First Baby, First Global Pandemic, First Time Breastfeeding
Meet Alyssa! Having your first in the middle of Covid 19 is not for the faint of heart. Read on to find out more about daddy having Covid, mommy's reproductive struggles, and her first time breastfeeding.
“Tell us a little bit about yourself! Are you from the spacecoast?”
I was born and raised in the space coast. I was born at Holmes Regional, worked as an RN, and delivered my son at Holmes Regional as well. I grew up and went to school here and I now work at Viera Hospital ICU. Sometimes I feel like I know this town like the back of my hand. But since Jackson has been born, it seems like every day I’m learning something new about our community. New places and new resources and it’s amazing to have support from the new moms I’ve grown up with here.
"What has it been like to be a brand new mom in the middle of a global pandemic?"
Working as a nurse in the hospital during a global pandemic and being pregnant has been nothing short of terrifying. Now I’ll be returning to work next week and it still hasn’t gotten any more reassuring. A week before my son was born his dad tested positive for Covid. Luckily I wasn’t exposed to it but we had to have him on FaceTime while Jackson was born, which was heartbreaking and certainly was not an ideal situation. Even signing the birth certificate and establishing insurance was a huge hurdle due to him having covid. Being a first time mom, it definitely made it much more stressful on me but after some of the horror stories Id heard from the nurses and everything I’ve read in the news I’ve never been more thankful to God for the good health of myself and my baby. I know a handful of other new moms I've been keeping in touch with. Although we are all constantly on edge it’s slightly helpful to know we’re not going through this alone. On the bright side once this all passes we’re going to have a blast getting all the kids together and we can’t wait to start exploring the outside world.
"How has breastfeeding been going for you?"
I was diagnosed with pretty severe endometriosis when I was 16. In the past 13 years I have had multiple procedures, been on multiple medications, and seen multiple specialists to try anything I could to subside the pain and bleeding. I was told many years ago that it was highly unlikely I’d ever be able to get pregnant which i had eventually come to accept. Therefore my pregnancy was a huge surprise. After spending most of my life in a constant struggle with my reproductive health,Ii think i was mentally prepared for difficulties throughout my pregnancy, Particularly during the pandemic. However it was just the opposite. With breastfeeding, my son latched on immediately and has been eating like a champ ever since. At his 1 month check up he was healthy and had gained 3 pounds already. When I got home from the hospital after a few days my milk came in and I did have a clogged duct which was both a surprise and pretty painful. After speaking with a few nurse friends who had experience with lactation I was able to overcome it pretty quickly. My advice for new moms would be to take every ounce of advice and utilize all the resources to prepare yourself even if everything seems to be going perfect. Also any women struggling with endometriosis or infertility to keep in mind that there still is a light at the end of the tunnel. Every day of every struggle was forgotten the minute I held my son in my arms.
“Did you know we have breastmilk bank here in Brevard?”
Being that I had never expected to be mom, I’m just now learning about the resources such as The Nest. I think the concept of a breast milk bank is amazing. For example, not too long ago, I had a patient come in with a sudden diagnosis of appendicitis and she needed emergency surgery. She was a young first time mom and breastfeeding and she and her husband were quite stressed trying to figure out how she would be supplying enough milk for the baby since she would be receiving medications that she wouldn’t be able to breast feed with. I think if medical providers were more educated on the breast bank and encouraged to educate new moms this would be great for our community..
"What are your favorite things to do with Jackson on the Space Coast?"
There’s nothing I’m looking forward to more than taking my son out to learn about the world once this pandemic subsides. Although we haven’t gotten out much yet we have started a list. For example, I plan on buying an annual pass to the Brevard Zoo. Not only is it great for the children but also for walking off the baby weight. I also have signed up with Macaroni Kids to receive ideas and updates of local events. And lucky for us we have the beaches right in our backyard!
Need Milk or Looking to Donate Milk?
Space Coast Baby recommends our local Breast Milk Depot - The 321 Nest for support and lactation consulting needs as well as to donate breastmilk to babies in need in Central Florida. Please visit their resource page on Space Coast Baby here - The Nest- and follow them on Facebook and Instagram! Happy Feeding!