumps went. And I had a great supply. They were really impressed with that bright orange colostrum. And it was really nice to know that they could at least take that to the NICU and give that to my baby, which was really nice. So once I finally felt strong enough to go see him, the first thing they did was give him to me. And I was overcome with emotion. He was so much tinier than he looked on FaceTime when my husband would show him to me. And I remember just sobbing. It was a combination of feeling so happy to see him, and so sad that he was so little, and guilt that I couldn’t carry him longer. There was a lot, but then I felt really grateful for those NICU nurses because they helped me establish a really great latch. He was in the NICU for seven days. So I felt really spoiled to have all of that one-on-one help with breastfeeding.

Allison (08:45):

Yeah. That’s a good way to look at it.

Paige (08:48):

Yeah. And that really set the tone for me with asking for help with breastfeeding, because I was like, I need people to help me and look at my latch and see how it’s going. That really gave me confidence with my other two to ask and say, “Hey, where’s, where’s the lactation nurse. Can I have a visit?” Even if they’re like, “Oh, you look great. It looks great.” I’m like, “I just want them to double check.” So with that birth though, I remember it was so exhausting because every three hours, I would force myself to walk to the NICU, feed him. And he’s so little, and so tired, and his latch wasn’t strong. So we had to keep waking him up. A feeding would take a good half hour, at least. Usually longer than that. And his latch wasn’t strong. So they ended up giving me a nipple shield, which really helped. I’m a big fan of nipple shields. I know not everyone is, but I’m a big fan. They worked really well for me.

Allison (09:50):

Sometimes if you use them for what they’re needed for, they can make all the difference. So I’m glad to hear that.

Paige (09:53):

It really did for me, but I remember even just sitting down in the chair was so painful, and I was so exhausted walking. And I asked the nurse, I’m not really one to ask for help. And I always like to do the right thing. So I asked her if I could just sleep through a feeding. Because by the time I’d get back to the room, I’d have maybe two hours of sleep before I’d have to go back up and walk again to the NICU. And she was like, “Well, you want your baby to be exclusively breastfed, right?” I was like, yeah. So I just keep going. And I remember getting these raging headaches because I was so exhausted. So that’s just one thing to be careful of. For C-section moms or NICU moms, it’s okay if you miss one or two feedings. It’s going to be okay. And I didn’t think that at the time. I thought I had to be there for every single one, when I really needed to rest.

Allison (10:55):

Yeah. A little pump in your room instead of walking down there, especially during the night, like a quick pump and then back to sleep and they can take it for your baby. I think that’s great advice just in that first, that first little bit stuff, if stuff doesn’t look like you thought it was going to, just give yourself a little grace and do the best you can. I mean, if they feed your baby with a syringe because you’re sleeping through a feeding, is that the end of the world? Probably not. How was it with your second baby? Did you feel a little bit more comfortable starting out? Or how did that look different than your first one?

Paige (11:31):

Yeah. So once we got from the home from the hospital with my first, breastfeeding was great. And we ended up breastfeeding as long as I wanted to. I made the choice to stop, which I think is really the way that it should be. I had great supply. It was awesome. So with my second, I felt much more confident going into my breastfeeding journey. I really didn’t even give much thought to it. I assumed that it would all be great and I was more focused on the birth. How can I have my VBAC? So I ended up getting to eight centimeters with him. I was very, very close. And it was a beautiful labor. I was so excited, so empowered the whole time. So grateful to be in labor because with my first, I really didn’t experience real contractions. And I was just working so hard, really loved every second. And then when I got to eight centimeters, his heart just started going crazy. And there was one deceleration that just wasn’t recovering. And I think it was in the six, six, eight, nine, maybe even lower than that. But the nurse at that point came to me and she said, we need him out now. So that was a crash Cesarean– where once I consented, everybody flooded in. And I was put under anesthesia for that one. So I woke up and the baby was right there next to me. I don’t know how long it took me to wake up. But once I did, my experience was actually really quite pleasant. I was very shaky. I felt very weak. I remember being very, very hoarse, and very thirsty, but they gave him to me right away. And I remember nursing right there in the OR. So that was really nice. I do remember also once I woke up, one of the first things I said was “Can I do that again? That was so close.” I wasn’t really heartbroken, but I was like, “I can do this! If my baby could just hang on a little longer, I could do it.” I was so, so empowered. And then my baby got to sleep right there in the room with me. So I would wake up and look over and I just felt like, it felt like Christmas morning seeing him. I was so happy with that recovery. And overall, even though I was under anesthesia, which I still had to grieve that loss of the birth that I was hoping for. But not really that much, because there were so many things that happened that I didn’t expect to happen in good ways. And my latch was great. I did have nurses come in and take a peek. Once I got home, though, that’s when it really started being hard with breastfeeding. My latch wasn’t great. I started getting blisters and my nipple started scabbing over. And I even got some blood and I had to pump and dump because there was this blood in the milk I couldn’t give to him. So I was like, I got to do something. Thankfully for the military spouses, we have some free breastfeeding support groups on post. So I was in Texas at the time, at Fort Hood. And I went to a breastfeeding support group twice a week with a lactation consultant. And I really needed that. They would weigh him when I first got there. And then they would walk through a feeding with me, and then weigh him after. So I knew that I had a good supply and I knew that he was getting what he needed, which was really nice. And that was really helpful. But finally I was like, “Let me just get my nipple shield.” So I told the nurse how it worked really well for me before. And she’s like, “Let’s try it.” And then at one of our well-baby checkups, I remember a nurse walked in and she gave me the best advice that I’ve ever received. She told me to store my nipple shield in my bra, which was like key. Because the last thing you ever want is when you’re trying to breastfeed your baby and you don’t know where that nipple shield is, and all you have is just your breasts, which you know it will be so painful if you don’t have your shield. So to know that it’s just right there is like money.

