Skip to content

Tia Templeton's Nursing Story

Tia Templetion ArtworkWhen I was pregnant in 2016, almost every woman I talked to asked me “Are you going to breastfeed?” In the beginning, my thought process was “of course, why wouldn’t I? Isn’t that why I was given breasts in the first place?” Then they would tell me that they could not breastfeed for XYZ. Of course, it made me scared and worried that I would not be able to feed my child. Formula is expensive, what am I going to do? When I passed my due date, my doctor told me to use a breast pump to stimulate contractions, it was painful, and nothing happened. At that time, I did not know I should have saved all the colostrum I pumped and I put that liquid gold in the sink! At 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant, my doctor recommended induction due to my daughter’s amniotic fluid being low. I went to the hospital and had Cervidil ® placed to help ready my cervix but after 12 hours nothing changed. They talked me into doing another round of Cervidil ® and a bag of Pitocin. Another 12 hours and still no dilation and only minor contractions. They took the Cervidil ® out but pushed another bag of Pitocin. Near the end of the second bag of Pitocin, my daughter’s heart rate was dropping, and she was distressed. Into the operating room I go to have an emergency cesarean birth. To not get into a lot of detail, the c-section was traumatic, a lot of medications, and I had a few broken bones.

When I was wheeled into the recovery room, I immediately placed my daughter onto my breasts. I was very adamant to nurse my daughter. She latched on right away, it hurt A LOT! There was a lot of clicking coming from her mouth. I thought this was normal. When I got into my room for my week stay in the hospital, I had a hard time nursing her. I asked for the lactation consultant to come in and coach me. She helped me learn a few different holding positions and that is all she could do to assist me due to my finances. For 2 days she was crying almost constantly, and I did not understand why. I thought it was because she may be cold or wanted to be held or something. Day 3 in the hospital my daughter went to the Special Care Nursery and when she came back the nurse informed me that she was starving so they had given her 2 bottles of formula! I was super upset and very hurt because I was not producing milk for my baby. Her crying was because she was hungry. At this time, I was told to time-feed my baby for a maximum of 15 minutes and only allow her to nurse every 2 hours; not when she wanted it. I was also told not to hold her a lot while in the hospital due to all the medications. I wish I knew better and listened to my heart. So, I was pretty much set up for failure. For the first 3 months of her life I was nursing AND formula feeding. My nipples were bleeding, I was not producing the output she needed. I always nursed before providing her formula and when she was on the bottle, I pumped what I could so I could stimulate production. One of my friends mentioned to me that lip and tongue ties could affect latching and said to talk to our pediatrician. I asked him about it at her next visit and he said “oh that kind of stuff does not exist. And if there is a little bit of skin it will naturally rip.” Ok, her doctor knows best right?

After maternity leave (10 weeks) was over, it was time to go back to work. Here comes the CONSTANT pumping, I still had formula for her during the time. I lasted 2 months at work. I could not take being away from her, so I became a stay-at-home mom. Insurance changed, and we went to a new pediatrician. He told me “yeahhhhhh there is a major lip AND tongue tie there. Go see this ENT.” We see him, and he says “she is too old to do the laser while she is awake. I really don’t want to put her under anesthesia until she is a year old.”

At 4.5 months old she finally got the hang of nursing; my milk supply came in FULL FORCE. At 6 months old, we were doing BLW and still nursing. At one year old she was still nursing like a champ! When she was 15 months old, we moved to Tennessee. We received a referral to have her lip and tongue tie corrected as her ties caused her to have minor tooth decay. At a year and a half old she went under anesthesia to correct her lip and tongue tie. She received 5 sutures total: 2 in the lip and 3 under the tongue. After this she could FULLY latch! Let me tell you: we both noticed a huge difference! She was attached to my chest for 2 weeks. After correcting the ties, everything was better. I cannot describe to you my thoughts when she was completely recovered from the correction. My emotions were everywhere. I had so much hate and regret, yet sympathy for the women who had these issues but could not make it this far. When I had that emotion, I then had my relief and my peace. I realized even after ALL those obstacles I still pushed on to give her the best nutrients we could. I experienced an accomplishment. I found so much support online to help me get through it all because unfortunately I did not have the best support system from women around me. It was just me. My friends did not quite understand. They never nursed; or they quit nursing when they went back to work. While my husband was there for support, he is a man. He does not understand breastfeeding. She stopped nursing when she was 3.5 years old.

With this all being said, I see so many of my problems that could help a woman who is struggling with nursing. While this post is long, it is still only a summary and I could go into so much more detail. BFC posted some breastfeeding resources last week and those are exactly what I used. I also utilized Facebook groups to hear real stories and talk to women who went through something similar. It is so unfortunate that what happens in pregnancy and during birth can affect long-term breastfeeding, if not addressed properly. The best saying in the world right now to me is “know better, do better.” Know that there are FREE resources out there. Thank you for reading my story!

– Tia Templeton -

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.