Leah & Adalyn
I’d highly recommend Tennessee Valley Lactation Services and Sarah Willis!!
I felt prepared for breastfeeding and did a lot of reading and research before the birth of my first child! But after my daughter was born, I had trouble with her latching from the very beginning. The hospital staff tried to help, and I was not a fan of how they were trying to get her to latch because it seemed aggressive and not what I read about. I wanted so badly to breastfeed my baby but it hurt so bad when she latched -- like toe curling, back arching, teeth clenching pain. My nipples we’re getting blisters, and it hurt to wear anything over them.
Sarah first came over to my house when my baby was 1 week old. That was such a relief to not have to go anywhere. She tried to help me get her to latch and talked with me. She was so calm, reassuring, and listened to every complaint patiently without interrupting. I felt like I would never be able to breastfeed if this was how it was going to be, but she reassured me that it can get better if I’m persistent. She recommended we get her checked for a lip and tongue tie but was not pushy at all and ultimately left the decision up to us. We ended up getting that revised at 2 weeks old.
In the meantime, I pumped and bottle fed breastmilk to her for about a month while she recovered. Sarah even helped me find a better bottle nipple than the one we were using. When I tried to get her to try the breast again, she refused. I was devastated, but Sarah was always optimistic and ready to work through my problems. She recommended we try a nipple shield to help with the transition. I was hesitant but gave it a shot. She was doing well on that for about a month, and I felt NO pain! We were getting there! I was determined to get back to just the breast though so worked with her in figuring out how to transition her off that. Not too long after, she was back on just the breast and breastfeeding with NO pain. NO PAIN! I just couldn’t believe it.
I credit it all to Sarah and her expertise! She has helped me understand so much more about breastfeeding, pumping, the benefits of breastmilk -- all while also supporting my decisions and not pushing me to do or not do anything I didn’t want to do! The breastfeeding support groups are a great size. You will be heard and can also hear and relate to others. She will always be an invaluable resource to me for future babies, and I’ve recommended all my friends with little babies to her as well!
Leah (and Adalyn) Bush
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Sarah P. Willis
The author is a Registered Nurse, Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and mother of three children.