Gina had two different births with her two boys and her postpartum experiences followed suit. With Owen, in 2020, the pandemic made for a lonely start, but she was so grateful for the support she received from her Doula, lactation consultant, and close family and friends. Owen was a healthy baby but was losing a lot of weight and it was determined that the cause was poor transfer and low supply. Triple feeding became a huge source of anxiety and sleep deprivation. Eventually they found their groove and had a beautiful nursing relationship but the low supply was a giant elephant in the room, constantly causing anxiety and stress.
Physical recovery was challenging after a long 4 hour pushing phase and at her six week appointment, It was determined that she had developed granulation tissue at her 2nd degree tear site. After having it removed, she had no more discomfort and was glad she followed through. Between the isolation of the pandemic, breastfeeding struggles, and a colicky baby, those first couple of months were a lot harder than she expected. She began to feel like herself again after sleep training and felt immensely better when she ended their breast feeding journey. Finally, she was able to focus on her sweet boy without having her supply hanging over her head.
When Gina became pregnant with her 2nd baby, she wanted to do things differently and signed up for hypnobirthing. She worked thorough a lot of her fears and anxieties around back labor and low supply and had a quick, easy, and peaceful birth. However, the day after Colin was born they realized he had broken his right collar bone. His discomfort impacted his ability to latch and Gina ended up almost exclusively pumping. After baby chiropractic care and time, Colin was able to latch again. She still had low supply but made more milk than she expected and did not let it steal any of her joy this time around. Being able to be social and enjoy her family and friends made a big difference in her mental health. Sure enough though, the whole family got Covid when Colin was 8 weeks old. He got the least sick out everyone and it was proof that even a little bit of breast milk can have huge benefits. Managing expectations, support from family and friends, and an easy physical recovery made this postpartum period so much easier than the last.
Gina McCleary Bio
Gina lives with her two sons, Owen (2 years old) and Colin (5 months), and her husband Chris. Chris is an engineer and Gina is a freelance surface designer and family portrait photographer. Their two dogs and two cats help make their home a happy and furry place. They love living on Cape Cod, where they are surrounded by local artists, salt water, antiques, great ice cream, family and friends. Connect with her on Facebook: Gina McCleary or Instagram: @GinaElizabethPhotography or @Mrs_McCleary
This episode is sponsored by Ergobaby. Founded in 2003, Ergobaby has pioneered the gold standard for comfortable, ergonomic soft structured carriers. Their commitment to providing parents with the foundation to thrive has launched the company into creating a broad range of award-winning products that fit into families’ daily lives seamlessly, comfortably, and safely – where function and quality are not compromised. In 2020, they launched Everlove by Ergobaby, a first of its kind baby carrier buy back and resale program, a sustainability effort to support families and the planet. Check out Ergobaby’s Embrace in Soft Air Mesh that we discussed on the podcast!