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Wilkes County Human Library: Shandin Woodruff - Breastfeeding Stories

The Human Library is very much like a regular library where people go to check out books. The only difference is that the books are all human volunteers that can be 'borrowed' for conversation.

“How will you feed your baby?” This was the question I heard all the time when I was pregnant with my first child. Everyone talked about the benefits of breastfeeding, everyone talked about the STRUGGLES with breastfeeding and benefits of formula feeding, and everyone was quick to share their opinions on when/how a person should breastfeed . . .   but no one told me anything about what to expect while breastfeeding.

My pregnancy was a rough one and I gave birth to my first at 36 weeks by emergency c-section and we were separated for over 24 hours. To say my mothering journey got off to a rough start would be an understatement. I knew I wanted to breastfeed so I tried to do everything in my power to make that happen.

I spent tons of time researching and learning everything I could about breastfeeding but I was blindsided by just how little support and knowledge is out there around breastfeeding. It felt like I was alone and I decided right then that I did not want anyone else to feel the way that I felt in that moment.

Informed breastfeeding support had quickly become a passion of mine and I knew this was how I could make a difference in my community. Since having my first, I have been on my breastfeeding journey for over 3.5 years and have added another little boobie baby to our family.

I have tandem fed for over 1 year now and have faced MANY obstacles and judgement during this time. My ultimate goal is to help normalize breastfeeding and offer support to those that want to breastfeed so no one has to go through what I did in my journey.  All too often, new mothers do not have the resources or support with breastfeeding and this leads to many mothers ending their journeys way sooner than they wanted. At the end of the day, there is no wrong way to feed your baby but it is my passion to help people meet their breastfeeding goals with evidence-based information and support. That passion led me to work for the WIC office and becoming a trained breastfeeding peer counselor.