A breastfeeding mom talks…
This is World Breastfeeding Week, a time dedicated to bringing awareness to the most natural way of feeding your baby; from your own body. If you are able, breastfeeding is not only a wonderful way to bond with your child, but it gives babies more natural immunity to diseases, its economical and it’s truly is practical.
I breastfed two children; first my son in 2000, and then my daughter Ella, a year and a half old now, who I am still nursing. You could say I had two totally different experiences. The second time was easier, but I had challenges with each. The first time my goal was six months, and this second time it was a year.
With my first, my son wouldn’t nurse at birth and was in a neonatal unit from two-ten days old. I wanted to nurse so badly that I pumped every three hours, 24 hours a day. Then, because he was in the neonatal unit, he wouldn’t latch due to massive reflux, and not being able to be present 24 hours a day, they fed my pumped breastmilk to him with the bottle. I was committed, but I was absolutely exhausted.
The problem was, he got so used to the bottle, that when he was out of the unit, he didn’t want to breastfeed. With the bottle, he got more milk, faster. And nursing with a bottle is a different suction than nursing from the breast. Eventually, I figured out that I needed to stop offering him the bottle. He figured pretty quickly that the breast was his only option. We then had a good nursing relationship for six months.
With Ella, I was committed to nursing for one year, but I let Ella set the pace and I hoped it would be more than six months. Then, at two weeks, I had problems. I went to a pediatrician, to a lactation consultant, to support groups. I struggled for three months. It’s hard to deal with it no matter how much you know, because it’s personal. You think, ‘How can I keep doing this?’, ‘Why isn’t this working for me?’
What I can tell a new moms is, support was so important. Each womans’ breastfeeding experience is constantly changing. Your childs needs are constantly changing and your body is always adapting. One moment things can be horrible and the next moment, with one adjustment, you’re flying because you had support and encouragement not to give up. No one else should make you feel guilty…it’s your goal, your breastfeeding dream, not made by someone else.
What has been your breastfeeding experience? What do you love about breastfeeding your baby? We’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts, questions and experiences right here on this blog.