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Breast Feeding Basics & My “Weird Hormonal Problems”

05/08/2013

Belle

I had my first of two breastfeeding classes last night. It was very informative, and very uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable in the sense that we spent the entire time talking about boobs and watching the instructor demonstrate techniques with a fake stuffed boob and a baby doll with mouth agape, but uncomfortable in that I was the only pregnancy after infertility case and the instructor seemed to have zero training in tact.

I went into this class prepared to treat myself like all the other “normal” pregnant ladies. As hard as I work to be an activist for infertility awareness, sometimes you just want to blend into the crowd so you can focus on learning.

Things were ok until the trainer made a “joke” about her husband doing a breastfeeding session for her one night during which she never woke up. Two hours later she awoke with a start and instantly freaked out saying, “HE DIED!” And then the instructor and the other attendees started to laugh. Of course her baby was not dead!

As someone who has seen miscarriage, still birth and infant death over and over in this community this “joke” really burned. YOU NEVER MAKE LIGHT OF A BABY OR FETUS DYING. You just don’t. It’s the same as you never joke about your spouse dropping dead from a heart attack. You just don’t do that. I drew a deep breath and let the “joke” slide- determined that I would continue to pretend I’m “normal” and get as much from the class as possible.

Next on my list of very uncomfortable moments was when she went around the room asking each woman if she was going to stay home with their baby. I was the last in the circle and the ONLY person who will have to go back to work. One woman actually gasped when I said our baby would be going to childcare because we are moving to NYC where we have no family support. “Oh, well,” the instructor said to me and then turned to the others and cheered, “GO MOMS!”

I’m so not kidding. You guys, I would give my right foot to stay home with my child. (This is a huge statement because that damn right foot has been through hell after an injury and only recently stopped hurting). I would love nothing more than to stay home with Chicken until he/she goes to school, and then only work while s/he was away. And what is with the cheering for the other moms? Does the fact that I have to go back to work make me less a mom? I don’t think so.

This comment sent me to the bathroom to compose myself. I reminded myself that I was taking this class at a fancy studio with a lot of women with huge diamond rings on their fingers. Their husbands are not academics struggling to find tenured work. Even with all the help from the Professor’s family (and believe me, there is an embarrassing amount of help) we would not be able to afford my staying home long-term in NYC. So I let it go – we are different people from different socioeconomic groups.

And then the doozie came. The instructor said that breastfeeding very rarely fails due to true insufficient supply. She said only 5% of women have insufficient supply and the second a doctor labels you as having one you NEED to find a lactation consultant to evaluate your latch, feeding/pumping schedule, etc. Encouraging, right? Eh, then she went on to say “The only time you see a true insufficient supply is when there is some weird hormonal problem.” That’s a real quote, y’all. “Weird hormonal problem.”

I could not keep my mouth shut any longer.

“What exactly do you mean by weird hormonal problem?” I asked.

She kind of stumbled around not really saying anything so I continued, “For example, this is an IVF pregnancy (I point to my belly) and I have PCOS. Does PCOS count as a weird hormonal problem?”

“YES! Yes, that is a weird hormonal problem and… well, I don’t really know what to tell you accept good luck.”

WHAT? Are you kidding? You are  lactation consultant and you can’t give me any information on my “weird hormonal problem?” I asked a few more questions and when it became clear that I was not going to get any guidance from her I gave up and sat quietly for the remainder of the class. Maybe I’ll take myself and my “weird hormonal problems” to another breastfeeding class in hopes of finding some actual support.

PCOS not is an uncommon problem, nor is infertility. The way this “experienced and respected” lactation consultant acted towards them, though, makes me wonder if she has ever worked with an infertile before. Or do infertiles just check their baggage at the door once pregnancy is achieved and/or baby is born? I’m just not that kind of gal. I went through two years of mild struggle when compared to many other women in this community, all of whom went out of their way to support me during my journey. I feel it is my duty to give back to this community by sharing my story and raising awareness. Moments like last night are stark reminders of just how far we have to go before infertility is truly recognized and respected as a disease. I will not sit quietly again.

I’m not sure if I’ll return to the second part of this course. Most likely, I will because part two is the portion that talks about pumping and preparing those of us tragic figures who “must go back to work” to leave their child with another. I also think I’ll look into other breastfeeding classes in town and see if I can find some genuine support for my “weird hormonal problem.”  Last night I came home full of spit and fire, ready to pen this lady a letter and send it once we move to NYC. Luckily I was too tired and passed out with my lights on instead. I still might do this once I cool off a bit. Someone needs to bring her insensitivity to light, and remind her that one in eight couples struggle with infertility and I guaran-damn-tee that I’m not the first woman to sit through her class, miserably uncomfortable by her statements.

Do you have PCOS? Were you able to breastfeed successfully? Anyone else been made miserably uncomfortable in one of these classes? Did you stand up for yourself?

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73 Comments

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  1. May 8, 2013

    SERIOUSLY?! I swear my blood pressure rose just reading about this horrid lady. I work. I am NO LESS MOM than any other stay at home mom, huge diamond or not. Does being a trophy wife make you better than me?! I don’t even know how you stuck it out for the rest of the time. Did you get any useful information?

