Melissa Stinson couldn’t wait to be a mother. When her daughter Lyla was born, she was thrilled to start a new life chapter with her baby and husband, Justin. However, things didn’t go as planned once she returned home. Lyla had difficulties nursing and both parents became concerned about her health.
“It was such a difficult transition home,” says Stinson. “You wouldn’t think breastfeeding would be so hard, but we were really challenged. I was so worried Lyla wasn’t getting enough milk.”
Stinson had attended prenatal classes and remembered hearing about the breastfeeding support group at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. Days after Lyla’s birth, Stinson and her husband rushed to the support group and arrived just as it was about to end.
“The lactation consultant saw how distraught we were and sat down with us for more than an hour past the end of the class,” says Stinson. “I could tell she genuinely cared, and she helped Lyla learn to properly latch that day.”
Stinson continued to go to the support group, sometimes more than once a week. She felt like she learned something new at each visit. Whether discussing how to use a bottle, increase the supply of breastmilk, or pump in order to return to work, the support group helped Stinson connect with other mothers and learn tools to breastfeed successfully at home.
“The support group is such a comfortable environment — we’re all going through the same thing,” says Stinson. “It’s very encouraging to have someone look you in the eye and tell you what to expect, how to get through difficulties and to reassure you that you can do it. I finally had hope that breastfeeding would work.”
Learn more about breastfeeding support groups offered by Sharp Mary Birch, Sharp Grossmont and Sharp Chula Vista. No registration is required.