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Houston OBGYN shares her breastfeeding journey

Dr. Julie Gutierrez is a mother of 2 and works for UT Physicians

HOUSTON – Dr. Julie Gutierrez recently added a beautiful baby girl to her family.

She was featured on "Houston Life" during National Breastfeeding Month.

Below she shares her personal experience as a nursing mom:

Like so many in my generation, I was formula fed so I really did not have any family to help me the first time around with my 2-year-old Natalia. I think because I was a physician, the pediatricians in the hospital assumed I knew what I was doing. I had a cesarean because of breech presentation. It took almost 5 days for my milk to come in. Natalia lost too much weight and didn’t have any wet diapers for over 24 hours before they finally encouraged me to supplement. It was really hard to watch her not getting enough and feeling responsible for my body not doing what it was supposed to do. I really relied on my doctors and the lactation consultants with UT Physicians to help me make sure she was getting enough.

When I went back to work, my supply immediately decreased. I definitely recommend a hands free bra and a good battery operated pump. I used to pump to and from work. There was breast milk all over my car! I made the mistake of pumping only because I thought it would be easier. But pumping is so unrewarding - you feel like a dairy cow! I probably didn’t pump as often as I should have. I had to start supplementing at 5 months and I continued to pump until about 9 months. It wasn’t as long as I had wanted however I am proud that I was able to provide the best nutrition for my daughter and something only I could do.

Josefina “Josie” was born on June 8th at 33 weeks. She was also a cesarean because the placenta was not working properly. She had a feeding tube at first and could not coordinate sucking and breathing. I hand expressed and then pumped like crazy and fortunately my milk came in a little earlier.

She was in the NICU for 2.5 weeks - which is nothing compared to many babies. I cannot empathize enough with parents of babies in the NICU. I spent about 20 hours at the hospital each day, sleeping in a recliner and going home only to eat dinner with Natalia and put her to bed.

She is gaining weight like a champ! She latches on well, but still gets tired before eating enough. I make more milk than she is eating so we are currently doing an every 3 hour breastfeed, pump, bottlefeed expressed milk thing. It takes like 45 minutes everytime she eats!

I am not sure how sustainable this will be when I go back to work but for now, I am just happy she is growing and healthy.

Watch Dr. Gutierrez and Dr. Pamela Berens with UT Physicians discuss some common breastfeeding questions and concerns on "Houston Life."

To learn more or to find a physician near you, visit www.UTPhysicians.com or call 888-488-3627.

This article is sponsored by UT Physicians.