"My breastfeeding journey started 15 years ago when I was just 20 years old. With my first child I was scared and just like any first time mom I was confused but I had a lactation consultant that kept me focused and stress free. That first experience was amazing and everything worked as it should. I experienced all the first such as sore nipples and poor latching but my daughter caught on before we left the hospital. My second child was kind of a breeze or at least I thought he was until I went back to work and my milk supply started to slow up. I felt very defeated because I didn’t have the support system to bring him to me to feed every three hours and the blame game started. I was told I should make more milk before I leave and it was laziness but it was honestly the stress of not being able to, funny thing is I learned that with my current newborn. I carried guilt for years that work or my selfishness is why I couldn’t feed my baby. I have to admit I didn’t seek a consultant with my son because it went so smoothly but I wish I had someone to call. With my newest addition this breastfeeding journey was the toughest. She was born a month early and during Covid-19. With her being premature one of the first challenges we faced was my engorged nipples and her small mouth. The lactation consultant had me pump to reduce the size and pull out the nipple. She latched on a little bit didn’t stay on so the consultation gave me a nipple shield and she latched perfectly. She continued to tell me it made it easier from the baby to latch cause she started with a bottle instead of my breast. She was bottle feed first because she was a preemie who had breathing problems. She is not completely breastfeed and no serious nipple confusion. My second set of challenges happened because I produced milk right away while I was in the hospital recovering but as soon as I got home it changed. I was hospitalized for a total of 45 days because of placenta previa which gave me a lot of time to pump peacefully. I made so much milk I filled my fridge and the NICU. During this stay though I didn’t speak to a lactation consultant until I delivered but I did a lot of reading which was so helpful. I read what I thought was useless booklets but they came in handy when my supply became severely low. Once I got home there wasn’t anymore quiet time, I had two more children who needed me and a Csection to recover from. My first night home a goof made by a nurse left me without pain meds and I broke my bed getting out of it. (It was a very sturdy bed btw) All of these left me feeling defeated and frustrated as I was trying to still pump and feed her every three hours. You have no idea how many things you have to be responsible for until you come home and it’s that kind of stress that made me go from 5oz each breast to barely in 1oz in a matter of days. Now, I was in a sad yet familiar place not being able to produce again but I remembered one of the pamphlet said to pump every 2 hours to increase my milk flow then I pulled out my discharge paperwork with “important numbers”and found the lactation consultant’s number to confirm the information. She was very helpful even though she repeated the pamphlet she gave me one amazing bit of advice which was calm down. It happens to a lot of people and being calm will make the milk flow. I will have to say that this is not an easy task when you are already exhausted but once my milk started to flow again I was relieved. I even turned on some of my favorite slow music to pump and I have to say it helped. If I could any information to new moms it would be to relax and know that no matter if this is your first or third you could always need or learn something new."