As I write this letter I reflect upon a Bible passage that I recently saw, Isaiah 66:11, for you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance. God gave women the ability to nurse their babies; however, no one explains that breastfeeding can be difficult.
Six weeks ago I gave birth to my first child; he was four weeks early. He was jaundiced, and my husband and I were asked if he could start receiving formula in a bottle. All we knew was that formula would help him get better and home to us faster. Naturally, we agreed. I had no idea that introducing a bottle would make breastfeeding so difficult in the future.
Along with formula supplements, I continued to breastfeed & then informed the pediatrician I wanted to exclusively breastfeed. After a week, we went back for a weight check; I was devastated to learn that our baby had only gained an ounce. The pediatrician offered me the name and number of a lactation consultant; it was $85/hour. At this point I was willing to give anything just to be able to breastfeed my son and experience what every mother talks about.
Before I scheduled an appointment with the consultant, I was introduced to Stephanie Hell. She agreed to meet with me & my son. I will never forget after an hour of time with Stephanie I felt like the most amazing mom for the first time. I was able to give my son what God intended me to give; after five weeks of feeling inadequate & miserable, I left finally feeling like a mom.
I know not every day is going to be perfect but Stephanie gave me the confidence to not give up. Stephanie’s work and knowledge is something that every mother should have access to without worrying how much it is going to cost. A woman who has been given a gift to give nutrients to their child should not have to decide whether or not they can afford to learn how to breastfeed.
This letter is to share my deepest gratitude for Stephanie and how she gave me the confidence and knowledge to do something every mother should have the opportunity to do. Stephanie is an asset to your hospital and every nursing mother that has the opportunity to meet with her.