    About the insufficient supply thing… I take fenugreek, blessed thistle, and eat oatmeal every day just in case I have insufficient supply. I’ve never seen a lactation consultant though I have talked to one twice when I started breastfeeding. I’ve been following your blog long enough to know you’ll probably go and research/read about “insufficient supply,” so maybe my suggestions will help ease your fear a little bit.

    I’m still angry for you. I hope that if you go back to the next session you learn something valuable. I also pump at work and if you ever have any questions, I have no problem talking about it.

  2. SRB #
    May 8, 2013

    First off, that OF its a Grade A bitch.FUCK that noise.

    I have PCOS and had a breast reduction and was able to successfully breastfeed. I got off to a rocky (but normal rocky) start with my first. I kept my supply up with some pumping, hydrating, and herbal drops. I took More Milk Plus by Mother Love and I truly credit this with keeping my supply steady. The time I ran out my supply tanked! They were recommended to me by the only LC I found supported me and understood PCOS. Also, check out kellymom.com for more info on your specific needs and questions.That site saved my sanity a few times!As always, feel free to email me for specifics. 🙂

  3. May 8, 2013

    Oh Belle, that sounds horrible. I am so sorry you had to deal with that. Please know that it is not unreasonable for you to be upset at this woman. You are probably right–she has probably never worked with a woman who was openly infertile. I honestly don’t know if I would go to the second class or not, but I think you just need to trust your gut.
    Also, please know that going back to work does not make you a bad mommy. Trust me, you are going to be a WONDERFUL mommy! I know plenty of great moms who put their kids in daycare and a lot of their kids thrive there. With daycare you get lots of great socialization, your kid will get a kick start on building immunity to stuff, and you will receive help/support with things like potty training.
    Oh, and dead baby jokes are NEVER ok. Never.

  4. Prairie #
    May 8, 2013

    I am a prenatal class drop-out. As a medically necessary scheduled c-section I knew the classes would focus on labour & delivery which I didn’t need to know about. But my dr had encouraged me to attend anyway bc of the infant care & breastfeeding topics. My DH & I showed up hoping to see the class sylubus (it was over 6 days), talk with the instructor and discretely skip sections that didn’t apply to us. Unfortunately the instructor wouldn’t share the syllabus. Then she had the gall to encourage me to try for a natural birth. Uh, a medically dangerous for me & baby vaginal birth, no thanks. So we dropped out. The agency luckily gave us our $ back. They first suggested private classes for c-section. Soused perfect. Until I was told it’d be the same instructor. Again, no thanks.

    Good for you for speaking up. BF is not easy & anyone can have problems. That’s what a prep class should be focused on, not cheering, judging and being overall sh.it.heads.

  5. May 8, 2013

    This woman is an @ss and it really sucks that you’ve had to sit through that. Can you skip out on the second class? Maybe they’ll give you your money back if you report what a tactless and unprofessional trainer she is, and explain how distressful the experience has been. What about calling around to see if you can meet with a lactation consultant before the baby is born to discuss any concerns? Or attend a La Leche League meeting? I have heard of women doing this, and I really struggled with breastfeeding because of latch issues and that wasn’t discussed in the class I took. I wish I had sought out something before hand that was more realistic. There are great web resources as well. They slip my mind at the moment, but I know other people will probably be able to suggest them. Or a decent trainer will have them on handouts, etc. Though it sounds like you missed out on that, unfortunately. Rule one when it comes to parenting is never to judge other parents for any of the choices they make. And this trainer broke that. Complete horse’s @ss that one.

  6. Magpie #
    May 8, 2013

    You have every right to be angry about your experience in that breastfeeding class. It pissed me off reading about it. Number one, a letter should be written to both the instructor and to her supervisor detailing how inappropriate and insensitive her teaching style was. No one knows they are doing something wrong (or right) unless someone shares that info with them. Number two, PCOS may mean your hormones aren’t behaving “normally” but that does not make you a “weird hormonal case.” Both my daughter and I have PCOS, and both of us successfully lactated. My daughter is currently breastfeeding my grandson successfully, and while I ultimately chose not to breast feed my daughter, it was because I lacked support in figuring it out, not because I lacked milk. I was like a frigging cow I had so much milk!

    The lactation consultant who taught your class sounds completely unreliable and ignorant, not to mention insensitive and socially awkward. I don’t care if you are an infertile or a first time mom who got pregnant effortlessly, joking about a dead baby in a room full of pregnant women is tasteless and offensive. Hell, joking about it in front a room full of baboons is tasteless and offensive! WTF?

    And the way she handled the info that you would be going back to work after having Chicken is sickening. I know a lot of moms who had to work their tails off after having kids and they were and still are strong, amazing women who did an excellent job raising their kids. Their children are well adjusted, confident that they are loved, and successful. Stay at home moms don’t have a monopoly on good parenting skills, and feeding your child breastmilk from a bottle is just as loving and nurturing as doing it from a boob.

    I’m sorry you had such a rotten class experience, Belle. I would strongly recommend skipping the second class and either seeking a new class/instructor, or hooking up with a local support group for breastfeeding/working moms. You don’t need a bunch of uptight, airy-fairy idealists making you feel bad about the choices you make for the good of your family. (Not to imply that stay at home breastfeeding moms are uptight, airy-fairy idealists-I am implying that the ones who judge working moms are!)

