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A Tale of Two Breastfeeding Experiences

new mom and baby, post pregnancy, postnatal, postpartum, newborn, cuddles, bonding

Written by Dr. Jane Davis, MD. 

Prior to the delivery and birth of my first child, I was working long days as a full-time physician. I was on call nights and weekends, and many times went 24 hours without any sleep. I had no idea how being a new mother to a newborn could be any more challenging than what I dealt with as a practicing physician. I was in for a rude awakening after the delivery of my son, Michael. Although Michael often slept for long periods of time, he never seemed to be able to get enough breast milk to satisfy the voracious appetite of his 8 lbs. 12.5 oz. little body. Since I was new in my professional position, I only took 3 weeks of maternity leave, and soon resorted to using my breast pump to store breast milk for Michael. Since it was much easier for Michael to suck in pumped breast milk in a bottle, he no longer wanted to take my breast to nurse when I was home. Consequently, it seemed that I was constantly hooked up to my breast pump in order to provide Michael with enough breast milk. This was exhausting, and I reluctantly decided to start feeding Michael formula.

I had my daughter Madeleine six years later. I was more established in my professional position, and realized that I had forfeited a lot with only taking 3 weeks of maternity leave with my son. I happily took a full 3 month maternity leave after my daughter was born. It was truly a magical postpartum time since I was able to spend uninterrupted quality time with my newborn daughter and her 6 year old big brother. I successfully breastfed my daughter for one year.

Dr. Jane Davis is a retired OB/GYN with over 40 years of clinical practice in women's health and maternal health. She has practiced in prestigious health systems including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and USC. She is an active member of amma360's Scientific Advisory Board, an advisor to various other medical/health startup organizations. And of course, Dr. Davis is an amma!

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