Breastfeeding: MMBNT Staff Weighs In
Breastfeeding is different for every mom, including those who work at Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. Many of our staff have breastfed in the past and each has her own unique story.
No matter where you are on your breastfeeding journey, it can be helpful to know how other mothers managed challenges. Obstacles are normal, and knowing you’re not alone can be both comforting and motivating.
For many, hospital staff and lactation consultants were vital resources. Nansy and Judy, two of MMBNT’s pasteurization technicians, turned to their local WIC offices for help with breastfeeding as well. Nansy also credits her mother and mother-in-law for helping her reach six months of breastfeeding her son.
For Amanda, our Education and Enrichment Manager, groups like La Leche League provided a wealth of support and knowledge that helped her reach her breastfeeding goals. “I learned so much about what was ‘normal’ for babies, and had a great support system during times that were stressful,” she said.
These members of our staff had resources to rely on, which came in handy when struggles arose. Many worked through latch and supply issues. Amanda had a severe case of mastitis, while Pam, a pasteurization technician, struggled with exhaustion.
“My husband works out of town half the month,” Pam said. “Even if I pumped and stored my milk, I had no help with feeding the baby, so I was exhausted.” She relied on friends and online mothers’ groups for encouragement and advice that helped her breastfeed for four months.
Amy, our Community Relations Director, had to manage pumping with a challenging work schedule after her first daughter was born. At the time, she worked full time in sales and had to pump in her car. This required finding an appropriate time and place, putting up privacy screens on the car windows and operating the pump in such a tight space while trying to keep everything clean. These challenges affected her supply.
“I breastfed for six months and fought for every ounce,” Amy said. “I struggled with guilt that my job had interfered with my most important role: nourishing my baby. When our pediatrician complimented my efforts, I realized I was doing the best I could at the time. That positivity and support kept me going.”
Through the struggles, these moms stayed strong and found the best ways for them to feed their babies. Many have learned more about breastfeeding after weaning, and through working at MMBNT. It’s even inspired Pam to breastfeed longer with any future children.
Amanda is now an IBCLC, educating and assisting mothers with breastfeeding. She breastfed her first two children for 18 months, and her third for just under three years.
“Sometimes people look at my personal and professional experience with breastfeeding and feel like they have to defend their feeding choices,” Amanda said. “I want everyone I meet to know that it’s my goal to help them reach their own goals. Offering education and support to help a family feel successful is the best part of my work.”