Breastfeeding: After 40 and After a Breast Reduction (my Mid-life Bonus Baby)

My sweet husband and I met in the winter of 2015. We had a very forward-thinking love story. We met online, we both had two children and with our very first face-to-face meeting we agreed that we both wanted the very same things. Thus, birthing our lifetime journey together. We joked around about having more children but didn’t really feel it was in the cards for us, nor did we think it would ever come to fruition.

Fast forward to June 2018, we had the most beautiful beach wedding and seven weeks later, WHOA….. we found out we were having our bonus baby! With floods of happiness came a world of concern. Could my 42-year-old body support this new life force. 

My concern stems from this, after having and nursing two children, at the age of 32 I had a breast reduction and lift because the sheer size of my breasts were causing me cervical issues. I remember my surgeon saying I would never be able to breast-feed again. During surgery the surgeon removed glandular tissue and ducks that affect the milk production.

Now, at 42 and with a strong desire to breast-feed again I began to incessantly research breast-feeding after a breast reduction. I found forums and articles but nothing that made me comfortable enough to solidify that I would be able to breast-feed my newborn. I just had to wait! At 37 weeks pregnant something magical began to happen. My breasts became sore and my areola begin to change color. There was still hope! 

March 2019, in the comfort of my very own home, before a roaring fire in my den, I gave birth to a beautiful healthy little baby boy. Within half an hour of birth, he had a beautiful latch and I well… let’s just say became incredibly nervous. Was my milk going to come in? Was he going to receive the colostrum that he so desperately needed?

After 48 hours of painstaking worry, my milk came in! It was definitely time to celebrate, but could my production keep up with his needs. My own stresses kept my milk supply low. I tried so desperately to pump to stimulate more milk production, but between pumping and what he was taking in I couldn’t create a backstock. So, I created a supplement regimen for myself. With the direction of my most beautiful midwife, to ensure that the milk that I was producing was the most nutritious that I could give him and I scraped pumping.

Also, knowing I had to go back to work, I humbled myself. I let go of my ego (not without a flood of tears and intense emotion) I broke down and bought organic formula. While all these concerns were going on in the foreground, in the background I was experiencing debilitating lactation migraines, postpartum preeclampsia, and serious joint pain while working and taking care of now five children and a household. But it was with this journey that I found all these really great supplements to support breastfeeding.

I begin to take Cod liver oil for my DHA and Omega needs. In my 8oz of morning coffee I added a plant-based milk and 2 Tbsp of coconut oil. With the addition of these oils my joint pain was remedied.  I began to take moringa, which is known to be an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. Some of which include, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. I added spirulina, ashwagandha, and continued to take a raw prenatal supplement. I was gifted with the most beautiful nursing tea that includes fenugreek, lemongrass, hops, stinging nettles and chamomile. Lastly, I added organic golden milk to my coffee.

It was through this process I had to learn to trust my instincts and my body. I have come to the conclusion that we lose sight of the true innate abilities that we have as a woman because of the expectations that are set by media and mass marketing of baby items. My heart goes out to first time moms that might have a similar experience or are inundated with baby products they simply just do not need. If we really truly took the time just to listen we would realize that everything that we need is available to us and is very simple.

Now, my son is nearly 7 months old and I am still breast-feeding! My prayer was simply just to get through that first three days. What began as fear has become seven months of providing natural nutrition for my son. With a little help of formula 😉

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