Allison (16:12):

So funny. I used to shield mine as well for a little bit, for different reasons than you. But I remember I went to see a lactation consultant and we were trying to latch him without it, but it just wasn’t working. So I just grabbed the shield. I had it stored in my bra too. She’s like, “Where’d that come from?” And I’m like, “I just keep it in there.” And she’s like, “Oh, you know, better than that, it should be like sanitized and clean and stuff.” But you’re not a mom. You don’t know how ridiculous this thing is. I had a container for it, but you put your container in the diaper bag and it’s like, you’re fumbly and it’s clear– the shield– so you can’t see it. So I totally get that. Is that the cleanest way to do it? No. But a hundred percent I’m with you. I’m just like, especially out and about and whatever. I’m like, that’s going right in the cleavage because that’s where I’m going to need it in a pinch. But that’s the kind of stuff you’re going to get from this podcast– like the real mom stuff. Disclaimer, it should be sanitized and clean, but if you use a shield, you’re going to do that too.

Paige (17:24):

There you go. So I noticed with my body though, that once my milk evened out, once my supply evened out, I get really quite engorged. And I think that must affect my nipples and the way that the babies can latch or something like that. Because once my supply evens out two to three months in, they’re good and it’s not painful. So I’m able to kind of gradually wean them. It’s quite an gradual weaning process for us, which is nice.

Allison (17:54):

Sounds pretty normal. It is harder for the babies to latch on like a basketball than it is like a water balloon, you know, that’s softer.

Paige (18:05):

That’s a perfect description!

Allison (18:05):

That makes total sense to me. Did you have a hard time weaning them off the shield or was it pretty easy?

Paige (18:11):

It was pretty easy. They’re latch was fine. It was more paying attention to me and how I was feeling, if anything was painful. And if I started to feel sore at all, I’d just go back to it. I didn’t really have a perfect science to it. I didn’t make myself feel bad or put myself on a certain timeline if it wasn’t happening sooner than whoever thought it needed to. Yeah. The only thing I don’t like about the shield though is you can not be discreet with it. I remember being so self-conscious with my first, because it’s not like anybody made me feel that way, but I’d never breastfed before. I was still growing into my own. I didn’t really want to nurse uncovered, but I had to see what I was doing. I could not latch, and do the shield, and all of the things with the cover. That was one thing that was hard for me. But by the time I had my third, I just didn’t care.

Allison (19:12):

Yeah. And you get a lot more comfortable navigating all the stuff too. Did you end up using a shield with your third as well?

Paige (19:21):

So with my third, I was awake during his surgery. I was very exhausted at that point because I had labored.

Allison (19:30):

Yeah. You had a long labor.

