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Paige's Breastfeeding Journey

Updated: May 6

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week we thought it would be great for mother's to share a bit about their breastfeeding journey. As new mothers we all face challenges, sometimes breastfeeding can be challenging. Today I sat down with Paige Schicker who graciously shared her story because she feels sharing her story could help mothers by hearing multiple experiences. So they know they aren't alone and to show them there are other options if they can't breastfeed. She believes the more women know, the better their chances are of succeeding. Paige is the mother of one sweet 5 month old baby girl (picture below), wife to a hard working and loving husband, owner and local photographer at True Era Photography who specializes in portraits, weddings, and lifestyle photography. We opened the interview FC Doulas~ Can you tell us why you wanted to breastfeed? Paige~ I took a Bradley Method class while I was pregnant and learned a good bit about the benefits of breastfeeding. I also did a lot of research on my own, and knew that I really wanted to give it a try. Breastmilk is the perfect food for baby; I wanted her to have the best start. FC Doulas~ Before trying to breastfeed did you think it would be easy or hard to breastfeed? Paige~ I knew breastfeeding wouldn't be easy. It's a very natural thing, but it doesn't always come naturally to mom or even baby. FC Doulas~ Did you expect challenges? Paige~ I expected it to take a while to get the hang of, but I had no idea how challenging it could actually be. FC Doulas~ What challenges did you face? Paige~ Well, after a traumatizing labor/birth, complete exhaustion from losing 2 full days of sleep and pushing my body to the limits to get my baby out, and then the end result being a cesarean birth anyway (after 38 hours of labor), I don't think my mind was in the right place. The several hours following her birth are a blur, I don't even remember the first time I breastfed her, I was so out of it. But after several frustrating attempts, I asked for the lactation consultants at the hospital. Baby would just scream when I tried to latch her, and it was the most excruciating pain. I compared the pain to contractions, that's how awful it was. I cracked, bled, and dreaded every feeding. FC Doulas~ How did you overcome those challenges? Paige~ We tried everything. After two lactation consultants took a look inside her mouth to check for any lip/tongue ties (and giving us the clear), I started to believe it was my fault it wasn't working. No matter what hold I tried, my baby got extremely frustrated trying to latch, and even once she did she would let go and cry. Recovering from my surgery, trying to catch up on a little bit of sleep, and being well, depressed that my birth didn't go as I had envisioned, I just couldn't continue. Yes, I gave up. I struggled through a lot of guilt within myself for doing so. Two months later, being in a better place mentally and physically, I wanted to try to relactate. A lot of people don't know this is even possible (I didn't until someone mentioned it). I had another lactation consultant come by my house to help, and with just one quick look inside baby's mouth she noticed both a tongue and upper lip tie. Finally, an answer! It wasn't me. It wasn't my failure, or my baby's. It was an issue that was overlooked. Had it not been, would have made all the difference. So I reached out to fellow moms via a wonderful Facebook page called Human Milk 4 Human Babies, and over the last three months have received several generous breastmilk donations! We wrapped up the interview with; FC Doulas~ What do you want other moms to know about breastfeeding? Paige~ It's ok if you can't do it! The guilt I went through was horrible. You hear "Breast is best", and it is, but when you make that decision to stop, it can make you feel like you are depriving your child, or not giving them what they need, that you are a failure, or a bad mom. Don't think that way. Sometimes you just have to do what's best for you and your sanity. There are amazing moms out there who are more than willing to donate their breastmilk to other moms in need; it's such a great option. But even if you switch to formula, or supplement, it's totally fine! Don't let anyone shame you. Other than that, if you are having difficulty breastfeeding, absolutely get help! Figuring out the issue right from the start (or very first latch!) can make all the difference! We hope that Paige's journey can be an inspiration to all of you, at very least we hope you find solidarity here. Be sure to like First Coast Doulas and True Era Photography on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @fcdoulas and @trueeraphoto #worldbreastfeedingweek #liquidgold #doulagit2quit

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