    Jenn

  7. Erin #
    May 8, 2013

    PCOS + IVF for me and I breastfed for a year with zero problems.

  8. Shelley #
    May 8, 2013

    WTF?! That woman is horrible. Not all lactation consultants are like that. We met with a wonderful one at Children’s, and while we didn’t talk about IF, she was very sensitive to our situation with Turtle and how they will help us work around it. It was a great meeting that left us feeling encouraged, supported and empowered about breastfeeding, not anything else.

    And what is this crazy grouping of women who all don’t need to go back to work?! Almost everyone I know has to go back. It’s just really not financially feasible, at least where we live, to survive on one income unless the breadwinner has an extremely high paying job.

    As others have said, skip the next class, and ask for your money back! I would not be afraid to do that. Sorry you had to go through that.

  9. Amy #
    May 8, 2013

    That is hideous. Hideous, and I’m so sorry you had to tolerate it. I hope she learns from your feedback. I don’t remember being made uncomfortable in that way in our classes, but if I recall correctly they were taught by RNs and not LCs. Regardless, an LC shouldn’t be so ignorant!

    I had several markers for PCOS during all my RPL evaluations, and feel very lucky that it doesn’t seem to have affected my ability to breastfeed. I was pretty worried about it, and tried to remind myself the whole time I was pregnant that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I had to turn to formula. As he’s gotten older my supply has dropped somewhat (I blame stress more than hormones directly) and we’ve been supplementing small amounts pretty regularly lately. Felt guilty at first, but the truth is that it really doesn’t matter at this point, so I shouldn’t let it bother me. I’m no expert but if your prolactin levels have been normalish (if they’ve been tested?), you probably will not have supply issues.

  10. May 8, 2013

    What a nightmare! I don’t think I’d be able to bring myself to go back to that class.

    What kind of fantasy world does this instructor live in? How can she not realize that some women HAVE to work, that it’s not always a choice? Shame on her for making you feel like a lesser person for that.

    I have “weird hormonal problems” too – along with the added disadvantage of having had breast reduction surgery. I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to breastfeed much or at all, so I’m afraid I’m of no help to you in offering up a success story. But you’re not alone in your concerns about breastfeeding. Hopefully you can find a better LC than this.

  11. May 8, 2013

    What a frustrating experience! I think you handled things very well. I’m sure it was very difficult to stay composed.

  12. Mo #
    May 8, 2013

    OMG I want to kick her A$$. Right now.
    That is all.

  13. May 8, 2013

    Whoa whoa whoa, back the f* up. That lady sounds ridiculous!!!

    I have PCOS, I have “weird hormonal problems,” and I had NO issues breastfeeding. (I’m also thankful I had no idea that some PCOSers had issues, b/c I never ever worried about that???) I was SUPER stressed in the hospital b/c they were making me feel bad my milk wasn’t in yet (at 24 hrs pp!!). I fought to get released anyway b/c I felt like things would go better in my own home AWAY from the stress of the stupid doctors and nurses, and I was right. She latched on great when we got home (about 36 hrs pp) and my milk was in full force by 72hrs pp (which is TOTALLY normal btw for it to take a few days).

    Skip the 2nd half of that horrid class, and go to kellymom.com for any BFing questions. Full of great advice and tips w/o judgement.

    PS – I had to go back to work for financial reasons when my kid was 8 weeks old. Pumping kinda sucked, but we did it without any huge issues at ALL. Good luck!! You’ll do great.

    • May 9, 2013

      Thank you for the positive stories! There are not enough “positive” stories out there about breast feeding. I also think that being held captive in the hospital until your milk comes in is a little insane. NO ONE is comfortable in a hospital. How can they expect something as delicate as breast feeding to go smoothly in that setting? Glad you got to go home and so glad you have had success!

  14. May 8, 2013

    Oh, good God, Belle! I’m amazed you were able to sit through that entire class. I’m so sorry you had to endure that. But I would definitely recommend you look into finding another class. I attended one at our local hospital (though not the one I delivered at) and loved it, especially the instructor. She was a gem. And there were about six or eight couples in that class, and I think I was the only one who was staying home with my daughter, so you would definitely have support there. Also, for the record, I was recently diagnosed with PCOS and yet had absolutely no issues breastfeeding my daughter. I had a great supply and my daughter gained weight so fast that she was consistently in the 90th percentile for weight and height. She exclusively breastfed for the first six months and then breastfed with solids until a year of age. I know that’s not the case for many women who struggle with PCOS, BUT it just goes to show that PCOS doesn’t necessarily ruin everything in life. I hope that gives you a little encouragement!

  15. Melanie #
    May 8, 2013

    Holly shit! You have encountered every kind of bad people in this world. I would have left sobbing from all this insensibility. Hope you do write this letter. It was good that you fell asleep so you can now write it without the wave of emotions, but you do help awareness in saying something. I feel so normal when I read you and all your comment ladies, people need to be aware of the facts and the pain they cause without knowing it. Everybody feel pain in their lives, it doesn’t need to have the same source, but it should definitely help us understand and care for each other.

