Jenny Kordell is a first-time mama who's had her share of latching problems and stress trying to find a place to pump while traveling. Now, nine months in to her breastfeeding journey with her very own "breastfeeding champ," she's got some ideas about how we can support new moms, their babies, and their families.
When Jenny was pregnant she dreaded two things: "Giving birth and breastfeeding, because they were both these abstract, ambiguous things that I had only ever heard negative things about." Now she shares her insights with other new moms to help make their experiences better and easier.
Figure out latching.
Jenny gave birth last August, and despite her fears, everything went well. But breastfeeding was another story. "Latching didn’t come easily and it took us 3.5 weeks to figure it out together. Those were some tough days and nights," she says. "But with an amazingly supportive husband and encouraging lactation consultants, babe and I figured it out and we have stuck with it since. I’m constantly in awe that only the milk my body produces has been enough to nourish and grow her—and given her the cutest chubby baby thighs!"
Plan when and where you'll pump.
Jenny was not prepared for how much time and energy had to be dedicated to figuring out a feeding schedule. This was further complicated by the logistics of traveling as a breastfeeding mom: "If I go anywhere with her, where to breastfeed? If I go anywhere without her, where to pump?"
On her first first overnight trip without her daughter, Jenny's biggest challenge was figuring out when and where to pump before getting on the plane for a long flight. "I didn’t want to get on a plane without pumping first for fear of getting too full and uncomfortable, but I knew for certain that I did not want to pump in a bathroom or at the gate in front of a bunch of strangers," she recalls. Luckily, Jenny was flying out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airpot, where she found a Mamava pod. "It was such a huge relief and got me off to a great start of my trip," she says. (Jenny was so impressed with how clean and relaxing the pod was, that she reached out to us to say that she hoped to see our pods in more public places—which is how we found her!)
Raise your voice for all new moms.
Now that Jenny's a breastfeeding pro, she's become a huge advocate for new moms and families. "Breastfeeding has so many benefits for both mom and baby, and we as a society have such a huge opportunity to optimize the chances of moms breastfeeding," says Jenny. "In my mind that looks like hands-on lactation education and support immediately after baby is born; access to clean, comfortable areas for moms to pump; and maternity and paternity leaves for new parents."
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- The Enlightened Guy's Guide to Supporting Breastfeeding