LPBW: Audrey Roloff Describes Breastfeeding Journey, The Struggles And Joy In Feeding And Raising Baby Ember

Audrey and Ember Jean Roloff in front of their demolished kitchen.

Audrey Roloff of Little People, Big World shared more intimate details about her journey through parenthood, particularly about how she has struggled and continues to struggle with breastfeeding her daughter, Ember Jean. Audrey already shared that she had to deal with mastitis early into her breastfeeding adventure, and just when things are starting to get better, the dreaded infection is back.

Audrey admitted that her breastfeeding journey has been anything but easy and this made her realize one of her misconceptions about motherhood. Before, Audrey thought that breastfeeding was a choice. The 26-year-old mother would readily and confidently answer in the affirmative whenever she was asked if she was going to breastfeed her child.

However, since struggling with mastitis, Audrey understood that some mothers don’t have that much of a choice. Those who experience “similar pains, heartaches, and challenges” as Audrey has endured since having Ember, may have no other recourse but to stop breastfeeding their babies.

Audrey further detailed her struggles with breastfeeding. A day after Ember was born, Audrey’s breasts were “severely engorged,” leading some of the nurses to comment that hers was the worst case of swelling they have ever encountered.

The pain was unbearable, according to Audrey. She said that she couldn’t hold Ember or even place her arms on her sides. Audrey also endured an “excruciating” process to keep her milk flowing. It didn’t help that Ember had a “significant lip and tongue tie” leaving Audrey blistered and bruised.

l always thought breastfeeding was a choice. People would often ask me if l was going to breastfeed when I was pregnant and l always answered with a determined yes. But after Ember was born, l realized that for some people, it’s not a choice. My breastfeeding journey has not been easy. After sharing with you all a little bit about the struggles l have had feeding Ember, l realized that so many of you have gone through, or are currently going through, similar pains, heart aches, and challenges. About 24 hours after Ember was born, l became severely engorged. The nurses at the hospital admitted to it being the worse case they’d ever seen. l couldn’t put my arms at my sides or hold Ember – except to feed, and feeding was so painful because l was also badly blistered/bruised (we later found out Ember had a significant lip and tounge tie). Not to mention, what they had to do to “get me flowing” was excruciating. l thought the pain was supposed to be over once they laid her on my chest? But people just don’t talk enough about the after labor pains… ???? • Three days after coming home from the hospital, l came down with mastitis. The antibiotics for my infection, stress, Ember’s lip and tounge tie, sleep deprivation, and some misguided medical advice caused my milk supply to completely tank. l was devastated and even told by a pediatrician and lactation consultant that l would probably not ever be able to exclusively breastfeed Ember. She was having trouble gaining weight and they were concerned. They also thought l had insiffienct granular tissue.. ???? • Here we are two months later and Ember has been exclusively breastfeed for the past 5 weeks!!! So much hard work and prayers have come to fruition???????? • Two days ago l came down with mastitis again… but l was reminded that even though this journey still poses its challenges, being able to feed my daughter from my own body brings me incomparable joy. l will defintely be sharing more about this journey on my blog eventually, but l just wanted to share this here and now in case there are other new mamas out there that could be encouraged and filled with hope by my testimony. #alwaysmore #emberjean

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Audrey had an infection just three days after bringing Ember home. Audrey’s mastitis was just one of the reasons why she couldn’t breastfeed Ember as much as she needed or as often as Audrey wanted to. Audrey said she also suffered from stress and lack of sleep while the medicines for her mastitis also affected her milk supply. Audrey also said that Ember’s lip and tongue tie and “some misguided medical advice” made breastfeeding a complete struggle. In fact, according to Audrey, her milk supply completely tanked.

When her doctors told Audrey that she will not be able to exclusively breastfeed baby Ember, Audrey did not simply give up. Audrey persevered and she’s proud to announce that the two-month-old Ember has been exclusively breastfed for the past five weeks.

Our Ember girl is 2 MONTHS OLD today and she’s already growing into her name. The dictionary defines EMBER as “a small live piece of coal wood etc in a dying fire. The remains of a fire. A glowing fragment from fire. ???? • Embers are GLOWING – they can light up an entire room, forest or field. ???? Embers are ENDURING – they are the fiercest remains of a fire and radiate a substantial amount of heat long after the fire has been extinguished. ???? Embers offer REVIVAL – when a fire is dying the embers can bring it back to life! ???? Embers are WELCOMING – they are inviting. They draw people in by their warmth and light. ???? Embers FLY – when they have been burning hot enough, they know when to spark and fly. ???? Embers are CONSTANT & LOYAL – they radiate a more constant form of heat as opposed to the fire which is constantly changing along with the heat it radiates. ???? Embers are FORERUNNERS – in forest fires they can blow on ahead of the fire and start fires kilometers away (l loved this one being that she’s our first child) ???? • We want our little Ember to be a light in the darkness, glowing in all she does, enduring and lasting – hard to stop, ALWAYS believing in the MORE that is within her – and when stoked/kindled by her Creator – able to burn and glow even MORE than she could on her own. Our prayer is that she would be MORE on fire for God as He continues to fan her into flame. Always more. #emberjean #alwaymore

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The victory is short-lived, however, as Audrey and Ember’s breastfeeding journey has hit another snag. Audrey is dealing with another case of mastitis. She came down with the infection a couple of days ago.

Audrey is still determined to exclusively breastfeed baby Ember. She said that nursing Ember and feeding her from her own body gives her an “incomparable joy.” Audrey hopes that by telling her breastfeeding story, other moms who are experiencing the same challenges may be inspired to continue with their own breastfeeding journey.

[Featured Image by Audrey Roloff/Instagram]