    • May 9, 2013

      I love that my blog and my reader comments help you feel less alone (because you are not, there are a lot of us)! Seriously makes my day 🙂 xoxo

  16. May 8, 2013

    Find another consultant right now! I had to shop around before I found someone who was knowledgeable, professional AND understanding of all the issues facing breastfeeding women. I did find someone and it made all the difference or else I would have given up. We had latch issues and I was crying from the pain. Two sessions with the right person and we’re going on 4 months now. That said, I do have PCOS as well as stage 4 endo – and have absolutely no issues with supply. I think the biggest thing that helps is staying hydrated. Drink way more water than you think is necessary. Get yourself some huge camelback waterbottles (the best bc they don’t spill) and drink up! You’ll do great and in the end if you decide it’s not for you – you’ll still be an amazing mother. Also I second the endorsement for kellymom. Great resources when you’re in a pinch.

    • May 9, 2013

      Thank you for the sweet words! Staying hydrated is not a problem. If I don’t drink water like a fish I’ll never poop again 🙂 And I’m looking into KellyMom tonight! Thanks again!

  17. May 8, 2013

    What a terrible experience!!! Wow! I’m sorry you had to suffer through that!

  18. Arbrefleur #
    May 8, 2013

    Ick! A thousand times ICK! This woman is a Grade A Moron. Horrible comments. NEVER ok to make jokes about the health of a baby like that. NEV. ER. And to even say something like “weird hormonal problems” is beyond ignorant. I would write that letter and get your money back and definitely skip the second class, at least on the grounds that this woman clearly has no idea what she’s talking about. She’s so uninformed about COMMON hormonal problems that I wouldn’t trust her lactation judgment. And A+ to you for speaking up! (p.s where I come from, as many other ladies have commented, it’s almost impossible not to have to go back to work. Shove those diamond rings up your a$$, ladies!)

  19. May 8, 2013

    Yes yes and yes! I have PCOS and at almost 7 months in we’re going strong. I’d actually say I have a killer supply and pump and donate when I have time. I’ve also followed a lot of PCOS bloggers who are successfully breastfeeding over a year after going back to work. Do you follow Josey at my cheap version of therapy. She’s a great example.

    My breastfeeding class was awful. Awful awful awful. They hire morons to teach the classes. For breastfeeding support I highly recommend going to la leche. They are far more compassionate and informed about breastfeeding. Those women typically have overcome some of the hardest breastfeeding challenges and come out on top and passionate enough to help others.

    And don’t go back to that class if for no other reason then a statement to how ridiculous the class is. And demand your money back!

    • May 9, 2013

      I’m so glad you are still having BF success! It gives me piles of hope to hear all these success stories. La Leche is on my list of things to look into in the coming weeks, along with chatting with a few lactation consultants and finding someone with some PCOS background.

  20. ecutri #
    May 8, 2013

    Go You! Something needs to be done to raise awareness, increase sensitivity, and overall EDUCATE people of a VERY COMMON issue that is most often dealt with internally. I would definitely write that letter either to her or whomever arranges the classes to let them know that infertility issues should be addressed along with “weird hormonal problems”. It’s funny what other people think is funny…they just. dont. get it.

    • Kathy #
      May 8, 2013

      I totally agree ! Speak to who is in charge. This program leader needs to be schooled in a few things. It’s really not important to determine who is and isn’t going back to work. The course should offer a section on mothers returning to work. Period. “Weird Hormonal problems” ? I’ll bet that didn’t come out of the textbook. I am a mom who worked while raising my kids and I’m proud to say they turned out great !

    • May 9, 2013

      I do need to speak up about this. The organization that held this class is actually adding infertility support to their lineup, including infertility massage, acupuncture and yoga. This means more of us will be coming to their facility and EVERYONE there needs to be prepped to offer true support and kind words. I’m still to angry to write my letter, but soon 🙂

  21. May 8, 2013

    Why do you always seem to get paired up with the craziest, most intolerant healthcare professionals?! My lord, what a lousy situation… I agree that a letter would be a great idea, perhaps best written after you’ve cooled off a bit so it comes across as “helpful advice” rather than unbridled fury. I also wonder, though, where these lactation consultations get their qualifications — like, DO they have to learn about PCOS in order to get this job? Or are they just chicks who really dig breast feeding?

    • May 9, 2013

      It turns out she is AN RN TOO! I can’t believe an RN would be so ignorant re: PCOS. She could not even give me stats about PCOS and breastfeeding. You know who could? My readers. Further proof that you are all far more beneficial. I should start saving my copays and class fees 🙂

  22. jak #
    May 8, 2013

    WTF IS THAT ALL ABOUT?!

    dont go to the second class unless you paid a lot for it or something. or unless you are ready to give that #%#@^&%#& a piece of your mind. you are already leaking colostrum. things are on the right track. go and tell her you dont appreciate her insensitivity and that someone in her position should think more about how diverse her audience might be. good gahd, how insensitive!

  23. D #
    May 8, 2013

    Wow what an ignorant bitch! If they ask you to evaluate the instructor, I would give her a scathing review. Her responses were totally unnecessary and not well thought out. My good friend has PCOS and did IVF and she was able to breastfeed for 8 months with no issue. She also worked after 3 months. I am totally fired up about this lady though. I want to go punch her for you.