Paige (19:32):

My waters had broke. I had just been awake for a really long time, definitely over 24 hours. And then I was working really, really hard. My contractions had gotten to a point where they were piling one on top of the other, but I was only maybe a four. I was ready to work and I was committed to work, but it was the same thing with the decelerations, where my midwife ultimately came in and they had been watching him. Every strong contraction, his decelerations would get worse. And it was very much informed consent. Lots of communication. I was in control. I did that whole “Can I have an hour? Can I have another hour to think about it? Talk about it.” I asked for it as much time as I could. Ultimately we knew that we needed to go in for another C-section. That was what the baby was saying that he needed. And with my whole prep, that was all that I hoped for: was that if it came to that, I would know. And the baby would tell me that that was what he needed. So we really just felt like that’s what was happening for whatever reason. Thankfully both of my CBAC babies came out so healthy. Eight, nine APGARs. So that’s another confusing element to it– is like why were their hearts plummeting when they’re fine? But also grateful for that. So in the OR, they found, I had adhesions to my bladder and a lot of scar tissue. So the surgeon had to really work through the scar tissue very carefully. It took some time in the OR for me and I was in surgery for about two hours.

Allison (21:27):

Oh yeah. That is longer than normal.

Paige (21:28):

Yeah. And especially with the crash Cesarean that was about seven minutes. So with Bron, my most recent baby, they showed him to me. And while they were closing me up, my hands are free. It was really, really wonderful. They offered to lower the drape if I wanted it, they brought him over to me and offered for me to hold him. But I was too weak. I was shaky. I was so tired. I was barely keeping my eyes open. I was numb all the way up to my chest. I didn’t feel like I could really even hold him if I wanted to. So it was my choice to not told him right away. And that’s always the goal is for the mom to be the one calling the shots and making the choices. So I told my husband to just hold him and they eventually took him away to the recovery room, where they watch you for a little while. And so I was wheeled there and that’s where a nurse handed him to me. And even then still, about an hour after he was born, I didn’t feel strong enough to hold him. But she was like, “Oh, I’ll help you.” And so she kind of held him on my chest, and then we tried nursing, and he latched really well. I remembered a lot of the different breastfeeding holds a lot better this time around. So I just got right back into it. And his latch was great. I felt like something was a little bit off with his latch. So I kept asking for consultants to come in throughout my recovery. This recovery too was a lot harder because I was more heartbroken for not getting my VBAC. I was more convinced that I was going to get it. And I was more confused why I didn’t. So I had a lot of that emotional recovery to do as well. And then physically, I felt like my body was much more broken this time with a third surgery, super exhausting labor, so much fatigue. I don’t remember having to ask my husband to bring my baby to me for every feeding. But this time I did. I was not strong enough to even sit up and pick him up out of his little bassinet near me. I was much more sad. So I don’t know if that really made a difference with our breastfeeding journey or not. Breastfeeding was always the thing that I could count on. And I was really grateful for that. And it was the one thing throughout my pregnancy and birth journey that wasn’t crazy. But he had a little clicking in his swallow. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that with babies, but I’m sure you have. But when he would eat, his latch was great, but then it was almost like he would lose it and click, and then it became painful. And then my nipple would be a little squished. So I could tell, and I could start seeing a blister. I was like, “Oh no, no, no, I’m not doing this again.” So I asked for a shield and I told them that it worked really well for me before. And both of the nurses really caution me against using it, but told me that I needed to pump so that it wouldn’t affect my supply. I’ve never had supply issues, but I did listen to them and I pumped and I got a great output. So I don’t know if I needed to pump, because I eventually had some oversupply issues when I got home. But I’d rather have that than not enough. So once I got home, just used the nipple shield and it worked great. And now he doesn’t use one. We just did kind of that gradual weaning again, when I felt like it was more water balloony versus basketball. That’s such a great way to put it.

Allison (25:20):

It’s hard for them!

Paige (25:22):

So he’s a great little eater now. And he’s starting to eat real food, but for those six months we did the exclusive breastfeeding. It’s been great.

Allison (25:34):

Yeah. you probably already know this, but there’s definitely downsides to using a nipple shield. And there’s also pros too. One of the risk factors for a nipple shield is that the baby’s not directly stimulating the breasts, so it can cause low supply. So with someone like you that had already used it a couple of times and had no supply problems, you’re right. You probably would be fine. I also never pumped when I used a nipple shield and I had no supply problems, but you just watch it. So I can see where the nurses were a little cautious and they just don’t like to hand them out to everybody because if you don’t need them, it’s better in the long run just to not. So I’m glad that they were a little cautious, but good for you for kind of working through that little over supply that was caused. You just take it one day at a time, don’t you?

