"...it was the best call I ever made." - Adrianna
*edited for length* "Breast feeding wasn't as easy or as natural as I thought it would be. I had a c-section. No one told me how long you should nurse - my daughter never stopped. No one could've prepared me for the pain [in my] nipples. I had no clue what questions to ask the [hospital] lactation consultant. I mean what was there to know? They suck, milk comes out.
[The hospital lactation consultant] told me everything looked great. The latch was perfect. She said to nurse and then pump - 5 minutes in and out. Then my daughter had jaundice. They said I was not feeding her enough therefore she would NEED formula. But wait? How was I not feeding her enough? I was constantly nursing her!
I had bronchitis and was miserably coughing and they gave me several doses musinex for my cough along with other meds which "dried me up" (coughing and c-section pain and breast pain.... I was literally a MESS) But I kept with it, nursing in the hospital until my nipples bled. I didn't even know that was possible! After 3 days in the hospital we were sent home, telling me to continue supplementing with formula until my milk came in.
My daughter always acted like she was starving. She would freak every time I would unlatch her. I didn't know what to do. I was literally nursing 10-12 hours a day, and on top of that trying to pump. Pumping was another story. I could only get drops after 30 minutes. I was absolutely convinced I was starving my child. I'm thinking to myself.... I have huge breasts.... Where is my milk?!?!
I was about to give up. I was doing everything I knew to do. I nursed until I physically could not take it anymore. Between the blebs, the soreness, and spending all my waking hours nursing and pumping I was ready to quit.
That's when my neighbor told me about Jillian.
I was hesitant at first. I really didn't think she would tell me anything I didn't already know. But it was the best call I ever made.
She came to my home - a huge deal because I was so exhausted. When she got here she greeted me with a smile and assured me it was going to be ok. We went over my history and we talked about my challenges. She weighed my daughter, gave her back to me, and told me to nurse her. After I nursed, she weighed her again. She said the best thing I had heard since I had my baby. "SHE IS GETTING ENOUGH. She just got 2 ounces out of the one side."
Guess what.... There is not a typical way your body works. Not everyone is the same. You know what I stopped doing? Worrying. I stopped trying to do it like everyone else. This was my journey not anyone else's. The biggest stress reliever was when I stopped trying to pump - not only did I get more sleep, my daughter was less stressed because I was less stressed.
Nursing then became what it was supposed to be. I was enjoying it. I was bonding with her. I listened to her cues and nursed on demand. I learned the difference between when she was hungry and when she just wanted comfort. I no longer had to supplement. It took about 4 months to get there but my body did what it was supposed to do. My body gave me everything my baby needed.
Here we are 8 months later and we are still going strong. She is growing and wonderfully healthy. I owe it to Jillian. She was available to me for any questions. She is so easy to talk to. I am so glad I made that call. I plan on nursing until my daughter is at least a year old or until she weans herself. There's no time limit. I'm enjoying this journey of motherhood.
I'm so thankful that I didn't give up when everything was telling me to. I'm glad I fought through the pain... Cause it does get better. The pain goes away. When you relax.... Your body can do amazing things. Plus when you relax... Your baby relaxes. It's hard to see that it's going to be ok when you are dealing with so much. Postnatal hormones are no joke!! But if you are having issues nursing... Stick with it. Remember this is just as new for your baby as it is for you. Breathe! I promise if I can get through it. Anyone can.
Thank you, Jillian." Adrianna, May 2015, Ortonville, MI
"I'm so thankful that Jillian rescued our breastfeeding relationship!" - Megan
"My fourth baby was born in July 2014 and latched decently in the hospital, but by the time he was a couple of days old, every latch hurt as if someone was attacking my nipples with a stapler. He was the fourth baby I had breastfed, and I knew something wasn't right! I could tell he had an upper lip tie but wasn't sure if he had a tongue tie. I just knew latching HURT! And everyone I asked about lip & tongue tie (including a nurse practitioner and two pediatricians) told me he was not tongue tied and that his lip tie wouldn't affect his latch. By the time he was a week old, I was getting desperate! I was asking friends on Facebook for advice and prayers, and one of them did some googling and found Jillian's website and Facebook page. I sent a desperate plea for help, and even though Jillian was an hour away, she drove to my house and spent two hours with us. She did before and after weight checks, and we found that in just a few minutes, Baby had taken 5 oz almost entirely from just one breast! Yet even though he was not having trouble transferring milk, she listened to me when I said it was way more painful than it should be. And then she checked his tongue and confirmed that he likely did have a posterior tongue tie. She gave me info for a local pediatric dentist who specializes in correcting tongue ties in breastfed babies, so we wasted no time seeing the dentist and having the tongue and lip ties fixed. Jillian came all the way back to our house a couple of days after the procedure and helped us work on latch and suck training. Baby is almost 9 months old now and still breastfeeding like a champ. I'm so thankful that Jillian rescued our breastfeeding relationship!" Megan, March, 2015, Washington, MI
"Thank you for... always making me feel like I could do this!"- Jessica