  24. May 8, 2013

    I have PCOS and I have had no problems breastfeeding and am still breastfeeding at 9 months, in fact I had on OVERsupply of milk in the beginning. Don’t let the fact that you have PCOS let you think that you might have problems breastfeeding, there is not a direct correlation, and that will set you up for failure. Go into it believing you can breastfeed just fine, deal with any issues only as they come along. When researching, research what’s normal, don’t research insufficient supply, too many women end up thinking what’s perfectly normal is an indication that they don’t have enough milk and they give up, that statistic 5% is accurate, it’s really rare for a woman to not make enough milk for her baby EVEN with PCOS.

    Oh and find another breastfeeding class, that teacher sounds CRAP! I live in SF and MOST of the women that gave birth around the same time as me went back to work, I am in the minority being a SAHM. It’s totally normal to have to go back to work!

  25. MaLa #
    May 8, 2013

    Wow, that class has no *class*. Ugh!

  26. May 8, 2013

    Oh, this made me angry. It’s lactation consultants like this woman who are the reason so many women end up beating themselves up when breast feeding doesn’t work right away. Shame on her.

    I’m with Magpie about contacting her supervisor. But I would go one step further and print off the comments section of this post and give it to them. It’s obvious that all the commenters have worlds more insight and knowledge about this topic than this supposed lactation consultant (seriously, where did she get her certification? Though a 10 min online course?!?!?). Plus it will benefit all involved to get feedback about how broken this course is.

    Hang in there, Belle. I hope you find a course that actually provides you with the information you need.

  27. Jamie #
    May 8, 2013

    I have PCOS and had C-sections with both my girls. I was able to breastfeed both of them, but I required an immense amount of help and support from both my husband and our local breastfeeding support center. My girls were both lazy suckers, and my milk took longer than usual to come in (6 days with my first daughter and 4-5 with my second). I used a Medela SNS (supplemental nursing system) which my husband helped me with, and I credit that with our success. I nursed my oldest for 27 months (through my 2nd pregnancy) and tandem nursed them for 2 months. My youngest is now 7.5 months and still nursing, and will likely continue until age 2. I sincerely hope you find a knowledgeable and supportive lactation consultant, and I would totally write that woman from the class a letter.

  28. May 8, 2013

    This lady needs to be schooled. This is horrible, Belle! I would have lost my marbles AT HER.

  29. May 8, 2013

    Wow, she has some gall. I’d like to drive my big ol’ belly over there and kick her butt.

  30. May 8, 2013

    Please do yourself a favor and find another class….reading this entry had me fuming on so many levels. As a fellow PCOS-er and Go-Back-To-Worker, this shit she just spewed is completely unacceptable and insenstitive. I recently went to a baby shower wherein I was one of four women who was pregnant there. Rather than feel camaraderie with these women, I felt judged that I was going back to work (none of the other women were), and also had to endure their blabber about how each of them got pregnant on their first try, and how “awful” pregnancy was. None of them had heard of PCOS or understood what it was like to not ovulate. I have been quite concerned about PCOS effecting my ability to breastfeed, but I’m scared to try herbal supplements at this point during pregnancy until I talk to someone about possible side effects. From what I understand, about 40% of us have no probs breastfeeding, 30% have oversupply issues, and 30% have lack of supply–so the odds that there will be a supply issue are definitely not as overwhelming as I thought. But still enough to make me worry!

    • May 9, 2013

      Yeah, I don’t think we want to take herbal supplements while pregnant. Everyone I ask and everything I read says there is nothing you can do while pregnant to increase your chance of success. I find this hard to believe, personally. If I learn anything differently I’ll be sure to let you know! I’m meeting with my doula re: hypno babies and boobies and will report back with any info!

  31. Lisa #
    May 8, 2013

    Wow. Honestly it’s comments/people like this that have kept me silent about our infertility struggles. People are just too ignorant! And I’m so sensitive about it right now that I would probably start crying if anyone said anything remotely ignorant. I want to be more forthcoming, because how will people be educated otherwise, but it’s so hard to take the thoughtless comments.

    • May 9, 2013

      It was SO HARD to keep my mouth shut! I wanted to get up and yell that what she was doing was really inappropriate. There was another couple at the session expecting boy/girl twins. I know these happen naturally, but I could not help but look at them and wonder, “Are you one of us?”

  32. faith #
    May 8, 2013

    This woman was really inappropriate. I would consider contacting La Leche League and mentioning this class and instructor to them. Also, mention where you are coming from so perhaps they can specialize a class just for people who have gone through things like infertility and miscarriage. I know you are very busy and overwhelmed right now..but you are right in that you do have a voice and you now have this experience. Even if by mentioning it you help open one groups eyes..you will have made a difference. Also, I would write her an email or letter. I have told you this before..if it weren’t for what you have gone through (and you being so open about it ) I would have no idea what millions of women are suffering with in silence. My perspective has changed..perhaps you can help change hers as well.

