What has been one of your most memorable experiences as an IBCLC?
Yasmin – The most memorable experience as an IBCLC is when I, as coauthor, conducted first time independent research in which we explored the experiences of women on reasons in initiating and maintaining breastfeeding in the urban area of Karachi, Pakistan. For this, I feel very humble. After attending the ILCA conference in 2008, a spark was ignited in us and we were able to initiate this small scale research project in our country. To continue that learning and to help mothers continue exclusive and optimum breast feeding practices, I have chosen to complete my master’s thesis on the topic of exploring father’s and health care provider’s perceptions for breast feeding practices in Karachi, Pakistan.
Yasmin Mithani, IBCLC, BScN, RN, RM
Senior Instructor, AKUSONAM
Robin -A few months ago, I met a mother at one of my weekly breastfeeding support groups. She had a 3 week old baby boy, who was having some major challenges latching on. When I went to her home for a private consultation, her story began to unfold. Her son’s tight frenulum had been clipped in the hospital and, since then, had refused to latch for more than a few minutes. She was exclusively pumping, to preserve her milk supply, and her son was receiving bottles of breast milk in place of breastfeeding. This sweet mother was so determined, yet was at a loss for how to bring her baby back to breast.
Within about 15 minutes, I removed the mother’s breastfeeding pillow, elevated her feet, and asked her to recline. Next, I rested her son on her chest and waited for him to root around. Her son bobbed around until he found her nipple and began to suckle. The mother was in disbelief that her son could latch on his own and tears filled her eyes as she heard gulp after gulp.
Well, after I left, her son went back to his fussy ways and would only latch and breastfeed intermittently. The mother was devastated. I recommended that she wear him skin to skin and to spend a day in bed with her son, nursing whenever he showed signs of hunger. I felt so badly for this mother and baby, as I knew her son was capable, yet they weren’t in sync at the moment.
Two weeks later, the mother walked through the door of my support group and gave me an enormous hug. After having spent an entire Saturday cuddling with her son, gently refusing to give him a bottle, he finally figured out that he could get all that he needed directly from the breast. They had been exclusively breastfeeding for 4 days now and they couldn’t have been happier. I was so incredibly proud of this mother…for her perseverance and her willpower. She continues to inspire me to this day.
Co-Editor, Lactation Matters Owner,
San Diego Breastfeeding Center www.sdbfc.com