THE FIRST TIME MOM- JESICA
JESICA - THE NEW MOM
From the day Jesica found out she was pregnant, she knew that she would nurse her child. Although she only knew two other young moms that have successfully breastfed, she was determined to become number 3. I asked Jesica "what made her breastfeeding journey successful?" she told me that it was her support system and also educating herself were KEY factors. She had friends who encouraged her and also pointed her in the right direction so that she can learn more.
Returning back to work.
Jesica returned to work when Baby Drew was only 3 months old. Alot of moms during this time struggle with supply issues and pumping so I was really curious to see how Jesica was going to do! When Jesica told me that she had over 100oz of milk in her freezer before returning to work, my jaw dropped. (She also recently donated over 500oz of milk to a mom that suffers from insufficient glandular tissue.)
HOW, WHERE WHEN, AND WHO?!
Here’s how she did it:
Since Day 1, Jesica used two milk- catching devices called the Haaka, and Freemie. Just a little information for those who may not know when you experience a letdown, or even throughout a nursing session the breast that baby is not feeding on tends to leak milk. IT’S COMMON. Before the Haaka, and freemie generation most mothers would stuff a receiving blanket or nipple pad in their shirt to soak up ALL OF THAT PRECIOUS MILK. (I’m lowkey salty because I wish I had known about this when I was nursing).
Jesica used these devices all the time. AND IT PAID OFF! She did not have to worry about Drew not having enough milk when she returned to work.
Returning to work still means that she had to pump in order to 1. keep her supply up, and 2. replenish the milk Drew drank at daycare. I had to ask Jesica how she stay committed to pumping at work. Only thing she had to say was:
Make a plan and stick to it.
Before heading back to work Jesica made a plan on how and when she will pump and she stuck to it.. She works 8 hour days and is given a 15 min & 30 minute break. She pumps right before work, and also during her breaks. She encourages other moms to pump during their breaks if they can. Jesica also encourages other working moms to pump at minimum 3 times a day to keep their supply up and also to replenish the stash in the freezer from being away from baby.
However, pumping can really be a “love hate relationship” you love it because you’re providing breastmilk for your baby while you are away, but hate it because it is another “chore” if you will, that you HAVE TO DO. You have to stay committed and you have to stay disciplined. Nonetheless Jesica strongly believes every women can breastfeed, you just have to work through the bumps in the road and keep pushing. With every relationship comes challenges, and the breastfeeding relationship is no different.
Jesica plans on nursing her little one at minimum a year, and ideally she would love for Baby Drew to self-wean if the opportunity presents itself.
Why she chose to breastfeed.
Being in the age where social media plays a huge role in influencing, she saw so many women nursing and learned of the many benefits. Jesica is the only mom in her family that has breastfed which made her even more motivated to do it.
Before having Drew people would constantly ask the question “how do you plan on feeding your baby?”. Which confuses her deeply because she repeatedly tell those that she will breastfeed. She knows that she is enough and also feels like she is being ask because of the stigma that Black women do not breastfeed. Where the stigma comes from she has no idea but she was determined to bridge the gap.
We are getting back down to our roots that I feel like has been lost for over some decades. Just like the natural hair movement, breastfeeding has became a movement as well."
Jesica receives lots of support from her significant other in her breastfeeding journey and he fully supports her nursing whenever, wherever and she strongly believes that he makes all of the difference in her breastfeeding journey.
Tips from Jesica
Do research. Do research. Do research.
Do not take advice from anyone who did not breastfeed, unless of course they are a specialist.
You need to have discipline. Yes nursing and pumping can be very hard but you HAVE TO MAKE IT part of your daily routine. It takes 30 days to form a new habit so being consistent will be key.
If you are nervous about nursing in public, you can use the two t-shirt method which helps with minimal nipple exposure.
Be sure to talk with your significant other about your needs. He is very much a key factor in the relationship and should fully support you.
You can connect with Jesica at @jes_becuz!