  33. Nene #
    May 8, 2013

    A few thoughts. First, breastfeeding classes are ridiculous. As though holding a doll up to a stuffed boob does anything to prepare you for the real deal. Don’t bother. You will learn more by watching YouTube. Second, if you have trouble breastfeeding and decide to work with a LC, be prepared to go through several before you find one that can help you. I went through three and the first two, employed by the hospital, were well meaning but my baby and I were no better off after several appointments. At three weeks postpartum we finally hired a private LC who came to our home (best $175 we gave ever spent) and got us rocking and rolling using a hold that would have made any other LC shudder in horror. But it worked for us and we BFed (and pumped) for 20 months even though I went back to work when my son was three months. That said, when I look back on it all I wish I had been less manic about the whole thing. BF was hard and I flogged myself daily and spent hours crying at the pump when what I should have been doing was sleeping and enjoying my baby. So, I guess what I mean is, be kind to yourself no matter what happens with the boobs.

    • Arbrefleur #
      May 9, 2013

      Here here! I’ve never breastfed before, but this a) sounds like something I would do (the self-berating) and b) sounds like really good advice – thanks!

  34. May 8, 2013

    Screw that lady! Write a scathing Yelp review and get your money back. Weird hormonal problem? It is estimated that ten percent of women struggle with PCOS. That’s pretty common. She is awful. Find a new teacher!!

    • May 9, 2013

      I thought it was something like 10% of us! Seriously, any RN and lactation consultant should have at least a little bit of ammo in her bag for PCOSers. I’ll be taking my boobies elsewhere.

  35. May 8, 2013

    Maybe it’s due to my “weird hormonal problem” but I am hulking the fuck out right now!

  36. karaleen #
    May 8, 2013

    I seriously sat here reading this with my mouth agape from the completely assinine comments this woman was making. O.M.G!!!!! But seriously Belle…..I got nothing out of my breast feeding classes and there were no uncomfortable moments at all. At the time…I thought it was all great and useful information….but then 8 weeks later I had a baby and I was tired and he had a mouth like a hoover and I had no milk coming in and we were both freaking CRAZY!!!!! I forgot everything….couldn’t hold him how they said…it all just felt freaking weird! Here is my best advise to you…take the class….tuck away the info….and then ask for a lactation consultant the moment your baby is born. All hospitals have them….have them come into your room and man handle your boobs and your baby and then it will all sink in. They do it every day and it is sooo much better to have a live subject. All the nursing academics don’t mean squat until you meet YOUR baby and find out how he or she adapts to nursing…then you adjust based on that. I made the mistake of waiting 3 days to see the lactation consultant and by then I had bleeding nipples, a starving baby who had stopped peeing and we were all losing our minds, crying and ready to throw in the towel. She saved me. She physically moved us around, provided tips….roughed up my baby (yes…she needed to wake up that little sleepy devil to let him know there was a boob there)…but all was fine…they really do know what they are doing. and….just after she got him to latch on right….the heavens opened and the angels sang and it didn’t feel like razor blades were cutting my nipples wide open…a true latch does NOT hurt. and then…my milk came in and my boobs swelled to the size of mount rushmore….Thank GOD I had learned how to latch my baby because otherwise I would have DIED!!!! We all did fine from that day on. For baby number two….I didn’t even need a consultant….she was a different kid with a natural latch and all went very smoothly ….partly because I had done it before.

    I’m so sorry about her insensitivity to your struggle. That was really quite rude and I do think you should write her and let her know she needs to be careful. And…PCOS is not a death sentence to nursing. I know several moms who have done it successfully. A real and good lactation consultant will have advise for you on this. Look up the la leche society in your area….they are usually a bit on the extreme side…but they have seen it all and have great resources.
    karaleen

    • May 9, 2013

      The Professor is now prepared to hunt down a consultant asap after birth and make sure we get all the help we need. I think this is an excellent way for him to channel his assertive tendencies 🙂 Thanks for the positive story, too. We need more positive stories online 🙂

  37. May 8, 2013

    Just delurking to say that I have PCOS and, though I did everything in my power to have a natural birth but had an emergency C-section… But still even after all of that she latched on right away the moment was brought to me and we are actually still nursing and she’s almost 3 and half. Let me say that I don’t write about it I never imagined myself to be someone who would do extended breast-feeding… But partly I had IVF baby, It took five years to get there– I had a medicalized birth which wasn’t what I wanted… Breast-feeding was the only thing that went beautifully well.

    Not a hitch. With the exception of getting used to it at the beginning… After that not even a blocked duct, no mastitis, just smooth sailing. PCOS and all.

    • May 9, 2013

      I love positive success stories! Thank you so much for sharing. The interwebs are full of horror stories and not nearly enough good stories. If my boobies permit, I actually hope to do extended BF for bonding and just general nutrition. I applaud you for doing so, too!

  38. Amanda #
    May 8, 2013

    I did ivf. I don’t have pcos. I did not successfully BF. I learned a lot about BF failure for the 4 LCs I saw during my short career of attempting to BF, and from what I gather, PCOS is a risk factor for having a supply problem, many people with PCOS have no problem at all. Same with CSection moms. I had a full term pregnancy and a pain med free birth with immediate skin to skin with my son latching on within minutes after birth. But anyone’s math, I should have been able to BF no problem. But we had major problems that couldn’t be resolved. Truth is, there is little you can do in advance to know, prepare or prevent a BF disaster.

    I would stop going to your class. The teacher is worthless. BTW, no lactation consultant that I saw was clueless. They were all intensely sensitive and well trained knowledable women. They encouraged me to feed my baby as my first priority and if that involved formula, so be it. I sort of wonder what kind of credentials your LC teacher actually has?

