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from an awesomely driven mama. 

Mama, It’s Okay to Ask for Help – Even When You Think You Can “Tough It Out”

By Sarah Martin

Meet The
GUEST AUTHOR

Sarah Martin

I am a Mama of two beautiful little girls and wife to a very hard working husband. After working in corporate America and a non-profit, I decided it was time to make my dreams a reality. Having two kiddos and two cesarean sections at that, I understand the healing process of going through birth. I have a passion for helping pregnant women and babies. As a new MAMA caring for herself is typically not her first priority!! If you’ve had kids you know this to be true!! Our box provides everything she needs to heal and take the best care of her babes, because she’s taking care of herself. There are so many unknowns to the birthing process, let alone after birth. Her hormones will be out of wack, her undercarriage will be sore and swollen, her boobs are going to be full of milk for sweet babes, she may forget to stay hydrated, not to mention that she will be bleeding for about 6 weeks straight. Are you kidding me … no one told her this before getting pregnant. Mama’s Recovery Box and the Forever & Always community will provide exactly what she needs, through our products and support!! Birth is rough, dirty and beautiful all at the same time and in the end YOU have your sweet babes. When you get home from the hospital, you are expected to jump right into your everyday life – new MAMA duties, being a wife, MAMA to other children, or even back to work for a lot of MAMAS. There is no care or recovery for MAMA. GIVE A GIFT THAT IS ESPECIALLY MADE FOR THE MAMA IN YOUR LIFE. Forever & Always is a local start up MN based company, I am excited to support them in this journey of drawing out the best in New Mama’s

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Before I get into my story, there’s a message I need you to hear – Trust YOU, You matter!

Great Expectations of a New Mom

During my pregnancy, I always knew I would breastfeed my baby.  I thought it would be a piece of cake…. After having my daughter, everything was great; she took to the boob right away, my milk came in, I was in heaven bonding with my sweet girl.

A couple weeks into our new journey, I started noticing my nipple was hurting when she was nursing and it was STARK WHITE when letting go.  Can you say OUCH!!!! I didn’t think much about it except that I was in pain every time she would nurse.

Waiting to Ask for Help Can Hurt

I told my husband I should talk to a lactation consultant and asked my doula for a reference, which she did.  However, I didn’t call. I let my pain and my stark white nipple go. I was ashamed to talk to someone about this, thinking I was being a baby and there was nothing wrong.

I got to the point of lying in bed one night, feeding my sweet girl and loving our cherished moments together and just broke down in tears, sobbing because I was in so much pain.  At that moment, my husband said I need to call the lactation consultant and talk to someone. He felt helpless watching me in utter pain and crying.

There’s Relief in Getting Answers – And All You Need To Do Is Ask

Little did I know… my babes had a shallow latch causing my WHITE nipple and blisters.  AHHH! Makes my nipples hurt as I type this.

The lactation consultant was AMAZING!  She was hands on, which was a little weird being a new Mama and watching me nurse but I had enough pain and wanted it to stop.  It really wasn’t bad, it was all in my head.

She gave me tips and tricks to try, like lying on my side and let babes lay alongside me with my nipple at her nose level, allowing her to lift her head opening her throat and getting my nipple to the back of her mouth.  It took us a few times to get the NEW tricks to work but once we did, man was my nipple much HAPPIER! It took 1 simple appointment with lactation. I am happy to say I was able to breastfeed her for 18 months.

That was almost 4 years ago (where has the time gone?).  Now I have an almost 2 year old girl as well.

Same Story, New Challenges

Our breastfeeding journey has been QUITE different from the first time around.  She latched right away and my milk came back day 2 postpartum. She was eating like a champ at the hospital, lactation stopped by and asked if I had questions, I was Golden.  I was a PRO at breastfeeding, no one could tell me anything I didn’t already know. Then we got home.

I’m not kidding, from the moment we got home, everything went wrong.  She would no longer latch, had problems eating, would get incredibly angry because she couldn’t eat, you name it.  This went on for a few days.

Reaching a Breaking Point

At her 1 week checkup, she got hungry so I attempted to feed her.  Again, she was not latching and got hysterical. The doctor had me lay on the table and try feeding her that way.  She still wouldn’t eat. The doctor comes back in hearing her screaming and I lost it. I’m a mess. Ugly crying, my husband again feeling helpless, I’m at my wits end and don’t know what to do.  I felt like a horrible Mama not being able to feed my baby. I’m seriously about to cry as I’m writing this, my eyes are tearing up and I have a massive knot in my throat. I have never told my story before.  

Despite the Challenges, You Are Still a Great Mom

The doctor took my little girl and bounced her and reassured me I am doing GREAT.  My babes is healthy, she is eating, she’s growing, I AM a great Mama. He gave me some additional tips to try, nipple shields (I struggle to use those things.  How on earth do you get them to stick to your skin?) and said to call lactation.

Yet again, I called lactation, that also offers cranio-sacral.  They discovered babes would lose her latch and her tongue would then click.  They would massage her tongue, jaw and head to relax the muscles allowing a better latch.  They also noticed she had a lip and tongue tie that was aiding in the trouble of eating. After getting the lip/tongue ties corrected and WEEKS of seeing lactation, we finally had successful nursing’s.  

Asking For Help Can Help You Reach Your Long-Term Goal

I am beyond THRILLED to say that because I saw professional help, I have been breastfeeding my youngest daughter for 21 months.  Insert super-duper happy face that you can’t see, lol. There is no end in sight for her, she is gladly breastfeeding and I am stoked to be able to offer her my milk.

Asking For Help Is Self-Care – And Trusting Yourself Is, Too

As Mamas we get so busy focusing all our attention on everyone else; the endless tasks to be completed, making dinner, washing laundry, shuttling kids around to sports, you name it.  It is time that we put a little focus on OURSELVES and listen to what our bodies are saying.

YOU can’t be the best version of yourself if you don’t take the time.  Trust YOU, your gut, your heart. There is no shame in reaching out for help, whether it be professional or talking to a friend. Mamas YOU matter.  I see YOU. I believe in YOU.

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