I hope you all are having a good day so far. 🙂 In honor of World Breastfeeding Week 2015, I wanted to talk a little bit about breastfeeding by sharing my breastfeeding journey so far. And as always, I’d love to here about your breastfeeding journey in the comments!
Without further ado, here we go!
I had the good fortune of having an amazing doula. She latched my son for the first time just seconds after he was born. He was places in the middle of my chest, raised his little head and opened his eyes at me. He then started to crawl up my chest and root. I was so surprised at how much of a wiggle worm he was!! He was trying desperately to latch on his own, but I didn’t know how to help and my dominant hand was too swollen to move because of some complications with an IV during his birth. So my amazing doula asked if she could help him latch, and I said, “Sure!”
Pretty sure my son still loves her to death for that, he was so hungry! 😉 Latching was intense, and not what I expected at all! I once heard newborns eating for the first time being described as a wild beast intent on finding a boob. Best description I have ever heard! I had been producing colostrum since around 18 weeks pregnant, so I had no doubt that he was getting enough to eat.
Fast forward two days and we found ourselves in hell…AKA the NICU. I’ve heard of many a breastfeeding relationship being destroyed by the NICU, sometimes from the stress alone! I was hounded by the nurses that I was not producing enough and that was why my baby was sick. So they made me pump to see what my supply was like (which, by the way, is NOT an accurate measure of supply). 4 ounces each side, so 8 ounces total, for a 3 day old, in one pumping session. That shut them up. (NICU nurses can be nice, these just weren’t.)
I was not allowed to breastfeed him, but I was able to pump and give it to him in bottles. The next day, I breastfed him after the lactation consultant came in and chewed everyone out. The best part, if there could be a best part of a NICU stay, is watching a lactation consultant shout down a doctor for unnecessary bottle feeding of my baby. I loved that lactation consultant so much, I’m not sure where we would be without her.
After we were discharged, we had to do 3 supplemental (with pumped breast milk) a day just to make sure he was getting enough. This last for about two weeks and every time I fed him a bottle I felt so guilty because I felt like I bonded with him better feeding him a bottle than I did breastfeeding him. Eventually it got better, especially after my supply regulated at 6 weeks.
Our breastfeeding relationship had a bump in the road before my supply regulated. He loved nursing! Except, it was only on one side. :O After a week or two of this, I took my son to the chiropractor, who also helped save our breastfeeding relationship. He nursed well on both sides after that. Unfortunately, it wasn’t before I developed mastitis.
*If you ever feel like you have a clogged duct, and see any redness or swelling, or feel like death, go to the doctor immediately! Mastitis is serious business. *
Because I developed mastitis, I had to be put on antibiotics, which gave me candida. Then my son got it. So we had a “Break Out the Coconut Oil and Probiotic” party, with the blessing of our doctor, and that cleared it up.
After that we had a few scares about low supply because of my son being fussy and upset, which turned out to be my son’s intestines just having a hard time catching up since he made his entrance into the world early.
There has been a few stressful days with covering up, because my son doesn’t like to be covered while eating (who would?!), but anymore, we only use a cover when asked nicely because someone is sincerely uncomfortable.
My proudest breastfeeding moment was the first time I successfully fed my son in our K’tan baby carrier in church without anyone noticing. Not even my husband! I pointed it out and he was so surprised and impressed 😉
My favorite part of breastfeeding is when my son falls asleep nursing while hugging my breast. It’s THE CUTEST THING EVER! <3
Despite all the challenges, we’ve made it over 3 months now, and we couldn’t be happier! 😀
No matter if you breastfed once, or until baby weans, or even if you try and it doesn’t work out, you are an awesome mom! <3
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