    • May 9, 2013

      I did some reading on her and she is an RN and the head lactation consultant at the hospital I am delivering at! I’m shocked and, honestly, appalled!

  39. May 8, 2013

    What the…? I’m flabbergasted. Regardless of what you decided to do class wise, I hope that you compose a strongly worded letter and send it to whoever organized these shenanigans.

  40. May 8, 2013

    Wow. Just… wow. Count me in the PCOS and returning-to-work camp, not to mention the prior pregnancy loss camp, and I’m sitting here boiling over with indignation on your behalf. And it’s not just the hormones (pregnancy, PCOS, or otherwise) – I read part of your post to my husband, who is way more level-headed and way harder to offend than I am, and he said, “Wow. That is [effed] up.” I agree that this woman needs to be made aware of how insensitive she’s being, even if just due to inexperience – it’s still NOT okay.

  41. May 8, 2013

    I would talk to your doula about your breastfeeding concerns. I know my doula was a huge help with breastfeeding and also knew of tons of resources and lactation consultants in my area. I bet she would know of a better class or other places to seek out support now and after baby is born. I think the best thing you can do is know where to go for help so that if you do hit a bump in the road breastfeeding wise you will already know who to ask for help.

    • May 9, 2013

      🙂 We have a meeting tonight actually to talk about hypnobaby concerns and breast feeding fears!

  42. May 8, 2013

    Ugh! What is wrong with the people you keep coming in contact with! We have our breast feeding prep class in a few weeks and I sure as heck bet they wont be making jokes like that nor being judgey jerks about anyone’s situation or choice/needs when it comes to whether they’ll be staying home or not. But that’s Vermont for you. I’m so sorry she was so wretched and I hope you can find a replacement class with someone a little more compassionate and helpful. I’d also demand my money back if I were you. Geez Louise. Good luck and I hope things turn around for you and you find a supportive and caring community in your new area when you move.

    • May 9, 2013

      I don’t know! Do I have a magnet that just attracts bad medical professionals? Lol, i wish it would fall off if so!

  43. May 9, 2013

    I think I’d call her boss. Seriously. If she is her own boss, I’d tell her, privately, what a complete “C – yoU – Next- Tuesday” I thought she was.

    I don’t think you’ll have a hard time breastfeeding. And, if you do, I think the mania that surrounds women NEEDING to breastfeed is a bit overdone. YOu’ll take great care of the chicken, obviously. I didn’t even know there were classes for breastfeeding BEFORE the baby came. I thought that was all done in the hospital, with the nurse lactation consultants. In related news, did you know there are conferences for nurses to teach and help women breastfeed? Ha! How fun!

    • May 9, 2013

      I agree that the mania surrounding breast feeding is enough to drive the sanest woman mad. I hope to breast feed for two main reasons: one is cost. We are going to be living on VERY LITTLE when we move to NYC. Making my own milk will be a huge financial help! And then the immunity stuff since I have all these immune related issues. I only hope that I can pass baby positive immunity stuff via breast milk (don’t rain on my parade if not! It makes me feel less hysterical about potentially perpetuating my issues!) 🙂

  44. May 9, 2013

    Dr North Korea fed me this load of crap too about PCOS.

    I’m still feeding at 9months, and I still occasionally oversupply. No nipple damage. No problems, apart from first few days of sleepy baby.

    The things I’d say
    1) be your strict mummy self and take baby off and relatch (often up to six times!) so bub learns without damaging you. Just stop chicken straight away. No chicken! Try again!
    If you get upset, hand chicken over, pause, take some deep breaths, relax shoulders, try again.
    2) get someone else to be a pain in the ass and scratch / tickle chicken feet to keep awake during feeds, particularly before milk comes in. We had three of us doing feeds!
    3. Don’t jump to conclusions when it’s just colostrum. Things change and bub gets more keen when there’s a real supply going
    4. Hassle hassle hassle lactation people in hospital. Get the prof to proactively chase them up
    5. NEVER doubt your supply. Just feed as though you have heaps. Any short supply will be temporary, your body and chicken’s may disagree occasionally but supply and demand balance. If you worry about supply, you lose confidence. And there’s no need to. Research says that Most women who say they stopped due to low supply actually didnt. (And what you can express is not a true measure of supply).

    • May 9, 2013

      Dr. North Korea and Dr. TeleMed need to hang out 🙂 I hear sleepy baby can be a challenge the first few days. Hopefully the cat circus can make enough rucks to help keep baby awake. If not, I’ll order the Professor to keep pestering baby to keep him or her away. We do have PLENTY of cat feather toys which make excellent foot ticklers 🙂

  45. APE #
    May 9, 2013

    I have PCOS. I was also told in breastfeeding class that PCOSer’s either have too much breastmilk (is that really a problem?), or not enough. My teacher was very kind and informative though…she was a midwife so that might be why. I breastfed for a whole year and I worked a full time job. I pumped as much as I could, but 15 minutes twice a day at work was about as much as I could get away with and I did notice that at about the 6th month mark I just couldn’t keep up with Baby’s demands and my freezer supply disappeared quickly. So, I did have to supplement with formula once in awhile. But I felt like I was doing the best I could and felt great about the amount of breastmilk my son was getting. I quit at 1 year because of the difficulty of pumping at work, and my supply was really running low by then anyway, so we switched to whole cow’s milk, and I can say that I was much more upset by stopping then my son was! 🙂
    Don’t worry about it too much. Pay attention to the latching, because that was really the key for me. I was told to hold my baby in the football hold, aim my nipple at his upper lip and also hold my breast like I would hold a cheeseburger. I used to coo to him, are you hungry for your cheeseburger? when he was like 2 years old. 🙂 Once we got the latch on right and I knew how to feel it when it was right (truly painless) we were golden!

