My Story is One of Support

Written by Special Guest Writer Kelli Ramirez
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My story is one of support.  My son Benjamin was born 7 weeks early at St. Mary’s.  He was in the NICU for 13 days.Although we were not able to latch quickly after his birth, I was visited by a lactation consultant who got me set up with a pump.  It didn’t take long to build up a fantastic supply of colostrum and milk in the NICU freezer.

For 10 weeks, every feeding consisted of attempting breastfeeding (we had some latch issues), feeding a bottle of expressed milk, then pumping.

During those weeks, I was lucky to have amazing support from family, friends and lactation specialists.  People would feed him the bottle, put away pumped milk and clean the pump pieces, help around the house, and offer emotional support.

My husband was such a trooper, waking up for almost all of the night feedings when we didn’t have one of our mothers at the house.  Slowly, the need for using the bottle decreased and then stopped altogether.  Our boy was breastfeeding!!!!!

In the process, we built up a supply of over 250 bags of frozen milk.  My mother-in-law bought us a deep freeze.  Benjamin chose to stop breastfeeding at 15 months, but he had breast milk for a long time after.

My second child, Scarlett, was born full term at VCU with  the midwives.  She latched right away.  I have been pumping twice a day to stock up supply.  She has been so successful, that we have been able to share milk with another baby!

I truly believe breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your child, but it isn’t necessarily easy.  It is so important to have good support and information.  I am grateful to the many people involved in the successful feeding of my babies.