Becoming a new mama is hard
It’s important that birth stories continue to be told. Story-telling used to be the only pastime for most of our human existence and it taught and prepared humans. It helped us understand life. Some of us also just love a good birth story.
I sat with two awesome registered nurses, Haley Bloszko and Sherri Roller, to hear how becoming mothers has been rewarding, yet difficult. It is different than what they expected, even as seasoned maternity nurses! They were adamant that no matter how difficult things have become, the rewards of becoming a mother have totally outweighed the challenges. They also work with Ashlee Tayag, who struggled with breastfeeding and ended up bottle feeding! You can watch her tell her story here. Even nurses struggle!
Haley is rushed into a C-Section
Haley Bloszko, a 32-year-old neonatal nurse, has years of experience with the tiniest of babies and the most worried mamas. She planned on a vaginal delivery, but her little girl, Presley, started to grow large and labor proved difficult. She was faced with the decision of a cesarean section in the heat of the moment! Everything turned out fine and baby and mama are healthy and happy after delivery. Presley is only 3 weeks old and is still learning a feeding schedule. She is challenging her mama to be available to breastfeed at a moment’s notice. Haley dives deep into how breastfeeding has been “off-schedule” but going well in these first 3 weeks. Haley says that delivery and postpartum has been a rollercoaster of emotions; and if you listen closely, you can hear she is tired but so happy.
Sherri suffered from Postpartum Anxiety
Sherri Roller, a 29-year-old labor and delivery nurse, also has many years of experience nursing women through labor and assisting in beautiful deliveries. At 28-weeks of pregnancy, Sherri was rear-ended in a motor vehicle accident that propelled her into preterm labor! Sherri had to be admitted where she works for over 3 days to try to suppress her body’s contractions. Thankfully, she did not deliver at that time. However, delivery proved challenging when she went into labor at full-term. Sherri did not have an epidural and she found pushing painful, however, she still had a beautiful vaginal birth of her son, Ethan! Afterward, another set of challenges began. Sherri started to bleed too much and had to be rushed into the operating room to slow the bleeding down. Once again, everything turned out fine, but naturally, these difficulties resulted in her developing a higher risk for postpartum anxiety and depression. Sherri suffered from postpartum anxiety, she tells us how she reached out for help and is now doing great because of it!
- Try not to stress too much or plan your delivery too much. Stay flexible.
- Know that babies do not have an innate feeding schedule. They can be inconsistent.
- “Just put the baby on the breast” is helpful advice when moms start to overthink.
- Have a resource, a friend, a lactation consultant, and BreastPrep nearby.
- Don’t pump in the first 3 weeks, try to just feed baby directly from the breast.
- Reach to medical professionals or counselors if you are experiencing anxious or negative thoughts.
- Medela Nipple Shield Helps protect nipples, also provides additional length for your baby to latch onto if you have flat nipples or if your baby has a tongue-tie. Sherri uses this one!
- Leachco Snuggle Total Body Pillow Pregnancy pillow that Sherri used and said it resulted in much better sleep! Hugs your body and your baby in a C-Shape.
- Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump Simple, tubeless, you just squeeze the handle to help release milk. Sherri noticed that you can hold the squeeze and milk may continuous drain from the breast! In general, manual pumps express more milk than electric!
- Lansinoh Lanolin Breastfeeding Salve Haley uses this to protect sore, chapped nipples. Safe for consumption and safe for baby.
- Boppy Nursing Pillow A softer pillow that supports the baby while you nurse. Haley likes using the Boppy with her 3-week old daughter!
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