Paige (26:31):

Exactly, yeah.

Allison (26:36):

Do the best with what you got. Do you remember having to hold the baby in particular positions, specifically while you recovered from C-section?

Paige (26:44):

That’s a good question. A lot of C-section moms, I know have to do the football hold.

Allison (26:52):

Rugby hold over here is what they call it because football/soccer.

Paige (26:56):

I could never figure that one out. I don’t know what it was. Maybe my arms aren’t strong enough.

Allison (27:03):

It works really well for women with larger breasts too.

Paige (27:06):

I’m also in the minority of women who have not found success with the Boppy pillows. I’m short, I’m only five foot tall. So I usually just use my legs and I found the most success when I sit kind of Indian style and use my legs to prop up, cause I don’t have that much space in my torso for the Bobby pillow. It’s like way too high. So until I felt strong enough to be able to move my legs in a criss-cross position, I would mostly do cross body, with like my arm supporting my breast and then my other hand supporting his head. And that was fine.

Allison (27:55):

A cross cradle hold or like a newborn hold is what you’re motioning there. One hand across their back, behind their head and the hand by their head supporting the breast, which is an awesome hold for newborns, especially.

Paige (28:10):

Yeah. And that’s what works best for me.

Allison (28:13):

It didn’t bother your C-section healing at all?

Paige (28:15):

It didn’t because I would just hold them up higher than my incision. And I would, I would have a pillow underneath the baby to protect my incision. And then I would always make sure that I would set the hospital bed up as high as it would go. That’s mostly what I would do as far as positioning. And now that I’m all healed and we’re off the nipple shield. It’s great because I can just lay with the baby, sleep with the baby, and then latch just whatever.

Allison (28:55):

I can relate 100% to that. I love it when it gets to that point, where it’s just easy. It takes a little bit, though. I remember I was at a baby shower once and it was my second baby, who was like four or five months old. So we were like cruising, nursing like a pro. There was another mom there and her baby was young, like less than a month. And mine was hungry, so I just popped him on and we kept talking and I was like pretty modest, but not covered, you know? And she looked at me and she’s like, “How did you do that? Like you just did that so nonchalantly and I have to go in the back room and like finagle everything, and I cry because I’m alone. And I’m like, “Girl, I was right there where you are four months ago. You got to give it some time? And you’ll get there. And one day you’ll be me and you’ll be like, “Oh, that was super easy. And I didn’t even think about it. It just happened.” But it takes time. And I don’t know about you, but I felt like that with all three of my babies. The first few weeks, I’m like, “Why isn’t this easier? I’ve done this before. Like, why is this so time-consuming and emotional? And hard?”

Paige (30:10):

And I always forget about the postpartum contractions that come, that are painful. So it’s painful on your breasts. It’s painful around your uterus. It’s a lot. It is. And every time exactly. Like you said, there’s parts of it that I’m like, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that.” That are good and bad, but it’s definitely not easy. I’ve had that same experience with friends where at this point now it’s really easy for me and I can be discreet without having a cover. In church, I would always have to leave the room to nurse. And now I can just do it right there and not have to leave. So I’m very comfortable in a public setting now at this point, but it definitely takes time.

Allison (30:54):

Yeah. Do you ever remember, like talking with other moms, do you ever feel like your experience was a lot different than theirs? Maybe because you had a C-section or maybe not.

Paige (31:08):

Yeah. I would say my birth journeys have definitely been unique. Breastfeeding has been one thing where I feel like I can relate to a lot of other moms. But even with the way that I use shields, it’s very unique and personal. I think everybody’s breastfeeding journeys are a little bit different in that way. It’s hard to relate and I don’t give any breastfeeding advice to anybody ever, because I feel like it’s just so individualized and unique. I don’t want any mom to ever feel guilty for what I’m doing that they’re not, or whatever. A lot of moms have asked me for supply advice and I have none because it’s something that I was lucky enough to have. And some parts of motherhood are that way. You just have a good sleeper, you get pregnant easily, you have a smooth delivery. And some things are a little bumpy in motherhood for us.

Allison (32:15):

That was a beautiful way to say that. And I hope everyone remembers that. That every part is different for everybody. And some people are blessed with easier times than others. And sometimes you don’t have all the answers– like you described some of your births, where you might not ever know why that didn’t work out or why you didn’t get the outcome and goal that you were hoping for. But you just have to make peace with where you’re at and give yourself some time to heal. On any part of this journey– breastfeeding, birth, the pregnancy. You just never know what, what the hardest or the best parts are going to be.

