Imani’s Infant Feeding Story-Part 2

Posted on: August 13, 2018 | Birth Work, Famillies, Feeding, Infant Feeding Specialist, Information, Postpartum Doulas, Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders

A week has gone by and as their Infant Feeding Specialist, I place a call to check-in on Imani and Bradford.

The phone is answered on the second ring by an exhausted Aunt Valerie. She is pleased to hear my voice. After chatting for a moment and I ask about her view of how things are going for Imani postpartum, before asking to speak to Imani herself. Aunt Val explains that Imani is recovering gradually from the birth and that Imani’s nipples look like they are about to fall off. I’m handed off to Imani, and check-in with her. She shares that she is tired, and that her nipples are sore, but baby is nursing great!

Taking what Aunt Valerie shared earlier, I inquire further about Imani’s feeding experience. The conclusion is that Bradford’s latch may be shallow. I advise Imani with some tips to look for in Bradford’s latch and ask if she would like me to come over. She politely declines. I give her a referral to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) just in case. We schedule a follow up for the next week following Bradford’s 2 week check-up; when Aunt Val is scheduled to head home.

It’s the infamous 2 week newborn check up…

Bradford’s pediatrician informs Imani that Bradford is not up to his birth weight. That she should strongly consider supplementing formula Bradford to get his weight back up. The pediatrician sends Bradford home with a full belly, and a supply of formula for Imani to take home. Imani is distraught. She felt that she was doing a great job at breastfeeding. Bradford was sleeping well and “eating well” so she thought. When I arrive to the house following the appointment, Imani updates me on how the visit went. She explains that she feels horrible for starving her baby all this time, as thought she was doing such a great job. She states that there is so much to know for something that is supposed to come so natural. That the women in her culture have been breastfeeding since the beginning of time. Empathetically I reassure Imani that she is not alone in this journey and that together we will get through this. Whatever the next steps she chose to make.

Imani opens up that she will need to begin preparing to head back to work.

She would like to pump and remembers that the pump arrived from the insurance, but has not been opened. Neither she or Aunt Valerie were sure when to or how to use it. I advise Imani to go bust out her pump for cleaning and sterilization. Together we set up a station for pumping in her home for convenience. We go through what pumping will look like during the work day, and how to safely store and transfer her liquid gold.

At Imani’s 6 week postpartum obstetrician appointment…

She has been nursing and pumping religiously and has developed a great routine for her and Bradford. Imani discloses to her OB that she is worried that her milk supply will be affected by her choice in the birth control that she decides to use. Her OB gives her options for her to choose from. 

Imani reaches out to share that she is anxious about going back to work in two more weeks. Bradford will be at home with a Nanny, but Imani is worried about stepping back into the workforce a changed woman. As she continues to speak, I sense that there’s more layers to what is being expressed, and suspect postpartum anxiety. Before ending our call, I ask Imani if she’s okay and if she’s eaten or rested? She begins to sob and says ‘no’ with a quiet sigh. We talk through what’s going on, and before ending I advise her to put in call to her OB as soon as we hang up. Validating her feelings, and leaving her with local resources.

To be continued…

***This is a fictional depiction of the support of your IFS team. Any reference to true persons or events is by coincidence.***