When I had my first baby I was, like most women these days, unprepared for breastfeeding. There was no question that I wanted to do it, but I had very little understanding of what was involved or what to expect. Because breastfeeding is so often hidden in our society, I didn’t have much experience seeing women nursing their babies. For many of us, our own mothers didn’t breastfeed and can’t offer any guidance, so we are often left to find our way once the hungry baby is in our arms.
I leaned heavily on my lactation consultant after my son was born by cesarean. I was itching from the morphine, my incision hurt, and I was so overwhelmed with everything. I sent my baby to spend the nights in the hospital nursery, mistakenly believing that I would get more rest being separated from my newborn. I remember dreaming about a crying baby and waking to find that Oliver was being wheeled down the hall to my room to be fed. By this point he was frantic and didn’t have the patience for my fumbling. We struggled, we cried, and we struggled some more.
I was, with help, ultimately able to breastfeed exclusively and grew to cherish this unique and powerful bond with my son. For me, it was an important initiation into motherhood and led me to want to help others along the journey. I intimately understand how important it is to receive the breastfeeding support you need when you have a new baby in your life. I couldn’t have done it without the professional and gentle guidance of my lactation consultant, and I would like to offer you the same kind of care.
Mary Oliver Humke, M.Ed., IBCLC
Board Certified Lactation Consultant