Paige (32:52):

Going back to the beginning, where we talked about feeling all of the emotions– taking time to sit with those. Fight for the things that you want and that you hoped for in motherhood. If you want to breastfeed and it’s not coming easy, keep fighting for it and it’ll get easier. And if it doesn’t, it’s okay to be sad about it. It’s okay to sit and grieve what you thought it would be and how easy it would be, how beautiful it would be. One thing that’s really helped me with my births, specifically, has been writing thoughts out and brain dumping onto paper, and then releasing it. Those emotional releases are so important through every part of being a mom. When you don’t know how to get your toddler to sleep, and you’re so frustrated. All of those things, it’s really important to have some type of outlet.

Allison (33:47):

Yeah. So I would love to know what you thought the hardest part of breastfeeding was. And then also what the best part was for you. And you can start with either, whichever you’d prefer.

Paige (34:00):

The hardest part for me was probably establishing my latch at the beginning, until I figured out what was going on or what worked for me with the shields. There’s all these questions of what’s wrong with me. Is there something wrong with my baby? With my second, we did figure out that he had a tongue tie and we had that clipped. So it’s so much trial and error, every baby’s different. And it is kind of like starting over a little bit, which is kind of exhausting. But the best part really for me, is in postpartum feeling like my body was still doing something to serve my baby. That’s what I love about pregnancy the most, is that my body is doing something constantly to grow this baby, to nourish this baby. And I would take care of my body so much more intentionally, knowing that I was serving my baby. So to not completely have that let down after, in postpartum. And to know that my body is still sustaining life. That’s a really empowering thing as a woman for six months, to know that you are literally sustaining life with your breast milk. That’s what I love about breastfeeding the most.

Allison (35:18):

That’s like a really cool thought, isn’t it? To know that– especially up until that six month point, if you are exclusively breastfeeding– that your body has literally sustained this life. And then you start introducing foods and that’s fun too, but I always kind of take a minute to sit in that spot for a second and be like, before we start these foods, I just want to appreciate what my body’s been able to do. And if you haven’t been able to exclusively breastfeed, still I think it’s important to appreciate what your body has done, for whatever that looks like.

Paige (35:52):

Absolutely.

Allison (35:53):

And then lastly, you told us about a nurse that gave you an awesome piece of advice, which I love that little story. Is there anything you’d tell a new mom who’s planning to breastfeed? A way to prepare? Or maybe a mindset that helped you? Anything at all.

Paige (36:12):

I would say confidence in yourself and your goals. Even if you are a first-time mom, knowing the desires that you have and honoring them, your intuition is powerful. Even as a first-time mom, trust it. You know your body. You’ve been in your body the longest. More so though, than than doctors and things like that, who who see a different perspective. But trust yourself and how you feel. If you feel like your baby needs some formula, I’m never above supplementing with formula when I need a break. I will pump. But if pumping sounds daunting, I’ll give my babies a formula bottle and I’ve chosen to not feel guilty about that. I’ve had great examples of formula– of moms who have exclusively used formula in the past, and they’ve taken off so much pressure for me to only breastfeed. So just having that confidence, that perspective, that kindness to yourself and trusting your intuition.

Allison (37:21):

I love that. Thank you so much for those words. This is my favorite part about the podcast so far– is just hearing the advice from moms like you, phrasing it in a way that I could never say. But I love that. Thank you so much. I really love talking to you. I can probably sit and talk to you for another hour. I have so many more questions. I really appreciate you taking the time. You have three really little ones, and I know it’s not easy to find an hour of alone time, but I really appreciated it. And I think a lot of moms are going to benefit from the things that you had to say.

Paige (37:57):

Well, thank you, Allison. And I’m so proud of you. You’re right in the thick of it too. And everything you’re doing to lift the birth community, to lift so many moms, especially in the military community. Just from all of us, thank you for what you do.

Allison (38:11):

Oh, that’s so sweet. That makes me want to keep doing this because there’s three kids is a lot, you know?

Paige (38:17):

Right. Yeah. Keep going, girl.

Allison (38:22):

Yeah, you too. And you can actually find all of the stuff that we talked about today down in the show notes, and you can see everything that New Little Life has to offer over on my website, which is newlittlelife.com. Don’t forget to leave a review on whatever platform you’re listening and we’ll see you next time. Thanks Paige.

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