"For someone who will appreciate this as much as I do... Isaac latched 59 minutes after the birth and has breastfed every 3ish hours, always for at least 10 minutes each time (some as long as 25 minutes!). So different than with Charlee; sometimes it takes him awhile to settle into the latch, but tonight (when he went a little longer between feedings), he latched straight away, suckled nearly the whole time and didn't let go. He's pooped twice already and once was HUGE. Peed 6 times. He even spit up a teeny tiny bit. Lactation consultation here came and had nothing but praises. Jason and I have been remembering all the good stuff you told us (especially the bit about holding my breast like a taco), and I'm just so pleased that things are going so much better than with Charlee (who never even got to try bfing until she was 15ish hours old, if my memory serves correct). Thank you for being such a warrior mama and always making me feel like I could do this!" Jessica, March 2015, Fenton, MI
"I was worried I would be judged... the experience was just the opposite!" - Kelly
"I had my daughter of the 4th of July, but our nursing relationship didn't start
off with a bang. She was jaundice and too sleepy to nurse for most of my
hospital stay. I was also informed that I had flat nipples which made it hard
for her to latch. She ended up losing over 10% of her birth weight before we
were discharged. I had to supplement with formula and use a nipple shield. I was
very discouraged from the start, but I wanted to nurse my daughter and wasn't
going to give up. I had been reading LLL's "Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" while
I was pregnant so I knew of the organization, but it was my mother in law who
actually found Jillian online and arranged for her to come to my house just a
few days after we were discharged. Jillian was amazing! I was worried I would be
judged for not being able to nurse my daughter and for using the nipple shield
and formula. However, the experience was just the opposite! I was a hot mess,
tired, unshowered, and confused - but Jillian didn't bat an eye. She watched my
daughter nurse and was thrilled when she weighed her and found that she drank a
whopping 4 ounces! Jillian made me feel ok about using the shield and gave me
the confidence to eventually ditch the thing. She wrote out a plan for me to
follow. She was there when I had questions weeks and even months later. Now, my
daughter and I have a wonderful nursing relationship! I'm so glad I stuck with
it and so happy to have found Jillian. I'm sure she had a huge impact. I hope to
continue nursing until my daughter is one, but we are having such a great time
with it, I may go even longer! If you are having trouble breastfeeding, please
reach out for help! It's one of the best gifts you can give your baby and
yourself!" Kelly, January 2015
"I felt like someone else truly understood me." - Heather
"Hi Jillian, I wanted to thank you again for this past Saturday's class, but more importantly, to thank you for my "therapy" session afterward. I have struggled with my feelings for five years, and for the first time, I felt like someone else truly understood me. In fact, you were able to articulate my feelings in a way that I could not. I couldn't stop talking about you all weekend--you have truly inspired me and comforted me--THANK YOU :) Sincerely, Heather" Heather, January 2014
"You have a gift, thanks for sharing it..." Tracy
"Hi Jillian, I've been thinking of you and just wanted to tell you that you helped us soo much with night weening Lucas. It took about a week but it really went well and your support was extremely helpful to me/us!! It involved a lot of crying but we did so well nurturing him thru it (and each other as parents). :-) He was teething on Christmasmas Eve and I was able to nurse him thru the night and the night of his fever and then explained to him that the next night he couldn't have mommy milk again and why and he was fine. The "big boy" thing is so helpful! You have a gift, thanks for sharing it and I'm glad to know you are there! Happy New Year and I hope you and your family are doing well! XO Tracy" Tracy and Lucas, January, 2013, Royal Oak, MI
"... resolved all my fears..." ~ Kristina
"Jillian is ahhhh-mazing, so says my nipples! The knowledge and experience Jillian brings to new moms resolved all my fears and emotions surrounding breastfeeding and overall infant nutrition." Kristina and Scarlett, October, 2012
"She is incredibly knowledgeable, encouraging and always readily available to her clients." ~ Heather
"One of the most surprising parts of my journey to motherhood was the support I received from some amazing women, women like Jillian, who are so passionate about helping mothers. Jillian has been such a blessing to my family. I’ve had more complications with nursing then I ever knew was possible, from tongue ties and difficulty latching to recurring plugged ducts, mastitis and more. Jillian was able to provide the knowledge and resources to get me through each and every challenge. She is incredibly knowledgeable, encouraging and always readily available to her clients. I’ve been determined to continue breastfeeding and Jillian has been right by my side to help make that possible.Thank you Jillian!" Heather and Hawk, August 2012, Rochester, MI
"Jillian was so approachable and came along aside me in such a non-threatening way..." ~ Jodie
"I met Jillian when I was four months into breastfeeding and hit a road block with production issues. I loved breastfeeding and had always hoped to do it for at least a year. Jillian was so approachable and came along aside me in such a non-threatening way - it made me feel so comforted in my time of need. Jillian gave me the support, resources and put me in touch with the right people to help me continue in my breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding has been one of the most beautiful expressions I have ever experienced and I am forever indebted to Jillian for helping me. Thank you Jillian from the bottom of my heart!!!" Jodie and Jacoby - still breastfeeding at 12 mos and 3 weeks!! October, 2011, Clarkston, MI
UPDATE - August, 2012 - Jacoby has two new brothers! Jackson Lee and Jay Beauregard were born July 5th and Jodie has been exclusively breastfeeding the twins for the last 8 weeks! How amazing that she struggled with supply issues with Jacoby, but now has enough milk for twins! Way to go Jodie!!!!!
