Celebrating National Breastfeeding Month - August 2020
Updated: Aug 23
We know that breastfeeding is no easy feat. It comes with many ups and down, both physical and emotional. Space Coast Baby is highlight the stories of local breastfeeding mamas this month and we hope their stories help you!
Meet Abby Marks, our first featured breastfeeding mama. Abby and her husband, Casidy, were married in 2017. Their first son, Maverick, was born in 2018 and Sebastian (this cute little monkey picture above) in early 2020. They both have lived in Satellite Beach since they were elementary school aged children, and are total beach people. Abby said, "It’s my hope that our sons grow up to enjoy spending time in the ocean and taking advantage of everything this wonderful area has to offer!" Abby and Casidy value health greatly and are pretty active people, you can catch them riding bikes around town or exercising. You may even spot Casidy on tv a few times competing on NBCs American Ninja Warrior! GO CASIDY!!!
Abby's Breastfeeding Experience
“Tell us a little bit about your breastfeeding experience with your boys.”
"I have been very fortunate with both my breastfeeding experiences. My first son, latched immediately, was a great eater and gained weight on target. I quickly realized I was an overproducer. I accumulated an incredible freezer supply which was a huge crutch for me as it allowed me to slowly wean myself from pumping at work and continue feeding him exclusively breastmilk for 7 months. At 7 months we started introducing formula by giving him half formula half breastmilk bottles until my freezer supply was gone and then he transitioned fully to formula during the day. However, I continued to nurse him in the mornings until he was a year old, even while pregnant.
My second son, is 6 months old. When he was born he did not latch immediately. It took him about 5 hours to get the hang of it and since then he has had no issues. His endless rolls can attest to that. He gained 5lbs his first month of life and has been at the top of the growth charts since! Like my first time around, I am an over producer. By the time I went back to work my freezer was already close to full. I continue to pump several times during the working hours and unlike the first time, I foresee this freezer supply being able to last us longer than 7 months.
Breastfeeding for me has been relatively free of complications physically. My boys never struggled with serious latch or mouth problems like tongue or lip ties, and I’ve never had to deal with mastitis, thrush or any other infections. But I can’t say it has been a walk in the park. Breastfeeding has been very difficult for me mentally. I often found/find myself comparing our experiences to other moms and question if I’m doing things right. It has also been difficult for me to let go of any modesty I had around feeding my boys around other people. Regardless, breastfeeding has been the most rewarding job I have ever had."
“Did you take a breastfeeding class or use a lactation consultant?”
Yes, while pregnant with my first son my husband and I took a breastfeeding class. I learned a lot about the anatomy and science behind breastfeeding. We also saw a lactation consultant in the hospital for my first. While he latched immediately, breastfeeding is the most unnatural natural thing a woman could ever do, so it was nice having the consultant to show us proper positioning and help with latching.
"Do you have any tips for new moms starting out in breastfeeding?"
Seek help! If you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. We are blessed to have many lactation consultants in the area who are ready to help. It’s also great to have a support team, whether that be experienced breastfeeding moms or an online group. It’s important to have someone to go to if you need guidance.
"What is it like to be a breastfeeding mom while working?"
Breastfeeding while working full time should count as having two jobs. I work away from home which obviously means I am pumping more than I nurse most days. Trying to maintain a pumping schedule can be challenging at times. But for me, having a set schedule helps balance things. Everyone in the office knows that I pump at certain times and will be unavailable. In return I’m able to be 100% on for work the other hours of the day and not worrying about the next time I have to run away to pump.
Space Coast Baby recommend 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!