During my first few weeks back to work after maternity leave, I had major concerns related to pumping and my milk supply. When I wasn’t pumping enough during the day at work to replenish what my daughter was taking in bottles I freaked out and had myself all worked up imagining the worst: that my milk was most definitely going to dry up. I reached out to Kelli for advice on how to increase milk supply. With compassion Kelli offered tips on how to make the most out of my pumping sessions at work, and she really made me understand that pumping was now a part of my daily life. She was positive and encouraging, a cheerleader for this breastfeeding/working mom! Not only is Kelli very knowledgeable in this area, she is also a nursing mother herself. She shared with me some of her own experiences with her daughter that were applicable to my situation. My daughter is now almost 9 months old and she has been fed exclusively with breast milk up to this point. Committing to nursing while working outside of the home is difficult. Pumping every day is no picnic. But knowing that I am giving my daughter the best nourishment that I can makes it all worth it! Having support and encouragement is extremely important. In those early days I may have given up had I not had the loving support and encouragement from Kelli.
I was very fortunate to receive Kelli's support in my early days of motherhood. She was available quickly after I reached out to her and her visit was both informative and reassuring. Kelli's gifts lie in her ability to blend good training and extensive knowledge with a very personable, supportive approach. In fact, after she left her consultation time with me, I felt that I had not only received some good tips, but I had also found a supportive person that cared about my motherhood experience. Kelli understood my stressors and was very reassuring. She also drew out my successes and helped me appreciate the things that were working well for me. I felt confident and empowered after her visit.
As a new mom, not doing everything "right" made me feel like I was a failing our new son. It was very important to me that I nursed, so when I ran into some problems, I panicked and allowed anxiety to take over my mind. Thankfully, I had met Kelli a few weeks before my son started becoming distracted at the breast, so I immediately called her to ask for help. Kelli talked to me over the phone with such graciousness and patience, it didn't matter that she wasn't in the room with me, watching us nurse. She didn't have a concrete answer, but offered suggestions that we tried. When Kelli watched me nurse our son, she made another suggestion to help us get through a tough spot and we made it. More than practical pointers, though, it was her kind demeanor and encouraging words that made the real difference. In part because of Kelli's guidance during a few difficult weeks of nursing, my son was breastfed for 13 months.
I have the rare joy of being a good friend - the soul kind of friend - with Kelli for nearly a decade. I was near the last of our friends to have a baby and we were elated to have Pax Josiah in early February 2014. He came into this world as healthy as possible with a great birth experience for all. The week to come was awesome, new...and the hardest of my life. I had so wanted to breastfeed well and had read all my books and was ready. Pax had some latching difficulties, my milk was late, I was in extreme pain, and a hormonal mess. I had consulted two breastfeeding champs and I felt like nothing was making anything better.
And in comes Kelli. In life, and especially at this moment, she was what I needed. A strong confident voice that validated my feelings - the ones all over the map - and she sat with me in what felt like a dark time in the midst of incredible joy. I wanted to breastfeed. He wanted to breastfeed... we just had a hard time making it work together.
Kelli spent Thursday evening with me. She vacuumed my stairs and bedroom (it made me feel more normal which was a lot for you moms who know what I mean). And we talked about my boobs :) We talked about things that could be going not perfectly and solutions that could make it better. We worked on the pumping together and low and behold my milk came in while Kelli was visiting!
I needed someone to tell me I was okay, that I would get this, that my baby would get this, that it was okay and there was nothing "wrong" with the two of us. I needed to know that our nursing harmony was just a little off key at the moment. We were both learning. I needed to know that this was natural and we could do this. Kelli didn't give me false hope that my pain would magically disappear the next day or that he would suddenly have a perfect latch. But Kelli did give me the encouragement I needed just for that day. And then the encouragement I needed for the next week, and so on.
I am joyfully and proudly a nursing mother of a healthy 6 month old and WE LOVE nursing. This baby boy has never had anything but momma milk. Those early days I felt guilty that I didn't love (or even kinda like) nursing as the salt-of-the-earth women seemed to do and love so naturally. It was the encouragement of special women - particularly Kelli - that gave me tools to keep at it. We are so grateful to be at this current place. I actually look forward to waking up for our 3am feeding to get to nurse my little guy and share that special moment of holding him, providing nourishment, and watching him drift back into angelic sleep.
My daughter was born this past summer and her arrival brought so much joy and also a lot of anxiety. She was not gaining weight well and breastfeeding was a struggle. Kelli was hugely helpful. After reaching out to her, she supported me at a pace I was comfortable with, first answering questions via text or email and then coming to visit. Her presence was reassuring. She gave me information about how to avoid the worst case scenario and also reminded me that learning to breastfeed is a process and takes time. Kelli is a very confident, knowledgeable, and encouraging person. She gave me support and also bolstered my confidence as a new mom. Eventually we found out that the issue was allergies to dairy and soy, but Kelli's support continued to be a building block in my foundation of confidence as a mom.