The Incredible Story Behind 1 Burn Survivor's Breastfeeding Journey
When Schamica Stevenson was 2 years old, she was severely burned in a house fire that killed her baby brother. After that tragic day, Schamica endured countless skin grafts and had yearly surgeries until she was 17. A few years later she became pregnant with her first baby, but after giving birth this young mom didn't breastfeed.
"When I first got pregnant with my daughter at 20 years old, my first scare wasn't the fact that I now have to tell my parents; I was more worried about whether or not my body was made to carry a baby and if the scars on my stomach would stretch," she told POPSUGAR. "They stretched just fine but was a little tight on the sides. The major downfall from my scars is that I am unable to receive an epidural."
Years later when Schamica was ready to have a second baby, she spent three years trying to get pregnant and had two miscarriages. But after giving birth to her baby boy in March, this strong mom made it her mission to do things differently. "I was determined to breastfeed him after watching my cousin nurse all four of her kids," Schamica said. "The lactation nurse warned me that 'this is not going to feel good' as she tugged and pulled at my breasts. It killed, but I was determined to have that breastfeeding bond with my son."
Schamica began pumping at the hospital to help her milk supply but she still wasn't producing enough. "I asked the staff for the formula only because of my little supply and I was afraid my scar tissue was constricting my milk ducts, but I stuck to it," she said. Now, Schamica produces more than enough milk, her son has no problem latching, and the pain she once experienced is gone.
The brave mom first shared her powerful photos on the Black Women Do Breastfeed Facebook page and is opening up about her journey because she's proud of what she's accomplished. "I wanted to share my story to help others not give up like I did when I was 20 years old," she said. "I don't want people to see me and feel sorry for me, but instead feel inspired to overcome their own flaws and obstacles."