Milky Mama of the Month: Celia Painter!
Posted by Krystal Duhaney, RN, BSN, IBCLC on Jul 1st 2022
It’s time to meet our next Milky Mama of the Month! Celia Painter!
“I was determined to breastfeed…when someone tells me I can’t do something,
I do whatever I can to prove them wrong.”
Celia is a mother of three and has breastfed all of her babies. She is currently breastfeeding her third. She has unique experiences with each child and has learned from each one as she went. After an emergency visit to the hospital days after her second baby was born, Celia became determined to breastfeed her baby as long as possible. Celia’s determination and perseverance is inspiring. Keep reading to find out what made Celia pump and dump and not give up.
Celia’s first child was breastfed for 6 months, her second child for 13 months, and her third child is 5 months old and still going. Way to go, Celia, and keep it up!
While Celia has now spent a cumulative 24 months total breastfeeding, it took her a long time to get comfortable with it. She said she “did not feel like I knew what I was doing until I had my 2nd child”.
Celia’s Secret to No Longer Having to Supplement
Celia supplemented with her first child, “mainly because I did not know what I was doing!”. Celia was sent to the hospital days after having her second baby. For medical reasons, she had to supplement for three weeks, and then returned to strictly breastfeeding for 13 months!
With her third and current baby, Celia supplemented one to two times as soon as she got home from the hospital out of sleeping necessity, but has not had to supplement again since. She is currently exclusively nursing and using her Hakaa once a day to collect and store milk. Celia claims that the Hakaa is “seriously the best thing I have ever purchased!” She did not use it until her third child and wishes she would have known about it with her first two. She hates pumping and since using the Hakaa she is able to save milk to use for emergencies or for when she needs to leave the house.
Celia’s Pumping at Work Experience
After having her first child, Celia returned to her job as an RN full time at 12 weeks. She tells us the main reason she ended her first breastfeeding journey at 6 months was because she hated pumping so much.
Returning to work after her second child was a bit different. She went back to work as a PRN and worked short shifts only. She was able to pump in the car before and after work, which helped her extend her breastfeeding journey.
Currently, Celia is taking some time off from working and is a stay at home mom right now, so she does not have to worry about pumping in a closet or constantly pumping on the go.
What Celia Wishes She Knew Prior to Baby #1
- It gets quite a bit easier when they start eating foods.
- Buy a Hakka
Celia’s Experience & Important Mindset Message
As we mentioned earlier, Celia had a unique experience with her second child. Shortly after coming home from the hospital, Celia was rushed to the hospital where she spent the following 3 weeks on medication that was not safe to breastfeed her baby. Celia had spent 5 days, 5 miraculously beautiful days, breastfeeding her newborn. She wasn’t ready to quit. So what did she do? How did she overcome and end up breastfeeding for 13 months? Celia pumped and dumped for 3 weeks, on a newborn schedule (every 2-3 hours). Amazing, right?! Keep reading to hear Celia share her incredible story.
The main part of my journey that I would like to share is about my experience with my 2nd child. I did not really prepare at all to breastfeed my first child. I didn't really know what I was doing, had low supply, and it ended around 6 months. When I was pregnant with my next child, I decided I was going to try to prepare more this time! I did a lot of reading online about how to be successful with breastfeeding, got a nicer pump and supplies and felt like I knew what to expect this time! I was not putting any pressure on myself though, and was just thinking it’ll be ok whether I breastfeed or not.
When my daughter [second child] was born, breastfeeding started just as I had dreamed of! She was such a good eater from the very first try! I also had no pain at the start like I had experienced the first time around! I seriously don't have words to describe how great it was going. I was loving every single moment of breastfeeding, much to my surprise!
Unfortunately, 5 days after she was born, things went downhill quickly. I woke up in the middle of the night with vomiting, severe back pain, chest pain and shortness of breath. I could barely walk to the bathroom. My husband called 911 and I was transported to the hospital. I was diagnosed with pyelonephritis (kidney infection) and sepsis. I also had abnormal cardiac labs.
I was so upset this was happening to me and I was even more devastated to be away from my new baby. Due to the amount of medication I was on for my infection, and the medications I was needing to take prior to the cardiac testing I had to undergo, the doctors told me I couldn't breastfeed at this time. I decided to just start pumping and dumping so I could pick back up when I got home.
During my hospital stay, I was so exhausted and weak, but every 2-3 hours on the dot I pumped and dumped. I think I cried almost every time because I was so upset over it. I kept having doctors nicely tell me that it’s ok to stop, that “fed is best” and that “my baby will be ok”. I completely agreed with them and knew my baby would be perfect with breast milk or formula, but all of the sudden I was determined to breastfeed. It’s really amazing how your mindset changes when you feel like something is being taken away from you. Before she was born, I was hoping to breastfeed, but never thought I would be so upset over not being able to. I have always had the personality that when someone tells me I can’t do something, I do whatever I can to prove them wrong.
Thankfully, a few days later, my infection was resolving and any cardiac problems had been ruled out. I was ok to go home, finally! The bad news was that the antibiotic I was supposed to go home on to continue clearing my infection was one I could not breastfeed with. It was explained to me that the medication was compatible with breastfeeding only if the baby was over 1 month old. My daughter was barely over a week old and her pediatrician did not want me to breastfeed while taking it. I was supposed to be on the antibiotic for 2 weeks. I decided that clearing my infection was my main priority, so I agreed to go with that one and decided I would just try to continue pumping and dumping. For those two weeks, every time my husband gave her a bottle I pumped and dumped around the clock. It was quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. Between those two weeks and the hospital stay it totaled 3 weeks of pumping and dumping.
I was really nervous if my daughter would go back to breastfeeding or not, but when it was time, she did not skip a beat! We had a few more challenges along the way with mastitis and a dairy intolerance, so I gave up eating dairy. We went on to breastfeed for 13 months! I did not need to give her a drop of formula once I started up breastfeeding again once I was done with my medication. Whenever I felt my supply was low, I ordered Milky Mama products and it boosted my supply back up every time!
I honestly am not sure if I would’ve made it that long breastfeeding if it wasn’t for my illness. It really motivated me to keep going whenever I felt like stopping. I wanted to make sure the pumping and dumping was worth it, and it definitely was. I was so proud of myself for doing that.
I am now breastfeeding my 3rd child and it’s going fantastic so far at almost 6 months in. My experience with my 2nd baby still motivates me! I am hoping to make it a year again, but not pressuring myself! We will go as long as it makes us both happy :)”
We are so impressed and happy for you, Celia! You should be proud, and we are proud of you, too! Thank you for sharing your story with us! We are also glad that our products were able to help you reach your goal.
We love being able to feature a variety of Milky Mama’s each month. Being able to share personal experiences full of advice and encouragement, sharing detailed, intimate stories of each individual journey. We can all learn and grow from each other. We can remember, we are not alone. We are here to support each other and remind each other, you’ve got this, mama!
Share encouragement to Celia for sharing her story with us in our Facebook group, The Official Milky Mama Lactation Support Group.