    • APE #
      May 9, 2013

      *2 weeks old!!! Not 2 years…

    • May 9, 2013

      I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear that you breast fed for an entire year WHILE working full time! That is wonderful for your babe and for your body (So many benefits to mama when you breast feed, too). Also, the Cheeseburger is hilarious and something I could totally see myself saying 🙂 Thanks for your encouraging words!

      • APE #
        May 9, 2013

        Oh good. I am happy I was helpful. I have lots of advice about breastfeeding and pumping so if you ever have questions just shoot me an email. I will be happy to talk about it with you. I was really proud of myself for making it a year also. That was my goal and I made it! Yeah!

  46. Lee #
    May 9, 2013

    Hi! I have PCOS, and just had my little one 3 months ago via injectables and IUI. Long story short, I did have a supply problem. As the days passed I pumped every two hours and the most I ever got was 8MLs. Not ounces, milliliters! … and my breast were giving no indication they were producing milk – and they never did. It was very hard. I’d be sitting there in the middle of the night, strapped up to my pump, crying. Once I reached 14 days, and the supply had actually gone down to about 5MLs, I spoke with the lactation consultant from the hospital again, went over everything I was doing (I had worked with them in the hospital and taken a class prior to giving birth as well as quite a few phone calls over those weeks) and she told me, “It’s okay. It’s time to enjoy your new baby.” I hung up the phone and cried. I still struggled with the guilt now and then – but mostly I’ve accepted it’s okay. Forgiven myself and moved on. I constantly worried that they would judge me, and that a cruel word was coming, but they never did. They were kind and supportive. I wasn’t in the club, that’s for sure, but they were never cruel and of that I’m very grateful. It was a very sensitive time and it would have hurt so much. I think if you’re inclined to do so you might consider sending them a complaint. Perhaps next time one of us with “weird hormonal problems” is in one of their classes they will consider offering at least a modicum of respect and empathy.

  47. May 9, 2013

    That woman sounds like a class A twit!!! Good thing there is only one more lesson to go or I would suggest leaving and going somewhere else. And as for not staying home, does she think that the millions of woman who have to work are bad moms? Ugh, some people really need to learn when to keep their mouths shut!

  48. Tammy #
    May 9, 2013

    WHAAAA?????? I’m not infertile, I’ve had two losses and I have four daughters (and the first two already have ‘weird hormonal problems’ one being PCOS…this community has been invaluable in helping me get educated..
    That being said, some people are just rude, foolish, jerks!!! I’ve been to BF classes and some La Leche League groups over my years of having the girls and I did not go back to some bc of things like this-ignorance and Mom snobbery and it was from my ‘fertile’ view. I’m so happy you said something!!! I would have and I wouldn’t have gone back either. I would totally write that letter too when you are ready! I’m sorry you had to go through that.

  49. May 10, 2013

    Everyone has already said what I was going to say, but for the record:
    – Quit the class. Ask for your money back. Find a class with not only a better consultant, but other mums that are in the same level as you. Not necessarily post-infertiles, but at least not stuck up upper classes bitches who don’t need to worry about real things in life like money and sensitivity to people’s problems.
    – I have PCOS and severe endo and am successfully breast feeding with no issues (besides the ‘normal’ ones!). I honestly don’t think there is any correlation so that woman needs to eat a giant spoonful of shut the hell up.

  50. May 10, 2013

    PLEASE send a letter to her and other agencies that help moms with breastfeeding. What a HORRIBLE experience and good for your for keeping your composure SO well!

    On Wed, May 8, 2013 at 6:38 AM, Scrambled Eggs

  51. May 10, 2013

    I have PCOS and oversupply, which was really hard on the baby who panicked about low supply and wanted to eat every hour in her first two weeks (unfun with gagging and reflux and overeating to get to hind milk) but not a problem with the baby who didn’t demand to eat every hour. I think my oversupply isn’t terrible this second time but I do have like 200 oz of frozen milk in my freezer… I nursed baby 1 for 13 months while in school full time (pumped when I got to school after 2 hr commute, at lunch, and when I left 8-10 hours later) so it can be done. With the current baby, it helped her latch a lot to be skin to skin at first so try that if you have trouble, and lots of relatching in the beginning until it doesn’t hurt. Now at almost 3 months Little Monster is a pro and I almost never need to re-latch her. Don’t beat yourself up whatever happens. I’m also nursing because we are about to be super broke so I feel you there, but it’s been cool that it works (mostly) so well. Do watch YouTube or Kelly Mom videos. It helps so much to see how various holds are supposed to work and do work with women of various chest sizes/shapes (or find a La Leche League meeting to visit for the same purpose).

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