The amazing Amanda Justice with her daughter Lily (4) and Hamish (15 months). Amanda's first pregnancy was lost to miscarriage. Soon after, she conceived Lily and had a pretty healthy pregnancy. She developed Pubic symphysis about half-way through her pregnancy, which got very painful towards the end. She planned for a natural birth and had developed a bit of a hybrid care model between a birth center and an Obstetrician. She was in prelabor for the better part of a week before active labor started. She went into the birth center, but they were closed, so she had to go into the hospital labor ward. She was very well supported during the process. She got to 8cms and had lots of involuntary pushing; they kept asking her to stop, but she couldn't and ended up consenting to an epidural before a large episiotomy and forceps delivery. Lily had gotten stuck and ended up with shoulder dystocia herself. It was about three months before Amanda was able to sit comfortable and the better part of a year before her pubic symphysis had improved enough to walk normally without pain. Breastfeeding was a bit problematic in the beginning. Amanda is a nutritionist and felt a lot of passion but also pressure to breastfeed. Lily lost more than 10% of her body weight in the hospital, and Amanda was required to give her formula, which was devastating. Once home, she continued to breastfeed but had chronic low supply, so she ended up taking Motilium (Domperidone) for 9 months to increase supply and expressed milk after most feeds around the clock to stimulate supply. Things worked out though, and Lily is still breastfeeding occasionally now. Amanda was able to work through her issues in large part due to the support of the Australian Breast Feeding Association and her husband. Amanda was able to conceive Hamish on the first try, and she chose the same model of care and providers this time around. Her pregnancy was incredibly painful, and she ended up with a walking stick and nearly in a wheel chair towards the end of her pregnancy. 4 weeks before her due date, she got very large very quickly and ultrasound revealed that her son had gotten very large. Because of her history of shoulder dystocia the doctors decided that at that point, she was no longer a candidate for a natural delivery, and she opted for an elective cesarean. She was very upset at first, especially since she'd worked with a counselor and lactation consultant to heal the trauma from her first birth but it simply wasn't safe for her or her daughter. She was able to have a beautiful cesarean with a midwife present who understood her desires. She had immediate skin to skin contact and was able to express and put Hamish to the breast immediately. Amanda had expressed a lot of milk before delivery and brought frozen milk to the hospital hoping to avoid having to give her son formula. He ended up losing 11% of his body weight, so she needed to use it but just three weeks later, she found he was actually getting too much milk and is still nursing without issue today. Amanda's recovery from her cesarean was more painful in her first 24 hours but all around, much easier than her first vaginal birth. Amanda feels women are a lot healthier when they're more comfortable in their skin, and this is part of that process for her.
chronic low supply
The lovely Katherine Vanyai with her daughters Xanthe (2) and Inara (6 months). Both of Katherine's pregnancies were conceived with ovulation induction, but she was lucky enough to conceive on her first cycle. She needed assistance due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). She had inductions with both birth due to high blood pressure near the end of pregnancy. She's also struggled with low milk supply in her breastfeeding relationships.