I started this company because I am so so passionate about breastfeeding. My main goal with Latched on Love has always been to support breastfeeding moms and soon to be moms. I wish I could help every single mom who is struggling or thinking she can't do it- I really do.
The reason I am so passionate about breastfeeding is because it has been so life changing for me. It was an incredibly difficult journey full of extreme emotions. There is nothing quite like the bond I feel when I am nursing my daughter (now 8 months). It is indescribable. I feel so connected to her and in tune with her. I know that I am providing not only nourishment, but also love, comfort, and reassurance each time she nurses.
However, it wasn't always that way. My daughter's birth was the most traumatic thing I have ever gone through. It was the most terrifying ending to a stressful pregnancy (I had hyperemesis gravidarum or HG and gestational diabetes). With HG, I remember laying on the bathroom floor everyday for the first few months after throwing up 20 times a day wondering if there was any way my baby was still alive inside of me. That was a gut wrenching thought I had daily and it was horrible. With gestational diabetes, I worried less but the worry was still there that I was doing something wrong that could negatively affect my sweet girl. It was emotionally exhausting.
I expected no complications going into her birth. I wanted to do a natural birth but after about 16 hours of excruciating pain I asked for an epidural. The first two didn't work and finally after calling in another anesthesiologist, the third one finally worked. I labored for hours and hours (you don't even want to know how many!). Finally I gave birth to my sweet daughter. I was overjoyed when they placed her on my chest until I realized something wasn't right and she was ripped out of my arms. She was purple and not breathing. I laid there asking repeatedly if my tiny girl was ok to no response. They quickly took her to the NICU and I didn't see her for hours. It was not the birth I envisioned or wanted. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
Thankfully, she was a fighter (we see it in her all the time now!). She pulled through and got better faster than anyone anticipated. She is one strong little girl. I couldn't love her more.
Due to the circumstances surrounding her birth and NICU stay, breastfeeding did NOT go well at all. She had been put on formula in the NICU, given a bottle and pacifier, and wouldn't latch at all. I was heartbroken. We tried a nipple shield and she barely latched with that. Not to mention it was excruciatingly painful and I wasn't making near enough milk. I thought I was doomed.
I struggled for 5 weeks thinking my dream of breastfeeding was gone. At the insistence of my husband, I gave it one last effort and called my local La Leche League. I'll never forget how sweet and kind Anna was talking to me for over an hour in between my tears. She pointed me in the direction of an IBCLC and the info for the next meeting. From there, little by little, it got better until at 4 months, we were miraculously exclusively breastfeeding- something I NEVER thought would happen. I actually enjoyed breastfeeding her and didn't dread each nursing session.
Through all this I remember feeling down about how I looked as a new mom. I had no clothes that were convenient to nurse in that made me feel good about myself. Most of the nursing clothes I came across were really expensive (and as a new stay at home mom living off one income, I just couldn't justify that) or they looked like frumpy maternity clothes.
So where did Latched on Love start?
It wasn't until one day, when I was complaining to my husband for the millionth time, that he said, "You know what, Erin?? Why don't you just start your own company if you can't find what you want out there? Then that would also give you an outlet to talk about how much you love breastfeeding all day long!" I was hesitant at first because it seemed like such a huge undertaking especially since our daughter is definitely what you would call a high needs baby (we obviously think it's because she's a genius haha).
Ultimately, my husband and I decided to start Latched on Love because it has always been our dream to own our own business and this was beyond perfect. We spent months figuring out how to start and run a clothing company- so much work has gone into this.
I love breastfeeding and I want to support breastfeeding moms and help to normalize breastfeeding so that all moms feel confident, comfortable, and at ease nursing their little ones anywhere.
Every part of my heart (as well as lots of tears, late nights, no sleep, and stress) is in this company. I want to be there to show other moms that just because breastfeeding isn't going well, doesn't mean all is lost. There is always hope. If I can be an ear to listen or provide some sort of helpful information, then everything is worth it. Or if one of our products makes a nursing mom feel good about herself then I am one happy mama.
I have always wanted to give back anything I can, and with Latched on Love I am able to (even though it isn't much right now as we are just starting out- but you have to start somewhere, right?). The cause is near and dear to my heart and I hope one day we can give back big time.
There will always be someone out there who tries to get you down and I think that is such a shame. I think moms everywhere should support one another but unfortunately that isn't always the case. I support your dreams and I hope I will get the same in return.
You don't see Tula and Ergo going at each other, do you? I mean essentially they're very similar because baby carriers can only be varied so much. They each have their own ideas to bring to the table and it's up to the customer to choose what appeals to them. And they both do well and it provides more options for everyone. Heck, if you emailed me today and said hey Erin, I feel such a calling to open a nursing clothing company, then I would say if that's your dream and what you want, then do it and be happy! There is room for everyone (I mean really, there's an endless flow of moms getting pregnant, right?) I will never put you down you or do anything but encourage you because essentially you are joining me in my cause to help support nursing moms. If we all supported each other, then think what we could accomplish?