Dear Dr. Laura,
I'm a stay-at-home mom who recently started working as a lactation consultant one morning a week while my mother-in-law plays with my two little kidlets.
Recently, I met with a new mom of a 3-month-old baby girl. This new mom had just returned two weeks ago to a full-time job following her maternity leave. And since her return to work, she had lost the majority of her milk supply even though she was pumping regularly. To make matters worse, her baby who had been exclusively nursing, was now refusing to breastfeed. With tears in her eyes, she told me how she had planned and achieved the perfect water birth in a birthing center, chose cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers for her baby, and had been exclusively nursing her beautiful baby. She was shocked that simply returning to work had ruined her breastfeeding relationship with her baby so quickly. And with tears in my eyes, I could only give my sympathy and tell her that this situation probably could not be saved. Her daughter now preferred large volumes of milk in a bottle versus smaller feedings at the breast. And for some moms, their bodies simply need their babies to make milk - their babies cannot be replaced by even the best pump.
This mom had so much regret about returning to work with the knowledge that she lost the beautiful breastfeeding relationship she planned on having for at least one year. So to all the new moms-to-be out there - you are not replaceable. Not only do your babies need you, but you need your babies! Thank you Dr Laura for making me both the mom and wife that I am today!