EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series promoting Breastfeeding Awareness Month which is observed during the month of August.
SIDNEY — For Treasure Hughes, of Anna, and Amanda Lichtenberg, of Sidney, family support is vital as they breastfeed their babies. And for Kamille Lambert, of Anna, she’s sharing the information she has as a breastfeeding mom with those she meets in her role with the WIC office at the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department.
Hughes, whose daughter Zoe is 6 months old, also has a son, Blaiden, 8.
“I breastfed for four months with my son,” said Hughes. “This time I have a great support system and I know a lot more this time. My husband (Larry Hughes II) is on board with me breastfeeding.”
Hughes said her husband was able to receive information on how to support her as they traveled the breastfeeding path together.
“We took parenting classes together and that helped,” said Hughes. “He also learned with me as she’s (Zoe) his first baby. He’s also had to learn the new parent thing.”
Hughes said her mother breastfeed “both my brother and I.” And her mom’s support has also helped her with her journey.
“My husband burbs her,” said Hughes of how she and her husband work together to share the experience. “He’s supported my decision and he’s very encouraging.
“My son helps change her diapers and also burbs her. Sometimes he’s a little gopher,” said Hughes.
When baby Zoe came home from the hospital, she said, they had not told Blaiden how his little sister was going to be fed.
“He said let’s go eat pizza,” she recalls. “How did we forget that conversation?”
Lichtenberg is also breastfeeding her second child, Theodore “TJ,” who is almost three months old. Daughter Baylee will be three in September.
“They were very different,” said Lichtenberg. “She was easy from the beginning to breastfeed. He was not. I really had to work to get him to latch on and start gaining weight.
Lichtenberg said she has received support from her husband Theodore Lichtenberg Sr.; her mom Mandy Day, of Sidney; her mother-in-law Joan Lichtenberg, of Sidney; the Sidney-Shelby County Health Department’s WIC staff members; and the breastfeeding support services nurses at Wilson Health.
“She’s amazing,” said Shannon Nagel, RN, IBCLC, who is with the WIC office. “She should be a lactation consultant. Teddy comes in her for visits.”
Lichtenberg said she’s interested in sharing her breastfeeding experiences with other moms or moms-to-be.
Lichtenberg said her mother also breastfed all four of her children.
“When I breastfed my children I knew I was giving them the best start possible and the bond I had with my babies was priceless,” said Day. “During Amanda’s first pregnancy I told her how important it was and how big of a bond it creates. I did my best to educate her on why it was so important.
“I stayed home from work for 2 weeks when she had Baylee so I could be with her and help her breastfeed and be there for support when and if she needed!,” said Day. “Going into Amanda’s second pregnancy she was concerned about having a toddler running around while trying to nurse right after having a c-section so again i took off about a week and a half to help her. I’m extremely proud of Amanda for the person/mother she has become! When I watch her nurse it brings much joy to me!”
Lichtenberg said her husband has been with her every step of the way in their breastfeeding experiences.
“He’d listen to me when I’m looking up information,” said Lichtenberg. “The first two weeks we had issues (with TJ). He was very supportive of me when I was upset. He’d sit with me until I got it right.
“My mother-in-law has also been there for me when I need her,” she continued. “She’ll hold up the blanket in public so I can cover myself. She’ll hold it until I latch him on.”
Theodore Lichtenberg said he supports his wife “in everything that she does, whether she succeeds or fails. I still support her, in her decision to breastfeed. I thought it was a great idea. It makes them healthy and you don’t have to worry about their weight. I can see how close Amanda is with TJ they have a wonderful bond together, you can always tell when he wants to be close to his mom!”
“My husband gets up everytime TJ gets up during the night,” said Lichtenberg. “He wakes up so I don’t have to get up out of bed to get TJ.”
Lambert is a breastfeeding mom of two and she provides peer support for moms and moms-to-be at the WIC office. Her daughters, Harper, 2, and Stella, 5 months, are both currently being breastfed.
“I feed them in tandem,” said Lambert. “I think it’s helped those two bond. It’s an unexplainable experience. I felt I just had to do it (breastfeed) It’s been a magical experience.”
“There’s such joy in their face when they see you,” said Hughes.
“My two-year old is less jealous of him (TJ),” said Lichtenberg. “She watches him and then she wants to drink too. I’m giving her a little bit (of breast milk) at a time. So the jealousy thing is about gone.”
“Baylee loved breastfeeding,” she said. “With him, I’m obsessed.”
Lambert said she was a very uneducated person when she became pregnant with her first child.
“At 38 weeks I wanted to be induced,” said Lambert. “I knew I was going to breastfeed because my friends who bottle-fed their babies had lots of problems.
“Plus I’m lazy,” she said, laughing at herself. “I knew I wasn’t going to fix a bottle in the middle of the night.”
With her second pregnancy, Lambert knew she wanted to breastfeed but she looked at the birthing experience differently.
“I waited six months to have the opportunity for this job,” said Lambert. “I called them 20 times and said ‘let me have an interview.’ I came to this job and began meeting all the moms.
“I started going to a doctor in Dayton who is amazing,” Lambert said. “With Stella, I wanted to do things differently. A midwife delivered her in water in a bathtub at the hospital (Family Beginnings at Miami Valley Hospital).
“Breastfeeding changed my entire life,” she continued. “It was my ‘ah, ha, moment.’ I want to help more people with breastfeeding.”
Lambert said she searches Facebook for other breastfeeding moms to help expand her support system.
“I can have a conversation with a breastfeeding mom and we’re instant best friends,” said Lambert.
The three women said they receive positive comments from people when they breastfeed in public.
“People will tell me they are so proud of me,” said Lichtenberg. “I would love tow work with young moms. Sometimes it’s embarrassing for them and they have no support.”
Hughes said when she breastfed her son, Blaiden, she had no support. He was tongue-tied which made the experience harder for both of them. And she had an oversupply of milk.
“My pediatrician made me feel like I was doing something wrong,” said Hughes. “There were a lot of factors going on and I didn’t ask enough questions. I know now that I wasn’t a failure. All things have changed with Zoe.
“I see these (Zoe’s) thighs and I know my boobs did this,” she said. “My body is doing what it’s supposed to do.”
Lichtenberg said the WIC staff members are a part of her support system.
“I called them twice in a week,” said Lichtenberg. “They weighed him for me and he was so much bigger. I cried because he had so many issues. At the two-week mark he was latching on better. They answered my calls and talked me through it.
“I’m so thankful for them. It was more than just them doing their job,” she said. “They became family and friends to us.”
Lambert said she has a circle of 35 friends she can call any time and ask nursing questions.
Both Hughes and Lichtenberg have made a decision to be stay-at-home moms for a while.
“I’m pumping three or four times a day,” said Hughes. “I don’t want to go back to a job where I can’t breastfeed any more.”
“We made a decision so I don’s have to go back to work,” said Lichtenberg. “I want to be a stay-at-home mom. My husband will have to work a lot for me to stay home.”
“Having my husband behind me is great,” said Hughes. “This is a conscious decision I make everyday to breastfeed.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.