Breastfeeding Answers for New and Experienced Moms

My name is Bethany. I live here in Brookings. I run an in home daycare. I like to go running, it's my mommy's time alone. I like to bake. I like to knit. I like to watch movies. And our family is very musical so we like to sing and dance and make a lot of noise around our house.

Why did you choose to breastfeed?

I chose to breastfeed both my girls because it has so many health benefits. I really wanted to help protect them from colds or flus or whatever I've gone through. Whatever I've had I'm gonna help protect them a little bit more. I felt like it was no question I'm gonna breastfeed for as long as I can.

How did Brookings Health System support your desire to breastfeed?

They were really encouraging immediately. Right away they do the skin to skin so we did that. Immediately, it took a little bit for Hannah to get ready to be able to eat. But Eden and Hannah both they were like do want to try this position, do you want to try this one, do you need a pillow, do you not want a pillow? Trying to help me figure out what was the best position and how they were going to get the most food for themselves. And it was nice. The first time I felt like I didn't ask enough questions so the second time I made sure I was asking as many questions as I possibly could.

How did new beginnings baby cafe help you breastfeed?

I started going because one weekend I got a fever and my supply got cut down in about half and that was super frustrating. It was like the hardest week of my life. Am I going to be able to keep breastfeeding? It was so emotional. So I started talking to a lactation consultant. I got advice on when to pump, when to feed. It really helped and my supply just shot up after a couple of weeks. It was so encouraging to go meet with them, make sure she was getting enough, and just to hang out with other moms. That was really rewarding, to hang out with other moms in that environment.

How did the additional services impact your breastfeeding?

With Eden I only breastfed three and a half to four months and with Hannah I breastfed for almost seven. So it helped me double the time. Like I said the first time with Eden I felt like I didn't use any resources. I felt like I didn't ask, I was almost afraid to ask questions about like what I can do to improve, is this normal, is this not normal? So the second time it was really nice to be able to use these resources like Baby Cafe and get advice and have your baby weighed before and after a feeding to say okay she's getting this much, she's getting enough or try this to get her to eat more. It was really nice to have that option. Just to get advice, that was the biggest need I needed and it was nice to be able to get that.

What changes have you noticed in the community regarding breastfeeding?

I really appreciate the encouragement and support. The first time when I had Eden, not a lot of encouragement, not a lot of support. It was kind of awkward, people say, "Breastfeeding". "Oh that lady has a blanket out," or, they would make it awkward. And this time around Brookings has changed to take a step forward to be more encouraging and have things around like Baby Cafe and say you can breastfeed in this room this wide open room and nobody cares that you're feeding your baby. It's great, it's so encouraging, so uplifting to talk to other moms about how is it going for you, or how is it going for you, or how does your baby like it. Just kind of getting different tips even from other moms so that was really nice.

What advice would you give moms looking for breastfeeding help?

Use your resources, don't be afraid to ask questions. I know it can be scary. You think, can they really help me? Take that step of faith, take a step of your comfort box and say, this is happening can you help me? The biggest struggle I had during breastfeeding was thinking can I still do this, my supply just went down. It was such a struggle because a lot of moms feel like a failure because I can't breastfeed right now and I would say you're doing a great job, you're a great mom. Nothing is ever going to make you a failure because you can't do something. Maybe you can't do it as long as you want but I would say keep trying, ask help, ask questions, don't be afraid.

Would you recommend Brookings Health System to expecting moms?

I tell all my friends you should go Brookings they're really nice. I like my OB/GYN, OB Doctor really nice, really encouraging. The staff at the hospitals they really go above and beyond, they treat you like a person, you’re not just another patient to them. They really focus on you. Any problems that come up they're ready, they're hand in hand with you step by step they're ready to take it on. Whatever is going on with you they're ready to jump and say we're ready, we're here, we're going to help you.