• Andrea Agostinucci

Who's in Your Tribe?

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

WOW! Simply floored as I write this. I’m coming off one of the mot challenging mom weeks thus far.

At 7.5 months, without warning, my milk production plummeted.

Imagine your sweet baby, who has depended on you as their food source their entire life, giving you all their hunger ques. You get comfy to begin to nurse and he keeps unlatching in frustration. You switch sides to see if he’s just being “picky” but the mark of insanity sets in; Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. In an attempt to still feed him, you know, your one job as a mom, to keep him alive, you decide to pump and give him a bottle. After 21 long minutes, LESS than HALF an ounce appears.

Formula. Formula is the answer! You prepare a bottle of DF/GF formula, because of his food allergies, and send a prayer up that he doesn’t notice [insert eye roll here.] He takes a sip and the next struggle begins. The clamped shut mouth of your, now hysterical, baby sends you over the edge and you’re both staring at each other with hot tears pouring down your faces. Your partner starts asking questions to trouble shoot. I don’t have the answers. An argument ensues with him too and now everyone in the house is pissed off.

This was the scene of my Sunday morning. The last day of our family vacation and my husband’s week off. The last day we planned to spend as a family before he went back to work and started his next semester for his master’s program. The last FULL week we’d have together until Christmas, a full 5 months away.

Nothing can prepare you for these moments. I began to reach out by posting in a breastfeeding support group on Facebook, through the lactation consultant we worked with week 1. People replied trying to help but no one fully understood that we didn’t have any other options. Yes, ditch the pump and formula feed but HE ISN’T TAKING THE FREAKIN FORMULA, TIFFANY! Side note: DF/GF formula tastes like cardboard and yes, if it’s going in my child’s mouth, I’ma taste it first. That being said, two moms I had met in person at the moms group gatherings sent me direct messages and LITERALLY didn’t give up on us until we were on the other side of this. Making suggestions, asking questions giving other resources to reach out to and checking back with me for the entire following week. Connecting me with other mom friends of theirs who had gone through something similar. Supporting our commitment to our little man’s allergies and feeding him what we could.

With their suggestions, I reached out and made an appointment with the lactation consultant. Called the pump manufacturer who sent me a new pump as we figured out mine was faulty *sigh*. I ordered milk production supplements (didn’t even know that was a thing.) Started feeding and pumping more frequently throughout the day and drank more water than I’ve ever consumed in my life.

My husband stood by me as I went on this wild mom ride. Reassuring me we would figure it out and do whatever it took to do so. Getting up with me the 3-4 times/ night our baby woke since he wasn’t getting as much milk during the day. My mom and sister calling to check in and make suggestions for adding more solids, which we also struggled with. My father in law making connections in the health field for us to be able to ask questions and get more answers.

THIS is my tribe. Women I didn’t even realize I was making connections with who stepped up without hesitation to help us. Family. Friends. All of them. People I can never thank enough for standing by us during one of the most challenging week we’ve had. We don’t know what we don’t know and having people in our lives we can call on, even unexpectedly, is so important.

I’m going to go out on a limb here but I think we’d all be lying if #squadgoals wasn’t a thing we have given any thought to. (We can all thank T Swift for that, right?) What I didn’t know was how real it would become in this new venture of parenthood. I think anytime we find ourselves treading in new territory it’s important to have others to can call on, bounce things off of or just vent. When thinking about the who I’d encourage you to be strategic. Make sure you click with them on some level and feel like you can trust them.

Ask yourself these questions;

- Do I like them?

- Would I have a coffee/ beer/ glass of wine with them?

- Can I connect with them on more than one media (exchanging phone numbers, connecting on social media, seeing in person etc.)

- Are they judgmental or overbearing?

- Most importantly, do they know more than me or have more experience in this territory?

If you get the answers you want to the above, approach them and make that connection. You never know when you’ll need them or maybe they’ll need you!

Who’s in Your Tribe?

__________________________________________________________________________________ Credits:

Oh Baby Lactation Care, Glastonbury, CT

Legendairy Products (and follow them on Instagram for great tips) My referral code if you'd like to try their products:

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder

Medela Breastfeeding US for being so customer centric

My 'less than an oz.' moment.

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