GRAND RAPIDS — Katie Fox Web`'s daughter will be 1-year-old soon, and while looking back on her breastfeeding journey, it has come with a lot of ups and downs.
"It didn't go great in the beginning in the hospital. it was just really difficult she didn't want to latch she was so sleepy," she said.
It`'s been calculated that a breastfeeding mom spends more than 1800 hours in that first year feeding her baby. It's almost like a full time job.
"Next to giving birth is the hardest thing I've ever had to do I went back to work really quickly after having my daughter and so I had to pump and even just having to have those conversations like hi, I'm a nursing mom. is there a space like go here? I've pumped in bathrooms and in my car and storage closets."
We also talked to Becky Crawford, a nurse manager for women and infant services at Spectrum Health, about the challenges and benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby.
"It's not easy. I think some moms come in thinking it's natural, and it's just gonna happen right away. and it's actually a lot of work," Crawford said. "It's a big commitment, so they feel very accomplished when they're able to successfully do it, because it is a big sacrifice."
Breast milk is called liquid gold for a reason. It provides all of baby's needs in those first months of life and up to half of a child's nutritional needs during the second half of the first year. It's full of live ingredients like stem cells, white blood cells and antibodies that provide incredible health benefits for baby and mom. The bond the two share on their journey is something treasured forever.
"We have a lactation team here fully staffed of peer counselors and lactation consultants. so we see every patient before she goes home. and we also have a warm line available once they go home so we can continue to support that breastfeeding journey.
No matter how it looks or where a mom's journey takes them, it`s another chapter in her story.