Breastfeeding resources for Montreal moms

 Breastfeeding, Students, Yoga  Comments Off on Breastfeeding resources for Montreal moms
Jan 182016

This really isn't so bad, is it?In my prenatal yoga classes this week, the requested theme has been breastfeeding. It’s a topic, that up until now, I’ve shied away from bringing into the studio. Why? I guess it’s that I don’t want to be known as or thought of as one of “those women who push breastfeeding.”

What a touchy subject, eh? Why is something so normal and natural such a hot button issue? Lots of answers. But that’s not what I want to talk about in this post. For anyone who knows me as a friend, blogger or yoga teacher, you probably know that I nursed for almost 6 years straight, nearly 3 of those years I nursed two kids. At some point, I hardly had any milk to speak of, because neither Babe nor Bug woke up at night to nurse anymore, and we spent hours apart every day. My attempts to wean Babe were a fail and I realized weaning her wasn’t a priority at all. Bug  just wentwith it, nursing for like 30 seconds before he got annoyed at the lack of milk and said, “Goodnight, milky.”  Before his fourht birthday he was no longer nursing. You might also know that my nursing journey was not an easy one. I look back and my mind is blown that Babe and I actually got it together. Here are a few archived posts about breastfeeding.

I didn’t expect to be nursing way beyond 2 years old. I didn’t expect to nurse through pregnancy or tandem nurse. Just a few examples of how we can’t really know what parenting will look like for us until we’re in the thick of it.

The reason I decided to get this post together is to encourage students and mamanaturale readers to dive into some research. Hopefully in or before pregnancy, not when it’s 4am and you’re crying because your baby is hungry and you have no idea what’s going on.

Know that if you’ve been in my prenatal yoga classes, or you’re a friend of a friend, or just a mom who needs help, you can always be in touch and I will do my best to help. Postpartum doulas can provide excellent breastfeeding help. You can find the company I work with, Rock the Cradle, here.

Things to research:
Risks of not breastfeeding  <– you can Google that. Not going to go on a “breast is best” rant, really, ‘fed is best!’ but know there are true risks for mother and child.

What is an IBCLC and where can I find one? If you live in the province of Quebec, here is a great link to find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. The woman at the hospital who comes to “help” you with nursing may not be a IBCLC and many people feel the help and advice they receive in the hospital leaves something to be desired. My experience was a very stressful one. The CLSC nurse that came to our house for a follow-up luckily was very knowledgeable and set us on our way to healing. With Babe, a local IBCLC named Deborah Van Wyck (514-605-6813 was a huge help. When we dealt with lip and tongue tie for Bug, we sought out advice from Jennifer Welch (514-296-8073 Chantal Lavigne (514-947-1877) comes highly recommended too.

What is tongue tie? Super duper common, and one of the biggest reasons breastfeeding doesn’t go according to plan. Many if not most doctors do not know enough about this. If you think your child has tongue/lip tie, please find an IBCLC to help you. This can save breastfeeding.

Other resources:

La Leche League: Meet with other moms at local meetings run by La Leche Leaders.
Nourri-Source: I was a volunteer with this beautiful mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group for a few years. You get hooked up with another nursing mother who has been through a good amount of training. If issues come up, you can phone her, and this support is often enough to get us through some seemingly difficult situations. No question is silly. I highly recommend contacting Nourri-Source while you’re pregnant just in case.Me! If you’re a yoga student of mine, call me! Seriously, I’ll do what I can to help and refer if it’s out of my scope!

The Womanly art of Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
Sweet Sleep by La Leche League
Anything by Jack Newman

Websites SUCH an amazing resource for all questions breastfeeding related.
The Leaky Boob (also a great Facebook community)

I hope some of this is helpful. I regularly receive emails from strangers and students on topics like this. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you need anything.

Vivian’s Breastfeeding Story

 Breastfeeding, Milky Mondays  Comments Off on Vivian’s Breastfeeding Story
Feb 132012

By Vivian Doan

My son was born at 4:33AM to a glorious sunrise on Father’s Day. He came a month early, after 48 hours of labour and an epidural half-way through. I had all these dreams of what new motherhood was like.

Unfortunately we had a big hiccup: breastfeeding. The baby came early, the milk came late and I made one huge mistake, the one thing I wish I could do over that would have made my life so much easier: I didn’t pump at the hospital and I didn’t pump when I first got home.

It was a mistake because milk production is hormonal and the first few days are crucial. I did not know this. The baby was too young to know how to nurse properly, there was no latch.

We cup-fed the baby formula until day 4, after the nurse’s first visit, then we syringe and tube-fed him using my finger as the teat. My milk came in on day 5 or 6 and I pumped and pumped, but as I said earlier, I should have pumped from the start. We syringe-fed him for another month until I decided to bottle feed him.

Pumping and bottle feeding a new baby means double duty for feeding–first pump into the bottle, then feed. When there wasn’t enough, we used formula. We had hired a lactation consultant at the very beginning but it was still too hard. I had also been told by LCs that he was tongue tied and to get it cut but I didn’t do it.

I couldn’t imagine hurting my baby like that. Our doctor was on the fence about it, she said it was a mild tongue tie. I took Fenugreek. I’m still taking Fenugreek. I’m taking Domperidone. I took Mama tea. I tried Blessed Thistle. I tried beer. I tried oatmeal. I pumped in the wee hours of the morning. I used nipple shields.

I remember clearly a night a few weeks after the baby was born, sitting in Parc Lafontaine crying while my husband walked with the baby. I was crying over breast feeding. It was not going as I had hoped and I wanted to give up. I wanted to stop pumping. It was hard. I was exhausted. This was a postpartum depression moment, and I had a few other moments like that, always exclusively around breastfeeding. But I didn’t give up. I pumped and I pumped and I pumped.

It was a difficult time for my husband too. No one really talks about the husband but he had a hard time understanding why I didn’t want to leave the house and why I was crying so much. What if I needed to pump? What if the baby needed to drink milk? What will people think when I take out the syringe? Or my big boob and the baby starts to scream because he cannot latch on?

Everything changed at the third month when a friend suggested nursing lying down. We decided to try bedsharing and this position for nursing and all of a sudden, life got easier. It worked. I was so afraid that once I bottle fed him, he would never ever again take the boob. But he did. Like a champ. And we’ve been doing that ever since.

He would nurse at night and before naps, and I would pump during the day and bottle feed him too. He still won’t breast feed sitting down with me. But at least I get to experience breast feeding. I’ve stopped pumping during the day now so my milk is decreasing–we’re feeding him formula and I’ve decided to stop feeling guilty about it. I get 3 extra hours with my baby every day instead of putting him down to pump.

There is a lot of pressure to breastfeed in our society. I think that almost every mother out there wants what is best for their child. We need to be sensitive of the fact that breastfeeding is not smooth-sailing for everyone. That being said, I will continue to breast feed him at night until there is no milk left. It has been such a roller coaster for me . There were good pump days and bad ones, and lots of frustration and even more tears.

Seven and a half months after my one and only child’s birth, all I can say is at least I got to experience breastfeeding, and at least it wasn’t, for me, a complete failure. I can proudly pat myself on the back and say that I did the best I could for my baby. But it was hard, the breastfeeding part. No one really tells you this when you’re pregnant.