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My Personal Lactation Coach

Lara Colo
Paris France
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 21 No. 4, July-August 2004, p. 128

When I found out I was pregnant, I didn't decide to breastfeed: there was no "decision" about it, no weighing the pros and, well, the pros. I was pregnant. I was going to have a child. I would breastfeed.

Nothing could be more natural. Of course, this was a big first for me and I avidly read everything I could get my hands on about breastfeeding. As I read, I got more and more worried. Everyone seemed to focus on the problems and difficulties involved. Cracked and bleeding nipples, thrush, latch-on problems, nipple confusion, milk production, oversupply. The list went on, or so it seemed. Could I really breastfeed my baby?

Then my daughter was born. My midwife and the nurse's aide placed her on my breast. After what seemed like an eternity of fiddling, fussing, twisting, and pinching my breast, and jiggling and re-positioning my daughter, she finally latched on. Whew! First hurdle overcome.

After my daughter and I were moved to our room to rest, recover, and get to know each other, the best lactation coach I could ever want, Margot, entered my life. Her dedication and devotion to breastfeeding were instantly visible, but she didn't have much experience. I was her very first client. Learning to trust her judgment was both the hardest and best thing I could have done for our breastfeeding relationship.

Every time my hyperactive, hormonally driven worry motor went into overdrive, Margot reminded me to look at the baby. Was my daughter thriving? Yes. Happy? Yes. Margot would remind me with every breath she took, every look she gave me: "If it's not broke, don't fix it." Her common sense, "just do it" attitude to breastfeeding got me through all those early hurdles, most of which were hurdles only in my mind. My daughter took to breastfeeding like a champ.

One year later, my daughter and I are still nursing strong. Margot is still a constant source of encouragement and support. She got me through the first terrifying growth spurt when my well-meaning, if misguided, husband offered to go buy formula. Margot helped me realize that all my baby needs is me. She comforted me. She was there when my supply kicked in to fill the demand. Margot convinced me I could pump when I went back to work, and it was a good thing she did, too. My daughter wouldn't (and still won't) have anything to do with formula of any kind. I learned about breast massage, breast compression, and different nursing positions under Margot's watchful eye. She taught me to breastfeed while lying down, and to even sleep while doing so. In short, she taught me everything.

She's the best lactation coach I could ever want and I know that, with her continued presence, I will keep nursing until my daughter decides it's the right time for us to wean.

I know what you must be thinking. A lactation coach who is with me for all hours of the day and night seems a bit excessive. Don't my husband and I want time alone? No, not at all. It's not expensive either. I pay Margot in an unlimited supply of love, cuddles, and mother's milk. You see, Margot is not only my personal lactation coach, she is also my daughter.

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