Kentucky Dads Support Breastfeeding
Meet my other Half, Les Brown. He is a 5th generation Farmer in Scottsville, KY and a proud supporter of breastfeeding. Yesterday a story ran in the Courier-Journal about the KY Dads Support Breastfeeding Campaign that will be seen all over the commonwealth this year (see article HERE). There is also a website that Les and several other Dad's are featured on, and you can see it at www.kybreastfeeds.org. There is a brochure that has been sent out to some of KY's delivering Hospitals and a TV & Radio spot (Brochure and TV spot Seen HERE). All of this is mentioned in the article. Please take a minute to read it. There is also an interview with a Bowling Green Dad, Lam Vo who was so kind to give all the credit to his amazing wife Anne. Anne has pumped breastmilk for a year now (Way to go Anne!), and Lam has stayed at home with their baby. What an amazing team and inspiration to working moms everywhere. We would also like to mention that there were 30 families who gave of their time for this project.
Now, the next time my picture is in the paper I would prefer to not be 2 months postpartum, no haircut, and exhausted. That being said, I cherish this picture of us. I look at this picture and I see an amazing team. Les and I knew what we wanted for our baby. We discussed it in depth before Marley Ann's arrival and came up with a game plan. We hired an experienced doula, Brianna Smith. We told our Midwives, Tracey Moore CPM & Renee Rojas CPM, how important breastfeeding was to our family, and they told us to hire Bonnie Reed MA, IBCLC. So I went to Bonnie and she set up a prenatal(in home) appointment to prepare us and gave us her info to call her postpartum. Her instructions were,"Call me at the first inkling of a problem. DO NOT wait until everything is falling apart. Call me so we can get you off to a good start".
The next step was finding a care provider for Marley Ann that was going to support us through breastfeeding and not encourage supplementing when not necessary. Luckily we had Dr. Linsey Neuhaus in Glasgow, Ky who is a breastfeeding supporter.
We did all the leg work to put together a DREAM TEAM and waited for baby's arrival. We wanted to be successful and we knew that wouldn't necessarily happen by chance. Fast forward to Marley Ann's arrival. Bonnie was in my hospital room on Day 2 and she was not leaving until Marley was well nursed and I was comfortable. This was followed up with home visits by Bonnie, Tracey & Renee. I even had my friend Dana Bennett (also an IBCLC) stopping by. There is a joke in our circle that I had a lactation consultant for each breast. haw-haw.
There is a joke in our circle that I had a lactation consultant for each breast. haw-haw. -Mary
Then there was the dreaded well check and weigh in! What if Dr. Neuhaus didn't think she was healthy or growing enough? What if she wanted me to supplement with formula? When we arrived the Dr. encouraged me to nurse Marley while she did the exam, and praised me for my choices. Baby was healthy and happy and there were zero growth concerns. However, she said herself that if Marley were to have growth problems we would not jump to formula, but pump and try measured bottle feedings first. It was a needed boost to keep going in a vulnerable moment.
Les will be the first to tell you that he was being coached by these amazing women along the way. They told him how to keep me happy, comfortable, and even gave him a class in hand expression. We know we owe a lot to these women and are thankful for them everyday, but we also know that each family deserves this kind of care. Every mom deserves a dream team. A private home-based IBCLC, supportive care providers, and a "there for you in the trenches" kind of partner.
As Les and I read over the article and everyone's kind comments he reminded me that we had so many people to thank, and I agreed with him. However, I have to take liberty at this point to say I couldn't have done it without my husband. If at any point Les had said, "breastfeeding is too much trouble" or asked to give Marley Ann formula so I could rest I might have given in. If I hadn't had his love, support and encouragement I don't know that our baby would be the health, happy and exclusively breastfed baby she is today. So when a dad says he doesn't feel like he can bond with his breastfed baby I will tell him the story of my husband. I will tell him about the man that ensured the best for his baby through his tireless commitment and selflessness. May all KY Dads support Breastfeeding and be heroes to their babies!
We want to mention our friend Hector Cruz. Hector is the founder of Project Breastfeeding. Without Project Breastfeeding the KY Dad's campaign wouldn't be happening. Often it is the trailblazers who make the way and get pushed to the side after the hard work is done (in this case it isn't even done). So, I want to introduce you all to the man who first said, "Dad's need to be in the picture". Go Like I AM HECTOR CRUZ on Facebook and Follow Project Breastfeeding HERE. Also consider donating to the project as Hector is constantly working the front lines to increase breastfeeding rates.
Les and I are so proud to be a part of this and hope it can help Dads realize they are a huge part of a successful breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby. You can use the My Sunshine Birth Network on to put together YOUR dream team.