"Jillian... gave priceless support, encouragement, and guidance." ~ Shannon & David
"Jillian was an incredible blessing in my daughter's birth story. At 35 weeks I left my OBGYN practice ill-informed and nervous but certain that I wanted to have a natural child birth. I immediately sought out Jillian's counsel. Not only did Jillian provide me with a mountain of resources which empowered my decision making but also gave priceless support, encouragement, and guidance. Jillian provided me with the most wonderful referral for a birth doula, reviewed my birth plan, provided extremely helpful insight and suggestions, and advised me on important questions to ask my health care providers as I carefully selected the most appropriate midwife practice. Post birth, Jillian provided additional resources and excellent breast feeding support. I'm happy to report that I experiencde the most amazing, life changing, natural child birth. My husband and I are both eternally grateful for all Jillian did to make our goals and dreams possible. Thank you!" Shannon & David, October, 2011, Davisburg, MI
"She helped me stay calm and provide breast milk for my son when I wasn't sure I could do it." ~ Katie, Mom to Jackson born at 36 weeks
"I have two children, a daughter who is 5 years old, and a son who was born in May 2011. I first met Jillian at a Mom-2-Mom sale. I contacted her a few times before my son was born because I had a difficult pregnancy and my son had tried to come at 28 weeks. When he was born, a full month early, he had a lot of difficulties breathing and was placed in the NICU for a week. During that time period, I contacted Jillian more than a few times. She helped me stay calm and provide breast milk for my son when I wasn't sure I could do it. After my son was released from the hospital, we still had a lot of difficulties breastfeeding. For the next 3 months, I pumped exclusively for my son, while still trying to get him to latch on. I participated in the La Leche League group Jillian was leading and I had a couple private visits with Jillian so that she could help me position my son correctly and know that he had a good latch. Numerous phone calls later and through lots of encouragement and support, my son is now exclusively breastfeeding. Jillian is friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and supportive. Without her, I am not sure that I would still be breastfeeding. While I acknowledge that I am the one who is physically breastfeeding my son, I also give a lot of credit to Jillian. Thank you for all the help you gave me!" Katie, November, 2011, Elba, MI
"... results that were nothing short of a miracle that shock even her doctors..." ~ Kelli, Mom to Kylie born at 28 weeks
MI"Jillian, I just wanted to give you an update and to personally thank you... I found your information and words of advice so helpful and encouraging in helping me get her breast milk.
Kylie was born on April 29, 2010 at 28 weeks gestation, from preeclampsia, weighing 2 lbs 9 oz and spent 39 days in the NICU coming home at 4 lbs 6 oz on June 7, 2010. Despite my efforts and lactation consults, I never got her on the breast. But I was a completely determined mother to get her breast milk. I rented a commercial grade breast pump and pumped for one ENTIRE YEAR. I pumped every 3-4 hours all day, all night AND while at work as an ER physician. I even pumped on the go using a cigarette adaptor that powered my pump while in the car.
Pumping has seriously been one of the hardest dedications I have had in my life. It was so demanding to balance a full-time job, taking care of a baby, taking care of a toddler, exercise, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, running the daily household AND PUMPING every 3-4 hours all day all night and at work. I have truly never had more on my plate at one time. But she is doing GREAT. It was so worth it and I would do it all over again.
The results from the combination of me pumping for one full year and being in winter hibernation for 6 solid months yieldedresults that were nothing short of a miracle that shock even her doctors: She never once got sick and never once needed antibiotics, she just turned 17 months old and weighs 19 pounds 3 ounces, 30 inches long and is on the growth chart at 25% for ACTUAL age. She has no developmental delays, is thriving and is such a happy baby.
I followed your advice and stopped setting my alarm in the middle of the night to pump and instead drank a lot of water at bedtime which prompted me to get up - it worked great! Kylie and I did kangaroo care early and often. And I loved your advice to Chad about how to help out (which he is GREAT about) and how 'a traumatic birth experience may take time to get past.'
Thanks again for all your help! Kelli" September, 2011, Clarkston, MI
August, 2010 - Chad and Kelli with Cameron (3) and Kylie (4 months at 8 lbs 6 oz)
September, 2011 - Kylie at 17 mos at 19 lbs 3 oz, 30" long